Thursday, June 30, 2005
I hope I get all this stuff settled soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
A little late
Sam has put in some serious time, and plugged the BpB numbers in for Jeremy Bonderman and Mike Maroth over at Roar of the Tigers. She's got charts up, and I love that she's doin' it. It's great to get some comparison.
And woah! I just went back over and billfer has produced a list of AL leaders in BpB?
Billfer, you mad genius, how have you done that so quickly? And could you please send them to me?
So yeah, I'm glad to see this is catching on... and feeling a bit bare in what I have for new stuff, but I want to let you know that the stats on the left are now up to date, which means yes, I have figured out how to post more workbooks and will do so shortly, which means the new detailed spreadsheets which are really fascinating, in my opinion.
I have updated the two charts on Indians pitchers Kevin Millwood & Cliff Lee. (As Cliff's promptly goes out of date.) And soon I will be posting a more streamlined definitive on BpB, just to make things a bit easier on people.
And yes, Bronson looked like he was going to cry last night, and I wanted to cry for him, but since he actually pitched to thirty batters, the numbers aren't that bad. His worst outing, 1.118, was almost twice as bad as last night, a .600. He just really wasn't catching any breaks, was he? Oh and Bronson, when I said you should go jam out, I didn't really mean the Avalon, right before the Yankees come to town. I can't really complain about the cool music show, as I am going to it, but just make sure this isn't a distraction, ok?
Saturday, June 25, 2005
You all must think I'm slacking
In the meantime, I can at least give you the charts and averages.
Yeah, I know, these aren't as big... click for larger version. I'm trying Blogger's snappy new pic upload, 'cause it's just a lot faster, and I've got to say it's pretty cool.
Some of you may be curious about this one:
#1 Saves NL Chad Cordero 25
best 5/24 0/6
worst 5/31 6/6
#1 Saves AL Bob Wickman 20
best 7x 0/3
worst 4/6 1.86
Friday, June 24, 2005
More BpB stuff
Tossing for us tonight will be the great Timmy Wakefield, so may the weather be fair for the knuckleball tonight.
I will soon be putting together a general "BpB explained". I'm also working on getting all this data I have hosted. Actually I have that part done, just can't get to it for some reason. And I have to do some real job stuff, so you might be waiting on that for awhile. Here I describe what I count as a base awarded. Evan has prompted a discussion of BpB over at MVN, and I have addressed some questions over there in the comment section. Also, I have been thinking about doing the numbers for some league leaders to give us some perspective. I haven't gotten very far on that, but I've done the numbers (no chart yet) on AL Wins leader Jon Garland, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Dude does not give up bullshit bases hardly AT ALL. His total BpB this year has been 161/399 or .404. His worst game was on 15-Jun: 18/27 (gave up 3 HRs and they still won, by the way) or .667. His best came on 1-May: 4/31 or .129. So, I'll have more on that later.
In the meantime, let me know what you think of this stuff.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
More Bull from the Pen
But "safety" is a relative concept. I'm not sure I would feel too safe walking around New England if I were Alan Embree right now.
The bullpen has been a subject of frustration for me for quite awhile now. (Theo, you had better be working on that shit.) That's what drove me to create all these crazy charts to try and make some sense out of it. Do I seem like the type of girl to spend hours and hours pouring over box scores collecting data so I can spend still more hours entering this data and making charts of it? Well, I don't know what my mystical internet friends think of me, but people who know me in person would be shocked. The bullpen has officially driven me to madness. seriously. and this was not a good night for the bullpen, per usual.
Tonight I might have been the only person in Red Sox Nation not having temporary heart failure as Alan Embree approached the mound. Why, you ask? Well I looked at his chart, of course, and determined that he was due for a good outing. Tito has not been on top of this trend up until now, always bringing him in for his good outing when there's nothing on the line. Has someone shown you my chart, Tito? I'm so glad you've finally caught on to Alan's Yo-Yo effect.
In truth he was not all that good, but he did get out of that bases loaded jam, and got through most of the 7th before giving up two hits in a row.
Having witnessed our bullpen blow sizable leads MANY times this season, it was nice to see the bleeding stemmed at a mere trickle. It was scary out there, that's for sure, but the numbers aren't that bad. Errors made the situation much worse than it should have been; it's a good thing those guys picked up the bats and kept us in it. Manny & Edgah both made errors, but also got some key hits that made up for it.
I thought tonight was his night, for sure, when Captain came to the plate with the bases loaded. His swing is so deep in these situations, you can see how much he wants it. It's too bad he swung at that last pitch. It was high; it would've walked a run in. Well, maybe. I wasn't too thrilled with how some of those pitches were called tonight. Dude needs his eyes examined, if not his head. (the ump, of course, not C-tek.)
The guys at ESPN had a taped interview with C-tek, and it seemed like every inning they were cutting from the game to see Jason answer another question. Now I'd love to hear whatever Captain has to say, but make sure we see the pitch, guys. The national guys spend so much time on silly crap like that to catch the interest and inform the viewers who might not know anything at all about the Boston Red Sox (those people, if there are any, are not likely to be watching ESPN) they tend to forget sometimes that WE ARE TRYING TO WATCH THE GAME.
(I really should never complain about the ESPN coverage like that as it means I am able to watch the game on my television. I can barely see the ball on my computer, so I wouldn't have seen the pitch anyway, right?)
I've been wondering lately, what is the bullpen car? You know, from the blog "Bring Back the Bullpen Car" (which apparently has not been touched since April)? I'm just wondering what it IS, because the bullpen is a sorry lot who could use all the help they can get. Somehow I have my doubts that some silly looking golf cart thing is the answer, but at this point I think we should try ANYTHING.
I will update my charts, for anyone who cares, tomorrow. And I'll work on the whole access to data thing. I have a feeling, though, people are not going to be thrilled with my data. It's really just another chart with numbers in it. The "bases awarded" number is actually figured out in a physical notebook while I stare at box scores on my computer. If you are appalled by my terribly unscientific ways, I will remind you that I am a painter by trade. My job does not even require the use of a computer at all (although I do use it for billing and records & such) and unlike most people, being on the job means being away from the computer, so I actually still use pen and paper quite often. Like I said in the beginning, this sort of stuff is much better suited for people with fancy high-powered computer programs and lots and lots of data. I'm just doing it because I want to know. And the graphs are actually much more helpful to me than the average is, which I'm sure is all we'd ever get if this were some kind of official stat.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
ok I'd better post this before they take him out of the game.
I'm not really sure if anyone cares about these charts other than me, so I posted the Wade Miller chart here. Cliff Lee's average BpB is .455 vs. Wade Miller's .513.
Name Change : PEI to BpB
For those of you who are interested in my new stat, I've decided to change it's name. I find that it's much easier to compute the relevance of a stat when the name describes the formula. That's why I'm changing the name from reb's Pitching Efficiency Index to Bases Per Batter. Jeez, that's so much easier, I don't know why I didn't think of it in the first place. I will update the name on the charts as I update each of them.
In good time I will have everyone's chart in the April Archives, as well as a fuller explanation as to why I count the things I count. And I will create a separate link on the side that actually says something like "BpB Statistics" so you won't have to know to go to the April archives. And I will try to update it as much as possible. I would like to make my data charts available as well (I'm not trying to hide anything here!) but I'm not really sure how to go about doing that, so if there's anyone who knows about this sort of thing and would like to help, please let me know.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
We saw this guy tonight
I figured out a way to drastically improve the appearance of my charts, and let me tell you that what I am doing differently is miniscule compared to the improvement. So I decided to update this chart to include tonight's game. Big Papi put a hurtin' on Millwood PEI's tonight:.655. Kevin Millwood's new average is .490
This graph only goes up to .8 because Kevin Millwood's worst start came on 5/14 at .706, that's 12 bases/17 batters. I should tell you that 4 of those bases were stolen. People love to steal against this guy. He has given up 11 stolen bases in 11 starts, and caught only two. Also worth mentioning, Kevin was recently on the 15-day DL because of a groin issue. I will try to find out more, but don't expect much; guys don't tend to be very specific in this area.
Kevin has only had one start since his groin recovery, which scored a very respectable .400, 8 bases/20 batters.
His best start was on 5/9, at .154, 4/26. That was only 1 hit (a double), folks, in eight innings against the Angels. The other baserunner was hit by a pitch, and stole 2nd.
Kevin's average PEI is .472. (vs. Bronson's .460)
Overall I'd have to say this guy's pretty good on paper, and fairly consistant. He's 2-4, but his ERA is 2.95. Hopefully our boys can hit him.
edit, 7:20 pm:
I forgot to mention that Millwood walks about 2 per game. He has not walked more than 2 in a game this year. He has already walked two sox, and has pitched only one inning.
Thought you all might like to see the numbers for our starting pitcher tonight, Bronson Arroyo.
The year that Bronson is having might be shadowed in your mind by two of his more recent starts. It looks like he might be back to normal, as long as he hasn't decided to start following the Alan Embree pattern.
This post has been updated to show his numbers for tonight. His PEI average is .453
Monday, June 20, 2005
Captain Cheese Quantified
Yes, I know you've all been waiting for this...
Above is a slightly more technical analysis of Alan Embree's relief outings this year.
We can plainly see from the pattern on this graph that El Capitan del Queso's next outing will be an excellent one. Since Tito doesn't have access to my fine pitching-prediction skills, surely he will be afraid to use Alan in a game we might actually win. Embree's quality outing will be wasted on a game we are losing by three runs or more. Not that I blame him... But surely I am not the only one who has noticed this distinct pattern?
Below is an explanation of PEI and how it is calculated. The larger the PEI, the suckier the pitching.
Reb's Pitching Efficiency Index
I don't know if you all remember, but a couple weeks ago I mentioned I was working on a more quantified analysis of Red Sox pitching. I'm sure that this type of project is much better suited for people with high-powered computer programs and access to lots and lots of data... but I dug in anyway.
Naturally I could not be content to use one of the many readily available statistics to assess our pitching staff; none were quite what I wanted, so I had to make up my own. Now that I've spent hours and hours collecting data and transforming it into charts, I'm sure someone will inform me that this stat IS available and I've completely wasted my time.
Reb's pitching efficiency index is similar to both opponants' slugging average, and opponant's on base percentage. The formula is very simple:
bases awarded / batters faced = reb's PEI
I have a feeling not everyone is going to agree with how I came up with those numbers. That's ok; I don't expect this statistic to be particularly helpful to anybody... I made it up for myself, so I can better understand how I feel about the overall performance of our pitchers.
Batters faced is the easy one. This is listed at the bottem of the box score. Intentional walks are subtracted from the total batters faced.
Bases awarded is the just as it sounds. Base hits count for the number of bases gained from the hit, as in slugging. Also counted are walks, hit batsmen, balks, wild pitches, stolen bases, and errors charged to the pitcher. (exception: errors not resulting in a base awarded are not counted. example: Tim Wakefield was charged an error on 4/11 for dropping a foul ball.) Subtracted from this are pick-off plays, caught stealing & intentional walks. A couple people have objected to my using stolen bases in this stat, because the runner would be thrown out by the catcher. My feeling is that any MLB catcher is capable of making this throw, and the effect of the defensive players in this case is just as in any other ball in play. The speed at which the ball reaches the plate from the wind-up is the largest factor in stolen bases... why else would there be so many attempts on certain pitchers(i.e. Wakefield) and hardly any at all on others (i.e. Arroyo)? My feeling is that games do not happen in a vaccumn. Those bases count, however they were gotten. Some pitchers are lucky, stranding base-runners in every inning, others are unlucky, giving up all their hits in one inning. While there is something to be said for the ability to pitch under pressure, for the most part I believe these things even out over time. Therefore, I believe this is a realistic way to compare the effectiveness of pitchers.
Perfection = 0. Anything over .500 is not so hot. One and above are "disgustingly awful" as I described in my much less sophisticated chart two weeks ago. Below is a chart of the PEI scores for sox relievers in each outing. Note that Alan Embree achieved an impressive PEI score of 4 on 4/22.
Yeah, I don't expect anyone to make much sense out of that. And here's the chart for starting pitchers:
These charts aren't exactly what I wanted, but for some reason they won't connect the dots when there is a break in data, and of course these guys don't pitch every day, do they? So that's a little bug I have to figure out. I'm kindof an amateur when it comes to excel... Let's just say my job doesn't call for spreadsheets too often. Frankly, you people are lucky I even figured out how to post these.
I plan to make individual charts for each pitcher... those will be easier to look at. I think I will date them improperly so we can keep them in a seperate archive. So when you suddenly see an archive for April, that will be it. In the meantime, I thought you might like to know the average PEI's of everyone who has thrown a pitch for the sox this year. See the next post.
Average PEI for Sox Pitchers
here's the color code:
name worst outing best outing average updated average (6/20)
Wells 4/25, .737 4/20, .148 .465 .509
Clement 6/7, .750 6/19, .160 .426
Wakefield 6/1, .862 6/12, .208 .500
Arroyo 5/30, 1.118 5/5, .207 .460 *6/1, 0/4
Schilling 4/13, .704 4/18, .517 .612
Miller 5/26, 1.143 5/20, .292 .519
Halama 5/25, 1.500 4/13, 0/4 .550
Gonzalez 5/13, .900 5/8, .391 .551
Foulke 4/26, 1.429 10 @ 0/3 .526 .549
Timlin 4/13, 1.000 5/20, 0/5 .396 .385
Mantei 4/3, 1.167 3 @ 0/3 .519
Embree 4/22, 4.000 5/17, 0/5 .589 .605
Myers 6 @ 1.000 3 @ 0/3 .321 .339
DiNardo 4/23, .400 5/2, 0/1 .333
Neal 5/2, 1.500 4/20, 0/3 .659
Meredith 5/8, 1.600 5/9, .714 1.056
The Adventures of Reb & Jere - *vandalism*
Or as I like to call it, improvement upon the public property of NYC
This was jere's idea. We saw the sign last time I was in NY, for the hotel stalking. He said he wanted to get a Sox sticker on the sign. I took a picture. I wanted to use it, but I had to have the sticker. So last week we bought stickers at Fenway, in the souvenior shop while waiting for Empy & Witch City.
We went to the Riv to watch the game, and I think jere mentioned that it was kindof windy in there? really, really bizarre how blustery it was in that bar, just by the back tables.
From there we went to the A line, I think, to Times Square. The sign is in a hallway from outside and the A line to the Shuttle. Jere thinks they'll be gone in a few days. I'd like to think they'll stay, and maybe people will add to them. I like to dream.
At the end of the evening we were walking to Grand Central, and the display at Modell's caught our eyes:
I feel pretty silly with my fancy pics and nothing to say about the games. I watched them. But my figuring out how to get that pic up on my header was not a quick task today. I'm afraid I'm a little short on brainpower right now.
Mattie Clement - wow.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
KY = Kevin Youkilis
Your son has informed Red Sox Nation (via NESN) that you frequently google him to read what people are writing about your son. I generally refer to your son as KY on this site. You probably don't want to google that, as you will probably end up with a list of references to a sexual lubricant. If you are interested in finding out what Reb Sox has to say about your son, you may want to bookmark this site, so you can come here occasionally and type "KY" in the very top search bar. That will give you all the references to KY on this site only. And I assure you, when I put KY on this site, it is always referring to Kevin Youkilis.
By the way, some people have been saying lately that KY is overrated. But not me.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Our Joy, now illustrated for children
surprise gift from witch city sox girl
the good witch had a surprise, she told me, for Elle. It's a children's book. She even had it signed by the author. "thank you," frankly, seems a little trite. I really can't thank her enough.
In a few years, Elle will know exactly why her birthday was so important to so many people, thanks to this book. If you have wee little red sox fans in your life, you may want to get this for them. The illustrations are beautiful, and I got a little teary when I read the story last night.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
So apparently Drinkwater owns Giant glass and he comes to every game. The good witch mentioned how impressed she was that we could pick him out. We were VERY far away, and it was not at all easy... but he always sits right behind one of those signs behind home plate. I had taken this picture earlier, and I knew exactly what tiny speck of color I was looking for: maroon.
I offered, just for the record, to try and get another picture of Drinkwater... one that maybe showed his face or something, but no, jere said this one was gold.
Edit: We have learned that this dude is not the real drinkwater. So now we don't even have a name for the guy Jere has been watching all this time. He's obviously somewhat important, as we saw him milling around with players on the field that day. If we are ever that close again, I will ask him. But in the meantime, if anyone knows who this guy is, please TELL... oh and thanks Edmund, for clueing us in here.
Edit:This guy is Jeremy Kapstein, senior advisor of baseball projects for the sox. This post is unbelievably popular. Random people show up here every day to view a fake pic of drinkwater. What's the fascination, people?
January in June
KY must've drawn the short straw
Or maybe it was just because he wasn't in the lineup last night.
had to do interviews
Yet four fine bloggers were out, braving the cold, and looking for photo opps.
I don't know what empy was pointing at here, as there was not much going on out there.
It was pretty obvious we weren't going to see much at the dugout, so eventually we meandered over to our seats, which were in the second to last row under the Ford sign, so at least we were in the same general vicinity as the bullpen.
The red seat has a different number plate than the others.
note that there was a one that has been scratched off.
I'm sure someone will provide a detailed explanation of this. If you know, please tell.
We hung out near the fence, staking out a spot to watch warm-ups, which unfortunately was right in front of the seats of a huge group of 15 yr-olds.
This is always a welcome sight:
C-tek crosses the field to begin warm-ups
the windmill always looks funny in photos
I really don't think Captain appreciates all the people looking at him while he warms up.
but it's really cool to watch. who cares if he minds... he's getting paid ten mil.
while Bronson was doing his little sprints on the field, Manny came out. He looked a little aimless until a Reds player came out to chat with him.
I wonder what they're talking about. Recipes, maybe?
This pic really would've been cool if I had held the camera through the fence. jeez, I'm an airhead sometimes.
This is when they kick everyone away from the fence.
But I stood on top of a seat to take this one.
why am I JUST NOW noticing that Bronson took his 'rows out?
Probably because he was such a bad-ass on the field, I really didn't need to notice. He struck out eight, and looked like he was tiring a bit in the seventh. We saw Captain Cheese up in the 'pen, getting ready to go in if Bronson failed to get the outs. This spawned quite a bit of groaning and chatter in our section. So glad we didn't need him, but I am reminded... I need to update my silly chart so I can predict what kind of outing he will have next.
I was impressed by how most everyone in the park stayed 'till the end, despite the bitter weather. The people in our general vicinity seemed pretty cool. Witch City Sox Girl and I made enough comments about players' appearances that the guys in front of us starting making funny looks at each other. I wonder if they thought we knew nothing of the actual sport.
I didn't take any pics of the actual game, since we were so far away.
This one I took to confirm: Witch City Sox Girl made her shirt.
and it's awesome. I want one.
At this point we were pretty tired, but when you sit all the way in the back, there's quite a wait to get down the stairs.
here's the OTHER pic of the three blogettes.
I promised this pic to jere, but he couldn't get it for some reason. So when I posted it he was able to grab it. So now I've taken it off, and replaced it with another taken at the same time. One look at Empy will tell you how tired we all were. This pic also reveals the source of a theme of sorts for the day, if you've been reading closely.
for more details, stories, analysis & silliness regarding our freezing night at Fenway, see Empyreal Environs, Witch City Sox Girl, and of course, the man we owe our tickets to, jere.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Beth told me her husband had gotten ahold of "the good seats" (front row, near home plate; if these are not Steinbrenner's actual seats, they're pretty close.) for yankee stadium on Wednesday (that's today.) She wanted to know if I would be back, and if I could babysit. I said yes, I would be back, and no I could not babysit, as I would be at Fenway. "Oh, no! I guess we won't be able to go then..." Seriously, my sister actually tried to guilt trip me on this one. I couldn't believe it. And you know what? She hadn't bothered to ask anyone else. Yes, I realize that I am one of the few people they trust with Elle. And for good reason, as the girl is an absolute charm for me, but if my dad tries to watch her, she's screaming all night. But seriously. "As much as I love you," I told my sister," there is no fucking way I am cancelling my trip to Fenway just so you can see the yanks."
I cannot pretend to have a clue as to what is going on in Red Sox Nation, having been whisked away to Sunshine Farm, the middle-of-nowhere, Pennsylvania for a full five days.
The view from Sunshine Farm
As Jessiee pointed out in my comments, I was not entirely without access to high speed internet, but I hardly think letting my head get sucked into a computer monitor would be a great way to endear myself to possible future in-laws.
On Sunday, when my man got into a lengthy gaming discussion with a friend, I snuck a peek at my stats, and first caught wind of Cardnilly's antics. I feel silly responding to this so late, but there is something I would like to note on this topic. Scott no willy cruised the sox blogosphere hoping to find a bit of praise for his team, or at least much weeping and gnashing of teeth over the utterly embarrassing performances various sox players contributed to in the first two games of a three game rematch. A rematch of the recent world series by which Scott no willy was surely disappointed, something us sox fans can relate to. Imagine poor Scott no willy's sadness when he could hardly find a blog acknowledging the two games at all.
I admit to you readers, I did not address those two games very closely. I can understand if Scott no willy perceived my blog as meaningless chatter. I'm not much of a stats & analysis girl, anyway. To be fair, the timing was pretty poor (queer eye? Why would I not prefer to cover that over a blowout?) But there is another factor Scott no willy is most likely unaware of: we've gotten used to it. We have seen so many horrifying games this spring, so much inconsistency on the mound AND at the plate by players whom we feel sure (for the most part) are better than that. If I start harping on the same things over and over, it will drive me crazy. The only thing I found truly noteworthy in those two games was the quality outing by Embree, as predicted. And yes, I really ought to have mentioned it, and the fact that Tito wasted it on a hopeless cause.
Theo seems a bit baffled with the utter haplessness of our ball-club, and so am I. There does not seem to be a specific area to fix. The team has really worked together on this one. They take turns, one by one, and just when you start to feel safe with a particular guy on the mound or at the plate, that guy suddenly self-destructs. A select few have a rather high implosion rate and I'm sure your brain is shouting their names as you read this. Because of the brilliant performances we see in between the CRAP, I'm not sure what to think of our bullpen at all. I might be breaking out the charts again soon for a pitcher efficiency consistency comparison. (I will use real numbers this time.) I worry that my reluctance to completely condemn certain obvious culprits makes my blog as dry and dull and noncommittal as milquetoast. But the flashes of brilliance confuse me, and the completeness with which the disgusting suckiness has pervaded the entire team makes me worry instead about the coaches and trainers. For example, the bullpen: Embree has been awful, but only half the time. Everyone else in the pen has been awful at times, too. They have also all had fantastic outings. The talent is clearly there... Why has no one been up Bill Haselman's ass about this?
Maybe it seems out of turn for me to be mentioning this after a three game winning streak... That's just it, people, WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT A THREE GAME WINNING STREAK.
I did actually watch the game last night, and became acutely aware of the no-no much earlier than I ought to have been. David Wells is the balls. I was excited when theo got him, and his outings for much of this spring have been intensely disappointing to me. It looked like the dude was done, didn't it? Were it not for his two earlier brilliant outings (one was at Camden, i remember) after giving up those back-to-back-to-back longballs, I would've been screaming for his head a month ago, just like Witch City Sox Girl. (I will be sure to mention this when I meet her at the game w/ jere & empy tonight;-) Suddenly Boomer is back to looking just as he should: like the staff ace. One thing I noticed: in the past few outings, Wells has been around 90 pitches in the eighth, in easy reach of a complete game. Last night, despite giving up just one hit, Boomer hit 100 pitches in the seventh. If he had continued his bid for a no-no, would he have lasted?
So yes, I am going to the game tonight. I will return with pictures (weather permitting). In the meantime, here are some things I missed while gone:
- Twitch124 has an excellent review of a play I am dying to see. Unfortunately I have left my friend Christin in charge of tickets, so I have no idea if that's going to happen or not.
- Congratulations Jason & Karen Varitek. Caroline Morgan Varitek is their third girl. As the oldest of four girls, I am curious: will they take another shot at having a boy, like my parents did? If they do, with a bankroll like Jason's, when would they call it quits?
- Happy Birthday to Bullshit Memorial Stadium, celebrating one year of quality sox-blogging. This was actually yesterday, so I guess I didn't really miss it. I find it hard to believe that anyone on my blog would not already know this, but you must read BSM; it's good stuff.
And, until tomorrow, have a good one.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Post before Play
Looks like I missed a beaut last night... always seems to happen to me. My friend Christin called to say the sox were on Queer Eye. Girl, you think I was not all over that? Truly, I would have loved to watch the re-run to provide some more in-depth notes for you folks. I would have preferred even more to watch 94 pitches of beauty by David Wells. I even would have settled for watching Joe Torre freak out and yell at the umpire (woah, ya don't see that every day!) while getting ejected, despite the fact that the evil bastards won. Actually, almost anything would've been better than painting like a madwoman last night, as I have been all week.
In my rush to publish yesterday, I forgot to mention the sox wives. It was really neat to see the players & wives in the show. They had a pow-wow in the clubhouse, and Karen Varitek said this was new for them... they NEVER enter the clubhouse. Afterward one of the guys said "I can't believe we just let them in here" and I wonder if he meant the Fab 5 or the wives.
I knew about it, but was still sad that Jeana Millar couldn't make the filming. It would have been interesting to see the woman who tolerates Kev on a daily basis. All the women seemed pretty nice, but I really don't understand the obsession with Michelle Damon. SIX people have hit my site in the last two days looking for pics of that chick. Of course, I got on the search engines by mentioning that I did NOT get a pic of her. Sorry to disappoint you, folks. And I don't care to have one, either. (But Jen has one, and also a good review of the show.) One wife I was impressed with was Karen Varitek. Why does it not surprise me that Captain has the anti-stereotypical ballplayer's wife: brainy brunette. He's a smart guy, that Jason Varitek, and Karen seems like a very genuine person.
So, back to real baseball...
I'm happy Edgah smashed one in his old hometown. Papi rocks... I'm glad to see him in his groove. Especially while he is playing 1st base to stay in the line-up. I always worry when Millar ends up in the outfield... but I've also been worried about him warming the bench this week. His bat finally got hot this weekend, and no one wants to see that cool off (um, except for maybe our dear helmet-head.) And last night it was all good... apparently. I didn't see the game, remember. Did anyone get a hit on Kevvy's lack of range? let me know.
Foulkie, I see you managed to create some more excitement for yourself last night. You crazy thrill-seeker, you. Why don't you take up sky-diving or bungee-jumping, let the nation breathe a little easier in the ninth?
Captain, oh Captain... is there anyone who hustles like you do? What a travesty that the fab 5 made you up to look like a Hall-of-Fame football player; you are ALL baseball, through and through. It is unbelievable how consistant you have been this year at helping us win in all phases of the game. I'm not sure it's possible for us fans to fully appreciate what you do. Rockin' RBI doubles are just the tip of the iceberg, but we love 'em. Keep 'em comin'.
Sox start a series tomorrow at Wrigley field. I am dying to see it, and at least two of the games will be nationally televised. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much I'll get to see. My man picks me up in an hour for five days in PA with his family. I love his family, and have not seen them in over three years (long story) so I'm really looking forward to it... but my man is not all that into baseball. He knows how I love it, and will probably try to accomodate me for at least one game, but who knows how things will play out this weekend. Likewise, I really can't promise any posts; don't be surprised if I am MIA until next Wednesday. But if you really can't get enough Reb Sox, you could always peruse my extremely limited archive... and keep checking, 'cause you never know.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Queer Eye doesn't know what's HOT
So at least the state of the game gave me no qualms about turning the sound over to BRAVO at ten. I marked the channel & time on my calender about three months ago, a convenient reminder.
I like the fab five. I think they produced the show pretty well, and I love what they did for the little kiddies. (by the way... I'm sure at least one of those kids is parented by conservative christians; how come we haven't heard any noise from them? Oh, it must be ok to associate with gays if they are giving away free stuff.)
But they really, really fell down on the makeover job. All of the outfits were pretty much horrible. Was it some kind of queer joke to make our boys wear pinstripes, or do they really not know any better? Nice research. Whoever made that call ought to get the axe. But I think they did the worst with Captain. Ok, 'tek's no Matt Mantei, but he is cute in his own tough guy way:
Look at what those queer guys did to him:
Captain's queer outfit - Photo courtesy of Bravo
I can only assume they put him in that heinous gold jacket to minimize his enormous legs. What were they thinking? Don't you know, queer guys, we love to see Jason's amazing thighs? And are those flip-flops?
For those of you out there who have never known waxing: Kudos to Captain; he really took it like a champ. I can't blame Kevvy at all for crying like a baby... it's worth it, but it really does hurt.
Monday, June 06, 2005
The View From the Smith Residence
Around the fourth inning, we went out on the deck during a commercial to check out the view overlooking the sound. There is a jetty out into the sound directly in front of the building jere's parents live in. I noticed a woman laying face down on the rocks, near the end of the jetty. If she were wearing a bathing suit, I would just assume she was sunning her back, but only her calves were showing between bermuda shorts, socks & sneakers. Jere's dad (also Jere) looked out with his binoculars. Jere said it looked like she had fallen out of a plane and landed there. Mary-Ann (jere's mom) said she thought she had seen that woman with a group of nuns (I don't know how she could tell, from so far away, and with her head facing the rocks like that,) and I said perhaps she was lying prostrate in prayer, and Mary-Ann suggested she may have just fallen asleep there after praying all night. Jere said she looked like a beached whale. Which was really funny, but also mean, and let me just say that while the woman was not exactly trim, I have seen many americans larger than that, let alone whales.
She was laying like that for a long time. She kindof blended into the rocks from up where we were, so after awhile we didn't notice her unless we looked for her. I think it was the eighth when we saw that she was gone. I was glad to know that she wasn't dead, as had been suggested.
I've been trying to relate this illustration to the red sox, and in so doing demonstrate how "Life's a Beached Whale." Here's what I've come up with:
On Saturday, our bullpen looked like they were dead on the rocks. The next day they got up and pitched with no problem. Also, many of us have wondered if Millar still has a pulse this spring. Suddenly Kentucky Fried Kev is showing signs of life. So yeah, just when you think our team is "dead in the water" or on the rocks, whatever, things can change pretty quickly.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
El Rey del Queso
well we all know what kind he had yesterday.
I think my readers know that I'm not really a stat analyst. And let me tell you, ERA for a reliever is basically jibberish to me. Relievers have good outings, and bad outings, and ERA does not tell that story effectively, in my opinion. So to get a better grip on Embree's pitching this year, I decided to look at his game log. I looked through the stats on each game, and put them into one of three categories: Good, Not Good, & Disgustingly Awful.
my, um, extremely high-tech analysis of Alan Embree's '05 appearances
Since I don't know how to graph charts of this type on my computer, this will have to do for now.
The big surprise for me was how many good appearances he's made. Also, I've decided that his next appearance will most likely be lights out, based on the trend illustrated in my high-tech chart up there.
So I ask you: if you just happened to have a baby on your bed who was born on October 27th, 2004, and you also just happened to have a Red Sox onesie just her size in the very same room, and the sox needed a rally, what would you do?
Elle checks on the game
Right, so, it didn't work.
Elle is rather unimpressed by sox pitching
Actually it backfired. The Angels rallied. Jere said it was because I called her a "rally monkey", which is apparently a concept invented by Angel fans. Who knew? Ok, well I didn't. Or if I did, I forgot a long time ago.
She is darned cute, though, isn't she?
Saturday, June 04, 2005
yankee fans nervous - in June
I know what you're thinking: Yankee fans are even watching right now? Hey, that's what I've been thinking all spring. Things seem a little bit different this year, don't they?
My bro-in-law says it doesn't matter, no one's going to overtake the O's. Beth says "Honey, you forget, there's still a lot of baseball left. We usually don't start watching until after the all-star break." *classic*
And yes, the yanks lost to the twins. *yipee!* Plus, I got the sox on their computer. Literally, I loaded it up just in time to see the score was 4-4. Then Damon hit the ball, and it was 7-4. How's that for timing?
I'm just wondering one thing:
Foulkie, getting hitters out just isn't enough excitement for you, now that you've won a world series, is it? You must be addicted to the adrenaline of that tight situation, do or die... gotta load those bases up, before you can get the last out, so you can feel the ultimate pressure. You're a funny guy, and I know you want to entertain us out there, but really, this is not that amusing. Please stop. please.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Sweep in KC
despite the sub-par ball our boys have played against the O's, I can't help but gloat.
My friend Bobby came over last night to show me video from his trip to Puerto Rico, where he is claiming some inherited land and planning a farm. Bobby is a yankee fan, so naturally he wanted to avoid the subject of baseball altogether last night. And I, of course, insisted on torturing him with my Reb & Jere post. I sucked him in with my pic of Olerud, and managed the subtle dig through context (i.e. the game they played that day.) Hee Hee. He's supposed to pass the address on to local sox fan John B., so John, please comment to confirm.
One of my three yankee-fan sisters (the one who actually watches the games) asked me if I saw what Pavano did when he returned to the dugout. Why, yes, in fact, I did. He looked so mad throwing that glove, I'm surprised he didn't pull a Kevin Brown. Poor Carl, this year just isn't starting out too well for him, is it? I guess that's what happens when you make a career decision based on what hat your mama owns.
I normally watch YES with the volume OFF. This is because I HATE that Michael Kay, but it's a bonus that it infuriates my bro-in-law whenever he's over & wants to see the game. Last night, after the top of the ninth made me sufficiently uncomfortable, it finally ended and I turned the volume ON. I guess there are some YES post-game shows I really don't want to miss:-)
This whole series, according to the YES announcers & staff, is completely inexplicable. Unbelievable. Unimaginable. Kay mentioned several LOB situations, saying if those had turned out differently, this whole series could have been completely different. No shit, Kay, you mean if you could change history, it would make it different? Michael Kay, you are an IDIOT. Then they go on to comment about how the yanks have had something like FIVE team meetings in the last SIX days. Maybe that's too many. That many meetings can be counter-productive. So in the same breath where they say it's too many meetings, (and no, I can't keep track of which guy said what, EVER, sorry) they suggest that Torre needs to have another meeting and YELL this time. Really, I would love to see that.
One of the very few benefits of living in Fairfield County is occasionally getting to see post-game shows like that one. It was delicious.
oh yeah, it was a day game...
I have this problem: Normally I'm a glass-half-full kind of gal, but lately I get nervous about whoever is going to be pitching. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it anymore. I just figured Mattie would not be quite as good as he has been lately, just because our pitching is so randomly afflicted and unreliable. I've apparently developed a defense mechanism by simply expecting the worst from every one who takes the ball, so I can be pleasantly surprised if he doesn't completely blow up.
And of course I didn't see it, so I can't fairly evaluate how Mattie pitched. Three walks seems to indicate that he wasn't fully on top of his game yesterday, so I'm hoping this was his "off" day, as having one of those at least occasionally seems to be a requirement of sox arms this year. We all thought Foulkie might be through his rough spot, until, of course, he gave up 2 walks and 2 hits last night (and yeah, the go-ahead run, to boot.) I guess I can be glad I didn't see that part.
I tuned in just in time to see the bottom of the ninth. Surely, if I were to have chosen one half inning to see yesterday, this would've been it. I got to see Marky-Mark hustle a grounder into a single, and Edgah's bunt was successful on the first pitch, also a single. Remember folks, if either one of those cheap infield singles results in an out, Papi never sees the plate.
...and I could feel the rally chant pulsing through red sox nation, all of us who were watching at the edge of our seats, knowing just how badly we needed that walk-off by Papi. And then... to see it happen! (Some of us much closer than others, of course.)
And you know how MLB.TV turns off almost immediately when the game ends? I got to see Papi jog into the happy mob at the plate, and that was it. As it clicked to black, my phone rang. Number I had never seen before, but I answer anyway. Jere says to me "tell me that just really happened." I can understand, when you're keeping track of the game at work, you're fairly limited to the play-by-play on gameday. And somehow the delayed message of "Ortiz walkoff HR, game over" is a weak way to describe the drama of a 2-on, 2-out, full-count situation in the bottom of the ninth. So I can relate to his desire for comfirmation.
just a few notes:
Bronson, nice 'rows. Clearly you ARE doing whatever it is you need to do to feel like superman again. Can't wait to see it in action on Saturday. You're such a bad-ass, I love it.
KY, yeah, you led off the game ok, and I really do love you and want to see you on the field every day... but it seems like you haven't been too slick at the plate lately. What is up with that?
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Oh Captain, that grand slam just keeps eluding you, doesn't it? This time by a lineup change... didn't even get a shot at it. No one could have forseen that situation.
And Kelly, don't fret! All of the nation felt for you last night, in that pressured situation & still trying to get your first hit. You'll get it. Just remember, even if you had hit a grand slam last night, the boys in the dugout would've had to bite their tongues and ignore you.
It's gorgeous out, and I love it, but here in Red Sox Nation it feels like a dense fog.
At best we will go .500 against the O's this week. We really need to be winning these games, especially with the yanks suckin' wind in Kansas City. (hee hee.) And it really seems like we ought to be winning these games, too. But for some reason, every single one of our pitchers is getting afflicted with BP fever at random times...and the bats - in a line-up like this, you would think we could get more than three guys hitting consistently at the same time...
Ah, but it is June, and rumors are afoot. Mid-season is trade season, and for us the season of speculation. After all, Theo is by far the best GM in baseball. He is god - of the fate of Red Sox Nation, pulling the strings with the help of his think-tank to try and fix whatever the hell it is that is so inexplicably WRONG with our team. At some point in the next two months, moves WILL be made and the team will change a bit overnight. And all we can do in the meantime is wonder and ponder...
(thanks Andrew for cluing me in on Evan's links. It was really neat to see, since I read that article on Goatriders way before I knew what a blog even was. Sometimes I use links as sortof... Footnotes, I guess. Thanks to Joy of Sox, my site has had MAD traffic in the last 36 hours, so I'd better make sure everyone knows what I'm referencing here. )
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Captain speaks magic incantation
And whatever he said, it must've been gold.
Wade ended up throwing 108 pitches. He only gave up 5 hits in 7 innings. Silly me for doubting him. Isn't baseball great? One minute you can be condemning a player, thinking they're all washed up or just plain suck, calling for their trade or retirement etc., or in this case freaking out with concern of an injury issue, and the next minute all is fine with the world again.
Oh speaking of injuries, my hunch on Johnny Damon is this: they didn't even ASK him how he felt. They're not going to be taking any chances with Johnny's head; it needs ALL those brain cells. He'll be under observation for the next 24 hours. We'll know he's fine if he starts tomorrow.
Nice work at the plate tonight by Papi, Edgah, & Bellhorn. And I don't know about you, but I'm starting to like Olerud already. I'd rather have everyone be hitting, but it's nice that we can come out with a win with just a few guys doing it.
the icing on the cake? The Yankees lost to the Royals, currently the worst team in baseball. The game was still on when the sox had won, so I switched over. A commercial for tomorrow night's game invited yankee fans to "join YES tomorrow night when the yankees hand another loss to the Royals in Kansas City." Wouldn't count on it, suckas.