-The Eastern League in Baseball: A Statistical History, 1923-2005

-Baseball in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the National Pastime

-Jews And Baseball: A History, 1871-1948

-Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero

-Pro Football Prospectus 2006

-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


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December 11 2006

If you're squeamish, one of those types who watches horror movies through their fingers, this might be a tough one for you.  It will help if you can just come to grips with a simple fact before going any further:  Freddy Garcia is absolutely terrible at preventing stolen bases.

With Garcia on the mound last season, opponents successfully stole bases in 95.2% of their attempts.  That's not even the bad news.  This is:  He allowed 40 stolen bases, the most for any American League pitcher.  It wasn't close.  And with him on the mound, the White Sox caught base stealers just twice.


Stolen bases allowed, AL pitchers
Player Team IP SB CS IP per SB
Garcia CWS 216.1 40 2 5.4
Wakefield BOS 140.0 24 4 5.8
Contreras CWS 196.0 21 6 9.3
R Johnson NYY 205.0 21 10 9.8
Halladay TOR 220.0 20 5 11.0
J Johnson BOS 106.1 19 0 5.6

Only five AL pitchers allowed 20 or more stolen bases.  Nobody besides Garcia allowed more than 24.

Here's what the Phillies who allowed the most stolen bases last year did:


Player IP SB CS IP per SB
Madson 134.1 14 6 9.6
Myers 198.0 13 5 15.2
Floyd 54.1 11 2 4.9
Hamels 132.1 9 2 14.7
Lieber 168.0 8 3 21.0

First of all, the White Sox need to get some kind of an award for doing what most would have deemed impossible.  They actually traded Garcia for someone who allowed stolen bases at a higher rate than he did, although using innings pitched per stolen base may be misleading given how many more base runners Floyd allowed in an inning.

Overall, however, the Phillies didn't have anyone who gave up the sheer numbers of stolen bases like Garcia did.  The three Phils who gave up the most stolen bases combined to allow 38 stolen bases, less than Garcia, and caught 13 base runners, which is 11 more than were caught with Garcia on the bump.

Clearly there's a problem.

"I know when they get on base, they're going to steal against Freddy" said Ozzie Guillen coming off a game where the Devil Dogs stole four bases with Garcia on the mound (you can read the article here).  Garcia's explanation in the same article doesn't inspire much confidence, either.  The article quotes him as saying: "Those guys are really fast . . . I lose my rhythm so I really don't pay attention."  Spiffy.

In this article Guillen, perhaps blinded with rage after a stolen base was allowed to Jeff Conine of all people, hammers away at Garcia some more:  "He's too slow to the plate. He seems like he can care less if a guy gets on second base, because he thinks he has good enough stuff to get them out."

Let's hope he's right.

This article suggests there's not much to the Cardinals interest in Lieber.

The Cubs' efforts to acquire Ryan Church have cooled.

The Rangers may be close to a deal with Kenny Lofton.  It would be the second center fielder they added in the last couple of days, none of which are Aaron Rowand.

This article says the Phillies signed Adam Eaton cause they thought they could trade Brett Myers to the Devil Rays for a package that included Rocco Baldelli.  It would have had to have been quite a package.  I would be surprised to see the Phillies trade Myers anywhere.

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