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23 July, 2012

Funny Stuff on Ichiro

Amy K Nelson files a report on the reaction to the Ichiro trade.

20 July, 2012

Friday links

Seinfeld's 1st webisode

Aaron Paul as a contestant on Price is Right

13 July, 2012

A couple of links

if you missed these via twitter this week

Jerry Seinfeld has a new show of sorts that will be on

And Kobe and Kyrie Irving had a fun smack-talking moment at USA hoops practice

09 July, 2012

2012 Two Halves Make a Whole Stars

I'm a bit of a baseball stat geek, so I like to do things like look at the combined stats of players from all-star break to all-star break. I'm not sure how much I actually learn from the process. It does speak to some level of consistency. As a non-fantasy baseball player, it also provides an element of surprise when I learn just how good (Josh Willingham) or bad (Derek Lowe) some of the non-super star players have been.
   The biggest take away for me this year is how down the offensive power numbers are. Usually there's a guy with 50+ homers, 150ish RBI, but not this year. Injury certainly has something to do with it. Matt Kemp probably would be that guy this year but he's only played in 105 games since last years break, putting up a .343 average with 29 homers, 87 ribbies and 90 runs scored.
   Just like last year, only 3 players have 200+ hits. Can you guess them? How about the most losses by a pitcher? You may be surprised. Can you guess the top 3 in saves? I would never have gotten it.
   Without further ado, your 2011-2012 All-Star Break to All-Star Break All-Stars.
BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS (minimum 502 plate appearances).

Miguel Cabrera   .350
Melkey Cabrera  .339  (pretty good for a guy most thought wasn't more than a 4th OF)
Carlos Ruiz         .336   (career high in hits is 116. has 90 already this year)
Ryan Braun         .324
Joe Mauer           .321  (not quite back at his earlier levels, but pretty good) 
Carlos Gonzalez .320
Joey Votto            .320
Yadier Molina      .318
Derek Jeter          .316
David Wright       .316
David Ortiz          .313
Robinson Cano  .311
Michael Young   .309
Carlos Beltran    .308  (it's always been about his health. when healthy, he hits)
Michael Bourn    .307  
Paul Konerko     .304
Josh Hamilton    .302
Mike Napoli        .301
Omar Infante       .301
Prince Fielder    .300


Joey Votto             56
Miguel Cabrera    53
Robinson Cano    51
Alex Gordon         48  (tabbed the next George Brett coming up. Brett's career high was 45)
Adrian Gonzalez  43
David Wright        42
Jeff Franceour     42   (Frenchy! Hit 36 doubles in 2 seasons as a Met)
David Ortiz           42
Neil Walker          41 (a doubles machine, averaging 38 a season for his young career)
Aramis Ramirez  41

TRIPLES  (last year there were 10 guys in double figures. Not anymore)

Dexter Fowler     19   
Jemile Weeks     10
Michael Bourn      9 
Miguel Cabrera    9
Austin Jackson     9
Shane Victorino   9
Starlin Castro       8
Omar Infante         8

HOME RUNS  (last years leader was Jose Bautista with 62)

Josh Hamilton          41
Ryan Braun              41
Curtis Granderson   39
Jose Bautista            39
Josh Willingham      37   (I think they all came against the Mets)
Giancarlo Stanton    35
Edwin Encarnacion 34
Mark Trumbo            34
Albert Pujols             33
Robinson Cano        33
Dan Uggla                 33
Corey Hart                32
David Ortiz               32
Adam Jones             32
Prince Fielder          31
Miguel Cabrera       30
Joey Votto                30
Mike Napoli              30 
Carlos Gonzalez     30


Josh Hamilton        120
Miguel Cabrera      117
Josh Willingham    114  (Im pretty sure 102 of these came against the Mets too)
Robinson Cano      112
Prince Fielder         111
Ryan Braun             110
Billy Butler               109
Curtis Granderson  104
Jose Bautista          103
Mark Trumbo          103
David Wright           102
Albert Pujols           100
Mark Teixeira          100


Ian Kinsler               121
Curtis Granderson  118
Ryan Braun             108
Robinson Cano       104
Justin Upton            103
Melkey Cabrera      102
Austin Jackson       101
Miguel Cabrera       100
Alex Gordon              99
Josh Hamilton           99
Corey Hart                 99


Miguel Cabrera         210
Melkey Cabrera        208  (wow. just wow.)
Michael Bourn           200  (and as long as we are wowing. Never would have guessed this)
Derek Jeter                195  (of all the things to admire about him, consistency might be #1)
Robinson Cano         192
Starlin Castro            190
Michael Young          188
Ryan Braun                183
Adrian Gonzalez        181
Dustin Pedroia           179


Michael Bourn           51
Cameron Maybin      44
Ben Revere               41
Desmond Jennings  35
Juan Pierre                34
Drew Stubbs              34
BJ Upton                    30
Ichiro Suzuki              29
Ryan Braun               29  (I know Reyes was hurt, but the same as Jose and Pagan? Wow)
Angel Pagan             29
Jose Reyes               29


Adam Dunn               194   (128 games)
Carlos Pena              183
Curtis Granderson    177
Dann Espinosa          177
Mark Reynolds          172   (129 Games)
Dan Uggla                  171
Drew Stubbs              160
BJ Upton                     157
Kelly Johnson            154
Jay Bruce                    151


Jose Bautista          113
Joey Votto               109
Carlos Pena            107
Adam Dunn               96
Curtis Granderson    90


Adam Dunn               .191  (at least he's hitting HRs again)
Carlos Pena              .211
Mark Reynolds          .211
Clint Barmes             .221  (Pirates could probably use a SS for the playoff run)
Drew Stubbs             .224
Danny Espinosa       .230
Gordon Beckham     .230
Colby Rasmus          .234
Cameron Maybin      .238
Logan Morrison         .238

   Other offensive notes. Miguel Cabrera and David Freese lead the way with 25 GIDPs. Josh Willingham has the most HBPs with 18. Prince Fieder's 30 IBBs are 9 more then the next guy (Votto has 21). Ryan Braun (.619) is the only player in the .600s in Slugging Percentage. 


Justin Verlander           22-6
Gio Gonzalez                20-9
Madison Bumgarner   19-9
Matt Harrison                19-6
Clayton Kershaw         18-6
Zack Grienke                18-6
Ian Kennedy                 18-8
Ivan Nova                     18-3  (Closing in a Guidry-like run.) 
Jered Weaver               17-5
James Shields             16-11
RA Dickey                     16-7
Ricky Romero              16-7
CC Sabathia                16-7
CJ Wilson                     16-9

ERA  (180 IP)

Kershaw                           2.18   (quite a bit of separation from the rest)
CJ Wilson                         2.49
Johnny Cueto                   2.51
Marr Cain                          2.56
Jered Weaver                  2.58
Justin Verlander              2.58
RA Dickey                        2.61
Ryan Vogelsong             2.76
Cliff Lee                             2.90
Madison Bumgarner        2.92
Zack Grienke                    2.98
James McDonald            2.99

Tim Lincecum                  9-17  (cause for concern, perhaps?)
Derek Lowe                    12-17  (Today on Maury, when sinkers don't sink)
Trevor Cahill                   11-15
Jason Vargas                 12-14
Bruce Chen                    14-14
Dan Haren                      13-13
Ervin Santana                11-13
Hiroki Kuroda                 15-13
Anibal Sanchez               6-13  (at least he hooked up with Destiny a while back)
Ricky Nolasco                12-13


Craig Kimbrel            43
Jose Valverde           42
JJ Putz                        40  (glad the Mets had him for the 2 years he had no elbow)
Chris Perez                39
John Axford                38
Joel Hanrahan            37
Heath Bell                   36
Jim Johnson               35
Jonathon Papelbon   30
Jason Motte                29
Joe Nathan                 29


Brandon Morrow      3
Matt Cain                  2
RA Dickey                2
Dan Harren              2
Cliff Lee                    2
Bronson Arroyo       2
Derek Holland         2
Johan Santana        2
Chris Carpenter       2

Justin Verlander       231
Clayton Kershaw      220
Zack Grienke            213
Felix Hernandez      210
Yovani Gallardo       210
CC Sabathia             209
Gio Gonzalez            204
Cliff Lee                      199
Max Scherzer            199
Madison Bumgarner 198
David Price                 198

K's/9  (minimum 180 IP)

Max Scherzer           9.90 
Gio Gonzalez           9.63
Yavoni Gallardo       9.53
CC Sabathia            9.45
Cliff Lee                     9.30
Zack Grienke            9.20
Tim Lincecum           9.08
Justin Verdlander     8.99
Clayton Kershaw      8.87
Felix Hernandez       8.82

K's/9  (minimum 40 IP)

Kenley Jansen               16.12   114 in 63.6
Craig Kimbrel                 15.89   113 in 64
Aroldis Chapman          14.73    114 in 69.6
David Robertson           13.50    84 in 56
Ernesto Frieri                 13.35    87 in 58.6
Rex Brothers                  12.91    87 in 60.6
Carlos Marmol               12.49   80 in 57.6
Jason Grilli                     12.35    91 in 66.3
Greg Holland                 12.25    88 in 64.6
Boone Logan                 12.00    68 in 51

worst ERA  (minimum 180 IP)

Derek Lowe           5.20
Ricky Nolasco      5.16
Ubaldo Jimenez   4.89  (he's not in Colorado anymore, so what's his excuse now?)
Randy Wolf           4.72
Bruce Chen           4.67
Jason Vargas       4.59
Rick Porcello        4.58  (thought this guy was going to be a stud)
Dillon Gee             4.56  (Mets fans cringe a little at this one)
Trevor Cahill         4.48
Max Scherzer        4.43  

   Other pitching notes: Justin Masterson has uncorked a league worst 14 wild pitches. Lincecum is right on his heels with 13. Tony LaRussa's favorite, Johnny Cueto, has plunked 18 guys. 

By Position

C- Carlos Ruiz     .336    15 HR  67 rbi  in 138 games
     Yadier Molina  .318    22 HR  79 rbi  in 133 games
      Mike Napoli    .301    30 HR   72 rbi in 135 games

1B- Joey Votto     .320    30/96   .432/.590 
       Prince Fielder .300   31/111   
       Paul Konerko  .304   23/80

2B- Robinson Cano .311   33/112
       Dustin Pedroia   .299   16/80
       Bradnon Phillips .295   20/81

SS- Derek Jeter       .316    10/62
        Starlin Castro   .298    15/70
        Marco Scuatro  .298     7/63

3B- Miguel Cabrera          .350  30/117
       David Wright               .316  19/102
       Edwin Encarnacion   .293   34/94

LF- Ryan Braun              .324  41/110
      Melkey Cabrera        .339  15/80
      Carlos Gonzalez      .320   30/99

CF- Josh Hamilton             .302   41/120
        Andrew McCutchen   .295   27/95
        Adam Jones               .283  32/78

RF- Carlos Beltran             .308   29/91
        Hunter Pence             .292    27/87
        Giancarlo Stanton      .279   35/86

DH- David Ortiz                  .313    32/98
        Billy Butler                   .290     29/109
        Mark Trumbo              .279    34/103

03 July, 2012

Andy Griffith

 Thanks to my dad, I've seen every episode of The Andy Griffith Show up until Don Knotts left the show (we never really liked any of the episodes that were in color).
  Who didn't think Andy was one of the coolest dads around? He was an authority figure, he was everyone's friend, he tried to help people in need, he was charming, he was funny, he could sing and he outsmarted every crook who came his way. What more could a man be?
    As a young boy, it was easy to look and Andy and Opie and relate their father/son relationship to my own. My dad was a school teacher, so he was an authority figure too. He was well liked, he was (and is) funny and charming. He couldn't sing and never had to fend off bad guys, but he could whistle the Andy Griffith theme with the best of them. Watching the Mets and Andy Griffth were two of our regular bonding events. In fact, the first time I ever remember cracking my dad up came when we were watching an episode of Andy Griffith. I was around ten years old and we were watching the episode where Barney Fife had to lead a goat that had eaten dynamite out of town by playing his harmonica. The goat liked the sound and followed Barney as he walked and played. As we were watching I said to my dad "Look, it's the Pied Fifer!" My dad laughed like it was the funnies joke he ever heard, and at that moment I learned the joy of making someone laugh. It's something I have tried to do every day of my life since. Here is the clip from that show.
   Andy was a masterful straight man. He was the star of the show, but his strength was setting up Don Knotts to deliver the laughs. The scene that best exemplifies that is this beauty when Barney finds his high school history book and claims he still remembers the preamble to the U.S. constitution. Andy deftly handled his part of the scene with impeccable timing and just the right amount of "are you kidding me?"

  As a father on the show he was loving, but strict. In the episode where Opie kills a bird with his slingshot, Andy teaches Opie that actions have consequences. He was stern when he needed to be but in the end, gentle and instructive. He taught Opie an important lesson without taking him behind the woodshed but he also didn't pat him on the head and say "mistakes happen."

   On top of all that, Andy was a talented musician and singer. The way the show incorporated that always felt genuine, not campy. My personal favorite was this tune with the Darlings (the Dillards in real life).

   Andy Griffith died today. He was 86. His contributions to the the entertainment industry and his fans lives are countless. I hope that the lessons and humor of the Andy Griffith Show are timeless, though I'm not sure the show can be watched today and appreciated by kids in the 10-15 year old range. I hope they can, because the show's real value, the lessons about family, love, friendship, courage and compassion have stuck with me and so many others for 50 years.

01 July, 2012

Breaking Bad video

two weeks from tonight, Breaking Bad returns. This video does a great job getting me pumped up