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Sunday Links are easing back into the fold

As we edge toward the off-season, this some weekend links will likely be a regular feature again. Hopefully we can satiate some of your interest while you stare out your window and wait for spring.

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Help me get through the winter.
Help me get through the winter.
Jonathan Daniel

Let's start off at a crawl; these Links need some time to get back on their feet and shake the rust off. With that understanding, we've got some okay (just okay) articles from around the series of tubes. Oh, and a few of these were meant to be shared last week but were not due to technical glitch. So they may be, while not stale, a few more days the elder. Forgive me for the laziness; I just spent a train ride next to a drunken, six-foot rabbit as he chugged an energy drink. Anyway, here goes.

Over at Beyond the Box Score, Bryan Grosnick is attempting to tackle the differences between the three commonly accepted systems of valuation: rWAR, fWAR and WARP. He's scaling the metrics to a baseline in order to more accurately compare players between the three. We've got the introduction to the WAR index, the index for starting pitchers, an index for hitters, and an even more in-depth look, breaking down WAR on a per-game basis over the past ten years. This may be more explanatory than provocative, but it's a certainly an interesting project.

Shohei Otani, an 18-year-old pitching phenom, could be the first person to make the jump from a Japanese high school to US professional baseball, as he declined to enter the NPB draft.

Also from Hardball Talk, Jose Valverde is reportedly fixed. No, just kidding. That article is from the old days, before he struck out Tim Lincecum and then promptly gave up two runs on four hits in game one of the World Series.

One more Detroit link, a very minor kerfuffle involving Demon Young's ALCS MVP-dom: There's a slight chance that Young is not, as the president of the American League described him, a "class act." Who knew.

More (insert team name)freude, From Viva El Birdos, a good reason to dislike the Cardinals and their fans. I hate this article. I hate the comments. I don't know why I'm sharing this clearly non-biased and universally shared sentiment. Oh, wait, yes I do. To influence your rooting interest this evening to bask in that awful team's humiliating defeat. Would you like more fuel for that fire? Here, a link I do love (not safe for sanity and/or children [late edit: I don't know if that disclaimer is strong enough; there is some truly awful stuff in there, but I do believe in abject laughter as an appropriate response to inhuman ridiculousness], and courtesy of Ozzie Montana).

From Grantland, Phil Coke is a blue-collar guy who almost didn't make it to the majors. It's a heartwarming story, or it would be if anyone could care for the Tigers. Also, has anyone read either of the two books mentioned? Out of My League looks especially good.

Here's a lonnnng interview with Billy Beane from Athletics Nation. There's a lot of detailed, A's-specific stuff in there, and some rote questions and answers, so some skimming may be appropriate. However, there's plenty of interesting commentary there, too. A choice quote from Beane of semi-pertinence to semi-recent SSS discussion: "The potential is here but when you have 81 home games, the onus is on us to make sure that people have something here that people want to come out and see."

Speaking of Billy Beane, a quality article about Moneyball from Grant Brisbee: IS MONEYBALL DEAD? A SHOCKING EXPOSÉ. I almost hate to give it away, but... check out that url.

Finally, that kooky Bill James guy developed Loser Scores way back in 2010. It's an interesting concept, along the lines of a cumulative fan misery index. Baseball Think Factory's Mike Emeigh describes it well. (For cheaters: the White Sox Loser Score is zero, as in The Best, and they share that score with nine other teams).