Cubs Win!

Yep, once a year, whether I need it not, I go to Wrigley Field and the Cubs win. And I got to sit next to a couple of totally smokin’ broads.

Thanks, Tom.

And thank you, Billy, for the tickets earlier this year. I’ll never forget the woman I met at the park that day who gave me my first dose of the clap. 🙂

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Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fantasy 2011

I have been busy the past week with two fantasy baseball drafts and their aftermaths.  I am happy with both drafts for the most part.  I plugged holes on one of my teams at relief pitching and infield depth by picking up a couple of guys off of waivers–a nice plus.  Now, I must keep an eye on injuries during Spring Training.

The fantasies of March often yield to sobering realities of fall, not just with baseball, but also for things in general.  However, things tend to even out and one must be thankful for that.

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer–summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down

OK, the blizzard’s over. Time to start thinking about this season’s fantasy baseball draft. And I ain’t pickin’ Milton Bradley.

The other thing I’ve been wondering about regarding summer is how we aggregate ourselves into these ideological camps given that we are personae with multiple narratives. I suppose we desperately want to hold onto the myth that we have one personal identity like believing in the immortal soul.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer–summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down

OK, the blizzard’s over. Time to start thinking about this season’s fantasy baseball draft. And I ain’t pickin’ Milton Bradley.

The other thing I’ve been wondering about regarding summer is how we aggregate ourselves into these ideological camps given that we are personae with multiple narratives

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Real End of Summer

Fantasy baseball season ended with regular season baseball today. I know what you are thinking. Hey, State Street, how did you do in your fantasy baseball leagues this summer? I won one of them and finished 10 out of 12 in one of them.

Ten out of twelve, that’s exactly how I’ll remember this fantasy baseball season.

And this is what I have to say about it all: finger fuck. I’m a glass half empty kind of guy.

Published in: on October 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Red Sox at Mariners

Past midnight.  You are watching the Red Sox/Mariners baseball game on MLB.TV.  Both teams are out of the playoff hunt.

Maybe, you like baseball.

Or is it that the Cubs put another nail in the Cards coffin tonight?

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 12:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Fantasy baseball 2010: so far so good

I know I will jinx myself by saying this, but I am totally smokin’ my three fantasy baseball leagues right now.  And it ain’t just luck.  I made some very good trades and pickups after my drafts at the beginning of the year.

OK, I can already see myself in second place tomorrow.  Oh well, a month in the sun is better than none at all.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Metaphysics, baseball, and Bouton

I’m still rereading Aristotle’s Metaphysics.  But that sounds so pretentious–even though true.  What I am doing more is rereading Jim Bouton’s Foul Ball.

I’ll let you be the judge of what is the better guide to metaphysics.

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cubs baseball and the Riemann Hypothesis

This is the time of summer when hopes fade.  Such is the case with my beloved(?) Chicago Cubs.  They are playing bad baseball again, especially closer Kevin Gregg who almost single handed is taking them out of contention with one blown save piled on another.

All an old man such as I can do is begin to accept the fact that he will never see a Cubs World Series winner.  Oh well, I’ll never resolve the Riemann Hypothesis either.  Both seem equally out of reach.

Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cubs schedule the rest of the way out

I’m liking the Cubs schedule for the rest of the year.  They have a lot of games against teams that are not contenders.  Of course, translating those into wins is another story.

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Baseball wagering Sat 25 Jul 09

Today’s baseball picks: Cubs over the Reds, Tigers over the White Sox.  Straight wagers on both games, and a two team parlay of same.

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Romance–when no holds were barred

One sure way to to burn daylight early in the morning is by studying historical baseball numbers.  Take the Chicago Cubs for instance.  From 1906 through 1910 they won 99 or more games each season, they won 4 NL titles, finished second once, and they won two World Series.  Their 1906 record of 116 wins and only 36 losses stands as the best winning percentage of all time.  Too bad they lost to the Chicago White Sox “Hitless Wonders” four games to one in the World Series that year.  After those five years, they did not tail off much as they finished second twice, third once, and fourth once in the NL.

Back then, they were not known as the lovable Cubbies as they are today.  They played as mean and hard as any team.  They retaliated in kind no matter how roughly they were treated.  Their player/manager Frank Chance was once called the best amateur barroom brawler in America.  That must have been a sight to behold given the belligerent no-holds barred era he played in.

The Cubs return home to Wrigley to play the Reds at 1:20 this afternoon.  On July 24, 2008, the Cubs beat beat Brooklyn 2-1 in Brooklyn.  Jack Pfiester got the win.  The Cubs and Giants were one game back of the Pirates in the standings at the end of the day.  The Cubs won the pennant that year over the Giants and Pirates.  The regular season ended with the Cubs playing the Giants in the last regular season game to make up the Merkle Boner game.  The Cubs beat Detroit in the World Series four games to one.

All manner of romances populate our imaginations.  We love souls, places, and times to name a few.  One needn’t find another soul when a beloved has forsaken us.  Substitutes abound.  If we want romance, we should get ourselves to places where desire, fantasy, and reality can scarcely be teased apart.  Wander.

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Sedative

Some nights this summer I eat a chocolate chip cookie or chocolate ice cream and watch a little of the Ken Burn’s Baseball documentary before going to bed.  It takes me far away.  I always sleep well on those nights.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

They play it every day

The Cubs did better last night than the night before, but managed to lose 4 to 1 to the Phillies in the bottom of the 13th on a three run home with two out.  I am sure anyone who cares knows about it from watching the game or TV highlights or reading the sports news, so I won’t bore you with the details.

Whether you play like shit and lose or play well and lose, you still lose.  Someone once said you cannot be a baseball fan if winning is everything, for even the best teams lose a lot.  More’s the pity for the mediocre or bad teams.

It’s only July 22, 2009 though.  The Cubs play the Phillies again this afternoon.  As a loyal Cub fan, I cannot wait for revenge.  Nothing would delight me more today than  to see the Cubs end the Phillies ten game win streak.

The Cards lost again last night to the Astros.  The Cubs remain two games back of the Cards.  Too bad the Cubs had to visit Philadelphia when the Phillies are playing their best.  Don’t think of that, State Street.  Think about how happy you’ll be if the Cubs win today.

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Realityville

Back to reality for the Cubs. They are down 9 to 2 in the 5th against the Phillies and playing like home made shit. They ought to broadcast their games on the cartoon channel.

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Beware the Butcher Boy

I listened to the Cubs/Nationals game on the radio yesterday.  The Cubs won 11 to 3.  One interesting play went like this.  Fontenot and Hill were on second and first with one out for the Cubs and the pitcher Hart at bat.  He showed bunt all the way.  On one pitch the Nats third baseman and first baseman charged the plate and the shortstop took off to cover third base, a play called The Wheel intended to get a force out at third if the batter bunted.  But the Cubs manager Lou Pinella had The Butcher Boy play called, a play where the batter swings away hoping to take advantage of the gap in the infield.  Hart singled sharply through the gap to drive in Fontenot.  That was the third run in a seven run inning and the damned best play the Cubs have made all season.

I love Sweet Lou.

And so it goes with baseball as with life in general.  The Wheel might be the deal, but beware the Butcher Boy.

Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Baseball frivolity and destiny

This summer baseball consumes my attention and imagination as much or probably more than any other summer. The morning begins with brief yet serious work on my fantasy teams. I try to do whatever else that must be done after that while anticipating the start of the day’s Cubs game. I read baseball, listen to, watch, or go to as many games as I can, watch baseball documentaries, study statistical inference so I can apply it to rudimentary baseball questions, and when I wake in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep, I play computer simulation games. I began a new project today. I am creating a scorecard for each of the Chicago Cubs World Series games from 1906 through 1945.

Last night I sat in the bar watching the Cubs game on one TV and the White Sox game on another TV next to it on the wall. I focused on the Cubs, but watched the Sox too. I saw White Sox player Jim Thome’s three run home run and his grand slam while sneaking peeks.

I don’t find anything mythic, heroic, or poetic about baseball. It merely transports me to a different world where grand careers and minutiae of particular games meld into a fascinating collage almost impossible to tease apart for inspection.

I suppose I’ve never grown up in more respects than I want to know. Baseball accentuates the juvenile in me for all to see, more than any other of my aimless pursuits. I suspect that when I die my juvenile pursuit of baseball will symbolize not only my life but my destiny.

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Baseball on the iPhone and love

I’m back home from Minneapolis.  The trip was nice and the White Sox even beat the Twinkies last night.

When I found out that the Cubs/Cards game was not being carried in the Minneapolis area yesterday, I looked for an iPhone app that would let me access the radio broadcast of the game.  I found AT BAT at MLB.com.  The app cost $10.  You get all the radio broadcasts of every MLB game and TV feeds if the game is not blacked out.

So, I hung out in a bar drinking beer and listening to my Cubs win yesterday afternoon before going to the White Sox/Twinkies game.  The audio was clear and the after checking out the TV picture this afternoon, it ain’t half bad either.  The bad thing is that it plays hell on the better charge.  I don’t know if you can watch or listen to a whole game without being on Wi-Fi.  But as a temporary baseball fix it guarantees you won’t go into withdrawal when you are stuck god knows where.

If you can’t have love, then baseball live on the iPhone has got to be the next best thing.

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

White Sox vs. Twinkies

I am in Minneapolis watching some baseball this weekend at the Metrodome.  We wanted to see it before the Twin Cities opens their new baseball park next year.  None of us have ever been here for baseball.

We have another game tonight.  I like baseball a lot.

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 8:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Baseball, the juice, and the elusive facts

Everybody remotely interested in baseball has gotten their fill of news about performance enhancing drug use by many baseball players.  We hear much moralizing about the issue that pushes the question of whether PED’s actually enhance performance to the side.

While looking for data and statistical analyisis regarding the issue, I found this interesting site: Steroids, Other “Drugs”, and baseball.  The author claims that PEDs do not enhance baseball performance–most notably the power ability of a player.  The article states a case that changes in baseball construction and manufacture account for home run increases during baseball’s modern era (1980-present) better than use of PEDs.  In fact, if you adjust for changes in baseball manufacture, power numbers have actually been decreasing during baseball’s modern era.

I have not studied the article’s statistical study in enough depth to comment on its methodology or accuracy, but it is a step in the right direction.  One must study the matter statistically to glean the facts.  Assuming a PED enhances performance is no better than assuming eating Wheaties enhances performance.  You have to do a well designed study and make good inferences from the results to know about what might be going on.

Alas, that seems too droll and boring a concept for sports radio and TV talking heads to get their minds around.  However, inquiring minds like mine want to know.  I feel a lot of other folks want to know too despite the media’s attempts to dumb the issue down.

Published in: on July 4, 2009 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Chicago baseball and intentional walks

Let’s face it, some mornings we are destined to write about what’s on the top of our minds.  Chicago baseball is on the top of mine.  The Cubs despite all the chaos on the field, in the dugout, and in the front office trail the Cards by a mere 2.5 games at mid season.  The White Sox have won seven straight and have closed to within 2.5 games of Detroit.

It appears that no team will run away with the National League Central Division.  The winner will probably be a handful of games over .500.  That is a good thing for my Cubs, for I don’t see them playing the kind of baseball people expected from them before the season started.  I could list their ills, but you’ve heard it all before.

Yesterday’s Cubs win over the Brewers was interesting.  The Brewers intentionally loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th inning in hopes of achieving a force out to end the inning.  They walked another batter though, and the Cubs scored the winning run without needing a firecracker or sparkler to do the job.

Loading the bases to get the force out seems like a plausible play right up until when it doesn’t work.  I wonder what a statistical analysis would say about the maneuver.  A study sounds interesting, but I expect one would have to go through a randomly selected set of score cards to get the data after carefully defining the problem.  It could take a long time to gather comparison data.

On the other hand, might there not be a clever Monte Carlo simulation one could run against the problem?  I’ll report back if I come up with an answer.

Published in: on July 4, 2009 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  

No priorities

I was rummaging through my book closet this morning when I ran across Iris Murdoch’s Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, a book I bought and never read.  I’m going to take it for a spin now.

However, the Cubs/Sox game is coming up, so it will be a book for tonight and the weekend.

I know, I have no priorities.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winning helps

I’ve seen a lot of baseball games this year. Yesterday, I saw the Cubs make an improbable comeback against the White Sox. It’s funny how when your team wins, things seem a little brighter.

The Cubs did it again today coming back from six runs down to beat the Indians.

Two good days–no matter what.

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Baseball, statistics, the Reimann Hypothesis, and random consciousness

I have baseball fever more than usual this spring. Baseball means statistics, especially if you play a lot of fantasy baseball. Statistics means wondering what statistics are significant and which ones are just random noise.

My mind wondered across all that tonight and led me into thinking about the statistical regularity of the distribution of prime numbers, which continued on to the Reimann Hypothesis, for the holy grail with the prime numbers is to find a function that estimates the distribution well.

But that is not the point. Why have I have been thinking about what I have been thinking about today? The previous two days I thought about lost love–something that seems unrelated to the above. What causes these large shifts in the preoccupation of consciousness? How much is causal and how much due to randomness? What will my mind be occupied with tomorrow?

And why do I continue to suffer from this profound sense of melancholy that will not go away?

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barry Bonds Career Home Run Analysis

Since baseball season has started, I decided to do a statistical analysis on Barry Bonds career home runs.

From 1986 through 1999 Bonds averaged .052 home runs per plate appearance. Estimating the margin of error gives .005 home runs for a [.047, .057] 95% confidence interval. His career home run per plate appearance was .06 with a 95% confidence error of .002. I calculate his HR/PA as .063 with a 95% confidence error of +/- .007 for his San Francisco years 1993-1999.

However, look at his HR/PA for these years at San Francisco.

2000 .081

2001 .110

2002 .075

2003 .082

2004 .072

All of these HR/PA’s are outside the the 95% confidence intervals mentioned above. And Bonds was 35 years old in 2000.

Something changed dramatically for Bonds in 2000. Inquiring minds like mine want to know.

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 1:35 pm  Leave a Comment