The Best of FanGraphs: July 30-August 3, 2018

Each week, we publish in the neighborhood of 75 articles across our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.

MONDAY, 7/30
Trade Threads: Weaving a Roster Together, by Chris Davies
An excerpt: “One-off deals like Ruth to New York are easily traced via Baseball-Reference or, for active players,, both of which list the transactions involving a player on his player page. Finding baseball’s red paper clip, though, requires plumbing the depths of deals, sorting through the transaction sections of player pages, and tracing the lines to see how a club can trade up to its own metaphorical house. How did the Indians, for example, turn 1977 draftee Jerry Dybzinski into two-time Cy Young Award-winner Corey Kluber.”

MLB, Twitter, and Baseball’s Looming Age Problem, by Sheryl Ring
Instead of harnessing social media’s power to draw in younger fans, MLB and even MLB’s own official Twitter account used it to push them away.

Astros Trade for Elite Closer Currently Suspended for Domestic Violence, by Jeff Sullivan
Following in the footsteps of a few teams before them, the Astros take a DV-discount in order to get bullpen help relatively cheap.

The Arms of August, by Frank Jackson
An excerpt: “Despite assurances from manager Bill McKechnie and his teammates that the team’s losing skid wasn’t his fault (he was hitting .309 at the time), he continued to spiral downward. Remaining in his Copley Plaza hotel room on August 3 while his teammates were at the ballpark, he committed suicide by cutting his throat. He had been listening to the first game on the radio but expired before the second game started.”

Ranking the Prospects Traded at the Deadline, by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel
It’s prospect time, y’all.

“Five O’Clock Lightning”: A Legend of the 1927 Yankees, by Shane Tourtellotte
An excerpt: “These distant looks at the question show us varying prospects, from middling to very good, for five o’clock lightning. The peripheral numbers suggest much and prove nothing, so it’s time to face the question directly. How often did five o’clock lightning strike for the 1927 Yankees?”

Matt Chapman Is Amazing, by Jeff Sullivan
Matt Chapman is strong and real and he is our friend.

The Increasing Difficulty of Acquiring Star Players, by John LaRue
An excerpt: “That said, the five-year rolling average for 2017 is 6.6 stars per year changing teams. That’s the lowest five-year average since 1995, the first season after the strike. It’s nowhere near as dire as it was during the collusion years, but if you’re in the market for a star player, it’s much harder to get them now than it has been in quite some time.”

Marco Gonzales is Quietly (Re)Learning the Art of the Breaking Ball, by Alexander Haynes
Life, death, how to throw a breaking ball.

Let Us Like Baseball, by Meg Rowley
Baseball draws us all in for a million different reasons, making the thorns thrown in between us and the sport all the more disappointing.

Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects Updated, by Marc Hulet
KC’s prospects like you’ve probably never seen them before.

The 2018 Baltimore Orioles in History: An Ill-Advised, Premature Comparison, by Steven Goldman
An excerpt: “In the 1985 edition of his Baseball Abstract, Bill James compared the 1984 champion Detroit Tigers to six other great teams of relatively recent vintage. He did this via the time-honored game of “my shortstop is better than your shortstop.” He set up a faux-pennant race; each time a player ranked ahead of the competition, it was a win. The rankings were subjective, based in part on the players’ performance in the season in question, in part on career value. We’re going to do that here with the Orioles, but backwards: The goal is to find the best team at being bad, so whenever a team’s player is worse than another player, we’ll count that as a win.”

Red Sox, Yankees, and Wild Card Fairness, by Craig Edwards
Is all fair in Wild Cards and fWAR?

We hoped you liked reading The Best of FanGraphs: July 30-August 3, 2018 by Mina Dunn!

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