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Don't be fooled: Deals weren't strong enough

 

DAN LE BATARD

 

dlebatard@herald.com

 

 

Blockbuster?

 

This trade wasn't a blockbuster.

 

Shaq is blockbuster.

 

Guillermo Mota, not blockbuster.

 

Semantics aside, the Marlins don't appear to be appreciably better today than they were before sending their first baseman and one of their best starting pitchers to the other side of the country.

 

In trading Brad Penny and hurting their starting rotation, the Marlins appear to have weakened their strength more than they strengthened their weaknesses.

 

Paul Lo Duca and Hee Seop Choi essentially are the same bat, so you have a push there. But by also taking on the burden of out-making machine Juan Encarnaci?n, the Marlins have actually made their flimsy lineup worse. Choi and Lo Duca cancel each other out, while Encarnaci?n is busy making enough outs for both of them.

 

So there was a lot of movement and noise with the recent trades, but all the Marlins have done is improve their chances when pitching in the eighth inning. In other words, what they've done is not enough.

 

MEDIOCRE PLAYERS

 

Mota exempted, a mediocre team brought in a bunch of mediocre players -- or, in the case of Encarnaci?n, a below-mediocre one (and an expensive one to boot) -- and that promises yet more mediocrity for your defending world champions over the last 58 games.

 

Marlins management did everything right at this point last season, beating the Phillies as much in the front office as they did on the field. But replacing Penny with Ismael Valdez (owner of an ERA over 5.50 three of the past four years) even as you upgrade at catcher and set-up reliever is like losing 20 percent of vision in one eye to add 20 percent to the other. At the end of the transaction, you still look the same.

 

These aren't bad trades. They just aren't good ones. They leave the Marlins with different names on the back of uniforms but in the same position in the standings.

 

(Attention, readers. Every word in this column must be read knowing that a certain sports writer who looks a lot like the one pictured with this column, only not quite as handsome, referred last year to the Pudge Rodriguez signing as putting ''breast implants on a corpse.'' So you can now expect Valdez, Encarnaci?n and Rudy Seanez to be holding up the World Series trophy at year's end.)

 

THE WALKER FACTOR

 

It would have been a lot more exciting, and helpful, if Admin Walker had come with these trades, because it would have represented a substantive lineup upgrade for an offense in need of some Levitra.

 

Getting Walker and replacing Encarnaci?n -- now that would have been worth cheering. As it is, though, all the Marlins did before the nonwaiver trade deadline was trade two of their most underrated players and a good prospect for players who aren't going to help them catch the Braves.

 

There is a substantive gulf between baseball's old-school and new-school thinking, a tension between the grizzled scouts who believe what they see and the mathematical whiz kids using hard data to prove or disprove what they see while running teams in Oakland, Boston, Toronto and Los Angeles.

 

And what the Marlins just did, while being lauded by the mainstream media, is being eviscerated by the mathematicians who think this game more than play it.

 

The Marlins got taken by the Dodgers, in their words. Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta is a disciple of Oakland general manager Billy Beane, baseball's smartest man. And DePodesta, according to the math dorks, used Beane's principles to steal two very underrated Marlins pieces -- a young power pitcher who could have been the World Series MVP last season and a first baseman who was a lot better than people in South Florida realized.

 

BENEFIT OF DOUBT

 

Yes, yes, the Marlins should earn some benefit of the doubt here. Their management team won the last World Series, and that ought to buy you some faith. So maybe it knows something the math dorks don't. That's why you can't say with certainty how this will play out until you've seen it play out.

 

The good news: Baseball Prospectus, a very smart publication, ranks Mota higher than Eric Gagn? this season. And Florida's atrocious bullpen needed him.

 

But, without making you pull out a calculator, here is the bottom-line bad news:

 

Choi's on-base and slugging percentage made him Florida's third-best hitter. Encarnaci?n, meanwhile, makes outs more often than all but four other players in the majors. So while the Marlins have made themselves better at catcher, they've done so while making themselves weaker at first base and in right field, improving one lineup spot while weakening two others in order to acquire a guy who will be better at getting them to sore-elbowed Armando Benitez with a lead they are less likely to have.

My goodness, you idiot, trades for Shaq,etc; happen once every 5 years. This was no little girly trade. And he makes it seem like Enc was the main point of the trade. Silly Dan.

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I read that this morning too *shakes head* I see no real point behind it. Managers, fans, espn people you name it say that Beinfest is a genius while just some writer doesn't like the trades. Big deal, what does he know? It's his job to stir up thinking and trouble :thumbdown

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I read that this morning too *shakes head* I see no real point behind it. Managers, fans, espn people you name it say that Beinfest is a genius while just some writer doesn't like the trades. Big deal, what does he know? It's his job to stir up thinking and trouble :thumbdown

489845[/snapback]

He should go cover Dolphins' training camp.

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I read that this morning too *shakes head* I see no real point behind it. Managers, fans, espn people you name it say that Beinfest is a genius while just some writer doesn't like the trades. Big deal, what does he know? It's his job to stir up thinking and trouble? :thumbdown

489845[/snapback]

He should go cover Dolphins' training camp.

489851[/snapback]

LOL sounds good :thumbup

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I wrote Beinfest an email

 

Titled- Wow stupid article

 

 

Dan,

 

Sir, you are an idiot. How can you say the Marlin's trades do not improve themselves? LoDuca and Choi cancel out? Are you joking? Choi will never be a 2-time all-star or leader the way Paul is. Admin Beinfest is one of the best GMs in baseball. He got Willis for Clement. He traded Cliff Floyd for Carl Pavano. ESPN, cbssportsline, and all the other major sports networks loved what the Marlins did! Are you just playing the devil's advocate or are you that stupid? Marlin fans are sick of hearing your BS articles. There is a reason you only work for a newspaper and not a major sports outlet- because you just don't understand. Marlins have 2 rings in 7 years!!! Second best in baseball and you still run them down. Here's to 3, you clown!

 

Jon

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I wrote Beinfest an email

 

Titled- Wow stupid article

 

 

Dan,

 

Sir, you are an idiot. How can you say the Marlin's trades do not improve themselves? LoDuca and Choi cancel out? Are you joking? Choi will never be a 2-time all-star or leader the way Paul is. Admin Beinfest is one of the best GMs in baseball. He got Willis for Clement. He traded Cliff Floyd for Carl Pavano. ESPN, cbssportsline, and all the other major sports networks loved what the Marlins did! Are you just playing the devil's advocate or are you that stupid? Marlin fans are sick of hearing your BS articles. There is a reason you only work for a newspaper and not a major sports outlet- because you just don't understand. Marlins have 2 rings in 7 years!!! Second best in baseball and you still run them down. Here's to 3, you clown!

 

Jon

489854[/snapback]

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I wrote Beinfest an email

 

Titled- Wow stupid article

 

 

Dan,

 

Sir, you are an idiot. How can you say the Marlin's trades do not improve themselves? LoDuca and Choi cancel out? Are you joking? Choi will never be a 2-time all-star or leader the way Paul is. Admin Beinfest is one of the best GMs in baseball. He got Willis for Clement. He traded Cliff Floyd for Carl Pavano. ESPN, cbssportsline, and all the other major sports networks loved what the Marlins did! Are you just playing the devil's advocate or are you that stupid? Marlin fans are sick of hearing your BS articles. There is a reason you only work for a newspaper and not a major sports outlet- because you just don't understand. Marlins have 2 rings in 7 years!!! Second best in baseball and you still run them down. Here's to 3, you clown!

 

Jon

489854[/snapback]

 

*claps* Woohooo nice move! :notworthy Beautiful :)

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I wrote Beinfest an email

 

Titled- Wow stupid article

 

 

Dan,

 

Sir, you are an idiot. How can you say the Marlin's trades do not improve themselves? LoDuca and Choi cancel out? Are you joking? Choi will never be a 2-time all-star or leader the way Paul is. Admin Beinfest is one of the best GMs in baseball. He got Willis for Clement. He traded Cliff Floyd for Carl Pavano. ESPN, cbssportsline, and all the other major sports networks loved what the Marlins did! Are you just playing the devil's advocate or are you that stupid? Marlin fans are sick of hearing your BS articles. There is a reason you only work for a newspaper and not a major sports outlet- because you just don't understand. Marlins have 2 rings in 7 years!!! Second best in baseball and you still run them down. Here's to 3, you clown!

 

Jon

489854[/snapback]

 

 

 

wow...just WOW... :notworthy :notworthy

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LeBatard is exactly right. We gave up our strength for very little. We are barely more balanced, and now we are not outstanding enough in starting pitcher to win in the playoffs. But it doesn't matter because these deals cost us any chance of getting there anyway. I am not a big fan of either LeBatard or Berardino, but both of them with these two articles are exactly correct.

 

 

There is a major difference between the deals we made last year at the deadline and the deals we made this year. Last year we supplemented. We did not give up anything that was on the current team. Therefore, our major league team could only get better. No matter how many prospects Beinfest traded, we would not (and still have not) felt the effects for at least 2 years. You can complain about mortgaging the future, but the current team definitely got better in present after the deal was made.

 

This year we broke up the current major league team to get players. We traded players that currently had a significant impact on our team. Therefore, we are not guaranteed to get better in the present. In fact, we didn't get that much better. This team was weakened NOW in many areas. We did not supplement; we rearranged.

 

So last year, there was little risk in the moves that Beinfest made. Almost any GM with a team close to making the playoffs would be foolish not to do that. But this weakened our current team.

 

LeBatard is saying that the Dodgers got the frontline starter they can use for the next ten years, and that we gave up that starter, which was the reason we won last year, for two mediocre rentals and a below-average Encarnacion. Why is he idiot for saying that? He has the numbers and logic to back it up. So where exactly is he inaccurate?

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Choi's on-base and slugging percentage made him Florida's third-best hitter. Encarnaci?n, meanwhile, makes outs more often than all but four other players in the majors.

 

Just WOW

 

Anyways its his opinion which is shared by others on the boards too.

 

Just because you dont agree with him doesnt make it a bad article.

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"Paul Lo Duca and Hee Seop Choi essentially are the same bat"

 

Lay off the crack buddy choi was hitting i think in the 260 range...loduca is a LIFETIME 300 hitter! wow this might be the dumbest thing i have ever seen on here...

489905[/snapback]

yeah because BA is the only thing that matters as a hitter. :plain

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"Paul Lo Duca and Hee Seop Choi essentially are the same bat"

 

Lay off the crack buddy choi was hitting i think in the 260 range...loduca is a LIFETIME 300 hitter! wow this might be the dumbest thing i have ever seen on here...

489905[/snapback]

 

There's more to hitteres than average.

 

Try out slugging or on base percentage. :thumbup

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"Paul Lo Duca and Hee Seop Choi essentially are the same bat"

 

Lay off the crack buddy choi was hitting i think in the 260 range...loduca is a LIFETIME 300 hitter! wow this might be the dumbest thing i have ever seen on here...

489905[/snapback]

 

 

One of the biggest fallacies I keep reading is that Lo Duca is a career .300 hitter. He isn't. He is a career .287 hitter and has only hit over .300 in a major league uniform once.

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You cant compare a catcher with a first baseman. A good first baseman is easier to find than a good catcher. The fact that Lo Duca is a catcher raises his value. And yea Lo Duca is not a lifetime .300 hitter but he is a good contact hitter and he brings intangibles. The writer does make a couple of good points though.

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