1) A tie only goes to the runner when you are up at bat  


I've been tinkering with things in my head, trying to come up with an all ecompassing manifesto as to what i believe in. It's a little overwhelming, so instead, i'm going to just go point by point. My goal is to have 10 points, but that's mainly only b/c I'm a conceded human being and i think that my five fingers are so utterly important.

1) A tie only goes to the runner when you are up at bat.

While there are those who would label me as a bitter, negative person, I tend to disagree. I just think I see clearly and the world just happens to be a miserable place infested with selfish human beings. But, and this is a rare occurence, I'm willing to admit that I may be wrong. The thing that caused me to question my own beliefs happened at a softball game.

No matter how honest a team is, no matter how small the stakes are, there is always going to be controversey during the game. There will always be a close play where one team swears that the runner was safe, while the other team would bet the farm that the guy was out. How can this be? how can 10 sets of eyes (belonging to honest and fair people) see black, while another set of 10, equally fair and honest, see white? If they aren't trying to cheat, then what's the explanation?

Expectations and hopes must play a huge part in observations. If i'm in the field, i'm expecting and hoping that the guy is going to be thrown out. As the play develops, those hopes cloud my objectivity. I see the guy as "out", in part b/c that's what i want to see. It's not conscious or malicious....it's just human nature.

If honest people can be clouded during a simple softball game, it stands to reason that they could misjudge much bigger things. I no longer think that Americans are "evil" in their blind loyality to such a horrible government. Nobody wants to be from an evil country. They want to hold onto and cherish the misguided idea that their country is the best in the world. They want their baserunner to be safe.

I sincerely doubt that this new theory of mine will make me any less angry when complete idiots rave about the heroics of Pat Tillman with subjective rhetoric of "no, but he was defending our freedom...it's DIFFERENT." Even though such sheep can't help being so blind, the fact that they are still affects me. They allow the evil to exist. But regardless, at least now i can sleep easy that they aren't evil themselves, just very weak. Almost handicapped, if you will.



Washington4029.580-24-916-20281286Won 17-3

The Face of Baseball  


Remember that ridiculous post at espn.com where it said jeter was teh face of baseball? the writer discussed jeter hustling in the 9th inning of a blow out. Here's what really happened:

Update: Thanks to Repoz for providing some clarification to the story. On May 29, Jeter hit a grounder in the third inning of a 5-2 game. Apparently, David Wells was slow to get off the mound and field the ball. When he did, he threw wildly to first, pulling off the first baseman Millar for an error. Repoz's account indicates that Wells never even looked at Jeter (i.e. his "hustle" was not a factor in the throw. It was a fat 40+ year old pitcher making a bad fielding play). So there you have it. A bad play by the pitcher in the third inning in a relatively close game becomes a hit beat out in the ninth inning of a blow out.

you can tell who knows the game, and who doesn't  


my only gripe is that i would have liked to have seen Steven A. Smith's ignorance displayed in this chart


Q and A about baseball  


are pitchers now better than you might think than the pitchers of the past because of smaller ballparks? could you find me some good article on this .

also, could i get a list of hitters ball parks in order 1 to 30 (or however many teams). colorado - ? - arizona - ... - san diego.

you ask the impossible of us. there's way too much "noise" to ever make such a comparision. since you mentioned park size, i'm going to try and list all the variations that exists in just the physics of the game (or at least things that involve stuff OTHER than the actual pitcher) first:

- the raising and the lowering of the mound in different eras
- defenses are better b/c of better gloves and more athletic players
- night games depress hitting if i remember correctly (or it increases hitting, either way it's noise)
- more teams = more stadium = less familarity with ballparks
- dh vs. non dh
- juiced balls?
- more hitters studying film
- more hitters being bigger
- more specialization of pitchers. including but not limited to more relief usage, LOOGY's, closers, etc.
- more pitchers getting better scouting reports on hitters
- pitchers have more pitches now than they did.
- pitchers have to face lineups that are solid 1-8. back in the day, there were defensive specialists who were easy outs
- (btw, that's why pitch counts are more important now...back in the day, pitchers could take it easy in the bottom of the lineup)
- mechanics of pitchers are much more analyzed. flaws are easier to find and correct.
- injuries are more preventable, and easier to treat.
- strikezone has probably shrunk
- astroturf has affected defense
- same with domes
- influx of foreign players has expanded the talent pool
(see my past email for all the arguments already addressed for the "expansion has hurt baseball")
- all the call in radio shows and media has made it tougher for pitchers not to choke more (that's for you steve)
- managers are less likely to implement small ball, which was unnaturally depressing offense (that's for me and pj)
- all stadiums now have a hitter's eye that's completely black / noiseless to let a hitter concentrate
- bats are more dangerous....physically. bigger barrel, narrower (word?) handle
- more hitters on steroids, less hitters on coke, less pitchers on greenies
- more pitchers on steroids, less pitchers on coke, less hitters on greenies
- 4 man vs. 5 man vs. 5 day rotations
- less double headers tiring players out
- expanding rosters to 40 in the month of september

So what exactly are you asking? are "average" pitchers today better or worse than "average" pitchers of yesteryear? I think that's as close to impossible as you can get. There can be no way to measure the "average" pitcher w/o using circular logic. By definition they are average to the era that they play in, and since their era is unique, it's impossible to judge.

If you are asking us to compare a Pedro Martinez vs. a Walter Johnson, that's only slightly less impossible. Clearly, it's easy to measure pedro vs. the era in which he plays. First, you adjust his performance by the park he plays in, the defense behind him, the offenses he faces, etc etc etc. Then, you measure that number as to the rest of the league. "he's x percentage better than an average pitcher, y percentage better than the top 25% pitchers in the league" etc etc.

then you do the same for walter johnson.

but after you get there, you have to ask yourself if you are judging more than just domination....do you want to know what pitcher you'd want to start an imaginary franchise with? Could Walter Johnson's 2 pitches (that could be factually wrong) survive in today's era? Would Pedro's lack of stamina kill him in an era where pitchers were expected to finish games? Are we talking their peak years or longevity of their career? VORP for their best year? or total winshares in their career? total winshares vs. the winshares that a league average pitcher (or combination of pitchers) would have gotten over the same span of years?

If you general question "are pitchers of today better than pitchers of yesterday", the only thing I can go wtih is my gut. Removing everything else, and putting up a robotic "average" hitter, I have to assume that today's pitchers would be able to get him out more consistently than older pitchers. Physically, today's athletes are superior. THey have more pitches. They are more specialized in their craft. And generally, in any athletic endeaver that's isolated and based on skill and/or athleticism, i HAVE to assume that today's athlete dominates. Sports are like natural selection, but sped up. Things get cloudier when you talk about team sports like basketball, b/c then factors such as ego and knowledge of the game come into play. But baseball is just a guy throwing a ball and a guy trying ot hit it with a stick. Both ends of that equation has to be increasing as T (for time) increases.

how's that for a non answer?

[oh, and ballparks aren't that easy to judge either. a park can increase homers but be pitcher friendly while keeping extra base hits neutral. and it can change from year to year. and month to month. there was always the theory that the new park in san diego would be more hitter friendly in the later months b/c the warmer air would come in off the coast or something. and some parks can probably differ drastically from day to night]

- Hide quoted text -

Either Mark Cuban said it, or he was quoting someone who did  


I dont' read cuban's posts anymore, especially when they are long but....

There was a post about putting ads on basketball jerseys. And some of the comments by readers afterwards said "uh, i don't really think that ticket prices would go down just b/c owners would generate more money from advertisements".

People aren't that retarded are they? do they believe that greedy owners are only x greedy, and that after they make y millions, they'll just stop wanting to make money? My god, if they were content with the money they are making, stuffing more advertisments into the game wouldn't even be an issue.

This is why i can't even discuss things like the salary cap with other people. Their ignorance angers me.

People who focus on one issue when they vote  


I had to do a double take yesterday while listening to a radio commercial from a republican running for govenor of NJ. He started out by saying that the party keeps putting out guys who can't win, and that he was going to be different. Then he went over his platform.

The first thing he talked about was eliminating the tax elderly have to pay for public schools.


Is this a pressing issue? Is this the most important issue facing NJ right now? Or could it be that the elderly, who are notorious for voting in blocks, are disgustingly greedy human beings that want to pinch every penny they have and don't care about society at all?

Now, i tried very very hard to justify the candidates position in my head...just to see if even the blindest sheep could fall for it? and the best i could think of is that they could spin it to say that the elderly don't have much money and that it's unfair that they have to pay for something that they no longer benefit from.


Republicans don't care about the poor...even if they are elderly to boot. This is a stance that will CLEARLY hurt society (uh, an educated population benefits a state), but since it benefits a special interest group, it's possible that a bill can be passed. Our government is such a joke. Every little group gets one thing passed in their favor, and in return, everyone else suffers a bit. I don't see any way out of this cycle, and I fear that special interest groups will eventually destroy democracy.

reality shows  


During my two month hiatus, i decided to boycott reality shows. Two things caused this: the finale of amazing race, and a show about how reality shows are fixed. I'm too far removed to rante about the amazing race, but i just remembered something about the 2nd reason. On the show "last comic standing", the finalists were predetermined b/c the the two guys' agent was the one in charge of the show. When the celebs in charge of judging (drew carey and that southern blonde woman who had a show on abc that was like roseanne) found out about it, they walked off the show.

they are basically admitting that their pizza is terrible  


have you read the fine print on the cheeseburger pizzas at dominoes? "note: this pizza includes bacon. bacon does not come with the cheesburger pizza. you have to order that as well" or something to that effect. They are afraid to show the cheeseburger pizza w/o extra stuff on it.

We are through the looking glass people.