Cody Parkey and Failure

In Uncategorized by myles325 Comments

With less than a minute to go in a playoff game, Cody Parkey trotted out to attempt a game-winning field goal for the Chicago Bears. He made the first kick, which did not count because he was iced.

The second was tipped, and then it hit the upright.

The result of that kick is that the Bears lost the game. Their season is now over, and we as fans are tasked with apportioning blame. Who deserves it? It’s hard to apportion blame to the defense, which allowed only 15 points. You should win most games in which you task your offense with merely scoring 16 points. It’s easy to give some blame to Matt Nagy, for playcalling that neglected Tarik Cohen and Allen Robinson for whatever reason. You can even give some blame to Mitch Trubisky, for leading an offense that needed a last-second FG to win the game.

That said, most of the blame MUST go on Cody Parkey.

The (in Mort voice) placekicker in the National Football League (end Mort voice) has basically two roles. The first is to get touchbacks. The second is to kick the ball through the uprights. Every coach knows that, every kicker knows that, every fan knows that. The kickers who do these things are successes, and the kickers who don’t are failures. These are the only things that kickers are measured by. Additionally, those kicks are most important when the game is on the line – kicking a field goal when you are up 30 is irrelevant, and kicking a field goal when down 2 is maximally important. The field goal attempt was a maximally failure – this isn’t that hard.

If you were to go on twitter, you’d find a bunch of extremely shitty people calling for Cody Parkey to die, or worse. These people are the smegma of society, and can be safely ignored. That said, a sizable contigent of people on twitter seemed to try their absolute best to absolve Cody Parkey of blame.

This is a bad take. You shouldn’t share it. It’s not only factually incorrect (the worst kind of incorrect), it’s also an insult to Cody Parkey. If you absolve Cody Parkey of blame, you are either saying that his job is completely irrelevant (when it is in fact extremely relevant) or that he is so unbelievably incompetent that relying on him is a mistake (and I shouldn’t have to tell you why that’s an insult). I guarantee you if you asked Cody Parkey if it’s his fault the Bears lost, he would say yes (and he would be, in fact, correct). It would be like saying that a plumber who couldn’t unclog a toilet wasn’t at fault for the toilet overflowing because he didn’t drop the deuce that clogged it. To say that it isn’t his fault is to be afraid of failure. That’s not healthy. People can fail and still be good people (in fact, 100% of good people have failed before – it may even be a necessary component of being good). Cody Parkey is no worse a person than he was before he missed that kick, because football is a game that people watch for entertainment and it has no bearing on the greater world (and I can guarantee you that he wanted to make that kick more than anyone else did). We can be honest about that, be mad at “Cody Parkey” for him missing a kick, and live our lives. We don’t have to defend his honor online, just like we don’t have to call for his blood.

Life is a collection of experiences – many of them failures, many of them successes, many of them jubilant, many of them morose. That’s the deal. The thing about pretending that the failures didn’t happen is that you’re only pretending. You can learn from them, you can (eventually) forget them, but you can’t rewrite them. Trying to do so is probably a failure in itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, the Cubs aren’t signing anybody else this year. Buy your tickets to the 2019 Cubs Convention now!

 

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  1. Ryno

    I kind of agree with Fornelli’s take there. Kind of.

    It was not Cody Parkey’s fault the Bears lost.

    It was not ALL Parkey’s fault. It’s partially his fault because he missed a kick that would’ve given them enough points to win.

    The offense scored 11 points less than their season average against a team that gave up 22 ppg on the season. I’d argue that the playcalling and QB play in the first half cost them the game considerably more than the kicker did.

    The defense, though, held up their end.

    They had plenty of other opportunities to win that would have kept them from being in a position that caused them to depend on a kicker that had proven to be less than dependable this season. They didn’t. They paid for it.

    See: the offense. Your kicker made 76% of his field goals on the season and 75% in the playoff game. It’s like Latroy Hawkins as closer. He wasn’t as good in the 9th inning for some reason. If you keep running him out there and expect something different, that’s on you. The Bears had opportunities (including on the last drive) to get closer or even possibly score a TD.

    That’s not to say Parkey shouldn’t strive to be better. He should. He has been better. So I guess the crux of this comes down to expectations. Parkey performed exactly as expected. As did the defense. The offense was the unit that performed worse than usual and therefore should shoulder most of the blame, imo. They and whoever was responsible for the chickenshit first-half playcalling.

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  2. dmick89

    Ryno,

    I agree with this. Sounds like if the field goal is good the Bears win so I get that, but there are probably at least 10 other plays the same thing could be said. I think he’s partially to blame, but it’s a team sport.

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  3. Mucker

    Ryno:
    The offense was the unit that performed worse than usual and therefore should shoulder most of the blame, imo. They and whoever was responsible for the chickenshit first-half playcalling.

    This times a million!!

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  4. Berselius is too lazy to login on his phone.

    I don’t know why the Browns are taking so long to announce Mike McCarthy is their next coach.

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  5. SK

    Whatever they’re saying Myles, I agree with you. Well written, good piece of Cubs related content.

    Also: Latroy Hawkins – damn, I miss that guy.

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  6. WaLi

    Here’s the thing. There were lots of opportunities to win the game where any of them being different changes the outcome of the game.

    – The first half – just plain awful play calling. The Eagles had a beat up secondary that we should have taken advantage of. We got inside the 20 twice in the first half and didn’t walk away with a TD. I feel like we should have gone for it on 4th at the time just to get a TD in before half. In retrospect looks even better.
    – The non-catch/non-fumble was an atrocious call. I understand it’s in the rulebook, but the referee was sitting on the ball waving players away. Neither Eagles or Bears had a chance to pick it up. The Bears should have the ball. Let’s say a player picks it up – should the opposing team then tackle him and draw a penalty? What’s going to happen in the future when the play is clearly dead and players start picking up and running with the ball (yes this happens now but it’s going to happen a lot more in the future)?
    – Not running Cohen/Jordan more instead of whatever trash went in their place. I feel like Nagy wanted Mizel/Cunningham to run so they can play in a playoff game since he’s a players coach? No idea what other reason.
    – The two point conversion play call was awful.
    – The defense did let down the team at the end of the game. They couldn’t hold the Eagles back and took two horrible penalties on that last drive.
    – Time management on the last drive was awful. If you look at the NFL, the average is 76% for kicks 40-49 yards. From 30-39? 94%. Nagy needs to get Parkey a few more yards there at the end.

    But at the end of the day, the game came down to what no one wanted – a Cody Parkey kick. I’m an optimist so I thought he would make it for some reason and be a hero, but I knew he wouldn’t. It’s easier to take out our anger on Cody Parkey than everything else listed above. And even with everything above, we still had a great chance to win with a manageable kick which is why he’s the scapegoat.

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  7. Ryno

    WaLi:
    the game came down to what no one wanted – a Cody Parkey kick.

    This is exactly why I don’t place as much blame on Parkey. If you know he’s unreliable, you can’t blame him for being unreliable. I mean, I guess you can, but it doesn’t make sense.

    The defense did let PHI score, but they did their job as a whole. On the season, they held the average team to 17.7 ppg. PHI was 18th in the NFL in scoring offense (i.e. an average team) and the defense held them to 16 points (i.e. slightly less than their average effort). Plus, they forced 2 turnovers. If your expectation for the defense is more than that, them not meeting it is on you.

    PHI’s defense was 12th in the league in scoring (less than 1 point better than the median). CHI averaged 26.3 ppg on the season. Even if you assume Parkey makes that last FG, the offense still produced 8 points less than their season average effort against a statistically average defense.

    I actually watched the game and it was classic NFL coach: play to not lose.

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  8. WaLi

    Ryno: The defense did let PHI score, but they did their job as a whole.

    They didn’t do their job as a whole when they only ran 10 guys onto the field though 🙁 I wonder if Jackson was in charge of counting the players? There was a too many men penalty the play before.

    Ryno: I actually watched the game and it was classic NFL coach: play to not lose.

    I agree with this 100% and I hate when coaches do that. Nagy got the team to the playoffs playing aggressive and then he goes and changes up his game plan.

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  9. Ryno

    WaLi: They didn’t do their job as a whole when they only ran 10 guys onto the field though 🙁I wonder if Jackson was in charge of counting the players? There was a too many men penalty the play before.

    I mean, that’s technically true, but that’s really just one player’s fault for not realizing which personnel grouping was called.

    Looking at the play again, it looks like the slot CB was missing. Being down 1 player is never ideal, but the slot CB would’ve been lined up on the opposite side of the formation from Goedert. That was just shitty coverage by Amos.

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  10. WaLi

    If you’re a smegma, who do you blame. A guy who can be gone next year and directly caused the team to not win (Parkey) or someone that is going to be with the team for the next few years and indirectly caused the team to lose (Nagy)?

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  11. dmick89

    Ryno,

    That’s a pretty solid pickup for the Brewers. Grandal is on the wrong side of 30 so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him collapse, but he has great plate discipline so I doubt that happens. I expect he’ll hit significantly better outside of LA now. The Brewers are good at baseball right now.

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  12. andcounting

    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    Parkey had a chance to do what he does professionally, and doing it right would have given the Bears something like a 99.9% chance of winning. Not doing it right would give them a 0.001% chance of winning. Sure, lots of things altered the Bears’ win probability in various ways to varying degrees, including all of Parkey’s other made attempts, but none of those things lessen the consequence of Parkey’s kick. The only way out of answering that first question in the affirmative is arguing that he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped. (Any argument that the kick being tipped did not affect the result is complete bullshit, considering that even an undetectable change in rotational velocity or alteration to the surface of the ball could have changed the direction of the bounce off either the upright or the crossbar.) If he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped, then it’s not his fault. But if he is to blame, then it’s his fault the Bears lost.

    Why did the Bears lose? That question has tons of answers, none of them negated by Parkey’s miss and none of them absolving him of blame for taking an opportunity to give his team a 99.9% chance of winning and turning it into a .001% chance of winning.

    I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is at fault? And I think the answer is, not very, in light of the other contributing factors to the loss, him doing everything in his power to make that kick (and making no excuses/facing media after the game to own up to his role in the loss), and the game being a stupid fucking game just like all the other stupid fucking games we enjoy on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

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  13. andcounting

    andcounting,

    It’s similar to a situation in which someone gets shot at night in a dangerous neighborhood while doing something sketchy. Answering the question of why the person got shot could take hours to explain, but answering if the shooter was to blame would be fairly cut and dry.

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  14. Myles Handley

    andcounting:
    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    Parkey had a chance to do what he does professionally, and doing it right would have given the Bears something like a 99.9% chance of winning. Not doing it right would give them a 0.001% chance of winning. Sure, lots of things altered the Bears’ win probability in various ways to varying degrees, including all of Parkey’s other made attempts, but none of those things lessen the consequence of Parkey’s kick. The only way out of answering that first question in the affirmative is arguing that he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped. (Any argument that the kick being tipped did not affect the result is complete bullshit, considering that even an undetectable change in rotational velocity or alteration to the surface of the ball could have changed the direction of the bounce off either the upright or the crossbar.) If he wasn’t to blame for the kick being tipped, then it’s not his fault. But if he is to blame, then it’s his fault the Bears lost.

    Why did the Bears lose? That question has tons of answers, none of them negated by Parkey’s miss and none of them absolving him of blame for taking an opportunity to give his team a 99.9% chance of winning and turning it into a .001% chance of winning.

    I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is at fault? And I think the answer is, not very, in light of the other contributing factors to the loss, him doing everything in his power to make that kick (and making no excuses/facing media after the game to own up to his role in the loss), and the game being a stupid fucking game just like all the other stupid fucking games we enjoy on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

    20 years? Get a load of this optimist.

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  15. berselius

    dmick89:
    Ryno,

    (dying laughing) surprised they had the money for a minor league pickup.

    They brought back Jim Adduci on a minor league deal last week, they must figure they are set now.

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  16. Ryno

    andcounting:
    I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Why did the Bears lose? I think the other question is, how important is it that Parkey is…fucking…on this planet with 20 or so liveable years left on it.

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  17. dmick89

    andcounting: I feel like people are answering two different questions here: Is it Parkey’s fault the Bears lost? and Why did the Bears lose?

    I’d still answer each of those questions the same. I didn’t watch the game, but let’s take baseball instead. A player has a chance to get a base hit and the Cubs win. He makes an out and they lose. Is it his fault they lost? Is he to blame? Based only on that one outcome I’d answer that he’s partly to blame for the loss or it’s partly his fault.

    I understand what you guys are saying and there was a point where I’d have come up with some sort of way to reach the same conclusion, but I haven’t done that for quite awhile. I think the 2003 playoffs changed that for me. Who was to blame? Bartman, Alou, Gonzalez, bullpen, Wood, etc.? The team shit the bed and while one or two plays stood out, there was a lot that went into the Cubs losing to the Marlins. Not one player was to blame or at fault. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

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  18. sharpchicity

    Anyone who says the brewers are better than the cubs is flat out wrong. Their rotation is shaping up to be the following:
    Jhoulys Chacin
    Zach Davies
    Chase Anderson
    Brandon Woodruff
    Jimmy Nelson

    The top of their lineup is arguably worse than ours (Cain + Yelich + Grandal? vs Rizzo + Bryant + Baez) and the rest of the cubs lineup is all better than the brewers. Brewers also have two giant black holes at 2b and ss.

    Payroll probably gives the brewers ~$10M more to spend after Grandal, but even if you assume the brewers have an additional $20M, that’s still ~3 wins better. That fills one SP position and leaves the 4 other pitchers on the cubs staff better than the brewers.

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  19. dmick89

    How good is the Cubs rotation? It’s probably better than the Brewers, but not by as much as we’d like. If Cole Hamels is good again, it’s a big help, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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  20. sharpchicity

    dmick89,
    We have 5 starters who are all legitimate #3’s with most of them having upside of #2. Lester, Hamels, and Darvish all have question marks, but you can say the same thing about almost every pitcher.

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  21. EnricoPallazzo

    sharpchicity,

    yeah the rotation is the least of our concerns, i think. don’t get me wrong, i could envision many scenarios in which the rotation is not great, but i think it will mostly be fine (especially when considered relative to the extremely weak bullpen and possible offensive issues).

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  22. dmick89

    EnricoPallazzo,

    The rotation wasn’t all that great in 2018. I think they underperformed, but I’m not sure I’d expect them to be a whole lot better. If Quintana is better and Darvish is healthy then I think they’re a pretty good rotation, but both of those are pretty big ifs in my opinion.

    I think the Cubs rotation is definitely better than the Brewers, but Craig Counsell is 5 billion times better at managing a bullpen than Joe is. It helps that Counsell has a much better bullpen to work with, but the starters for the Brewers don’t have to go deep at all.

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  23. BVS at lunch

    WaLi:
    WaLi,

    I forgot to add Trey Burton who I believe had anxiety related performance issues or isn’t being honest about his groin.

    Perhaps he was circumcised two weeks ago.

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  24. andcounting

    Ryno,

    No, no, it’s:

    Be born with a penis -> you did your job. And you get your genitals mutilated.

    Kick upright magnets-> AC makes bad puns.

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  25. Ryno

    So apparently Antonio Brown wants to play for SF. If they were somehow able to add Brown, Nick Bosa and maybe…Earl Thomas without sacrificing too much draft capital, I might forgive them for this wasted season.

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  26. BVS

    Ryno,

    Jeez Ryno. Haven’t you been paying attention? Obviously the way to improve is to bank on your current roster being healthier and doing better next year. You don’t want to fool around with Nick Bosa. Too much $$$. Sign a Descalsian player and call it good. I don’t know who that it in the NFL because I don’t follow much. Maybe Ted Ginn Jr? Also an aging star with a big salary and half a season of good performance. That’s certainly Eli Manning.

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  27. Myles

    BVS:
    Ryno,

    Jeez Ryno. Haven’t you been paying attention?Obviously the way to improve is to bank on your current roster being healthier and doing better next year. You don’t want to fool around with Nick Bosa. Too much $$$. Sign a Descalsian player and call it good. I don’t know who that it in the NFL because I don’t follow much. Maybe Ted Ginn Jr? Also an aging star with a big salary and half a season of good performance. That’s certainly Eli Manning.

    Yeah, from what I’ve heard, Nick Bosa has mutilated genitals.

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  28. Ryno

    andcounting,

    I think Myles is implying that he has seen Nick Bosa’s genitals and that Bosa’s genitals had been mutilated. I wonder why Myles neglected to disclose the details of his encounter with Bosa that led to his ability to inspect Bosa’s genitals…

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  29. Ryno

    I bet by tomorrow when you type Nick Bosa into Google’s search bar, “Nick Bosa mutilated genitals” will be the first suggested search.

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  30. JKV

    The Ricketts are going to shut this place down with all these new Cubs fans flooding in.

    Welcome to the blog! I know you want to discuss circumcision, but can I interest you in discussing the difficulty of using defensive metrics when evaluating position players?

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  31. WaLi

    berselius,

    What ideas are there to make MLB more competitive so there is less tanking? What good solutions are out there?

    It doesn’t make sense for a team to invest too much money in talent if they know they can’t compete with a perennial great team such as the Red Sox/Yankees or Dodgers, but that’s not an excuse for every team that is tanking. It seems like there needs to be a way to create more parity, but I think the league prospers world wide due to brand recognition with dynasties like the Yankees or Red Sox so you probably don’t want to penalize good teams.

    Do you create a hard salary floor? Who funds it though – why should the Marlins pay for a team that will never be able to fill the seats. Make a lottery draft similar to the NBA? The draft doesn’t produce MLB ready players though so good draft picks doesn’t equate to a turnaround in talent right away.

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  32. berselius

    WaLi,

    Keeping in mind that I don’t see this union actually getting teams to open the books, something like a salary floor pegged to a revenue percentage along with a soft cap would probably be best, just thinking about this superficially. Even allowing teams to do something like trading said salary floor space would be ok. Baseball due have a more unique setup due to the fact that they have to develop their players on longer time scales but I would imaging something in that space exists.

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  33. BVS

    berselius,

    I’m surprised that signing Francisco Arcia hasn’t been bigger news. He’s the back up catcher we NEED. Now we can flip Caratini and Kintzmann for Mike Trout.

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  34. andcounting

    berselius,

    That article uses the A-Rod contract with Texas as a milestone in the history of player value/contract size, but it’s likely more important as a turning point in ownership’s willingness to avoid collusion. Boras abused Texas, using the rules against team disclosures about offers to get the Rangers to bid against themselves. They probably paid something like $50 million more than they needed to get a-rod. Sure, that made Texas look like idiots, but I think it also made Boras (and, in effect, players in general) look like bad-faith actors. I would circle that contract as the one that put owners on notice that a little soft-core collusion was going to be necessary. As better data has given the owners a more powerful understanding of free-agent value, the CBA (and their ability to communicate cleverly about who’s offering which player what without provably violating anti-collusion rules) makes it easy for them to suppress salaries. That A-Rod contract, I believe, is to blame for the owners feeling this shit is fair game, and I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

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  35. andcounting

    It seems like a lot of what has crippled the union has to do with their inability to fight amongst themselves. The union seems to fight hardest for the rights of veteran players and act against the interest of younger players, minor leaguers, and foreign players. Allowing a cap on amateur free agents and draft bonuses? Sorry, that doesn’t happen if the older players look at the young guys as actual humans with rights. But I’m betting they thought those moves would lead to bigger free-agent contracts, which of course is wrong as fuck. If players really want competitive balance and fair pay, they need to stop fighting for the rights of players on all levels instead of just the ones over 30.

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  36. JKV

    andcounting,

    This. Though, it would be very interesting to see how paying the young players would work. Can they hit free agency 5 years from the day they entered professional baseball, no matter how much of that time was spent in the minors or majors? It’s an interesting discussion since teams will (rightfully) want to reap the benefits of investing time and effort into their minor leagues.

    Would it make sense for teams to divest their relationships with minor league teams and only be able to sign players to the 40 man roster? Instead, the collective of minor league teams can sell their players to the majors like the European soccer model. Similarly, major league teams could “loan” young players to the minors and recall them at any time.

    Baseball is just so different that I find it hard to come up with an idea that would allow most players to hit free agency by 26-27 in which it makes sense for a) the current minor league-major league dynamic and b) something the owners would agree to

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  37. EnricoPallazzo

    andcounting: I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

    yeah i am really curious as to how many fans actually think that there is a problem here. i haven’t come across any articles that say “players are already way overpaid so fuck them etc etc pujols etc” but i also don’t bother to read piece of shit meathead blogs so i’m sure i’m missing a huge part of this conversation.

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  38. dmick89

    andcounting: I think it probably has a lot to do with fans thinking the same thing.

    This may well be, but I think the more important discussion is whether or not keeping salaries down is healthy for baseball. We can place blame on both parties here. The veterans actively work to keep the salaries of young players as low as possible and work even harder to make it so it’s not even possible to earn a living wage in the minor leagues. The owners then work with one another in roundabout ways to keep the veterans salaries down. It’s just greed all the way around and the people who get screwed are the ones who need the money the most.

    I don’t see anything changing until the current system fails. The question is at what point does it fail? I don’t see it happening in the next few years, but I think we’re closer to it than a lot of fans realize.

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  39. BVS

    JKV,

    How about restricted free agency? Not sure exactly how it works in hockey, but perhaps you swap out some arb years for restricted FA? In this case, home team gets to re-sign restricted FA at the same price that other team offers in writing, or at x% of that offer, maybe 80%. Otherwise other team obligated to sign at the amount they offer.

    I’m not a fan that says players make too much … Pujols … etc. But I do think that any owner that offers an 8-yr contract to any player over the age of 24 is an imbecile, unless the AAV is extremely low compared to the going rate. That includes rhe Heyward contract, both ARod contracts, and the future Harper/Machado contracts. If I could get a 5 year cap on contract length, I’d take it, as a fan. Players would probably get higher AAV contracts and team salaries would be more reflective of actual talent. I’d also scrap the AAV thing for the tax. If the Cubs wanted to sign Harper to a 6-yr contract and pay him $50M/yr til Bryant hits free agency, then cut him back to something where they could afford KB too, I think that’s good planning. If the Sox want to pay Machado $100M for 2 yr while they continue the rebuild, then $10M after through 2025 when they are paying other players more, fine. As long as the player agrees and it’s all in writing up front.

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  40. WaLi

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/craig-breslow-cubs-front-office-retires.html

    Per the Cubs’ release, Breslow “will help to evaluate and implement data-based processes throughout all facets of Baseball Operations” and will also “support the organization’s pitching infrastructure in Player Development and the major leagues.”

    How can a former player really help implement data-based processes? He’s just a dumb jock!

    A Yale graduate with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, Breslow has long been heralded as one of the game’s brightest minds.

    Oh.

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  41. Perkins

    WaLi,

    So the Cubs have three players/former players from the Ivy League in their organization. That has to be some kind of live ball era record.

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  42. Ryno

    Asked about #Cubs being unwilling to spend money this offseason, Tom Ricketts cites team having "one of largest payrolls in baseball," the Cole Hamels $20-million option and the organization liking the team it has.

    "We're among the very top spenders," Ricketts says.

    — 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 17, 2019

    Tom Ricketts called the perception the #Cubs won't or aren't spending money "misguided."

    — 670 The Score (@670TheScore) January 17, 2019

    Assuming “spending money” means “adding payroll”… The perception is “misguided” because they are adding payroll?

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  43. Myles

    dmick89:
    Ryno,

    I get what Ricketts is saying, but it’s Bryce Harper. You open up the checkbook when a guy like that becomes available. Spend the fucking money.

    This. If you don’t spend money on generational talents, you don’t get to say “it only costs money” ever again.

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  44. Ryno

    dmick89,

    If people think the Cubs aren’t spending money (i.e. their 2019 payroll isn’t high), yeah, they’re wrong.

    If people think the Cubs aren’t spending money (i.e. they aren’t increasing their 2019 payroll), they’re wrong (at the moment).

    If people think the Cubs aren’t spending money (i.e. they aren’t improving the 2019 team), it sure looks like they’re right (at the moment).

    We’re the third group of people and that’s the question that hasn’t been answered honestly yet.

    Is Ricketts not signing off on adding more talent (ANY talent, much less a generational one) because he truly believes the team is the best in the league as is? Or does he just not want to spend money on the team because he wants more for himself?

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  45. Perkins

    This is reminding me of the 2009/10 offseason, when it was obvious that the Cubs either needed to have a fire sale or increase payroll to augment the 2007-9 core, and they chose to do neither. It’s even worse because this core is younger and better, and there are two generational talents available in free agency.

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  46. andcounting

    Ryno:
    dmick89,

    Is Ricketts not signing off on adding more talent (ANY talent, much less a generational one) because he truly believes the team is the best in the league as is? Or does he just not want to spend money on the team because he wants more for himself?

    I don’t think he believes the team is the best as is. I also don’t believe he doesn’t want to spend money on the team. And obviously he wants to keep as much of his money as he can. We’re all pretty much saying the Cubs spent $20 million to keep Hammels. Ricketts is saying, “No, we signed Cole Hammels. He’s an addition to the 2019 team. We had to add him because the shit-ton of money we spent last offseason didn’t help at all. Somehow we still won 95 games. So hopefully some of the shit we bought in 2018 will work this year, and Hammels, the guy we just added for $20 million, will help make the team even better.” But I think he’s also speaking at a point when he could still intend to try to sign Harper but has to allow for the possibility that someone may (will) outbid them. I realize I’m dreaming, but the facts are that Ricketts is doing these interviews to promote the Cubs Convention and Harper still hasn’t signed with anyone. Ricketts could have made a completely disingenuous statement about still wanting to do everything within reason to try to sign Harper and then just claimed the price was too steep whenever the signing happened. I still think there could be a reason why they aren’t at least fake going after Harper, and I’m holding on hope that they’re actually fake not going after him.

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  47. Ryno

    andcounting,

    After last offseason’s letdown, it certainly seems like MLB owners have agreed to curb spending. Ignoring the fact that it’s shady af, it’s also another variable in a list of variables that’s too long to try to get a handle on what’s happening.

    The fact that CHC hasn’t really made any moves of consequence makes me think they’ve earmarked some money for Harper. It could also mean the literally aren’t spending any more money.

    Every day that nothing happens makes me look forward even more to the NFL free agency period. That’s how it’s done.

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  48. BVS

    Ryno: The fact that CHC hasn’t really made any moves of consequence

    They signed Hamels. He’s the 3rd highest paid player on team now after Heyward and Lester. ~10% of total team wages.

    Since they signed him 7 days after the season, he’s overlooked as a major acquisition.

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  49. dmick89

    BVS,

    I guess I look at that as a player being re-signed and they probably overpaid for him anyway. Considering the high cost of the buyout, re-signing him made sense, but $20 million for Hamels is a lot of money.

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  50. SK

    Is there any point at which the 800,000 fight back? Would those not furloughed (and those working for free) ever join the others who were sent home and together demand their fucking jobs back before they burn down Trump Tower?

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  51. Smokestack Lightning

    andcounting: I still think there could be a reason why they aren’t at least fake going after Harper, and I’m holding on hope that they’re actually fake not going after him.

    All kidding aside, you’re not alone here. I find myself wandering back to the same brand of hope, although there is nothing solid to support it.

    Perhaps I keep going back because I have trouble grasping the shortsightedness of last offseason. If no Harper or Machado, then last offseason was weapons-grade incompetence by this FO. And if last offseason took the Cubs out of the running for Harper/Machado right then and there, then the Cubs were equally foolish not stomping the buzz out to start 2018. Harper-Cubs was a thing all year.

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  52. andcounting

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Yeah, this is why I just want Harper to sign already so I can stop playing these psychological games with myself. The darkest conclusion I keep going back to is that signing Chatwood wound up costing the Cubs $20 million more than they thought (because they had to sign Hammels to make up for it) and that cost them Harper. And that is some hardcore incompetence. Then I swing to the other end of the spectrum where the Cubs swoop in at the last minute and carry Harper out of the sweatshop with Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong blasting in the background. I’m a mess.

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  53. Perkins

    I’ve been rewatching some of the 2015/16 postseason/World Series games lately, and it’s truly baffling how much less fun the current team is, especially since so many of the players are the same and Javy Baez became El Mago.

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  54. Smokestack Lightning

    Take heart, fellers. Looks like we’ll be getting those Darvish/Bryant “best shape of their lives” pieces here shortly.

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  55. BVS

    Perkins: it’s truly baffling how much less fun the current team is, especially since so many of the players are the same and Javy Baez became El Mago.

    Remember when our off-season fun was projecting how awesome Randy Wells would be because he won 7 games as a rookie? Or dreaming about a dominant season from Sean Marshall or Kevin Orie?

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  56. Perkins

    BVS,

    That was much worse, I agree. It’s part of why right now is so frustrating, because the Cubs are likely to have at least a couple years of that starting around 2022.

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  57. Kevin Orie

    BVS: Remember when our off-season fun was projecting how awesome Randy Wells would be because hewon 7 games as a rookie?Or dreaming about a dominant season from Sean Marshall or Kevin Orie?

    Hey guys – what’s up? Somebody mention my name?

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  58. BVS

    Kevin Orie,

    Hey Man. Long time. Your internet monitor must be super efficient. How’s the announcing gig with the Pirates? You ever cross paths with Paul Bako? I heard he was as actually as cool as Ryan Dempster believes himself to be.

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  59. Ryno

    If Dee Ford knew where to line up, the Chiefs and Rams would be playing in the Super Bowl this year. But the Chiefs loss is not solely on him.

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  60. andcounting

    Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unemployed, and spring training is less than a month away. I/m thinking we should start a Go Fund Me page to help them through this difficult time.

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  61. Smokestack Lightning

    andcounting:
    Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unemployed, and spring training is less than a month away. I/m thinking we should start a Go Fund Me page to help them through this difficult time.

    While you’re at it, start one for me. I’m struggling with it too.

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  62. andcounting

    Smokestack Lightning,

    In all seriousness, it’s such bullshit. Watching people with ludicrous amounts of money quibble over how much to pay people with merely ridiculous amounts of money while I’m figuring out how to pay bills with negative amounts of money is super annoying. Yet for some reason I feel a rooting interest in it. Intelligence at its best.

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  63. Corpse of berselius

    BVS: Remember when our off-season fun was projecting how awesome Randy Wells would be because hewon 7 games as a rookie?

    I died on that hill, everything I have written since is just my death rattle.

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  64. Ryno

    Random thought: I bet a lot of the MAGA people are the same people who said Colin Kaepernick should leave the country if he didn’t like it the way it was. That’s just a very direct and undeniable hypocrisy that I would like to hear rationalized.

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  65. JKV

    Ryno:
    Random thought: I bet a lot of the MAGA people are the same people who said Colin Kaepernick should leave the country if he didn’t like it the way it was. That’s just a very direct and undeniable hypocrisy that I would like to hear rationalized.

    “So you’re saying if he doesn’t like it in the U.S., he should immigrate to another country?”

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  66. Crankshaft McGee

    andcounting:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    In all seriousness, it’s such bullshit. Watching people with ludicrous amounts of money quibble over how much to pay people with merely ridiculous amounts of money while I’m figuring out how to pay bills with negative amounts of money is super annoying. Yet for some reason I feel a rooting interest in it. Intelligence at its best.

    Andy McCullough
    @McCulloughTimes

    While I don’t agree with MLB’s branding strategy of using the offseason to make fans actively dislike baseball and how the sport operates, you have to give them credit for their commitment.

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  67. Ryno

    BVS,

    No. The NFL offseason (combined with the parity they’ve created) sucks in all the fans that were turned off during the season…which is when the NFL actively tries to turn fans away.

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  68. dmick89

    Myles Handley:
    Weezer dropped an album of covers and it is very good. After about 10 years of average to shit, this is a surprising development.

    I don’t think I’ve listened to Weezer since the mid 90s so I was excited to check this out. I liked a couple of the songs they covered, but for the most part they picked a collection of songs I don’t like.

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  69. SK

    dmick89: I don’t think I’ve listened to Weezer since the mid 90s so I was excited to check this out. I liked a couple of the songs they covered, but for the most part they picked a collection of songs I don’t like.

    Huge fan of their first 3.5 albums. Then I saw them in concert sometime around 2003 and they sucked. It may have been because it was the last date of a mammoth tour and they were out of gas, but it changed my desire to hear new stuff from them. When I have heard new stuff, it’s been blah.

    I have a much better version of this earlier Weezer cover on my phone but I can’t find it on the ‘tube
    https://youtu.be/Ys-qRAZ4oUQ

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  70. dmick89

    SK,

    I’ve heard they haven’t been good for a long time. It’s kind of funny that I don’t have a lot of memories of that time, but the memories of listening to Weezer are pretty strong memories for some reason. I was drinking and doing a lot of drugs so my memories of the mid to late 90s are hazy at best. I must not have liked what they did starting in the late 90s if I stopped listening. I’m not sure. I’ll give them a listen this weekend and see.

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  71. Myles Handley

    SK: Huge fan of their first 3.5 albums. Then I saw them in concert sometime around 2003 and they sucked. It may have been because it was the last date of a mammoth tour and they were out of gas,but it changed my desire to hear new stuff from them. When I have heard new stuff, it’s been blah.

    I have a much better version of this earlier Weezer cover on my phone but I can’t find it on the ‘tube
    https://youtu.be/Ys-qRAZ4oUQ

    Blue Album to this day is my favorite album (knowing full well that’s because it’s a “moment in time” for me). Pinkerton is great. Green Album is great. I liked Maladroit and Make Believe but they are clearly a step down. Red Album was ok, but they were running on fumes. Raditude was so bad that I stopped listening to them until this one just came out. I saw them in concert in 2005 and they were killer (though I’ve never been at a concert that smelled as thick of weed in my life), and then I saw them and Foo Fighters in 2007 and they were pretty good but not great.

    I feel like Weezer would be really highly regarded if they broke up forever after the Green Album or Maladroit. Instead, they released a bunch of junk that diluted the quality of the catalog. Most people who would go see Weezer in concert now probably don’t want them to play a single song they released in the last decade, despite them releasing like 6 albums in that timeframe.

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  72. andcounting

    Myles Handley:
    I feel like Weezer would be really highly regarded if they broke up forever after the Green Album or Maladroit. Instead, they released a bunch of junk that diluted the quality of the catalog. Most people who would go see Weezer in concert now probably don’t want them to play a single song they released in the last decade, despite them releasing like 6 albums in that timeframe.

    I feel this way about R.E.M.’s work after Bill Berry left the group. But I also feel pretty firmly that once a band gets big, they should make whatever music they want to make and tell everyone to go fuck themselves if they don’t like it. They shouldn’t waste a lot of time or worry trying to pleasure the whims of a bunch of people who will call them giant assholes just for playing a few of their new songs at a concert. So if the music sucks after awhile, big, fat, hairy deal. It’s music. No reason to be a dick about it. Come on, you guys. Shut your faces.

    I don’t mean 80% of that. I just wanted to give Ryno something to do.

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  73. dmick89

    andcounting: I feel this way about R.E.M.’s work after Bill Berry left the group.

    REM was its best prior to Berry leaving, but I still like most of what they did after. I’m a bit of an REM apologist though.

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  74. SK

    I had kids already when Weezer came out so hadn’t really paid attention to new music in years, but I did scan MTV once in awhile to see if anything good might slip through and was taken aback by one of their nerdy videos, either El Scorcho or the one in the laundry room (Say it Aint So?) — it was great to see such unrepentant nerds rocking out–they seemed real. While you were on drugs in college or maybe Myles was in middle school or something, I had em all on cassettes and was listening in the minivan (dying laughing) .

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  75. BVS

    andcounting: But I also feel pretty firmly that once a band gets big, they should make whatever music they want to make and tell everyone to go fuck themselves if they don’t like it. They shouldn’t waste a lot of time or worry trying to pleasure the whims of a bunch of people who will call them giant assholes just for playing a few of their new songs at a concert.

    I was listening to Elvis Costello on some NPR show while driving brush to the dump today. He said the same thing.

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  76. Ryno

    dmick89,

    It does suck, but how much it sucks depends on the contract, imo. I understand it’s not my money, so I get not wanting to spend $300 million on a player that has played more than 150 games only twice in seven years.

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  77. Ryno

    The summation of this can be expressed simply: MLB’s free-agent system is broken. It’s supposed to reward players for sticking it out for six years through the arbitration system and give them a chance at big money once they’re eligible for free agency. There are quite a few players listed above, and perhaps others in the total list linked above, who could help teams in 2019. Many of these players simply won’t have big-league jobs and might wind up with their careers over.
    — Alvin

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  78. Ryno

    Ryno,

    What does that sound like? Oh yeah, the NFL..where the most valuable players are the ones on rookie contracts. At least baseball players salaries are guaranteed.

    I don’t blame front offices for this. Their job is to gather as much talent as possible using a finite resource.

    The only ones who don’t ever really seem to suffer are the owners. Hmm…

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  79. Perkins

    What was the origin of the 2 or 288 meme? I remember the genesis of most of the inside jokes here, but that one is escaping me.

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  80. Ryno

    I haven’t decided yet.
    [Sammy Sosa] certainly deserves some recognition for the great years, great entertainment, he provided us.

    But he left with such a taint. I’m not sure I can get past that. I’ll see how I feel in March.
    “[BCB] is much better than… well, everything.” — gravedigger, January 21, 2007
    by Al Yellon on Jan 30, 2007 | 12:55 PM up

    I guess I don’t get it. Is Alvin saying he liked Sammy’s taint and is sad it was taken away.

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  81. Ryno

    That’s a valid argument…
    … I did wrestle with a lot of the top 10. As noted, it’s possible Billy Williams could have ranked above Sandberg, too.

    Sosa’s stats are so overwhelming that, as Mike wrote, if not for the taint, he COULD have been #1. Perhaps time will vindicate him, perhaps not. If not, then on some future updating of this list, he could drop.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Feb 18, 2007 | 12:47 PM

    So now I’m inferring that Alvin views Sammy’s taint as a negative.

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  82. Ryno

    …Mays isn’t better than Bonds? That’s just silly. Willie Mays lost a good chunk of a season to serving in the Korean War — that alone could have gotten him to 700 HR, because he hit 40 the next year. He hit 52 HR in 1965. You think that wasn’t easy? NO ONE hit over 50 HR for the next twelve seasons.

    And he stole 338 bases. And he played an excellent defensive center field — till he was well past 40 years old.

    And he did that all without taint.

    Bonds has hit a lot of home runs, and yes, he hit a lot of them before he took a single steroid. That’s the sad part — he didn’t HAVE to do steroids to be known as one of the five or so best players in baseball history.

    If I had a Hall of Fame vote, I wouldn’t vote for him, just to make a statement.
    by Al Yellon on May 24, 2006 | 4:13 AM

    That is impressive. Any type of disability like that just makes what Mays accomplished that much more incredible.

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  83. Ryno

    Two things work against [Barry Bonds]: his absolutely disgusting public persona, and the steroid rumors. The first make the general public dislike him, and the second puts a taint on everything he does.

    The career HR record is perhaps the most revered record in sports. It was accepted for Hank Aaron to break Babe Ruth’s record, because Aaron was, for the most part, likeable. Bonds isn’t. Had he just been a jerk, people would have accepted breaking the record. But with the steroid rumors, I think that put most people over the top in their dislike of him and their hope that he would just go away.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Sep 3, 2006 | 4:31 AM

    It is unseemly to touch everything with what is likely the least sanitary area of the body , but maybe Bonds suffers from OCD.

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  84. andcounting

    Ryno,

    Get that man some taint, and he’ll hit 80 home runs by August. Get him some Pizza Hut MILF, and Cooperstown won’t be able to contain his glory.

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  85. SK

    I know there are probably hundreds of Theriots in Louisiana and that young shooter is a little too old to be the spawn of The Riot, but I admit I did do a double take on reading the initial reports.

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  86. BVS

    JonKneeV,

    We in the commenting community are clearly failing to keep to our traditional areas of expertise. No cast iron, no Hope Monsters (though it must be growing quite well with the Darvish/Bryant chat), size of teaspoons, how to keep knives sharp, etc.

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  87. WaLi

    BVS,

    I legit bought a cast iron pan and reseasoned a different one that was rusted at my mom’s house after reading about them here. Truly God’s work ya’ll do here.

    I must have missed the size of teaspoons talk though.

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  88. BVS

    WaLi:
    BVS,

    I must have missed the size of teaspoons talk though.

    It was related to sperm production…possibly a prelude to the circumcision discussion to come.

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  89. JKV

    WaLi,

    I also learned most of my cast iron knowledge through OV. I probably need a new set of knives soon, so maybe the resident knife experts here can lend their knowledge at an appropriate time.

    Related, I’ve thought about starting a blog titled something like “I drink and I know things” (or if GoT sues me “I drink and I know shit”), where I and any other friends/contributors can share knowledge on any topic that they probably know way too much about. For example, I’ve spent so much time and effort learning how to improve my lawn that i feel like I could start a lawn care company.

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  90. WaLi

    Love how Edelman was suspended for getting caught cheating earlier in the year but wins Superbowl MVP. Great life lessons coming from the NFL

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  91. WaLi

    Ryno,

    Seriously how does someone on the D not win the MVP considering they held one of the highest scoring offenses to 3 points, and the offense only got one TD. There was no reason to give it to Edelman.

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  92. Smokestack Lightning

    WaLi:
    Love how Edelman was suspended for getting caught cheating earlier in the year but wins Superbowl MVP. Great life lessons coming from the NFL

    I’m pretty sure nobody is going to remember him cheating or winning MVP by the end of the week. And that’s probably being generous.

    If not for the constant reminders around the interweb, I’d have already forgotten there was a game yesterday.

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  93. SK

    BVS:

    This week: The Three Stooges

    I’ve done that more than once but what I only retain from that is the early Ted guy who was the first leader, the vaudeville beginnings, Curly wasn’t a dumb shnook like his character, they got royally screwed by the studio they worked for, Moe was a really nice guy, and I can’t remember anything about Larry but that’s appropriate. And wasn’t Shemp in the act before Curly and then replaced him later? Didn’t Curly and Shemp both die pretty young? I believe I also watched clips of Moe on the Mike Douglas show in the 70s or 80s after reading that wiki.

    While I can’t tell you what to do, go watch You Nazty Spy if you haven’t seen it….

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  94. Edwin

    My favorite scouting report on Simpson was the scout who said that if he could get the same results in MLB that he got in college, he could be a really good pitcher.

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  95. Perkins

    Hayden Simpson was taken ahead of Christian Yelich, Noah Syndergaard, and Nick Castellanos.

    In all the (recently, justifiable) angst about the current FO, I’d almost forgotten how comically inept Hendry was at a lot of things.

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  96. BVS

    Your retention from Wikipedia is excellent.

    SK: I’ve done that more than once but what I only retain from that is the early Ted guy who was the first leader, the vaudeville beginnings…

    Ted Healy played the straight character but Larry Moe and Shemp split from him because he was hard to work with (booze). Milton Berle, Bob Hope and other comics said Ted was an inspiration. Healy got beat up and died from injuries. Possibly by Wallace Beery from the original The Champ. Beery was a noted creep according to other child actors. Except Mickey Rooney, who liked him. See the rabbit hole, jump in the rabbit hole.

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  97. BVS

    SK: I can’t remember anything about Larry but that’s appropriate. And wasn’t Shemp in the act before Curly and then replaced him later? Didn’t Curly and Shemp both die pretty young?

    Larry started out as a concert violinist.
    Yes, but Shemp went solo and apparently did ok with that for a some years. Curly died young from a series of strokes (booze). Shemp was about 60 when he died. Moe, Shemp, and Curly were brothers irl.

    Left branch of the rabbit hole.

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  98. Edwin

    Perkins,

    I think some of that was due to ownership constraints, and not being able to spend so heavily at the time. Now we have new owners who never hesitate to spend when the players are available, and never do anything to embarrass the Cubs Franchise in any way.

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  99. Ryno

    Edwin:
    My favorite scouting report on Simpson was the scout who said that if he could get the same results in MLB that he got in college, he could be a really good pitcher.

    Wasn’t he like a FCS pitcher?

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  100. Edwin

    Ryno,

    Something like that. Some smaller conference or division. It’s just bullshit anyways, because pretty much every player drafted looks amazing at whatever level they’re drafted from. Otherwise why are they being drafted?

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  101. WaLi

    Perkins,

    I really don’t get the outrage over this (other than that’s the time we are living in where we are outraged over everything).

    Is anyone surprised that Joe has these types of e-mails around? He’s a noted asshat.

    Also a lot of the e-mails were stupid spam-type e-mails forwarded to him where he writes a one word response. Who the fuck cares.

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  102. berselius

    Edwin:
    Perkins,

    Wow.Well, at least we live in a country where crazy racist rich people can’t unfairly influence elections due to their enourmous wealth.

    Sounds like the Cubs should take a page from their Dear Leader and make some dramatic move to change the news cycle…by signing Harper and Machado.

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  103. Perkins

    WaLi,

    I mean, I’m not really outraged or surprised. Joe Ricketts is tight with the current administration, so my default assumption is that he’s a garbage person.

    Agree with berselius that Tom ought to greenlight a Harper acquisition to make sure the news cycle focuses on that.

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  104. BVS

    Trump: Let’s fight against HIV and childhood cancer.

    Good, but you can’t do that without science, so can we also start following the good science out there on climate, pollution, etc.

    Nah.

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  105. Ryno

    Alvin on the DH:

    It’s unfair to have teams playing under two sets of rules. It would be like having two-point conversions in the AFC, but not the NFC, in football, or having three-point shots for NBA West teams, but not NBA East teams.

    Not really.

    Also, fewer, commas, please, , , . ,

    ,,

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  106. Ryno

    Both of you are right.
    Essentially, since the CBA allows teams to do what they’re doing, they are pretty much all doing it.

    Is that collusion, or just 30 teams deciding it’s the business model they want to follow?
    Posted by Al Yellon on Feb 6, 2019 | 9:02 AM

    There’s one very specific distinction between those two choices, Alvin. Unless you don’t know what collusion is.

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  107. Ryno

    I root for the Cubs because “the Cubs” are really comprised of all Cubs fans, past and present, who lived and died with this team. When the Cubs win, I know that all of those fans share my joy and even if we can’t be in the same stadium, room, bar, restaurant, etc., I know we’re all smiling and laughing together.

    This times a billion.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Feb 6, 2019 | 8:15 AM

    Interesting. I root for the Cubs in spite of Cubs fans. In fact, Cubs fans (present company excluded) are the reason I typically root against other Chicago sports teams. The treatment of Bartman, LaTroy Hawkins and others cemented that for me.

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  108. Ryno

    Why [the Raiders] don’t just play in Santa Clara is beyond me.

    Perfectly good stadium, no territorial rights, close to their fans.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Feb 6, 2019 | 7:51 AM

    I’m shocked that something is beyond Alvin. /sarcasm

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  109. EnricoPallazzo

    Ryno: There’s one very specific distinction between those two choices, Alvin. Unless you don’t know what collusion is.

    hey he still doesn’t know who actually owns the cubs. cut him some slack.

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  110. Ryno

    I repeat, just so there is no misunderstanding: there are no guarantees with prospects. Sure, they look great now, and it appears that Theo & Co. have made good selections in their two years at this game. But if you think all of these players are going to be leading the Cubs to the postseason and the World Series in 2015, or 2016, or beyond, you have a better crystal ball than I do.
    — Alvin

    Considering the context, that may be the greatest thing Alvin’s ever written.

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  111. Ryno

    This is pretty good too…

    If the Cubs are going to trade off parts later this year, and at this point it looks like they’re heading that way, they are going to lose 90-plus games again. At some point you have to stop doing this and at least try to win.

    Who specifically is he talking about? Well the only names he mentioned were…

    They have quite a number of chips worth selling this season, including Scott Feldman and Matt Garza, among others.

    Too bad Alvin wasn’t in charge of the Cubs at the time. Sure they wouldn’t have gotten Arrieta, Strop and Edwards, but I’m sure Feldman and Garza would’ve led the team to the WS. Plus, the team would’ve won a couple more games in 2013 and satisfied Alvin’s “virtually infinite patience,” which was “growing short.”

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  112. Ryno

    SK: Rocky Cherry

    Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

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  113. Ryno

    SK: Buck Coats

    Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – Favorite brand of pocket knife.
    Last name – Clothing items you put when it’s cold.

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  114. Ryno

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

    Rambo Avocado.

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  115. Ryno

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – Favorite brand of pocket knife.
    Last name – Clothing items you put when it’s cold.

    Spyderco Knithats.

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  116. Ryno

    I’m so happy those guys are tearing up the minor leagues.
    Write me again when they’re tearing up the major leagues.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 17, 2013 | 10:13 AM

    I wonder if anyone wrote Alvin again during the last four years.

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  117. Ryno

    Which is what concerns me
    … if they start dealing off pieces — such as Feldman, or Villanueva, or whoever.
    Then you’re pretty much starting from scratch again.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 17, 2013 | 11:15 AM

    “Starting from scratch.”

    This thread is so great.

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  118. WaLi

    Interesting Analysis on proposed rule changes: https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/02/06/rule-changes-designated-hitter-pitch-minimum-tony-clark-rob-manfred?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&xid=socialflow_facebook_si&utm_campaign=sportsillustrated&fbclid=IwAR1SCXlO3ZShCRCvG86MSCrwJyebxE0zpBTEJGfwGaDTST4IFAGWIGxwn1Y&utm_source=reddit.com

    TLDR Summary:
    Pitch clock: Terrific
    Universal DH: Terrible
    Three-batter minimum: Terrible

    Pitch clock: Terrific

    In the past decade baseball players have added an average of 2.4 seconds between pitches. (From one pitch every 21.7 seconds in 2008 to one every 24.1 seconds last year.) Here’s what that means: players have added 13 minutes, 38 seconds of nothingness to the average big league game in just 10 years. Thirteen and a half added minutes of players standing around!

    WaLi Take: eliminating wasted time is a good thing.

    Universal DH: Terrible

    The upside isn’t as significant as you may think. Last year the AL hit .249. The NL hit .247. That’s a difference of one hit every 414 at-bats.

    WaLi Take: I’d be interested in advanced analytic comparisons – but I’m surprised the BA is so close.

    Three-batter minimum: Terrible

    There were a record 16,339 relief appearances last year. But only 1,871 of them involved a pitcher facing one or two batters before being replaced—that’s down from six years ago and that counts pitchers who were replaced after getting the third out of an inning, a scenario that is not effected by this proposed rule. (Limitations would apply only to mid-inning changes.)

    WaLi Take: I don’t think anyone (outside of right handed pitchers?) wants Three-batter minimums and the stats show it would be a minimal impact.

    There’s more in the article but that was what I found interesting.

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  119. Ryno

    In short, Theo & Jed, do your thing. You guys and your staff know infinitely more about baseball than 99% of the Cubs fans out there, so tune it all out. Especially the Al’s of Cubdom.

    This is a slam. Not appreciated.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 17, 2013 | 9:29 AM

    Except personal attacks are not allowed on this site.
    He attacked me as a person, not my argument.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 17, 2013 | 11:16 AM

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  120. Ryno

    Then they are going to suck again next year.
    And in 2015. Because the players in the pipeline won’t be able to produce a contender until 2-3 years after that.
    How do you break this cycle?
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 17, 2013 | 1:51 PM

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  121. WaLi

    WaLi: WaLi Take: I’d be interested in advanced analytic comparisons – but I’m surprised the BA is so close.

    Here are some comparisons for 2018 season based on average between all teams I put together:

    Lge BA OBP SLG OPS
    AL 0.249 0.318 0.415 0.733
    NL 0.247 0.318 0.403 0.721
    Total 0.248 0.318 0.409 0.727

    Based on that I’m opposed to the DH since it eliminates STRATEGY. Only reason I support it is the creation of jobs.

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  122. WaLi

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – Favorite brand of pocket knife.
    Last name – Clothing items you put when it’s cold.

    Emerson Longjohn

    Ryno: First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

    Judge Clementine

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  123. Ryno

    I’d think I have more of a right to complain
    … exactly because I pay for all these games. I’m their best customer.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 18, 2013 | 4:14 PM

    “I’m their best customer.”

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  124. dmick89

    WaLi,

    I think you have to look at multiple years. The NL was better than the AL last year, but for a long time the AL had been better.

    Also, I don’t really need statistics to understand that replacing a pitcher who has batting line of around .150/.175/.250 with someone with a line of .230/.330/.430 creates more offense.

    This is one of those that doesn’t require analysis. An offense without the pitcher batting is a better offense than one with the pitcher batting. Give teams the option of choosing and it’s not like the Reds will go with a pitcher batting while the Indians choose the DH. Except in rare cases, teams will always choose to use the DH because it creates more offense.

    Also, this: https://rsnstats.com/42-years-and-counting/

    The AL scores more runs because of the DH.

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  125. Ryno

    And it’s not pleasant for me to read
    … given the work I put into this site, and into this piece in particular.
    Poured my heart out, and what do I get? Mocked.
    Not fun. Not one bit. I think you can all stop now.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 18, 2013 | 4:03 PM

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  126. dmick89

    I’m not saying that you have to have the DH. I’d much rather prefer the DH, but that would have been ridiculous to hear 75 years ago. But since it exists now and is not going away in one of the two leagues, there’s no reason for the NL to not have it.

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  127. WaLi

    dmick89,

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, because as you say the AL isn’t going to give up the DH and I don’t want leagues with two different sets of rules, but in your RSN link the delta in runs per game between leagues was less than .5 every year except two, and most of the time was less than .3. The reason why the difference is small is because the pitcher only batted 2.1 times/game last year in the NL (probably more for the Cubs since Madden had a tendency to bat a pitcher he was pulling out of the game).

    Also wouldn’t the DH pool become more diluted if there were 15 more positions available? Also offset by the fact I think teams in the AL tend to more often have a defensive specialist which lessens the effect of a DH.

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  128. dmick89

    WaLi,

    Yeah, the DH pool would be diluted for a little while. It would mostly be older guys at the end of their careers, which is probably why the teams don’t want it (those players would cost more money), but I think the availability of players would adjust in the long run. I don’t think it’s a huge difference, but you could probably replace the SS with another pitcher and not see a massive decrease in offense. Probably about the same amount assuming you also pinch hit for that position late in games.

    I just think, as a fan, it’s insulting to ask me for a minimum of $40 to see a game and I get to watch a pitcher bat at least four times and sometimes as many as six times. Teams are literally sending to the plate guys who barely even practice hitting.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if teams want to keep using the pitcher as a hitter, pitcher should get significantly better at hitting. If they can’t find the time to spend on their hitting the amount they need to hit at least close to as bad as the worst position on the field other than pitcher, use the DH. I don’t want to spend a minimum of $40 to watch a team send the worst possible hitter to the plate 5% of the time. No other sport would ask fans to watch someone do something they barely even practice at as frequently as the NL asks fans to watch the pitcher hit. Get better or get the DH.

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  129. Perkins

    Ryno: “I’m their best customer.”

    His insistence that he’s their best customer might be my favorite thing (other than his insistence that Bryant and Baez wouldn’t lead the Cubs to a WS in 2015/16). Bleacher season tickets are one of the more reasonably priced options out there (I think only Terrace Reserved, Upper Deck Box OF, and Upper Deck Reserved are cheaper), and a guy who consistently brings in his own bologna sandwiches and drinks isn’t driving additional revenue from concessions.

    Hell, I’m a bleacher STH and resell most (now all) of my tickets, so if anyone who buys my tickets gets a few beers at the game, then I’m already a more valuable customer than Alvin, since the Cubs have my money irrespective of whether I go to 0 games or 81.

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  130. dmick89

    I’d also add a secondary reason why pitchers shouldn’t hit: injury. The idea that you’re paying someone $20 million per year to pitch and he gets injured batting or running the bases is ridiculous. It’s already a job prone to injury without even factoring in something like this. The option here is that you have pitchers spend considerably more time hitting and a hell of a lot more time working on running the bases. The question is then whether or not you want to see the pitcher’s skill decline just so he can be a slightly better, but still shitty hitter.

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  131. berselius

    Perkins: His insistence that he’s their best customer might be my favorite thing (other than his insistence that Bryant and Baez wouldn’t lead the Cubs to a WS in 2015/16). Bleacher season tickets are one of the more reasonably priced options out there (I think only Terrace Reserved, Upper Deck Box OF, and Upper Deck Reserved are cheaper), and a guy who consistently brings in his own bologna sandwiches and drinks isn’t driving additional revenue from concessions.

    I mean, the Cubs certainly encouraged this when he threw a hissy fit over bringing in his baloney sandwich to a spring training game.

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  132. Myles

    and it’s not pleasant for me to read
    given the work
    i put into this site, and
    into this piece in particular
    poured
    my heart out, and
    what do i get? mocked
    not fun
    not one
    bit. I think
    you can
    all stop now.

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  133. GW

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

    Tango Tigger Melon

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  134. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

    Copland Honeycrisp

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  135. BVS

    Ryno: But if you think all of these players are going to be leading the Cubs to the postseason and the World Series in 2015, or 2016, or beyond, you have a better crystal ball than I do.

    So nearly everyone had a better crystal ball than Al.

    Poured my heart out, and what do I get? Mocked.
    Not fun. Not one bit. I think you can all stop now.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Jun 18, 2013 | 4:03 PM

    The mockery still going strong 5.5 years later.

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  136. BVS

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – Favorite brand of pocket knife.
    Last name – Clothing items you put when it’s cold.

    Leatherman “Stormy” Kromer

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  137. berselius

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – First movie you ever watched featuring Sylevester Stallone.
    Last name – Favorite fruit.

    First Blood Orange

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  138. berselius

    Ryno: Your Cubs prospect name:
    First name – Favorite brand of pocket knife.
    Last name – Clothing items you put when it’s cold.

    Victorinox Carhartt

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  139. berselius

    berselius,

    I remember trying to explain the whole Matt Weiters / “death of Superman” thing to some of my colleagues while expressing skepticism of the 538 election model in 2016. I guess Nate learned a few things about overfitting in the intervening years.

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  140. Myles

    dmick89:
    berselius,

    He still says some pretty dumb shit on twitter, but I suppose that’s why twitter exists.

    I finally unfollowed him a couple months ago. The Signal and the Noise is a great book, and I enjoyed a lot of his baseball work, but I just got SO TIRED of his fucking “ACTUALLY…” schtick and my life is definitely marginally improved without his presence inside it.

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  141. Myles

    I can’t dispute anything in that article, and I’m glad doctor man is optimistic. If there’s a correlation between shoulder injuries and morphing into a extreme pull hitter overnight, I’d like to see the study (and I’m being serious, maybe this is a thing and I don’t know it). Bryant went from to being in nearly the exact middle (103rd of 216 players with 400 or more PA) to the top 10 percent of pull hitting (19th of 214 players with 400 or more PA). Pull hitters can obviously be very successful, but they generally operate with a lot less room for error unless they are Jose Ramirez (who strikes out so infrequently that he has many, many opportunities to cash in on balls in play).

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  142. dmick89

    Myles,

    I still follow him, but I mostly don’t check out my main timeline. I have some bookmarks on my phone of a bunch of people I really like to read and each day I visit those pages. Sometimes I see Nate quoted and Uncle Dave has no problem attacking him for the stupid shit Nate says.

    I’m glad 538 does so well and has become so popular. It’s better than the garbage that’s on television, but not nearly as good as it maybe should be considering its resources.

    I considered myself conservative for the longest time (I have always been socially liberal), but in recent years I want our politics to get as far away from the far right bullshit the GOP is forcing on us. I don’t want some centrist bullshit. That’s not nearly far enough away from the current bullshit we have to put up with.

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  143. Ryno

    Myles: I finally unfollowed him a couple months ago. I enjoyed a lot of his baseball work, but I just got SO TIRED of his fucking…and my life is definitely marginally improved without his presence inside it.

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