Shameless (last-minute) self-promotion

In exactly two hours and 49 minutes, I’ll be doing a signing at the Borders in Ballwin — 15355 Manchester Rd.

Come on down, and failing that I’ll see you at Bruce tonight!

-M.

(PS – Yes, I do still cover the team; I’ve been working on national stories all week, and I’ve got days off this weekend. But I’ll be back on the beat for the Milwaukee series)

31 Comments

Dude,

New music to get a hold of: “The ’59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem.

Brian

Sounds like hard, dirty work Matt, but somebody has to do it.

Yesterday, I was forced to listen to the game against the Braves and when I heard the description of Felipe Lopez being slow to throw to first base I had to raise this question. Why has TLR abandoned Aaron Miles in favor of a player who was cast off by a really bad last place team? Regardless of what caliber player Lopez may have been in the past, Miles has played superbly in the field and at bat. Miles may not have a lot of power but you would never see him dog a play the way Lopez did yesterday. Actually, Lopez showed the same tendency in the past couple of games when he was at second base. I just wonder if anyone out there in Cardinal land knows what LaRussa has against Miles and why he would bench a player who has played with so much hustle and devotion to the team, especially in August with so much on the line.

That is a great question. I don’t know if it’s something against Miles or TLR’s obsession with stats. I’d like to hear an answer to that question myself….M?? Can you help?

Lopez didn’t take his time, he had to wait for Pujols to cover the bag, before he threw the ball, because Pujols was playing deep.

That’s how it looked to me while watching the game at least.

One of the other blogs, Viva El Birdos I think, chalks the Lopez slow throw up to being the new guy on the team. The guys who’ve played enough with AP to know how good he is defensively know to make the throw, leading him, because he WILL be on the bag when the throw arrives. Lopez hasn’t played with him long enough to have that be instinctive yet — or so goes the claim.

What about the real question here!? Why is Miles being benched in favor of the new guy? Miles had been hitting extremely well, was playing good defense, and didn’t deserve to have his playing time diminished.

(stats are excluding today’s game, because Baseball-Reference hasn’t tallied today yet)

Lopez as a Cardinal: 327/400/449
Miles on the year: 311/348/388
Miles since the All-Star break: 294/326/376
Miles since Lopez signed: 258/258/323

Putting aside the defensive questions, it seems very clear to me why Lopez is playing more often — since his arrival, he’s out-hitting the rest of the MIFs on the team by a large margin.

Miles has surprised me with the bat this year. But Lopez has been an excellent offensive player since his arrival.

And to answer the original question, I think you answered it yourself, township — “hustle and devotion to the team” are admirable qualities, but production wins more games, and right now the priority must be winning every single day. So the most productive players must play — and right now, that means Lopez.

-M.

Wow, Lopez has been doing well with Cards; better than I thought.

M, how can you possibly compare stats from a couple weeks of play to stats from four-plus months of play??? And how can you even use Miles’ stats since the Lopez acquisition, when he hasn’t played much since the trade?? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Of course Miles’ numbers are going to be affected by someone else getting his playing time. That’s like comparing an everyday player’s stats to a utility player’s stats. LOTS of guys have a line of 327/400/429, or similar, for a couple weeks or a month. But that should NOT trump what Miles has done ALL YEAR! I’m sure Aaron is taking it like a pro, but I still say he’s getting screwed over with playing time. I’d rather see Lopez in there for Izturis than for Miles. I’m not against using Lopez. I’m just against playing him in favor of a guy that was playing quite well before his playing time was cut.

Since the Cardinals have gotten Lopez, he has appeared in 15 games, since then, Aaron Miles has appeared in 15 games. Lopez has 49 at bats, Miles has 35. He hasn’t seen a lot less playing time, just as many games, just not as many at bats.

And Lopez wasn’t acquired in a trade, he was released.

Semantics, Crazy… Semantics. Who cares HOW he was acquired? That’s not the point or even relevent to the topic. The fact that he’s here is all that matters. And as far as number of games played, that is a decietful stat too. Just because you appear in a game doesn’t mean you played more than an at-bat or an inning on D. And Lopez has gotten more starts and played more innings, it seems, than Miles has since the AQUISITION (is that better?)! Also Lopez has had some starts in the outfield, something Miles doesn’t do. So if you wanna compare them. Compare them evenly. Don’t simply compare numbers without taking into account where they came from. Lopez doesn’t have 49 at-bats as a MIF. They are split, and I believe most are as an outfielder (though I’m not completely sure cause I haven’t checked). And actually, THAT does more to explain why Miles has gotten less time. I think it has as much to do with Kennedy’s recent hitting and playing time as it does Lopez being acquired. When you combine the two, Miles sees less playing time. Sometimes I don’t even know why I ask questions on here. Most of the time all I get is a bunch of useless numbers thrown in my face for an answer. Where are you Kevin?? You have answers that are not over packed with stats, and you can back it up with info other than stats.

And Miles has gotten appearances in relief, something Lopez hasn’t done. And baseball is a game of numbers. You play the guy who’s performing the best, and out of Miles and Lopez, Lopez is the winner. And Kennedy as of recently has been seeing less playing time than Miles. Oh, and helpful reminder, if you don’t like numbers being thrown at you, stop watching baseball.

Dude, you irritate the heck out of me with your comments. Can’t you just be mature about it? Is that possible for you? I’ve been watching baseball for as many years as you’ve been alive, and most people that I know don’t throw useless numbers at me when I ask a question. Just the stat gurus and people who can’t backup their arguments with real information. One day when you grow up you’ll realize that stats can be easily manipulated and are also typically innaccurate after a short time. Dude, stats constantly change, and as I said before, they don’t provide a full, clear picture. All they do is tell “what have you done lately”.

I’ll put this in terms that even you can understand. Baseball is a game of stats and numbers, they’re what wins games. If you can’t deal with numbers being thrown at you every time you ask a question baseball related, maybe you should check out a different sport.

Okay, that sounded like a remark from a ***** on my part. But seriously dude. Baseball is a game of stats. Everything about it comes down to stats. To answer a question baseball related as to why one player is starting over another is like asking a person to make an omelet without using eggs. You just can’t do it.

*To answer a question baseball related as to why one player is starting over another, without using stats.

Look, kid. I know when stats are useful in baseball. The difference is I also know when they’re useLESS…like stats compiled over a short span, and using stats based on a few at-bats. Those are the ones that are given way too much value. I just don’t see the point in it. I guarentee you if you ask a baseball player (and also most managers) why someone isn’t starting, he won’t say because so-and-so is hitting .375 over the last 15 games. He’ll say something like,’ because so-and-so felt like he was slumping, and since we have a new addition we felt like he needed to play to gel with the team. Or ‘we wanted to throw him right in there to see how he would respond, and he’s excelled. So he’s getting more playing time which takes some away from X player’. There are other reasons for playing baseball than just keeping stats. It is a human game, not chess or a computer game, or a fantasy game.

Wait, if someone is slumping recently, won’t that show in their numbers over a certain period of time? Yes, it does. So doesn’t that sort of sound like a contradiction of terms? I don’t get your chess game comparison. I get the computer and fantasy one, but not the case of a chess game. In a chess game, you constantly try to out think your opponent. Plan ahead. You’re willing to sacrifice smaller things (like AB’s for sac bunts in baseball, and pawns in chess) to win the game. And you can only put 8 guys in a lineup, besides a pitcher in this league. With as many quality guys as we have, someone is going to lose playing time if someone is on a hot streak. Lopez is on a hot streak, so I say we ride it, until it’s out. When it’s out, Miles time will increase.

In a sense Crazy is right… The manager is saying his numbers are down recently so we are going with this guy, but I dont understand why you guys are arguing over this… Anyway… I was sitting 10 rows behind First base at the game Sat when Lopez made that throw and he fielded it cleanly and efficently he just wasn’t sure where Pujols was so he double pumped his throw… Neither guys fault just a lack of chemistry as was mentioned before… Really what bothered me the most at that game was Glaus’ lack of running out ground balls or pop flys… He just seemed lazy sat. Matt we have missed you lately, but you know your faithful bloggers understand. Go get em tomorrow boys… Huge 2 games here….

OK. I see that you don’t get the point. That’s ok. I don’t know how to help you understand. It’s fine. We don’t see eye to eye on this. We agree about booing, but disagree about the use of stats. I will say that it’s obvious a slump shows up in stats, but AFTER THE FACT. You can’t tell me the TLR knew Miles would slump and Lopez would go on a “hot streak” at the same time. Those numbers came AFTER Lopez started taking playing time from Miles. Therefore those numbers are NOT the reason he is getting more playing time. There’s another, more logical, reason. Still though, man. That’s not the point! My point is that raw stats are not accurate measures of a player’s ability. I’d rather have a guy who’s 7 for 19 hit agianst a guy, rather than someone who is 4 for 8 against the same pitcher. Why? Because the numbers will catch up to the guy who has only faced him 8 times. Whereas the guy who has 19 ABs against him is a little better measure of how well the batter hits the pitcher.

Lets just agree to disagree about it then and stop arguing about it. We’re Cardinals fans. Which basically means if a Cubs fan were to come up to you and run his mouth, I’ve got your back.

No doubt. But I do want to be clear. I’m not arguing that Lopez doesn’t deserve the playing time, and I’m not arguing that Miles is not slumping. I just don’t like the BS use of stats, when clearly there’s another explanation. Also I am one of those that sees stats as too easily manipulated to backup any argument. That’s why I don’t like when people simply throw out a bunch of numbers as evidence for anything. Because I know I could go find some numbers that back me up too. So what I want to talk about is the real part of the game. The people. The players, coaches, and staff. The media made baseball a numbers game. The media made people obsessed with batting average and rbi’s, and stat geeks came up with on-base percentage and WHIP. Before television the numbers were kept for future reference…to decide award winners, etc. NOT for use in strategy. I just don’t want people to forget what the game is really about…fun! Not obsession with stats and contracts, and Sportscenter hilights.

Oh yeah, and I’d definitely have your back with a Cubs fan!! I worked 2 of the most difficult years of my life at a liquor store where all my co-workers were on the bandwagon. Not ONE was actually from Chicago or the area. All just “Lovable Losers” bandwagon jumpers.

With all this “Dude, I hate you” – “No Dude, I hate YOU” crap, I can’t tell if you’re referring to EACH OTHER as dude, or if you’re referring to Matt. ;)

Too bad I missed the signing, Dude. That’s one of the first Borders in St. Louis, iirc. I recall going there 15 years ago and buying some Beatles albums. Good times. Read the book, loved it.

No one said I hate you. You sound like Fox News, exploding issues with misquotes. And since THE Dude doesn’t respond as much due to being bogged down with work, it’s safe to assume we’re talking to each other.

I don’t hate SLForre. I don’t always agree with what he says, but that doesn’t mean I hate him. He’s a Cardinals fan, it’s not often I say that I hate a Cardinals fan. It’s not often that I say I hate anyone really. Yes, I know some times I show aggression towards him, but that’s just who I am, some times I get a little bit upset when someones says something I disagree with.

Thanks for sorting this out on your own, guys…

-M.

No problem Matthew. Sorry this happened in the first place. Guess I let things get a little bit out of hand for a bit. We both did.

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