Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 Ex Cub Factor

The playoffs begin today. Since my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, tanked and haven't been competitive in years, all I can do is watch and fight my jealous feelings.

We're not really into gambling over here, but anticipating the future and guessing what we can expect is fun. When handicapping the postseason, there are a few things to consider: strength of lineup, rotation, bullpen, health, bench, and on and on.

For accuracy, there's only one way to get the process started, and that's by calculating the ex-Cub factor.

The Farns was better at
fighting than pitching.
At times, late at night, with sleepy, half-damp eyes, Cubs fans lie awake at night and wonder, where their team's gone wrong. We remember the days of Corey Patterson swinging at the first pitch, although it was invariably over his shoulders. With haunted hearts, we stare at the ceiling, hoping to sleep without remembering any of the 75 back-breaking home runs Kyle Farnsworth gave up in a Cubs uniform.

This restless existence follows us, from the tribulations of prized import, Latroy Hawkins, through the history lessons of June swoons, September collapses, black cats, and competitively pointless Summers.

Last season, the San Francisco Giants overcame the presence of Mike Fontenot on the roster and Mark DeRosa in the dugout to win their first World Series championship since moving to California.

As usual, the 2011 postseason is peppered with lovable losers.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Landing Spots for Juan Carlos Oviedo

When Leo Nuñez was placed on the Restricted List for a personal reason late last week, people expected it was a family emergency or visa problem. In actuality, he was involving himself in the process of reassuming his own identity, after posing as a childhood friend to be a younger, and therefore more appealing baseball prospect. The best insight on the story is from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Leo Nuñez's real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Player of the Fortnight

We haven't handed out any hardware since August 1st, when Justin Upton, Clayton Kershaw, Hideki Matsui, and Justin Verlander won Player of the Fortnight for their on-field contributions at the end of July. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, who is playing at the top of their games?

Monday, September 19, 2011

AL Wild Card Race

Red Sox fans in New York, presumably everywhere, are freaking out over the team's recent play and sheepish 2.0 game lead over the amazing Tampa Bay Rays entering play today.

Worries over a sweep at the hands of the Orioles today rumbled through Midtown offices.

Taking a quick look at the games remaining: (h/t Ben Badler)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Power Without Strikeouts

Often times, when discussing baseball or evaluating the performance of players, we talk about rate stats and insightful ratios. For example, scribes and announcers will quickly mention a pitcher's strikeout-to-walk ratio or a hitter's propensity for home runs per plate appearance.

Math is a tricky subject matter for discussion. Interpretation takes a back seat to right and wrong in mathematics. Numbers can be boring, but they can also enlighten. New statistics can expand our minds, lending a fresh appreciation to the subject we're studying. We have no grandiose delusions of being the next Voros McCracken or Tom Tango, but we do like to mess around with math and stats in search of minute, modern discoveries.

Tonight, we're going to try and look at rates stats that we haven't really heard much about. There's a chance this is a big waste of time that won't tell us much. Perhaps, there are other stats that tell us enough of what we want to know.

We'll never know if we don't try.

Monday, September 5, 2011

2011 All Twitter Team

It's doubtful, but it might be fun to keep tabs of the best team of players on Twitter.

Below is our squad:

Obsessed with Yu

For Cubs fans, the 2012 Hot Stove season began about two years ago. It's actually been a bit more of the 2009-2012 hot stove season for the starving franchise. Many of us have been fixated on Japanese standout Yu Darvish for over a year and a half.