DRG here again to get you through the weekend. I can be reached here..


  • Marc Topkin is up to his over-dramatic ways. According to Topkin the Rays success is mostly due to having Eric Hinske, Al Reyes and Dan Wheeler. Don’t get me wrong. Those players have been great and the Rays do have nice depth for the first time. But everybody else with half a brain knows that the starting pitching and defense and the bullpen as a whole are the reasons the Rays are winning. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rocco Baldelli played in his second extended spring game and went 0-5. Rocco will continue to play extended spring games for the next 10 days. After that he could join a minor league affiliate (most likely Vero Beach) for a rehab assignment. [USA Today]
  • Troy Percival has a lower than expected BABIP for his career. This author says this statline is a “little myterious”. I don’t think there is any mystery at all. This just says that when batters are making contact, they often don’t make contact well. In other words, Percival’s pitches have enough movement to miss the sweetspot of the opposition’s bats. [Statistically Speaking]
  • The Boston Globe says that the Rays are the team that other General Managers will be jealous of for the next 10 years. [Boston Globe]
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that the Rays are contenders, and gives 5 reasons why the Rays are here to stay. The wild-card reason is that he thinks David Price can have a similar impact as Joba Chamberlain did last year. He also polled 5 AL exaecutives and asked them to pick any 15 players from the Rays and the Yankees rosters with the intent of winning this year. The consensus seemed to be that they would select just as many Rays as Yankees, suggesting salaries aside, the talent levels of the two franchises are almost equal. [Fox Sports]
  • For all the good things the Rays are doing this year, the Rays have struggled with Runners in Scoring Position. [MLB]
  • Tampa Bay Sports Blog thinks that Scott Kazmir should be the favorite for the Cy Young award. [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]
  • The success of Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and the Rays may be adding pressure to Delmon Young. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]


  1. Pizza Cutter says:

    On Percival, then does that make DIPS somewhat obsolete?

  2. The Professor says:

    not obsolete. like most stats they do a much better job of showing trends. in some cases, players fall much closer to the trend in general, but in all cases there are always exceptions to the rule.

    take BABIP. some batters do have a special ability to have a higher BABIP than what would be typical. For example, BJ Upton hits the ball harder than the average player. so if BJ hits a ball 10 feet to the left of the shortstop, his ball has a better chance of getting to the outfield than a ball hit by David Eckstein. Then also consider Upton's speed. He is going to beat out more hits than somebody like Navarro. So a lot of balls that Upton puts in play will be hits for him that would not be hits for other batters.

    So i would not say "obsolete", i would just say that the trend doesn't work for everybody and maybe Percival is an exception.

    A perfect example is Mariano Rivera. He has a great cutter. It has a lot of late movement. A lot of batters make contact but they often get jammed or hit the ball off the end of the bat. That is why Rivera breaks so many bats. so a fewer percentage of balls hit off Rivera are going to be hit well.

  3. Robert Rittner says:

    "But it was some of their smaller moves that now are paying off big."

    Once again, you misrepresent what Topkin says. The above is his statement, not dramatic or overstated in the least, and simply summarizing points made by Rays officials whom he quotes.

    If you are referring to the headline, you must know that the reporter does not write the headlines. I agree that is a bit over the top, but pretty much par for the course in almost all newspapers. You might as well repeat some standard idiocy of talk radio to demonstrate a cliched "insight".

    Come on professor. You diminish your own credibility with nonsense of this sort. The story is simply identifying one factor in the Rays success, pointing out that the more dramatic moves are not the only reason for it. That is a very useful point to make, especially given yesterday's victory.


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