Mediocy: The A-Rod Book, The Joba "Story"

Anyone who reads this blog with any sort of regularity is aware of the fact that I am not a big fan of the media. There are exceptions, but for the most part I find that they manipulate stories and people to fit their own ends, which is to create controversy where there may be none and sell papers. This morning, two wonderful examples came to my attention. The first, about the changed release date on Selena Roberts’ book, comes via ESPN:

Selena Roberts’ unauthorized “A-Rod” was originally planned for May, then was moved up to mid-April after Roberts, a Sports Illustrated reporter, broke the news that the Yankees slugger had tested positive for steroids back in 2003.

But with Roberts needing more time for the book — which has been completed and was sent to the printer this week — publication was pushed back to late April and now is planned for May 12, according to publisher HarperCollins.

Do they really expect anybody to buy such a vague excuse?… Click here to read the rest

Wait ’til Next Year

In a season which began so promisingly with the signing of the top three free agents on the market, it was particularly sad to have the once mighty New York Yankees’ season hopes ended Monday by the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

Despite record breaking seasons by Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter, who both hit for incredible averages of .677 and .600 respectively, the Yanks were ultimately undone by their two big signings of Mark Teixeira, who failed to get a single hit all season, and CC Sabathia (who could have possibly predicted a horrific 12.46 2009 ERA from the big lefty?

The Yankees’ 2009 hopes were also damaged by A-Rod never returning from his surgery as well as A.J. Burnett failing to make a single start in Pinstripes. It looks like those Pavano comparisons were dead on.

Many fans are sure to question manager Joe Girardi’s inexplicable decision to not start Nick Swisher in right field, when all the man did was bat 1.000 for the season with stunning OPS of 3.000!!… Click here to read the rest

Umpires Call Game Differently Based On Count?

The Baseball Analysts did a fascinating study on umpires and their pitch calling based on the count. The findings were fairly surprising:

So the effect of count is indeed significant. In fact, all else equal, each strike in the count decreases the likelihood of a pitch being called a strike the same amount as a pitch being one inch further away from the center of the zone (roughly equal estimates). The number of balls is also significant but the effect is less than half of that of the number of strikes (you can see in the image of strike zone area above, area decreases more as you increase strikes than it increases as you increase balls). The length of break is also significant, pitches with lots of break are slightly more likely to be called a strike. Once we control for break and count there is no significant difference in how the strike zone is called to different pitch types.

This shows two things, one of which is surprising and the other is not.… Click here to read the rest

Joba DUI Video Released

Well, he wasn’t nearly as bad as Tony LaRussa, who’s DUI video revealed the hammered Cardinals manager had fallen asleep at a traffic light with his foot on the brake and the car still in gear. The ensuing footage had LaRussa unable to complete the alphabet without singing like a proud three year-old.

For Joba Chamberlain, however, the sobriety test was much less embarrassing as the 23 year-old nearly came off OK according to a video obtained by the Smoking Gun – OK, that is, until the “walk the line” test.

I guess this is the type of stuff baseball junkies qualify as news when today is an off-day between an opening day loss and the second game of the season.… Click here to read the rest