A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: baseball

A Cardinals World Series Win Would Be Very Bad For Baseball

by evanmcmurry

The wait-and-see narrative of the entire 2012 season has been the second Wild Card. Will it ruin baseball, will it make the final stretch more exciting, etc. We’ve had to wait the whole season to even ask these questions, let alone answer them.

Thus far, especially in the AL, it seemed to be a success: the two teams that qualified for the Wild Card were in contention for their division title until the last day of the season; either would have been in first place by five games in the AL Central. There was no mediocre team scooting into a playoff  in which they had no business playing, and we got a slightly more exciting September out of the extra slot.

The same can’t quite be said of the NL. Atlanta clinched the first Wild Card with 94 wins, beyond doubt a playoff team. But the Cards were nine out of first place in their division, and six games behind the Braves for the top Wild Card spot; they would have been in third place in the NL East. The 2011 Cardinals were the sort of rare come-from-behind team that makes playoffs exciting (recall the Rockies in ’07), getting hot late and playing some mean baseball down the stretch. But this year’s is a merely decent team that just happened to clear—barely—a newly-lowered playoff berth. In any other year, the Cards wouldn’t have been anywhere close to a postseason game.

In other words, if you want to make an argument that the second Wild Card is diluting the postseason by allowing subpar teams into the playoffs, the 2012 Cardinals look to be Exhibit A. If they make it to the World Series, and especially if they win the Championship, a lot of people will argue, pretty convincingly, that the second Wild Card was a terrible idea.

Ex-Red Sox Players Continue To Punish Red Sox For Trading Them

by evanmcmurry

YOUK with a three-run shot last night. Without it, Sox (Red) would have won 5-3.

Josh Reddick, by the by, one of last year’s more exciting rookies, is currently leading the Oakland As in batting average, home runs (20!), RBIs, runs, and OPS. For you more visual learners:

Reddick made life very difficult for the Sox when they were in Oakland a couple months ago.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bailey is still on the DL, and Brad Lillibridge has a .125 batting average with no RBIs; YOUK now has more RBIs in Fenway as a White Sox than Lillibridge does as a Red Sox.

So, good trades all around.

Speaking Of MLB Figures Saying Whatever The Fuck They Want

by evanmcmurry

And I was complaining. Ozzie Guillen welcomes Bryce Harper to Miami with a local serving of Ozzie’s patented profanity salad. And you thought a Castro scandal in Florida would shut him up!

I’m No Baseball GM, But…

by evanmcmurry

I don’t like the Red Sox trade of Josh Reddick for an A’s relief pitcher. It may make all the sense in the world from a talent/roster perspective (though few of the Sox’s pitching moves have, recently), but the Sox didn’t have a talent/roster problem last year–in fact, they had the (second) best roster in baseball. The Sox had a getting drunk and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse problem, which is to say a character problem. Josh Reddick is a young, eager ballplayer with tons of promise and what appeared (I don’t now the guy) to be character; he seemed like another Dustin Pedroia. Don’t the Sox need that more than a guy who can pitch the seventh inning every few games?

Re: Ryan Braun

by evanmcmurry

“The false positive paradox is a statistical result where false positive tests are more probable than true positive tests, occurring when the overall population has a low incidence of a condition and the incidence rate is lower than the false positive rate.” #nope #nicetry