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Moneyball

September 21, 2011
by

Isn’t Brad Pitt dreamy? No, that’s not what this post is about, and, in case you care, I don’t think he’s terribly dreamy.

What this post is about is that I am listening to the Yankees-Rays game this afternoon. A game that is critical to the Tampa Bay Rays’ slim but real hopes of catching the Red Sox for the AL wild card spot. In the top of the 8th, with a narrow 2-1 lead and one or more men on base, the Rays put up a guy named Reid Brignac to bat. Before today, Reid Brignac had come to the plate 245 times. He got 44 hits in those chances, for a .190 average. One of those hits was a home run. None were triples. Four were doubles. He also walked 10 times, giving him an OBP of .227. Add in his slugging percentage, and you get an OPS of… .448. Using advanced Moneybally metrics, that translates to an OPS+ of 29.

So getting back to this afternoon, with their season possibly on the line, the Rays voluntarily sent up to the plate one of the worst Major League hitters in history. I know they have a minuscule payroll compared to the Yankees and Red Sox, I know they’re the scrappy upstart, etc., etc. But there isn’t any rational explanation for having a guy like this on your team at all, not to mention up in a critical spot in late September. They deserve whatever they get.

Oh, and as I was typing this the Rays just lost and the Yankees clinched a playoff spot.

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