Random thoughts after game 20 (some Nats related)
So, I thought it was interesting today that Tim Keown had an article in espn.com about giving the public even more stats and probabilities to spin baseball more like the World Series of Poker. Keown's article is of course tongue in cheek, but it does make me think that with the proper marketing, ERV scoring could easily become part of the lexicon. By the way, DM, we could use a solidly put together post for our fans here on just how to ERV score in one comprehensive post.
Second: Even after all these years, I still love ESPN and espn.com--although their increasing trend towards making everything an "insider" article might make me change that: guys, with all the info out there, I am NOT paying for more on espn.com, even if it means that I don't get to read Rob Neyer anymore. However, this past week they seem to be obsessing on a debate that they have clearly had to make up and push to be a debate in the first place--that is, who is better/who would you rather build a team around, Pujols or Ichiro. Let me put it this way, if you have a bone in your body that says that the answer is Ichiro, I'm not entirely sure what led you to keep reading this blog. Ichiro is a fine player, a stellar player in fact and a guy I would pay to see. He is an awesome fielder, is obviously quick as hell, and can slap singles all day and all night. But to compare him to Albert Pujols? Why not just compare Lou Brock to Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams? Because that is what you are doing. Ichiro is a good fielding singles hitter. Albert Pujols is..well, probably the best overall player in the game right now, and according to baseball-reference.com statistical similarity rankings is the most similar at his current age to Dimaggio, Foxx and Williams in that order (Ichiro on the other hand is most similar to Bill Everitt, Bake McBride and Ron LeFlore--he's better than those guys but he started in the MLB later so it is a bit skewed). Not to be insulting to some of the ESPN guys, but if you would rather have Ichiro over Pujols, you just have no concept of statistics and what contributes to winning a baseball game.
Here's more on the lies, damn lies and statistics front in regards to surveys. I was watching the Nats game on the big screen at Champps Friday night, and the Orioles joyfully were relegated to a little screen. Early in the game on the Orioles TV I noticed the "Cingular" poll of the game, which was: where will the Orioles finish in the AL East--first, second, third or fourth. I thought it was interesting that you couldn't choose fifth, but oh well. Anyway, I almost fell off my chair when the results came in a few innings later: 40% FIRST; 59% SECOND; less than 1% third and fourth. So, what you are telling me is that approximately 100% of all people surveyed think that the Orioles will beat out at least one of the Red Sox or the Yankees? 100%?!? Hmmm, too bad I didn't call in--I could have pushed it to 1%.
I'm excited about going to tonight's game. Heck of a pitching matchup between Leiber and Patterson, who has moved to the pole position in the race to see whose jersey I am going to buy. A jersey will be bought by the all-star break, and I'd say my current rankings are (not based on best player, but who I lean towards wearing): Patterson, Vidro, Wilkerson, Guillen. I, of course, will also be buying a Guzman jersey...to burn in effigy. Speaking of which, now in my early 30s, I have reached true maturity. Last night, on the way to my car, a person at my firm got into the elevator with an 8-yr old or thereabouts that I can only assume was his son, and they were on the way to the game. The boy had on a Nationals t-shirt, and the back read: "Guzman" "15."
Did I hit the child? No.
Did I berate him or make him cry in anyway? No.
As a final Guzman aside here, I do need to ask...are the Nats committed to playing him 162 games? I mean, do we have absolutely no one who can hit over .200 at SS whether found in the majors, minors, or Wal-Mart?