First Pitch: Why is Defense Still Underrated?
Feb06

First Pitch: Why is Defense Still Underrated?

Last season the Pittsburgh Pirates had a ton of success due to an approach that focused on pitching and defense. This approach was largely overlooked, and the success was chalked up to something that couldn’t be sustained. The cries all summer were for the Pirates to add a bat, with the feeling that they couldn’t continue winning games by focusing on pitching and defense. Yet the Pirates continued to win games with this...

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First Pitch: This is Where the Pirates Need to Spend Money
Feb05

First Pitch: This is Where the Pirates Need to Spend Money

A few years ago, we asked Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly if the team could eventually afford a $70-80 M payroll. He answered that the team could afford that payroll after attendance increased. That led to a series of expectations. 1. The Pirates would eventually become competitive. 2. The attendance would increase due to the Pirates winning. 3. The payroll would go up. Number three on that list has always been the focus...

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First Pitch: Great Moments in Buying a Contender
Feb04

First Pitch: Great Moments in Buying a Contender

One of the things I dislike most about the off-season is how simple the analysis can be. Usually it all boils down to good ratings for the teams that spent money and added names, and poor ratings for teams who didn’t make a move or made low key additions. The analysis only views the off-season in a vacuum, and doesn’t consider the roster leading up to the off-season, the internal improvements on the team, or how the new...

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First Pitch: Are Teams Really Spending the New TV Revenues?
Jan31

First Pitch: Are Teams Really Spending the New TV Revenues?

One of the biggest topics in baseball this year is how teams will be getting $25-27 M per year due to the new national TV revenues. That originally led to a lot of assumptions that teams would go crazy with the new money. As far as individual teams, it led to “they have $18-27 M extra to spend”, with the variance depending on how much you believed MLB was holding back from teams. I took the same approach early in the...

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First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon be the Best Team in Baseball
Jan30

First Pitch: Pirates Could Soon be the Best Team in Baseball

Keith Law’s top 100 prospects came out today, which is the third top 100 list that came out in the last week. MLB.com released their top 100 last week, and Baseball Prospectus released their top 101 on Monday. Each set of rankings led to different results for each player, which happens with any group of rankings. Wanting to get some sort of a consensus on each player, I decided to average the rankings, then take the median of...

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First Pitch: Recapping Actual A.J. Burnett News
Jan29

First Pitch: Recapping Actual A.J. Burnett News

After months of no real updates on the A.J. Burnett saga, and nothing but repeats of the same old news, we finally got an update today. Travis Sawchik reported that Burnett planned to pitch in 2014, and that he would be open to returning to a team other than the Pirates. I had a bunch of thoughts on the entire Burnett saga, and decided to list them in no specific order. I then went on to sum everything else up at the end. I’ve...

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