Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Part 1 of the Mike Wilner Interview
Part 2 of the Mike Wilner Interview

Mike Wilner, one of the voices of the Blue Jays on the cross-Canada Fan Radio Network, was kind enough to sit down with Batter's Box a few short weeks ago to share his insights into the broadcasts and the ballclub.

Last time out, we got Mike to open up regarding the Jays' managerial and coaching staff. But Mike has a lot to say about this year's players as well. A whole lot. In fact, he’s provided us with a player-by-player rundown on the most significant Blue Jay player contributions from 2003. Fasten your seatbelts; this will be quite a ride.

First, a brief word on his analytical approach. Mike is a pretty sophisticated evaluator, smart enough (a) to know what OPS is, and (b) not to put too much weight on it. "Kenny Lofton and Vernon Wells had almost the same OPS last year, and their games are completely different,” he points out. “I think on-base and slugging have to be looked at as separate entities to give a real picture. Batting average has to be mixed in there as well,” he adds, “as part of the trifecta.”

How about pitching stats? “I think strikeout-to-walk ratio is overrated,” says Mike. “If you strike out 10 guys a game, but walk 5, you're probably not as effective as a guy who strikes out 6 but walks 3. Yet the ratios are the same.

“I firmly believe that if you had to pick one number, it would be on-base percentage for hitters, and WHIP for pitchers. To me, those are the most telling."

So now, in Mike's own words, here are .... yoooooooour 2003 Toronto Blue Jays:

The pitchers

Roy Halladay

“Roy has continued his ascent to the upper echelon of major-league starters and as I write this, should be the favourite to win the AL Cy Young Award (ERA almost a run higher than Loaiza, but he's faced .550+ clubs 14 times to Loaiza's 5, and he's faced .450- clubs just 6 times to Loaiza's 11, as of 9/9). He has become a true ace, and will remain in Toronto as long as the Jays can afford to keep him. Hopefully, he signs a three-year contract in the off-season.”

Kelvim Escobar

“Still hasn't quite gotten over the good Kelvim/evil Kelvim thing, but has been a lot more reliable since moving into the rotation. At his best, he's 1-A with Halladay, but his best doesn't come to the park too often. Would be a solid second starter for the Jays in 2004, but the team doesn't have the financial resources to compete with the big spenders, at least one of whom will give Escobar a four-year offer in the $30M neighbourhood, a place where the Jays absolutely will not go.”

Mark Hendrickson

“Despite the fact that he has a chance to be a 10-game winner as a rookie, I'm not particularly impressed. We've seen glimpses of greatness, but too many mediocre to poor outings. It's important to bear in mind that even though he's older and a polished pro athlete, he's still a rookie with minimal baseball experience, let alone major-league experience. I see him as a solid, unspectacular 4th or 5th starter who could really emerge well down the road.”

Josh Towers

“I'm a little afraid of a fly-ball pitcher at the Dome, but I love this guy's attitude. He's a real bulldog, and it doesn't take much for him to get his back up. [This was to be prophetic... Mike said this about two weeks before Towers contributed a pitch behind Aubrey Huff to the tilt between the Jays and Rays.] He throws strikes, which not enough guys do, and he's proven able to go deep into games. I think he fits in well as a 4th or 5th guy next year, and we have to wait and see from there. Remember, though, this is a guy who was 0-12 last season, and can sometimes be his own worst enemy. He hurt his hand punching a dugout wall after a bad outing. I hope he keeps his edge, but tones it down a little.”

Cliff Politte

“His overall year wouldn't have been bad had he not kept quiet about the arm trouble that wound up putting him on the disabled list a month too late. I'll never understand how athletes think that 50% or worse of them is better than their potential replacement, even though they keep going out there and getting lit up or taking oh-fers. I don't believe last year was a mirage, and I have loved Politte ever since he was in the minors in the St. Louis organization. I think he can be a dependable late-inning guy in the future.”

Aquilino Lopez

“Stunning surprise. He's been the best pitcher out of the bullpen this season by leaps and bounds, and could be the closer of the future. The only thing I don't like about him are his splits. He dominates righthanded hitters, but is below-average against lefties. Given that his killer pitch is the slider and given his delivery, I feel he'll always be a guy (like Mark Eichhorn, for example) who destroys righties but who lefties light up. A guy like that can be an extremely effective reliever (and yes, it's fine to leave him in against a lefty if there's a righty coming up, he'll still get him out at least 65% of the time), but he's not the type you want as your stopper.”

Jason Kershner

“Stunning surprise. He has come almost completely out of nowhere to be a dominant lefty out of the pen. They say he doesn't have enough pitches to become a starter, but I'd love to see him given a shot at the rotation. If not, though, he, Miller, Politte and Lopez can be a hell of a bridge to whatever closer the Jays bring in in the off-season (Keith Foulke, anyone? Matt Mantei? Ugueth Urbina?)”

Trever Miller

“Stunning surprise. It's amazing that three stunners have been in the bullpen, which is where the Jays have been worst this year. Miller fits best as a lefty specialist — he and Aquilino could be a killer combo for one inning (like the Jays hoped Creek and Tam would be).”

Tanyon Sturtze

“Colossal waste of a million dollars, even though he could wind up doubling his win total of last year. A solid gamble, I guess, but one that couldn't have turned out worse. Check that, actually. Luke Prokopec was a solid gamble that turned out worse.”

The hitters

Greg Myers

“Didn't quite make the same pact with Satan that Esteban Loaiza did, but it was close. He's never had a year like this before, and never will again. Great guy to have on a team regardless. He won't be available for $800,000 again, and therefore won't be back.”

Kevin Cash

“May or may not become a major-league hitter, let alone a Blue Jay-type hitter. I believe in his defensive reputation even though he hasn't lived up to it this season, because I've seen him play up to it before, in a couple of spring trainings. Guillermo Quiroz will pass him on the depth chart within a year or two, I believe.”

Carlos Delgado

“No complaints at all. His defense has been a pleasant surprise — it's been above-average, when he used to be barely adequate afield. Playing hurt has cost him in the second half, as all the numbers are way down, but the lack of on-base threats in the top two spots in the order in July and August hurt his RBI totals as much as his lack of second-half homers. He's still getting on base like a machine. By the time he's done, probably the best Blue Jay ever, but I don't see him staying beyond next year unless he's willing to take a pay cut of at least 1/3. Don't bet on it.”

Orlando Hudson

“Defensive improvement has been amazing. He's making Alomar-type plays semi-regularly now. I'd like to see him abandon switch-hitting and see what happens; he's been abysmal as a righty for his entire big-league career. I don't see him as a major force in the Jays' future — I believe he's the one most likely to be moved in the off-season, along with one of the prospects, for pitching. Frank Catalanotto can play second until Adams or Hill is ready.”

Chris Woodward

“Disappointment. I love the guy, but even he has admitted to problems with focus and the rigours of playing every day. He was given the shot this season to prove that he could handle an everyday job, and instead proved that he couldn't, at least not this year. Those who expected him to double last season's 13 HRs and 45 RBIs given double the playing time were terribly disappointed, but nobody really thought he'd be that good, did they? I think he can be a productive major-leaguer if he gets the opportunity again next year. Remember, he was asked to play every day after not doing so for almost five years. Also, I'm willing to give anyone in his first full major-league season a mulligan.”

Mike Bordick

“Not part of the future at all, but a very key piece to this year's puzzle. I've been amazed at how a lot of the young guys (Hudson, Hinske, Woodward, Wells) just flock to him. A bona fide professional, in every sense of the word; his influence on the clubhouse has been huge, in an extremely positive way. No complaints about what he's done on the field, either — still one of the best defensive shortstops in the league (with some highlight-level defense at second as well!), along with a surprisingly solid bat.”

Eric Hinske

“Huge disappointment. Granted, he did play the first six weeks of the season with a broken hand, and then sat out five more while it healed. I'm willing to give him a mulligan on the offensive side, while being impressed as hell by the maybe 50 doubles that he'll wind up with. But his defense has been deplorable. Every throw is an adventure, and the occasional ground ball is, too. He has terrific range at third, but that is completely nullified by the fact that, given more than two seconds to get a throw off, he will either bounce it or sail it more than half the time. I wish that was an exaggeration. It's almost as though the last four months of last season were a dream. He's regressed right back to the days of Buck and Garth.”

Reed Johnson

“Stunning surprise. He came out of nowhere and doesn't look as though he's going to wind up back there. Second only to Vernon Wells as a defensive outfielder on the Jays, Johnson can handle all three outfield positions very well, and he has a gun for an arm. Miscast as a leadoff hitter, I think, because all the pieces aren't there. He doesn't walk enough, though he makes up for some of that by being a human pin cushion, and he's proven to be a streaky hitter. I still think he's best suited to be the Jays' 4th outfielder for a long time to come.”

Vernon Wells

“Superstar. Will take the mantle of ‘Best Blue Jay Ever’ from Carlos Delgado. The guy can do it all. Gold Glove defense and a tremendous bat. Doesn't walk enough, but neither would you, if you had Carlos Delgado hitting behind you. The best part about Vernon is the fact that he's always having a great time out there. Say what you will about Delgado's smile — to me, Vernon is the one who truly enjoys what he's doing, all the time. From cutting off Catalanotto in the gap to make a catch right in front of him earlier in the season just for the hell of it, to putting a pair of ‘Bubba’ teeth in his back pocket and sticking them in when he got to second base to tease his former roommate Michael Young, to the high-fives he gives his fellow outfielders after they make a great catch, Vernon (though he doesn't always show it to the media) seems to just be a little kid out there, loving every minute of it. And he's unbelievable.”

Bobby Kielty

“I still think he's going to be a big piece down the road, despite the fact that he's been disappointing since that first week after coming over from the Twins. He hasn't hit (or walked) nearly as much as the Jays expected him to, and he's been a big bust from the left side. But last year, he had a .405 OBP as a lefty, so we know it's there. His defensive play, while better than Shannon Stewart's, has been suspect at times. He tends to occasionally take very odd routes to the ball. I think he's still a work in progress, but again, he hasn't had a full season as an everyday major leaguer yet. I see him as the 2 hitter of the future, and a very good one.”

Josh Phelps

“Love him. A tremendous talent as a hitter, and I was very outspoken about the way he was handled earlier in the year. When the Jays went to Cincinnati and St. Louis for their interleague series, they lost the DH, so no Phelps, and then when they got back, it was as though Carlos Tosca just forgot about him.

“Remember, Phelps didn't get hurt until early July. I think that Tosca (who is at heart, a small-ball guy) was just so enamoured of all the little things that Reed Johnson can do that he felt as though he had to have him in the lineup every day. He also often felt that Greg Myers needed to get at-bats at DH, since he was having such a good year. You can almost see the logic in that — almost — but giving Tom Wilson and Dave Berg starts at first over Phelps? Ridiculous.

“At the time of his ‘benching,’ Phelps had a better on-base percentage than Wells or Catalanotto, but he strikes out too much and the power wasn't there early in the season. I'd love to see what kind of year he would have had with 500 at-bats Let's get this straight — Josh Phelps may well set a new single-season strikeout record before he's done. He'll also have a 50-homer season. I don't care if you strike out 200 times if you also hit .280 with a .380 on-base and 40 homers. This ain't Alex Gonzalez we're talking about.”

Thanks, Mike. Come back to Da Box anytime, and we'll be listening through the playoffs.
An interview with Mike Wilner - Part 3 | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pistol - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#88736) #
I'm not within range of Toronto so I've never heard him on the radio (available on the internet?), but it's good to get a perspective on the team from someone that follows them closely. Nice job.
_the shadow - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#88737) #
What a breath of fresh air, someone who speaks their mind and lets the chips fall where they may
_S.K. - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#88738) #
Great interview.
Wilner's comments on Josh Phelps reminded me of a statement which I believe came from Moneyball, in which one of the A's brass stated something to the effect that "a strikeout is by far the most damaging thing a hitter can do". I noticed that the A's offense had one of the lowest strikeout totals in the majors this year.
Has anyone heard anything about this? I find this statement to be counterintuitive; a strikeout is the same as a popup, with no runner-killing potential like a groundball. If nothing else, it usually takes a bunch of pitches to strikeout.

Anyway, this is very relevant for Josh Phelps' future, I think.

Oh, and one more thing: Matt Mantei? I shudder at the thought.
_Scott - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#88739) #
Fantastic job on the interview!

Mike, if you read this--I have enjoyed the call-in show with Jays players prior to the playoff games the last couple of nights. It is very nice to get non-Leaf/hockey topics discussed from time to time. Is there any chance to get a heads up on the Fan website or somewhere on what guests you will be having the rest of the way so I won"t have to listen through the constant Howard Berger leaf updates? As a suggestion, I would also like to hear Paul Godfrey give a "State of the Franchise" interview. The C$ dollar has climbed quite significantly recently and looks headed higher, it would be nice to pin him down about the possibilities of increasing the payroll a tad.

Anyway, great work by everybody--hopefully this site will make the winter go by faster.
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#88740) #
S.K., two big problems with a strikeout:

1) It's not in play, so it can't be a hit; and
2) It's not in play, so it can't be an error.

I agree that a first-pitch popup is worse than a strikeout, because the pitcher didn't have to work. But the "runner-killing" impact of a groundball is overstated, I think.

Simply put, double plays are too uncommon to offset the value of putting the ball in play vs. failing to put the ball in play while making an out. Think about it: most games feature 15-20 strikeouts, and 1-3 double plays. Wouldn't you rather take your chances with more balls in play, potentially leading to the hitter getting on base?

There is almost no ground ball (velocity or location) that is foreordained, from the moment it leaves the bat, not to be a single or error. Plus, outs in play can occasionally be productive (i.e. one out, man on third); that's never the case with strikeouts.

In other words, the reason that K's are harmful to a hitter is the same reason that strikeouts are so helpful to the pitcher: they take defensive support, park conditions, and chance out of the equation needed to get a batter out.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#88741) #
A batter making an out can't be a hit or an error, though, by definition. So that applies to any out, not just strikeouts. But I know what you mean.

I don't think strikeouts are more harmful than any other type of out just because I haven't seen any data that would suggest so. If you rank order the teams that strike out the most from 1 to 30 it looks like a pretty random list as far as team quality goes. The current playoff teams are 3rd (Cubs), 12th (Yankees), 22nd (Florida), and 24th (Boston) in most times struck out. Doesn't seem to be much of a pattern.

My guess would be that players who strike out a lot tend not to chase a lot of borderline pitches. So while they have more strikeouts they have less weak groundouts to short and the two cancel each other out.

_Gwyn - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#88742) #
Very nice series. Hopefully Mike will be part of the Jays broadcasting scene for a long while to come....

No comment on Cat amongst the hitters ?
_A - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#88743) #
After reading this series I've gained a helluva lot of respect for Mike Wilner. I liked the guy before, even thought he had more intelligence than many who have made their way through a broadcast booth but now I think he should just cancel the call-in portion of his show and avoid the morons that take up his air time with "Carlos Delgado hasn't hit 85 HRs yet, get rid of him" non-sense so we can hear his personal perspective/analysis on Blue Jay land. This would help acheive the level of intelligence (quantitatively and qualitatively) in baseball fans in Toronto that is seriously lacking.

Not sure when this was done but it seemed as though every time I tuned into a game Bobby Kielty was drawing a walk, so I'm not sure I really expect many more walks from a player. Scott Hateberg (sorry for spelling) reminded me of Kietly during the ALDS because it seems as though both guys have worked hard to buy into a system of patience. Nice improvement over his Beantown days.
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#88744) #
Mike, the data doesn't suggest that a groundout is too much better than a strikeout. But I'm arguing that strikeouts shouldn't be compared with groundouts -- but with ground balls. A groundball can be a double if it sneaks down the line, especially on turf. Only the craziest of circumstances makes a strikeout offensively useful.

I completely agree with Aaron Gleeman's analysis on why the Twins were a less likely candidate to upset the Yankees than were the '02 Anaheim Angels. The Angels never struck out, and New York's bungling defence conceded hits and errors repeatedly -- in other words, a ball in play was a dangerous thing. The Twins, by striking out frequently, were unable to expose the NY defence as often.

I'm not on board with your "borderline" argument. Except when it's a bad call, a strikeout occurs because a batter is -- at that particular moment -- overmatched, fooled or undisciplined. Why would a hitter suffering from any of those characteristics have a decreased likelihood of putting harmless balls in play?
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#88745) #
I should also add that Boston has by far the best offence of the remaining teams and the fewest strikeouts. And how in the world could Florida ever score, given their lack of power, if they struck out a ton? Adding 150 team strikeouts to the Marlins would destroy their ability to get on base and create runs.

With less power than the Giambi days, the A's understand that they have to strike out less (while continuing to walk).
_Rich - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#88746) #
Last year Rob Neyer wrote 2 excellent articles about why strikeouts have a much great impact on a pitcher's success than on a hitter's success.

Here are the links:
_Metric - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#88747) #
Wilner and I share the same view of the game, and I'm really hoping this is a case of great minds thinking alike, and not, in Dr. Johnson's phrase, his nonsense matching my own.

Great job, Box People. These Mike Wilner features have been my favourite pieces you've done.
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#88748) #
But for every pitcher on the planet, every strikeout is one less chance for the hitters to get a hit.

That's Neyer's take on why strikeouts are important for pitchers, and I agree. Neyer says that hitters can live with striking out because they can still add value by walking and hitting home runs.

For hitters, power justifies keeping a high-K hitter in the lineup, because the player homers enough that you don't mind him missing while he swings for the fences. But if you strike out without a powerful bat, and without plenty of walks, your OPS will die. After all, you don't have the "S" to compensate for the drag on "O" that strikeouts cause by preventing you from getting a ball-in-play hit. Which all hits are, of course.

Jim Thome has the power and patience to justifiably strike out a lot. Even someone with merely the "patience" side of the equation like Kevin Youkilis, though, can't afford to strike out, because he doesn't have the power to reliably punish pitchers with balls in play. And Youkilis doesn't strike out.

So yeah, it's more important to look at a pitcher's K rate than a batter's K rate. But that does not mean that strikeouts are just another out; you need a specific skill set to compensate for high K's.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#88749) #
Catalanotto at second base next year? An infield of Hinske, Woodward, Catalanotto and Delgado with a pitching staff that has not much power and pretty good control is a recipe for a defensive disaster.

I agree generally with Mike Wilner, but occasionally he comes out with comments that I just don't see.
_Rich - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#88751) #
But if you strike out without a powerful bat, and without plenty of walks, your OPS will die.

Should we email this to Alex Gonzalez just in case he's wondering why he's wearing a Cubs uniform?

I don't see Cat being moved back to the infield; if Hudson goes JP will dig up someone else. Asking a player to move to a more demanding defensive position as he ages is not a good idea, and I can't really think of anyone who has even tried it, let alone pull it off.
_Nigel - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#88752) #
Someone should tell Mike Wilner that he can post under his own name and that he does not have to use "?????" :)
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#88753) #
But I'm arguing that strikeouts shouldn't be compared with groundouts -- but with ground balls.

Well, then yeah, strike outs are going to look bad. I mean doubles suck when you compare them to home runs. I also think that teams would be better off making fewer base running errors and having more promotions that increase fan interest.

Craig B - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#88754) #
Also, more players who hit like Babe Ruth. The Blue Jays should try to find a few guys like that. :)
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#88755) #

Ah, come on, Mike. You know what I mean. Only in Strat-O-Matic do you have balls in play that are instantaneously "routine grounders," where a play is automatically made and it's on to the next batter. But strike three is an instantaneous out, and it doesn't matter who's playing defence or which way the wind's blowing.

Put it this way. Imagine you're coaching a Little League team, and your batter rips a screaming line drive...only to be caught by the shortstop. You wouldn't tell him "Dammit, kid, you might as well have struck out! In fact, you SHOULD have struck out, and at least made the pitcher work a little bit!"

Instead, you tell him "Tough break. That'll be a hit the next time." Because it might be a hit the next time. Those in the "strikeouts don't matter" camp look at the situation ex post -- comparing unfavourably resolved balls in play with strikeouts. I think the proper comparison is a bat striking the ball vs. a bat failing to strike the ball.

If you're a power hitter, and don't always make contact with your big cuts, fine. (That's why I'm not worried about Phelps.) But if a guy can't go yard 30 times, I want him thinking line drive to right centre.
robertdudek - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#88756) #
Mike D,

You have to look at the hitter as an organic whole. Guys who strike out a lot are usually guys who hit the ball hard when they do make contact. Josh Phelps has a very high batting average on balls in play in his major league career so far. He had a monstrously high bip average in his minor league career.

Also, guys who strikeout usually go deep into the count, so they generally draw more walks too. I don't think there is a significant negative correlation between OBP and strikeout rate.

Advanced run estimation formulas factor in a slight negative for batter strikeouts versus other AB-H events.

The Blue Jays had a very high strikeout rate this year but also finished 2nd in runs scored. What exactly is the problem?
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#88757) #
thinking line drive to right centre.

If it's in the strike zone, of course.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#88758) #
Ah, come on, Mike. You know what I mean. Only in Strat-O-Matic do you have balls in play that are instantaneously "routine grounders," where a play is automatically made and it's on to the next batter. But strike three is an instantaneous out, and it doesn't matter who's playing defence or which way the wind's blowing.

Did you read my message? Where did I even imply that?

All I'm saying is that you're abusing the ceteris paribus assumption. So much so that it's decided to leave you and enter a sheltered where battered Latin phrases can be safe from torment.

Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#88759) #
That phrase had it coming. It was a real pain in my ass.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#88760) #
That phrase had it coming. It was a real pain in my ass.

Yeah, it shouldn't have been popping off like that.

The ceteris paribus assumption would also like to point out that third strikes aren't automatic outs. :)

Coach - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#88761) #
I'm not within range of Toronto so I've never heard him on the radio

There's a link to The FAN 590 in our sidebar, Pistol. You can listen live on the Internet most of the time, but for regular season Jays' games, that signal gets blacked out according to MLB rules. If you "tune in" early, sometimes you don't get dropped.

Wilner should be on at 7:30 tonight with a pregame show. I must confess that I haven't listened to the radio at all since the playoffs began, but someone told me that Mike had Josh Towers as a guest last night. The local phone number to call in and tell him how much you liked this interview -- or what a bad idea Cat would be at second base -- is 416-870-0590; it's 1-888-666-0590 from out of town.

Great job putting this all together, Craig. And of course, thanks to Mike Wilner for stepping into Da Box, and for getting our URL right when he's mentioned us on the air.
_Jordan - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#88762) #
Only in Strat-O-Matic do you have balls in play that are instantaneously "routine grounders," where a play is automatically made and it's on to the next batter.

Not if the infield was drawn in and there was a little omega sign next to the gb(A). Then it's a Single**.

Yes, I played way too much Strat-o.
_Rich - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#88763) #
Mike D, what you are saying make sense in theory, but I think the point is that evidence shows that strikeouts do not negatively impact a team's ability to score runs over the course of a season. In an individual situation, like hitting with a runner on third and one out in a close game, yes, a strikeout certainly is worse than a groundout. On the whole however, there is no empirical evidence that strikeouts damage or limit an offence.
Craig B - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#88764) #
Jordan, you forgot the park effects triangle as well...
_Mike Wilner - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#88765) #

Thanks so much for the positive response to the interview - actually, for just being interested in me at all :-) Craig did a tremendous job putting it all together.

You guys do a wonderful job here, it's a pleasure to read your analysis and comments, and it's great that it seems like a lot of us are on the same page.

I also want to let you all know that the playoff pre-games start at 7:00 Eastern, and there will be a Blue Jay on every day (Orlando Hudson is scheduled tonight - Oct. 8 - we're hoping for Phelps and Cash to fill out this week, not confirmed). You can hear the shows online at with no blackout from MLB.

Lastly - a couple of things: That wasn't me posting under ?????, but I'll assume you already knew that. Again, I appreciate the support. And finally, I played a lot of Strat, too. Dynasty League Baseball is much better (

Keep up the great work!
Mike D - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#88766) #
Great to hear from you, Mike! My desk in New York wouldn't be the same without fan590 on my speakers.

(By the way, I was a Pursue The Pennant loyalist until Tom Tippett transformed his game into Diamond Mind Baseball, for PCs only.)
_Matthew Elmslie - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#88767) #
I'm not sure I like the term Bauxites. I'm against aluminum bats . . .

I was listening to part of Wilner's pregame show tonight with Orlando Hudson. Hudson said, on the topic of Ricciardi (as best I can remember), "He's a great GM. This is not his first time at the rodeo."
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#88768) #
Matthew, you heard right. At least Orlando didn't continue to say "This is not his first time at the rodeo; you can tell by his boots."

You know, many second basemen end up as announcers after their playing days are over. The thought of listening to Mike Wilner doing play-by-play and Orlando Hudson doing colour commentary on radio broadcasts around the time that I retire gives me a little thrill.
_S.K. - Wednesday, October 08 2003 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#88769) #
You know what's ironic? I can't find the quote in Moneyball, so it's quite possible that this whole K debate started over something that I unintentionally made up out of thin air.

Good discussion, though.
_A - Thursday, October 09 2003 @ 01:36 AM EDT (#88770) #
O-Dawg's always great for a TV interview or profile because it's just so damn hard to understand what he's talking about but rediculously fun to watch him go on and on and on while the host just stands there blinking.
...Some people have a radio face, Orlando definately has a TV voice.
Mike D - Thursday, October 09 2003 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#88771) #
S.K., it's on p.171 of Moneyball.

Paul DePodesta describes the strikeout as the "most expensive" thing a hitter can do. He also explains that the A's don't tell their developing minor leaguers this, since the optimal approach to hitting requires that the batter not fear the strikeout.
An interview with Mike Wilner - Part 3 | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.