All posts tagged: Baseball Prospectus

You Know You’re in a Pennant Race…

You know you’re in a pennant race when… …you are passing the peace during a Sunday service, and all of a sudden you find that two other parishioners around you also check the west coast baseball scores when they get up in the middle of a night for a bio break.  (And no, I was not the person who started this conversation.) …you curse the schedule makers who put so many of your team’s games on the west coast during a period when you’re trying to catch up on sleep. …you turn to the sports pages (on your iPad, of course) to find the latest Tom Boswell column about – what else – pennant races. …magic numbers seem to grow instead of shrink. …you want to call everyone you know to ask them if they saw Bryce Harper barely miss the “Hit it Here Cafe” target at Safeco Field on Sunday – a monster blast off the cafe windows. …you curse the schedule makers who obviously gave the other team you are battling in your …

How College Students Can Lead to a Wonderful Holiday Weekend

When a colleague asked about our plans for the upcoming holiday weekend, I told her that Andrew and Claire each had friends from college who were in town and would be staying with us.  I assumed our role was “To stay out of the way.” Thankfully, I was wrong.  Jason, Jordi, Jackie, Kelsey, Claire, and Andrew were delightful guests and hosts, sharing some of their time with us and also giving Candice and me the space to enjoy our weekend with each other. We began with our “traditional” July 4th celebrations – and all the twins’ friends joined us (rather enthusiastically, I think).  While the Takoma Park July 4th parade didn’t have quite the pizzazz of a presidential year (I miss the “Mutts for Mitt” floats with dog puppets on top of cars and there wasn’t anything to reach the level of last year’s “precision grill team”), we still had a great time laughing at the floats and enjoying the world music you always hear at our little slice of Haight-Ashbury here in DC.  Afterwards, …

It Ain’t Over…

As I’ve written before, I love good baseball writing.  So I almost laughed out loud when reading the Baseball Prospectus’ It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over and came across this passage from a story about the 2003 National League Central pennant race between the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs: The Cub’s opponents going into the final four days were the Reds and Pirates, and the Astros had four games against the Brewers.  The top two teams in the NL Central would battle it out against the bottom three, and whoever beat up the eminently beatupable would advance. “Eminently beatupable.”  With language like that, you know exactly what he means. More to come… DJB

A Night of Baseball Geekdom

Tonight I put everything on the back burner and wallowed in a night of baseball geekdom.  Yes, it was the annual pre-season visit to Politics & Prose bookstore by the editors of Baseball Prospectus.  And it was a night of VORP (Value Over Replacement Player), BQS (Blown Quality Starts), BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) and other incomprehensible acronyms and statistics.  It was also a night for a long soliloquy by co-editor Steven Goldman on why the Yankees will be facing a huge decision in 2010 on Derek Jeter, when they predict his bad glove, age, slumping hitting, and a chase for 3,000 hits will all come together the year his contract expires.  As they note, …famous-player milestones sell tickets and merchandise, but as veterans of the Astros’ “Biggioquest ’07” can tell you, subjugating team goals to the greater glory of a fading star isn’t conducive to winning.  By 2010, Jeter’s glove won’t play in the infield and his bat won’t play anywhere else.  His 3,000th hit will have zero benefit to the winning effort. As …