Thursday, April 26, 2007

TILD, Number Cruncher

I recently acknowledged my error in understanding the pitching legalities in MLB. Scenting blood, Steve decided to press the issue. All kidding aside, he had a great question, in fact it was one I pondered myself:
So how come a softball would get such wicked velocity and movement over a baseball thrown underhand? Is it the marginal weight difference or is it the size?
In researching the issue, I've come to understand that my initial thoughts were well founded, and to prove it, I've whipped up a little spreadsheet. If you take into effect the compressed distance in regard to the break of the ball the effective response time decreases even more and I'm sure many of the people playing the game are grateful for aluminum and composite bats -- and one wonders why the pitchers and corners don't demand catchers masks being so close to the action due to the decreased distances.

I've also uploaded a new scoresheet and I'm aware that I still owe some issues from this weekend's Cubs series, but they might have to wait until my computer is less cranky -- this is the fifth time I'm composing this entry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Tired of the Bonds spectacle? Too much of a homer to relish in Biggio's chase for 3000? From Deadspin today is something I think we can all get behind. That's four 0s folks.


Hopefully I'm Still Human

I suppose this is a third-removed post or such. No matter how many quotations are in affect I have to reference this story. If for nothing else I just came upon my own new glove, but in addition, I love the light they shine on Manny. I've grown accustomed to his dismissal by almost everyone and this seems a delightful reclamation of his spirit. I'm most enamored by his recursively quoted statements about getting back in the box after receiving four balls:
He said, ‘I don’t keep track of the balls.’ He said, ‘I don’t keep track of the strikes, either, until I got two.’ Then he said, ‘Duke, I’m up there looking for a pitch I can hit. If I don’t get it, I wait for the umpire to tell me to go to first. Isn’t that what you’re paying me to do?’
I've got a new appreciation. I'm not in love, per se, but I'm fascinatedly in-giddy.


Well, friends, this is why I don't usually talk to folk. Steve asked a question and I was certain of the answer. Well it turns out I was wrong. I always thought it was barred. But it turns out it's a physical limitation as he originally opined; Damn him:
Some pitchers choose to throw using the 'submarine style,' a very efficient sidearm or near-underhand motion. Pitchers with a submarine delivery are often very difficult to hit because of the angle and movement of the ball once released. Walter Johnson, who threw one of the fastest fastballs in the history of the game, threw sidearm (though not submarine) rather than a normal overhand. True underhanded pitching is permitted in Major League Baseball. However, it is difficult to generate enough velocity and movement with the underhand motion.
That's one helluva long link, but I'm not clever enough to narrow it down right now.

I realize that I owe you a couple of scorecards, but life has eclipsed my opportunities to post them so far. As an aside, even with the season opening 1 run showing the Cards are averaging 8.3 runs on Sunday to 2.1 for the other days of the week. Even with my career disgruntlements, I haven't hoped for it this strongly since my childhood summers, but a month of Sundays would be quite welcome.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Heartbreak in the 12th. Film at ... tomorrow.

I'm too dispirited to box or post the scorecard right now. I'll additionally eschew all commentary except for this. If you're stealing home, Steal Home. Sheesh. It looked like a broken play to me, but still a rundown gets you nowhere there, you might as well barrel through. And not that he could have forseen it, but with Bengie's bobble a slide would have plated the run.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Italian Letter

Even with all that we knew and now know, not to mention the things that should have been evident, I can't help but be surprised and aghast at some of the blatant deceptions that have put us into this awful position. You'll recall that letter from Niger promising 500 tons of Uranium a year to Iraq. From the ABC News article:
But if the CIA had done a simple Internet search on some of the terms used in the letter, the agency would have quickly learned that it was a forgery.
It Continues:
...Eisner told "Anybody, you or I, could have taken this and fact-checked this thing and we would have learned that this was nonsense. We would have learned that the organization in the letterhead hadn't been in existence for many years, that the person who signed it last served in that post in 1989 and that the court in Niger had been renamed in 1990."
The article goes on to relate how an Italian journalist,
Elisabetta Burba, had failed to report on the letter prior to Bush's famous State of the Union in which it was presented because it lacked credibility after 15 minutes of scrutiny. In it's conclusion, another issue is raised:
Although much of the mainstream media reported the explosive claims as fact, some TV outlets and newspapers expressed doubts.

"Many were sold a deal the same way that the administration did that to the Congress and to the American people," Eisner said. "The media loses some of its critical analysis in a run-up to war and instead there was a drumbeat — the words 'mushroom cloud' were used repeatedly, battering the airwaves."

And in that, the truth. Despite its tenor to the contrary, we are all accountable.

I suppose that my ire might be unusually whipped up due to the two documentaries from America at a Crossroads I've watched this evening, but Lord I'm eager for some accountability. I don't seek punishment, but as I said accountability and responsibility. In the second film, "The Case for War," Richard Pearle,
in an attempt at absolution, states to a war protestor that, "I'm not the President." And there it is, I may have pushed and orchestrated, but I didn't make the call. There is only one man that's responsible, but he doesn't admit to mistakes.

There's plenty of this to go around. I've expressed to many people that I cried at the rise of the last Intifada and it's senseless necessity, and on the invasion of Iraq. There is enough independant suffering in the world without us organizing, on both sides, even up to a state level to perpetuate it. Yet, I didn't speak outside circles of like or similar minds, I didn't decry loudly enough the idiocy before me. There is only one man that's responsible, and he was too busy preaching to the choir for the President to hear him.

A google search could have stopped the war? So could've a conversation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

170 turnaround

We almost turned it all the way around. I suppose all of the commentary I really care to give is here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Mr. Robinson Day

The Cardinals celebrated in style. Additionally, there were a couple of great pieces in the KC Star today that varied a bit from the standard fare I've been seeing on Jackie. The others have been great too, but it's nice to have a little different perspective on occasion.

On a side note, does it ever appear to anyone else that some umpires are just out to keep the game interesting? Paul Schrieber's strike zone today was, well let's say variable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Cheap Butt

Back when the mighty MOX was still broadcasting our Redbirds* I was travelling to see my parents in northeast Arkansas on a Thursday or Friday night, a trip of about four and a half hours**. I picked up the vibration of the ether soaked leviathan as I was exiting St. Louis and the game's lullabyes sang me through southern Missouri (or was it a cadence), its ebbs and tides slinging me over and around the hills and valleys of the Mark Twain National Forest. I subconsciously accellerated and coasted according to the current count, breathing it in nervous measure out the window.

We coallesced just outside my parents house. It was the bottom of the 14th and Houston had loaded the bases. The newly warmed up Ray King (perhaps he was responsible for the 3rd base runner, I really can't recall) was now called upon to quash the fire and redeem the chances of our visiting club. As I carreened down the driveway desperately wishing arrival and a chance to watch the inevitable rally on my parents T.V. I pulled to a stop at the delivery of the deciding pitch. I exploded from the car and sprinted into the house surprising my waiting parents -- also glued to the call and only remotely anticipating my arrival. "He hit him!" I heralded. "How could he possibly have hit him?!" The game's first and final pitch had shoehorned my drive and despite the outcome I've never experienced a more pleasant or quickly tallied drive. The love and appreciation of free baseball courses through me.

We had our first taste of it in 2007 this evening, a full third of a draught beyond our share and the outcome was delightfully different, and I am overwhelmed. In addition to our team's ability to make opposing pitchers look remarkable when we have an off night, especially soft tossing lefties (did I see a 59mph on that 2nd or 3rd inning curve? Surely a mistake), Gorzelanny also overcame his NHL name to pitch a respectable game. For our boys, Keisler arrived from AAA to plug a Carpenter sized gap and did so with aplomb giving up 2 in 6 innings and giving us a chance. Spezio's timely hitting in the ninth followed a pivotal, runner-advancing fly from Pujols, and when all else seemed to fail in the 12th, Snocone forced his way past a great throw on an atypical sac fly and Izzy sweated us through 3 outs.

* Before the trip described would take 6-8 station changes as it does today.
** At this time, I leave it as an exercise of the reader to dig up this paricular game of 2005

Monday, April 9, 2007

Biology Project Lawsuit Update

I previously included a link to an NPR story about a student suing a teacher and school district over a late assignment.

Coming to us today, courtesy of, "Talk of the Nation," is the story of a high school student with a 4.5 GPA to her name suing a teacher for an "F" she received for a late assignment. It seems she was on a student council field-trip on the due date and feels, litigiously, that she should be excused the deadline as she turned in her work the following day.

Among other claims in the suit are provisions claiming "emotional stress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of scholarship potential."

The subject came up in conversation this weekend and I was driven by curiousity to see how things developed. Well, it looks like they haven't, not to completion anyway. The madness continues.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


I've been hovering around South St. Louis for five and a half years without incident. It seems overdue that I returned to my car this evening to discover a broken window. The ambiguous they stole a bag of my already read books and a few journals along with some quiz cards. I hope the bastards find some use for the shit. I can't help feeling a bit violated as, if nothing else, they took my words as they intruded into my space. I'm recalling the worse atrocities that have been visited upon my friends and feeling thankful, but only to the degree that I'm better off than them. The idea that there are a few folks out there polluting the world against the rest of us is not foriegn to me, but I'm recently reminded of their impact.

Game 5

It was Roy Oswalt, what did we expect? He dropped and drove throughout the lineup and only faced 4 more batters than was required. What a performance.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Mike Shannon speaks on Willie

Mays never caught air
Shoestring catches were on stride
Base runners beware

Friday, April 6, 2007


Well looky there! Little Dunc had a great night, even if he was a bit greedy in the 6th, and Wainwright and Co. flashed some leather. I'm going to stick to the positives and allow myself an evening of grins. 158 to go.

Oh, and there was a 1-2-3 DP. Rejoice!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Game 2

Kip Wells looked pretty good after the first even if the gamble didn't pay off in the sixth, hat's off to El Duque. But dadgumit if we're not on pace for 0-162.

I will not panic.
I will not panic.

And if anyone from the 25 man roster is watching:

I will not ground into double plays.
I will not ground into double plays.

P.S. Is the 2007 jinx against players respected for their defense in effect? Jeez, let's hope not.


Leather creaks and gives.
The delivery sails true
And the maple sings.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Opening Day

Well, at least Eckstein had a good night. The same cannot be said for Taguchi, it seems that his fielding has continued to decline from last year's mid-season slide. For someone whose appeal is supposed to be predominantly solid defense, he just doesn't look comfortable. And neither am I. Harumph.