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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Life After 30
2007-02-26 22:05
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Two weeks ago, I shot baskets for the first time in close to a year and found the ball extraordinarily heavy and the hoop mystifyingly difficult to penetrate. I mean, it was pathetic.

One week ago, I skied for the first time in close to a year and, a couple days into the trip, found myself carving through the snow better than I ever had in my life. In the middle of the week, I took off my skis at the top of the High Alpine lift at Snowmass, Colorado, carried them as I hiked uphill for five minutes to Hanging Valley Wall, put them back on, and proceeded over the narrow lip of a double-black-diamond run, cutting my way through the trees with hardly a hesitation, except to catch my breath or savor the moment.

I was on Cloud 10. I still am, thinking about it, and only wish I were back there to aim for Cloud 11.

It's simply fascinating to me that at an age when proven athletes are declining, there's one sport at which I could be improving. But then again, I find the whole sport fascinating. I could take the same run over and over again, but it's never the same. The paths change; the conditions change (on Tuesday, visibility was going from sunny to fogged in on seemingly every other run). I'm gaining strength and then losing it and then regaining it and then re-losing it. I'm choosing different routes, different approaches, different kinds of rhythms. I'm going for quick, short turns on one set of moguls, then trying to go deeper and longer on another. I'm learning something on nearly every run - although I forget some of what I learn a couple runs later.

It's not as if skiing isn't a demanding sport, and it's certainly not as if I'm in the best shape of my life. With the kids and the blog, if I exercise more than once a week, or twice a month, that's a miracle, Mandy - a true blue spectacle.

But somehow, nine months shy of my 40th birthday, I'm the best I've ever been. Somehow, even though I have been skiing since 1975, in never being able to ski more than a week a year - some years not at all - it has just taken me this long to learn to ski. My understanding of the sport has apparently come about so slowly that my ability to improve continues to outpace my physical decline, for now.

In contrast, I played basketball hundreds of days a year in my teens and twenties, and quite possibly learned all the technique I was going to learn. Not all the technique anyone can learn, but all that I was going to.

If I had learned to ski faster, I would have been better 10 years ago than I am now, because there's no doubt that physical conditioning makes a huge difference in one's ability. But inadvertantly, I left myself room to grow.

This phenomenon doesn't necessarily explain, say, Dodger reliever Takashi Saito having a breakthrough year at age 36 last season. But it does make me believe in the possibility of the late bloomer, the player who got a late start on his path to the bigs, who may not ever be as great as he might have been with an earlier launch, but still has unattained potential past the normal player's prime.

There's a time limit for major leaguers, of course, but there is life after 30.

As for me, I'm not looking forward to much about turning 40, but I'm hoping there are still even bigger, blacker runs left for me. And I'm thinking that around the time I turn 45, when the kids are a little older, I'll try to pick up rock climbing again. I haven't done that in years.

* * *

Previously on Dodger Thoughts: "Old Friends"

* * *

Update: In the spirit of this post:

The Dodgers announced that they "will hold an open tryout at 9:00 a.m. this Thursday to which any professional or amateur free agent can attend. The event will take place at Dodgertown on Fields 5 & 6, with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. Participants must bring their own equipment and be dressed in baseball attire. For more information, call (772) 569-4900."

Comments (242)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-26 22:14:57
1.   D4P
I haven't been skiing since the early 90s, but I have heard that new ski technology (i.e. the curved skis) make skiing significantly easier.
2007-02-26 22:25:05
2.   Bob Timmermann
If I took up skiing, I would think that the Kaiser Permanente Orthopedic Group would be getting a lot of business.
2007-02-26 22:33:24
3.   underdog
As a 36 y.o. soccer player who didn't pick up the sport again until age 30 after a 12 year hiatus (after playing all thru childhood), one who still feels like he's learning, and feels like he more easily forgets after not playing for a week how to play the game, and whose knees feel like they're going (tendinitis?) when walking up stairs or hills or running on pavement but can still somehow get it together to play twice a week, I am dreading the day when I can no longer do it. I can't ski worth a darn. I hate golf. I can play softball but don't find it the vigorous workout of soccer. Anyway, I... wait, what was I talking about? Who are you people? Eh? You'll have to speak up louder, sonny.
2007-02-26 22:36:22
4.   D4P
I haven't played any sport that requires running in probably 5 years or so. One thing I have noticed is that (at age 33) I get injured much more often while lifting weights than I did in my 20s.
2007-02-26 22:43:35
5.   trainwreck
I hope you are properly stretching.
2007-02-26 22:46:58
6.   Icaros
And remember to stay well hydrated.
2007-02-26 22:50:40
7.   Bob Timmermann
When you turn 40, you start to pay attention to those pharmaceutical ads that they run during baseball games more.

You know which ones I'm talking about.

It's those ads for toenail fungus.

2007-02-26 22:53:22
8.   LAT
The difference between skiing and basketball, especially when you are 40, uh, I mean 39 and three months, is summed up in one word: Gravity.
2007-02-26 22:55:35
9.   trainwreck
That was a promising first episode for the Black Donnellys.
2007-02-26 22:57:36
10.   Greg Brock
I was just going to say that I need a ruling from the commentariat on The Black Donnellys.

I thought it started out very derivative, but ended up being derivative and pretty good.

2007-02-26 23:00:42
11.   D4P
I can't believe how much TV you people watch.

There, I said it.

2007-02-26 23:02:35
12.   trainwreck
10
It is pretty much everything I expected.
2007-02-26 23:03:13
13.   Jon Weisman
8 - Yeah, that explains a lot of things.

I saw such bad reviews for TBD that I didn't watch.

2007-02-26 23:03:55
14.   LAT
Jon wasn't kidding when he said he would be back to posting on 2/26. He is back with a vengeance.

As for Tommy, I hope he knows what he's saying. When threatening to sue for defamation you better be right because truth is an absolute defense.

BTW, if I were Bruce Willis I would be pretty upset about this whole Babydoll Trick Book thing. Sheez, losing his hair, not having a hit movie in a while and now having shared a woman as Tommy Lasorda.

2007-02-26 23:05:10
15.   trainwreck
As Brock said, it is nothing original, but it works for fans of the genre.
2007-02-26 23:06:09
16.   Greg Brock
13 It was very by the numbers, "Close Irish brothers, one nutball." Michael Corleone-style "Good Kid sucked in to a life he didn't want." But it wasn't bad.
2007-02-26 23:12:52
17.   LAT
One more comment about the Babydoll thing. My wife used to be head of marketing for a division at Guess and worked fairly closely with the Marcianos, especially Mourice. She got a pretty good laugh when I told her the story. There have been similiar rumors for years. They hit on every woman to walk through the place. It was great money but she quit becasue it was such a sleezy place.
2007-02-26 23:12:59
18.   Greg Brock
Oh, and fantasy casting disguised as "casting rumors" has Matt Damon, Adrien Brody, Gary Sinise, Daniel Dae-Kim, and James McAvoy lined up for the new JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. I'll believe that on the twelfth of never. And Aaron Eckhart is Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the Dark Knight.

And I snuck in movie tv talk before being crushed by Xeifrank. I'll stop now.

2007-02-26 23:17:27
19.   LAT
A Barry Manilow reference! That must be for the James Taylor fans from the previous thread.
2007-02-26 23:50:19
20.   LAT
Dog farts are almost always worse than people farts. I think she is trying to tell me to change her food.

Do cats fart and if so is it bad? Bob?

2007-02-26 23:54:12
21.   Ken Arneson
It's funny, Jon, I was just thinking the other day about the old Ted Williams quote, "By the time you know what to do, you're too old to do it."

I played basketball a lot as a kid, but the pounding that jumping took on my knees and back made me give it up in my 20s. I turned to soccer instead--the angles are similar, so a lot of the fundamentals are similar, but the surface is much more forgiving.

For years, I just relied on my quickness and speed--I'd just run past my opponents. But in my mid-30s I started noticing that my opponents were running side-by-side with me. Now I'm 41, and younger defenders now routinely beat me to where I want to go. I don't feel any slower, but it's obvious I am.

Because I lost my one big weapon, I've had to make a Frank Tanana-like change from speed demon to junkballer. I now play slow, slower and even slower, just waiting for the right angles to open up. The transition has been quite fun to make. I'm probably not a better player than I was before, but it sure feels like it, because I'm so much more mentally aware of what I'm doing. I'm probably just holding steady for awhile, as my mental improvement stays pace with my physical decline, but I'm sure I can't keep up the pace forever. I'm enjoying while I can.

2007-02-27 00:04:21
22.   Ken Arneson
Oops--the point being, sometimes there is plenty of room for improvement, but you don't make it because you're not forced to. For example, I'm confident Bobby Kielty could be a solid, everyday player, if not a star, if he gave up switch-hitting. But he still has a job, he's getting paid $2.1 million this year to platoon. He probably won't change until he can't find a job. And then, when it works, he'll be like all us other old farts looking back at wasted youth, wondering, how good he could have been if he had known what to do while he was still able to do it.
2007-02-27 01:17:29
23.   El Lay Dave
19 James Taylor fans have no use for Barry Manilow.

I'm 46. I know I can still do everything I used to in my 20s, if it weren't for this nagging sports hernia, that little bit of fluid building up on my knee, the shortness of breath after 120 seconds of strenuous activity....

2007-02-27 02:15:28
24.   Ryan Armbrust
As the unwelcome 22 year old in this discussion, I have a question: Is the lesson I should be taking from this is that I should take advantage of my youth while I can, or wait until I've learned enough to use wisdom and guile? I swear, sometimes you old folks are so difficult to understand... [ducks to avoid the dentures, empty viagra bottles, bedpans and cans of old spice being flung in my general direction]
2007-02-27 02:21:04
25.   Eric Enders
So I guess it's fitting that Jon posts this a week before I turn 30 -- and a few weeks after I tore my calf playing baketball. I feel much worse, er, better now.

For what it's worth, until the rather painful ripping of muscle matter, I was improving my game pretty steadily. (I'd worked my way up from "plays like a short fat guy" to "plays pretty well for a short fat guy.")

2007-02-27 04:17:04
26.   Sam DC
Looking good Billy Ray?
Feeling good Louis.

Meanwhile, the last thread reminded me that I'm excited because I found this at a garage sale: http://www.amazon.com/Costello-Nieve-Elvis-Steve/dp/B000002NCJ

2007-02-27 05:57:59
27.   Vishal
[18] what's this? new star trek?
2007-02-27 06:02:12
28.   Bumsrap
As we age past our physical primes, our brain never fully recognizes our body's dimenishing abilities. We throw a football and it is short of its mark and it is not obvious why. Moral: Teach your brain to match up to your current body otherwise it remembers what your body use to do when it was doing it most often. More good news is that many with age become more intuitive and less analytical, see the big picture more often, and unless they are a GM understand that Loney should be starting at first.
2007-02-27 06:04:40
29.   Prescott Pete
24 Young Ryan: The answer -- no matter what the age -- cardio workout.
2007-02-27 07:12:45
30.   Benaiah
"The Black Donnelly's" was pretty solid I thought. It isn't the most original work ever, but if you watch the pilot you will definitely come back for the second episode. Plus it fits together with "Heroes" a lot better than "S60" ever did.
2007-02-27 07:35:35
31.   Greg S
It's amazing how much Jon's third paragraph applies to the game of golf as well. I don't ski but I can tell you that from that description, they have a lot of similarities.
2007-02-27 08:23:40
32.   StolenMonkey86
I turn 21 on Saturday, but this guy really makes me feel old.

http://tinyurl.com/2mzpgl

2007-02-27 08:55:43
33.   Marty
All my athletic abilities seemed to drop off a cliff the minute I turned 40, so Jon, enjoy the next 9 months :)

A long-gone Times executive was rumored to be in Heidi Fleiss' black book.

2007-02-27 08:57:45
34.   Gen3Blue
Nice article by John Beamer at Hardball Times about batters K rates. I feel a little better about JP seeing he has a remarkably low K rate, close to Tony Gwynns.
Of course Beamer qualifies this ,saying K rate tells very little about overall hitting ability. I had just assumed amid the gloom that JP struck out a lot--awful in a no. 2 hitter. At least if he puts the ball in play 2 speedy guys get a chance to cause some havoc. Thats better than a strike-em out throw-em out double play.
2007-02-27 09:25:15
35.   ToyCannon
For some unexplainable reason at the age of 45 I had my best season in softball as I went back to playing SS for the 1st time in 10 years on a regular basis because our regular SS had left. I made plays I had never made before, and I hit as I had never hit before. The very next season in our 1st game I went back to playing like I was 46, so I hung it up choosing to remember the previous year as my last year. Strangely, after having played some type of baseball/softball since I was 7 I don't seem to miss it one bit. I always envisoned myself as one of those old farts playing in senior leagues but now I'm not so sure.
2007-02-27 09:25:39
36.   adraymond
32
I hear ya. I'm 21 plus a few months. Felix, and especially Lebron, make me feel worthless. These guy are awesome athletes and way rich and I'm contemplating springing $14.95 to watch "over 150 games" of Spring Training games on MLBtv. What have I done with my life?! Just in the past few years I've started to see awesome athletes who were born after I was excel in the pros and each time I feel little older.
2007-02-27 09:35:17
37.   Jon Weisman
Tony Jackson is channeling Steve Lyons.

http://www.insidesocal.com/mlb/archives/2007/02/dodgers_alleged.html

2007-02-27 09:40:43
38.   scareduck
Congratulations, Jon. The last time I went snow skiing was before I even met Helen, probably approaching 20 years now.
2007-02-27 09:40:44
39.   Steve
Those two idiots deserve each other.
2007-02-27 10:16:10
40.   ToyCannon
From BP quotes section. Loved the 2nd quote.

In 1995 when I was with the Marlins, we had a really young team and I was about the only established hitter in the lineup and they kept walking me, which got really frustrating."
--Sheffield

"Then one day, we were playing the Giants and Bobby Bonds, who was their batting coach, was standing at the batting cage and as I talked about my frustration he said: 'You have to realize that by taking a walk you make it easier for your teammates.' The next year I walked 142 times and had my best season. What was funny about it was that Bobby was one of the all-time strikeout guys when he was playing. I guess it was a matter of teaching something he couldn't do!"
--Sheffield, who hit .314/.465/.624 that season. (Bill Madden, New York Daily News)

2007-02-27 10:58:46
41.   Greg Brock
Wow, PECOTA is a lot more optomistic about Luis Gonzales than I would have possibly assumed. His 90th percentile numbers are off the charts. Heck even his 75th percentile projections put him at .286/.365/.477, with a 20.7 VORP.

Raise your hand if you think LuGo is .286/.365/.477 this year...

2007-02-27 11:20:07
42.   ToyCannon
Take away his fluke year and I wonder what Pecota would say. The output is only as good as the data that goes in. My hands are firmly tied behind my back and I expect LuGo to post 260/350/400 which would put him only ahead of JP in production for a starting player.
Betemit on the other hand is going to surpass the Pecota medium projection and lead the 2007 Dodgers in HomeRuns.
2007-02-27 11:25:40
43.   Daniel Zappala
Well, this is of course because Dodger stadium inflates offensive statistics. It's the new Coors. All because the foul lines have been moved.
2007-02-27 11:27:56
44.   Gen3Blue
I tried to raise my hand but I think Ijust blew out my aging rotater cuff!
2007-02-27 11:42:15
45.   Greg Brock
44 Next time, instead of hand raising, I'll ask people to do The Charleston, and 23 Skidoo!
2007-02-27 11:42:20
46.   slackfarmer
Anyone interested in some fantasy baseball? Sabertooth Dodger III is a 20-team, keeper league with "moneyball" stats on Yahoo Fantasy Baseball PLUS. All DT posters are welcome, no charge. This is the third year of the league, but the first year we plan to keep players from one season to the next. So we will have a fresh draft on March 11th, then next year each team will carry 10 players over from this year.

To join, go to http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b2 click the "Sign Up Now" or "Get Another Team" button and follow the links to "Join a Custom League". When prompted, enter the League ID# (1625) and password (scully). Public email required.

2007-02-27 12:05:06
47.   Gen3Blue
T Jackson came perilously close to joining the "Home Runs kill rallies" club in his blog today.
2007-02-27 12:19:16
48.   Jon Weisman
47 - Duly noted in 37.
2007-02-27 12:25:53
49.   bhsportsguy
Jon - there is probably no way to interject a Condi Rice quote here without violating a number of rules but let's just say that her favorite sports moment of all time involves Stanford but not the Big Game.

Hint, it was 10 years ago while she was in the private sector.

2007-02-27 12:28:45
50.   Bumsrap
47, 48
A homerun is a rally just that the hand clapping comes after the hit instead of before the scoring ground ball.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-27 12:32:00
51.   Bumsrap
49
Thanks for the much needed information.
2007-02-27 12:35:10
52.   Jon Weisman
49 - I met Condi at a party during the Sweet 16, just before Stanford rallied to beat Rhode Island to go to the Final Four. Does it have to do with that?
2007-02-27 13:11:30
53.   El Lay Dave
26 Did you get a good deal? I have one that I bought new (I shoulda bought two!); it's a good listen, but as I recall there isn't that much to the packaging - outer box, 5 slim CD cases with cover sheets inserted, no book of any kind? Burn a copy, scan the cover sheets, and resell! (I audio-taped the radio broadcast of the LA show from 101.9 KSCA, I think; what a geek, eh?)
2007-02-27 13:16:35
54.   Bob Timmermann
52
So is Jack Donaghy angry at you for horning in on his girl?
2007-02-27 13:29:56
55.   Jon Weisman
54 - I was clearly no match for Jack. But Mark Madsen might have given Jack a run for his money.
2007-02-27 13:31:11
56.   Jon Weisman
In the spirit of this post:

"The Dodgers will hold an open tryout at 9:00 a.m. this Thursday to which any professional or amateur free agent can attend. The event will take place at Dodgertown on Fields 5 & 6, with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. Participants must bring their own equipment and be dressed in baseball attire. For more information, call (772) 569-4900."

2007-02-27 13:41:32
57.   bhsportsguy
52 Last comment, at least from me, actually from Condi herself.

Your favorite sports moment, either as a participant or a fan?

Stanford. Sweet 16. St. Louis. 1997. Stanford comes back from 11 down with 1:34 to play to beat Rhode Island and go to the Final Four. I was provost, and I got to go out and cut down a piece of the net.

And I am guessing Jon was not out there holding the ladder. And do you think she remembered all that without looking up, she has a good memory.

2007-02-27 13:47:44
58.   Andrew Shimmin
"People play baseball. Numbers don't."

http://tinyurl.com/36fdjg

2007-02-27 13:49:58
59.   Jon Weisman
57 - My friends and I ran down from the top level down to court level as the buzzer sounded. We didn't storm the court, but we stormed courtside!
2007-02-27 13:50:36
60.   Jon Weisman
58 - Yeah, I know. I dreamed up several different responses to that while in the shower this morning.
2007-02-27 13:55:38
61.   trainwreck
I guess I am just an evil stat monger.
2007-02-27 14:02:02
62.   Andrew Shimmin
61- Just be glad Mr. Chass, finding himself in a charitable mood this afternoon, hasn't seen fit to call your mother and badger her about it.
2007-02-27 14:02:35
63.   Marty
People with bad numbers shouldn't though Murray.
2007-02-27 14:03:43
64.   Steve
People play baseball. Sportswriters don't.
2007-02-27 14:05:34
65.   D4P
Pretty, pretty numbers...
2007-02-27 14:06:56
66.   Eric Enders
57 She got the year wrong, didn't she?

Reminds me of the time I once had to edit an article wherein Al Gore recalled his favorite baseball moment. He said something like, "I'll never forget being in Atlanta to watch Game 7 of the 1991 World Series in person. Joe Carter's home run that night was an unforgettable moment."

2007-02-27 14:08:28
67.   Marty
Still nothing on Lasorda's blog on his life as a John.
2007-02-27 14:12:13
68.   Gen3Blue
37 48 Damn--your post may be why I looked at Jackson's, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together. Getting senile stinks.
2007-02-27 14:13:06
69.   Dodgers49
So what are we supposed to make of Kemp's spring training numbers (whatever they may be)?

>>> Matt Kemp in race for Dodgers' fifth outfield spot

Kemp is amazed at how well he can see the ball while wearing his new Nike MaxSight contact lenses. But he realizes they won't be of any help during most games.

"They are only for during the day," he said. "They brighten everything up and are great for spring training. But they don't do anything for you at night."

http://tinyurl.com/3d6tz3 <<<

2007-02-27 14:20:53
70.   Jon Weisman
68 - But it also fits with the theme of this post :)
2007-02-27 14:26:46
71.   jasonungar05
speaking of life after 30, approcahing 40..did anyone else get POLICE tickets for June 23 at DS?
2007-02-27 14:29:38
72.   Steve
People play baseball. Rock stars don't.
2007-02-27 14:30:06
73.   Hythloday
58 - Still I'd like to see a numbers race at Dodger stadium a la the sausage race. We could have VORP and OPS and AVG racing down the field. That is until Randall Simon intervened and pulled a Gillooly on VORP's kneecap of course. You could also add an angry mob in Joe Morgans masks.
2007-02-27 14:30:19
74.   trainwreck
Apparently Al Gore has a $30,000 a month electricity bill.

http://tinyurl.com/3ahmb9

2007-02-27 14:34:20
75.   Jon Weisman
71 - I didn't, but I'm willing to take some off someone's hands.
2007-02-27 14:38:07
76.   El Lay Dave
74 Borderline rule 5? (Unless you're going to follow up with argument regarding the statistical analysis?)
2007-02-27 14:40:07
77.   El Lay Dave
71 Will Sting appear in a sequined Dodger uniform, à la Elton John?

No, I didn't get tickets.

2007-02-27 14:45:19
78.   ToyCannon
71
I must confess that I snagged 4. Sometimes being a season ticket holder has decent perks. I just heard the FooFighters are opening so it should be a fun night at DS in June.
2007-02-27 14:46:33
79.   El Lay Dave
58 Why was the mainstream press so willing to swallow the QB passer rating with its arcane and arbitrary calculations, but so hostile toward "new" baseball statistics?

Perhaps if a key statistic were simply called "batter rating" it would be more accepted?

2007-02-27 14:49:23
80.   Steve
People don't play quarterback. Statistics do.
2007-02-27 14:51:44
81.   trainwreck
79
I think many baseball people feel threatened by the evil stat mongers. They see these guys who are all highly educated and they probably hate them (jock nerd rage) and are worried they will take all their jobs and make them irrelevant. They think these egg heads will ruin their beloved game.
2007-02-27 14:53:22
82.   Hythloday
80 - How does Aaron Brooks fit into that aphorism?
2007-02-27 14:55:58
83.   trainwreck
82
He has to get a job first.
2007-02-27 14:57:06
84.   Jon Weisman
81 - It's preposterous.

80 - Getting a wee bit old now.

2007-02-27 14:58:42
85.   ToyCannon
I think most people are just put off by the arrogance of the evil stat mongers who tell them how their game should be played and discount the experience that people in the game have.
2007-02-27 15:00:15
86.   D4P
84
Jokes don't get old. People do.
2007-02-27 15:01:37
87.   trainwreck
74
BTW, I meant year not month.
2007-02-27 15:05:05
88.   Steve
Who's to say lasted months. I think this has definite Who's to say potential.
2007-02-27 15:05:26
89.   Steve
But then again, who's to say?...
2007-02-27 15:07:16
90.   Hythloday
79 81 - I don't know that it is a jobs issue.

They ram QB rating down our throats on every single football broadcast. Most baseball announcers don't touch any of the more advanced statistics. They could ram VORP down people's throats in the same way without explaining what it is and why it may or may not be good in the same way. It would be reporting VORP as a relatively arbitrary number, but it would be an improvement.

There seems to be some institutional inertia in terms of switching to new stats on television and I think that is the big barrier. Anecdotally though I feel like we may have reached a tipping point in the last year or so and things might start picking up speed soon. (hope hope)

2007-02-27 15:11:29
91.   Jon Weisman
90 - During the first year of DT, I wrote about whether something as simple but new as OPS could gain acceptance. And generally it has, mostly just as people got to see more and more of it.
2007-02-27 15:18:25
92.   LAT
67. So when Babydoll Mistress called him "Tommy John" she wan't referring to the pitcher?
2007-02-27 15:19:18
93.   trainwreck
The QB rating I think works for a lot of fans, because it tends to backup their own opinions. In football you can watch a QB for so long and can generally tell if they are performing well or not.

VORP on the other hand can completely contradict their first hand views. A fan can watch Pedro Feliz hit home run after home run and they think he is great.

2007-02-27 15:19:22
94.   El Lay Dave
87 and you meant gas and electricity.

I still think we're in rule 5 territory.

2007-02-27 15:20:21
95.   Jon Weisman
94 - Me too, essentially.
2007-02-27 15:20:58
96.   Bob Timmermann
As someone who recently sat through a six hour training seminar on change in organizations, I think baseball's resistance to adopting new ideas comes from its organizational culture.

Throughout its history, the sport has always resisted change unless there was some major economic reason for it. The DH and interleague play were reactions to declining AL attendance and declining attendance after the strike, respectively.

Baseball does not have a structure where innovation is encouraged. Winning and making money is encouraged. And people only really look at short-term gains. Who wants to root for a baseball team with a far-reaching five or ten-year plan for success?

2007-02-27 15:21:00
97.   trainwreck
It seems baseball fans just value different things, so they do not trust these stats. Obviously, the fact that they are new to most people makes it worse.
2007-02-27 15:28:44
98.   JoeyP
I'm really into baseball stats..I think they're the absolute truth when it comes to building teams and eliminating inherent bias.

However, I'm probably the exact opposite in basketball and football. In those two sports, the individual stats really dont tell how effective a player is.

I dont care how good Lamar Odom's stat line, he's not a star player. He's passive..and the stats wouldnt bear that out.

Football--same thing. Defensive stats are really hard to measure.

2007-02-27 15:30:18
99.   El Lay Dave
91 Ugh - I wish Pete Palmer hadn't decided to weight OBP and SLG equally.

93 Fans watched Dave Kingman hit home run after home run and knew that he wasn't great.

VORP is probably too much for the average fan to accept, but a scaled, weighted OBP/SLG based rating could work, I think.

2007-02-27 15:33:08
100.   trainwreck
98
http://www.Footballoutsiders.com
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-02-27 15:33:52
101.   El Lay Dave
98 How about O-line play!

96 Winning and making money is encouraged. And people only really look at short-term gains. Who wants to root for a baseball team with a far-reaching five or ten-year plan for success? It's America's Game!

2007-02-27 15:34:03
102.   Hythloday
96 - I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you, but the same could be said about football (at least in terms of winning and making money). Yet football seems to be much more innovative.

I wonder if the difference comes down to the game itself and not economic impetuses. One could argue that there is only one way (or very few) to play baseball and win while there are numerous ways to plays football and win. One naturally encourages traditionalism (and Tom Emanski) as the best path to winning while the other naturally encourages innovation as the best path to winning.

2007-02-27 15:35:15
103.   Bob Timmermann
I think some football and basketball experts would tell you that there are stats that can express how good players are.

I don't see how anyone can say "these stats tell us what we need to know about baseball" and at the same time say "we can't tell anything about football and basketball from stats."

Nothing is that simple.

2007-02-27 15:37:36
104.   Hythloday
99 - I don't agree on the VORP account. I can't tell you off-hand how much completion percentage figures into passer ratings (though I know it is a lot), but I do know the scale on which I should judge passer rating. Similarly, TV announcers could use VORP while only providing the scale and not the underlying construction of the stat. As someone said earlier (was it you?) a catchy name is all that is missing. Don't think of an elephant.
2007-02-27 15:39:56
105.   ToyCannon
98
You just believe what you want to believe. You don't think Lamar is a star so you choose to discount basketball metrics. You probably pick and choose baseball metrics that support what you think to be the truth.
2007-02-27 15:42:43
106.   trainwreck
105
Reminds me of how I used to debate with a lot of Philly fans on another sportsboard. For some reason all of them hated Abreu and Burrell, because they said they were slow, lazy, and not clutch. No matter how many stats I would show of them being good players, they never bought it.
2007-02-27 15:44:25
107.   trainwreck
I know basketball metrics exist, but I have not seen many. I am very interested to see what they say and how they rate players. The closest I have seen is John Hollinger's efficiency stats, but it has some logical flaws to me.
2007-02-27 15:46:54
108.   Greg Brock
Hollinger's PER and the Wages of Wins crowd are just scratching the surface of basketball analysis. It's really in its infancy.

I'm in total shock over that Murray Chass quote. Bill Plaschke is so mad he didn't think of it first.

2007-02-27 15:47:59
109.   regfairfield
105 It also depends on what metric you're looking at. I don't know enough about basketball to make a real judgment but it seems like the basic stats like points and rebounds per game are flawed, since they don't take into account opportunity.
2007-02-27 15:50:34
110.   D4P
I'd have more respect for the anti-stats argument if its makers didn't also look at stats themselves (e.g. BA, SBs, Wins, Saves, etc.).

On second thought, no I wouldn't.

2007-02-27 15:51:22
111.   Bob Timmermann
Hey, I've got Thursday off from work. I should fly over to Florida and try out for the Dodgers.

I need to buy some baseball attire.

And equipment.

And not be 41 years old.

2007-02-27 15:52:50
112.   Icaros
Forum Blue and Gold is a great site for an introduction to new basketball metrics like PER and eFG%, especially if you're a Lakers fan.
2007-02-27 15:52:58
113.   trainwreck
You could try out for the Giants or convince Ned that Ethier needs more time in AAA.
2007-02-27 15:54:00
114.   El Lay Dave
104 It was mean, but I don't think it even has to be "catchy", just simple. As I proposed earlier, "batter rating".
2007-02-27 15:54:25
115.   D4P
To me, the "purest" basketball stat is probably a player's 3-point shooting percentage, in that:

1. The extent to which it depends on other players' actions is minimal
2. The degree to which it standardizes the activity is very high (i.e. most 3-point attempts are taken from just slightly beyond the arc, as opposed, for example, to 2-point shots which can be taken from a wide variety of locations, including dunks)
3. It reflects an actual skill, which isn't completely dependent upon height, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

That being said, it clearly isn't the most important stat, and not the best indicator of a player's value to the team.

2007-02-27 15:55:12
116.   El Lay Dave
114 "mean" -> "me" - weird editing error.
2007-02-27 15:55:21
117.   Vishal
Who wants to root for a baseball team with a far-reaching five or ten-year plan for success?

me! me!! [raises hand]

2007-02-27 15:56:01
118.   trainwreck
If only we could talk to the Rockets GM. He could give us a good lecture on basketball stats.
2007-02-27 15:56:09
119.   D4P
115cont.
I suppose the same arguments apply to free-throw shooting percentage as well.
2007-02-27 15:58:23
120.   El Lay Dave
119 More so. There are no wild-ass free-throw attempts to beat the quarter buzzer.
2007-02-27 15:59:41
121.   Bob Timmermann
115

Jason Kapono for MVP!

2007-02-27 16:04:19
122.   Daniel Zappala
The Phoenix Suns would argue that 3-point shooting has a lot to do with winning. Everything short of a championship, that is.
2007-02-27 16:05:09
123.   underdog
111 Bob, I still think forward for the Lakers would be a better bet. And require less traveling right now. Just ask for a 10-day contract.
2007-02-27 16:06:52
124.   trainwreck
At this point, I would take almost anyone over Smush.
2007-02-27 16:08:56
125.   Icaros
I thought Smush was going to find a way to hook D-Fish up with a five-point play last night.
2007-02-27 16:14:15
126.   underdog
Smush of the 24 points last night? He is erratic tho, and I wish he'd up his assists total. But the Lakers are seriously hurting in the front court 'til Walton and Kwame are back. So I say Bob cuts in front of Pippen in line for that.
2007-02-27 16:15:32
127.   trainwreck
Smush cannot play defense and he takes such bad shots.
2007-02-27 16:23:28
128.   Greg Brock
So, have we discussed the fact that an Orlando pharmacy was raided last week for illegal steroid sales on the internet, and Gary Matthews Jr. is alleged to be one of the players listed in records?

If we haven't...An Orlando pharmacy was raided last week for illegal steroid sales on the internet, and Gary Matthews Jr. is alleged to be one of the players listed in records.

2007-02-27 16:25:57
129.   trainwreck
Grand jury probe links online drug sales to pro athletes

By BRENDAN J. LYONS
ALBANY TIMES UNION

"The customers include Los Angeles Angels center fielder Gary Matthews Jr., according to sources with knowledge of the investigation."

"Sources also said New York Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement investigators recently interviewed a top physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers about his alleged purchase last year of roughly $150,000 of testosterone and human growth hormone."

This is from that "wellness center" in Florida that got raided.

2007-02-27 16:26:42
130.   trainwreck
Aww so close, so close.
2007-02-27 16:27:59
131.   Greg Brock
130 Not your fault. I had a ham sandwich, Salt n Vinegar chips and a Diet Coke for lunch.

I'm in the zone.

2007-02-27 16:30:31
132.   Marty
129 Was Tom Lasorda on the customer list?
2007-02-27 16:31:32
133.   El Lay Dave
131 Sodium high?!
2007-02-27 16:32:41
134.   El Lay Dave
132 Tommy's human growth hormone is wheat-flour based and comes in various shapes and sizes.
2007-02-27 16:34:55
135.   Brendan
129

thank god we got juan instead runs from the room

2007-02-27 16:38:30
136.   El Lay Dave
Somehow this strikes me as wrong.
http://tinyurl.com/32pqb5

But the black border does stir up warm memories of 1971.

2007-02-27 16:38:59
137.   Xeifrank
http://82games.com/articles.htm is a site I recommend for advanced basketball metrics. I haven't studied them indepthly, but it's interesting reading what type of stats people are creating. Sports like football, soccer and basketball just seem very difficult to quantify from the individual standpoint. In baseball it's pretty much an individual sport (pitcher vs hitter vs fielders). I would think something like golf, where you stand in one spot and hit the ball would be easier to quantify. There are just way too many variables in football, soccer and basketball for a simple person (like me) to quantify the individual talent. I would much rather let someone else do the math in this case.
vr, Xei
2007-02-27 16:40:35
138.   Greg Brock
Since "Bullethead" is bothersome, I've been tinkering with quick names for that guy. Since D4P told me that his most common at bat is Strike One/Ground Out, I'm thinking of just calling him SOGO.

It's not catchy, and it's not creative, but it's easy. Slappy McPutout is also still available.

2007-02-27 16:45:24
139.   Xeifrank
Bob, you should go to the Dodgers try-out. If you have a weak arm, my suggestion would be to tryout for CF. I wouldn't worry about being 41 years old. Back when they had the big baseball strike 10 years or so ago, I went to a Blue Jays tryout at Pierce College. The ad in the LA Times said you needed to be younger 25 years old and had previous minor league or some equivalent experience. I didn't meet either qualification, but a friend of mine and myself wanted to be able to say we tried out for the big leagues. We had both played in high school, so we didn't suck. Turns out we were younger than most people there and probably talented than most. It turns out alot of people had the same thought as us. I remember one guy there, probably in his mid 40s with greying hair commenting that this was probably his last chance to make the big leagues. We got a big kick out of that. All they had us do was run a 40 yard dash in a heat of 5 people and field 2 ground balls at SS that they rolled to us. In one sense it was a complete waste of time, but in another sense it will be a lifelong memory. If it wasn't so far away, I'd say go for it. For the record, I didn't end up making the team.
vr, Xei
2007-02-27 16:46:29
140.   trainwreck
138
1&Done?
2007-02-27 16:53:37
141.   ryu
Man, I feel very bad for Livingston.

"Confirming their worst fears, the Clippers learned today that point Shaun Livingston has suffered potentially career-threatening knee damage and could be sidelined at least a year after he has extensive knee surgery.

"An MRI exam today revealed that Livingston suffered tears of three of the four major ligaments that support the knee. He tore the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. Livingston also tore his lateral meniscus and a dislocation of his patella."

http://tinyurl.com/29rcac

2007-02-27 16:55:41
142.   Vishal
[138] since he's going to be batting second after furcal, how about something like "one on, juan out"? i'm sure there will be plenty of first innings like that.
2007-02-27 16:57:31
143.   trainwreck
141
That is really sad. Hopefully he can come back in two seasons. He has so much potential. He just got Clippered.
2007-02-27 16:58:26
144.   Xeifrank
141,143. He will probably be a free agent by the time he comes back? vr, Xei
2007-02-27 16:59:12
145.   Marty
141 So his knee basically exploded. Man that's a tough break.
2007-02-27 17:00:22
146.   Vishal
[141] oh wow, that's terrible. i really liked livingston. :(
2007-02-27 17:01:07
147.   trainwreck
144
Yeah, he will. This could be like Jason Williams incident, only it happened on the basketball court instead of riding a motorcycle on the street.
2007-02-27 17:03:18
148.   trainwreck
137
It is too bad they have not updated that site in a couple seasons.
2007-02-27 17:05:04
149.   Xeifrank
148. last update was today, 2/27. Not sure how many minutes ago.
vr, Xei
2007-02-27 17:11:05
150.   trainwreck
148
When I clicked on it, I was getting stats from 2004-2005 season.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-02-27 17:14:12
151.   trainwreck
Went back to the link and I am still getting stats from 03-04 and 04-05 seasons.
2007-02-27 17:14:37
152.   Bob Timmermann
I think my baseball tryout may be hurt by the fact that I have never ever played a competitive game of baseball.

I'm certain that Juan Pierre could outthrow me.

2007-02-27 17:17:46
153.   Greg Brock
152 Joe Morgan told me you shouldn't even be able to talk about baseball.
2007-02-27 17:25:00
154.   Icaros
152

Did any of your brothers ever play?

2007-02-27 17:35:56
155.   Terry A
Who enforces the dress code at open tryouts?

What if Bob showed up in one of those infamous old White Sox uniforms, the ones with shorts and -- what was it? -- dickies or ascots or somesuch?

2007-02-27 17:36:23
156.   trainwreck
I had no idea until today that George Lucas did not direct Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi.
2007-02-27 17:38:26
157.   Icaros
156

It's the main reason why Empire is the best of the six.

2007-02-27 17:40:19
158.   Vaudeville Villain
I know this is a baseball comments section, but as it applies to statistics and the discussion we are having here about stats related to basketball and football, I agree that football stats are probably pretty useless for the most part, but I still think most basketball stats are worthwhile.

Also, I wanted to defend Lamar Odom. If you look at his numbers objectively, his closest comparable players are Shawn Marion and Manu Ginobili. He's arguably worse than Marion statistically, depending on whether you value Marion's slight points and rebounds advantage over Odom's superior assists. He's better than Manu Ginobili, a former "all-star". Maybe's he's not a star player, but he is a very, very, good player.

2007-02-27 17:42:06
159.   trainwreck
According to Hollinger, Manu is much better than Odom.
2007-02-27 17:49:52
160.   Bob Timmermann
154
Competitive organized sports played by someone in my family:

Basketball
Volleyball
Soccer
Tennis

Competitive organized sports played well by someone in my family:

My grandfather was inducted in the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. He played back in the 1920s. He drank a lot and I believe his best skill on the field was beating people up.

2007-02-27 17:55:04
161.   Icaros
I guess I'm surprised at the notion of a St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in the same way I'd be surprised to hear that Salt Lake City has a Poker Hall of Fame.
2007-02-27 17:57:04
162.   Bob Timmermann
St. Louis is one of the biggest cities in the U.S. for soccer. Half of the 1950 US World Cup squad came from St. Louis. The city used to have a huge immigrant population and there was a very big league of teams that were associated with various companies in the area.

If my grandfather couldn't play soccer, he never would have been employed in his life and he just would have ended up dead and drunk in a speakeasy somewhere.

Which is what happened to him after he stopped playing soccer because he hurt his knee.

2007-02-27 18:00:28
163.   Icaros
162

Wow, consider me newly educated.

2007-02-27 18:04:07
164.   underdog
158 Ditto.

163 Ditto.

Well! My work here is done.

2007-02-27 18:13:59
165.   Daniel Zappala
This is why the Dodgers are moving from Dodgertown to Glendale. Closer to the LA area, hence easier access for fans to the open tryout day.
2007-02-27 18:14:24
166.   twerp
138 influenced by 156--

Obi Juan Out?

2007-02-27 18:23:44
167.   Icaros
What did James Loney do to Gurnick to deserve a Mike Marshall comparison?

That's just mean.

2007-02-27 18:26:55
168.   Marty
Next thing Loney will do is start complaining of general soreness.
2007-02-27 18:32:26
169.   Sam DC
Alert Alert!

http://tinyurl.com/2pncll

2007-02-27 18:41:51
170.   Icaros
169

The best one in the set is Hedy Lamarr, whom I'd never heard of until now.

2007-02-27 18:43:41
171.   Greg Brock
170 She tricked William Lapetomaine into appointing a black mayor in Rock Ridge.
2007-02-27 18:43:49
172.   Sam DC
Didn't you see Blazing Saddles?

Didn't you wonder?

2007-02-27 18:50:21
173.   Icaros
Didn't you see Blazing Saddles?

No.

Didn't you wonder?

Yes, about many things. Still do.

2007-02-27 18:52:23
174.   Greg Brock
Well, to tell the family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.
2007-02-27 18:56:04
175.   Sam DC
Didn't you see Blazing Saddles?

No.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2007-02-27 18:57:01
176.   Icaros
174

I think one of mine was, too. And if it's the one I'm thinking of, she still is.

2007-02-27 18:58:01
177.   Icaros
175

Sorry. I have seen History of the World Part 1 and Spaceballs.

2007-02-27 18:58:39
178.   Sam DC
177: That really only makes things worse.
2007-02-27 18:58:45
179.   Terry A
He's just pulling your lariat, Sam.
2007-02-27 18:59:07
180.   Greg Brock
There is no emoticon for how Sam is feeling.

Icaros has a homework assignment. Watch Blazing Saddles.

2007-02-27 18:59:58
181.   trainwreck
169
Did they really have to have Steven Seagal on that list?
2007-02-27 19:01:50
182.   Vaudeville Villain
159-

I'm not sure how Hollinger's coming to that conclusion. Comparison of the two players' career averages:

Ginobili:

FG%: .452
FT%: .799
TO: 2.0
BLK: 0.3
REB: 3.8
AST: 3.4
PTS: 13.5
3P%: .374

Odom:

FG%: .451
FT%: .714
TO: 3.0
BLK: 1.1
REB: 8.6
AST: 4.6
PTS: 15.9
3P%: .321

Ginobili's only better at shooting Free Throws and three-point percentage, meanwhile Odom doubles his output on the boards, and averages slighlty more than a full assist more than Ginobili at the SF position, while Ginobili plays at the G spot, traditionally a more assist prone position.

The important the thing in this comparison is the rebounding advantage. I consider rebounds to be one of basketball's most important statistics, in that it functions similar to baseball's out.

Rebounds either preserve a possesion on offense, the equivalent of prolonging an inning with a hit or walk, or end a possession, like a defensive play or strikeout.

I'm a little tired to be analyzing how exact that analogy is, but I think it works well enough.

2007-02-27 19:01:53
183.   Daniel Zappala
I haven't seen Gone with the Wind or The Sound of Music. Until recently, I hadn't seen Casablanca. But even I have seen Blazing Saddles.
2007-02-27 19:06:34
184.   Sam DC
Nowhere special. I always wanted to go there.
2007-02-27 19:07:30
185.   Icaros
Which one makes it worse, History of the World or Spaceballs? I didn't think either was bad, though I obviously wasn't compelled to go out and see more Brooks stuff.
2007-02-27 19:09:23
186.   Sam DC
Mens College BBall.

Tennessee 50, Florida 31, halftime.

2007-02-27 19:10:05
187.   Sam DC
185 Well, let me ask you this. Young Frankenstein?
2007-02-27 19:12:42
188.   Sam DC
Meanwhile, my TV has Foxes with Jodie Foster and Scott Baio showing.

But I must needs sleep.

2007-02-27 19:13:01
189.   Terry A
Hold it, men.

He's not bluffing.

2007-02-27 19:13:43
190.   Bob Timmermann
Air Force leads BYU by 8 in the second half.

Just trying to give our MWC brethren their due.

2007-02-27 19:13:59
191.   das411
106 - Hi.

Re: Livingston injury, does nobody else remember this?

"As is common with ACL tears, he had other damage. A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed he had partially torn the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and cartilage."

http://tinyurl.com/26cznb

THAT one hurt to see. He does seem to have recovered fairly well though...

2007-02-27 19:15:05
192.   Greg Brock
Florida is doing its best to lose a Number 1 seed in the tournament. And the media establishment is doing its best to turn away and pretend it isn't happening.
2007-02-27 19:16:32
193.   Bob Timmermann
According to my search of the LAPL catalog, there are 194 books in the library about the Dodgers franchise, 119 of them about Brooklyn.

There are 16 about the Angels.

There are none about the Devil Rays.

The Yankees are the leaders with 214.

My search strategy was not precise and I didn't account for duplicate editions.

2007-02-27 19:19:06
194.   Icaros
Oh yeah, I forgot about Young Frankenstein. I've seen that more than once. I like it, and I remember my parents loving it very much when I was a toddler (it actually came out before I was born), but it's one of those movies that just hasn't knocked my socks off the way it has everyone else.

Sorry, Terry, I'm not bluffing.

2007-02-27 19:21:13
195.   Greg Brock
Wow, Florida is getting housed by the Vols. And I've never seen Noah so rattled. She looks really upset.
2007-02-27 19:22:37
196.   Bob Timmermann
195
As Tom Brennan would say, "Walk in the park."
2007-02-27 19:24:20
197.   trainwreck
195
Did you happen to hear the Dickie V radio interview debacle? He was supposed to do an interview with a Florida radio station and did not realize he was on the radio yet and was talking with some fan and was telling the guy how Billy Donovan told him that Horford is way better than Noah and everyone in the NBA knows that. Dickie V then later called back and made all these excuses for why those comments were not real.
2007-02-27 19:28:28
198.   Greg Brock
195 Yeah, I was chuckling when I heard that. I guess they both trashed Noah.
2007-02-27 19:28:46
199.   StolenMonkey86
Icaros, have you seen The Producers? The 1968 one?
2007-02-27 19:29:41
200.   Terry A
194 - I hope you'll see the movie, Icaros. I think you'll enjoy it.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-02-27 19:30:48
201.   Icaros
199

What are you trying to do, get Steve after me now?

No, I haven't, nor have I seen any of the recent stage and screen remakes.

2007-02-27 19:32:28
202.   Disabled List
I saw Blazing Saddles at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood a few years ago.

If you've seen the movie, you know why that's cool.

2007-02-27 19:34:13
203.   Icaros
200

I'd like to. Be nice if Comcast would put in On Demand, since the video store across the street went out of business last month, and I don't watch enough movies to join Netflix.

2007-02-27 19:36:03
204.   El Lay Dave
169 Ed Begley Jr. probably does NOT have a $30,000 a year gas and electric bill.
2007-02-27 19:42:48
205.   El Lay Dave
it actually came out before I was born
Ouch.

See Blazing Saddles. See the original Producers. Rewatch Young Frankenstein. Do it now!

2007-02-27 19:44:45
206.   trainwreck
204
That is for sure. The man rides a bike to make toast.
2007-02-27 19:46:57
207.   Steve
[utter disgust]
2007-02-27 19:47:51
208.   El Lay Dave
Begley, Jr. really walks the walk.

Almost make me take the smug out of my Prius driving. Almost.

2007-02-27 19:48:56
209.   El Lay Dave
201 then 207
[heavy, dark, forboding organ music]
2007-02-27 19:49:32
210.   Bob Timmermann
208
If you can't drive a Prius with a sense of smugness, you might as well just pack up your stuff and move to Nebraska.

Smugness and the Prius go hand in hand.

2007-02-27 19:50:22
211.   El Lay Dave
210 Prius driver and Mac user is the Daily Double of smugness!
2007-02-27 19:50:38
212.   Icaros
Oh cool, I got off with only utter disgust. That's what Steve feels for pretty much everyone.
2007-02-27 19:50:40
213.   Bob Timmermann
208
Good thing you said "Begley, Jr."

I would hate to think that Ed Begley, Sr. is going to rise from the grave and make us all ride the bus to work.

2007-02-27 19:51:53
214.   Bob Timmermann
211
I bought the Smugness Options Package from the Toyota dealer.
2007-02-27 19:52:05
215.   trainwreck
208
Good for yoooouuuuuuuu.
2007-02-27 19:53:12
216.   Greg Brock
Boy, this crowd is so eco-friendly. Almost makes me want to give up my SUV that runs exclusively on whale oil.

Almost.

2007-02-27 19:56:27
217.   El Lay Dave
213 I think you have the beginnings of a treatment! "Recycled from the grave, fresh from convening with actual fossil fuels, etc."

214 It wasn't standard? It was coupled with the iPod only jacks, right?

2007-02-27 20:00:15
218.   El Lay Dave
216 Did you get the optional baby-seal club rack for the back window?
2007-02-27 20:01:26
219.   Jon Weisman
Joel Silver invented ultimate frisbee??? I need further confirmation.
2007-02-27 20:04:09
220.   trainwreck
219
Wikipedia has a whole history on it that says Silver came up with it. Of course, it is Wikipedia.
2007-02-27 20:09:49
221.   Andrew Shimmin
Looks like he popularized it, more than invented it.

http://www.ultimatehistory.com/founders/

2007-02-27 20:11:50
222.   Andrew Shimmin
He did copyright the name, according to the NYT.

http://tinyurl.com/33ubm3

2007-02-27 20:12:57
223.   underdog
Are you sure it's the same Joel Silver? I knew a Joel Silver who was neither a film producer nor an ultimate frisbee-inventor.

Hoo boy, Ed Begley Jr., when I met him at Sundance at his Project Greenhouse HQ, I made the mistake of saying, "So tell me how this stationary bike works." He hopped on the bike and rode for 10 minutes at a very high energy while he explained it and drank this scary high energy drink. Got sort of dizzy watching him, but was also impressed by the eco-doohickey.

{Eco-doohickey a registered ™ of underdog}

2007-02-27 20:15:13
224.   Daniel Zappala
Prius drivers have a particular type of smugness. They aren't really eco-smug, they are capitalistic-scum-smug, because they only bought the car to save money, not to save the earth.
2007-02-27 20:20:02
225.   underdog
Didn't realize the Dodgers had a guy named Jack Billingsley trying out for them.
http://tinyurl.com/3br4de
(see bottom of the article, notes)

Or did they mean Peter?

Er, I mean, Chad.

2007-02-27 20:20:08
226.   Daniel Zappala
BYU prevails over Air Force.
2007-02-27 20:21:01
227.   D4P
If I buy a Prius, it will be to save the earth, not to save money.

And I was saying boo-urns...

2007-02-27 20:36:53
228.   Greg Brock
I stand up and cheer everytime a boo-urns quote gets dropped. Even if it's D4P.

And we wouldn't have this problem if every home came with its own nuclear reactor.

Just sayin'...

2007-02-27 20:54:57
229.   D4P
FYI: The Chass article is on FJM
2007-02-27 21:04:05
230.   Marty
You can't come in here. This is a closed set!

Piss on you, I'm workin for Mel Brooks.

2007-02-27 21:07:05
231.   underdog
Ah, the Boo-urns (A Star is Burns) episode is one of my faves. With one of Barney's finest hours.

Woman: It's brilliant: savagely honest, tender...he has the soul of a poet.
Barney: You're very kind.
Woman: Excuse me, did something crawl down your throat and die?
Barney: It didn't die!

2007-02-27 21:11:20
232.   Vishal
[229] money quote:

"Saying that VORP undermines "enjoyment" and the "human factor" is like creationists saying that evolution takes away the "wonder" and "mystery" of the universe. It doesn't. It makes it awesomer."

YES. so well-put.

2007-02-27 21:14:31
233.   Greg Brock
I really do wonder who buys into this anti-stats mularkey. Who reads somebody like Chass, or Plaschke, or HatGuy and says "Yes, yes. This guy understands!"

Everybody I know, my old parents and their friends included, consider these guys laughingstocks.

2007-02-27 21:14:46
234.   El Lay Dave
LOL - I might save money in the long run, but I primarily bought it to save time then, a not-too-close second, the earth and the money. (I had outlay a lot up-front to save money later, though, and that money could be making me money, instead.)
2007-02-27 21:20:38
235.   El Lay Dave
Nate Silver responds to Murray Chass
http://tinyurl.com/3cgbs2
2007-02-27 21:25:50
236.   Jon Weisman
Wow, I'm really impressed that Silver took the high road. I would have struggled to.
2007-02-27 21:28:30
237.   Sushirabbit
233 The same people that believe things are facts that aren't facts and then get mad at you when you show them facts. From my perspective that happens far more often than not, even here. But I recommend preserving your sanity and ingnoring them. Certainly don't try and teach them... try going with the notion that those people are fantatics, they want to believe what ever it is they believe, facts be damned. Don't be tempted.
2007-02-27 21:32:44
238.   Greg Brock
What bothers me is that Chass doesn't even take the time to research this stuff. He writes for the biggest newspaper in America, and he thinks that VORP sounds stupid, so he just dismisses it and calls it "stat monger" stuff. How can somebody who is paid to write about sports so gleefully exclaim how little he cares to learn?

Is anybody at the N.Y.T. paying attention?

2007-02-27 21:38:41
239.   Greg Brock
Nate Silver did a very smart thing by using Morneau's MVP win over Jeter as an example.

Very subtly using analysis to find common ground with a tool.

2007-02-27 21:48:58
240.   Jon Weisman
New/old post up top.
2007-02-27 21:51:15
241.   Bob Timmermann
Why is it VORP, but O.P.S.?
2007-02-28 11:40:59
242.   JoeyP
You don't think Lamar is a star so you choose to discount basketball metrics.

I dont think there are any reliable basketball metrics out there.

If say for instance Lamar shot 50% from the floor...thats pretty good. But if he'll only shoot when he's wide open..and will pass each time a situation isnt perfect...Thats not being an effective player.

If every player on a basketball team passed the ball, unless the conditions were idea for him to shoot...there'd be a ton of 24 second violations.

Likewise, a good assists/turnover ratio is nice to have...But if the player isnt trying to create anything...how much of a help is that? Or what if you have a player that creates a ton, but the players around him are terrible finishers...bad hands..etc..

Basketball/Football--You have to watch the games to see which players are good and which arent. Stats just dont fully illustrate teammwork--of which you need that in bball and football.

In baseball, its basically 1-1.

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