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About Jon
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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Quit Blaming the Computers
2005-10-25 09:14
by Jon Weisman

2005 World Series Game 3

* * *

40. Marty
I'm somewhat surprised DePodesta hasn't been blamed for the BCS situation. After all, it's an evil computer.

One of our favorite Dodger Thoughts commenters was joking (probably), but each year when I read about how screwed up the computers in college football are because they don't match up to the human polls, I can't help wondering if the computers might possibly be right.

Of course, it isn't really the computers themselves who are at fault, but the people who programmed them. But are those programmers so certainly wrong?

Let me put it this way. They might be wrong some of the time. When there's an overwhelming national consensus that some injustice has been done, it's very possible that the computer's formula needs to be tweaked.

But local gripes when a team appears to have been underrated by the computer should be greeted with skepticism. The reason computers were introduced into the rankings of college football teams was to eliminate bias and injustice. The objections of an inherently biased group should not move anyone.

Last week, Texas soundly beat a highly ranked football team and USC didn't. It makes sense for Texas to move up in rankings that have previously rewarded USC for beating highly ranked football teams when Texas didn't.

The current system might not satisfy as much as an on-field playoff (which of course would yield counterintuitive results regularly), but it is not inherently more wrong than relying on human-based polls ... which also yielded questionable results from people who looked at team records and statistics, just as computers do.

This brings us back to Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta, who is regularly indicted for relying on statistics and computers by people who rely on statistics and computers. Is there anyone who literally does not look at a single number in evaluating a baseball player - not even batting average or height? No. It just comes down to which numbers you value.

So for crying out loud, if you must, find a more creative way to criticize DePodesta than saying he relies on stats. You might as well be criticizing someone in this day and age for breathing.

Comments (334)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-10-25 09:42:17
1.   das411
Here's another example of just how arrogant is. From today's Daily Quickie:

"Following up my first-in-nation prediction that Orel Hershiser would end up with the Dodgers, he's interviewing for the manager job today."

...this board has only been talking about Orel for how many months?

Can you say Biggest. D########. Ever. ?

I think this calls for some angry emails; does anybody know how we can, contact, this guy?

2005-10-25 09:55:23
2.   Mark
As long as DePodesta is taking in the requisite amount of smog particles and other various toxins like the rest of us, I don't have a problem.

(Yes, I read the Weekly article a couple of weeks ago, and I'm glad I live by the coast)

2005-10-25 10:10:35
3.   DadofMondy
1. Paste it and go!

2005-10-25 10:22:32
4.   FirstMohican
Maybe we lost Beltre to free agency because DePo's laptop processor didn't carry the 1 on an obscure multiplication process.
2005-10-25 10:25:24
5.   Marty
Thanks for the compliment Jon. And for the record, I was joking. My philosophy can be summed up as "always go for the laugh".
2005-10-25 10:26:18
6.   Eric Enders
Anyone notice that this morning, Henson is no longer calling Collins the leading contender, now referring to him as a leading contender?

Maybe I read too much into things, I don't know.

2005-10-25 10:35:41
7.   Blaine
Well, I guess it doesn't matter what Henson says, because Buster Olney just said that Collins is going to be the next manager for the Dodgers on the Dan Patrick Show. I guess that settles it.
2005-10-25 10:39:46
8.   Curtis Lowe
7- How dissapointing.
2005-10-25 10:44:22
9.   dan reines
1. For what it's worth, the Daily Quickie has been a defender of Depodesta in the past. He has no patience for the "but MY dad never used a LAPTOP!" crowd.

Though he may not have been talking about Orel before the people on this board, he certainly mentioned it before most other people with a sizable audience. (And as big as Jon's audience is, I think he would concede that it's still a fair shot smaller than's...)

2005-10-25 10:45:29
10.   FirstMohican
7 - I wasn't aware that Buster Olney knew of any MLB teams that weren't the Red Sox or Yankees. Interesting.
2005-10-25 10:53:20
11.   SMY
7 -- Did he cite a source, or is it just his gut feeling?
2005-10-25 10:57:46
12.   Steve
Don't they all just cite "A High-Ranking American League East Official?"
2005-10-25 11:01:50
13.   Xeifrank
So if the USC Trojan football team was replaced with the Indianapolis Colts they too would be ranked #2 in the BCS poll because of the tougher schedule Texas plays. The BCS (computer portion of the equation) isn't suppose to take into consideration how badly a team is beaten. Technically, the BCS computer poll is flawed... but so is any system that does not determine it's winner on the field. That's why an 8 team playoff (at minimum) is needed.

This is a baseball site, so I would also like to say how happy I am that the Dodgers hired Paul DePodesta and his sabermetric approach to building a team. Statistics don't lie, well if done correctly they don't. If .OPS correlates with winning games more than any other stat then let's use .OPS to evaluate players, and why can't the LA Times, MSM and Sports Radio blowhards understand this or atleast make some mention of it. Someone once told me that we often make fun of things we don't understand. This describes the above mentioned group to a T. vr, Xei

2005-10-25 11:03:47
14.   Blaine
It was just him spouting his own personal wisdom. If he would have said that Mickey Mouse was going to be the next Dodgers manager it would have been just as credible. He was not stating that it was a fact or a done deal.
2005-10-25 11:04:13
15.   Eric Enders
Agree with the notion of a playoff system... but I also agree with the computer that Texas is the best team in the country.
2005-10-25 11:08:32
16.   Curtis Lowe
Is it evil to root for the Sox to sweep so I can know who the manager will be sooner?
2005-10-25 11:14:04
17.   Eric Enders
2005-10-25 11:21:47
18.   Marty
I'm rooting for Houston and hope they win a couple games at home. The first two games were actually entertaining, so I'm hoping we have a long series, since it's the last baseball we'll see for awhile.

As for Texas, my opinion is the Pac10 is much tougher than the Big 12 this year. USC is really banged up and may lose a game this year (even Fresno State is in the top 25 now). But if they meet Texas, I predict they'll beat them soundly.

2005-10-25 11:31:05
19.   Curtis Lowe
17,18- I have been rooting for houston and have been enjoying the games neck 'n neck style and though I may have had a brain fart I will continue to root for houston. Not because i thinks its evil to root for the sox its because I think its evil to root for any team that has Aj Pierzynski on it.
2005-10-25 11:33:58
20.   808Bears

The real issue isn't if Texas is slightly better than USC right now or not. Rightly or wrongly, as long as USC wins out (which I would like to see NOT happen, say, oh, on Nov. 12), they have earned the right to defend their championship(s). Texas staying ahead of VTech and the other potential unbeatens is really the more critical question, because it would be the worst in an ever-increasing series of debacles for the BCS (BCS - C(al) =?) if the defending and unbeaten national champion is denied a chance to defend their title due to the whims of voters or the formulations of computers.

2005-10-25 11:34:25
21.   Telemachos
BCS quibbles: one computer ranked USC #5 in the country (!).

Also, it seems amazingly stupid that the system doesn't take into account an opponent's ranking when you beat them. ASU was a ranked opponent when USC beat them... but now they're not and so USC is lowered in the computer ranking. The computers also had Notre Dame out of the top 25, so that weakens another USC win (I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks Notre Dame shouldn't be in the Top 25, especially before they lost to USC).

Really, a playoff system is what's needed. (I know it won't happen.)

2005-10-25 11:35:54
22.   Telemachos
20- Texas has a very weak schedule from now on (much weaker than USC or the other contenders). The gap between #2 and #3 is moderately big right now, but I'd imagine it'll close.

Frankly, I hope the BCS screws up again -- it's just more ammunition to change the system.

2005-10-25 11:41:32
23.   Vishal
i agree completely with [21] telemachos. an opponent's ranking when you play them is what should determine your strength of schedule.

also, even though the BCS computers aren't perfect, the BCS humans can be pretty bad too. texas moving up in the coaches' polls last year on a week they did not even play is a good example of that.

2005-10-25 11:42:55
24.   Jon Weisman
"Also, it seems amazingly stupid that the system doesn't take into account an opponent's ranking when you beat them"

Why should it do that? If a team is ranked No. 5 in the country, then ends up 1-10, should the opponent that beat them in September get tons more credit than the opponent that beat them in November?

2005-10-25 11:44:45
25.   Linkmeister
The argument the NCAA makes against a playoff system is specious at best. "The players would miss too much school, and they're student athletes, after all!"

Nonsense. Div-II and Div-III have playoffs, and I don't see their college presidents whining about lost class time. And most if not all of those players aren't on scholarship, so they're not even compensated for playing.

2005-10-25 11:46:09
26.   Nolan
Agree w/22. My hope of all hopes is that USC win out and get dropped from the #1 or 2 spots in the BCS - that will be the death-knell for the system. There is no way that anyone could justify excluding from the Nat'l Championship a team that has won 30 straight games and is the back-to-back champ.

Additionally or alternatively, I hope for USC, Texas, VaTech and Georgia or Alabama each to remain undefeated. Anything to screw this thing up!

2005-10-25 11:48:08
27.   Vishal
[24] i think that's an incredibly unlikely scenario, jon. i'm sure you were exaggerating, but still.

and if you want an alternate scenario, what happens when you beat a team that is 4-0 and ranked #6 in the country, but then the next game they lose their quarterback and best running back to injuries and end up 7-4 and unranked? they were good when you played them but they're not the same team anymore and your strength of schedule suffers even though you still had to beat a good team.

2005-10-25 11:48:47
28.   JMK
I know it's frustrating for the more statistically analytic crowd to have to hear and read the blather of the MSM about computers and most fans don't really get it either, but it make sense in our rapidly changing times. The hostility toward computers mirrors a general fear of the dehumanizing effects of technology. Though I think it's a misplaced fear it is not a totally false fear. Technology does have dehumanizing effects. But technology has humanizing effects as well. Computers enables Dodger Thoughts citizens to participate in a form of a global community that wouldn't exist otherwise. The saber/traditionalist debate also mirrors a form of anti-intellectualism. Whereas the "sabermetric" crowd analyzes stats and tries to study empirical evidence, the traditionalists refer to traditions and practices that have been around since the game's origins. It does bother me that people are unwilling to look at evidence offerd by the baseball analytic community but if the analytics are right we'll eventually see more wins by teams who depend on them. I try not to let baseball traditionalist bother me too much like I try not to let those who want to teach creationism in schools bother me too much. Eventually, science and truth are forces that tend to overcome ignorance because having a respect for science and truth is a better way to get along in the world. My wife often falls asleep when I start talking like this so forgive me if I've just wasted the last five minutes of your life.
2005-10-25 11:53:21
29.   Telemachos
24 Jon, I'd argue that if you're going to rank teams after a single game (or even before the season starts), then it's valid to take into account where that team is ranked at the time.

Ironically, Texas fans are to some degree doing this right now, when they talk about the "big" Oklahoma win and how that shows what a strong team Texas is.... when Oklahoma is having a terrible year.

And while I'm ranting, if I was El Jefe de NCAA football, I'd do away with rankings until 4-5 weeks into the season.

But yeah, if Texas or USC somehow don't make it to the National Championship while going undefeated, there will be a major outcry.

2005-10-25 11:54:03
30.   Mark
If you're for the BCS computers, can you be against Questec?
2005-10-25 11:56:36
31.   Bob Timmermann
The Harris Poll doesn't come out until after a few weeks and the BCS rankings don't come out until mid-October.

People seem to rely more on the AP and USA Today polls, which come out all year long.

2005-10-25 12:01:23
32.   Jon Weisman
27 - Uh, yeah, I was exaggerating. But both our scenarios are valid. What if I beat that No. 6, 4-0 team in a game that their starting quarterback and best running back were injured in pregame warmups?
2005-10-25 12:05:07
33.   Vishal
[32] then my, aren't you lucky :)

i don't think it's possible to cover EVERY possibility.

2005-10-25 12:05:15
34.   Tommy Naccarato
You have it right when you say that its the human input portion, or even the human reading of the output that can make computed figures so infallable.

But the one thing computers can't compute is human emotion or gut feeling.

Could a computer have sent Kirk Gibson to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of first game of 1988 World Series?

Would a computer have sent hurt and badly damaged Kirk Gibson to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of the first game of the 1988 World Series?

Could sabermatics have created the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers?

Yes, computers can present all of the percentages and averages, even a player's negatives and positives. But relying on it to guide you to a championship, well yes, its a highly important tool. But did they need a computer to create the 1927 NY Yankees? How about the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers? Those teams were legendary, or, at least they seem a lot more legendary to me then say the 2004 Boston Red Sox--a team that ended how many years of starvation?

In 50-80 years, will people remember the line-up of the 2004 Boston Red Sox--a team that relied on Moneyball principles as its guideline to success?

My point is that Baseball should relish its purity, rely more on the basics to produce players that want to play baseball then players who want to make a lot of money playing baseball as well as owners that want to win. Don't get me wrong, I think that the owners have always been keen on making money even during baseball's formative years, but these guys lived, ate, drank, smoked baseball. It was their knowledge of the game that created legendary teams and set-up legendary situations. I feel technology has played too much of a role in what we see, what we hear and how its going to be force fed to us. At least in the last ten years.

It's a complete fall from reality I know, but there is one thing that baseball has been attractive to me my whole life, and that's is its Purity.

Computers cannot produce purity and I don't think they can create it either. And as witnessed in and around Dodger Stadium--on the field and off of it, never a more perfect example that Purity is a fast-fleeting dying breed.

Don't get me wrong I love computers and totally enjoy even the artistic and technologic side of how perfect they can be--but some things don't have to be perfect to be great.

2005-10-25 12:11:17
35.   Tommy Naccarato

I value what you say. Yes, I'm a traditionalist all of the way, but I respect what many of the people here do in terms of computing stats and following all of the intangilbes.

It all makes for great conversation too!

Don't worry about making us fall asleep either--the same thing happens to me when I start talking golf courses with anyone I've managed to corner and make listen!

2005-10-25 12:13:13
36.   Jon Weisman
Tommy, it is not an either-or choice, computers or no computers, and I really don't get why you feel you need to make the point you make.

The very point of my post is that it is humans who operate computers. Just like it is humans who operate baseball bats and gloves.

Why do you send Kirk Gibson to the plate in 1988? Because he's got stubble and a limp? No, because the numbers say he's the best hitter on your team and if he can hit, at all, you want him to hit. I'm glad a human named Tommy Lasorda recognized it, but the fact that he did does not relate to the values of computers at all.

2005-10-25 12:15:45
37.   Bob Timmermann
I think in 50-80 years, people will remember the Red Sox of 2004 because they had one of the greatest stories of any basbeall team ever.

Will Curt Schilling ever have to buy another meal in New England again?

2005-10-25 12:19:43
38.   Xeifrank
Agree strongly with #27.
vr, Xei
2005-10-25 12:20:51
39.   DougS
Isn't it a fallacy to strictly equate statistical analysis with computers and high technology? People were crunching numbers long before Prof. van Neumann laid the groundwork for analytical computers. Before electronic computers there were these things called adding machines, and before that, pencils and paper. That's part of what makes the "managing by computer" jibe against DePo so incredibly crude. It assumes that before sabermetrics, statistics played little or no part in making baseball judgements when in fact, baseball has always been the most stat-heavy of all the major sports.
2005-10-25 12:23:04
40.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
And they might remember the 2003 Red Sox team because by some measures it's the greatest offensive team in history. They broke the record for total bases and team slugging percentage.

I just think that using statistics INCREASES the chance of achieving purity instead of reducing it. A little computer analysis lessens the chance that you'll end up with someone like Christian Guzman on your team for four years, after all.

2005-10-25 12:25:35
41.   Eric Enders
"Could a computer have sent Kirk Gibson to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of first game of 1988 World Series?"


"Could sabermatics have created the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers?"


2005-10-25 12:26:17
42.   Tommy Naccarato
Jon, Go back a re-read what I'm saying. (or maybe its the way I'm saying it?)

I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I'm just more disappointed that it all gets made into a 100% cookbook to success. The one important thing computers have done for baseball is make the numbers more attainable, quicker and more indepth. Is it needed? Well is Chicago a Moneyball team? Is Houston? (I don't know, I'm asking) I know St. Louis wasn't last season nor this one either. Does that make them different in the way they obtain information?

Is it principle or method?

Didn't Paul DePodesta not want to remove long valued and loyal scouts because they went by gut-feeling? Didn't Moneyball's opening chapters direct this thinking?

That's my point.

2005-10-25 12:27:12
43.   Curtis Lowe
If Depo were a Robot would he be the depressed cynic from "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" ,the plucky one lining Danger Will Robinson from "Lost in Space" or the slick sly trash can that noone understands from "Star Wars"?
2005-10-25 12:28:00
44.   Tommy Naccarato
Did it?
2005-10-25 12:30:13
45.   Eric Enders
What's your point, exactly? That there were no sabermetric GMs in baseball in 1988?

Fine. Point granted.

2005-10-25 12:31:42
46.   Jon Weisman
42 - No one is saying computers are a 100-percent cookbook to success. No one. It's a strawman argument that does a disservice to the discussion. That's my point.
2005-10-25 12:32:27
47.   SMY
42 -- I am confused. Are you saying DePodesta wanted to get rid of scouts, or didn't?

Because I don't think he did.

2005-10-25 12:35:40
48.   Humma Kavula
46 - Bill Plaschke argues that the scroll wheel on the iPod is a 100% cookbook to success.
2005-10-25 12:38:02
49.   Eric Enders

A couple of points.

1) You're dividing the world into "Moneyball teams" and "non-Moneyball teams." This is a false distinction that does not, in reality, exist. The signing of Kirk Gibson in 1988 is emphatically something that a "Moneyball" GM would have done; the fact that the term "Moneyball" didn't exist at the time doesn't change that.

2) Whenever someone engages in the type of discourse where they ask "Can a computer hit a home run," etc., or talks about what a computer "tells" a GM or manager to do -- see post 34 -- that person is engaging in a type of discourse that seeks to insult the other side without engaging in a genuine discussion of the issue.

The next time a computer "tells" a GM to do something will be the first. In fact, it's quite the opposite -- GMs tell computers what to do, not vice versa. All these computer-aided stats are invented and analyzed by human beings; the computer is only a tool that allows for more complicated analysis than the human brain is capable of.

It's a little bit like saying Phil Garner's felt-tip pen tells him who to write on the lineup card.

2005-10-25 12:45:06
50.   Eric Enders
"Didn't Paul DePodesta not want to remove long valued and loyal scouts because they went by gut-feeling? Didn't Moneyball's opening chapters direct this thinking?"

If I'm reading through the double negative correctly, you're saying that DePodesta wanted to get rid of scouts. In fact, any objective analysis of his tenure as GM would show exactly the opposite to be true. Just look at the discretion he's given people like Logan White and Mitch Webster in the amateur draft. He has shown that he values their opinions very highly.

Heck, DePo is a scout -- that's how he gained entry into the world of pro baseball, scouting for the Indians.

You're correct that the book Moneyball expresses a disdain for scouts. However, that disdain comes from Michael Lewis, and, to a lesser extent, Billy Beane. Not DePodesta.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-10-25 12:45:19
51.   scanderbeg
49- Well said. Jon was right in pointing out the strawman argument against the use of statistical analysis via computers. It is not a mutually exclusive thing; there is no "Computized statistics vs. non-computized statistics" division.

Does anyone else think that batting Jeff Bagwell at the DH in the past two games has been an odd decision by Garner? Those were his first ABs in quite a while.

2005-10-25 12:52:36
52.   Curtis Lowe
51-I dont see letting Bagwell DH as being that odd, since he's been on the team soo long without ever experiencing World Series play but I do see him DH'ing in both games as odd, I mean let him play in game 1 for sentimental reasons and maybe game 2 if you win game 1 but after losing game 1 you need a healthy bat in the line up.
2005-10-25 12:53:40
53.   Eric Enders
51, 52
He hit the ball hard three times in Game 2 -- twice for outs, and then a key base hit.

I think the decision was neither odd nor bad.

2005-10-25 12:53:44
54.   Improbable88
51 - no...I think a former MVP caliber veteran, savvy and composed, gets the nod over younger, less experience players regardless of at bats.

It seems that in the playoffs, to a much greater extent than in the regular season at least, managers look for single moments of greatness to propel a team to victory.

I don't think too many of us would argue against Gibson setting the tone for the World Series with his homerun.

Garner beleives Bagwell is capable of such a series swinging moment.

2005-10-25 12:58:18
55.   Bob Timmermann
Bagwell, after getting struck out by Jenks in Game 1, was able to get a hit against him in Game 2.

I'm sure sentiment had something to do with it in Bagwell's selection as DH, but I don't think Garner was going out on a limb.

Going to Houston, the White Sox won't be hurt much without a DH. Guys named Everett aren't doing well this season.

2005-10-25 12:58:20
56.   Eric Enders
By the way, I suspect I'm the only DT poster who is currently looking out his window at a heavy snowstorm.

God, winter is depressing. And it ain't even here yet.

2005-10-25 12:59:17
57.   Marty
51 I think that was Garner letting Bagwell be a part of the Series after all these years. It may be a questionable decision, but if you are the Houston manager, you have to find a way to get Bagwell in there for a few games at least.
2005-10-25 13:01:32
58.   Tommy Naccarato
I think this should be the ultimate question to it all:

"Is the Bill James School of Baseball Analysis (Moneyball) going to be the most utilized method of anaylsis utilized by all Major League Baseball?"

Judging by most on this site, yes, it is. I can even agree with it--somewhat. But I do think that there is going to be at least one team, if not more that will do it differently. That's called the human nature portion of it.

Ironically, in 1988, I took a class in computerized Electrical estimating. It basically told you how to turn a computer on as well as the basics of MS-DOS and spreadsheets. (the operating system of the day)

Standing-up in front of the class, the instructor held up a simple #2 lead pencil and said, "In five years, mark this date in five years, if you don't know how to operate a computer, it will be the the same as not being able to use this pencil.

Those words had a devastating affect on me.

When the seminar was finished, I went back to work, told my boss we needed to buy a computer systemand estimating package before we got left in the weeds.

With less then $3000 to spend on a system, I nickeled and dimed my way to getting a system that would work. It took an open mind on my part, a boss that knew he had to step up and of course one person that fought it the entire way--the company controller. She was afraid of computers.

At first, there was that learning curve--it took some time. Eventually, I cut my estimating time to a quarter of what it used to be by hand. I also was able to prepare my bids easier and without having to go to the controller everytime I needed a formal bid typed-up--it was all there for me a the few strikes of the keyboard and movement of a mouse.

So, I know what computers can accomplish.

Ironically, the pushing for the company to further become computerized eventually led to my dismissal--thanks to the controller who hated computers and took an adversarial attitude towards me because of it. Even though less then a year later they went to computerised billing and it cut her time a 1/4 of what it used to be when she did it by hand.

She still thanks me to this day for making it clear to her that change was in the air. We email a lot.

2005-10-25 13:02:16
59.   SMY
Clearly the DH should have been Jose Vizcaino, Professional Hitter. But then he wouldn't have been available to pinch-hit in game 2.
2005-10-25 13:03:51
60.   das411
9 - (And as big as Jon's audience is, I think he would concede that it's still a fair shot smaller than's...)

Just tryin' to help him out :)

51 - For his first ABs must have been almost a month, he almost caught up to Jenks in Game 1 and apparently he did (I missed all but the last at-bat) get to him in Gm 2.

I'm actually surprised more hasn't been made of the weather difference between ChiTown and Houston. The 'stros don't want the dome closed because of the crowd noise, they want it closed because their 35+ crowd (yes you, Roger Clemens) have trouble with rain and cold.

2005-10-25 13:05:56
61.   das411
56 - EE, it's been snowing here since 9am, and actually stuck to the ground for a couple of hours. There's a reason they call this place "Never Sunny Centre County"
2005-10-25 13:07:05
62.   Tommy Naccarato
I don't have the time (simply because of all the time I've taken to particpate today) but if you look back in the archives, you'll see that one of the things when DePo took over was the concern, and if I remember right, dismissal of certain long-time loyal scouts in the Dodger Organization.

That was were I was getting that.

Stay out of the snow, but its seems to be a dark depressing day here in SoCal anyway!

Give me some sun!

2005-10-25 13:07:09
63.   A Slo
A little off the topic but I have a question for you all. I am a long time reader though I rarely ever post, but have finally now sat down and begun to read "Moneyball". In reading about expected run values I can certainly see why many "sabermetricians" have such a low regard for bunting and finally see where the empirical evidence would lead one away from bunting. But my question is this" Has there been work done to show the likelihood of scoring a runner from second with no one out versus the likelihood of scoring that runner from third with one out? By this I mean, the likelihood of that one single run scoring, rather than maximizing the average value of runs you would score. Certainly you will score more in the long run not bunting, I don't doubt that, but is there evidence of the likelihood of that one run scoring? (I've been trained in econometrics so feel free to leave a technical response or lead me to data)
2005-10-25 13:07:25
64.   Marty
It's a chilly 65 degrees here in L.A.
2005-10-25 13:10:20
65.   dzzrtRatt
It's only recently that computers have fallen into disrepute. When Davey Johnson used computer printouts 20 years ago, or Tony LaRussa, the sportswriters hailed it as innovative. They didn't call either one of those managers robots.

Nor was Bill James a pariah. He was seen as quirky, perhaps mistaken, but reading his books was not seen as a sign of low character.

The BCS controversy aside (until they get a playoff it's just one bad system substituting for another), I think the anti-computer bias emerged only after "Moneyball" was published.

It's more of an anti-Billy Beane bias, and it's precisely because of those early chapters in which Beane and DePo seem to be mocking the old fashioned scouts, and making judgments about college v. high school draftees. That book, or what illiterates like Joe Morgan believed about that book, is what has suddenly gotten everyone to question the value of computers or statistical analysis. It's not rational, it's a personal cheap shot aimed at a handful of young GMs who annoy the old guard, and it's hardly even worth responding to.

As Nixon famously said about the work of John Maynard Keynes, we can say, "We are all Jamesians now." James-approved stats have crept into every corner of baseball; they are not ignored by anyone.

2005-10-25 13:16:22
66.   SMY
After DePo has some success and gets into a more stable situation, I think he should create a fake "Baseball Team Generator 5000" program and leak it to the press. Man, that'd be funny.
2005-10-25 13:17:37
67.   Eric Enders
"Has there been work done to show the likelihood of scoring a runner from second with no one out versus the likelihood of scoring that runner from third with one out? By this I mean, the likelihood of that one single run scoring, rather than maximizing the average value of runs you would score. Certainly you will score more in the long run not bunting, I don't doubt that, but is there evidence of the likelihood of that one run scoring?"

In short, yes. In most situations, bunting successfully slightly increases your chances of scoring exactly one run (while killing your chances of scoring more than one). This is why bunting in the late innings of a tie game is not a bad play -- the one run is likely to make the difference in the game.

However, the key word above is bunting successfully. In 2003, I kept track of all the Dodgers' sacrifice attempts and how often they succeeded. Of course, now that I need those records I can't find them, but, long story short, only about two-thirds of sacrifice attempts are successful. Which certainly throws a wrench in the math.

2005-10-25 13:19:05
68.   JMK
I wouldn't necessarily defend traditionalists like Tommy, or Plashke for that matter, but I do think their perspective is explainable. Sports in general and baseball in particular are myth generating and myth sustaining institutions. I'm using "myth" in the more positive sense as a story or narrative that provides order and meaning to our lives. As Joseph Cambell said, "We live through myths." Paul LoDuca exemplifying grit and overcoming tremendous odds to become a major leaguer, Kirk Gibson exemplifies toughness and fire, Jackie Robinson overcoming racism, these are the type stories baseball tells itself over and over as a kind of liturgy. We go to temple (the ballpark) and participate in rituals (keep score). It really is a form of religion. A new movement comes along and doesn't directly say it, but implies strongly, "heart and soul, grittiness, scrappiness...those intangibles, because we can't quantify them, don't matter. OBP matters" If baseball is a form of religion then it cares about the intangibles, it cares about matters of faith. Hardwork, toughness, getting along with others (chemistry) are some of the core values in the church of baseball. And personally, I love that they are. I'm a traditionalist in many senses (I hate the DH and interleague play). And when a computer tells you that the seemingly soulless JD Drew is more effective that Paul LoDuca the members of the church of baseball are going to be nervous. For you are attacking some of the very values of the institution itself.

But Tommy, as long as we're human we'll love baseball because of these qualities. The computer will never snuff out these qualities because they are essential in making life worth living. Baseball will still have its stories. But now there's just another chapter about how to build a more effective team.

2005-10-25 13:22:07
69.   A Slo
Thanks Eric, I feel like I've seen a lot of people say bunting wholeheartedly is wrong. I guess I have always been convinced (admittedly, subjectively) that done right and in the right scenario, it has it's time and place. So if you're gonna bunt, learn to do it well.
2005-10-25 13:25:05
70.   Jon Weisman
Was Branch Rickey's motivated to add Jackie Robinson to the Dodger roster ..

a) out of purity and righteousness?

b) out of a proto-Moneyball understanding that black ballplayers were an available, underappreciated resource?

c) out of a combination of the above?

2005-10-25 13:26:18
71.   rageon
42 Why isn't St. Louis a "Moneyball Team?" Because Tony LaRussa says so? Last I checked, they have more than one uber-stat-geek on their payroll.
2005-10-25 13:27:13
72.   Rowley
"Has there been work done to show the likelihood of scoring a runner from second with no one out versus the likelihood of scoring that runner from third with one out? By this I mean, the likelihood of that one single run scoring, rather than maximizing the average value of runs you would score. Certainly you will score more in the long run not bunting, I don't doubt that, but is there evidence of the likelihood of that one run scoring?"

From (data from 99-02)

2nd base, no outs:
- 1 run: .348
- 2 runs: .142
- 3 runs: .076
- 4 runs: .035
- 5+ runs: .03

3rd base, one out:
- 1 run: .478
- 2 runs: .106
- 3 runs: .045
- 4 runs: .018
- 5+ runs: .014

So yes, better chances of getting exactly one run, but less chances for anything more one.

2005-10-25 13:28:06
73.   Eric Enders
I once interviewed Rickey's grandson (who is/was president of the PCL) about that very issue... he thought it was equal parts (a) and (b).
2005-10-25 13:29:27
74.   FirstMohican
Re: Didn't Paul DePodesta not want to remove long valued and loyal scouts because they went by gut-feeling?

I don't think DePo is a man of gut-feeling. If I had scouts in a system I was managing, I wouldn't use them for their "gut."

I would use them to quantify qualities of a player which don't come included in stat reports.

For example, say you have two players in the minors both aged 21 who both bat 300/400/500 all year in AA. Without scouts and without any additional information it wont matter to you which one you take.

Now say player A is a more polished hitter, has a good approach and a fundamentally sound player, but has a slow bat. Say, now, that player B has just moved from pitcher so has had limited batting experience before this year. He's raw but is very athletic and has incredible bat speed.

Now which one are you going to take? That's not "gut," thats observation.

2005-10-25 13:31:21
75.   das411
Off topic, but I guess this is the Game 3 thread, is the "controversy" over Houston's roof being open or closed tonight any different from the Twins messing with the air conditioning in 1987 and 1991?
2005-10-25 13:33:38
76.   rageon
45 What about Sandy Alderson? If it weren't for him, there might not be a Billy Beane. And really, Branch Rickey is the godfather of intelligent GMs, and how long ago was that?

50 I think the point in the book about scouts was that given a small budget for scouting, statistical analysis is more cost-effective than employing a bunch of scouts. Obviously, I don't think DePo or Beane or anyone else wants to eliminate scouting altogether.

2005-10-25 13:33:38
77.   Telemachos
68 Very nice post, JMK.

To be fair, Moneyball isn't necessarily saying the "intangibles" don't matter, it's saying because you can't quantify them, you shouldn't rely upon them to make a prudent decision.

For what it's worth, I think that intangibles are often dependent on isolated moments rather than a cumulative effect. Lo Duca's spirit and quality of leadership and being someone who unites a clubhouse certainly was true in LA, but the Marlins melted down with him there.

Do intangibles wane over time?

2005-10-25 13:35:04
78.   808Bears
67 Regarding sucessful bunting, how is the probability of the defense to make an error factored in? I know that it's not very likely, but simply that possibility must factor in to the 'put it in play and make something happen' school of thought.
2005-10-25 13:37:20
79.   rageon
74 I'm not sure that's a fair argument, because the numbers on that player would not be limited to AVG/OBP/SLG. We would have things like years of experience, BABIP, strikeout rates, and others. The newer projection systems would account for a lot of what you call qualities not included in stat reports. I'd argue that these systems, such as PECOTA, would be able to predict as well as a scout could which of the two players would be better.
2005-10-25 13:40:24
80.   trainwreck
Here is to hoping Orel wows DePo today at his interview. I do not want Terry Collins as manager and I am not even sure why. Think some of it is due to worrying he will clash with Kent and Bradley and others, how it will cause more bad press for the team, and well because he is not Orel. Damn sentimental feelings effecting who I want for manager. How un-metric of me.
2005-10-25 13:42:32
81.   Jon Weisman
77 - "To be fair, Moneyball isn't necessarily saying the "intangibles" don't matter, it's saying because you can't quantify them, you shouldn't rely upon them to make a prudent decision."

Some things commonly called intangibles are actually reflected in statistics. Stats don't always pick up on gritty plays, but if grit and heart make Gibson and Lo Duca better players, the stats will ultimately show that. It's not as if grit only helps those guys hit runner-advancing groundouts to the right side of the infield, but does not help them hit doubles or homers.

Further on this point ... When Kirk Gibson scores from second base on a wild pitch, he gets a run added to his stats that he otherwise might not have had.

Does this inspire his teammates in an intangible way? Possibly - but keep in mind that a run scored in a different way by a gritless ballplayer might also inspire - because it's a run.

None of what I'm talking about should be viewed in absolutes, but as things that often go unrecognized.

2005-10-25 13:43:59
82.   Jon Weisman
80 - The only thing worth hoping for in the managerial selection is that both McCourt and DePodesta are sincerely and justifiably happy with the choice. There's nothing unsentimental about hoping this to be true.
2005-10-25 13:44:50
83.   Jon Weisman
82 - to prevent the seeds of conflict from flowering again, that is.
2005-10-25 13:46:23
84.   FirstMohican
I guess I've just realized that I'm not really clear on what an intangible is. Maybe a "chemistry" guy is just a nice guy. Or a "leader" is just a guy who knows how to encourage and motivate others. Those sorts of things can be quantified... sort of?

On DePo's "prospective_dodgers.xls" there may actually be a column titled "throws bottles?" with a bunch of "YES" and "NO"s.

If I can set up a straw man of my own for a second here, to say that DePo doesn't take qualities that aren't easily quantifiable into consideration might be wrong. Look at his signings. Lowe, Penny, Kent, Drew all come from winning teams and most have playoff success.

2005-10-25 13:46:23
85.   Eric Enders
Did anybody see Mike Waldner in the Daily Whiff, er, Breeze?

"Those on the outside who know General Manager Paul DePodesta best think he would love to give the job to Torey Lovullo, the 40-year-old manager in Akron, the Cleveland Indians' double-A affiliate.

This is not going to happen. Even DePodesta is savvy enough to know Lovullo will not fly with the fans, media or even the owners.

One theory has Lovullo becoming the bench coach and heir apparent to manage, which would make the manager -- presumably Terry Collins, the former Angels manager who works for DePodesta as director of player development -- anything but comfortable.

DePodesta's infatuation with Lovullo is said to be his age and lack of exposure in the major leagues, which, again presumably, would make him more receptive to DePodesta's concepts."

2005-10-25 13:47:59
86.   Eric Enders
Also, Tony Jackson says:

"Loney sizzles: Dodgers first-base prospect James Loney has been promoted from the "taxi squad" to the regular roster for Phoenix of the Arizona Fall League, filling an opening created when Atlanta outfield prospect Josh Burris was shut down with a shoulder injury."

2005-10-25 13:51:48
87.   Steve
"I guess I've just realized that I'm not
really clear on what an intangible is."

Actually, it appears that you've mastered the concept.

2005-10-25 13:54:01
88.   razzle nugent
58 - "it was all there for me a the few strikes of the keyboard and movement of a mouse.
So, I know what computers can accomplish."

No, Tommy, you do not know what computers can accomplish. Delivering data and email is maybe 1% of the tip of the iceberg of what a computer can be programmed to accomplish. Its like saying that the best thing a car can do is to take you to the gas station.

2005-10-25 13:54:32
89.   FirstMohican
87 - I'm really having trouble quantifying the amount of mastery I've apparently got.
2005-10-25 13:54:40
90.   dzzrtRatt
Luvollo would be fine as manager. He's not my first choice, but he's more than acceptable. The press would quiver with rage, but then we can helpfully point out to them that when Jim Tracy was hired, the press was unhappy and annoyed that the highly regarded Rick Downs got passed over in favor of Jim Who?

Luvollo would also make a great bench coach for Orel.

2005-10-25 13:57:18
91.   Steve
Can't we come up with some sort of pseudonym for J__ T___? Or call him Davy Jones? Or Pirate Boy?
2005-10-25 14:00:20
92.   trainwreck
That is how I felt till Orel came into the picture. In the end no matter who is manager I will be happy with the choice because it will not be Jim Tracy and I have faith in DePo's choices. I would however be extra happy if it is Orel or Lovullo.
2005-10-25 14:00:32
93.   Curtis Lowe
88- Actualy Data Delivery is 100% of what computers do, so next time think before you try to slander someone.
2005-10-25 14:01:37
94.   Curtis Lowe
I felt that Lovello would be fine of the first 5 canidates but now that Orel is involved anything less would just be uncivilized.
2005-10-25 14:01:59
95.   Tommy Naccarato
thanks for the most honest and detailed response.

"C" most definitely. He was a very good baseball man that if alive and working today would undoubtedly be using computers--to his own forumlas--or maybe even hiring Bill James. In fact he may have beat Boston to it. But Branch Rickey had no problem letting you know his qualities either. (My Timmerman-like take)

77 If your going on Moneyball theories, these things do devalue or decrease over a eriod of time correct? It also has to be the same for certain situations doesn't it?

This is the problem for me, not so much with Bill James, but the diciples of Bill James--I don't doubt your leel of interests and commitments, but I do think you guys don't look outside of the box to certain environments. In my business, I go from contractor to contractor working on projects same job, different theories of how to run the business, and it does affect how a person can and will perform. One job we had a great time working everyday--we finished ahead of time. The job was a success. Other jobs, most of us hated the way we were being treated and didn't like the company mantra of how they treated us--I don't think the job went smoothly for them money wise. It was how they treated us. Their attitude wasn't good and either was ours. Some jobs I've been on, they didn't like or trust us, but all of us bonded and we still got the job done and made them money. Situations change. I think the same goes for LoDuca or any other ballplayer. After all, we're talking the same team and GM that got rid of Dave Roberts for next to nothing.

Boston, a Moneyball team picked him up and he contributed, no?

If DePo is a Moneyball kind of guy, then certainly this would prove that the Moneyball Theo was reading was different book then DePo correct?

All in all, I think you guys put too much time into what Bill James says. It's just a theory. I think if one utilizes the best of ALL worlds, then they win. Hopefully you assemble a team of respectable mature and youthful playes that want to do the same.

2005-10-25 14:02:48
96.   FirstMohican
88 - Its like saying that the best thing a car can do is to take you to the gas station.

That's like saying the best thing a computer can do is take you to so you can buy more RAM and then go to DWP's website so you can pay your electricity bill.

93 - So what does data manipulation before it's delivered?

2005-10-25 14:04:02
97.   regfairfield
93 If you're going to abstract things that far, all computers can do is flip transistors.
2005-10-25 14:06:09
98.   Curtis Lowe
96-I dont understand the question,
97- It was an abstract response to an abstract statement.
2005-10-25 14:09:16
99.   Tommy Naccarato
Thanks for the defense.

My point was simply with a few mouse and keyboard strokes AND the learning of the particular program that helped me do my job, it made it much easier then doing it by hand which required going into the office at 11:00pm at night because it was the only time you could get work done without phones ringing and other outside interferences; where you eventually fell asleep in your chair at 5:00 am because it would be sort of ridiculous to go home to bed when you had to be back at work at 7:00 am!

Thanks once again!

2005-10-25 14:10:15
100.   Marty
If you want to REALLY abstract about technology, think about the coming singularity:

The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. I argue in this paper that we are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means by which science may achieve this breakthrough (and this is another reason for having confidence that the event will occur):

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-10-25 14:11:46
101.   Curtis Lowe
100-One night before I fell asleep I versed the perfect algorithm for perfect AI, my wife said it was the worst bed time story she had ever heard and I was sad that I couldnt remember it.
2005-10-25 14:13:10
102.   trainwreck
Man this discussion is reminding me too much of my cyborg seminar class (which is more philosophical than anything), which I have to go to in a few hours.
2005-10-25 14:13:48
103.   Xeifrank
All this talk about computers and programming has lifted my spirits today. Much better than movie and TV talk in my books. :) My world series computer simulation correctly predicted Chicago to win the first two games and is picking Houston to win game 3. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 14:14:03
104.   Tommy Naccarato
Also to qualify, since I have to save my dignity....

I've worked on computers from point of sale systems; to actually and physically hooking them up; to estimating on them to utilzing them for data on a race car to helping me locate features on golf courses.

To say I don't know about computers is your opinion Razzle Nugent.

2005-10-25 14:16:14
105.   Xeifrank
91. He's Buntermaker in my books. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 14:16:35
106.   Jon Weisman
If the discussion about computers starts to get too personal, I'm throwing in the towel.
2005-10-25 14:19:49
107.   Marty
106 Great, and MY name is right at the top of the post that ended it all...:)
2005-10-25 14:25:39
108.   Steve
But the bunting...egad. Scarring.
2005-10-25 14:25:52
109.   LetsGoDodgers
I'm concerned that DePo isn't going to find undervalued players this offseason that can help the squad in 2006. Sabremetrics aside, the market sucks due to lack of quality and an abundance of "big spenders" this offseason.

Another offseason of Jose Valentin-esque signings will turn my stomach.

2005-10-25 14:26:17
110.   Curtis Lowe
102-What makes someone a cyborg?
2005-10-25 14:27:00
111.   Tommy Naccarato
Great stuff Marty!

On the trivial side:

I'm a huge fan of Emerson Lake & Palmer, the 70's band that advented the Moog syntheiser in rock music.

About 8 months ago, I ran across an email address for the band's longtime lyrcist, Peter Sinfield, who was responsible for the lyrics to one of the more popular ELP songs, Karn Evil #9.

I took a chance--by computer--and emailed Peter Sinfield (with the thought it would more then likely never get answered)the question of what inspired the lyrics of the song which seems to be about the humanzation of computers taking over the world and comitting genocide on humans.

I hope this email reaches you in good health.

I have long been a fan, and can claim since the early days of my youth listening
for hours on end, ELP and KC on headphones turned up at full volume--you are to
blame for my hearing loss! :)

For years on end, I have always wanted to know the story behind Karn Evil #9. What
inspired it? I would hate to think I would go to my grave someday not ever knowing
the exact meaning, as well as the foresight of man vs. machine or in this case,
computer. How ironic that if you should chose to answer this, that it will be
because of the result of these blasted things--computers! Who would have thought
that back in 1974!

All my best,
Tommy Naccarato
La Habra, California, USA

Last Sunday, I got a response!


It was exactly about... bytes versus belittled bitterness... Who or what is
winning? Ha.


2005-10-25 14:27:14
112.   Jon Weisman
107 - I blame you!
2005-10-25 14:28:30
113.   LetsGoDodgers
And to go on record, I love computers.
2005-10-25 14:29:46
114.   Sam DC
Wow. I get all pissy (in my own mind) and stomp off. I come back to write a pissy "are we really just having the exact same old argument about "moneyball people" comment. And instead, I find we've moved on to singularity theory and cyborg seminars! Dodger Thoughts forever!

So, in the spirit of the thread, is a cylon warrior also a cyborg, or are these completely unrelated items? And Marty, when the singularity comes, will it start cooking you dinner, or do you plan to keep on with that?

2005-10-25 14:29:52
115.   Jon Weisman
112 - Actually, I'm in a good mood. I just thought of a great idea for a Saturday Night Live gag if it were still the 1970s and Saturday Night Live were shown exclusively in Southern California: Wino Country Safari.
2005-10-25 14:29:56
116.   Curtis Lowe
111- I too am from La Habra. Small world.
2005-10-25 14:31:26
117.   FirstMohican
98 - When you read it, try emphasizing the "does." Good luck.

110 - A pacemaker.

2005-10-25 14:32:29
118.   Tommy Naccarato
Curtis, I knew I liked you!

I better stop it quick before Jon takes away my "let me be in 1970" pass! :)

2005-10-25 14:33:36
119.   Tommy Naccarato
But Jon, I can't drink wine anymore!
2005-10-25 14:35:27
120.   Curtis Lowe
115-Your a pro writer Jon, you should work on some kinda bit, anything would be better than what they've been churning out(Although I find the falconer bit extremly funny).
2005-10-25 14:36:41
121.   Steve
114 -- But the good news is you can still use it for Primer!
2005-10-25 14:37:12
122.   trainwreck
Basically it does not exist yet, but it also depends on the person's perspective. One can argue that human beings are cyborgs as all the function in our body are run like machines. So in a sense we are part machine and part natural being. Also cyborgs can apply to more than humans, it can apply to animals and you can even apply the cyborg concept to inanimate objects. Basically we are not supposed to really know the answer. But scientists tend to go with the idea of machine and natural being and that humans are cyborg like, but not cyborgs.
2005-10-25 14:37:13
123.   trainwreck
Basically it does not exist yet, but it also depends on the person's perspective. One can argue that human beings are cyborgs as all the function in our body are run like machines. So in a sense we are part machine and part natural being. Also cyborgs can apply to more than humans, it can apply to animals and you can even apply the cyborg concept to inanimate objects. Basically we are not supposed to really know the answer. But scientists tend to go with the idea of machine and natural being and that humans are cyborg like, but not cyborgs.
2005-10-25 14:37:26
124.   trainwreck
sorry for the double click
2005-10-25 14:38:40
125.   overkill94
All this computer talk has simultaneously intrigued me in the various opinions put forth by people of different ages and professions, but also the haunting memories of programming classes when I was a misguided computer science major. Thank god I decided to take the easy way out and switch to electrical engineering. Xei, I don't know how you do it man.
2005-10-25 14:39:10
126.   Tommy Naccarato
Was that a computerized double click?
2005-10-25 14:40:25
127.   Xeifrank
109. You never know. The free agent market doesn't look all that good, but there is always offseason trading. Plus if Drew is healthy, we keep Bradley (or get equal value for him) and the new manager plays Choi and APerez our offense should be quite good. Starting pitching will probably be league average until Billingsley is ready and the bullpen with a healthy Gagne and all the young slingers should be decent enough... Add on top of that that the Dodgers reside in the NL West and we could easily win this division as long as 2006 isn't a rerun of the 2005 ER episode. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 14:44:00
128.   Tommy Naccarato
125 Input this:


3ø = × 1.73

2005-10-25 14:46:32
129.   Sam DC
On baseball, I thought this was quite interesting from today's WashPost chat with Dave Sheinin:

" Salem, Va.: Good Afternoon, How much of an immediate impact do you think Leo Mazzone will have on the Orioles' pitching staff next year? And how much will the Braves suffer because of his departure?

Dave Sheinin: Leo's impact with the Orioles will depend largely on how well he convinces management and the players to adopt his somewhat unusual throwing program, which involves twice as many between-starts bullpen sessions as other teams. I do think Leo's impact in Atlanta's success was substantial, as evidenced by the sheer numbers of mediocre pitchers who thrived there (Russ Ortiz, Darren Holmes, John Burkett, etc.) "

If this is really what Mazzonne does (as opposed to some sore of Pat Norita-ish alchemy) it would seem replicable for other teams. Has anyone tried it?

2005-10-25 14:46:34
130.   overkill94
128 We usually use V instead of E ;)

That's basically the only calculation I have to do in my current job though.

2005-10-25 14:50:47
131.   Eric Enders
That is certainly an accurate description of what Mazzone does. Why other teams haven't attempted to replicate it, I have no idea. Although I assume Atlanta will do so in 2006.

Basically, Mazzone's theory is that the more pitches a pitcher throws in short, non-stressful sessions, the stronger and healthier his arm will be.

You can't argue with the results.

2005-10-25 14:57:43
132.   LetsGoDodgers
Xei, I agree with you that the bullpen will be better in 2006. Much better, simply with the return of Game Over. If our starting pitching is league-average in 2006, however, we are in trouble because we don't have the kind of offense that can bail the team out.
2005-10-25 15:02:03
133.   Eric Enders
X-Rays of Miller's shoulder showed nothing.

So, here are the 11 bullpen candidates:


We should be able to find 6 good pitchers in that group of 11 guys.

2005-10-25 15:06:48
134.   alexx
RE: 72
"From (data from 99-02)

2nd base, no outs:
- 1 run: .348
- 2 runs: .142
- 3 runs: .076
- 4 runs: .035
- 5+ runs: .03

3rd base, one out:
- 1 run: .478
- 2 runs: .106
- 3 runs: .045
- 4 runs: .018
- 5+ runs: .014"

Would part or all of the differing run expectations be due to the fact that with a runner on 3rd and one out batters are just trying to get the run home with a sac fly or a ground out to the right side? I wonder if runs would go up or down on average if batters were instructed to never just try to get the one run, but to try to get a hit instead.

2005-10-25 15:07:26
135.   Jon Weisman
133 - If you're including Wunsch and Carrara, who are free agents, you can include a whole mess of similar free agent pitchers, too. It should be easy to fill out a good bullpen.
2005-10-25 15:10:13
136.   Eric Enders
135 - True. I just included those guys because the Dodgers have already acknowledged the possibility of them returning.
2005-10-25 15:15:06
137.   Mark
On the topic of artifical intelligence, something I actually have a bit of knowledge in, unlike this baseball thing, there are two main branches of what we would call AI: there's the "movie AI" branch that we traditionally think of as a computer-based intelligence. R2D2, Agent Smith, WOPR, etc etc. This sort of humanoid AI will never exist purely in silicon. We could only ever hope to create a super-intelligent robotic entity by using organic materials, and then, are we creating an AI, or are we just creating a new sort of species?

The other main branch of artificial intelligence, which the general public doesn't really think about, already exists in limited neural network applications. Mac users already have an AI working for them in, with the Junk mail filter. These are programs that are designed to learn, not only based upon data that they've already been fed, but also based upon questions that they haven't yet been asked.

In other words -- someone previously mentioned, would a computer ever send Kirk Gibson up in the bottom of the ninth? A neural net absolutely would, if it had "observed" the 1988 season and you asked it the right question (eg "maximize the run-scoring potential of the team at this very moment").

2005-10-25 15:15:22
138.   Curtis Lowe
Who else wants a Orel post-interview interview?
2005-10-25 15:17:38
139.   Bob Timmermann
One of the major figures in Los Angeles politics, Edward Roybal, has passed away.
2005-10-25 15:18:56
140.   Steve
Why would a computer send Dave Anderson up?
2005-10-25 15:23:47
141.   Tommy Naccarato
130 The "E" is of course "V"olts, and I once asked the question of the difference to a prefessor and there is an answer, I'll have to find it in my od notes.
2005-10-25 15:27:14
142.   Mark
140 "Maximize suckage."
2005-10-25 15:27:32
143.   FirstMohican
125 - This marks the first time I've heard "Electrical Engineering" refered to as "the easy way out." Also the first time I've heard someone consier it easier than Computer Science. ...The interesting world of DT.
2005-10-25 15:31:25
144.   Steve
142 -- So that was the program that put together last year's pitching staff.
2005-10-25 15:43:05
145.   rageon
Wow, there sure are a lot of computer geeks on this site. I guess that explains why I'm so interested in it.

125, 143 - My vote is for engineering as harder than CS. I took the easy way out by switching to CS, primarily because a two-week assignment for engineering was taking me two-weeks, while a two-week CS assignment would only take me 2 hours. But then I had to make up for it by thinking law school would be a good idea....

2005-10-25 16:02:15
146.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
134 (how do you do that linking thing?)

No, part or all of the run differential would be due to the fact that it is less likely to score a second run with one less out to work with.

I bet some nifty math would prove that, too. For example: what's the probability of scoring runs with the bases empty and 0 or 1 outs? It might even be a straight subtraction....

2005-10-25 16:10:27
147.   alex 7
Also, any added possibility of a bigger inning due to instructing hitters to "try to get a hit" instead of just settling for a groundout or fly out would be negated by a probable slight increase in strikeouts (with the strikeout meaning that run from 3rd has almost zero chance of scoring in that at bat.)
2005-10-25 16:17:56
148.   das411
If anyone wants the latest about, yknow, the ballgame tonight, it's official:

MLB hates the Astros. The roof will open.

2005-10-25 16:18:31
149.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Okay, sorry for two posts out of three, but something semantic bugs me in this discussion: it isn't just that humans code the computers, it isn't even really about the computers.

What's at discussion here are some two basic things: 1) Math, 2) Logic, as applied to algorythms.

I have always thought this about what is written about BCS "computers": demonization. Make the computer out to be the bad guy when all the computer is doing is making it possible to perform all the computations that someone (or many someones) with an abacus or a slide rule or a pocket calculator would be spending all day (every day) doing without a computer.

What's at debate: what logic rules should be applied? What mathematical formulas should be applied?

2005-10-25 16:31:42
150.   trainwreck
Off to discuss robots in class now.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-10-25 16:34:18
151.   overkill94
141 Sometimes we used eV to signify electron-volts, which is the same as volts, but in general we always used the capital V because E is usually reserved for energy and lower-case v for velocity.

143 145 It all depends on your way of thinking I suppose. I had never done programming until I got to college, so the weeder classes really got me down. I'd always been more of a math and physics guy than the more abstract CS thinker, so I guess I should have just gone with EE from the beginning.

2005-10-25 16:39:06
152.   King of the Hobos
Jason Phillips is going to tell us why catchers aren't blocking the plate anymore. Should be interesting
2005-10-25 16:49:51
153.   Xeifrank
Both CS and EE are difficult majors. Which is harder? Alot of it probably depends on the school you are at. I am a CS major with a Math minor, and I think EE would be a harder major but probably because I am much better and more interested in CS and logic stuff than I am in EE. I think CS is much more interesting, but that's just me. Data Structures, Algorithms and AI just seem more interesting than whatever it is that EE's study! In my lower division classes both CS and EE majors had to take the same math and physics classes, the only difference was the classes inside the major itself. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 16:51:25
154.   Marty
Which major gets more dates?
2005-10-25 16:52:47
155.   dzzrtRatt
152 "Because savvy baseball players all know that blocking the plate is overrated, just like throwing out baserunners, and getting hits with runners in scoring position. Only players with no baseball savvy think otherwise."
2005-10-25 17:07:33
156.   FirstMohican
The difficulty of the two fields could largely depend on the type of person and their way of thinking. Though, they're probably not as different as most people think.

154 - I can say, without a doubt, that it is Electrical Engineering.

2005-10-25 17:08:46
157.   Xeifrank
154. Not sure. Probably depends if you live in a tropical area or not. I myself am not a big fan of the sweet, edible, oblong or oval fruit of the date palm, containing a narrow, hard seed. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 17:17:22
158.   Bob Timmermann
Wow, Fox is actually showing the introduction of the opening lineups. Cool.

Of course, I'm only to see this because I was out sick today. I think I will be back for more excitement tomorrow.

My snazzy new digital thermometer indicates that I don't have a fever anymore.

2005-10-25 17:24:09
159.   Jon Weisman
158 - Did the fan protest against the opening of the roof take place?
2005-10-25 17:24:10
160.   Bob Timmermann
Wow, no "Star Spangled Banner" before this game.
2005-10-25 17:25:14
161.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't notice any protest. They might protest a fairly long song being played at the beginning of the game.
2005-10-25 17:26:09
162.   Linkmeister
Back to computers/baseball: in the NYT article introducing our new (putative) Fed Chairman was this little squiblet:

"he is a baseball fan, and an enthusiast about sports, sometimes disputing the methods used in the major leagues in calculating player statistics."


2005-10-25 17:27:59
163.   Bob Timmermann
They are singing the National Anthem (Michael McDonald). The other song was some fundraising song for Habitat for Humanity.

And John Smoltz was given the Roberto Clemente. And he's lost most of his hair too.

2005-10-25 17:50:05
164.   alex 7
somewhere in pittsburgh, a manager approves.
2005-10-25 18:32:01
165.   Steve
Teach those bastard Chicago fans to slap Biggio's wife around.
2005-10-25 18:56:56
166.   das411
Wow, Crede is approaching a Beltranian level of clutchitude. Fox maybe trying a new marketing tactic to the non-market fans? "Controversy every night, we guarantee it!"

2005-10-25 19:12:23
167.   Curtis Lowe
Dee Dee Deee
2005-10-25 19:15:44
168.   still bevens
Oswalt appears to be melting down on my interweb feed.
2005-10-25 19:18:14
169.   bokonon42
What's the deal with the string of unknowns singing the anthem, and during the 7th inning stretch? Lou Rawls I knew, so that makes me one for five, so far. I'm not that out of touch, am I?
2005-10-25 19:20:54
170.   Bob Timmermann
You've never heard of Michael McDonald? Yamo Not There I guess.
2005-10-25 19:21:29
171.   still bevens
Surely you must be familiar with the works of Liz Phair? I wonder if theyre saving Billy Corgan for a possible game 6 or if hes a cubs fan and isnt interested...
2005-10-25 19:23:49
172.   D4P
The lead singer of Zwan always makes a great finale.
2005-10-25 19:25:12
173.   Curtis Lowe
171,172- Have either of you guys heard Billy Corgan's solo album "future embrace"? It is the weirdest solo ever recorded.
2005-10-25 19:28:27
174.   bokonon42
Google'd him. I saw Steely Dan live, once, when I was an usher at the Hollywood Bowl. That was enough. He was a Dooby Brother, too? I never could imagine Dooby in my funk. Whao.
2005-10-25 19:32:17
175.   das411
168 - My Fox signal mysteriously cut out with the Astros up 4-0. Apparently the Sox are ahead now?

Did anybody see who threw out the first pitch? I am thinking it was either Sir Nolan or one of the George Bushes...

2005-10-25 19:32:37
176.   still bevens
I had little hope for the future embrace due to Billy's ad in the Tribune that was basically like 'PLEASE LET ME GET THE SMASHING PUMPKINS BACK TOGETHER' - like he didnt even wait to see his disappointing sales figures.. if that doesnt express little faith in your own record I dont know what does.
2005-10-25 19:33:09
177.   still bevens
Oswalt gave up 5 in the top of the 5th. Its 5-4.
2005-10-25 19:34:56
178.   bokonon42
175- Nolan it was.
2005-10-25 19:37:59
179.   das411
178 - Sweet. Did they mention that the top 3 strikeout pitchers of ALL TIME have been on the Astros?
2005-10-25 19:42:52
180.   Eric Enders
"so I guess I should have just gone with EE from the beginning."

That's what they all say...

2005-10-25 19:45:21
181.   D4P
I like that Gatorade commercial, although I would have preferred the Clark and Jeter outcomes to have remained in the revised states.
2005-10-25 19:47:39
182.   Xeifrank
Trouble in River City for the Stros. Down by one late in the game and Springer in?? Off to my late night softball game. Njoy the finish. vr, Xei
2005-10-25 19:53:27
183.   bokonon42
I've never heard G-d Bless America yodeled, before.
2005-10-25 19:55:10
184.   Bob Timmermann
I haven't seen Bush the Elder. I've seen Barbara Bush.

I hope Aaron Neville met with everyone's approval as a big enough name.

And who would have thought that there would have ever been a moment of silence for Rosa Parks during the World Series?

2005-10-25 19:55:11
185.   Eric Enders
Dear Lord,
Thank you for Tivo....
2005-10-25 19:55:43
186.   Eric Enders
Bush Sr. isn't there, or at least if he is he hasn't been in his seat all night.
2005-10-25 19:56:01
187.   D4P
Mute is equally effective.
2005-10-25 19:59:25
188.   D4P
The Astros just reduced their probability of scoring. I wonder if they know that.
2005-10-25 20:23:13
189.   razzle nugent
104 Tommy, in no way was I attempting to slander you or belittle your computer experience. The point I was trying to make was this:

You seemed to be using your computer experience as a basis for passing judgement on Depo's, et al, usage of computers as tools for making baseball-related decisions.
The problem with your argument is that your computer experience bears little resemblance to the kind of statistical analysis for which the sabermatricians use a computer. Again, I am not attempting to belittle your computer experience, but based on the way you described your experience, you may not be fully aware of the capabilities of computers and/or statistical analysis. I believe I'm not fully aware of these capabilities either.

Brent in 149 hit the nail on the head when he says that computers aren't the real issue here (I suppose that's the reason why Jon titled this discussion "Quit Blaming the Computers"). The real issue is do we trust mathematics and statistical analysis to aid in decision making? The computer only allows us to perform calculations at a relatively high speed. The math and/or statistical techniques that make up the calculations have existed for centuries. For that reason, sometimes it seems that to argue against sabermetrics is actually to argue against the likes of Carl Gauss, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton and other math pioneers.

Sometimes I compare moneyball/sabermetrics to poker winning methods. If Billy Beane is the Sammy Farha of baseball, who is the Phil Hellmuth of baseball?

2005-10-25 20:24:58
190.   Eric Enders
Who is Doyle Brunson? John Schuerholz?

James McManus = Michael Lewis.

2005-10-25 20:31:32
191.   Bob Timmermann
During my feverish night of sleep last night, I found out that poker is on TV literally all the time on some channel.
2005-10-25 20:39:19
192.   das411
WOW, the Astros are getting squeezed tonight
2005-10-25 20:40:14
193.   das411
Kind of nice to see Ozzie finally make a wrong move though, it only took him 11 playoff games
2005-10-25 20:41:57
194.   still bevens
191 Poker is one of the reasons ESPN told the NHL to bugger off.
2005-10-25 20:43:33
195.   Bob Timmermann
Actually last night I was watching celebrity poker on Bravo. But I was also running a high fever, so just what I watching is unclear.

I'm at a nice 99.3 now.

2005-10-25 20:45:06
196.   Jon Weisman
174 - Somebody needs to see the very special "What's Happening" episode with the Doobie Brothers about bootleging concerts. An absolute classic.

Dissing a Doobie Brother. For shame.

2005-10-25 20:49:20
197.   overkill94
153 Yeah, all the pre-recs were the same between EE and CS which made it a very easy switch, didn't lose any units. I always found CS more intriguing as well, but never had the patience to sit down and formulate/debug a program well enough to make it work. Once I took some upper division EE classes I found it just as intriguing though, there's nothing more satisfying than making your own delay pedal.
2005-10-25 20:54:04
198.   bokonon42
196- George Clinton was the original disser, I was just repeating his taunt. Oh, actually it was Bootsy.

2005-10-25 20:57:57
199.   MikeB
Fascinating discussions tonight. A bit intimidating for the non-geek, non-engineering reader/contributors. I have trouble balancing my checkbook.

No baseball roster is going to be perfect, whether you base it purely on intangibles, or just by use of statistical performance. You need some mixture of both to succeeed. The secret is finding the right formula. We had it in 2004. We did not have it in 2005.

In regards to Depodesta & Beane NOT paying attention to scouts or character, I recall the 2nd chapter of Moneyball describing the scene in the A's "draft" room as they sort through all of the eligible draftees, and throw any players with the least bit of trouble in their makeup, poor intelligence, lack of desire, etc. into the DISCARD pile.

It would appear to me based on the narrative of the Lewis book that Beane, Depo AND the scouts in the room were using "intangibles" or non-sabermetric values, if you prefer, to narrow down their choices BEFORE going to a selection process using stats and performance.

Based on my review/recollection of quotes attributed to Depo in the past two years, it would seem he does care to a certain degree about intangibles like character, intelligence, work ethic and uses that in conjunction with statistical analysis to make personnel decisions. Maybe even a bit more now, than when he first joined the Dodgers.

2005-10-25 20:58:41
200.   Bob Timmermann
All I can say to Brad Lidge is:

Yah Mo B There

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-10-25 20:59:18
201.   das411
So for everybody not watching the game, it is tied at 5 going into the bottom 9th.

Might wanna put it on now.

2005-10-25 21:03:19
202.   das411
One out walk by Burke, and Duque throws a pickoff throw away.

Runner on 2nd, one out

2005-10-25 21:03:59
203.   das411
!!!!!!!! Burke steals 3rd, 2-0 count to Biggio, STILL only one out
2005-10-25 21:05:14
204.   das411
Biggio walks, men on the corners for Taveras. Could we see a squeeze?
2005-10-25 21:05:25
205.   Bob Timmermann
Ah, What a Fool Believes.
2005-10-25 21:07:54
206.   das411
Wow, and Taveras just whiffs horribly.

You kind of have to walk Berkman here, no?

2005-10-25 21:08:02
207.   Bob Timmermann
All the Astros needed was an Olney.
2005-10-25 21:08:55
208.   King of the Hobos
Tavarez did not have a particularly good looking AB. They needed someone who wouldn't swing at balls
2005-10-25 21:09:18
209.   D4P
If that were true, would Depo have signed Kent, Bradley, and Odalis?
2005-10-25 21:10:36
210.   das411
Finally. All up to Ensberg, they're loaded with two down
2005-10-25 21:10:39
211.   Uncle Miltie
If the White Sox get out of this, they will win the game.
2005-10-25 21:11:36
212.   Bob Timmermann
No one in the ondeck circle I hope.
2005-10-25 21:12:02
213.   D4P
If they don't, they will lose.
2005-10-25 21:12:43
214.   D4P
213 was (obviously) meant to refer to 211
2005-10-25 21:13:26
215.   das411
There have been about ten pitches high enough for Burke to slide under a tag...
2005-10-25 21:14:23
216.   Uncle Miltie
To quote Hawk Harrelson "Yes!"
2005-10-25 21:15:10
217.   das411
Ooooh, nice pitch by Duque and the Stros waste a terrific opportunity.

GOnna be a long night, of course I have a paper due tomorrow

2005-10-25 21:16:02
218.   Bob Timmermann
Crede, Uribe, and Widger due up in the 10th.

The White Sox still have Ozuna, Blum and Timo Perez left on the bench.

2005-10-25 21:16:50
219.   King of the Hobos
So, can I assume it won't go 18 innings with Clemens winning it?
2005-10-25 21:17:29
220.   HomeDePo
Great posts on about the MVP/Cy Young/ROY awards, which is not to take away from the best DT discussion I have ever seen before!

Jack, a Dodger fan...

2005-10-25 21:17:35
221.   Bob Timmermann
Houston has Palmeiro, Vizcaino, and Chavez available on its bench. I would assume Palmeiro is going to lead off the 10th.
2005-10-25 21:20:01
222.   Uncle Miltie
Very good news. Bowden won't become the Dodgers GM anytime soon:
(from ESPN)
Washington Nationals: The team is close to a contract extension with general manager Jim Bowden, The Washington Post, citing two baseball sources, reported Tuesday night. The deal, however, likely won't be announced until after the World Series.
2005-10-25 21:20:54
223.   Bob Timmermann
That news is putting me on the road to recovery!
2005-10-25 21:22:04
224.   Vishal
choose your own adventure: pinch-hit or keep lidge in the game for one more inning?
2005-10-25 21:22:52
225.   HomeDePo
223 But if you stay sick you can keep on using that snazzy little thermometer!
Jack, a Dodger fan...
2005-10-25 21:23:40
226.   das411
Hey Bob, have there ever been two Orlando's facing each other in a playoff game?
2005-10-25 21:24:56
227.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know about the Orlandos, but we could see a Vizcaino versus Vizcaino.
2005-10-25 21:25:11
228.   King of the Hobos
222 If I were the new owner of the Nats, I would immediately buyout the contract to allow him to go to the Dodgers. At that point, I'd want to sabotage the Dodgers though
2005-10-25 21:25:41
229.   das411
Wow, and we could also have Vizcaino pitch to Vizcaino in this inning, right?
2005-10-25 21:26:13
230.   das411
bah, less than a minute :)
2005-10-25 21:29:09
231.   Bob Timmermann
There have only been three Orlandos to play in the World Series:


Socks Seybold, who played in the 1905 World Series for the Philadelphia A's had Orlando as his middle name. His first name was Ralph.

2005-10-25 21:31:07
232.   das411
I like how Hermanson and now Vizcaino are working off of TWENTY FIVE DAYS REST

...and still the Astros cannot pull off an Olney! Argh!

2005-10-25 21:33:31
233.   MikeB
209. I did say "no roster is going to be perfect." Sometimes you have to take on a certain amount of risk if you want to reach a greater reward - in this case a championshiop team.

Perhaps DePodesta did not have other viable options available and needed to resign Perez (or perhaps the other options did not work out - (the trade for Javier Vazquez?). We got Bradley for a minor league prospect who has yet to do anything on the MLB level. Bradley has played well when healthy in mind and body.

As for Kent, that was a great acquisition in my opinion. I would think all Dodger fans would be very satisfied with the job Kent did this year. He's not a smiley face, but he's a professional, in every sense or meaning of the word. The fact that he got ticked off at a teammate for not hustling is not a negative to me. I look forward to having Kent come back in '05.

Bradley was and will continue to be a risk. He's a very talented young player -- but you may need to remove him from the equation for the good of the team's ability to focus on winning, and not having to deal with constant turmoil in the clubhouse. Are there better options available to us? Is Milton a lost cause?. I would like to believe that he can mature and grow out of his tantrums. Sadly, that may not happen soon enough to help the Dodgers or to keep him on the team.

As for Perez, what can I say, he's a "lefthander." How's that for a piece of old-time baseball sidestepping. ;>) Perez is a puzzle. He's obviously very talented, and has shown he can be an asset when he wants to be. I don't know what motivates him. Do we trade him? What could we get in return that is of equal or greater value. A tough call.

2005-10-25 21:36:27
234.   HomeDePo

I do not think you are the only person on this site who appreciates the Jeff Kent signing...

Where you stand with Milton and Odalis is pretty much where I stand: ONE HUGE TOUGHT CALL ;{)
Jack, a Dodger fan...

2005-10-25 21:36:51
235.   das411
IF Chris Burke ends this game here, who on this board will be convined that clutch exists?
2005-10-25 21:37:39
236.   das411
2005-10-25 21:39:38
237.   MikeB
233. I meant to type - "I look forward to having Kent come back in '06."
2005-10-25 21:39:56
238.   HomeDePo
235 I have believed in clutch when a man with a limp hit a walkoff homerun in Chavez Ravine about 17 years ago...(Insert Flashback Here)
Jack, a Dodger fan...
2005-10-25 21:44:45
239.   das411
Is anybody else amazed that Barbara Bush is still there, right behind home plate? Good for her! I wish I knew more chicks that are that into baseball
2005-10-25 21:45:51
240.   Bob Timmermann
Games like this are when I'm glad I'm living in the Pacific Time Zone.
2005-10-25 21:47:21
241.   King of the Hobos
According to, the Hershiser interview took place, just in case you were afraid it hadn't

Ausmus with a Phillips moment right there

2005-10-25 21:48:25
242.   Vishal
[240] indeed. i'm going to have to check the score in the morning. peace out.
2005-10-25 21:48:53
243.   fanerman
Is Podsednik about to Smartball(TM) the Astros?
2005-10-25 21:50:37
244.   Bob Timmermann
Dear Phil,

Please walk Konerko


2005-10-25 21:51:16
245.   das411
A Timo Perez sighting!

And Bobby Jenks, who is about twice his size, starts warming up...

2005-10-25 21:51:43
246.   King of the Hobos
Timo Perez due up, what sane manager wouldn't walk him? DePo should have included that question in the interviews, if you pitch to Konerko, it's an automatic fail
2005-10-25 21:52:33
247.   MikeB
241. "...a Phillips moment..."
Poor Jason P. Forever to be remembered by Dodger fans everywhere for his inability to run, throw, or hit. I wonder if the Google folks ever contemplated offering Phillips an endorsement deal?
2005-10-25 21:53:18
248.   das411
Man, raise your hand if you thought Timo Perez would make it back into a World Series game before Mike Piazza?

I see he is just as clutch as he was back then too. Hm.

2005-10-25 21:57:21
249.   MikeB
244. Bob - off subject. Have you seen Darius Banks (Culver City) play yet? Was wondering what you thought of him as QB.
2005-10-25 21:58:53
250.   Bob Timmermann
I have not seen Culver City play and would only see them in a playoff game.

Personally, I fear going to Culver City. I always get lost in Culver City. Does that city have any streets that meet at right angles?

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-10-25 22:00:27
251.   MikeB
250. In real estate it's called a community with "character" ;>)
2005-10-25 22:01:41
252.   das411
Time for a Mad Dash by Taveras, no?
2005-10-25 22:02:34
253.   MikeB
252. If the count goes 2-1 or 3-1, yes.
2005-10-25 22:04:19
254.   Bob Timmermann
The White Sox relievers have walked 8 and hit a batter.
2005-10-25 22:05:52
255.   das411
That little kid is going to be glad he slept through the 9th and 10th
2005-10-25 22:06:43
256.   King of the Hobos
254 And yet 1 has scored...

Baseball officials are pushing for a vote to reinstate baseball into the Olympics

2005-10-25 22:07:27
257.   Bob Timmermann
What happened to that 97 mph heat that Jenks threw in Game 1?
2005-10-25 22:08:18
258.   King of the Hobos
257 Pitching for the 3rd time in 4 days probably hasn't helped
2005-10-25 22:08:38
259.   das411
What happened to Taveras' game-breaking speed?
2005-10-25 22:11:52
260.   Jon Weisman
So Clemens doesn't like to pitch before the 16th inning, right? Will the hamstring affect his usual 16th-, 17th-, 18th-inning routine?
2005-10-25 22:12:51
261.   King of the Hobos
So, any prediction for when the next Astros hit will occur? This game? Tomorrow? Next year?
2005-10-25 22:14:04
262.   das411
I am just glad I asked my parents to set the tape up on SLP mode
2005-10-25 22:16:22
263.   MikeB
Anyone else tired of watching that lady going berserk in the promo for Trading Spouses?
2005-10-25 22:17:20
264.   das411
Is that the Wandy Rodriguez that gave up #70 to Bonds back in '01?
2005-10-25 22:17:27
265.   King of the Hobos
Inconsistent swing. Is that what Phillips et al has?
2005-10-25 22:20:13
266.   Bob Timmermann
Wilfredo Rodriguez gave up Bonds' 70th home run in 2001. He hasn't pitched in the majors since.
2005-10-25 22:23:33
267.   das411
Ah. Thanks Bob.

...there it is. Houston has had ONE hit since the 4th inning.

If Marte ends up going 2+, who would Chi go to? Contreras?

2005-10-25 22:27:29
268.   King of the Hobos
267 I'm hoping for Pablo Ozuna
2005-10-25 22:30:37
269.   MikeB
Moneyball has been introduced to Ivy League football.
2005-10-25 22:32:02
270.   das411
Oh boy, I don't know which is more scary, that linescore or those FOX stats...
2005-10-25 22:33:18
271.   Bob Timmermann
2005-10-25 22:33:22
272.   das411
2005-10-25 22:34:09
273.   MikeB
Small ball defense rules!
2005-10-25 22:35:18
274.   das411
I think Ausmus just earned himself a spot on that Gaetti website, what kind of warrior catches for five hours and then makes a play like THAT?? Wow!
2005-10-25 22:37:31
275.   King of the Hobos
We have the longest game in WS history, so can we just end it here?
2005-10-25 22:38:15
276.   Bob Timmermann
Bob wants to go to sleep! He's still not 100% I'm around 90%
2005-10-25 22:39:14
277.   rageon
Damn, this is getting to be more baseball than I can handle from two teams I really don't care much about.
2005-10-25 22:39:36
278.   das411
When is Ozzie going to fill the Gatorade cooler with Red Bull?
2005-10-25 22:40:51
279.   Bob Timmermann
It's obviously more baseball than Buck or McCarver care to talk about.
2005-10-25 22:41:48
280.   King of the Hobos
Even the announcers don't think Biggio should bunt...
2005-10-25 22:42:19
281.   Bob Timmermann
Nine walks and an HBP by the Chicago relievers.

And they didn't come in until the 8th!

2005-10-25 22:44:52
282.   Bob Timmermann
And now the Chicago relievers have 8 Ks too.
2005-10-25 22:45:57
283.   das411

Garner needs to slide Burke into CF, Berkman back out to left, and start rotating the two C's in/out of 1B. Taveras has been like a black hole tonight.

2005-10-25 22:46:29
284.   King of the Hobos
Taveras is not helping anyone by doing that
2005-10-25 22:46:49
285.   King of the Hobos
284 Well, no one on his team...
2005-10-25 22:47:14
286.   Bob Timmermann
Taveras did play well the first two games. And Chris Burke is a center fielder in the way that Jason Phillips is a first baseman.
2005-10-25 22:47:46
287.   King of the Hobos
283 Palmeiro is in there for Burke
2005-10-25 22:50:02
288.   das411
287 - Oh. Right. Sorry, it's only 1:48am over here.

They also need to put Nolan in, even if it is only to go Doc Ellis on Dye + Konerko and then pound the crap out of them. Hmm, wasn't Robin Ventura around the other day?

2005-10-25 22:51:55
289.   Bob Timmermann

Not bunting.

2005-10-25 22:51:56
290.   Jon Weisman
41 players down, 9 to go
2005-10-25 22:52:04
291.   King of the Hobos
Astacio does not start the inning so well. Not with Konerko up
2005-10-25 22:52:35
292.   das411
2005-10-25 22:52:38
293.   King of the Hobos
2005-10-25 22:53:18
294.   Jon Weisman
As great a play as that was by Ensberg, it reminds me immediately of how incredible Nettles was against the Dodgers.
2005-10-25 22:54:11
295.   King of the Hobos
Not nearly as good for Astros fans
2005-10-25 22:54:15
296.   Bob Timmermann
And a former Padre shall lead them.
2005-10-25 22:55:16
297.   das411
oh, no way, you did NOT just do that geoff blum
2005-10-25 22:55:52
298.   Jon Weisman
I didn't think that was that bad a pitch. Hope Astacio doesn't see that video of Garner throwing the chair.
2005-10-25 22:56:21
299.   King of the Hobos
297 I foresee Ensberg or Lane making sure we go a few more innings. Not sure that's what I want though
2005-10-25 22:56:57
300.   Uncle Miltie
That was smartball
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2005-10-25 22:57:14
301.   Jon Weisman
Mark B. is going to try to be like Hershiser in the '88 NLCS.
2005-10-25 22:57:34
302.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if Buerhle is going to come in to close it out in the bottom of the inning. If you're up 3-0, it's unlikely that he would pitch again anyway.
2005-10-25 22:57:52
303.   MikeB
Ensberg would look good in Dodger blue.
2005-10-25 22:58:45
304.   regfairfield
Geoff Blum always seems to do good things when I'm watching.

According to his stats, it's apparently the only time that occurs.

2005-10-25 23:00:12
305.   das411
Didn't Boston go ahead before the Buckner grounder in '86?

Any team that allows what Blum just did to his hair in their dugout, does not deserve to win. Oh yes, I went there.

2005-10-25 23:01:31
306.   Bob Timmermann
Boston led by 2 in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

I don't see Calvin Schiraldi warming up anywhere.

2005-10-25 23:02:38
307.   King of the Hobos
Until Blum puts a hat on, can we stop showing him every 3 seconds?
2005-10-25 23:02:47
308.   das411
Naw but Bob Stanley is wearing #38 for Houston tonight.
2005-10-25 23:06:13
309.   das411
Poor kid, that could just as easily have been Duckworth or Johnny Franco out there but he will never be able to show his face in Houston again
2005-10-25 23:07:14
310.   MikeB
Wonder if the roof will be closed tomorrow?
2005-10-25 23:07:55
311.   Bob Timmermann
Is it Astacio's fault as much as the Astros hitters wasting 10 free trips to the bases from the 8th inning on?

And Oswalt did not pitch well either.

2005-10-25 23:09:13
312.   MikeB
311. Garner should have tossed that chair at his hitters earlier in the game.
2005-10-25 23:10:49
313.   das411
I missed the one bad Oswalt inning Bob, but there is absolutely no reason why Houston should not have scored in the 10th with Burke on 3rd and one out. All Taveras has to do is get the bat on the ball and the game is over as soon as Burke touches home.

Jayson Stark will have a field day with the ex-Astro angle tomorrow on Blum.

2005-10-25 23:12:06
314.   Icaros
What boy band does Geoff Blum sing for?
2005-10-25 23:12:29
315.   LAT
Just got home. Can't believe this game is still going on. It would be a great game if I cared a lick about either of these teams.
2005-10-25 23:13:16
316.   das411
Here we go...
2005-10-25 23:14:23
317.   bigcpa
Anyone know how curfew rules are applied in postseason games?
2005-10-25 23:15:45
318.   regfairfield
Some small sample size observations from this game:

Willy Tavarez is by far the worst player in baseball. (Imagine the columns we'd see if A-Rod had a game like he did)

Geoff Blum is the new Mr. October

Small ball does not work. Ever.

2005-10-25 23:17:52
319.   das411
Ok, the 1986 parallels are getting spooky
2005-10-25 23:19:14
320.   MikeB
No excuse for that error.
2005-10-25 23:22:32
321.   bigcpa
No excuse for slapping at the final out like that a la Rickey. We almost had an all-time boner play there by Uribe.
2005-10-25 23:23:18
322.   MikeB
Good night all.
2005-10-25 23:25:09
323.   das411
Just remember folks, coming back from down 3 games to 0 IS possible...

See you guys tomorrow.

2005-10-25 23:26:04
324.   Linkmeister
What's Houston's RISP avg right now? About .083?

Sheesh. I'm trying to root for the National League, here, but after that mess...

2005-10-25 23:37:51
325.   bigcpa
Well at least with a sweep we'll get a manager announcement by the weekend.
2005-10-25 23:53:47
326.   Tommy Naccarato
Don't know if anybody has talked about this, but watching the HBO Costas show, Pete Rose is coping to a lot of stuff. Really interesting stuff.

Don't miss it. I'm sure it will be on again this wek.

2005-10-25 23:55:37
327.   Tommy Naccarato
Doesn't the Blum family own that frozen banana stand down in Balboa?
2005-10-26 00:01:44
328.   Tommy Naccarato
Never mind, the Bluth's own that banana stand! :)
2005-10-26 00:58:37
329.   bokonon42
Blum's mom lives in Chino and works (or did work, we're not close) in a local school district. I bought a car from her. It's quite possible that World Series Hero (tm) Geoff Blum drove my car. All this by way of saying: I have an authentic piece of memorabilia that I'd be willing to part with. Surely a World Series Hero driven '72 VW has to be worth, what, $20k? 50? Any bidders?
2005-10-26 01:02:20
330.   bokonon42
Oh, I forgot. The battery was dead, at time of purchase, so I had to replace it before the car would start. The old battery leaked on me, so I washed my hands in World Series Hero Geoff Blum's childhood sink. True story. I'm glad to sell hand-shaking rights to anybody who wants to touch history.
2005-10-26 05:18:40
331.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Jim Callis at BA seems to think it unlikely that we'll be able to sign Hochevar, according to his own analysis of his mock draft:


2005-10-26 07:21:58
332.   Bob Timmermann
The Chiba Lotte Marines finished off a sweep of the Hanshin Tigers in the Japan Series with a 3-2 win in Game 4.

Chiba had won game 1 10-1, game 2 10-0 and game 3 10-1.

2005-10-26 07:29:21
333.   das411
It's the Being Bob Timmermann Home Game!

2005-10-26 14:11:23
334.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
just testing

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