Tagged: Stats

Statistical proof that Andruw Jones has stopped hitting

Mendozajones_1 A while back, we made note of Andruw Jones’ decreasing effectiveness at the plate after he struck out 5 times against the Red Sox. Well, at that point, Andruw’s average was a comparatively stellar .212. He is now batting .199. Now, I know we have all moved on from using batting average as the sole statistical judge of a player’s ability, but in this case it’s really all we need. He isn’t hitting the ball, he isn’t getting on base, and when he does make contact, it’s not very good – his slugging percentage is .383. To show just how bad this is, consider this. Since his last multi-hit game on June 9th – just his tenth this whole year, all but one of which have been 2-hitters – Jones has gone a depressing 2-39. So that’s a .051 average. However, his season average has dropped only 26 points, from .225 to .199. And, as I will always point out, A. Jones has not exactly dropped in
the batting order. Inexcusably, he has been batting 4th or 5th in
almost every game. Cox dropped him to sixth on the
18th and 19th, only to
throw him back in the 4-hole on the 22nd. Is it
that he just can’t help himself? Is Cox going senile? It’s one thing to stick with
your player when he slumps, but this guy has no business within sight
of the 5-hole, as we will demonstrate.

 

Take a larger sample size; consider the entire month of June. Jones has exactly 10 hits in 79 AB’s, for a .127 average. I’m sure many of you are thinking, ‘but the walks count too – he’s getting on base.’ Ok. Fine. He has just four walks. Lets give him four more singles in four more at bats. He is now batting .169. He has not reached base on error or a fielders’ choice once, and therefore his OBP is also .169. Meanwhile, he has 18 strikeouts. In other words, his strikeout average for June is .217. Jones is more likely to strike out than he is to reach base by any means. Let’s go further. He has 3 homers, and has scored 5 runs and has 6 RBI. He has 21 total bases. So his basic runs created (TB x OBP), is at 3.549, for you sabermetricians out there. 20 games in June; that gives him .177 runs created per game. Fellow outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who is also struggling – a .262 OBP through June – has 6.288 runs created this month in just one more AB. Catcher Brian McCann, playing hurt (.238 OBP) and with just 3/4 as many AB’s, has produced 4.522 runs. Therefore, even by his struggling teammates’ standards, Andruw Jones is a curse at the dish this month. Edgar Renteria, who is not struggling, and making $4 million less, has created 15.17 runs.

So now we know – not only is Andruw struggling at the plate, but he is hurting his team as well. We’re not just blindly throwing his average out there and saying he’s a crummy player. The truth is, the guy is really hurting the team. And he either doesn’t realize it, or he doesn’t care. I don’t think he’s pouring over his splits with a calculator, but he has to have some self-awareness. But Jones just brushes aside these criticisms. "I’ve never been an average hitter. Average isn’t a big deal to me." Alright. But is scoring a big deal to you? Is getting "market value" next year a big deal to you? "I just go out and play the game. Everybody struggles. I’m just getting pitched good." Andruw, you’re not just getting pitched good. I don’t think we should be looking for a tell in Jones’ stance anytime soon. You’ve been in the bigs for 11 years. People aren’t just now figuring you out. But let’s be real. You can’t take anything this guy says to mean anything. He knows he’s hitting .199. He doesn’t need guys from the papers asking him why. He doesn’t know why, and they know it. So he gives them something to print, they print it, etc.

And another interesting note. Chipper Jones is playing hurt. And he’s peeved. He’s the short story.

Reporter: Chipper, do you feel you are rushing to return from your most recent injury, which was to your… groin?
Chipper: "Probably. But I feel backed into a corner. Let’s just say there are people who don’t believe me. Let’s just say that and leave it at that."

You know what? I understand that these guys have to be in peak shape to go to work every day. I get that if they aren’t at least 90%, they’re not effective at work. But can you imagine this conversation happening?

Reporter: Weekend Athlete, do you feel you are rushing to return from your most recent injury?
WA: You know, I didn’t want to come out today. But the boys said I had to. I told them I was hurt, they didn’t believe me.

Most of us get paid to do things with our heads, not our bodies. If your brain is at 90%, do you call in sick? No. So Chipper, maybe you don’t want to play. Maybe you feel hurt. But you’re getting paid to play baseball. So when Bobby Cox tells you to play baseball, you play. Once you take that paycheck, it’s up to Bobby. If you’re really hurt, he won’t play you. If he decides that he wants you to play, he know that he’s risking a re-injury. He’s judged that risk to be less substantial than the risk of playing without you. So go out there and do your job.

"Andruw Jones tells us about the bad days" – May 21, 2007.

Sorry about the downtime. I lost a friend of mine this week in a skateboarding accident. Parents, kids, please – wear your helmets. Just because it hasn’t happened to anyone you know doesn’t mean it can’t.

Turns out, managers can’t hit or pitch after all

If you’re a Cub fan, you may have entered this season under the impression that, with Dusty Baker gone, your franchise would accomplish great things. With Lou here, the team would excel. Or so you were led to believe. Sadly – but predictably, nonetheless – this is not the case. The Cubs are 20-21 right now. This record is highly deceiving. Of the Cubs 20 wins, 12 came against the Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, and Nationals – teams that are a combined 66-98, which is a .402 winning percentage.

Whether or not you buy into this ‘strength of schedule’ argument, all you really need to do is look at the Cubs lineup. The Cubs have exactly one guy with an average over .300 – his name is Derrick Lee, who, as you may be aware, is currently injured. Last year, the Cubs had five guys with 180+ AB’s and an OBP over .300. By comparison, the Marlins had nine regulars with OBP’s over .300. The Pirates had 10. It’s really not a big feat to get half of your lineup over the .300 mark for on base %, but the Cubs barely did it. Why is this relevant? Back to our first point. Cubs fans were led to believe that, despite the fact that only one major offensive change was made – the addition of Alfonso Soriano and his .326 career OBP – that the team was good to go for the year. Unfortunately, you cannot win games if you cannot get on base. Last year, the Cubs finished 29th in OBP as a team, just 5 thousandths of a point above the Devil Rays. They had a team OBP of .319. This translates into a difference of about 500 plate appearances throughout the year between a team with a good OBP and a bad one. This turns out to be about 3 extra plate appearances a game. Which, of course, amounts to just about one extra inning a game. Imagine how crippled your offense would be if, as your team was leaving the field to go up to bat, the umps told them to head back out there – your team’s half of the inning was going to be skipped. This is essentially what happens to the Cubs every game. To make matters worse, the Cubs aren’t what you would call efficient at the plate either – they were ranked #21 in total bases last year.

The moral of the story is, as usual, that only hitting begets runs. Managers do not beget runs. Poorly spent money does not beget runs. A couple bargain pitchers do not beget runs. I stress this point because we have seen it recently with the Blue Jays, the Mariners, and whoever else you want to accuse of being run deprived. In general, if you cannot put a guy on base, you’re not going to bring him home.

Ironically enough, my impetus for writing this post was watching Jason Marquis – who I was hoping to give me a few good points in my fantasy matchup, go up 5-3 on the White Sox, only to give up two more runs and leave the game 5-5. To make matters worse, the opposing team was starting Vazquez, who was set to win the game for the White Sox. And then the Cubs go and win it, 11-6. Make of that what you will.

Roy v. Johan, Round II

Well it’s the weekend, which typically means a short post. Tonight is no different. It’s good to see that the Chatbox on your left has gotten some positive run, but don’t let it replace comments. I still want to see those comments on and about the posts; the chatbox can be a sort of secondary means of communication between all the readers and myself. That said… do whatever you want.

Roy Halladay is, in fact, still very good.
And still my pick for the AL Cy Young. Made that prediction about two months ago. Of course, I also made it about a year ago, and I would’ve been right had Halladay not been felled by a freak line drive to the leg that was, obviously, not his fault. Check out his stats before his 2005 season ended. I’ll admit – I was a little frightened when Halladay was skipping starts earlier in the season, but now we’re good. How is that, you ask? On Monday, May 8th, Halladay pitched a complete game, 4-hitter against the Angels. I then proclaimed that, despite the fact that the Angels had been struggling, Halladay was back. And it’s true. Tonight, he 3-hit the Devil Rays, striking out three and walking one while allowing one run in his 9 innings. So, 18 innings, 2 wins, 9 K’s, 2 BB’s, 7 hits. Good job, Roy. Now, I know it was the Devil Rays and Angels – two of the most anemic offenses in the AL – but, as I’ve said here time and time again, bad pitchers can’t – but in the rarest of cases – look amazing just because they’re facing bad hitters. In fact, usually when a pitcher is going to have a good outing, it doesn’t matter who he’s facing. For example, Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series. Do you think the Brooklyn Dodgers – Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges – were just ‘bad hitters?’ Obviously not. Don Larson was on his game that night, and he was gonna throw a perfect game, whether he was facing a virtual All-Legends, Worldburning team or not. Same thing with Halladay. Maybe he isn’t as dominating if he faces the Yankees, but you get the point. He’s not going out and making 80 pitches and bailing like he was earlier in the year.

Can Johan Santana go back to not being good again?
Call me crazy, but I’m not a Johan fan. This is 100% due to the fact that Johan takes away votes from Roy in the Cy Young voting. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. After all, Santana has killed 40 batters on strikeouts in his last four games. In those four games, he’s dropped his ERA a full 1.5 points, from 4.81 – very un-Santanian – to a more earthly 3.38. Better than Halladay’s 2.74? No. But we can’t all be the best, can we? Note that Halladay, despite missing one start, is still 5-1. Johan is 4-3, but this is largely due to the fact that the Twins were not doing so hot earlier in the year, and that Johan was allowing runs to plate at the rate of about four per 5-inning outing for awhile. Either way, Johan is your man for strikeouts. Halladay is your man for just about everything else. He can strike out plenty (but not lately – give him a couple more starts to get more strength back,) but he’ll also walk very few batters and give you at least 7 innings every night with 4 or 5 complete games a year. Heck, dude doesn’t even make many wild pitches. He’s really good. And we’ll continue to follow point-counterpoint between Halladay and Johan throughout the year. You’ll probably see me compare the two at least once a week till the hardware is handed out.

Tanyon, do not even try it.
Tanyon Sturtze has pulled a Hideo Nomo on us. I won’t be fooled. You will recall that Hideo was last seen trying to make the Yankees as a long reliever this year, but pretty much never had a chance. Anyway, in 2004, Nomo was really bad. There’s really no way to describe it, other than saying that he was 4-11 with an 8.25 ERA. Yet, the Dodgers – who we just mentioned yesterday, do not have amazingly fine management tactics – kept sending him out there for 18 starts. Finally, the medical staff grew "increasingly suspicious" that something was wrong, and threw him on the DL. They hunted down a cause, and found a shoulder joint that looked a little inflamed. Of course, this was likely the result of a recent surgery Nomo had to clear up the joint. In other words, Nomo was placed on the DL because he was too bad to play on the team. And that’s what Sturtze is doing right now. "Look Joe, I need some time off, think you can tell the guys my shoulder is hurting?" "Dude, that’s a win-win. You bet."

Can we get enough Jeff Kent?
Well, some of us can. In my Roto 5×5 fantasy league, someone dropped him. I got him off waivers this morning, which was amazing. Yesterday I detailed the return of Jeff Kent, although he was never really gone. Today, he hit another home run, over the head of one ‘Barry Bonds’, no less. That makes four since Tuesday. Keep it up, Jeff, and stay off those motorcycles.

Royals Live-Blogging? Anything better?
Tiffany over at "Party like it’s 1982" is looking for a live-blogging partner for an upcoming Cardinals series. She mentioned that the Cards play the Royals soon, and, quite frankly, I can’t think of a game I’d rather watch. I’ve done a few brief live-blogs on here, (Yankees v. Jays, Tigers v. Mariners,) but this would be real. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than talk about Mark’s War for an entire game. And who better to do it against than the St. Louis Albert Pujols… count on seeing that soon.

Thanks for reading. Remember, we’re still looking for comments – although for those of you without MLB accounts, Chatbox comments will suffice – from all you regular readers out there. Especially whoever’s hitting the site from Rutgers… who are you? Also, just for fun really, I bought up the domain name http://www.bihgm.com, as http://www.bhgm.com was already taken. Anyway, if you go to http://www.bihgm.com, you’ll be automatically redirected to here. In case you don’t like bookmarking things, (press control D if you do…) that’s an easier site to remember. See you all again tomorrow, and Happy Moms Day.

Finals Edition: Biology and Calculus

Well, BHGM returns. You thought we were dead? I know, me too. But I’m finally done with what they call ‘higher education’ and I’m back to the real world. At least until next August. Now don’t get me wrong, college is great. I love it. But when it’s the end of the school year and you’ve got chemistry, psych, bio, and calc finals – you just want to go home. Anyway, this will be the last post that fails to focus on much baseball, because starting now I’ll be able to watch games again and make those nightly posts. Actually, I’m watching the Jays – A’s game now. But before I dig in, there are a few questions I have. There’s someone who visits the site multiple times a day from Rutgers University, but they never leave comments. Dude – get an MLB account, sign in, and leave a comment – just so I know how you are. Same goes for the people from ‘Ames, Iowa’, ‘Corinth, Mississippi’, Uruguay, Spain, a bunch of you New Yorkers, and ‘Reston, Virginia’. Actually, I’d like if everyone who’s a regular reader could comment on this post, even if it’s just a "yo, I’m the dude from Rutgers," just so we can actually see who you are. Just do it. Thanks.

Biology: Ecology, Evolution, Biodiversity – Calculus I
So, how do we tie this into baseball? It’s another weak link, really. I’m starting to think that this wasn’t such a good idea after all. But here. If solving baseball calculus problems is your thing, check this out. As for the biology portion, there a few quick hits. By the way, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS, is not primarily a genetically inherited condition. That is to say, an inherited genetic defect accounts for only 5-10% of cases of Familial ALS. For more information on ALS, check here. Well, that concludes our finals edition. It will be a lot more exciting in December, when we’ll be doing Organic Chemistry, Intro to Theater, Research Design and Analysis, and Developmental Psychology. What can I say, I’m a slacker.

Red Sox v. Yankees, (Wednesday Night)
Well, this game was basically the only contact I had with baseball all day, as I was moving back home and all. So I caught everything until the bottom of the 5th, when we busted it open. That is to say that I saw Alex jerk Curt way out of the yard. Anyway, between the fact that I was about to fall asleep and the game was being carried on ESPN, (albeit ESPNHD,) it wasn’t a terribly exciting game. I mean, it was pretty predictable. ESPN blabs about how awesome Curt is and how the Yankees can’t touch him, and then the Yankees touch him up for a few deep bombs. And that’s that.

Blue Jays v. A’s, (Thursday Afternoon)
Nothing like waking up to find a baseball game already starting. Being as the Jays/A’s were "the only game in town," that’s what I was watching. And really, they’re both two of my favorite teams. And a short memo – the Jay’s announcers, (radio and TV,) are some of the best. They’re not annoying and they don’t digress so far that you think you’re just listening to two people talk about baseball, as ESPN does. Anyway, the game. The Jays basically made the A’s look like the Washington Generals. That is, the Jays would keep going up on the A’s, leaving them with this impressive look of, ‘wow, I just got burned.’ And although the Box Score says that Glaus only had two home runs, I’m pretty sure I watched him leave the building about five times. Zaun also had a solo shot. Swisher went deep twice for the A’s with two solo shots. For those of you tracking RBI’s for the Jays: Glaus – 4. Adams, Johnson, Zaun, and Catalanotto – 1. Glaus might be a lock to finish the year below .260, (he’s only finished higher once, in 2000 with the Angels,) but he’s got some pop. And Alex Rios, breakaway star, is currently batting in the 3-hole for the Jays. For those of you who don’t know Alex’s story, it goes like this. In 2004 and 2005, he hit .286 and .262, respectivly. He now leads the league with a .379 average. He’s also on both of my fantasy teams. Despite the fact that Rios’ average is so high, his all-important OBP is an average .389. Alright, that’s on the high end of average, but not really, considering that it’s only 10 points higher than his batting average – that’s what happens when you walk four times. But it’s good for #41 in the league. Meanwhile, Giambi is walking around with a .531 OBP, while everyone’s favorite player – Barry Bonds – shows off his .495. Albert Pujols follows with a .466. Take away all the intentional walks Barry gets, and Giambi’s OBP is 65 points higher than the league’s #2 man. He’s back, people.

What’d you do with the Royals, and who are these people?
Here’s a tough one. The Royals just swept the Indians. On Monday, it was 4-3, Royals. Tuesday, it was 10-7, Royals. Wednesday, it was 10-8, Royals. I mean, keep in mind that they came away with the slimmest margin ever, 1, 2, and 3 runs. But the Royals are now 10-22, which means that they’ve gone 5-2 after we chewed them out bigtime. Are you kidding me? Not only is it beyond our comprehension for the Royals to have won 5 of 7, but it seems that we’ve got some freaky curse/blessing going on here. First, we had the Padres. The Padres scored 6 runs in 2 innings to get a miracle win over the Dodgers, and we wrote a whole post about it. And then what? The Padres win 9 straight games, with win #1 being the previously mentioned. I don’t think I can take credit for the Tigers getting off to a great start after I said they would about 700 times, that was just too big. Then there was the Santana-Halladay matchup in the beginning of the season where I said, ‘Halladay, your future Cy Young winner, will out-duel Santana.’ Just in case you doubt that those blanks really did mean ‘Roy Halladay,’ know that I’ve been calling him our Cy Young winner since February. How about when, on April 26th, I talked about Dusty Baker being crazy. Then, the Cubs have gone 3-11 since that post. That’s about all I can come up with for now. But how crazy is that?

And that’s gonna close us out for now, but we will be back tonight, which will start us off on our nightly post routine again. Plus a few during the day when we have a chance. Basically, we’ll be back in our prime. As for the comments, thanks Rob. I did know that David had been in the tank for awhile, but I didn’t know about what the divers were really doing down there. Thanks for being an alert reader. (Check out Rob at http://robpage.mlblogs.com/.) Lucky Leftie, good to see you here from the BPS. And Jason, your excuse is understood and accepted. If there is one person who will understand the ‘no free time’ argument, it’s got to be me, lately. Anyway, remember – I want to see one comment from every regular reader, to this post or the one that follows tonight. That’s all of you. If you don’t have an MLB account, get one. It’s not a big deal, and they’re not going to bother you with junk mail as long as you uncheck that small box at the bottom. In the two years I’ve had my MLB account, I haven’t gotten one spam e-mail on that address. Plus, after you sign up for an MLB account, you can just sign up for your own team email. Since you’re not gonna tell any of your friends to email you at "brian83583@yankeesmvp.com," you don’t really have to worry about getting any unwanted email, since you won’t even need to check that address. Have a good rest of the day, folks.

Nats owner news, Royals, Mariners, and big news

We all know the Nationals have a new owner now. What we didn’t know is that this makes them a better baseball team. Well, at least ESPN’s Tim Kurkijan thinks so. Actually, don’t read that article. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m serious. I’ve never read anything so BS in my life. Here are some quality excerpts:

Our long Nationals nightmare is over…now the team can start moving forward… The Nationals can begin to operate like a realmajor league team… The team has struggled this year, and attendance is down slightly, mainly because it was a rudderless team that
hasn’t gotten the support it needs from MLB, or the city… The first year and one month of existence for the Nationals was just practice. Now, the franchise officially begins… All the Nats needed was an owner. And now, finally, they have one.

No. The Nationals nightmare is not ever, and the team still isn’t going anywhere. The reason they’ve been so bad this season is not because they didn’t have an owner, it’s because they’re a flat-out bad team. The players don’t put up good enough numbers to win games. Don’t try to tell me that they went out there last year under the impression that they were playing 162 exhibition games. This team stinks, no two ways about it. If having an owner makes you a championship-caliber team, there would be (theoretically) 30 teams with .500 records at the end of the year. Tim also cites RFK stadium as being a "significant disadvantage" for the Nationals. Why is that? When the Nationals come up to bat, do they push the fences back 20 feet, only to move them back in when the opposing team steps up to the plate? Do you really think the Nationals are gonna go and set the world on fire now that they’ve got an owner? Heck no. Sure, firing Jim Bowden will make your team better, no doubt. But again, too little too late. Remember, call your shot in the Jim Bowden firing pool – so far, Jason has dibs on June 19th.

The Royals are still bad, and now they’re "your team"
The Nationals still have a shot at saving this season, but the Royals do not. By the way, they lost again last night. They’re now 5-20. As I said before, but how can you be that bad? Imagine taking the field five times and walking away with one win. The Royals also have a new slogan – "Your team. Your town." Of all the bad baseball slogans, that’s probably the worst. First off, that doesn’t tell me anything. Second – if I lived in Kansas City, that’s exactly the kind of thing that would make me want to move to, say, St. Louis. I’m guessing the average K.C. citizen had these thoughts upon seeing that slogan:

Just because I live in K.C., I have to be associated with the Royals? What will my friends think of me? Will I still be able to get a job? Will I be able to take out a loan? Rent a car? Vote?

Hearing that the Kansas City Royals are "your team" has got to feel a lot like getting hit in the forehead with a ton of bricks; pain so severe and hideous that you just black out. And of course, whenever I mention the Royals I need to mention PFC Mark Grudzielanek. Whatever General is heading up Mark’s War needs to develop a new battle plan. The current strategy isn’t working. Reports from the front indicate that the army is retreating, blowing up every bridge behind them, and that soldiers are deserting en masse. Doesn’t look good. If you don’t know why I continue to refer to the Royal’s season as a military campaign, wait until the "What you missed" post, coming up tonight or tomorrow. Or hunt the reference down here.

Everyday Eddie out of the closing role; Mariners still bad
Well, you didn’t need a crystal ball to see this coming. The Mariners have finally put Eddie out his misery, removing him from the closer role. Who’s the new closer? The best arm in the game, closer-by-committee. If you don’t know what this is, see Dusty Baker’s explanation. I’ll say the same thing here as I did when someone drafted Eddie as the #86 pick in my pay league draft this year – two picks in front of Thome, no less: "You can’t go wrong with Everyday Eddie. Wait… that was 2002." His career stats are misleading as well. For example, in 2004 he had just a 2.78 ERA. However, he blew 7 saves out of 25 total opportunities. If you’re the Mariners and you’re struggling to stay one step ahead of the Royals, you really can’t afford those kinds of losses. Then again, if you’re going to run an organization based on sound logic like that, you wouldn’t give a guy like Adrian Beltre $64 million for 5 years. Beltre’s 2004 fluke with the Dodgers was probably the most standout anomaly in the world. Of course, 2004 was Adrian’s contract year, so after he went wild he jumped ship and signed with Seattle. For the following statistical analysis, we’re going to look at Beltre’s stats for 2004 compared to his average stats from 1999-2003 and 2005, when he played full-time. I present the following visual aid:
Beltrebust2_2 Note that the difference between the slugging and batting averages is diluted because of the scale; they are .443/.629 and .265/.334. As shown, Seattle is probably very angry with Adrian. Now, Adrian didn’t just fall from the sky in 2004. LA had been waiting for him to develop for some time. But after he went wild in 2004, did they try to re-sign him? I’ll give you a hint – the Dodgers are in the NL West. Remember the old 7-man batting order trick? Anyway, you’re probably asking – how can I jump on Seattle for signing him, yet jump on LA for not trying to sign him? Well, that’s a good point. But if you’re the Dodgers and you think you’ve got the sell-high candidate of the century and you’re convinced that he had a fluke of a year, so you don’t want to give him the money that you know he doesn’t deserve, you don’t just let him walk away. You test out the market and see if you can move him. If you think you can, you resign him and flip him away. If you didn’t think he had a fluke of a year, you shell out the cash to better your team. Beltre is currently hitting .202 in Seattle, with 1 HR and 6 RBI in 104 AB’s.

Tigers lose; Leyland’s clothing at fault
Remember when I talked about superstitions? I said that although Steve Finley’s magic bag doesn’t make him a better hitter, he thinks it does, so it does. Looks like Jim Leyland just developed a real good superstition. One that’s gonna make him a really popular guy whenever the Tigers are winning. Leyland had been wearing the same clothes since the Tigers began their 6-game winning streak. However, when the Tigers played the Angels today at home, Leyland had to change because he "looked like a hobo," and the team is about to go on a road trip. Well, the Tigers lost this afternoon, 7-2. Good job, skip. The team is now 19-10. So we’re still above .500, which is Detroit’s benchmark for success. If the Tigers had won today, it would have been their first 7-game winning streak since 1993. I was in elementary school then.

Quick notes
Jose Contreras has won 13 straight… I have nothing. San Diego is currently on a four-game win streak, dating back to last Sunday’s miracle win over the Dodgers. I suggest you read that, because it’s unbelievable. Let’s just say the World’s Worst Offense came back from being down 5-0 in the bottom of the 9th. On a related note, of the six division leaders, the two worst records belong to – guess – the AL and NL West. No way. Texas and Colorado both have 16 wins and 12 losses. If another 82-80 team goes to the playoffs, it’s Game Over. BPS agrees, as we’ll see soon. Check out the solution to this problem that I wrote a few days ago. By the way, that’s probably the 80th time I’ve made a post saying that the Padres and NL West are bad.

Comments and Notes
BHGM got some serious run on BPS today. Thanks Geoff.

I sauntered over to our boy Reid’s blog a few days back
and read one of his many posts bashing the Padres and the NL West [found here]. The BPS had consistently come down
pretty hard on the Pads and their whole miserable, rotting, wasteland
division. And you have to understand, Reid is the type of dude who asks
for his readers to throw him some questions, and then he proceeds to
hammer out an elaborate discourse on whatever it is they come back
with. Why? Because, as I commented on his blog a few days ago, he is
the Original Dedicated Baseball Monster. The ODBM. My question to him
(just to see what he would do with it) was what MLB can do about
wretched, barely-.500 teams like the Pads from ever making the playoffs again. Take a look
at what the kid wrote.
Great stuff. I have no idea how long it took him, but I know these
things don’t take fifteen minutes. The ODBM, a dedicated monster.

I would have paraphrased that (and I did take out a few words), but then you wouldn’t be getting the full effect. It took me about an hour and a half. But that’s really not that bad, because I spent the rest of the day – no joke – in class, from 8a-3.30p. Made that post at 5.45p. See how it goes? As for the next 5 days at BHGM, leading up to May 10th, when I go home – we’ll either be seeing a lot of posts or a little. I’m not sure how hard I’ll be studying for finals, (one on Saturday, Monday, and two on Wednesday.) However, the "What you missed" post is on it’s way. BHGM has picked up a lot of new readers in the past couple weeks, and they’re probably pretty confused when they read things like the account of Mark’s War found above. I’ve already made the list and I’m currently writing it out. It might even get out tonight. It should be good for a lot of laughs. As for the comments – your June 19th bid has been recorded, Jason. Thanks for the submission. If anyone else wants to enter the BHGM "Call Jim Bowden’s Shot in the Unemployment Line" Contest, drop me an email or leave a comment anywhere. There will be a prize. I haven’t decided what yet. See you guys later tonight.

Bonds won’t be celebrated; Griffey could be here now

Barry Bonds is just about to lay out the record books with a giant haymaker to the jaw. And this is what Selig has to say, regarding the fact that MLB will not ‘celebrate’ when Bonds hits #715 to blow by Ruth:

We celebrate new records, that’s what we do. We’re being consistent. There’s nothing to read into that.

Well that’s good. Because when Barry hits #715 – and I wish that he wouldn’t, but he will – this is what it’s going to sound like if you’re watching/listening to the game:

Here comes the 1-2 pitch… and this one looks like it’s.. gone! Barry Bonds hits home run number 715, Giants up 1-0. Moises Alou, first pitch swinging, ground out to short, that’s the inning. Giants are leading 1-0. We’ll be back after this break.

And rightfully so. Do you know why I don’t want an official celebration? It’s not just because Bonds cheated, and he did, it’s because he’s an a-hole. I don’t like him, and neither does 94% of America. So I don’t want him to feel special and accomplished when he hits out the Babe – my childhood hero, along with Ken Griffey Jr. – with number 715. And that’s the big reason I don’t want to see him hit #715. Of course, the official ‘non-celebration’ stance that Selig is referring to is because there is technically no record at 714, but rather one at 755. But here’s the thing – the media won’t be celebrating for the aforementioned reasons. MLB doesn’t wanna **** off the media, so they won’t celebrate either, and ‘no record’ is their pre-emptive excuse.

If it was Pujols, you bet they’d throw a huge bash. Did you know that if Ken Griffey Jr. hadn’t been injured for the last 15 years or so, this could be him? He’s 12th All-time with 538 home runs. When he moved to the Reds for the 2000 season, he had just hit 48 home runs in 1999. Check it out, but by my calculations, if he had been healthy he would have had an additional 80 HR, at least, by now. That puts him at about 620, 5th all-time, and at only 36 years of age. If he had discovered The Fountain that Bonds had, (and I do mean, played till his 40’s, not found a syringe,) he would only need to hit 20 home runs for 5 seasons to break Ruth’s record. Now he needs about 36 for each of the next 5 seasons, but with his health he’ll be out of the game by then anyway. Too bad.

Thanks for the comments, Jason. And what were you thinking, calling the Pirates a .500 team before the season? Yeah. The Pirates will be .500, and the Marlins win the World Series. Right.

Bruce Bochy, Burnett, and Games

Bruce Bochy – Word Inventor

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The more I learn about Chris Young’s ‘injury,’ the scarier it gets. When I first heard about it, I was led to believe that he merely had some pain in his thumb that had been bothering him. Next, I thought there might be some structural damage done, because I heard he was gonna get an MRI today. But now I’m scared. Padres Manager Bruce Bochy said,

I’ve never seen anything quite like this. It is hard to figure out what is going on. It has us buffaloed.

Buffaloed? What does that mean? Stumped? Are you left guessing as to the nature of the injury? According to urbandictionary.com, ‘Buffaloed’ means "to have your spirit broken." Does that mean your chances of finishing on top of the worst division in the history of sports have decreased from 0 to 0, and now you’re depressed? Now, it’s possible that I’m the one under the rock here. Maybe people walk around saying buffaloed to each other all day, and it’s a regular in the American lexicon. Maybe. Why do I bring it up? Because it will probably end up being the most exciting thing that happens to San Diego all season, as they continue to duke it out in their mile-long park and crappy division.

A.J. Burnett and the Info Mask
According to "noted orthopedic surgeon" (Medical Note: these guys tend to be real jerks,) Dr. James Andrews, A.J. Burnett has no structural damage in his arm. Instead, he’s suffered a ‘reoccurrence’ of his Spring Training injury – the whole scar tissue thing, the one that, with some rest, would be good for another two years or so. Interesting. You see, there’s nothing wrong with him. It’s normal to make just two short starts between DL stints. Is this the same Dr. James Andrews that works for Cubs Pitching and Co.? I can understand Roy Halladay being "fine" but still missing two of three scheduled starts, but I don’t understand Burnett having "no structural damage" yet not being able to pitch. Of course, that’s not as bad as Prior having "no elbow injury" but being unable to throw a baseball. Or Kerry Wood being "right on track" but with no timetable for a return. This is why the Cubs will always be my favorite team to take shots at – they make it so easy. In case you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve probably beat up Larry Rothschild and Dusty Baker in each of my last 20 posts.

Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week Brandon Phillips
That’s commercial he11 right there. But it gets better. The last sentence of this ‘article,’ or advertisement, was so crowded I had to re-read twice to understand it. And even then, I knew something was wrong, so I read it a couple more times and then finally deciphered it. Here, it’s your turn, codebreaker:

In recognition of this honor, Tourneau, the world’s largest watch
store, is proud to award the Bank of America Presents the National
League Player of the Week Brandon Phillips with a Tourneau luxury Swiss
timepiece.

Ok? Is Brandon Phillips a dude or a corporation? And did you know that Bank of America – one of the largest banks in the world – started out as an immigrants "Bank of Italy," and took off after the Great San Francisco Earthquake, somewhere around 1911?

Boring…
When I got back from a long, hard day playing Butcher and dissecting little pigs, I decided to flip to The MLB.TV and see what was on. Turns out, jokes’ on me! No games on. I mean, unless you count Cincinnati v. Washington, Colorado v. Philadelphia, and Florida v. Chicago. If you watched or went to any of those games, you’re a real fan. Not to take another shot at Bobby’s Fish, but especially the Florida v. Chicago game. Is there a worse matchup then the undisputed worst team in the league (Florida,) minus their DL-riding "Rookie of the Year" v. the Prior-Wood-Miller-Lee-less Chicago Cubs? Probably not. The only exciting thing about this is Carlos "I’m about to lose control" Zambrano. Despite the fact that he managed to give up 3 runs to the Marlins in 7 innings, he has 12 K’s. This is not as cool as it seems, as one half (yes, .5, or 1/2) of the Marlins 8 starters in the lineup are hitting below the Mendoza line. For those of you unfamiliar with the Mendoza line, it’s .200.

Mendozaline_1

It’s generally accepted that if you hit below the Mendoza Line, you shouldn’t be in the Major Leagues. Then again, that’s irrelevant as the Marlins don’t really seem to be in the Major Leagues anyway. Oh well. And Zambrano has only thrown 116 pitches through those 7 innings. At this rate, he’ll still have enough bullets left at the end of the game to pitch two innings tomorrow. At least, that’s what Dusty tells me. Meanwhile, Marlins starter Jason Vargas held the Cubbies to just one hit, walking four in 6.1IP.

Justin; I don’t really think the Tigers will put it all together this year. They need at least one winning season before they make it to the Big Time. But, if by ‘put it together’ you mean, ‘get above .500,’ then yes, I do believe this is their year. I think their offense is a lot more set than the pitching, however. We could use one more #3-caliber starter, but I’m not gonna push it. One more thing for all you commenters out there – leave your website address at the end of your posts. I want to be able to check out your sites as well, (I really do mean this.)

If I see any games tonight I might be back. But it’s gonna be a busy next two weeks, culminating in a Calculus and Biology final on May 10th. Post May 10th, I’m headed back home. A couple weeks after that, I’ll hope to have to podcast up and running on http://www.baseballradioshow.com. Until then, check out Mike’s Tiger’s Podcast at http://dailyfungo.mlblogs.com.