May 2, 2006


  • I didn't notice it until afterward, but yesterday's entry on Larry Hisle was the 1,000th in the history of this blog. As you can see, I even have visual proof ...

    One-thousand entries actually isn't such an impressive number and I'm sure there are thousands of other blogs that can top it, but it's a lot when you consider I typically post at most five entries per week. That's basically 200 weeks of consistent blogging, which is about 198 more weeks than I expected to have when I started doing this in August of 2002.

  • Along with yesterday's entry being the 1,000th in the history of this blog, the site also passed 1.9 million total visitors. At the current pace should reach two million readers by early next month. Sadly, I didn't have the foresight to plan ahead for the event like this guy did.
  • I signed up for new medical insurance coverage recently thanks to my full-time job status at Rotoworld, and in doing so had to fill out various forms. One of them asked for my current weight and my weight six months ago, and of course because of my weight-loss plan the number was about 50 pounds different.

    Monday I got a letter back from the insurance company asking me to clarify how I had lost the weight. I'm guessing they wanted to find out whether or not I had undergone gastric bypass--which likely carries some increased health risks--but since I've done it the old-fashioned way I felt surprisingly good about myself. "Don't eat so much and exercise a little" isn't the sort of plan that you can turn into a diet book, but it does work.

  • I received a few comments and e-mails from people asking my opinion on the Vikings' draft, but to be honest I don't feel strongly about it either way. I think Chad Greenway is a solid first-round pick who should contribute right away and develop into an above-average starter. He and Cedric Griffin fit nicely with the Vikings' new cover-two defensive scheme, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Griffin's versatility is utilized.

    Because Greenway and Griffin were fairly safe picks and because the Vikings only drafted a total of six players, the overall quality of the draft may come down to how Tarvaris Jackson develops. I've never seen Jackson play and only heard him mentioned briefly prior to the draft, but he certainly sounds like a quarterback with some intriguing tools.

    New coach Brad Childress made it very clear that one of his goals was to come out of the offseason with a young quarterback to mold over the next couple seasons, and Jackson is perfect for that. The Vikings traded up in the draft to use a second-round pick on Jackson, so they must think very highly of him. Hopefully they're right, because the team's biggest long-term weakness right now is at QB.

  • Johan Santana got off to his annual slow start again this season, but he appears to be hitting his stride a lot sooner than usual. Here are his last three outings:
                       IP     H     R     ER     BB     SO     HR
    vs White Sox 7.0 5 2 2 3 6 1
    vs Royals 8.0 7 3 3 1 10 1
    vs Mariners 7.0 6 1 1 0 9 0

    For those of you without calculators handy, that's a 2.45 ERA and 25-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 innings of work. It may not seem out of the ordinary for one of the game's best pitchers to have a stretch like that, but it usually takes Santana until June to truly get rolling. In fact, here are his numbers through a half-dozen starts this year, compared to the same point in his two Cy Young-caliber seasons:

    YEAR       IP      ERA     SO     BB
    2004 35.1 4.59 30 10
    2005 41.0 3.29 52 5
    2006 38.1 3.89 37 10

    Santana actually got off to a better start last year than I remembered, but it was wasted once the Twins' offense completely dried up in the second half. The Twins have scored a total of 24 runs in his six starts this year, which is still horrible run support.
  • The latest media-created myth surrounding the Twins is that because the team has committed the fewest errors in the league they've played good defense. Of course, that couldn't be further from the truth. People often accuse stat-heads of looking solely at the numbers without actually watching the games, but in the case of team defense most fans and members of the media are willing to blindly rely on error totals that often completely contradict what is obvious to anyone watching.

    The Twins rank dead last in the league in Defensive Efficiency Ratio, Shannon Stewart plays left field like he's suffering from vertigo, and Tony Batista plays third base like a pawn in chess, moving one square at a time and never laterally. Plus, Juan Castro looks sloppier and sloppier at shortstop, and the whole issue with errors is compounded by the fact that the official scorer at the Metrodome refuses to give Castro proper blame for botching plays.

    If most poor defensive plays aren't eligible to be errors and the ones that are usually aren't given one anyway, what use is the stat?

  • Former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski was booed last week when the White Sox visited the Angels, which resulted in this amusing quote from manager Ozzie Guillen:

    They boo A.J. everywhere. Even in his backyard, his wife and kids boo him.

    I have a feeling Chicago fans would quickly become annoyed with Guillen if the White Sox weren't having so much success, but he's certainly interesting.

  • Congratulations to Jesse Lund over at Twinkie Town, who accomplished the impressive feat of calling some of his readers "giant douche bags" in the same entry that he announced his engagement to a beautiful girl. It's quite an accomplishment all the way around.

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