American Pastimes

RALEIGH— I woke up today and checked the news of the land. First the Baseball news.

I need to know if Johnny Damon has finally chosen a team to play for in 2010. I check every site I can think of. Nothing new on this front. Scott Boras is still trying to pull in any team, preferably two teams, to drive up the price for his client. A client whom he has given the worst off-season advice since Adam LaRoche’s agent advised Adam he could and should look for a 3yr/$30 million deal only to end up signing a 1yr/$5 million deal.

I read a debate concerning the HOF merits of one dimensional players. This suckers me into a several hour long process of statistical analysis. I pour through statistics to prove that while Ozzie Smith may not have been the slugger for the ages, he was certainly an average to above average hitting short-stop for a large portion of his career. In short, he wasn’t a classic one dimensional player. In so doing I find that short stops have increased their offensive output by 14% over the last three decades.

Ozzie at his peak compared to the league short-stops.

League .247 .301 .337 .638
Smith .278 .360 .353 .713

Short-stop production over the years.

’84-89 .247 .301 .337 .638
’94-99 .262 .327 .375 .702
’04-09 .271 .326 .400 .726

Next I check the news. There is a large storm on the East coast. Again.

Next I check the political atmosphere. So I head off to read the pundits, the wonderful pundits of America. For the past few months I have been reading the on going battle of words. I think it is finally coming to a head.

After the New Jersey and Virginia losses the dialogue was a murmur. After Scott Brown though it has become much louder. I could only laugh when I read the titles to two articles published today:

One year ago, 59 percent of the American public liked the stimulus plan, according to Gallup. A few months later, with the economy still deeply mired in recession, a majority of the same size said Obama was spending too much money on it.

Basically it is a group of elected officials who only see and hear what they want to and call everyone else names when the course of action fails, when the whole world watches it fail, and when their actions directly contradict their promises.

This isn’t post-partisan. This is blind arrogance.

So it is back to baseball I go. Are shortstops becoming better or are pitchers getting worse?

Split opp. AVG opp. OBP opp. SLG opp. OPS ERA WHIP BAbip
’84-89 .254 .317 .381 .697 3.74 1.304 .282
’94-99 .267 .331 .420 .751 4.33 1.376 .299
’04-09 .268 .333 .431 .764 4.44 1.386 .299

5 thoughts on “American Pastimes

  1. I saw where Reason responded to Slate. Same article I linked above. I’m sure the pundints are taking notice. You can’t stamp your feet, cup your ears and screem without every one of your colleagues taking notice… eventually.

  2. Good blog post. I think pitching is getting worse. It’s diluted b/c of expansion and we’ve got smaller ballparks.

    As to those articles on Reason/Salon, I read those. I think it is a really interesting debate. Liberals have no capacity to look at themselves and listen. Books like What’s the Matter with Kansas are incredibly condescending. Articles like the above are as well. There is this presumed superiority among liberals that simply won’t allow for any form of dissent or alternative viewpoint. So when their ideas fail, they blame the middle class, the ignorant unwashed, and blame them for clinging to their guns and religion. Of course, that is incredibly off-putting and so the middle class votes against the liberals. Whatever. I’m glad there is resistance to Obama. He’s down to 44% in some polls. Hope he keeps sliding…

  3. I think the pitching is going to start evening back out. I see a lot of good to great young pitchers emerging (Lincicum, Hanson, Kershaw, Cain, Felix, Greinke, Jurrjens, Bumgarner, Wainwright, Lee…). I’d like to think this will begin to balance it all back out.

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