Baseball


Every notice how every now and then your fantasy baseball team is complete pants? Fortunately you don’t lose much ground because the other teams was equally as craptastic.

At one point last night my “team”—yes, I realize it’s a fake team playing fake games, but one thing I like about fantasy baseball is that it lets me see some things statistically that I might not otherwise notice—was a fierce 3-24. I think Kotchman got a hit in his last a bat to raise the batting average to .160 (with 8 K’s to boot).

And these aren’t bottom of the order guys. Kotchman is hitting .340 on the season. Rafael Furcal, Josh Hamilton, Matt Holliday, Aramis Ramirez, Connor Jackson, these are all guys hitting about .300 or better. Shit Furcal is hitting .370! (more…)

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insideimlaughingatthemoneyistole.jpgTwenty million apparentlly doesn’t buy what it used to, does it? Seriously, Bud, you don’t want to ask for a refund?

For all the ephemeral one-day bluster it caused—Timmy Kurkjian is still voting for Bonds and Clemens for the Hall after all—the report itself is amazingly thin.

Well, not in a literal sense. It tips the scales at over 400 pages and it probably wiped out a small section of the rainforest when it set off an armada of company printers upon its afternoon release.

But having actually read the whole thing (What? I’m stuck in Houston) it kind of has that feel of your junior year term paper that you set in courier font just so that the text would make it to a fourth page. (more…)

finch.gifThis is the first ever link dump here and it’s gonna be really bad. In fact God help you if you stumble across this link and don’t have at least an hour to spare.

This is not to bag on blogging—that would be stupid seeing how this is a blog and all—but the best writing in sports has never been done in two-paragraph spurts. Brevity might be the soul of wit, but it doesn’t leave you with much depth. So with that in mind here are four old guys, guys who predate blogging (although the still living and recently departed obviously overlap it), and guys who spent almost their entire lives writing without the aid of Google and hyperlinks.

Not that that those things are bad. In fact as a medium the Web is pretty spectacular. It’s as easy to click your way to this blog as it is to find the New York Times online*. But for whatever reason most of my favorite sports writers predate a time when volume was equated with authority. I’m sure there are still many like that around today, they are just harder to hear over the din.

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barry_bonds.jpgEnjoy it while you can, Barry because Ken Griffey, Jr. is going to finish with 822 career home runs.

No, he will. You might as well etch it into the record books today.

And you should totally believe that if you also believe that there is nothing unusual about Barry Bonds’ home run total.

The point* has been made before but the basic argument is pretty simple: In the history of the game, every slugger ever has lost power when they approached their late 30s. Yet, here comes one guy who, when he gets to be the same age as those guys whose power declined, he goes the other way and suddenly has a power explosion.

You really think there is nothing peculiar about that?

If you are going to fall for that about Barry for whatever reason—that he is simply a great player and that diet, nutrition, training, fitness etc., are allowing players to be better longer—then you should expect to see the feat duplicated by other players from here on out. (more…)

stripes-1.jpgFor a sport that is obsessed with statistics, you’d think baseball might want to put more thought in how some of its numbers are calculated.

For example, on their way to pummeling the Giants 12-1 yesterday (July 18, 2007) the Chicago Cubs put up a 5-spot in the bottom of the 5th inning. In so doing, the small bears from the windy place sent nine batters to the plate and used up about 30 minutes of clock time.

That was apparently ample time for starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to cool down and tighten up. So with a nine-run lead and the Archie Bell cued, manager Lou Pinella decided to pull his ace and replace him with Sean Gallagher (incidentally, if the name isn’t Irish enough, he comes from Boston).

The Cubs’ offense tacked on 3 more runs in the bottom of the 8th, just in case there was a Cubs-esque collapse looming. Not out of the realm of possibility as Gallagher was making just his fifth appearance and it is the Cubs.

No such luck for the Giants. Gallagher worked four innings and gave up just one run.

And for that Gallagher was credited with a save. (more…)

If ever there was a week for my players not to suck—Crawford almost 0-for the week, Manny pretty much the same, and Kotchman avoided going negative only by virtue of a dinger on Sunday (I think his only hit for the week)—it was this week as I was playing the two teams above me in the standings.

Thanks guys.

But one guy stood out. Never in the history of our league has a single player managed to accumulate double-digit negative points for the week. Until now. So in honor of that honor, one person gets the spotlight to himself.

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wes_01.jpg

Inspired by a Deadspin headline and a Deadon comment thread, this week’s odes to my fantasy team is in honor of the late Wesley Willis. (more…)

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