Wednesday, April 28, 2010

For Those of You Who Were Fans of Bay's Glove now get some sort of vindication, thanks to an announcement by the creator of Ultimate Zone Rating that he's revised the UZR formula to better account for ballparks like Fenway that have unusual outfield layouts. Bay and Ellsbury - another member of the negative UZR club - had their 2009 totals increased, with Ellsbury rising from 18.3 runs allowed to a slightly less ugly 10.3 runs allowed, and Bay making the leap from 13.8 runs allowed to a much nicer 1.2 runs prevented.

However, before anyone see this change in formulas as a sign that the Sox screwed up by letting Bay go, don't get too excited: it turns out Theo & Co. have their own formula for measuring defensive capabilities, and they saw both Bay and Ellsbury as being about average in the field. This revelation led John Tomase to conclude that Bay's time in Boston was done earlier than we initially thought:
The new UZR wouldn’t have impacted the Sox’ decision to let Bay walk. Even with the adjustments, Bay is still at minus-55.9 runs lifetime, though part of that can be explained by his 2007 knee surgery.

More importantly, we now know he was as good as gone once contract talks collapsed at the All-Star break over his medicals.
It's an interesting conclusion, though I have to wonder if the deal still had a chance until the two parties realized they were nowhere near meeting on price.