Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aug 31 MLB Predictions

It's late in the season, and it's a shame that it looks and feels like a good number of teams really have no chance at the postseason.  According to coolstandings, Eighteen teams have less than a 5% chance at the postseason, and the Rockies have only a 6.6% chance.

Boston is 7 games back of New York and Tampa Bay.  They need to go on a winning streak, but it looks like this season is just not going their way.  The Red Sox would compete in other divisions; they have an identical record with Texas, and the Rangers are running away with the West.

The White Sox are 4 games behind the Twins.  It'll be interesting to see if Manny can hit over .500 the next few weeks.  He's still a strong and gifted hitter.  I'm not sure of the AL Central finish, wouldn't be surprised to see it go either way, but I'm siding with Gardy.

In the National League, the Braves lead the Phillies in the East by 3 games, the Reds lead the Cardinals by 6 (!), and the Padres are 5 games ahead of the Giants, 7 games ahead of the Rockies, and 9 games ahead of the sinking Dodgers.  The Phillies are two games ahead of the Cardinals and Giants in the loss column, for the Wild Card.  The NL Wild Card race may be the most exciting of them all.

Before we get to the predictions, have you guys seen the Discover Card commercial with Peggy the customer service agent?  It's pretty funny.  Here is a write up from Lewis Lazara.


I liked the ad so much that I just asked to become facebook friends with the actor who played Peggy in the commercial, Tudor Petrut.

On to the predictions:

NL MVP: Joey Votto
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
NL Rookie: Buster Posey
NL Manager: Charlie Manuel

NLDS
Reds over Braves
Phillies over Padres

NLCS
Reds over Phillies


AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia
AL Rookie: Austin Jackson
AL Manager: Ron Gardenhire

ALDS
Yankees over Twins
Rangers over Rays

ALCS
Yankees over Rangers

World Series
Yankees over Reds

Happy Aroldis Chapman Day

Since this past weekend, I started a post that is currently approaching 8,000 words.  I'm not quite sure what to do about it because it takes a rare breed to want to read that much about what I was thinking on Friday night.

In the meantime, per friendly reader Osh's request, let's take a moment to look forward to the Major League debut of Aroldis Chapman.

As most of you probably know by now, the Reds are calling him up today so that he is eligible for their postseason roster.  You probably also know that he was clocked at 105 MPH on Friday night.  I think that's the new record, if whomever keeps those records would verify it.

What can we expect out of Chapman?  Well, I hope all of you are running, not walking, to your roto team's free agent wire.  Pick up Chapman.  He will be pitching in relief, while he's eligible as an SP.  So, you get a free reliever.  He will help in ERA, WHIP, and K's, while potentially vulturing some wins or saves.

If you remember, Chapman had a very good Spring Training but didn't make the big club for Opening Day.  They decided to place Mike Leake in the major league starting rotation, and Reds fans can't really complain about anything this year - except maybe trading for Jim Edmonds.

Once in Triple-A, Chapman showed fantastic stuff but struggled a little bit as a starter.  He was moved to the bullpen about nine weeks ago, and the results have been fantastic.

Keep in mind there is a bit of a small sample size warning, while we look at the stats:

Fielding Independent Pitching
as Starter: 4.01
as Reliever: 1.92

Batting Average Against
as Starter: .244
as Reliever: .159

Walks + Hits / IP

as Starter: 1.46
as Reliever: 0.96

Homeruns per 9 IP
as Starter: 0.79
as Reliever: 0.30

Groundball %
as Starter: 39%
as Reliever: 52%

Infield Flyball %
as Starter: 16%
as Reliever: 26%

Small sample size, or not, Aroldis Chapman has been outstanding as a reliever in triple-A.  According to Minor League Splits, his Major League Equivalent stats for his time as a reliever equate as follows:

2.95 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, and 11.4 K/9

Optimists expect an impact similar to what David Price gave the Rays when they went to the World Series.  I'm in that camp, and I'm also getting very bullish on the Reds.  We may have an updated predictions post because I'm beginning to think we'll have a Reds/Yankees World Series.  Crazy.

If you're still battling in fantasy baseball, go get Chapman.  Once you're on the waiver wire, also look for a couple other young arms that can help: Jeremy Hellickson, who is also coming to pitch relief for the Rays, and Yunesky Maya, who will be taking over a rotation spot for the Washington Nationals.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Fantasy Football Post

It is understandable, since fantasy football is more popular that fantasy baseball, most readers of this space have fantasy drafts coming up soon.

For what it's worth, here are a few players we feel are currently being drafted too late, therefore providing excellent value on draft day.

Quarterbacks

Joe Flacco
Flacco should lead QB Tier 2

Vince Young
Vince in his prime? Okay!

Alex Smith
A few years later than expected,
the 49ers got their act together, and
Smith is well equipped at the helm.

Running Backs

Donald Brown
Pass on Joseph Addai

Beanie Wells
Take it from someone who had
Tim Hightower on his team
the last two years, Beanie
is gonna get the rock.

Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones had 1,400 yards last
season, and has a lot left
from underuse early in his career.

Wide Receiver

Dwayne Bowe
We think DBowe's ready
to be a bonafide #1

T.J. Houshmandzedeh
TJ Housh was hurt the first 6 weeks
last year, and he still got 900+ yards.

Jacoby Jones
Team Spirit isn't all Jacoby
Jones has going for him.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Player of the Fortnight vol. 3

It’s been a few weeks since we handed out any hardware, so we’re excited to present our third edition of Players of the Fortnight. (All stats courtesy of the inestimably valuable Fangraphs.)

AL Hitter of the Fortnight
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

The award for this past fortnight goes to the player we think is leading the four horse race for AL MVP. Are there any other players in the conversation besides MiggyCab, Josh Hamilton, Robinson Cano, and Joe Mauer? Cabrera’s fortnight stands out because of his 5 HR’s, .479 wOBA, 14.0 wRC, 2.4 BB/K, and a triple slash line of .364/.500/.750.

Honorable mention goes to Josh Hamilton (6 HR’s), Hideki Matsui (.590 OBP and .879 SLG!), Paul Konerko (14.1 wRC), and Alberto Callaspo (.500 OBP)

AL Pitcher of the Fortnight
C.J. Wilson, Rangers

Short-term pitching awards like these can often be overly affected by timing. Clay Buchholz had a great couple of starts the past couple of weeks, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. In 13 innings pitched, Buchholz gave up 10 hits, 5 walks, with 10 strikeouts.

Wilson, known to his Twitter followers as Str8edgeracer, was fortunate to capitalize on his three most recent starts. He went 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA, 22.3 innings, 14 hits, 4 walks, and 26 strikeouts. Looking at the advanced stats, we see that Wilson led the league with a 1.31 FIP and 2.23 xFIP (Buchholz 2.72 and 3.46, respectively). Others receiving consideration include Matt Garza, King Felix, Max Sherzer, Zack Greinke, and C.C. Sabathia.

NL Hitter of the Fortnight
Omar Infante, Braves


We don’t know what Chipper Jones may have done with these at bats, but the Braves are certainly fond of their All Star sub now that Chipper is out for the year and perhaps forever. Omar Infante is not known for his power, but he muscled 4 HR’s this past fortnight, with a triple slash line of .429/.458/.732.

Our hitting awards traditionally go to players who walk more than 5% of the time, but Infante led both leagues with a 16.2 wRC. Plus, his timing to step up when the Braves needed him most is not going overlooked.

Overall, there were better hitting performances in the American League the past two weeks, but other NL'ers receiving votes include Albert Pujols (league leading OBP, SLG, wOBA, and tied for HR’s) and Hunter Pence (Tied Albert with 5 HR’s and 3rd in NL with 13.5 wRC).

NL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Mat Latos, Padres

This was the toughest award to give out. When comparing NL pitchers the past two weeks, there is a conflict between traditional stats and advanced metrics. For example, let’s look at Jon Garland and Ted Lilly. Garland went 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA, but he was very lucky with a .232 BABIP, a 1.2 K/BB ratio, and even luckier with a 97.4% strand rate. His xFIP is 9th worst among qualifiers at 4.86. Needless to say, he’s disqualified from our award. Ted Lilly also went 3-0, with a 1.71 ERA, but his 2.96 FIP and xFIP of 3.76 are not good enough.

Mat Latos went only 1-0 in two starts, with a 2.08 ERA, but he wins our award by leading the National League with a 1.41 FIP, 1.88 xFIP, 13.15 K/9, 0.69 BB/9, and of course a 19.0 K/BB ratio.

We’re getting into the homestretch of pennant races and yearly, personal awards. Hopefully, there will be more days like yesterday with remarkable performances by Willie Bloomquist, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Heyward, Felix Hernandez, not to mention the Rockies comeback and Giants failed comeback. Tonight, we’re looking forward to seeing Jordan Zimmermann making his post Tommy John debut in St. Louis, Frankie Liriano v Cliff Lee, and the Tigers/Blue Jays matchup of Sherzer v Romero. Enjoy the action.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Now This is a DUI Photo

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the news again for drinking and driving almost three and a half years after Tony LaRussa embarrassed himself and his family by falling asleep at a red light after dining on a vegetarian dinner of salad, baked potato, and "several glasses of wine" at a Florida steakhouse.

This time it's one of their broadcasters.  Thank goodness, no-one was hurt, and it's a great picture.  How drunk is this guy?


Don't Drink and Drive

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hall of Fame's Best Outsiders

Below is our image of the best team composed of players who have been eligible for at least one Hall of Fame vote. In other words, guys who retired after 2005, like Kevin Brown and Rafael Palmeiro, are not yet eligible for this team.

"Hi, I'm Bobby Grich"
We'll most likely elaborate on the construction of this pseudo roster one day. In the meantime, here are the bare bones to hopefully spark some thought and keep our minds limber.

1st occasional non-Hall of Famers
C: Joe Torre
1b: Dick Allen
2b: Bobby Grich
SS: Bill Dahlen
3b: Ron Santo
LF: Tim Raines
The Blyleven of Hitters
CF: Reggie Smith
RF: Dwight Evans

SP: Bert Blyleven
SP: Tony Mullane
SP: Jim McCormick
SP: Bob Caruthers
SP: Luis Tiant

RP: David Cone
RP: Tommy Bond
RP: Dwight Gooden
RP: Brett Saberhagen
Quis is our underused Closer
RP: Dan Quisenberry

R-PH: Edgar Martinez
L-PH: Will Clark
Bench: Roberto Alomar
Bench: Lou Whitaker
Bench: Barry Larkin
Bench: Keith Hernandez
Bench: Fleet Walker

Manager: Buck O'Neil

*We call it the 'first occasional...' because it should change occasionally and slightly. There are very few first-ballot entries, so we expect better players in the future to become eligible and get slighted by the voters. Also, some of these guys like Alomar, Larkin, and (hopefully) Blyleven and Raines should get in.

Please keep in mind that Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox are not eligible. Also, Mark McGwire is not welcome in our clubhouse because we don't like him, and we actually enjoy talking about the past.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Party Like it's 1995

Because I have an unhealthy fascination with the game of baseball and its history, I dvr’d and watch a program on MLB Network called “Baseball Seasons”. The show dedicates an hour to examining one season from the past.

The reason I chose to watch this episode was because it was about 1995, which is the season after the strike. I thought there would be some interesting developments on how the game bounced back after the strike, with more homeruns, realignment, the wildcard, Braves pitching, the resurgence of the Yankees, the story of the Expos, PED’s, Cal Ripken, and everything in between. Before we get into that, I wanted to share a brief moment in the show that provided some sophomoric, politically incorrect humor.

Tommy Lasorda: “I want you to learn how to say this. Say… I…”
Hideo Nomo: “I”
TL: “Bleed”
HN: “Bleed”
TL: “Dodger”
HN: “Dodger”
TL: “Blue”
HN: “Brue”

It’s probably funnier when you can hear it, and I’m sorry it is offensive, but sometimes life is too short not to laugh at funny accents. If it’s good enough to add comic relief in the best screenplay of all time, then it’s good enough for us.

From Robert Towne’s Chinatown:

"Mulwray's Gardener: [in heavy Japanese accent, referring to the grass] Bad for glass.
Jake Gittes: Yeah, sure. Bad for the glass."

That's a good one, Mr. Towne.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Derrek Lee's Replacement

Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan mentions in his piece from yesterday’s paper that most people believe Derrek Lee will be playing elsewhere in 2011.

Sullivan cites “his age, his numbers and the fact the Cubs need a left-handed power hitter and first base is the logical position for such a player.

When we last checked Kornheiser's crystal ball on May 25th, we saw the names of Adam Dunn, Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Pena, Jorge Cantu, Paul Konerko, and homegrown minor leaguer, Josh Vitters.

If Sullivan is right, and the Cubs will look only at lefties, that eliminates Cantu, Konerko, and Vitters – who should be eliminated anyway for struggling mightily in double-A this year.

Who are the real possibilities?

Adrian Gonzalez is a trade target, but with the Padres having a great season, they will likely look to surround him with more talent next year, as opposed to moving him. The Cubs don’t have the prospects to get him and still give San Diego a chance to compete in 2011. The Red Sox, Rangers, and a few other teams might be able to make something happen, but most likely not the Cubs.

Looking at the 2011 free agent list from mlbtraderumors shows the only available lefty or switch first basemen who I think Cubs management would be comfortable replacing Derrek Lee are Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, and maybe Lance Berkman.

As a Cubs’ fan, I think it would be inspiring to see them sign Victor Martinez.  Who else is out there?  Please don't say Hank Blalock or Russell Branyan.  (Please.)  Are there other trade possibilities?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th

On today's worldwide holiday of superstitions, we wanted to celebrate the odd rituals of some of baseball's quirkiest players. There was an old Larry Stone article that had some tidbits about Larry Walker's compulsion with the number 3 and some other guy who always had to touch someone back, if they touched him. After a quick search through the interweb, I found the 2005 article in The Seattle Times, which we are pleased to share today.

We'll recap his article backwards because the stories he opens with are outstanding, and we usually save the best for last.  Stone basically is presenting his Mount Rushmore of superstitious ballplayers, including three recent players:

Larry Walker


The outfielder is obsessed with the number "3." He sets his alarm for 33 minutes past the hour, takes practice swings in multiples of three, wears No. 33, was married on Nov. 3 at 3:33 p.m., and bought tickets for 33 disadvantaged kids when he played in Montreal, to be seated in Section 333 at Olympic Stadium.


Wade Boggs


The recent Hall of Famer always ended his pregame infield practice by stepping, in order, on the third-, second- and first-base bags, stepping on the baseline, taking two steps in the coach's box and trotting to the dugout in exactly four steps.


Turk Wendell


The relief pitcher chewed four pieces of black licorice when he pitched, spit them out after each inning and brushed his teeth in the dugout, and leaped (not stepped) over the baseline (described as a "kangaroo hop").
The article didn't mention that Wade Boggs also ate fried chicken before every single game of his career, but we believe that is true and kind of gross.

We have no information as to how many beers Boggs can drink on a 4-hour flight.  The fourth member of this rushmore is a lesser known outfielder named Kevin Rhomberg:

Just ask Dan Rohn, the Mariners' Class AAA manager in Tacoma, about Rhomberg, whose signature superstition (or compulsion, to be technical), foremost among a long and varied list, was the need to touch back someone who had just touched him.
Check that — not need, but requirement. If a person somehow eluded his return touch, Rhomberg would send a letter that said, "This constitutes a touch."
Cleveland teammates, including Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, called him, "Touch Me, Touch Me," and, having ballplayers' playfully sadistic sensibilities, loved nothing more than to touch him and then run off, sending Rhomberg into a near panic.
Rick Sutcliffe once reached under a bathroom stall to touch Rhomberg on the toe. Not knowing whom the culprit was, Rhomberg went around the clubhouse and touched each player. Brook Jacoby once told of tagging Rhomberg with a ball in the minors, then throwing it out of the stadium. Jacoby said that Rhomberg spent two hours looking for the ball before finding it. An umpire once halted play during a game in New York to tell Yankees players to stop touching Rhomberg.
Rohn and Rhomberg were teammates in Venezuela for winter ball, and Rohn touched him one night, then ran off to the clubhouse to hide after his last at-bat.
"He looked for me for two hours," Rohn recalled. "I was hiding under desks, in the shower, the bathroom. He couldn't find me."
Rohn eventually returned to his hotel, thinking he had outfoxed Rhomberg. But at 3 in the morning, there was a knock at his door. A sleepy Rohn stumbled out of bed to open it.
"It was Rhomberg. He touched me and ran away," Rohn said.

Who doesn't love this game?

Happy Anniversary Tigers Fans

We're a little late in the day, but 23 years ago, on August 12, 1987, the Tigers traded a prospect named John Smoltz to the Braves for 36-year old Doyle Alexander.

John Smoltz, of course, went on to a legendary career. He's a certain Hall of Famer with 213 Wins, 154 Saves, over 3,000 strikeouts, and a lifetime 125 ERA+, 3.33 ERA and 3.30 xFIP. Most impressively, in the postseason he was 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA.

We still congratulate Detroit fans because Doyle Alexander went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 11 starts, and the Tigers won all 11 games, on their way to winning the AL East title.

In the 1987 ALCS versus the Twins, Alexander probably should not have been sent out there for the 8th inning of Game 1, which the Tigers lost. He was then blown out in the 2nd inning of the deciding Game 5.

I'm part of the school that celebrates division championships.

So, Congratulations Sparky Anderson, Tom Monaghan, Jim Campbell, Bill Lajoie, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, Bill Madlock, Darrell Evans, Jack Morris, Frank Tanana, the rest of the gang, and of course, Doyle Alexander.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2010 MLB Power Poll vol. 2

I spoke with my Dad yesterday, and he said he read one of my posts and liked it. It was the one with the John Candy reference and picture. He liked that one and has been meaning to check the blog again. That was our one and only power poll this season. So, I figured: it’s been six weeks; this is a good time to see how the balance of power has shifted in our perception of Major League Baseball.

It’s interesting that standings have little to do with the order of the power poll when talking about non contenders. If you’re going to finish a dozen games out of the playoffs, you may be worse off than a team who’s more advanced in their rebuilding process but finished 35 games out.

As usual, we are counting down the power rankings from worst to first. (Their place in our rankings on June 25th in parenthesis.*)

*Before checking, I think the biggest jump has to be the Rangers.

Disaster
30. Cubs (23)
Our beloved Cubbies have had a miserable season. For some reason, I still have faith in Jim Hendry despite his recent track record. It’s been two terrible offseasons in a row, after a couple of offseasons that looked good but backfired.  Maybe I still like Hendry because I remember all the great things Steve Stone, Andy McPhail, and others said about him when he was appointed General Manager.

Let me stop right here because I don’t want to get too upset, and as Osh wrote: “Less Cubs.”

Is it Football Season Yet?
29. Indians (30)
28. Diamondbacks (27)

The Suns, supposedly, got a bunch of shooters to get Steve Nash some more assists and stay competitive. Cleveland doesn't want to talk about the NBA. Cleveland doesn't even have hockey. Sadly, these two cities have to root for the Browns and football Cardinals. Losing Warner and Bolding and having a crappy D'backs club likely means Arizonians are going to spend more time playing golf and less time watching the local sports teams the next couple years.

Looking at 2014
27. Royals (28)
26. Astros (29)
25. Orioles (25)

One of the best things about baseball - the hot stove and spring training in particular - is that even a target date of possibly making the postseason three or four years from now can spring hope among the fanbases.  The Royals got some valuable youth and salary relief at the trade deadline.   Fans in Houston are said to be buzzing about this new look club more than any time since they won the pennant in ’05.  In Baltimore, the Buck Showalter Era has taken off as the Orioles basically refuse to lose.  The return of a healthy Brian Roberts helps, too.

2013 Could be the Year
24. Blue Jays (17)
The Blue Jays dropped a lot in the rankings, but they have a chance to get “lucky” in the AL East because of their outstanding young pitching. It doesn’t sound like fun to think your team may be three years away from competing. Unfortunately, because of the way the Yankees are constructed and how Boston has so much money coming off the books this year, it looks like those two teams will own the division through at least 2012.

A Couple of Years Away
23. Pirates (26)
22. Mariners (24)
21. Nationals (19)

While the Mariners are losing power in our rankings, the faith we have in Jack Z’s process & King Felix’s presence keeps them within relative striking distance of a pennant. In the other two baseball towns, it should be an exciting time to be a fan.  Pittsburgh and out nation's capital have rich baseball history, but no recent success for the fans to cherish.  The future looks bright as their teams are young and talented. The reason we feel 2012 is a more reasonable target than next season is that they still have some pretty substantial questions marks. The Pirates are stronger in hitting and weaker in pitching than the Nationals, but both teams still need help with both. The Mariners really need to hit better.

Wait ‘till Next Year
20. Brewers (22)
19. Mets (12)
18. Angels (15)
17. Dodgers (13)
16. Marlins (18)
15. Athletics (20)
14. Tigers (6)

This is the tight knit group of heartbreakers. At least, for their fans' sakes, they have a chance next season. The Brewers likely have only one more year with Prince Fielder. They resisted the temptation to buy or sell this summer because, we think, they are comfortable with what they have going into 2011. Sometimes, you gotta know how to hold ‘em.

Speaking of four aces, the A’s are a lot like the Blue Jays in that we love their young starters. We seem to be wrong about the Tigers this season, but that shows how volatile the standings within that middle class of the 6th and 20th best teams.

Why Not Us?
13. Reds (11)
12. Rockies (16)
11. White Sox (21)
10. Twins (9)
9. Giants (8)
8. Padres (14)

Other than the Rockies, each team in this group has at least a 44.4% chance of making the postseason, according to coolstandings. The reason we have the Rockies here is because of their recent history as 2nd half miracle workers.

In it to Win It
7. Braves (7)
Losing Chipper to an ACL tear should drop them to the ‘Why Not Us?’ group, but we’re suckers for the Hollywood Ending in Bobby Cox’s swan song.

6. Cardinals (4)
I may not like it, and Brandon Phillips definitely doesn’t like it, but Wainright, Carpenter, Pujols, and the gang should be good enough to beat the Reds.

5. Red Sox (3)
It’s an off year for Boston, but we still can’t drop them further than 5th. It must be nice to be a Red Sox fan.

Book Drops March 22, 2011
4. Rays (2)
We are interested to see if the Rays can cut their payroll next year, lose Carl Crawford, and still compete in the AL East. My expectation, right now, is that they will be leapfrogged by the Red Sox and possibly the Blue Jays. Reading Jonah Keri’s “The Extra 2%”, after its release next spring, should make 2011 a fascinating season for the Tampa Bay Rays.

3. Rangers (10)
Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels have done a tremendous job of developing young pitching, allowing Ron Washington to mix in a dynamic lineup that is strong defensively. It’s cherry picking, sure, but the Rangers are 2nd in the AL in UZR/150, behind only the Rays.*

*Can’t wait for Jonah’s book!

2. Phillies (5)
Injuries have kept this team down, but adding Roy Oswalt to the staff should not be overlooked.  We see a distinct possibility of the Phillies, once again, coming out of the National League with the pennant.

1. Yankees (1)
"Hey, we do this all the time!"
We’re sensing a theme here. The Yankees are loaded. If they don’t win the World Series, I feel this season could be a perfect example of how the postseason is a crapshoot. The Yankees have better part-time contributors than most other franchises have batting 6th or 7th in their lineup every night.

We were wrong about which team improved their most position in the rankings the most. It wasn’t the Rangers, who moved up 7 places. The Chicago White Sox moved up ten spots, from 21st to 11th. Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen are really good at their jobs. Aren’t they?

It’s kind of funny. It appears to us that they stay focused on winning better than other manager/GM teams. Isn’t that just a load of crap to spew out there, though? “They stay focused on winning better”, “they work harder!”, “they’re smarter”, how would we have any basis for making any of these claims? Persons with intimate access to every team’s front office throughout long careers, like MLB Network’s Peter Gammons and the worldwide leader’s Buster Olney, probably shouldn’t even make statements like that. And yet, other writers do it all the time.

We try very hard to limit the actual garbage we put into print.  Most of the time, we try to have some research done behind any real statement of consequence.  Sometimes, we react more on an emotional level to shout "he stinks!" or "did you see that?! that was incredible!", but we’ve never claimed to be competent writers over here.

We know a little bit about the game of baseball and have a solid respect for grammar and vocabulary. Other than that, we’d just be folks sitting in Wrigley Field, admiring the ivy, sunshine, surroundings, peanuts, stale draft beer, and sometimes the kosher hotdogs with the grilled onions from behind homeplate upstairs.

This park will host a World Series
(nonsense alert) Some people swear by the pork chop sandwich, but there’s nothing in it but a fried pork chop and a bun. I guess if you like pork chops and you love Chick Fil-A sandwiches, you’ll probably like it.

Okay, let’s digress. It’s difficult to stay focused when you’re writing a power poll and your favorite team is at the bottom. Although I stopped myself from writing everything out between numbers 30 and 29 in the pole, I’m still very upset. The Cubs really need some angels in the outfield, or something.

Jeeze, I have to digress again. Thanks for stopping by. Sigh.