Yeah, Roy Oswalt. Sorry. (Not.)
Author Archives: Crane
Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 18
Luke Schenn, Maple Leafs first-round pick in the 2008 draft. I couldn’t resist a little bit of homerism, but honestly, I don’t think you’ll mind. More after the jump.
I have to do this eventually, I might as well do it now.
It was supposed to be the Yankees.
I’m going to miss you, you know. I’m going to miss that little sliver of hope that the rest of the team would play as well as they’d need to in order to deserve you, and I’m going to miss having someone to believe in every fifth day (or really, every day), and I’m going to miss everything about the way you affected the team and the city and the fans. Hell, I’m not just ‘going to’, I already do.
I’m not saying the Jays have nothing to play for anymore – just that it’s going to feel that way for a while.
So I’ll see you around, I guess.
I don’t know when I’ll be ready to say goodbye.
Advent Calendar of Hotness – Day 2
Me? Hilariously predictable? Well, I never.
He’s one of exactly one people who can be hot while wearing those extra sleeve-under-the-sleeve things.
Ladies… Hero: Brendan Burke
This article is a long one.
It’s a long one, and it’s an important one, and it’s the only article from a major media outlet that has ever made me cry.
By coming out, Brendan Burke is standing up and showing the entire LGBTQA sports community a level of courage that very few other athletes have ever shown. And by accepting him and supporting him and loving him, his father is sending the message that there’s nothing to be afraid of with gay athletes. That having a gay man in the clubhouse is no worse than having a black man there or a Jewish man there, which is to say, there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
And you know, maybe as a queer girl and as a Maple Leafs fan, I’m biased. But unlike homophobia, my bias won’t hurt anybody.
So congratulations to Brendan Burke, my hero of the year.
Yes, Again: The (Last-Minute) Case For Tim Lincecum
There is a statistically-inclined rant after the jump that I think you all need to hear.
Improving The “World” Series…
…or, I Swear This Isn’t All Just An Elaborate Plot To Get The Blue Jays Into The Playoffs (Even If They Lose).
Current format: A whole bunch of American teams play each other and the winner is crowned World Champion.
Proposed format: The top American teams play each other and the winner is crowned National Champion. (Or American Champion, I’m not very picky.) That plays out exactly the same way that the “World” series does now.
But guess what happens to the National Champion?
They get to play the Blue Jays for the right to be called World Champions Of Baseball.
Rationale: I like the Blue Jays. I also hate anything that’s incorrect, and calling something the “World Championship” when you’ve only had a non-American team involved 5 times in the entire history of the event. I had the number 16 copy-pasted here but I’ve forgotten why I wanted to use it.
More after the jump. (I’m refining this as I go, so try to bear with me. Please?)
The Ladies… MLB Awards 2009 are now open for voting!
I don’t know if we’ve done anything like this before, but basically, you go here and vote. Do it. Now.
If you’re one of those crazies who thinks Ryan Howard should be in the MVP discussion, or if I got one of the teams wrong, or you just want to explain yourself further, you can leave a comment. One of my picks is after the jump, and some of the other Ladies… will probably be adding theirs over the course of the next week or so.
Think! Vote! Discuss!
Why playing time is not an argument against voting a pitcher MVP
A hitter plays every day and hits once every nine spots in his team’s lineup.
A pitcher plays every fifth day and faces all nine spots in the other team’s lineup.
Albert Pujols has had 21 plate appearances in the last five games. For the season, he averages 21.3 PAs per five games.
Tim Lincecum had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.6 PAs against per game.
Joe Mauer has had 20 plate appearances in the last five days. For the season, he averages 22.1 PAs per five games.
Zack Greinke had 29 plate appearances against him in his most recent game. For the season, he averages 28.2 PAs against per game.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programmiOH MY GOD JIM THOME JIM THOME JI JIM THOME
In case you haven’t noticed, the Dodgers just traded a PTBNL and cash for Jim Thome.
That’s right, the one and only
They say he’ll be a bat off the bench, but I say they should just put him at first base and let him play. But that’s not even the point. The point is, THE HERO OF THE DUGOUT IS COMING TO MY TOWN. HE WILL SMASH TATERS THAT WILL GO LIKE THIS:
OFF THE BAT, OFF AN AIRPLANE, AIRPLANE EXPLODES, PASSENGER CLINGS TO BALL AS IT FALLS, PASSENGER FALLS TO DOOM, OUT OF THE STADIUM.
Or maybe even like this:
OFF THE BAT, THE BALL DISINTEGRATES, THE ATOMIC RESIDUE TRAVELS FAR FROM THIS MORTAL PLANE, REFORMS IN HEAVEN, OFF THE FACE OF OUR LORD, OUT OF THE STADIUM.
Suddenly, I care about the Dodgers again.
Write Your Own Caption, now twice as fabulous
That’s Troy Tulowitzki in the first picture and Johnny Damon in the second. Sorry, these aren’t too amazing… yet. It’s up to you to do something radtastic with them.
In Which I Point Out That Someone Has Done Something Awesome
If you haven’t already, go read this article from Beyond the Box Score.
IT MAKES STEPS TOWARDS QUANTIFYING CATCHER DEFENSE.
Yes, that’s a random photo. But it’s a neat image. So there.
Try to survive the night.
(Aaaaahhhhh someone is quantifying catcher defense!!!)
Oh, and, uh, guys? I promise I’ll say something interesting over the weekend. Just a thought to get you excited for my upcoming angry ramblings and rants: Who do you think is having the best season? Andy LaRoche, Jason Bay, or Manny Ramirez?
All you need to do to understand how good Jeff Francoeur is at baseball…
…is to look at this photo.
Yup. Write your own caption, darlings.
The Awesomosity of Roy Halladay, Part Trois
In which I am not any more repetitive than I need to be, when I say,
ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL
ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL
ROY HALLADAY IS THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL.
9 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 0 BB, 105-78 pitches-strikes.
He’s averaging 3.95 batters faced per inning.
Ricciardi, if you trade him, I will seriously consider getting my passport renewed so I can personally come up to Toronto and kick your ass. (Theoretically.) I mean, it’s just like, have you heard your fanbase, at all? And plus, read this. Like, just read it. You don’t need to go and make good people worried about stuff, do you?
Anyway, in the event of any further anger, y’all should go here and type in “JP Ricciardi” (or the name of whichever GM has wronged you recently) and just keep on clicking “Generate another Rumour” until you’re too busy laughing to bother remembering that your fist may have a date with a pillow on which you’ve taped a crude drawing of their face.
Also, look how well they’ve been doing without Vernon Wells! Looks like he doesn’t feel so Wells, eh? Oh damn I am funny. (/defense mechanism’d)
Good morning. This has turned into a rant. I’m going away now.
The Complete Statistical List Of Pitchers More Deserving Of An All-Star Selection Than Tim Wakefield
I am going to take so much flak for this, and you know what? If I cared, then I wouldn’t be writing this post. Good morning. I think I’m going to go take it out on the street while the rain still falls.
Listed with RAR and FIP are all AL pitchers who 1) didn’t make the All-Star team, 2) have BABIPs over .250, and 3) have a greater RAR than Tim Wakefield.
After the jump… Continue reading
Fashion Police: AJ Burnett
So y’all know how much I love AJ Burnett. And you also probably noticed this yesterday. But even though his pitching was pretty damn good, I have a question for you: Did you see the shirt he was wearing in the postgame press conference?
Well, in case you didn’t — or in case you need a reminder — he wore this:
It’s just… I don’t even know. First of all, I can’t figure out whether it’s pink or orange. Second of all, it’s not even buttoned properly (not that I necessarily have a problem with that, but y’know). Third of all, it has rhinestones on it. And fourth of all, he’s wearing gaudy chain necklaces.
The whole thing just sort of screams “I lost a bet with Nick Swisher”, doesn’t it?
All-Star Posts, All-Star Posts, Come And Get Yer All-Star Posts
Good morning. How can you just walk on by without one tear in your eye?
(Incidentally, that song reminds me of this, which I swear only makes me cry because I’m listening to that damn song. Insert “unhealthy obsession” comment here.)
(Yes, I know that you’re getting this post after the afternoon post. It’s still morning in California.)
The rest of the All-Star awesomesauce is after the jump, but first: SPOILER ALERT! NO RED SOX OR YANKEES! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!.
Hump Day Hottie/Don’t Judge Me: AJ Burnett
*hides from all Mets fans, some Jays fans, plenty of Yankees fans*
(Incidentally, you don’t need a white horse to steer you back onto course.)
For each one of you that sees the “Read the rest of this entry” link here and doesn’t click on it, a child is taught that Saves are useful statistics and that Derek Jeter is worthy of this year’s All-Star Game start. (So that’s a maybe. But do you really want to risk it?)
In Which I Have Something To Say About Stephen Strasburg
Good morning. Stephen Strasburg’s mechanics suck and he’s going to get hurt.
Definitely hyperabducts, and definitely has a timing problem. Hey, at least he wears his socks the right way. Seriously, though, observe the difference between that photo, and a photo of someone with good mechanics:
Straight line from elbow to elbow, leading foot positioned to land much more square to the place, and the ball held above the shoulder right before footstrike. Yeah, that’s what I call flawless.
So hey, Strasburg? You have a lot to learn, buddy. I mean a lot. Good luck.
The Awesomosity of Roy Halladay, Part Deux
Good morning. I think my Los Angeles time zone just kicked your ass. And hey, you can stop making fun of my headline now, because I do actually speak French.
You can also stop making fun of it because you’re going to be too in awe of what inspired it to form coherent sentences. Strap your jaw closed so you don’t drool on your keyboard, and read on past this almost totally unrelated photo of Brett Cecil.
9 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 14 SO, .378 WPA, 88-133 pitches-strikes. Observe.
*whimpers, flails about helplessly*
That is all.
Write Your Own Caption: Red Sox Edition
Crane here, filling in for CuteSports. I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but hey, where I am, it’s technically still morning. This is what the Red Sox get for keeping the Blue Jays in third place over the weekend: You get to make fun of them!
Observe David Ortiz, who probably is reminding himself that the world is just illusion, trying to change him:
Hit and Run: In Which Barry Zito’s BABIP Regresses, Right Before Our Eyes!
A.k.a. the “Complete MLB Rundown (To The Exclusion Of Everything Else)” edition. Why? Because I can. Yesterday’s scores presented BBC-style for extra hilarity and confusion.
- Red Sox 3 – 5 Blue Jays. Sevven sollid innings from Tallet (see what I did there?) provide a lead for Scott Downs to preserve, bringing them back into 2nd place in the mighty AL East. Go Jays!
- Marlins 7 – 3 Mets. Tim Redding sucks. Josh Johnson doesn’t. Go Fish!
- Braves 2 – 3 Diamondbacks. There are a lot of 3s today. Eric Byrnes finally does something good; namely, driving in the winning run in the 11th. No, wearing awesome socks doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve done something good.
- Dodgers 0 – 7 Cubs. Eric Stults fails as Dodgers get shut out for the first time all year. You know, I like the guy, but hey dude, put up or shut up. As in, put up zeros on the scoreboard, or shut the hell up when the reporters interview you and ask why you sucked. Go ahead, say, “I sucked”. David Ortiz did, you can too! Ugh. STULTS. My boy Brent Leach faces 1 batter, records 2 groundouts, because he’s cool like that. Go Dodgers.
- Twins 2 – 5 Rays. David Price blah blah blah 11 strikeouts blah blah blah 1st Major League win blah blah blah Free Rick Porcello!
- Reds 5 – 9 Brewers. Some dudes hit some home runs.
- Tigers 6 – 3 Orioles. Is Luke Scott on steroids? Naw, he’s just in an un-slump.
- Astros 4 – 7 Pirates. Hey guys, the Pirates just won another game. Meanwhile, the Astros lost another one and are hopelessly out of contention. Kind of like the Nationals.
- Yankees 10 – 5 Indians. Your first double-digit scoring game of the night was notable only for the fact that CC Sabathia gave up runs. I really hate that guy. Oh, and Nick Swisher (perhaps better known simply as AJ Burnett’s new boyfriend) hit a home run. I’m sure they celebrated in an entirely appropriate fashion that didn’t involve ice cream or maple syrup or leather and chains. No, I didn’t just imply that.
- Nationals 6 – 9 Phillies. Cole Hamels gets shelled but gets the win anyway. Disgusting. Lidge doesn’t implode, but his ERA is still above 8. Good luck with that, buddy.
- White Sox 5 – 3 Royals. Gil Meche gets no love from the bullpen. Which sucks.
- Athletics 1 – 14 Rangers. The average Leverage Index for this game was so low that it actually may have caused a Fangraphs implosion. Seriously, check it out:
- Padres 7 – 8 Rockies. This game is actually so boring that there’s no proof it happened, so I can’t tell you what happened, although I’m sure if you really want to know you can look it up somewhere.
- Mariners 4 – 3 Angels. If you’re a Mariners fan, then Jose Lopez is your saviour. On the other hand, if you’re a Mariners fan, then you probably have bigger problems, including the fact that your #5 starter is actually a vampire. That’s my clever way of saying that I sort of have a crush on Jason Vargas.
- Cardinals 6 – 2 Giants. Zito was doing fine until he gave up 3 consecutive doubles in the 7th. Actually, on a team that didn’t epitomize suckitude, he would’ve had an easy shot at winning this game, except that 1) Albert Pujols is on steroids and 2) The Giants suck, ergo, their bullpen sucks, ergo, their starters don’t win unless they pitch complete game shutouts. Except for that one time, but I’m pretty sure that was an accident. Oh, and Albert Pujols did do something good; namely, he struck out looking on a curveball from Zito that came thisclose to making me scream in delight. (I did actually sort of whimper, but the sexual power of a pitch like that is a discussion for another time. Just watch any Roy Halladay start, or a good AJ Burnett start. You’ll understand.)
Good morning. I know in darkness I will find you giving up inside like me.
Write Your Own Caption: Yankees Edition
Good morning. No hotness at the moment, just hilarity.
If the Yankees lose and the Red Sox lose and the Blue Jays win, then I’ll be happy. I would like to see the Yankees lose on a walkoff single given up by whoever the hell their closer is today (seriously, guys, your bullpen’s broken), I would like to see the Red Sox give up 102389798798639 runs, and I would like to see the Blue Jays win by a reasonable score of about 5-1 (no, I don’t mind if Jesse Carlson gives up a solo shot or something).
Observe this photo, in which Phil Coke and Hideki Matsui do something that needs to be captioned:
Have at it.
Crane’s All-Star Picks: American League
Good morning. Please bear with me as I present you with my ESPN-implosion-inducing All-Star team.
1B (a.k.a Base the First, because I’m feeling medieval tonight): Justin Morneau (MIN). I dislike Mark Teixeira. I dislike Kevin Youkilis. I don’t care about Miguel Cabrera. Justin Morneau is both 1) Canadian, and 2) Totally hot.
Hit the jump for more.
Hump Day Hotties: Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum
Good morning. Please bear with me as I attempt to explain why I’m the worst Dodgers fan ever.
Prettiness abounds. Hit the jump for more awesomeness.
I Was There: Cal State Fullerton Hits Lots Of Home Runs
(Editor’s note: This was supposed to go up on the weekend. This is not your Monday morning post. Reschedule — or don’t — accordingly.)
And no, that title’s not an innuendo, because they beat my Bruins, dammit, and I don’t want to hear a word about how epically hard they pounded the ball in the first few innings. Observe:
Score by Innings R H E --------------------------------------------- Cal State Fullerton. 021 020 000 1 - 6 9 0 UCLA................ 000 000 500 0 - 5 10 0 ---------------------------------------------
So there you have it. Their first 5 runs were scored by the longball (which, by the way, some chicks certainly do NOT dig), and their last one scored on a sac fly. Here’s how that last run went down.
In Which We Celebrate the Awesomosity of Roy Halladay
I was going to write a post about Barry Zito.
Then, this happened.
Nothing too unusual for Doc, who breezed through 9 innings on 103 pitches, giving up 5 hits and 1 run without walking a batter. He faced 30 hitters — 3 more than the minimum — and 72 of his pitches were in the strike zone, in sharp contrast to the MLB-average 60-ish percent of pitches thrown for strikes. In case you’re wondering, he throws an average of 67% strikes, an advantage of being a contact pitcher who stays down in the strike zone rather than a power pitcher who simply tries to blow the hitters away.
You, over there, reading this post. Are you looking for your stoicism? Well that’s too bad, because Roy Halladay took it and it’s unlikely you’ll get it back.
Have You Heard of Blake DeWitt?
I’m postponing my epic post about Trevor Bauer because right now, I just need to vent. (You’ve been warned.)
So. The Dodgers. Yeah, you guys, over there, in the hats that match the one I’m wearing right now. One of your bench players really sucks. His name is Juan Castro, and he has a career OPS+ of 56. That’s right, his offense is 44% worse than the average Major League player. So what is he doing in the Majors? Well, posting a 7.6 UZR/150 at shortstop, but that isn’t really my point.
But let’s put that in terms that are easier for most people to understand. From 2002-2008, he’s provided a little less than a third of a win — one third of one win, over the course of 7 years — to teams on which he’s been. Let that sink in for a moment.
Pitching Mechanics 101
Constructing an efficient, injury-reducing pitching motion isn’t so much about figuring out what you’re doing right as about figuring out what you’re doing wrong. There are many, many ways to throw without putting undue stress on your arm, and there are many, many ways to throw in such a way that you’re likely to get injured. All credit to Driveline Mechanics for teaching me everything I know about this stuff.
Follow the jump to be overwhelmed by awesomeness.