Some playoff odds for NHL, NBA, even MLB fans

| May 9, 2011

Taking a brief timeout from baseball here to talk some Sharks fans off the ledge. Yes, the Sharks really blew a golden opportunity by losing Game 5 at home, but I wouldn’t worry too much. They are still in firm control of this series. Although you all may be worried about momentum and history and baggage and all those other ghastly thoughts that plague fans, I can assure you that professional athetes don’t think that way.

A few hundred best-of-seven playoff series tell me that.

If you aren’t familiar with the site whowins.com, you should check it out. It slices and dices best-of-seven postseason series in MLB, NBA and NHL to show how various playoff scenarios have played out.

(more…)

Manny Ramirez and the Hall of Fame

| April 11, 2011

Manny, Manny, Manny. You’re killin’ me.

As longtime followers of my work know, I am in the camp of Hall of Fame voters who give a pass to the steroid guys. In fact, I wrote what I consider to be my definitive treatise on the subject in the wake of Manny Ramirez’s 50-game steroids suspension in 2009.

I don’t think using drugs to make yourself better at your job is that egregious of a character flaw, considering the overall atmosphere of the game during the peak of the steroid era. Lots of guys used steroids. Baseball didn’t give any indication that it cared to stop them. The commissioner, the owners, the GMs were happy to look the other way and reap the rewards.

I understand that a lot of my colleagues disagree with that, and I respect their right to do so.

Anyway, that logic served me well when considering the steroid users, and suspected users, from the ’80s and ’90s, and up to about 2004, when baseball started imposing real penalties for using.

Then Manny came along.

(more…)

Dueling porn-staches

| April 9, 2011

It’s late on a Saturday night, when no one is reading my blog anyway, so I couldn’t resist.

20110409-112505.jpg

20110409-112526.jpg

Which is worse?

MLB’s new champagne policy

| April 2, 2011

So I am standing in the back of the press box tonight at the Coliseum, watching the end of the Kentucky-UConn game, when I look over at the wall next to me and I see a memo detailing MLB’s new champagne policy. See it here.  (EDIT: The New York Times reported that MLB sought some changes last October, but I don’t know if the memo sent then was the same as this one, which is dated Mar. 22, 2011.)

Champagne celebrations probably look pretty cool on TV, but it’s no fun to be trying to do your job in the clubhouse with all that stuff flying around. The Giants put me through it four times last year. Anyway, I’m sure MLB doesn’t care if some reporters get wet, but they probably do want to get some of the alcohol out, especially in light of last year’s Josh Hamilton situation.

“Clubs must take steps to ensure that players and staff celebrate responsibly,” the memo reads.

(more…)

I’m a free agent

| March 3, 2011

Since a few of you have wondered, here’s the latest on me.

FanHouse was sold to the Sporting News and essentially shut down, as of Mar. 1. Sporting News took over all the content and got rid of almost all of the FanHouse writers. The archive of my stories can be found here, for now.

That means I’m back to where I was two years ago, an independent web journalist. Since I’ve got more free time, I’m going to be cranking up this blog again. If you enjoyed reading my stuff, but stopped visiting the blog because the posts were too infrequent (sorry about that), you can come back now. You can subscribe with Feedburner to get an email update every day. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll also be notified when I post something.

For the rest of the month, I’ll be providing mostly analysis from afar on what’s happening at spring training. Once the season begins I figure I’ll be at the ballpark fairly regularly working on other projects, so I’ll have access to generate some content from the ground, including video.

If there is anything you want to see here, let me know. In the meantime, tell your friends about this cool blog you found.

I think I figured out a good Cy Young formula

| September 22, 2010

As you know, I have an NL Cy Young vote this year. As you also know, the two numbers I think are the most important are ERA  and opponents OBP. They measure how well a pitcher does his two most important jobs: prevent runs and get outs. I’ve always kind of struggled with a couple other elements, though: ballparks and innings.

I know that all ERAs are not created equal, because some guys pitch in Denver and some guys pitch in San Diego. I also know that innings pitched matters because the more innings you pitch, the harder it is to keep your ERA down. (More innings also makes you more valuable to your team, but I’m not as interested in that side of it. I’m not trying to figure out who the most valuable pitcher is. It’s the pitcher who pitched the best.)

(more…)

Good news for Barry Bonds

| June 25, 2010

Not to interrupt the celebration of a win against the Red Sox and Madison Bumgarner’s impending arrival, but here’s a little Barry Bonds news. My FanHouse colleague A.J. Perez is reporting that the Feds did not challenge a ruling that hurt their perjury case against Bonds. I’m no lawyer, but that seems like a big step toward Bonds staying out of jail.

OK, enough about him.