Sorry for the late post, had some personal matters that needed attending and I'll be pretty quick today. Besides, it's Super Bowl Sunday, not a lot of baseball news going on today. An ex-Cardinal was voted into the Hall of Fame yesterday, albeit not a baseball Cardinal.
lboros reference this already in a diary, but I'd hit on this point recently driven home by Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, a Baseball Prospectus if you will of the football world, on how the 2006 Colts could be the new 2006 Cardinals.
15 of the last 17 Super Bowls have been won by a team that ranked either first or second in Pythagorean wins. The Bears were second this year, with 12.4 Pythagorean wins. The Colts were ninth, with 9.6 Pythagorean wins. If the Colts win the Super Bowl, they will become the first Super Bowl champion to ever have a Pythagorean winning percentage below .600 (albeit by a tiny margin).
Of course, just because something is improbable does not mean it is impossible. In fact, not only is this not impossible, it already happened just four months ago.
The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series with just 82 Pythagorean wins. They had the second-lowest Pythagorean winning percentage of any World Series champion in baseball history. Like the Colts, they were coming off two great seasons where they failed to go all the way. Like the Colts, they are led by a superstar who is probably one of the greatest players in his sport's history. Like the Colts, their defense (pitching) fell apart during the regular season, and they looked weak entering the playoffs. Like the Colts, their defense dramatically improved during the post season, once again making them the formidable team they had been in 2004 and 2005. Like the Colts hope to do, they took home a title that they "deserved" more in previous seasons.
I'm not a huge football fan these days, I still consider the Rams my team though I only see them play maybe three times a year. But knowing that 'almost' feeling that the fans of Indy have experienced, I can feel their pain and know how good it feels for that pain to be relieved. Go Colts.
Ok, back to baseball a little. Jayson Stark is reporting that the Cardinals, Nats and Astros are in the running for Steve Trachsel. I'm not excited about that, not just because there are other in-house options, but because he's not called the Human Rain Delay for nothing. Here's a few of his various projections-
Bill James Handbook: 9 wins, 9 losses, 29 starts, 4.34 ERA, 164 innings pitched, 169 hits, 22 home runs, 61 walks, 96 K's
Chone Smith: 5.14 ERA, 140 innings, 159 hits, 21 HR, 62 BB, 67 K's
Marcel: 10 wins, 9 losses, 4.93 ERA, 146 innings, 160 hits, 20 homers, 64 BB, 83 K
ZiPS 10 wins, 12 losses, 4.77 ERA, 29 starts, 166 innings, 176 hits, 21 homers, 74 BB, 80 K.
Not horrid for a 5th starter, not particularly inspiring either. I have fond memories of Trachsel getting hammered, from Mark McGwire's 62nd home run to Jeff Suppan taking him deep in Game 3 of this past NLCS. I'd like to keep those fond memories as untainted as possible. At this point, I don't see how he's much better then Ryan Franklin, and I prefer to watch a baseball game in less then 5 hours.