Thursday, September 19, 2013


We warned you that Ptolemy would just can't keep a wily Egyptian down.

Actually, what's returning is our "Ptolemaic MVP" doodad, where we take "epicyclical" snapshots of various two-month slices of offensive data and add it up to provide a modular view of in-season performance.

Below we have the most recent snapshot of just the raw "Ptolemaic overlay" as yet. (We'll get to that after the season comes to an end on September 29.) There's a chart for each league of the hitters with .850+ OPS from July 19 through September 18 (AL first, then NL).

What comes out of this snapshot is the potential for endless ideological blathering in the Mike Trout vs. Miguel Cabrera showdown. As we suggested last year, just make 'em co-MVPs: most everyone will slink back into their man-caves and/or momma's basements and there will be a semblance of peace in the valley.

However, there's a little more. Turns out that our data, which we sliced down at the 100 plate appearance level to look for any unusual names, actually did just many of you knew there was a second Chris Davis who was ripping things up in the batter's box?

OK...technically, that's Khris Davis. (Sue us, everyone else is.) He's having some fun in September playing left field for the Brewers, who have a certain arrogant putz who's been mysteriously absent from the Milwaukee lineup of late--we last heard he's taking his new BFF, a former MLB drug tester, on a long bus ride in the Carpathian mountains.

As Chris Davis slows down, this other Davis has popped up just to make things more confusing for baseball fans and the various national agencies who are surveilling all of us.

Blame the NSA for the fact that we 
can't find a picture of Shane Victorino 
getting plunked in a Red Sox uniform. 
At the top of the NL chart we have this year's presumptive MVP, Andrew McCutchen, (Ptolemy told us that McCutchen was the NL MVP in 2012.) Buster Posey, who came out of nowhere to snatch the MVP with a great second half last year, is nowhere to be found on this list. (This year it's Hunter Pence--heating up just in time to declare free agency.)

Please note who's been spearheading the Nationals' recent surge--Jayson Werth, who is giving McCutchen a real run for his money.

This just in...thank you, CIA!!
You'll note that the Red Sox have a lot of players on the AL list. It's been a year in which the Boston brain trust looks even smarter than it is, because virtually all of their off-season moves paid off. That happens sometimes. What the data doesn't show, however, is the odd occurrence over the past six weeks where one of their proficient batters, Maui native Shane Victorino, has suddenly become a clay pigeon for opposing hurlers.

In the last six weeks, Shane has been hit with a pitch 14 times. Up until August 3rd, he'd had only 3 HBP. He's had more HBPs than BBs over the stretch, which is ordinarily something than only someone like Wilin Rosario could do (see the bottom of the NL chart).

Shane isn't likely to play in tonight's game against the O's, but it's not because he was injured when hit by a pitch--he jammed his thumb swinging the bat. Go figure.

Ptolemy returns in October with a retrospective countdown as we look ahead to the MVP awards.