Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tuesday 05/15 A.M. Quickie:
Suns Get Mad, Then They Get Even

Suns tie up series with Spurs 2-2 with gutsy win in San Antonio: I love how chippy this series has gotten. You always knew the Spurs were a little nasty; the Suns, however, always had that soft "Euro-style" tag.

Not anymore: They have now shown they are ready to mix it up, which is a prerequisite for an NBA champ. (Perhaps a little too much: Will Amare and Boris be suspended for Game 5 for leaving the bench after Horry's "hip-check" on Nash? "Hip-check" being Nash's word for it. I like it: Hockey references imply the goonishness that defines the Spurs' game.)

Cavs on brink of eliminating the Nets: Up 3-1 after win in New Jersey last night. Cavs-Pistons for the East title? Aside from the fact that Detroit is going to demolish Cleveland, sounds like the best(-remaining)-case scenario for the East playofzzzzz...

Does the Warriors' wild ride end tonight in Utah? Seemingly, the Jazz wouldn't want to take any chances by losing tonight – if any team can reel off three straight wins, including two on the road, to come from behind 3-1 to win a seven-game series, it feels like this Golden State team could do it.

Dirk getting his MVP award today: Try to stifle your laughter and/or derision and/or "time on his hands" jokes...

NFL return idol Devin Hester is moving to offense, which probably should have happened before the playoffs last season, rather than this offseason. Everyone will agree it's a great move... right up until his inevitable injury and the inevitable recriminations of hindsight.

(The real question: Despite his inexperience as a WR, how many of you will take a chance on him with a fantasy pick, given his opportunities for points both on offense and special teams?)

MLB Stud: Jason Bergmann, the back-of-rotation Nats starting pitcher who had 10 Ks and 2 hits in 8-plus IP in a DC win over the Braves, the Nats' fourth straight win.

(Oh, I'm a day late on this, but two words: Jack. Cust.)

(I'm also late on the Ken Griffey Jockstrap thing, which is hilarious and awesome, but here's the original link. There's been a ton of blogger pick-up on this, obviously.)

MLB Dud: Kevin Millwood. In his first start off the DL, allowed 4 runs, 3 hits and 3 walks, while recording only 5 outs. Adding injury to insult, he re-aggravated his hamstring injury ("re-aggravate" sounding like code for "handy excuse for sucking.")

Matsuzaka Watch: Throws first complete game of his season (5K, 0BB, 6H), a big win over the Tigers in the first of a four-game series.

(But that's not nearly as impressive as Greg Maddux throwing a complete game of his own: A Maddux-throwback 96-pitch 5-hitter. Wow. You can have Clemens; pound for pound, I'll take Maddux as the greatest pitcher of our era.)

The MLB postseason schedule gets rejiggered: The World Series is being pushed back a day, meaning Game 7 could come in November.

But the bigger impact might be the extra day of rest between games 4 and 5 of the divisional round and LCS rounds, making for interesting potential strategy decisions for managers regarding starting pitching.

NHL: The Sabres miracle is nearly kaput. Buffalo is down 3-0 to Ottawa in the East finals. That's as good as over. Sorry, Buffalo fans. Great ride this season, but – as always – ultimately disappointment rules.

Hard to understand how the franchise can retain its No. 1 ranking in "Fan Satisfaction" (or whatever it was called) after this. That's too bad, because it was the only thing Buffalo had finished No. 1 in in a long time.

Brett Favre will miss Packers mini-camp to attend his daughter's graduation. (If "daughter's graduation" means "doesn't want to deal with the stress of media asking if he REALLY wanted out of Green Bay.")

T.O. trashes Tuna: Really, are you surprised... at all? He must have been unhappy that Favre was getting all the attention.

Jermaine O'Neal to the Knicks? That's what he wants, according to Stephen Jackson. Would he make the Knicks a contender in the East? Not necessarily (particularly given the pieces the Knicks would have to give up to get him). But would he make them a playoff team? Yes.

As we get ready for next Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery – the most high-profile Lottery since the LeBron Lottery and arguably the biggest since the Ewing Lottery – here's a phenomenal bit of obsession: A Celtics writer posted all 199 Ping-Pong ball combinations that would result in the C's winning the Lottery. (Frankly, all they have to do is win the 1st OR 2nd pick. Hell, it's less pressure to get the No. 2 pick and simply take whoever the top team DOESN'T take, between Oden and Durant.)

I know the NBA loves its envelope-opening drama, but why wouldn't the NBA put the live Ping-Pong ball selection on TV instead? Whatever drama they lose from counting backward from 13 teams is more than made up for by the "Let's-See-Tonight's-Winning-Numbers" live drama of watching Ping-Pong balls pop up and eliminating teams with each new digit. If there was ever a draft to experiment with this, it's this one.

High school stud PG Jai Lucas picks Florida over Kentucky: Apparently, he liked the idea of instant playing time on the two-time defending champs filling in for the departed Taurean Green more than the idea of rehabbing Kentucky's program, which – if anything – is already guard-heavy.

(Remains to be seen where Lucas buddy PF Patrick Patterson announces his commitment tomorrow. Will it be a sweep for Florida? Patterson is also considering Kentucky and Duke.)

Marketing makeover: The Mid-Continent Conference (The "Mid-Con") is changing its name to the "Summit League." (Reminiscent of when the Midwestern Collegiate Conference changed its name to the "Horizon League." So chalk up the end of another era of a blandly named, brand-absent college hoops conference.)

How many of you believe that Missouri's decision to fire its openly gay lacrosse coach was "performance-related" and not because of his sexuality? He had eight straight winning seasons before his first losing season this year.

Georgia women's golf coach Todd McCorkle resigns after inappropriate behavior. Here's the money quote: "I have learned through this experience that I must be 100 percent professional at all times." You'd think making sexually loaded comments to your players – and apparently screening Paris Hilton's sex video to them – would clear the original bar, but apparently not.

Happy One-Year Anniversary to Awful Announcing. (Given the explosion of sports blogs over the past year, you're going to be seeing a lot of 1-year anniversary announcements over the next few months.)

-- D.S.


Andy said...

Completely agree with you that Maddux is the best pitcher of our generation. I've thought that for a long time. Why's he the best? Because he doesn't have the stuff to blow by hitters. He's just plain smarter than them. Anyone who's fastball tops out at 85 MPH and can still win over 300 games is amazing.

CMFost said...

MLB leadership is completely dumb. Let's see: We will put game #4 of the World Series Against Sunday Night Football and get croked and then let put Game #5 against Monday Night footbal and get croked in the ratings again. If you were smart you avoid going against the NFL at all especially on a monday night. The only 2 cities the world series is going to win in the ratings over football are the cities of the 2 teams in the world series.

CMFost said...

the maddux - Clemens debate is a fasinating topic. You have the painter versus the power pitcher. Both great pitchers and really hard to choose who is better. I guess it comes down to if you like a pitching artist or a strikeout artist.

NA said...


As per what must be some agreement between baseball and football, There is never a Sunday Night game against the World Series. Again, Sunday, October 28th, no Sunday night game.

Unknown said...

Being from Buffalo, and actually moving back here from Chicago last year, it is sad what these Sabres have done to this community. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who could care less about hockey 4 years ago hopped on the bandwagon and embraced this team like none other. Based on the regular season play, this is a completely different team that doesnt have that spark evident in the early season. So far, it has leveled the community, but being a Red Sox fan, I guess I cannot officially suppend all hope. Dan, godd luck with TeamWorks Media, they are a class act and do great work.

CMFost said...

Maddux vs Clemens Stats:

Maddux: 681 Starts, 336-205, 3.07 ERA, 109 CG, 35 Shutouts, 4667 IP, 3200 K, 951 BB

Clemens: 690 Starts, 348-178, 3.10 ERA, 118 CG, 46 Shutouts, 4817.2 IP, 4604 K, 1549 BB

CMFost said...

oops guess I was wrong about the sunday but they are still going to get creamed in the ratings on monday.

Patriots64 said...

Monday Night game on Oct 29th is Green Bay @ Denver. Colorado won't be in the world series but I suppose Milwaukee might be. Red Sox vs Mets or Dodgers should beat that game in the ratings!

CMFost said...

got 2 polls up on faniq:

What would you watch game #5 of the world series or monday night football?

Maddux or Clemens? Who is better?

Adam Giblin said...

Dan, you missed last night's greatest Steve Nash analogy to another sport: "I have been working on my guns a bit. So a couple of combos might have landed some points to the body." Combine this with the stoned look on his face during every in-game interview, as well as those great drunken pictures from a few years ago, and Steve Nash is DEFINITELY somebody I could be friends with.

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...

RE: Maddux vs. Clemens, when I was younger I was completely gung-ho for the power pitchers, just making hitters look foolish trying to catch up to the heaters. However, as I've grown up, I've come to love the subtlety of painting the corners, changing up speeds, and completely outfoxing the hitters instead of simply throwing it by them. I hate to use the analogy (part cheesy, part overused) but it's appropriate in that watching Maddux is like watching a painter create a work of art or a composer creating a symphony. It's much more fascinating.

TigerFan22 said...

I absolutely believe Missouri's lax coach was fired for performance reasons.

Despite the fact he received a large amount of publicity for his sexuality this year, plenty of people knew before that that he was gay, including players.

These players have to spend a great deal of their own money to play a sport they love for no glory. They at least deserve to have a coach who can lead them.

I know it's one of the smaller topics today, but to insult the integrity of these players just isn't right.

Matt T said...

Bergman is legit. He has gotten almost no run support.

He pitched both times Smotlz lost, he got the no decision in a 2-0 win and the 2-1 win last night.

Happy Birthday Smoltz, hope the pink heals quickly.

Brian in Oxford said...

Here might be the problem with doing the ping pong balls live:

Let's say you do the balls, and the Celtics come up first. Then you've got to go through the whole bin to dig out all the other Celtics balls and take them out of the bin. Aren't there like a couple of hundred balls for teams that bad? Then when you've finally gotten them out (and also, you can't really be allowed to touch other balls, because your body's oils change their weight and affect the randomness!) you pull another ball out. Memphis! Now there's another 250 balls you have to dig out of the bin before picking team 3.

I believe in the past, game 7 was scheduled against football, and it hasn't come to play in a while without a 7th game in the series. Game 2 did run unopposed, but I'm sure it was specifically done that way since if there WASN'T a game 7, then there'd be NOTHING to watch that second Sunday. Better to have to choose, than have nothing to watch at all. Nevertheless, they can NOT be serious about pushing games later into the fall....unless they're going to give us DAY games. please!

ToddTheJackass said...

I'll take Maddux or Clemens for longevity, but no one was better than Pedro in his prime. NO ONE.

MLB Studs and Duds from yesterday:

1. Jason Bergmann
2. Greg Maddux
3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
4. Dan Haren
5. Casey Kotchman

1. Derrick Turnbow
2. Brett Tomko
3. Matt Beslisle
4. Kevin Millwood
5. Michael Wuertz

Natsfan74 said...

When Maddux was approaching 300 wins, there was an ESPN special about him with interviews and quotes from a bunch of people. The quote I found most interesting then was from someone in the Cubs organization (I don't remember who) who said that by today's (circa 2004) standards, Maddux would not be drafted. Teams look for lively arms in the draft, not guys who throw 85 with command.

I saw a very similar quote last year, right before the draft, that teams would look at arm strength and velocity over command any day -- feeling that they could teach a guy to pitch.

Now, considering that Maddux probably couldn't even get to the bigs in most teams/ most eras, that puts what he has done in more perspective. I think he is the greatest pitcher of this generation.

Natsfan74 said...

Being at the Nats game last night, it was amazing to watch Jason Bergmann pitch. He struck out the first 5 Braves he faced, gave up his first base runner in the 5th on a 10 pitch walk, and then the big hit in the 8th. When the bottom of the 7th got extended because of the injury to Smoltz, we thought Bergmann might be in a bit of trouble coming back after such a long break. First batter -- HR. But it was a good pitch, down and in, with movement. Lucky hit, really.

The sad part of the evening was watching Smoltz injury. I hope he is ok and doesn't miss time. But, I also hope he realizes that it was not an intentional play on the part of Austin Kearns. Smoltz's initial reaction was to throw his glove down in disgust and immediately blamed Kearns for throwing an elbow. That didn't happen and I hope he is over that now. Good luck, Mr. Smoltz, for a speedy recovery.

jhawkjjm said...

How are the Spurs any more goonish than the Warriors for what happened at the end of each game?

I'm fairly positive that the Missouri was fired for being openly gay. Living out here for the past 10 years, both Kansas and Missouri are very conservative and let's just leave it at that. I can't say for sure because I know that Lawrence, KS (KU's campus) is much more liberal than the rest of the state so it is possible that Columbia, MO is the same. But remember another thing, this is a club sport not an official NCAA team so I'm not sure how the whole contract thing works.

NA said...

Look at Maddux numbers from his 4 year run in the late 90s. That's comparable with Pedro's best 4 yr run.
I'd take Pedro in his prime over Maddux in his prime. But I think it's close.

TigerFan22 said...

Columbia is considerally more liberal than many other areas of the state. It was the players who made this decision here and I think they knew when they decided not to renew his contract that they would be looked at as having fired him for being gay, but to them it's more worth it to have a good coach.

Chaddogg said...

MLB Dud: Michael Wuertz. Or the Cubs bullpen. Or just the Cubs for the past 99 years.

I hate you WGN for making me a Cubs fan.

ToddTheJackass said...

Pedro's dominance though came mostly in the AL East during the Yankees dominance, vs. Maddux in the NL East, where he was on far and away the best team. But Maddux's year (94?) when his ERA was about 3 points lower than the league avg was absolutely amazing.

Mikepcfl said...

I think there needs to be a permanent spot for the Orioles in the MLB Dud list. Or maybe we can retire them once they've been there so long.

B. Viddy said...


Are you really insane enought to think a baseball game will beat a MNF game in the ratings. I don't care that it would be a World Series game. The general public doesn't want to watch baseball. That's why Dallas Cowboy preseason games have higher ratings than when the Mavs were in the finals. Also, take a look at last year's WS, nobody watched it even with a likeable Detroit team. People watch football. That's about it.

Unknown said...

How can anyone argue Maddux is better then Clemens? I think we've all established that the NL is like AAAA compared to the AL and Clemens got most of his wins, and most of his prestige winning in the dominant half of the league.

If Maddux was pitching for the Angels instead of the Padres there is absolutely ZERO chance that he would have pitched a complete game last night. He'd be a 5 inning pitcher.

I like Maddux but he's not better then Clemens - and I hate Clemens. Can you imagine what Roger's numbers would look like if he pitched on those Braves teams instead of wasting his time on lousy Red Sox teams, or in Toronto during his prime? There is no doubt that had you switched places between Clemens and Maddux - Roger's numbers would be astronomical.

Considering Clemens has some of the best numbers in history - and he pitched in a better league for the majority of his career on average at best teams, the arguement is kinda silly.

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patriots64 said...

Red Sox vs Mets or Dodgers would beat ESPN's crappy Monday Night Football coverage. Monday Night football is horrible and they have shitty games this year, Sunday Night is a different story however.

Boomhauertjs said...

At least with Maddux we can safely assume that he wasn't taking any performance enhancing drugs. Don't know if we can say that about the Rocket.

CMFost said...

hey third other then CY Young award and Strikeouts what numbers does clemens have that are the best in the history of baseball?

Matt T said...


Before the game here in Atlanta, they showed how Bergman had been pitching well, but got no support. He got just enough support last night. I was impressed.

They are saying Smoltz may not even miss a start. I hadn't heard anything about him blaming Kearns, and he indicated he was pissed about the flukiness of the injury and he had been pitching so well, and that was the source of his anger.

verbal97 said...

Pedro was great and IMO is a HOF, but Red Sox fans NEED to calm down a little bit when talking about him in a historical context.

Joey said...

I think a potential Pistons-Cavs series looks more interesting than a potential Suns/Spurs-Jazz series, but that's just me. Don't expect the Pistons to roll right through the Cavs considering their series went 7 games last year and the Cavs are playing a lot better this year with Pavlovic stepping up. These teams still have to close out their series though.

Dave Kern said...

Good Lord, who cares about Maddox and some guy who hasn't pitched yet this season?

Except for jhawk, is anyone talking about what is now one of the most compelling NBA playoff series in a long time?

C'mon! Where are all those Spurs defenders today?

I can't remember the last time there was actual bad blood in a competitive playoff series between (and here's the best part) two great, talented, exciting teams who are absolutely loaded with personalities and stars.

Steve Nash is the fucking man.

Matt said...

There are few things that are gurantees in this world..Death, taxes, and Dan slamming the cavs anytime he gets a chance. Maybe the east playoffs has been boring, mainly because the top 2 teams (Pistons and Cavs) both are up 3-1 in their series and 4-0 last round. LBJ has been playing terrificly in all games sans game 3 of this series. The suns and warriors are flashy, but the pistons and yes now even the cavaliers are playing championship defense.

The NBA champ will come out of the East..be it the cavs or the pistons. The only team out west that can do it, the spurs, has been beaten 2x by the cavaliers this season.

Geoff said...

Don't put a lot into regular season matchups as determining anything in the playoffs. Bulls pretty much manhandled the Pistons in the regular season... and we are seeing how that worked out for them.

ToddTheJackass said...

Did anyone else who watched the Red Sox/Tigers game last night notice how Matsuzaka's splitter dove down in the zone but broke toward left-handed hitters? He threw a couple absolutely filthy ones during the game, and I can't think of any other time I've seen a split have that kind of action.

I'm still torn on whether or not it was a good idea having him trot out there in the 9th with a 6 run lead, but it worked out and I guess we'll see if there are any residual effects when he pitches next. I know he threw a ton of complete games in Japan, but that was also on an extra day's rest.

eileen said...

Whoever wins the Suns-Spurs series wins the Championship, handily. The East teams just don't have the depth to match up with either of those two teams.

OofTheQuick said...


The AP buried at the bottom of the article the reason the Missouri lacrosse team's faculty advisor gave for the coach's firing.

"He was just no longer compatible with a club sport," [Karen Mitchell, the team's faculty adviser,] said. "He's made lacrosse his life."

"These guys aren't going to be professional lacrosse players," Mitchell added. "Lacrosse is secondary to most of them, and he's not happy with that."


It's a club sport, and he demanded more of a commitment than the players were willing to give. I'm not saying this is the real reason or the only reason, but it did come from a grad student in photojournalism, if that's worth anything...

Geoff said...

You're crazy. The East teams absolutely can compete with the West teams. In fact if it is Pistons/Suns I would take the Pistons in about 5.

Unknown said...


I'm not a Red Sox fan but that comment was crazy. Pedro not historical? Are you nuts? He set the record for best ERA+ in a season and a career! His prime was the best of any pitcher ever. Even better than Sandy Koufax.

Unknown said...

Add on:
Not only does Pedro have the best ERA+ of all time but his is 160 and 2nd place is Lefty Grove with 148, a difference of 12. That same difference of 12 will take you from Lefty at 148 all the way down to Greg Maddux and Bruce Sutter at 136, and they are 19 and 20 all time.

So basically he's so much better than the 2nd guy, that taking another step down of that size rounds out the top 20.

Matt said...

Dont put too much on regular season match ups vs PO huh...tell that to Dallas

eileen said...

The Hamilton/Prince combo is hard to match up against, but both the Spurs and and Suns have better 1s and 5s, and that'll make a huge difference in playoffs.

The Cavs probably wouldn't have even made it out of the first round in the West.

marcomarco said...

@brian in oxford

Read this.

No ping pong removal, but potentially 550 'redraws'. Could make for a long and frustratingly boring event.

CMFost said...

guy - couple of corrections

1. Pedro best season is not even in the top 100 all time for lowest era in a season, Maddux is there several times.

see this list

2. pedro is the career leader for ERA only amoung active pitchers not all time. Pedro is currently 58th all time.

CMFost said...

pedro's career era is 2.82 the all time leader is Ed Walsh at 1.81

Unknown said...

I think 1 thing that is being ignored is this guy named LeBron James.

His team won 50 games despite him having a "bad" first half of the season. We all know that he has no support, that's nothing new. But his team is 7-1 in the playoffs and 3-1 in a series that he's playing 3 on 1.

Kidd and Carter are both Hall of Famers. Richard Jefferson is obviously better than anyone LeBron has as well. But he's killing them. Just killing them.

CMFost said...

here is a pretty amazing stat - Pedro, Clemens and Maddux have 0 official no-hitters/perfect games. Yes, Pedro had the 9 ip, o hits in montreal but he lost that in the 10 inning so it is not an official no hitter

Unknown said...


ERA+ not ERA. The difference is basically that ERA+ is way more accurate. You can read the difference here...

And here are the career leaders...

And here are the best seasons...

B. Viddy said...


It doesn't matter the match ups, people still watch football far more than any level of baseball. Besides, a Red Sox v Mets series would only be interesting to people in NY and Boston, the rest of the country is still hungover on Red Sox over-kill from 2004. MNF may have declining ratings, but so does every other sport, thats what the advent of cable has done. Their ratings are low, but the world series is ALWAYS lower. Look it up.

TigerFan22 said...

@ robin,

I saw that part of the story. Trust me, if these players could make this their first committement, they would. However, they're preoccupied with school and many of them have jobs to help pay their way through the season. They want to win, but like I said, they need a good coach to lead them there. Here's hoping next year they're able to improve.

ToddTheJackass said...

No-hitters/perfect games are somewhat overrated as a useful stat. And I know it doesn't count officially, but Pedro pitched 9 perfect innings, so that should count. That he played for Montreal was unlucky.

CMFost, you're not using adjusted stats. In other words, the raw stats will always show the dead-ball era guys as being the best pitchers, but things like ERA+, etc, adjust for league averages, era, and ballparks. Consider that Pedro was dominant pitching at the height of the "Steroid Era", pitching in Fenway Park, pitching in the AL East, and facing a DH for most of the time (his last years in Montreal were also dominating as well), his dominance was incredible.

Adjusting for that, I have no doubts that Pedro's prime years were the greatest ever.

Geoff said...

Matt, we could go back and forth on examples where regular season records meant something and where they meant nothing... so in the end they are meaningless cause you end up with about equal examples of both.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link about the NBA lottery. I think whoever came up with the system was an idiot though.

There is no reason to replace or redraw balls. The teams with the worse records get more balls each round. So we change which numbers are assigned to each team each round according to a simple formula but each time a ball is drawn, it will correspond to one of the teams that hasn't yet won.

Geoff said...

Eh, Parker isn't better than Billups and Nash plays a completely different game. In both cases Billups matches up well because of size and strength so it isn't a clear advantage for either team.

Dave Jackson said...

Re: Dirk, let's look at recent individual award winners, going back to fall.

Justin Morneau and Johan Santana - team swept in first round of playoffs (Ryan Howard and Brandon Webb didn't make the playoffs at all)

Troy Smith - team obliterated in national championship game

LaDainian Tomlinson - team choked away first playoff game, LT became ultimate sore loser

Kevin Durant - team routed in second round of NCAA tournament by a lower seed

Dirk - team went from 67 wins to a first-round loss to the lowest-seeded team in the field

A new curse, perhaps?


verbal97 said...

no-hitters are a crap-shoot...I mean Wilson Alvarez, Tommy Greene, Chris Bosio all threw no-hitters. Hell, Hideo Nomo has even thrown two.


Clearly, you mis-understood what I meant by historical. He's a (future) HOF pitcher, so by definition that gives his career a historical perspective. I was annoyed by the "best ever" type of historical reference. He isn't the best ever (as cmfost studiously has supplied evidence in the affirmative). You can take contrived stats for the over-analysts and twist them any way you want. In his era, he's at best the third best right-handed pitcher, and no list of obscure facts will change that.

ToddTheJackass said...

I think the argument is that Pedro's prime was the best ever prime for any pitcher ever, not necessarily that he was the greatest pitcher ever. At least that's the point I've tried to make.

Does Pedro still hold the top spot for all-time winning pct?

Amar said...

Detroit is going to demolish Cleveland? Just like they did last year, I guess. Oh wait, THAT ONE WENT SEVEN GAMES!

Oh yeah, when are the Knicks signing LeBron again? It's 2007. You said 2008 a few years back. Next summer, LeBron will be a Knick, right?

CMFost said...

career win percentage pedro is third for pitchers with greater then 1000IP, behind some guy i have never heard of and johan Snatana

check it out here

CMFost said...

verbal thanks, I really do love how there are all these made up stats. They only stats that matter are the actual stats. Not some number that takes someone with a Phd in mathmatics to figure out.

Brian in Oxford said...

One stat I remember reading, but maybe it was 10 years ago, is that Roger Clemens at the time had the greatest discrepancy between

(team's winning pct. when he plays)
(team's winning pct. when he doesn't)

This at least tried to use the player as a control in his surroundings -- does he make the team better or not?

And as for the ping pong balls, I'm actually starting to think my idea is better, where you DO pull all the team's balls out once they come up a first time. (Good link, though, marco^2)

ToddTheJackass said...

Made up stats? Come on now, don't we all know that the conventional stats are not always the most reliable? This is why OBP and WHIP have become important stats when analyzing players.

Progress in analyzing something should be seen as that, progress.

I mean don't we all agree that an ERA of 3 in the AL means a lot more than an ERA of 3 in the NL, where there's no DH? Well, ERA+ helps to adjust for that. Don't we agree that an ERA of 2 in the Steroids era means a hell of a lot more than an ERA of 2 in the dead ball era? Of course. That's why these adjusted stats do matter. Whether or not you love them, you shouldn't dismiss them as useless/inferior either.

NA said...

CMFost said...
verbal thanks, I really do love how there are all these made up stats. They only stats that matter are the actual stats. Not some number that takes someone with a Phd in mathmatics to figure out.

That's just silly. I pitcher with a 2.2 ERA in 1910 is great, but not amazing, the same 2.2 ERA in 2007 is much more impressive. To ignore that is just missing the point of trying to compare eras.

Also ERA+ is not a particularly hard stat to figure out... It's the League ERA divided by the player's ERA * 100.

What's interesting is that if you like at a 4 year Prime, Pedro has 4 of the top 30 ERA+ ever. But in a 2 year prime, both Pedro (#2, #9) and Maddux (#4, #5) have 2 of the top 10 ERA+

ExhibitUnadorned said...

That's such a reductionist approach to baseball and to statistics. Surely stats should be considered relevant because they tell you something interesting, not because a five year old could work them out? Things like ERA+, VORP etc compare players to their peers - to a statistically relevant group. A batter who hits 40 HRs today is not necessarily a better power hitter than one who jacked 25 in the dead ball era. Likewise, when a pitcher like Pedro posts a 1.74 ERA in a season when the league average ERA is over three runs higher, you know he's had a better season than a guy who puts up the same pitching numbers in a year when the league average is 2.50.

Pedro was dominant, and, for a period of 4-6 years the best pitcher in the league, because he operated in conditions that were more favourable to hitters than at any point in history and put up numbers that compared favourably to just about everyone who had come before him.

verbal97 said...

looking at ONLY primes is a bit subjective. Without getting into the argument again, Mattingly's 84-88 years, he was among if not the best player in baseball and he's not even close in HOF balloting.

Plus, if you look at Maddux's 92-98 numbers, you can make a case for his prime being on par with Pedro's best years. Maddux had a much higher CG and Shutout % and Pedro had more K, and a better K/BB ratio. WHIP and ERA differences were negligible.

Unknown said...

One possible solution for the lottery is they could do the envelopes until you get to the top 3 and then after that go to video of the ping pong balls that were done earlier to decide those picks..

As far as adjusting ERA for the Steroid Era...Should you adjust for pitchers who most likely were also using steroids...ie, Clemons

verbal97 said...

Adjusted stats bring in too many variables that players themselves cannot control. It's easier and more statistically sound to compare pitchers of the same era versus those from previous eras. With that in mind, as I said earlier, Pedro is no better than the third-best right-hander of his era behind Clemens and Maddux. Also, as I said in my previous comment, looking at only prime stats is subjective.

I would be interested (though I can't find it) in Pedro's ERA after the 6th inning.

ToddTheJackass said...

Haha Verbal, you know how much I want to get back into the Mattingly argument with you... but anyway, if Pedro's prime years with ERA/WHIP are about equal with Maddux's, then once again, wouldn't Pedro's be more impressive in pitching against the DH?

Building off Stephen's point though, in that really Maddux is so impressive in that he's really one of the only people that I think everyone can agree beyond shadow of doubt was not on steroids.

pv845 said...

I personally didn't think the Horry hit was all that bad in the attempt. It didn't look like he was trying to hit him into the scorer's table but given the size difference and the speed of Nash, the result was much worse. He should be fined and suspended. I am a Spurs fan, but the NBA can't tolerate hits like this regardless of intent. Just as the NBA can't tolerate players leaving the bench...
I am not sure of the NBA rules on fouls, but at least in HS, and I am pretty sure and in college, you can have the most innocent attempt at a steal become flagrant if the resulting contact warrants it. That is why I am so amused when the talking heads on CBS say he was going for the ball and therefore it is not an intentional foul.
This has become one heck of a series and reminds me of the 80s and their games. I know that I am in the minority, but I like defensive, physical games. I don't particularly care for the running style with no D.

On another note, how come there is no love for the Royals' new ace Meche? He is pitching as good as anyone in the MLB this year. And heck, he is about all the Royals have going for them.

ToddTheJackass said...

Verbal, so you acknowledge it's dangerous only to look at primes, and therefore argue that Clemens and Maddux are better over their careers because of their longevity, yet argue for Mattingly to be in the HOF?

I think I said earlier that I'd give Clemens and Maddux the edge over Pedro in terms of the career as a whole, given their longevity. The difference between Pedro's prime and Mattingly's prime though is that Pedro in his prime was either or very close to the best pitcher ever. Mattingly in his prime was the best 1B for a few years, but his prime was not even close to the best prime years for a 1B. Mattingly also just played in an era of shitty 1B.

Matt said...


guess what the cavs arent in the west so your hypothetical is useless.

they are going to be in the ECF's this year and play a 6-7 game series with the pisstones. and hey maybe make it into the NBA finals.

you sound like u are a nets fan on the brink of your big three being disbanded and your team being relegated to the bottom of the worst division in the NBA.


verbal97 said...


Re: Mattingly. When arguing I never just used those 5 seasons. And I think he was among the best if not the best player, not just 1b. But I do agree that the era was not a great one for 1b.

Re: Maddux vs. Pedro. I've said I'll I wanted to say comparing the two. But it should be pointed out that Maddux isn't blessed with a 95 mph fastball and Pedro isn't blessed with the typical size of a pitcher, which makes both of their accomplishments all the more impressive.


Horry's "hip-check". I've seen highlights and that is LEGAL tackle in soccer, thus giving me reason #3053 for thinking that basketball is kind of a wussy sport. The segment I heard on Mike and MIKE this morning was also about this very idea.

Geoff said...

Official NBA MVP voting is in... can we find the idiots that voted for Shaq and Wade and pummel them.

CMFost said...

todd said: Made up stats? Come on now, don't we all know that the conventional stats are not always the most reliable? This is why OBP and WHIP have become important stats when analyzing players.

OBP and WHIP are not made up stats that hacve varibles they are actuall stats based on the players performance.

eileen said...


I'm a depressed Celtics fan, not a bitter Nets fan. I've got nothing against LeBron and the Cavs, but they are a one man show, which normally doesn't take you far in the postseason. I just think the Suns-Spurs series will determine who beats the Pistons in the finals.

Indyfan said...

NBA lottery idea. Each team has three boxes, each with their number of ping pong balls. For the first pick, all the balls are put in. Then use a different bin and put in all the balls from the second round of boxes, except for the winner of the first pick. Same idea for the third pick.

CMFost said...


starkweather said...

Dan - great topic! Maddux vs. Clemens is spectacular. It's the pitcher's version of Bonds vs. Griffey. Speaking as someone who only has a problem with the hypocrisy of the steroids thing and admitting upfront this has everything to do with personality and public-image, I'd take the forces of good (Griffey and Maddux) over the forces of evil.

chipp said...

I'm a big Meche fan (although I'm an M's fan, so it hurts to see him doing SO well). The Mariners could have ponied up $3M/yr more and kept him instead of picking up Weaver. Yeah, sure it's shoulder tendanitis.

chipp said...

F Her is back on the bump tonight!! And thanks to CLE and TEX, the M's get to play 23 days-in-a-row!

CMFost said...

is it possible that there could be and f-her versus big unit match up?

Chaddogg said...

Another day, another day of Shanoff neglecting his alma mater's current run of success in women's sports - Northwestern poised to march to its 3rd consecutive women's lacrosse title; Northwestern softball seeded #2 in the NCAA Tournament; and women's tennis threatening to bring another title back to Evanston.

Oh wait, I forgot. Dan sold his soul to be a Gator-worshipping bandwagon panty-waste. Way to be, jackass.

chipp said...

Sadly, M's and D-Backs don't play this year.

Unknown said...

I don't get this concept that the NL is AAAA compared to the AL. I hear this all the time on here, but can't figure out the logic behind it. Where does that come from? The only thing I can come up with is that it is a Yankees/Red Sox are the center of the universe thing.

Since 1995 (post strike) the AL has won 7 World Series, the NL 5...hardly dominant, especially since the Yankees have won 4 of those 7, and been the AL rep in the WS 2 more times. That sounds more like the Yankees are dominant, rather than the AL is dominant.

Since 1997, the AL leads the NL in interleague play 1,250 to 1,202...again hardly dominant. Prior to last season, the NL was leading this category.

Until someone can give me a reason beyond the Yankees and Red Sox being in the AL, or the DH rule, I'm calling bullshit on the NL being AAAA concept.

I'll give you that RIGHT NOW maybe the NL is the NFC to the AL's AFC, but come on - you're comparing the leagues over the past 20 years when you're talking about Rocket and Maddux.

Kevin said...

Hard to understand how the franchise can retain its No. 1 ranking in "Fan Satisfaction" (or whatever it was called) after this. That's too bad, because it was the only thing Buffalo had finished No. 1 in in a long time.

uhh...what? A team has to win the title every year to be ranked #1 in this? Making the conference finals isn't *good enough*, from your perspective? What the hell does this even mean?

Btw, here's my ranking of the best pitchers in the current era:

1. Pedro
2. Clemens
3. Maddux
4. Glavine
5. Schilling

Kevin said...

Someone probably already pointed this out, but there's a day of rest btwn Game 4 and Game 5, so MLB doesn't play on Monday against MNF. Still don't really see how this makes sense for MLB, but they don't have to go against the NFL still.

cmfost says:

Maddux vs Clemens Stats:

Maddux: 681 Starts, 336-205, 3.07 ERA, 109 CG, 35 Shutouts, 4667 IP, 3200 K, 951 BB

Clemens: 690 Starts, 348-178, 3.10 ERA, 118 CG, 46 Shutouts, 4817.2 IP, 4604 K, 1549 BB

Remember that Clemens spent most of his career in the AL, where the DH adds somewhere around .30-.50 to your ERA. Factor that in, and I don't see how you can say Maddux has been better.

Patriots64 said...

@ Kevin Game 5 of World Series will be on Monday Oct 29th with Game 6 and 7 going on Halloween and Nov 1st respectively.

Under a new playoff format announced by MLB on Monday, the World Series will start on a Wednesday instead of the customary Saturday.

This year's Fall Classic starts on October 24, meaning a Game Seven will be scheduled for November 1.

MLB had announced last year that the World Series would begin on a Tuesday instead of the traditional Saturday it had occupied since 1985, when the League Championship Series were expanded to a best-of-seven format.
By pushing it back one more day, at least one World Series game will start in November - and possibly more with bad weather - if it goes seven games.

Another change in the postseason schedule will add a day off between Games Four and a deciding Game Five of the first-round Division Series.

Patriots64 said...

Jesse Litsch - stud of the day in MLB debut