Today from Bernie

Bernie’s piece on the Cardinals today is well worth reading

About the pitching: The current rotation ERA of 5.46 is the worst in franchise history in a non-strike year. But it goes beyond that. In the history of baseball, this would be the 42nd-highest ERA by a rotation in a single season, and we’re talking about thousands of rotations. See what happens when a team depends on retreads and becomes so confident that it can make even a career reliever a quality starter.  Yes, the Chris Carpenter injury could not predicted, but a team with serious aspirations of winning can’t depend on Kip Wells and Braden Looper.

Edit:  From Az over at Future RedbirdsThis is such a horrible misleading quote. He’s comparing eras that have significant differences in average ERAs. The effing mound was lowered to increase scoring. Players are taking steroids. Of course ERAs will be higher. Bernie needs to use some kind of ERA+ or normalized statistic to account for historical differences.  See his whole quote below.

He calls for the Cardinals to try and dump salary by placing Juan, Wells, Eck, and Percival on waivers and try to dump their salary and get a few marginal prospects in return.  Agreed.  I don’t think Percival would make it past the Devil Rays, as they are really trying to improve their bullpen.  Maybe a deal for the likes of Ben Zobrist, a guy az brought up over at Future Redbirds last week

Put Edmonds and Rolen out there also, and if a team in the race wants to claim them, I say let’em go.  Maybe the Cubs would consider an Edmonds with Soriano being out for a couple weeks (but with their ownership situation up in the air, that is probably a reach).  The Angels may consider Rolen as Bill Stoneman is not really up for Midseason trades, but may consider claiming Rolen off waivers.  I think taking Rolen’s salary off the books is worth way more than a mid level prospect. 

If you can clear out a couple of roster spots, then you are able to bring up the Ankiels, Ryans, Perez’s, and maybe even Hoffpauir to see what you have for next year.  Sometimes teams have to sell to better prepare for the future.  Look at the Cleveland Indians.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Today from Bernie

  1. But it goes beyond that. In the history of baseball, this would be the 42nd-highest ERA by a rotation in a single season, and we’re talking about thousands of rotations.

    This is such a horrible misleading quote. He’s comparing eras that have significant differences in average ERAs. The effing mound was lowered to increase scoring. Players are taking steroids. Of course ERAs will be higher. Bernie needs to use some kind of ERA+ or normalized statistic to account for historical differences.

    The fielding percentage of .980 would be the worst by a Tony La Russa-managed team since the 1998 and 1999 squads came in at .978.

    Fielding percentage might be one of the mosr useless statistics available today.

    I know Rick Ankiel strikes out a bunch and doesn’t walk much. But Chris Duncan largely did the same in the minors, and he’s done well in the bigs.

    It’s a disservice to Bernie’s point at large that he just throws this out there without validating at all how the two players are similar. We are instead supposed to expect Ankiel to improve in the same fashion Duncan did, which is probably unwise.

    ———————

    Bernie’s got the right idea but he cites all the wrong reasons. I understand that part of this is pandering to the general populace that doesn’t know about advanced sabermetric statistics but the ERA thing really pisses me off because it’s intentionally misleading. I wonder how many of those 41 ERAs that are worse have happened since 1990 — I’d wager at least 10-15.

  2. Agreed. Bernie likes to do this to stir a little controversy.
    But I think it is a grand disservice to Cardinal fans, who pay out lots and lots of bucks to support this team, to trot out the rotation that it does. The standard excuses, “we pay what we feel the players are worth..or we are not going to overpay..” are getting really old, really quick. If you feel $40 million to Jeff Suppan is going way overboard, fine. But, you better start developing your own pitching. That is something that this organization has neglected and has no one to blame but itself because this regime has been in charge for 12 years now. So it needs to make up its mind, pay the money for quality veterans or develop its won. You can’t have it both ways.

  3. As an addendum, the Cardinals ERA+ is currently 86 – worst in the National league this year. Here is a list of equivalent or worse ERA+ from the last 10 years:

    2007:DRays 77
    2006:Orioles 84, Royals 85
    2005:Reds 86, DRays 80, Royals 78
    2004:Royals 86, Reds 77
    2003:Tigers 81, Reds 84
    2002:DRays 84, Brewers 84, Padres 82
    2001:Pirates 86, Rangers 78
    2000:Cubs 81
    1999:(None)
    1998:Marlins 79
    1997:Athletics 83

    Now, this isn’t a list of individuals I’d want to be associated with if I were the Cardinals. It consists of a lot of perennial bottom feeders. It’s worth noting though that in the last 10 years there are 18 teams that have been as bad or worse as the Cardinals are this year relative to league norms.

    Now given that the Cardinals posted an ERA+ of 97 last year and have experienced a lot of turnover in the rotation, it’s a worthy cautionary tale that the pitchers we have now may not be very good.

    This “42nd-highest ERA” is at best ignorance and at worst intentional statistical misrepresentation.

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