A quick dose today as we prepare for snow here in Austin. Yes, snow. It’s still something of a novelty here, but it’s not all that rare as we’ve had snow a couple of times in the last few years. Of course it will still paralyze the city and no one will have any clue how to drive in it. By the way, we are looking at 1-2 inches… yep, that’s enough to paralyze the city. OK summer, you can come back anytime now. HURRY!!!
Beyond the Boxscore’s Daniel Moroz (@CamdenCrazies) put together a great piece on the worst 30 home run seasons in baseball. I was sad to see that Curtis Granderson made the list for his 2009 season, but at least he was one of the “best”. It is pretty stunning how awful the worst of the bunch was in overall value (or severe & utter lack thereof).
One of the biggest questions in fantasy baseball circles this offseason is around the projections of Jose Bautista for 2011. After his insane breakout 54 home run season, everyone is interested to see if it was a total flop or if he is a legitimate top power hitter in the league now. Jon Paul Morosi (@jonpaul) has piece out explains why he thinks Bautista shouldn’t be ignored. As for his fantasy value, expectations are the key. If you are looking for another 54 home runs, you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed, but if you want 32-36 with 105-115 RBIs, a decent batting average and a great on-base percentage (some leagues use OBP), then Bautista is your guy. He’s not Brady Anderson 2.0, folks.
Royals Authority writer Nick Scott (@brokenbatsingle) asks whether it was the year of the pitcher or the year of the smaller bat? An interesting query that takes an in depth look at how a small change could’ve had a significant impact. Scott makes clear that the bat change was likely a contributing factor to the decreased offense we saw in addition to other theories floated as opposed to a singular reason.
Oh no!! One of my favorite players went to one of my least favorite teams. Lastings Milledge has joined the Chicago White Sox, hated rival of my beloved Detroit Tigers. I can’t believe Milledge is already in “minor league contract” territory. I love that guy and I really thought he was going to be awesome. I guess at 26 he can still have a career resurgence (or I guess it would be a career surgence in his case). As author Satchel Price points out in a Milledge comparison, this proves that while their farm system may be baseball’s best, the Royals front office remains horribly inept when it comes to free agent signings. I’m pulling for Lastings as long as he doesn’t rip my Tigers.
I’m not sure when this became available, but I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC saw Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness go viral and then decided to make it into a poster they could sell for $19.95. Parks & Recreation just might be the best show on TV right now and it’s due in large part to Ron Swanson.
Not only is Parks & Rec hilariously awesome, but it also features the lovely Rashida Jones who I have been a huge fan of since Boston Public back in 2000. She was in some things after BP, but I don’t recall seeing her again until 2008 when she was on a pile of crap show called Unhitched which was also on FOX. I watched it strictly because of her. Since then she had a recurring role on The Office and I’d say that really set her career in motion with movies roles (I Love You, Man, The Social Network) and P&R all coming shortly after her Office arc. She’s awesome:
The new book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won has drawn mixed reviews from what I have read on Twitter. I’ve seen some say it’s fantastic and a must read while others question the methodology behind some of the studies. It’s on my list to read, but I’m waiting for it to come out in iBooks so I can use my iTunes giftcard to get it. That’s more information than you need, but I can’t recommend it one way or another right now, but I can recommend this New York Times article on the Freakonomics blog where the authors answer questions about the book.
With Spring Training (thankfully) drawing nearer, Alex Remington of FanGraphs wonders if the Grapefruit League may soon become a relic thanks in large part to the sprawling stadium locations in Florida that pale in comparison to cluster, convenient facilities in Arizona. Having been to both sites (Arizona for the Fall League only), it’s hard not to see Alex’s point. When I went to see my Tigers in Lakeland, it wasn’t easy to plan on hitting other games. The only other venue I made it out to was Tampa to see the Yankees and that was 45 minutes away. It’s just a much better set up in Arizona.
Even though I’m more of an SVU fan myself, this statistical breakdown of the first 10 seasons of Law & Order is fantastic. I always enjoy stuff like this if for no other reason than to respect the effort put into such a creation. The author ends with his rendition of the famous L&O sound which he put down as “Ka-CHUNG”. I’ve never heard that way, for me it’s always been “Dun-Dun!”
It was a sad day for Amanda Rykoff (@amandarykoff) as Andy Pettitte announced his retirement. Though she took the news pretty hard, she mustered enough energy to put together a Farewell for the Yankee legend. I’m about as far from a Yankees fan as you can get, but Pettitte was always one of the Yankees I liked as he helped me in multiple fantasy seasons. I don’t think he’s Hall of Fame despite a great career. It has nothing to do with the HGH issue, I just don’t think his body of work merits a Hall plaque.
And those who quote his or any other Yankees’ accumulated postseason numbers (most innings, most wins, whatever…), just stop. That has more to do with circumstance than it does any significant skill. Pettitte was strong in the playoffs, I’m not denying that don’t quote me accumulation stats as reasons why he should be in the Hall. There just isn’t a HOF case for him. Not now. Not ever. He will get more consideration than he deserves both because he is a Yankee and because of the postseason success, but in the end I think the writers will do the right thing and leave him out.
It’s hard not to laugh when Justin Bieber booed essentially just for being Justin Bieber as he is here:
And spare me with this idiot crying. Shut the hell up, clown. (Hat tip to Sharapova’s Thigh [@sharapovasthigh] for the video.)
Blog recommendation: If you’re a baseball fan and you’re not reading Buster Olney’s (@Buster_ESPN) blog daily then you’re missing out. It is behind the Insider pay wall, but ESPN has made that well worth it in the past few years. Olney, Keith Law (@keithlaw) and Chad Millman (@chadmillman) alone make it worth the money, but that’s far from all of the valuable material you get with it. You can get Insider for $26 and it comes with a subscription to ESPN Magazine. That’s a pretty great deal. No, ESPN did not pay me for this plug. I just think it’s a great product. And if you’ve followed me on Twitter for any amount of time, you know I’m not afraid to tear into the Worldwide Leader when they deserve it (which is often).
Programming Note: I doubt anyone really cares, but since I write this at night I’m going to start dating it for the following day. A lot of times I’m not finished until after midnight anyway and it just feels kinda weird promoting a piece dated as yesterday even though it’s only a few hours old when I post the link on Twitter in the morning. So basically there will be no Daily Dose for February 3rd as this one will be the for Friday February 4th.