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Thread: The Value of Defense

  1. #1
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    The Value of Defense

    I think this year will provide an excellent case study on the value of defense.
    I think by all definitions, the Reds were the best defensive team in the NL Central last year. While Rolen may be overrated by the national press, he's certainly still average to above average, while Votto, Bruce, and Stubbs were all probably underrated. Further, they are likely to see improvement from SS where Paul Janish is slated to replace Orlando Cabrera.

    The Cardinals finished 2nd in the division last year and probably needed an upgrade in a number of spots offensively and defensively. However they were a very un-Cardinal like horrid in the field last year, and this offseason they've gotten worse.
    Trading Brendan Ryan for Ryan Theriot* makes them worse at SS, trading Ryan Ludwick/John Jay for Lance Berkman likely makes them worse in RF. The offensive improvement MAY overcome this, but it's hard to argue they're going to be worse off defensively.
    * I realize they weren't traded directly for each other, but I'm using the trading term loosely throughout
    One area where they may improve is trading Jason Larue for Gerald Lair. Yadier Molina played in 136 of the team's 150 games before going on the disabled list last year. He played all 20 innings of the marathon tilt with the Mets. If the team feels more comfortable with Laird who is no slouch behind the plate, it may improve the defense from the catcher overall.

    The Brewers last year scored runs in bunches, but they couldn't pitch and they couldn't field. They believe(with good reason) that they've improved the starting rotation. However they've taken a bad fielding team, and removed the starting shortstop and the starting center fielder. It's at the least debateable whether these will improve them defensively, but I don't think Yuniesky Betancourt will strike fear in the hearts of opposing hitters.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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  3. #2
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    Trading Brendan Ryan for Ryan Theriot* makes them worse at SS, trading Ryan Ludwick/John Jay for Lance Berkman likely makes them worse in RF. The offensive improvement MAY overcome this, but it's hard to argue they're going to be worse off defensively.
    * I realize they weren't traded directly for each other, but I'm using the trading term loosely throughout
    One area where they may improve is trading Jason Larue for Gerald Lair. Yadier Molina played in 136 of the team's 150 games before going on the disabled list last year. He played all 20 innings of the marathon tilt with the Mets. If the team feels more comfortable with Laird who is no slouch behind the plate, it may improve the defense from the catcher overall.
    Putting anybody at 3B except Felipe Lopez HAS to be an upgrade at 3B.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    Putting anybody at 3B except Felipe Lopez HAS to be an upgrade at 3B.
    Yeah, the Cards should go after Pedro Feliz.

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    Putting anybody at 3B except Felipe Lopez HAS to be an upgrade at 3B.

    David Freese will be a defensive upgrade at 3B for sure.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    FWIW, fUZR had the Reds at +44.8 and the Cards at -14.2 last year -- roughly a 6 win difference. Looking solely at defense, I think we picked up another win or two with the changes.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red View Post
    I think this year will provide an excellent case study on the value of defense.
    I think you are right. 2011 will be a good case study on the importance of defense. The Cardinals emphasis this offseason has been soley on improving the offense and team chemistry without worrying about the defense. Personally, I like the Theriot trade, but I do not like the Ryan trade. I'd like to see Ryan used as a backup infielder. The Cards thought Ryan too much of a liability in the clubhouse, and his defense couldn't save him.

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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    ...The Cards thought Ryan too much of a liability in the clubhouse, and his defense couldn't save him.
    And exactly what has he has done in the clubhouse? I witnessed him being embarrassed by Chris Carpenter on television in the dugout for taking the wrong glove onto the field. Ryan reacted like a second grader who had been confronted for picking boogers. If there was a liability there, it would seem to be the confronter rather than the picker.
    "I am your child from the future. I'm sorry I didn't tell you this earlier." - Dylan Easton

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    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    And exactly what has he has done in the clubhouse? I witnessed him being embarrassed by Chris Carpenter on television in the dugout for taking the wrong glove onto the field. Ryan reacted like a second grader who had been confronted for picking boogers. If there was a liability there, it would seem to be the confronter rather than the picker.
    Nobody outside of the organization really seems to know for sure. During the season, some of the veteran players seemed annoyed with Ryan, and more has been leaking out since the season ended. The incident with Chris Carpenter is the most obvious to all of us, but it sounds like there is more to it. Brendan Ryan was/is a fan favorite. Most Cardinals fans did not like seeing Ryan traded even though most of us aren't crazy about having him be a Starter for 2011 either. Brendan Ryan is a goofball. He's a class clown. As fans, he's a lot of fun. I guess as a player trying to do your job, it could get very annoying. Kyle Lohse was the latest player that I've seen make comments about Ryan. I'll try to find the article, and i'll post it in this thread if i can find it again.

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    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense


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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Wow. St. Louis would have hated Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr., both avowed "keep it loose" guys.

    Others the Cards would have gotten rid of include: Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Satchel Paige, and Left Gomez.

    Bums, all of 'em, apparently.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    lol I liked Ryan. I would have thought that his personality would loosen up the clubhouse.

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Wow. St. Louis would have hated Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr., both avowed "keep it loose" guys.

    Others the Cards would have gotten rid of include: Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Dizzy and Daffy Dean, Satchel Paige, and Left Gomez.

    Bums, all of 'em, apparently.
    Well to be fair those guys were productive at least. When you aren't carrying your own weight you best not be happy go lucky to boot. It kind of gives off that vibe like you could be more focused which might lead to more productivity.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Well to be fair those guys were productive at least. When you aren't carrying your own weight you best not be happy go lucky to boot. It kind of gives off that vibe like you could be more focused which might lead to more productivity.
    I agree, That's a very fine line between "keeping guys loose" and "being a distraction,""not taking the craft seriously enough,""annoying little jerk."

    That Cardinals clubhouse seemed like a pretty tight group where everyone acted ultra professional. Cue Ferris Bueller's coal analogy. When you act as a class clown and your batting average drops 70 points, and the team is fighting like hell to stave off/keep up with this team from Cincinnati. Your levity may not be so appreciated.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    I think when your team is playing below what you think you're capable of playing, quirks become focal points... If the Cards had won 95 games last season, Ryan would've been a noble prize winning chemist...
    Last edited by jojo; 12-22-2010 at 07:59 PM.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I think when your team is playing below what you think you're capable of playing, quirks become focal points... If the Cards had won 95 games last season, Ryan would've been a noble prize winning chemist...
    Agreed no doubt they felt they needed better from him to topple this Big Red Machine and were peeved he didn't seem to be taking it all that seriously.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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