MLB censorship; rumor front picks up steam

Things are starting to trickle down on the trade front. Essentially, deals that didn’t go through before Xmas. If you are a member of Bucco Blog’s forum, then you know what I’m talking about. If you aren’t, you need to join because that’s where I post the juicy stuff until I get a better handle on it.

For now, let’s just say things are starting to warm up again and leave it at that until I can get more confirmed which should be by Friday.

Warm up – what a joke. It’s in the 20’s here in Florida with a chance of snow flurries in Daytona.

Here’s Bay’s projected home runs per number of at bats for you to gander at:

How about this poll at pirateball.com:

What I don’t get is how many people suggest they will still be around at the AS break considering the current roster. Of course, the way this poll was written there was no "other" selection so many just clicked the wait and see answer.

The 26% who expect the Pirates in the playoffs probably are a good representation of how many fans are left right now.. 26% of their available base. The diehards.. those who show up no matter what happens just because it’s baseball being played down the street.

A lot of people have emailed me suggesting they are not renewing their season tickets. Even more have said they will renew one more year, but have made other summer plans and will try to sell their tickets.

Every fan has their limit. Mine was in 2003, while your limit may never be hit. Whether you renew or not is up to you, but I’ll always suggest you should support the players. The owners aren’t making enough on your tickets to make or break them with MLB providing the Nuttings with food stamps.

So go enjoy the games.. root for the team. Just don’t get so high you vote "A World Series Ring" in polls like the one above.

Who? Huh? Where?

Good gosh..

Speaking of Dejan’s latest and greatest, did anyone else spew their brew when reading this line:

"When examining range-factor statistics, the Pirates’ left side of the infield with Jack Wilson and Jose Bautista is one of the best in baseball."

Holy cow.. talk about fantasyland.

The most respected range-factor stat houses are Baseball Information Systems and STATS, Inc. Neither is perfect but when you combine both you get a decent look.

Jose Bautista was the second worst 3B in the game (1,000 or more innings at the position) last year at -17 runs (-26 runs BIS, -9 runs STATS).

Jack Wilson was just a tick above average at 8th best of 22 with +6 runs (+18 runs BIS, -7 runs STATS).

Combined, they were -11 runs, or -1 win defensively.

Folks, that means the Pirates left-side of the infield was the 4th worst in the game of the 14 teams that had 1,000 inning players at both positions:

46 SF   0 Bos
24 NYM -4 Sea
15 KC -11 Pit
13 Bal -18 Cle
10 Det -26 NYA
4 Atl -35 Fla
4 Col
4 SD

Here’s the Spreadsheet (stats-n-bis-rng-d-07.xls) for you to look at.

BIS stats can be seen here and STATS are at ESPN. If you want a third opinion, pick up a copy of the Fielding Bible (Bautista/Wilson were even worse there).

Does this guy actually believe what he prints anymore? Maybe he has been placed on the Pirates PR department payroll?

Good Lord..

Speaking of the bizarre, yesterday I noticed Jenifer Langosch had posted her article at pirateball.com projecting the Pirates lineup card.

But she didn’t have a 2B listed.

Ok, everyone makes mistakes like the Post-Gazette spelling Huntington wrong. But what happened next freaked me out. As I was reading the discussion forum at pirateball, a thread that was discussing Ms. Langosch mysteriously disappeared.

Gone. History. Censored.

The thread didn’t have any cuss words or other infractions in it I saw.. just comments about her content since becoming a beat writer. For the thread to be removed by MLB like that was in poor taste. Folks have a right to their opinions and if MLB places so little value on the fan’s opinions, why do they offer a forum for them to discuss events?

For the record, this isn’t about Ms. Langosch who is new on the job.. this happens with many threads.

MLB needs to stop censoring the discussion forums. It’s one thing to remove threads with infractions, it’s quite another to remove content because they don’t like what’s being said.

Otherwise, they need to post a new forum rule: "You can only post positive things about baseball here."

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