Here are several links from the past week that will make your spring-training Monday a bit more bearable:
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe made what many consider the most extraordinary medical advance in baseball history that September when he invented a transplant procedure that resurrected the pitcher’s arm.
Jobe borrowed the idea of transferring a tendon from one body part to another, which had been used in hand surgery and to reinforce the joints of polio patients but never to repair a joint that endures so much stress — the elbow of a major league pitcher.
He snipped a 6-inch tendon from the pitcher’s good arm and wove it like a figure eight through holes drilled in the elbow of the injured left arm to replace the ligament destroyed by overuse. It worked so well that Pete Rose, then a player with the Cincinnati Reds, quipped: “I know they had to give Tommy John a new arm. But did they have to give him [Sandy] Koufax’s?”
dWAR does actually isolate just the defensive portions of WAR. But you need to remember that it includes the positional adjustment. The fact that Ed McKean has a positive dWAR and Jeff Bagwell has a negative dWAR does not mean that Bagwell was a bad fielder and McKean was good. In their cases, Bagwell was phenomenal at a low value position and McKean was among the worst at the highest value position. In the WAR framework, McKean was still more “valuable” to his team because he filled that very difficult shortstop position.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!