June 30, 2003

As I write this entry, Luis Rivas has the following career stats:

                      G       AB      AVG      OBP      SLG

Major Leagues 325 1147 .267 .317 .373
Minor Leagues 561 2117 .260 .315 .369

Maybe this is just me being stubborn, but I tend to trust 1,100+ major league at bats and 2,100+ minor league at bats over 140 at bats, even if they are the most recent performance from a player. And, even if I were to want to believe in Rivas' last 2 months being the start of significant improvements on his part, why would I trust his .300/.402/.386 this June any more than I would his .361/.403/.444 in September of 2001. And why would I trust his .300/.329/.371 (which, incidentally, isn't even a good offensive month) over his .302/.316/.415 in September of 2000 or his .292/.333/.431 in September of 2002?

I wouldn't, unless of course I was looking, searching and praying for a reason to believe Luis Rivas is going to become a good hitter. I'm not looking for such a thing, because I don't believe such a thing exists. I could be wrong, of course. And, believe me, nothing would make me happier than to have Luis Rivas become a good player. It's going to take more than a decent month or two to convince me though, especially when there are literally thousands of at bats to remind me of his past and many other instances of Rivas "improving" throughout his history with the Twins that have, as of yet, proven to be simply decent months.

For every player, a "season" is made up of good stretches and bad stretches, good months and bad months. At any given time, you can stop and examine what a player has done over some period of time and conclude that they have made tremendous improvements or are struggling mightily. Maybe Barry Bonds is just 3 for his last 16 or Albert Pujols is hitting .443 in June. That doesn't make Barry Bonds a .188 hitter and it doesn't make Pujols a .443 hitter. It just means that, during a particular period of time, that is what they are hitting. Check back later and it may be reversed, because, if it didn't go in ups and downs, Albert Pujols would be a .443 hitter and we'd have to reprint all the record books.

My point is that Luis Rivas is having a very nice (for him, at least) period of time right now, but he and every other major league baseball player go through this same thing every season. You have good months and bad months, and they combine to make you the player that you are.

The player that Luis Rivas is so far in 2003, even with his two months that have Twins fans all excited, is almost identical to the player he has been throughout his major league career (and minor league career):

Year     AVG     OBP     SLG     OPS     EqA     ISO    PA/BB    PA/SO

2001 .266 .319 .362 .681 .247 .096 15.5 6.2
2002 .256 .305 .392 .697 .246 .136 18.2 6.7
2003 .267 .325 .357 .682 .244 .090 13.6 7.1


While Luis Rivas was having one of his best months as a baseball player, Aaron's Baseball Blog was having it's best month as a website. The two facts are, I think, purely coincidental.

After topping 20,000 visitors in a month for the first time in May and crossing the 100,000 visitor-mark on June 18th, this blog had over 25,000 total visitors in June (25,950 to be exact).

As I do every month, I present to you the month-by-month visitor totals:

Month          Visitors     Per Day

August 2,800 90
September 3,200 107
October 4,200 135
November 4,400 147
December 6,600 213
January 7,800 252
February 10,100 361
March 11,500 371
April 14,900 497
May 20,550 663
June 25,950 865
TOTAL 112,000 335

Now, if only one of those 112,000 visitors wanted to actually pay me for writing...

Today's picks:

Chicago (Buehrle) -130 over Minnesota (Radke)

Cleveland (Rodriguez) +130 over Kansas City (Lima)

Total to date: + $2,105

W/L record: 159-149 (1-1 yesterday for -30, but still above 2K for the season.)

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

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