Major League Baseballs outdated, misleading offset camera angle.

By Greg Hanlon – Slate Magazine

I’ve written about this in the past. What this story adds, however, is a better view of what happens when the camera is right behind the pitcher. In order to see the hitter the camera has to be higher. This, it turns out, is just fine for inside-outside calls, but fails miserably to yield better calls on the high and low stuff. The examples are illuminating, in any case.

Fantasy Baseball internet radio by Jeff Erickson


In about 45 minutes I’ll be on Jeff Erickson’s Fantasy Focus radio show, on I’ll let you guess what we’re going to talk about. If you get here late, the program is also a podcast, which should live on forever. Classic.

Here’s the show:

We had decided to talk about wonky subjects, which was fine by me. I’m resistent to the whole “who’s your best sleeper” approach to the radio. I have a few elaborations.

In NL and AL only leagues position scarcity gets figured in if you properly price your players using the proper pool. That is, you give everyone their relative price and you find that you only have 10 positive values for catchers, and you need 24/26. You delete all the other players with positive and negative values who aren’t catchers, until the 24/26 catchers are in your pool, and then reallocate the money, making the last catcher worth a buck. Catchers alone don’t get all the benefit of scarcity.

The same holds true in Mixed Leagues, but there are two differences. It’s much harder to draw the line at the bottom, so it’s a little haphazard who makes the draft list and who doesn’t when the catchers are added. And, mixed league prices aren’t linear, so the best players get paid more for being reliable and better than the abundantly replaceable players in the middle and bottom. So the best catchers’ prices go up because they’re the best, period, as well as because they’re catchers. I’m not sure how you would go about quantifying this. I guess aggregated real world results compared to linear prices would get you part way.

As to rules, I don’t have a dog in any rules fight. I think players should play a game that satisfies them and makes them happy. It’s fine if you want to promote dump trading, and it is equally fine to squelch it. I discuss different rules and wrinkles with an eye to solving problems people are having in their leagues, which doesn’t make them happy.

The sleepers I wrote down before the show were Cincinnati’s Ramon Ramirez and the Cardinals’ Joe Mather. You can find more at

Expert Mock Draft Analysis Podcast!


I’ve known Lenny Melnick a long time and he’s a good fantasy player. He’s got a website now devoted to using his smooth voice for unsparing but congenial fantasy baseball analysis. Yes, he makes podcasts.

Regular readers may know that I don’t think there’s time enough in the world for podcasts, but this week I participated in a so-called experts mock draft at (thanks Jason and Geoff), and Lenny and Paul Greco (of covered it live (and did a nice job).  You can find the link to that mammoth production at Paul’s site.

In the link above Lenny breaks down the draft, team by team, and while there is plenty to quibble with in terms of judgments, the process does show what goes into making a good fantasy draft and team. Those are the same analyses that those who participate in lots of mocks when getting ready for the season tell me they go through.

If only there were more time.

Runnin’ Scared: The Mets’ Darling of Jazz by Allen Barra

village voice

Veteran baseball writer interviews Mets broadcaster (and former star) Ron Darling about Jazz. And Darling, to his credit, says he finds himself unworthy of the latter John Coltrane music. For many of my baseball friends of my age, even if we love rock ‘n roll, an appreciation of Coltrane and Miles Davis is validation that we’ve got chops. Barra gets it all right, and in a perfect world will prod at least a few to listen to In a Silent Way. [note to cheapskates: take it out of the library!] You won’t be sorry.

Sutcliffe gives rambling, slurred interview on Padres broadcast

The scandal here is that Rick Sutcliffe went to a Pods game with Bill Murray, and maybe he had a few beers too many. There are French philosophers who would say that he’s thinking hard about his (and his daughter’s) role in the world. Rick Sutcliffe? Philosophy? Isn’t that beautiful?

On top of that, the story ends with Bill Murray tackling Mark Bellhorn and giving him appreciative noogies, simply because Bellhorn was once a Cub. I find that charming.

File this one under: Everything is News.