Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chad Johnson Is Ocho Cinco

My favorite story of the year goes to Chad Johnson who leagally changed his last name to Ocho Cinco.

Chad Ocho Cinco. Say that out loud a couple times.

For good memories, here is Chad Johnson racing a horse:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jose Valverde Picks Up A Meaingless Save

The Houston Astros defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks today 3-0. Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt pitched eight innings giving up one hit, two walks, and no runs. Certainly, Oswalt pitched a great game, but there isn't anything memorable about this game. He didn't finish the game for the one hit shut out. You won't be seeing any replays of this game when they do the Oswalt highlights at the end of his career.

I am not sure why Astros manager Cecil Cooper didn't let him finish the game. Cooper hasn't allowed any of his starting pitchers go the distance this year. Of course the bigger picture in all of this, Valverde picks up a save. The save is wildly overrated, and this game is proof to validate its sillyness. Valverde saves a game, but does holding a three run lead for one inning really merit saving?

Closers are generally the second or third best pitcher on a pitching staff. Usually the one and two starters are the best, then the closer, then maybe the third starter, and a set-up pitcher. Some managers go by the book and only use their closers in save situations. The closer, or the best relief pitcher, should be used when needed to get outs. Bases loaded with one out in the sixth inning is a situation in which I want Mariano Rivera and his wicked stuff. That, to me, is a save and not throwing one inning in the ninth inning with a three run lead.

Valverde picks up another save in a situation where there was nothing to be saved. At the same time, Oswalt had a great game but not a special game.

I Think I'm Cool

I am a part of the Special Occasions Committee at my job, and I am in charge of creating the monthly newsletter. In addition to all the news, events, and messages from upper managers, I figured it would be fun to put some creative input from my coworkers. My idea is to have a coworker submit a story, drawing, riddle, or anything creative to be published at the back page of the newsletter. For the first month, I am going to submit a story. Being that almost everything I write is at least five pages, I wrote something new. This is the first creative piece I have written since I graduated.

The story is based on trends. Initially, I thought I would make fun of myself for buying ridiculous clothes just because they had the Nike swoosh or Tommy patch. Then, I saw the bigger picture. I thought trends ended once we become adults, but then I thought about skinny dudes wearing Affliction. Here goes:

Do you ever look back to your junior high days and think how lame it was to buy all these clothes just to stay trendy with your classmates?

I once purchased a Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt off the 50% off rack at Dillard’s in eighth grade. The shirt utilized two of the primary colors in a horizontal stripe pattern and had the Tommy patch on the upper left corner of the shirt. There was a reason the shirt was on the 50% off rack. The shirt was unsightly. Nobody could pull the shirt off without a stranger off the street pointing his or her finger and laughing at you. At the time, it didn’t matter because I was cool with my official Tommy patch seal of approval.

We think that the “do whatever it takes to be cool” phase ends once we age to adulthood. The phase never ends. Have you ever seen a skinny guy at a Scottsdale club wear an Affliction t-shirt? Affliction: the brand for big, muscular men. Affliction t-shirts run anywhere from $50 to $75. Yes, a t-shirt. But the t-shirts are trendy in the club scene, so we must buy it.

I can only imagine the transaction. A guy and his girlfriend are at the store.

Guy comes out of dressing room with Affliction t-shirt on and says, “What do you think?”

“That looks hot,” girlfriend says.

“It’s a little loose on you. I think you should try something more slim fitting. You’ll look better,” voice of fashion reason says. Unfortunately the voice of fashion reason can’t be heard because there is no voice of reason in this transaction scene.

“I should get four t-shirts so I’m not on repeat cycle after the first weekend,” he says.

“How much are they?” she asks.

“About sixty dollars each,” he says.

Why do we go out of our way to stay trendy? When we were younger, we bought the Jinco’s jeans, the Tommy shirts, and the Nike shoes to become popular and give the illusion that we were cool. As adults, we buy the Christian Dior glasses and Affliction shirts to attract someone. However, if we can’t pull those styles off, we look like a poser. Everyone can see right through it. Look at the comments at The people in the pictures think they are cool, but the reader comments exploit them for being a tool. Really, if you buy something trendy and can’t pull it off, save your money and go with clothes you can wear. Even if you can’t pull off the trend, you’ll save $60 and the humiliation of a stranger pointing his or her finger and laughing at you.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back To Back CGSO For Brewers Pitchers

Friday Night.


The Brewers have two legitimate aces on their team. Adding tonight's start, Ben Sheets has four complete games and two shut-outs. C. C. Sabathia has four complete games and two shut-outs for the Brewers and seven complete games and four shut-outs overall on the season.

Dan Haren has been great this season for the Diamondbacks. On the year, he has no complete games and shut-outs. This is important because there is a huge drop off between Dan Haren and a Diamondback reliever. Once Haren is out of the game, the chances for the opposing team to score runs increases. The drop off between Sabathia and Sheets and their relief pitcher is huge. With Sabathia and Sheets throwing complete game shut-outs, the opposing team doesn't see the Brewers relievers. This could be huge down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Johan Santana has been great this year for the Mets. He only has 9 wins on the year despite an ERA+ of 144. The Mets bullpen has blown six games started by Santana. Santana has one complete game on the year.

Haren and Santana are both stud pitchers, but it's a great luxury for the Brewers to have Sheets and Sabathia finish games off and not have to use bad relief pitchers.

Josh Hamilton: Great Story But Not The AL MVP

I was watching the FOX pregame show for baseball this morning. They were talking MVP for the AL. And Mark Grace, seemingly unprepared, asked Kevin Kennedy for help. Kennedy shouted, "Josh Hamilton," and Grace agreed.

Now, I get that the Josh Hamilton story is a really good story, but check the stats. VORP is probably the best measurement for "value."

Josh Hamilton is having a GREAT year. Make no mistake about it. Grady Sizemore is the most valuable player in the AL, but I'm one of those guys that likes the MVP to go to a player on a contending team. So since the Yankees are in contention, Alex Rodriguez is your AL MVP. The strange thing is despite Hamilton's year, he's the third best hitter on the team behind Kinsler and Bradley. So he isn't even the most valuable player on his team.

But lets break this down by more traditional stats.

Josh Hamilton:

75 runs. Great. But that is more of a team stat. He is dependent on others for that numbers as well as himself.

27 homeruns. Great.

108 rbis. Great. But that is also a team stat where he is dependent on others as well as himself.

.300 batting average. Very good.

.365 on base percentage. Very good.

.547 slugging percentage. Very good.

140 OPS+. 100 is average so you can see how far above average he is.

Ian Kinsler:

94 runs. Great. But that is because of him getting on base AND players like Bradley and Hamilton driving him in. Kinsler getting on base and scoring runs also influences Hamilton's high rbis. So they are helping each other out.

14 homeruns. Good.

62 rbis. Good, but a team stat.

.313 batting average. Very good.

.374 on base percentage. Very good. Gets on base more than Hamilton.

.498 slugging percentage. Very good.

131 OPS+. He is well above average.

Now you're saying, "Hamilton has a higher OPS+ and slugging percentage so he is better." True. But Hamilton plays a position where there are a lot of very great hitters. Kinsler plays second base where there aren't a lot of great hitters. Hamilton's 9 OPS+ points higher isn't a big enough difference to make up for the position differences. There is more value in having Kinsler than Hamilton.

Bernie Mac Dead At 50

Bernie Mac died this morning from complications with pneumonia. Unlike George Carlin, Bernie Mac was a "my generation" comedian.

Make no mistake about it, Mac did a lot of bad movies.

However, he did have a brilliant small role in the great movie, Friday.

In the scene where he is talking with Craig, Craig points accross the street at Mrs. Parker bending over while doing yard work. Mac's character Pastor Clever shouts, "Lord have mercy! God is my shepherd, and he knows what I want!"