The Southpaw
south·paw (southpô) n. Slang A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

Why do you blog?

I found this link about Professional Blogging, and thought I'd share it.

Although it isn't about sports or even casual/private blogging, it is an interesting read. It basically says that weblogging can be a 24/7 publication for professionals (instead of monthly professional publications, you can publish your work freely . . . and still get similar recognition).

The blog network is a kind of engine for processing all of these agendas. Think about how science is driven by publication and citation indexing. Blogs, and the aggregators that track them, make publication and citation indexing a realtime 24x7 process. The blog universe is a literal marketplace of ideas, an economy whose currency is the hyperlink.

While I do not blog for professional reasons, I believe that this example fits in the baseball blog world that I reside in. The more hyperlinks you get means more people will find your site. The more you know about your subject, the more people will enjoy your site and become a return visitor (or perpetuate the cycle by giving you more hyperlinks).

I think it is safe to say that the hyperlink is the most sought-after item (aside from an enormous sum of return visitors/readers) in the blogging world.

From a personal standpoint, I love to blog. I enjoy talking about things that many people are not that interested in, and a blog attracts people of like minds (or at least similiar hobbies). I know, without a doubt, that there are people out there who know a lot more about baseball then I do (John J. Perricone and Aaron Gleeman to name two), and yet there are things that I can post that others will find interesting enough to comment on and sometimes even take the time to e-mail me to give their counter-point or even agree. This is what I think is the best thing about blogging.

To know that it is also used for professional purposes, only strengthens blogging as a whole. In fact, if the sientific community went more towards a blogging/internet style of publications, then more information could get distributed, and could possibly even speed up the process of innovation. Bad information wouldn't be as prevelant as many would expect, because reputations are huge in any blogging situation. To use baseball blogs as an example, many of the more popular blogs (the ones with the most returning - or unique - visitors) are usually the better written, well informed, or more entertaining blogs.

Sorry for the long non-baseball post, but it every once in a while I like to throw something in here that seems to fit, even when it doesn't seem to fit at the same time. And besides, it's my blog. If you don't like it, go start one . . . just remember to e-mail me your link so I can hook you up with a plug.

10:26 AM

Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

Just flame me now

How can I even bring up the Cubs coming to town without seeing what The Cub Reporter has to say?

He links plenty of Baker articles (including this one by Ray Ratto), and touches on the Shea Hillenbrand trade rumors, something he and I both think is a bad idea.

He also plugs John and OBM, which is always good for business.

3:04 PM

This just in... reports that Dusty Baker is "downplaying" his return to San Francisco.

These are the kinds of storys that make me hate newspapers (or websites).

It talks about him sleeping in his own bed and walking his dog. Please stop.

And that's all the space I'm going to waste on this . . . unless someone else brings it up.

Speak of the devil

Here's what The New Giant Thrill (no perma-link available - Monday, April 28, 2003 post) has to say.

As for the whole Dusty thing. Go ahead and thank him for 10 years, but remember he manages an enemy now and lets get back to Winning. Hopefully his managerial brilliance in close games will help the Giants.

Well said.

2:28 PM

Two from Gammons

Peter Gammons' latest column has some interesting stuff in it. My favorite:

That is the heart of what happened to the Braves pitching, which lost Tom Glavine, Millwood and Damian Moss (total: $22.5 million) and replaced them with Ortiz, Hampton and Byrd -- and now Horacio Ramirez at a total cost to the Braves of $7.9 million. Gone as well are Mike Remlinger and Chris Hammond (total: $5.7 million) and replaced them with Roberto Hernandez and Ray King (Cost: $1.2 million).

Not only did they save $25 million, but the trio of Ortiz, Hampton, and Byrd (not to mention Horacio Ramirez) costs the Braves less then $8 millon dollars!

To put this into perspective, that's less then the Giants are paying Rob Nen ($8.6 million) or the duo of J.T. Snow and Marvin Bernard ($6.85 million and $4.0 million respectively).

Although, admittedly, J.T.'s dollars don't seem nearly as hollow as they did the last few years. Keep it up Jack!

Gammons also mentioned SF's staff a little (with two names we've been hearing a LOT lately).

The Giants believe that Jesse Foppert's ineffectiveness in his first start (followed by a superb performance losing to Millwood on Sunday) can be traced to the fact that between March 31 and his start April 22, Foppert threw a total of eight innings. And keep checking Joe Nathan, who is hitting 95-96 mph as he did before his injury. He's now a far better pitcher, the result of having to toil a year with a fastball in the low-to-mid 80s.

And in this article, Gammons does a write-up of Jeremy Bonderman, and how he landed in Detroit (from High School thru the A's as a PTBNL and finally ending up in baseball Pergatory).

Something he mentioned that a lot of people don't know (or simply may not have realized):

[W]hen the A's, Tigers and Yankees swung a three-way deal that sent Jeff Weaver to the Yankees and Ted Lilly to Oakland, Bonderman was a key -- but unnamed because he couldn't be traded until a year after his August signing date -- figure in the Detroit end of the deal (with Franklyn German and Carlos Pena). To [A's GM Billy] Beane, Bonderman was a great prospect who was a chip. Since the A's are not prone to high school pitchers, Beane felt Bonderman could be used to keep Oakland a contender. Beane took two of the players in the deal (OF John Ford-Griffin and RHP Jason Arnold) and traded them for Erubiel Durazo. So in effect he traded Bonderman for Durazo and Lilly.

Bonderman (a PTBNL) for Durazo and Lilly?

That'll "sell papers" as they say, but the only problem with that is the FOUR other prospects that were traded to get Carlos Pena in the first place.

I got all excited when I first read that, until I actually thought about it. It's still a great coupling of deals, but no 1-for-2 of that magnitude.

Gammons also uses the Bonderman lead-in as a seguey to another "High School Pitchers" article.

Nothing really new about that though.

2:12 PM

Friday, April 25, 2003  


Fun with Quotes not only got me linked at Baseball News Blog (perma-link fixed), but also got a plug!

If you haven't been scoring at home, this is my first plug over at BNB.

The only downside is that if you click the link from BNB, it takes you directly to the The Southpaw's home page. The link in this post (and shortly in Southpaw's Best) will take you to Fun with Quotes post. (see note below)

"Well, we're movin' on uuuuup (movin' on up), to the east siiiiide (movin' on up)......"

Editor's Note: The above mentioned problems were fixed, and I have adjusted the links accordingly.

9:03 AM

Thursday, April 24, 2003  

Snow's arm ok (sort of)

JT Snow did NOT break his arm in the 13-inning marathon with the Pirates. The scare came when Snow was hit by a Julian Tavarez (fastball?) pitch.

Oddly enough, some speculated that Tavarez hit Snow on purpose. As it turns out, Tavarez has a history of hitting former teammates.

Here's what Alou had to say:

I heard that on our bench. We will keep an eye. I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe he would try to hit somebody with the winning run in that situation.

I would imagine in an extra innings game like that, it wouldn't be intentional (at least not if he wants to keep his job).

Here's Snow's account of the final half-inning in the field:

I couldn’t open my glove. I just had to pry it open and leave it open. I tried to catch everything two-handed. I had to play. We didn’t have anybody left, I guess.

The only position player left on the Giants bench was backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba, as Barry Bonds was unavailable.

5:49 PM

I'll believe it when I see it says that Bud Selig has announced that he will not be the Commishioner of Major League Baseball in 2007 (his current deal expires Dec. 31, 2006).

Under Selig, baseball added an extra round of playoffs in 1995, splitting each league into three divisions instead of two, and began interleague play in 1997.

There has also been an decrease in the fan-base, a 232-day strike, a cancelled World Series (which was followed by the aformentioned extra round of playoffs), an All-Star Game ending in a tie, repeated threats to contract teams (even contenders), and continuous bashing of the sport and its players.

And I don't even follow HALF of the things that Seligula (credit OBM) does.

I can't wait to read the fallout on blogs everywhere.

4:51 PM

Fun with quotes (and a little Ricky humor)

Here's a few great quotes from some recent blog entries. The Southpaw has decided to comment on each quote Ricky Henderson (3rd Person) Style, because that's what The Southpaw feels like doing.

Only Baseball Matters:
"Marvin Benard, reminding everyone why he is a fourth outfielder instead of a starter, in the 11th inning, after two guys reached on about twelve pitches (uh, Marvin, the pitcher's having trouble finding the strike zone), Benard grounded into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch he saw, a pitch that would have had to buy a ticket to see home plate. I couldn't count how many times I've seen him do that over the last two seasons."
(The Southpaw saw this and thought the EXACT same thing - see WFB's quote farther down.)

Aaron's Baseball Blog:
1) "I am no longer at the point where I can answer every single email I get with a response as in-depth as it deserves - at least not without spending a very long time each day doing so"
(The Southpaw is definitely not having this problem.)
2) "Why is it that every female that emails me has to put in some line about their age or the age of one of their female family members?! The entire female race must live in constant fear that I am going to hit on them or something..."
(The Southpaw is happily married, right Mrs. S?)

Waiting For Boof:
1) "If Barry Bonds isn't available to pinch-hit for Ruben Rivera an extra-inning game, his neck must really be hurting"
(The Southpaw was expecting Bonds to come in and pinch hit, even if he was replaced in the bottom-half of the inning. Not good times, bad times.)
2) "[T]he Benard Equation - the more playing time he gets, the more frustrating he becomes to watch - is on the verge of moving from theory to law"
(This is the WFB quote that The Southpaw referred to above. How about the Bernard Factor or Bernard Theorem?)

The New Giant Thrill (perma-link not working):
"Pokey Reese--one of the few major leaguers who should get instructions when the team passes out hats"
(Nothing bothers The Southpaw more then ballplayers wearing their hats like goofy old white guys.)

The Cub Reporter:
"ReplayTV (fast becoming the Mac, or Betamax, of PVRs)"
(The Southpaw also loves the most recent game results & "Pitcher Abuse Watch".)

Baseball Musings:
"I'm just wondering who Yorvit Torrealba is. Although 0 for 2 today, in his brief major league career he has very good hitting stats for a catcher. The team ERA is higher than when Santiago catches, so his defense might not be up to snuff. But both his offense and defense are based on small samples. He's been a great backup for Santiago, and also is someone who can pinch-hit."
(The Southpaw thinks you answered your own question, unless you want to know him on a personal level. David Pinto taught The Southpaw more about Torreabla then The Southpaw knew yesterday, and The Southpaw is a Giants fan!) - shameless excuse for 3rd person rant

Elephants in Oakland:
"Nothing like trying to prove your worth in 90 seconds of accumulated at-bat time during your one day of work per week"
(The Southpaw pretty much runs his blog this way too.)

The Yannigan (perma-link not working):
"Jim Brower won today and is now 3-1
Livan Hernandez lost today and is now 1-1"
(The Southpaw thinks that's pretty good for a "Salary Dump" trade.)

SS's SF Giants Diary (perma-link not available, April 23):
"The Giants can use a “bereavement” clause to add Williams to the roster for 3-5 days."
(The Southpaw found this one very interesting.)

Rob Neyer (Rob's Quick Hit - Wake up, WGN!):
"Please, WGN ... dump the lame celebrities and get back to baseball. Because for half an inning, you're losing me"
(The Southpaw loved it when Harry Carey would sing, but agrees with Rob 100% on this one.)

Take that Baseball New Blog!
(The Southpaw in no way endorses this statement.)

11:15 AM

Palmer agrees to become a Bengal

In NFL news, USC's Heisman QB Carson Palmer has agreed in principal to a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here's hoping that he doesn't become another "Bungle" statistic.

9:50 AM

In case you missed it

John J. Perricone (friend of The Southpaw and author of Only Baseball Matters) is running on all cylinders again . . . with 9 posts yesterday.

Wow. It's good to have you back.

9:35 AM

Tuesday, April 22, 2003  

Another Giants Blog!

I found a new Giants blog today that's a fellow reader of OBM.

It's called SS's SF Giants Diary, and it looks like a great place for quick hits of news on the Giants. I especially liked the prospect watch.

11:20 AM

Monday, April 21, 2003  

Don't make me say it first

It's 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time . . . and none of the four Giants bloggers I know of have mentioned loss number three for the G-men.

Please, don't kill the messenger.

2:13 PM

English 101

Yesterday, The Southpaw learned a new word: Teixeira (pernounced: Te-share-a).

For some reason, I've always read that as "Tex-er-ia" . . . so that'll take some getting used to.

Watching the A's-Rangers game on ESPN last night, I thought that Jon Miller had gone insane . . . turns out it was just me.

1:56 PM

Slammin' Sammy

Since The Southpaw is picture-free at this point in time, here's a great photo of Sammy Sosa's helmet spontaneously combusting on his forehead (courtesy of The Cub Reporter).

Spontaneous in that 95 mph fastball kind of way.

Southpaw Poll: Can Salomon Torres throw a 95 mph fastball?

9:06 AM

Thursday, April 17, 2003  

New Links

The Business of Baseball, by Doug Pappas is a good read about the business side of the sport.

And in what I can only classify as a targeted computer virus, David Pinto's Baseball Musings was shockingly not previously linked on The Southpaw.

This has been remedied.

1:37 PM

Rob's Quick Hit

In getting the links for the previous two posts, I found something cool. On Rob Neyer's index page, he's got all kinds of cool stuff. Now, I'm probably the last person to know about this, but I think it's cool so I'm linking it here.

Check out his Quick Hit from when I visited (I don't know how often it changes . . . daily, perhaps?):

I'm watching the Cubs game, and Steve Stone just suggested that the perfect solution for MLB's security problems is a simple one: three police dogs on the field for every game.

I don't think Stone is kidding, but I can't imagine how police dogs would solve anything. Can a police dog really tell the difference between a crazed Roger Clemens and a crazed drunken idiot?

There are really only two "solutions." We can construct screens between the fans and the players, or we can do more to eliminate the amount of alcohol consumed by the "fans" sitting near the field.

Unfortunately, the first of these solutions is lousy for the fans, and the second is lousy for the owners' wallets. So instead we'll have a flurry of supposed concern from MLB, and then we'll go back to business as usual.

File that under: Sad, But True.

1:32 PM

How'd they do it?

Another one from Rob Neyer. This time he breaks down how the Royals and Pirates built their early winning teams.

He also warns their fans not to pre-order their post-season tickets, however.

There's a significantly better chance that both the Royals and Pirates will finish fourth rather than first or even second. But Allard Baird and Dave Littlefield both deserve credit, because at least they've got their teams headed in the right direction.

And that's more then they could say a year ago.

1:24 PM

Rob Neyer's 2 NL favorites

Rob Neyer has already jumped off of the Diamondbacks bandwagon right onto the Giants'.

And for the Diamondbacks, the wild card is where the action remains. The Phillies are going to run away and hide in the East, ditto for the Giants in the West. But otherwise, none of the projected contenders have played particularly well.

To count out the D-backs and Braves in their respective divisions sounds crazy . . . but if the Giants and Phillies do run away, the wild card will be interesting between those two and the NL Central Division also-rans.

1:22 PM

Can you read this?

If anyone is having any sorts of problems reading the text on my site, please let me know.

John over at OBM informed me that the text is a bit "thin" on his computer (is he still using a Mac? Perhaps that has something to do with it). Seeing as this is the first I've heard of it I wanted to know if anyone else is straining to read my witty banter.

I have verified that my text color is non-dithering (thanks to John for the link - it's a good one), but if it's difficult to read, it's still no good to me. Perhaps a color formatting change is in order.

So anyway, let me know, and we'll go from there. Thanks in advance.

12:51 PM

Strobe Lights and Blown Speakers (Part 2)

So as it turns out, Ben Poshluch (of the above referenced site) also has a developing Giants Blog! It's called The Yannigan, which means rookie or young, raw baseball player. The Southpaw loves words that are primarily used in conjunction with baseball, and most things relating to the Giants, so this site is off to a good start.

Here's a little taste:

The Kurt Ainsworth for ROY buzz starts here. Yeah, he's giving up a lot of homers, but the only numbers the voters look at are wins and losses, and this offense is going to score Mr. Ainsworth a good number of runs.

He'll win it if Foppert doesn't. I am pleased to say that I did catch the second inning of Jesse Foppert's debut in relief on ESPN monday night, and I was, to say the least, impressed. One thing you look at with pitchers is "is the guy awkward on the mound?" Foppert looked like he wasn't even trying to throw that filthy stuff up there. It was effortless. Beautiful. I had immediate confidence in him. This guy's gonna be a good one.

He may go right out and give up 6 runs in his next outing, but this guy is gonna dominate. Absolutely dominate

For more, check it out!

Also, his link will be switched from Strobe Lights and Blown Speakers to The Yannigan, and upgraded to the bench from misc links section.

12:44 PM

NOT good news

Rob Nen will undergo shoulder surgery. Nen will be having a diagnostic arthroscopy on his right shoulder this Friday. appears the team's all-time save leader could be out a month or longer.

Worse-case scenario: the entire season

The timing isn't the best, but it could be worse. The Giants have been rolling to start this season out (13-2), so if they need to be without his services, now would be the time (obviously ignoring the fact that this past offseason would have been better). As long as the Giants can continue their great play without Nen, they will not need to rush him back and he will more likely be back healthier then if they pushed him too hard.

On a side note, Nen is on one of my Fantasy teams . . . and I need the saves bad. Here's hoping (for both reasons) that he comes back in 4-6 weeks.

9:03 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2003  

Strobe Lights and Blown Speakers

I just found out that one of my top referers is a site called Strobe Lights and Blown Speakers. It looks like a personal blog (as opposed to a sports-related blog), and the author, Ben Posluch, appears to be a Giants fan. Thanks for the referrals Ben!

Reading his blog clued me into something interesting about the Google buyout of Blogger:

    Ever since Google bought Blogger, the ads at the top of the page reflect the subjects you write on.

    For example, I wrote about espresso beans a few days ago, and now there's an ad up there for them.

    For some reason, I find this very amusing

So do I. I think I'll keep an eye out for that.

Perhaps I'll start writing about things I'm looking at buying so that I'll have the ads posted on top of my site: Cheap Steelcase Ergonomic Chairs

12:14 PM

My second favorite blog is back!

That's right, the Baseball News Blog is back, after a Southpaw-ish hiatus.

This is the site that I half-modeled The Southpaw after. A great place to get a quick-fix on what's out there in the baseball world on the internet.

Thanks to OBM for letting me know that it's back up and running.

Also note the change in the lineup, reflecting BNB's return, and my love of Giants Blogs.

11:32 AM

Monday, April 14, 2003  

Please welcome your Oak Francisco Giant A's

Peter Gammons has a column about the Giants organization and how well it's worked, especially with the loss of personnel after making a run at those World Series rings. It's a good read, so check it out.

What really intrigued me, however, was his final comment:

If it ever came down to another Bay Bridge Series, not only would it be a testament to contrasting philosophies, but would be a reminder to Bay Area fans how lucky they are to have two of the best teams in baseball on a combined payroll that is less than that of the New York Yankees.

First of all, I've been waiting for the next Bay Bridge Series since '89, so that the Giants can exact revenge and sweep the A's . . . but that's not even the most interesting part of this comment.

In a league threatened with contraction (at least until the CBA was signed), and rumors of the A's moving to Anaheim . . . what if the Giants and A's just combined, and created one Bay Area team? Of course the idea is ludicrous, but isn't that on of the things that bloggers are supposed to comment on?

So, without further ado, here's the projected line-up for the 2004-2005 Bay Area Athletic Giants:

25(/26)-man roster

C - Benito Santiago
1B - Erubiel Durazo
2B - Edgardo Alfonso
SS - Rich Aurilia (unless Tejada stays)
3B - Eric Chavez
LF - Jermaine Dye
CF - Ray Durham
RF - Jose Cruz, Jr.
DH - Barry Bonds

(Rich Aurilia)
Scott Hatteburg
Mark Ellis

5-Man Rotation:
Barry Zito
Jason Schmidt
Mark Mulder
Tim Hudson
Kirk Rueter

Relief Pitchers:
Damian Moss
Ted Lilly
Kurt Ainsworth
Jesse Foppert
Rich Harden
Tim Worrell
Felix Rodriguez

Rob Nen
Keith Foulke

All for less the what the New York Yankees are paying!

Now I know that this is a very pitching-heavy 25-man roster . . . but think of the trades that would be possible with the players left off, along with some strong pitching talent added. Trade a few pitchers and make a run a Vlad perhaps?

Then again, your results may vary (in fact I'm sure that they would vary), but it's an interesting exercise in futility.

And it's fun! It's like Fantasy Baseball come to life!

5:44 PM

Not to be Outdone, Jesse Ventura started a Boy Band

In an off-baseball note, reports that "The Great Sasuke", a Japanese wrestler, has won a spot on a local assembly, and will wear his wrestling mask in office.

"This is my face," the wrestler -- known as "The Great Sasuke" -- was quoted by the Nikkan Sports newspaper as saying of his black and white full-face mask with bright scarlet streaks and golden wings by the eye holes. "I won support from voters with this face, and to take it off would be breaking promises."

I don't know what's stranger, the fact that a politician will wear a "literal" mask or that he's actually concerned with breaking promises.

10:35 AM

A Little Bit 'O Humor

Playing MVP Baseball 2003, I laugh every time Jesse Foppert pitches. You see, he wasn't in the rosters for the game initially, so I created him as a player.

The problem? When I was creating the player, I was thinking about Jerome Williams first, and then named him Jesse Foppert.

For those of you who aren't familiar with these up-and-comers . . . let's just say that Williams is a tad more "tanned" then Foppert.

As in, a lot.

9:05 AM

File Under: Things I Never Thought I'd Hear

This article over at has the jaw-dropping title: Bernard to the rescue.

And yes, they're talking about Marvin Bernard.

Benard had just three at-bats this season before entering the game in a double switch before the 12th. A few minutes before his big hit, Benard made a spectacular throw from right field to third base, throwing out Todd Hundley to hurt Los Angeles' final rally.


"The ball slipped out of my hand,'' Benard said. "I didn't even realize I had him until I heard everybody making noise. ... (The hit) was lucky, too. If I'm not lucky, the wind knocks that ball down and it gets caught.''

Doesn't that just sound perfect, coming from him? Great play out there Marvin, how did it feel? "It slipped out of my hand. I was trying to hit the cutoff man."

But even better was this quote by Shawn Green, while describing the play of the dodger blue.

We have to start playing better. ... We're playing just good enough to lose right now. We have to do a better job if we want to deal with those guys. It's that simple.

Yes, it is.

8:47 AM

Thursday, April 10, 2003  

Fun with databases

Here's an interesting article by Alan Schwarz over at about players in the pros and who signed them.

Of note is how terrible the Giants rank since 1990, and how excellent USC ranks in every category for players coming out of college.

5:58 PM

It was bound to happen

The Giants have called up 22-year old Jesse Foppert, according to

The news emanated from Fresno, and although the Giants acknowledged the callup to the 25-man roster, there was no immediate word on what action the club would take.

Starter Ryan Jensen has endured two poor outings, including giving up eight runs in two-plus innings in Wednesday's 15-11 win over San Diego. The Giants have maintained Foppert will only be used as a starter.

That may change because the club has used an average of more than three relievers over the first nine games.

We shall see.

5:39 PM

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

Missing Information

Well, in my haste to make my last post, I forgot to post the research to further explain the 9-vs-7-game series question.

I found this article, which explains the beginnings of the World Series and has some great WS details. It lists the results from every World Series from 1903-2002, as well as a list of WS MVPs from 1955-2002 (one of which was for the losing team - 1960 Bobby Richardson, NY, 2B). And if you're looking for more information, scroll to the bottom and you can continue through to the All-Time World Series Leaders, from which you can go to the League Championship Series history, etc.

The linked article also explains the fact that 1919 was an exception, since only the first world series was a 9-game affair until 1919 (and then only for three years: 1919-1921). That means that there have been exactly four 9-game series' ever.

The moral of the story, I guess, is that I'm not as much of an idiot as I had previously thought.

On an interesting side-note, the Giants owners at the time refused to play Boston in what would have been the second ever world series, only to change their minds the following year to play Philidelphia (in the first 7-game series):

The 1904 NL champion New York Giants refused to play Boston the following year [after the first World Series], so there was no Series. Giants' owner John T. Brush and his manager John McGraw both despised AL president Ban Johnson and considered the junior circuit to be a minor league. By the following year, however, Brush and Johnson had smoothed out their differences and the Giants agreed to play Philadelphia in a best-of-7 game series.

The Giants beat the A's in that series 4 games to 1, just in case you were wondering.

8:37 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Reader Response, A.K.A. Reasons I'm an Idiot

Jonathon Leshanski responded to my e-mail to inform me that the 1919 World Series was a 9-game series, unlike the 7-game series that we're used to today. My bad.

Actually it was a 9 game affair back in those days. Thats all you are missing. I thing the first year of the 7 game world series happened in the late 30's or during WW II. I'll give the rest of the details in the next two parts.

But more impressive then that, was that an actual reader (regular or otherwise) wrote in to help as well! And the best part of the reader e-mail was that I found a new blog in the process. Jason Steffens runs The Clark & Addison Chronicle, which many will instantly recognize as a Cubs Blog (Wrigley Field).

Check it out!

1:31 PM

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Review comming

After a binge weekend playing EA Sports' MVP Baseball 2003 . . . I've got a lot to say. Put simply, it's the best baseball game I've played in a long time . . . although admittedly I haven't played many of the newer ones that are out there.

A few highlights worth mentioning:

Crowd Chants

    * M-V-P when Bonds comes up

    * O-ver-ra-ted when opposing star comes up (the best is when they chant it to Kent at Pac Bell Park)

    * Deafening cheers during big rallies

AI Baserunning
    * The tips say that they run conservatively, but it doesn't seem too conservative. I think they take just about the right number of chances in most cases.

    * There are Picture-in-Picture windows for each baserunner, and you can control specific runners. This is great for sending one runner and not all of them (a big problem in many older baseball games).

No Warming Up For RPs
    * The bane of my existance in baseball games is having to warm up pitchers in the bullpen before bringing them in. I don't think it's a bad feature per se, but for me it always hurts more then it helps. I'll wait one batter too late to start warming up a guy in the pen, and before he gets warm I get out of the situation one way or another, and then forget about him in the pen while I'm batting. Then the next inning comes around and my pitcher still sucks and now the guy in the pen is tired too, and he hasn't thrown a single pitch in-game! Note: This feature may or may not appeal to purists

Computer-to-Computer Trading
    * A first for me in video games . . . the computer teams frequently trade with each other! And I'm not talking about scrubs-for-scrubs deals either. So far in my league, many middle-teir starters have changed teams . . . the most interesting of which was Russ Ortiz getting shipped out to San Diego.

    * And speaking of trading, Reggie Sanders, Kenny Lofton, and Livan Hernandez were all on the Giants roster . . . so they were all promptly shipped out for good role players.

    * Nothing new here, except that I guess I pushed Jason Schmidt too long into his second outing, and he tore his right should muscle in the 7th and is out for 55 days. Pretty interesting for the first week of the season.

Madden-style Franchise
    * Being EA, they made the Franchise mode much like Madden 2003. Most absent (at least in season one) is Spring Training Games/Drills, but there are Team goals that you need to complete not in a season, but over a 10-year span. Some of the goals for the Giants include: 4 seasons with a .600 winning percentage or better; 800 career team wins; 5 pitchers with 10 or more wins in a season; etc. The great part is that the goals are different for each team, so if you play as a lower quality team - such as the Expos or Brewers - the winning percentages and win totals are lower.

    * Each team has three rivals that they play against, and when you play rivals your momentum meter will raise moreso then against regular teams (momentum makes you play better when you sim a game instead of actually playing it . . . 162 games is a lot to play, especially when you're playing a 10 season Franchise).

Maybe I'll put together an actual review later, but I like the bullet-point details the best.

More to come as I get deeper into my Franchise.

6:17 PM

Black Sox Scandal 4 Dummies

No, not really . . . but Jonathon Leshanski from At Home Plate has posted a detailed explanation titled, What Every Baseball Fan Should Know: The Black Sox Scandal Part 1 (of 3).

This first installment goes over the people involved. My only question, "How can two starting pitchers go a combined 1-5?"

I've sent an e-mail to them, but if anyone reading this knows, please let me know.

5:53 PM

Thursday, April 03, 2003  

Southpaw's favorites

I've received an e-mail or two about some good posts that I've had in the past. This has gotten me to thinking (which is always dangerous).

So I'll be adding a new section on the right for The Southpaw's Favorite Posts (listed under Southpaw's Best).

If you have a favorite, please let me know . . . and it'll probably be added (I trust others opinions about my writing over my own in many cases, since my opinion is completely skewed, either too positive or too negative).

Thanks in advance for your help!

10:47 PM

Review to come, I hope

I just picked up EA Sports' MVP Baseball 2003 for Playstation 2. I was debating between it and 989 Sports' MLB 2004 (I was a fan of the MLB series on the PS1).

If anyone has played one (or preferably both) of these games, please e-mail me and let me know what you think.

I'm planning on getting some time in this weekend playing and hopefully have some sort of review up by Monday, but we'll see what happens. If I get any e-mail responses, I'll gladly incorporate them into my post.

10:44 PM

Is this new?

I've seen many people linking this Peter Gammons column about Barry Bonds and David Eckstein.

Was I the only one who read Gammons' columns while this was reported months ago (here's one from February 22, 2003, and I swear I read about it before that as well but I couldn't find another link)? I didn't know that this was new information.

Maybe they're all just posting it because it's a very interesting read, but the comments that have been made lead me to believe that they're more shocked about it then I think they should be. Then again, maybe it just didn't seem as big of a deal to everyone else at the time as it did to me (or people just weren't as glued to ESPN's off-season baseball coverage as I was . . . which is likely).

Anyway, here's my favorite quote (regarding Eckstein's batting style that Bonds has assimilated into the collective):

"It's all in the first three inches," [Eckstein] said, "starting the swing, keeping my hands in."

Barry needs a quicker bat like I need more fat in my diet. I can't believe that there are still people out there who think that he's as good as he is because of Steroids.


10:16 PM

Here's my first opinion

Derek Jeter is going to get a second opinion on his shoulder . . . and the results haven't even been given yet (publicly at least). This can only mean bad news.

If he tries to let it heal and it doesn't, then he'll either risk his career (worst case) or completely lose the season and post-season (after having a late surgery).

I'm not a Yankees fan, but I hope that he makes a full recovery . . . be it this season or next.

Maybe it's a blessing in disguise for the Bronx Bombers. If Almonte turns out to be a star, then they might not have even known it had Jeter played all season. Before Jeter's injury, he looked like a piece to a mid-season trade due to NYY's middle infield being locked up, but maybe now they move him to third or trade him straight up for another gamer.

And that's all they need.

10:06 PM

Wouldn't affect A-Rod

More news on the (on-going) Miguel Tejada saga.

Miguel appearantly stated that if he's getting a contract in Oaktown, that he wants it before the season's over. Thanks. At least that won't be hanging over the team all season.

Here's where A's management stands currently:

[I]f Tejada's agent approaches the team with a contract proposal for more than one year, it would be considered, [A's Co-Owner Steve] Schott said. But Tejada's agents have asked the team to make the first offer.

Tejada, having some fun with the media told them:

"If I can make an offer I'll ask for $500 million."

My first thought was, "Well, I bet A-Rod would like that." I was of course referring to his escalator clause, which ensures that he is the highest paid player in baseball, from which I remember someone - I just wish I could remember who - reporting that he would top any deal by $1.00. So I looked it up, and I was (almost) completely wrong.

A-Rod's escalator clause is only in affect in the last two seasons of his deal . . . as reported here by the USA Today:

Team must increase salaries for 2009 and 2010 by the higher of $5 million or $1 million greater than the average annual value of the non-pitcher with highest annual average value.

So there you have it kiddies. Unless Miggie gets his $500,000,000 (or more realistically anything over $27 million per - which is still a huge reach) to stretch over at least a six year span, then A-Rod won't get the free raise.

9:52 PM


I like ESPN Page 2's Ralph Wiley. He talks a lot about basketball and football, but he started his career out with America's Pasttime. One of these days, I'll finally get around to reading his Biography of Eric Davis (Born to Play: The Eric Davis Story).

So anyway, Ralph Wiley had a column about Erick Almonte. The funny thing about this article is that it was written on March 26 (or at least that's when it was posted). He referred to Almonte as the Yankee's secret weapon, and also had this to say about him:

Almonte, the Yankees Secret Weapon, is destined not to play in the big leagues, at least not for the Yankees, not at shortstop. Unless he can move to third or the outfield, when he makes the big leagues it'll be for somebody else, having been traded for more pitching, or as part of a negotiation when Cashman, Tom Hagen to Steinbrenner's Corleone, makes some other feeder club an offer they can't refuse.

The only thing he doesn't mention . . . the previously unthinkable.

In this same column he also gives out his predictions for the season. My favorite quote was regarding the Houston Astros:

...Houston may have rotation-depth problems. Love Oswalt's stuff and demeanor, but after him, eh. And you're depending on Jeff Kent not to cause abrasions in the clubhouse? Ohhh-keh.

But Barry was always the problem, right? Sure Jeffrey.

Note: I just double-checked Kent's birth name to make sure that I had correctly assumed that his whole first name was Jeffrey, and realized that his initials are JFK (Jeffrey Frank Kent). . . strange.

9:35 PM

Wednesday, April 02, 2003  

Door not slammed on Tejada

This ESPN article, talks about how the A's don't want the door closed on the possibility of keeping Miguel Tejada on The Low-Budget All Stars.

Is it really that much of a story?

I understand that A's mangement (sorry, co-owner Steve Schott) stated that they wouldn't be offering him a long-term contract after this season, but doesn't one immediately assume that a short or mid-term contract would be in the offering? I do, but maybe I'm in the minority.

Personally, I'm not convinced that Tejada leaves the A's after this season (barring a trade of course). He was signed as an undrafted Free Agent at 17, and has spent his entire career in Oakland. He came up with these guys, and doesn't really want to leave. I think that he's probably more concerned with bringing his kids into the states then getting the biggest payday. I see Tejada staying with the A's unless they rediculously lowball him . . . which doesn't exactly fit the A's style.

And besides, I don't think that they're convinced that they can lose another MVP and stay Top Tier. That being said, if push comes to shove, look for Eric Chavez to get the contract first. I know I'm not the first to say it, but I've believed that all along.

Maybe Elephants in Oakland will have some more information on this in the next few days.

1:15 PM


John is back in the saddle at Only Baseball Matters.

Good news for sports fans, great news for Giants fans.

12:52 PM

Tuesday, April 01, 2003  

It's ALIVE!!!!

After not posting since the Giants won their season opener . . . my posts are back up live again.

There was a little problem with me and a missing " in a hyperlink . . . but even after I fixed that it still wouldn't publish. AND my Archives & Fantasy Links mysteriously vanished.

But all appears normal . . . for now.

2:24 PM

Forgive my ignorance

Rob Nen is on the 15-Day DL, meaning that I am a retard because I didn't even know about it.

9:01 AM

Test see if Blogger will publish my posts.

8:59 AM


Hopefully I won't have any serious difficulties, but Blogger's been giving me problems.

More as it develops.

8:48 AM
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