Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Freaky Must-Read

A really BIG thank you goes out to "Giants Win" - one of our favorite blogs - for the heads-up on this little tidbit. Trust me, its a great way to start your weekend.

A few of my favorite lines :

“'I mean, it’s supposed to be fun, right?'”

"Lincecum gave me a tour of his place, a version of the man cave: the dude aerie."

“'Was Bob Gibson cool?' he asked innocently. 'Or was he just a...' — and here Lincecum used a colloquialism that’s synonymous with a part of the male anatomy that is unprintable in this magazine."

“'Boom!' Lincecum said, watching Renteria’s bat meet the ball. 'That was so awesome, so awesome.'"

“'Sorry, Nolan...'”

p.s. Anybody impressed by the punctuation? Besides me, I mean?


Zo said...

Speaking as a Bob Gibson worshiper for many years, he was cool. A real ferocious dick on the field, but a cool person. He had to face a lot of prejudice, would not hesitate to back someone forcefully off the plate, but was so good that he changed the game. Not many people can make that statement. In 1968 he threw 28 complete games in 34 starts (304 innings) and achieved a 1.12 era. In response, they lowered the mound.

Zo said...

And here is how NOT to start your weekend - reading Bruce Jenkins. After rambling about this and that, he launches into a tirade about statistics, trotting out the tired, tired line about living in one's mother's basement. Really Bruce, do you STILL think this is clever?

Listen people, statistics are just ways of counting things, batting average, W-L records, WORP, they all have some meaning, none are useless, but they are all just counts and comparative measures. There is no conspiracy to "replace" baseball games with "new" statistics. What baseball people (I mean the people who make decisions about baseball teams) try to do is determine worth, and I have no doubt that they look at both "old" and "new" statistics, much to Mr. Jenkins' chagrin. If you want, you can argue whether batting average is better or worse than some other metric, but that is all both of them are, a metric. It is like arguing whether days should be expressed as a number of hours or a number of minutes. It depends on what your aim is. And, forget it. Sorry, if I could better ignore irrational nonsense, I would undoubtedly have an easier time with the evening news.

M.C. O'Connor said...

It's called LEARNING. Funny how some folks don't want to discover new things. The resistance to "the new stats" has always been hard for me to fathom. Why would ANY baseball fan fight so hard NOT to learn new things? The "new stats" aren't by any stretch perfect, but they've certainly given us new ways to think about the greatest game on earth. What could be possibly be wrong with that? I love baseball even more every year because it teaches me so many new things.

But that's not the point. The point is that Bruce Jenkins is like a gory wreck on the highway. You don't want to look, but you can't help it. That's why I avoid the print edition of the Chronicle. The web-paper is way better. It is easier, I think, to skip the stories you don't want to read. "Pay no attention" is my best advice.

Run scoring in 1963 dropped from the previous year by half a run, from 4.46 rpg to 3.95. It held steady at about 4.00 rpg until it dropped to 3.77 in 1967 and then to 3.42 in 1968 (lowest since 1908--it had not been below 4.00 since 1943). It jumped back to 4.07 in 1969 but was back down to 3.69 as late as 1972. (This place is a lot of fun.)

The story in the NY Times was fun. The picture of Tim with the cheesy 'stache is priceless.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Baseball Musings linked this post.

Brother Bob said...

I think the great philosophical conflict between stats haters and stats lovers comes down to storytelling. The best sports writers are good story tellers and the ability to describe a game's key moments with both accuracy and art is an admirable thing.
Many people can appreciate baseball with only a cursory awareness of stats, eg. "Who's got the most homers?" For any deeper appreciation a closer look at stats is unavoidable. But you can choose how deeply you want to dive into this very deep pond.
I think it's obvious I'm not a stats guy. But I don't hate them. If you want to share with me the fact that Sandoval's ZORP went up 3 points, I'll say "that's nice" and get on with my life.