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The “Five Trades or Less” Club

Team, number of trades this season, position

Swine, 0, 13th

Jose, 1, 12th

Underdogs, 5, 14th

Coach, 5, 9th


Speaks for itself.

Received Wisdom… or not…

Shifts are killing offence, right?

The case for “no”

It’s geeky, but the upshot is the author and a colleague puts all the decreased offence up to fewer walks (where the author puts most of it) and increased K’s (where the colleague puts most of it.

Scuffs give a baseball more movement right?

Well, maybe, but nobody knows how, exactly:

(Third item. BTW, you should read David Laurila’s weekly pice on FanGraphs each Suinday. Some of the best baseball writing I’ve found on the web.) 

This writer is especially interested in the comparison to cricket, because cricket’s a funny old game. You’re really not supposed to lift the seam on a cricket ball (“that’s not cricket!”) you can do just about anything else to the surface of it. Most bowlers’ (pitchers) and their teammates scuff the shit out of one side of the ball, and actively try to keep the other side shiny by polishing it. Oh and what nefarious things are in the bowlers’ pockets, that ain’t the umpire’s business. If the bowler needs a quick break to go back to the dugout to reload his pockets, that’s usually arranged.   

Extra Bases, “no sweat” edition: We got a nice shout-out from Jason Turbow over at for pointing out the second item in the Laurila article. Happy to do it. BTW, if you’re not checking Jason’s blog out weekly, you’re missing out.

New Week, New Playoff Odds

Curacao Littleleague has clinched a playoff spot.

Team, Odds to make playoffs

Slumpbusters 99%

Mendoza 95%

Frodo 91%

Nookie 45%

Shaggy 40%

Assclowns 40%

Saget 35%

Burger 30%

Coach 15%

WNM 5%

Jose  5%

Commentary: With WNM and Jose only 4 and 5.5 games out of a playoff spot, the 5% probabilities may seem too low. The secondary problem they face is that not only are they playing each other, they have to pass five or six teams to see 6th. While this week’s loser is eliminated, even a 10-4 winner might not find himself any closer to 6th if other middle-of-the-pack teams win. Last, both face teams higher in the standings next week.

Coach also suffers from strength of schedule issues, although I’ve been promised a great deal on a 77 Pinto if I roll over like a Suzuki Sidekick next week. I think my mother in law will get a bang out of the Pinto. (Did you know that “mother in law” is a perfect anagram of “woman hitler”? Try it.)

I don’t get it.

Let’s put aside one of my pet peeves (why save your best reliever for the 9th?). Reds are playing the Rox at Coors in the first of a twin bill, up 7-5 to start the 9th. Reds get Aroldis Chapman up in the pen.

Rex (Oh) Brothers comes in for the Rox, works slowly and wildly, and two runs and about 30 pitches later, it’s 9-5 Reds in the middle of the 9th.

In comes Chapman… why?

As is so often the case with closers suddenly in non-save situations, Chapman’s head wasn’t in it and he walked the first two guys he faced and went 2-0 on the next before they called out the trainer. Chapman was “fine” and ended up walking the third batter. Then he walked in the run. 9-6. Out came dumbass Reds’ manager Dusty Baker Bryan Price with his hand in his belt–that’s where the hook is.

Let’s say, just for fun, you can’t save Chapman for Game 2 after he warmed up once (why not?). By burning him with a four-run lead, and watching him hoist 28 pitches, now you probably can’t use him in St. Louis tomorrow either–a divisional game against a team you’re chasing in the last quarter of the season. 

That’s as stupid as a soup sandwich.

How does it end? JJ Hoover was called in to nail it down and after a long sac fly to make it 9-7 and a line-fly out, ex-Red Drew Stubbs cranked a 3-run home run to walk it off 10-9 for the Rox.

Extra Bags, Dutch Boy’s Soup Sandwich Edition: Rather than run out Charlie Blackmon who was set for this double-dip and is the most productive player on his roster, Dutch Boy opted to sit Blackmon in favour of Chris Johnson and Kurt Suzuki. Blackmon, .350 lifetime vs. the Reds, jacked early in Game 1 of course, which would have guaranteed our last-placed team a split against me in the HR category. Chris Johnson goes on SNB to try to save Dutch Boy’s blushes; Suzuki was a limp 0/4. 

Dutch Boy… Naked?

In an effort to force the tail end of their fantasy league to try a little harder, Deadspin reports on one league whose last-placed entrant’s “prize” was creation of a nudie calendar of, well, him being nude and copying a bunch of famous poses (maybe very slightly NSFW, if you work in a Mosque or something):

While I think our league should do this, here are some Random Observations as to maybe why we shouldn’t:

1) I don’t really want to see Dutch Boy naked. And Mendoza’s already told anyone who will listen that the carpet matches the drapes.

2) This might encourage Murray to play even worse than he usually does–annually.

3) The next time Frodo walks away and finishes last, we all run the risk of getting busted for child porn distribution

4) Saget’s never m,et any of us, but he’s guessing that most of us are worth jerking off to.

5) Even my finishing last wouldn’t be enough convince my wife to let me buy that wide angle lens my camera already needs. “Just do the moving of the camera farther back and everyone pray to Putin that no one has to look directly at you with their eyes.”

[Guest Post by Kim Jong-il] Watch my New Movie!

You may think I’m dead but I have been busy working on my new film “Dead Ball”! It’s got me, Nazis, K-Pop, and blood. Oh, and baseball. Oh, and Japs. Anyway, here’s the trailer. I make my first appearance at 0:13. (Eventually, I save the world, but come on, you knew that. Juche forever, baby!) DEAD BALL!

–L’il Kim

PS: Nookie Rules!

O-Rank: Red Herring?

No name to protect the guilty, but I’ve had a very interesting exchange on a possibility I’d never considered:

Hypothesis: Nobody really cares about O-Rank; they just use that as a crutch to say “no deal” when they have no real reason to turn down a trade but somehow fear doing it.

This never entered my mathematical head, O-Rank as just a useful excuse. If the claim is right, people like me & Saget have, in a sense, been giving our league mates far too much credit–thinking they’re using a flawed methodology when they’re not using any at all.

It’s interesting… in the cold light of day I don’t think I believe it because our league’s standard is quite high.

But it does dovetail with something I’m sure is very real–people want the league to be fun, but they just don’t need Dave’s abuse, and not trading at all is the only way to avoid it. A chilling effect. It’s kind of sad how bad it’s gotten with Dave these last three years, and I can only hope that the AA-team will continue to beat some sense into him over the weekend.

Extra Bags, Erection Edition: My cock has just been getting hard at random times for no apparent reason at all this week, or so I thought. It’s not a second adolescence, Mendoza explains: turns out it’s just a paranormal reaction to Dutch Boy’s incessant texting Mendoza in an effort to try to stay close in his matchup with me this week–“this is his World Series right here”.

Yes, having someone treat their routine Week 20 matchup with me as a World Series is, win or lose, arousing.



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