The Greatest Game

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Music Challenge 

I was over at the raindrops and I found this little exercise. Since I couldn't sleep this morning and I didn't have much to write about on the topic of baseball, I thought that I'd give it a whirl and see what comes up.

Step 1: Open your MP3 [CD] player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: Write down the first 20 songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing..

1. Can You Come Down With Us - Olivia Tremor Control
2. Blue Jean - David Bowie
3. Operators Are Standing By - They Might Be Giants
4. Ob-la-di - The Beatles
5. The Spiderbite Song - The Flaming Lips
6. All We Have is Now - The Flaming Lips
7. The Crystal Lake - The Sophtware Slump
8. Don't You Worry - Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
9. Let's Go Again - Telepopmusik
10. More In Me - Mates of State
11. Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D (Allegro) - Johann Sebastian Bach
12. Three Pieces from Violin Partita No. 1- Andres Segovia - Johann Sebastian Bach
13. Gentle Waves - Falling From Grace
14. Smoke and Mirrors - Magnetic Fields
15. Starmoonsun - Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
16. King of the Surf Guitar - Dick Dale & the Deltones
17. Waiting for an Angel - Ben Harper
18. We Suck Young Blood - Radiohead
19. Blaue Milch - Stereolab
20. Lookaround - Dressy Bessy

As you can see, I strongly lean to indie music. The only decent radio station here in Atlanta (besides NPR) is Georgia State University's radios station 88.5 - they play a large variety of music, but a lot of indie/college music.

If anyone else tries this, let me know, I'd love to see what everyone is listening to.

- Addendum -
JD over at redsdaily.com posted his list here.
# posted by shawn : 3/06/2004 07:53:00 AM -

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Pirates catch a lucky break 

Chris Singleton - he of the .641 OPS in 2003 - was waived by the Pirates because he failed his physical. WHEW! The last thing that Pirates needed was another underproducing player to take up a roster spot. The Pirates have plenty of out-makers on their roster. Waiving Singleton gives a youngster a slightly better chance to break spring training with the "pro" club.
# posted by shawn : 3/04/2004 02:34:00 PM -

New mini-feature: What I'm Reading 

I added a "What I'm reading" feature over in the right column right below the Random Stat. I know this blog is about baseball, and so far I've kept it on topic, but I'd like to be able to push the boundaries a little bit, help you guys get to know me a little more. You are what you read.

I'm not sure how often this will be updated, but I'll try to do it pretty often, perhaps once a week or so.

(And, yes, the link does link to Amazon.com, and no, this is not a scam to make money. If a handful of you bought the books, I'd probably make $20/yr [quite a bit less than Geoff Jenkins is going to make for spending large swaths of time on the DL], so this is NOT a money making scheme.)
# posted by shawn : 3/04/2004 09:32:00 AM -

Neyer and I are on the same page 

Rob Neyer must have read my blog entry on Geoff Jenkins, because he's saying the same thing. Either that, or great minds think alike.
Jenkins is obviously one of the more talented hitters in the game, but he's just as obviously one of the gimpier hitters in the game. He's nearly 30 years old, and he's never played more than 135 games in one season. The last three seasons, he's played 105, 67, and 124 games.

What I do know is that 1) the Reds are stuck with Griffey, and 2) the Brewers were not stuck with Jenkins; they didn't have to commit $23 million to Jenkins seven months before his existing contract expires. Oh, and 3) as much as the Brewers needed to reassure their fans that yes, they really are trying to win, they may well come to regret giving Jenkins a big new contract when there were still seven months left on the old big one.
# posted by shawn : 3/04/2004 09:15:00 AM -

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Games Started and Innings Pitched: follow up 

This is a follow up to this post where I talked about the pitchers with the most games started over the past 10 years. The new Random Stat for today is Innings Pitched per Game Started. As you can see, the Arizona Big 2 are tops in list and the only two with more than 7 IP/GS. A comparison to the previous Most Games Started list sees Tom Glavine drop off the Top 10 (he's 11th with 6.60 IP/GS).

Interesting things:
Thanks for putting up with my Random Stats feature over there on the right. Maybe I'm the only one who finds it the least bit interesting, but I find that when I search for stats, you can learn an amazing amount of stuff that you wouldn't have learned otherwise. Honestly, I had forgotten about Alex Fernanandez, and I certainly didn't realize that he was a consistently good pitcher after his first couple of seasons. He ran a string of seasons where he posted the following RSAA (33,13,16,32,12,15) - not too shabby. It's nice to re-remember about some of the players who have left the league.

- Addendum -
IP/Start (1993-2003)


Curt Schilling
Randy Johnson
Greg Maddux
Alex Fernandez
Mike Mussina
Livan Hernandez
Tim Hudson
Roger Clemens
Kevin Brown
David Wells

# posted by shawn : 3/03/2004 09:55:00 PM -

Van Slyke accuses Bonds of steroid use 

From the Sporting News Radio's Rick Ballou's interview with Van Slyke (article at foxsports.com):
Ballou: Are you telling us, in your opinion, that it looks like Barry Bonds has taken steroids?

Van Slyke: Unequivocally he's taken them, without equivocation he's taken them. I can say that with utmost certainty.

Now, I never saw him put it into his body, but look, Barry went to the bank with the robber, he drove the car, he got money in his pocket from the bag that came out of the bank. Come to your own conclusion. Did he spend the money?

You decide. I think he did.

The physical evidence is there. People do not gain thirty-five pounds of muscle in their late thirties without a little bit of help.
He doesn't beat around the bush, does he? Personally I wouldn't accuse "without equivication" whether someone used steroids or not until there is actualy proof (i.e. from a drug test or an admission). This is a huge issue in baseball know, I don't think that we should be finding people guilty just because they look bigger and stronger from one year to the next. Unless Andy knows for sure because he's either seen Bonds take them, or Bonds told him that he took them, I don't think he should be bandying these accusations around withh reckless abandon like he is in this interview. I prefer how other players like Smoltz are going about it - pushing for better testing.
# posted by shawn : 3/03/2004 03:39:00 PM -

Geoff Jenkins thread 

I'm currently having and interesting discussion on an interesting topic at Baseball Musings - Geoff Jenkins' new contract with the Brewers (3/yr, $8.5M/yr). Basically, I am arguing that Jenkins is being way overpaid. Here is my first post in the comments section:
And Charlie points out that he's already 29 years old and on his way into decline. Here is my next point:
Seriously, how much COULD he have signed for if he was a free agent this offseason? I don't think he would have been able to sign for nearly as much. Tangotiger points out that his UZR makes him one of the best fielders in the league, but he plays left field, one of the least difficult (imortant?) positions on the diamond. I investigated Jenkins' Rate2 stat:
I think this is just another bad move on the Brewers' part. I wasn't crazy about the trade of Sexson - they didn't really get any really promising players - but I understand they probably did as well as they could. I'm thinking this signing of Jenkins is a bit like the Tigers overpaying for free agents. Jenkins wasn't a free agent yet, but since Milwaukee isn't a desirable place for players to play, perhaps they had to overpay to sign their own player.
# posted by shawn : 3/03/2004 02:21:00 PM -

Aaron pegs it perfectly 

Aaron Gleeman of Aaron's Baseball Blog pegs two things perfectly: the AJC and most of its writers suck moose balls, and Marge Schott was a bad, bad person even though she's dead.

Aaron, Terence Moore is exactly the reason (or more accurately, one of the MANY reasons) why I haven't bought an AJC in probably 5 years or so (possibly longer). As some of you may or may not know, the AJC is the only newspaper here in Atlanta, the city that I reside in. And it sucks. Big time. We have one newspaper which has virtually no redeeming qualities. Don't let me get started on it, I can fill up several pages complaining about that rag.

And you already know my views of Marge. I didn't shed a tear for her. She was a hateful human being who made a mockery of the greatest game. No sirree, no tears here.
# posted by shawn : 3/03/2004 08:03:00 AM -

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

She liked Nazis, now she's dead 

Looks like Marge Schott passed away. I can't say that I'm sorry that one who prefesses any amount of kindness towards Nazis is gone from this earth.
# posted by shawn : 3/02/2004 04:12:00 PM -

ARod forgoing endorsements 

It looks like ARod is passing on the many endorsements that are flooding in on him since his move to the Yankees.
Of course this is a great idea for him. He can concentrate on his new job and he won't look like he's a money-hungry grub looking for a few extra bucks. And this will help him keep a lower profile (if that's possible) in the Jeter-ARod thing that will continue all year (and probably longer).
# posted by shawn : 3/02/2004 02:37:00 PM -

Baseball Musings: Cameron and fly balls 

Check out this post on Baseball Musings on how Cameron tracks fly balls - it's very interesting. Apparently Cameron knows about where the ball is going to land by estimating its trajectory, then runs head-down flat-out until he gets to where he knows it's going to land.

Go ahead, you know you want to read it.
# posted by shawn : 3/02/2004 12:47:00 PM -

People from around the world flock to The Greatest Game 

I noticed in my stats that I'm getting visitors from France, Cuba, and Brazil! Sweet! Welcome one and all who come to read! And please leave comments - I'd love to hear from my readers across the globe.
# posted by shawn : 3/02/2004 10:53:00 AM -

Monday, March 01, 2004

What happened to Mael? 

Has anyone heard anything about Mael Rodriguez signing with a team? I know the Yankees signed his partner-in-crime Yobal Duenas (I wonder if he's getting ANY consideration for the 2B slot - I'm doubting it, but I'm curious nonetheless). Anyone hear anything about Mael?
# posted by shawn : 3/01/2004 10:30:00 PM -

Interesting Random Stat 

If you look over to the right, you'll see today's (and possibly tomorrow's at the rate that I'm going) Random Stat. It's Complete Games from 1993 - 2003. A couple of interesting things:
Tomorrow's list will be Innings Pitched and we'll see how the two lists compare.

- Addendum -
Here is the table:

Games Started (1993-2003)


Tom Glavine
Greg Maddux
Mike Mussina
Roger Clemens
John Burkett
Kenny Rogers
David Wells
Randy Johnson
Kevin Brown
Steve Trachsel


# posted by shawn : 3/01/2004 07:10:00 PM -

Ich Lieber dich 

A report on Jon Lieber, who injured his groin a couple days ago:
That's certainly good to hear. This is something to keep an eye on this spring, along with Contrares' lower back stiffness. We need these guys healthy.
# posted by shawn : 3/01/2004 07:00:00 PM -

NY bloggers in the news 

Some of our favorite blogs made it into the Journal News. Congrats to everyone.
# posted by shawn : 3/01/2004 01:09:00 PM -

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Ugueth - present reliever, future starter? 

According to Peter Gammons:
Now, you often here about starters being made into closers - Eck, Smoltz, and Chacon this year - but you don't hear much about closers being made into starters. Give me a frontline starter over a frontline closer any day of the week. Why doesn't Ugueth Urbina, who is the last good free agent left this year, try his hand at starting, or at least say that he'd be willing to give it a try. He's currently looking for money equivalent to his 2003 salary, which was $4.5M. The lukewarm offers that he's received have been limited to lower numbers in the range of $2M/yr or so. Back in 1996 he started 16 games for the Expos, had an ERA of 3.71 and struck out 108 in 114 innings with 44 walks.

I think there are a couple things that are clear:
If Ugueth Urtain Urbina is serious about making lots of money this year, maybe he should think about starting.
# posted by shawn : 2/29/2004 06:53:00 PM -

Steroid talk 

It's nice to see players, especially veteren players like John Smoltz, come out and say what everyone knows - that MLB steroid testing is a joke. Smoltz talking:
He's absolutely right, MLB *AND* the Players' Union need to get together FOR THE GOOD OF BASEBALL and get this ever increasing mess straightened out. The longer they wait, the larger the mess becomes, and the larger the negative impact that it's going to have on the game.

Maybe if more baseball players start speaking out on the subject, it will force Baseball into action. This can't be swept under the rug any longer - immediate action must be taken.
# posted by shawn : 2/29/2004 06:41:00 PM -

New Rumor: Kazmir+ for Soriano 

Newsday speculates that the Rangers, after getting rebuffed by the Mets by asking for Reyes, will be asking for a package that includes their top pitching prospect, 20-year-old lefty Scott Kazmir.

The thing with pitching prospects is that while most of them are "can't miss", the fact is that most of them miss. I know Kazmir is the second coming of Koufax or take-your-pick-super-great-pitcher-of-the-past, but I can't help but think that giving up only prospects for a guy who is going to put up numbers like Soriano (even if he has peaked and his numbers drop a bit, they'd still be very good numbers) is a good deal. Maybe the Mets can talk the Rangers into taking one of their other top pitching prospects instead of Kazmir, but I think that some Mets fans judgment might be clouded because they see Soriano as an ex-Yankee or a Yankee reject. I think the Mets should definately keep the negotiations going with the Rangers and trade for Soriano. I see it happening within the next couple of weeks.
# posted by shawn : 2/29/2004 10:44:00 AM -