Wrapping Up The Silva Thing

Dave · July 9, 2008 at 11:25 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Last post on this, I promise. But, since Geoff responded, I might as well set the record straight. After Jeff and I both pointed out last night that the whole mechanical change thing didn’t cause Silva’s sinker to drop any more than it did in his last start, he had this to say:

As for whether or not Silva is spinning yarns about his sinker, first off, the effectiveness of a sinker won’t always correalate to how much it drops.

Now, keep in mind, this is what he wrote last night.

Silva has been working all year to figure out why his sinker isn’t working the way he’d like. It isn’t sinking much. That’s a big reason why he needed 100 pitches to get through five innings against the Tigers last Thursday.

Or, if you want a summation of how this conversation went:

Baker: Silva’s sinker hasn’t been sinking, and that’s why he’s been getting torched. But he fixed that, and look at how awesome he is now.

Dave/Jeff: Actually, his sinker didn’t sink any more last night than it did against Detroit.

Baker: Uhh, I didn’t mean the mechanical change helped give him more sink (even though that’s what I wrote), I meant it gave him better command.

Dave/Jeff: Yeah, okay, whatever.

I’m not going to argue against a moving target. If he wants to change his argument because we discredited his first one, that’s fine – his new one isn’t any better, but I’ll let you guys all see right through that one and leave it alone.

But, he did toss out one more point that I’ll address quickly:

Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately for you, I don’t keep a list of fan favorite players (Ichiro, Beltre, Bedard, Clement, Hernandez) or whipping boys (Sexson, Vidro, Batista, Washburn, Silva). We call them like we see them here. The popular and unpopular guys are all treated the same way.

If you notice, the group that he thinks we are biased towards have something in common, as do the group that he thinks we’re biased against – Group A is full of good players, while Group B is full of disastrously awful players. We like good players who help teams win, and unlike beat writers who focus on things like clubhouse intangibles and ERA, we actually can tell which players can help teams win and which players can’t.


22 Responses to “Wrapping Up The Silva Thing”

  1. OppositeField on July 9th, 2008 11:36 am

    Annnnd that’s a wrap. I don’t understand how Geoff Baker isn’t consistently humiliated by how poorly he’s doing his job.

  2. Dave on July 9th, 2008 11:41 am

    He’s actually quite good at his job of being a beat writer. He just doesn’t have any idea how to evaluate pitching talent, and it kills every part of his analysis.

  3. bakomariner on July 9th, 2008 11:42 am

    Why would he even make those two lists? The guys on the second list are so terrible that any grade-schooler in the stands can tell you that. They get “picked on” because they suck.

    Is he that ignorant?

  4. Max Power on July 9th, 2008 11:42 am

    Geoff Baker isn’t consistently humiliated by how poorly he’s doing his job.

    I still think he’s one of the best sports writers I’ve read.

    He may be wrong just about as often as other writers, but it is refreshing that he directly engages his critics and opens himself up for criticism by hosting a blog with comments.

  5. BrianL on July 9th, 2008 11:43 am

    Baker’s a great beat writer, far better than the hack who used to be employed at the Times. All he has to do is stay away from the armchair-GM style posts.

    Remember his coverage of the winter meetings during the off-season? Fantastic stuff.

  6. Jeff Nye on July 9th, 2008 11:45 am

    I’m also pretty offended by the way he makes it sound like you (and by extension the rest of us) have some sort of personal grudge against the “whipping boys”.

    I think Jarrod Washburn is a jerk based on him throwing his teammates under the bus; but the rest of the people in that list may very well be decent enough guys who just are no longer very good baseball players.

    And it’s not some sort of personal attack every time someone points that out.

  7. bakomariner on July 9th, 2008 11:51 am

    I’ve always been a HUGE Sexson fan…don’t know why, but I love the big, power hitting, “good ol’ boy.” Buhner is my favorite player ever, by the way. I’m such a fan that I had a Sexson poster framed when he came to Seattle. (It’s been taken down; the framed “Bone” poster is still up)

    Point is that I’ve always supported Sexson and been a fan, but the fact is that he sucks now. It happens to every player.

    He’s not a “whipping boy”…he gets critized because he no longer helps the team win…

    If Baker (and I usually thinks he does a good job)doesn’t think they should be held accountable, he should be writing public interest stories and not sports.

    The good ones get applauded and the bad ones get booed…

    Simple as that…

  8. terry on July 9th, 2008 11:53 am

    Jeff Baker is a league average defender-in left field.

  9. pygmalion on July 9th, 2008 11:54 am

    Sometimes Baker gets on my nerves, and probably for the same reason he bugs other guys here, but the fact is he has improved the sports section of the Times immeasurably by actually taking the time to form independent opinions about things. Although he is a bit too quick to point this out (that’s one of those annoying points), he does indeed call ’em like he sees ’em, and he doesn’t just echo the team. When he thinks that they are foolish, he says so.

  10. Steve T on July 9th, 2008 11:55 am

    Your unconscionable bias against the masterful Batista and Silva must not pass unnoticed.

  11. pygmalion on July 9th, 2008 11:56 am

    Re: Whipping boys. The funny thing is that recently he’s been as negative on the hitters as anyone.

  12. Jack Howland on July 9th, 2008 12:01 pm

    Odd that he doesn’t mention Bedard’s name when mentioning players that they all treat equally.

  13. 88fingerslukee on July 9th, 2008 12:16 pm

    Is there any way we can stop Baker from analyzing and have him stick to reporting news?

  14. Some Dude on July 9th, 2008 12:16 pm

    Since when the hell has Bedard been on anyone’s “fan favorite” list?

  15. Malicious_Draconian on July 9th, 2008 12:54 pm

    Wow, I just read that Baker article, and he took almost everything Dave said completely out of context so he could sound smart…it is almost like he didn’t read the articles and let someone else that hates sabermetrics explain how dumb Dave’s post was…I really like how he said that Dave claimed Silva threw a splitter, and then went on to tell you that is crap…

  16. Spanky on July 9th, 2008 1:22 pm

    Dave, I’ve appreciated many things you’ve written over the past 3 or 4 years, but the last part of this post has to be one of my most favorite. It’s truly unfortunately that it involved Baker being utterly stupid. Does he think we dislike them because they can’t act in a TV commercial or something? How stupid does he think we are as fans if he thinks we base our like/dislike of a player for anything other than their performance? Has he drunk the Mariner Organization Kool-aid?

    Rather than post their names, maybe you should just list them by their stats. If we put Mr. .571…that is obviously Vidro (his OPS). You know…just now typing .571 I was just astounded that we have someone even on the team (let alone being our DH and #4 hitter) that is sporting a .571 OPS!!!

    .571…let that sink in….571!!!

    Maybe if we did that, no one (not even Baker) could write something so stupid again.

  17. bratman on July 9th, 2008 1:30 pm

    Group A is full of good players, while Group B is full of disastrously awful players

    hahaha wow – that made my morning. its a sad day in Mariner-dom where Gee-off is turning on the USSM.

  18. Mere Tantalisers on July 9th, 2008 1:50 pm

    Baker’s other counterargument – that Silva ‘got comfortable’ with the new technique or whatever in the fifth – was actually legit. It was also an absurdly small sample so we’ll see how the next start goes.

  19. Jeff Sullivan on July 9th, 2008 3:42 pm

    I don’t think we can call that legit. Sounds to me like Silva was just trying to retroactively explain away why he struggled early on.

  20. Milendriel on July 9th, 2008 4:31 pm

    This is why good hypotheses are formed a priori. And really, if a mechanical change is all it takes to go from suck to good, what excuse is there for ever sucking?

  21. smb on July 9th, 2008 4:58 pm

    Being named Jose Vidro?

  22. VaughnStreet on July 9th, 2008 5:04 pm

    This team sucks, and there’s no point analyzing much further. At least Baker provides insightful reporting. But if you want crappy analysis, he’s no better than that gawd awful detect-o-vision.

    A lot of people are losing their minds over this crappy team, and if they don’t start firing the craptastic players, and damned soon, there’s going to be blood.

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