What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
who posted at 11:14 on Friday night that "Elvis Andrus cost the Rangers another game"?
And then deleted the thread after he scored the winning run?
Because I was ready to post the exact same thing. Until MY bailed the team out...the difference in the game was Elvis' error. A sloppy, lazy mental effort that we've seen time after time this year. Up till the 9th inning dramatics, the teams basically had the same number of hits, extra base hits, walks, etc. The 2-run difference was Andrus' abysmal error that led to two runs.
Yes, he redeemed himself in the 11th with a single and excellent base-running that led to the winning run. But that shouldn't excuse his error...which is something we've seen over and over and over this year.
Unless and until this team can get the defense to again be as tight and responsible as it was last year, this team will not win the division. Simple as that. They need to start making plays and eliminating the blunders. If they can do that, they should outrun the Angels the rest of the way.
I'm the joker who deleted that post, because its poster, wingsofjoy, was already banned for prior transgressions.
Unless and until this team can get the defense to again be as tight and responsible as it was last year, this team will not win the division. Simple as that.
I love the ease with which declarative statements get thrown around here. It's not "well, the Rangers are going to have a problem winning this division if the defense doesn't tighten up" (which I'd be inclined to disagree with for the reason stated below, but you could at least kick around and objectively debate) ... no, it's "they won't win the division if the defense doesn't tighten up." Since when did baseball work exclusively in shades of black and white?
It is also interesting to me that for all of the bitching about the defense this season, the Rangers' team UZR this season works out to +13.1 runs over two-thirds of the season, whereas it came out to +20.3 runs over the entirety of last season. I'm not going to pretend that the defensive metrics are the end-all be-all of defensive evaluation, but I also don't think that the defense this season is anywhere close to the hindrance that some people seem to believe it to be.
I know it certainly isn't the only factor involved, but I will say this.
# of errors during the rangers 12 game win streak: 3 (.25 E/game)# of errors during the rangers 15 games since then: 19 (1.26 E/game)
Obviously, errors are not the sole determining factor in whether or not the rangers win the division. I'm becoming a little concerned about the rotation holding it together for the last two months, but I think the above numbers at least show that it is much tougher to beat the rangers when they don't commit errors (which they frequently do unfortunately).
Joey a question re: UZR. I'm fairly new to sabermetrics, but I remember reading that you need a sample size of a couple seasons for a player's UZR to be accurate. Does the same not hold true for a team UZR? In other words, is the Rangers team UZR for 2011 a reliable statistic or is it based on too small of a sample size?
You're exactly right. Declarative statements like the one I made are stupid and I should have included a qualifier.
I still think the defense must improve in order for this team to win the division. Barring MY's heroics last night, the Andrus error was the difference in the game. The Rangers are 13-18 in 1-run games. I"m guessing a significant number of those 18 losses featured defensive lapses that gave games away. I imagine the final standings will have the top two teams within 5 games of each others....so, yeah, I think the defense will be a difference-makes assuming pitching and offense continues as it has.
MrMan, I'd be much more inclined to bet that the majority of those losses came as a result of an epic fail by one of our bullpen arms. We lost quite a few games there in the 8th and 9th innings when we either had the lead, or were tied up.
The thing that sickens me the most about Elvis's play isn't his propensity to commit errors, rather it's his propensity to commit careless errors. It would be one thing if he just threw too many balls over the 1st baseman's head trying to make highlight reel plays. But we see it time and time again where a fairly routine play evades him for some reason or another. We have seen Ron make statements about these momentary lapses of concentration, and so far they have worked for a little while. Maybe that's the correct route to go with him.
Elvis was a star of our postseason run last year. I'd imagine that's the type of player we all envision Elvis being. He's just got to reach that next level of maturity. Remember, he's still a young guy, he will get it.
Maybe I'm just mellow, but I don't understand why people let the natural roller coaster of a 162-game season freak them out after each and every game. You can't let the happenings of one or a handful of games tempt you into extrapolating grand trends that portend doom or triumph without looking at the overall picture.
The Rangers have a fantastic team, good offense, solid rotation, and now a very good bullpen, on paper. But no matter how talented the team --- AND, no matter how much the players want to win or try to play the game the right way, shit happens in baseball. I'm continually dismayed at the tendency to question players' character when things go wrong, as if the players don't care or losing makes them morally suspect. Are they now moral icons because they won a freakish game last night? Michael Young willed the ball out of the park with his character? Elvis prayed for forgiveness between innings and was redeemed?
That's like questioning your direction in life if you lose a game of gin rummy. Bah, it's just a bunch of baseball shit that happens. Stop trying to assign grandiose morals to it.
t ball, you aren't neccessarily more mellow than the next fellow...you just have some reason and perspective.
Ultimately, it was a very wise move for Joey to delete that thread but as I posted in the chat....it could have been legendary. I mean dude posted well before the end of the game that Elvis cost the team the game (to be fair, the likelihood of the comeback was slim) and Elvis came back to win the game. Ok, Josh hit the chopper to SS and busted his ass down the line to beat it out...but Elvis laid down the perfect bunt (with 2 outs) and had the speed to tear around 3rd to beat the throw easily. That play reminded me of the ALDS series with Tampa. Speed kills.
What about the steal of home in the ALCS? Very reminiscent of that, although that was kinda more a double steal. Still awesome.
Not going to lie, I kinda thought Ron should have pulled him out of the game for losing his concentration on that play, but I'm sure glad he didnt. Maybe he just gave him a little "talking to" between innings.
I think that you guys have all seriously watched more baseball than I ever have. Count me in as being reactionary and a knee jerk kind of guy. At the start of the season I would have been right there with you guys but Joey and others on this site like R100 have shown me to trust the new stats they are predictive and not get too wrapped up in a single play of a single game.Overall concentration or whatever you want to call it needs to tighten up. I would say that Elvis and Beltre are making some mental mistakes of some kind but we don't or at least I don't pretend to know exactly what is going on since I am not a coach and not privy to enough information to evaluate exactly what the problem is. That is something film and one on one coach can only uncover and we don't have that kind of access.So the point to my long winded post is that I personally have realized to chill a little bit and let the game come to me not to get overly excited one way or another and look at the whole picture. In the same game Elvis turned a DP that was a thing of beauty to keep the Rangers in the game. You can't say he won the game with that play anymore than you you can say a single play lost the game. This very similar to many media types trying to break down football games on 1 or 2 plays and it is just more complex than that.Peace
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