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La Casa del Habano, Cancún
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Amanyara, Turks and Caicos Islands
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Wellesley Hotel, London
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Fame Wine and Cigar Lounge, Palm Springs, California
- More from Where to Smoke
Puffing in the 2011 Playoffs—Where to Smoke A Cigar in Baseball’s Postseason
Cigar Aficionado's guide to where you can smoke in MLB’s playoff cities.
Posted: September 29, 2011
(continued from page 1)
Simply, WAR seeks to measure the value of a starting player against the likely less-expensive replacement that could be found. So, for example, Matt Kemp, the LA Dodgers center fielder, is having a career year and with five games left had a WAR ranking of about 9.6, the highest in baseball this year. By comparison, Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers left fielder and Kemp’s main rival for the NL MVP this year, has a WAR ranking of 7.2, even though Braun’s team has clinched its division’s crown, something that the Brewers probably wouldn’t have done without Braun’s performance. For reference, in 2004, Barry Bonds had a WAR of 12.4.
In the AL, even though Curtis Granderson of the Yankees is my narrow winner for MVP, his WAR is about 7. Jose “Joey Bats” Bautista, Toronto’s slugger, is at 8.2, and Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury, also an MVP favorite, ranks 8.5, with his teammate Dustin Pedroia at 7.3.
WAR is designed to be able to have one statistic, admittedly comprised of numerous other statistics, define the value of a player. (If you want to know how WAR is calculated, Google “MLB WAR.”) The focus on WAR during all the baseball talk shows is appropriate if you want to get down to one number. It’s one of those tools that tells you little about a team game, unless maybe you’ve got the top 10 players by WAR ranking on one team, including four pitchers. Don’t even get me started on WHIP.
The 2011 season started with a San Francisco Giants fan on opening day in Los Angeles getting beaten into a coma by two erstwhile Dodgers “fans” who reportedly have stronger ties to some local gang. The Dodgers’ season was ending with a surprisingly strong finish on the field and a thoroughly embarrassing procession in bankruptcy court where MLB has asked a judge to force parking-lot magnate Frank McCourt to sell the team. The best single stat to measure McCourt’s impact on the Dodgers is “PAOFITS,” or “paid-attendance-over-fans-in-the-stands.”
The 2011 season was also about injuries, perhaps the most prominent of which was Buster Posey’s torn ligaments and broken left ankle. Posey, the catcher and key to the San Francisco Giants’ World Series win last year, was playing against the Florida Marlins when Scott Cousins, attempting to score on a sacrifice fly, collided with Posey, who was trying to block the plate. Posey fell back awkwardly and Cousins scored. Posey was out for the season. The Giants also suffered from injuries to their closer Brian Wilson.
Other prominent injuries included Alex Rodriguez, who will not hit 30 home runs for the first time since 1997, his third year in the league. More recently, most of the starting rotation for the Boston Red Sox was beaten up, leaving the team to rely on the Baltimore Orioles to beat up on the Tampa Bay Rays, the team that challenged the BoSox for the Wild Card.
The Atlanta Braves, impressive all year, also started to fold towards the end as the St. Louis Cardinals pressed for the Wild Card spot. Do we even need to talk about the “first to worst” Minnesota Twins? We should talk about the “worst to first” Arizona Diamondbacks.
As always, there were some amazing plays made by players you’d never heard of (Ben Revere, Roger Bernadina, Adam Jones, Sam Fuld) and a lot of unbelievable ones made by Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who also set a team record this year for homers by a Tribe shortstop. Cabrera made the behind-the-back flip to second his own, while just about everybody, most notably Cincinnati’s “Mr. Personality,” second baseman Brandon Phillips, made a glove flip to first between the legs.
Comments 8 comment(s)
David Savona — September 29, 2011 4:53pm ET
Arthur Pappas — MA, — September 29, 2011 5:03pm ET
Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA, — September 30, 2011 7:49am ET
David Savona — September 30, 2011 9:43am ET
Alex Benes — Newbury Park, CA, USA, — September 30, 2011 2:21pm ET
Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA, — September 30, 2011 5:58pm ET
David Wisniewski — Pennsauken, NJ, USA, — October 1, 2011 8:19pm ET
Chris Homan — Coldwater, OH, USA, — October 7, 2011 9:10am ET
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