Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sex is my game! Updated!

1) So, what I saw on a frigid and wet Saturday night at Camden yards is that I love this team. Schilling and Papelbon are unbelievable. I'm at a loss for how good they look, and between those two, Beckett, Ortiz, and the shocker that Lowell has a pulse, I'm still feeling very optimistic about the season. Now all we need is Wells to get into shape and not shit the bed every fifth day and we will have a solid team. Clement goes tonight, and he could further strengthen my feelings with a second solid outing.

2) So I was confused by South Park last night. I'm pretty sure that was just the Trey & Matt show screwing with us, suggesting that even though they could show Mohammed if they wanted to, they didn't have to in order to get their point across. I guess I was also hoping for something a little funnier than Manatees. Eh, too much build up will never deliver. See also: Seinfeld finale. See also: the latter Matrices. See also: losing one's virginity.

3) Would like to thank The Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbian and The Friendly Neighborhood ColOmbianette (I need to get a better name for her) for putting up with me and all my drunken behavior on Saturday night, and the only revenge exacted upon me was writing the title of this post on my hand (along with some gibberish with only one identifiable word: dickhole). Granted, I can't remember who wrote that on my hand, so it is possible that somebody else did it, but I plumb forgot. That, and I forgot where I left my cell phone, which apparently was a gutter, according to the guy who found it. However, the rest of the night is crystal clear and was a hoot, late-night resurrections and all.

4) Speaking of dickholes, a term frequently used by South Park, the discussion of that night will be opened to the general public. When one is called a dick-hole, does that mean the affronted is a urethra or a vagina? Discuss.

5) Random crappy/corny joke of the week that for some reason I found funny: Where do people who don't like to curse go to college? GDU.

6) Craig Hansen has still not given up a run in his minor league career. Just saying, is all.

7) Our man Coco has signed on for another 3+ years at about $5 mil per (note: contract does not start until next year). That's a pretty good deal for the guy, with an $8 mil option for what would be the guy's 5th year in Boston. Of course, by that point I fully hope that Jacoby Ellsbury will be playing all-star calibur center field, with Crisp having slid over to either left or possibly right (he has the speed, but may not have the arm). We'll see.

8) Get well, Trot and Riske.

9)In response to Steady B's comment and interesting article about Ortiz and his projected rapid decline, I think that the issue with the article is that it looks for historical comparisons for The Man Who Would Be Papi. By doing so, this essentially ignores three things fundamental to this specific case (I hope). The article assumes that i) Ortiz is so dreadful defensively that he can't play the field, as evidence by the string of crap that has played 1B for the Sox of late, ii) It compares Ortiz to a bunch of guys that are driven to DHing because of physical breakdowns, and iii) Ortiz is a refugee to the DH, and as soon as he drops at the plate, he loses all value to the club (as he is slow and bad at defense). Of course, the truth of the matter is that Ortiz, while not spectacular in the field, is somewhat passable as a 1B according to UZR, zone rating, and a few other defensive metrics. Granted, he never would be a late-inning defensive replacement for anyone, but the problem he faced for most of his career was that he had Doug "Eye Chart" Mankiewiezcheastenheist, back when he could hit, pushing him in an organization that valued speed and defense. Essentially, Ortiz developed into the power hitter he is during his time in Boston. Really, the Red Sox were the first team to give him opportunities to get regular at bats over the course of a season, and his ability as a hitter has improved monotonically with each half-season since the Hillenbrand trade in the 2003 season.

Secondly, Papi himself has attributed a good portion of his maturation as a hitter to the fact that he doesn't have to play defense. He comes to the ballpark, and all he has to work on is his hitting and cracking jokes. This, as he said, has contributed greatly to his success, and also has significantly reduced the wear and tear on his body that fielding creates (and very well might slow his decline from age). Sure, he occasionally gets dinged up, and even missed winter ball because of a tight shoulder (damn you Dale Sveum!), but his physical debilitation is likely to be postponed by the fact that he is a DH.

I guess my main problem with the article is that the author is trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. The comparables to he uses all were DHs because they were refugees from the field due to injury and inability, and thus were already poised to start their decline. The DH merely postponed the end of their careers that were already being cut short. For Ortiz, on the other hand, the DH launched his, yet will also likely postpone the decline as well. The DH allowed Ortiz to become better, not slow his getting worse.

If anything, what I take from this article is a lot of hope. I see from these stats and statistics what I already had a suspicion of: there has never been anyone like Ortiz. In the history of Major League Baseball, there has never been an elite power hitter that has been allowed to avoid the daily grind of playing in the field; there has never been a player that could make their living just off the bat, and possibly avoid the physical stress that comes from the other facets of the games. So what this suggests to me is, that while he may follow a normal decline like the careers of so many other players, there is also a chance that because he is only a DH he just might be able to avoid the inevitable decline from age for a few more years than any other player in the past.

Hey, I'll take it.

1 Comments:

At 3:19 PM, April 13, 2006, Anonymous Mahaffey's Mexican said...

I have no idea what the scribble on your hand means, but I think it should be your new moniker.

My liver still hurts....

 

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