The Southpaw south·paw (southpô)
A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
I recently upgraded to a nice HDTV. Unfortunately, I only get 7 channels of HDTV. Since the NBA playoffs are currently been on ESPN, I've been able to see a few games on ESPNHD (I was also able to see some local HD broadcasts of Kings games -before they choked- as well). They look great. You get a chance to see MORE of what's going on, since you're not constantly tied down to just the ball-carrier (or a nose-bleed sky view). I've been wondering what baseball would look like in Hi Definition, and last night I got part of an answer.
My HD cable package includes two INHD (In HD, get it?) channels, and they show a grab-bag of programming so that you can appreciate just how great HDTV is (and don't get me started about how Europe is already COMPLETELY digital, and I have 7 channels).
So anyway, last night I got to watch #19 Arizona State play Arizona in some good old metal-bat college baseball . . . and I felt like I was in Arizona. I know a lot of this has to do with the college telecast, since they weren't putting up graphics every 3 seconds, and they were using different camera angles (I imagine because they were limited with the number of cameras), but I really felt an immersion that I haven't felt watching baseball on TV in YEARS. And during a commercial break, they mentioned that INHD shows 3 MLB games EACH WEEK!
I've put some reminders on Atlanta at Philly, so if I'm home at 5pm today or tomorrow then I'll REALLY get a chance to check it out. If the Giants were shown regularly on HDTV, I don't think I'd be as disenchanted as I think I have been so far this season (it odd how a terrible off-season can REALLY bring you down when the season starts . . . but that's a rant for another day).
Comcast . . . PLEASE bring me MLBTV! And everyone else, PLEASE start broadcasting in HD, the difference is astounding.
Just one day after my post about the lack of a San Francisco pitcher on ESPN's Best Pitched Games list, Jason Schmidt nabs the #2 spot in the NL by throwing a 1-hitter (with 13 Ks) against the Cubbies.
This WOULD have been the best performance to date (topping Ben Sheets' 18-K performance), except for a certain unit of largeness allowing 1 less hit, and 1 less walk, and just as many stikeouts.
A quick comparison...
Not too shabby.
Editor's Note: The most amazing thing to me about Randy Johnson's perfect game is that he only allowed ONE BATTER to get to a 3-ball count. That means he wasn't even CLOSE (save for once) to breaking up his perfect game with a walk.7:56 AM
Monday, May 17, 2004
Best Pitched Games
ESPN.com has a page dedicated to the Best Pitched Games of 2004 (there are also links for 2002 & 2003, but no data as of this posting).
Not surprisingly, there isn't a Giants pitcher to be found anywhere (save for the previous day's game scores).
The article, like many before it, claims that the strategy is actually BENEFICIAL to the Giants, and references a Bill James study in the process.
LOGICALLY, I understand that having a batter (ANY batter) put on base consistently for free is helpful. Then I look at the standings, or watch a random (and currently RARE) game . . . it seems to handicap the Giants more then help them.
Maybe there are outside factors that statistically cannot (at least yet) be measured. Perhaps the Giants hitters have it in their head that they cannot win if Barry is walked every time. Maybe it's demoralizing to have your "Clean-Up" hitter not swinging his bat. Maybe if Barry was in the 2- or 3-spot, it would give the Giants a boost because of a mental change.
I remember John Perricone (of Only Baseball Matters fame) stating that he thought Benito Santiago hit as good as his spot in the lineup. That is, if he was batting 4th, he'd hit well and for power; if he was batting 8th, he'd hit poorly (if this is incorrect, please e-mail me).
Perhaps this is similar to what is happening with the 2004 Giants. Maybe they feel that their hitting is directly related to Barry's walk-rate.
Then again, maybe logic will win out, and in the long baseball season ahead the numbers will equalize and the Giants will again be competing in the post-season . . . where Billy Beane says it's a "crap shoot", so anything can happen.
Editor's Note: Southpaw Junior can stand on his own, as long as he get's some help with his balance. At 7-weeks, he's shattered the suggested age of 3-months for this accomplishment like Barry is on pace to do to the IBB Record. If this keeps up he'll be swinging a bat in no time. He won't, however, be ready for a September call-up.
The Southpaw is still waiting on the "Real Protection for Barry" bandwagon . . . but there is no driver to be seen, and the wheels are questionable as well.
As recently as last winter, I thought I saw Gary Sheffield and Vlad the Impaler walk by, but it must have been an illusion, because now all I see are guys like Young, Hammonds, et. al. just standing in front of said wagon, like a roadblock.
Rob Nen may be running out of options. Currently, he could be pointed to as the reason that the Giants didn't get a bat this winter (or last for that matter), since his MILLIONS are on the books while his arm is apparently in the witness protection program.
What I keep wondering is if they could have tried a buyout or outright waiver. I understand that it would almost be foolish to claim someone who was recovering from surgery (I'm talking about 2003), but the Yankees signed Liber after Tommy John Surgery, so anything's possible.
This quote from Stan Conte made me laugh out loud:
"If he wants to keep going until 2010, I'll keep going."
I'm glad that Stan cares about his players and all, but I hope Nen's not on the payroll in 2010.
david aardsma, rhp roger whitaker, rhp jeffery jennings, c nathan schierholtz, 3b brian buscher, 3b brooks mcniven, rhp mike wagner, lf william sadler, rhp patrick misch, lhp timothy hutting, ss kellen ludwig, rhp jesse schmidt, of
jeffery peterson, rhp ryan sadowski, rhp nick conte, c sean martin, rhp j thurmond, rhp michael mooney, of marcus sanders, ss patrick dobson, of jonathan coutlangus, cf raul rodriguez, c
sean watson, rhp nathan fogle, rhp michael kunes, lhp brian wilson, rhp nolan mulligan, rhp douglas coon, lhp omar aguilar, rhp roberto gonzalez, cf daniel desouza, cf derek barrow, 3b
eduardo baeza, rhp oscar gonzalez, cf travis nesmith, lhp cody mcallister, rhp tyson brummett, rhp timothy alvarez, lhp shannon wirth, rhp jordan hafer, 1b michael price, c dylan gonzalez, rhp
michael johnston, lhp luis martinez, c mike bell, c john odom, rhp james braden, rhp brandon federici, lhp thomas correa, ss matthew berezay, of douglas fister, rhp james popp, rhp