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Tag: dave cameron

Reality Bites

If you read USS Mariner or FanGraphs, you undoubtedly know the name Dave Cameron.  Dave is one of the founders of the USS Mariner site, and is now the full-time managing editor and operator of the FanGraphs site.  Today he posted a very sobering entry:

Here on FanGraphs, we talk a lot about probability and likely outcomes. When making a decision, we think it’s generally wise to understand historical precedent, and to learn from history rather than repeat it.

But, there are times in life that you’re not making a decision, and knowledge of the probability of outcomes just doesn’t help at all. You are just rooting for one specific result, even if you don’t have any control over whether it occurs or not.

I’m now in one of those situations. Last week, I was informed that I have Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a particularly nasty member of the cancer family. History has given my doctors all kinds of data about cure rates and life expectancy, and statistical analysis is helping them decide just what kind of chemotherapy I’ll be taking in a few hours, which I’m really thankful for.

Cameron’s outlook seems positive, as evidenced later on in the entry:

…  Save the odds for the doctors; I’m planning on living a long time. I’m planning on beating this thing. I’m planning on watching the Mariners win a game, and at this rate, that might take years. I want to be around to see it, though, and I just don’t care what the odds say is likely.

We at the Banter wish Dave well … here’s to a swift and full recovery!

Actual Facts

Over at Fangraphs, Dave Cameron has a good post about Alex Rodriguez’s time with the Rangers:

The problem is that Rodriguez more than held up his end of the bargain, and if the Rangers front office had behaved with even moderate competency, they could have put some good teams together. The blame for the failure of the 2001 to 2003 Rangers does not lie with Alex Rodiguez’s large paychecks, but instead with the total wastes of cash that they surrounded him with. You want to know why those teams failed? Look no further than Park, Gonzalez, Everett, Oliver, and Rogers. In their attempt to surround Rodriguez with talent, they brought in a never ending series of terrible players who had name value but lacked ability. It didn’t have to be that way. They had enough resources to put good players around Rodriguez – they just failed to identify which players they should actually be giving money to.

Alex Rodriguez’s first contract was far from the worst deal in baseball history. In fact, given his performance in the years after he signed the deal, Rodriguez was actually worth the money he was paid. Unfortunately, the narrative of the deal lives on, despite all the illogical hula hoops you have to jump through in order to reach the conclusion that MacPhail suggested yesterday. Don’t believe the hype; A-Rod was not the cause of the Rangers failures, and the contract they signed him to was actually a wise investment. The problem is that was the only good investment that franchise made in those three years.

While you are there, check out Cameron’s take on the news that the Twins are open to trading Francisco Liriano:

Dealing Liriano to the Yankees is likely the big question that the Twins will have to answer. If they make Liriano available, you can be sure that Brian Cashman will pick up the phone. If the Twins see 2011 as something of a consolidation year, with World Series contention more of a hope than a legitimate reality, then you can justify sending your best pitcher to a league rival if you think you’re getting the better end of the deal long term. But if the Twins think that Justin Morneau is going to be 100 percent this year and they want to make another run at a championship while they have Jim Thome and the M&M boys in their primes, then they shouldn’t be in the business of strengthening teams they will need to beat in October.

I can see the reasoning behind considering dealing Liriano now, but it would likely require the Twins to admit that 2011 is probably not their year, and that’s a tough case to make to the rest of the team right as spring training opens up. If this was a path they wanted to pursue, it probably would have made more sense to be aggressive in dealing Liriano earlier in the winter, when they might have been able to ship him to Milwaukee or Chicago, getting quality prospects in return and getting him out of the American League. Now, faced with the choice of sending him to New York or taking an offer that is likely less impressive in return than what the Yankees would put on the table, the Twins are left with two less than palatable options. At this juncture, I think the Twins are probably best served hanging onto Liriano until the summer. By then, they may have more clarity about their own chances of making a splash in the playoffs, and there might also be an NL contender willing to get in on the bidding.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver