Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Voters Registration

Once again the debate is on for who should win each baseball award. So here are the hypothetical votes that I would submit and which awards I would vote for.

Best Pitcher - Cy Young Award
This is the award for who had the best stuff during the entire year.
1CC SabathiaRoy Halladay
2Justin VerlanderClayton Kershaw
3Dan HarenCliff Lee
4Jered WeaverMadison Bumgarner
5C.J. WilsonMatt Cain
6Doug FisterMatt Garza
7Felix HernandezCole Hamels
8David PriceIan Kennedy
9James ShieldsDaniel Hudson
10Justin MastersonTim Lincecum

Best Non-Pitcher - The Babe Ruth Award
This is the award for the best position player. Both hitting and fielding are considered
1Jacoby EllsburyMatt Kemp
2Jose BautistaRyan Braun
3Ian KinslerJoey Votto
4Dustin PedroiaJustin Upton
5Miguel CabreraTroy Tulowitzki
6Curtis GrandersonJose Reyes
7Alex GordonBrandon Phillips
8Adrian GonzalezShane Victorino
9Ben ZobristAndrew McCutchen
10Adrian BeltrePrince Fielder

Most Valuable Player - Lou Gehrig Award
This is the award for the person who added the most during games to get their team a win.
1Jose BautistaPrince Fielder
2Miguel CabreraJoey Votto
3Jacoby EllsburyMatt Kemp
4Josh HamiltonRyan Braun
5Justin VerlanderLance Berkman
6Jered WeaverIan Kennedy
7James ShieldsRoy Halladay
8Dan HarenCliff Lee
9Ricky RomeroCole Hamels
10Josh BeckettAlbert Pujols

Gold Glove Award
This award is for the best fielder at each position per league.
CatcherMatt WietersJonathan Lucroy
First BaseAdrian GonzalezJoey Votto
Second BaseDustin PedroiaBrandon Phillips
Short StopAlexei RamirezClint Barmes
Third BaseAdrian BeltrePlacido Polanco
Left FieldBrett GardnerGerardo Parra
Center FieldJacoby EllsburyChris Young
Right FieldDavid DeJesusJason Heyward
PitcherFelix HernandezJake Westbrook

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deathly Hallows

Spoiler Alert

The last movie and final movie is over and it was thoroughly satisfying. The movie enhanced the books. Once again a great story and good acting rise above cinematic gimmicks (I saw the 2D version, more on that later). The child actors have certainly grown, but the surrounding giants allow the film and series to excel.

In the final film, several performances stood out. They were helped by their excellent situations, but they took it to the next level. Ralph Fiennes as Tom Riddle was great. The steady deterioration due to parts of his soul being obliterated was done quite well. The quick transitions from pompous triumph to shocked vulnerability were excellent. Matthew Lewis played Neville Longbottom to a T. Limping to his defiant speech and then ignorantly and boldly challenging Voldemort was a highlight of the film. Helena Bonham Carter playing Hermione Granger using a polyjuice potion to play Bellatrix Lestrange was very convincing. Just like part 1, I enjoy watching actors play characters pretending to be other characters. Those 3 exceeded expectations. The others certainly did well and my high standards were met.

3D Rant
I realize that 3D allows you to charge extra to attend a movie, but it typically adds very little to the actual movie (unless it is a low budget 80s monster flick). There were several spots that I am sure would look fun in 3D (e.g. the Gringott's Mine Train). The real travesty to me was that the 2D experience was affected by this. Several times I could tell that rather than the background being out of focus, it was actually doubled up like a 3D film would look without glasses. Unacceptable.

Grand films might just need a break. This is not a new idea at all. Movies such as Ben Hur and Lawrence of Arabia had intermissions. Why? Because they were really long. But also because they were a single idea and could not be split up. The Deathly Hallows was split in two at its most logical point, but the story really works as a whole. The drama and setup in part one is entirely unfulfilling. The action of part two really makes little sense without part one. The other epic conclusion this century was 3.5 hours in theaters and 5 hours on extended DVD, yet The Return of the King only makes sense in that context. It could have been split after the battle of Minas Tirith. It makes logical sense but not emotional sense. The ups and downs of a movie need to be there. Separate them by 8 months and you lose all of the buildup that works in the ending of the film. I suggest that the best way to watch both films is to watch part one, take an hour break for food, and then watch part two. As soon as the DVD comes out, I think it will make both parts of this film that much better. The Deathly Hallows as a whole might just be the best movie in the series.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Saber Answer to 300 Wins

Yesterday I took on the 3000 hits plateau. Today, 300 wins. Trying to smooth out longevity and performance is difficult with pitchers. There are so many eras out there. This list because of its components is skewed towards the former days. I considered all outings since 1890 so that Cy Young would be involved. In the 1880s some pitchers threw up to 650 innings in a year and really skewed things. But for simplicity sake, I chose Innings Pitched divided by WHIP minus 1 times 2. Boy that seems complicated doesn't it. Basically it measures longevity in innings pitched. Performance is measured by (WHIP - 1) * 2. This takes CY Young's WHIP of 1.13, turns it into .13, and then finally into .26. The times 2 part keeps some rarely used pitchers with good stats from sneaking too far up the ladder. I also limited this to pitcher with > 1500 innings pitched. Without that restriction, Mariano Rivera is the greatest pitcher ever (which you could argue for I guess). So without further ado, here is the list:

RankNameWinsW RankIPWHIPNew Stat
1Walter Johnson41725914.21.0648338
2Christy Mathewson37334780.21.0540543
3Cy Young51117354.21.1228322
4Pedro Martinez219632827.11.0525966
5Mordecai Brown239463172.11.0624083
6Pete Alexander373351901.1221411
7Tom Seaver311154782.21.1219755
8Eddie Plank326104495.21.1118891
9Don Sutton3241152821.1418525
10Greg Maddux35575008.11.1417492
11Juan Marichal243423507.11.1017328
12Babe Adams1941072995.11.0916257
13Fergie Jenkins284234500.21.1415851
14Gaylord Perry314145350.11.1814801
15Rube Waddell1931152961.11.1014521
16Roger Clemens35484916.21.1714237
17Robin Roberts286224688.21.1613809
18Warren Spahn36355243.21.1913465
19Chief Bender2127530171.1113385
20Catfish Hunter224553449.11.1312849
21Bert Blyleven2872149701.1912551
22Doc White18912130411.1212429
23Deacon Phillippe18912126071.1012402
24Randy Johnson303174135.11.1712077
25Curt Schilling2166832611.1311868
26Don Drysdale2098134321.1411616
27Kid Nichols36165056.11.2211372
28Jim Palmer2682839481.1810945
29Sandy Koufax1651772324.11.1010938
30Nolan Ryan3241153861.2410889
31Carl Hubbell253353590.11.1610814
32Steve Carlton32995217.11.2410566
33Jim Bunning224553760.11.1710505
34Eddie Cicotte208843223.11.1510369
35Bob Gibson251363884.11.1810320
36Dennis Eckersley197983285.21.1610204
37Jack Powell2454043891.2110127
38Phil Niekro318135404.11.2610078
39John Smoltz2137434731.179870
40Jack Chesbro198952896.21.159623
41Vic Willis2493739961.209538
42Sam Leever1941072660.21.149415
43Mike Mussina270263562.21.199292
44Ed Reulbach1821362632.11.149190
45Joe McGinnity246393441.11.189152
46Bret Saberhagen1671672562.21.149097
47Hoyt Wilhelm1432402254.11.129044
48Luis Tiant229523486.11.198769
49Jim Kaat283244530.11.258748
50Tommy John288204710.11.288328

The winners? Pedro Martinez and his 219 wins. Lots of people from the early days... Sandy Koufax and his short lived career.

The losers? Lefty Grove and his 1.28 WHIP. Tom Glavine and his 1.31 WHIP.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Saber Answer to 3000 Hits

3000 hits is always a fun topic. Does it mean anything or is it arbitrary? I decided to come up with a new stat to judge hitters by: Plate Appearances times On Base Percentage. This combines longevity with performance. How does this redefine our top hitters? Currently 27 players have 3000 or more hits. If we sort by PA * OBP, we have to show 76 players to see those 27.

RankNameHHit RankOBPPA * OBP
1Pete Rose425610.3735929
2Barry Bonds2935320.4445599
3Ty Cobb418920.4235532
4Rickey Henderson3055210.4005343
5Carl Yastrzemski341960.3795304
6Stan Musial363040.4155282
7Hank Aaron377130.3735205
8Tris Speaker351450.4164998
9Babe Ruth2873400.4684978
10Eddie Collins3315100.4064891
11Willie Mays3283110.3834791
12Ted Williams2654710.4814714
13Mel Ott2876390.4094648
14Eddie Murray3255120.3594606
15Frank Robinson2943310.3884561
16Craig Biggio3060200.3604505
17Honus Wagner341580.3834503
18Rafael Palmeiro3020240.3704460
19Paul Molitor331990.3664460
20Wade Boggs3010250.4134445
21Cap Anson341870.3914433
22Joe Morgan2517910.3904422
23Cal Ripken3184140.3394379
24Dave Winfield3110190.3524351
25Al Kaline3007260.3744339
26Gary Sheffield2689630.3924299
27George Brett3154150.3684283
28Paul Waner3152160.3974281
29Lou Gehrig2721570.4424274
30Frank Thomas2468990.4194222
31Ken Griffey Jr.2781480.3694174
32Mickey Mantle24151120.4194161
33Robin Yount3142170.3394156
34Derek Jeter2997280.3804125
35Jimmie Foxx2646720.4254111
36Rod Carew3053220.3884096
37Charlie Gehringer2839450.3984075
38Alex Rodriguez2762500.3854069
39Luke Appling2749520.3964062
40Reggie Jackson2584810.3554055
41Rusty Staub2716580.3604050
42Chipper Jones2562850.4034020
43Rogers Hornsby2930340.4234016
44Manny Ramirez2574830.4104012
45Jim Thome22391600.4034007
46Tim Raines2605750.3833977
47Tony Gwynn3141180.3863955
48Jesse Burkett2850420.4113954
49Harold Baines2866410.3553942
50Omar Vizquel2831460.3303898
51Nap Lajoie3242130.3723892
52Dwight Evans24461080.3683890
53Darrell Evans22231670.3593863
54Luis Gonzalez2591790.3663857
55Jeff Bagwell23141380.4073843
56Fred McGriff2490960.3763834
57Lou Brock3023230.3413833
58Mike Schmidt22341620.3793820
59Richie Ashburn2574830.3913815
60Roberto Alomar2724560.3653806
61Billy Williams2711610.3613799
62Eddie Mathews23151370.3743785
63Max Carey2665660.3513782
64Bobby Abreu23421270.3993771
65Brooks Robinson2848430.3193761
66Sam Rice2987290.3663751
67Sam Crawford2961300.3533744
68Goose Goslin2735540.3803739
69Jake Beckley2930340.3563729
70Tony Perez2732550.3403700
71Fred Clarke2672650.3763699
72Harmon Killebrew20862220.3753693
73Harry Hooper24661010.3593678
74Johnny Damon2662680.3523663
75Bill Dahlen24571050.3523661
76Roberto Clemente3000270.3583656
77Frankie Frisch2880380.3603639
78Willie McCovey22111710.3743625
79Edgar Martinez22471590.4173619
80Zack Wheat2884370.3613611
81Todd Helton23181360.4223605
82George Davis2660690.3553605
83John Olerud22391600.3973602
84Chili Davis23801170.3593589
85Lou Whitaker23691200.3593586
86Willie Keeler2932330.3733585
87Eddie Yost18633320.3893576
88Al Simmons2927360.3753572
89Ozzie Smith24601030.3303565
90Harry Heilmann2660690.3963556
91Mark Grace24451090.3823554
92Brett Butler23751190.3713542
93Julio Franco2586800.3633541
94Nellie Fox2663670.3403524
95Roger Connor24671000.3963507
96Mickey Vernon2495950.3553499
97Willie Randolph22101720.3683491
98Rabbit Maranville2605750.3093483
99Andre Dawson2774490.3223474
100Dave Parker2712600.3383451

So who wins using this system? Well, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams all move up. Not bad at all.

Who loses? Roberto Clemente (twice as many strikeouts as walks), Lou Brock (over 1700 strikeouts)

So using that stat... hitters with a PA*OBP > 4500 would be:
  1. Pete Rose
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Ty Cobb
  4. Rickey Henderson
  5. Carl Yastrzemski
  6. Stan Musial
  7. Hank Aaron
  8. Tris Speaker
  9. Babe Ruth
  10. Eddie Collins
  11. Willie Mays
  12. Ted Williams
  13. Mel Ott
  14. Eddie Murray
  15. Frank Robinson
  16. Craig Biggio
  17. Honus Wagner

Not a bad group to be in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Baseball Predictions

In the past (2009, 2008, and 2007) I have made predictions about the outcome of the baseball season. I based these on the previous year's record and then added in my own personal adjustment. It is a fairly simple formula.

Previous Years Wins +/- Off-season Moves.

This years predictions are below:

AL East
  1. 97 - 65 Boston Red Sox

  2. 88 - 74 New York Yankees

  3. 82 - 80 Tampa Bay Rays

  4. 74 - 88 Baltimore Orioles

  5. 69 - 93 Toronto Blue Jays
The Red Sox are far and away the class of the division with their staff. The Yankees have a lineup but a questionable rotation. The Rays will take a step back with the loss of key players. The Jays should stink it up.

AL Central
  1. 91 - 71 Minnesota Twins

  2. 87 - 75 Chicago White Sox

  3. 81 - 81 Detroit Tigers

  4. 77 - 85 Cleveland Indians

  5. 71 - 91 Kansas City Royals
The Twins have the tools to win this division. The White Sox will put up quite a fight though. The rest are just also rans.

AL West
  1. 87 - 75 Texas Rangers

  2. 85 - 77 Oakland Athletics

  3. 80 - 82 Los Angeles Angels

  4. 65 - 97 Seattle Mariners
The Rangers and As will duke it out for the playoff spot. The lineup of the Rangers should give them the edge.

NL East
  1. 98 - 64 Philadelphia Phillies

  2. 90 - 72 Atlanta Braves

  3. 80 - 82 Florida Marlins

  4. 70 - 92 New York Mets

  5. 66 - 96 Washington Nationals
What's not to love about arguably the best rotation ever. The Braves however will compete mightily in the NL. The Mets and their putrid rotation will fall back this year.

NL Central
  1. 89 - 73 Milwaukee Brewers

  2. 86 - 76 St. Louis Cardinals

  3. 82 - 80 Chicago Cubs

  4. 82 - 80 Cincinnati Reds

  5. 70 - 92 Houston Astros

  6. 69 - 93 Pittsburgh Pirates
This will be the hardest division to win this year. I can honestly see any of the top 4 teams pulling it out. I like the Greinke addition and the Prince contract year to pull it out.

NL West
  1. 91- 71 San Francisco Giants

  2. 83 - 79 Los Angeles Dodgers

  3. 81 - 81 Colorado Rockies

  4. 78 - 84 San Diego Padres

  5. 68 - 94 Arizona Diamondbacks
As usual, I am not sold on anything in this division except the Giants rotation.

AL Playoffs
Boston over Texas and Minnesota over New York
Boston over Minnesota

NL Playoffs
Phillies over Brewers and Braves over Giants
Phillies over Braves

World Series
Phillies over Boston

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

January Lessons

So how is this for a New Year's resolution? Invest better. Better yet, look at your investments rather than just open a statement once a quarter. This is a time consuming pursuit, but one that could be very worthwhile. My portfolio has beat the S&P 2 years in a row now. Pretty impressive until I mention that I made 0 moves during that time frame. Perhaps that works out best... we shall see.

What is the easiest way for me to become interested in something? Why join a fantasy league of course. Yes they do have those. Unlike sports related leagues this only has one category: Return on Investment. I managed to eek out 6 basis points higher than the S&P during the first month. Impressive I know. One important note here is to say that this is 'fake' investing for the purpose of gaining knowledge. I have not make actual investments in any of the thing I will reference.

  • Emerging Market Valuations are highly suspect. Everyone for instance wants a piece of the Chinese market right now. Make sure that it is a credible analyst providing information. Several companies were stung by corruption and bad accounting in January. Their touting analysts were somewhat complicit. I am not saying that company is necessarily bad, just that some numbers may be way off. A good example of this would be RINO or CVVT that both got stung.
  • Valuations are based on available data. Using old data right before earnings reports come out puts you behind in the game.
  • Publicity does not guaranty that a stock will go up. Good news in the press does not always mean good news for your portfolio.
  • Ultra ETFs try to double or triple the return of a given index. Inverse ones do the same thing but bet the thing will go down. These can seem too good to be true. They can be useful, but take extreme caution.
  • Betting on earnings is a risky game. This goes back to the publicity thing as well. Just because they beat earnings does not mean that their future forecast is favorable.

So at this point you are probably laughing at these realizations, but there they are. Now what DID work for me?

  • Choosing companies with High Profit Margins and High Earnings per Share Growth. e.g. ISRG or FSLR or GLW
  • Related to that, I also chose items with High Profit Margins and Low PEG Ratios (PE Ratio / EPS Growth) eg. MU
  • Last, betting that Silver and Gold was overpriced and would go down. This was pure luck and have decided to stay out of that.

Hopefully February will be even better. Now for those of you wondering. I am not an investment professional. I have no personal stake in the stocks mentioned here in either real money or a fake portfolio at this time.