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Thursday, April 02, 2009
With the recent escalation in A's relocation/ballpark news, it's important to remember that generalists like me are dilettantes at best. Any time there's an issue of any complexity, the blogosphere produces a focused star to really jam on it, and the star with respect to the A's relocation drama is the New A's Ballpark blog, written by a fellow named Marine Layer (I think that's a Scotch/Romanian name). If you care a lick about the issue, that's the place to bookmark and refresh obsessively.
Lots of good posts there, including a nice graphic superimposing the last Cisco Field diagram over a map of the most likely San Jose building site. The FAQ is also necessary reading for anyone who wants to talk intelligently about all of this.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:45am
Last year the San Francisco Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins ran a two-part piece in which he argued that teams should put more thought into their pitch counts, developing evaluation systems and protocols to determine when a pitcher is truly getting tired rather than simply impose a hard number of pitches on everyone. That's actually a pretty good idea, I think, though the fact that Jenkins couched it all in terms of the alleged problem of the vanishing complete game had me wondering whether he was simply substituting one arbitrary standard (CGs) for another (pitch counts).
Be that as it may, today Jenkins runs a series of pitch count factoids that couldn't fit in his original article, and boy howdy are they fun:
In a 16-inning, complete-game win against Baltimore in 1962, Washington's Tom Cheney threw 228 pitches.
Lots more there. The kind of stuff that would make Rany Jazayerli cringe and Dusty Baker say "damn!"
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 1:39pm
Purveyors of the knuckly arts are, above all else, survivors:
Scott Baker’s Opening Night assignment has been called off. And so has the Philip Humber-R.A. Dickey roster competition.
Or until the cold-blooded assassin that is R.A. Dickey decides to off another member of the rotation in order to maintain his place. Nick Blackburn: consider yourself warned.
(link via BTF)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:11pm
Friday, April 03, 2009
Today will be the last day for a long time in which the first post of the day will be "Today at THT." Why? ShysterBall readers who date back before last October know why: the return of "And That Happened," this blog's quaint little daily recap feature. It resumes with the ballgames come Monday morning. Well, there will be one recap on Monday because there's only one game on Sunday, but you get the idea. Tuesday will really be hopping.
For those of you unfamiliar with ATH, here are a couple of examples. It started as a way for me to make sure that I kept track of actual baseball rather than get too bogged down in steroids or stadiums or what have you, but it quickly became my favorite part of this blog after it got going last April. For me it's like the baseball season in blog form: sometimes it's good, sometimes it sucks, sometimes it rains, but it's there every day reminding you that while no single game matters, all of them together mean everything.
But that's Monday, probably at around 5:45 AM. Today at THT:
Only two more baseball-free days to go.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:40am
The Merc's Mark Purdy has a wish list for the Giants' and Athletics' seasons. Among the wishes:
I want A's catcher Kurt Suzuki to get an offer to endorse Suzuki motorcycles — and turn it down in favor of a Harley-Davidson endorsement. (And why hasn't Harley-Davidson thought of this, anyway?)
I kind of like the idea of Suzuki endorsing Harleys. I also think it may be more realistic than those other two wishes.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 7:00am
This is a link to the baseball page at the New York Times. Today the top nine (9) stories are about the new
My favorite one is "Two New Baseball Palaces, One Stoic, One Scrappy." How can a building be "scrappy?" I thought that word was reserved for under-talented white guys.
Anyway, I just didn't want the season to start without you all realizing that the Yankees and Mets have new stadiums, because that's the kind of thing that could sneak up and surprise you.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 7:30am
From Jerry Crasnick's Reds' preview at ESPN:
But the Reds win out because of their surplus of arms. Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Micah Owings make for one of baseball’s best 1-through-5 starting contingents. As astute Reds fans and Scrabble devotees have pointed out, you can take the first letters of their last names and spell “HAVOC.”
From Redleg Nation:
Being called astute fans is a compliment, I suppose, but it would have been nice to see The Nation — by which, I mean YOU, the community here — credited for the HAVOC quip. After all, that originated with one of the fine commenters here at RN (here)
I'll say that I've whipped out the HAVOC thing a couple of times too in recent weeks and I didn't credit Redlegs Nation either, though I'm certain that's where I first saw it. In Crasnick's and my own defense, however, that's the kind of thing that's too damn good not to steal. Indeed, the very concept of HAVOC is so cool that it had me actually rooting against Homer Bailey this spring, and I don't even give a crap about the Reds.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:00am
Apparently Cito Gaston is livid to find out that, according to Jeff Pearlman's new book, Roger Clemens had him fired. Jeff Pearlman himself, however, says there's a slight problem with that:
There’s just one problem: I never wrote that.
I haven't read the book so I can't say for sure, but if Pearlman is right here, it makes the controversy a little confusing. My guess: the Roger-fired-Cito thing was included and misstated in the promotional materials provided by the publisher to the media. Those materials are really helpful when you're getting ready to review a book, but the quality varies widely and the facts often get garbled.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:53am
Most likely owing to the start time, Catholics in Milawaukee are not quite as bent out of shape about the Brewers' Good Friday home opener as those in Detroit, but in some ways their suggestions as to how to properly combine baseball and religion are even more extreme:
Milwaukee's soon-to-be-departing, but still current Catholic Archbishop has put the hammer down on Catholics hoping to enjoy a brat during the Brewers' home opener, because it happens to fall on Good Friday.
Which is the greater sin: eating meat on Good Friday or not eating brats at Miller Park?
(thanks to Lar for the link)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:25am
Ron Rollins was reading ShysterBall -- and yelling at me for saying statheady things -- way back in early 2007. Back then the only other regular readers were my mom and the people Googling pictures of Alyssa Milano. The Googlers soon realized that there was nothin' good here, and even my mom eventually gave up, but Ron still reads, comments and generally stirs up crap around here from time to time. I'm glad he does that.
I'm also glad to report that Ron, who already writes a nice international baseball bog, is now writing professionally for an even bigger international baseball blog. His first post compares the social/media phenomenon that is Alex Rodriguez to the social/media phenomenon that was Babe Ruth. It's striking in that "Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln, Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy" kind of way. There will be new posts there every Wednesday, and I highly recommend that you check them out. And of course, don't forget to check out his regular blog, Baseball Over Here.
Another good reason to click thorugh: of all of the people who are trying to make a buck or two off of blogging, Ron deserves your clicks the most. Why? Because unlike the rest of us, Ron is doing this for 100% selfless reasons. Until around a year ago, Ron had a pretty comfortable life in Missouri, working a job like the rest of us, enjoying the occasional beer, reading blogs, and watching a lot of baseball. Ron has a young daughter in the U.K., however, and Ron knew that she needed him in her life, and he needed her. So he quit his job, sold all of his stuff, and at an age where most of us are most worried about lawn care and antacids, Ron picked up and moved to Bournemouth, England. As you might expect, it's not easy to get a job when you're not a citizen, especially in this economy. Ron has nonetheless perservered, long beyond the point most of us would have given up and come home. Our clicks -- both on the articles and the ads if you'd be so good to do so -- would help him out immensely.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 10:00am