The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Onion sucks, and has for years. As a replacement -- at least for the baseball fan -- I offer the Baseball Tonight Weblog. It features a wealth of celebrity authors:

Barry Bonds:

Book Club: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

... But there is one volume that I feel is particularly relevant to my current struggles, and I have become quite taken with it. That book is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I'd like to thank my friend Terrell Owens for recommending it to me.

For those of you not familiar with Ayn Rand, she is the founder of the philosophy of Objectivism, which is all about getting paid despite the obstacles thrown in your way by lesser beings, most especially the media. Ms. Rand herself suffered many setbacks in her career. Her writings were continually refused by benighted publishers, she was consistently messed around by the media, and she was forced to breast-feed a young Alan Greenspan until he was well into his 20s. Then, after she died, all of her manuscripts were stolen by Congress. I can relate. ...

Barry Zito (with Scott Hatteberg):

Fantasy Baseball Advice

Q: A GM in my league wants to take Jake Peavy off my hands in exchange for Keith Foulke. I could use a better closer but other than his save numbers, I don't think Foulke is pitching well. I rejected the trade but he offered it again a few days later. I rejected it again, and yesterday he offered it for a third time. He's insisting that Peavy is young and therefore more unpredictable, whereas Foulke is a consistent year-to-year performer and therefore isn't as much of a risk. Should I rethink this deal?

Tom H., Milwaukee, WS

Barry Zito: Your friend is seriously uptight, man. He's pestering you all the time and that negative energy isn't healthy for you, or for your team. You can't talk baseball with this dude until he chills out a bit. Tell him to veg, listen to some Ben Folds, and relax for a while. Once that happens, you guys can work on improving your teams together.

Scott Hatteberg: Unfortunately, you haven't provided us with much information here. So I can't make a fully informed decision, but I can give you some useful advice. You didn't say what the GM's name is, so I'll call him Joe. You'll need to gather information on every trade that Joe has made over the last three or four years. For each previous trade between you and Joe, assign a number based on the following ranking system:

0 - trade worked out strongly in his favour
1 - trade worked out mildly in his favour
2 - trade worked out evenly
3 - trade worked out mildly in your favour
4 - trade worked out strongly in your favour

You'll need a minimum of five or six trades between you and Joe in order to have a meaningful sample size for the calculation. Average the ratings for all trades between you and Joe. Then, assign similar ratings for Joe's trades with everybody else in the league, and take the average. Now, subtract the league average score from your average score, ...

And the tastefully named Gregg Easterbrook:

Stat of the Week #1

May 25: Joe Blanton, Oakland Anaerobics.
0.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 0 K, 1 BB, 32 pitches.

Ye gads! Blanton's start (against Tampa Bay, no less) was Paul Wilson-esque in its inauspiciousness, and provided immediate fuel to Billy Beane's detractors, who immediately claimed, with great relish, that the A's were eternally doomed for trading away two of their Big Three in the off-season.



Cubs at Dodgers, May 31. Cubbie who-dat Michael Wuertz on the hill, game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth. Dodgers right fielder Jayson Werth draws a leadoff walk. Next up is slugger J.D. Drew, he of the .390 career OBP and .898 career OPS. Drew is a patient, selective left-handed hitter, known for his great ability to draw walks and get on base. Wuertz is a decent middle reliever, but allows lefties to hit him at a .300 clip. Surely, the eight innings of one-hit ball provided by Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano are for naught! Surely, the Dodgers reign triumphant - IT'S A BUNT!

Or, rather, it's two miserable attempted bunts by Drew, not normally known for his talents at sacrificing runners into scoring position. Drew eventually strikes out, Wuertz retires the side, and the Cubs go on to win.


Sweet Play of the Week

On May 28, Tigers center fielder Nook Logan robbed Jay Gibbons ("nonchalantly," reports the Baltimore Sun, as though he were chewing a toothpick at the time) of a home run at Camden Yards. It was the second time this season that Logan robbed Gibbons at Camden Yards — and the third time Logan took away a homer from Orioles batters in the four games the Tigers played in Baltimore. Is there a better record of defensive poise than Logan's against Baltimore?

Sour Play of the Week

On May 27, a line drive off the bat of Colorado right fielder struck Cubs pitcher Mark Prior in the right, fracturing Prior's elbow and possibly shelving him for the remainder of the season. Of the Cubs' troika of aces, only Carlos Zambrano remains unscathed — and ominously, Zambrano ranks second in the majors in average pitches per start.



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