Monday, November 30, 2009

Obvious Steroids User 11/30/09

Today, I awoke gloriously early just before the crack of ten expecting it to be a typical Monday.  I proceeded to follow my normal morning protocol... catching up on my RSS feed reading in my boxers, showering, and making myself breakfast.  Given that it is the first of my last three weeks of school decided to spoil myself and treat myself to two sausage patties instead of the normal one!

However, that was not the biggest highlight of the morning.

No, the grandest highlight of my morning was waiting for me in my mailbox.  Inside, I found a (poorly) handwritten letter, which I have transcribed below:

November 28, 2009

Dear Cooly,

Hey, it's Bud.  You know, Bud Selig.  I know that you were busy over this past weekend enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family.  That is probably why you failed to answer any of my calls.

It's okay.  Really.  I forgive you.  I was just really trying to get your opinion before I announced my impending retirement because as you know, I had nothing to do this weekend as all of my family passed away millions of years ago.

Although getting your opinion before making my final decision was not the only reason I wanted to contact you.

You see, in the past five months of your blog's existence, you guys have established yourselves as one of the elite members of the baseball reporting world.  I, along with other baseball greats like my fellow tribe buddy from back in the day, Peter Gammons, recognize that you guys are groundbreaking in your ability to copy what several other websites are already doing.  We love it.

And by far, the best part of your website is the Obvious Steroids User that you post every week.  Your ability to blend truth and fiction is truly remarkable.  And obviously I love it because that is what I do every day at job!

The OSU posts have also struck a special chord with me.  And this is why I was trying to contact you.  I wanted to break on your website that I, Alan Huber Selig, am a steroids user.

In fact, I was actually the one who was gifted the "invention" of steroids.

You see, back millions of years ago, just after aliens had mated with neanderthals to create human beings, they chilled around for a little bit.  And since they felt bad for the neanderthals because they had created the vastly intelligent humans, they gave them steroids in order for the neanderthals to survive in the harsh times without the ability to think as well as the humans.

Now, I was real good friends with one of the neanderthals, Blerg (that was the only word-like noise he could make!).  And it just so happened that he ended up being the last neanderthal alive.

Before Andy Rooney shot him with a stone-tipped arrow, Blerg approached me and gifted to me his last vile of steroids.  I was honored.  So honored that I began to start taking the stuff in order to impress my favorite gal in the tribe, Joan Rivers.

And boy, oh boy, did it work.  I was so strong and so fast.  Even though my balls shrunk, it was well worth it.  I could benchpress a whole 80 pounds!  Gammons was so jealous.

Anyways, the long and short of it (while skipping a few million years) is that we got into modern day society and when there was finally the technology to mass produce more steroids (Da Vinci was such a bitch when I approached him about the possibility), I decided to spread them everywhere.  It was awesome.  I was actually the one who gave Jose Canseco the idea of a utopian society filled with steroid users.

After buying the Seattle Pilots and moving them to Milwaukee (I fucking hate the rain), I figured it would be sweet to watch more home runs because there is nothing more manly than getting hammered off a case of Old Milwaukee and watching dudes with huge muscles pound baseballs over the fence.  So unsuspectingly I just snuck the steroids into locker rooms at Milwaukee County Stadium.

And it worked!

Players started taking the stuff left and right.  And I'm not at all ashamed.  I mean, come on, how fun was 1998?  I know you loved it.

And then that meathead, Barry Bonds, ruined it for everyone.  If only it had been someone cool like Chili Davis who had decided to go nuts with the steroids.  Think of how much everyone would love them then!

Barry and his abrasive personality made steroids controversial.  It sucked.  And then I had to institute rules about steroid use because people thought it was "uncool" or "damaging to the body."  Fiddlesticks, I say!  How do you think I have been able to maintain my sleek physique for millions of years?  And Gammons is still jealous that I can outlift him!

But there you go, Cooly, yes, I, the greatest Commissioner Major League Baseball has ever seen, Bud Selig, am a steroid user.  And I'm damn proud of it.  I will forever miss baseball come the year 2012, but I will surely never miss steroids since I have already bought a lake cabin in the Northwoods to share with Greg Anderson for the rest of my days.

Sincerely yours,
Bud Selig

This picture was included with the letter:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Call It a Comeback

We've been gone for a little while, but we are not shutting this power embargo down (clearly, embargo is not the right word, but doesn't it sound cool? I'm starting power embargo right here, you witnessed history). For all you little shysters out there that didn't think we had enough wit to lead us through an offseason, you can quiet yourselves now. I'm bringing the FJM back to this blog, with a little help from Bizzinger.

Against 'Moneyball'

Dems Fightin' Words!

Whatever happens in the National League and American League Championship series unfolding over the next week or so, one outcome has already been decided

Why yes, it has. I've been holding onto this little gem of a piece because I was too enthralled by the fun of Chip Carey orgasm to Mr. November.

the effective end of the theories of Moneyball as a viable way to build a playoff-caliber baseball team when you don't have the money.

Well, actually it is still completely viable. The big exception is that it was such a great theory that teams that actually have money began to value high OBP and OPS guys so much that these guys have decided to go to the big money teams. Teams like the Red Sox, Angels, Phillies, and even the Cardinals have adopted the Moneyball tactics to build winners. (Yes, I met an inside source with the Cards statistics/scouting department that confirmed that they do value stats, La Russa just gets in the way. If you don't believe me, Mr. Anonymous has his sweet business card).

That no doubt sounds like heresy to the millions who embraced Michael Lewis's 2003 book, but all you need to do is keep in mind one number this postseason: 528,620,438.

Hersey, no. More like, validation.

That's the amount of money in payroll spent this season by the teams still in it--the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Who did these teams spend their money on? Guys like Youkilis, Jeter (puke), Rodriguez, Utley, Figgins, Drew, Abreu, and Tiexiera are all in the Top 30 for OBP leaders. Guys like Youkilis, Tiexiera, Rodriguez, Howard, Morales, Bay, Drew, Utley, and Ibanez all are in the Top 30 in OPS. The only one of those teams that is not represented here in these Moneyball Stats are the Dodgers. Who won with great play from youth. Their big money players got suspended for a quarter of the season (Ramirez) or sucked (Juan Pierre).

The Lewis book was vintage Lewis--smooth, glib, smart, and unfailing in never letting anything get in the way of his argument.

Buzz, I love the way you write. I loved Friday Night Lights for its outward look on racial issues, its depiction of a small oil Americana town in peril, and the honest portrayal of Athlete-God-dom in high school sports. I thoroughly enjoy your writing. Even the piece I'm tearing up right now, but this snarky comment is exactly the way you write.

The protagonist of the book, Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, was hailed as a genius in a land of cave-dwelling front office men, managers, and scouts too stupid and stubborn to understand the statistical nuances of the game and what they truly reflected. The basic thesis of the book--the finding of inefficiencies in the marketplace through expert computer analysis--no doubt resonated.

Resonated so much that baseball statistics will never be the same. Geniuses like Bill James will no longer go unheralded. Michael Lewis let out the secret of the A's.

The sabermetricians, unloved and unwanted for so long, scorned by the baseball men brotherhood for their nerdy obsessions, fell to their knees like attendees at a revival: Finally someone understood them.

A better description would be: The sabermetricians, after years of beating a wall, broke through, and the baseball skull heads decided to change their way of thinking for the first time since 1928.

Looking largely at the narrow time frame of 2000 through 2002,

Strictly the time period the book was set in. Beane and his nerdy minions had proven themselves before and after this time frame.

Lewis attempted to explain the phenomenon of how the A's had done so well (they made the playoffs all three of those years) with such little dough.

How many other small market teams made the playoffs all three of those years? This is your job, look it up. Give me some facts. My job is an engineer. If I make blind statements without proof, I get yelled at. This is your job, be thorough.

The explanation was dazzling, although Lewis barely mentioned the three reasons the A's had been so successful--pitchers Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson.

Actually he did explain exactly how these guys fit in the Moneyball system. Trade or allow free agents to leave and reap the benefits from having 6 first round draft picks. Continue to spend less on these draft picks by incorporating new scouting ideas and signing less heralded athletes in the first round before any other team would take them.

The odds of three young pitchers coming together like that on one team was basically a matter of baseball luck,

Not luck. Creative approach to building a baseball team.

in the same vein at least of Beane saying success in the postseason was a matter of luck because of the limited number of games played (his teams during the 2000-02 period never got past the first round).

I have read Moneyball twice. I can not remember Lewis or Beane ever even implying this.

Lewis carefully and calculatedly stayed away from the pitching triumvirate. He concentrated on journeyman players like Chad Bradford and Scott Hatteburg as the key to the A's rise.

Mainly because these players were interesting and outliers in a baseball sense. The pitching triumvirate was 1 soft tossing lefty with a great curve and bad everything else, an injury prone lefty topping out at 89 mph, and an anti-electric righty that was 6-1 170. I'm pretty sure scouts were not knocking down these guys doors. And yet, Beane had the foresight to obtain each of them.

He showed his greatest infatuation for Jeremy Brown, a Beane first-round draft pick in 2002. He was a fat and slow catcher from Alabama, but Beane was dying for him because his meticulous analysis had discovered something everyone else had missed: his statistically anomalous ability to draw walks. Of all the examples in the book, this by far was the most riveting because so many scouts had simply dismissed Brown. It certified Beane as a miracle worker, and Lewis further confirmed it with a memorable scene at the end in which Brown hits a home run.

Who doesn't love a good fat guy? Buzz Bissinger! If it were the world according to Bissinger we would all be 6-2 200 lbs blond guys. Did I just accuse Bissinger of being a Nazi? I don't know, I'll just move on.

Beane had seven first-round draft picks that year, each of them extolled by Lewis for their buried-treasure status. Three of them are still playing in the majors, none with anything close to superstar careers and all of them long gone from the A's.

What Bissinger failed to mention that there were a total of 12 players from that opening round on other teams rosters. Beane selected 3 of them! Joe Blanton and Nick Swisher are hardly slouches. Both do have World Series rings.

Three others were busts.

This is not the NBA first round Buzz. Its a helluva lot harder to select baseball talent than any other sport. Calm down with the bust tag.

Poor Jeremy Brown never stopped being fat and slow and finished with a grand total of 10 major league at-bats before retirement.

Jermey Brown, almost undrafted. 10 major league at bats. If Beane does not roll the dice on him, he never gets drafted and becomes a grocery store bagger and goes on to win a Super Bowl MVP (that's what happens to all baggers right?). Instead, Beane finds a player that comes within an eyelash of the bigs. Far closer than Brian Bullington, the #1 overall pick of that draft came. And FAR less expensive.

I know the A's have been struggling recently, but I think that has to do with their system being discovered. There is no doubt in my mind that Billy Beane, or another Sabermetrician is thinking of a new way of evaluating and building the best baseball team. Improvements in fielding statistics have been made, and already you can see a shift to a defensive minded approach for winning teams to build franchises.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Debate: Wins Are Stupid

As a treat to the masses that will surely read this post, I've decided I will provide you with a little listening pleasure while reading the article. Just open up another window or tab and rock out to this song while you divulge into the pleasure abyss that will be this article.

As you may know, I lean toward a more Sabermetric view of analyzing baseball. I am not a full fledged Sabermetrician, and I may say some things that completely denounce Sabermetrics, but cut me a break I'm venting.

This post is dedicated to the Win. The "Dubya". The only way great GM's like Steve Phillips know how to accurately judge a pitchers performance. As you may know, the best way to judge a players performance is to allow factors which a player has no control over, offense and team defense, play a large role. Isn't that what it takes for a team to get a win? Good pitching, good defensive play, and scoring runs. How many of those factors does the pitcher have control over?

I made a mental note that I wanted to approach this subject awhile ago when I heard John Danks proclaim, "Wins are a stupid stat". Yes, John. They very much are. There are much better ways of analyzing a pitchers performance (WHIP, K/BB, K/9, FIP, hell even ERA).

Why are wins stupid? I will give you a couple of hypothetical situations:

1) The starting pitcher throws 4- 2/3 inning scoreless innings, comes out of the game for whatever reason (injury, coach's discretion, Pitcher violently shoulder punches the second baseman, etc...) with the score 8-0. A reliever comes in and throws 1/3 inning gives up 3 runs. The rest of the way 3 relievers combine to provide scoreless innings the rest of the game and your team wins the game 8-3.

Who gets this win? Pitcher #2. His line: 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 81.00 ERA, 9.00 WHIP, 1 W.

2) Pitcher #1 starts the game and throws 6 innings, allowing 8 ER. His coach was busy feeling up the assistant trainer to take him out of the game. Pitcher #1's team has guys like Mark Tiexiera, Stray Rod, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada. This team scores 10 runs, and the bullpen is fortunate enough to hold the other team. Pitcher #1's team wins 10-8.

Pitcher #1 line: 6 IP, 8 ER, 12 ERA, 1 W.

This is completely ridiculous. In an age where contracts of players have gotten ridiculously high, there should be more weight placed on peripheral stats and not on wins. Many contracts have bonus clauses if a player wins an award and most of these awards focus on the Win as the #1 stat.

The only reason ZackGrienke is not given the Cy Young without question is because of the Wins stat. Look at ESPN's Cy Young Predictor. The ONLY stat Grienke trails in is Wins (Grienke has one less start contributing to several less innings), and yet somehow he loses 189.7 "Cy Young Points" to 175.6 "Cy Young Points" (Sidebar: What is the value of 1 Cy Young Point?)

From now on when I reference a pitchers stat line, I will only place the Win category somewhere in the middle (you know, where the unimportant stats go).

I hope you enjoyed your song.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let Me Run The Nationals Part IV

Thanks for stealing my thunder, Washington Nationals.  I was literally going to post today about how I was going to extend Jim Riggleman.  Then I woke up and discovered that you beat me to the punch.  It's only because you are on Maryland Time and have real jobs to wake up for, you pricks.

However, instead of hiring him for his work in the later half of the year, I was going to give him the job based on his super tight ass:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on the current state of the Cubs by Mr. Anonymous

As the winter meetings are starting to become a popular subject and the previous posting was actually fairly well done, I have created this to bring things back down a little. These are my musings about the Cubs that are mostly made up or implausible backed up by random facts. So here they are in a very random order.

1. Pick up a Molina brother (Bengie and Jose are free agents). They have been won quite a few championships and will hopefully steal food away from Soto so he doesn’t get fat again, but likely will resume his weed smoking.

2. Ryan Dempster asks Milton Bradley to farm his field in farmland on Facebook because he has nothing else to do now a days. Resulting in Bradley going ape-shit and murders every stripper he sees for a week, thus resulting in jail time which will negate his remaining contract and get the Cubs off the hook.

3. The Cubs pick back up Nomar Garciaparra just so people that stupidly bought his jersey can keep wearing them and not feel like as big of idiots all the time.

4. Second base needs. Cubs should go after O-dog or Felipe Lopez but will likely go after Craig Counsell or Mark Loretta because of their love for old white second baseman-see Aaron Miles. Also I could have hit better than him last year given that many AB's (AB: 157, H: 29, AVG: .185).

5. Outfielders-anyone. I like Micah Hoffpauir and Jake Fox but can’t keep both so trade one away for some decent prospects/pitching. Pick up someone with some speed to be a leadoff hitter, or stick with Soriano- who should also be traded but no one will take or Fukudome… and… well… enough said.

6. D Wade going to the Cubs because he wants to come to Chicago and can play with a good big man, aka D Lee. Also they both enjoy going by D Last name. D Lee is arguably the best bigman in baseball (and got a scholarship to play basketball at UNC) and D Wade needs a good big man to help win another championship. No, Joakim Noah or Jermaine O’Neal is not the answer. He could utilize MJ’s theory and steal a ton of bases and run down lots of fly balls/rob home runs. He could play the outfield and is bound to hit better than anyone currently starting out there for the Cubs (see above).

7. Pitching maybe they could get someone like Erik Bedard since Harden is a free agent and Lilly is hurt (impairing my chances of wining my lifetime bet with Zach that if he throws a no hitter I win $5). But likely will end up with Chan Ho Park and Rich Hill for round two.

8. If you cannot tell I am not really talking about trades because the Cubs do not do that. They usually just over pay for mediocre to poor free agents-see current roster.

9. Len and Bob will produce another song with Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, and Billy Joel.

10. The Ricketts will hopefully start making necessary facelifts to Wrigley so it doesn’t continue to fall on people. I hope they don’t add more washrooms though because than you wont be able to cross swords with random old fat drunk men at the troughs as easily (please watch this video I do not think it is at Wrigley, but is still so funny/wrong). They start building a parking structure near the field and actually make it impossible to drive to Wrigley, opposed to just nearly impossible like it is now.

11. Also since they have said they need marketing help I will continue to call Wrigley Field and ask for a job, hopefully one day I can talk to Tom Ricketts himself.

12. Rudy Jaramillo, is also joining the Cubs after serving 15 seasons as the hitting coach with Texas, where he oversaw a Rangers offense that produced 17 Silver Slugger Awards, three home run champions, three RBI titles and a batting champion. Additionally, his hitters won four of the last 15 Most Valuable Player awards. Amount of these players who were on steroids? All. What if he gives Z roids? How much more crazy can he get?

13. Lastly, Barack Obama realizes he has been rooting for the wrong side of town for too long and changes to backing the Cubs. Than utilizes “Yes we can” for the Cubs 2010 slogan and employing his King power helps the Cubs win the World Series. Sadly I think this last part is really the most far fetched…not good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fun With UmpBump

Actually, since UmpBump is 10,000 times cooler than us, we are just having fun with something UmpBump said. However, we may be more hood than UmpBump (They have an Asian and a girl, we have a fat kid and a bunch of white dudes. Respective amounts of hood=0, looks like its a draw). Anyways, UmpBump did their thang, and analyzed what the Giants need to do this offseason.

UmpBump clearly shows that the Giants are in desperate need of a higher team OBP. You know which player is great at putting up high OBP numbers... Milton Bradley. Seriously, I think that Milton could thrive in San Francisco. Think about the positives: they are on the West Coast so no one cares about them, their fans love douche bags, and they have no offensive threats, so he will be the best player on the team.

I seriously think this is absolutely going to be Milton's destination as soon as the Cubs get rid of him. However, it is equally fun to think about how Milton will wind up with the Giants.

1) I think the most likely thing that will occur is the Cubs simply waive Bradley, and eat everything remaining on his salary. I know, that is $21 million with the buyout, but Ricketts hates Bradley. I know this because I listened to Ricketts indirectly say that he wanted nothing to do with Bradley on 670 The Score 600 times in 3 press conferences. Ricketts wants nothing to do with Bradley, and I'm guessing the rest of the league is on to this.

2) The Cubs trade Bradley for Aaron Rowand and pay most of Bradley salary. The Giants want to get rid of Rowand. They have made that known. Rowand has not had the offensive numbers that they were hoping out of him, and he makes $12 million a year until 2012. The Cubs have lots of money, and are in need of a good defensive centerfielder. Why not take a chance with a guy who loves the Bears and is well loved in the city. Certainly, switching from the more spacious AT&T Park to the more cozy Wrigley would contribute a boost in his offensive numbers. And honestly, would anyone on the North Side of town not like having the fire and the passion playing for the Cubs?

3) The last way the Cubs could trade Bradley seems a little wacky. Trade Bradley strait up for Barry Zito. Please tell me if this sounds insane, but I don't think it does. Zito's contract is huge ($64.5 million over 4 remaining years). At least the Cubs would be getting something possibly useful in return. Yes, Barry Zito isn't that good anymore. But when posed with the situation of eating $21 million nothing in return, eating $18 million and paying $36 million, or just paying $63 million for a guy that might be able to take the place of a number 4 starter, would you think about this?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Obvious Steroids User 11/9/09

When I think of Seattle in the mid-1990's, I dream of a land dominated by grunge music, Cameron Crowe's Singles, flannel, fish markets, and Jay Buhner.

What good memories of a bygone era.  Times were simpler back then.  The Sonics were still in town, The Real World slap heard 'round the world took place, and yes, it still rained like a mother fucker.

However, things were not so simple that Jay was able to lay off the juice.  No matter how much good PR he tries to make for himself, his fine connections within the world of the Jerry Seinfeld, or how intensely I love his skinhead look, I have to take this week's post to induct Jay into the OSUC.

In addition to be abnormally bulky and having a fetish for wood, Buhner's stats in the mid-90's resembled the typical peaks and valleys of a steroid taker.

From 1987-1993, Buhner had 2508 PAs that resulted in a line of .253 AVG/ .344 OBP/ .460 SLG.  Along with that fairly average line, he managed to push a respectable 108 homers over the outfield wall.  His slugging peaked in those seven years at .498 in 1991, aged 26, which is typical for most players.

However, all his stats shot up significantly after 1993.  Between 1994 and 2001, in what is normally the twilight of one's career when he has a career batting average of .253, his line improved to .255 AVG/ .369 OBP/ .519 SLG with 202 dingers over 3419 PAs.  Now, the BA and OBP numbers aren't significant, but the fact that Buhner started hitting for better power is not quite normal.

And those numbers above are skewed because they include many injury-plagued years towards the end of his career when is body started breaking down quickly.  In his prime four years, ages 29-32, his line was a gaudy .262 AVG/ .372 OBP/ .542 SLG with 145 homers.  Jose Canseco would agree in deeming both of those points to be a little odd.

Maybe Buhner was just a late bloomer.  Or maybe the boost of popularity in being mentioned by the  Frank Costanza helped his self esteem over the second half of his career.  However, I'm skeptical of both.  Which is why without any hard evidence, I am welcoming Jay Buhner to the OSUC.

What's Sammy Sosa Up To?

Why is Sammy Sosa looking so white? Here is a part of an article from the Tribune:
"He's not trying to be Michael Jackson," said former Cubs employee Rebecca Polihronis, who talks frequently with Sosa.Sosa was photographed recently during an appearance at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas."He is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin," Polihronis said. "Women have it all of the time. He was surprised he came out looking so white. I thought it was a body double. Part of (the photo appearance) is just the lighting."He is in the middle of doing a cleansing process to his skin. The picture is deceiving. He said, 'If you saw me in person, you would be surprised. When you see me in person, it is not going to seem like the picture.'
Let me get this straight. He isn't trying to be like Michael Jackson, but instead he is trying to be like a woman since woman have it all the time? Sammy Sosa you have always confused, yet never seemed to surprise me.
Here is a comparison of Sammy over the years.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Importance Of A Championship

After the Yankees won the World Series the other night, I laughed as a mentioned to my roommate that Nick Swisher will now own a World Series ring.  We both laughed about how shitty Swisher is at anything other than taking pitches in hope of drawing a walk eventually (eat your heart out, Billy Beane!). 

Since that moment, I have been thinking about how lots of other poor starting players there have been over the years on winning World Series teams.  And to think that Hall of Famers like Tony Gwynn (the best hitter of the 90's) and Jim Rice (arguably one of the best power hitters of the 70's) never had the chance to secure a ring.  Or the long list of Cubs Hall of Famers like Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg who never even got to sniff the possibility of a ring.  Quite unfair.

I have gone through the winners of the previous five years to see some of the starting players who had the great fortune of being able to win a World Series despite their lack of baseball ability.  And just to rub it in the faces of all of those Hall of Famers without rings, here is a list of guys who do have rings:

Preston Wilson and Ronnie Belliard.  Together, they revolutionized and the wearing of doo rags in baseball.  They both started for the Cardinals in their '06 WS run.  I still can't believe that we pulled that off.

Adam Eaton.  Despite his best efforts during the '08 season to keep the Phillies out of the playoffs with his 5.80 ERA and 1.64 WHIP, he was still given a ring.

Jeff Weaver.  The jury is still out on whether the ring actually went to The Dream Weaver or his cannabis plants.

Carl Everett.  Jesus Christ prevailed in the name of Carl so that he could beat all of the homosexuals on the Houston Astros.

Any non-pitcher on the '04 Boston Red Sox team.  Pokey Reese, Mark Bellhorn, Gabe Kapler, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller.  I forgot that this team was really not that good.  Now I remember why I was so depressed about the Cardinals getting swept that year.

I hope this post makes you feel better, Mr. Cub.  You may need a double whiskey on the rocks now.  Sorry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grumpy Old Men

With the World Series Game 6 on the dial tonight, I figured I would give you a glimpse of this tremendous match up as if it were 1997 (because this would have been one of the greatest pitching match ups ever in '97). As a reference, this is similar to how I looked in 1997. For jokes, this is probably what Cooly looked like. My main hobbies were staring at all the fine 5th grade chicas, not talking to anyone, pouting all the time, and only reading and writing about baseball (some things don't change).

Andy Pettitte looked like this. Now he looks like this. (I know, its exactly the same, steroids are a miracle worker). On the other hand Pedro looked like this, and now looks like this. Besides the shear comedy that the Pedro pictures gives us, lets think about how amazing this match up would have been in 1997.

Pedro's 1997: 17-8 (for those of you that think wins matter), 1.90 ERA!!!, 241.1 IP!!!!, 4 shut outs, 305 K's, 11.37 K/9 !!!!, 4.55 K/BB, .188 AVG, 0.90 WHIP, 2.39 FIP!!!!!!!!. Consider Pedro not a human this year.

Andy Pettitte's 1997: 18-7, 2.88 ERA, 240.1 IP!!!!!!, 7 HR given up, 6.22 K/9, 2.55 K/BB, 1.24 WHIP, 2.96 FIP!!!!!

Is there any chance that would not be one of the greatest pitching duels ever???

Alas, this pitching duel occurs in the year 2009. With the aging fatties toeing the rubber now, I could only wish to get a glimpse of their old selves.

The Shot Heard Around Nicaragua

We will have to be adding this incident to our list of fantastic baseball injuries. 

Now, in the story, it mentions that Padilla shot himself due to a hunting accident.  This leads me to wonder two things.

1. Was he so sweaty that his finger slipped on the trigger finger, resulting in the misfire?
2. Was Dick Cheney involved?  (This incident has its own entire Wikipedia page? Awesome!)

Or does this relate in any way to Juan Uribe's offseason activities.  So many questions to ask about such an ugly pitcher.  The future can only behold a plethora of entertainment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are You Interested?

Over on MLBTraderumors, they have been keeping a close watch on the whole Aroldis Chapman situation and hyping us up for the feeding frenzy of a bidding war that will happen later this winter.

It's all great.  I like to be kept up to date about things like this.  However, my RSS feed has been clogged with posts mentioning teams that are "interested" in Chapman.  So far, they have counted up that the Braves, Orioles, Cardinals, White Sox, Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Mets, Athletics, Tigers, Mariners, and Giants all have "interest" in signing the lefty.  Hell, there isn't much to dislike about him.  I mean, the dude is a young lefty with a crafty slider and hundred-mile-an-hour heater.

But do I really need all of these updates of interest?  Shouldn't every team in the Majors be interested in this guy if they like to put together a team of baseball players?  Shit, I mean, the fucking CornBelters are probably interested.  Even my slow-pitch softball team is.

All I'm saying is that all of these updates are really not interesting or groundbreaking.  And if anything, can we maybe change the term from "interested" to "possibly considering and willing to enter the bidding war that will happen." That would be better.

You Are Amazing, And You Know It!

That's Right! I am going to take up space on this page to once again voice my love for the most amazing person ever.

I would do anything for you. Unforgivable things for you (that Valpo kids have witnessed). You are truly amazing. You are rare, and whenever I see you swing, I get chills. Everyone loves a power hitting second baseman, and you my friend are the best!

I am not afraid to admit it, but I love you Chase Utley!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ryan Howard's Has Great Taste

While watching the World Series, Joe Buck delivered this tasty treat for the viewing audience...

Ryan Howard's favorite player growing up was Vai Sikahema.

You may know him from such fames as: having a wickedly funny wikipedia page (in which they claim Napoleon Dynamite is his nephew), knocking out the greatest athlete of all time- Jose Canseco (see #13, but they are all funny), and having one really sweet name. Having a sweet name is the ONLY reason someone would like him right??? He was a career kick returner with ONE career pass receiving touchdown.

Thank you, Joe and Ryan for making me smile.

Obvious Steroids User 11/2/09

While watching this year's World Series, I have often caught myself pondering what horrible indescribable sexual acts Garcia and Zach would perform on Chase Utley.  Although I cannot share that kind of man love for Slick Ace Chase (I'm trademarking that nickname, by the way), I find myself perpetually and secretly find myself cheering him on in my head.

Then last night, in a dream, I realized why I was so big on Chase doing well.  I want him to hit more home runs than JEFF KENT eventually.

I hate Jeff Kent.  I hate that he owns the all-time record for home runs by a second baseman.  I mean, really the guy sucked as a second baseman (during his prime homer-bashing years in San Francisco, he played around -15 runs below average at the position according to Baseball Reference).  I know that in his beady little racist mind, he knew that if he continued playing second base, he had a shot at the Hall of Fame.

I have nothing to back that up.  But I feel like I can see it in his eyes.  And shitty Toby Keith-like mustache.

I'm also not going to give Kent the time to statistically analyze why I think he might have used roids (although if you look at the power numbers in San Francisco, it doesn't take much analysis).  I have been spending too much time recently going back to numbers as an argument.

Instead, I'm simply going to player hate on Jeff Kent.  And here's why:

1. According to Milton Bradley, he's racist.  Okay, not a very credible source, but I'm okay with that.  I'm player hating.
2. He played for that Giants team of the early 00's that I am slowly but surely inducting into this honorable club.
3. He played for the Astros for a while.  Every time he approached the plate versus the Cardinals, I hoped that he would be plunked in the head.
4. The previously mentioned douche decision to play second base.
5. Everyone hates him, so this is an easy blog to get others to agree with.  At least I don't have to be worried about getting sued for libel if I bash Jeff Kent.  The judge will even agree with me that he's a dick.

So Jeff Kent, in honor of your dishonorable second base record, I induct you into the OSU Club.  And fuck you.

The End Of Lidge?

Did anyone else think that maybe they saw the last of Brad Lidge on the mound last night?

As we have seen in previous playoffs, he can easily have his psyche crushed to a point of near no return.  Of course, I'm speaking of when Albert Pujols crushed his soul in that 2005 NLCS with a mammoth homer off that fucking train in Enron.

In 2005, Lidge was absolutely lights out with a 2.29 ERA and 42 saves.  Plus, his K/9 was a disgusting 13.1 while his BB/9 was 2.9, which is a little high but acceptable.  With Lidge's nasty slider, one can live with that higher walk rate because his K/BB ratio at that point was still 4.48.

Unfortunately, that 2005 season was his peak.

Ever since that pivotal Pujols homer, his ERA has been 4.37 while his K/BB ratio has been heading south to a career low 1.79 this year. (Even in 2008's amazing 41 for 41 save season, he put up his second lowest K/BB ratio since being a closer of 2.63)  Plus, his WHIP in 2005 was 1.15; in 2009, his WHIP was 1.81.  You don't need to be a statistical analyzing genius like Zach to see that all of these are not good signs for Brad Lidge.

However, the biggest problem I see for him now is that he has to think about how he got crushed last night.  And he gets to think about that all winter long.  For a guy who clearly in 2006 got his mind fucked up by one 500-ft Pujols blast.  Last night, he gave up two straight line drive doubles to surrender the lead.  Nothing worked.  The Yankees were not fooled at all by whatever he threw.  He gets to re-run that over and over and over again in his head all winter since there is a good chance he won't pitch again until next spring.

Now, given this mental situation he has to deal with (and probably will very poorly... unless he is sent to the outreaches of Mongolia to study with Ra's al Ghul!) combined with his peripherals that have been sliding for five years... I introduce to you Ryan Madson as the 2010 Phillies Opening Day Closer.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Basketball Spinoff

To satisfy our yearning to write about basketball things all summer, we have started another website to sister this one.

It is called 300 Level Banter.

The website has the same feel and tone as this one (meaning sarcasm will be laid on plenty).  Although there will be fewer steriods related posts.

So hopefully, if you enjoy this site, you will like our new basketball venture.  Take a peak and enjoy.  Thanks.