It's friday, so you know what that means...  


4 chats this morning, 3 of them, i shot blanks. But then, tuna got the first blow in chat #4 with:

Angie (Wayne): Jerry, Do you think Jeter's lack of performance is related to the acquisition of A-Rod, Can Jeter not perform when he's not the media darling of NY?

Jerry Crasnick: (11:07 AM ET ) Angie,

You never know what's inside a guy's head. I know Harold Reynolds thinks his hands are dinged up and that's affecting him. Jeter's the kind of guy who'll just go out and play and not use injuries as an excuse. I have a hard time believing he's struggling because of A-Rod, but he might be hesitant to come out of the lineup because he knows there'll be a huge push for Torre to play A-Rod at short.

[angie's my grandmother btw]

Not to be outdone, i came back with:

James (Australia): If i was going to go to a game solely to heckle players, where should I go? I've had some success in the left field bleachers of yankee stadium, but I want to take my show on the road. Are minor league games too easy? Seems like it would be shooting fish in a barrel.

Jerry Crasnick: (11:15 AM ET ) James,

Since you're planning to come all the way from Australia, I figure you deserve a response. I think Pittsburgh or Montreal would be your best bets, since the stands are generally empty and your voice could more easily be heard. But please, keep the heckling clean and family-oriented.

tuna blew my mind with this one. I couldn't believe how he got inside pj's head and was actually "thinking like him." I later found out that tuna just pasted the paragraph i wrote in my blog about dunn. BTW, take a look at the town PJ is from:

Peter (Neocon): How good will Adam Dunn be this year? Too often, batters are so afraid of striking out that they choke up with two strikes and just try and make contact. That often results in lazy grounders. Adam Dunn is NOT like that. He controls the strike zone, and takes and rakes. Is his approach worth the extra strikeouts?

Jerry Crasnick: (11:26 AM ET ) Peter,

The word in spring training was that the Reds told Chris Chambliss to work with Dunn exclusively and weren't going to clutter up his head with advice from 12 different people. It sure seems to be working so far. If Dunn can hit 40 homers and knock in 120 runs, I think they can live with 150 strikeouts. Thing is, he's second in the National League in walks behind Bonds right now.

I have to pat myself on the back for this question from Maria. Does everyone get the inside joke?

Maria (Caldwell): Can a healthy Nick Johnson and Carl Everett save the struggling Expos? Or is this franchise doomed to go the way of the dinosaur and just fade into extinction?

Jerry Crasnick: (11:35 AM ET ) Maria,

Nick Johnson is really frustrating to watch. It looks like he's going to be one of those guys who's always hurt. I thought Carl Everett was a good pickup, but he just caught a bad break with an injury. The Expos have really overachieved in recent years with limited resources. It's time for baseball to resolve that situation and sell the team. It's not fair to the players, the Montreal fans or the people running the team.

finally, i threw in a "real" question just so i can get people talking about my fantasy guys:

Kenneth (Atlanta): Is john thomson the best kept secret in baseball? If you translate his coors induced numbers from last year to pitcher friendly turner field, it looks like he will be solid. Not to mention the best pitching coach in the game.

Jerry Crasnick: (11:47 AM ET ) Kenneth,

He's definitely suffered from pitching in Denver and Texas, two graveyards for pitchers. I know the scouts have liked his stuff over the years. It looks like another astute move by John Schuerholz.

btw, Neyer is on at 1 pm. I hate to let the cat out of the bag, but tuna came up with what may be the greatest question of all time:

cheeser50: George (Crawford) What's the deal with the suicide squeeze, is it a lost art? Managers don't seem to have a lot of faith that their suicider will make contact.

stupid asian girl wants to play with american survivor  


or however the kill bill quote goes.

this asian girl on survivor is driving me crazy. last week when she called the other players "stupid" for not trying get her in on a plan. uh, here's a plan: there are 5 people trying to get 1 out. as soon as that 1 person loses an immunity challenge, said person is gone. deal with it.

I was thinking about great it would be if pj was on survivor. I realize i told this joke already, but if he was on, he would have shown NO emotion during the videos from his "loved ones'. that would have made for some awkward close ups. then, the letter would have just been spreadsheets from fantasy.

but today would have taken the cake. It would have been great if they picked steve to come to the island on behalf of pj. the look of dismay on pj's face when he realized that they were there for an eating contest (a speed race) would have been PRICELESS.

two homophobic thumbs down  


I was trying to find a quote from the movie sleepers for my paper (yes, i somehow managed to write a paper on godfather last semester and one on sleepers this semester), and i came across a mildly interesting review of the movie by Roger Ebert. He made some good points about how some of the dialogue was cliched, how Father Bobby never explains his decision to lie b/c he can't, and how the code of the streets is similar to the code followed by the mafia. But here's where he loses me:

So what we really have here is a situation in which the pop culture version of the Mafia code, as popularized by the evangelist Mario Puzo and elaborated by his acolytes like Carcaterra, is valued above traditional morality. If you doubt that the movie depends on homophobia to justify its morality, ask yourself: If the boys had been beaten but not sexually molested, would the movie play the same way? Would the priest arrive at the same decision? Would the verdict seem as justified?

correlation does not equal causation. yes, if you remove the rape, the movie plays different. and yes, the rape happened to be man on man (or in this case, man on boy). but that doesn't mean that the increased sensitivity of the viewer makes them homophobic. What if they were little girls who were raped by male prison guards? would we be any less horrified? absolutely not. Rape, for whatever reasons (and that's a whole different rant) is a different TYPE of crime. It just is. It's not just physical anguish but mental as well.

If those kids were just beaten it would have played out as a different movie. But I don't think i'm homophobic for thinking that. I saw the victims as "kids" and not "boys".

He's getting paid to make baseball decisions!!  


Bottom of the 7th, cubs are up 3-1. Guy on first, one out. Maddux up.

Clearly, you pinch hit for greg maddux.

Dusty Baker let's him hit. Actually, he let's him bunt.

Now, Baker is retarded, so i can't expect him to actually grasp the concept that even if you are just looking for one run, the best way to get it is to not play small ball.

but, after maddux fails to move the runner over (guy out at second), he doesn't even pinch run for greg.

If you are going to pull your pitcher (which he after the inning), why have him out there running? he's 1) slow and 2) it's a risk of injury.

And why even have maddux doing the bunting for that matter. even if maddux is the best bunting option, what happens if it goes to two strikes? now you have maddux up there having to (attempt to) hit.

I hate dusty baker.

my hard work on friday  


Dennis (newark): I was at your fight against oquendo and I thought you did a great job. However, when i saw the replay on tv, the announcers were bashing the decision. Why do you think they claimed that?

Chris Byrd: (4:24 PM ET ) I don't know what their problem is. They don't like me. I thought I won too. I got the decision, so it doesn't matter.


Dennis (newark): and i won 40 bucks from my friend on that, if you are ever in brick city, feel free to pick up your end :)

Chris Byrd: (4:27 PM ET ) Dennis, I want it all in nickels!


[this was after he said his favorite meal was hot wings]

Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce: Hey, where's the love?

Chris Byrd: (4:32 PM ET ) Oh yeah, my bad. All of it, and don't forget the celery and carrots!


[this was after he said he didn't like chris rock]

Dave Chapelle: Do you like me at least?

Chris Byrd: (4:34 PM ET ) Oh yeah. Dave Chapelle, you're the man dawg!


Adam (redbank): If you could get through a fight with little to no effort (say 3rd round knockout, no injuries on your part), how quickly could you turn around and fight again?

Chris Byrd: (4:42 PM ET ) Realistically? A week later.

Chris Byrd: (4:42 PM ET ) Schedule wise ... six weeks.


Elaine (San Diego): Are you saddened by the fact that retired boxers can't stay retired? Why can't they just let go? Money, ego, both?

Chris Byrd: (4:45 PM ET ) Everything. I agree with you Elaine. Stay retired. That's why they call it retirement.


[and this one was for rob neyer]

Spelling Police: That's twice already you made fun of someone for a spelling mistake. At least they can say the names without a huge lisp.

Rob Neyer: (11:28 AM ET ) Actually, the first time was for a grammar mistake. And if my lisp is so huge, then how come I'm on TV and you're not?

A hitter "relief ace"  


ok, as my head was swirling over counters to steve's ridiculous claims (and believe me, that rant will come later) i think i actually came up with a theory that's worthy of primate discussion.

I was thinking about the relief ace, and how one of the few ways a manager can tip the w/l balance in his favor is by proper relief pitcher usage. Well, why doesn't this work for hitting? Namely, with the greatest hitter of all time, Barry Bonds. I think there is a way to maximize his value on an otherwise anemic offense.

First, you have to determine what the optimum amount of playing time is for Barry. CW thinks that an occassional day off will optimize Barry's performance, on many levels in including mental and physical fatigue, general endurance, and risk of injury. For sake of simplicity, say it comes out to 20 games off a season.

Now, those 20 games need to be spread out. I imagine that there are three levels of fatigue for a player like bonds. 1) I'm ready to go skip 2) I can play if you need me, but a day off would be useful and 3) i'm tired, i need a day off. Clearly, you would never rest him at 1, always rest him at 3, and then try to figure out the best times to rest him at 2.

I think CW is making their biggest mistake in how they utilize rest in the 2 zone. I assume that rest in certain situations (after an extra inning game, day game after a night game, etc) is more valuable. Similarly, it's possible that there is a stress that comes with playing in a game that can't be turned off once it's turned on. In other words, playing two games in a row, even if you are removed halfway through, might be more mentally fatiguing than playing one full game and then having a full day's rest. I don't KNOW that this is true, in fact i think it's not true, but it's possible. However, for the purposes of this theory, i'm going to ignore this unmeasurable level of mental stress.

Ok, so getting back to how to use the 20 games off most efficiently. The first thing you have to do is stop looking at is as 20 games. Instead, see it is 180 innings. If you need to rest bonds for 180 innings, what innings would you pick? Obviously the end of blowouts are where you'd pull him for a replacement (and even CW sees this). But what about the BEGINNING of blowouts. Ah, if only we could look back and figure out how to do that. And there's the rub.

Once Bonds gets into the "2 zone" he should be starting the game on the bench. If the game becomes a blowout

(the term blowout can be defined as loosely as a difference of more than 4 runs. Yes, there will be times where a lead of that size can be overcome, but we are trying to maximize the value of bonds' innings and those percentages of "coming back" are rather low)

then bonds can sit the whole game and get his full rest. However, it's likely that the game will not be a blowout. In those cases, you bring Bonds in whenever he has the greatest likelyhood to have the most impact. At some point in the game, one of the Giants' outfielders is going to come up in an "important" situation (bases loaded, 1 out or maybe first and 2nd with 2 outs) That's when you pinch hit Bonds. I don't care if it's the 8th inning or even the 3rd. At that moment, Bonds is going to have a chance to seriously affect the outcome of the game. In a normal, 4 at bat game, Bonds might have 3 baserunners in front of him. I would have to look at the data to get an accurate number, and i'm too lazy. However, if you start him on the bench and wait for the perfect time, you are GUARANTEEING that he will come up in a "rbi situation". If the Giants spread out their outfielders in the lineup, it's very likely that there will be at least one situation like this. If Bonds breaks the game open, you could even then pull him again. If he gets out, you now at least have bonds in the lineup of a close game.

Critics of this new theory will argue that you want bonds in as much as possible. They are missing the fact that Bonds will be playing the same number of innings that he would be in a CW setting. As soon as he gets to "zone 1" you play him non stop. But when he's in zone 2, you'll be getting maximum output from him. CW would have you pick random games to sit him. But what if you pick a game to play him that winds up being 7-0 in your favor by the 3rd inning. Poor choice. Or what about the games where he comes up four times with nobody on base. a "perfect" performance only equates to 4 runs. Bonds will have played 9 innings and only had the potential to create 4 runs. However, in that exact same game, imagine that tucker, batting 7th, came up in 6th inning with the bases loaded. That one at bat has a potential of 4 runs. If you pinch hit Bonds there, he's already matched the original hypo but did so using only 1/9 th of the energy. If he fails, you still have bonds in the lineup of a close game.

There are times when a guy gets a day off but is asked to pinch hit in the 9th. that's "good", but not "great". If he fails, then you can look back at that 2-1 game and think "oh man, maybe one more at bat by Bonds would have put us over the top". It's currently unheard of to pinch hit early in a game, but why not? Pinch hitting bonds in the 5th inning with the bases loaded may have cost you one at bat, but it's saved you 5 innings and plus you are guaranteeing an RBI situation. Plus, you are GUARANTEEING that you will never waste a bonds inning in a "blowout". bonds would only come in if the game was still in doubt and would leave as soon as it isn't.

I really don't see a downside to this usage of bonds. In zone 2, bonds needs rest. If you wind up not playing bonds two or three games in a row b/c the situation never presented itself, then he'll eventually get back to zone 1 in which case you play him. If there's a string of 10 games where he winds up pinch hitting in the third inning b/c the situation called for it, so be it. Eventually things will even out OR at the very least he gets to zone 3 and you sit him for a game. While this is going on, there will be a vast increase in RBI opportunities and his production will go up.

This usage essentially creates the hitters equivlant of the relief-ace. You are putting yourself and your team in a situation where you best hitter has the best/most opportunities to do the things required to win, i.e. creating runs.


I want to fine tune this theory (or at least the writing) so when the opportunity presents itself, i can present it to primer. I think at the very least it would spur some discussion.

so tuna thinks dunn hasn't been good this year.  


Take a look at sportsline's retarded prediction for adam dunn:

It's safe to say that pitchers have figured out how to work Dunn, who has batted a measly .205 since the 2002 All-Star break. He's a selective hitter who knows how to draw a walk, but it's more a result of his being more apt to take a pitch than being able to identify his pitch. Dunn seems like he's swinging entirely defensively, and pitchers are exploiting that weakness, as evidenced by his high strikeout totals. He should be fully healed from a thumb injury that cost him the final six weeks of last season, but needs to display more aggressiveness in the spring before being expected to break out offensively. Dunn has the talent to rack up huge stat totals if he makes the necessary improvements, but right now expect him to be a real drain on your batting average.

in many ways, dunn is the mascot of our team. everyone focused on his low average last year. Yeah it was bad, but guess what, average is the one stat that flucuates the most over the career path of a hitter and it is also very poor at predicting future sucess. call me crazy, but the fact that he had 27 home runs at the age of 23 (roughly) says he knows something about selecting "his pitch". And, the high strike out rate is the exact OPPOSITE of being defensive in your approach. Too often, batters are so afraid of striking out that they choke up with two strikes and just try and make contact. That often results in lazy grounders. Adam Dunn is NOT like that. He controls the strike zone, and takes and rakes.

As for Tuna saying Dunn hasn't been good this year, he must be looking at different stats.

.333/.484/.875 before today (so add 2/2 with 2 runs, a homer, and 2 walks). He's obviously playing above his head, but there's no reason to believe he wont be a stud this season.

Tuna and adam should start an anti-dunn fan club. People like me pj and steve will ride him like the fantasy stud that he is.

Ratings vs. Quality  


First, let me get these two gems out of the way:

23 questions:

5 questions:

Now, for the purpose of this rant...That Cowherd guy was completely missing my point in terms of the "dumbing down" of sportscenter. Here are a few things that I will concede: 1) ratings for sportscenter is up, 2) more ratings = more immediate revenue with advertisers 3) more people currently like this new style over the style that i like.

Ok, but here are my theories.

First and foremost, there is an unfulfilled demand for a real sports show. Although a minority, the "hardcore sports fan" exist, and are fanatical about their hobby. Create a good show, and you'll have a cult following.

As with all cults, this audience would be loyal and long term. Thus, any decrease in current fan base would be offset by long term stability. The problem with the current SC (as with all fads) is that eventually the fair weather fans will move on. Who wants to be a millionaire, wrestling, etc etc. As high as these shows became, they tumbled down equally quick b/c the fans were just trendy.

Does espn really think that people are going to continue to tune in to hear the new catchphrase of the week? At some point, this is going to get stale and the viewers will tune out. Without your core fan base (who will have now moved onto the internet for sports news), espn will be at square one.

In all forms of media, the second you start altering your product to increase public appeal, you are doomed. It's the classic case of the tail wagging the dog. If something is "good" people will find it. But eventually, things meant to be popular will lose it's audience. Pop songs come in strong and fade. Good music is timeless.

I don't think people are fully aware as to how bad sportscenter is. I spend at least 5 hours a day "learning" about sports. and at no point do i feel a need to put on espn, the channel that's DEDICATED to sports. It's not a sports channel anymore. It's MTV, but without the genius that is real world.

Snake Eyes and Back to the Future III  


i was flipping between these medicore movies the other night. They were both very annoying.

Snake eyes opens with a long long "scene" where "everything happens." It's so obviously a gimmick as the director is attempting to throw everything out there in an overwhelming fashion. Then, the rest of the movie is meant to piece everything together. I didn't notice if they never cut away from the camera. if they did, i'll give props to the actors for goign through 15 minutes w/o breaking. but i doubt they did that.

everything else about the scene was just terrible. I don't understand how nicholas cage is considered a good actor. he's terrible in this (and con air). His character is so over the top annoying / obnoxious that it's actually painful to watch this scene. I'll never understand why movies/shows go out of their way to make annoying characters. SNL is the absolute worst at this. there are times where, even though i'm not even watching the show, i will have to put the tv on mute because i can't stomache the sound coming out of the actors. painful.

so we get about 15 minutes of cage playing "obnoxious" way over the top. we could have gotten the point in 2 minutes, but whatever. The rest of the movie, the "plot" if you will, is so unrealistic. A girl is walkign around in a white dress COVERED IN BLOOD and nobody notices. Cage figures out the fight is fixed b/c the guy goes down on a phantom punch (how could nobody else notice this? why didn't the guy just lean in and get hit by the punch?)

The ending is really disgusting though. Girl is locked in a room, cage is going to unlock her, bad guy is following cage to find out where girl is. now, i'll need to look this up, but somehow the door magically changed right at the end, so the bad guy had to try and convince the girl to unlock the door herself. uh, i THOUGHT she was locked in there. Then, apparently, there was another door in this little room of hers that led to the outside. again, if such a door existed, why didn't she just leave? are you telling me that a door that connects the outside world to a casino/arena is going to be locked from the inside?

and THEN, at the perfect moment, a big round metal globe crashes into a truck that crashes into the wall and allows the girl to escape. and somehow, the guys in the truck (cops or emergency workers, i can't remember), KNOW that the bad guy (who was a decorated good guy and leading the investigation), was actually bad and that the girl was good. yeah, b/c i know that if i came onto a scene where the lead investigator is chasing after a random girl, and he has a gun pointed at her and saying "freeze", that the guy is really bad and secretly working to sabatage the investigation. ugh. you have to just accept EVERYTHING this movie throws at you, b/c if you start questioning ANYTHING it all falls apart. Did vince russo direct this?

and as for Back to the future III, i've had this problem for years, but i'll rerant. 1950's emmit brown sends marty into old west to save himself (emmit) from being shot. now, the emmit that was in the old west was the one who left from 1985 who himself was obviously the older version of 1950's emmit. got that?

emmmit lives in the 50's, lives until 1985 and then gets sent back to old west. well, if marty goes back to 1950's and explains to emmit what is going down, then everything should change. this trilogy is ENTIRELY about the space time continumum and how things shouldn't be messed up. But, as soon as 1950's emmit learns of his fate in teh old west, that knowledge should have stayed with him until the 1980's and then gone back with him until the old west. Litterally, just by telling him hte info in 1950, all danger could have been averted.

Not only does that point get screwed up, but when emmit finds marty in the old west he 1) wasn't expecting him and 2) doesn't remember dressing him up in that weird cowboy outfit.

my head hurts.

preventing a double play by getting into one  


yanks up 3-1 bottom of the 8th. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out (posada, matsui). on a 3-2 count (sierra), they sent the runners. Strike em out, throw em out.

they sent the runners so they wouldn't hit into the double player (kay said it so it must be true).

isn't the chance that the hitter is going to strike out greater than the chance that he hits a ball would be a double play w/o motion, but isn't a double play if they are in motion?

if that's the case, then this was stupid.

posada is going to score on a single. a 3 run lead is GAME OVER with mo coming in. there's no difference between a 3 run and a 4 run lead.

there is nothing to be gained, and everything to be lost. and it was.

I'm moving to canada  


[flash back to 3 weeks ago. we're watching sopranos, and aidriana is describing the family tree to the feds. complicated stuff, but it all "makes sense"]

steve: "you know, if this was the wwe, they would just be making up stuff that goes completely against history."

well, netcop noticed something odd a month or so ago. Chris Benoit, hero to canadians, was now being introduced as "currently residing in atlanta georgia".

as of this monday, everything has been rewritten. All the major faces (benoit, jericho, kim gail, etc etc) that are from canada are now suddenly from the united states. And the heels, like le reistence and christian are from canada. The funny thing is that a few months ago, they started saying christian was from florida as a way to turn him heel (b/c he was partners with face canadian jericho). But, now that they changed all these rules, he's somehow migrated back to canada.

Can you believe this? These are real people, with real families and whatnot. candians are rabid about their wrestling and take great pride in their hometown heros. But the wwe doesn't care. they don't want their faces to be non american. disgusting.

somewhere, tuna is smiling.

I don't get this commercial  


father and son are outside playing basketball. Both are wearing cleveland cavs jerseys. The father dominates on a possession, makes the basket, and then calls the foul. oh, i should mention the kid is about 5. Then as he's shooting the foul shot (and talking trash), the bottom of the screen says: Without sports, how would we close the gap?

I don't get it. what gap is being closed exactly? This seems like something i should "get", but i don't.

The image i'm getting is obviously that the father is living out a fantasy in the game and that clearly it's ridiculous that he would challenge his son. But wouldn't closing the gap somehow imply that the son is overtaking his dad and the torch is being passed. The cliche is of the kid finally being able to beat his dad for the first time. It's supposed to be both a great and sad moment. but that's not what this scene is.

I know tuna is going to post a one line response where he mocks me for not knowing. Of course, everytime he types something here, he never gets the story straight, so i doubt he's going to be of any help.

The only thing i can think of is that we are supposed to extrapolate the future in our minds and know that at some point the son will surpass the father and close the gap. I mean, the father is already overweight and breathing heavy from just one play. But that's asking too much of the viewer. Commercials, by definition, are a quick image that is meant to capture something. Nobody has the time or effort to think about what they are seeing and then extend it to a future. If you want to close the gap, just have a 14 year old beating his father with a ridiculous shot to end the game. Kid's going nuts, father appears happy on the surface, but deep down you can tell he's upset by the loss. Maybe father then claims that the kid traveled or something. Viewers all know that the kid really won, and closed the gap. Flash the text, and there you go.

What am i misssing?

u know what i can't stand?  


people who write "u" instead of "you". I could ALM0ST accept it if the person was a terrible typer. But some people (let's keep her identity secret and just call her the greek potato) will write out full sentences where everything is perfect EXCEPT for the U. I can't stand looking at these emails, the u's actually make me sick. I don't get it. Why not just type out the two extra letters. how much effort are you saving? if you want to write everything in short hand, feel free. But if an email has words that are more than 7 letters long, you should never ever write U. that's my rule. stick to it.

Homicide: Life on the Street  


I've delayed watching my Homicide dvds because i only have 3 episodes left. But, the one i watched tonight was THE episode that got me hooked on the show. I distinctly remember flipping through and being drawn by this powerful scene. I didn't know anything about the characters involved, but the scene was strong enough to stand on its own....

Edit: Eh, i had to delete my summary of the scene. I'm not doing it justice. If you are reading this, just ask to borrow my dvds. It was hands down the greatest drama on network tv (and probably second only to sopranos).

Say What? 4/4/04  


Last year I used to get so mad at joe morgan and the rest of baseball's "experts" who utter complete nonsense. This year, i'm going to try and paste the choice quotes here for everyone's enjoyment. shall we begin?

joe morgan - "Javy Lopez should benefit from playing here, because this [camden yards] is a park that really favors hitters."

(baseball prospectus has this to say about camden yards: "extreme pitchers park")

John Kruk - "Erstad is superior to Mientkiewicz (sp) offensively"

John Kruk - "Gary Sheffield is the most feared hitter in baseball"

John Kruk (i think we have a pattern forming here): Vlad is the most talented baseball in the game and because of that garrett anderson is going to win the mvp

Jim Caple: AL East Winner: Blue Jays, WC: Angels (yes, he is saying that neither the redsox nor the yanks even make the playoffs!)

Kruk: NL mvp: Giles, NL cy young: wagner.

PJ imagined this conversation taking place:

Joe: You know, camden yards is a real hitters park.

PJ: actually joe, camden yards consistently depresses hitting by about 10%

Joe: I don't care!

[this hypo doesn't play well typed out, but hearing pj have a conversation with himself was priceless]