Thursday, May 21, 2009

Peavy for some magic beans.

If the White Sox land Peavy I'll be interested to see what the Padres get. Reports indicate prospects but the White Sox have two to four impact prospects in their system at most. The past four years has seen the Sox trade away nearly all their young talent for various players (Thome, Vasquez, Swisher, etc.). Their farm system has done a good job of rebuilding but how often can you trade away your young talent and stay competitive? When the White Sox enter rebuilding mode it will be a long process unless they can squeeze away talent from other teams for aging veterans, because they have plenty of those.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Joe Posnanski is a Better Baseball Analyst Than Steve Phillips

It amazes me that, with everything Carlos Beltran has accomplished in a major market, he still manages to be underrated. Fortunately, Joe Posnanski is there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Juan Pierreborg is Here for Your Soul

Listen, and understand. Juan Pierreborg is in Los Angeles. He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he absolutely will not stop, ever, until he is on the basepaths.

And he usually doesn't stop there, either.

No, he's not Manny Ramirez. But Juan Pierre has been putting together exactly the sort of season he needs to land a starting job again, either in LA or elsewhere. Pierre's line in 30 games so far? .406/.461/.522 with 6 2B and 1 3B for 36 TB and an OPS+ of 154. Yes, this is a small sample size. And yes, there are some warning signs. Pierre still isn't taking walks (5 BB in 77 PA). He still isn't hitting for anything that even vaguely resembles power. And his BABIP is an almost certainly unsustainable .412, which suggests a batting average regression sooner rather than later.

But Pierre's LD% of 27.3%, while higher than his 21.9% career average, means that Pierre probably should have a pretty insane BABIP right now, albeit in the .390 range rather than the .410 range. Also encouraging is how low Pierre's GB% is this year compared to his career: 40.9% in 2009 vs. 55.7% overall. Those career GB% numbers skew high due to Pierre's ability (and tendency) to bunt for hits frequently (which, importantly, must be accounted for when determining how "lucky" Pierre's BABIP is, as he'll beat out more bunts and bouncers than most players), but it's nice to see that he's swinging the bat this year rather than simply dragging it, and that he's putting balls into play on a line.

Previously, I wrote that Pierre needed to demonstrate his ability to get on base, and he's done just that in Manny's abscence (though those low BB totals are still cause for concern). And as much as I've slammed Pierre as a leadoff hitter in the past, I do have a soft spot for the speedsters, so watching him put together a gem of a season so far has been a joy. Keep it up, Juan!

Monday, May 11, 2009


We are about a month into the season but already I'm hearing stories about how the wheels have fallen off a certain wagon or a certain surprise contender is showing the grit and hustle of a championship team. This is stupid nonsense spouted by stupid people. Less than one-fifth of the season has been played.

That being said, I thought it might be fun to go through the NL Central and pick the top players so far and contrast it with the end of the season.

C - Yadier Molina
.317/.386/.465, .294 EqA, 1.5 WARP

1B - Albert Pujols
.330/.443/.696, .364 EqA, 2.3 WARP

2B - Freddy Sanchez
.317/.353/.533, .305 EqA, 1.3 WARP

SS - Ryan Theriot
.299/.366/.444, .278 EqA, 0.8 WARP

3B - Aramis Ramirez
.364/.417/.591, .328 EqA, 0.9 WARP

OF - Mike Cameron
.295/.395/.571, .324 EqA, 2.1 WARP

OF - Ryan Braun
.345/.463/.627, .353 EqA, 1.9 WARP

OF - Kosuke Fukudome
.319/.449/.543, .320 EqA, 1.6 WARP

P - Johnny Cueto
39.2 IP, 1.034 WHIP, 0.5 HR/9, 7.3 K/9

-There are a lot of quality first basemen in the NL Central. Joey Votto is crushing balls right now just not at a Pujolsian rate.
-Pitcher was the hardest category to decide on. Wandy Rodriguez is having a great year as is Yovani Gallardo. I gave Cueto the benefit of the doubt for having a better WHIP even though he has one fewer start. We'll see what happens.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kudos to You, Mike Scioscia

I've made no secret of my belief that consistently starting Jeff Mathis over Mike Napoli is an act of total insanity. And so far, it looks like Mike Scioscia agrees with me. Although Napoli started off the season playing second fiddle to BFF Mathis, he has gotten more starts (19-11, with 16 of those starts behind the dish and 3 as a DH) and his bat has remained red hot. Put simply, Napoli is absolutely mashing the ball, hitting .328/.444/.642 with 5 HR, 6 2B, and 43 TB in only 19 games. He's already a 1.1 WAR player (as opposed to Jeff Mathis's 0.0 WAR).

Mathis, meanwhile, has come down to earth after a solid first week, and is currently maintaining a .237/.310/.263 batting line (I suppose that's more subterranian than it is "down to earth").

Although OPS isn't the whole picture, particularly since Mathis supporters are quick to label him a defensive whiz kid, here's a game-by-game look at just how much better Napoli has been at the plate than Mathis (each box represents a game in which the player made at least one plate appearance):

Note that at no time was Mathis outhitting Napoli, and that Napoli's OPS has not yet dropped below .850 for even one game this season. If Scioscia continues to play Napoli as often as he has so far (a big question mark given Vladimir Guerrero's imminent return), Napoli is on pace to be a 6.6 WAR player this year. I'm not saying that he will be worth six extra wins, but it seems foolish not to let Napoli show his stuff for a full season (finally). So far, Scioscia is giving Napoli the playing time he deserves and Mike is capitalizing; here's hoping both trends continue.

I haven't seen play this bad since the days of Bob Uecker.

I love Bob Uecker. For a long time he was the reason to listen to Brewers games and since my work truck only had an AM radio I did it whenever possible. He instilled a love of baseball in me by being entertaining, engaging, and passionate when he it was appropriate. He's a down to earth good person who I enjoyed having as a part of my childhood.

So things like this are awesome. Via Deadspin via Videogum.
edit: Sorry the HD format screws with our borders so the video won't be embedded. Just click a link and watch it.

Edit: I've got your back, Caleb.
Kittens and teddy bears,

Juan vs. Manny

Juan Pierre (or, God willing, Juan Pierreborg) will be taking over for the suspended Manny Ramirez in the Dodgers outfield, and for once, the baseball community agrees on something: Manny Ramirez is better as baseball than Juan Pierre (graph by Tommy Rancel of Beyond the Boxscore). Now, I don't mean this as a knock against Juan Pierre (though Pierre is very definitely a below-average big leaguer); Manny Ramirez is better than 99.9% of humans at baseball. But just how much production is LA losing for fifty games?

I took a look at both players' statistics dating back to 2000 (Pierre's rookie year), and I think the results speak for themselves. First off, Manny gets on base a whole lot more than Pierre does, mostly because JP is allergic to walks (a shame given his speed):

And of course, Manny hits the ball a whole lot harder than Juan Pierre does:

So even taking into account the fact that Pierre has only played in the NL and Ramirez has mostly played in the AL, JP gets absolutely crushed in the OPS+ department (notably, Pierre has only been above league average once in his career):

Pierre makes up a little ground with his fielding, but not nearly enough for him to be anything less than a tremendous downgrade for the Dodgers (not that I'm surprising anyone here):

Fortunately for the Dodgers, Manny is not the only piece in their franchise puzzle. They will still play good baseball without him, and probably good enough baseball to hold on to the division until he gets back. But Manny is the heart of the Dodger lineup, and replacing him with Pierre (especially if Joe Torre is foolish enough to bat Pierre in the leadoff spot) will hurt LA's production significantly. No, I'm not writing anything the baseball world doesn't already know, but the visuals really do hammer home the impact of a Mannyless Los Angeles Dodgers team.

But although making Pierre a starter again is a blow to the Dodgers, it could also prove to be a boon to both LA and Pierre himself. If JP can figure out how to improve his OBP (preferably by demonstrating an ability to take a walk or two), he could give his trade value a huge shot in the arm. A .320 OBP from a speedy guy with no power isn't going to turn any heads, but a .340 or a .350 OBP could make the difference between Juan Pierre returning to his role as baseball's best paid fourth outfielder and finding himself a starter in a new organization. Use these games well, Juan.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

[Insert "Performance Enhancement" Pun Here]

Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive to a series of words that is very difficult to pronounce (human chorionic gonadatropin).

But the plot thickens. According to an anonymous source, Manny was taking the drug due to erectile dysfunction, though Ramirez himself was far more cryptic, claiming simply that his HCG use was for "a personal health issue." Even if Manny is on the level, he should have been more careful, particularly given the fate of the last big name player to be so publicly associated with erectile disfunction. But this incident certainly complicates the PED issue, as yet another future Hall of Famer has tested positive to a banned substance (but, importantly, not to a PED itself but instead a potential masking drug).

The Dodgers, currently in first in the NL West by a comfortable 6.5 game margin, should be able to hold their lead in a weak division. But there is no doubt that losing Manny for a third of a season is a tremendous blow. After a slow first week, Manny has been a monster in 2009, hitting .348/.492/.641 with 6 HR, 9 2B, 59 TB, and 26 BB against 17 SO, good for an OPS+ of 194 through 27 games. LA can't replace that level of production unless Juan Pierre is willing to blow his career earnings on all manner of uneccesary surgery.

Long live Juan Pierreborg!

Jose vs. Hong Man Choi

Jose Canseco, who, despite losing his only "professional" bout (to Vai Sikahema in a celebrity boxing match), still seems to fancy himself a fighter, will fight 7'2" South Korean Hong Man Choi on May 26th in Tokyo. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro will be sitting together ringside to watch the carnage.

Speaking of 7'2" fighters, Shaquille O'Neal (all 325 pounds of him) may be eyeing a mixed martial arts career after he retires from basketball. If O'Neal has any skill as a fighter, he will instantly become the most terrifying human being on the planet. If he does not have any skill as a fighter, he should go the circus route by dusting off an old costume...

Other likely future fighters from the baseball world (MMALB?) include Izzy Alcantara, Mo Vaughn, Michael Barrett, and of course, Kyle "Professor" Farnsworth. Robin Ventura need not apply.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bert vs. Nightcrawlers

The plural "s" is getting really damned technical; Blyleven will eat exactly plural (see: two) live nightcrawlers before Saturday's Twins-Mariners game. Apparently, this stunt has something to do with Parkinson's disease. I've gotta hand it to the folks at the Parkinson Association of Minnesota: calling the fundraiser "Bert vs. Nightcrawlers" was a stroke of genius, although I was picturing a whole bucket of nightcrawlers rather than simply two. In my mind, Blyleven had signed up for the Fear Factor version of my old elementary school walk-a-thons; he would have spent the last several weeks walking from door to door collecting pledges for each nightcrawler that he ate, setting himself up for a glorious return to each doorstep on Sunday with tidings of nightcrawly domination (tidings with precise pricetags, no less). He probably would have won a shitty Walkman knock-off for being the top nightcrawler eater at the game.


Alternatively, I would have been even more excited about "Bert vs. Nightcrawler."

In preparation for Blyleven's impending insecticide, I whipped up a couple historical WAR graphs in an attempt to weigh the relative value of Bert Blyleven vs. two nightcrawlers. Although I have historical WAR data for Blyleven, I had to extrapolate for the nightcrawlers, which proved difficult. First, there are two of them, and second, it is unlikely that either can swing a bat. But then again, neither can most backup catchers, so I fudged the data and assumed that two nightcrawlers, taken together, would perform at replacement level. This is probably a generous assumption, but as you can see, Blyleven still has the obvious edge:

The situation doesn't look any less grim for the nightcrawlers if we switch to a career-path plot:

The data doesn't lie: those nightcrawlers are going to get their shit fucked up.

No word yet on whether Blyleven will be credited with a pair of wins after vanquishing his diminuative opponents this weekend. If Commissioner Bud Selig approves of the move, Blyleven's career record will improve to a still largely misleading 289-250, making him look slightly more appealing to Hall of Fame voters who realize that wins are the only pitching statistic that matter, no matter how convincingly Rich Lederer (among others) may argue to the contrary, and putting Blyleven only 11 nightcrawlers shy of Cooperstown.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Comparing Cubs Aces

After last night's Jenkins/Maddux graphstravaganza, I got to thinking: how do the various Cubs aces of the last half century stack up against one another? I mean, the turn-of-the-century (20th, that is) Cubs had a fistful of aces: Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, Hippo Vaughn, Orval Overall, Pete Alexander, and Ed Reulbach were all dominating pitchers (some for longer than others, of course). But as I thought about the last fifty years, very few names sprang to mind. Of course, there was Fergie Jenkins, who I fully expected to top the list of Cubs pitchers, and Greg Maddux, who I expected to top the overall list. And there's Big Z, though he's had a couple off years of late, and his near-contemporary Kerry Wood (during his prime as a starter, anyway). And who could forget Rick Sutcliffe's brief period of 80's dominance?

But the list pretty much ended there. Sure, several Cubs pitchers had a solid season or two; some even put together seasons I'd call great (2003 Mark Prior, anyone?). But I was hard-pressed to think of many Cubs starters who were true aces for more than a year or two.

So I dove into to find a sample set on which to perform a couple quick-and-dirty historical WAR tests. I had a few criteria in mind: First, each pitcher had to have at least a couple Opening Day starts under his belt (I'm looking for staff aces, after all). Second, each pitcher had to be a legitimate ace for a few years, so no ERA+ 100 guys who simply happened to be better than three subpar options (ie. Jon Lieber, Larry Jackson), and no pitchers with one good year and then little else to show for themselves (Prior). And finally, each pitcher had to have played in Chicago for at least five or six years (this was the loosest of my criteria, as it turned out that nobody who belonged on my short list played fewer than eight seasons in a Cubs uniform).

Using these three criteria to thin the crowd, I narrowed down my list to my original suspects (Jenkins, Maddux, Zambrano, Wood, Sutcliffe) and one pitcher I'd completely overlooked: Rick Reuschel.

Here's how the final six stacked up against one another while in Cubbie blue, with seasonal WAR graphed from best season to worst:

As I expected, Jenkins (blue) was well ahead of the pack, but there were certainly plenty of surprises here. First and foremost, I'd forgotten just how good Reuschel (orange) really was (a consequence of being too young to remember his best years with Chicago, methinks); he was far and away the best of the rest while a Cub, which is saying something in this crowd. On the other side of the coin, Sutcliffe (purple) didn't fare nearly as well in this little experiment as I'd expected him to, nor did Big Z (green). I expected Wood (brown) to suffer due to his injury seasons and his switch to the bullpen, but he actually outpaced Sutcliffe and wasn't significantly outperformed by Zambrano (though Z clearly has the edge). Maddux's (red) Cy Young year is right up there with Jenkins' and Reuschel's best years, but it's an outlier; as a Cub, Maddux was generally more similar to Wood and Zambrano than Jenkins valuewise.

Next up, I graphed each pitcher's career, fully expecting to see Maddux pull away from the pack, Jenkins to settle comfortably into second, Reuschel to drop back into the pack, and Wood and Zambrano to fall behind Sutcliffe:

As expected, Maddux was King of the Mountain careerwise, with Jenkins just behind. But Reuschel continued to surprise me; seriously, how did I miss this guy? Wood and Zambrano didn't change a bit, as neither had played for anyone other than Chicago before 2009. Sutcliffe had some absolutely Godawful seasons away from Chicago, which drag his career value down significantly. Once again, I found that I'd conveniently overlooked Sutcliffe's bad years while almost completely ignoring Rick Reuschel. I feel like I should send him a letter of apology or something:
Dear Mr. Reuschel,

Although I was only two years old when you left my Chicago Cubs (who were, incidentally, still four years away from being "my" team), I feel terrible for having underestimated your contributions to Cubs baseball in the late '70's and early '80's. I am currently taking measures to rectify what I feel is a grevious
error. Fortunately, I write for a largely-unknown baseball blog with a loose focus on the NL Central; rest assured that I will do everything in my power to make mention of your achievements whenever possible.

Please accept my humble apologies.

Your new biggest fan,

David J. Marincic
That should do it. While I track down a stamp, here are a couple more graphs I made just for funsies. Both are, as I expected, convoluted rat's nests due to the fact that there are six pitchers included in the dataset, but they're fun nonetheless.

First up, here is each pitcher's Cubs years. The x-axis represents which year in the pitcher's career he threw for the Cubs, so a pitcher whose career begins at "1" was a rookie in Chicago. Only their Cubs WAR values are displayed for pitchers who threw for more than one team in a season:

Next, here is each pitcher's year-by-year WAR. All seasons are accounted for, and WAR values for pitchers who split time between multiple teams in one season are combined to create a yearly total:

Sweet merciful crap, I'm out of unicorn postage stamps! I'd better run to the store; Mr. Reuschel has had to wait almost thirty years for this letter, and damned if I'm going to let him wait a day longer...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Fun with Historical WAR Data

Just in case anyone is interested, I also graphed a team-by-team breakdown of Fergie Jenkins' and Greg Maddux's pitching WAR:

I think the results are rather interesting. I hadn't realized how much value Jenkins brought to the table in Texas; conversely, I overestimated Maddux's value as a Padre.

A Graphical Tribute to Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux

Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux had their number 31 retired by the Cubs today. Both were obviously great pitchers, and as is my tendency when I read about various baseball-related honors, I dove into the numbers in an attempt to quantify just how great each of these guys really was. All of my data comes from's wonderful pitcher WAR database.

First off, I borrowed a move from the fine folks at Beyond the Boxscore and graphed each pitcher's WAR in descending order from his best season in a Cubs uniform to his worst (partial seasons are included as full seasons for simplicity's sake):

The results shouldn't surprise anyone. Both Jenkins and Maddux essentially started and finished their careers in Chicago (Jenkins pitched a whopping 14.2 innings for the Phillies before coming to Chicago to begin his career in earnest; Maddux pitched two more respectable years for the Dodgers and Padres before hanging up his spikes three years after his Chicago swan song), but Jenkins developed faster and enjoyed his best seasons in a Cubs uniform, whereas Maddux didn't emerge as an ace until his final season in Chicago, after which he was (in)famously allowed to walk, so his prime years were for the Braves. A graph of each pitcher's Cubs career path puts these developmental discrepancies in rather stark perspective:

Maddux's career was on the upswing when he left for Atlanta, while Jenkins had already peaked before he moved on to Texas. If we expand each pitcher's career path to include every stop in his big league career, the advantage shifts to Maddux:

Jenkins peaked earlier, but Maddux sustained his peak (and his career) longer, though mostly as a Brave. Revisiting each pitcher's descending seasonal WAR while taking into account his entire career gives Maddux the edge over Jenkins:

Of course, it's important to remember that Maddux put up most of these numbers in Atlanta rather than Chicago; seven of his top ten seasons (#1 and #'s 3-8) were as a Brave, while Jenkins put up seven of his top ten seasons (#'s 1-2, 4-7, and 10) as a Cub. Breaking up each player's total WAR as a Cub and overall really hammers home this difference:

Jenkins was worth 81.4 WAR over his career, and 53.5 of those wins were with the Cubs. Maddux's career WAR was 96.7, but only 31.4 of those wins were in Cubbie blue. Maddux was the more valuable pitcher; Jenkins was the more valuable Cubs pitcher.

None of this changes the fact that both Jenkins and Maddux are beloved by Cubs fans (and rightly so!). Congratulations to both players for this well-deserved honor. I look forward to watching the number 31 flapping in the breeze at Wrigley for many years to come.

Because as Much as I Dig the Longball, I Still Think Speed is Totally Awesome...

...I have to throw up a quick link to Carl Crawford's record-tying six stolen base performance against Boston this afternoon. Crawford went 4-for-4 with a walk while running Jason Varitek and the Boston pitching staff ragged in a 5-3 win for the Rays. Admittedly, I was initially a bit surprised that, despite Crawford's baserunning antics, his Tampa Bay teammates had only driven him in twice. But then I remembered that even though the last time I saw a player swipe six bags in a game he also scored six runs, that game was in MVP Baseball 2004 for the Playstation 2; this was a real game.

Poor Jason Varitek.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


When I was a youngin', I dreamt of baseball glory. I collected shoeboxes full of baseball cards. I watched every Cubs game I could to see my idols play and, more often than not, lose (this was the early '90s). I played pickup games with the neighborhood kids at the end of the street ("first base is that oil slick, second is the manhole cover..."), games that lasted until dark or until we hit a tennis ball into a car and had to scatter while the angry owner stormed outside to shut off a screeching alarm. On days when there was nobody to play ball with, I imagined 3-2 counts in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, my Cubs down by three and battling the powerhouse A's in game seven of the World Series, then threw pinecones into the air and stroked them into the stands with my whiffle bat amidst the cheers of thousands of imaginary spectators.

So when I turned nine it was only natural that, like so many other nine year olds have done for so many years, I signed up for Little League baseball. And it was there my dreams died.

In retrospect, I really wish I'd stuck with the game. I still love baseball (more than ever, in fact), and who knows? Had I played past my awkward years, I might even have become a respectable ballplayer. But at the time, my eyesight was crap (corrective eyewear would change that soon afterwards), my reflexes at the plate were godawful, and I had this idiotic idea that, despite the fact that I probably weighed something in the neighborhood of sixteen pounds, I should be using a wooden bat like the big leaguers. To top it all off, I was in the North Mission Viejo Little League, which has won at least one Little League World Series title that I'm aware of. In other words, the kids around me were good, and I was not.

Put simply, I absolutely could not seem to hit. I carried a .000 batting average for the entire season (no, that's not a typo, and it's not defeatist hindsight). But when I walked (which was often, since even as a kid with bad eyes, I could lay off a pitch three feet out of the zone) or got hit by a pitch (also often thanks to those "reflexes"), I basically had an automatic triple unless there were runners ahead of me. According to league rules, runners had to wait until pitches crossed the plate before attempting to steal, and leadoffs were not allowed. But even at nine, I was fast. Hell, I even stole home once when I misunderstood a sign. The catcher was so shocked that he dropped the ball, and by the time he had picked it up again and shifted to his left to apply a tag, I was already under his glove.

Unfortunately, my Little League impression of an extremely patient Willie Mays Hayes did not endear me to my teammates, most of whom would probably have preferred to have me handing out bats instead of swinging them. But among the kids who never treated me any differently once it became obvious that I was nothing more than a track and field kid moonlighting in sliding pants and stirrups was David Aardsma.

David was, like me, a diehard Cubs fan who had to watch his favorite team lose from 1500 miles away. Unlike me, he was coordinated and talented. But our Cubs connection meant that we talked baseball a lot in the dugout and at school, and our moms caught on to this and started sitting together at games. But when I foolishly quit Little League after that one dismal season, I saw less and less of David, until he eventually moved away a couple years later.

Flash forward fourteen years. It was April 6, 2004, and I'd tuned in to a Giants/Astros game to listen to in the background while I did some chores when I heard a familiar name: David Aardsma was making his Major League debut in relief for the Giants. I abandoned my domestic plans to sit down and watch as a now 6'5", 200 lb David with a shaved head, a goatee, and one hell of a fastball pitched two solid innings and picked up his first big league win. To this day, I remember him getting that win against his childhood idol, Roger Clemens, though apparently it was Andy Pettite who started for the 'Stros. Perhaps my subconscious decided that absent-mindedly turning on a random baseball game on a random day only to see a childhood friend pick up his first Major League win in his first Major League start wasn't serendipitous enough; this memory had to be Hollywood caliber, and so naturally David would have had to face the Rocket.

Since that afternoon five years ago, I've followed David as he's bounced from team to team. He even landed with the Cubs for a while, during which time I got to see him pitch live for the first time since I was in third grade. But I slacked off a bit this season. I knew that he'd moved out west to pitch for the Mariners, but it wasn't until I stumbled upon an article over at The Baseball Analysts that I realized how good David has been so far in this young season. Dave Allen took a look at the expected run values of every pitch thrown by every pitcher in 2009, and atop the fastball list is David Aardsma.

Here's hoping that Aardsma can continue to keep his hits allowed totals down and cut down on the walks that have largely offset his solid K/9 rates over the course of his Major League career. Best of luck to you, David; you may be in the wrong jersey, but you've got at least one diehard Cubs fan rooting for you from the flatlands.

All VORP Needs Now is the "Weird Al" Treatment and it Will Officially Have Hit the Big Time

It would seem the fine folks at The Onion have a VORPie in their midst. I can only hope that Marco Scutaro actually does calculate his own VORP before every at bat, at least until he inevitably starts playing like Marco Scutaro again; he's off to a very nice (.280/.420/.505, OPS+ 141) but likely unsustainable start for the Jays this year.

I have to admit to being a little disappointed that The Onion's resident stathead didn't close his article by revealing that Brian Bannister, statistician extraorinairre, was on the mound recalculating his own VORP after tallying another K.

Well played regardless, anonymous Onion writer.