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Cracker

Hooray! I always look forward to the Springfield vs Central Arkansas series. I hope mother nature doesn't give us the shaft for the entire series. Looks like tonight and tomorrow night may be safe but past that... not good. Let's just play 2 tonight?

The Travelerocity reporter

From Travs.com:

Who’s Hot: Adam Morrissey is mashing the ball lately, hitting .444 in his last five games and .417 in his last ten. He also has three home runs in his last ten games. Jordan Czarniecki is also on a tear, hitting .412 in his last five games. Doug Brandt has not allowed an earned run in his last seven innings pitched, spanning five appearances. Dan Denham has struck out nine batters in his last 12 innings pitched.

Who’s Not: Michael Collins is batting just .143 in his last 10 games with only six hits in that time. Fernando Rodriguez gave up seven earned runs in his last start, only lasting four innings. He has given up eight earned runs in his last 10 innings.

Pitching Probables, Travs vs. Cardinals:
Mon: RHP Fernando Rodriguez (1-4, 7.47) vs. RHP Cory Rauschenberger (1-2, 6.05)
Tues: RHP Brok Butcher (2-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Jess Todd (0-0, 0.00)
Wed: RHP Anthony Ortega (4-2, 4.50) vs. RHP Clayton Mortsensen (1-3, 5.61)
Thurs: RHP Bobby Mosebach (3-3, 4.57) vs. RHP Tyler Herron (0-1, 4.66)

Freddy Sandoval was easily the most popular player on last years team. One of the most consistent remarks I've heard this year is Corey Smith is no Freddy Sandoval and I wish we had Freddy back. I have not heard talk of missing Nick Adenhart, Bobby Wilson, Rich Thompson, Sean Rodriguez, etc. Most fans do not realize who the top prospects are. Freddy was an exciting, fun player to watch last year. When he came up to bat fans cheered louder for him than any other player. I can only guess that you did attend more than a game or two last year, otherwise you would not have made such an ignorant remark.

No, he's spot on.

Many do not know who Freddy Sandoval is.

Many do, but I'm sure most won't.

Hey dumbshit, Morrisey isnt with the Travs anymore. I dont think he is going to be much help against the Cards.

The Travelerocity reporter

Wow, you must be so in the know since you posted that Morrissey was promoted at 4:08 p.m., the exact same time the Travelers e-mail newsletter went out saying the same thing.

Where were you telling me this when Morrissey left the club SUNDAY MORNING TO PLAY FOR THE BEES SUNDAY NIGHT? You could have saved me a lot of trouble as I was putting this together.

At this point, the fact that the Angels have to call up Morrissey to Triple-A, just signed out of the Independent League and only batting .289, should tell you all you need to know about the desperate state of the Angels Minor League system.

Travs pick up second baseman Larry Infante, batting .239 for Rancho, and Rafael Rodriguez returns from Salt Lake with a 6.28 ERA.

The Travelerocity reporter

I know who Freddy Sandoval is, and you know who Freddy Sandoval is, but I have a feeling many people getting that magnet who are just kind of casual fans and don't remember many players from one year to the next unless they hit the Majors will have no idea who he is.

I want the magnet, but it seems like kind of a curious choice. I guess you don't have to pay a lot for a player's likeness if they aren't in MLB? Like I said, I appreciate the magnet, but it seems like more people would have appreciated a Torii Hunter magnet.

hEnry

It's another conspiracy against you and the Travs. The Angels hate you and the Travs and they want to see the team fail.

Maybe the Angels quit caring about the Travs because some of the brass read this blog and all they read is how everyone sucks and nobody likes the Angels in Arkansas.

Bill Valentine is a nut-job. By the way where has he been I havent heard from him in awhile?

Cut Adam Morrissey some slack. They guy did not have a spring training. He was on his way to join his independent team when the Angels came a calling. Since he started play his average has slowly been climbing. And to be honest, .289 is not that bad. The Travs need some guys who can even come close to .300!

I disagree about Freddy. I think casual fans know who Freddy is. He was a clear fan favorite last season. Now, if he were a fan favorite a couple of seasons ago that might be different. I'd be willing to bet most be who attend Travs games, sadly, do not know who Torii Hunter is, after all he did not play for the Razorbacks. So goes the sad state of sports in Arkansas... if you don't play for the Razorbacks nobody knows who you are.

Clearly us baseball fans do know who Torii Hunter is.

Karch

I am still waiting for a Mike O'Keefe magnet.

Oh, and I saw that Adam was with the Bees yesterday. Sorry.

The Travelerocity reporter

Did you know -- Peter Bourjos is tied for the lead in stolen bases in the Minor Leagues at 23. So says the caption under a big photo of him taunting us on MiLB.com.

You're right about cutting Morrissey some slack, and I wasn't trying to criticize him. He did amazingly well without spring training and .289 is not the bad (unless maybe it is the team high).

The fact remains that the Angels did not see enough in him after an all-star performance last season to re-sign him until there was a need with the Travs, so I'm kind of surprised that this is the player they turn to now to fill a need at Salt Lake. Good for him, though, and I hope he doesn't have to return.

hEnry

Bourjos has 23 stolen bases? A baserunner in the Angels organization, no way. Thats why they didnt call him up to AA, they heard how much yall hate stolen bases and aggressive baserunning.

The Travelerocity reporter

We like stolen bases. We don't like runners adding another "caught stealing" to the stat book, and the Travs have a lot of those.

hEnry

You cant have stolen bases without having the "caught stealings." Thats like saying we like hitters, we just dont like adding strikeouts. Caught stealings happen just like strikeouts happen.

Biddle

hEnry, you have a simplistic view of the stolen bases vs. caught stealing stats.

The idea is that you successfully get stolen bases, and you DON'T get caught stealing. If the two stats are close, the stealing isn't helping the team. If you have a 70% chance of successfully stealing, go for it. If you have a 30% chance of success, keep your ass on base and let the batter advance you.

Reread what Bill Valentine has written on this topic -- its right on target.

hEnry

Biddle,
It may be a simplistic view of stolen bases vs. caught stealing, but you still cant have one without the other. You're telling me that if you have a 30% success rate at stealing a base, you shouldnt steal and stay on the base? Who is the greatest base runner(in the stolen base category) in history? Ricky Henderson, Lou Brock, Ty Cobb? I garuntee that they're success rate was less than 70%. Stolen bases is the only stat where if you fail 30% the time you arent considered a great player. If you fail 30% of the time as a hitter, you pretty much secured a spot in the hall of fame.

The Travelerocity reporter

Nate Sutton has as many caught stealings (6) as Coby Smith, the team's leader, has stolen bases.

The Travelerocity reporter

Adenhart and B. Wood were sent down to Salt Lake after the game last night.

The Natural

hEnry,

You missed the point. nobody is complaining about the 30% of the time that a baserunner is caught stealing if he is successful 70% of the time. The complaint is that if a baserunner has a 30% chance of stealing he has a 70% chance of failure. That's unacceptable.

Also, Henderson (1406 SB/335 CS - 81%), Cobb (892/178 - 83%), and Brock (938/307 - 75%) all succeeded more than 70% of the time.

There are also certin situations where stealing (even with a good base stealer) is inappropriate. A couple examples (for me) are nobody (or 2) out and an attempt to steal third (unless there is a double steal with nobody out).

The Natural

Also, if you fail 30% of the time as a hitter (a .700 batting average) you're playing church league softball.

The Travelerocity reporter

Phil, great interview on the pregame show last night. I don't really buy Tako's explanation of a player "mastering" a level before a promotion because the Angels aren't really consistent with that.

Mars

here's you some Rickey Henderson info-the all time SB King and how much real value he added.

1982 130 SB. holy crap!
42 caught stealing
76& success rate

that's making your team worse off 25% of the time

using run expectation tables and play by play data from 1982 (low scoring offensive environment that yielded a SB break even point of about 63%) Henderson added 22.2 runs to the A's offense via the SB. That's nice. That's a couple of wins over a season. BUT by getting caught those 42 times he cost his team 20.6 runs over the season. So for all his exciting SB and records he added 1.6 runs to the A's offense that year (or about .16 of a win)

taken directly from Baseball Between the Numbers "what if Rickey Henderson had Pete Incaviglia's legs" this chapter by James Click

(for a run expectancy chart refelcting more recent history click here:
http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902.html

The way to read that chart is that a runner of 1st with no outs gives you a run expectancy of 0.953. (that's why lead off walks hurt so much, it's dang near worth a run) Bases empty with 1 out (suppose the lead off guy got on and then got caught stealing) puts you at run expectancy of .297 runs. If that SB attempt was successful the run expectancy jumps to 1.189 runs. That's nice if you are successful but the increase in expected runs is nowhere near the decrease you get from the caught stealing.

So when is the risk worth the reward? Ask Dave Roberts and the '04 Red Sox. I'm pretty sure they know..

hEnry

Yes I wasn't completely right on all that. However I did mean to say: as a hitter if you fail 70% of the time you secured a spot in the hall of fame.

TR,
I didnt catch the interview with Tako last night, but it sounds like he gave a great explanation about promotions and you didnt agree. Therefore he must be wrong. I have said before that Angels promote people when they have mastered a level. They do it a lot with their prospects and that is why Bourjos isnt here.

Mars

so the truth is that a runner with 20 SB and a 90% success rate is a better stealer than one with a 70%.

What the Angels have done right regarding their base running philosphy is taking the extra base when the ball is in play.

I think the breakeven point for SB in today's offensive environment is closer to 70%. (hey if you hit a home run it doesn't matter what sack the the runner is standing on).

By looking at the run expectancy chart you can also see why the addage "don't make the 1st or 3rd out trying to take 3rd base" comes in .

--more baseball between the numbers--
Carlos Beltran 2004 stole 42/45 bases adding about 5.6 runs over the season.

Juan Pierre stole 45 bases but got caught 24 times. Thereby costing the marlins 1.7 runs.

10 runs is roughly equal to 1 win...so you see the SB is a bunch of exciting hooey.

Now, if the offensive environment falls to 1960 levels, the SB does become a bit more valuable.

Mars

since Bourjos is a topic...

from baseball prospectus
5/12 monday morning ten pack (a weekly review of interesting prospects) by Kevin Goldstein

Peter Bourjos, CF, High-A Rancho Cucamonga (Angels)
A sixth-round pick in 2005 out of an Arizona high school, Bourjos showed plenty of promise in his full-season debut last year, but it was cut short by a finger injury. The Angels praise his tools, especially his excellent speed, and he’s making great strides this year in translating that athleticism into baseball skills in the California League. With a 9-for-14 weekend that including five runs scores and four stolen bases, the 21-year-old outfielder is now batting .354/.388/.492 while succeeding on 23 of his 25 stolen base attempts in 32 games. He still needs to tighten up his plate discipline in order to fit in as a leadoff man at the big league level, but as the son of a scout, the team hopes that his feel for the game with allow for that skill to develop in the long run.

Mr. Shucks

Even MiLB.com is gearing up for the upcoming homestand. Here's the site's thoughts on life in Central Arkansas:

"Arkansas Travelers (Texas League)
Pregame Midget Wrestling and Belvis the Black Elvis Performance, May 16
Every once in a while, a promotion leaves me speechless, and this is one such promo. Let me gather my wits and press on: This Friday, fans are urged to arrive early at Dickey-Stephens Park to enjoy a pregame Midget Wrestling Match. And then, as if that wasn't enough (and it definitely is), the evening will also feature a performance by accomplished impersonator "Belvis the Black Elvis." Belvis, a noted political aficionado, made national headlines earlier this year after serenading Hilary Clinton during a campaign stop in Little Rock (which, come to think of it, is also a stage name of one of the midget wrestlers)."

Cracker

Midget Wrestling? Can you still say the word "midget"? Is that politically correct? We should call it "Vertically Challenged Night". Does this mean we can have a special "Dame Night" too, where all dames get in free?

"Who is the greatest base runner(in the stolen base category) in history? Ricky Henderson, Lou Brock, Ty Cobb?"

Well, Ricky says he's the greatest of all-time, but I hate his guts so I'll say Tim Raines, whose .847 lifetime percentage is tops. Vince Coleman's 50 in a row is tough to beat as well. Mark McGwire was succesful 100% of the time 1 season for the record.

Shovel

All this base-stealing mess should be over with.

As Mags said in the Dem-Gaz this morning "...they're veteran players, they just know how to play the game. You've just got to go out there and let them do what they know how to do."

I fully expect Mags to sit back, let 'em play, take notes on how the game 'ought to be played and stop mucking things up from the bench.

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