Sunday, September 20, 2009

Football- 3 weeks through September

There is much to be said about playing a SEC team (Tennessee) who sets out to to prove to the #1 team in the land (Florida) that they are a worthy opponent. Being a Gator fan, I walked out of yesterday's game happy in more ways than one. They won a sloppy, gritty, hard-fought game and if Tennessee had a mere mediocre quarterback the outcome could have been different. Facing obstacles like a team stricken with the flu and the inability to throw ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage (against an NFL style defense), the Gators proved they can win any type of game.

The 09-10 Florida Gators are on a mission to become the only undefeated team that this school has ever seen. Each of the three championships have seen one loss--FSU in '96, Auburn in '06, and Ole Miss in '08. Make this team one-dimensional and they still can pull out the victory. The real test comes October 10 in Baton Rouge against LSU at 8 p.m.

Why is Grey's Anatomy still nominated for this bullshit (Emmy Nomination). Nobody likes that show anymore. Is this a stream of consciousness? Why doesn't LOST win it all?

Anyway, Sunday Night Football pits the Giants v. Cowboys in a standard early season NFC East Battle. So though 1 week and 14 1/2 games of week 2, what have we seen? NOTHING. The 13-3 Tennessee Titans of '08, begin 0-2 losing to the Steelers and TEXANS! These same Texans who could not gain a first down against the 2-0 NY Jets. Also, how the hell does San Francisco go 2-0 beating the Seahawks and Cardinals (two divisional games), that's crazy! Most surprising thing I have seen so far is...the Dolphins committing 4 turnovers against the Falcons in week 1. And that brings me to Monday Night Football with the Colts v. Dolphins. Miami has not won a prime time game since 2004- 57 weeks (thanks to the Sun-Sentinel for that stat).

As for other news in football...the Miami Hurricanes are close to being back. Ranked #9 in the AP Poll may be high, but beating two ranked teams says something about your team. I will the say that talent is 90% of winning in College Football and Miami usually has the most on any given field.

Thanks to Eric Berry, Lane & Monte Kiffin for giving the Gators the "scare" they needed to get things right for the rest of the season! I look forward to the coming weeks and a possible inters-state match up in Pasadena, that is if The "U" has come back full circle. HAAAAAAA, I am getting WAY to ahead of myself. Let's just beat Kentucky in Lexington next week and the Heisman is like winning NL MVP, WHO GIVES A SHIT? The goal is the crystal ball, and nothing else, actually the SEC Title first.


Peace, for now until later.

- Aaron

Go Fins, Heat, Panthers, the Fish. Low payroll and all, still better than the Braves and Mets.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baseball Numbers

I like to think that I know a lot about what I am talking. Here's the thing though, when speaking about baseball the numbers don't lie. So in baseball, if you don't know what you are talking about, then you REALLY have no clue. I discussed awhile ago how managers, more often then not, make decisions based on the numbers and averages.

In the early 2000s Billy Beane (Oakland A's GM) was the talk of the baseball world with his ability to consistently put a winning product on the field with a low payroll. Unfortunately the A's never made it past the ALCS, and now have come back to the medicrity, and are no longer contenders. Why? Pitching. Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Houston Street are all gone and the A's have missed on many prospects they got in return.

I digress. The point I wanted to make is, that the Billy Beane's Moneyball theory was based on on-base-percentage. Basically, people who get on base with a high percentage, are extremely valuable to an offense's success. This instead of looking mainly at batting average for a batter's success rate.

OK, so to my point. As GM the bullpen might be the most overlooked unit with the exception of Closer. How does one tell whether or not a bullpen pitcher is successful as what they do? I think it must be more then just their ERA, which is a stat that at times can hide one's deficiencies.

I begin with WHIP. Walk + Hits per Innings Pitched. Having a WHIP lower then 1.40 is good, but the best pitchers hover around 1-1.10. Potential Cy Young winner in the NL Dan Haren's is 0.94 RIDICULOUS. The real stat to determine bullpen guy's success is their inherited runners stranded. What is better then a guy a gets the out he needs in a major spot, because guys are on base. This stat is not covered on any site with regularity. I found this online. Some Dodger fan HATES Guerillmo Mota, which as a former Marlin, he loved to let runners score when he came in relief.

So let's come up with a better way of quantifying a relief pitcher's success. WHIP + Inherited Runners Stranded is definitely the right start.

Peace, for now until later.


New York Times