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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Atlantic: How Athletes Ensure Immortality

Quisenberry’s letter to me focused on three questions I asked about how I, too, could become a professional ballplayer. He shared that he used to frequently throw a tennis ball against a wall and practiced his batting swing or pitching delivery in front of a mirror when no one was around to play catch. He wrote that he developed his stamina from throwing alone and not from lifting weights, adding “or else God just made it that way because I don’t think I am strong compared to other teammates.”

Surprisingly, the Royals star also told me that running would be important for my general health when I get older, but “if you are a young teenager, I don’t think you would need it.” I took his advice and spent a lot of time playing video games.

For this, he remains immortal to me. Quisenberry will have another chance to be considered by the Expansion Era committee in 2017.

Perhaps no one thinks about the fuzzy line between immortal and almost immortal more than Shawn Anderson, creator of the “Hall of Very Good” baseball blog dedicated to players who fall just short of Cooperstown. So far, the selective HOVG has “inducted” Tommy John, Dale Murphy, Steve Blass, Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva, and the San Diego Chicken into the imaginary shrine.

“A guy like Quisenberry definitely fits the bill for us,” Anderson says. “I mean, here’s a guy who led the league in saves five out of six years, was top three in Cy Young Award voting in four of those years, yet gets virtually no love from anyone. His story should be told and contributions to the game celebrated—not shoved aside.”

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Quiz will always be immortal thanks to this video.

Quisenberry’s letter to me focused on three questions I asked about how I, too, could become a professional ballplayer. He shared that he used to frequently throw a tennis ball against a wall and practiced his batting swing or pitching delivery in front of a mirror when no one was around to play catch. He wrote that he developed his stamina from throwing alone and not from lifting weights, adding “or else God just made it that way because I don’t think I am strong compared to other teammates.”

Surprisingly, the Royals star also told me that running would be important for my general health when I get older, but “if you are a young teenager, I don’t think you would need it.” I took his advice and spent a lot of time playing video games.

For this, he remains immortal to me. Quisenberry will have another chance to be considered by the Expansion Era committee in 2017.

Perhaps no one thinks about the fuzzy line between immortal and almost immortal more than Shawn Anderson, creator of the “Hall of Very Good” baseball blog dedicated to players who fall just short of Cooperstown. So far, the selective HOVG has “inducted” Tommy John, Dale Murphy, Steve Blass, Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva, and the San Diego Chicken into the imaginary shrine.

“A guy like Quisenberry definitely fits the bill for us,” Anderson says. “I mean, here’s a guy who led the league in saves five out of six years, was top three in Cy Young Award voting in four of those years, yet gets virtually no love from anyone. His story should be told and contributions to the game celebrated—not shoved aside.”


Posnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes

Theory 1: Because they don’t want performance enhancing drug users in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

...The Hall leadership may not want [Barry] Bonds or [Roger] Clemens elected, but it never really looked like they would be anyway. And I don’t think the Hall of Fame directors are manipulative in this way. I’m sure they’re not weeping for Bonds or Clemens, but I don’t believe that was the impetus here.

Theory 2: The Baseball Hall of Fame wants to maintain exclusivity.

... My sense in talking with people who have intimate knowledge about the Hall is that, if anything, the Hall of Fame would like to add MORE players from the last 40 or so years…

Theory 3: The Hall of Fame wants to clean up some of the BBWAA untidiness.

Now, we are getting to the point… The 15-year process has always been clunky. And it’s even harder in today’s world, where everything moves so fast and everything is so magnified. We in the BBWAA spend way too much time arguing about players and leaving them in limbo… Ten years is plenty. If anything it is too long.

But, I don’t think it stops here. I have one more theory.

Theory 4: The Hall of Fame is setting up for some major changes.

A few years ago, the Hall of Fame created a Special Committee on the Negro Leagues… a screening committee created a 29-person Negro Leagues Hall of Fame ballot… I have been told this by people who would know – getting Buck O’Neil into the Hall of Fame was the biggest reason the Hall of Fame had created these committees and set up this vote in the first place… Buck still fell short… And I think the Hall of Fame leadership learned a hard lesson: Museum or not, you can’t just give up complete control of your own business… By taking away five years of the BBWAA’s voting, the Hall can have their own committees consider players five years sooner…. They understand the BBWAA is evolving, baseball coverage is evolving, the idea of baseball credibility (which the BBWAA always provided) is evolving too…

So, this is my theory: The Baseball Hall of Fame is making some smallish changes now to set itself up for bigger changes soon. I’m sure they would deny this, and I would bet even they don’t know what those changes are. But they’re coming. I think in 10 years, the Hall of Fame will have a more open Hall of Fame voting policy that the BBWAA will have a part in but will not control entirely.

The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, buck o'neil, hall of fame, joe posnanski

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roger Angell goes into the Hall of Fame

Skip the syrupy Dowd article and read this one by Richard Sandomir

pthomas Posted: July 26, 2014 at 07:26 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Angell in The Outfield

NY Times article from Maureen Dowd interviewing Roger Angell about his trip to the Hall of Fame this weekend.  Angell is being given the JG Taylor Spink award.  What the hell took them so long?

pthomas Posted: July 26, 2014 at 07:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, writing

Full Count » Sources: Red Sox agree to deal sending Jake Peavy to Giants for minor leaguers

Hopefully what the Red Sox received in exchange will help them in the future.

Edit: MLB Trade Rumors reports:

The Giants have acquired Jake Peavy from the Red Sox, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. The Red Sox will receive pitching prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.

Not a great haul, but two lottery ticket lefties.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 26, 2014 at 11:46 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jake peavy, red sox, trades

DJ Short: Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years

Should Jetes be nervous?

Big news coming out of Cooperstown this morning, as the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced their first changes to the voting process since 1991. The most significant change is that recently-retired players will only be able to stay on the ballot for 10 years as opposed to the current 15.

Three candidates in years 10-15 will be grandfathered into this system and remain eligible for the full 15 years. That group includes Don Mattingly (his 15th and final year on the ballot will be in 2015), Alan Trammel (14th year in 2015), and Lee Smith (13th year in 2015).

This change is clearly aimed at breaking up the current log jam on the ballot, but it indirectly gives players from the steroid era a much tougher time of making it into the Hall of Fame. Or at least kicks the can down the road for the veteran’s committee to figure out. One alternative to breaking up the log jam would be to allow more than 10 players to be named on a ballot, but that doesn’t appear to be a consideration at this time.

Other changes of note:

- Hall of Fame eligible voters will now be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct. Consider this a response to Dan Le Batard, who turned his ballot over to Deadspin readers this year.

- The names of BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) voters will be made public with the election results, but individual ballot results will not be released by the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping the BBWAA takes the next step.


Giants purchase contract of 2B Uggla

So much to like from this article.  It’s like they are trolling me.

Dan Uggla needed a fresh start. The San Francisco Giants needed a healthy second baseman who could step in and produce.

Well, at least one of them will get what they needed.

Uggla will cost the Giants only $500,000. The Braves are responsible for the $18 million he’s guaranteed over the rest of this season and next season.

You know the sport is flush when a team will plunk down a cool half mil to sign a player after another team is willing to eat 18 mil to never see him again.

Bochy said he’s hoping Uggla can pull off a turnaround similar to the kind Pat Burrell and Jeff Francoeur did after signing with San Francisco in the middle of recent seasons.

Dare to dream!  Francoeur hit .194/.206/.226!  If only!

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dan uggla, desperation, giants

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SB Nation: The Many Crimes of Mel Hall

So if you thought the Chad Curtis story wasn’t creepy enough, there is the Mel Hall story.

“Mel Hall loved sex. Sex is what drove him,” said McMillan. According to a high school teammate, Hall impregnated two girls by the time he was a high school senior. The best guess of Texas authorities for the number of children he eventually sired is eight.

McMillan added, “He was a young guy who made a lot of money real fast, and he wanted to buy his way through life.”

So that was Mel Hall: a disappointment as a player, a tall tale, a caricature of a narcissistic athlete untethered from reality by sudden fame and fortune, a guy who did everything in excess. No, he probably wasn’t someone you wanted to be close with, but he filled up column space and kept things interesting over 162 games.

So when Hall started showing up to the ballpark with 15-year-old Jennifer Diaz, the most common reaction was one of amused curiosity.

The tabloid news show “A Current Affair” did a story on the odd couple. When Jennifer sat in the family section with players’ wives 10 and 20 years older than her, his teammates teased him for picking up his fiancée at Toys “R” Us. The organization, in a portion of their 1991 team yearbook devoted to players and their significant others, even included a picture of Mel and Jennifer at a school prom. No one blinked, at least publicly. It was all part of Mel Hall being Mel Hall….

The first time Hall had sex with Jennifer, her father was asleep on the sofa several feet away. After it was over, the 15-year-old cried. Decades later, she testified that Hall told her it was OK because he would marry her once she turned 18.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 360 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, indians, mel hall, sexual assault, statutory rape, yankees

Monday, July 14, 2014

Giants’ battery of Bumgarner, Posey provide charge heading to All-Star break

Posey and Bumgarner became the first battery to hit grand slams in the same game, driving in every run of an 8-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.  [...]

Players and coaches credited Posey for stirring a slumping group with his fifth-inning slam. The catcher was more impressed by Bumgarner, who also hit a grand slam April 11.

“You’re just kind of shaking your head,” he said. “I was asking Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti) how many pitchers have hit two in one season.”

The answer is two, in the entire history of major league baseball. Bumgarner joined Tony Cloninger, who hit two in one game against the Giants in 1966. Bumgarner joined Posey in giving the Giants two grand slams in the same game for just the third time in their San Francisco era.

bobm Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:47 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, grand slam

Friday, July 11, 2014

Adrian Beltre sets a major league record (3B total bases)

1) Yesterday, Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre set the major league record for career total bases by a 3B and he is 8th vs. the league average.

MOST CAREER TOTAL BASES, 3B

1    Adrian Beltre             4272   Dodgers/Mariners/Red Sox/Rangers
2    Brooks Robinson            4270   Orioles
3    Eddie Mathews             4224   Braves/Astros/Tigers
4    Chipper Jones             4171   Braves
5    Mike Schmidt               4112   Phillies
6    Wade Boggs                3915   Red Sox/Yankees/Rays
7    Gary Gaetti                3881   Twins/Angels/Royals/Cardinals/Cubs/Red Sox
8    Aramis Ramirez             3704   Pirates/Cubs/Brewers
9    Ron Santo                  3667   Cubs/White Sox
10   Graig Nettles             3657   Twins/Indians/Yankees/Padres/Braves/Expos

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is fun dammit, hall of fame, rangers, third basemen

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

San Francisco Giants considering ban on culturally insensitive attire

The proposed policy, which is still in the working stages, could potentially say that fans who wear culturally insensitive attire to games or use culturally insensitive language could be asked to stop by Giants security or potentially be asked to leave the stadium.

Staci Slaughter, Giants senior vice president, communications, and senior advisor to the CEO, said the Giants have policies about obscene language and offensive signs.

“We are considering expanding the policy to be more explicit about culturally insensitive signs and articles of clothing,” she told USA TODAY Sports
“I don’t want to overstate where we are,” she added. “We haven’t finalized the language. We are still in the process of revising it.”

The proposed policy comes after an incident at a Giants game last month when two Native Americans approached a group of men who were passing around a fake headdress to tell them it was disrespectful. One of the Native Americans asked for the headdress and then declined to return it. Security was called and the Native Americans were detained but not arrested. The incident occurred on Native American Heritage Night…

“It is not acceptable for anyone to wear blackface anymore,” said Jacqueline Keeler, a founder of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. “So why is it acceptable for fans to come to stadiums dressed in redface? The clowning of our culture must stop.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:58 AM | 114 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, insensitivity, native americans

Monday, July 07, 2014

Former minor leaguer preparing to sue MLB for minimum wage

He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball draft, early enough in the then-50 rounds that it came with a $160,000 signing bonus.

Broshuis is now a lawyer compiling data and evidence for a class action suit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig. He started with three players in February, suing the Miami Marlins, the San Francisco Giants, and the Kansas City Royals, along with MLB and Commissioner Selig.

Slowly over the course of the next two months, Broshuis had 32 plaintiffs, and all 30 Major League teams are defendants. His law firm, Korein Tillery, based in St. Louis, is known for bringing huge class action suits, and just won reinstatement of an $11 billion verdict against Big Tobacco.

The suit he is bringing asks for minimum wage during the baseball season, plus overtime compensation. He notes that players aren’t paid during the long off-season, even though they are expected to do extensive workouts.

Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 07, 2014 at 06:40 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, lawsuits, minimum wage

Thursday, July 03, 2014

538: Keri: The Giants Clustered Their Luck

With that win, they improved to 42-21. A year after stumbling to a 76-86 record, the Giants owned the best record in baseball. They’ve been terrible ever since. San Francisco has lost 16 of its last 21 games, the worst record for any major league team during that time…Few could have predicted such a sharp and sudden drop. But one indicator did suggest that regression was coming, sooner or later: cluster luck.

In a late-May Grantland column, I wrote about the concept of cluster luck as a way to explain how a series of good (or bad) events coming one after another can propel or punish a team:

Joe Peta, a former Wall Street trader, presented cluster luck in his book, Trading Bases. Essentially, the concept boils down to this: When a team’s batters cluster hits together to score more runs and a team’s pitchers spread hits apart to allow fewer runs, that’s cluster luck. Say a team tallies nine singles in one game. If all of those singles occur in the same inning, the team would likely score seven runs; if each single occurs in a different inning, however, it’d likely mean a shutout.

clusterunluck leads to, ...well, you know…

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 03:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clusterluck, giants

Selig permits A’s to leave Oakland, prompts last minute deal

If you don’t get them a new stadium, the A’s might move to Pocatello, Idaho.

The Athletics and Oakland appeared headed for a last-minute deal Thursday morning after the A’s owner informed city and county leaders that he had received permission from baseball commissioner Bud Selig to immediately move the team outside Oakland unless a deal was approved.

The stunning revelation was made by Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff in a 10 p.m. e-mail to officials, in which he wrote: “I was informed tonight that Commissioner Selig, due to the possibility of not having the hearing and vote that we were purported to receive from the JPA, that we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland.”

The e-mail prompted city and county officials to immediately restart negotiations to keep the A’s in Oakland, and a new deal was being discussed Thursday morning by the 8-member board of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.

Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo, who was initially opposed to the proposed 10-year lease proposal, said city, county and baseball leaders were on the phone hammering out a deal overnight.

“I think this agreement will be fair,” he said. “It might not be perfect, but I think it’ll be good for Oakland and the region in the long run.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:11 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bud selig, giants, relocation, stadium, stadium deals

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Schoenfeld: Mike Trout’s Hall of Fame Timeline

Only if Trout can replicate and not be an old fart at play.

One of the largest debates in Hall of Fame discussion is that of peak vs. longevity. We know neither Trout’s peak numbers, nor his longevity. His body is not one that alludes to an enduring career, and while pessimistic, it’s not far-fetched to think that Trout may already have reached his ceiling. Before we get into hypotheticals, let’s look at where his case stands as of today.

He has produced 24.7 rWAR, and is on pace to end the season with around 30.3 career rWAR. He will be far and away the best player of all time through his age 23 season. Primarily using Jay Jaffe’s JAWS score, which averages a player’s seven-year peak with his career WAR, Trout would lie well below the 57.2 JAWS rating of the average Hall of Fame center fielder. In fact, he would need to increase his JAWS rating nearly 26.9 points in order to be considered even an average Hall player. The Hall of Stats, which combines peak and longevity in terms of WAR and then weights it to a Hall of Fame average of 100, pegs Trout at 54% under the average Hall player in terms of rWAR. Obviously, Trout could not hang up his spikes in October and waltz right into Cooperstown.

However, his case becomes quite interesting when looking at the fact that the weighted average WAR of a Hall of Fame center fielder’s seven-year peak is 44. If he holds pace for the rest of 2014, Trout will have accrued about 70% of the average seven-year peak WAR of a HOF center fielder in only three years. The average career WAR of a Hall of Fame center fielder is 70.4. Trout will have accumulated nearly 45% of the average HOF CF’s career WAR by the time he is 23.

...Now let’s put on our best optimistic hats and say Mike Trout actually improves starting next year. Let’s say he posts four consecutive seasons of 11.0 rWAR. For some historical context, two players in the past 40 years have posted 11+ rWAR, Barry Bonds a few times in the 2000s and Joe Morgan in 1975. Using 2012-2018 as his seven-year peak, he would have a peak rWAR of 73.6, well above the average Hall of Fame CF’s 44. His career rWAR from 2011-2018 that time would be 74.3, just above the average 70.4 career WAR of the Hall of Fame CF. His JAWS rating would be 73.95, an astounding 16.75 points higher than the average HOF CF.

If Trout merely stays steady and produces four more years of 10.0 rWAR, his JAWS rating would still be just under 70, well above-average compared to the average 57.2 rating. If he tumbled one rung down to a consistent 8-win player, his JAWS rating would be 61.95.

Repoz Posted: June 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, sabermetrics

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Purdy: Why Tim Lincecum Is Our Elvis

ko

The Bay Area needs no new summer theme park thrill rides. It still has Tim Lincecum.

The Giants’ pitcher, who has been spectacularly up and down in terms of success over the past few seasons, was at the very peak of his freaky-geeky powers Wednesday at AT&T Park.

His fastball worked. His off-speed stuff worked. His hipster-hurler mojo worked, like, totally. And after nine innings of all that, Lincecum had thrown a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres – his second no-hitter against them in the past two seasons.

And what about all of Lincecum’s games between those two no-hitters? In those 28 starts, Lincecum allowed 164 hits in 173 1/3 innings of pitching – with 11 victories and 10 defeats.

This explains why, every time he takes the mound, Lincecum is an adventure. None of us ever knows exactly what we’re going to get. Although clearly, the man needs to face the Padres more often. And not just because they are statistically the weakest hitting team in the Major Leagues. Lincecum also banged out two hits himself Wednesday against San Diego pitching.

... As it is, he merely joins the short list of 28 pitchers with two or more no-hitters. Oddly, that list includes far more players who are not in the Hall of Fame (Johnny Vander Meer, Don Wilson, Jim Maloney, et al) as those who are. However, if Lincecum ever pitches a third no-hitter, he will join the enormously small club of legends from the modern era who’ve done so – Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan. With Lincecum’s other credentials as a two-time Cy Young winner and two-time World Series champ, a third no-hitter would surely have him sniffing Cooperstown.

So when does he face the Padres again?

Mike Krukow, the former Giants pitcher and current broadcaster, has called Lincecum “a gift to the Bay Area.” Wednesday, he was the gift that kept on giving us his patented package of you-never-know-what-will-happen-next. It’s why people will continue to line up and ride the Lincecum ride. You never want to miss what might be around the next curve.

Repoz Posted: June 25, 2014 at 10:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Basehall Hall of Fame: Babe’s on Film: New research confirms earliest known moving images of Ruth in Yankee uniform

As the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum finishes its preparations for the opening of the new Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend exhibit on June 13, senior curator Tom Shieber has identified what he believes to be the earliest known footage of Ruth in a Yankee uniform.

Shieber, who received the 36-second clip from the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections in December 2013, was recently able to date the footage. He has confirmed the video was filmed just months after Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees in late 1919.

“I’ve seen a lot of Ruth footage, and this is the earliest Ruth footage in a Yankee uniform I’ve ever seen,” Shieber said.

The clip shows Ruth taking batting practice before a Spring Training game in Miami, Fla., in 1920.

“It’s really fun to see his swing because he changed batting stances throughout his career,” Shieber said. “He has a very closed stance, which was rare for that time period.”

bobm Posted: June 19, 2014 at 03:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, hall of fame

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deadspin: I Was Tony Gwynn’s Bat Boy

Drop whatever it is you’re reading now, and go read this instead.

One day, one of the bat boys showed up wearing an earring. Bright gold and massive. The Giants were in town. During batting practice, Will Clark walked by and sneered, “Nice earring, faggot.” The words were stunning, but we knew we had to react like it was no big thing. News must’ve gotten around, though, because before the next game, Tony walked back to the locker room area with Bip Roberts and performed an entire routine for us. They had evidently practiced it during batting practice. They stood lecturing us, using every “how to talk like an older white guy” cliché in the book. “Now listen, son,” Tony started, stopping periodically to catch his breath, as he was laughing too hard. “You’re bringing down the team here, with that earring.” “Very, very unprofessional,” Bip added, haughtily. They walked away, howling with laughter, the point made: Will Clark was a dick.

Before one game, early in the season, I stood out in right field during batting practice, arms folded. Tony walked over. “Want to toss?” he asked. Trembling with nervousness, I said, “Yeah,” and tried to act like this was nothing to me. My first toss went about 30 feet over his head. He laughed and ran after it. Second toss, only 15 feet over his head. He jogged over to me. “How are you holding that ball?” he asked. I showed him my grip. “Well hell, that’s all wrong.” A 10-second lesson, and we were good to go. He fired a rocket to me. I fielded it cleanly and threw it back using my new grip. This time only five feet overhead. He laughed again, harder this time. I got myself under control, and we threw for 10 minutes, just us. At one point I stopped, realizing that some kids were watching. They were watching me. They were watching me playing catch with Tony Gwynn. I could read their thoughts: “That kid is so lucky.” I was. On my way back to the clubhouse, one of the kids, some poor 6-year-old totally overcome by the moment, asked me for my autograph. I signed his program. Tony watched. He laughed the whole time.

Depressoteric Posted: June 18, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of class, hall of fame, obituaries, san diego padres

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Jordan Ellenberg: The Author of How Not to Be Wrong Explains How He Was Wrong

As Horatio Prim once (okay a lot more) said: “Odds bodkins!”

When you write a book called How Not to Be Wrong, you ought to expect to be fact-checked a little. And one of the virtues of the new, data-driven journalism currently in vogue is the habit of going back and checking one’s own old stuff. We’re not supposed to avert our gaze from the howlers in our old columns. We’re supposed to find the mistakes and learn from them.

Overall, my record’s not too bad. Mathematicians over 30 have continued to make major theoretical advances. My criticism of Jonah Lehrer’s scientific sloppiness is looking pretty good. And Stephen Wolfram never did become the world’s most prominent and revolutionary scientist.

But there were some mistakes, too. Here are the three biggest.

Barry Bonds isn’t going to break the home run record. Bonds had 39 home runs in the 88 games making up the first half of the 2001 season, putting him on pace for a record-breaking 72 homers for the year. But I knew the theory of regression to the mean, which reminds us that the league leader in home runs at midseason is likely to have been both good and lucky, and thus isn’t apt to maintain his league-leading pace. Historically, typical league-leaders only hit two-thirds as many home runs in the second half as they did in the first. If that trend held in 2001, Bonds would finish the season with 61 home runs.

In fact, he increased his pace, ending up with 73 home runs and the all-time season record. My reasoning wasn’t bad. It’s just that I’d neglected the possibility that there was another factor besides natural ability and luck that was working in Bonds’ favor.

Thanks to Bill Petti.

Repoz Posted: June 14, 2014 at 04:43 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history, sabermetrics, steroids

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Miracles: John D’Acquisto on Dr. Frank Jobe, UCL surgery & Jefferson Airplane

“Do you have a job,” Dr. Kerlan says, very concerned about your answer.


“Yeah,” you reply earnestly, snapping back for a moment, fighting the inevitability of this conversation’s direction as best you can, “Starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.”


“No, John,” Dr. Jobe interjects, “That’s not what he means.” Dr. Kerlan repeats himself.


“Do you have a job? There’s only a 40% chance you’ll ever throw a baseball again.”


Dr. Jobe and Dr. Kerlan detail the nuances of the surgery. You don’t hear a damn thing for five minutes.


“You may never play baseball again” is the only phrase playing in your mind right now on an endless, somber loop.


All the joy within you dies, and you start to cry.

djordan Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:48 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, john d'acquisto, mlb

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Giants OF Pence offers reward for stolen scooter


San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is offering a reward for his stolen motorized scooter.

Pence is offering a signed bobblehead that shows him riding the scooter. It was stolen from a restaurant parking lot Sunday night after the Giants completed a home sweep of the Minnesota Twins.

C’mon San Francisco, you are better than this.  You would expect this kind of crap if you left something unlocked around Dodger Stadium but I thought you folks were cool.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 27, 2014 at 04:41 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence, not cool, san francisco

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Schulman: Brandon Hicks’ numbers are a mixed bag

Hicks: Walkin’/Sluggin’ One And Only.

In 1970, Bobby Bonds hit .302, walked 77 times and had an OPS-plus of 135, yet people homed in on his league-leading 189 strikeouts. Fed up, he said, “I’ll give you 200 hits. How I make my outs is my business.”

Brandon Hicks smiled at the story. Hicks has hit six home runs with a 122 OPS-plus - a measure that combines on-base and slugging percentages on a scale in which league average is 100 - from the seventh and eighth spots in the order. Yet he gets a lot of questions about his strikeouts, which have been his bane and a big reason behind his inability to stick in the majors.

Hicks tied Thursday night’s game with a seventh-inning homer off Josh Beckett and struck out in his other three at-bats, giving him 33 in 104 plate appearances and a slash line of .193/.311/.443 - that’s batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Afterward, manager Bruce Bochy said he did not care about the worst of those numbers.

“You’ve heard me say I’m not big on batting average,” Bochy said. “I believe like a lot of baseball people believe it’s overrated. It’s on-base and slugging percentage. Sometimes you give up a little to do some damage.”

Repoz Posted: May 10, 2014 at 06:59 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, sabermetrics

Thursday, April 17, 2014

George Brett, Inspiration for the Song “Royals”, Meets Lorde

Last year [the New Zealand pop singer Lorde] told VHI that she saw a photo in National Geographic “of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’ It was just that word. It’s really cool.”

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 17, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, pop music, royals

Hartlaub: For the love of the snot rocket: Why Bumgarner’s Farmer John is good for baseball

Dobbs…get some.

Madison Bumgarner’s grand slam in his last start against the Colorado Rockies was a hell of a statement. But the exclamation point came at the end of his trip around the bases – when the pitcher placed his left index finger on his nose, and emptied the contents of his right nostril near home plate.

As the lefty gets ready to take the mound again tonight, I have a hard time explaining why the Bumgarner snot rocket is pretty much my favorite thing in Bay Area sports right now. In theory, I think it’s disgusting. I would punish one of my children if they did the same thing in front of a single neighbor, much less 43,000 fans. I see the Kleenex stock I’m planning to retire on plummeting like a Tim Hudson sinker ball …

And yet, in a backwards way, I think every time Bumgarner executes a Farmer John, it purifies the game.

...By the time Bumgarner hit the grand slam last Saturday, I knew with 100 percent certainty what was coming at the end. No fist pump. No arms in the air praising God. No secret hand signal to his wife or dad or second grade teacher. Cross the plate. Finger on the nostril. Blow.

I suspect there are people in Bumgarner’s life who have expressed their displeasure with his tradition. His wife, his parents, maybe the Giants organization. It must drive his agent crazy. (I wonder if anyone on the Bumgarner team has tried to turn this into a positive. I’ve got Mucinex on the line! They want to put you on the front of the bottle!)

I hope he never changes. Celebrate your first no-hitter with a double Farmer John before hugging Buster Posey. Fire a snot rocket on ESPN when they announce your retirement. Evacuate the nostrils on the podium at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball is a little more disgusting, and so much better, for your efforts.

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Thursday, April 10, 2014

If Hank Aaron Had Never Hit a Home Run, Would He Be a Hall of Famer? | FiveThirtyEight

This just in…Hank Aaron was no Dave Kingman.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hank aaron, sabermetrics

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