Tuesday Taters (2,000th Anniversary Edition)

Today's links are still in a state of mild shock after discovering that Arthur Fonzarelli is hawking reverse mortgages on TV in the middle of the night ...

  • Did the disposition of the American League pennant really hinge upon a Double-A second baseman's broken foot? Yeah, probably.

  • Repeat after me (or to be precise, Aaron Gleeman: relying on small sample sizes of batter-pitcher matchup is not sabermetrics.

  • Someday soon, FIELDf/x is going to revolutionize the game. In the mean time, we've got Craig Robinson doing things the old-fashioned way (I mean, assuming that digital cameras are old-fashioned).

  • I think this treatise on baserunning probably gives short shrift to the practicalities of the thing. But hey, if guys want to literally circle the bases, I'll be happy to watch them try.

  • Let's put one pesky rumor to bed right now: the Nolan Ryan-led Rangers are not getting more innings from their starters than they used to. Not relative to the rest of the league, anyway. Doesn't mean Ryan's not a great baseball executive. Just means we might have to dig a little deeper.

  • In response to this, Dan Rosenheck wishes to clarify why he used Ultimate Zone Rating rather than Defensive Efficiency: "I was attempting to determine who was responsible for the Giants' NL-leading .285 BABIP allowed by starters, the pitchers or the fielders. PADE tells us that the cause wasn't their stadium, but doesn't divvy up the credit. UZR does. And it says that opposing batters didn't hit an unusually high number of easily fieldable balls off the Giants' starters, but rather that the Giants' fielders did a good job." Noted.

  • A few weeks ago, we were treated to a fantastic little nerd fight, ostensibly about stories vs. statistics. I don't know if it's completely coincidental, but now The Times has weighed in, and academically, no less.

  • The Giants' left-handed batting-practice pitcher will use his "gravity ball" to simulate Cliff Lee's curveball. Which is really cute. Except I still don't understand why teams don't have pitching machines that can actually duplicate Cliff Cliff Lee's curveball (and everything else he throws). We do have the technology.