Category Archives: Sports

Timothy John Keefe’s Amazing Career

Rob Neyer on his ESPN Sweetspot Blog has been talking about the ‘Hall of Amazing’ and includes Omar

Tim Keefe baseball card N162

Image via Wikipedia

VizquelJamie Moyer and Jim Abbott as inductees to this fine virtual hall.

But, Mr. Neyer is staying too much in present times. There is an amazing pitcher that surely doesn’t get his due. Tim

Keefe. Now I know that Tim Keefe is in the Hall of Fame takes away his eligibility from the ‘Hall of Amazing’, bit I want to make a pitch for an exception.

His 342-225 record and a 1887 visit the a sanitarium hinder his first try at the HOF in 1936. He was elected by the veterans committee in 1964. But Keefe won his 342 did this from 1880-1893. What makes it amazing? Here are some of the pitching changes that happen during that time:

  • Pitching distance moved from 50′ to 60’6″
  • Went from being allowed ONLY a bent elbow to any motion at all.
  • Went from pitching in a “box” to pitching from a slab.
  • Number of strikes went from 3 – 4 -3.
  • Number of balls went from 8 – 7 – 6 – 7 – 6 – 7 – 5 – 4
  • Up until 1887, the batter could call for a high or low pitch.

During these changes, Keefe was a very consistent pitcher. Now, if that doesn’t deserve a HOF to Hall Of Amazing cross-over, I don’t know if ANYTHING will.

Happy Birthday American League!

 

Ban Johnson was the president of the Western L...

Image via Wikipedia

Always good to celebrate a birthday. On January 28, 1901 Ban Johnson,  successfully move the American League from a “minor” league of the National League into it’s own major league. Thanks, in part, to the National League’s $2,400 salary limit teams in the American League were able to do a little roster raiding. This helped push the National League to modify the National Agreement and recognize the American League as a formal second major league.

While the American League was a success, it seemingly did so despite Ban Johnson. Johnson played favorites and tended to make life difficult for people, in his league, that he didn’t like. Not long after the creation of the American League, Ban Johnson’s upstart league was involved in the Black Sox Scandal.

NFL players think you are stupid

They must think we are stupid, otherwise this story makes no sense.

During the Bears/Packers games (or Cubs/Brewers game as *this* baseball fan called it), Jay Cutler received a grade II tear on his MCL. This cause him to leave the game.

Apparently Mr. Jones meant this tweet as a joke:

All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one…

Note: I find this odd, as Mr. Jones sat out games with his knee injury. Near the end of the season, when his team was fighting for a playoff spot.

Later, Mr. Jones backpedals a bit:

Everyone please read this. So you can understand I was not taking a shot at jay cutler http://bit.ly/hxrxgx

In the article, he says:

“I never attacked him, called him soft or a sore loser,” Jones-Drew in a telephone interview Monday. “I never questioned his toughness. I think people took my joke out of context. I was taking at shot at Florida fans.”

Oh .. I see .. he wasn’t making fun of Jay Cutler, he was using Jay Cutler to make fun of Florida fans.

Mr. Jones, just admit to it. Without a full understanding of Mr. Cutler’s knee injury, you used him quit to mock Florida fans. He said you played a full season on a bad knee (which was a lie, you missed games). Then you backpedaled on it.

Geesh. Man up. Admit you made a mistake and promise to leave the comedy to people who are actually funny. Don’t think that fans are so stupid they won’t notice when you publicly put your foot in your mouth after you bad mouth somebody in your own profession.

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:

EVENT_NUM EVENT_NAME N
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:

EVENT_NUM EVENT_NAME N
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

EVENT_NUM EVENT_NAME N
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

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?

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

Umm?

@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?

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

Fockers beat True Grit

This is why we don’t have nice things

Really, ‘Little Fockers’ beats ‘True Grit’?!?! Seriously? This is why there are so few good movies, people would rather pay for bad ones. Let the bad onces go straight to TV.