BSW Stats for August 2012

Well, it’s better late than never, so here we go with the summary post for the month of August.

Because the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Orange County, California’s bullpen were so collectively bad, they are the reason why Boston’s Alfredo Aceves isn’t given the marquee this month.  Aceves’ three blown saves in August makes him the worst individual reliever in the month, but the Angels had four different relievers blow saves in August, with three of them blowing more than one.  For this reason alone, the Angels collective bullpen gets the nod over Aceves.

More stats and analysis after the jump: Read more »

The Displeasure of the Present

Baseball is happening right now. It isn’t predetermined or written down. It has to play out. It is a live sporting event and each new result that happens every night will ultimately lead to the final result. The problem is I want to know what is going to happen. More than once during a good season of a TV series I have ventured onto the internet and looked up the spoilers so that the mystery was gone. I want the mystery to be gone from this baseball season. If I knew how it was going to end it would be easier to just relax and enjoy it. That is impossible so all I can do is try and relax and enjoy it.

This has by far been the best season the Washington Nationals have played, and it has been extremely enjoyable, but seeing exactly how far they are going to go is the thing. It is tough to watch and wait it out. Every game has an extra stress level and while all the numbers, logic, and reason tell me not to worry the DC fan in me has to worry. I remember when the Redskins started the season 7-1 and then missed the playoffs, I remember when the Capitals went up 3-1 in a playoff series to Montreal and lost, and I remember LeBron James walking up to Gilbert Arenas and whispering in his ear causing him to choke in a game six and miss two free throws.

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Sexy Songs for Harper

A couple weeks back Harper gave some advice about baseball to a camp of kids. That advice was for them to be as sexy as they can. Last night at the ballpark I noticed something. Harper’s at bat music isn’t sexy enough. So I decided to put together a list of sexy songs that Harper could walk-up to. Before doing this there were two ways I could go. I could go all in and be 100% serious or I could through in a couple joke tracks like Right Said Fred or Color Me Badd. I decided to play this straight up, and here are a few sexy songs Harper should walk-up to so he can be as sexy as he can be.

Marvin Gaye- Let’s Get it On

No list of sexy songs would be complete without this sexy song. It might be a bit overplayed but it is hard for it to get old, and everyone would know it.

The Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody

Bryce Harper’s bat hungers for the touch of the ball being crushed deep to right.

Lionel Ritchie- Easy

Bryce Harper is 19 and he makes baseball look easy. Easy like Sunday morning.

Buddy Holly- True Love Ways

“Sometimes we’ll sigh. Sometimes we’ll cry, and we’ll know why just you and I…” It could be a song about baseball.

Dolly Parton- I Will Always Love You

Leaving someone for their own good and then thinking about them afterwards. That is sexy and Bryce’s anger is not what baseball needs.

The Platters- Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

I am sure Harper can think back to the first moment he realized he loved baseball and would remember holding back tears.

The Temptations- Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Running out on your family isn’t sexy, but what is sexy is that bass line.

Elvis Presley- Are You Lonesome Tonight

This song may very well describe what Harper’s off-season is like.

Michael Jackson- Rock with You

Bryce Harper rocks with baseball.

Paul Anka- Put Your Head on my Shoulder

Love is a game you cannot win and baseball is a game of failure. They are a lot alike.

Madonna- Take a Bow

In another life Bryce Harper would be a sexy bullfighter.

Andy Williams- Moon River

Dream maker. Heart breaker. I am starting to think that love and baseball have a lot in common.

There it is. My list of twelve sexy songs that Bryce Harper can walk out to. Twelve is also a good amount to put on a CD and drive your love around town listening to. Try it out with these songs and see if you have a good night. I bet you will because these are some sexy songs.

The Mystery of the Orioles

Every season in baseball there are surprise teams, and none this season have been more surprising than the Baltimore Orioles. That continued surprise has something to do with the fact that despite every stat and ounce of logic and reason the Orioles keep winning. The Orioles aren’t just outplaying their run differential they are running away from it. With 536 runs scored and 581 allowed the Orioles expected record is 59-68 but instead their record is 70-57. The Orioles have been lucky to a point that every Orioles fan should rush to their closest casino and bet everything they have on 8.

It is easy to explain why the Orioles are where they are. They are 24-6 in one run games and 12-2 in extra innings games. Most teams, even good teams, end up around .500 on those types of games. They are basically a coin flip. The types of games where one little physical or mental mistake can cost the team the game. The Orioles luck goes far beyond this. Look at last night’s game. The two heroes of the game were Lew Ford and Nate McLouth. A player who was out of MLB when the season started and another who was quickly on his way out. They both hit homeruns and ended up accounting for three of the Orioles four runs.

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Ballparks, Back Pain, and Cheering for Your Team

There are two parks that everyone praises as a couple of the best in baseball, and it makes me wonder if those people have ever set in the cheap seats. A truly good ballpark doesn’t have a bad view in the house, but if you’re in Baltimore and seated down the left field line you will be facing the warehouse, and in San Francisco in the upper deck in left you’re facing the bay. I know those are great views, but if I wanted the views I wouldn’t pay for tickets to a ball game.

I have heard from various sources that PNC Park is the same way and last night I found out that Citizens Bank Park has seats that don’t face the action. Waking up this morning with back pain from having to turn and watch the action drives home the point of how great Nats Park is as a place to watch a ball game. Aesthetically it isn’t brick or throwback in the least. It is grey and bland. It has a lot going for it though. For one, and I didn’t notice this until just this week, there is no sun field. When the sun is setting it does so across the centerfield concourse. Nats Park also has all the seats facing towards the pitcher’s mound and home plate. As far as a place to watch a ball game Nats Park is one of the best parks in baseball.

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And his Name is Dan Uggla

There is something that I love about Dan Uggla and it has very little to do with the baseball player Dan Uggla. He is a right handed pull hitter who hits for a low average. He is a three true outcome player who gains value because he plays at second base, but he plays second base with all the grace of a three true outcome player. What I love about Dan Uggla is that there isn’t a baseball player out their whose name fits them more than Dan Uggla.

If you were to imagine a player named Dan Uggla they would look exactly like Dan Uggla. The short cropped all American haircut and plain face of a Dan, and the tight shirts, giant forearms, and big ugly swing of an Uggla. When Dan Uggla strikes out he looks like a caveman trying to knock a brid out of the sky. He had a vicious helicopter swing where the bat flies over his had with such force it looks like his entire upper torso will one day be catapulted into centerfield. His swing is just that violent and the exact swing someone named Dan Uggla would possess.

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It’s Now or Sometime in the Distant Future

The psyche of baseball fans has always intrigued me. I probably shouldn’t worry myself so much with how others think, but I always try and understand. There are some argument though that I just can’t. I remember when the Nationals signed Jayson Werth most of the people were against the deal and the reason was that the Nationals weren’t going to win in 2011 and by the time they would be winning Werth would be at the end of the deal and old and overpaid. The funny thing is that there exist a lot of years between 2011 and the last couple years of Werth’s contract.

The Strasburg shutdown debate almost feels like it is trending the same way. That this is the year the Nats are good and by the time they are good again Strasburg will be hurt anyway. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it seems to me that baseball fans can only think about the present or a time in the distant future. Think about all of the fans that are against giving away prospects because they may help a team in four years as opposed to trading for a player that could help them immediately and for a couple years after that.

Prior to the 2009 season the Nationals made a strong run at Mark Teixeira, but he ended up signing with the Yankees because he wanted to win immediately. There were many though that questioned why the Nationals would even be interested in a player like Mar Teixeira when they weren’t going to be good in 2009 or for a few years after that, but the fact is that in 2012 Mark Teixeira has a 2.8 WAR and as good as Adam LaRoche has been in 2012 his WAR is still less than that at 2.3.

The money Teixeira makes cannot be compared to the money that LaRoche makes, but Adam LaRoche has never and will never be as good a player as Mark Teixeira. There are other players that the Nats went after when they weren’t good that would be helping the team right now. They had passing interest in CC Sabathia, Matt Holliday, and Cliff Lee. It is questionable how any of those signings would have effected the 2012 roster and the answer to that will never be known, but what isn’t debatable is that all of those players are still good. The argument that a move doesn’t make sense for the future is at times looking too far into the future.