FIRE JOE MORGAN: Gallimaufry, Bitches!

FIRE JOE MORGAN

Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

 

Gallimaufry, Bitches!

Ahhhhh, baseball! The crack of the bat. The sweet smell of dewdrops in spring. The checking of home/away splits. The improper substitution of a LOOGY just because the hitter is lefty even though the hitter has a like total reverse split. The whirring and clicking of massive Cray Supercomputers spitting out PECOTA Predictions. Swarthmore professors using something called "Chernoff Faces" to convert managerial tendencies into graphical/pictorial form. Baseball.

It's back again. And here's what we definitively learned from day one of the 2008 MLB Season: Nothing, dummies. It's a small sample size.

So instead, let's gallimaufry it up.

Several readers sent us to this article, which contains many of my least favorite words:

The Blue Jays felt like they needed an infusion of gritty players, the type who can spell the difference between winning and losing in tight games, and they believe they've added those pieces in third baseman Scott Rolen and free agent shortstop David Eckstein.

Rolen is going to cost them $12m this year, and he's already out for a few weeks with a screw in his finger. He turns 33 in a few days, and has played in 310 games in the last three seasons. But: he's gritty. Boy oh boy, is he gritty.

Eckstein is: Eckstein.

"When they take the field, they're both always on the ground," Gibbons said.

That's how fucking professional these dudes are. They obey the laws of gravity no matter what.

"They give us a toughness that I think we need."

They -- the left side of your infield -- will give you 800 AB combined and 15 homers, if you are lucky. (Did I mention Rolen had 8 HR in 112 games last year?)

Wells, Toronto's star center fielder, likes the idea of having Eckstein drive opposing pitchers batty with his knack for fouling off pitches, making contact and getting on base out of the leadoff spot.

For the ever-growing record, Eck saw an average of 3.64 pitches per AB last year, tying him for 317th on the list of all NLers with, among others, notorious hacker Jacque Jones. N.B. that fucking Roy Oswalt had a 3.76. You want a lead-off guy to see a lot of pitches and drive 'em batty -- go with Roy.

Many hundreds of thousands of you also pointed us to this article about tools.

The proverbial five tools for position players -- hitting for average, hitting for power, defense, arm and speed -- are covered throughout the survey [of MLB scouts], in one way or another.

Only one player really scored high in all of the above: Ichiro.

Really. Hitting for power. Huh.

Ichiro career: 67 HR in 4782 AB.

The panel of scouts rated him tops in all of MLB in the categories of Best Hitter, Best Bat Control, Best Outfielder, Best Arm and Best Baserunner. He also rated second in the categories of Best Bunter, Fastest Runner and Best Basestealer.

He also won Best Personality, Best Dancer, Girls' Choice for Brother, and Cutest Stubble. He is tearing things up at Central High, people! Rumor has it, this saucy little import has grabbed the heart of none other than Clarissa Prettyface -- Cheer Captain and Improbable Virgin -- and he is not letting go! But what will happen when her boyfriend Jock Fisterson finds out?

"You could put Ichiro down for almost everything -- best arm, best outfielder (when he wants to be), best basestealer, best hitter, and he could hit 50 home runs if he wanted to, but he'd rather get his 220 hits and bat .330," said one scout.

You guys don't get it. He's awesome. If Ichiro wanted to, he could play basketball and probably be like the best ever. So I voted for him for 2-guard in the NBA All-Star Game this year. He could fucking fly if he wanted to. That's why I put him down for "Best Bird Imitator." If Ichiro felt like it, he could totally discover important things about gamma ray bursts, which is why I voted for him for the Cal Tech Fellowship in High-Energy Astrophysics.

[Extreme side note. While poking around the internet looking at gamma ray burst articles and black hole articles and things -- part of my mandatory mom's basement/nerd study program -- I came across this article, which discusses the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

HEAD-AAS.

Why would you acronym yourselves to make HEAD-AAS?" What bunch of ass-faces.]

Diversion over. Let's take some mail, shall we? Edward writes:

In case you missed it, here's how David "I'm scrappy and pesky, and I should have gotten a 3-year deal for it" Eckstein's evening went:
It must be said that he fielded his position flawlessly. But he did not remotely do his job as the lead-off hitter. 0-for-4, averages 2.5 pitches per at-bat, doesn't get the ball out of the infield.

Fun with small sample sizes. A lot of fun.

Adam writes:

The other day Steve Phillips said (this is a rough quote, the number is what is important): "The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox could both score 1,000 runs this season."

The sheer stupidity of the statement is incredible. Now obviously anybody could score 1,000 runs in a season. Since 1900, however, only 7 teams have scored 1,000 runs in a season, with the modern-day record being 1,067 by the 1931 Yankees. Teams that have scored 1,000 runs in a season:

New York Yankees - 1,062 (1930), 1,067 (1931), 1,002 (1932), 1,065 (1936)
St. Louis Cardinals - 1,004 (1930)
Boston Red Sox - 1,027 (1950)
Cleveland Indians - 1,009 (1999)
PECOTA has the Sox at 838 runs this season and the Tigers at 849. I'm going to say neither hits 1000 (though that does seem low for the Tigers). This probably goes in the category of Crazy Things ESPN Analysts Say to Pique People's Interest in Early April, like when Krukie said RJ would win 30 games.

Michael writes in about this article from the way-back machine:
This is old, and I don't know what you can do with this, but my God out of nowhere Time Magazine talks about: Matsui's love of porn, how he trades it with the Japanese media and what a horny guy he is. How did this not instantly become something everyone heard?
Here's the relevant snippet:
Indeed, his only eccentricity, if it can be called that, is his extensive private library of adult videos. His refreshing ability to laugh self-deprecatingly about his porno collection, reporters say, is one reason why fans and even nonfans have taken to him so much. Says former reporter Isao Hirooka: "Hideki just wants to be like ordinary people."
Ordinary people do love porn. He might have us on this one, guys.

We have just scratched the surface here, but I'm afraid I will have to stop for now. I'm attending a meeting of HEAD-AAS later, and I want to make sure I'm sharp.

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posted by Unknown  # 9:12 AM
Comments:
I saw the Improbable Virgins open for Husker Du at La Luna in Portland (OR) back in '94.

Pretty great show all in all, although they mostly played stuff from The Mostly Nowhere EP. Also closed with a cover of "Psycho Killer" which was downrighht enjoyable.

(Sorry.)
 
Some of you have e-mailed to point out that the 'Du had long since broken up by 1994.

Must've been Grant Hart solo or something.
 
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