Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Giants drop close one to Braves, 9-0 | McCovey Chronicles

 Image result for luck evens out

I am growing a bit weary of the mantra that the Giants -- individually or in aggregate -- are the "unluckiest" team on the face of the earth.

Let's review the facts:
  • They ended the last half of the 2016 with the worst record in baseball.
  • They have started the first half of this season with the worst record in baseball, except for the pesky Phillies who at least had the decency to finish strong last season.
  • Combined, this gives us the worst record in baseball for almost a full season worth of games.
Luck shows up in the short-term or in a short series. That's why the playoffs are such a crap shoot and the "best team" on paper doesn't always win.

Skill demonstrates itself over the long-term. Small sample sizes go bye bye and conclusions can be drawn. 

My conclusion: This team sucks. They are not unlucky, the are lesser skilled than their opponents.

Some in the blog-osphere are coming around to this conclusion. Like Grant over at McCovey Chronicles. 

from McCovey Chronicles:

The thing about bad teams is that they can keep it close. It's not like every 100-loss team is down 9-0 before the fifth inning of every game. That's not how baseball works. Most wins and losses are built incrementally. A misplay here. A missed location here. A double play with the bases loaded there. They build and build and build, and you wonder, hey, maybe this is just bad luck! 

No. You have watched bad baseball before. You have watched good baseball before. This is the former. I will admit to being someone hoping for bad luck in the second half of last season, but it's been almost a full calendar year. This team is abysmal.

There is another option in play and I hesitate to bring it up because it calls into question the professionalism of the individuals involved. As Micheal Mauboussin describes in his book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports and Investing if you can lose on purpose, skill dominates the activity, if you can't lose on purpose then luck likely dominates that activity.

Image result for mauboussin skill when you can lose on purpose
There’s a simple and elegant test of whether there is skill in an activity: ask whether you can lose on purpose. If you can’t lose on purpose, or if it’s really hard, luck likely dominates that activity. If it’s easy to lose on purpose, skill is more important.

Image result for mauboussin skill when you can lose on purpose

Could the Giants be losing on purpose? Not like throwing games on purpose, but is the team chemistry so out of whack from the glory years when this was virtually Team Chemistry to the current version that appears to be a something constructed by the young ladies from Mean Girls

Image result for Mean Girls

I'm just asking. It seems a little more likely than some of the other alternatives. A lot of guys are playing like they have just literally forgotten how to play baseball (Matt Moore, Derek Law, Hunter Pence). They certainly have forgotten how to play at the level they once performed at, so what gives?

In fairness, we do tend to say a winning team has "good chemistry" and the total is greater than the sum of the parts when they out-perform our expectations (some SABR types default to "luck" here).

Is it possible that since the Giants are grossly under-performing even our most modest expectations over the last full season of games that somewhere bad team chemistry is at work?

If that's the case, the Giants front-office needs to tinker with the roster. The bullpen is an absolute shambles right now. Melancon, Law, Osich all have terrible ERA/WHIP whatever your pet stat is. Osich makes me long for Will Smith and he's a big LHP who can't get LH hitters out.

The only guys I have some confidence in are Strickland, Guerrin and Kontos.

The starting pitchers are a mess. Cueto is crumbling under the weight of carrying the staff in Bumgarners absence, Samardzia, even though .he's cleaned it up lately, seems to lose his way just long enough to lose his way. Matt Moore has totally lost his way and Matt Cain is still doing it with smoke and mirrors. It's as if hitters who've been around for a few years are saying "That's Matt Cain? Really dude?" and swinging at the old Matt Cain stuff. Once they adjust, it's game over for Matty, Except that we owe him a lot of money and management seems to want to get at least some ROR on the money. Greedy capitalists!! It;s what Bernie's been telling us all along!!

Anyway, the pitchers should be suing the hitters for non-support. Or is this another example of bad luck run amok? Eight guys all swinging the bats like it was a wet newspaper or a girls purse simultaneously? What are the odds of that happening? No productive outs, no clutch 2 out RBI. Hell, most nights, hardly any RBI at all. What gives?

Maybe it's time for an intervention of some kind. We've tried a good, old-fashioned bench clearing brawl and that didn't turn out too well. Maybe Dr. Phil is available.

Image result for dr phil meme fat

Or Peyton Manning:

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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Joey Bart 6-2, 215 C Power arm and a power bat, playing a premium defensive position. Good catch and throw skills.
  • 2. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 3. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 4. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 5. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 6. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 7. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 8. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 9. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 10. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 13. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2019 MLB Draft - Top HS Draft Prospects

  • 1. Bobby Witt, Jr. 6-1,185 SS Colleyville Heritage HS (TX) Oklahoma commit. Outstanding defensive SS who can hit. 6.4 speed in 60 yd. Touched 97 on mound. Son of former major leaguer. Five tool potential.
  • 2. Riley Greene 6-2, 190 OF Haggerty HS (FL) Florida commit.Best HS hitting prospect. LH bat with good eye, plate discipline and developing power.
  • 3. C.J. Abrams 6-2, 180 SS Blessed Trinity HS (GA) High-ceiling athlete. 70 speed with plus arm. Hitting needs to develop as he matures. Alabama commit.
  • 4. Reece Hinds 6-4, 210 SS Niceville HS (FL) Power bat, committed to LSU. Plus arm, solid enough bat to move to 3B down the road. 98MPH arm.
  • 5. Daniel Espino 6-3, 200 RHP Georgia Premier Academy (GA) LSU commit. Touches 98 on FB with wipe out SL.

2019 MLB Draft - Top College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Adley Rutschman C Oregon State Plus defender with great arm. Excellent receiver plus a switch hitter with some pop in the bat.
  • 2. Shea Langliers C Baylor Excelent throw and catch skills with good pop time. Quick bat, uses all fields approach with some pop.
  • 3. Zack Thompson 6-2 LHP Kentucky Missed time with an elbow issue. FB up to 95 with plenty of secondary stuff.
  • 4. Matt Wallner 6-5 OF Southern Miss Run producing bat plus mid to upper 90's FB closer. Power bat from the left side, athletic for size.
  • 5. Nick Lodolo LHP TCU Tall LHP, 95MPH FB and solid breaking stuff.