Monday, June 19, 2006


Okay, I know I said I was taking time off, but this mugshot is too good to let go.

I thought Chris Heintz had the best ever possible mugshot last year. I was wrong. David Aardsma, Cubs Relief Pitcher tops him. Any guess what was said to him right before the photo was taken?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Leave of Absense.

I think I have a lot of minor things to say, but I'm going to be busy studying for some professional exams for the next few months, so i don't know if I can really keep up with things, so this will probably be my last post for a while. I'll keep commenting at though.

1. I like the way the Twins have been playing lately. I'm excited to watch games and see how they turn out. I'm not thinking anything about the postseason, I just want this team to win games, and a lot of them. If they could win 85 or so games and come in third (or even fourth) I would be very happy. I don't want to think what might have been with different personnel, I just want the winsand exciting games.

2. Watching snips of the NCAA baseball tournament and Roger Clemens in AAA, I've seen and appreciated white caps. How come no MLB teams have these? They look great with white home unis. I was thinking about what teams could fit one into their unis seamlessly and came up with: the White Sox. White cap with Black "Sox" and Bill. Can't wear it with the black alt unis, though. Detroit and Cinci could obviously work, too.

3. Cat Osterman and the Texas Longhorns Softball lost their third game of the WCWS two weeks back and were eliminated. This was her senior season and so now she's done. There is a small pro league, but I don't know if she's interested. She'll probably play for the US team, but the US and Canada so overpower the rest of the world that it's hardly competitive.

4. I'm trying out soccer a bit. Not sure what I think. I've decided Ecuador is my team because their unis are great and they look to be good enough to win a few. Yellow shirts, blue shorts, red socks, and they look just like the country's flag.

5. I'm thinking of a new statistic for relief pitchers, but to put it together, I need inherited runners and IRs allowed, and I can only find that in the individual players' breakdown. Does anyone know where I can get full team of (preferrably) league stats with IRs in it. I've checked a few sites in addition to Yahoo,, and ESPN. Sportsline has IRA, but not IRs.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

WCWS, Day 2.

[I've got a good picture to add here, gets to the "foot on the rubber" question. For some reason, it's not taking. Look at picture 10.]

First: if you're not watching that WCWS, you're missing a lot of good baseball-like action. Six games so far, one 7th inning comeback for a 1-run win, 2 extra inning games, and three 2-0 shutouts with late scoring. So, that's nine runs deciding 6 games.

What did I say yesterday about no pitch and bad defense? Well, unfortunately, it came true for Texas last night. Cat had a no-hitter (1 HBP) going in the 6th, when, with 1 out, she hit a batter's knee.

[I thought it should have been called a strike, the knee seemed to be in the strike zone, and her foot was on (over) the batter's box line, on the plate side. The batter was taking a running swing (which happens in softball). The announcers didn't mind, and I don't know the rulebook, so... I do think that with Cat's strike zone (hint: Jose Lima would be jealous) the pitch would have been a strike if the batter hadn't moved. I may be biased.]

Next batter strikes out. Then, the runner stole second and it looked like the batter was standing on the base after a swing-and-miss. That batter was then walked semi-intentionally (she's Arizona's slugger). The next batter hit a ground ball to short left that could have actually made the force at third, but at least should have held the runners to one base or got an easy out at home, had the outfielder not muffed it and let it roll under her glove. One run in with runners at first and third. Then, the runner at first fakes a steal of second, drawing the throw from the catcher, and the runner at third comes home. Good fake, and that probably works a lot better in softball than baseball, with the clumsier, slower ball and the shorter distance between bases. Next batter strikes out. Final score 0-2. Cat's line: 6 IP, 1 H, 2 HBP, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 13 K, 0 run support. Arrgh!

The second game looked like the first with Monica Abbot getting the same run support, but both of her runs were earned (1 HR). Now, Tennesse and Texas would have to win Three games over Two days (one today, two tomorrow against the same team).

Texas will play the winner of UCLA/Alabama. The winner of that game plays Northwestern on Sunday (twice if necessary). I think Cat can do it if she gets any run support. Maybe they should let her bat again (career line: 1.000/1.000/2.000 in one plate appearance - a double).

Tennessee will play the winner of ASU/OSU. The winner of that game will play Arizona on Sunday (twice if necessary).

Okay, now if you're inside a bit today, watch some of these games. The pitchers are constantly walking tightropes, knowing that any run is probably gonna decide the game. Imagine baseball if each ace were able to pitch each day. Santana-vs-Garcia-type-games for a whole tournament.

Friday, June 02, 2006

WCWS, Day 1.

I tracked the score of the first game, Oregon State vs Arizona, mostly to know when the Texas game would start. The score stopped in the 5th, and then I found out there was a weather delay. "Crap" I think to myself.

Background: Texas got burned by weather last year when they had to play 3 games in about 20 hours to make up for some rain delays.

Digression: Now, Texas is a lot like last year's Twins: all pitching, little offense. Only, Johan Santana can pitch just about every game, and strikes out about 60-70% of batters. I think I read that Texas has a low defensive metric, probably as the fielders aren't used to seeing the ball in live game situations. /Digression.

I don't remember how the Longhorns got to the loser's bracket, but in their semifinal matchup, as Cat had already pitched like 19 innings since 7:00 pm on Saturday, the 3:00 Sunday game had the Longhorns start their other pitcher, Meagan Denny, who is not bad, but probably not in the top 25. Three runs and two outs later, Cat relieves with a perfect 5.1 innings and something like 13 K, but the Longhorns batters were shut out. /Background.

Therefore, I want every game to be played on the right day this time through. I don't think any of the other teams are as dependent on their one ace to win games as Texas is, and so any thing that would require bunching games together later in the weekend is bad. Luckily, the game is only delayed about 100 minutes. OSU comes back to tie it in the 6th, but Arizona wins 3-2 in the 9th. With the delay and the extra innings, Texas doesn't start its game against Arizona State until about 4:30 -- I'll be able to watch some of it!

Cat pitched a near-perfect game, 22 batters, 21 outs, 18 K, 1 H, 0 BB. In the 5th, already up 1-0, Texas Shortstop Desiree Williams hit the ball right off the foul pole, and had to be told it was a homerun. 2-0 was the final score. If Texas can score 2 runs in each game and stay at one game a day, they just might make it to the finals. Again, all pitch, no hit. They play Arizona at 6:00 tonight.

Between the Spelling Bee, I watched parts of the first night game, Alabama vs Northwestern. Good game. A Wildcat hit a 7th-inning-2-out solo homerun to tie the game at the last moment. They won in 10, but I missed it.

After that, Tennessee and UCLA started at 11:20. I caught a little of the beginning be vowed to not fall asleep on the couch and left when UCLA had a 2-0 lead in the 3rd or fourth. Apparently, Tennesse won with a 3-run 6th. I like Tennessee, too, their pitcher, Monica Abbott looks to be about 6'6 and her pitching motion starts with her bent over with her head at her knees like Mike Mussina. She's only a junior, so maybe she's my softballer to watch for next year.

Yay! UCLA lost!

It would be cool to see Tennesse and Texas go at it in a national championship. White and Orange "T" vs White and Burnt Orange "T". Loser should have to use different colors and blank caps for the next year.

Oh, and Cat Osterman was awarded her third semi-consecutive National Player of the Year award. No other player has 2. I say semi-consecutive, because she did not play in 2004, instead going to the Olympics. Texas has been to the WCWS Cat's last 3 years on the team and did not make the tournament in her year on the olympic team.

No loser's bracket games today, and no winners brackets games tomorrow (stay in the winners bracket 'Horns!). Four teams go home on Saturday, 2 on Sunday. Hope the weather stays nice.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Clemens and Baker

1. Sending down Baker? For a third catcher? How does that make any sense?

2. I wonder (and I haven't looked) if Roger Clemens has a no-trade clause in his contract. If not, and the Astros fall further out of the pennant race and Roger pitches like he did last year, they could trade him for beaucoup prospects to the BoSox, the Yanquis, the Mets, or whoever...