Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Statistics, travel, and independence postponement

1) Baseball stuff:

a) The Nationals are winning a lot, even though only recently did their "runs scored" total outstrip their "runs allowed" total. People are screaming that they will ultimately come back to earth, and their 21-7 mark in 1-run games will settle back into the .500 range. While it is true that historically most teams end up winning about as many 1-run games as they lose, this doesn't mean DC will. This is the one thing that annoys me, when people say that these things will even out. While they very well might end the season even in 1-run games, they are more likely to finish up 14 games above .500. Regression to the mean doesn't imply that they will kharmically come back to winning as many games as they lose in close contests (which, statistically, is the norm), but rather that from here on out they will play .500 ball in 1-run games. They already have won 14 more games than they have lost in these situations; statistically, they should stay at about this level, not get worse. Will they continue to win 2/3rds of their 1-run games? No, probably not. But they probably won't lose 2/3rds of them, either.

b) Bret "I smirk more than Derek Jeter" Boone was designated for assignment, as he sucks now. Thankfully, the worm has turned on the douchebag. Now we just need his brother to get DFA'd as well, and we'll be kharmically (though not statistically) realigned.

c) Sox are scuffling, and my "inside source" at the Red Sox suggested that Clement might be on the trading block. I'm not sure how this makes sense, but then again who really thought that we would trade Nomar? Meh, it's hard for me to have an opinion, as I haven't seen the games recently.

d) Roberto Patagine, destroying the ball in AAA Pawtucket, apparently has an option in his contract that allows him to become a free agent if he doesn't get called up to the big league before July 1st (note: it is July 5th), yet he continues to wallow in the minors. This makes me wonder if perhaps the logjam we have on the big league roster at 1B/DH isn't about to be cleared up in a trade. It would not surprise me at all if Theo promised Roberto that he would be called up as soon as he moves either Olerud or Millar (or god forbid Ortiz), and that the trade was pending. Of course, with the possible exception of the Mets, I can't think of a team that needs a 1B, and I have to think that there are better options out there than Smiley or Manny's Monkey. The only way I could see us moving either of those guys is if they were an add-on to a trade to make the salaries balance better (as Olerud is cheap and Millar is manageable/going to be a free agent), but I can't really figure what team that would be with. However, it is an interesting thought.

2) I hate fat people. I mean, I really hate them. My back and shoulders are killing me today, because of a manatee that tried to wedge himself into the seat next to me on the plane. I mean, this guy must have been approaching 400 pounds on a 6'6" frame. He was pouring over the seat, and the only way I could avoid being sucked into the void of his rolls was to lean off my seat into the aisle. Mind you, because I am probably (nay, likely) the most jacked person on the planet, I was hanging one scapula past the edge of my seat and getting bumped whenever anybody went by me. I had to do the shoulders forward maneuver for the entire flight, and the fat bastard was still edging into me. Seriously, people that fat need to be shipped inside crates in stowage. My shoulder was spasming all night because this jackass apparently never heard of portion control. I would sue the bastard for pain and suffering, but I fear that if I ever go near him again I wouldn't have the strength to escape his gravitational pull. Hopefully, he'll visit Africa one day and be shot by someone on Safari.

3) The number of pregnant women in my town was staggering. Apparently, breeding is this season's black.

4) The fireworks in Big Watts were cancelled because the truck "broke down", moving them from Saturday night to next Friday, when most people will have already left. Of course, this is the second time in the last five years that this has happened, both times coinciding with the bigger towns have had their celebrations rained-out the night before. Now, I'm not one to see black helicopters circling out the window, but this seems a bit too cute for my taste. The only remedy I see is for this is for the Big Wattians to bust out the torches and pitchforks, stroll on up to Smithfield, and show them what we do to firework thieves once and for all. It has been my experience that nothing gets a message across like full-fledged slaughter at the hands of an angry mob.

5) Random NFL predictions, as training camps open the end of the month:

a) Caponomics: teams that devote a lot of cap room to marquee personnel on the offensive lines, cornerback, or running back will be seriously deficient this year. Corollary: look for teams who invest disproportionately heavily in safeties over cornerback to rule the defense. Also, as offense seems to be trending upwards, look for those few good defensive teams to become even more successful than last year.
b) After last year's workload, Corey Dillon may very well fall off the cliff this year (either by injury or ineffectiveness). Curtis Martin almost certainly will.
c) The Steelers are going to come back to earth in a big way; I don't think they even make the playoffs.
d) Terrel Owens will play. I still won't care.
e) The NFC will have more than one good team this year, but I think it is a crapshoot who the others will be. I have no idea what to make of about a half dozen teams in the conference.
f) Wacky superbowl prediction: Detroit becomes the first team to ever host a home superbowl. Hey, they have to get good sometime, right?
g) The Pats will drop a couple of games early this year as the team struggles with the new coordinators. How they respond will let us know how the AFC will shake out. Regardless, I don't think they get a bye in the playoffs, even if they rebound well.
h) The Colts defense will be much better than expected. Their offense will be much worse. Especially if there are injuries.

6) For the first time since I threatened to do so, I've had to delete a comment. While I am never one to censor ideas, and I am fully aware that the internet functions primarily as a place for 14-year-olds to anonymously parrot insults gleaned from other message boards, I feel that I should be the only one on this website spewing psychotic insults in a random and haphazard manner.


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