Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

De-fense! De-fense!

Everybody thinks the Rays are the better defensive team, but not according to Fielding Bible author John Dewan.

De-fense! De-fense!

I've been hearing how the Tampa Bay Rays are a better defensive team than the Phillies, so I called Fielding Bible author John Dewan to see what he thinks.

Dewan uses a Plus/Minus System. According to fieldingbible.com, "video scouts review video of every play of every major league game and record detailed information on each play, such as the location of each batted ball, the speed, the type of hit, etc. ... A player gets credit (a "plus" number) if he makes a play that at least one other player at his position missed during the season, and he loses credit (a "minus" number) if he misses a play that at least one player made. The size of the credit is directly related to how often players make the play. Each play is looked at individually, and a score is given for each play. Sum up all the plays for each player at his position and you get his total plus/minus for the season. A total plus/minus score near zero means the player is average. A score above zero is above average and a negative score is below average. Adam Everett turned in the highest score we’ve had in four years of using the system with a +43 at shortstop in 2006. That means he made 43 more plays than the average MLB shortstop would make.

Here are the Phillies' individual rankings:

1B: Ryan Howard +1 (ranked 12th in MLB with rankings based on the 35 players who played most often)
2B: Chase Utley +47 (1st)
3B  Pedro Feliz +7 (12th) 
SS Jimmy Rollins +23 (1st)
LF Pat Burrell -20 (34th) 
CF Shane Victorino +10 (7th) 
RF Jayson Werth +2 (15th)

As a team, the Phillies ranked first at +74. The Rays ranked eighth at +34.

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Important ticket information for Philadelphia: If there is a rainout in Philadelphia, tickets for Game 3 hold for Game 3, tickets for Game 4 hold for Game 4 and tickets for Game 5 hold for Game 5, regardless of the day they are played.

In other words, if Game 3 is postponed Saturday, ticketholders for Game 3 would attend Game 3 on Sunday. Game 4 ticketholders then would then go Monday and Game 5 ticketholders would go Tuesday.

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The only thing more annoying than the Backstreet Boys? The Backstreet Boys during sound check. They've been on the field for at least 45 minutes so far, checking their microphones and ear pieces.  My Lord, it's a miracle they can put out a record.

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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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