Monday, October 29, 2007



Saturday, October 20, 2007



Given the events of the last week (the rolling over on FISA, Pelosi condemning Rep. Pete Stark for actually criticizing Bush with "inappropriate" words) and the events of the last year (basically the Democratic Congress's complete and utter inability to actually accomplish anything, even something as basic as controlling the debate in Congress or even offering sustained debate on the war), I am strongly considering changing my party status to Independent. The reality is I'm tired of associating with a bunch of losers who are more concerned with what people think about them than actually leading people. The Democratic party clearly has no interest in representing me, at all. I now spend most of my weekends dodging calls from the DCCC and Obama because of past donations. I guess my money is good, just not my politics.

As it is, I actually just donated $50 to Chris Dodd for his principled stand on FISA. And I've always considered Dodd a tool of big business.

Simply unbelievable.

2007 has really been a disappointment on all levels for me but none more so than politically. Discontented doesn't begin to describe it. I would use disaffected but I am, by definition, the "man", so I don't think that works.

I wonder if they need barristers in Melbourne.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This week's lowlight


When does a man who's paid for his crime not paid for his crime? When he lives in Connecticut.

Governor Clubwoman and Connecticut's suddenly unctuous Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, have decided that they'd like to
confine a serial rapist beyond the completion ... of his 24-year prison sentence.

Rell asked Blumenthal to delay the release of David Pollitt after Southbury residents complained about Pollitt's plans to live in their neighborhood with his sister, an arrangement evaluated and approved by probation officials.

The president of the defense bar said Rell's attempt to keep Pollitt confined was "outrageous," while Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy dismissed Blumenthal's intervention as without cause or legal standing.

"Mr. Pollitt has finished his sentence," Handy said in a terse decision issued from the bench in New London. "He is entitled to be released."
For the governor, it's just another example of pandering to her suburban base. Who knows what's on Blumenthal's little mind.

Colin McEnroe has much more on this idiocy here and here (the latter the tape of McEnroe's interview of Blumenfool on his radio show yesterday).

The Courant is conducting a poll wherein 75% of the respondents believe that Mr. Pollitt should be allowed to live in Southbury. It's nice to know that at least some of Connecticut's denizens understand the rule of law.

As Colin McEnroe says: "It suggests a special dimension to the intellectual laziness of M. Jodi Rell that she has spurred me to take the side, today, of a serial rapist." Yea, verily.

On a somewhat related note (in that it shows a type of hysteria evinced by people who should know better), take a look here to realize that things in Guilford, CT never seem to change.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Career Win Shares Update


I did this 2 years ago, and 3 years ago, and with 4 days until the next Sox game, thought I'd do it again. Last we checked, Bonds was 2 years from 2nd all time (and 3 from 1st), Sheffield had cracked the top 50, A-Rod was still outside the top 100 but yet 2 great years from the top 50, and Manny, Sosa, and Piazza were hanging a bit behind him. So, where are they now?

Bi-annual disclaimer: Win Shares, although certainly not perfect, is still one of the better (or at least simple to digest) ways to be able to statistically compare the accomplishments of players across eras. I'll provide an updated rank, along with the number of Win Shares for a few key players. Active players in bold (maybe, depending on your browser), my comments in italics

1. Babe Ruth (756)
2. Ty Cobb (722)
3. Barry Bonds (714)
4. Honus Wagner (655)
5. Hank Aaron (643)
6. Willie Mays (642)
7. Cy Young (634)
8. Tris Speaker (630)
9. Stan Musial (604)
10. Eddie Collins (574)

Well, unless Bonds has 2 high powered DH seasons left in him (one season like Ortiz's this year wouldn't get him there), it looks like he won't catch Ruth on the all time Win Shares list. So, one fewer record that would need an asterisk. Every time I see this list I think, wow, Eddie Collins and Tris Speaker are really underrated. So is Stan Musial, as highly as people think of him, I doubt he makes many people's top 10 lists.

11. Mickey Mantle
12. Walter Johnson
13. Ted Williams
14. Pete Rose
15. Rickey Henderson (534)
16. Mel Ott
17. Frank Robinson
18. Joe Morgan
19. Rogers Hornsby
20. Nap Lajoie (496)

Always good to see Rickey Henderson here on this list of top tier hall of famers. Oh, and whenever I see Joe Morgan in connection with Win Shares I think he should be docked at least 100 due to the fact that he would not only dismiss Win Shares, but would completely dismiss the reasons (led by his amazing OBP) that put him this high up. A guy on Hardball Times recently made the case that Mel Ott is the most underrated "great" player of all time. I don't know, might be something to that.

21. Lou Gehring
22. Carl Yastrzemski
23. Kid Nichols
24. Pete Alexander
25. Mike Schmidt (467)
26. Eddie Mathews
27. Sam Crawford
28. Reggie Jackson
29. Al Kaline
30. Roger Clemens (440)

Nice career Roger. I strongly dislike you, but nice career.

31. Eddie Murray (437)
32. Jimmie Foxx
33. George Brett
34. Craig Biggio (431)
35. Cal Ripken Jr.
36. Christy Mathewson
37. Paul Waner
37. Robin Yount
39. Gary Sheffield (420)
40. Dave Winfield

I like this group. A whole bunch of 3,000 hit guys, most of whom played in my lifetime. Weird how they all sort of bunched together (especially with Molitor leading off the next group of 10). Biggio had such a nice career, what a unique player he was in the steroid era. You could make a really nice infield of guys who played in the 80s/90s in this bunch of players. Meanwhile, Sheffield will be an interesting case for the HOF; I feel like he will be more appreciated after he retires. Except by people like Joe Torre and the rest of the Yankee management, who will never like him because he's black. Kidding!

41. Paul Molitor (414)
42. Tim Keefe
43. Warren Spahn
44. Monte Ward
45. Willie McCovey
46. Pud Galvin
47. Frank Thomas (401)
48. George Davis
48. Tony Gwynn
50. John Clarkson

Who the hell is John Clarkson? I can speak from current observation when I say that Tony Gwynn is not in the top 50 of all-time announcers.

51. Rafael Palmeiro (395)
52. Wade Boggs (394)
52. Bill Dahlen
54. Lefty Grove
55. Old Hoss Radbourn
56. Tim Raines (390)
57. Jesse Burkett
57. Greg Maddux (389)
59. Tom Seaver
59. Jeff Bagwell (388)

The first group with questionable hall of famers. One thing that Win Shares has going against it is it is a counting stat. You play a long time (and play well), you can really start to add up. Any stat geek will tell you that Raines and Bagwell belong in the hall of fame. We'll see if the writers agree. Who knows what will happen with Palmeiro. If he really put up a top 100 career, that definitely counts for something. But he was also one of the few great hitters to actually be caught doing steroids. That counts for something, too. Right?

60. Joe DiMaggio (387)
60. Ken Griffey, Jr. (387)
62. Rod Carew
63. Charlie Gehringer
64. Alex Rodriguez (382)
65. Cap Anson
66. Zack Wheat
67. Luke Appling
68. Roberto Clemente
69. Yogi Berra (375)
69. Roberto Alomar
69. Al Simmons

A-Rod was not in the top 100 2 years ago. One more year like 2006 (a little unfair to expect another 2007), he'd be up to top 45. Another, and he's top 35. But needs 15 2006's (or about 12 2007's) to catch Ruth. Wow. Says something about Bonds too. Good to see his ex-teammate Griffey continue to move up the list.

72. Phil Niekro
72. Billy Williams (374)
74. Willie Stargell
75. Gaylord Perry
76. Carlton Fisk
77. Steve Carlton (366)
77. Frankie Frisch
79. Roger Connor
79. Darrell Evans (363)

Nerd alert: I remember Darrell Evans having one of the greatest strat-o-matic cards I ever saw in 1985. But he actually struck out less than 100 times that season (despite batting .248 with 40 HRs.) How disappointing. I guess he was no Dave Kingman.

81. Eddie Plank
82. Rusty Staub
83. Johnny Bench
83. Harry Heilmann
83. Brooks Robinson (356)
83. Arky Vaughan
87. Dan Brouthers
87. Ed Delahanty
87. Goose Goslin
90. Manny Ramirez (354)
90. Sherry Magee
90. Mickey Welch

Manny! Once again, the counting stat issue comes into play when thinking about something like Manny Ramirez vs. Rusty Staub. When Bill James invented Win Shares, he used it to help his Baseball Abstract (great read) top 100 rankings (for each position). But it only helped - he also used things like best seasons, best 3 consecutive seasons, best 5 consecutive seasons, and a number of other measures. That's how you can quantitatively separate a Sandy Koufax from a Phil Niekro.

93. Duke Snider
94. Max Carey
94. Lou Whitaker
96. Tony Perez
97. Lou Brock
98. Dwight Evans (347)
99. Ryne Sandberg
100. Bobby Wallace (345)

I'll repeat my comment from 2 years ago: The last 30 or so in the top 100 is pretty much hall of famers and borderline hall of famers. You can make the case that means that guys like Dewey and Sweet Lou Whitaker don't get enough attention. Or you can make the case that guys like Andre Dawson, who just missed the top 100, get too much attention.

Just missing: Bobby Wallace, George Van Haltren, Dick Allen, Mark McGwire, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Robin Roberts, Jimmy Scheckard, Johnny Mize, Gary Carter

So, who else is close?

Next up, at 335 (good for 113th) is Jeff Kent. Jim Thome is close behind at 332 (tied with Ernie Banks at 118). These guys should be in the top 100 next year. Chipper Jones (121st with 329, tied with Richie Ashburn) should blast by them both next year. Sadly, that means Dwight Evans only has one more year in the top 100.

The next group of active players, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, and Ivan Rodriguez, are doubtful to ever crack the top 100. Meanwhile, Derek Jeter could be next (302, tied with Bobby Bonds and Ken Singleton)

Well, there are a million ways to rank the all-time greats, and this is just one. What can I say, I enjoy putting it together, even if no one reads it, so thanks for indulging me.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Monocle!


I wish for your birthday that your employer would relax their firewall!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Here we go again


I understand the Wake move obviously, though that's getting all the attention as if it is big news. He's hurt, has been awful lately, and they don't need him this series. Rest up.

I'm not thrilled with Crazy Jools Tavarez being left off the roster. What if we need to throw down? I just don't like leaving a guy who can eat innings if need be, can take any role from starter to closer, and who is a strange hybrid of ballsy, nutty, and ugly off the roster. He better be there if we get past round 1.

The other thing i'm not thrilled about is who replaced him, Kevin Cash. nothing against him, but the reason he's on there is so that Jacoby Ellsbury can be used without any caution as a pinchrunner. Huh? The guy batted .361 in September (pulling # out of my butt, but i think that's the number mentioned when he as named AL Rookie of the month for September). He better be doing more than pinch running and late-inning defensive replacement for Manny. when j.d. drew is sulking his way back to the dugout after his 2nd backwards K to go along with a GIDP, with a 35,000 person chorus of thunderous boos destroying his soul, i want Jacoby to be grabbing a glove. (and yes, this is an anti-jinx for jd).

It must be October. I realized I just wrote "we" about the Red Sox. This is definitely the time of year that it feels like "we."

Let's go.