I don't really advertise the Lookout Landing Facebook page. Most of the time I have to spend on Lookout Landing, I spend on Lookout Landing. Most of the remaining time I have to spend on Lookout Landing social media, I spend on Twitter, because Twitter is awesome and Facebook is whatever. A simple Chone Figgins DFA message on the Facebook page last night is approaching 300 likes. I don't say this to boast about attention. I say this to demonstrate that a lot of people are really happy about the end of Chone Figgins.
Most of us were prepared to like Chone Figgins; most of us came to loathe him, or to at least loathe his presence on the Mariners' roster. A disliked player can always become a liked player by simply performing well, but Figgins wasn't going to get that opportunity with the Mariners in 2013. He was going to remain loathed, and benched, and this is just better for everybody. It hardly makes a difference with regard to the Mariners' projected win total, but this is just better for everybody. I hope the Mariners do well without Figgins, and I hope Figgins finds satisfaction without the Mariners. Somewhere far away from the Mariners.
What happened with Figgins is a mystery. He was quite good, and then he was a Mariner. He was in his 30s, but he wasn't deep into his 30s, and as much as you might blame his defensive shift or his placement somewhere other than leadoff, he didn't produce when he moved back to third, and he didn't produce when he moved back to leadoff. He just came completely undone, and it caused me to wonder whether short players might decline faster than average or tall players. So over at FanGraphs, I investigated. I sort of approximated, instead of generating a true short-player aging curve, but I'm capable of the former and incapable of the latter so accept the approximation and then read it again as seconds. Consume consume consume! It's Thanksgiving almost! Consume until you grow weary or die.
An excerpt because why not:
eton. If you were putt
Another, more complete excerpt:
A good proxy for productivity is playing time. Generally, if you’re good, you’ll play, and if you’re bad, you won’t play. That last sentence was analysis. I decided to go in and collect a bunch of numbers spanning from 1961-2012, which B-R refers to as the Expansion Era. Setting an arbitrary minimum of 250 plate appearances, I looked at how many matching player seasons there were for each age between 28 to 39 (also arbitrary). Then I looked at how many matching player seasons there were for each age for players no taller than 70 inches, officially (arbitrary once again). There’s a lot of arbitrariness in here, and official heights are frequently inflated, but let’s just go with this. Let us please just go with this.
The rest of the details are at FanGraphs. I'd encourage you to read the post -- that's why I'm linking the post -- but if you really just want an easy, bite-size conclusion, here's this: no. The answer to the question I was investigating appears to be no, although it's worth a better study by someone more qualified.
Let's put it this way: if we all should've seen Chone Figgins coming, the Mariners wouldn't have signed him to a four-year contract worth $36 million. Because the Mariners are smarter about baseball than we are! Chone Figgins, for his part, still strongly believes that he's capable of being a good regular baseball player. Chone Figgins is also kind of biased. Things are not as they were supposed to be.