Baseball Game Events

Just something like to do after a new release from Retrosheet which now includes 9,185,645 play-by-play events for 115,748 baseball games.

Events that started games:

2 Generic Out 60285
3 Strikeout 17244
13 Foul Error 70
14 Nonintentional Walk 9127
16 Hit By Pitch 640
17 Interference 11
18 Error 1392
20 Single 19748
21 Double 4648
22 Triple 916
23 Homerun 1667

Events that ended games:

2 Generic Out 78662
3 Strikeout 26321
4 Stolen Base 23
6 Caught Stealing 109
8 Pickoff 66
9 Wild Pitch 158
10 Passed Ball 28
11 Balk 13
12 Other Advance 20
13 Foul Error 1
14 Nonintentional Walk 450
15 Intentional Walk 6
16 Hit By Pitch 53
17 Interference 1
18 Error 301
19 Fielder Choice 177
20 Single 5423
21 Double 851
22 Triple 133
23 Homerun 2952

All Events

2 Generic Out 4543714
3 Strikeout 1323354
4 Stolen Base 126476
5 Defensive Indifferen 3856
6 Caught Stealing 53739
8 Pickoff 27312
9 Wild Pitch 63673
10 Passed Ball 17005
11 Balk 10496
12 Other Advance 2996
13 Foul Error 3783
14 Nonintentional Walk 699680
15 Intentional Walk 69655
16 Hit By Pitch 57527
17 Interference 1006
18 Error 103209
19 Fielder Choice 29868
20 Single 1430827
21 Double 360156
22 Triple 51246
23 Homerun 206067

Netflix Recommendation Awesomeness!

With the addition of two new members of the household, my Netflix queue has had a few new additions. Mainly, it has been horror movies.  In my Netflix recommendation queue a new type of awesome showed up:


Serial killer Jack Schmidt (Brad Dosland) is a fugitive who has the police and FBI hot on his trail. After being cornered and wounded by law enforcement authorities, he falls into a sewage tunnel where the chemical company Dutech has also been dumping its toxic waste. The poisonous mixture of feces and chemicals mysteriously transforms Jack into a part-human, part-feces monster who sets out on a deadly rampage.

Part-human —- Part-FECES!!!!!!!!

This is going to be awesome!

The Joys of Being a Kovach

Right after my recent nuptials, I told the new named Mrs. Kovach, “Welcome to having your name mispronounced and misspelled.  The bonus: People *will* question you when you correct them.”

She thought I was joking.

Soo … at the Social Security Office to get her name changed they:

  • Mispronounced Kovach
  • Continued to do so after she corrected them.

Kovach is pronounced with the being Ko sounding like the start of Cold or Kobe. Stick in a V sound, then the rest sounds  rhymes with watch. I can understand if somebody spells Kovach with a T (Kovatch) since it does sound like a T should be there.  But here are a few things she can expect to hear:

  • Kovacs (Ryhmes with wax)
  • KovachEE (Ryhmes with Weeeeeeee)
  • Kouach (Impossible to describe)
  • KoWach (ko-watch)

Last names can be tough to “get” sometimes. I know I have mangled many a pronunciations of folks last name. What seems odd is that people refuse to believe they say KOVACH wrong. My father, my grandmother, and family members *all* have had the same conversation all our life:

“No, I am sorry it is Kovach, ryhmes with watch”

“Are you sure?”

So, if you happen to see the new Mrs. Kovach walking around and she happens to correct how to say her new last name; Yes she *is* sure!

My New HOF Baseball Stat: GMS

It is time for a new baseball stat, based on gamesmanship.  The GMS will provide a subjective level of gamesmanship for every player in the HOF. That will be the standard to determine if a player should be excluded from and included to the HOF.

Now, what is the criteria? That is a good point. While the stat has not fully developed, I am officially looking for input.

I figure we need to include the following on the bad side of the scale:

  • Arrest, Convictions, Civil Lawsuits.
  • Cheating (spit-balls, stealing signs).
  • Drug Use (recreational, legal, illegal, including alcohol).
  • Racism.
  • Being generally regarded as a bastard.
  • Gambling.

One the good side?

  • Team Loyalty (including standing up for your teammates).
  • Baseball Diplomacy.
  • Recovering from personal mistakes and daemons.
  • Fan interaction.
  • Fun factor … did people come to see YOU play or would they stop the TV if your were batting, pitching, etc.

There should be a few more, but that should be a good start.  Of course the real question is, who sets the low bar?

Strange Mass Animal Death: The Map

Birds are, actually, dropping from the sky. But it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Yep, there is a map for that.

The HOF, Integrity and Why Many Writers Are Flat Out Wrong

I hate to pick on people, but Ed Price is an example of what is wrong with many of the current writers deciding on how gets into the Cooperstown.

Ed starts by saying:

But the instructions to voters make it even harder: “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

Every voter has his own interpretation of those instructions. Mine says that cheating shows a lack of integrity, sportsmanship and character, and I believe that using performance-enhancing drugs is cheating.

Fair point, he believes that using performance-enhancing drugs is cheating. Unfair, I believe, is that he doesn’t really describe what he means by performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). One can only assume, since he is talking about the steroids era in baseball. This is where many writers miss the point. Many drugs are going to help a players performance to some degree* so despite the recent history of steroids and HGH it would good to clarify why others drugs are *not* considered performance enhancing drugs.

* I haven’t seen a study that shows the steroid specifically help players and many of the increased numbers during that time can be attributed to the baseball, smaller parks, a change in player development, etc. Nobody has demonstrated that PEDs actually affected the game. It is simply speculation.

It takes a certain bit of arrogance to say that cocaine, “greenies” and Ritalin are not in the same category as steroids and HGH. Getting the extra “pick me up” over a 162 game season isn’t performance enhancing? These are, and were, drugs that were either illegal or illegal to take without a proper prescription.

While not addressing what a performance-enhancing drug is he also glosses over exactly what he considers cheating? He just state he believes using PEDs *is* cheating, while mentioning:

(If using steroids isn’t cheating, why didn’t players just shoot up in the open? Why has every player, at least initially, denied using PEDs, if they all didn’t know it was cheating?)

Well, unless they had a prescription admitting to using PEDS is generally an illegal activity* that can land you in jail (or at least some time with an attorney and a visit or two with a prosecutor). Despite what one may think about athletes losing the right to privacy to some degree I think we can agree they still have the right against self-incrimination.

* I am sure Mr. Price has heard about the ‘War on Drugs’. Kinda of a big thing in recent history.

Wait. Apparently being an athlete does lead to a loss of some basic rights:

… This isn’t a court of law. Innocent until proven guilty does not apply. I feel strongly enough about cheating that, in fact, I feel the opposite of Vaccaro; I prefer to err on the side of keeping the innocent out rather than letting cheaters in.

At this point I think it is fair to question the integrity of the voting process. Despite not being a court of law, innocent until proven guilty is a common right, with a rather long history dating back before it made its way to the USA. If we always assume guilt then this question is perfectly fair:

“Mr. Price, do you still beat your wife?”

Of course, I have no idea if Mr. Price ever did.  But if I look at this question the same he is addressing the HOF voting it becomes a reasonable question.  At least in MY MIND because:

  • He is a man and is probably married or has been married.
  • He lives in the US.
  • Domestic violence happens in the US.
  • He was married during an era when domestic violence happened.

But Mr. Price, as many writers have done, refers to the voting instructions:

“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

Writers while imposing *their* definition of the words, but the HOF has players with plaques on the wall. It is easy to determine what those words mean. If you look to the players in the HOF to determine if they PLAYING determines if new players should be added, why do you choose to ignore the CHARACTER of the players already there? The players already in the hall define not only the numbers, but the character required to be there.

Some can say the bar is pretty low.  The HOF does include Ty Cobb and numberous players that held a person (and ball players) race against them. Gaylord Perry was caught and suspended for throwing a spit-ball. Tris Speaker was kicked out of baseball (along with Cobb) for gambling — although both were later reinstated.

If you look at the players in the HOF, I don’t see how PEDs becomes an issue that can, now, keep players out and in particular with saying, “let’s err on the side of keeping the INNOCENT out”. It is not supporting cheating, as Mr. Price suggested I did:

@siddfinch if cheating doesn’t bother you, that’s your choice. It bothers me.

There isn’t a question of whether cheating bothers me; the question is whether cheating bothers the HOF. If cheating really bothers the writers to the point that they’ll keep innocent people out of the HOF, they way are the not calling to get the cheaters and other riff-raff OUT of the HOF. The problem is they are placing their own morality and who is already there.

I have a suspicion why some writers are doing this. Mainly, they missed the PEDs boat. It happened on their watch. So now they hold a grudge. This is how it comes out. Writers don’t care that the players cheated, they care that they cheated under their watch. Now, instead of reporting the story when it happened, they are affecting the future of the story. In the process they are ignoring the past.

I’m sorry if Gaylord Perry is in the HOF, so should Mark McGwire based on Gaylord Perry and any other pitcher that threw a spitball. Gaylord Perry’s acceptance demonstrates that the HOF accepts it. It pasted the mustard of HOF’s wording. If you don’t vote McGwire in (because of PEDs) then you have to actively push for Perry to be OUT.

If you are pushing to get the riff-raff out, then you are ignoring the accepted rules of acceptance. And if you ignore the rules, you cheated.

So yea Mr. Price. Cheating does bother me. Stop doing it. Base all your decisions of WHO should be in the HOF, based on WHO is in their now. Warts and all. If not, don’t pass off about who is there now by saying:

5) I didn’t have a vote when Ty Cobb (racist) or Gaylord Perry (spitballer) were up for election. I have enough trouble deciding on the players up for election now, and those guys are already in, and I can’t do anything about that. All I can control is who I vote for now.

Yes, you *can* do something about it. Demand that HOF REMOVE people. Publicly state that Ty Cobb, Perry, et. al. don’t DESERVE to be in the HOF. If you are going to make the stand that even the INNOCENT should not be elected to the HOF (just to be sure) then you have to start advocating to get the undeserving out. Or, just state that the integrity and character limits are defined by who is in the HOF now and vote based on that and the numbers.

NBA Crazy Talk v1.00


@ZachMcCann Zach McCann
Gilbert Arenas to JJ Redick: “We’re the two best white shooters in the NBA.”

Given the facts that Gilbert Arenas, last I check, is not white AND that JJ Redick *is* not one of the best white shooters in the NBA; I have to ask one question.  Why were Arenas and Redick out shooting guns together in the snow?

A little light reading

So, it appears that Snooki from Jersey Shore will be unleashing A Shore Thing to the book reading public. In fact, some excerpts from have been published. I have to admit, this is a favorite so far:

Any juicehead will get some nut shrinkage. And bacne. They fly into a ‘roid rage, it is a ‘road’ ‘roid rage.

Now, I am sure people are going to pan the book , since I am going to assume the book was written as a market ploy to increase profits. This is an ad circulating as a book. This, is not uncommon, and if we gleefully read these types of books from politicians, media types and sport figures; why not one from a pop culture figure.

In reality, most of these ‘marketing ads as books’ will be forgotten almost as quickly as they are written. They offer little beside a quick glimpse into a certain part of 2010.

The real question is if these books should be ignored? These books are not going to go away, just as they are not new. The fact is, Snooki’s book will probably be a better read and give more insight into her world then any memoir or pre-campaign “book” folks getting ready to run for the presidency. In the future, when historians are looking for insights into 2010, they’ll gain more information from Snooki’s book (and other celebrity books) then from any of our leaders.

But, I’ll guess that has always been true and it just is not something people want to admit.

Just me thoughts.

Visual Evidence of PEDs usage?

Bob Feller later in life

Bob Feller at 17

Based on Jeff Pearlman’s logic, Feller obviously used steroids.

Based on Pearlmen’s same reasoning, Did Feller use?  Now granted, we do suspect steroids usage during that era, but that was also an era when certain things just didn’t get reported.  So we can’t know for *sure* that illegal things were NOT used.

Wow, wait.  It is awful hard to prove a negative.

Baseball, HOF, and PEDs

The biggest problem, that I can read, current journalist have against PEDs and the Hall of Fame voting for Cooperstown boils down to this: The journalist *completely* whiffed on the story.

The PEDs story, now, has the hint of exaggeration as a cover up for missing the story. The issue is now too big and entering the conversation too often. Greenies and the like, helped give players an extra boost, were used for YEARS until the MLB make a crackdown on them. There is little talk of how the usage of this illegal narcotic may have effect the performance of players. Everybody *knew* they were being used, but was talked about little.

But steroids and HGH get the big talk. Suspected of ‘roid usage? You aren’t making it to the Hall. Admit to using it? Reporters are not going to give you a break, no matter how good your numbers were over any span of time. Journalist are upset, with themselves, and using their voting power to lash out at the players.

Perhaps, in addition to talk of asterisks next to stats*, there should be talk of  asterisks next to the Hall of Fame votes**?

* Stupid

** Not as stupid

Just me thoughts