Loyal Reader Delivers Yankee Tickets!

Adios, suckers! I’m off to Yankee Stadium to enjoy the summer for the first time since moving to NYC this year.

Thanks to Dave for hooking it up!

This is What My Head Feels Like

And if yours doesn’t, you’re doing Labor Day weekend wrong.

As seen on nyc.barstoolsports.com

Happy Labor Day, everyone.  Solid weekend with the boys, FF draft went off without a hitch and I managed to catch up on a few weeks worth of drinking that I hadn’t done in just one weekend.  The only hiccup was being unwittingly lead straight into a fucking FSU bar.  And of course the hangover.  So, Dodgers fan who took a RIPPING line drive to the dome, I know what you’re going through, let me extend a hand and say, “I know what you’re going through.”  My brain is also shaking inside my head, brother.  I know what everyone who opens their mouth sounds like to you.  I know that no toilet paper is soft enough when your body is trying to release the poison every 20 minutes. That just me?

P.S. I don’t know if this guy is going to make it or not, but I just hope we find out.  Back in hike school this happened to some girl who was walking out to the field in a line of like 100 kids.  Just wrong place, ABSOLUTELY wrong time.  Got picked off like the flautist from Sgt. Bilko.

Gaby Sanchez Goes Lex Luger on Nyjar Morgan

So I posted this video over at Awful Announcing and was immediately flamed for it.  Apparently there’s a bell ringing, indicating that it’s dubbed over from a boxing match, which I couldn’t hear over all my lulz.  Anyway, I still love Japanese announcers, boxing or otherwise…aaaaand it’s still another place you can see the video of the awesome flying lariat by Gaby Sanchez, since the MLB has dropped the banhammer on other copies uploaded earlier today. So there.

Fine Line Between Being Amazing and Breaking Your Body

Washington Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg’s season is done a bit early.  Turns out an MRI showed a “significant tear” in his elbow, according to Washington GM Mike Rizzo.

He was placed on the disabled list a month ago with inflammation in the back of his right shoulder. He was making his third start since returning from the DL when he had to leave the game against Philadelphia.

ESPN

Strasburg is awaiting a second opinion but will likely undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the elbow.  Feels bad, man.   This guy was off to a ridiculous start, after heading right out of the gate with 32 K’s (breaking the previous record of 29) vs. only 5 walks in his first 3 starts.  The pitch that gave Strasburg that record, by the way, was a 92 mph changeup, which is mind-bottling to say the least.  His season will end with a 5-3 record, ERA of 2.91 and, perhaps most impressive, 92 strikeouts in 68 innings.

The good news is that most people do recover just fine from Tommy John surgery, but it takes a full year off to make that happen.  Kinda makes me rethink my enthusiasm for rookie QBs getting into the mix…naaaaaahh.

Remember This? Michael Jordan Playing Baseball?

ESPN’s 30 for 30, the documentary series that neither runs for 30 days nor features films that are 30 minutes long (I’m baffled trying to make sense of the name) will be featuring a piece on the great Michael Jordan tonight at 8:00.  But not the same stuff you’ve seen a thousand times on the Jordan IMAX DVD (but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch that every couple of days).   Tonight’s hour long feature is about the months Jordan spent contributing a formidable breeze to the Windy City by batting a paltry .202.  Being one of the greatest athletes in the world, however, he did manage to end the season as one of only 6 players with at least 50 RBIs and 30 steals.

Think about how much fuckin HOOPLA there was over The Decision. And now imagine if instead of announcing the Heat or the Cavs Lebron James said he was gonna go play for the Akron f’n Aeros. Or if Kobe just walked away from this potential Lakers dynasty to play for the Dodgers minor league affiliate in Albuquerque. I feel like guys like Stephen A Smith would explode.

-KMarko, nyc.barstoolsports.com

Personally, I’m hoping we get some details on the theory that the whole retirement thing was a double-secret probation from the NBA for gambling.  I love a good conspiracy theory.  I’ve only heard of this one recently though, and I have to say there doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence.  Nor do I really even care – even if he was gambling on basketball, there’s NO WAY IN HELL you can tell me Michael Jordan ever bet against himself or the Bulls.  Remember when he dropped 40 with the freaking flu? Guy played like an absolute animal 24/7, whether he was black or green, pickup or game 7, hardwood, links, or card table.  And he’s got the records to show for it.  For now, at least.

I Don’t Buy It: ESPN Study Says MLB Umpires Miss Too Many Calls

This has not been the best year to be a Major League Baseball umpire.  While other major sports move forward with their integration of instant replay and other technologies to increase accuracy of calls, baseball seems to lag behind.  Many claim it’s too old a sport, too traditional, that it needs to retain its “human element.” Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey even went so far as to say if you use technology to get calls right, we might as well get robots to replace the players.  Not even kidding.  So ESPN’s Outside the Lines rushed a study of MLB umps, and they’d like you to believe that they’re blowing WAY TOO MANY calls.

[T]he “Outside the Lines” analysis found that an average of 1.3 calls per game were close enough to require replay review to determine whether an umpire had made the right call. Of the close plays, 13.9 percent remained too close to call, with 65.7 percent confirmed as correct and 20.4 percent confirmed as incorrect.

“That’s high,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher. “They shouldn’t be allowed to miss [that many]. I have seen some calls this year that just — that curl your hair.”

ESPN

Of course, the one call that curled everyone’s hair this season is the one that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a place among baseball’s elite and made him a martyr instead.  And I do want that to be fixed, I’m just not buying this study.  I’m always amazed at how often the crew DOES get the call right, even when I’m completely befuddled at home.  Sidebar: that exact call is in fact among the hardest, since umpires *watch* the bag and *listen* for the snap of the first baseman’s glove, which you don’t get on an underhand toss to the P.  Anyway, it’s no secret here at WG that I’m a wannabe statistician so let’s dive into some numbers real quick:

So the article focused on the highish-sounding stat of 20.4%.  But in reality, that’s 20% out of the 1.3 calls/game that were close enough to warrant replay usage in the eyes of the researcher.  If an average game has 54 outs and say 9 hits per team minus 7 strikeouts per team, since balls/strike are not replay candidates at this point in the debate, we come up with 58 potential out/safe calls per game (not counting double plays etc.)  And out of 58, the 1.3 “close calls” represent just 2.25% of all calls.  Even if you assume the umps get the close ones WRONG EVERY TIME (which they don’t), that means they’re still right (or replay doesn’t help) nearly 98%of the time.  But if only 20.4% of those are actually overturned, we’re talking about less than .5% of total outs/hits calls going the wrong way.  99.6% accuracy sounds 1. a little different from the headline “MLB UMPIRES GET 20% OF CLOSE CALLS WRONG” and 2. OK in my book.

HAVING SAID THAT, I’m fine with adding the tech in a reasonable way (not more than a couple of times a game).  I’m actually still waiting to hear the drawbacks.  But don’t sell the fans some half-baked study built on two weeks of data. Two weeks of statistics can tell you anything you want them to.  Schforfteen percent of all people know that.