Showing posts with label MLB. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MLB. Show all posts

July 7, 2008

MLB Stats Comparison - 1988, 1998 and 2008

As we approach the All-Star Break in baseball, some statistics stand out as having returned to pre-steroids era normalcy. Here's a look at where the eventual leaders were in 1988 and 1988 after 88 games (or thereabouts for pitchers), compared to where the current leader in each category stands.

Home Runs
1988 - Jose Canseco - 24 (led league with 42)
1998 - Mark McGwire - 37 (led league with 70)
2008 - Chase Utley - 24
Sammy Sosa
1988 - Jose Canseco - 67 (led league with 124)
1998 - Sammy Sosa - 83 (led league with 158)
2008 - Josh Hamilton - 84

Batting Avg
1988 - Wade Boggs - .358 (ended year at .366)
1998 - Larry Walker - .335 (ended year at .363)
2008 - Chipper Jones - .388

1988 - Frank Viola - 15 (led league with 24)
1998 - Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens, David Cone, Rick Helling
scr- 12, 9, 13, 12 (all led league with 20)
2008 - Brandon Webb, Joe Saunders - 12

1988 - Joe Magrane - 2.50 (led league with 2.18)
1998 - Greg Maddux - 1.54 (led league with 2.22)
2008 - Justin Duchscherer - 1.96

1988 - Roger Clemens - 202 (led league with 291)
1998 - Curt Schilling - 189 (led league with 300)
2008 - Tim Lincecum - 122

(NOTE: Sabathia has 123 but his total resets upon joining the NL/Brewers)

Innings Pitched
1988 - Dave Stewart - 156 2/3 (led league with 275 2/3)
1998 - Curt Schilling - 154 (led league with 268 2/3)
2008 - Roy Hallday - 137 1/3

July 2, 2008

MLB Career Stats Quiz

How well do you know the members of the 300 win club? How about the 500 HR club? ECB is proud to present a test of your stats knowledge. Don't forget to brag about your score in the comments. Good Luck! (You'll need it.)

June 4, 2008

Losers of the Steroids Era - Ken Griffey and Others

For those of you who don't know, and there are some, Ken Griffey, Jr., is on the brink of hitting his 600th home run. Griffey has stayed above steroid suspicions, but he has still been very damaged by the era in general. Here is a look at the victims of the steroids era.

1) Ken Griffey, Jr. - Only five men have hit 600 or more home runs, and none of them are presently active. Griffey is poised to join the club with his next homer, further developing his certain Hall of Fame resume. Griffey, who for a while was the heir apparent to Hank Aaron's home run record, has been cursed by bad hamstrings and other ailments. The cloud of steroid suspicion has never fallen on him, despite the nagging muscle injuries. Still, he is one of the biggest victims of the steroids era as his accomplishment, a monstrous event just 10 years ago, is now just an afterthought. It's barely receiving the attention that the 500 club got just a decade ago.

blahblahblah Ironically, we like this athlete for the guns he DOESN'T have

2) Relief Pitchers - Relievers in general don't have a great shot at the Hall of Fame without gaudy save numbers, but they have been victimized by the steroids era. Many relievers are treated as replaceable cogs, until, of course, they let a few games get blown open and find themselves out of baseball. How did steroids hurt relievers? Consider that starting pitchers, many of whom might have been juicing themselves, can manage a game differently than relievers can. A starter can pitch around the superslugger because he has the whole game to work with and he's most likely going to face the next batter anyway. A reliever often has nowhere to put a big hitter, as he comes in with men on base frequently. Sure, the inherited runners didn't count against the reliever if the big hitter scored them all, but the hitter himself does and allowing a run in a third of an inning is hell on an ERA. The entry in the loss column hurts too. Have a bad couple weeks and an entire promising bullpen career might have ended. I suspect some did.

3) The Fringe Hall of Famers - They come up every year when it's time to argue over the incoming HOF class - Andre Dawson, Alan Trammell, Jim Rice, Dale Murphy, Bert Blyleven, and Harold Baines, among other older players like Ron Santo. There was a time very recently that 500 homers or 3000 strikeouts guaranteed entry to the Hall of Fame. Not having those numbers was not a bar, only a failure to meet the guarantee threshold. Now not having one or the other of those numbers is nearly a death blow to a HOF candidacy. I think Goose Gossage finally making it in last year is instructive. Voters are so frustrated with trying to compare hitters across eras that they started giving Gossage a little more credit for his accomplishments.

blahblblahahblah Four Dale Murphy heads fit in one Barry cap

4) The People of Chicago and St. Louis - These are perhaps the two most classic NL cities, and they were really robbed by the steroids era. The Summer of Swat, with McGwire and Sosa trading epic homers, was fantastic for those two cities. The legendary franchises were in need of heroes following the departures of Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith, and Sosa and McGwire fit the bill. I'm sure parents encouraged their kids to look up to them, especially McGwire, who enjoyed an excellent public image despite rumors he was quite surly. We kind of knew what was going on, but these things are easy to overlook when it's the hometown hero. Now we have no doubt, and those fans rightfully should feel robbed.

5) Denver, Colorado - Jesus guys, it isn't rocket science. It is now apparent that at least the players knew steroids were rampant in the league. One could make a fairly safe assumption that management knew as well. The Rockies couldn't sign ANY of these guys to hit in the thin mountain air? Larry Walker, Dante Bichette and Andres Gallaraga are all good hitters, but none of them had the steroids physique. How many playoff runs could the Rockies have made when guys like Bret Boone (who discretely retired after failing to make a comeback with the Washington freaking Nationals) were swatting the ball around like it was elastic? Sure, pitching would have still been a major hurdle, but the Texas Rangers of the mid-1990's proved you can at least MAKE the playoffs by scoring 10 runs a game and allowing 9.

But...the Winners - If there are losers there are probably some winners, and in this case you're reading from one of them. Sports writers and bloggers, to the extent they existed at the time, couldn't have asked for a bigger boon than steroids. First, we got to write about McGwire and Sosa and the salvation of baseball. Then we got to trash all of them and spit vitriol and generally get our panties in a wad. "How dare they?!?" You could argue that sports blogging wouldn't be what it is today without the steroids scandal.

In addition, maybe the fans won. They got entertaining baseball during the era, and they also got a cleaner game because of it. Sure, we could have done without the comedy of the Congressional hearings and the finger pointing denials, some more laughable than others. Seeing Bud Selig all over the television is ALWAYS a bad thing. Barry Bonds staining Hank Aaron's record with a john's disregard for hourly rate hotel sheets was not pleasant. Still, baseball is as strong as ever, if not stronger. Did we win? It's arguable.

May 16, 2008

Colossal MASN Fuck-Up

From Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun:

• MASN is calling it the "Battle of the Beltway." But you don't have to - you can just watch the unique presentation MASN is giving this weekend's Orioles- Washington Nationals series.

Combining the announcing teams for the two clubs it carries, MASN will serve up a three-man booth with alternating play-by-play men. Orioles analyst Jim Palmer and Nationals analyst Don Sutton - that's 592 major league victories between them - will comment during the whole game, while the Orioles' Gary Thorne works the first three innings and the last 2 1/2 and the Nats' Bob Carpenter calls the fourth through the top of the seventh.

Orioles sideline reporter Amber Theoharis will be joined by the Nationals' Debbi Taylor to report on their respective teams throughout the game. During the seventh-inning stretch, the two will engage in a mixed martial arts match just behind the mound. The loser has to wax the winner's car.

Yes, I made that up. I mean, you can only take unique so far.

blahbblahlahblah Catch Amber now, because she's too good for local

So many stupid things to comment on. First of all, when you have Gary Thorne, you don't humiliate Bob Carpenter by making him step in for the middle innings. By comparison, Carpenter will feel like a AAA radio guy. Amber Theoharris is one of the best female sideline reporters AND radio hosts in the entire industry. We're months if not weeks away from ESPN bringing her in, or at least Fox or CBS for NFL games. You're really going to throw Debbi Taylor in alongside her?

Second of all, MASN already has two channels. Just give your viewers a Nats broadcast and an O's broadcast. This method just pisses everyone off. Are you really trying to shave a couple bucks for the one series that guarantees you ratings on BOTH networks?

I know the MASN situation is unique, as Angelos owns the rights to both team's broadcasts through his fleecing of Major League Baseball, but can you imagine the YES Network mixing Yankees and Mets broadcasters? There'd be anarchy.

I know the Nats are a two-bit AAA operation, but do they really have to infect the Orioles too?

April 27, 2008

Know Your Defunct Pro Teams

So you have the ESPN Almanac on top of your crapper. You read the box scores everyday. But do you know the teams your grandfather used to not care about? How about the teams your father used to give away his tickets to avoid seeing? Well here you go. Good luck... you'll need it. Unless you're these guys.

March 6, 2008

Most Overpaid Teams of 2007

With baseball season rapidly approaching, it's time for a look back at the most overpaid flops (as a team) of last year, and some speculation on whether history will repeat itself. All payrolls here. Without further ado, here they are in reverse order of overpayment:

Seattle Mariners ($106 Million, 88-74) - The Mariners won their last 5 to finish 6 back of the Angels. Granted the Angels spent as much as the M's, but you'd like to be a little more competitive for that much money. The Angels led all summer. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, need I say more?

"Another groundout, at least I got it in play..." (Getty Images)

NY Mets ($115 Million, 88-74) - Not a huge flop since they were in the playoff hunt the whole year, but it's clear that money doesn't buy clutch performance, even if you have the highest payroll in the NL. Their collapse allowed the Phillies (making $25 Million less) to close the gap. To be fair, the Phillies' payroll will close that gap some with Ryan Howard making $9 Million more than last year.

LA Dodgers ($108 Million, 82-80) - The NL West team with the highest payroll was lucky to break .500, and struggled mightily at the end of the year. Their 4th place finish was embarassing, especially since the Rockies and D-Backs COMBINED payroll was less than the Dodgers. The Padres were also under $60M.

SF Giants ($90 Million , 71-91) - Behind huge contracts to Zito and Bonds (neither of whom performed at a high level consistently), the Giants floundered to a last place finish and the 2nd worst record in the NL (Pirates, tied with Marlins). Good thing they let Schmidt go so they could sign Zito.

"I just gave up another homer, at least I'm rich..." (AP Photo)

Baltimore Orioles ($93 Million, 69-93) - An increase of $20 Million over 2006 netted the Orioles absolutely no benefit, leaving them still the second-best team in the Baltimore-Washington area. As a point of pride, the O's finished ahead of the Rays. On the other hand, the Rays only paid $24 Million to finish 3 games worse.

Chicago White Sox ($108 Million, 72-90) - The White Sox appear to have overpaid to keep an aging team together following their World Series victory, and it really cost them last year. 4th place behind medium market teams is not worth the 5th highest paid team in the league.

So what about 2008? The Orioles unloaded Tejada and Bedard for a collection of prospects and nobodies, so that should reduce the payroll but not improve the record. The Giants wisely disposed of Bonds, but Zito's monstrosity of a contract will be a burden on that team for years. The Dodgers and the Mets are likely to have much improved years with the addition of Torre and Santana, respectively. The White Sox and the Mariners might have the same result as last year, for the same price. Those owners have to love it.

Only 4 of the top 12 teams in payroll made the playoffs last year, and 3 teams in the bottom 8 made the playoffs. Money isn't everything.

January 28, 2008

Rumors: Orioles' Bedard Traded for Seattle's Adam Jones

According to the Baltimore Sun, Orioles officials are denying reports that they have completed a trade sending left-handed pitching ace Erik Bedard to the Mariners for top young centerfield prospect Adam Jones and others.

Jones told the Seattle Times that he had been instructed to return from Venezuela and head to Baltimore for a physical. Unlikely other recent trade acquisitions, Jones appears more positive about the move, saying "You know, I like Seattle, but if I am in Baltimore, as I think now I am, I'm going to embrace it." That might not be the most positive endorsement, but it certainly isn't negative either.

Now a source is telling ESPN that the hold up in confirming the deal is...wait for it....Peter Angelos. Despite holding up the entire process by demanding that he confirm trades, Angelos is unavailable all day today on "personal business." Contrary to reports, I am not hoping he's off skiing somewhere and presently hurdling towards a very thick tree.

January 11, 2008

Duck...Duck...JUICE? Goose Says He'd Have Juiced

Ok, MLB and NFL today pledged $3M each for innovations in performance-enhancing drug testing.

Why will they fail? Goose Gossage today, newly inducted into the Hall of Fame, said he'd have juiced if the drugs had been around at the time.

Are we still really talking about 5-10% of players using? This dude was a relief pitcher.

January 9, 2008

Testimony Delayed -- Clemens to Give Sworn Deposition

In the latest twist in Congress' pursuit of the truth, the testimony of Clemens, McNamee, and company has been delayed until Feb. 13 to allow for each witness to be deposed by attorneys employed by Congress. This sworn advance testimony will not be limited to the Mitchell Report and could stray into anything Congress wants to talk about. Meanwhile, Congress will be investigating the findings of the Mitchell Report and other performance-enhancing drug investigations to dig up anything else they can find.

What does it all mean? The war of words between McNamee and Clemens will end soon. To maintain their current stances, whichever one is lying will have to perjure himself in front of Congress and the nation, and Congress will likely have the evidence to prove it one way or the other. Further the long arm of the Players' Union will not be protecting Clemens and the other players in this situation, leaving them less capable of stonewalling Congress in the way the Mitchell Report was stonewalled. Congress will have no scruples about asking Petitte or Knoblauch to tell everything he knows about Clemens, under oath. This could get juicy!

Further, pleading the 5th or hedging around Congress' questions might work initially, but any evidence gathered by Congress will be admissible in civil court, providing ammunition for Clemens' defamation suit or McNamee's counter suit.

Hopefully we'll finally start finding out what really happened.

January 8, 2008

Goose Gossage - Winner of the Steroid Era

Goose Gossage failed on his first eight enshrinement ballots. On the ninth, he got the call.

Gossage received a yes vote on a whopping 85.8% of Baseball Writers Association of America ballots. Prior to this year, he failed to achieve the 75% necessary. When Gossage was first eligible, he appeared on only 33% of ballots.

Why did Gossage finally break through? The most obvious explanation is that there weren't any good new candidates. There were the perennial "almosts", like Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven. Behind them was a second tier including Lee Smith and Jack Morris. Appearing on fewer than 30% of ballots were Tommy John, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire (up 0.1% from last year), Alan Trammell, Dave Concepcion, Don Mattingly, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Harold "The Pride of St. Michaels" Baines.

Travis Fryman received two votes. Chuck Knoblauch received one. Seriously.

I think there is an additional factor that pushed Goose over the edge. The Mitchell Report and the steroids era in general have created a nostaligic feeling in the BWAA. Goose was a great relief pitcher, which is a pleasant thing to think about these days. No one has ever suggested that Jim Rice or Andre Dawson cheated in any way, but heavy hitters just aren't inspiring right now.
Home Run Derby suggests that Goose's foul language perhaps kept him out. They have a great audio clip of a truly fantastic tirade.

Congratulations Goose.

January 7, 2008

Clemens on 60 Minutes -- Not Believable

I caught most of Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes interview with Roger Clemens last night. The overall impression that came through is that the guy is lying through his teeth. Let's walk through what Clemens is asking us to believe:

  • Brian McNamee is a steroid dealer. If he wasn't, he'd have no reason to cooperate with the feds and name names.
  • McNamee is telling the truth about injecting Pettitte with HGH. Andy Pettitte has admitted this. Keep in mind that Clemens and Pettitte are BFF.
  • Clemens had McNamee inject him with lidocaine and B-12. Clemens didn't admit this until last night's interview, why?
  • McNamee is lying about injecting Clemens with steroids.
So we have a known steroid trafficker, who injected Clemens's best friend with HGH, then confessed to the feds to avoid jail time. As a condition of his deal, if he provided any false information to the feds, he'd face prosecution. The big question remaining after the interview is Why would McNamee lie about Clemens if he was telling the truth about everyone else? Clearly selling out Andy Pettitte would have been good enough to get McNamee off the hook. So why would he risk going to jail by adding in a lie about Roger Clemens? Clemens's explanation doesn't pass the smell test.

October 23, 2007

Quick Hitters

1) The Red Sox dropped Tim Wakefield from their World Series roster, yet Eric Gagne is still with the team? I understand Wakefield's shoulder requires a lot of healing time between starts now, but who is more valuable? Wakefield for seven innings out of the bullpen if a starter gets rocked/injured, or Gagne in mop-up duty in a game so out of hand that the Red Sox don't care if he allows seven runs in an inning.

2) Atlanta has waived starting DT Grady Jackson. Let the bidding begin, right after we verify that he didn't just fail a substance abuse test. Sixth-round Division II rookie Trey Lewis will take over. Coming off the suspension of Vick and DeAngelo Hall, Petrino is definitely sending a message that he wants to be the next NFL commissioner.

3) This blog had a lot of Sopranos traffic back when the final season was wrapping up. Now, David Chase has commented on the finale. I'll save you some pretentious BS, which the interview drips with, and let you know that the ending basically meant "life goes on", as many people supposed.

bljljblahblahblahblah I see room for a "For Rent" sign

4) The K.C./Philly/Oakland Athletics are moving to Fremont, CA. At the very leasy, they're done in Oakland. As the owner, Lew Wolff, said, "We're not moving to Timbuktu. We're just moving down the street." Wouldn't Timbuktu also be preferable to Oakland?

5) Apparently, the Rockies sold their World Series tickets online. The first go-round didn't work, as ticket brokers used computers that generated random codes to try to beat the "human proof" aspect of the ticket website. Wait a second, your team, with one of the smallest fan bases in baseball, is playing the Red Sox, with the second-largest. Let's sell the tickets online to anyone in the country! Brilliant! In the future, make them camp out. Does "Let's Go Red Sox!" carry further in thin air too?

6) It's late October, and that can only mean one thing. No, not cleavage- (top and rear) exposing Halloween costumes, though I'm for that too. Breeders' Cup is coming up this weekend! Lawyer Ron v. Street Sense in the Classic should be a good race. If you're wagering, know that the Breeders' Cup has traditionally been VERY chalk-heavy.

7) Let the pandering begin! Rudy Giuliani told a Boston-area crowd he is backing the Red Sox over the Rockies, despite his well-known Yankees allegiance. He whipped out the old "root for my league" argument. Yeah, that's why ECB pulls so hard for Duke in the NCAAs. Moron.

8) Maryland AD Debbie Yow's sister, NC State womens' basketball coach Kay Yow is resuming chemo to fight her once-dormant breast cancer. Get better. Partly because she's extended family, and partly because Maryland, Duke, and UNC need to feel good about stomping their conference victims.

October 19, 2007

A Worthy Adversary

It appears Joe Torre is prepared to move on from the New York Tankees.

In the AL East, where two teams try and the other three think .500 is lofty, you always make the playoffs if you are NYY or BOS. Is it the manager's fault when the $100+M lineup fails? Probably not.

My biggest concern with the Yankees is that they fucked old Joe over (and spent three straight days meeting to figure out the best way to do it).

"We'll offer you the same money as last year, except you have to win the ALCS to see it. Fuck you!"

Just fire me. Don't offer me an "incentives-based" contract when I'm not even on the damn field. Don't tell me Carl Pavano needs to win Game 4, or else I make $1M less. Fuck you. Eat shit. Fuck yourself and eat shit and die.

That's what I imagine Joe Torre said to management. "Fuck yourself and eat shit and die." It's amazing to me that this is being reported as Joe Torre turning down an extension. He got fired, only they designed a deal they knew he wouldn't take so it wouldn't look like he was being fired. I imagine Joe Girardi is already shopping for a house.

UPDATE (2:30p)

Now ESPN reports that Joe Torre has spoken out. I think this quote indicates that he very likely told Cashman and Steinbrenner to go fuck themselves, eat shit and die.

"I just felt the contract offer, the terms of the contract, were probably
the thing I had the toughest time with -- the one year for one thing, the
incentives for another thing," Torre said of his reasons for declining the
offer. "I've been there 12 years and I didn't think motivation was needed.

"We knew exactly what was expected here," he said, "So, I just didn't think
was the right thing for me, I just didn't think was the right thing for my

October 18, 2007

Buy This Product

Former MLB pitcher Mark Littell (1973-1982, KC then STL) has a new invention that he's very confident using. He's improved the traditional athletic supporter/protective cup combination with a design that allow for more comfort and more mobility. It comes in four sizes, ranging from Mongo down through, The Hog, The Boss and The Hammer.

Really, shouldn't The Boss be the smallest? Something about being power-hungry and overcompensating?

The funny thing is not that someone invented a better cup (though he should make the Hall of Fame just for that). It's called The Nutty Buddy. Not only that, Littell is so confident that the cup works that he takes a pitching machine fastball right to the nuts from point blank. That's also funny. Funnier still, he has a cute high school blonde assisting him, and you totally know he's banging her. Funnier still, former Cincinnati Red Chris Sabo gives his own testimonial, which ends with the word "test-eh-clees".

Check out the website and video here, and don't forget to send your favorite nephew The Hammer this Christmas season.

September 25, 2007

Chipper Jones Poised to Win Batting Title

Chipper Jones has been a great, under-the-radar player for a long time. This year, even though he's not in the MVP discussion, there are a few numbers that deserve being noted and appreciated.

In his 13th year with the Braves, he is 1st in batting average (.341), 1st in OPS (1.033), 3rd in slugging, and 2nd in OBP (.428) (all stats in the NL). Much of this year, he hit with Andruw Jones behind him, hitting about .200 most of the year. In spite of missing a few games to injury, he is 2 RBI's from a 100 run, 100 RBI season. He's also the only player with that high a slugging percentage to have fewer K's than walks (so he's not just swinging for the fences).

Even though most people don't know, he won the NL MVP in '99 and is a career .307 hitter. I think Chipper will deserve serious consideration for the Hall of Fame whenever he decides to retire, even though his stats reflect his lack of steriods in the steroids era, at least as far as I can tell.

In other baseball news, the Nats spoiled another one for the Mets in spite of giving up 6 in the 9th, and the Braves could be two games out of the wild card with Smoltz and Hudson pitching the next two days against the Phillies. I am happy to root for the Braves against the Phillies and the Mets.

September 24, 2007

I Never Thought I Would Say I Agree with Milton Bradley

For those of you who have been under a rock for the past two days (or just immersed in the NFL), you missed an incident in San Diego on Sunday. Here's the quick rundown...

Milton Bradley is called out on strikes. He lingers at the plate staring into the air, clearly disagreeing with the call. He finally flips his bat in the air and walks back to the dugout. Next time up at bat, the home plate umpire asks Bradley if Bradley had flipped his bat at the umpire after the strikeout. Bradley responds that he had not. The home plate umpire tells Bradley that the first base umpire told him that Bradley had flipped the bat at him. Bradley then singles. Bradley gets to first base, and asks the first base umpire, Mike Winters, if he had told the home plate umpire that Bradley had thrown the bat at him. Winters replied that he had done so. Bradley told him he had no business inferring that. At that point, conversation ceases, fan in the stands yells that Mike Winters sucks, or something to that effect. Bradley points to the fan and nods affirmatively. At this point Mike Winters says something highly inflammatory, according to the Padres' first base coach. Bradley, who we all know has a short fuse (and who Winters surely knows has a short fuse) absolutely loses it to the point of having to be restrained by his manager. In the process, Bradley tears his ACL and is out for the season and the playoffs, a crippling blow to the Padres.

Don't get me wrong... the officials in professional sports who engage in such shitty behavior or make such horrible calls and need to be reprimanded are in the distinct minority. For every crappy official, there are five good ones. But there are also five good ones in the minor leagues, in the NBDL, in the NCAA, or elsewhere, who should take the spot of that crappy one in the pros.

Hi, I'm Mike Winters. I enjoy long power trips and baiting players into flipping out so I can eject them. It's fun. And now the rest of my crew is going to cover my ass so nothing will happen to me!

Bottom line is that Mike Winters should be suspended for the remainder of the season, and into next season. He should not be allowed to work any postseason games. What he did is inexcusable. Umpires and officials are supposed to take control of the situation. They are never supposed to engage in behavior that causes the situation to spiral out of control. Especially here, where it appears that Winters intentionally provoked Bradley. Bradley compares this situation to that of Joey Crawford taunting Tim Duncan and being suspended for that. I wholeheartedly agree. Officials need to be held accountable, most especially for unprofessional behavior such as what we saw in San Diego on Sunday. I would also say that officials need to be held accountable when they make truly deplorable calls (i.e. Rich Garcia in Yankee Stadium in October 1996), but I worry that this makes them gun-shy in pressure situations. There may be a balance that can be drawn there when a call is objectively blown under any stretch of the imagination.

But Mike Winters needs to be gone. And any official in any sport who would dare to engage in any similar behavior need to be gone as well. It's easy to go on a power trip when you're in charge. I hope Selig grows a pair and disciplines the right person in this situation, because I'm sure Bradley will be facing a suspension whenever he heals from his injury.

And sorry for my prolonged leave of absence. Private sector lawyering demands a lot more hours than public service. Glad to see brother Russell stepping it up though!

September 1, 2007

Baseball Statistical Question

The Orioles finally won tonight, ending a 9-game losing streak. The streak happened to begin with the 30-3 beatdown at the hands of the Rangers, the afternoon after Dave Trembley was named the new manager.

So today was Trembley's first win since being manager. Or was it? He was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing a play where Melvin Mora was ruled tagged out despite the catcher having the ball in his bare hand, rather than the mitt. Cincinnati Reds fans probably found this to be karma for Elrod Hendricks' phantom tag in the 1970 World Series, albeit not as satisfying considering this was a regular season game and the Orioles still won.

Elrod, laughing at the city of Cincinnati. Not for the phantom tag though, just in general.

So does Trembley get the credit for the win? The O's are on the road, so he didn't make it the four and a half innings that a pitcher needs for a win. What are the rules for crediting a manager for a win? If he comes back into the dugout with Groucho glasses, a la Bobby Valentine, can he still win the game?

July 10, 2007

I Forgive Barry Bonds

As Barry Bonds approaches Hank Aaron's career HR record, I am more inclined to forgive him and honor him. I don't think he is any less guilty of steroid abuse or HGH abuse. In fact, I suspect he may have just been the beneficiary of the BEST steroids and HGH.

I've heard all the bullshit excuses before. Yeah, he still has to hit the ball cleanly. Yeah, we all saw Monday night that Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T;/Frank's Telecom Park is not friendly to lefties. Yeah, he is the only guy I've ever seen intentionally walked with the bases loaded out of pure fear (Buck Showalter when skipper of the D-Backs (and yes, it worked)). Those are all valid excuses, and those all mitigate Bonds' obvious steroid/HGH abuse.
Barry Bonds Willie Mays McCovey Terry Steinbach
blahblahblahblahblah I might be forgiving him, or I might be for giving up

But shovel all that shit in the compost pile. We all need to be realistic. If you can name a team without a suspect in the mid-90's (I'm thinking KC), your team wasn't trying. As an Orioles fan, where everyone not named Cal Ripken, Jr., has been implicated, you have to accept that crucifying Barry Bonds implicitly forces you to crucify any players from your home team who are eventually implicated. Other than Cal Ripken, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Cecil Fielder, Tony Gwynn and Joe Carter, you had better be prepared for a fecal fountain on any of your childhood heroes. If you are over 35 and able to use the intergoogles, you can adjust the timeframe accordingly.

Frankly, I want to be a steroid holier-than-thou, but I am prepared for the inevitable. The bigger this gorilla gets in baseball, the more likely that a "clinic raid" reveals that some of my favorite NFLers have been relying on something other than nutrition and hard work. Honestly, I'm not prepared for that. As a Ravens fan, I've dealt with plenty enough government involvement. No fan of another NFL team could possibly be of clean conscience. If a punter can cream-juice, so can Derrick Thomas or Junior Seau or John Riggins or Mike Singletary or basically any other beloved player. I'm certainly not saying any of those men cheated, but the odds are that a superlovedlegend cut some corners, and I personally like my NFL lore the way it stands.
Another spacer? Jessica Biel's ass has (slightly) less spacing.
"Live and let live." "Ignorance is bliss." Those idioms make sense to me. The one that does not is "Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." Fuck that. I'd rather never get hurt by someone I loved. MLB has already strayed, and I forgive her. Let's leave well enough alone.

June 20, 2007

Giambi Against Wall - Tejada to Be Sacrificed?

It has been widely reported that Yankees 1B Jason Giambi is being forced to talk to Fmr. Sen. Mitchell, the MLB steroids investigator. Giambi is busy trying to negotiate the parameters of the sit-down discussion, and it's logical to wonder whether he might be able to shake some heat by throwing another player under the bus.

blahblahblahblahblahblahbh Tejada shows off his new B-12 forearms

Guess who was in Oakland with Giambi from 1997 to 2001? Miguel Tejada. I've suspected that Palmeiro dropped Tejada's name in the famous "B-12 shot" incident when Raffy was catching heat for a couple of reasons. The first is that Raffy knew Tejada was juicing. The second is that Miggy isn't very popular with teammates, or around the league.

If Giambi has any substantiated knowledge about Miggy, it would make sense for him to toss him to the sharks. First, Tejada is high-profile and unpopular. Second, Miggy plays for a divisional rival, which will numb some of the backlash on his own team for snitching. Thirdly, the Orioles are obviously shopping Miggy around for next month's trading deadline. Do you think it's a coincidence that MacPhail was hired just in time for the trading deadline? Deals didn't get done in the past because other GMs didn't know who to negotiate with in the Orioles convuluted power-sharing scheme (See Redskins, Washington). Giambi could crush the Orioles and get the media and MLB off his back. Why wouldn't he do it?

May 8, 2007

Big Papi Artificially Big

According to, Big Papi David Ortiz is "unsure" if he ever took steroids. My first inclination was to lambast him and call him a liar. Then I was going to post before and after pictures, something like this:
But alas, I couldn't do it to the man. I think, at this point, we should accept that a ton of players took performance-enhancing drugs of some kind. Rather than try to guess who did and who didn't, let's assume they all did and every team had their share of roiders. Yeah, the lifetime and single-season records don't mean anything, but outside of a cherished few records, who really cares?
Most importantly, let's compartmentalize this little scandal to the MLB.
God knows I don't want to know anything about anyone in the NFL who might have cheated a little bit.