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Anyone read "Blink" yet?

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 11 2005 05:25 PM

It's Malcolm Gladwell's new book about the wisdom of making instinctive, snap judgments. I'm in the middle of it now, and it occurs to me that the ability to judge baseball talent is, in his terms, a snap judgment.

There are an almost infinite number of criteria we could apply to baseball, and they often contradict each other. What a good baseball ordanization needs to reach the top is an ability to decide to selectively over-ride their rational decision-making process and make bold, intuitive choices.

The Mets, as I read them, have been conservative and logical and, of course, consistently wrong in most of their judgments the last few years. Glavine has a good track record. Guerrero has a history of back problems. Piazza is an outstanding power hitter, and is our franchise player. All the decisions they've made, in other words, can be rationalized and defended: but what choices have the Mets made where we asked: WTF are they thinking of???? and they answered, in effect, "We know what we're doing. Wait and see," and we waited and saw and liked what we saw.

Anyway, I'd be interested if anyone's read the book and seen an application to the Mets' thinking.

86-Dreamer
Jul 13 2005 09:59 AM

I have not read the book but am interested.

My initial reaction to their pursuit of Pedro was "WTF are they thinking of?" and I have been pleased by the results.

To a much lesser extent, I also thought the same when they added marlon anderson to a roster that already included cairo, woodward, matsui & reyes. i still question a roster with 5 middle infielders, but Marlon Anderson has not been the problem.

Yancy Street Gang
Jul 13 2005 10:05 AM

I'd have to say that if it turns out that the Zambrano deal turns out to be a success, we'd have the ultimate example of the WTF deal that works out.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 13 2005 10:17 AM

(the Zambrano deal is working out.. Shhh...)

Yancy Street Gang
Jul 13 2005 10:23 AM

I think so, too. But it can still turn around on us. It may be years before we have a final verdict.

ScarletKnight41
Jul 13 2005 10:25 AM

Will you guys stop whispering?

metirish
Jul 13 2005 10:39 AM

Adam Rubin thinks the Zambrano deal is working, in his mid-season report card he gave Zam a B+...

Victor Zambrano: B+
At 4-7 with a 3.58 ERA while Scott Kazmir is 3-7, 4.59.



http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/327514p-279950c.html

Rotblatt
Jul 13 2005 11:18 AM

Y'all make me crazy. Did signing Glavine look like a good idea last year because he had 2.16 ERA going into July?

Zambrano had a nice June & is having a nice July so far (after a terrible April and a mediocre May) but he's still not striking people out and he's still allowing too many baserunners.

Kazmir, meanwhile, is also allowing too many baserunners, but he's striking out about a batter and a half more per nine innings, AND he's 8 years younger and a couple million dollars cheaper.

Of course, if by "The Zambrano deal is working out" you mean "Zambrano's not completely useless," then I agree with you, but if you mean it was worth sending Kazmir to Tampa for Zambrano, then I (still) flat out think you're crazy.

If Kazmir's arm falls off and Zambrano is in the running for a Cy Young next year due to his help in pitching us to the pennant, feel free to put a big fat target on me and swing away.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 13 2005 11:19 AM

It's working out only if you're viewing it through blue-and-orange lenses.

As I hasten to remind you (and keep hastening, though you're all bright enough to remember this point for longer than a day or so) the premise of the Zambrano deal was that Kazmir wouldn't be pitching in the majors until next season.

To date, Victor Innameonly is pitching a little better than Kazmir, but of course he costs a lot more than Kazmir, too. I don't doubt that for the difference between their salaries, we could easily have signed another pitcher who, with Kazmir, would be far more valuable than Innameonly.

Then you've got the age factor. If Kazmir blows out his arm, as Peterson promised he would, then Innameonly wins by default. But if he doesn't, then he's got a lot of years to compound advantages over Innameonly. This will be settled definitively only when Kazmir's arm blows off, as promised, or when his career is over otherwise, which could be as late as 2026.

But to outpitch Kazmir by a small margin, and to claim this as a victory, is absurdly premature. The Mets would reverse this deal in a second, if they could--the only reasons they're not is 1) public humiliation and 2) Tampa is laughing too hard to sign a contract.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 13 2005 11:22 AM

Please notify me if you're going to say exactly what I'm composing again. Thanks

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 13 2005 11:26 AM

Rotblatt wrote:

If Kazmir's arm falls off and Zambrano is in the running for a Cy Young next year due to his help in pitching us to the pennant, feel free to put a big fat target on me and swing away.


Sure, as long as you're reasonable I got no problem.

MFS62
Jul 13 2005 11:29 AM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
Please notify me if you're going to say exactly what I'm composing again. Thanks

Bret, If I had the power to read minds, I wouldn't be here. I'd be in Las Vegas playing high stakes poker.

But if I ever get a vibe that I am about to post something that you were in the midst of, I'll certainly let you know. :)

Later

Frayed Knot
Jul 13 2005 11:35 AM

]If Kazmir blows out his arm, as Peterson promised he would


Peterson said no such thing.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 13 2005 11:49 AM

Frayed Knot wrote:
]If Kazmir blows out his arm, as Peterson promised he would


Peterson said no such thing.


And we have always been at war with Eurasia.

MFS62
Jul 13 2005 12:02 PM

Y'mean we're allies with Eastasia again?

Later

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 13 2005 12:23 PM

Actually, instead of getting into a whole "didn't/did" war over what Peterson said about Kazmir blowing out his arm, let me put it in the form of a mock poll:

If Kazmir were to dravecky his pitching arm this afternoon, how fast would Peterson be claiming credit for predicting it?

1) under 1 second
2) he would express grave concerns for Kazmir's health, but 'unnamed sources' within the Mets organization would be marvelling at Peterson's prescience for months, and producing reams of evidence to support when, where, how, and to whom he predicted this event
3) He wouldn't say anything, the smug bastard

MFS62
Jul 13 2005 12:33 PM

Bret, I'm tending toward #3.
If it were a case of 1 or 2, that would mean he would be talking to a reporter (to make his views public). And he might be afraid he then would be asked the follow- up question:
"Oh, so you were the person who told the Mets to trade Kasmir. Why have you been denying it until now?"

Later

Rotblatt
Jul 13 2005 01:20 PM

]Please notify me if you're going to say exactly what I'm composing again. Thanks


Will do, Bret!

]Sure, as long as you're reasonable I got no problem.


Well, if any one of those things happens, you can paint a smallish target on me and you get like five good swings, then have to stop. Unlimited swinging and a big target is if you hit the trifecta.