Archive for June, 2005

Buying or Selling Conventional Wisdom

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

No sooner than Chris Trojaís Triple Crown post yesterday (once again, proving to be on the utter cusp of public discourse), the Around The Horn producers prompted their panelists to pontificate on the possibilities of Derreck Lee procuring the prize. In case you missed it, here is that discussion.

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Tony Reali: Next up, D-Lee and his dee-licious stats. Another game, another home run for the Cubs first baseman. For the season, hitting .390, with 20 homers and 60 rbiís, good for first in all of the Triple Crown categories. Guys, buy or sell a Triple Crown year for Derreck Lee.

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Jay Mariotti: Why, Iím gonna sell that. First of all, this has been a phenomenal run for Lee and heís a great guy as well. Hereís the problem, Reali, he may win the batting title, he has a 60 point lead. But home runs, Pujols is right there, rbiís, Carlos Lee and Pujols are right there. The Cubs just donít have the line-up to allow Lee to win an rbi race. So Iím gonna sell that.

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Woody Paige: Jay, Iím a nice guy, too. Iím not going to win the Triple Crown and neither is Lee. Thereís not a chance heíll win the Triple Crown. Itís not something thatís done every decade or even every 25 or 30 years in Major League Baseball. Youíve got Pujols who going to pass him in home runs and with rbiís in that strong St. Louis club.

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Michael Smith: Iím gonna sell this as well. Weíve had a Triple Crown in horse racing more recently than weíve had a Triple Crown winner in baseball. Itís probably the hardest thing to do in all of sports. Heís a great guy and a great year but heís not going to do it.

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Bill Plaschke: Iím going to sell this since itís been 38 years since Yaz did it. Thirty-six guys have gotten 2 out of 3 since then but itís too hard to get all three because of the whole way the game is structured now. If Lee keeps his batting average up, heís not going to get the home runs or the rbiís because he has to hit to move the runners along. Itís all about the team these days. Itís a whole different world now. No way.

Readers, Buy or Sell the conventional wisdom of this panel of prognosticators.

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Good God!!!! Can You Imagine The Pain?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

CARSON, Calif. — A man was struck in the head by a shot put on Wednesday during warmups for the U.S. track and field championships.

The man was rushed to a hospital, and his condition was not immediately known, according to Jill Geer, director of communications for USA Track and Field. It was not immediately clear whether the man was a meet official, Geer said.

The injury occurred about 4:15 p.m. at the Home Depot Center, where the championships will be held Thursday through Sunday.

An Associated Press photographer at the track said the man collapsed about 20 feet from the shot put ring. Geer said a doctor was on site and immediately began treatment. Athletic trainers also ran to the man’s aid. Emergency medical technicians arrived within about five minutes and took the injured man away.

Geer said she had no other details, and that the man’s identity was being withheld pending a further evaluation of his condition and contact with his family.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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Interesting Story from Joe Buck

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Everyone knows I am ga-ga for Joe Buck. I ran across an article he wrote on the Sporting News. Give it a look. It’s a really good story.

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Magic Numbers

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

With his two run homer last night, Derrek Lee is now hitting .390 and leads or is tied for the league lead in the three Triple Crown categories. There’s been a lot of talk about Lee possibly winning the Triple Crown for the first time since 1967, but I haven’t heard anybody mention the other magic number that Derrek is currently sniffing around; the .400 batting average. So I wanted to put forth a question to everyone who visits View from the Bleachers: which do you think is harder, winning the Triple Crown, or hitting .400 for a season?

At first glance, the Triple Crown looks tougher. It demands that a player be able to hit for both power and average and it also is heavily dependent on his teammates reaching base in front of him. And the .400 batting average has been accomplished 35 times to 16 for the Triple Crown, although to be fair, 11 men hit .400 or better during the 1887 season, when walks were counted as hits. But a player chasing the Triple Crown can also benefit from a weakened league, or a certain era; for example, Ty Cobb wasn’t a power hitter, but won the Crown in 1909 with a total of 9 home runs. .400 on the other hand, is simply the hitter vs. the pitcher every time, trying to grind out a hit 4 out of 10 times. And while the Triple Crown seems to be more demanding, then why, in this era of watered down pitching and the designated hitter, hasn’t anyone hit .400 or better since 1941?

I actually think that Lee has a good shot at hitting .400. In the past, most players that have chased that milestone in recent times have come with insane April and May numbers, and then petered out towards the end. While that may happen to Lee, his June numbers are actually much better than the ones he put up in the first two months, and Lee past statistics have shown him to be a tremendous 2nd half hitter. Combine this with Lee’s home run power, and if Dusty Baker wakes up and actually bats someone in front of him with an on base percentage of more than .300 and Derrek could accomplish the rarest of feats: hitting .400 AND winning the Triple Crown! Is it a long shot? Of course. But that’s what baseball’s regular season is about, the teams’ chase for the playoffs, and the individual’s chase for the magic numbers that most of us have known since we were kids. Whether Lee accomplishes both, either or neither, we’ll likely remember this summer for a long time.

And if Derrek hits .400 and wins the Triple Crown, he’ll stand atop the record books in the company of only 3 other men. Well, maybe two others, since Rogers Hornsby managed to do it TWICE.

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The Best 2-6 Pitcher in Baseball

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

On May 4, just a week or so before joining The View team, I wrote a piece on CubTracker gushing over Victor Santos, tonightís Brewer starter. I feel stronger now than I did then. He has to be a most frustrated ballplayer. It is downright criminal that his record is 2-6. It should be more like 7-3.

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Vic has started 13 games this season. If a Quality Start is a game in which the starter pitches 6 or more innings and allows 3 or fewer earned runs like it says in Sports Mogul Inc. then Vic has nine quality starts out of his 15 starts. Very impressive. How many Cubs have nine quality starts this year? Give up?

One Cub pitcher, the one named Maddux. With a stable effort last night Greg earned his ninth quality start. And he left with the lead.

Carlos has eight, oooh, so close.

Mark Prior is the most proficient with seven out of nine starts defined ìquality.î

Glendon has five QS out of nine attempts.

Before being tagged as the official closer of this team, Ryan Dempster started six times, four for quality.

Half of Sergioís six starts qualify.

Kerry Wood has five starts. Any guesses how many are quality? zip, none, nada

Ditto for John Koronkaís three starts and Jon Leicesterís single attempt.

Poor Victor Santos. He deserves better. His earned run avg. of 2.87 is nothing short of amazing. Good enough for ninth in the NL. Jon Garland, 11-2 for the White Sox? Tied with Vic with nine QS and his era is 3.61.

The Astrosí Andy Pettitte is about the only one who can empathize with Santos. Andy is 3-7 with 10 QS. The leader with 13 QS is Mark Redman of the Pirates and he is just 4-4, so he might be feeling a bit frustrated as well.

So what am I saying? A couple of things. Victor Santos should be selected by Tony LaRussa to represent the Brewers in the All Star game. And after tonight, I hope Vic wins the rest of his starts. What I would really like, as I have stated before, is to see Victor Santos in Cubby Blue. Santos

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