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Thoughts For The Day
by Derek Smart
A couple of quick hits:
David Pinto had an interesting post at Baseball Musings on Sunday (which I missed, so thanks to Scott De B. for posting the link in comments) dealing with team defense. If you were someone who thought the Cubs' defense was pretty good last year, despite some aesthetic flaws, you've got a friend in Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range.
To give a quick (and hopefully accurate) overview, the most important part of the PMR chart in Sunday's post tells us the difference between the outs a defense could be expected to make based on the actual balls hit by the opposition, versus the outs the defense in question actually made. What we find that's at least a little surprising is that the Cubs were the third best defensive team in the Majors, according to this measurement, behind only the Red Sox and Cardinals.
My math skills aren't refined enough to really get a grasp on what David's doing, but the six parameters he's using (see Sunday's post) seem like a solid base to work from. They make logical sense, although my brain tells me the results, at least as far as the Cubs are concerned, might not. However, even assuming perfection in the measurement and methodology, what do you think the chances are that with the Cubs' current roster they can repeat that level of excellence?
It will be interesting to see in the coming days if talks between the Mets and Cubs heat up regarding a Sosa deal. Certainly, the Cubs are in a better position than they have been throughout this offseason, as this is the first time the Mets have actually suffered any kind of setback. If New York really wants to add that last marquee name, it could be an opportunity for Jim Hendry to get a deal to his liking.
The Fightin' Fish will be paying Delgado at least $52M, and perhaps as much as $64M if the fifth year vests. I know Delgado is a prototypical left-handed, slugging first baseman, but didn't the Marlins trade away Derrek Lee because he was about to get expensive?