Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baseball is Exhausting

Like all good bloggers, I spent my vacation reading through the 600 page, 2008 edition of Baseball Prospectus. I still don't know how to calculate MLVr or VORP, but I understand basically what those numbers represent, and, crucially, that having high ones of those means that you are a good baseball player.

Leitch reported these feelings from his nerdy escapades:
the cumulative effect was to convince us that everyone in baseball over the age of 28 is doomed. Nothing makes us feel older than Baseball Prospectus; everyone freaking peaks at 28 in that book. How depressing.
While Leitch took the perspective of the ballplayers, leading to depression, I identified more with the decision-makers responsible for determining which of those ballplayers are good, leading to exhaustion.

Since I love talking about the Rockies on these here interwebs (and might just get the chance to see them in Coors during my Denver-vention), let's take a look at two of their middle of the order hitters from last season, Garret Atkins (3B) and Brad Hawpe (RF). Atkins is entering his age 28 season, coming off a year in which he was worth about 35 more runs to his team than that offered by a replacement level standard. Hawpe, entering his age 29 season, bested Atkins with a VORP of 37.4. These numbers aren't the best in the league, but they're solid. And according to BP, both these guys are expendable. Not that they're killing the Rockies this year, but that these guys are finished products, not liable to improve, which means they're going to start getting expensive in arbitration/contract negotiations.

My thought is this: O'Dowd just put together the team that won the National League, led the organization to believe that it was a good idea to trademark Rocktober, and still, it's time to part ways with two of the guys responsible for getting him that far.

It seems much easier to just resign these guys, instead of breaking in some cheap replacements. No wonder Washington is paying Dmitri Young $5,000,000 this year.