Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good Work, Gentlemen


Sox Injuries

The Sox are 4.5 games behind the Blue Jays, 3 games ahead of the ChiSox and 3.5 games ahead of the Twins for the wild card. So these are important games.

Yesterday, the starter was a man named Michael Bowden, making his first big league appearance. Their first baseman was named Jeff Bailey, and Mark Kotsay (late of the Braves) played right field.

The good news is that they won, but this is a banged up team.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


It's gonna be a loooooooong year. Utah played poorly, except for their kicker, who was fantastic.

Actually our defense played pretty well. Utah got a lot of yards in the first half, but just 22 points, and they held them to 3 points in the second half.

However. Michigan's offense was awful. Atrocious. The offensive line was astonishingly bad. This is expected (scroll down to Offensive Line). I know we have a new offensive line, but 37 yards rushing? 37? Really? 37 yards rushing?

Bad bad bad. Bad.

Friday, August 29, 2008


The Sox may make the post-season if Beckett is out, but in the playoffs they're toast without him.

There's no way a rotation of Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and Paul Byrd wins in the playoffs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lincecum and the Cy Young

The Chronicle advances the (inevitable) Hometown Paper's Ridiculous Cy Young Award argument by pushing The Franchise.

Ehhhhhh, no. Lincecum is having a very good year. You can make a great argument that he's the clear second place winner. But as of today, Brandon Webb has more wins (19-15), more innings (188-185), more complete games (3-0), and more shutouts (1-0). Lincecum beats him on ERA (2.43-2.96) and strikeouts (210-157), but that's it. Oh, and Webb's team is in first place, nine games up on the Giants (not saying it should be a factor, but it is). If the season ended today, Webb wins, and if he gets to 20 wins, it's about over.

Maybe Webb will have a couple of bad starts, or maybe the Giants will skip Lincecum's last start once he gets over 200 innings. We shall see.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Synchonized Diving

Two best comments I've heard about synchronized diving:

Is the official sponsor NAMBLA?


Appears to be some elegent gay suicide pact.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pitch Counts Never Die

Someone, I assume Cho, said:

Hey Drake -- In SI this week, Nolan Ryan said he once threw 242 pitches in a start. Why are today's pitchers such babies?

Most obviously, I'm not aware that pitchers today are babies. (Roy Halladay pitched his eighth complete game of the season today.) I would note that (as I've said over and over) pitch counts matter WHEN PITCHERS ARE YOUNG. NOT AFTER THEY TURN 25.

Nolan Ryan, for instance, didn't throw 200 innings until 1972. He was 25 before that season started. Why was he such a baby before he turned 25?

Also, Nolan Ryan was a physical freak. For every Nolan Ryan, I'll give you a Fernando Valenzuela who pitched 285 innings at age 21 and was done at age 29. The single data point of Fernando is as valid as the single data point of Nolan Ryan.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Eliminate Baseball!

I like baseball. I like the Olympics. Baseball is going to be eliminated from the games after this Olympics, and I think that's great.

The Olympics are great because they're different than any other competition. I'm not really very interested in the pole vault, or swimming, but once every four years I care enough to pay attention. What makes a good Olympic sport? To me, it must be a legitimate world championship, ideally in a sport that gets little attention outside the Olympics. It should also be from a worldwide sport, i.e. lots of participants from many countries. Track is a great Olympic event because anyone can run and compete.

Under this rationale, baseball should be out. Major League Baseball teams do not let their players participate in the Olympics, so the best players (from America, Japan, Venezuela, Canada, Dominican Republic, etc.) don't play. The American team is all minor leaguers. Additionally, I think the new (and very cool) World Baseball Classic is going to become very popular. This will become a true competition between nations, like the World Cup for soccer.

I found this old SI article about the procedure for eliminating events. It's interesting reading. Golf did not make the Olympics this time. Golf would be almost as silly as baseball. There are already many, many golf events out there. It has a wide following, and hardly needs more exposure.

This is also the last Olympics for softball. I'm not a big fan of softball because, as one article I read emphasized, America is too good. It's not interesting if one country completely dominates.

Eliminating these sports also helps with limiting the size of the Olympics, a worthy goal mentioned in the SI article. I don't see a need to add any more sports; I think the Olympics would be better off allowing more countries to send athletes in existing sports. For instance, I think it's much better to let ten small countries send an additional sprinter or two, even if those sprinters have no chance, than to allow golf.

Lincecum Hurt

Well the good side of Lincecum taking a ball of his knee is that it may prevent him from overworking his shoulder.

After that last start, he's up to 162 innings. The Giants should be very extremely careful in bringing him back. If he needs to miss a start or two, now's the time to do it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dumb Olympic Events

Last night I wanted to see some of the Olympics, and NBC happened to be showing synchronized diving.

Synchronized diving is perhaps the stupidest event in Olympic history.

All events that rely on judging bug me to some degree, but this one has the additional foolishness of being a "team" event where the two teammates don't interact. At least in figure skating they have to work together.

Besides being really dumb, it's unnecessary. The Olympics already have 10 meter and 3 meter competitions for men and women. Synchronized diving is the exact same thing, just with two people. Is there a need for more diving events?

There are plenty of worthy sports in the Olympics, where world class athletes get a chance to display their talents. I favor events that don't have judges--track and field, swimming, crew (of course), etc.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


My cousin and her husband, a dedicated Dodger fan, visited San Francisco and we went to the game tonight. It was a terrific game. Tied 1-1 after 8, the Giants brought in their closer Brian Wilson (wait, not him; I meant Brian Wilson, sorry). After one scoreless inning, they yanked him and brought in Tyler Walker for the 10th, who immediately gave up a homer to Jeff Kent. The Giants came back and won it, but still, there was no reason to take Wilson out. He's their closer, their best pitcher. If Billy Sadler (who?) can throw two innings, Wilson can throw two.

The pregame ceremony was cool. They had the best Giants outfielders of the last 50 years came out of the dugout. Most of them aptly reflected the quality of the Giants over the last decades (i.e. Candy Maldonado, good thing he wasn't busy). There was one spot left in the ceremony. Then they played the music from The Natural and Willie Mays slowly walked in from center field. Everyone was cheering and then Bonds suddenly strolled out from left.

I didn't clap for Bonds, but I was happy to cheer for Willie Mays. As far as I'm concerned, he should always enter the field to The Natural.

A snide person would have noted that Willie Mays came out to The Natural; the comparison with Bonds was unstated....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fred Lewis

Fred Lewis is the replacement for Barry Bonds in left field for the Giants. I would say that he's no Barry Bonds. Then I read this, and I was right. He's no Barry Bonds.

I'm going to root for him.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I'm also worried about Jon Lester. He's a great story (cancer survivor, World Series clinching start, etc.). He's been terrific this year, if not the best pitcher on the staff, then second best to Matsuzaka, but I'm worried he won't last through the season.

He's 24 and he's pitched 146 innings this year; his previous career high was just 63. It's a tight race and if the Sox do go to the playoffs, he'll be asked to pitch into October and go well over 200 innings. In his case, because he's a it older, I'm less worried about the total number and more worried about the increase. I hope he doesn't run out of gas.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Lincecum, Cain

The Chronicle is apparently reading this blog.

As I mentioned before, Eddie, I do think he should go 200 innings this year. But not many more.

Incidentally, he didn't make the cover of Sports Illustrated, but Matt Cain is having a pretty good year too. Although he's 7-9 at the moment, his ERA is 3.60 (with a win tonight). He's a few months younger than Lincecum, and he's thrown 155 innings this year. He has more experience--he threw 190 two years ago and 200 last year. I worry that the damage has already been done. Those 190 innings were at age 21, the 200 at age 22. That's earlier than almost everyone on my earlier list.

The Giants have the potential for a great young staff. Even Zito sometimes remembers how to pitch. There's no reason to put them at risk by pushing them much above 200 innings this year.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ed Cho Stop Reading Now

Ed Cho does not believe in pitch counts, nor innings thrown, etc. (He's also a communist, but that's not important right now.)

ESPN briefly mentioned that The Franchise has thrown 149 innings this year for the Giants. Last year he threw 146. He was 23 when the season started. Compared to the 16 pitchers listed in my earlier post (the 16 winningest pitchers since 1960), his innings are about average, if he gets to 200 this year. Of course, using these pitchers as a comparison skews the average, since by definition they did not burn out early. If I were the Giants, I'd shut him down once he gets to 200 innings.

They should not take any chances, seeing as they are 11 1/2 games out of first in baseball's weakest division.