damnum absque injuria

April 2, 2009

Thinking About Baseball

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:02 pm

I’m having a hard time getting a hold of the reason why, but somehow I can’t see this:

without being reminded of this:

Any theories?

UPDATE: Apparently I’m not the first to notice the eerie similarity between these two local icons.

UPDATE x2: Nor even the second. Apparently, most people in Winston-Salem noticed this months before I did.

October 26, 2005

White Hot

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:01 am

Dean must be stoked. At this point, I’m rooting for the Sox to win tomorrow night, too. That way, my Angels will get at least some sort of bragging rights consolation prize for being the only team to beat the White Sox in the 2005 post-season – at all. Go White Sox!

October 16, 2005

I Just Saw a Good Team Die, I’m Going to Disneyland

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 11:01 pm

It could have been worse. It could have been raining. Oh, crap, I almost forgot; it was raining. Never mind. Anyway, as of tomorrow morning my Angels are on vacation now and so am I. See all y’all next week. And go White Sox, if only to preserve the illusion that the Halos were at least the second best team in baseball, and to continue the fine tradition of curse-breaking (Angels in ’02, Bosox in ’04).

We Wuz Robbed, Again

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:12 am

Tonight was my first and worst post-season baseball game. From the stands, it looked like the Halos just did not have their act together at all. Sure, there were a few close decisions here and there, but nothing egregious, and certainly nothing to account for the Sox winning by such a huge margin, right? Wrong. The first three Sox runs came in the first inning, when Paul Konerko homered after he had struck out, but the home base ump had mistakenly ruled he had checked his swing in time. A fourth came in the top of the fifth, when Scot Shields picked off Scott Podsednik on first base, Darin Erstad tagged him, and the ump ruled that he didn’t. That brings the score down to 4-2, still a Sox victory, but not by such an embarassing margin, but I’m not done yet. A third (logically, not temporally) bonehead call went against the Angels in the bottom of the second, converting what should have been a walk into a double play resulting in bases loaded and no outs. Maybe the Angels would have choked anyway and none of those runners – or at most one – would have scored. Or maybe not.

Right now, the Sox lead the ALCS 3-1 and are on the brink of winning the pennant. In an AL with umpires worthy of John Roberts’s analogy, I’d put the score at 1 to 1, with two games vacated.

October 13, 2005

Of Judges and Umpires

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:36 pm

During his confirmation hearings, John Roberts likened the role of the courts to that of baseball umpires, noting that umpires play a limited role to ensure that everyone else plays by the rules, adding that “[n]obody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.” As a judicial conservative (albeit a proud non-member of the Coalition of the Illin’, at least for now), I thought that analogy made a lot of sense … until last night, when a real baseball umpire, Doug Eddings, proved himself to be the Lewis Powell of baseball, legislating from the field to break a 1-1 impasse in the bottom of the 9th and declare Chicago the winner by umpirical fiat. Between the call itself, and the fact that all of his fellow umpires reflexively joined his unsupportable opinion without dissent, I’m not so sure I like Chief Justice’s umpire analogy after all. If more umps were as bumbling and incompetent as Eddings, people probably would pay money to go watch the ump make an ass of himself. I know I would. In fact, I know I will be watching this ump closely when I attend Games 4 and 5 later this week, and I don’t think I’ll be alone in that.

Meanwhile, sportscaster/blogger Brooks Melchior (h/t: Kevin Roderick) offers evidence that Edding got his job as a result of cronyism rather than merit. He doesn’t blame George Bush for this particular appointment, which is nice, but it did get me to thinking: if I were a Miers basher rather than a fence-sitter in the present controversy, I’d skip all that boring inside “baseball” about Lewis Powell, Potter Stewart, Harry Blackmun, Earl Warren Burger and the rest, and really go inside baseball by comparing her to Doug Eddings, instead. There’s only one problem with the analogy: Eddings may have moved up in the ranks too far or too quickly, but unlike Miers, he did begin his career in the usual monestary, the minor leagues, before being promoted to the Supreme Soviet of Baseball.

October 12, 2005

We Wuz Robbed

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:45 pm

But at least now I know my ticket for Game 5 is valid.

October 10, 2005

Baseball’s Head-to-Head Rule

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:39 pm

Recently, I argued that the post-wildcard baseball rule giving division championships to teams with tied overall records but barely-untied head to head records was silly. My point was that when comparing the records of two teams with equal win/loss records within a single division, the fact that Team A has beaten Team B more times than B has beaten A tells you nothing about which team played better baseball. Sure, A beat B more often than B beat A, but why should that count any more than the fact that inevitably, there exists a Team C which B has beaten more often than A has? It all balances out, as it must, else the total W/L records would not be equal. I’m more wary of drawing similar inferences between divisions, as teams within any one division generally play each other more often than they play teams from other divisions. If, for example, the National League Worst had had a single team that was worthy of the playoffs, that team would have almost certainly had a better W/L record than Angels or the Braves, not because it played better baseball, but because its usual opponents put up less of a fight. Still, the AL West and the NL West shouldn’t be too far off, as the leaders in both divisions had one chief opponent who, until relatively late in the season, put up a credible fight. For us it was the A’s, who fell apart a couple of weeks before the end. For the Yanks and the Red Sox, it was each other, who stuck it out to the bitter end – and who were about as close to evenly matched as any two MLB teams ever could be.

Now is the time to test my theory. In the ALDS, both teams lost, but not by comparable margins. The Red Sox rolled over and played dead for the White Sox, much as the National League Worst “champions” the Padres did against St. Louis. At the same time, their allegedly equal Yankees really only seriously flubbed one game against the Angels (Friday’s), but came within a game of winning the series and finally lost with the tying and potentially winning run on base tonight. This suggests that the Angels are slightly better than the Damned Yankees this year, who in turn were either very close (as baseball rules dictate) or identical (in my opinion) to the Red Sox.

Now’s the time to test my theory. If the White Sox mow over my Angels just like they did to John Kerry’s Botsox, then we can safely assume that the Red Sox and the Yankees were exactly equal teams, and that the Angels – whose W/L record in another division tied theirs, and whose ALDS record just barely bested one of them – was excruciatingly close. But, of my Angels put up a real fight – or, for that matter, actually end up winning the series – then the mere fact that the Yanks came as close as they did to beating us in the first round is evidence that they really were a better team than Boston after all.

Finally, here’s an alternative theory, which may hold no matter how the ALCS pans out: none of this crap means squat, and I’m simply overanalyzing it to death. In that case, I plead not guilty by reason of being so friggin’ tired of debating Harriet Miers’s nomination that I’m desperate to blog about something else. So fisk me.

UPDATE: ALCS Game 1 pretty much ended any chances of testing my theory. No predictions as to how the series will pan out, but if the Angels can beat the White Sox on the second red eye in as many days, after the White Sox had three days off, it’s too late for the Angels to fare comparably to the Red Sox. Then again, as commenter Jody rightly noted, “there’s no transitivity in baseball!”

Damned Yankees

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:38 pm

Q: New York Yankees, you’ve just lost the American League Division Series to the Los Angeles … er … I mean, California … um … make that Anaheim … er, I mean Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels! What are you going to do now?

A: We’re going to Disneyland! Duh. What the hell else is there to do in Anaheim?

October 2, 2005

Baseball Inflobleg

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 3:25 pm

OK, I’m officially an idiot now. Can someone please explain why the New York Yankees winning 95 games and losing 67, while the Bosox won 95 games and lost 67, translates into the Yanks winning the division? I know, there is an answer, but it’s pretty lame.

September 27, 2005

Angelic Schadenfreude

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:28 pm

If you know any poor schlock from Frisco, Jr. who was rooting for the A-Holes, be sure to send them a sympathy card. I recommend this one.


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