Archive for December, 2009

A Sigh of Relief

December 30, 2009

In the past week, the San Francisco Giants have kept with tradition and signed two older veterans in Mark DeRosa and Juan Uribe. Recently, there were rumors swirling around that the Twins were interested in signing either of these two to play either 2nd or 3rd base. Fortunately, they won’t get that chance now, thanks to Giants GM Brian Sabean.



I Won’t Say “I Told You So”…

December 29, 2009

…but I did mention this on December 1st in one of my blog posts:

You all can say you saw it here first when I dramatically predict that the Vikings will not make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs. Being 10-1 is great and I’m definitely pleased with this season, but remember that they have had a rather weak schedule this year. Don’t believe me? The Vikings so far have had the 2nd easiest strength of schedule in the league at .423 (107-146).

Edit: That should have read 107-146-1, since the website I originally found that data omitted ties. That merely changes the winning percentage to .420.


“The Blind Side” And Related Stories

December 27, 2009

Here’s another posted caused by the Twins doing absolutely nothing right now. Last weekend, I saw the movie The Blind Side with my girlfriend. Now, it’s not really fair for me to say that it was a good movie, because I’ve said that about 99% of the movies that I’ve watched in my lifetime.* But, that is the truth, I really felt that it was a good movie and despite it being about a football player, the storyline did not focus as much on football as I thought it would.

* The only movie I can remember that I’ve definitely disliked was “Napoleon Dynamite.” It’s also the only movie that I have rented but then deliberately stopped watching in the middle because of how boring it was. You can imagine how cranky I was when I kept hearing, “Can I have some of your tots?” for the few months after the movie was released.


Blogging Milestones

December 24, 2009

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all. Thanks to winter break, I am now a blogger that lives in his parents’ basement, but no worries! I shall return to busting this stereotype within the first week of January.


Hot Zones

December 22, 2009

Well, I’m officially bored. Luckily for me (although I must admit that finding this at 1:30 a.m. last night was a bit frustrating) I found the hot and cold zones for hitters on FOX Sports’ website from the 2009 season. For those of you that don’t know, what happens is that a hitter’s strike zone is divided into 9 equal rectangles, and the batting averages for all pitches thrown into these zones is shown. Generally colors are shown in addition to the batting averages to help display whether a hitter hits well or poorly with pitches in those zones. Red is good or “hot,” a neutral color for average, and blue for bad or “cold.” Now FOX Sports only had these three colors (gray for neutral) but I felt that their legend was a bit off.


Smith’s Patience

December 21, 2009

I apologize for yet another song so shortly after the previous one, but this offseason has been rather slow for Twins fans. Jack Steal from Fanatic Jack Talks Twins is clearly frustrated by the lack of activity, when it feels like every other team around the Twins is working to improve their own teams. He’s drawing the ire from other people due to his impatience, but it’s hard to remain patient when there are several holes to fill and Bill Smith doesn’t seem to show any concern about filling any of those. Hell, a Joe Mauer contract extension is probably what everyone wants, but as far as we know, the Twins and Mauer aren’t even discussing it at the moment. So, while I do not have a funny yet bogus story as a background to this song (because the story is practically entirely truthful), I do have a song anyway. To Audioslave’s “Like A Stone,” I give you a song about Bill Smith and sitting tight until Spring Training:


Point Guard Conundrum

December 19, 2009

I know that typically I focus on baseball and the Minnesota Twins, but if you were around when Off The Mark first started, I mentioned that I would occasionally forage into other topics. I apologize if some of you are turned off by this post about the Timberwolves, but I follow all of Minnesota’s four major sports teams. Baseball is certainly my biggest sports interest, but I have enough knowledge of the other three sports to talk about them from time to time.*

* In order of knowledge: Baseball, basketball/football, hockey. If I’m talking hockey, one of three things has probably happened: I have nothing else to post, something really interesting just happened, or I honestly feel like I have a serious suggestion for the Wild.


Hattaway’s Disgust

December 19, 2009

Disclaimer: 1

I forgot to share with you all, but on Wednesday I had an interview with the Minnesota Twins to be an usher for 2010. I had to go to the offices behind the main ticket office at the Metrodome, where I waited for about 10 minutes before my interviewers showed up. I was taken into one of the suites* inside the stadium, which was pretty cool and I would have stared at the field (halfway between the football and baseball conversion) if I wasn’t trying to convince two guys to hire me.

* PS: There’s a hallway that’s almost hidden but clearly obvious when you see it that connects one of the concourses to the offices. Too bad the Twins won’t play in the Metrodome any longer, because I’d be on the lookout for that hallway every time I’d get the chance.


Quick Note

December 17, 2009

According to Kelly Thesier, she emailed the Twins baseball communication department and has learned that J.J. Hardy will wear #27 for 2010. He originally had #7 while with the Milwaukee Brewers, but was forced to change due to a slight problem:

Also, the prospect formerly known as Sano has switched his name again, this time to Miguel Sano from Miguel Jean. Just don’t do this midseason, ok buddy? Otherwise you won’t be on friendly terms with the guy that sews your name onto your jerseys.

Old School vs. New School

December 16, 2009

Part two on the debate between traditional statistics and sabermetrics.

Note: While I was typing this up, I had some inspiration on some additional posts that could be included in this series. Therefore, you may notice that I have changed the header at the top to reflect that this series will have an indefinite number of posts. The same has been done for the ERA/FIP Fistfight post. Also, I’m going to keep the whole series available at all times on the right of this page, under the title “The Statistics Debate Series.” I honestly feel that this series is one of the most interesting pieces that I’ve written since I created this blog.

Well I’ve been mulling this over for several weeks now. I posted a while back the first part of this series, which involved a disagreement over whether ERA or FIP was more useful in judging a pitcher’s worth. I used an extreme example of an infinitely large ballpark and a perfect defense versus a completely average ballpark and defense to show that FIP was a better predictor of a pitcher’s future ERA. However, an infinitely large field with a perfect defense doesn’t exist, so it’s arguable that my example only holds true in this single case (a point that many of my math teachers enjoy telling me when I try to write out some proofs), but I’ll save my talk about FIP and ERA for later.