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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Heading into the Second Half
2007-07-11 09:09
by Jon Weisman

Fungoes at looks back at the first half of the 2007 season today, division-by-division. In my report on the National League West, I find myself respecting San Diego while also keeping an eye on Arizona, which has plenty of room for in-house improvement of its offense.

An afterthought for years running when it comes to postseason baseball, the NL West has pulled closer to its league rivals, if not ahead of them. Four of the five teams in the division are at .500 or better, and collectively the NL West is 105-81 against the NL Central and NL East.

San Diego quietly established itself as the best team in the NL in the first half of the 2007 season, leading the league in winning percentage and run differential. At the same time, the Padres are 15-15 over their past 30 games, so they aren't exactly running away with anything.

Los Angeles seems to have the greatest wherewithal to overtake the Padres, but the Dodgers' potpourri of strengths and weaknesses makes a post-All Star Break slump as likely as a surge. Arizona remains a contender, and Colorado -- yes, Colorado -- is only 5 1/2 games off the Padres' league-leading pace.

While the NL barely has any teams on pace to win 90 games, AL hopefuls should pay attention to the Padres. Facing the likes of Jake Peavy and Chris Young in the postseason could be death to anyone's World Series dreams. ...

The grades given to each team, by the way, are in relation to their expectations going into the season.

Comments (134)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-11 09:23:29
1.   D4P
At first, I was gonna suggest that Garret Atkins deserves "What went wrong" status for the Rockies. But then I saw this:

2005: .287/.347/.426/.773
2006: .329/.409/.556/.965
2007: .259/.331/.445/.776

Maybe 2006 was the aberration.

2007-07-11 09:25:00
2.   silverwidow
Jon Meloan deserves a bullpen spot in the second half. Today is his 23rd birthday as well.
2007-07-11 09:53:29
3.   Penarol1916
I am still absurdly down about last night's game. I can't believe Pablo Garcia missed his shot to beat Brasil.
2007-07-11 09:54:31
4.   Joshua Worley
The only thing I really disagree with is the Snakes. I don't think they really have that much room for improvement. It doesn't seem likely Randy will be able to pitch much the rest of the way, so I can't see the pitching do anything but get worse. And they've already given up for this year on one of the players who could in theory have improved in Quentin. I guess Drew and Young could improve, but I don't think it's going to happen this year. I especially don't get all the expectations for Young. He has raw power but hasn't shown much sign of doing anything with it except hit the odd home run. He seems more like a Sammy Sosa type to me, who if he does ever become a good player may take years to really do it.
2007-07-11 10:01:33
5.   Bluebleeder87

nicely said Joshua i too feel the same way about the D-Backs, our true nemesis for the '07 year will be the Pads in my opinion. it really seems like a very exciting 2nd half to come i can't wait.

2007-07-11 10:02:12
6.   jasonungar07
What about defense? I think that's a factor as well....
2007-07-11 10:08:56
7.   D4P
Duke center Brian Zoubek will be sidelined for at least eight weeks after surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot. He had surgery Tuesday to repair a fifth metatarsal fracture

Interestingly enough, I've only broken/fractured one bone in my body: the fifth metatarsal in my left foot, back in 6th grade. I never had surgery to repair it.

2007-07-11 10:09:25
8.   Xeifrank
4,5. I agree too, without a healthy Randy Johnson I don't see the Diamondbacks winning this division, unless the Padres suffer some terrible injuries. I think the Padres win the division and in the end the Dodgers will get the wild-card (like last year). The two teams I would look out for in the 2nd half of the year would be the Cubs and Rockies. Both could make a run at the wild-card and possibly division titles.
vr, Xei
2007-07-11 10:10:45
9.   Ricardo
3. I´m brazilian but I´m sad for Uruguay because Lugano is one of my favorite players.

Padres´s pitchers not named Jake Peavy shouldn´t pitch in the All Star Game.

2007-07-11 10:38:15
10.   Penarol1916
9. Yeah, actually, more upset that Uruguay didn't press on a couple of counterattacking opportunities after they scored the second goal than what happened with the penalties. You never know what's going to happen when you go that route, especially since Uruguay was playing so well for most of the game.
2007-07-11 10:44:45
11.   bhsportsguy
Soccer talk

Isn't that is what The Griddle is for?

2007-07-11 10:44:45
12.   ToyCannon
I'll weigh in on support of the Diamondbacks. I think to many are looking at the struggles of the kids in a negative light. I look at the struggles of the kids and marvel that they are still in striking distance.

1. Steve Drew uses the 1st half problems to build on the 2nd half. Last season he showed glimpses of what he can do.
2. Quentin rediscovers his swing in AAA and puts his shoulder problems behind him and helps out in Aug/Sept.
3. Chris Young is doing everything expected except utilizing plate discipline. We knew he'd be a low avg/power guy giving solid defense. The only knock I see on him is the lack of plate discipline and since he has shown in the past to have good plate discipline I think he will have a better 2nd half in that area.
4. Chad Tracy or Connor Jackson will get traded for pitching and give 3b to Mark Reynolds. Funny that of the heralded group of Drew/Young/Quentin/Jackson it is the unknown Mark Reynolds who is making the biggest splash. As BHSPORTSGUY said at the beginning of the year all the prospect pundits will spend hours putting together the lists and yet every year some unknown will end up stealing much of the thunder of the big name prospects.
5. Montero will start getting more playing time and give some offense out of the catcher position.
6. They find out they stole Salazar from the Rockies and he replaces the production that they thought they were going to get with Quentin. Or Hairston fulfills his long ago promise and does the same thing.
7. Nippert gets moved into the rotation and ends up being a satisfactory back of the rotation guy.
8. Justin Upton gets brought up in Aug/Sept and starts to give West teams nightmares a year early. If he was brought up today he'd already be the best RF in the Western division. He'll have plenty of learning pain with the off speed pitch but it won't be enough to dull his luster.
Basically I see the Diamondbacks weak in RF but they have 4 more options to try out- Salazar, Hairston, Back to Quentin, then if nothing else works give Justin Upton a shot. Byrnes has been just about the best outfielder in the division and Young is doing just enough. When the competition is Pierre/Roberts/Tavares, only Cameron is better and that is Young's best comp for the future anyway. The bullpen is not SD/Dodger solid but it gets the job done at the back end with Pena/Valverde. Starting pitching needs to be shored up but they might have enough offense/defense to offset the weak pitching as opposed to the Padres/Dodgers who may or may not have enough offense/defense to support strong pitching.

It is not like they have to improve much to contend. I'd say as a team more things have gone wrong for the Diamondbacks that are correctable in the 1st half and they are still right there. The Padre pitching will not keep up the pace in the 2nd half and the Dodgers aren't going to run away from anyone with the back end of the rotation so shaky along with an anemic offense. The reality is that they may be a year away but then the same might be said for the Dodgers. Can't wait to see what all 3 GM's do to bolster their teams's chances for the postseason.

2007-07-11 10:51:11
13.   OaklandAs
4 I think the Diamondbacks have the most room for improvement in the division. In the first half, I would say that Stephen Drew, Conor Jackson, Carlos Quentin, Chris Young, Scott Hairston, Alberto Callaspo, Chad Tracy, and both catchers (Snyder/Montero) have all played somewhat below expectations, while only Eric Byrnes and Orlando Hudson have played to or exceeded their projections.

Keep in mind that guys like Drew, Young, Quentin, and Jackson are all prospects comparable to Kemp/Loney, and there is no reason they can't be expected to contribute this year. Plus they also have Justin Upton in the minors who might be able to help down the stretch also.

2007-07-11 10:55:07
14.   D4P
I think the Diamondbacks have the most room for improvement in the division

The interesting thing is that the Giants have actually outscored their opponents, but are 10 games under .500, while the DBacks have been outscored by their opponents, but are 4 games over .500. One might be tempted to think that the Giants should start winning more, and that the DBacks should starting losing more.

2007-07-11 11:04:56
15.   OaklandAs
14 True, but the D-Backs are currently next-to-last in the NL in Runs/Game and in OPS+, and I expect their offense to be quite a bit better in the 2nd half.
2007-07-11 11:10:00
16.   JoeyP
Why don't the Lakers find these players?

The triangle offense IMO.
Phil's adherance to only getting guys that fit his 'offense', has killed team. Its led to drafting non-athletic half court "cerebral" players that just cant get the job done on the defensive end.

Watching Phil's teams play post Shaq, makes me long for the Sedale Threat, Ceballos years. At least they played a style worth watching.

2007-07-11 11:19:38
17.   bryanf
Great piece Jon!
2007-07-11 11:38:39
18.   jasonungar07
did u guys see the two new articles on
2007-07-11 11:39:07
19.   Daniel Zappala
16 I missed the Lakers Thoughts at the end of the last thread, but I wholeheartedly agree. This subservience of the organization to Phil's offense and preference for certain players is killing them. I also think the Lakers front office has no clue when it comes to identifying overlooked talent that can produce in the league.

The Lakers need to somehow start finding the best available players and then have a coach that can mold an offense and defense around those players.

More than anything, they need to start being exciting again.

2007-07-11 11:40:20
20.   jasonungar07
"Fortunately, a lot of our offensive players have histories of better second halves" -Ned

career before and after break

.322 .370 .524 .894
.309 .358 .532 .890

.287 .337 .355 .692
.318 .361 .398 .759

.275 .340 .397 .736
.300 .366 .429 .796

.292 .359 .495 .854
.285 .352 .512 .864

2007-07-11 11:48:07
21.   Pedro Astacio
well 3 of 4 have better OPS's in the second half. Nomar has a better SLG.
2007-07-11 11:48:56
22.   Joshua Worley
Some points about how much AZ might improve:

1. I think age and experience really matters when talking about players who are playing below expectations. If a player with five good years in the league is playing below expectations, then it's probably a good bet to expect him to play better. But for a young player just entering the league, playing below expectations might mean those expectations were too high. I think that's the case with a lot of the Snakes' young players.

2. This is by far the most important point: the Snakes have a lot of ground to make up as far as catching the Dodgers and Padres in terms of quality of play. The Snakes have been lucky, very lucky, to have a winning record and be only 3.5 games out of first so far. According to Baseball Prospectus their expected winning percentage (Pct3) is 0.457. That's worst in the NL west, fourth worst in the NL. The Dodgers and Padres are at 0.551 and 0.540, by the way. For those who don't put any stock in run differential and expected runs and so on, this won't be persuasive. But if you do think this stuff can tell us something, then it's evident the Snakes have to improve a lot just to maintain their current winning percentage, much less increase it in the second half and overtake the Padres or Dodgers. I think it's far far more likely they drop below 0.500 than contend in September.

3. Mark Reynolds had a great May, and then a truly awful June ( with more at bats than in May ). He might turn it back around and do well, but he surely can't be counted on for anything. If I was the Snakes I'd consider trading him, not Tracy or Jackson. Sell high.

2007-07-11 11:49:05
23.   underdog
Just a reminder: The Ghosts of Flatbush premieres on HBO tonight.
2007-07-11 11:57:15
24.   trainwreck
I agree with you Jon. I think the D-Backs youngsters will start to hit better eventually and Justin Upton may be fast tracked.
2007-07-11 11:59:31
25.   trainwreck
The Lakers drafted Crittenton and Farmar in consecutive years. Those are two athletic players with upside. The problem is that Mitch and Jim completely waste the MLE every year and are horrid at evaluating free agents. There has not been one good free agent signing or re-signing that I have liked since we re-signed Kobe.
2007-07-11 12:01:36
26.   Penarol1916
11. I will confine soccer talk to the griddle when music talk is confined to screen jams.
2007-07-11 12:06:00
27.   underdog
Maybe Wilson Valdez doesn't have to worry about his status in Vegas after all, even with Hu's promotion:

From the PE Blog:
"Class AAA Las Vegas second baseman Sergio Garcia has been handed a 100-game suspension after testing positive for the second time for a performance-enhancing substance. Garcia, hit .292 with eight home runs and 33 RBI for the 51s, received a 15-game ban for his first offense in June 2005."

2007-07-11 12:07:25
28.   underdog
(Assuming Valdez can play second, too, that is...)

26 Amen, brother. If we start confining talk here, then we should also avoid Laker or b-ball talk, while we're at it. (Not that I want to, mind you.) Now, when the Griddle does have a soccer specific posting about a game, then some of us move soccer comments over there, when applicable.

2007-07-11 12:09:10
29.   ToyCannon
If the show is about the Brooklyn ballclub and not a show about whining old people lamenting the loss of their team it might be interesting but any promo that has the CNN Skeleton on it does not appear promising.
2007-07-11 12:16:05
30.   bhsportsguy
They may have to find another HOF player to autograph a baseball.

V-Foundation ESPN Radio Auction Experience -

LA Dodgers: Four (4) Field Level tickets to a Dodger home game during the 2007 season (excluding all blackout dates). Includes: Viewing batting practice and picture taken with a Dodger player on the field before the game. Also includes: Signed baseball (in case) by Hall of Farmer 1b Eddie Murray  which will be shipped by ESPN to winner.
Starting Bid: $2,000

I am not sure this is worth $2000, now if it was Duke Snider's or of course Sandy's autograph, maybe.

A better experience for me would be to sit quietly in Vin's booth for a game.

2007-07-11 12:17:19
31.   ToyCannon
Source says that Francis is headed for the Clips. So now we have Elton and Francis the number one and two picks from that draft. We just need to bring back Odom and we'd have the 1st 3 picks from that draft:)
2007-07-11 12:17:23
32.   dsfan
12 --

Upton would now be the best RF in the NL West?

Yeah, he's a dynamic prospect, but do you really believe he would match Hawpe's 141 OPS-plus? Hawpe also has a better arm and is more acclimated to RF. Again, Upton is special. Maybe he would go on a tear before the NL pitches figured him out, but even in the Southern League, he's cooled off. He had one home run in June. This month, he is 5-for-22.

Eric Byrnes is just about the best OF in the NL West?

Offensively, he's not even in the same galaxy as Bonds and Holliday. I'd take Hawpe over him, too. And for all-around contributions, I'd take Cameron over him.

I see modest gains by Arizona's offense, but this still looks like a team that will give up as many or more runs than it scores.

2007-07-11 12:18:11
33.   Bob Timmermann
I'm going to have a review of "The Ghosts of Flatbush" on the Griddle later. I will also tack on an in-progress review of "The Bronx is Burning."

I don't speak for Jon at all, but I don't see why people can't speak about soccer here. People talk about MMA and boxing here. I don't care about those sports and just pass on by.

That is why God invented the down arrow on the keyboard.

2007-07-11 12:18:13
34.   trainwreck
Do you get to choose which Dodger you meet? Or do they just give you Ramon Martinez or Beimel?
2007-07-11 12:22:47
35.   bhsportsguy
33 Sorry, never know how to type sarcastically, hence the Rule, of course soccer and everything else can be talked about here.

34 It could be someone like Jason Schmidt who has been involved with cancer research, etc.

BTW - There is an E-bay auction to spend one inning in the radio booth in Anaheim with Rory and Terry. It would probably be unsafe to allow anyone that close to the Hudman.

2007-07-11 12:24:34
36.   underdog
29 It does sound like one of those "fans lament the team's move" and "it was a simpler time" kind of docs, but the reviews have been excellent so far. Look forward to Bob's review later, too.
2007-07-11 12:26:16
37.   underdog
I'm not a big Steve Francis fan. I mean, he's more talented than Derek Fisher but I think I'd rather have the latter on my team. Francis' is a pain in the behind. Still, the Clippers will probably be yet another team in the division better than the Lakers.
2007-07-11 12:32:00
38.   trainwreck
Congrats Oregon fans! You guys are now 05' Holiday Bowl champs!
2007-07-11 12:33:15
39.   Bob Timmermann
I will warn you that like ToyCannon, I don't care much for weepy Brooklyn residents. I was thinking of building a giant golden idol of Walter O'Malley in my apartment and surrounding it with a halo full of dollar bills, but I couldn't get Maya Lin to do the work for me.
2007-07-11 12:36:35
40.   bhsportsguy
38 And Bruin fans are wondering what about the Reggie Bush case?
2007-07-11 12:37:34
41.   D4P
Making a team forfeit games that were played years ago doesn't seem to accomplish much.
2007-07-11 12:37:51
42.   Jon Weisman
But if the documentary cites sources such as Shapiro, which point out Robert Moses as the villain, that could be worthwhile.
2007-07-11 12:38:17
43.   trainwreck
Not really. NCAA will never touch their cash cow.
2007-07-11 12:40:11
44.   Bob Timmermann
I will keep an open mind.

Or as open as I ever am.

Maybe we'll find out that O'Malley really wanted to move the Dodgers to Wilmington, but forgot which state it was in and almost ended up putting the team in Delaware.

2007-07-11 12:41:28
45.   D4P
I have been to Wilmington, NC and Wilmington, DE.

I preferred the former.

2007-07-11 12:41:45
46.   Daniel Zappala
30 I heard the bidding was up to $30,000 on the Dodger package.
2007-07-11 12:45:46
47.   Bob Timmermann
I prefer Wilmington, CA.

"Heart of the Harbor!"

2007-07-11 12:46:49
48.   natepurcell
Evan Grant is still on his Texan Dodger fixation...

Best-case scenario for a deal with the Dodgers on Mark Teixeira now seems to be 1B James Loney and maybe prospect pitcher Clayton Kershaw of Highland Park.

2007-07-11 12:47:42
49.   Bob Timmermann
Clayton Kershaw went to Franklin HS?
2007-07-11 12:48:05
50.   Daniel Zappala
33 That is why God invented the down arrow on the keyboard.

Actually, that was me. Believe it or not, back in the days when I ran an Atari Thoughts BBS system (to discuss games like Adventure and Pitfall!), we had people trying to talk about soccer all the time. A bunch of New Zealanders raving about their World Cup success in 1982 really pushed me over the top, and the down arrow was born. It wasn't until several years later that I thought to include the up arrow, for those who couldn't remember what happened 100 comments earlier.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-11 12:52:26
51.   trainwreck
Are you sure they weren't South African?
2007-07-11 12:52:31
52.   underdog
48 Oh, good Lord, will it never cease? Someone lock that guy's keyboard for a few days. Loney and Kershaw? Sure, no prob.
2007-07-11 12:52:44
53.   D4P
And I suppose you modeled the down arrow after the "sword" in Adventure...?
2007-07-11 12:54:45
54.   Jon Weisman
48 - Still unsourced garbage, I take it?
2007-07-11 12:55:06
55.   Bob Timmermann
New Zealand wasn't successful in the 1982 World Cup except that they qualified for the final.
2007-07-11 12:55:51
56.   natepurcell

yea, its from a Q&A section in his Rangers Blog that has wishful thinking on his part.

2007-07-11 12:56:01
57.   Bob Timmermann
The garbage in my apartment has all come from me.
2007-07-11 12:56:01
58.   Daniel Zappala
53 Exactly. And the cursor in those days was a little square box, just like your player in Adventure.
2007-07-11 12:57:12
59.   Daniel Zappala
55 If you're from New Zealand, that qualifies as winning the entire World Cup, plus maybe a Super Bowl and World Series thrown in.
2007-07-11 12:58:15
60.   Bob Timmermann
1982 World Cup for New Zealand.

Scotland 5, New Zealand 2
USSR 3, New Zealand 0
Brazil 4, New Zealand 0

2007-07-11 12:58:30
61.   screwballin
Interesting NYT article on the possible extinction of ash bats. (This seemed like a natural for the Griddle, Bob):

Excerpt: At a baseball bat factory tucked into the lush tree country here in northwestern Pennsylvania, the operators have drawn up a three-to-five-year emergency plan if the white ash tree, which has been used for decades to make the bat of choice, is compromised.

In Michigan, the authorities have begun collecting the seeds of ash trees for storage in case the species is wiped out, a possibility some experts now consider inevitable.

2007-07-11 13:00:12
62.   Bob Timmermann
And I watched all three matches on Spanish language TV in 1982.

That was the summer when I really learned Spanish.

2007-07-11 13:01:08
63.   trainwreck
I am already sick of the Beckham commercials.
2007-07-11 13:03:37
64.   Daniel Zappala
60 You had to be there, Bob. Those New Zealanders flooded my BBS when they qualified for the final, nearly crashing my computer, even though I had upgraded to 128 KB of RAM. That was their crowning achievement, and then when they scored two goals in the first match of the finals! I really needed that up arrow.
2007-07-11 13:03:55
65.   D4P
2007-07-11 13:10:55
66.   screwballin
Why would we need Teixeira when we have Bill Mueller? Isn't he going to fix all our hitting problems just by, you know, actually coaching? ;)

I still, for the life of me, can't figure out what a hitting coach is doing while he's waiting for the players to come to him. So he sees a problem with a player's mechanics, but doesn't approach the player about it?

If this is an accurate portrayal of Murray's approach, it's enough to make you pull your hair out. (As if turning 40 hadn't already done that.)

2007-07-11 13:14:18
67.   D4P
If this is an accurate portrayal of Murray's approach

...then it adds more fuel to my "coaching positions are largely cronyism and patronage" fire.

2007-07-11 13:15:54
68.   ToyCannon
As good as Hawpes OPS+ he's a platoon player who murders RHP and struggles mightily against LHP. His current splits are even worse then his 3 year split which overs around a 700OPS.
205 .275 .301 .576

So I'll amend my hyperbole to say that against LHP, Justin Upton would be the best RF in the NL West if he was playing in the majors today.

I'll give you the other points, I really should have just said that Byrnes was having an excellent year and left it at that.

2007-07-11 13:21:24
69.   screwballin
67 coaching positions are largely cronyism and patronage

Or maybe they're an opportunity to set your team apart from the others, if you can find a coach who can actually diagnose and fix problems. I just have a hard time believing that hitting and pitching coaches can't play a role in fixing players who get out of whack. If said coaches actually do something, that is.

2007-07-11 13:23:39
70.   ToyCannon
Seattle makes a decision to bench Vidro and put Adam Jones in RF. A couple of more smart decisions like that and the Angels and wild card teams might need to worry a bit more.
I wonder how long Jeff Weaver will continue this current solid streak? His underlying numbers say it is a mirage.
2007-07-11 13:25:31
71.   D4P
I really wonder how much coaching actually goes on. In golf, it's pretty common for players to work with their swing coach on a nearly basis, watching film of their swings, working on practice drills, etc. Does anything like that happen in baseball? And if it does, does it just happen with the youngsters and/or any player who seeks help from the coach?

I'm guessing it's rare for a hitting coach to confront a veteran like Kent or Nomar with advice on hitting, no matter how much said advice might be needed.

2007-07-11 13:28:59
72.   Hallux Valgus
71 It's been said that the Yankees new hitting coached corrected a flaw in A-Rod's swing this season (getting rid of the exaggerated front leg lift), which has contributed to his huge year, but I read that A-Rod went to him.
2007-07-11 13:30:26
73.   D4P
I don't know this for sure, but it's my impression that the clubhouse/dugout culture is such that coaches don't give help unless it's asked for. I think that's silly.
2007-07-11 13:37:31
74.   screwballin
So maybe you hire someone like Murray because he has such credibility that even a star hitter would listen to him. And then you hope that Murray will use that credibility to take a proactive approach. And then you find out otherwise, and your offense falters because a bunch of egos get in the way.

That's just really sad.

2007-07-11 13:38:52
75.   ToyCannon
Or maybe it is just real hard to hit a baseball on a consistent basis.
2007-07-11 13:41:17
76.   trainwreck
I think our offense faltered because our hitters are not that good, not because of Eddie Murray. How often is a hitting coach going to change the hitting approach of a seasoned vet?
2007-07-11 13:42:24
77.   Dodgers49
Mini Freeway Series

>>> The rivalry between the San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga franchises in the California League began nearly 15 years ago, when the old San Bernardino franchise moved to Rancho Cucamonga and became the Quakes for the 1993 season. <<<

### But the rivalry didn't really get to the next level until this year, when San Bernardino's Inland Empire 66ers became a Dodgers affiliate again, a proper adversary for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, who have been an Angels affiliate since 2001. ###

2007-07-11 13:42:43
78.   bryanf
I'm wondering if anyone here knows of a good place to get baseball statistics from something like a web service. Say, hypothetically, that I wanted to write some code that used baseball stats. Is there a service or some better way than screen-scraping baseballreference?
2007-07-11 13:46:19
79.   Bob Timmermann
Yes. But it was the Andres Cantor call.

Little known fact, Andres Cantor grew up in San Marino, CA for much of his childhood. He also grew up in Argentina, which is why some of his Spanish is really hard to understand.

2007-07-11 13:50:06
80.   Bob Timmermann
I should say it was NOT Andres Cantor in 1982.
2007-07-11 13:50:44
81.   Bob Timmermann
You might want to buy "Baseball Hacks" to help with this.
2007-07-11 13:53:34
82.   bryanf
81 This book looks fascinating and I need something new to read now that I finally finished "The Best of Dodger Thoughts". Nothing will top that of course, but this book looks to keep me busy for months. Thanks Bob!
2007-07-11 14:00:24
83.   OaklandAs
78 You might try looking at the data at

(part of the Baseball Reference family)

2007-07-11 14:05:22
84.   bryanf
83 This looks pretty good too. I think I'll probably end up using something along these lines. Still, I can't believe no one has thought of providing a web service for baseball stats. It seems like a prime case for using a web service.
2007-07-11 14:09:32
85.   underdog
This is OT but supposedly 7-11 was having a free slurpee day today to celebrate its 80th anniversary (get it? 7/11?) But they apparently did not notify two stores here in SF, because a friend and I both went out in search of a free slurpee. We were essentially told, "Thank you come again." They hadn't been told anything about it. But it was a 7-11 press release that went out and it got coverage in some major newspapers.

It's just a squishee, er, a slurpee, but, still, kind of a bad PR day if this happens all over.

2007-07-11 14:14:29
86.   OaklandAs
84 There are also stats services available, but they are not free. For example, you can buy the stats from Stats, Inc., for $19.95 per season.

2007-07-11 14:14:32
87.   trainwreck
They have it everyday 7-11 actually. At least the ones by me.
2007-07-11 14:17:41
88.   underdog
87 Free slurpees everyday? Or are people just "helping themselves"?

"An all syrup squishee? Such a thing has never been done!" Another one of my top 10 favorite Simpsons episodes.

2007-07-11 14:22:20
89.   bhsportsguy
88 What is an all syrup squishee anyway, to me without the icee part of it, it would be just liquid sugar?
2007-07-11 14:22:28
90.   Jon Weisman
Marlon Anderson cleared waivers and became a free agent, per Tony Jackson's blog.
2007-07-11 14:25:06
91.   Hallux Valgus
88 every slurpee is free, if you can run fast!
2007-07-11 14:26:44
92.   underdog
89 Yup, that's about it. In that Simpsons episode, Bart and Milhouse get completely high on pure sugar and "go crazy, Broadway style."
2007-07-11 14:27:01
93.   bryanf
86 Not too expensive I guess...thanks.
2007-07-11 14:27:32
94.   underdog
Maybe Marlon can replace Sergio Garcia at 2nd in Vegas. No, but seriously, I would be surprised if someone doesn't take a flyer on him soon.
2007-07-11 14:28:19
95.   trainwreck
I meant every 7-11. You can taste the flavors for free everyday.
2007-07-11 14:30:21
96.   Jacob L
I have 2 questions -

1. Does anyone think the Simpsons movie is going be any good? Obviously they've got the incredible track record, but have been running on fumes for some time now, and

2. Does anyone think that Nomar is going to be any good? He's still, technically, the same person who used to be NOMAR!

2007-07-11 14:30:44
97.   Branch Rickey
If you believe that Jeff Kent is listening to anybody tell him anything about hitting, you are mistaken. If you believe that the young kids are listening to anyone tell them anything about hitting, well, you just may be mistaken there too. not saying that no player listens to anybody but most do not have any interest in being told how to hit at the major league level.
2007-07-11 14:34:05
98.   D4P
Then get rid of hitting coaches.
2007-07-11 14:34:09
99.   Xeifrank
78. I write Visual Basic code to scrape the statistics that I want, then just reformat them to file. I read team stats websites and write the data to files that are friendly to my baseball simulator at DodgerSims. That way I have all the up to date stats as input, if need be. No fee involved, just knowledge.
vr, Xei
2007-07-11 14:34:42
100.   natepurcell

his rant one post below is quite amusing. TJ seems to complain about trivial things a lot.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-11 14:35:25
101.   Bluebleeder87
Still unsourced garbage, I take it?

hearing Jon say anything remotely controversial makes me do a double take & i have to clean out my eyes for some reason. It's like what what was that!?

2007-07-11 14:35:46
102.   Hallux Valgus
96 based on the clips I've seen- no.
to both things
2007-07-11 14:36:05
103.   bryanf
99 Yeah I've messed around with this a bit already and it's probably fine, but having to scrape the statistics seems unfortunate to me. Thanks for the continued suggestions.
2007-07-11 14:36:42
104.   underdog
96 I have faith in it, partially because basically all the original writers contributed to it. Many of those guys haven't touched the show for awhile (and when they have, you can tell the difference), so between that, and Matt Groening overseeing it, and just that a few of the clips I saw made me chuckle, I'd say, yes, I think it's going to be good.

Not as confident about Nomar, however, though I think the long break could help him at least to start the 2nd half.

97 Agree about Kent and the like - don't think anyone here really expects him to be getting pointers. Not sure about the "kids" though - I can definitely see them being open to pointers and even soliciting advice.

2007-07-11 14:39:34
105.   Branch Rickey
98. But then how would friends pay back old friends?

104. I think Kemp and Loney listen but frankly, who is going to tell Loney a thing right now?

2007-07-11 14:39:59
106.   D4P
I think the notion that veteran players are above getting help from a coach is ridiculous. If I were paying someone millions of dollars to hit for me, I would want them to get all the help they could. Players can't see themselves swing, and if there's an obvious hitch in their swing or some such thing that is out of character, I'd want my coach to inform them of said hitch, regardless of their seniority.
2007-07-11 14:40:35
107.   D4P
But then how would friends pay back old friends?

Exactly. Cronyism and patronage.

2007-07-11 14:41:07
108.   underdog
102 Audience in the UK saw a 10 minute sequence from the film and laughed uproariously (according to a source I have there). For what that's worth. At the very least, I'm betting it will be better than the Underdog movie. (Sigh.)
2007-07-11 14:45:37
109.   Hallux Valgus
108 an audience that included me saw about 15 minutes of it and chuckled uncomfortably a few times. I think it will be better than the show lately, but I don't think it will live up to the glory days.

The biggest problem I've heard is the same that I've heard for other TV show-turned- movies. storywise, what holds up for 22 minutes doesn't hold up strong enough over the length of a feature.

I really hope I'm wrong, though.

2007-07-11 14:45:55
110.   Jacob L
104 Perhaps Nomar should call in his original writing team.
2007-07-11 14:46:34
111.   Branch Rickey
106. Yes yes. And there should be peace in the middle east.
107. Of course. Or are Mickey Hatcher and Alfredo Griffin the very best coaches that Angel money could buy for Mike Scioscia? For Murray's part, he was friends with Grady Little from Cleveland days. Name a coach and look up his history... he's got a friend in the organization. Does anybody really doubt this? Ask the coaches themselves, they know how it works.
2007-07-11 14:48:58
112.   Bluebleeder87

i've heard of ball players that weren't that ego centric & loved getting advice from teammates & coaches.

2007-07-11 14:54:08
113.   underdog
110 Heh. Or go cancel himself and go into syndication.
2007-07-11 14:57:09
114.   Black and Blue
59 If you're from New Zealand what qualifies as winning the entire World Cup, the Super Bowl and the World Series would have been winning the Rugby World Cup and the America's Cup in 2007. So much for the America's Cup but it will be a major shock if the Rugby World Cup isn't down here in October.

Soccer - not so much in NZ. Still, 1982 was a lot of fun, especially when you look back on what they had to achieve to get to the World Cup. Having to play Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and China to qualify from Oceania.

2007-07-11 15:02:57
115.   Hallux Valgus
Weird that the Simpsons movie came up. Not 2 minutes ago the international poster for the movie appeared in my office. It is infinity times cooler looking than the domestic poster.
2007-07-11 15:09:38
116.   D4P
RIP, Lady Bird. The person, not Hank Hill's dog.
2007-07-11 15:10:53
117.   jasonungar07
If Tiger needs a swing coach.........then the middle east needs one too.
2007-07-11 15:25:15
118.   ToyCannon
Nate you asked about Fukudom earlier;
From BP and the guy who blogs the Japanese leagues.

Kosuke Fukudome, OF, Chunichi Dragons
Height: 6'0" Weight: 187 Bats: Left Throws: Right Age: 30

Fukudome is tailor-made for the Major Leagues. People who have seen the current crop of Japanese players know that many use a batting style like Ichiro's, where they lean back, slap at the ball, and try to get an early jump out of the box to first. Fukudome also does this on occasion, but looks a bit more like Hideki Matsui in the box than Ichiro. He has patience as well as power to the gaps, a recipe for success, especially if he chooses to play in a ballpark with a spacious outfield. I wouldn't look for more that 20 home runs from Fukudome, but 50 doubles is not out of the question. The selling point of Fukudome, when compared to his peers, is his habitual .400+ OBP. He won't beat himself at the plate often, and he'll make you make your pitch. If you miss, he hits it hard. His rifle arm in the outfield will also be a blessing for the lucky team to acquire his services as teams around the league will learn not to run on him very early on in the season. There is almost no downside to adding this player.

2007-07-11 15:27:40
119.   ToyCannon
I had no idea she was still alive. Her Sanctuary outside of Austin is a cool place if your into plants and birds.
2007-07-11 15:29:17
120.   natepurcell

so its settled... trade juan, sign fukudome as gonzo's replacement.

2007-07-11 15:29:31
121.   underdog
Tony Jackson had some tips for me about stalking Russell Martin while he's here in SF. Now I feel creepy for even suggesting such a thing, when I meant it partly in jest (though it would be cool to run into him while he's in SF). Anyway, it's in the comment section of his blog, 3rd most recent posting, if anyone else wants tips.
2007-07-11 15:33:27
122.   underdog
118 It would be really cool for DT to have a blog posting titled "Welcome to the Fukudome." (Okay, I know 'dome' is not pronounced the same...)

Anyway, we'll take him!

2007-07-11 15:35:31
123.   Daniel Zappala
114 Cool. I of course have zero knowledge of New Zealanders and their sporting interests. No New Zealanders were harmed in the typing of that comment.
2007-07-11 15:36:38
124.   Bob Timmermann
Fukudome will never have his first or last name pronounced correctly in the U.S. I predict.
2007-07-11 15:39:16
125.   bryanf
Now the the ASG is over, we can start the countdown to DTD (Dodger Thoughts Day of course). Only 10 days!
2007-07-11 15:54:00
126.   Bob Timmermann
ESPN was going to cover Dodger Thoughts day, but they lost their rights to it when John Kruk announced the names of some of the people attending before Jon got to.

Erin Andrews was going to be there. But, such is life.

2007-07-11 16:02:58
127.   Black and Blue
123 Oh well, it used to be rugby, racing (horses) and beer. Now it's rugby, anything we're winning at the time and sauvignon blanc.
2007-07-11 16:04:42
128.   Icaros
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that I am in the early lead for farthest distance traveled to attend Dodger Thoughts Day.
2007-07-11 16:05:02
129.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2007-07-11 16:05:26
130.   D4P
ESPN was going to cover Dodger Thoughts day, until they found out it wasn't being held in New York or Boston.
2007-07-11 16:07:20
131.   Jon Weisman
Columbus actually "discovered" American in 1491, but he landed on the West Coast and ESPN didn't notice.
2007-07-11 16:07:39
132.   Jon Weisman
And with that typo in my last comment, we move on.
2007-07-11 16:33:31
133.   still bevens
Oh don't think we didn't notice, Jon.
2007-07-12 23:04:36
134.   kadycee
Maybe you've already seen this, but just in case I wanted to post it...

I don't feel so helpless now.

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