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Tag: "baseball"

LGM Baseball Challenge Final Standings

[ 0 ] September 29, 2008 |

After a long, bitter fight, the LGM Baseball Challenge Challenge has been decided. The lead changed numerous times this week, including several times yesterday; finally, the Yankees pitching staff produced enough points in the second half of the doubleheader to deliver the championship to the Lexington Bearded Ducks by three points. Better luck at the track, Hickey.

Rank Team & Owner 1st Half 2nd Half Total
1 Lexington Bearded Ducks, R. Farley 4700 3254 7954
2 Headless Thompson Gunners, S. Hickey 4325 3626 7951
3 Sluggy McSlugs, C. Moore 4525 3262 7787
4 The Rev. Josh Fields, A. Katz 4374 3153 7527
5 kodos423, k. crockett 4274 3215 7489
6 JacobyRules, P. Smith 4231 3189 7420
7 KY Colonels, R. Payne 4200 3195 7395
8 Theibault Moor Orioles, J. Theibault 3926 3057 6983
9 Austin Electric Chairs, E. Loomis 4080 2763 6843
10 Sprained Mitochondria, P. McLeod 3783 2869 6652
11 Wild Loose Comma, C. S 4015 2591 6606
12 MutiliatedLittleLady, K. Houghton 3823 2721 6544
13 Lungless Wonders, E. Udall 3907 2550 6457
14 Robertson, E. Robertson 3593 2684 6277

Embarassing Admissions

[ 0 ] September 28, 2008 |

On the way into Shea yesterday, I expressed with my agreement with metsgrrl’s partner, believing that since the Mets would probably have to win two games anyway it would have been better to start Santana on full rest and try to get through Saturday with the kid. I was very, very happy to be extremely wrong in terms of result. That was just amazing pitching. (However, I was completely right when I wrote repeatedly at the beginning of the year that Ramon E. Martinez and Robinson Cancel would be key players in the last week of the season. Unfortunately, these posts were erased by the same people who hacked Joe Lieberman’s website. They also seem to have written a fake post under my name that said that you should take the Tampa Bay under at 76 and the Twins would finish last in the AL Central. Damn those shrill dirty hippies!) Now I wonder whether the Mets will bring in Tom Glavine to throw out the ceremonial first seven runs in the top of the first today.

It should probably be noted that while Santana may not get it because sportswriters are almost as obsessed with W-L records as they are with RBI, but in a rational world he would be the Cy Young winner. I’d also like to thank Brian Cashman for not trading talented pitcher who may throw 100 major league innings one day Phil Hughes and vaguely adequate fourth outfielder Melky Cabrera for him, leaving us free to acquire him for an even more underwhelming package. (And, while we’re at it, thanks to the Yankess for passing on the game’s best CF, too. It’s frightening how bad the Mets would be if the Yankees had made smarter decisions on these guys.)

Open thread for last scheduled regular season day…we’d better get at least one play-in game this year.

…the DFHs also seem to have deleted my confident prediction that on day 162 I would be lamenting the injury to Fernando Tatis because it would mean playing an significantly inferior player in left field…

Personal to Mr. Wright

[ 5 ] September 25, 2008 |

If they’re going to pitch around you, take the goddamned walk. I know you’re been trained to think as an “RBI man” but flailing at a pitch a foot and a half outside and striking out rather than having Beltran up with the bases loaded and none out isn’t helping the team.

In addition, watching Ryan Church’s current attempts to impersonate a major league hitter — which are about as credible as Sarah Palin’s attempts to impersonate someone who could be president — reminds me that the turning point of the season may well have been sending Church on two cross-country flights immediately after he suffered his second concussion in three months.


[ 13 ] September 22, 2008 |

Like Sheehan, I didn’t see it coming, but Tampa making the playoffs in a brutally tough division is one of the most remarkable baseball stories of the decade. Congrats to ‘em, and it will be fun to see how they do in the payoffs. (I wish they hadn’t sent their 2007 bullpen to Queens, though.)

I hope Silver’s current electoral college predictions turn out as well as his projection of contention for Tampa…


[ 0 ] September 15, 2008 |

Ned Yost has been fired, with his team tied for the NL wild card spot and 13 days left in the season. Can’t think of any precedent for something like this off the top of my head. I don’t follow the Brewers at all so I have no idea what’s going on.

On the Day I Became a True Reds Fan…

[ 0 ] September 7, 2008 |

…Great American was filled with vermin. These particular vermin were wearing blue shirts, typically festooned with a red “C” and including some form of adolescent bear. Roughly 70% of the occupied seats of Great American sported these vermin, such that the crowd as a whole cheered lustily on behalf of the visiting Cubs, rather than the hometown Reds.

I can understand why the crowd at a Tampa Bay Rays home game cheers for the Yankees. There is substantial migration from New York to Florida, and these migrants retain, to a great degree, their New York identity. This hardly absolves them of the crime of Yankee fandom, but at least I can understand, if not excuse. I am utterly unwilling to believe, however, that there has been a considerable migration from the north side of Chicago to the greater Cincinnati area. This forces me to conclude, therefore, that these “Cubs fans” are in fact Cincinnati residents who have determined to cheer for the Cubs rather than the Reds. And herein lies the rub; why would one ever decide to cheer for the Cubs, who have for the last century been the consistently worst managed team in baseball, rather than the Reds, who have won five world championships since 1919?

The only answer I can come to is a certain form of moral depravity that fetishizes defeat, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with enthusiasm for the game of baseball. In short, Cubs fans are not baseball fans; rather, they are fans of defeat. This preference of defeat, as I have previously noted, leaves the prototypical Cubs fan bereft of emotional debit when the Cubs lose; whereas a typical sports fan feels “bad” when her team loses, defeat is expected by the morally depraved Cubs fan, and consequently exerts no emotional toll. Indeed, a Cubs World Series victory would produce cognitive dissonance that would probably be too great for Cubs fans to bear, resulting in attendance of no greater than 70 persons per game at Wrigley the following year.

And so on this day, I was forced to endure an untold number of arrogant, dickish Cubs fans who cheered as the Cubs marched to a 3-1 lead. And then the Reds dropped three on Kerry Wood in the bottom of the ninth, which left me deliriously happy. The Cubs fans surrounding expressed no noticeable reaction to the defeat.

Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself

[ 32 ] August 27, 2008 |

. . . when you’re old enough to repay, but young enough to sell?
I gather Alex Rodriguez was booed mercilessly last night for single-handedly destroying the Yanqui season. NYY seems headed towards a dodgy transitional year or three (ARod will be 34 next summer and he’s still almost the youngest guy on the team who can play), and I have a feeling that the $300 million man is going to be the target for the frustrations of many an overpriced ticket buyer in the team’s palatial new digs.
I wonder if he’s having second thoughts . . .


[ 0 ] August 26, 2008 |

Many thanks to frequent commenter Howard for generously sending me the classics Out To Lunch and Underground from the ol’ wish list. Supoib choices, and as they are now freshly loaded into ITunes will make my upcoming train ride all the more pleasant.

In addition, when it comes to my reverse-hedge bets with Howard I note that as of now I would be on the hook for $50 donations to Planned Parenthood and the anti-Prop 8 campaign, as the Yankees are missing the playoffs as well of course as being out of the division. Until we see the upcoming series, though, I’m at least not writing off the former…

The Price You Pay For Forgetting The Mute Button Is Your Friend

[ 14 ] August 25, 2008 |

In my defense, I was engaged in Real Work and had the Devil Rays/Sox game on in the background, so I needed the sound. But as bad as seeing the Rays lose after a beyond-farcical call when A.J. Pierzynski elbowing Willy Aybar resulted in an interference call…on Aybar, hearing the Pale Hose’s uber-hack announcers try to rationalize the whole thing was much worse.

Admittedly, I may have been upset because the Mets somehow managed to lose by giving up — in the same inning, I swear! — the first post-Clinton administration homer for both Brad Asumus and Darrin Erstad. Do you know what the odds of that are? It’s in the billions! It couldn’t happen, wouldn’t happen! Did you not see you were being set up after the second hit?

Roe v. Kuhn

[ 30 ] August 20, 2008 |

One way of sorting out peoples’ politics of law is to ask them if they find Harry Blackmun’s opinion for the Court in Roe v. Wade or Flood v. Kuhn more jurisprudentially offensive. (Flood held that, in order to avoid reversing a half-century-old precedent, baseball’s reserve clause would continue to be treated as legal under federal antitrust laws.) I teach the Flood case in my Legislation course, and one thing I try to bring out is the economic naivete of the opinion, which proceeds from the dual assumptions that

(a) Americans love baseball more than almost anything else; and

(b) Major league baseball can’t survive as a viable economic enterprise without special legal protections for team owners.

The Flood case came to mind this morning when I was putting together my Legislation syllabus, and I happened to notice that the major league minimum salary ($390,000) is now roughly three times higher, in real terms, than the mean salary at the time of the Flood case (the median salary was of course much lower), and almost exactly the same as what the mean salary was back in 1981, after the first great wave of free agency had driven salaries to what the owners insisted were unsustainable levels.

Class Warfare Atfter Shea

[ 10 ] August 13, 2008 |

I’ve neglected to mention that the great Roy Edroso is now blogging for the Voice. Today, he brings some of the bad news about Citi Field for those of us who like to go to the odd Mets game. What concerns me is not so much the prices of the high-end seats (which I’m never in anyway), but the much lower supply, which will make it difficult to make game-time decisions. I’m not saying I miss my Montreal days where you could buy a $7 seat at gametime and sit near home plate, exactly, but…

Future events such as these will affect you in the future

[ 63 ] August 13, 2008 |

My friend Steve is an atmospheric scientist and a hardcore baseball fan. He’s devised an ingenious simulation, in which he predicts the probable outcome of the remainder of a baseball season based on a method which involves using the Pythagorean records of teams to predict how they will do given their remaining schedules. In other words he evaluates both the strength of individual teams and of their schedules on the basis of runs scored and allowed rather than won-loss records. He (or rather his computer) then plays out the remainder of the season 100,000 times.

Here’s his current simulation results for the remainder of this season:

AL East: Rays 56%, Red Sox 43%, Yankees 1%, Blue Jays 0.1%

AL Central: White Sox 61%, Twins 38%, Tigers 0.6%, Indians 0.04%

AL West: Angels 99.993%, Rangers 0.007%

AL Wildcard: Red Sox 46%, Rays 36%, Twins 7%, White Sox 5%, Yankees 5%, Blue Jays 0.8%, Rangers 0.2%, Tigers 0.1%

NL East: Phillies 62%, Mets 28%, Marlins 9%, Braves 0.7%

NL Central: Cubs 87%, Brewers 12%, Cardinals 0.9%

NL West: Diamondbacks 57%, Dodgers 43%, Rockies 0.09%

NL Wildcard: Brewers 71%, Cardinals 14%, Cubs 11%, Mets 1%, Phillies 1%, Marlins 0.4%, Astros 0.4%, Diamondbacks 0.2%, Dodgers 0.2%, Braves 0.01%

If your favorite team isn’t listed it means they didn’t make the playoffs in any of the 100,000 simulations.

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