Monthly Archives: May 2008

A Tale of Two Catchers

 

The Jays have turned things around since May 9th, the day many thought would be the end of their playoff chances. But behind the MLB’s best pitching staff (leads the league in ERA), the Jays have crawled back to within 3 Games of the AL East leading Rays and currently stand at 31-26. This marks the first time the Jays have been 5 games over .500 since 1997*. So whats driving the resurgence of the Blue Birds besides the consistently sublime pitching? I say the Catcher Quandry. Though I hadn’t even considered the catching platoon to be an issue, after looking at some numbers, it appears as if Gregg Zaun enjoys spearheading Losses. In Games the recently calmed Zaunn has appeared in (significant playing time, no pinch hitting, sub bullshit), the Jays have gone 16-21. He was also involved in an anemic April stretch that saw the Jays lose 11 of 12 in  which he played. The other side of the coin reveals the brilliance of Ontario’s finest, Mr. Rod Barajas. In games the Barajas plays in, the Jays have gone 17-10. The post-Mitchell era has been cruel to Mr. Zaun.

Otherness, to Mr. McGowan for extending the Cycle of Litsch streak to an unprecedented four games. When will people see the invigorating properties of Litsch?

Shannon Stewart has a 224 point difference between his batting average in Jays’ wins compared with his batting average in Jays’ losses. Catalyst? Just maybe. All this despite being endowed with the names Harold and Shannon. Amazing.

Though he’s my favorite Jay, arguments concerning his prominence in the lineup are continuing to look bleaker everyday. The Rios is hitting 18 points better in Jays losses. The Jays have won despite him this year. However,  I do take comfort in the company he keeps atop the GIDP leaderboard. Some future HOFs right there.

Matty Stairs has some seriously fucked splits. He is currently hitting .071 against LHP and .300 v RHP. The Canadian boy has also proved my longtime suspicion that he hates Canada by hitting .206 at the Rogers Centre and .333 on the Road.

Props to Baseball Reference for refusing to abandon the Skydome. Strange how the insanely updated site still refers to buildings by their 20th century names. Seriously Awesome.

Among MLB pitchers with more than 60 IP, Jesse Litsch is 17th in Run Support. Dustin McGowan, not so lucky (though that will change after the explosion last nite) He is currently 85th of 86 pitchers with 2.78 Runs/Start.

The Jays are currently rocking two pitchers in the WHIP Top 3!! Marcum is #1 with the Doc coming in at #3.

Marcum is also leading the league by quite some margin in Opponent’s batting average. He has made the AL his collective bitch, allowing them to hit only .160 thus far. Or, for awesomeness context, 20 points less than the next best pitcher!!

Litsch has the fewest BBs among pitchers with 60 IP with 9. Doc has the 3rd fewest with 11.

Though these figures will probably never be topped in the history of man, one number suggests they could be even better. According to the Jays ERC percentage, the pitching staff has been UNLUCKY so far this season. If the figure is less than 100, than it is assumed they have been unlucky. The Jays number: 94!!! Look for a 1-2-3-4-5 showing in the Cy Young voting come October. For a more detailed explanation check this out: http://www.baseball-stats-online.com/bbso/glossary/pglossary.html

*No actual evidence to support

 

 

 

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Filed under AL East, Alexis Rios, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Major League Baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

Crosby Exhaustion

Has Crosby’s waxed chest turned Canadians off of the NHL Finals? Possibly, but theres probably something else at work.

Anyways, to me, what is most interesting about the 2008 NHL Finals is the Canadian public’s response to the supposed “rebirth”. According to this Canadian Press article, 500,000 more Canadians preferred last year’s Game 2 to this years’. Strange.

While some may argue the Finals’ lack of a Canadian team are driving the public’s waning interest, this argument is completely retarded. Hockey is Canada’s fucking game. It is the only earthly activity that Canadians have consistently dominated. Other than Women’s Ear Pull.

Even more unexplainable is the fact so many Canadians have turned their backs on the supposed savior of the NHL, Mr. Crosby. His inclusion in this year’s finals is clearly driving the improved interest in the US. Plus, Crosby has been covered so extensively by the Canadian media that you’d think most people had developed a personal connection with the Kid. 

But maybe the never ending coverage of Mr. Crosby has taken its toll on the good people of Canada. The Canadian media have been covering his life so thoroughly for so long that people may have stopped caring. Considering the limited actions Crosby performs to justify such coverage (other than his on-ice performance), it would definetely be reasonable for Canadians to lose interest. The US numbers are higher simply because they have not been subjected to the torture that is Crosby coverage.

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Filed under NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Uncategorized

Nice Call Pop

While the truthers of the world are screaming foul today, the real culprits ain’t last nite’s crew but Mr. Pop and his band of Foreigners. Your drawing up a play for the Barry? Come on. While going with the hot hand is kosher in the regular season, doing so in the Playoffs seems kind of counterproductive. Mr. Pop, didn’t you benefit greatly from Pargo’s lunacy in last round’s Game 7? How’d that work out for Byron Scott? Plus, the last important playoff game decided by last-second free throws occured in 2006 (it was either D-Wade or Dirk who knocked em down)

I thought all anti-social coaching heroes were history buffs? I guess Pop doesn’t have any time to spare between his coaching responsibilities and covertly pimping the benefits of ProActiv Solution.

Even more unexplainable was Manu’s complete indifference to the non-call. While Barry was in the midst of the classic Spurs’ protest, Manu seemed more interested in post-game plans (possibly a viewing of Baby Mama? A lil’ Alamo desecration? Who knows?) Wheres the support Manu? I guess the WASP gets no love in the Spurs’ locker room.

Whatever. Who gives a shit. Gimme some Cs-Lakers.

Video via Deadspin

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Filed under Brent Barry, Los Angeles Lakers, Manu Ginobili, NBA, San Antonio Spurs

Mike Shanahan hates the Modern Family

 According to ESPN, the terrorist organization that is the Denver Broncos have signed Michael Pittman because Travis Henry has not reported to “optional” workouts. Has there ever been a more meaningless NFL transaction that has been this blatant in its disgust for the modern family? I say almost certainly no.

While Shanahan has been raising a “traditional” family, Mr. Henry has revolutionized the Catholic family (no actual proof of Henry’s catholicism. Just creating some decent justificache) Instead of pro-creating a large amount of children with one woman, Henry has instead chosen to pro-create a large amount of children with MANY women. Brilliant.

Come to think of it, Henry may be in the midst of a melding of old school Mormonism and Catholicism. Or just may be participating in old school Mormonism. My understanding of popular religion is underdeveloped at best and completely contrived at worst. Just like this blog post.

*After actually reading the story that corresponded with the ESPN headline, it turns out Henry has an injured hamstring. The financial responsibility of 18 people is a large burden.

**”Travis Henry children” has just revealed Henry is expecting his tenth child this November. I heard the tenth is the easiest.

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Filed under Denver Broncos, NFL, Travis Henry

Fear for the Mo’

This afternoon, the Jays usurped the Royals (yesssss) 7-2 to finish off the sweep. Marcum continued his brilliant 2008, giving up 1 earned and maintaining his petty 0.87 WHIP. This guy hasn’t given up more than 6 hits all year. From what I understand about sabermetrics, that is money. The unlikely duo of Scoots and Zaun launched a few jacks into the Roger Centre seats, with the Scoots adding a stolen base as well. Rios too displayed the hybrid game, hitting a 2Bagger and stealing 2nd. It looks like Rios’ power game has not left him and if today’s performance is any indicator of future progress, expect him to be in the 30-30 club by August. Real talk (ye ye Real World assholes). I’d almost prefer to see Scutaro hitting jacks than Rios since I can talk myself into buying Rios’ “continued development” when he may have peaked last year. Whatever. Keep working those gaps Alexis.

Though we have swept the Mizzou shit, the upcoming schedule is eerily similar to another era of unbridled optimism. Remember when the Jays swept the Sox in their second series of the year? I was dreaming October back then until Beane’s boys came to Toronto and embarassed us behind some expendable Diamondbacks’ prospects. Shit, that sucked. Anyways beware of the similarities and hinder the expectations surrounding the upcoming road trip. After the trip, the Jays will have played 19 of 25 on the road. What the shit?

Otherness, brought to you by the Professor of Letter Recognition, Mr. Jamie Campbell. Did anyone witness the fiery bastard proudly inform the Rogers faithful that the Royals roster contained 5 players with surnames beginning with G? Is that Jamie’s “filler”? How many dyslexic research assistants did it take to present that as “air-worthy”?

Yesterday the Rogers’ crew cherrypicked my Lyle research. Dicks.

Sunday’s victory saw McGowan limit his walk total to zero for only the 2nd time in 11 starts. Very encouraging considering he walked 9 batters in his previous 11.1 innings.

The Jays allowed 3 ERs this series. No lime needed.

Rios strike from CF on Sunday was fucking beautiful. Though, Jose Guillen deserves some credit for being a fucking shit baserunner. 

It was either Saturday or Sunday that a Jay was thrown out at home for the first time this season. Peavy’s sublime streak finally ended.

McGowans’s breaking ball (I’m not entirely sure what pitch it is) is absolutely unhittable against left handed batters.

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Filed under Alexis Rios, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, Major League Baseball, Oakland Athletics, Sports, Toronto Blue Jays

A Royal O’Doyling

Wow, that is some poetic schlock right there. This afternoon the Jays commemorated their return to the airwaves by mangling KC 6-0. Jesse Litsch was brilliant, throwing a complete game shutout and extending his IP w/o a walk streak to 32? innings, a record-breaking feat (props to Pat Tabler for sharing such info, though he obviously deserves none) B-Wilks became the 2ndJay in as many weeks (!!) to hit a first inning grandslam. Crazy stat; when the Jays hit a first inning grandslam, they are currently 2-0. GrandSlams = Victories. Tomorrow, McGowan takes the mound. Hopefully the power of the Cycle of Litsch will propel the struggling prodigy to a W.

Otherness, brought to you by the Jays’ announcing team, who lended some populist legitimacy to the Cycle of Litsch, pointing out Litsch’s last W kick started the Jays’ current run. While this would be apparent to anyone dedicated enough to check a schedule, when delivered by the grisled Pat Tabler, the Cycle is infused with a lil’ ol’ time respactibility.

Lyle Overbay, the one of the Limp Bizkit fandom, has quite the streak going. Lyle has now reached base in 11 straight ABs. 11 straight!! The new hotness (yes…) has seen his OBP launch to a special .402, tops for the Jays.

Jesse “O’Doyle” Litsch completed his game in an economical 103, or one less pitch than the Doc did last nite. He also became the Jays’ leader in wins with 6, or one more than the Doc. Am I the only one who feels the rotation began today?

The Jays are now over .500, currently sitting pretty with a 26-25 record. The last time the Jays were over .500 was April 20, when they were 10-9. Yeee…

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new era. Either the Jays’ fall off the wagon, blow the sweep, andgo back to .500 or they embark on an epic trip to the top of the AL East behind the new leaders (IMO), Lyle Overbay and Scotty Roles. I’m excited. Hopefully the douchebags over at Rogers will spare us the pre-game Memorial Cup coverage and recognize the importance. Fingers crossed. Tomorrow’s starters are McGowan and the bizarro Jay, Gil Meche.

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Filed under AL East, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball, Roy Halladay, Scott Rolen, Toronto Blue Jays

Pargo saves the Spurs from Infamy

D-West!! Where ya been friend?

Last nite the Spurs pulled off a truly unbelievable victory over the Hornets, 92-81, in the seventh game of their Western Semi-Final Series. Despite shooting 22% in the 4th quarter. Despite turning the ball over 6 more times than the Hornets (14-6) Despite seeing Manu and Tim miss all 10 of their 4th quarter FGAs.

TP knocking down the dagger

In the 4th quarter last nite, the Spurs were garbage. This clutch bullshit the media is spouting today is absolutely killing me. While I’ll admit that Tony Parker played beautifully, hitting 3 out of 5 4thquarter attempts, including the dagger with 50 seconds left, Duncan and Ginobili were shit. They’re absolutely blessed to escape to the Western Finals.

And why? I can’t even blame it on a single person. It wouldn’t be fair because the whole team displayed an aversion to shoot. Except Jannero Pargo. Who shot the ball 13 times in the 4th quarter. And hit 5. And was somehow allowed to continue. Even worse than Pargo’s bonanza was the complete disappearance of the Hornet’s stars, Paul and West, who shot the ball a combined 6 times in the 4th quarter. So the Hornets 6th man shot the ball twice as many times as the combined total of the Hornets stars. Wow. Sorry for the repetition but that is just incredible. Who is to blame for such an insane discrepancy? Paul and West themselves? Byron Scott for allowing it to continue? or Pargo for going batshit on the rim? Horrible.

I’m going to have to blame West and Paul for the loss. I’d actually commend Pargo for being aggressive. Paul appeared to want no part in the game and allowed Pargo to continue his streak. West was completely absent in the 4th. His one basket occurred in the last 30 seconds when the game was out of reach.

Another Hornet absent last nite was Peja, whose absences and attendance appeared to be the main factor in the series. In the 3 Hornets’ victories, Peja was 20-36 from the field and 8-13 from 3 for 56 points. In the Hornets’ 4 losses, Peja was 13-37 from the field and 3-10 from 3 for 34 points. Tale of two Pejas.

Now that my surrogate team has been eliminated, the Western Finals are dead to me. I honestly don’t care what happens in that series, though I wouldn’t be averse to seeing the Lakers win, if only the Celtics also won, so the inevitable Boston victory would be over the Rocky Terrorizer. As long as Kobe loses.

 

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Filed under Basketball, Chris Paul, David West, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Tyson Chandler