Podcast Review (A Notepad Scribbles In Disguise)

I was attempting to type in the title for this post, but I accidentally ran my mouse pointer over a drop-down menu and subsequently nearly reported my own blog as a spam site. The only way that would have been true is if you didn’t care to read about the Minnesota Twins…which if you didn’t, then I’d have to question why you were here in the first place. Also, this was supposed to be short. It ended up being Joe Posnanski-curiously long post length.

To review tonight’s podcast with Jack Steal, we discussed:

1. Joe Mauer winning the MVP and his future contract extension.

2. ? (I seriously forgot. Uh oh.)

Edit: We talked about the additions to the Twins 40-man roster. I pointed out how I was disappointed that the Twins didn’t add another outfielder, because they still have only 5, with Jason Kubel likely spending more time at DH. I also feel that the Twins don’t completely trust Jason Pridie in the majors, considering that he didn’t play very much in 2008 despite being a September call-up (perhaps because the Twins were engaged in a first place battle with the White Sox and wanted their best players on the field) but he wasn’t a September call-up AT ALL this past season, even after Morneau went down with his back injury and Cuddyer shifted from RF to 1B.

3a. (No, not profit). The free agent market. Thanks to me, we focused mostly on starting pitching.

3b. Bill Smith and his poor decisions.

3c. The fact that the Twins do not have an ace for the starting rotation. I named Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, and Ben Sheets as possible targets, plus a new name and spelling/pronunciation challenge for Twins fans: Justin Duchscherer (pronounced “duke-scher,” although I’ve also heard “dew-scher.” I prefer the first one). I don’t think Duchscherer is ace-quality, but if he’s healthy, he would definitely be an improvement over anyone not named Baker, Slowey, or Blackburn.

…and now some things to note or look for in the future:

1. Patrick Reusse had his fellow sportswriter Joe Christensen as a candidate for Turkey of the Year because he cites OPS as a statistic. Reusse claims this statistic as being make-believe. Here’s my input:

a. According to Reusse, OPS is a make-believe statistic. Really? Because ESPN just added it to their stat lines during televised MLB games. Yep, it’s there with batting average, home runs, and RBI…and this is from the same television network that had Tim Kurkjian tell me how many home runs Ryan Church hit on Sundays in 2008 (I get it, Church + Sundays¬† + success = funny! I like Kurkjian, but sometimes his quirky stats go a bit too far).

b. Reusse states that runs and RBI matter. Yes, in the sense that the team with the most runs wins. But both statistics are dependent on the success of your teammates, not just your own success. Surround Mark Teixeira with 8 Alexi Casillas. Teixeira ain’t getting 100 runs and 120 RBI no more.

c. La Velle E. Neal III just cited BILL JAMES AND OPS AND STRONG SEASON INDEX SCORES* here. That post is very recent. It’s not nice to play favorites with your co-workers, Patrick.

d. Joe C. is a beat writer for the Twins. If you lumped Reusse’s 5 columns per week together, you could get the equivalent of my Notepad Scribbles, but with each paragraph being an entire column instead. My point is that Joe C.’s job is to report on the Twins. He watches them almost every day (if not every day). Reusse talks about whatever he wants. He presumably doesn’t watch the Twins almost every day. One of these guys has more credibility than the other when it comes to talking about baseball.

e. This year’s Turkey of the Year candidates were ridiculously Minnesota-based (Brook Dieter…wait, who?) or had ties to Minnesota (Keizo Konishi, but we know you’ve admitted your mistake). But just for fun, Reusse strayed from the sports theme and included Richard Heene, just because, you know, faking an impromptu balloon flight for his son was such a big deal. Normally, I loved this column because I almost always agreed with Reusse’s choices, but mainly because of including Joe C., he lost a lot of credibility with me.**

f. (Should have been point b but I forgot it and then remembered it now). Moneyball by Michael Lewis (not Billy Beane!) mentioned that OBP is actually worth more than SLG. However, OPS treats these two as being equal. There probably is a statistic that accounts for this inequality, but I do not know of it. This is probably the only place where I’ll agree with Reusse.

g. You can have a high-scoring offense, but if your pitching and defense isn’t great, then your personal runs and RBI don’t matter as much.

h. The Timberwolves are left off the list? You have a problem with OPS, but can’t fault a 1-14 team?

* There’s only so much I can do (or am willing to do) to draw attention to this fact.

** But to be fair, I didn’t think much of him anyways. Same with Sid Hartman, and lesser so Jim Souhan and John Millea. Maybe if I’m out of ideas for blog posts in the future, I’ll elaborate on my distaste for these three.

I think I’m done blasting Reusse now. I wish I could witness the confrontation between him and Joe C., unless Joe C. merely says, “That was pretty funny, Pat. Thanks for mentioning me, though, I sure could use the publicity. See you at lunch?”

Long-awaited 2. I would like to do a post on the sabermetric community butting heads with the traditional methods group, so I emailed TT from Granny Baseball for some help. I got an immediate response when I asked him to contact me, but after I sent him the details on my post, he decided to not give me any further information. I hope he can give me some opinions from the old-school thought on judging talent, because otherwise I might have to start saying stuff that people like TT may not necessarily believe, or worse, ask for the opinion of Patrick Reusse.

3. I had a lot of fun typing up the Konishi’s Lament post. Reminds me of my Myth & Meaning college class when I wrote a poem on the Icarus myth (got an A!). To add to the satire portion of OTM, I think I’ll continue writing parodies of songs here and there. If I have time, I may even start recording my lyrics with the background music, karaoke style, and post them together on my ever-expanding sidebar. My voice isn’t the greatest, but maybe I can “hire” some people to do my bidding for me.

4. A “Should The Twins Consider Duchscherer?” post might be coming up.

5. Still have another satirical article in mind.

6. I have an ERA vs. FIP post that’s been vegetating in my saved posts file for about 4 days now. It’s taken directly from a comment that I left on Over The Baggy in response to TT’s opposition of FIP being a more useful statistic than ERA, written in the style of a hypothetical situation/semi-casual math proof. I may need to coax it out of hiding sometime this week, or it may never see the front page of OTM.

I think that’s it. Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! Let’s hope that the Detroit Lions game draws so little of a national audience that the NFL is forced to consider banning them from playing on a Thanksgiving ever again.

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4 Responses to “Podcast Review (A Notepad Scribbles In Disguise)”

  1. Josh Says:

    I think Reusse’s turkey column generally focuses on Minnesota connections in sports. He usually likes to stray away from obvious picks like the T-Wolves, although Tim Brewster was just too perfect to ignore. Naturally, selections like the psycho girls soccer player or Miguel Cabrera would be stellar picks otherwise. I actually liked the pick of Brook Dieter. It wasn’t highly publicized, but she was a total immature brat.

    Regardless, his selection of Christenson was ridiculous and completely unsurprising. He’s ripped into blogs and frisbee golf and it’s quite obvious that he just doesn’t like change. I’m sure he HATED the internet. He’s a cantankerous mule who finds baseball stats that do not utilize simple math as both cumbersome and difficult to comprehend.

    Personally, I think an interview with Reusse would be fascinating. I’m sure he has his reasons to why he feels so negatively toward newfangled statistics.

    • Andrew Says:

      But who’s to say that he would be willing to do an interview for a guy that only runs a blog on the Internet that uses new baseball statistics and would play Frisbee golf more often if given the chance? He’d probably hate me as well!

      I guess I was wrong then. My memory tells me that Reusse’s past Turkey of the Year articles focused on sports in general, however. But, he did include A-Rod and Richard Heene (was his story such a big deal that the “sports-only” rule was ignored for him?) which I still don’t understand (Heene, not A-Rod).

      I just read the Frisbee golf issue. I’m not as upset with that as I am with him calling out Joe C. though. Despite voicing his displeasure for Frisbee golf, it sounds like he actually had some valid points to back up his argument. The OPS thing was just a simple “I don’t like it, and I’m annoyed with people that do like it, but I won’t give any real reasons why I don’t like it because I need to save space for the other 10 people I need to call out.”

      I’m trying to get TT from Granny Baseball to give me some information, but he has yet to respond. I may need to get creative in finding other people if this doesn’t work out, because it’s a little difficult to argue for one point when I don’t have any sources and I favor the opposite point.

  2. Notepad Scribbles, 12/1/09 « Off The Mark Says:

    […] By Andrew It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, although I suppose the Podcast Review was essentially the same thing. Despite the slow hot stove, apparently I’ve found plenty to […]

  3. Jim Souhan Hijacked My Blog « Off The Mark Says:

    […] Come again? Yes, I’ve seen the Stupid Souhan things on Twitter. Thanks for reminding me. By the way, have you seen this comment from this Off The Mark guy? […]

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