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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Moneybits

Well he must have been a looker - smooth talkin' son of a gun
For such a grounded girl - to just up and run
Course you can't fence time - and you can't stop love


-I finally got around to reading Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. Moneyball follows the Oakland A’s general manager around and examines how a pro baseball team can win with a quarter of the payroll as some other teams have.

It’s actually very interesting because instead of scouting players, the A’s GM relies purely on a computer and stats. On base percentage (OBP) is basically the end all, say all stat in terms of hitters. The theory is if a player can get on base, the chance for scoring runs improves dramatically.

Lewis lays it out so easy that I was found myself reading the book thinking, ‘why the hell didn’t I think of that?’. I mean I already knew that batting average was mostly crap and that a pitcher’s win-loss record was horseshit but damn, on base percentage makes perfect sense.

The most satisfying part of the book was when the Twins beat the A’s in the playoffs and Lewis pretty much skims that part of the season which is understandable.

One item that I don’t necessarily agree on is his and Bill James (the king sabermatician) opinion on sac flies and sac bunts are a detriment to the team. I don’t understand how sacrificing one out instead of two is a detriment. Also it’s explained in the book the reason why the A’s lost to the Twins was because they gave up too many runs. Well, I still believe it’s because they screwed up their pitching rotation to only have Barry Zito pitch once in a five game series. I mean what the hell were they thinking? He was the Cy Young award winner that year!

-As part of my newly found addiction to international competition I found out that the online store for last years World Baseball Classic has all of their merchandise on clearance. I’ve already bought a South Africa hooded sweatshirt and a Johan Santana Venezuelan jersey from the WBC so after finding out that hooded sweatshirts went from $50 to $20, I had to score up another sweatshirt. Japan was one country they had in stock and they won it all last year so I got myself a phat $20 Japan hooded sweatshirt.

-I have just discovered Panera Bread and specifically the cream of chicken and wild rice in a sourdough bowl is about as awesome as anything can ever be. I think I saw a skit on Sesame Street with Cookie Monster eating a plate of cookies (plate and all) and I thought, “hmmm I wanna eat a plate too”

Now I can safely eat a the bowl to go along with the soup. It’s ever Sesame St. dream

-I find it hard to type “Sesame Street” for some odd reason. It defies everything I have been taught in typing with the home keys and everything. Sesame Street. Weird.

-Exactly how long do we give the lifetime of newspapers? I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about how print media is dying and I can definitely see it. I’m wondering if newspapers will be around in ten or twenty years.

I’m almost thinking no and certainly not in 30 years.

-With the recent acquisition of Lane Kiffen, 31 who just signed on as head coach of the Raiders, I would like to offer my services to any team willing to hire an energetic (loopy mostly), enthusiastic (thank you caffeine), and innovative (bull headed) twenty something who be a wonderful addition to any baseball team. After reading Moneyball I understand that players out of college are better than high schoolers, on base percentage is the only stat that I need to look at, and I know how to surf the web.
Plus, I’m cheap too. I’d take half of what the lowest paid GM makes.

-I find it really disturbing that the person who found the St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion was tipped off by someone who considers themselves the “medallionator” (or something). Apparently Medallionator was digging around Hidden Falls when he had to go to work. That’s when whatshisface comes up and Medallionator come up to him and says, “the medallion is here somewhere”. Three hours later it’s found and Medallionator doesn’t even care and is even happy because he just wants the credit for finding it never mind the $10,000 that is granted towards the finder.

There are a lot more nerds that I thought that look for that medallion but it is somewhat fun.

I remember one year as the clues were coming in, my parents would keep telling me in the morning--when I’m my grumpiest--that the medallion was probably at Harriet Island near the yacht club--I worked at the St. Paul Yacht Club for about 5 years--and that I should look there.

After about a week of having that same annoying conversation every morning, sure enough the fucking medallion was found at Harriet Island exactly where my parents thought it would be.

Ah well.

1 comment:

The Steph said...

Of course I had to open up Word to attempt to type Sesame Street, and "Sesame" is really hard to type. Interesting.