April 23, 2003

Short and sweet

No long entry for today, sorry. I have a paper due this afternoon at 12:45, so I have been busy doing that. Well, mostly I've been procrastinating and trying to find other stuff to do instead, but some of the paper writing happened along the way too. Before you get too upset, I do have some good news. I wrote a new article for Baseball Primer that just got posted!

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. Central (by Aaron Gleeman)

I think it's a good article that you'll enjoy, so please go check it out. Basically, I recapped the action in the AL Central thus far. The plan is for me to write a similar article about the Central every other week, which means you'll have even more of my writing to read! The other 5 divisions are also being covered in the same manner, so check those out while you're over there too.

After you read that, make sure to head over to Alex Belth's Bronx Banter site, where he has a really great interview with New York sportswriter Buster Olney.

Here's a little sample for you...

Olney was covering the Baltimore Orioles at the time of the Roberto Alomar/John Hirshbeck spitting "incident" a few years ago and Alex asked him about it:

ALEX: What exactly did Hirshbeck say to him?

BUSTER: The situation was, it was late in the year, and the Orioles needed to win the game. It was a very tense game. In an important moment, Robbie complained about a call, went back to the dugout, and Robbie said, ‘Just pay attention to the game.’ Then Hirschbeck threw him out. He came on the field, Robbie’s going nuts. [Baltimore manager] Davey Johnson asks Hirshbeck, ‘Why did you throw my best player out of the game?’ And he said, ‘I don’t care about that motherf-----, he’s outta here.’ Robbie was right there. Now subsequently people said that Hirshbeck used a racial slur, or that he [said Alomar] was gay, or whatever it was, but that night, what everyone involved said, was, 'I don’t care about that motherf-----' I think the other stuff is revisionist history.

I enjoyed the interview immensely and I'm sure you will too, so go check it out:

Bronx Banter Interview: Buster Olney

One more thing...

I was reading the Twins coverage over at StarTribune.com (the Minneapolis paper) yesterday. The Twins' beat-writer is LaVelle E. Neal, whom I generally like quite a bit and who does a very good job covering the team. However, you all know I like to pick nits occasionally and I found something in his column that really bugged me:

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Here's what happens when a team is desperate for momentum.

The Twins lost 4-3 Tuesday night to Kansas City in which they mustered only three hits against a second-year pitcher, went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, walked 10 times but stranded all of them, failed to get a hit from its No. 3 and No. 4 hitters and ended the game with Doug Mientkiewicz losing his bat and watching it sail farther than any ball he hit during the game.

Okay, in theory, this is a relevant point, right? I mean, not getting a hit from your 3 and 4 hitters would seem like a bad thing generally. In this case, LaVelle is using it as an example of the futility and ineptitude of the Twins' offense for the game/season.

But guess what? Those two hitters, Bobby Kielty and Corey Koskie, combined for 6 walks in 10 plate appearances! Sure, they didn't get a hit, but they only had a combined 4 at bats. Is that even a big deal? Beyond that, is it a big deal if they get on base in 60% of their plate appearances?!

LaVelle, if you are reading this (and I think there is a chance he is or will at some point), I am wondering how/why you would put that in an article as an example of the offense not working? I've said before on this blog that one of the things I hate most about many sports writers is that they pick some random stat that they deem appropriate to support their overall point. In this case, LaVelle's point is that the Twins can't score any runs and he chose the #3 and #4 hitters not getting any hits in the game as evidence of this. But c'mon LaVelle, they walked 6 times, got on base in 60% of their plate appearances and even drove in a run!

There is plenty of evidence of the Twins stinking on offense this year without you pointing out that two guys had a .600 OBP and an RBI, but went 0-4 (oh no!). Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I really like LaVelle's writing and he does a great job, which is why it bugged me so much when I read it yesterday. Please don't turn into Phil Rogers LaVelle!

Okay, carry on....

Oh, and don't forget to check out my new article...

Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. Central (by Aaron Gleeman)

Today's picks:

San Francisco (Moss) -110 over Pittsburgh (Benson)

Los Angeles (Brown) -145 over Cincinnati (Dempster)

St. Louis (Williams) -110 over Atlanta (Hampton)

Detroit (Cornejo) +325 over Oakland (Mulder)

New York (Pettitte) -150 over Anaheim (Ortiz)

Total to date: + $1,090

W/L record: 44-42 (1-2 yesterday, with one rainout, for a total of -$135)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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