Recent Comments by The Crafty Sousepaw

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

Post. Of. The. Week! :) That was good, but this one is tough to beat. posted by SummersEve at 1:19 PM CDT on October 6 It's that time of year when every week is a must win and every post means something. We can't worry about the past posts, we have to keep focusing on today's post and hope that we can pull off a win this week. Sure, you catch yourself message-board-watching. I know Fraze is putting up some big posts lately. He's got a lot of momentum. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but if we can take advantage of some mistakes this week... like "NUFF-in man"... hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to move on. Perhaps surprisingly, I'd like to look at Chico's suggestion from a baseball perspective. The evolution of baseaball went roughly thusly: before 1903, leagues had a decided pennant winner at the end of the season, and that was pretty much that. There were a few seasons in which pennant winners from rival leagues faced each other, but these were exhibitions (of the sort chico seems to be proposing) and were far from official. In 1903, the AL and NL decided to start a tradition of formal post-season games in the form of a World Series, and minus a hiccup in 1904 when the NL champ Giants refused to play the AL champ Red Sox and 1994 when some miserable rotten bastards ruined everything, the World Series has been used to determine the regular season champion of the two league's pennant winners. The growth of baseball and expansion of the leagues has brought about expansion of the post-season, but the purpose continues to be to determine the regular season champion. To say that there can be a notion of a regular season champion that supercedes any post-season accomplishments sends us right back to the beginning of the 20th Century. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but it does sort of blatantly ignore what the World Series is supposed to be doing in the first place. As an admitted baseball traditionalist, my knee-jerk reaction (really, even before I read the column) is to say that these suggested changes will never work. But I am willing, for the purpose of spitballing, to put aside that narrow view for a moment to explore how your plan, chico, might be put to good use in baseball. I don't like the idea of moving the post-season into the following year for these reasons: 1. I consider the link between the regular season and the post-season to be too strong and it would damage my view of "The Season." 2. The period from Opening Day to the World Series I think should be an endurance test -- not as much as a measure of pure talent, but I would not want to see the element of endurance removed. Part of the allure of any season's "Mr. October" is knowing that this player endured a full 162-game season (or presumably some good chunk of it) and still rose up to a high level of achievement at the end of all that. That means something to me. 3. The age and development of players contributes to the magic of October. I don't want to see players who reached their peak value in their career year mean nothing in the post-season because they lost all their magic in the off-season. Likewise, rookie sensations are more seasoned the following year (and some potentially experiencing their "sophomore slump," and I'd rather their regular season magic and newness remain on stage for the post-season. 4. It would make managing pitchers and rotations even more complicated. The potential plus is that it simply adds more strategy (e.g. do you use your ace or closer in the game to win for this season or save him for last year's post-season game), but the end result is that one or the other gets compromised and the incentive to abuse and injure pitchers becomes greater. That said, I would consider sacrificing some or all of this if by either moving the post-season or independently creating a mid-season "exhibition series" you were able to achieve any of the following: 1. the total removal of any incentive to have post-championship fire sales; 1a. the increased incentive to retain as many players as possible on winning teams, mitigating player movement in the free agency era; 2. somehow making the exhibition series revenue exclusively attendance driven -- either by not adjusting broadcast contracts to include them or by making the exhibitions "camera-free" non-broadcast events. My theory, possibly faulty, being that if a greater percentage of team revenue is made up of gate receipts, it will create a stronger incentive for teams to put a competitive product on the field; 3. bring back the nostalgic notion of barnstorming. For my part, instead of moving the post-season to the following year, I'd be all for eliminating the month of stupid Interleague games and replacing them intermittently through the season with some kind of exhibition/barnstorming format that involves all the teams. If you work them as short series, they might prove to be good ways to measure how a playoff hopeful will stand up in such a format. And I'm sure there are benefits that aren't occurring to me right now. And to finish, though I recognize it's not really the discussion here, relegation would not work in baseball, at least not with minor league teams. AAA teams are not separate clubs, they are farming operations whose players move up and down routinely throughout the season. They are not whole professional teams trying to climb the ranks. Frequently they are dotted with major league players on injury rehab or temporarily sent down for seasoning, which makes them temporarily more powerful, thus throwing off the actual balance of power in the lower leagues. Nuff said. Sorry I was so long. On edit: what bender said re: relegation.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:25 PM on October 08

"I just wanted to give the fireworks guy a rest."

1. If you don't see making the claim that "managing the Red Sox is the hardest job in all of sports" as stunningly cartoonish hyperbole, then no, we are just not going to agree on this. The hardest job in all of sports? I don't think it's the hardest job on his own team. 2. His point has absolutely nothing to do with what people on vacation in Boston have on their itinerary. To say that no team draws crowds like the Red Sox is not only wrong, it is physically impossible. Even if you want to argue that he's speaking in generalities, and really what he means is that no team draws attention like the Red Sox, he'd still be wrong. I'm not denying the Red Sox draw, but I don't think you can separate them as standing alone in the way the writer does. Semantics. These are pretty small and peripheral points in the article that I just found surprising. I'm not really sure why I'm bothering to argue this -- maybe I'm just grouchy today.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:30 PM on October 05

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

So what you're saying is that the super-fragile chandelier-istic spikey clump's atrocious?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:54 AM on October 05

"I just wanted to give the fireworks guy a rest."

This is a necessity because Francona has the most difficult job in sports... uh, what? No team draws crowds like the Red Sox... WHAT? Otherwise, nice article. Francona is easy to root for -- great manner, great sense of humor, plenty of character. The story about Manny asking to use the cell phone is pretty classic, too. Boston deserves to be in the spotlight. Yeah, poor Boston and their media deprivation.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:36 AM on October 05

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

In this thread alone we've had comments talking about all around players, the difficulty of each role, and the fact that being an every day player leads to injury quicker. All basically true, and all having zero to do with the award. You say this as though the award has some concrete definition. It doesn't. There is no collective understanding of what it means. Some voters use it as an "Employee of the Year Award," and to them effort on the field and the rigor of their jobs does actually make a difference. And, again, if you want to hang on the word "value" and use the award as a measure of irreplacability and contribution toward winning games, well, again I say, on any team, failing to replace the DH at all (and forcing the pitcher to hit) gives any team a better chance of winning than failing to replace any position player in the field and using a second DH. And again, I would argue that no individual hitter on the Sox had more to do with their success this year than Beckett or Papelbon or Okajima. In my opinion (which means absolutely nothing -- I don't have a vote), following along the lines of what grum said, I would extend my argument out beyond the DH to say that if you are a player who the manager routinely pinch-hits for, pinch-runs for or feels the need to replace defensively late in games then your other attributes have to be super-spectacular because you are not playing the whole game, and I don't see how you can be "most valuable" if you're often not around to help your team in the ninth inning (and beyond). And I will conclude with the observation that, while these discussions are entertaining and I enjoy them immensely, we're talking about trying to draw individual value in a team sport, which is silly, pointless and pretty close to impossible to do correctly or meaningfully. As a Yankees fan, I don't care one iota if a player on my team gets an individual award -- in fact, I'd almost prefer that they didn't because I could see where that kind of recognition has the ability to damage the team concept.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:03 AM on October 05

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

Both MVP candidates discussed here already have homers today. Just, you know, to say.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:38 PM on October 04

For The Love of Sport: Sooners Stake a Claim

Thanks for your comment NavyChop. Unfortunately, the only word we're getting back here about Djibouti is that its capital is Djibouti. Keep up the good work.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:24 PM on October 04

Barry Bonds' ex-mistress details star's steroid use, temper.

I was dreading this thread. Whatever happens from here on, that post, wfrazerjr, will have made it worthwhile.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:24 AM on October 04

Rockets fine Yao Ming for attending Special Olympics opening ceremony

Eh. Yao has contractual obligations to the team that he is choosing not to meet at his own expense. I see this story as less "Rockets fine Yao Ming for attending Special Olympics opening ceremony" and more "Yao Ming willing to attend Special Olympics ceremony at personal cost."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:33 AM on October 04

World Series Confidence Pool!

I know I do. Each team was chosen at least once to win the whole thing. And Yukon's talk was far and away the trashiest. Gross.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:25 AM on October 04

Most Popular NFL Teams (in Order): Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, Packers

Steelers fans have such an away presence because there are Pittsbourgeoisie living all over the place; a massive number of Steelers fans show up to games in, say, San Diego, because a massive number of steeltowners emigrate every year to somewhere, anywhere, nicer. Like San Diego. Rand-McNally holding on line one.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:09 AM on October 04

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, LDS Edition

Pitching in the AL is better than that, I hope. The last time the Sox and Angels squared off in a best-of-five, seven players hit .333 or better with 10 or more PA. And I would argue that the hitting is more improved than the pitching for both teams this time around.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:25 PM on October 03

Leave Steve Bartman Alone!

Dear Jay, How about a little less apology and a little more shut the hell up. Sincerely, Steve

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:27 PM on October 03

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

After all, what comes easily to one player may require hours of work for another, but we don't say "Gee, Player X really worked hard on properly fielding ground balls this year while the very gifted Player Y hardly ever did...so what if he has a bunch more errors, give him the Gold Glove for effort." I don't see how you got from quantity of effort given in a game to work ethic between games. I guess the two thoughts I have on this are: 1. I believe the Red Sox would be harmed less by dropping their DH and letting their pitcher hit than the Tigers would be by deciding to remove their right fielder and using two DH's, regardless of who the right fielder is. 2. With regard to your comment The MVP award is, of course, often determined by very subjective criteria (such as getting along with the press), but in theory, it should be purely based upon Value - the winning player being the one who added the most value to his team above and beyond what an average player might have contributed. I would respond that this "Value" you speak of is unquantifiable and misleading, and furthermore I bet I can convince you that you don't even believe what you just wrote. On the Red Sox, would you really rather replace Beckett or Okajima or Papelbon with an average player than Ortiz? Seriously, Okajima was a good deal more valuable (in my eyes) beyond the average set up guy than Ortiz was over the average DH -- where would the Sox be without that bridge to Papelbon? They were 48-18 in games in which Okajima appeared and the Red Sox finished 30 games over .500. Yet, I don't believe you think Okajima will or should get more votes than Papi come election time.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:15 PM on October 03

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, LDS Edition

"...and here come 86 and yerfatma storming out of the dugout! They've lost! Look at this!... They've been ruled out, and are now having to be forcibly restrained from hitting Tim McClelland. And Grum has won the ball game 4 to 3!"

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:56 AM on October 03

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

So is it "more valuable" to play sub-par shortstop than average 3rd base, etc? How about if the comparison is to a player in an "easy" position, such as LF? Hal, that's a great point. My response to that, I think, would be to expand a little on dyams' point. The DH has one job, hitting, which he does about once an hour during a game and then returns to the bench. A fielder has to withstand the rigors of playing his position and he doesn't have the opportunity to only focus mentally on one aspect of the game. Even if he was a league-average fielder, I think to be able to perform near equivalently on the offensive side to a DH with the additional workload is sufficient to push a position player over a DH. Shoot, Ortiz usually has the luxury of a couple of innings to go hit in the cage between at bats if he was so inclined. I do agree, though, that if the player is a terrible fielder that should be given more consideration than it is, largely because it's a more subjective element of the game that requires watching a player regularly to judge fairly. I also agree with you that Ortiz is in line for a "lifetime achievement" type of voting from the writers, but I don't think he will beat out Ordonez this year for the simple reason that the writers know he isn't likely to win and they won't see any great value in making sure he's second again rather than third. Ortiz will get those votes in a season that has no clear runaway favorite.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:14 AM on October 03

Brand strategy

That's a fair point, cjets. The Hall does have an entire exhibit dedicated to the Negro Leagues called Pride and Passion. They have inducted numerous Negro League stars, punctuated by an 18-person class in 2006, which came on the heels of a Hall-sponsored five-year study that attempted to assemble the statistics of Negro League and pre-Negro League players. The importance and context of segregation and Jackie Robinson's contributions are pretty well represented. You should check out the "Baseball As America" touring exhibition, which has a very well done section titled "Ideals and Injustices" that really dives into the heart of the cultural context of baseball as it reflects our national struggle with race.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:22 PM on October 02

Brand strategy

And, by the way, the fact that the ML was segregated until 1947 is a huge issue that should be addressed by the HOF. In what way?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:14 PM on October 02

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, LDS Edition

I did. I also looked at his numbers vs. the Angels this year, which are also good. But looking at both rosters, I don't see any chance of Drew being #1 in batting average. Not in this group. He might hit .333 and finish eighth.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:04 PM on October 02

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

The case for Jimmy Rollins. Rollins is the first major leaguer to have at least 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in one season. He is also only the third everyday shortstop to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season, joining Barry Larkin in 1996 and Alex Rodriguez in 1998. Rollins ranks first in the N.L. in runs scored (136), at-bats (704), multihit games (62) and triples (19). He began the day tied for second in hits with 207 before adding to his total and drawing within one at-bat of the single-season record of 705, set by Willie Wilson of Kansas City in 1980. “Thirty homers, Gold Glove at shortstop, steals bases, hits for average — yeah, I’d say you could make a case he’s as good as there is,” Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said of Rollins. My view on this today is the same as it was yesterday. If the Rockies lost last night, Rollins would win the MVP. But because they won (and additionally, because Holliday was involved so directly in the victory) it will probably go to Holliday. I have to say, though, that Rollins candidacy is better than many people are giving him credit for. He had a seriously awesome season.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:56 PM on October 02

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, LDS Edition

BA, Drew You can't be serious. For a minute, I thought you made a mistake and put your Diamondbacks picks at the end of your Red Sox line. If J.D. Drew leads that series in BA I will wear a Drew belly shirt and boxer shorts while parading around Thomas Circle singing "I Will Survive" at the top of my lungs, and I will videotape it and post it here. That's how confident I am in that not happening.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:15 PM on October 02

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

Dodgers tried it for a while and found they weren't very good at it. I shouldn't have made that comment. I was trying to make a back door observation about the parity in baseball. I didn't mean to turn this into a discussion on finances. Forbes laid out a pretty good case for why your argument, Seve, while popular, doesn't align with the financial reality of the game. Along the lines of yerfatma's response, there is a lot of revenue out there not being spent. I'm a Padres fan, and with the way the Rockies have been playing, and with two of our key guys out, I'd much rather see the Rockies in the postseason than the Pads, who would most likely just limp to another drubbing in the division series. The playoff game hurt the Padres' chances of advancing a lot more than the Rockies. The Padres had to burn their ace for the game, while the Rockies went with their number... uh... well, it's hard to say, but not their ace anyway.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:50 PM on October 02

Lions Stun Bears With Record 4th Quarter

really i dont care one way or the other if u understand me or not Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:49 AM on October 02

Karma is the key for Rockies play-in to playoffs

Trevor Hoffman is a stand-up guy. He's taking an awful lot of heat for losing a game in which Jake Peavy gave up six runs in 6+ innings. Only one of the eight teams from last year's post-season is going back again this year. If you're still rooting for a change in the financial structure of baseball -- like a salary cap -- you can pretty much forget it.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:42 AM on October 02

And now come the lawyers ...

Actually, a person who graduates law school and passes the bar is a doctor.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:27 AM on October 02

And now come the lawyers ...

I refuse to make any other comments without representation.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:54 AM on October 02

And now come the lawyers ...

Yeah, but how many politicians went to law school and never practiced law? I don't think it is unfair to label these politicians as lawyers. Most of them retain their license.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:55 AM on October 02

World Series Confidence Pool!

I can't find where we enter the number of games. How do you do that?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:43 AM on October 02

And now come the lawyers ...

Specious means having deceptive attraction or allure.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:39 AM on October 02

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, LDS Edition

Rockies in 4 Cubs in 3 Los Angeles of Anaheim in 3 New York in 3 Posada NL +17

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:18 AM on October 02

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, Elimination Playoff Edition

That sounds good. You can put my vote down for Geoff Blum.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:14 PM on October 01

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, Elimination Playoff Edition

Loose: we bend the MLB rules a little and say that the player that had the last plate appearance before the game-winning run was scored gets the GWRBI, whether it was a credited RBI or not. Meaning that, in the event the winning run scores on a wild pitch, the player batting gets the award, or the player before the player at bat (the one having last completed a plate appearance)? I'd actually be good with making it a kind of subjective thing, with DrJohn as the sole arbiter. For example, if Geoff Blum walked, stole second and third, then scored on a wild pitch, you might give it to Blum. If Josh Bard doubled and Geoff Blum bunted him over to third and he scored on a wild pitch, then you would consider giving it to Blum. If Josh Bard tripled, Blum walked, and then Blum drew a balk from the pitcher with his crazy antics, well then you could certainly give it to Blum. That kind of thing.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:45 PM on October 01

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, Elimination Playoff Edition

San Diego by 1 Geoff Blum Hoffman comes in with a 3-run lead and has a shaky ninth but holds on for the save with a runner in scoring position. (+5 points if that's right)

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:46 PM on October 01

What's the NL Scenario?

And thanks for the math/statistics lesson. I had to look it up. Whenever I am asked a math question, my reply invariably concludes with the phrase "in the Iraq and everywhere such as."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:56 PM on September 28

What's the NL Scenario?

This graph is neat. The Washington Nationals line in that graph reminds me of my performance in a recent paper airplane competition. This one is pretty cool, too. And I can't stop staring at this one. It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Cubs drop 2 games this weekend and the Brewers win 2. No worries, NoMich. If the Cubs lose two out of three and the Brewers win two out of three, the Cubs still win (it's only a one game swing). The only bad scenarios for you are if the Cubs get swept by the Reds and the Brewers win 2 out of 3 from the Padres, or the Cubs only take one and the Brewers sweep. Given the relative talent level and positioning of the opponents of each team, I think things are looking good for the Cubbies. Not to jinx it or anything. Along with the poor Brewers, I'm not too excited about being a fan of the Mets or the Diamondbacks this weekend. They have the most to lose. The Mets look especially tight.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:24 PM on September 28

What's the NL Scenario?

Game I'm parking my XM on tonight: Rockies/Dbacks. 17-game winner Brandon Webb takes on 17-game winner Jeff Francis. Francis is 7-1 lifetime against the Dbacks; this season, in two starts, he is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Webb has faced the Rockies five times this season without a win and hasn't allowed fewer than 4 runs in any of those starts. I might flip over from time-to-time to the Padres/Brewers game, mostly because Greg Maddux told me I should.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:46 AM on September 28

What's the NL Scenario?

I'm not sure if this helps the Cubs' chances at all. But it's funny.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 05:39 PM on September 27

Floyd Landis loses arbitration:

Print them out and show them to your Parents. My dad says you're a doody head. Playing knick-knack on someone's spine is just going too far.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 05:00 PM on September 27

Athletes doing Good.

So you're more interested in the quality of the content of the news than in the behavior of people. Got it.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:36 AM on September 27

Heartbreak for women's US soccer team.

There is no "I" in "Solo." No, wait... there is no "team" in...

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:12 AM on September 27

Athletes doing Good.

I think it's sad to want acts of human kindness to be so rare that they warrant mention in the newspaper.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:32 AM on September 27

NHL Tournament of Logos

Just goes to show how getting linked on Yahoo can totally ruin a perfectly good site.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:26 AM on September 27

Giants Tell Bonds He's Gone

I think llb has put it a lot better than I could. You lost me. What is "llb?" I am by no means even pretending to know more about the Giants, their fans, their media, their personnel, their front office, or really anything at all than those who live in the Bay Area (and that includes everywhere fromTampa Bay to Green Bay to the Hudson Bay to the Bay of Pigs). Here's my point in a nutshell: mmph, mmph, prph. Here's my point if you open the nutshell: I have heard teammates of Bonds' say he is a good teammate. I have not heard teammates of Bonds' say he is a bad teammate. You may be right that, in time, these stories will come forth. When I see good evidence that Bonds' existence hindered the Giants' recruitment potential, I am fully prepared to accept that. At this time, that evidence is made up entirely (to the best of my knowledge) of conjecture, and I don't accept that as good evidence of anything. This is particularly true of evidence that stems from a collective media that routinely bashes the guy for every reason under the sun. I do not deny in any way that Bonds is a first-rate jerk. Lots of teams have first-rate jerks. If free agents refused to play on teams that had first-rate jerks, they'd have to take up golf. Or something.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:20 AM on September 27

HGH + The Clear = HR(50%)

Y=RFA+MA Finally, I have solved the Theory of Regularity.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:57 AM on September 27

Brand strategy

cjets, rereading your post I see I misunderstood what you were saying. I guess my response to your point is that the context of artifacts as they relate to specific achievements are stories that should be told aside from the artifacts, not branded on them. And that story should be "this is how the public viewed Bonds at the time" not "look what Mark Ecko did." My view on why Ecko doesn't deserve to be part of the story couldn't be stated any better than yerfatma's post above.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:39 AM on September 27

Brand strategy

Drood, Eeyore called. He lost the number for your therapist again. Unlike the items you've compared it too, without branding, they could easily substitute for a totally different ball and nobody would be any the wiser. I've seen Matisse prints. Just like the original. Your argument doesn't make any sense. Once the ball crossed the boundary of the outfield fence, I know you recognize that it's monetary value rose from roughly $5.00 to over $750,000. Why can't you accept that it's status also changed from ordinary, everyday baseball to historical artifact. As such, it deserves to be handled with respect, not stained by the whims of some narcissistic publicity hound. I know you said that they wouldn't not display the asterisk, but if the Hall of Fame were to attempt to hide it could it work? The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history of the game. The Ecko story is now part of the history of the ball -- it is inextricable. And we are not part of some secret society in on the whole Ecko thing -- anyone who has a Yahoo page knows about it. Mine is not an insider view (my realtionship with the Hall, while good, is more peripheral than it used to be), but I would be very surprised if the Hall attempted to deny Ecko's role in the story of the ball. Too many people would look for it and ask about it. And for good or for bad, this is the history of the ball. But doesn't understanding the context bringer a richer understanding of history, baseball history or otherwise? Absolutely. My point was that there is no telling how time will treat Bonds. Years from now he may become a sympathetic figure and the brand will be viewed as a rash and unfair judgment of his achievement. To me, it's like getting a tattoo of your girlfriend's name. Ask Johnny Depp how that works out. 20 years ago we couldn't imagine how our relationship with the Soviet Union would evolve. The right thing to do is to let the ball be what it is, and let time decide whether it has an asterisk over it.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:26 AM on September 27

More Trouble For Vick

For how long is marijuana detectable in the system after use? I thought it was about a month. The sample was tested 17 days after his plea. If my understanding is correct, Vick could have used the stuff long before it became evident that he was going to have to make a plea agreement. Even if he did use after the plea, I can't pound on him. There's a great quote from the movie "The Freshman": There's a kind of freedom in being completely screwed... because you know things can't get any worse. It's entirely possible that Vick felt he was at rock bottom, and that no act on his part at that point was going to make his future look any more bleak. That's got to be a pretty awful feeling.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 05:58 PM on September 26

Brand strategy

I'm sure that the exhibit can be designed so that the asterisk does not show. Won't happen. To mask or fail to display the brand is to whitewash the history of the ball. It is an irreparable fact that the brand, and Ecko, are now part of the story.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:35 PM on September 26

Brand strategy

Good Lord, man, overreact much? Sometimes it feels like you're coming after me quite a bit, but then I just assume that it's my oversensitivity kicking into paranoia mode. There was a 33% chance that the ball was going to be shot into space. Yes, the Hall of Fame is happy it's coming to them. Gift horses and mouths and all that. My comparisons stand, and I think Ecko himself would agree with me. From your link: "We're going to be working with the folks at the Hall of Fame. It is an historical museum. We want to treat this ball as such, as an artefact with respect," Ecko said on the Today Show. He acknowledges that respect should be shown to historical artifacts, but he thinks it's okay to deface it before he bestows it? He's a hypocrit and he is disrespecting the museum and the history of the game by making himself a character in both. I apologize to everyone who thinks I'm just too overraught about maintaining the integrity of historical artifacts and the preservation of baseball history. It's kinda what I do for a living.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:00 PM on September 26

Giants Tell Bonds He's Gone

For the third time, here's the comment to which I am reacting: Bonds has also dominated the roster and the clubhouse, making it very difficult to attract quality, competitive players. The Barcalounger was a real stumbling block to team building. I'm not refuting anything about the "mood in San Francisco." I'm not begruding anyone who wants to discuss "fan reaction pieces." The claim was made that Bonds' persona -- as a teammate, not as an idol, an interview subject, a neighbor, a father, a valued customer of American Express, just as a teammate -- drove prospective players away from San Fran, principally because he had a Barcalounger. My position, which I have conceded may be a faulty one, is solely that this view comes exclusively from media conjecture. I haven't seen a direct, attributed and corroborated quote that he is a clubhouse cancer. I have never seen anything expressed by free agents that they were staying away from San Francisco because Bonds is there. Peter Gammons has never reported, to my knowledge, that his inside sources are whispering that Free Agent X is staying away from San Francisco because he doesn't want to play with Bonds. Retired players are not writing tell-alls (that I know of) revealing how horrible a teammate Bonds was. I grant you that it may be unreasonable to expect evidence like this to ever break. Most players like to avoid burning bridges, and most would probably like to stay off of the Barry Bonds Show if they can avoid it. Maybe there is evidence of which I am unaware -- if there is, I would welcome it and I am open to changing my position. Until I do, though, the only evidence I have is a handful of players saying he's a pleasure to have as a teammate against scores of reporters who write their own conjecture about Bonds without any whiff of the real evidence I'm asking for. No blinders, just the facts, man. I'm not willing to throw myself into the Bonds hating frenzy and accept every bad thing anyone says about him like he's a one-dimensional villain from a comic book.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:29 PM on September 26

Brand strategy

Previously discussed here. Disgusting. I'm beside myself. In my book, this is akin to signing your own name to the Declaration of Independence or adding a few extra strokes to your original Matisse so it goes better with your couch. The ball is history -- for good or for bad, it is what it is. Ecko is articially, but permanently, inserting himself into the history of the game, where he has no place whatsoever. That stupid brand is going to exist a lot longer than the context in which the record is viewed. What a jackass.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 02:59 PM on September 26

Giants Tell Bonds He's Gone

Sorry for the lengthy post, but not every sports writer has an axe to grind with Bonds. Some can actually have an objective view, and even accurately reflect the mood of the fan base. The articles you posted all came with ambient grinding noise. These reporters are all reacting to being told, "You already have my statement." Their disappointment in this reaction seems to be dominant emotional backdrop to the epitaphs they're giving to the Bonds era. How is that not axe grinding? I see no direct quotes from teammates saying, "Boy, can't wait 'til he's gone!" As far as reflecting the mood of the fan base, that isn't what we were talking about at all. We were talking about his clubhouse presence -- his role as teammate. The only argument you've presented that addresses that is the Willie Mac Award issue, which only proves he's not a cheerleader. You can't conclude that he's a clubhouse cancer from that. Maybe he finishes second every year -- we don't know. I appreciate your thoughtful response, but I still don't feel I have significant evidence in support of your statement that "Bonds has... dominated the roster and the clubhouse, making it very difficult to attract quality, competitive players."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:17 PM on September 26

Athletes doing Good.

I kind of like the notion of human kindness not being newsworthy.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:46 PM on September 26

HGH + The Clear = HR(50%)

Here's more on it. From BBTF. "These results certainly do not prove that recent performances are tainted, but they suggest that some suspicion is reasonable," he concludes. That's your conclusion? This just in: Science has officially declared that suspicion of steroid use in baseball is reasonable. In other news, Science thinks heterosexual men are attracted to beautiful women. Good to see you, Science. Unfortunately, we are out of booze and all that's left on the buffet table is some baklava. But, hey, we're glad you made it. It's going to be hard to seriously discuss an article that hasn't been published yet. It will not be hard, however, to kick and scream about how Bonds should only have 500 homers. So let's do that.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:15 AM on September 26

"Do you think clubs need to do more in terms of building a more diverse management mix, in terms of race and gender?"

So many faux pas are occidental.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:49 AM on September 26

Floyd Landis loses arbitration:

If the Bucs somehow finish the season in the basement, well, that would, uh... sorry, I've confused myself. Perhaps because I'm not a parent.* *Not a parent. You might have to read it several times. Not a parent.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:27 PM on September 25

Giants Tell Bonds He's Gone

Bonds has also dominated the roster and the clubhouse, making it very difficult to attract quality, competitive players. The Barcalounger was a real stumbling block to team building. The only evidence that I have seen of these claims is media speculation. By my recollection (very possibly faulty) the only teammate to take public issue (or at least have his issue publicly displayed) was Jeff Kent, who has plenty of his own character issues (I like to think that if Kent were chasing the home run title he would be have gotten flayed as badly as Bonds has been). Many of Bonds teammates have come to his defense as a quality clubhouse presence. If I have the story right, the Giants signed Bonds for this year only after they had been spurned by every other free agent outfielder on their shopping list. The Giants have attractiveness issues that extend way beyond Bonds -- as has been noted here, the team is terrible.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:20 PM on September 25

Yahoo! Fantasy NHL Pool is in business!

I'd post my Bust list but it might be a little to lengthy for this post. Is there such a thing as a Locker Room Column? There should be. I'd like to hear your thoughts, SDD. I'm just dumb enough -- if you list Crosby I'll probably cut him.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:04 PM on September 25

Canadian artist Ken Danby dies at 67

Here's "The Great Farewell." And here's another image I kinda liked while sifting through an image search for Danby.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:45 AM on September 25

Yahoo! Fantasy NHL Pool is in business!

I had to trade Heatley to BPP for Nabokov. I had not choice. His team looks awesome now. It should give you all solace to know that if anyone can turn holding the top two rated players into mediocrity, it's the guy who's got 'em. With one year of experience under my belt, I still pretty much have no idea what I'm doing. I hope Budaj falters, not just for the obvious reason, but because I have his backup. I thought that WAS the obvious reason... what's the obvious reason again?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:37 AM on September 25