Stupidity Never Goes Out Of Style

Dave · October 15, 2007 at 11:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Joel Pineiro re-signs with St. Louis – 2 years, $13 million.

Proving that you don’t even have to have a General Manager in place to make bad decisions.

Comments

54 Responses to “Stupidity Never Goes Out Of Style”

  1. Mere Tantalisers on October 15th, 2007 11:53 am

    Ha.

    I watched him shut out the Mets at the end of the season with a bunch of St Louis fans sitting around me. They were going on about what a great pick up he was and how we must miss him in Seattle. I told him that yes, we miss him tremendously, but that it says a lot more about our pitching staff than it does about Pineiro.

    Since they’ve already picked up Franklin and Joel, don’t they automatically get Ho Ram? Buy two get one free?

  2. metz123 on October 15th, 2007 11:57 am

    frightening. Almost as bad as the m’s jacking up ticket prices to certain high profile games (ny, boston) for next season. Yes, this even applies to season ticket holders. Way to get positive PR front office. You’ve had 1 decent season out of 4. Time to screw your customers.

  3. Tom on October 15th, 2007 12:02 pm

    My God, this signing makes even Bill Bavasi look like a genius!

  4. Librocrat on October 15th, 2007 12:07 pm

    Proving that you don’t even have to have a General Manager in place to make bad decisions.

    But they certainly help.

  5. bakomariner on October 15th, 2007 12:29 pm

    the worst thing about it is that bavasi will do something worse…i am literally frightened…

  6. davepaisley on October 15th, 2007 12:44 pm

    2 – which is one more reason I won’t be a season ticket holder next year…

  7. lokiforever on October 15th, 2007 12:47 pm

    Joel won a game for the M’s earlier this year in extra innings. My only regret is that he’s not pitching for the AL anymore…well and that he’ll likely follow the career/migration path of Jeff Weaver.

  8. Spanky on October 15th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I can’t tell if you all are being sarcastic or not but I don’t think this is such a bad signing for the Cardinals. They need the pitching. Pineiro gave them solid pitching down the stretch. His K/BB ratio was the highest he’s ever had. He’s not a great pitcher but he proved to be an end of the rotation kind of guy that could give them innings and a chance to win regularly. Look at what we paid a back of the rotation guy last year…$8 Million (coughweaversuckscough). I would think this fits okay for a short-term contract like this. I really though the RedSox were more foolish last year to try to make him a reliever!!

    Besides…it’s the Little League. Pineiro could find new life over there. BAvasi better take note of this and NOT be surprised by the prices in the market for pitching again this year!

    Now if you want to make more jokes about how he sucked for the M’s and let us all down…Okay…I’m with you. He grabbed himself a great contract from the M’s and then let everyone down.

  9. Dave on October 15th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Joel Pineiro is the definition of replacement level. Organizations that know what they’re doing don’t give multiyear, multimillion dollar contracts to players who aren’t demonstrably better than random Triple-A flotsam.

  10. scott19 on October 15th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Remember, they also tried to re-sign Spicoli after the WS last year as well.

    Yet another example of the completion backwards principle.

  11. Carson on October 15th, 2007 1:19 pm

    2 (2metz123) – I’m not sure how unreasonable that is, as a buisness move. Besides, look how many Boston and NY fans go to those games. Nothing wrong with us profiting from their fans. People are ging to go to those games regardless. It will make up for the small Kansas City and Tampa Bay crowds.

    6 (davepaisley) – Like we needed more reason? As soon as McLaren was retained, I pulled back. I almost fell for the “buy 08 season tickets and get in 07 post season priority!” line, too. I might have even considered cutting my losses on the $500 deposit anyway…

    Can’t wait for next year..

  12. Spanky on October 15th, 2007 1:23 pm

    I guess we would have a difference of opinion on replacement level then Dave. I just don’t think the level of pitching is quite as good as you do. From what I’ve seen, the Triple-A flotsam you mentioned seemed to have a lot more trouble being consistent, were consistently having control problems, and had a tendency to not miss bats and give up the gopher ball too much.

    I think Pineiro is a step above that. He seems to have his control down. He was able to miss a few bats, and he got a few wins for the Cardinal. I know he didn’t do that for the M’s in the end…but maybe a few innings “off” and some different coaches have helped him be a little better.

    I’ll just point out that for most of last season, he would have been a #3 for the Mariners. I think he’s good enough (ESPECIALLY IN THE NL) to be a consistent #4 in a rotation.

    Please, where are all these replacement level guys hiding and can somebody point them out to Bavasi!!!

  13. Matthew Carruth on October 15th, 2007 1:29 pm

    Spanky, so you’re going to ignore 2005, 2006 and his 2007 numbers in Boston in favor of 64 innings of work in the worst division in baseball?

    Joel Pineiro does not “have his control down”, he had a flukey 11 start run. Everyone has them.

    And if you’re hung up on his StL ERA, check out his LOB% (79.6%) compared to his career norm (well under 70%). Even if you want to argue that he’s improved, his LOB% shouldn’t be more than a point or two above 70% (league norm). Crack his LOB% down 10 points and his ERA balloons closer to 5.

  14. Dave on October 15th, 2007 1:31 pm

    You underestimate replacement level pitching. Read this.

    Also, as Matthew points out, you’re overestimating Pineiro. He’s not any better than a dozen Triple-A pitchers who will be had for nothing this winter.

  15. msb on October 15th, 2007 1:31 pm

    the subject line reminds me that Jim Street is entertaining himself during the offseason by promoting various coaching candidates …

  16. JI on October 15th, 2007 1:42 pm

    As a Cardinal fan I can only hope for one thing:

    Antonelli in ’08

  17. Carson on October 15th, 2007 1:42 pm

    I’m on board with Matthew. This is the very problem that plagues so many fans. Small sample sizes used as some sort of proof, and thinking one stretch of decent performance should be rewarded.

    Same thing goes for Jose Guillen. We picked up a piece from the pile, and got lucky at a reasonable price. Re-signing him now to a long term high dollar deal would be ignorant.

    If nothing else, we’ll all get a good chuckle sometime around memorial day when he is Jeff Weavering the place up, and the Cardinals are scratching their heads.

  18. Carson on October 15th, 2007 1:43 pm

    Antonelli in 08?

    Deal.

    As long as we get Antonetti.

  19. Dave on October 15th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Guillen and Pineiro aren’t even close to comparable.

  20. Colm on October 15th, 2007 1:48 pm

    I agree with that. Guillen is not only better than replacement level, he’s significanlty better than average. However I still fear that the M’s brain trust is shaping up to offer him a Carlos Lee type deal.

  21. Dave on October 15th, 2007 1:50 pm

    Carlos Lee got 6/100. Guillen’s not getting anything like that.

  22. Carson on October 15th, 2007 1:50 pm

    Indeed they aren’t. But like Pineiro with the Cards, the M’s got themselves a decent short term deal in Guillen. No need to run out and hand the guy a barrel of cash. There are more scraps to be had for cheap.

    ..or, you could just develop talent instead of trading for/acquiring veterans. I don’t want to ask for too much at once, though.

  23. Dave on October 15th, 2007 1:51 pm

    Jose Guillen is not scraps. That the Mariners were able to acquire him while he was undervalued by the rest of the league does not make him inherently less valuable than he is.

  24. gwangung on October 15th, 2007 1:59 pm

    Jose Guillen is not scraps. That the Mariners were able to acquire him while he was undervalued by the rest of the league does not make him inherently less valuable than he is.

    His offensive production is quite reasonable for an outfielder (defensive, less so). I don’t think anybody was unhappy about his production, particularly at the salary he got.

    The only question is how much would it cost to retain it. At $7M a year for three, no one’s going to complain. At $12M for three, no one’s going to buy.

    Some people are happy to get him at $9-10M/3 years. That’s not an unreasonable position to take, particularly given what’s available in free agency or trade. Some aren’t happy at that price, and that’s not an unreasonable position to take, either.

  25. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 2:24 pm

    Ordinarily I’d be on board with saying this is stupid- but Dave Duncan’s track record is strong enough at improving guys who look like total rejects that I would say it’s not TOTALLY insane. I would also assume he was consulted before the contract was extended.

    Really, from Dave Stewart to Chris Carpenter, he has a pretty strong record of taking guys off the MLB garbage heap and turning them into OK, solid starters or better. You’ll also notice their disdain at retaining Jason Marquis, Matt Morris, Sidney Ponson and Jeff Suppan, so it’s not like they are irrationally attached to “eh” veterans. I would guess that Duncan saw something he can work with. He might well be wrong, and he doesn’t get it right all the time, but the track record is enough that I’d be reluctant to completely dismiss it.

    One might also notice that Joel’s xFIP for his 10 game stint was 4.10- because while his strand rate was artificially high, so was his HR rate.

  26. Dash on October 15th, 2007 2:25 pm

    Wow! Are teams actively trying to lose the NL Central before the season starts.

    The Cards lose Jocketty(sp) and probably LaRussa, than keep Joel.

    Reds hire Baker.

    Astros hire Ed Wade and already have no farm system.

    The Brewers haven’t done anything bad yet.

    And the Pirates may have actually made a couple of decent hires. (and I can’t believe I typed that).

  27. Colm on October 15th, 2007 2:28 pm

    Okay, that was hyperbole. (My God what a terrible contract that is; I’d forgotten it was so bad.) I was thinking more of Gary Matthews numbers.

    But honestly, this is a management team that:
    1. Overvalues veterans
    2. Pays no attention to defence
    3. Considers its offers to players in a vacuum – i.e. refuses to consider whether or not another team might make a higher offer, but instead arrives at it’s own valuation and sticks to that.

    No matter that no other team in baseball is planning to headhunt Jose Guillen on a four year/$50M contract; Bavasi and co might convince themselves that he’s a steal at that price.

    I hope, Dave, you have heard lower rumours.

  28. Evan on October 15th, 2007 2:29 pm

    That might make the Pirates and Brewers favourite going forward.

    It’s divisions like the NL Central that make people hate the 3 division format. We’re 2 seasons away from seeing 79 wins advance to the post-season.

  29. Evan on October 15th, 2007 2:30 pm

    I’d be happy giving Guillen the same contract Eric Byrnes got, but I wouldn’t go much higher than that. Maybe an extra million/season.

  30. Dave on October 15th, 2007 2:34 pm

    If Dave Duncan is why Joel Pineiro pitched better, than you don’t pay to keep Joel Pineiro around – you pay to keep Dave Duncan around.

    That point aside, I’m still going with sample size fluke.

  31. Jim Thomsen on October 15th, 2007 2:43 pm

    Okay, I’m as numbers-dumb as anyone else here, but even I see that Pineiro’s clearly not worth more than $ million a year in this market:

    1. Pineiro isn’t a kid any longer … he’s 29.

    2. His FIP-ERA in Boston (4.67) was higher than his ERA in St. Louis (4.87).

    3. Eleven home runs in 63 innings? No, thank you.

    4. His LOB percentage the last three years before St. Louis was between 63 and 70 percent in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In St. Louis, it was 79.6 percent. In other words, he stranded far more baserunners than he usually does in that 63-inning stretch. As Dave has pointed out often, it’s not a repeatable skill — and thus, proof that his 3.96 ERA was the product of insane good luck.

    4. THT’s Marcels weighted-regression stats sees Pineiro as having had a 7-10 record with 5.46 ERA last year. If that isn’t a Cha Seung Baek statline, I dunno what is.

  32. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 2:43 pm

    If Dave Duncan is why Joel Pineiro pitched better, than you don’t pay to keep Joel Pineiro around – you pay to keep Dave Duncan around.

    And tell him “your job is to fix the broken players I give you, not to suggest who we should keep”?

    I suppose that’s reasonable in the Moneyball/Beane-centric view of the world- managers push buttons on in-game decisions, pitching coaches work with whoever they get on splitters, GMs make the roster decisions, and the manager and pitching coach can either take it like a man or go work somewhere else. Might not work with old school guys like LaRussa and Duncan, though. Is it worth giving them voices in player personnel decisions?

  33. Jim Thomsen on October 15th, 2007 2:44 pm

    Ooops, I meant to say “$2 million” a year.

  34. scott19 on October 15th, 2007 2:45 pm

    Geez, the way that division’s going, Lou’s boys on ‘Da North Side’ are gonna look like a friggin’ powerhouse if they win 85 games next year!

  35. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 2:54 pm

    Pineiro isn’t a kid any longer … he’s 29.

    Go look at Dave Stewart and Chris Carpenter’s careers through age 29. Does ANYTHING about them suggest they’d finish high up in the Cy Young voting after age 29?

    Look, this could be a totally stupid signing. Fully accept that. And to be blunt, Stewart and Carpenter were much more trash-heap cheap pickups than Pineiro was. I just wouldn’t discount the sudden spike in Pineiro’s BB/K ratios and some of his advanced pitching stats as insignificant, based on who his pitching coach is, that’s all- there have been way too many “flukes” in Dave Duncan’s career for them ALL to be flukes- so it might not be completely dumb.

    OTOH, maybe Duncan wasn’t consulted, and he could do magic tricks with Cha Baek or whatever guy the Cardinals could pick up as a 6 year minor league veteran. Who knows.

  36. Dave on October 15th, 2007 2:56 pm

    There wasn’t a spike in his K rate – he basically cut his walk rate in half while giving up a ton of home runs. There’s no real reason to think he’s a 2.0 BB/G guy now, which drove his entire xFIP improvement.

  37. thefin190 on October 15th, 2007 2:58 pm

    [Pineiro]

  38. Jim Thomsen on October 15th, 2007 3:02 pm

    #35: Who gambles $13 million on “who knows”? You only do that if you feel reasonably assured of a sustainable level of acceptable performance.

  39. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 3:07 pm

    There’s no real reason to think he’s a 2.0 BB/G guy now, which drove his entire xFIP improvement.

    Well, there was probably no real reason to think other guys you could point to under Dave Duncan were going to improve their performance, either- they had nice, long, established resumes that pointed to a particular talent level and then their performance spiked dramatically.

    But I’ll concede that one of Tampa Bay’s starters would have been the more cost-efficient investment…

  40. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 3:10 pm

    You only do that if you feel reasonably assured of a sustainable level of acceptable performance.

    So if you ask Dave Duncan “So, we’re thinking about 2/13 for Pineiro- what’s your take?” and he says “Sure”, does that count? Or do you strictly rely on the stats and not bother consulting him, and figure you can give him any broken down dude to try and turn into a competent starter?

    But this is speculation. Maybe Dave Duncan’s as surprised as anyone is at who’s being signed.

  41. stevie_j13 on October 15th, 2007 3:13 pm

    I don’t… it doesn’t… how could… WHAT? Pineiro?

    This actually makes me a little sad. Pitchers who have a good couple of early years and then get hurt will make very little in the pros, but someone who can maintain a certain level of mediocrity can live off of one idiotic contract for the rest of his life. What if Kazmir had blown out his elbow in September? Where would he be? He made $430,000 last year. I understand that this is the nature of the business, but that doesn’t mean I can’t cry just a little.

  42. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 3:15 pm

    Pitchers who have a good couple of early years and then get hurt

    Um, that basically describes… Joel Pineiro. He was pretty good from 2001-2003.

  43. Dave on October 15th, 2007 3:18 pm

    Well, there was probably no real reason to think other guys you could point to under Dave Duncan were going to improve their performance, either- they had nice, long, established resumes that pointed to a particular talent level and then their performance spiked dramatically.

    Carpenter was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball coming up through Toronto’s system, had three successful seasons with the Blue Jays, then got hurt. Did Duncan help him? Maybe. But he wasn’t anything like Pineiro, and his ’04 was ridiculously better than Pineiro’s ’07 season.

    It’s just not a good comparison.

  44. eponymous coward on October 15th, 2007 3:26 pm

    Carpenter was one of the best pitching prospects in baseball coming up through Toronto’s system, had three successful seasons with the Blue Jays, then got hurt.

    Pineiro had three successful years with the M’s (without being anywhere near as highly touted in the minors, but flashing stuff that hit 96 at times), got hurt and then… yeah, well, we know that story.

    But it’s entirely fair to point out that Duncan hasn’t been magic fairy dust for Sidney Ponson or Kip Wells, I suppose- and I’ll grant that Pineiro is much more likely to turn out to be comparable to them than even a competent starter, given the advanced stats.

  45. stevie_j13 on October 15th, 2007 3:40 pm

    Pineiro isn’t getting paid for 2001-2003, but for the back-end of 2007. If he had gotten hurt at the end of 2003, and made nothing afterwards, then that would have been terrible, too. The only reason he’s making money is because he is still healthy and is now a veteran who didn’t implode when given a third opportunity.

  46. Mike Snow on October 15th, 2007 3:45 pm

    I thought Carpenter was supposed to be the favorite comparison for supporters of Gil Meche, not Pineiro.

  47. Pete on October 15th, 2007 4:23 pm

    Speaking of stupidity… isn’t it hard to watch Asdrubal Cabrera fly around at second base in the ALCS?

  48. Matthew Carruth on October 15th, 2007 4:29 pm

    47,

    no, because I can just remind myself that he’s putting up a .200/.250/.320 line in the postseason so far.

  49. Carson on October 15th, 2007 5:15 pm

    Dave, I thought the “scrap pile” thing sounded like something that had been covered. See: http://ussmariner.com/guillens-extension-no-thanks/

    I’m thinking more like Derek on that one. I just don’t think we can expect Guillen’s performance this year to be repeated for three more years. If he stays healthy? Maybe. That is my biggest concern, not the whole “clubhouse cancer” stuff others worry about with him. He’s a better fot than Wlad (should he even stick around..) next year, but after that? I’m not sold.

  50. terry on October 15th, 2007 6:15 pm

    47,

    no, because I can just remind myself that he’s putting up a .200/.250/.320 line in the postseason so far.

    Not anymore, he’s not…

  51. Matthew Carruth on October 15th, 2007 6:26 pm

    So I went into my 07 DB and pulled out Pineiro’s pitches and sepreated them before and after the trade.

    I think we’ve pretty well established that Pineiro’s nice ERA in StL is the result of 2 things:
    1. LOB% of 79.6%.
    2. Cut his walk rate in half, down to 1.22% of BF.

    Is anyone going to argue that point 1 is anything but a total fluke? His career norm is under 70% and it’s very close to a non-repeatable skill (you have to regress it like 90% and the other 10% basically comes from a pitcher’s K rate, which for Joel, sucks).

    So really, the theory that Joel Pineiro made *any* sort of improvement in St. Louis rests on his reduced walk rate right?

    *Pitches called a ball*
    Joel Pineiro in Boston: 35.04%
    Joel Pineiro in St.Louis: 35.87%

    Guess what that likely means for his walk rate going forward?

  52. JI on October 15th, 2007 7:46 pm

    How many decades before St. Louis is competitive again?

  53. joser on October 15th, 2007 8:17 pm

    Who cares, this generation got their ring. There’s several other teams just in the NL Central who deserve their turns.

  54. galaxieboi on October 16th, 2007 9:33 am

    The way the NL Central has been playing the last several years I’m not sure any of them ‘deserve’ anything.

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