It’s October, and that’s a wonderful time of year to be a baseball fan. It’s somewhat of a less wonderful time for fans of a team like the Dodgers who aren’t in the playoffs, because no real movement can begin on constructing the 2013 team for about a month. So with that in mind, it’s time to look back, and so tomorrow we’ll start with 2012 season reviews. I am floored to say that this will be Year Six of the annual season in review pieces. Six!
We’re doing it a little differently this year, because rather than grouping players by position and then discussing two or three at a time, I’m giving each player their own post. That’s a good idea to extend the series and also considering that I have 2100 words down on A.J. Ellis already; it’ll be decidedly less fun when I have to dedicate an entire day to Tim Federowicz or Rubby De La Rosa. We’ll start with Ellis and the catchers, then work around the infield to the outfield, through the rotation, and finally into the bullpen. With 50 players who saw time this year, posting these a few times a week around whatever else pops up should get us well into the fall.
Anyway, it’s always a fun look back not only on how a player performed, but on what our perception was of them at the time. That’s why I always try to quote liberally from previous posts, not to toot my own horn for past good work – okay, not just that – but to see how we felt about a player in May or July or August. It’s often amazing to remember what you thought of a player in May as opposed to the end of the season – or in some cases, how you feel exactly the same.
As always, a word up front about the grading scale. The letter grades I hand out are entirely subjective, and most importantly, they’re based on what our preseason expectations were of the player, not based on comparing him to his peers. For example, Jamey Wright is going to get a higher grade than Matt Kemp, simply because Wright outperformed low expectations while Kemp’s season was something of a disappointment. Does the higher grade mean I think Wright is a better player than Kemp? Of course not, but that’s something I hear every year. Fewer than 10 innings pitched or 100 plate appearances gets you an “incomplete”.
As always, I’ve repurposed Topps baseball cards from the late-80s and early-90s to use for this series. What year will it be this year? Check back tomorrow.