There are some concepts in which I believe strongly and try to express here on this blog (It’s not a blog! Yes it is!). But I fail miserably in doing so because I couldn’t do it concisely and poignantly.
Thankfully, there are others who are far better at this than I am:
When a team adds a player like (Mark) Teixeira, the general assumption is that the team has to play better, because he’ll play better than whoever he’s replaced and everyone else will play exactly as they’ve been playing. But of course the real world doesn’t work that way. Some guys will play about the same, some will play better, some will play worse. In this particular case, it’s pretty clear that the guys playing worse have outnumbered the guys playing better. Or perhaps that the guys playing worse have been worse than the guys playing better have been better.
This is what Rob Neyer wrote in his blog this morning (ESPN Insider only) concerning the Angels and their record since adding Mark Teixeira. And it’s a paragraph that’s both difficult to follow yet easy at the same time. But it makes total sense.
As Neyer points out in the entry, prior to trading for Tex, the Angels were 66-40. But despite adding the big bat who has produced very well since coming to Anaheim, they’ve had a worse winning percentage (22-17).
And our inability to recognize the fact that human performances, especially in baseball, don’t follow linear progressions is something that drives me nuts at times. We can’t simply “add five more wins” to a previous year’s team total because they’ve acquired an ace pitcher and call it a projection. Doing so assumes that everyone else on the team will perform exactly the same, which is something that NEVER happens.
So what does this rant have to do with anything that’s going on in baseball right now? Well, not much, really. It’s just a point that was made by Neyer that I wholeheartedly support but couldn’t articulate in past posts.
And besides, I’m terrified to write anything positive about the Mets right now.