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A Baseball Blog - Scientific and Speculative Thoughts from Third Base

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Some Idle Thoughts on Steroids

So, I was reading Tom Verducci’s article over at Sports Illustrated, which was a little unusual. Don’t get me wrong, Verducci is a great writer. However, his writing about steroids usually comes off a little too overly-moralizing. This piece, which I decided to read after seeing the praise given to it at Hard Ball Talk, is about a more-or-less career minor leaguer, Dan Naulty, who used, and the darker moments of his life and career (not all of them are steroid-related). It is interesting, I guess, if nothing else. There are a few issues and thoughts I have that I want to address, though.

Apparently, Bud Selig Reads This Site...

...Because the news today is that baseball is expanding instant replay in 2013, just days after I wrote this. The plan isn't identical to the one I proposed-there's going to be a central room with a team of umpires reviewing every game rather than an extra ump in each stadium-but it still gets the job done. It was about time. As a reward, I will create my own blue-ribbon panel to look into congratulating Bud Selig sometime, possibly in the future

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Adam Jones Extension: Better Than I Thought

I’m going to be honest; for a long time, I wasn’t sure about whether the Orioles should extend Adam Jones. I mean, he has been impressive so far this year. But how much of his performance would be repeatable? Would he be worth locking up long term if he regressed back to his pre-2012 numbers? If there was someone willing to buy high on him, I would have probably considered it depending on the offer.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bud Selig Thinks Instant Replay Is Some Newfangled Passing Fad, Or Something

Bud Selig apparently doesn’t think replay is that pressing, because no one he talks to has been pushing him for it.

Now, I know what everyone is thinking: this is the part where I virulently attack Bud Selig for having his head up a place where the sun don’t shine. (Greenland in winter, to be specific. If you were wondering.) However, I think he absolutely definitely has a point. Nobody wants replay in baseball. If they do, they have completely, totally silent on it. I can’t remember the last time I saw an article talking about how baseball needed instant replay. Googling “instant replay” and “baseball” yields absolutely no results. Besides, bad calls in baseball never happen. Ever. There’s definitely not any sort of solution that would get the calls right in a timely fashion, like a fifth umpire in the booth reviewing every play and signaling to the field if he notices an easily-fixable mistake.

And in any case, part of what I like about the game of baseball is that it’s like a three-way struggle between two teams and a third party that’s supposed to be an impartial arbitrator. It reminds me of The Iliad, what with the two warring sides and the Greek gods siding with one or the other to change what happens. Isn’t that why we have umpires in the first place? To offer a third choice to root for in the event that you don’t like either team playing?

On an unrelated note, this confirms my longtime suspicion that Bud Selig interacts entirely with imaginary friends.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Future of the 500 Home Run Club

So, the last few weeks, I’ve been writing a lot about the 500 home run club and what direction it’s heading in. This seems like only a natural conclusion to that train of thought. My first article ever focused on the 300 Win Club, going down each age and seeing who was closest to joining the club. That sounds like solid enough thinking, so I’m going back to that. (Sorry if some of these numbers are slightly off; this was written over a span of time, so some of the stats are from earlier in the week).

Dylan Bundy Is Pretty Good, But...

Dylan Bundy, the Oriole's first round pick last year in the draft, is doing pretty awesome, if you haven't heard. Seriously, just look at this line: 19 years old, 30.0 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (0 earned), 19 years old, 2 walks, 40 (!!!) strikeouts, 0.00 ERA, .233 WHIP, and did I mention he's only 19 years old? There's just one question: why is he still in single A?

No, seriously; I know it's pretty cool to see a player post those numbers. But, at the same time, that's usually a good sign that the player isn't actually being challenged. Is dominating hitters at A really that much better for his development than doing reasonably well against AA batters? Why not call him up? You'll get a better idea of where he is in his rise to the majors. I would imagine keeping him in A is only slowing him down at this point.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TGITD-Thank God It's Trivia Day

Since I love talking about retired uniform numbers, it only seemed natural that I would make a Sporcle quiz about them. This one has the added benefit of being relevant, too, since Tony La Russa was just honored thusly a week ago*.

In this one, pick the number that was retired for each player. It's matching, too. Try it out!

For more trivia, check out the Sporcle Quizes Page.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Long Overdue Thoughts on the Ryan Braun Case

I didn’t ever write about Ryan Braun’s suspension proceedings when they happened, so now looks like the time to bring them up. They issue is back in the news, either way.

Really, my views on the subject can best be summed up thusly: it was a large waste of time. We really don’t have any better of an idea of whether Braun tested positive than we did before the news leaked, and it brought up numerous issues with MLB.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Will the 500 Home Run Club Go Inactive for a While?

So, my last piece on Paul Konerko and 500 home runs got me thinking about the future of the 500 home run club. I know how the club expanded to the point where a lot of people have said that no one will care about 500 home runs anymore. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true; people are unpredictable, as are the Hall of Fame voters (see, it’s funny because I implied they aren’t also people). Maybe 500 home runs will continue to stand as a testament to power, maybe it won’t. I think it will for at least a little longer because a) the next round number up is 600, and not enough people have reached it yet (and let’s be honest, people are lazy; we aren’t making a 550 home run club to tide ourselves over); and b) baseball has a connection to its past, more than any other sport. Of the eight 600 home run players, five of them achieved it after 2000. That group just seems like too recent a group for most fans to just accept as historic. We can’t even get everyone to agree on using replay, there’s no way we’ll get a unanimous consensus on the superiority of something modern.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Even More Trivia!

I've been busy for the past few days, and I promise to get a full article up later in the week. However, in the meantime, why not try this new Sporcle quiz? It isn't baseball exclusive, but it's based in part on geography. Even if you don't know all of the other sports involved, you should be good if you can guess large North American cities. Enjoy, and check back later in the week!