Results tagged ‘ Len Kasper ’

5/12 Len Kasper’s “Quality wins” stat

Cubs TV play by play man Len Kasper has some interesting thoughts on improving pitchers’ stats to more accurately reflect their performance. Here’s his suggestion, which he made in a column in the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald:

Wood’s record illustrates ‘Tough Losses’ stat
By Len Kasper

Pitcher wins (and losses) have long been the source of controversy and debate in our game — mainly because they often are misleading.

There are lots of examples, but just a couple are: Kevin Millwood’s 2005 season with Cleveland, during which he led the American League with a 2.86 ERA yet finished the season with a 9-11 record; and Felix Hernandez’s 2010 season that stood out because, despite a pedestrian 13-12 record, he put up a 2.27 ERA and beat out David Price (19-6) and CC Sabathia (21-7) in the AL Cy Young Award balloting in what was seen as a victory for the stat-heads.

Relief wins create even more eye-rolling among the new-school contingent. You can make one pitch (or no pitches if you pick off a runner) and grab a win. You can even blow a save and still put up a “W” if your offense comes back and bails you out.

Oh, and a starter can pitch a complete game, give up 1 lousy unearned run and suffer a loss.

I realize pitcher wins and losses always will be around, whether we snooty numbers geeks like it or not. But maybe there is a way to reach across the aisle to those who still believe in individual wins and losses by creating a better (and simple) version of these stats.

Travis Wood’s career spurred this thought.

Wood has been rather unlucky as a Cub, putting up lots of quality starts with very little to show for them in terms of wins. His career record (including time in Cincinnati) is 28-39, even though his 3.89 ERA has been a little better than MLB average.

So, how do we balance out these two things that don’t seem to match up?

Baseball-Reference.com has a couple of stats that help us find out if a starting pitcher has been lucky or unlucky in his career or during a particular season.

The site lists “Cheap Wins” (Wchp) and “Tough Losses” (Ltuf) on each pitcher’s “More Stats” page. Cheap Wins come in non-quality starts (a quality start means at least 6 innings and no more than 3 earned runs allowed).

Tough Losses, conversely, are losses in quality starts.

Interestingly, Wood has 1 Cheap Win in his career and a whopping 14 tough losses.

So, if we were to make starting pitchers “earn” their wins by having to put up quality starts to qualify for them, we could create a new stat called the Quality Win. And let’s make starters “earn” their losses. too. by only hanging a defeat on their record if they don’t pitch a quality start. We can call this the Quality Loss.

What I am doing here is trying to take as much bad luck and good fortune out of a starter’s record as I can without involving complicated math. By eliminating the outliers, we are getting a little closer to a pitcher’s “true” record.

To find Wood’s “Quality W / L Record” (QWL), we simply subtract his Cheap Wins (1) and his Tough Losses (14) from his 28-39 record. The resulting QWL record is 26-25.

With his ERA, a 26-25 record feels about right — at least better than 27-39 does. Same goes for Jeff Samardzija by the way — he’s 19-32 as a starter, but his QWL of 17-19 (subtracting 2 Cheap Wins and 13 Tough Losses) gets us closer to his career value as a starting pitcher.

Again, this is not a perfect stat, but I believe it gets us closer to a starter’s true value than a simple W-L record.

So, in summary, for QWL a starting pitcher can win in a quality start but he can’t lose, and he can lose in a non-quality start but he can’t win. Simple and clean.

6/18 Benefit concert Friday

Internationally known, Dropkick Murphys’ front man Ken Casey has been added to the Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago lineup, set to take place at Wrigleyville’s Metro on Friday. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper will join an all-star lineup of musicians and personalities for the second annual Chicago benefit concert. Proceeds will benefit Chicago area non-profit prorgrams funded by Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later, as well as victims of the Boston marathon. A limited number of tickets are available, and they can be purchased online at Metro Chicago.

Poi Dog Pondering, Brede Baldwin, Jimmy Chamberlin from Smashing Pumpkins, the Parkington Sisters, Scott Lucas from Local H, the Hot Stove All-Stars, and former Letters to Cleo vocalist Kay Hanley also will perform.

Hot Stove Cool Music was founded in 2000 by Gammons and former Boston Herald sports writer Jeff Horrigan. The biannual event has raised more than $5.5 million for Theo and Paul Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later. Foundation To Be Named Later was founded in 2005 by Epstein and his brother Paul as a means to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged children and families.

6/17 Concert Friday at Metro

Looking for something to do Friday night in Chicago? Don’t forget the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit at Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street, Chicago, which will feature Poi Dog Pondering. Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper will perform, along with the Parkington Sisters, Brede Baldwin, Kay Hanley, Joel Murray, and Peter Gammons and Hot Stove All-Stars. The event is sponsored by Theo Epstein’s The Foundation to Be Named Later, and a portion of the proceeds will go to One Fund Boston 2013 to support the victims of the Boston Marathon. General admission tickets are $50.

5/14 Hot Stove Cool Music event June 21

Theo Epstein, Len Kasper and Peter Gammons will host the second annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert on June 21 at Wrigleyville’s Metro. Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, will be joined on stage by Kasper, the Cubs’ TV play by play man, and Gammons, a Hall of Fame baseball writer. Proceeds from the event will benefit Chicago Cubs Charities and Epstein’s “Foundation To Be Named Later.” It will feature ensemble performances by headliner Poi Dog Pondering along with the Parkington Sisters, Brede Baldwin and Kay Hanley, former vocalist for Letters to Cleo. Gammons, Epstein and Kasper will perform alongside The Hot Stove All-Stars, featuring Jesse Dee, Local H’s Scott Lucas, Will Dailey, Jimmy Chamberlin and special guests.

Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon CT at http://www.metrochicago.com and the Metro Box Office located at 3730 North Clark Street, Chicago. General admission tickets are $50, with no service fees for cash purchases. VIP tickets will also be available at http://www.ftbnl.org.

In addition to the all-star music lineup, the evening will feature a number of special guests and a live and silent auction featuring signed sports memorabilia and priceless entertainment experiences.

Hot Stove Cool Music was founded in 2000 by Gammons and former Boston Herald sports writer Jeff Horrigan. The biannual event has raised more than $5.5 million for Theo and Paul Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later and the Jimmy Fund. Foundation To Be Named Later was founded in 2005 by Epstein and his brother Paul as a means to create positive opportunities for disadvantaged children and families. Nonprofit partner beneficiaries include the One Fund Boston 2013, The Chicago Children’s Choir, City Year Chicago, Girls in the Game, Family Reach Foundation, Chicago Wapiti RFC, Late Night Peace Basketball League, and Garfield Park Little League.

5/8 Sing along with Len, Bob, Theo, Billy Corgan

Tickets go on sale Saturday for the June 14 Hot Stove Cool Music concert at Metro in Chicago featuring Cubs fan Billy Corgan’s group, Smashing Pumpkins, plus the Figgs, Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents, members of Buffalo Tom and the Hot Stove All-Stars. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, is scheduled to perform as well along with Cubs broadcasters Len Kasper and Bob Brenly. Proceeds will support Cubs Charities and the “Foundation to be Named Later Serving Disadvantaged Youth.” Epstein and his brother, Paul, run the foundation.

– Carrie Muskat

3/8 Cubs lineup vs. Mariners

Chris Volstad makes his first start for the Cubs on Thursday in a Cactus League game against the Mariners at HoHoKam Park. You can listen to the broadcast with Len Kasper on Cubs.com. Here’s the lineup:

RF DeJesus

CF Byrd

SS Castro

3B Stewart

LF Soriano

1B Rizzo

2B Baker

DH Johnson

C Castillo

– Carrie Muskat

2/23 Cubs spring broadcast schedule

Can’t wait for baseball? You’ll be able to follow the Cubs’ Spring Training games on the air as 30 of the 35 games are scheduled to be available. The games will be available either on TV, radio, or internet radio broadcast. The 2012 broadcast schedule will feature six games televised by Cubs broadcast partners (four by WGN and two by Comcast SportsNet), 10 on the WGN Cubs radio network and 20 via internet radio broadcast on Cubs.com. Fans will be able to access the Cubs Webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.

WGN Radio will broadcast three of the first four games: March 5 vs. Oakland; March 6 vs. Colorado; and March 7 at Kansas City.

The first televised spring game will be March 10 when the Cubs travel to play the Brewers on WGN.  Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be March 22 at Texas.

Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will once again join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Chicago’s Double-A Tennessee affiliate, for most of the Cubs.com internet radio broadcasts.  The Cubs first game of the spring will be available on Cubs.com on March 4 vs. the Athletics in Mesa.

– Carrie Muskat 

3/5 Pitching probables

Andrew Cashner makes his first start for the Cubs on Saturday when they play host to the Padres at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. Looking ahead to Sunday’s split squad games, Ryan Dempster will start in Mesa against the Dodgers, and Todd Wellemeyer will get his first spring start in Goodyear against the Reds. Sunday will be the first of four scheduled split squads for the Cubs this spring.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on WGN Radio as will Sunday’s game against the Dodgers. Sunday also will be the first Cubs TV broadcast this spring as Len Kasper and Bob Brenly are in the booth in Mesa for the Cubs-Dodgers game.

– Carrie Muskat

2/10 Cubs 2011 TV schedule released

The Cubs announced their regular season television broadcast schedule on Thursday, and for the fourth straight year, all 162 games will be available in high-definition in the Chicago area.
WGN TV will broadcast the April 1 season opener against the Pirates from Wrigley Field at 1:20 p.m. CT. Comcast SportsNet’s first broadcast will be the next day, April 2, at 12:05 p.m. CT. WCIU’s first game will be April 15 when the Cubs play the Rockies in Colorado at 7:40 p.m. CT. Play-by-play man Len Kasper and analyst Bob Brenly return for their seventh season in the broadcast booth.

– Carrie Muskat

2/8 Spring Training broadcast schedule

If you’re stuck in the snow and can’t get to Arizona for Spring Training, you’ll be able to follow nearly every Cubs’ Cactus League game via television, radio or Internet radio broadcast. The 2011 spring schedule features eight games televised by Cubs broadcast partners (six by WGN and two by Comcast SportsNet), 11 on the WGN Cubs radio network, and 19 via Internet radio broadcast on Cubs.com. Fans will be able to access the Cubs webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com for free by registering for a log-in account with the website. In total, 32 of the 34 games (not including an intrasquad game) are scheduled to be available via one or more broadcast mediums.

Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper will join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for Chicago’s Double-A Tennessee affiliate, for most of the Cubs.com radio broadcasts. The first exclusive Cubs.com broadcast will be March 1 from Scottsdale, Ariz., when the Cubs play the Giants.

WGN Radio will broadcast the first two games of the spring — Feb. 27 vs. the Athletics and Feb. 28 vs. the Brewers. Pat Hughes, who enters his 16th season with the Cubs, will handle the play-by-play. The Cubs and WGN Radio have yet to announce his new partner, who takes over for the late Ron Santo.

The first televised spring game will be March 6 when the Cubs host the Dodgers on WGN.  Comcast SportsNet’s first game will be March 20 against the Giants from HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.

The full broadcast schedule will be posted on Cubs.com later today.

– Carrie Muskat

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