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The Greatest Game

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Matsui of the Month! 

What a month Hideki is having! Just when everyone started writing him off for dead by the end of April, he is putting up a MONSTER of a May. 85 AB, 5 HR, 23 RS, 18 RBI, 17 BB, .341 BA, 1.076 OPS. His numbers for the year are .313 BA, and a wonderful .950 OPS. It's much better then people predicted for Matsui this year, after his mediocre 2003 season.

Take a look at Mideki's June from last year: 104 AB, 6 HR, 20 RS, 29 RBI, 15 BB, .394 BA, 1.157 OPS. DAMN! Even better than his 2004 May. Of course, the rest of 2003 was below average for Matsui.

So what can we make out of his May 2004 numbers? Well, nothing much. They could mean that he's found his stroke in the US and he's going to be closer to Matsui 2002 than Matsui 2003. But, of course, the sample size is small (just like June 2003), and it could mean that he's still mediocre but he's just having a great month. Only time will tell, but I'm sticking to my preseason prediction that Matsui is going to do significantly better in 2004 than he did in 2003. I don't think I actually put it in writing anywhere, but I predicted an OPS of around .850 - .900 for Matsui this year. I think I thought he was going to get better than most others thought, but I have faith in the guy. Cross your fingers!
# posted by shawn : 5/29/2004 08:36:00 AM -

Friday, May 28, 2004

Small Site Modifications 

Besides my rant on Joe Morgan earlier today (I was at work, so I didn't go very in depth on his incompetence - sorry about the short shrift I gave it, but I'm sure you're all well aware of his...ummm.....short comings as a baseball analyst), I made some small modifications of the blog.

Of course the colors have changed. Sorry it hurts your eyes so bad, I'm hopefully going to be tweeking it a bit so it's not so painful to look at, but I had to get rid of that horrendous red & puke green color combination that I had. Blech.

I added some RSS/Atom links to the right, so use them and enjoy yourself.

I changed out the Random Top 10 (or in this case, bottom 10). Yes, our old buddy Soriano is at the top of the errors list over the past 3 years for second basemen. Thatsalotta errors! (Say that the same way you'd say "Thatsa spicy meatball!" and you'll understand what I'm thinking - scary, eh?) And just to show that it's not just the number of balls hit to him that's causing those extra errors, I added a new, BONUS column - fielding percentage. Yeah, his is kinda low. I know that Soriano gets decent Defensive Win Shares, but thatsalotta errors!

I added a new book I'm reading.

As you can all see, I'm trying my best to resurrect my blog. At one time I was averaging 50 people a day or so visiting my blog, but now, because of my slackness, I'm down to about 15-20. Pretty pathetic. I'm hoping to get it back up to 50, then eventually to 100/day. So any help you can give me, I'd greatly appreciate it. One thing that I need to do more of is to participate in other people's blogs by posting comments and sending emails. That's usually what gets me the most traffic, though David Pinto's comment on my criticism of his blog recently gave me a decent spike of hits, though I don't think it will really help the long term popularity of my blog. Again, any help you all can give, I'd really appreciate it.

That's about it. I doubt I'm going to be posting many pictures, but it's nice to have the option.
# posted by shawn : 5/28/2004 06:53:00 PM -

Tuscan Test 

I'm just testing the photo blogging feature of blogspot.com. Here is a picture I took while I was in Tuscany earlier this month. The full resolution picture is even more amazing. Yes, that's a rainbow shooting out of the Tuscan hillside. I have to say that Tuscany is the most beautiful place I've ever been to. I would be more than happy to move there permanently.

# posted by shawn : 5/28/2004 06:52:00 PM -

Reason #14235 why Joe Morgan sucks  

ARGH! Another one!!!
First of all, OF COURSE you're going to pick Perez, so saying that you're going to pick Perez doesn't mean anything. And SECOND of all, Mays averaged 25-30 HR??? Here's his list of HR from 1954 - 1966, the meat of Mays' career: 41, 51, 36, 35, 29, 34, 29, 40, 49, 38, 47, 52, 37. His LOWEST HR total was 29, while he topped 50 twice. Those numbers are fantastic even in this day and age. Willie Mays' average for his ENTIRE career INCLUDING 3 partial seasons is 30, and that includes his first couple seasons (he was 20 when he broke into the majors) where he his 20 and 4 HR, and his last couple seasons where he his 8 and 6 HR (he was 42 when he retired). So to say that he averaged 25-30 HR/season is EXTREMELY misleading. He averaged about 40 HR/season during the meat of his career.

Never let it be said that Joe Morgan allows facts to get in the way of his opinions.

- Addendum -
Don Fielder over at Slack LaLane pointed out that the person who asked the above question is Mitch Cumstein. MITCH CUMSTEIN! Yes, the Mitch Cumstein from Caddyshack fame. Nice job Mr. Morgan.
# posted by shawn : 5/28/2004 11:49:00 AM -

Reason #14234 why Joe Morgan sucks 

Take a look at this exchange on Joe Morgan's espn.com chat:
I'll print that again for you to read:
So, the Giants are below .500 because opposing teams are walking Bonds? WHAT?!?! It couldn't POSSIBLY be because every other hitter (except maybe Feliz) sucks moose balls? And the have Bret Tomko in their starting rotation? And Kirk Reuter, too? It couldn't be because Neifi Perez has 154 at bats this season already and has an OPS of .528? Or Alfonzo, Tucker and Snow all stink? Joe Morgan, do you think those things could possibly be why the Giants are below .500? Come on Joe, why can't you THINK before you start thinking. Maybe then you'll decide not to say something as idiotic as you always do.
# posted by shawn : 5/28/2004 11:39:00 AM -

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Batting Order 

It's nice to see that, with Giambi out, Torre has moved Posada (OPS 1.081) into the #5 slot with Matsui (OPS .918), who is hitting the CRAP out of the ball, moving to the #6 slot. Of course, this means that Bernie is batting 7th, but until he can start showing improvement, I'm guessing that is where he is going to stay for a while. Sheffield (OPS .807) is going to start hitting (as witnessed by his monster night last night), so I'm fine with leaving him 4th. Torre would do more harm than good by moving him out of his spot in the lineup.

And something that I just noticed - Tony Clark, who is only batting .230 and is starting everyday in place of the DL'd Giambi, has a very respectable OPS of .857. While his BA is quite low, his OBP is a high .365 with 12 BB in 61 AB (not sure what his exact PA are). Put that together with a slugging percentage of .492, you get a nice OBP. Keep up the good work, Tony! That's exactly what you want youf backup to do. And except for last year, his fielding has been above average (check out his Rate2 here).
# posted by shawn : 5/27/2004 06:45:00 PM -

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

David answers my criticisms 

Ah, David finally got wind of my post here and answered it here. I'm sure a lot of you coming to visit today used David's link to my post. Many of you are first timers, so welcome - I'm glad you stopped by.

It seems that Al Bethke over at Al's Ramblings picked up on my post and further elaborated his dissatisfaction with David's blog lately. I don't necessarily agree with Al's views on the subject (i.e. Bud Selig isn't bad, ads on bases aren't bad, etc.), but it is nice to see that David himself agrees with my assessment that his writing has slipped. One of the comments posted for his entry makes a good point - David has been doing more play-by-play instead of in depth analysis, more light touches and opinions on news items than great stuff like his probablistic defensive ratings.

I don't mean to be a David Pinto basher - he's the guy who got me interested in baseball blogs in the first place, and the baseball blog world wouldn't be the same if he left, but maybe, like David says himself, he needs a break. We all need breaks. Maybe he needs decrease the quantity of entries and increase the depth of them.

Of course, who am I to comment on David's writings, eh? I certainly don't blog every day (though I used to blog 4-5 times a day in this blog), and my entries aren't all that in depth, either. I was just pointing out how I've soured on blogging a bit lately. I'm trying my best to continue, to break through my blogger's block. I guess we all do what we can, eh?
# posted by shawn : 5/25/2004 10:23:00 PM -

E1 

This is one of those things that's bugged me for a long time. A pitcher makes an error that leads to an "unearned" run. Screw that! It's the pitcher's fault, charge him with an earned run! It's still his fault that the run score, whether it's from giving up a base hit or his own error, it's still his fault. And he earned it.
# posted by shawn : 5/25/2004 10:11:00 PM -