Thursday, May 31, 2007


It had to happen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


For the sake of their future, the Giants really need to get rid of Bonds after this season. Or pay him a lot less. (He's mentioned that he'd like to get to 3000 hits, which would require him to play next year.)

He's costing the Giants $16 million this year, and even with Bonds in the lineup, they're only 10th in runs.

Which is a shame, because their pitching (uhhhh, the starters anyway) is good, and they have the potential for a dominating rotation in a year or two. Consider:

  • Matt Cain has had some hard luck, but his ERA is almost a run under the National League average.
  • Tim Lincecum is living up to the hype, so far.
  • Noah Lowry (!) has been better than Cain.
  • Matt ("Lazarus") Morris is the staff ace.
  • Oh, and then there's Zito. I have to think he'll come around, even if for now he's the most expensive #5 starter in baseball history.

That, folks, is a rotation. For 2009, the Giants *MUST* ditch Bonds and get some hitting, because if these guys pitch anything like this, they're going to be very impressive. The team is perfectly set up to move past Bonds, but to do so they actually have to move past him.

(Oh, and Russ Ortiz, thanks for playing. Welcome to long relief, until someone gets hurt.)

Monday, May 28, 2007


Not the movie.

I'm mildly obsessed with career wins, specifically 300 game winners. Presently Clemens has 348 and Maddux 337, a rare instance where two pitchers in the top ten are active.

Barring injury, Glavine will almost certainly get to 300 this year--he's at 295 right now and is pitching well. The Very Large Unit is at 282. He won't get there this year. Maybe next year, if his back will let him.

Who's next? No one, not for a while. If we look at active 200 game winners, none of them will get to 300. Mussina's 38, and I doubt he has 59 wins left in him, considering the last four seasons he won 57. He appears to be running out of gas.

Boomer, Jamie Moyer (quick, who knew he had more wins than Pedro or Schilling?), Kevin Brown (why is he on the "active" list?), Kenny Rogers, Pedro (love him!), and now Smoltz, who may have had a chance if he didn't spend four years relieving, but now is making a very strong case for the Hall of Fame...none of them are going to get there.

Looking further down the list, the next likely candidate is Tim Hudson, who's a long 176 wins away. It's possible that he could average 15 wins for the next twelve years. I think a better bet is Roy Oswalt. He's won a lot of games already, but he has to get on a team that score some runs for him. The rest of the list--Buerle, Halladay, Sabathia, etc.--is so far away that speculation is pointless, no matter how good Johan Santana is. It's at least ten years away, probably more. So after Glavine and Randy Johnson, there won't be any 300 game winners until, oh, 2018, maybe 2020.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Al Mamaux?

Eddie, dude, tell me you didn't go through the list of all baseball players ever to unearth Al Mamaux.

On the other hand, he (Mamaux) had a very respectable career, was traded for Casey Stengal and he played with Ruth, Gehrig, and Wally Pipp. He's worth discussing, and I hereby elevate him above Mike Maddux.

Pending future discoveries, I think we can agree on:

1. Greg Maddux
2. Sandy Koufax
3. Harvey Haddix
4. Milt Wilcox (I should have remembered him)
5. Claude (Jimi) Hendrix
6. Al Mamaux
7. Mike Maddux
8. Double X

Haddix beats Wilcox due to more wins and also his legendary Greatest Game Ever Pitched, which coincidentally is also the Greatest Game Ever Pitched And Lost.
Both beat Jimi, who is dinged due to suspicious gambling.

Incidentally, Foxx gets bonus points for being in a poem, though inevitably Gehrig got the best stanza.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pedro Martínez

As I've mentioned before, I love Pedro. I think he's great. Physically, he's Greg Maddux, except he throws threw 95 miles per hour.

However, I'm really happy the Sox didn't sign him to the four year deal that the Mets did. I hope he comes back and is great, but if he gets back in August, he'll get at *most* maybe ten starts in the regular season. So in the first three years of his contract, he'll have 31, 23, and 10 (at best) starts. That's not many starts for $13.5 million per year.

Just as important as signing the right players is *not* signing the wrong players. This was a good contract not to sign.

Uhhh, except for the Yankees. They can afford to blow all kinds of money and it doesn't make as much of a difference.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Michigan Football Scheduling

I like it when Michigan plays a tough football schedule. As I've noted before, I'm embarrassed that we're playing Appalachian State this year, although playing Notre Dame and Oregon makes for a respectable out of conference schedule.

Now comes word that we've scheduled Toledo next year. Blech. What's the benefit of MAC schools? Either we clobber them, and get no respect, or they stay close, and we look even worse. (The third alternative, actually losing, though horrifying to contemplate, is surely inevitable.)

But don't we have to schedule weaklings to have a shot at the national title game? USC has done fairly well these last few years. Consider it's upcoming schedule:

2007: IDAHO, Nebraska, Notre Dame
2008: Virginia, OHIO STATE, NOTRE DAME (hell of a home schedule!)
2009: SAN JOSE STATE, Ohio State, Notre Dame

Note also that the PAC 10 has nine conference games, so their schedule is more impressive than ours off the bat. No MAC schools here. Kudos to USC, and shame on us.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Jerry Falwell

Lately I've tried to avoid politics and focus on baseball and similar more intellectual somesuch, but this obituary (?) speaks so eloquently that I can't help myself.

Christopher Hitchens can be, ahem, somewhat over the top as a writer, although sometimes he's right on target.

My favorite quotes: riffraff who allowed Falwell to prove, almost every week, that there is no vileness that cannot be freely uttered by a man whose name is prefaced with the word Reverend.

and the first sentence, which Hitchens surely worked on to make incendiary:

The discovery of the carcass of Jerry Falwell on the floor of an obscure office in Virginia has almost zero significance, except perhaps for two categories of the species labeled "credulous idiot."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Michigan Homerism

Braylon Edwards was a great wide receiver at Michigan, even if it was a little frustrating the way he was always good for one drop per game.

I don't know how he is in the NFL, but I was very impressed at this. Sure, he's rich, but there are plenty of people who are a lot richer than he is who aren't putting up a million dollars. And this could really do some good, if he gets 100 kids to college. He's clearly serious about this.

Note that this is on top of the $500,000 he gave to the Michigan athletic department to endow a scholarship. (Braylon's dad, Stan Edwards, also played for Michigan. Note his excellent brown three piece suit in the photo gallery.)

He makes me proud to be a Michigan fan. It's almost enough to make me watch the Browns again. Ehhhh, not really.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Yesterday's post got me thinking. Not to get all Bill James, but there can now by no doubt that Maddux is the greatest pitcher in baseball history whose last name ends in x.

Obviously, the previous titleholder was Sandy Koufax, who, or all of his brilliance, was good only for six years.

Other contenders, off the top of my head, include Harvey Haddix, and Greg's brother Mike Maddux. Am I missing anyone?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Great Pitchers

Greg Maddux threw a 96 pitch complete game tonight for his third victory of the year. That puts him at 336 career wins, tenth in history behind, uhhh, Tim Keefe. If he stays healthy, and if the Padres score enough runs, he's got a decent shot of passing Keefe this season.

Meanwhile Clemens has 348 wins, and will pick up a few more this season. This is, by definition, rare. I can't imagine there will ever again be a time when two of the ten all time winningest pitchers are simultaneously playing. (If Maddux gets seven more wins, it'll take 342 to even make the top ten, and in this day and age I don't see anyone getting to that point ever again.)

Because Clemens and Maddux have such a good overlap, we can compare their win totals. Clemens started in 1984, Maddux in 1986. This chart shows Clemens' lead, which was 59 wins in 1991 and has been shrinking ever since:

I have no idea whether it's true, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was at least part of Clemens' motivation to come back again. He wants to be the greatest pitcher of his generation, and that's a bit tougher to justify if someone else of his generation has more wins....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nope, no need of Clemens

I'm not saying that Sox must have Clemens to get to the playoffs. But if Josh (à) Beckett's blister problems are going to resurface, it starts to look a little goofy to have said"We don't need him."

You can *always* use more pitching. Always always always. Ahem.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fremont A's

Are the A's really going to move to Fremont? I always figured this was a bargaining position to put pressure on Oakland. I didn't think they were really serious.

Maybe they are. I guess the thinking is that it gets them closer to San Jose. But it takes them a whole lot farther from San Francisco and Oakland. It's so convenient to BART to A's games. There's no chance I'm going to drive all the way down to Fremont to catch a game.

I think it'd be a mistake to move. Sure, their attendance will increase if they get a new stadium. The Coliseum stinks, and Mt. Davis was a bad addition. But attendance would also increase if they built it in Oakland, and I have to think that if they built it near BART, they'd get more people in the long term.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Browns. Sigh.

I was once a huge Browns fan, but after Art Modell moved the team, I haven't watched a single NFL regular season game. I watch the Super Bowl for the ads, but that's it.

In theory I still want the Browns to do well. Then I heard that they drafted Brady Quinn. Ugh. I don't watch the NFL, but I do like college football. I'll say this for Quinn: he was quarterback at Notre Dame, and he has a great name for a quarterback at Notre Dame.

But he's not very good, especially for a player coached by supposed offensive genius Charlie Weis. He played three good defenses last year: Michigan, USC and LSU, and lost all three. Quinn was awful against Michigan. Once we got pressure on him, he was wildly inaccurate.

It seems to me that if he was rattled by Michigan, SC, and LSU, it's going to get a lot worse in the NFL. Those three defenses are pretty good, but NFL teams are going to be a lot faster. I'd be happy if he turns out to be an NFL QB, but I never understood the hype to start with, and I sure wasn't convinced by watching him play poorly as a senior.

It's easy to ignore the NFL when the one team I would care about stinks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Warriors! (?)

I went to the Giants game last night, where the Rockies walked Bonds thrice and got him out once.

Amusingly, the Warriors mascot was there. While the Giants mascot just looks stupid, the Warriors guy ain't so bad.

I'm prepared to follow the herd and jump on the (crowded) Warriors bandwagon. Go Warriors!

(At least until the end of the season. Then I'll go back to not caring about the NBA.)