Sunday, January 25, 2009

Memo to the Tennis Commentators on ESPN...

It would be very helpful if you got the proper pronunciation of player names BEFORE you go on air. There's no need to spend half of a set discussing that!

From your pal, Goose (long "o", pronounce the "e" like "ay").

Monday, January 19, 2009

If the KenPoms Determined the Tournament (Today)

You'd think on my first day with nothing to do, I'd catch up on all the bloggy stuff I haven't done lately. But no, instead, I do this.

If you've never been to, you should go. It's the most thorough site available for all your college basketball statty needs. Trust me, if you're just one of those people who likes to win bracket pools, it will help you. If you like college basketball like me, then it's a gold mine.

Anyway, I decided, out of curiousity, to see what, today, the tournament would look like if Pomeroy determined it. The auto-bids are the teams projected to have the best conference records, with the tie-breaker being the rating. Then the best 34 teams left based on Pomeroy Ratings are chosen to fill out the field, and all those teams are ranked from 1-65, based, again, on rating. This is not what the seeding would actually look like, more it's the field of 65 you would start with and their rough seeds before you went through placing them in brackets.

It's not any sort of statement or anything poignant, just supposed to be interesting.

1. Duke (ACC)
2. Gonzaga (WCC)
3. North Carolina
4. Georgetown
5. Pittsburgh (Big East)
6. Wake Forest
7. Missouri
8. Connecticut
9. Arizona State (Pac 10)
10. Memphis (Conference USA)
11. UCLA
12. West Virginia
13. Louisville
14. Oklahoma (Big XII)
15. Purdue
16. Illinois
17. Xavier (A-10)
18. Michigan State (Big 10)
19. Kentucky (SEC)
20. Washington
21. Kansas
22. Clemson
23. BYU (Mountain West)
24. Marquette
25. California
26. Texas
27. Utah
28. Villanova
29. Syracuse
30. Butler (Horizon)
31. Miami FL
32. Kansas State
33. Oklahoma State
34. Baylor
35. USC
36. Tennessee
37. Florida
38. Stanford
39. Wisconsin
40. Ohio State
41. San Diego State
42. Davidson (Southern)
43. Minnesota
44. Notre Dame
45. Houston
46. Tulsa
47. Utah State (WAC)
48. Virginia Commonwealth (CAA)
49. Illinois State (Missouri Valley)
50. Miami OH (MAC)
51. Siena (MAAC)
52. North Dakota State (Summit)
53. Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
54. Portland State (Big Sky)
55. Steven F. Austin (Southland)
56. MTSU (Sun Belt)
57. Cornell (Ivy League)
58. Vermont (America East)
59. American (Patriot)
60. Long Beach State (Big West)
61. Liberty (Big South)
62. Robert Morris (NEC)
63. Austin Peay (Ohio Valley)
64. Morgan State (MEAC)
65. Alabama State (SWAC)

Last Four In
1. Minnesota
2. Notre Dame
3. Houston
4. Tulsa

First Four Out
1. St. Mary’s
2. Arizona
3. Cleveland State
4. Northwestern

Next Four Out
1. Maryland
2. Rhode Island
3. LSU
4. Washington State

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pithy Title

My resolution is to blog more. At some point after the holidays settled down, I got the mother of all colds.

So right now I'm drugged out of my mind and sick, so I still don't have much to write, and this won't be that interesting.

But Harold Reynolds just told me that Jack Morris belongs in the Hall of Fame because he was fine giving up a run or two. That he was a man, and that's what people today don't understand.

"If the game was 7-1 and he was winning, he'd say 'here, hit it.' That's how the game is supposed to be played."

Would someone like to make sense of that for me?

(And also edit this post.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 Hall of Fame

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice

Congratulations Rickey!

MLB Network

You've probably all heard of the MLB Network right now. I was a little skeptical at first, but it turns out it's a pretty cool and interesting show. They have little features such as "Dodger Blue" which tracks the Dodgers World Series Championships, and play rare, historic games such as Don Larson's perfect game. All that stuff is great, the "expert analysts" on the other hand... Well, here's what Jon Heyman had to say regarding Bert Blyleven and the Hall of Fame:

Bert Blyleven doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame... It's not about stats, it's about impact. He made only two All-Star teams, he won more than 17 games only one time. To me, he's a compiler, and not quite to the level of Don Sutton.

I like how he says it's not about stats, and then proceeds to mention how Blyleven only won more than 17 games once in his career. I hate to break it to you, Jon, but wins for a pitcher are a FUCKIN STAT! In fact, it's probably the worst tool for evaluation in all the game of baseball. I'm not a big fan of using "compiling" statistics, but I'll play this game. Blyleven compiled 64 more complete games, 127 more strikeouts, and two more shutouts than Don Sutton--all while throwing in 312 fewer innings. I really don't understand how people can say Sutton is deserving and Blyleven--who was better in virtually every way--is not.

Heyman continued the sentiment "it's not about stats" in reference to his support for Andre Dawson, Jack Morris, and Jim Rice as well. Whatever. If nothing else, this provides more hilarity (albeit frustraion, too) throughout the offseason.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Billy Beane, what art thou thinking?

I sincerely believed that Jason Giambi was a longshot. I mean, it would be too much to hope for the guy to come back to Oakland, especially considering we have about forty billion 1B/DH/DL types. I really wanted him, too -- for purely sentimental reasons which don't make sense because I've been an A's fan since the 2006 season and Giambi's been a Yankee for quite awhile -- and that's always a deathmark for any deal. If Skye wants the dude, Beane and Wade either don't pursue or trade the guy in question. (Wade because he's an idiot, Beane because he loves to make people hurt.)

So when I read the scroller on ESPN lounging on my bed in Nokomis, Florida, I was truly stunned.

Turns out that Mark Mulder, my favorite headcase/perpetually injured lefty (Barry Zito's my second favorite cause the guy can't even come up with a physical injury to explain his awful pitching), has been working out in good ol' Arizona and has his arm angle almost to where it was in the height of his career. What was that, 2003?

Could Billy sign Mulder to one of those low-risk incentive-laden contracts he likes so much? Are we looking at another Frank Thomas '06 in Giambi and a .... well, Billy hasn't picked up a pitcher he used and abused as much as Mulder, but there's a first for everything, right?

At the very least, the guy's got a love for drama, it seems, and is putting together a team that'll get seats filled. What better way to do that than to re-sign a true fan favorite? Mulder didn't get to walk like Giambi and Zito and Tejada ... he got traded before he could "betray" the fanbase. Oakland fans still love the guy, even if they are more wary of players who are magnetically attracted to the disabled list.

But of course, I very much like watching Mark Mulder pitch for a dozen or so reasons (one of those being his ass, but that's neither here nor there), and since Billy's given me a free agent signing AND a blockbuster trade this off-season, I should probably just prepare myself for him to trade, like, Suzuki and Sweeney or some shit like that.

Friday, January 9, 2009

HOF Links

HEY GUYS!!!!!! How the heck are ya? Holy shit it's been a long time! I guess it's because things have been pretty lackluster on the baseball front lately, seeing as every single notable free agent has or will sign with the Yankees. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just find it incredibly boring that this economical situation we're in is even going so far as to effect the multi billionaires that make up the majority of MLB owners. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. I mean, we got the Hall of Fame results coming up, spring training next month, the World Baseball Classic the month after that. I'd say it's finally time to put the holiday lull behind us and get excited for some baseball!

Since Goose already got us started with some HOF talk, here's a few interesting links I came across concerning this year's group. More posts are forthcoming, but I'll let you make of these what you want:

Rob Neyer picks apart the idiocy that is Corky Simpson. A man who--among other things-- chose NOT to vote for Rickey Henderson.

Jerry Crasnick continues to play the all-too-familiar "fear" card in reference to Jim Rice.

Here's a look at how nine writers at the Chicago Tribune voted (all of whom apparently hate Mark McGwire).

Just in case you missed it the first time, "Bad Wax" shows you what it takes to create a truly shitty ballot.

Those are just a few I've come across so far. Hopefully I'll be able to devote entire posts to some golden ones here in the near future. Be sure to also check out Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammel's stat pages to see how incredibly idiotic it is that these three players probably won't even sniff the Hall of Fame this year.

One more day till results! Finally!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Things that Make You Go, "Huh?"

It's that time of year again when baseball writers discuss their Hall of Fame ballots much to the hilarity of many. Some show willingness to use all available tools to do their evaluation while others continue to think that reciting rehashed non-analysis is good enough. To be fair, I understand how hard it could be trying to come up with these ballots. That said, it should not be that hard to not say things like this (from Chicago Tribune writer Dave van Dyck):
Andre Dawson: The consummate pro, a rare six-tool player (counting clubhouse charisma) who could run and throw and hit for power, his 1987 MVP season with the Cubs was the decade's best.

Too bad for van Dyck that Dawson's '87 season wasn't even the season's best. Of those with over 500 PA in 1987, Dawson was 27th in wOBA behind such luminaries as Brook Jacoby and Phil Bradley. Even if one were to include defense, park factors, baserunning, and positional adjustments, his season would still fall short for that season.

But oh those pretty RBI!


Oops, nearly fell into that trap. This is not to mention that this was likely not even Dawson's own best that decade.

Come on! 49 dingers!


You fool! Boggs hit 24 that year. '87 saw an offensive jump. Then there's that mediocre OBP from the Hawk.

By the way, Happy New Year everyone! :)