Ask OV: Because We Had a Day Off and We Haven’t Done This For a While.

In Ask OV, Commentary And Analysis by aisle42499 Comments

Many of you might have been asking, "Hey! What happened to my favorite new feature on Obstructed View? When the hell are they going to do another Ask OV?" Some of you might have been hoping that we never do another stupid Ask OV post again. Most of you probably didn't even think about Ask OV since the last time we posted one. So get ready to be enthralled, close your eyes, or just turn off your computer for awhile because here we go:

What kind of velocity does Michael Bowden have?

Excellent question, though judging from his first outing, the better question might be, "Does Michael Bowden have any clue where the ball is going when he releases it?" But to answer the original question, we'll go to the post MB wrote about Bowden shortly after the trade was completed:

He throws a 4-seamer that has averaged about 92.9 mph over his career. He also throws a slider and a changeup and every once in awhile he may throw a curve. His average fastball velocity so far this year is 92.6.

Where is Steve Bartman now?

Well, I doubt anybody knows for sure, but the blog, Cubbies Crib did an e-mail interview with someone who claims to be Steve Bartman. I've read through that Twitter feed and it doesn't sound like someone who has spent the last 8 1/2 years dodging anyone and everyone who wants a piece of his story. But whoever it is, they are dedicated to the bit, so there's that.

Why isnt Lee Smith in the Hall of Fame?

The joke answer is that he left his house to get there three years ago and is due to arrive sometime in 2015. Get it? Because he moves so slowly? Nevermind.
The real answer is probably a combination of things. For one, closers don't generally get a lot of love from the BBWAA voters. Whether that is right or not is irrelevant at this point, because it is currently true. Secondly, HOF voters do like to see post-season success and Lee doesn't have any. He appeared in two postseasons, pitched poorly in both and his teams lost. So count that against him.
Thirdly, his career, while impressive, doesn't have a a real spike of true greatness.  He has one significantly good season in 1983 where he was worth 4.5 WAR, but nothing else higher than 3.0 (which is good, but not great). Over his 18 year career, he averaged about 1.6 WAR per year. Compare that to Bruce Sutter who had 3 seasons over 4.5 WAR (including 6.3 in 1977), and averaged over 2 WAR per season.
The flipside is that he does hold up pretty well against another Hall of Fame closer, Rollie Fingers, and he held the saves career record for 13 years. But I don't think he gets in for awhile, and he better hope he gets in before Mariano Rivera is due because no closer looks good when compared to Rivera.

How much does Starlin Castro make a year?

He's making $567,000 this year, up from $440,000 last year.

Better prospect, Anthony Rizzo or Brett Jackson?

Depends who you ask. Baseball America ranks Jackson at 32 and Rizzo at 47.  Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus feels even more strongly that Jackson is better, ranking him 44, but Rizzo all the way down at 75.
Meanwhile, Keith Law at ESPN has Rizzo ranked 36 while Jackson is barely edging out Javier Baez (95) at 89. basically is calling it a push as they have Rizzo at 35 and Jackson at 36.
Personally, I like Jackson better because he has a wider skill set and plays a premium position. If Rizzo doesn't hit, he's pretty much worthless over at first base.

What are marquee games and silver games?

Those are pricing tier designations that the Cubs began using when they realized not all games are created equal. Originally, the schedule was broken up by Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels. However, as time has gone on, they have since added the Platinum level above the Gold and new last year, the Marquee level above the Platinum.
So now, a Saturday ticket against a rival may be in the Marquee level because that is the most valuable, but the Friday afternoon game may be Platinum because they realize it is still happening during working hours and it limits the population that can buy them.  
Additionally, the Cubs introduced a new system this year where the bleacher seats can sometimes be a different price level than the tickets in the "bowl." This is meant to address the disconnect between bleacher seat demand and demand for the tickets in the grandstand.

Is bunting ever worth it?

MO would emphatically tell you that it is not and then probably threaten to kill you and your family if you disagreed.  However, Brett over at Bleacher Nation had an interesting discussion on his site about Tony Campana bunting and whether his speed making a "sure out" into a potential hit changes the math.
One commenter, TC, did some quick math to suggest that maybe it would be worth it:
Did some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations on that Campana bunting question. The answer is….yea, it might actually make some sense to have him laying down sac bunts
Using the base-out Run Expectancies at Tango’s site, I calculated the weighted change in RE using 30% no out on bunt 70% out on bunt runners advance for any situation where I’ve seen a true sacrifice bunt:
0 outs:
1 on first: +.0303 RE
1 on 2nd: +.0782 RE
1st & 2nd: +.1739 RE(!)
1 out:
1 on 1st: -.0295 RE
1 on 2nd: -.0882 RE
1st & 2nd: -.0355 RE
So, yea, there’s a few occasions where this will make sense. The +.1739 RE for the 2 on no outs situation is shockingly high, and would be a great thing to introduce into the game strategy if those situations happened more than 1.5% of all plate appearances. (If Campana were to get 600 PA this year and bunted on every single runners on 1st and 2nd situation, it would likely lead to only an extra 1.56 runs…)
There are obviously about 1000 problems with the data presented here, but its an interesting surface-level look at the question.
Somebody please check to make sure MO doesn't swallow his tongue as he has his convulsions.

Bonus Search Term of the Week

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  1. Mish

    @ Berselius:
    If you can keep a secret: I actually never beat it. I didn’t have a PS, so I borrowed my friends and a couple of games, so I never really got sucked in as I had to split my time evenly.

    One of my friends loves it, another hates it (and both are like me thinking CT might be one of the greatest games ever). You?

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  2. WaLi

    @ josh:
    What?!? Battletoads is the shit.

    @ josh:
    I like old school RPGs. I have Skyrim, and it’s great, but I get too side tracked doing all the side quests and then realized I’m a 100 hours in and only a quarter of the way through the main plot then get bored (dying laughing) I’ll finish it one of these days.

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  3. Berselius

    @ Mish:

    I never did either, I thought the story was boring and the battle mechanics tedious. I couldn’t believe it when I found out year later that gamespot (or someone) gave it their first perfect 10 ever. Crono Trigger definitely one of the best games every though.

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  4. Berselius

    @ WaLi:

    *tries desparately to avoid arguing about FF6, fails*

    I’d rate the first half of FF6 as one of the best rpgs ever, but I loathe the second half of the game. Which probably says a lot about the kinds of rpgs I like.

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  5. josh

    @ WaLi:
    I agree on Skyrim, but sometimes the same thing happens in the Old school ones, where you spend hours in a cave fighting giants so you can buy a cool sword, or so that you can beat the bosses without getting your ass completely handed to you.

    I actually ended up being very disappointed by Skyrim’s ending, partly because the game just kind of keeps going and you’re like “okay, is that it?”

    That fucking cart-race-jump-the-barriers part of Battletoads can eat shit and die of sepsis.

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  6. WaLi

    @ Berselius:
    Don’t get me wrong, I never beat it. But the two-player was fun.

    And Final Fantasy Tactics? Loved it. Every play Ogre Battle (Either Tactics or the original)

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  7. Mucker

    I never played RPGs when I was younger. I should have though because now I don’t have the time to play RPGs so I don’t really play them to their capacity or know how to. I just rip through the story mode and don’t do all the side quests and stuff. Plus I’m an idiot when it comes to leveling up. I never really grasped how to properly play RPGs.

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  8. josh

    I think the roleplaying game I enjoyed the most all the way through was Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. I still think about that one sometimes. Somehow they managed to do combat so you always felt like a badass. Also, I enjoy darker, weirder stories in general.

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  9. josh

    @ Mucker:
    Well, what I like about them is that you can play that way, get something out of, or go through and try to hit all the sidequests. It’s up to you. So there’s not “right” way. In fact, you probably enjoy it more than I end up enjoying it because I quit when I’m so sick of it I want to vomit on the next skeleton I see.

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  10. WaLi

    @ Berselius:
    Yeah the story kind of goes downhill when Terra turns into the fairy thing, but the gameplay is great. You also have so many different unique characters to play.

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  11. Mucker

    There was a PC game back in the mid 90s called Full Throttle. It was kind of like the cartoon type graphics but the game was totally righteous. It was a puzzle/rpg game and it was about this biker dude who was a bad ass and was being framed for murder. I haven’t found too many people who have played it but it’s one of my favorite games of all time.

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  12. Berselius

    GBTS wrote:

    Best PC game of all time, hands down —-> Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

    OMG this. I rebought this on Steam last fall and was reminded all over again what a great game it was. Though I’d probably put any of the first three Monkey Island games up there too.

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  13. josh

    @ Berselius:
    Me too. There were some really shitty adventure games, where logic went out the window in favor of clicking on everything, but for the most part, I enjoyed the genre. I’ve seen a few indy producers trying to resurrect the genre.

      Quote  Reply

  14. josh

    @ Suburban kid:
    Reminds me of the handheld baseball game we had when I was a kid, where the batter was just a little LED light. And the bat “animation” was a series of three bat icons lighting up. Oh, here we go:

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  15. Author

    josh wrote:

    out of curiosity, where is the original picture of him playing with his phone from? Was it a random shot, or was there some context?

    He was standing on the field with a bunch of other blogger types. I don’t know where the picture came from or who originally found it (though I suspect it was Ryno). Then someone cut him out of the shot and I saved just that element and I’ve been having fun with it since.

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  16. Author

    GBTS wrote:

    I believe the first to actually put Alvin in a picture was Ryno, with the original “Bunt Signal.”

    I think you’re right.

      Quote  Reply

  17. Rice Cube

    @ Rice Cube:
    According to Wiki it was released in Japan in 1988 but in the US in 1990. I forgot when I bought it but my original Nintendo and Mario 3 cartridge still work. If it was 1990 then that entire list was just invalidated.

      Quote  Reply

  18. WaLi

    So I just finished Season 2 of the Wire. Kind of “meh” about the whole season. Season 1 was definitely better. I’m assuming the next few will be better?

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  19. josh

    Season 4 is probably the best, though the insights into behind-the-scenes politics in Season 3 is awesome. I kind of get teary when I think how happy McNulty is in Season 4.

    But Season 2 had Frank. Frank was awesome.

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  20. Berselius

    @ josh:

    Season 4 is the best, but it’s not really fair to single out seasons on that show. Part of the reason seasons 3 and 4 are so great is because so much spadework was done in the previous seasons.

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  21. mb21

    Brenly mentioned that Bowden is throwing a splitter this year and according to pfx data it looks like he’s basically replacing his slider with the splitter and throwing a few more curves this year.

      Quote  Reply

  22. mb21

    I haven’t checked TC’s numbers regarding Campana and sac bunts, but he should definitely be laying down bunts in obvious sac bunt situations from time to time. If he never bunts in those situations the infield will play back and a Tony Campana groundball getting through an infield playing back isn’t likely to happen. Bring that infield in and he can hit some through the holes. Not only can he beat the bunts out on occasion, but he also opens up some holes to create additional base hits too.

    I know MO hates bunts, but I’m hoping he doesn’t hate it when perhaps the fastest guy in baseball is laying one down.

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  23. Rice Cube

    @ mb21:
    Then I guess the question becomes, how often can he actually get the bunt down? (dying laughing)

    I’m a bit biased though because when I’ve had the chance to watch, he’s always looked terrible as a bunter.

      Quote  Reply

  24. josh

    @ GBTS:
    I liked Season 5. Honestly, I liked season 2. The show was so good, with each season like a novel, that it’s difficult for me to really criticize much about it. I take it as a total, and the total, what it did, how it did it. It was like a British style show but with a budget. To me it’s a total experience.

    But yeah, Season 5 has a wrap-up kind of feel to it. The show might have ended satisfactorily after the fourth season.

    But I really, REALLY like knowing what happened to Bubs.

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  25. ACT

    So far Ty Colvin is 0 WAR. What’s sad is that, so far, the Rockies have gotten more value out of him than the Cubs got out of Ian Stewart.

      Quote  Reply

  26. Mucker

    I’ve had time to calm down since the Bears drafted McClellin and I have to say that all I’ve read about him seems to be that he’s a very good pass rusher and a great all-around football player. I just wish they would’ve drafted Reiff since he was there for the taking. Emery said that McClellin was the highest rated player available of the 7 that they really liked. I’d like to see the list of the 7.

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  27. josh

    @ Rice Cube:
    No, you said you dropped the suit after you thought about me thinking about Kim DeJesus. The set of thoughts I’ve had about Kim DeJesus is basically the empty set, within tolerances.

      Quote  Reply

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