Saturday Sideshow

Posted By on January 17, 2009 6:00 am

A weekly look at stuff other than baseball (if you’re into that sort of thing)…

Since this is the first installment of the Saturday Sideshow, this is a good time to tell you a little more about me. I’m not just some guy who sits at his computer all day sifting through Baseball Prospectus.

I really like poker. I’m pretty good at it too. In fact, it’s kind of a miracle that I’ve been blogging for almost two whole weeks and haven’t yet mentioned this. You can read more about it here.

Poker is really a lot like baseball. You know, with the sunglasses. No, just kidding. Poker is a game about doing a million small things right and judging your performance in the end. Good poker players lose money the same way good baseball players have slumps. In both areas, the key is to evaluate the looong term. You also have to be very patient, but aggressive at the right moment. (Moneyball!)

Poker is well suited for the statistical-minded, mathy types, many of whom are also baseball fans. In fact, Nate Silver, well-known baseball stat geek (he invented PECOTA), is also quite an accomplished poker player. At least, according to Wikipedia he is.

While I’m on the topic, if you want to plan a poker party or casino night for your friends or your company, you should definitely call these guys. They run the best Vegas nights in the Bay Area. Plus, if you use them, you never know when you might run into your favorite baseball blogger.

Or me.

On to other things…

  • Scott Eyre is an early darkhorse for the Hall of Fame. He has at least three Hall of Fame voters (cough cough) as friends on Facebook. I don’t get the whole Facebook thing. I’m on there, but about one-third of my “friends” are people I don’t even remember from high school. Hopefully now they’ll be impressed that I’ve got a friend in the major leagues.
  • If you wanna get really ticked off, read this. It’s a column in the LA Times in which the writer suggests that people who claim to have food allergies are just making it up in an effort to get attention. Speaking as the parent of a kid who has a potentially life threatening allergy to peanuts, that’s just crazy. Believe me, carrying around an Epi-pen and bringing my kid to parties with his own cupcake is not the kind of attention I need.
  • Damn Osama bin Laden got to the geese. Now all the geese are going to be pulled out of airport security lines for “random” searches. Then the other birds are going to be protesting that they get lumped in with the geese: “You think just ‘cuz we have wings we’re all the same!”
  • Finally, a special thanks to all of you who have helped get this blog off the ground in the first couple of weeks, especially those of you who have not only read it, but referred others. A super special thanks to this guy. With your help, I’ve so far been able to generate enough ad revenue to buy myself a really nice, top-of-the line … golf ball. Baby steps.


6 Responses to “Saturday Sideshow”

  1. Idaho Nick says:

    I haven’t read the article about allergies yet — but right off, I’d say that while I’ve seen the effect of peanut allergies and understand that they are real and deadly, I have a couple of in-laws who have clearly structured their lives around the attention they get from invented food allergies (cumin, anyone?). It’s funny, except when we go to restaurants and they send 90% of the food back because it wasn’t made to their specifications (sent to the “chef” as they ordered).

  2. Drew says:

    My spouse is african american and has a very serious peanut allergy so I don’t have much respect for the article and its research; and, I fully understand and appreciate that it is the type of attention no rational person wants. The writer needs to remember that attention mongers will grasp at anything to satisfy their needs.

  3. otis says:

    Just want to say that I like the early results from this blog. I’m adding it to the ol’ RSS feed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My uneducated theory on possible causes of the food allergy thing….

    1. Food allergies are more common in wealthier communities due to the fact that middle-class and rich families generally have access to better health care then the poor. In poorer communities the kids from poor families probably die from the undiagnosed allergy.

    2. Food allergies are more common today because we have greater medical knowledge. Undiagnosed deaths related to food allergies have probably occurred throughout time due to a lack of medical knowledge.

    3. Something has changed in the way certain foods are grown or processed to make a greater number of people allergic to them.

    Sometimes the attitude of people who do not suffer from allergies and do not have a close family member with severe allergies is rather naive. I’m allergic to cats and a buddy of mine who was a cat owner insisted my cat allergy would automagically disappear if I increased my exposure to cats by owning one. His attitude didn’t change until he got married and his wife never developed that immunity.

  5. Anonymous says:

    4. One other thing is that increasingly certain foods appear to be used as ingredients or additives to create other foods. If someone is allergic to say milk, corn, peanuts or wheat (I’m certain there are others I’ve missed), then they are probably a lot more likely to encounter potentially dangerous situations then they would have maybe 20 to 30 years ago.

  6. Dave Silva says:

    Tim K turned me onto your blog jeff and although i haven’t been here everyday…i really enjoyed your poker story. i look forward to reading your blogs from here on out. keep up the good work. you have a new fan.

    Dave Silva

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