Tuesday Rockpile: Rox Stars to represent NL tonight, Are the Giants a farce?

Sorry for the late Pile this morning.  My dinosaur of a computer decided to go into a  morning coma.

All-Star News

Hawpe, Marquis humbly lifting Rockies | ColoradoRockies.com: News
TR Sullivan and Thomas Harding feature the Rockies two All-Stars this year, complete with a video interview.

Woody Paige's column from yesterday speaks about how Brad Hawpe is now shining out from under the shadow he's been blocked by for most of his career.  There's actually some flowers among the weeds in the piece giving Hawpe his due praise and credit, but I can't resist pointing out he's not the most valuable outfielder for the Rockies, at least according to WAR.

Hawpe won't be an All-Star starter, but at least a Colorado native will take the mound first for the AL. Halladay was named the A.L. starter, to nobody's surprise.

Prince outslugs field to take Derby crown | MLB.com: News
Prince Fielder edged out upstart Nelson Cruz for the derby win last night, bringing up the obligatory question:  how will this derby affect the sluggers' swings the rest of the season?  You may have seen such arguments before, but RJ Anderson at Fangraphs reaffirms:  there is no carry over effect.  He uses solid arguments of regression and the fact that contestants are more likely to have hit an inordinate number of home runs in the season's first half to earn a spot in the derby.

 

The Doc

In case you haven't noticed, Jays ace Roy Halladay is on trade block.

Troy Renck's mailbag is populated by fans with high hopes for Halladay, and it also answers why players' back pockets are inside out sometimes, which I believe someone asked in a game thread a few weeks back.

For your morning comedy, check out Woody's Paige column:: Halladay could make it happen.  Among the gems, a self-righteous personal declaration of sage wisdom for forseeing Halladay's apparent availability (don't think he was the only one), a Krukism ("They're not likely to be the NL's Wild Card team" - 2GB in 2nd place is one foot in the grave I guess), and of course, the irrational trade suggestion:

Why not Brandon Hynick, Alan Johnson and Greg Reynolds — three hopefuls in Colorado Springs — for a future Hall of Famer?

At least there's no Quintanilla this time.  Sigh.

In news related to the Rockies' actual rotation, as tipped by Foo Man yesterday, the Rockies Rotation is Set For Second Half, according to Jack Etkin.

 

Other Links

Lucky Teams | FanGraphs Baseball
Matthew Carruth of Fangraphs (and I believe Lookout Landing) developed a convoluted formula (far more complicated than Pythagorean W-L) to evaluate how lucky teams are, eventually calcualting how many wins a team should have if luck played no role.  The Rockies are two games on the unlucky side while the Giants are second in the NL with +10 games on the lucky side.  So if we removed luck and everyone was just as lucky, what would the standings be?

NL West Standings with matthew carruth's luck factor added

W L PCT GB STRK
Los Angeles 56 32 .636 0 Won 1
Colorado 49 39 .556 7 Won 1
Arizona 46 43 .534 10.5
Lost 1
San Francisco 39 49
.426 17
Lost 1
San Diego 37 51 .409 19
Won 1

(updated 7.14.2009 at 8:23 AM MDT)

So the Giants have been VERY lucky.  Yeah I know, luck is part of the game and I have 21 reasons not to eliminate luck.  And yeah, I know - his method seems mystical and fabricated and far less real than the results on the field.  I'm just pointing out he IS an unbiased party, and this is yet another piece of analysis on an overwhelming pile - like this or this or this  - that point to the Rockies actually being better than the Giants.  Maybe they are on to something.  If there is any validity to Matthew's findings, the only question is whether the Giants' luck can be attributed to grit, which is sustainable, or blind luck, which is not.

Matt Herges was DFA'd by the Indians. I would advocate taking a flyer.  If you need any reasons why, go back and check out RMN's Counting Rocks on Herges from July 4.

Pirates writers have apparently given up on matching up Freddy Sanchez with the Rockies, but they still are trying to match Eric Young Jr. in a trade, this time for bullpen help.  No further details.

2009 MLB Trade Value: Introduction | FanGraphs Baseball
Last link of the day.  Fangraphs is ranking the top 50 most valuable players in MLB, if involved in a trade.  This weighs out production as well as potential, contrac length and money owed.  They've posted #50-46 so far.  It could be an interesting read to monitor.

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