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The Greatest Game

Friday, May 14, 2004

Finally! New Random Stats! 

As you all know, the Random Stats over there in the righthand column was supposed to be an everyday thing. Well, like much of life, reality differs greatly from intention. So, finally, I have updated that space after over a month of the Top 10 OBA from 1910 - 1920. This time we have something much simpler: Intentional Bases on Balls from 1993 - 2003. As you can see, the top 2 guys are Braves starting pitchers who barely (if ever) missed a start. The other guys are mostly middle relievers with a starter or closer thrown in there for good luck. It looks like Bobby Cox has liked the IBB, while middle relievers are up there because the "game is on the line" which means that managers have to over-strategize and do crazy things like squeeze bunt and walk guys intentionally.

Keep coming back for more interesting and fun facts. By doing this I hope to find little bits and pieces of random interesting information. I hope you like it, too.
# posted by shawn : 5/14/2004 05:58:00 PM -

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Giambi - 1/5th of the way through the season 

I just happened to look atJason Giambi's numbers this afternoon and I noticed that his OPS is up a bit from last season (.978 to .939). His BA is up 19 points to .269 - definately not in the range where he was prior to 2003, but he also started off slow this year, so maybe it will continue to climb (like a lot of the Yankees' batting averages are doing right now). But the one thing that interested me was his BB and K for the season so far. If you extrapolate his numbers out the rest of the season (assuming he's healthy of course) you'll see that his strikeouts are WAY down from last year. Prior to coming to the Yankees, Giambi's highest strikeout total was in 1999 when he had 106 in 695 PA. Last year he struck out 140 times in 690 PA. That's a 32% increase from his career high. Well, this year, he's on the pace of about 105 K or so for a full season. Nothing close to his low of 83 K in 671 PA in 2001, but it's definately a trend worth keeping track of. I know 125 PA isn't a huge sample, but it's good enough for me to detect general trend.
# posted by shawn : 5/13/2004 03:33:00 PM -

Lieber comes through 

Lieber thankfully pitched a game like the old Lieber of a couple of years ago. 8 innings, 5 hits, no walks, 6 strike outs. Very refreshing! With the way the Yankees' pitching has been this year so far, we really need Lieber to: 1. stay healthy, and 2. continue to pitch like this. In his 8 innings, he only threw 101 pitches (I would guess that he's on a pitch count of 100) and threw 76 of them for strikes. Two-thirds of the outs were on the ground, but (partially) because he works at such a brisk pace, his fielders committed no errors. The Yankee defense continues to play well behind their new stable of groundball pitchers.

Flaherty, in his first full game as Posada's replacement went 0-4 with a passed ball. Why is he batting in front of Cairo? Cairo is batting .244 this season while Flaherty is batting a whopping .130. OUCH! Hopefully Jorge will rebound from his broken shnozolla very quickly. I see him DH'ing a bit in order to get him back in the lineup quicker, though Ruben Sierra has been creaming the ball lately (he hit his 3rd HR of the year today, and has 17 RBI and he's batting .343). Ruben was even intentionally walked - RUBEN SIERRA INTENTIONALLY WALKED!!! - because Flaherty was batting behind him today. Who would have ever thunk that Sierra would be intentionally walked!?!?! You gotta love baseball!!!

I'm glad I'm back blogging again.
# posted by shawn : 5/13/2004 03:22:00 PM -

Wow, it's been a month??? 

That's crazy. I know that I stopped writing because things got busy, but I didn't think that it's been that long.

Check this out to see what I was doing for the past 2 weeks.

Yes, I was in Italy for 10 days (and stuck in shithole Paris for another day). That, plus a lot of other stuff that came my way caused me to neglect my duties as a baseball blogger.

And there was something else, too, that has been irking me for some time. I don't know why, but several of the blogs that I had been reading regularly have really been bugging me.

When I started this journey into the baseball blog, I started where a lot of people did - David Pinto's Baseball Musings. You've all read it, I'm sure. Most of you are probably regulars. But there is something there now, which I don't think was there previously, that just bugs the shit out of me. And what's worse is that I just can't put my finger on it. I'm not writing to pass judgment on David, in fact he just sent an email response to a commented that I posted on Baseball Musings about Robert Heinlein (and he pretty much deferred to my knowledge on Heinlein). But there is something in the tone of his blog now that just rubs me the wrong way. I still read it every day, but not with the same zeal that I used to.

And then there is Aaron of Aaron's Baseball Blog. He's now writing for The Hardball Times and things aren't the same at his blog. Why don't I just read The Hardball Times? I don't know. I think it's great that he's moving onto bigger and better things, and he seems like a great guy, and I love his writing, but sometimes we humans don't take to change very well. I truly wish the best for Aaron; I think he's going to do just fine in baseball journalism.

And Bronx Banter by Alex Belth. With all the guest columns that he's been having, I find myself enjoying his blog less and less. I still like reading his entries, but I find myself visiting his site less and less.

Of course there are many other blogs that are still going strong - Cliff, Scott, etc. - you all know who you are. But I find my interest in baseball blogs waning a little. And add that to my trip to Italy (see above link), work that needs to get done on my house, OOTP, my big project at work that I'm running behind on, and my engagement to my wonderful, fantastic, beautiful, spectacular girlfriend Juli. Add all that together and combine it with my dissatisfaction with some of my regular blogs, and you get my losing interest.

I'm really going to try harder to post regularly, but I don't just want to post boring "Bernie is still slumping, but I think he'll shake it soon" or "Jeter is finally coming around" posts. We, as baseball fans and more specifically, Yankee fans, KNOW this stuff already. We follow the team's every move. Yeah, we all know Donovon Osbourne sucks. And that the Yanks don't have a second baseman. I want to challenge myself and write more in depth entires - more analysis and less fluff. And maybe that's the problem. When you only have 15 minutes during the day to write at work, and then you get home and have so many other things to do (and that I truly desire to spend most of my waking hours with Juli), then there just isn't enough time in the day to do it.

But I'm going to try. And I'm going to start updating the Random Top 10 list again. So if anyone is reading this, feel free to repromote me and let people know that I'm going to try my best to start regular blogging again.

Thanks for everyone's patience, I really appreciate those of you who have stuck around over the past month.
# posted by shawn : 5/13/2004 07:26:00 AM -