Monday, February 26, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I'm pretty skeptical when I read anybody else's predictions anyways. (What? You didn't predict the Detroit Tigers to be in the World Series last year? HA! And you call yourself and expert.) I'm an not a fan of the popular opinion that accurate predictions equals baseball knowledge.
Anyways, here are my predictions. I know I have some wild picks that you disagree with. You don't have to tell me that. These are my predictions, not yours. I didn't predict team records. Just division order and awards. I also have a brief comment on each team. Without further ramble, here they are:
Yankees – With Pettite back, Pavano healthy, and possibly Clemens, they are the real deal.
Red Sox – GM Theo Epstein has a good club with solid players. Unfortunately, they have to look at the Yankees and say, “Youkilis” [you-kill-us!].
Blue Jays – If only they didn’t have to play around 20% of their games against the Yankees or Red Sox…
Orioles – They acquired some good (but pricey) bullpen help as well as a solid veteran that can play several positions in Aubrey Huff. Now, it’s time to watch them continue being the Orioles.
Devil Rays – The only thing scary about this team is flying bats from the hands of Delmon Young, oh, and they killed Steve Irwin
Tigers - After losing the World Series, they go and pick up Gary Sheffield. Does that sentence sound as scary as it was to type?
(Wild Card)White Sox – They’ve got speed, power, average, defense, starters, relievers and they can beat you with any of them.
Indians – The tribe is young, but don’t let that fool you. Being young doesn’t mean they can’t play. These kids are talented and will beat you if underestimated.
Twins – They’ll miss Brad Radke but even with him they need a bit more pitching.
Royals – ha ha ha, this team makes me giggle.
Angels – That veteran rotation can pitch a lot of innings. Gary Matthews will be back to his regular self and not put up MVP numbers. Still, expect Vlad and Co. to be playing in October
Athletics – OK, Mr. Beane, without Zito now is the best time to prove the Anti-Moneyballers wrong.
Rangers – There is little chance for noise in
Mariners – Look for the M’s to get a solid package when they trade Ichiro at the deadline this season. Still, it’ll be too late and the rain will keep pouring in
Mets – They lost Pedro for half a season but the NL East is so weak and that lineup is so potent that it might not even matter.
Phillies – Ryan Howard now has a full season under his belt and look for him to continue to improve.
Braves – Having the best bullpen in the NL doesn’t matter if your starters get hammered.
Marlins – They’ll be wearing patches on their sleeves all year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the club’s first World Series victory. They’ll also be wishing they had a few of those players back.
Nationals – What else do you expect when an already bottom of the division team loses its two key contributors.
Cardinals – Rolen is unhappy,
Cubs – Their spending spree bought them an above .500 record but not much more than that.
Astros – They did a great job dealing with their losses of Bagwell, Pettite, and (most likely Clemens) by getting C. Lee and J. Jennings. Still, this is more of a Lance Berkman show than GM Tim Purura would like to admit.
Reds – Great bench (probably one of the last things anybody is concerned about) and decent pen. Other than that, they’re the same old, boring Reds.
Brewers – Once again, the Brew Crew’s success will be centered around Ben Sheets
Pirates – Two things the Bucs don’t have: They don’t have a closer and they don’t have a chance of being a threat in this division.
Dodgers – Addition of Schmidt puts these guys over the top
(Wild Card) Padres – Spring training doesn’t mean much to a team that has almost all of its spots filled already: deep bench, solid off-season acquisitions...look for these guys to compete.
Giants – I mean, think about it, how could they not re-sign Bonds? He fits the team qualifications perfectly by being born in the Lyndon B. Johnson era.
Diamondbacks – Don’t expect Johnson to have the same impact on this team as he did half a decade ago.
AL Cy Young – Johan Santana
AL “Rookie” of the Year – Daisuke Matsuzaka*
NL MVP – Albert Pujols
NL Cy Young – Jason SchmidtNL Rookie of the Year – Chris Young
Postseason Predictions soon to come...
Friday, February 9, 2007
His main thesis is that adolescents have been abandoned, which is what has causes adolescents to create the worlds they live in. To fight this we must show love and care to this valuable generation.
I think more than anything, the book motivated me. It helped me realize some of the mistakes I have made in my ministry thus far. I apologize to those who have victimized as a result of my mistakes.
The truth is, I care about teenagers, I really do. There is an awesome group of teenagers here in Valdosta. I get a great view to watch God transform them. And I care for them! I care for them and love them so much. I need to do whatever I can to show that I am there for them.
As Clark says, at that time in their life, more than ever, an individual needs to feel loved. This, however, isn't only true for teenagers. It is human nature! Adults are the same way. Little children also have similar feelings. When it all meshes together, the fact is that God created all the wonderful people of this earth. May we, as God's people, cling to Jesus while we grow, struggle, win, and pay taxes.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Saturday, February 3, 2007
The article has many new aspects to it that I never heard before regarding the contracts for the bands to come to HU. Enough of my ramble about it, I'll just let you read it yourself.
1 - I struggled to read this book.
2 - I enjoyed the struggle.
I had to read many of the chapters twice, simply because I'm too dumb to follow Dr. Ross' formulas. However I found his points very informative and I look forward applying much of what I learned to watching a baseball game.
Dr. Ken Ross teaches mathematics at the University of Oregon (and has for 35 years). This fact alone is viewable throughout the entire book. I expected this book to be a baseball guy talking about using math in the sport. Instead, it is a math guy talking about using baseball in the subject. Ross is pretty heavy on the math terms in the book but he talks enough baseball to keep the "mathematically challenged" reader's attention.
The book begins extremely basic! Enough so that I thought I had had enough after 2 chapters. Thankfully, I said to myself, "I'll give it one more chapter." That was when things started flying between my frontal lobe and the pages of this book. After a chapter about basic batting stats and a chapter about expectations, Ross spends the next several chapters looking at probabilities and correct ways they are used in baseball as well as incorrect ways (a few of which I disagree with, but I'll leave that to the reader).
I recommend this book for those baseball fans who frequently are asking themselves "What if...". Ross has a section on what if the world series was longer/shorter. He also experiments with conditional probabilities among several aspects on and off the field (In a chapter that is cleverly titled, Would the Yankees win if Steinbrenner is gone?). My favorite chapter was his chapter regarding streaks. Ross gives several formulas for hitting streaks, winning streaks, attendance streaks, and hot dog selling streaks. The math isn't necessarily the fascinating part of that chapter, but the factors around the streaks are what fascinated me.
One of the more humorous chapters was Ross' chapter on betting on baseball. IMHO, Ross made a huge mistake. He gave away a "sure fire, hands down, flawless way" to make money by gambling on baseball. After thinking about his idea for a few days I felt as if his plan wasn't "flawless" but I did see how he had a good "probability" of succeeding. That being said, it was very uncomfortable and I thought that chapter was a bit out of place. I don't plan on putting a dime on the Cubs and a quarter on the Red Sox anyways, so I skipped the last part of that chapter.
It is hard to summarize the content of this book without typing a bunch of math formulas your way, so here's my final thoughts. This book combines math and baseball to develop a "probability" thinking fan. While Ross isn't correct with all of his thinking, I think most fans of Math and Baseball would enjoy this read. This book should be on the shelf of those fans who like to predict outcomes or gamble. If you're not one of those, I think you'll at least find this book an aid in helping you think outside the [batter's] box.
-It's hard to read (vocabulary speaking)
-A halfway misleading title
-There is not one thesis of the book, just a bunch of collected ideas (bad in my opinion, some may like that though)
-Very to the point, no beating around the bushes anywhere
-Not solely about "Number Crunching"
-Ross answers the "What if" questions other people are afraid to answer
To buy this book or for more reviews, click below:
Mathematician at the Ballpark, by Ken Ross