Monday, February 1, 2010

Base Hits: Surprise Exit for Melvin (?), Payroll, Projections and Irrational Exuberance

Melvin Mora has signed with the Colorado Rockies.

What's with all the "I guess Melvin Mora is really gone" stories? Wasn't it obvious when they declined his option and gave no hint whatsoever that there was still a place for him in Baltimore? Can you imagine his grousing at having to share time with Garrett Atkins or Miguel Tejada? I don't understand why people think this marks the moment that Mora is "officially" no longer an Oriole. That day has long passed.

While we're talking about Melmo, Buster Olney uses Mora's splits to demonstrate the wrong way to use stats for analysis.

Mora had a .260 batting average in 2009, but he really enjoyed the friendly confines of Camden Yards, where he hit .314 compared to .209 on the road. The .105 difference in his home versus road batting average was tied for the second-largest among players with at least 200 at-bats each at home and on the road.

Forget for a minute that batting average is a horrible stat to use for splits over one season and forget that for his Oriole career that Mora has fairly even splits in all his offensive categories, this stat may have been relevant if he was going to a neutral or pitcher's park. He's not. He's going to a field that is even more hitter friendly than OPACY. And he's going to a weaker league. If anything, Mora will enjoy a nice rebound based on this split, not a regression because he is leaving Camden Yards.


Irrational exuberance alert! Another glowing story on the rebuilding O's from the national media, this time from Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated. I wanted to highlight one point about Baltimore's free agent signings during the MacPhail era:

The idea here is to bring aboard players who will contribute immediately at the major league level, but who won't financially hamstring the club in the long term (should their production decline), and who won't block cheaper, and potentially better, alternatives who are nearly ready in the minors.

It's a point that needs more highlighting. This is precisely what The Warehouse is using free agency for in the short term and avoiding questionable multi-year deals. And it will probably work in both the short and the long term.


duck at Camden Chat does his best to unravel the MLB revenue sharing model and finds the Orioles stuck in the middle.


With the addition of Mark Hendrickson and Miguel Tejada, here is my estimated Opening Day payroll for the 2010 Baltimore Orioles. I am assuming that Ty Wigginton is traded away and that Jeremy Guthrie wins arbitration.

Roberts, Brian$10,000,000
Millwood, Kevin$9,000,000
Markakis, Nick $7,100,000
Tejada, Miguel$6,000,000
Gonzalez, Mike$6,000,000
Uehara, Koji$5,000,000
Atkins, Garrett$4,500,000
Scott, Luke$4,050,000
Guthrie, Jeremy$3,625,000
Izturis, Cesar$2,600,000
Meredith, Cla$1,250,000
Herdrickson, Mark$1,200,000
Mora, Melvin,$1,000,000
Moeller, Chad,$900,000
Matusz, Brian$868,000
Albers, Matt$680,000
Jones, Adam$500,000
Wieters, Matt$500,000
Pie, Felix$450,000
Mickolio, Kam$450,000
Bergesen, Brad$450,000
Tillman, Chris$450,000
Aubrey, Michael$450,000
Reimold, Nolan$450,000
Andino, Robert$450,000
Johnson, Jim$450,000

Still coming in under $70 mil. It's not a bad team for the price which will be small comfort if they lose 95+ games again.


Baseball Prospectus has had to re-run their PECOTA projections due to a calculation error. The Orioles are now projected for...80 wins. My WAR spreadsheet has them pegged for 80.5 wins.

Ha! Not overly optimistic after all! Who's crazy now?

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