You pull on your trunks, slap on your flip flops and head to the beach. It’s sunny outside so the weather must be wonderful. Why wouldn’t you play hooky? However, you get to the beach, grab your Frisbee and set out for your spot on the sand right next to that hottie wearing the black bikini only to realize that though it’s sunny out there that it’s actually about 63 degrees. Come to think of it, there is also about a 18 mph wind blowing. All of a sudden your day of lotion, sun and relaxation just doesn’t look as promising as it did 35 minutes ago when you left your crib.
The point is this – perception isn’t always reality.
In what follows I’ll point out some situations that I’m sure will blow your mind when you realize what you “thought” was going on may not exactly be what is really going on.
Matt Joyce has floundered so much this season that he is on pace for 11 homers and 57 RBI. Whoopee do. However, did you notice that he is hitting .346 on the year or that he is hitting .419 with a 1.210 OPS over the last two weeks?
Ian Kennedy started the year slowly and that makes you think his effort in 2010 was a bit fluky, right? If you thought that you would have missed out on the fact that over his last three starts he is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.
Jed Lowrie is hitting a robust .350 on the year and has been a terrific find thus far (we would all agree). Still, were you aware that over the past two weeks that Lowrie was hitting all of .267 with a .277 OBP in 45 at-bats? Or how about this. Lowrie has no homers and one RBI in his last 10 games. So much for him being the savior, right?
Brad Penny stinks and there is just no need to pay any attention to him. After all, he has seven walks and allowed 12 earned runs over his first two starts of the year. Well, of late he has looked like an All-Star with a 1.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 3.20 K/BB ratio over his last three starts
Juan Rivera is hitting only .212 on the year and has been a massive disappointment for the Jays, right? Not so fast. Rivera is actually hitting pretty well right now with a .317 mark over the past two weeks during which time his OPS has been a strong .905.
Troy Tulowitzki bashed seven homers with 14 RBI in his first 12 games and was looking like the NL MVP. Since then he has gone deep, uh, not a single time in 15 games. He only has three RBI in those 15 contests as well. He’s also hit .225 with a .569 OPS over his last 40 at-bats.
I think you get the point.
We are talking about a handful of at-bats or starts with players, and that just isn’t enough data to paint an accurate portrait in most cases. As humans who have busy lives we’ve learned to draw conclusions based upon the data presented to us. If that snap shot was ‘Troy Tulowitzki is mashing the ball as well as any shortstop in the history of baseball” it’s most likely how you stereotyped him for the 2011 season. Maybe that will end up being the case and you’ll be right, but even with that hot start of his the truth is that over the last two weeks there are 20 shortstops who have have produced more fantasy value. Don’t mistake me here, I’m not saying that I have any doubt in Tulo’s greatness, my point is that it’s a long season and before you go formulating an opinion on players make sure that you have enough data at your disposal to make that call.
Now where is my SPF 30?
By Ray Flowers