Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Man Who Makes Sabermetricans Look Dumb

The big news around the Midwest this past week was obviously the Milton Bradley trade (I mean, who the fuck even knows if Boston and Philadelphia exist anymore after this weekend's snow?)  Cubs fans were particularly enthused to let MB go.  Or as they all refer to him, "That Piece of Shit."  Honestly, I don't know if I talked to one fan who did not at one point call Bradley a "Piece of Shit."  I just think it's kind of an uncreative nickname, if you ask me.

However, Cubs fans were not the only people fellating Jim Hendry for this week's move.  The Chicago area writers were also.  I could link to all of the articles relating to praise I speak of, but listen, I have a life, and I really don't need to be giving the Tribune and Sun Times any extra hits.

Of course, when you have two parties like Cubs fans and Chicago sports writers, generally considered to be two of the dumbest voices in sports behind Stephen A. Smith and Lou Holtz, praising a situation, you are going to have people against it.  Especially people who love Bradley's career .371 OBP.  Those people will write articles like this one, which I would normally agree with.  Fangraphs is good at using stats that matter like WAR, which is probably the most important of them all.

However, this time, Fangraphs, I have to say that you are wrong.

Listen, yes, Milton Bradley's OBP is unreal.  And in Texas, he put up a 4.5 WAR in only three-fourths of a season.  That's pretty sick.

But there in lies one of the problems with Bradley, he only lasted three-fourths of the season. 

In fact, when you look through his career, the most games he has ever played in one season is 141 when in Los Angeles.  After that, his past two seasons with 126 games in Texas and 124 in Chicago rank second and third on Bradley's list of most games played in a season.  Yikes.  Bradley problem number one - you have to have someone competent enough to replace him whenever he eventually goes down.

Problem number two - bad PR.  Sometimes when analyzing baseball moves, one has to keep in mind that teams are, in fact, businesses.  From time to time, you have to pay money and take a hit for your on the field product in order to keep the fanbase happy.  The positive PR that this trade has generated alone has to have made this deal worth it for the Cubs.  On the other hand, what the fuck are the Mariners doing?  Bradley will inevitably wind up at DH a lot in the AL.  Great move considering that their number one PR-generator will see less playing time now.  Have fun explaining that to the fanbase!

Problem number three - obviously these stats guys have not seen Bradley play.  The one problem with stats is that they do not show some of the intangible things in the game like momentum and team chemistry.  I know that statheads say these things do not exist, and for the most part, I agree in saying that baseball people overstate the importance of these things.  But Milton Bradley is the exception to this rule.  Remember when he threw the ball into the right field bleachers?  If they had been watching that game, they could have seen how that one error literally cost the Cubs that game.  I have never seen any player with the skill to single-handedly use one play like that to ruin a team's chances of winning an entire game.  Bradley is unreal, but like in a Ron Artest way.

In conclusion, I realize that I sound just like all of those Cubs fans and terrible sports writers without concrete evidence to back up my conclusions.  But trust me, as terrible as this post was, the Sabermetricians have Bradley all wrong. 

Now rip me apart, please.


  1. We the people of YSSW and America agree with you.

    The Voice of the People has spoken.

  2. I agree with this Cooly but you fail to take into account the "I just left the Cubs so now i can play to my full potential" Factor. It has happened to many including Lou Brock, Gary Matthews Jr., Ken Bottenfield for a year or so, Luis Gonzalez, and the list goes on. I fully expect Bradley to play 150 games, hit around 285 with 25 and 90 only because he is not a cub.

  3. Before Cubs fans do the complete dance of joy (and I know Cooly is not worried, as a Cardinal fan would have loved to see another year of Milton disfunction), but I wonder if the Cubs fans are realzing what a brutally awful player they got in return. I realize Silva can not be as disruptive as MB, but he now will clog a roster spot with a pitcher who was 5-18 over the last two years with an ERA of 6.95. Couple that with most of last year lost to injury and Silva is looking like someone that needs to be cut. The Cubs are going to long for the days of a Jason Marquis, who they could not run out of town quick enough. Since I fully expected the Cubs to be stuck with MB, I am truly surprised they were able to unload him. I thought the only GM left that was dumb enough to trade for him was Jim Hendry. Hey over ther last four years, he was 29-47. The trend is defintely down. Good ridance MB, hopefully good ridance to Sivla soon too.

  4. Thank you Kevin for making one of my points.

    Next, Cooly, never make fun of Fangraphs again. You have let me down.

    Also, how is this a bad move for the Mariners??? They get rid of painfully bad Silva, and add a good player. Milton can play in small markets, and that is exactly where he has had him most success (See: Padres and Rangers). Also, these are two extremes in ballparks, which is why Milton's OBP lends itself nicely to any ballpark.

    He has had trouble when reporters ask him questions (See: Dodgers and Cubs). This causes Milton to become offended easily, lose his mind, fight broadcasters, prematurely ejaculate balls, and accuse entire cities of being racist.

    I see Milton being exactly what the Mariners need (especially because they batted Jose Vidro in DH last year)

  5. I don't think the Cubs are asking for anything more than a spot starter and long reliever out of Silva. Plus, they are GETTING $6M from the Mariners. That is ridiculous. Hell, I would take Eric Byrnes to clog a roster spot if I'm getting paid $6M to do so.

    And if you look at Silva's 2008 splits against the NL (since he didn't pitch against the NL in 2009), you will see that he was a league-average pitcher. I take my chances on Silva being league-average if I'm the Cubs considering a bulk of my games come against Pitt, Houston, and Cincy, none of which compare to any AL team (other than maybe the Royals).