And That Happened

Royals 9, Tigers 2: Five shutout innings by Greinke lowers his ERA to 2.14. No starter has been that low to finish the season since Clemens in 2005. No non-jackass starter has had one that low since Pedro in 2000. Someone please explain to me again the basis for not giving this man the Cy Young award.

Reds 3, Marlins 2: A first inning Darnell McDonald homer and a bases loaded single by Jay Bruce held up all night. Random game story goodness: “Reds RHP Aaron Harang bought a souped-up golf cart as a gift to clubhouse attendants, to help them transport equipment and players around the ballpark.” Word on the street is that it’s got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks and it’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas.

Brewers 7, Cubs 4: Prince Fielder hit a triple to lead off the fifth. I’m as shocked as you are, but it’s not like this sort of thing wasn’t predicted. Note: scroll down to read the lefthand column before reading the portion that appears at the top of the page.

Angels 4, Red Sox 3: Brian Fuentes bounces back and holds the lead in the ninth after his compadres break a tie in the top of the ninth. I guess the umps were timid or scared last night like they were on Wednesday.

Rays 3, Orioles 0: Wade Davis was destroyed by the Red Sox in his second career start, but dismantled Baltimore in his third (CG SHO 4 H 10K). He three 124 pitches, but struck out the side in the ninth, so either he wasn’t tired of the Orioles gave the hell up.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Cole Hamels was perfect into the sixth inning and finished with ten strikeouts and one earned run over eight innings. Manuel allowed Lidge to pitch in a save situation. He got the save, but still gave up a run on a triple and a fielder’s choice. If the Phillies bats are alive in the playoffs they’re my choice to win the NL. If they play a lot of close games that are decided late, well, forget it.

Mariners 4, White Sox 3: Jon Danks only gave up one run over eight innings, but ended up getting hosed out of the win after this baby went 14. A 14 inning game, by the way, that was eight minutes shorter than Wednesday night’s nine-inning Red Sox-Angels affair.

Braves 7, Mets 3: The Braves have won seven straight. The Mets have lost nine of their last 10. These are things that will keep me warm all winter even in the very likely event that the Braves fall short of the playoffs.

Athletics 5, Indians 2: “We’re going through a tough stretch right now,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said after the game. We know. It began in early April.

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Comments

  1. Steve C said...

    Pedro was (is?) a great pitcher, but he was certainly full of himself.  I’m not so sure Maddux is the guy either, he did enjoy taking a piss on rookies in the shower.

    I think Soccia just likes getting his pitchers big save totals.  The better reliever Jespen was moving right along through the sox order, gives up ine hit and he goes to the “closer”.

  2. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    @Jeff – I guess that would make sense… if it were true:

    1998 Rolando Arrojo 19 (8)
    1999 Jeff Weaver 17 (9)
    2000 Jeff Weaver 15 (14; Martinez +17IP)
    2001 Tim Wakefield 18 (6)
    2002 Chan Ho Park 17 (15; Martinez +44.2IP)
    2003 Victor Zambrano 20 (9)
    2004 Bronson Arroyo 20 (16; Martinez +38.1IP)

    Nice try.

  3. ecp said...

    @Wade – I’ve only heard two arguments against giving the Cy to Greinke.  The first is he doesn’t have as many wins as some people would like.  The second, adroitly (?) espoused by Harold Reynolds on MLB Network last night, is he isn’t doing it in AL East.

    Now, I don’t know that either of these are the “substantive” argument you wanted to hear, but there you go.  The wins argument has already been debated to death and, we hope, debunked.  But the second argument in particular is amazingly ridiculous in that it implies that all AL pitchers are to be discounted unless they pitch in the AL East, and really funny considering that no AL Cy Young winner has come from that division since 2003.

  4. MikeS said...

    @Wade, @ecp – I think the wins argument is the one that will be made.  When was the last time a Cy Young award winner only had 14 wins (strike years and relievers not included).  I’m not saying it’s a good argument, just that it’s the argument.

    As for the whole AL East thing, does that mean that they simply should not have an NL MVP/Cy Young/RoY since none of them play in the only division that the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network knows about?

    And lets be honest, when some moron says “AL East” he reall means “Boston and New York.”  Those pinheads believe Tampa was a fluke and Toronto and Baltimore haven’t been real teams for a decade, which is longer than they can remember anyway.  There are some really good baseball games that start after 7PM eastern time.  Games that have some pitching and don’t average 4 hours.  They should try watching it sometimes.

  5. Michael Caragliano said...

    Thanks, Jeff- couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ll be the first to say he earned the MVP in ‘99 and got screwed out of it, and he’s a first ballot HOF’er but, as a Mets fan, I’ll also be the first to admit how his “immaturity” in ‘04 suddenly turned “refreshing” in ‘05. Since seeing Gooden in ‘85, he the guy I’d give the ball to in a must-win game, but the “drill Babe Ruth in the ass” swagger was over the top.

    BTW, if Maddux now qualifies as borderline jack-ass, does that mean we have to do a credit check on Billy Swift next?

  6. Jack Marshall said...

    The wins argument will prevail, and Greinke will be denied. In this case, that’s clearly wrong; in general, I think if the current trend in sabermetrics reasoning continues, some pitcher in 2012 will be awarded the Cy with a 9-16 record and a 4.85 ERA, because the “really significant” stats show that he pitched great but was unlucky, the zone ratings of his fielders were bad,and the main competition, Dice-K Matsusaka, had “lousy stats” despite his 20-11 record and 2.89 ERA. Yes, my head is still spinning from being told in no uncertain terms that despite the evidence of eyes, John Smoltz just pitched great for Boston.

    Bottom line results DO matter, should matter and have to be not just part of a pitcher’s evaluation, but a key part.

  7. Kevin S. said...

    Isn’t there something in ethics about not setting up strawman arguments, then attacking that strawman as if it was an argument?  Or is that brand of bullshit only reserved for long-winded douchebaggery moralizing about how Barry Bonds ruined America, or whatever the #### it is you spouted.  People didn’t say Smoltz was great for Boston, they said he was better than his ERA indicated.  You eventually agreed on that point, if memory serves.

  8. APBA Guy said...

    @ Jack- You and I are on the same side of the Smoltz argument, although I seem to be the only one who believes Holliday was dogging it while he was with the the A’s.

    They are a different team without Holliday and Giambi. Now 7-2 in their last 9, people in the East Bay are talking (hallucinating?) about the A’s finishing at .500. To do that, they have to close the season at 13-3, meaning a 20-5 streak over their last 25.

    Considering they play the Indians again for 3, then host the now moribund Rangers for 3, they could make a good run. But every time I think it would be fun if they could do something like 20-5, I remember Gio Gonzalez has to start for them again and the dream vanishes.

    BTW, their can be no doubt that Greinke is the Cy Young. His performance is almost in defiance of how bad the Royals are.

    And Craig, Blues Brothers references are always welcome.

  9. Jack Marshall said...

    Kevin…no straw man argument. I mean it—-I have read many comments from posters like you arguing that Dice-K had a lousy season last year, despite his W-L and ERA. I read people here say that Smoltz was pitching the same in Boston as in St. Louis, despite the obvious ERA and OBA discrepancy. There is a trend in sabermetrics to go beyond “wins and losses aren’t everything” to “wins and losses mean nothing.” And I think when it comes to a starter with a losing record getting the Cy Young, as it will if these people win the day, the Cy Young won’t be a coherent award any more.
    Are you capable of disagreeing with someone without calling them a douchebag? Just curious. It’s is pretty curious to be accused of a strawman argument, and then to have the accuser cite an argument I never made or would make.

    Barry Bonds did not ruin America.
    Manny Ramirez did.

    (Kidding!)

  10. Joe said...

    Unless being hit by a batted ball affects his performance, it’s plausable that Greinke could finish the year with 17 wins.  That might be enough.

  11. Kevin S. said...

    Slight distinction – I called your missive against Barry Bonds (the one Keith Law picked up on, not sure if there were others) douchebaggery; I’m sure you’re quite the upstanding fellow, and in no way a douchebag (other than, you know, being a Red Sox fan). 

    Now that we’ve got the assorted insults and past grievances aired and out of the way, let’s get down to the meat of the relevant discussion – whether or not “superficial” statistics such as wins/losses and ERA (superficial in the sense that they don’t measure underlying performance, no negative connotation implied) should even be considered when determining the CYA.  Starting with wins and losses, my position is unequivocally no.  Wins and losses are an indicator of the cumulative performance of the offense, defense, and pitching in an arbitrary set of baseball games; in our case, we are concerned with the subset of games in which a given pitcher receives a decision.  Zack Greinke’s 14-8 record tells you absolutely nothing at all about how well he’s pitched.  Dan Haren has an identical record, matched with a quite excellent (but not otherworldly) performance.  Derek Lowe is just a smidge off, at 14-9, and he’s got an ERA+ of 92.  W/L tells us these three pitchers have been very similar this year, while nothing could be further from the truth.  Greinke’s and Haren’s records have been quite negatively impacted by the other factors on their team, while Lowe has been aided by them.

    Now, given that we’ve shown that W/L records don’t tell us very much about a pitcher, is your hypothetical 9-16 pitcher excluded from greatness?  On a truly morbid team, no.  Looking at Zack Greinke’s game log, we find 21 starts where he gave up at least one run, making him eligible to take a loss.  We also find only three games where he pitched a complete game shutout, where the bullpen couldn’t possibly screw him out of a win.  Therefore, it is theoretically possible, however unlikely, that Greinke could have turned in his exact same performance this year and posted a 9-16 record, just by making the offense and bullpen more putrid.  Thus, I submit that W/L should be summarily ignored, as they are but a bad proxy for pitching awesomeness, and said awesomeness can be easily assessed with other stats.  I’ll address ERA in the next post, as it’s a bit tricky.

  12. Jack Marshall said...

    Well, good—-I’m glad you articulated that position—-which is reductio ad absurdum, and you apparently don’t even know it. Pitching isn’t just art; it’s a utilitarian job. The job is to win games for one’s team. To suggest that a pitcher whose net results of participation in his team’s games is negative—-that is, his team lost more than it won in his starts—-could be named a league’s outstanding pitcher reaffirms my slowly solidifying theory that a disturbing number of analysts no longer can distinguish Fantasy Baseball from the real thing. Success, measured by wins and losses, has to be a substantial qualification for the Cy Young. We don’t award championships based on Pythagorean expected win totals and strength of competition, though who knows, maybe you’d like that too. The “best” pitcher cannot be a losing pitcher. Sometimes conventional wisdom is right.

    [Oh—-I was just giving you a hard time, Kevin—-I really AM a douchebag!]

  13. Alan said...

    I’d put money on Greinke winning the Cy Young. A good chunk of the MSM pieces I’ve seen on the subject could be written off the same template: Statheads are narrow-minded, inflexible mom’s-basement-dwellers blah blah blah BUT Greinke maybe possibly perhaps deserves the Cy anyway despite the fact that I don’t know/care what a VORP is.

  14. Jason said...

    To start an argument I’ve had with myself many times, and hopefully someone else will chime in this time. 
    Should the Cy Young award go to the best statistical pitcher (ie Grienke) or to the pitcher with the most wins (whomever that may be)? 
    I ask because Cy Young has the most wins in the history of the game, not because he’s the best pitcher the game has ever seen.  If that were the case the award would probably we called the Walter Johnson award or the Sandy Koufax award, etc. 
    It would be nice if the best pitcher won the most games, but that’s almost never the outcome.  Grienke cannot help that his offense is unable to support his amazingness.  Does that make him a less worthy candidate?  Conversely: Sabathia or Beckett have offenses that can give them a win despite relinquishing 5ER in 6ip.  Does that make them any more worthy of the award?

    @ MikeS: Not everyone that follows the AL East is a pinhead you pinhead.  We know that Tampa wasn’t a fluke; we also know that Baltimore is going to be really, really good in the very near future.  Please stop stereotyping.

  15. Kevin S. said...

    Actually, Jack, I did know what I was doing, though I never took Latin, and can’t remember the formal names to the styles.  That sentence had way too many commas, ugh.  Anyhoo, I’m not quite sure what you’re saying here.  Are you arguing that pitchers can pitch to the score, the Jack Morris defense?  If so, there is ample evidence, both specifically in regards to Morris, and for pitchers in general, that this is not the case (too many commas again, damnit!).  Here are two Morris articles:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815

    If you meant something else, I sincerely apologize for wasting my time digging this up.  Douchebag wink

  16. Jack Marshall said...

    I’d say always giving the Cy to the winningest pitcher would also be reductio ad absurdum, though that’s the only way to explain Cy winners like Bob Welch. Still, I believe that some pitchers do know how to win, and some more skilled pitchers don’t. Mike Mussina had great offenses behind him his whole career, had great stats, and didn’t win 20 until his last season. And I think at least some of the reason is that he was a weenie, something we have yet to measure statistically.

  17. Jack Marshall said...

    Kevin—pitching to the score, no. Pos nailed it. Not staying in games long enough to win. Not bearing down after errors. Not knowing how to pitch decently without your best stuff. Raising your game against a tough opposing pitcher or in a big game. Pitching well hurt. I think these and other things might affect 2-3 games a year for some pitchers, the difference between ending up 18-12 and 16-14.

  18. MikeS said...

    @Jason – Sorry, got a little carried away.  I know there are plenty of good fans out east, a few bad apples cause many to have a bad impression.  I have stopped watching ESPN because I can (and have) get enough of BoSox/Yanks and there are now other outlets.

    At a White/Red Sox game a few weeksago in Chicago.  There were lots of Red Sox fans (as usual) and I told my wife that at least Red Sox fans know baseball, unlike the Cubs fans we get during interleague play (there I go again).  Well, the woman behind me proceeded to prove me wrong.  I won’t detail everything, but when Konerko homered off the foul pole in the ninth she thought it should be a ground rule double.  She’s the exception, not the rule, but my wife found it funny after I had complimented the knowledge of the invading fans.

  19. Kevin S. said...

    “Raising your game against a tough opposing pitcher”

    Isn’t that the same theory as pitching to the score, though, in a proactive sense?  Regardless, if someone can raise his performance in a big game, doesn’t that mean that he’s performing sub-optimally 95% of the time, or however many non-big games he’s in?  Now, your other points:

    “Not staying in games long enough to win” – Wouldn’t this be reflected in a pitcher’s IP?  Innings are valuable, which is part of why Chris Carpenter doesn’t really deserve the NL CYA.  Also partially beyond a pitcher’s control, especially in the NL.  If he’s pitching really well but it’s a tie game, he could get pulled for a pinch hitter.  Likewise, a TLR-type micro-manager could pull him earlier than necessary to play matchup games with the bullpen.

    “Not bearing down after errors” – One of the minor reasons ERA isn’t the best way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance, since do we really think runs allowed after an error aren’t a pitcher’s fault?  FIP/xFIP/tRA attempt to correct this by teasing out all defensive contributions from pitching contributions, while RA at least uniformly gives a pitcher credit for runs, instead of arbitrarily excluding some.

    “Pitching well hurt” – Wouldn’t that be reflected in a pitcher’s stats in general, not just W/L?

    I guess I just see no upside to using W/L, given that other stats can tell the story just as well, without including the contributions of the other players on the team.  As for the clutch argument, I don’t believe in clutch ability.  Clutch performances, certainly, but if there was some special ability to be clutch, it would be sustainable, and nobody has sustained clutch performance significantly above and beyond their normal talent level over the course of his career.

  20. Jack Marshall said...

    I don’t see how anyone can watch much baseball and convince himself that there is nothing to clutch ability. I do believe it is difficult to measure—-just because someone elevates his game doesn’t mean he will have good results every time, and the sample size is always small. And yes, it does mean that the player is at sub-optimum levels the rest of the time. There are employees like that in every profession. There is no reason baseball should be the exception.

  21. Jason B said...

    “And yes, it does mean that the player is at sub-optimum levels the rest of the time. There are employees like that in every profession.”

    Like when I’m reading and posting on here instead of managing the credit risk of our bank?

  22. christopher said...

    Can we all agree that Tim Wakefield should win the AL Cy Young?  He broke the Red Sox career record for most starts by a pitcher this year!

  23. Tony A said...

    may be a minority of one, it’s happened before, but I’ve always leaned toward the pitcher with the best combination of win-loss record and stats for the Cy…

  24. Michael Caragliano said...

    Not to nit-pick, but considering what Pedro was like with the Sox, and what Kevin Brown was like with… well, everybody, wouldn’t the last non-jackass starter before Greinke be Greg Maddux in ‘95?

  25. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    but considering what Pedro was like with the Sox

    What would that be, exactly, besides win 117 games, two Cy Young Awards, four ERA titles, three strikeout titles, four All-Star appearances and a World Series title?

  26. Joe Distelheim said...

    How, in the name of Cap Anson, did you find an 1884 New York Times article on weight’s relationship to movement on the spur of a boxscore?  Now, that’s sportswriting!

  27. John Willumsen said...

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a 19th century NYTimes article before, and I suppose that I was vaguely conscious of the fact that articles would be written in that style, but honestly it’s kind of mind-boggling how stark the difference is between then and now. Yes, I realize 1884 was a LONG time ago, that the century and a quarter that have passed probably brought more changes than any other equivalent time period in the history of humanity, but it’s the realization that the Times represents one continuous entity throughout this time frame that’s so…well trippy for lack of a better word. Also, clicking through from a blog to an electronic version of an article written in 1884 is quite the trip in and of itself. Maybe I’m taking this too far, but frankly I think it’s a heck of a lot more interesting to think about than the A’s and the Indians right now.

  28. Jeff said...

    Wooden-I think Michael was inferring that Pedro was a jackass when he pitched for Boston.  A very good jackass, but a jackass nonetheless.  He had the best control in the league but somehow was always in the league leaders in hit batters.  It was nothing about performance, all about attitude and decorum.

  29. Wade said...

    Will someone please give a substantive arguement denying Greinke the Cy?  I’m just curious as to what tenet(s) would support such an arguement outside of an emotional one.

    Where are the downsides for his consideration?  Please help – I’m equally baffled.

    Have a great Friday everybody.

  30. YankeesfanLen said...

    So what you’re saying is The Old Gray Lady predicted Prince Fielder rollerblading 125 years ago?  Where is Tyler, snoozing on this scoop? Maybe pondering how to work “apoplexy and deliquescence” into the report for a bad inning for CC.

  31. Stevenell said...

    The problem, Jack, is that you are giving credit to one player the fate of a game decided by 9 or more.  Yes, the starting pitcher is the most important player in any particular game, but to give him sole credit for what the team doesn’t and doesn’t do is absolutely ridiculous.  How you can even start to compare the amount of Wins for a pitcher who pitches on the Yankees to one that pitches on the Royals is absolutely beyond me.  Greinke isn’t the best pitcher because his team sucks.  That makes perfect sense.

  32. Jack Marshall said...

    Never said that. I said that the reasonable and logical argument—-that wins are not the best measurement of a pitcher’s performance—-can be carried to an absurd extreme. One cannot completely separate a skill from its purpose. A pitcher who pitches brilliantly but loses all of his games cannot and should not be designated the “best pitcher.” It reminds me of the pundits who kept saying that Bill Clinton was a “brilliant politician.” Well, brilliant politicians don’t get themselves impeached. The Best and “Not Good Enough to Win Enough” cannot be the same person, at least for award purposes…in my opinion. I see the purist argument. I just think it leads to a nonsensical result.

  33. Jack Marshall said...

    I can’t explain to you “again” what I never said or even thought. Look at the posts. I SAID that Greinke should win the Cy Young, but probably won’t. I SAID that the valid arguments in his behalf could soon reach the absurd. We wouldn’t give “manager of the year” to a brilliant manager whose team lost every game. We wouldn’t give a batting championship to a great hitter who hit every ball on the nose yet lined out every time. A pitcher’s job is not run prevention; it is to pitch enough better than the opposing pitcher, in each game he starts, to win the maximum number of games for his team. That necessarily involves run prevention. But the pitcher is part of a team, and the team’s task is the pitcher’s task: win games.

  34. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    A
    pitcher’s job is not run prevention; it is to pitch enough better than the
    opposing pitcher, in each game he starts, to win the maximum number of games
    for his team. That necessarily involves run prevention.

    That would be funny if it weren’t so sad. I’m not lying, I’m just not telling the truth, your honor.

  35. Jack Marshall said...

    THAT’S certainly a cogent rebuttal. Can’t top that!

    If you want to “unbundle” team tasks to the extent that a pitcher would be honored as the “best” despite a losing record and, conceivably,a higher ERA than some competitors, fine. The rest of the world doesn’t work that way, and for good reason. Such an award would quickly be discounted by the general public, lose prestige, and become irrelevant. I understand the point; always have. But the Cy Young will NEVER go to a losing pitcher, because the game will always honor winning rather than losing with finesse.

  36. Jack Marshall said...

    Wooden: Well, obviously I can’t communicate clearly enough to discuss this with you. There is more than one definition of “best.” The pitcher who wins the most games while maintaining a respectable ERA is a legitimate “best.” So is the pitcher who does the best job preventing runs. The Cy Young award, as indicated by its title (pointed out above), has historically tended toward the first definition. Given that there is some wisdom in that,and given that the “best” so defined will almost always be a deserving recipient,I think declaring that wins are irrelevant to the award is unwise…and not entirely logical. (The illogic to me is epitomized by those who have argued that Matsusaka had a “lousy” season in 2008, despite his low ERA and high win total, and even more bizarrely, that the Red Sox had not received value for his performance that season.)

    The macro-task shared by all members of a team is to win games. To declare that the only one of those players to be actually credited with team wins DOESN’T have that in his job description is bizarre to me, and certainly not so intrinsically reasonable that a varying opinion deserves to be called “sad.”

  37. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    Wooden: Well, obviously I can’t communicate clearly enough to discuss this with you.

    Nope, not with your current level of understanding. But when you finally grasp the concept that a pitcher can only control half of the equation of what it takes to win a ballgame, please get back to us.

  38. Jack Marshall said...

    If by “us” you mean the Association of Arrogant and Obtuse Jackasses, as I assume you do, please don’t hold your breath.

  39. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    One cannot completely separate a skill from its purpose.

    The purpose of pitching is run prevention, i.e. preventing the opposing team’s offense from scoring.

    Zack Greinke is the very best in baseball at this task at the current moment—lowest ERA, fewest runs allowed for qualified pitches, lowest WHIP, most shutouts, #2 in strikeouts, quality starts, and complete games. Furthermore, he has done this despite having a terrible defense (2nd-most errors in A.L., #14 in DER) behind him.

    Explain to us again how Greinke is not worthy of an award that celebrates the skill of run prevention.

  40. Michael G said...

    Agree Grienke deserves the CY this year but he doesn’t pitch on the east coast (don’t anyone EVER try to tell me there’s no bias)so who knows. Ok you caught me, i’m from So. Cal. Most of the time stats will tell the tale of the tape but only a few are most important. Any starter can get a “W” by going only 5 inn. and having the lead. Too much relies on the offense on this one. So for me wins ranks a notch below ERA, K’s, BB’s, CG’s, SO’s and BA & H’s against. These are all strictly controlled by the pitcher vs. the oppo batter. Lastly, what doesn’t make Pedro a non-jackass are you kidding me? And 100% pussy!

  41. Kevin S. said...

    “If by “us” you mean the Association of Arrogant and Obtuse Jackasses”

    Hey, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, it’s the Arrogant and Obtuse Jackass Society.  No respect.

    I do disagree with your notion of what a pitcher’s job is, though.  Baseball is such a compartmentalized game, each player can only do his part, and hope for the best from the other contributors.  A baseball team, more than any other type of team, is only as good as the sum of its parts.  Thus, since a pitcher can’t control what his offense or defense or bullpen can do, all he can do is strive to maximize his strikeouts, minimize his walks, and keep the ball on the ground.  Two out of three ain’t bad.  I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do besides give his best effort, each and every time out there.

  42. Michael G said...

    Hi Kevin, I was initially trying to point out only that wins should be much less of a factor when determining the CY winner. So I wasn’t eluding to what a pitcher’s job is just most of the things he has some control of while he’s on the bump. Grienke meets all the required criteria for a CY winner. Amusing to read a stranger lecturing me on baseball theory. It’s cool though…. nothin’ personal.

  43. Kevin S. said...

    Sorry, I thought it was clear I was talking to Jack, with the turn on his Association thing and a direct response to his stance.  Guess it could be confusing, since I didn’t directly address him and posted right after you.

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