Josh Hornik Blog

May 18, 2006

Theo Epstein Genius Watch, 2006 Edition

With Nomar Garciaparra currently reigning as the NL Player of the Week, this seems like a good time to check in on the Theo Epstein Genius Watch.

Today's featured position: Shortstop.

Let's review:
Summer 2004 -- Traded franchise shortstop and former Rookie of the Year Nomar Garciaparra.
Winter 2004 -- Let Gold Glove winner / World Series champion Orlando Cabrera walk.
Winter 2005 -- Traded Gold Glove & Silver Slugger winner Edgar Renteria. Traded "shortstop of the future" Hanley Ramirez. Signed Alex Gonzalez.

Hmm. That's 4 shortstops gone, and Alex Gonzalez currently filling the position. Wondering how everyone's doing this year?

Garciaparra -- Currently batting .337 with 5HR and 25 RBI in just 23 games, riding an 11-game hit streak and current NL Player of the Week. OK, he's playing first base, not shortstop, but he's the only regular 1B in the NL without an error yet.

Cabrera -- Batting .275 and currently on pace for over 100 runs, almost 100 RBI, and almost 30 steals.

Renteria -- Batting .333 (leading NL for shortstops) and set a new Atlanta Braves team record for longest hitting streak to start a season (24 games).

Ramirez -- Living up to the hype, contending for Rookie of the Year honors, batting leadoff for the Marlins, hitting .331 and on pace for 40 steals and 140 runs.

Gonzalez -- Batting .206 and slugging .290 (just 7 extra-base hits). On pace for just 50 RBI and 35 runs. (Admittedly, great fielding with only 1 error so far this year, but is that going to make up for over 100 fewer runs produced?)

So, in the last season and a half, Theo has managed to get rid of four shortstops all leaps and bounds better than the one he ended up with. Genius?!?

Posted by JoshHornik at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2006

Give it up for George Steinbrenner and the NY Yankees

Yes, I hate the New York Yankees (that means you, Johnny Damon), but this is such a great story, I have to give some props to George Steinbrenner. Wouldn't expect it from him, but I liked his quotes, and how great would it be to be this kid?

Steinbrenner invites kid to NY

FYI - I just watched an old Seinfeld episode that included their Steinbrenner character, and I realized that the always-hilarious voice of Steinbrenner (never credited) was none other than Larry David!

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2005

Theo Epstein Genius Watch -- Disabled List edition

Well, Theo was looking quite genius-like when Nomar went down - AGAIN - with an injury. Chalk one up for the guy for not signing Nomar to a long-term contract, then getting 40 games from him in 2 seasons. (I still wish he'd done it.)

However, Theo lost a few genius points when David Wells went on the DL with his own injury. Hmmm. Maybe signing a 41-year old FAT pitcher with a questionable work ethic wasn't such a good idea, after all.

Cabrera - .259, 2HR, 7RBI, 1 error
Renteria - .238, 2HR, 9RBI, 3 errors

Pedro & D-Lowe - 3-3, 2.40 ERA, 70K
Wells & Clement - 4-3, 4.40 ERA, 44K

Posted by JoshHornik at 03:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2005

In praise of... Strat-o-Matic Baseball

Some time in the late 1980's, I got my first Strat-o-matic Baseball set and fell in love with the game. In 1986, I cheered (then cried) as The Red Sox got within one strike of winning the World Series. By 1988, I was a crazy baseball fanatic. I am not kidding -- I'm not sure which were the causes and which the effects.

How could a board game consisting of a bunch of cardboard cards and some dice turn someone from a fan into a get-a-life fanatic? Strat-o-matic is that good.

Don't believe me? Check out this great report from NPR. (For Red Sox fans, don't miss the extra interview pieces with Jon Miller, which include a great impression of the late Fenway Park PA announcer Sherm Feller.)

Posted by JoshHornik at 07:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2005

Theo Epstein Genius Watch - week 2

Week 2 of our soap opera "As the Nomar slumps"...

Nomar - .182, 0HR, 5R, 4RBI, 0E
Cabrera - .233, 1HR, 4R, 6RBI, 0E
Renteria - .255, 2HR, 6R, 8RBI, 2E

Pedro & D-Lowe - 2-1, 42.1IP, 2.13ERA, 44K
Wells & Clement - 2-2, 35IP, 4.11ERA, 27K

Posted by JoshHornik at 03:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2005

Theo Epstein Genius Watch - Week 1 which we look at the statistics of the players so-called genius Theo Epstein has allowed to leave and those who have replaced them.

Nomar -- .143, 0HR, 3R, 3RBI, 0 errors
Edgar -- .167, 0HR, 0R, 4RBI, 1 error
Cabrera -- .158, 0HR, 1R, 2RBI, 0 errors

Pedro & D-Lowe -- 1-1, 2.73ERA, 30K
Wells & Clement -- 0-2, 6.43ERA, 18K

Too early for conclusions. Stay tuned...

Posted by JoshHornik at 07:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack