Archive for the ‘Major League Baseball’ Category

Who ever would have thought that the problem would not be his pitching, but the inability of the Red Sox to score any runs?

Last night, Daisuke Matsuzaka got his second no decision in a game in which he only allowed one run.  He’s also taken three, count-em THREE losses this season in which he only allowed two runs.

The man already has 13 wins and 8 losses.  It the games had been logical, he should have around 18 wins and five losses right now.

My prediction of 24 wins, which was based as much on the Red Sox’s offensive capabilities as it was on his pitching skills, wouldn’t have been very far off if he’d received any kind of run support.

For those who would argue that he’s also been the recipient of huge offensive explosions, rescuing bad starts, he’s only won four games in which he gave up four runs or more.  And, since we can kind of discount 4 as league average for a starting pitcher, only two of those were 5 runs or more.  So I wouldn’t say he’s received much in that department either.

Even splitting the difference and keeping the two run losses and the five run wins, he should still be leading the majors right now with 15 wins…

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If anyone tries to pull this common argument on you …

  • “Barry Bonds’ power peak coming at age 37 was unprecedented in baseball history”

…use this as a response.

Other players who’s biggest homer years came at age 37 or later:

  1. Tony Gwynn – 17 at age 37 and 16 at age 38.  His two peak years.
  2. Paul Molitor – 22 at age 37.
  3. Ty Cobb – 12 at age 39.  (tied a career high he set at age 35)

It is also not uncommon to hear that people expect Ichiro to have more power as he gets older – as his speed diminishes, people expect him to hit for the kind of power that he displays in batting practice.

The point is, good hitters, who pride themselves on their base-hit totals and/or have the ability to steal bases, tend to increase their power numbers late in their careers as their ability to leg out singles and steel bases diminishes.  Swinging for the fences becomes more common.

Just because Barry had more power from day one, does not mean that this doesn’t apply to him.  Note that his speed also diminished in ’99.

Perhaps he simply started swinging for the fences more often.

Not saying it’s incontrivertible evidence…just pointing out a logic flaw in the arguments of those who are too easily convinced of guilt.


(And, for those who would claim that the 3 examples above aren’t applicable, trying to cite Cobb as a problem specifically because he played before the long ball – remember that Gwynn and Molitor run directly counter to that argument.  They played through the rabbit ball year of 1987, and still managed to hit more homers at age 37.)

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As there’s little time right now for any ‘real’ updates (thanks to end of semester workloads), here’s a quickie on some things I’ve been doing.

1.  Things are going fine with Jennifer.  For anyone who’s wondering.  Though there’s little time to do anything particularly unpredictable or new.

2.  My research paper / first chapter of work on the Atlanta Better Films Committee is nearly finished, although I have recently discovered that there are ‘collections’ (not archives?) of information on Woman’s Clubs from across the state at the Atlanta History Center.  So research over the summer might alter the final version significantly.  However, it’s received good reviews from the few who’ve read it so far.

3.  Speaking of history, Jennifer’s research on 19th century comedy unearthed something kind of cool – laughing gas as a group recreational drug.  She showed me one advertisement in which people were invited to see what happens when Indians are subjected to laughing gas…after which, anyone who wishes may also partake of the gas.  It’s really interesting.  You’ll all have to read about it in 300 years when her dissertation finally gets published.

4.  We ‘interviewed’ and ‘road tested’ two applicants for the department (we’ve had two professors decide to leave next year…which sucks).  We can only hire one, and I think I know which it will be, but I just wanted to mention that the process had taken place.  Taking up much time over the last two weeks.  Maybe I’ll say more about the two candidates later when time permits.

5.  The baseball season has started.  My Cardinals are going to suck.  Alex Gordon currently sucks.  And I still believe (though I’m apparently the only one in the country) that Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to win 24 games; Japanese imports are always best in their first year (because hitters aren’t used to them) and the Red Sox offense is going to get him a lot of wins he wouldn’t normally get.  All these prediction of 14-16 wins are absurd, and slightly orientalist.

6.  Watched an old PBS (I think) three part ‘sci-fi’ drama last night from 1966 called “The Star Wagon,” starring Dustin Hoffman.  It was much too long, and played more like a stage play than a film, but it was quite good.  Hoffman gave a largely excellent performance (as did the others), and the concept was interesting.  It was about two people who invent a time machine, but it’s not really a time machine – it only allows you to change your position on your own timeline.  So they can go back to age 20 and try to take their lives a different way.   The unprobed idea of immortality (just repeatedly living your life in different ways) was promising and could make a fabulous story of its own, but this was quite good too.  Though it was a typical ‘the grass is not actually greener’ story, the element in which people actually found it really difficult to live their lives differently (the persistence of personality) was quite clever.

7.  Webster Edgerly news: Shaftesbury College in Baltimore was not fictional.  I have discovered an advertisement for it in the “Baltimore Sun.”  So, Edgerly was teaching at and operating two different colleges of expression at the same time…  This man is so much fun.

8.  I’m tired of being busy.  I want to read crappy old sci-fi (like a book I saw yesterday, titled “Gulliver of Mars: or Lieut. Gulliver Jones”).  I want to go antiquing.  I want to spend my time doing research on the Atlanta Better Films Committee.  I want to read no more David Bordwell…

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