Archive for the ‘Yadier Molina’ Category

MLB: Seattle Mariners at St. Louis Cardinals

I know, I know: of all the players in baseball, Yadier Molina needs more smoke blown up his ass the least. As a member of the Cardinals and Molina brother, he already attracts all manner of attention for his exploits on the field.

Over-inflated as his tires might be, it is important to recognize that Yadi Molina is in fact one of the best players in baseball. He is in fact one of the two or three best catchers in the game right now. He is looked upon adoringly by his teammates and revered by his opponents. With out without the recognition of the writers’ association, Yadier Molina is an invaluable member of the best organization in the game.

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers

As I have noted in past installments of these ratings, this season has been one of the more static in terms of which players are on top and bottom of these ratings, at least the way I remember it. It may be that my memory is getting faulty, or maybe just selective. I dunno. But in this (likely) final rating of the season, there is still some interesting stuff to discuss beyond simply the ratings, leaders, and trailers.

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USPW_841134

Like last month’s rankings, this month’s updates of my crude catcher defense rankings once again are reassuring that these ratings are measuring something real, even if that is somewhat boring. But if we look more closely at the components, some interesting contrasts stand out. We will troll around the middle a bit, too, to see what interesting stuff might come up. Read on, catcher defense fans.

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Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game One

It would be easy for me to complain about this “boring” and “predictable” update of the catcher defense rankings. I mean, the top and the bottom catchers are just as we expect. On the other hand, that sort of reassures me that these catcher defense rankings are getting at something like reality, you know. If, say, Yan Gomes led all year like he did last month, I’d be pretty worried. There is always interesting stuff to be found in these semi-regularly updated catcher defense ratings, so let’s see what we have.

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St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals

We bloggers are spur-of-the-moment, react-just-to-react types, you know? We live for the present. And for the snark. And dogmatically defending metrics because we just can’t handle uncertainty.

Sometimes, though, we like an “evergreen” series of posts. Even we dwellers in the ephemeral like to have something we can fall back on. In my case, I have chosen to do catcher fielding rankings on (somewhat) monthly basis. It seems like a good idea for an easy, quasi-monthly post, but then I realize how clunky my spreadsheet is, and how it needs to be touched up and checked every time, and how the first post of the year, especially, is brutal since I have usually forgotten how a lot of it is set up. SIGH. Blogging: it’s hard, y’all.

I started doing the catcher defensive rankings at the end of 2009 for a now-defunct site, and even though I think there are catcher fielding metrics available now that are probably better, this is somewhat expected of me and people seem to like it, so I am going to try and stop apologizing for it. (For some of that, here are last year’s final rankings.) Anyway, it is always fun to start them early enough in the year so that someone surprising will end up on top (or bottom) and people will throw a fit about it. So forget sample size qualifications, true talent-versus-observed performance reminders, and methodological admissions (brief notes about the method can be found at the very bottom of the post — please read that before complaining), let’s get to it!

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World Baseball Classic - Semifinals - Puerto Rico v Japan

Rest or rust – the well-worn narrative is dredged up at the first opportunity. Because of the time change when one goes from playing baseball games in Japan to playing baseball games in San Francisco, the winners from Pool 1 were given five days off. This, according to some, was enough time to throw the Japanese off their game completely.

Using the rust crutch is too easy yet over-complicates the matter: Japan lost because baseball. Baseball is weird and wonderful and in a big ballpark with professional athletes playing it, well, there is a difference between an underdog and a longshot.

Guys like Alex Rios can go from failing to get a ball out of the infield for ten plate appearances to clubbing a massive two-run home run to left field in the top of the seventh, adding two runs to a 1-0 lead.

Puerto Rico had the reputation as a team with a bad bullpen but, aside from Randy Fontanez, they did all that was asked of them — with an unbelievable, inexplicable assist to Seiichi Uchikawa — in holding off the late-charging Japanese team; advancing to the World Baseball Classic final on Tuesday night with a 3-1 win.

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Wow, what a season. And with such a big comeback at the end.

I am referring, of course, to our final look at the Getting Blanked Catcher Defense Ratings for 2012. Was there something else that happened?

When we last examined the rankings, a new leader had emerged. Will his work over the last month of the season hold the tide against the waves of challengers trying to unseat him and claim the title of Getting Blanked’s best defensive catcher? An answer to this, some other random comments, and, crude ratings of the defensive value of every catcher who saw time behind the plate in 2012, all after the jump …

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