Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Monday, March 10, 2008

SIlly Stuff

Been distracted the last few days, but just had to toss out some of the goofier stuff I've seen out on the internet tubes...

** The Trib's exceedingly estimable Dave van Dyck writes up Baseball Prospectus' 2008 predictions here. The sub-head reads:
Sox likely to improve; Cubs better but not good enough

Uh-oh...things sound bleak for my heroes. Let's go to the tape and see what those BP geeks have to say:
• The Sox, because of a series of off-season dealings, will rebound to 77-85 and third place in the American League Central, trailing the dominance of Cleveland and Detroit.

• The Cubs will follow their 85-victory NL Central championship with another division title, this time with a 91-71 record, second best in the National League but not enough to break their 100-year drought of winning the World Series.

Yes, there you have it, folks -- the eds at the Tower are quick to trumpet that the Sox will "improve" by five games and "rebound" to 77 wins (because of Kenny's brilliant wheeling and dealing). Meanwhile, the Cubs will schlep their way to 91 wins (without any off-season acquisitions, evidently) -- and while that six-game improvement is enough to be second-best in the league, it's just "not good enough."

To sum up, third place -- and an "improvement." Ninety wins -- sure, good enough to win the division, but ultimately a disappointment.

Tell me again about the bias, George...

** As you can imagine, whenever those pencil-necked stat geeks go after Chicago's favorites, the columnists are there, defending their own. Today, Big Mouth Morrissey cracks back on the BP predictions:
Computers have no use for heart, or least they can't quantify it. They can't analyze what's inside an athlete, for example. They can't tell you who has the heart of a lion or the backbone of an earthworm.

Imagine about 800 more words describing White Sox players as lions and Cubs players as worms, add a bizarre and unnecessary reference to Marie Osmond, and you've got yourself a column. Another triumph from the Tower of Ideas!

** Sully checks in with this medical update about Felix Pie. A few quick thoughts:

1. Not content to provide a Wikipedia link about Pie's "personal problem," Sully goes on to describe it in detail.
2. I'm no mind reader, but given Sully's admitted history, I'm betting he had a big smirk going when he heard about this.
3. Sully concludes his post with a plea for "no tasteless comments." Ummm...Sully...are you familiar with this Internet thing? And the people who usually troll the message boards?

** The March 5 issue of Baseball Weekly notes that "Josh Hamilton is causing quite a buzz in camp."

Given Hamilton's well-documented "personal problems," should we really use the term "buzz" to describe how he's doing?

** Prince Fielder is a vegetarian. Thankfully, bagels don't contain any meat.

** Will the usual suspects claim that this guy is better than A-Rod, too?

** Hey Ranger Fans -- at least it's just a minor league contract. There's hope Jon Daniels will come to his senses soon.

** I like Dusty Baker as a person. As a manager, I've found cause to disagree with him. Usually because he keeps talking about how he doesn't like it when his hitters take a free pass when it's offered...

** Finally, just a word of advice for the kids out there -- if you're bent because you got lit up on the mound, don't punch doors with your throwing hands...

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