Thursday, October 30, 2003


Nobody anywhere will argue that Manny Ramirez is not a great baseball player. Clearly, he is one of the best hitters of his generation, a slugger that can add substantial pop to any lineup in the game. There is only one reason why any team would choose not to have Manny, and that reason is money.

Most Radio Bostonians are thrilled to have the possibility of unloading Manny's contract, with the idea of using it all to sign a couple of lesser 10 mil a year guys, or a different superstar, like Vladimir Guerrero, who excels in all facets of the game. Of course, it's not going to be that easy. No team is expected to pick up Manny, and to most people, it's incredibly obvious why. Manny's the second highest paid player in baseball, but not the second best player. He also appears to be disinterested at times, therefore, he's not worth 20 mil a year. But what is he worth? Isn't 15 mil a year also ridiculous? What about 10 mil? We're left with one giant question:

At what price does it become profitable to have Manny Ramirez on your baseball team?

The Red Sox do not make a penny off of Manny. Fenway Park sells out all of the time. TV ratings are always high. As long as the Red Sox are competitive, there's really no need to have that kind of financial commitment to any one player. But what if you're someone else? Isn't there a single team that could use a Manny pickup as a sign that they want to compete? Isn't there a place where adding Manny to the middle of the lineup would cause excitement, and sell tickets?

I'm thinking there should be lots of places. Let's pretend we own the Detroit Tigers. We are a disgrace to our fans and our town. We won only 43 games. We sold just over 17,000 tickets a game, only 43 percent of capacity (I see the coincidence: 100 wins = 100% capacity?). Say we take Manny and his contract. It would boost our payroll to 69 million dollars, or right smack in the middle of all major league payrolls, and we would still be terrible. We would be adding all of that money without becoming a contender, and maybe even hurting our long-term chances of contending, so what's the point?

The point is this. Tiger fans would be interested. Some would even buy tickets. Even without Manny, it's almost historically impossible for the 2004 Tigers to be as bad as the 2003 Tigers. So say, with a few more thousand fans in the seats, the Tigers start off with a record of 8-10. Then, we struggle along to 30-40. At the end of the year, the team finishes at 63-99. But as bad as we are, we're not historically bad, and in fact are far more entertaining than the year before.

With some goodwill created, the Tigers average 21,000 fans a game, only 25th in all of baseball, but 4,000 more a game than the previous year. At an average of, say, thirty-five bucks a ticket, for 81 home games, plus an average of five dollars a person for concessions (I'm guessing a very low estimate) that would come to...

$12,960,000. About seven million short of Manny's contract. If you take slightly higher estimates - five dollars more each per ticket and concessions - you've got $16,200,000, or 3.8 million less than what Manny makes. So you probably have to come up with from 4 to 7 million somewhere else. But, add in the higher TV ratings, which brings in higher advertising rates for the following year, and maybe a very small increase in ticket prices, and maybe, maybe, signing Manny sets off a chain reaction that pays for itself.

A lot of work and high risk just for breaking even? Possibly. But you've created something else. Optimism. Hope. The idea that with the maturation of a few young players, you're only a couple of steps away from .500. An environment where maybe you can now attract other players to sign with you. A future.

And this is only one team. While the media examines which high-payroll teams might take a chance on Manny, my guess is that it is any team with attendance problems, not just Detroit, that could find him most affordable.

Doubt it would happen of course. Some organizations just don't want to compete, and consider low payrolls and poor teams a safer investment. Nice to think about though, the idea that every team is trying to succeed. What a wonderful world it would be.

Links used for this story:

Dave's Email

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Jab and Move - Quantum Mechanics and the Red Sox Dynasty

Didn't get to sit down with my blog last night because I was watching, of all things, a NOVA special on quantum mechanics and string theory. Totally trippy stuff. Apparently, the trick of quantum mechanics is that every possible outcome to any situation does in fact occur, if not in our universe, than in a parallel one. Taken to it's logical conclusion, not only did the Red Sox win this World Series, but they have actually won all of them, in one universe or another. Well, that's a relief. Or at least, it's a relief until I find out that half of my audience happens to be physicists, and they point out all of the flaws in my interpretation.

Tonight I watched the Celtics opener, and while they were playing a Lamar Odom-less Miami Heat, they still looked good. These, quickly, are my fairly generic observations:

Raef LaFrentz does lots of things well - shoots inside and outside, rebounds, passes. Good Stuff.

Marcus Banks looked like a rookie in his first game, which is to say, awful.

The C's have a lot of depth in the frontcourt.

I'm restarting my Playoff BAP Scores Analysis. It's unfortunate that I couldn't continue it right through the World Series and finish it on time, but who would have expected that level of BoSox heartache? And anyway, I do have a job, so schedules for blog stuff are always optimistic. Here are the last two games of Twins-Yankees. After this, I'll only have two Florida-Chicago games, four Sox-Yankees, and the World Series. We'll get there. Promise.

Yankees 8 Twins 1
OBP - NY .381, Min .250
SLG - NY .538, Min .278
OPS - NY .919, Min .528
BAP - NY .714, Min .361
EBs - NY 6, Min 3
BA - NY .333, Min .250
SecA - NY .308, Min .028
BA+SecA - NY .741, Min .278

Not even close. Each stat analyzes the game data correctly.

NY 3 Minn 1
OBP - NY .333, Min .182
SLG - NY .353, Min .240
OPS - NY .686, Min .420
BAP - NY .550, Min .394
EBs - NY 5, Min 4
BA - NY .235, Min .156
SecA - NY .265, Min .125
BA+SecA - NY .500, Min .281

A closer game, but still, each stat gets it right.

The Standings:

BAP 24-2
BA+SecA 23-3
SLG 23-3
OPS 22-4
OBP 21-5
BA 21-5
SecA 20-6

For those of you completely baffled by the BAP scores, go to BAP For Beginners.

Dave's Email

Monday, October 27, 2003

Changes, Part 1

I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
Changes - David Bowie

Grady Little was put out of his misery today, as the Red Sox finally announced that his contract would not be renewed. He chose to go out in a blaze of pettiness, blaming everyone but himself for the reputation he is now forever saddled with. My guess is that his search for another major league job will lead to nothing, a million deadend streets. You have to wonder, in the privacy of his own home, if Grady has recognized his fatal error, but it seems more like he thinks he should have it made, recognized as a competent leader for managing one of the top four baseball teams in the world. Alas, the taste is not so sweet. The pinnacle of Little's baseball career has come to an end.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox will begin an off-season of changes with a managerial hunt. My choice? I like Mike Hargrove. He brought the Indians within a Jose Mesa of winning a World Series. He had the Indians in first place five straight years, so he never lost control of his team. He was known for his patience at the plate, finishing his career with a .396 OBP, good for 72nd all time. He did a good job of pulling together a young Orioles staff, and Manny likes him. Also, I have a hard time seeing the Sox replacing Grady with another manager without big league experience. For a complete list of possible candidates, check out this article by Gordon Edes (who I usually bash), Name of Game:Making A List Of Sox Candidates.

You may have noticed some changes around here as well. One is the addition of pictures. I have Ryan from the Texas A&M site to thank for that, as he was the first person to explain it in such a way that it could penetrate my thick skull. I plugged him when he erroneously picked the Aggies this past weekend, so I'll do it again now for the favor, and for this amazing piece of personal trivia - he once hit a double off of Josh Beckett!

The great thing about pictures is that it allows me another creative outlet, even if I have absolutely no skill in that area. The only thing that I could draw for you would be stick figures, but I can pick any kind of picture to go on here, and it doesn't have to be related to anything else in any way, but it still reveals something about me, and maybe even makes a connection to you. Like this:

This is the New Orleans artist Frenchy with his portrait of P-Funk. Now, I don't know how many of you care about P-Funk, or purchase art, or would purchase this if you did purchase art, but someone out there will come to this site and think "COOL!", and that's good enough for me. At least, it's good enough for me if I'm not driving away the rest of our little crowd in droves.

You may have also noticed the polls (Or maybe not. The Theo/Grady photo has pushed it all of the way to the bottom of the blog). First of all, let me just say that I think most internet polls are completely stupid, and don't measure much of anything. Therefore, I promise not to poll anyone on anything that isn't deliberately completely stupid, or attempts to measure anything relevant. It's only meant to be fun, not informative, so please participate.

Well, that's enough for one day, isn't it? See you tomorrow.

Frenchy Live

Texas A&M and Baseball In No Particular Order

Dave's Email

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Welcome To My Nightmare

Welcome to my nightmare
I think you're gonna like it,
I think you're gonna feel
Like you belong,
A nocturnal vacation,
Unnecessary sedation,
You want to feel at home
Cause you belong,
Welcome to my nightmare.
-Alice Cooper

As a teacher of children, I know that kids do not instinctively appreciate anything about the past, even the recent past. Sure, it can be taught to them, I mean, I've got a kid in my class who's favorite player is Ted Williams (really!), but what happened any time before they could experience it just isn't something they're looking for. This morning, there are 8-year old New Yorkers waking up to the cold reality that the Yankees have finished just short AGAIN, kids who try as they might can't remember that glorious Yankee victory over the Mets in 2000, kids who now wonder why they watch this cruel and twisted game, kids searching for meaning, and their place in a world full of disappointment. To those kids I say, We Salute You. You are not one of them, but one of us. Welcome to Our World.

Welcome to My Nightmare
I hope I didn't scare you.
That's just the way we are
When we come down.
We sweat, laugh and scream here,
Cuz life is just a dream here.
You know inside you
Feel right at home, here
Welcome to my breakdown.

If you're George Steinbrenner, this has to suck. Robbed of millions of dollars by those owners who bleed the game dry while benefiting from the luxury tax, George went for it anyway, smashed the salary barrier, and still lost. And what does he have left? A monstrous payroll, and a lot of guys who have never won anything. Here is the complete list of Yankees expected to return who were part of the 2000 Champion Yankees, and their ages on July 4, 2004:

Derek Jeter 30
Andy Pettite 32
Jorge Posada 32
Mariano Rivera 35
Bernie Williams 35

That's a core that has the collective prime of their careers behind them. Don't get me wrong. Mussina, Soriano, Giambi? They're all great players. But they've all failed at continuing the Yankee run of four championships in five years.

Whoa, You're welcome to my nightmare,
Yeah, I think you're gonna like it,
I think you're gonna feel
That you belong,
]We sweat, laugh and scream here,
Cuz life is just a dream here.
You know inside you feel
Right at home here,
Welcome to my nightmare.
Welcome to my breakdown. Yeah

For the rest of us, our long, national nightmare is over. Sure, the Yankees will continue to win one from time to time, but the Yankees 1990s Dynasty is now just that, a relic from the previous decade. Crazy you think? Here's a list of teams that have lost two of three World Series since divisional play began:

1995 and 1997 Cleveland Indians - Haven't been back to the World Series since.

1991 and 1992 Atlanta Braves - Won it in 1995, but haven't been back since then.

1988 and 1990 Oakland A's - Haven't been back since.

1985 and 1987 St. Louis Cardinals - Haven't been back since.

1977and 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers - Won it in 1981 and 1988. Haven't been back since.

1970 and 1972 Cincinnati Reds - Won it in 1975 and 1976, and again in 1990. Haven't been back since.

1969 and 1971 Baltimore Orioles - Lost the World Series in 1979, then won it in 1983. Haven't been back since.

There are some teams that came back to win the World Series again in following years, but with the exception of the Big Red Machine, none of these teams was able to sustain dominance for any length of time. At least, not the kind of dominance the Yankees are used to.

I would guess that the Yankees will evolve to be a lot like the Braves, very good every year, winning occasionally, but not nearly enough to live up to the standards of their own recent history. Eventually, Steinbrenner will sell the team, or die, and someone new will take over, someone not as hellbent on winning as George is. And then what happens? That's anyone's guess.

Welcome To My Nightmare, Yankee Fans.

Dave's Email

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Josh Beckett Rules!

You know, I'm kind of liking this new Yankee trend of finishing just short every year. Kind of sounds like, like...



Eisenberg Sports will return to it's normal, relatively unbiased reporting soon. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon.

Congratulations to the 2003 World Series Champion Florida Marlins!

Dave's Email

Opportunities To Lose Your Money

Maybe this will be a new column. I've had worse ideas.

6-point tease
Utah minus 2 at home against New Mexico
TCU, even at Houston

Going with Urban Meyer and the new MWC dynasty that could be the Utes, if only they could convince him to stay. Famous last words - Doesn't TCU always win?

6.5-point tease
Bowling Green +3 at home against Northern Illinois
Auburn +10 at LSU

Yesterday I picked the Falcons by two touchdowns. I've softened on that a bit. Right now, I would take Auburn with 10 almost anywhere. LSU has one of the more overrated home fields in the country.

Ryan at the Texas A&M site likes the Aggies today against Oklahoma State.

Good Luck today, and if anyone else has any interesting picks, send them along. I can use all of the help I can get.

Texas A&M In No Particular Order

Dave's Email

Friday, October 24, 2003

Jab and Move

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Florida Marlins. The Red Sox season ended last week, but for this fan the misery was going to continue into the World Series. And it's no anti-Yankee thing. I've got my eyes on the big prize, not beating the team from New York, and I couldn't care less if the Yankees won every single World Series until the Red Sox win there's. No, I lived in fear of the Yankees winning the series in 4 or 5 games, for this would mean that in all probability that the Sox would have beaten the Marlins too, had it not been for "My Brain is" Little. As it is, while I would like the Marlins to win it, it doesn't really matter now, because they have removed all certainty that this was THE YEAR. So here's hoping Josh Beckett mows the Yankees down in game 6, but if he doesn't, hey, it's not my team.

Pat Riley quit today, the last man from the famed Laker-Celtic rivalry to still be working in the same capacity (a coach, not a Laker coach). Riley went from being coach of a dynasty to the best example of how overrated an NBA coach is, as he could never win a title without Magic and Kareem on the court.

Speaking of transformations, Antoine Walker went from being one of the best young athletes the Celtics have ever drafted to a flat-footed three-point threat. There's nothing remarkable about that, except that he's only 27 years old! I haven't heard anyone in the press comment on what a bad deal this is for Walker. Had he been lucky, the Celtics would have cowardly kept him on and given him yet another big money contract, even if it wasn't quite at the level of his own expectations. But instead, he'll be fighting for minutes and shots, his stats will plummet, the Mavs still won't win a title, and he'll be out of work at 29, with no one looking to offer him anything significant in terms of dollars or time.

The Football Gods have given us a TV broadcast of the most crucial game in the Eisenberg's College Football National Championship race this weekend. The Bowling Green Falcons will host the Northern Illinois Huskies on ESPN2 in the late afternoon slot. Give the points. The Falcons will win by two touchdowns.

I did the College Football Weekend Preview a couple of days ago, so if you're looking for that, just page down.

Dave's Email

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Hokies Crap, Beamer Snaps

Hey Frankie, you can't strike the student-athletes in the 21st Century! Think that's the image the ACC wants to portray? It will be interesting to see how much fallout there is from this. And man, I wish I got my preview off in time to pick West Virginia. It's still the fourth quarter, but I feel safe in saying it: Congratulations to the Mountaineers on another big win in Morgantown.

College Football Weekend Preview

The Northern Illinois Huskies are the big news in college football this week, as they became the first MAC team ever to appear in the Top Ten in the BCS standings. This achievement only served to heighten the excitement about Saturday's Northern Illinois at Bowling Green matchup, the only game this weekend between two ECF(Eisenberg's College Football)-eligible teams. This game would appear to give the Falcons an opportunity to defeat a top ten team, an ECF qualifier that often knocks teams from the non-BCS conferences out of contention.

Here is the "Top Ten Rule" for Eisenberg's College Football Championship:

"7. The Top Ten Rule - Teams must beat another team that is in the Top Ten in either Poll when they play, or in the Top Ten later in the season. This is an attempt by Eisenberg Sports to insure that strength of schedule is considered, and gives our poll-loving fans something to do."

I read this, and tried to remember. Did I deliberately not say "BCS standings" along with "either Poll" when I wrote it? It would make some sense, seeing that I was trying to keep things simple, which the BCS definitely is not. So I've been debating this, trying to figure out whether or not to rewrite the rule, when I noticed that BG is a 3.5-point favorite in this game. I checked each team's stats to see why, and came across a game I had totally forgotten about:

Bowling Green 27 at Purdue 26

Wow! This game happened on September 6. Purdue hasn't lost since, and this week is number 10 in both polls, and number 8 in the BCS. This means that Bowling Green has already fulfilled the Top Ten requirement, and now only needs to run the table in order to be an ECF Champion. But on top of that, a win this week for the Falcons would give them TWO WINS over top ten BCS teams! Who could argue with a team that beats Purdue and Northern Illinois, runs through their conference schedule undefeated, and wins their bowl game? The Falcons, favored at home Saturday, are seriously in the hunt for a share of the ECF Championship, and they are completely off the national radar.

This will continue too, as the Huskies present them with a classic Catch-22. If they beat Northern Illinois, then everyone will say the Huskies really weren't any good, but if they lose, the Huskies stay in the race. About the only chance the Falcons have to be recognized by the national media is if Purdue goes undefeated, but they may not even survive this week, as they are 4.5-point underdogs in Ann Arbor.

Does Northern Illinois really deserve this hype more than Bowling Green? The Huskies are being rewarded for being undefeated and for three wins over BCS-eligible teams, but Alabama and Iowa St have been awful, and the Huskies had to go to overtime at home to beat Maryland. Meanwhile, the Falcons are being punished for losing by a touchdown in Columbus when Ohio State was still the Undefeated Champion. Doesn't seem fair to me.

Bowling Green is led by first year head coach Gregg Brandon, but to find the architect of this team, you have to look to Salt Lake City, the current residence of former Falcon coach Urban Meyer. Meyer, in his first year at Utah, has the Utes ECF-eligible. To read a fantastic story on Meyer, go to Introducing the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle".

Here's the rest of the ECF schedule:

Road ECF teams

Purdue +4.5 at Michigan
TCU -5.5 at Houston
OK St -6 at Texas A&M
USC -10 at Washington
Va Tech -14.5 at W Virginia
Louisville -16.5 at E Carolina
Ohio St -21 at Indiana
MiamiOH -22 at Kent St
Oklahoma -25 at Colorado

Home ECF teams
At Washington St -8 Oregon St
At Utah -8.5 New Mexico
At Boise St -25.5 SJ St
At Georgia -29 UAB

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Got caught up watching JFK on HBO tonight, so there's no real blog entry. It's a great movie for filling you with anger and paranoia. If you ask me, the CIA did it, but I must admit that so far I've been able to resist reading the entire Warren Report.

But hey, the good news is I'm mentioned on Aaron's Baseball Blog again, this time as contributor "Dave", for coming up with the "My Brain Is Little/Boomhauer from King Of The Hill" connection. Of course, being mentioned yet again probably makes me a target of the CIA. You can go over to Aaron's site to read the whole thing at Aaron's Baseball Blog.

The College Football Weekend Preview, with a big story on Bowling Green, will be here Wednesday evening eastern time, Guaranteed. If it's not here, suspect CIA involvement.

Dave's Email

Sunday, October 19, 2003

What kind of cruel, sick, twisted individual at blogspot would put a banner on top of a helpless Red Sox fan's blog that read, "Red Sox Playoff Tickets"? And the Cubs, too!

College Football Weekend Wrapup

For those of you wondering what happened to the BAP scores, don't worry (or, be afraid, be very afraid), they'll be back. While I did want to be up to date for the World Series, the devastating nature of the Red Sox's demise resulted in, among other things, me needing a break from studying game logs. I'll probably have some more of them tomorrow.

Not an especially surprising weekend in college football. We are now down to only eleven BCS-eligible teams that still qualify for Eisenberg's College Football National Championship (the ECF). Of course, with TCU and Northern Illinois continuing to move up in the rankings, we are developing some interesting scenarios where either the MAC or Liberty Bowl winner might steal a share of the ECF. I'll talk about that more during the College Football Weekend Preview, which I swear I'll get out on Wednesday.

Here are the current ECF standings. There are now only 18 teams left in contention for the ECF Championship. Teams that have beaten a Top Ten team are in bold:

Teams eliminated from the ECF Championship yesterday (5):
Air Force, Houston, Iowa, Texas Tech, Wisconsin

Teams With A Perfect Record (4):
Miami, Oklahoma, TCU, Virginia Tech

Teams With A Half-Acceptable Loss (3):
Louisville, USC, Washington State

Teams With One Acceptable Loss (6):
Boise St, Bowling Green, Georgia, N Illinois, Oklahoma St, Utah

Teams That Have To Remain Perfect The Rest Of The Way, either due to having an Unacceptable Loss Protected By The Three Weeks Rule, Or By Reaching Their Maximum Number Of Acceptable Losses (4):
Miami OH, Ohio St, Purdue, Mich St

ECF Rules

Dave's Email

Saturday, October 18, 2003


Less than twelve hours after My Brain Is Little sells out Red Sox Nation for a future job as minor league scout with the Yankees, I find myself with sixteen 10-year-olds at the Ringling Brothers Circus in the Fleet Center. Talk about surreal. The kids, they don't know. I mean they know the Sox lost, but they don't understand how, and so they're over it. Me, I'm sitting there devastated, watching the warmup act balance a ladder on his chin, when a woman and an elephant come marching in.

The happy couple are scantily clad in matching Silver-and-Blue metallic-like coverings, and I can't help but notice that the woman, sitting on the elephant's neck, moves the elephant by thrusting her hips into his head. At least I think that's why she's doing it.

That's not a bad distraction, I was thinking to myself, when suddenly the National Anthem kicks in. It is only then that I notice that the woman is also carrying a rather large American flag. Now it's all coming together, people are standing and singing, the flag's waving, the hips are thrusting, the elephant's moving, and I'm thinking, hey, I dig the circus. This is so much better than seeing Michael Bolton mess up the words to the Star Spangled Banner. Wouldn't it be great if the Sox could do this the next . . . .


Freakin Little. And he's still out there.

The College Football Weekend Wrapup should be published bright and early Sunday, as I won't be staying up late to watch tonight's World Series opener.

Dave's Email

Friday, October 17, 2003


Why does Grady "My Brain Is" Little get to spend any part of his existence as a baseball "manager"? Why isn't he a groundskeeper? Why isn't he cleaning urinals at Fenway? Why isn't he working at a toll booth?

And yet, as I say these things, I realize that I'm insulting those people. Who ever it is that cleans the urinals at Fenway probably just ran across some hard times somewhere, and doesn't have to be the raving simpleton that My Brain Is Little is.

I just can't fathom this. The game isn't even over yet, but I've witnessed something that makes Buckner's error the equivalent of spitting on the field. My Brain Is Little has actually GIVEN AWAY our World Series.

And still, the game won't end. The Knife of Idiocy is sticking in the gut of my dreams, and just turning around and around. Kill me. End the game already. Please. PLEASE! Stop tempting me with the possibility of a victo . . . I can't even type it.

It's hard to rationalize being a sports fan right now. There are so many more important things in the world, and I've got my emotional state tied to the wishes of My Brain Is Little. And he's not a relative of mine, I don't know him in any way, and yet I let his decisions affect me personally, ruin my day, tear at my soul.

Is there a rule that says you can't fire your manager during a game? What then, is Theo waiting for? If I'm Theo, I get My Brain Is Little out of there even if I have to do it with a bat in my hands.

That's it for now.

Dave's Email

Thursday, October 16, 2003

What Curse? Part 2

For those of you who don't know, I'm a schoolteacher by trade. Kind of a trippy concept, I know. You should see the reaction of people that I run into from high school when I tell them what I do. Anyway, I go in there every day, and have to hear about this freakin Curse. I don't know whether it's from their parents or from their tv, but some of these kids really believe this garbage. I have a few standard responses:

It's not a curse, it's lack of pitching.
It's not a curse, it's the media.
It's not a curse, it's Tom Yawkey.
It's not a curse, it's a lack of African-Americans.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I'm getting pretty damn defensive about it. The Sox I know have not been chokers, or losers, or anything like that. OK, 1986 sucked bad, I'll admit, but everybody forgets how over-their-head the Sox were playing that series. And I bet there are fans in a whole lot of cities that would trade experiences with us in a heartbeat.

Here's the Red Sox entire playoff history since divisional play began. You tell me if this a loser franchise or not.

The Sox, at 95-65, take on 3-time Champ Oakland, at 98-64, and sweep them in three games. They then take on The Big Red Machine, Cincinnati, with 108 wins. The Sox take them seven games before losing, and are the only team to take even one playoff game from them in either the 1975 or 1976 seasons.

Tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball, the Sox lose a one-game playoff.

At 95-65, the Sox come back from a 3-1 series deficit against the 92-70 Angels to win the American League Pennant. Then, they take the 108-win Mets to seven games before losing.

The 88-win Sox lose four straight to the 103-win defending champion Oakland A's.

The 86-58 Sox lose three straight to the 100-44 AL Champ Indians.

At 92-70, the Sox lose 3-1 to 89-73 Cleveland, their only season since 1975 that they are eliminated by a team with a worse record.

At 94-69, the Sox come back from a 2-0 series deficit to beat 97-65 Cleveland, 3 games to 2. They then lose 4-1 to the defending Champion 98-win Yankees, the only team to take a game from New York that post-season.

And then there's this year, coming from two down to beat the Oakland A's, and forcing a game 7 tonight with the Yankees. Now you tell me, what is there to be ashamed of?

Not a damn thing. I'm sick of this 1918 B.S. I'm sick of that damn Fox chart that shows 0 Championships for the Sox since 1920. We've won 5 Championships, Man! How many teams have done that?

Bring it on Baby! Give me the Yankees! We're ready!

Dave's Email

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

What Curse?

After going to the Sox game Monday night, working all day yesterday, and watching the Sox yesterday afternoon, I crashed. 7:30 at night, and I'm in bed until 4 in the morning, which is why I'm here now. Caught the Cubs-Marlins highlights, and I feel bad for the Cubs players who have to listen to all of that garbage about a curse. They got beat, they fell apart, and that's enough to deal with when you have another game to play today, and so many people ready to make excuses for you. I'm assuming - I hope - that the better Cubs fans can see all this, but when I think of how many Sox fans believe in all this Curse Crap, I don't know. I mean, we teach it to our children, like religion, something passed down from generation to generation. Anyway, I've got the Marlins to win this series, so I'll be pulling for them, but it's a shame it had to go this way.

Observations from Monday Night's Sox Game:

- Normally when you come up the stairs from the Green Line into Kenmore Square, you are immediatly accosted by ticket scalpers. This time though, all you could see was shiny police helmets, about a dozen of them, with nightsticks about waist high. The scalpers were still there, quieter, about fifty feet down the sidewalk, and then there were about another dozen cops on motorcycles.

- A very odd vibe, going to a game when it is already dark out.

- Everyone got into the game early. Normally there's a crowd still coming in right up until the anthem, but everyone was in there seats by 8 o'clock.

- Virtually no Yankees fans at all. Rare for this matchup.

- Ryan Reynolds sang Cowboy Up. Count me as someone put off all by all of this shaved head, rodeo, imspirational B.S. I don't need any more reminders that my favorite team is loaded with God-Fearin' Good Ol' Boys.

- Michael Bolton sang the anthem, and forgot the words. The crowd started singing louder, mockingly carrying him through it.

Enjoy the games today everybody. The College Football Weekend Preview will be here sometime soon.

Monday, October 13, 2003

College Football Weekend Wrapup

Going to the Sox tonight!

The first BCS ratings don't come out for another week, but the incredible number of defeated top ten teams Saturday sure whittled down the field of potential Sugar Bowl participants. With Arkansas, Florida State, LSU, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Texas all losing, it seems safe to say that one Sugar Bowl birth will go to Oklahoma, the other to the Miami-Virginia Tech winner November 1, provided that neither team gets upset the rest of the way. But what if they do? Who stands to benefit the most?

The ECF (Eisenberg's College Football) Championship race wasn't and isn't intended as a BCS predictor, but it does work well that way. Last year for instance, there were five teams eligible for the ECF Championship going into the bowl games - Iowa, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC. All five played in the BCS games, including both Miami and Ohio State in the so-called "championship" game. So the question becomes, what can the ECF tell us about this year? Who is still alive for the BCS title if Oklahoma or the Miami/Va Tech winner falters?

Let's just look at the BCS conferences for now. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about the others.

ACC - There's no one left, unless you count Miami and Virginia Tech.

Big East - There's no one left, unless you count Miami and Virginia Tech.

Big Ten - There are five teams left - Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue Michigan St, and Ohio St - but very little margin for error left for any of them, and there's still most of the conference schedule ahead. I would say it's not their year.

Big 12 - Everyone in the North Division is eliminated, while Oklahoma St and Texas Tech still survive along with Oklahoma in the South. The Sooners play at the Red Raiders the last week of the season.

PAC 10 - USC, Washington St, and Oregon St are all still around, have suffered very little damage, and don't have a conference championship game to contend with. The Trojans get both of them at home.

SEC - Only Georgia survives. Going the rest of the way undefeated in that conference looks very difficult now that the Gators were able to go into Baton Rouge and win, something the Bulldogs were unable to do.

For my money, I think that USC is perfectly positioned for the Sugar Bowl. They don't control their own destiny, but they seem the most likely to benefit should either the Miami/Virginia Tech winner or Oklahoma drop a game.

Here are the current ECF standings. There are 23 teams left in contention for the ECF Championship. Teams that have beaten a Top Ten team are in bold:

Teams eliminated from the ECF Championship yesterday (11):
Arkansas, FSU, Kansas, LSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pitt, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas, Virginia

Teams With A Perfect Record (4):
Miami, Oklahoma, TCU, Virginia Tech

Teams With A Half-Acceptable Loss (4):
Louisville, USC, Washington State

Teams With One Acceptable Loss (9):
Air Force, Boise St, BG, Georgia, Iowa, N Illinois, Oklahoma St, Oregon St, Utah

Teams That Have To Remain Perfect The Rest Of The Way, either due to having an Unacceptable Loss Protected By The Three Weeks Rule, Or By Reaching Their Maximum Number Of Acceptable Losses (7):
Texas Tech, Miami OH, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Purdue, Mich St, Houston

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Who'll Stop The Rain?

So here's to what the future brings
I hope tomorrow you'll find better things
- I think it's the Kinks.

The rainout of the Sox-Yankees game tonight gives me some time to update some BAP scores. As for all of that crap that happened yesterday, here's what I saw:

One Yankee coach attack a Red Sox player.
Two Yankee players attack a Red Sox employee.
All of the headhunting, hard-sliding, and finger-pointing? There's no crying in baseball, man.
I abhor the phrase, but if there was ever a day for it, this is it. Yankees suck.

BAP Scores -

Marlins 4 Cubs 0
OBP - Chi .100, FL .378
SLG - Chi .068, FL .548
OPS - Chi .168, FL .926
BAP - Chi .100, FL .676
EBs - Chi 0, FL 3
BA - Chi .068, FL .258
SecA - Chi .034, FL .452
BA+SecA - Chi .102, FL .710

Beckett will be the equal of Prior provided that he stays healthy. Every stat analyzes the data correctly.

Cubs 8 Marlins 3
OBP - Chi .372, FL .265
SLG - Chi .400, FL .323
OPS - Chi .772, FL .588
BAP - Chi .853, FL .441
EBs - Chi 7, FL 3
BA - Chi .229, FL .194
SecA - Chi .400, FL .097
BA+SecA - Chi .629, FL .291
Every stat gets it right.

Chicago 5 Florida 4
OBP - Chi .375, FL .326
SLG - Chi .488, FL .268
OPS - Chi .893, FL .594
BAP - Chi .592, FL .531
EBs - Chi 3, FL 10
BA - Chi .293, FL .244
SecA - Chi .341, FL .146
BA+SecA - Chi .341, FL .146

Every stat gets it right.

New York 4 Boston 3
OBP - NY .265, Bos .273
SLG - NY .375, Bos .233
OPS - NY .640, Bos .506
BAP - NY .471, Bos .303
EBs - NY 2, Bos 0
BA - NY .219, Bos .200
SecA - NY .219, Bos .100

Batting Average gets it wrong.

Boston 4 Oakland 3
OBP - Bos .257, Oak .333
SLG - Bos .387, Oak .355
OPS - Bos .644, Oak .688
BAP - Bos .457, Oak .514
EBs - Bos 1, Oak 3
BA - Bos .188, Oak .226
SecA - Bos .313, Oak .290
BA+SecA - Bos .501, Oak .516

Only Slugging and Secondary Average get it right.

Boston 5 Oakland 4
OBP - Bos .303, Oak .342
SLG - Bos .500, Oak .472
OPS - Bos .803, Oak .814
BAP - Bos .667, Oak .500
EBs - Bos 4, Oak 0
BA - Bos .233, Oak .306
SecA - Bos .367, Oak .278
BA+SecA - Bos .600, Oak .584

OBP, OPS, and BA get it wrong.

The Standings:

BAP 22-2
BA+SecA 21-3
SLG 21-3
OPS 20-4
OBP 19-5
BA 19-5
SecA 18-6

BAP For Beginners

Dave's Email

Saturday, October 11, 2003

College Football Weekend Preview

From now on, The College Football Weekend Preview will appear on Wednesdays. The College Football portion of my audience probably feels a bit neglected by all of the baseball playoff talk, but that's not really what's been happening. My wife works Thursday and Friday evenings, so I'm watching the kid as soon as I get home from work, and while I can usually find time to trot out a little BAP entry, there isn't a chance to do the more extensive Preview until Saturday morning, when a lot fewer people will see it, and virtually no one will read it before the games start. On top of that, big games for this weekend have already been played, as TCU survived on the road, and the poseur Gophers of Minnesota were bounced from ECF competition by a Michigan team that looked to be DOA. Proceeding further in this manner could be accurately considered a textbook example of Ass-Backwards, so Wednesday Nights it will be.

And if you are a College Football fan, you're excited this morning. There are games with huge BCS and ECF implications today, games that people circle on the schedule before we even get off of the beach. So let's get started.

ECF Playoff Games
Oklahoma -3.5 Texas Oklahoma is the closest thing to the Real Deal so far this season, and Texas has been, well, Texas. Still looking for that win that propels them into serious playoff contention, I think it would surprise everyone if it came today.

Air Force -7 UNLV - Air Force hasn't played anyone yet, and is coming off of a loss to Navy. Normally, this is a game I would look to tease down, but I like this Rebel team.

At Va Tech -18 Syracuse - Say goodbye to the Orangemen.
At USC -21 Stanford - Say Goodbye to the Cardinals.

Games Between Two ECF Teams
Georgia -2 at Tennessee - Georgia has been bashed here, there and everywhere as a team that can't win the Big One, almost a Texas East. But did you know that Mark Richt's squad has beaten the Vols three straight years? Add in the fact that Tennessee is coming off of a loss, and had to go into OT to beat a South Carolina team that the Bulldogs pounded,
and I'll go with Georgia.

Ohio State -2.5 at Wisconsin - We keep waiting for the Buckeyes to fall, and maybe this is the place. The Badgers have played better as on late, and can get back in the thick of things with a win here. Wisconsin.

At FSU -7 Miami Even though these teams are ranked highly, this game doesn't carry the weight of previous seasons. A 7-point spread is a surprise as well. Is this a trap? I would stay away from this one.

ECF Underdogs
At Kansas +6.5 Colorado - No one is talking much about the Jayhawks, but coach Mark Mangino has some interesting things going on in Lawrence. Kansas has impressive wins over UNLV and Missouri. Colorado has given up over 40 points four times, while Kansas is averaging 37 a game, and is coming off a week's rest. This is the first real road test for the Jayhawks, but I love them here.

At Ok St +3.5 KSU - KSU played much better against Texas last week, and the Cowboys have yet to be tested. I'd pass, not liking to give points on the road in conference matchups, but I'd take KSU before the home team.

ECF Favorites
Mich St -3.5 Illinois
Virginia -4.5 at Clemson
At Arkansas -6 Auburn
Nebraska -7 at Missouri - If Nebraska is for real, they'll crush the Tigers here.
Bowling Green -9 at W. Michigan
At Pitt -9 Notre Dame - I love Pitt on a tease.
At Utah -9.5 SD St
At LSU -10 Florida - My poor Gators.
At Purdue -12 Penn St - Will Joe ever win another game?
At Texas Tech -16 Iowa St
N Illinois -17 at C. Michigan
At Boise St -22 Tulsa
At Louisville -32 Army
At MiamiOH -36 Buffalo

The College Football Weekend Wrapup will appear Monday morning.

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email

Friday, October 10, 2003

It Was Nice While It Lasted

College Football Preview Coming Later Tonight, or Saturday Morning.

Well, that didn't last long, did it? The Red Sox were World Series favorites for only 24 hours. Here are the current odds:

New York 8-5
Chicago 2-1
Boston 11-5
Florida 5-1

Of course, the Sox loss doesn't bother me that much, seeing that I've got a ticket to game 5. I needed to avoid the sweep.

I realized as I was typing today that I haven't reviewed exactly what it is I'm doing with all of the scores, so I'll go over it briefly now. Here's a quick glimpse of the history of me and BAP.

1. Invented BAP.
2. Decided that any stat worth anything must be able to accurately pick winners based on game data.
3. Put BAP up against SLG, OBP, and OPS in game analysis, and BAP won, twice.
4. Was the subject of a thread started on a bulletin board entitled "The Next Voros McCracken?"
5. Decided to do the same contest with the entire playoff schedule, and include another tool of mine, batting average + secondary average.
6. Still haven't heard from Theo.

Here's last night's game, and another one from last weekend.

Yankees 6 Red Sox 2
OBP - Bos .324, NY .368
SLG - Bos .400, NY .406
OPS - Bos .724, NY .774
BAP - Bos .459, NY .711
EBs - Bos 1, NY 8
BA - Bos .286, NY .250
SecA - Bos .171, NY .375
BA+SecA - Bos .457, NY .625

Batting Average finally drops another one. Many of the other stats had this game close, but not BAP.

Here's an oldy but a goody:

Red Sox 3 Oakland 1
OBP - Oak .195, Bos .273
SLG - Oak .154, Bos .359
OPS - Oak .349, Bos .455
BAP - Oak .317, Bos .477
EBs - Oak 5, Bos 5
BA - Oak.154, Bos .179
SecA - Oak .077, Bos .231
BA+SecA - Oak .231, Bos .410

This, you may recall, was the "baserunning" game. Nothing unusual in the scores. Everyone gets it right.

The Standings:

BAP 17-1
OBP 16-2
BA+SecA 16-2
BA 15-3
SLG 15-3
OPS 15-3
SecA 12-6

I'm only short now two Twins-Yankees games, and two Sox-A's games. Look for me to be up to date by the end of the long weekend.

BAP For Beginners"

Dave's Email

Thursday, October 09, 2003


So as a followup to posting BAP scores for yesterday's games and giving my own opinions, I thought I would give the current odds for each team to win the World Series. I went to my favorite off-shore gaming site, pulled out the odds, and nearly fell off the floor.

The Boston Red Sox are the favorites to win the World Series.

I just can't believe it. Sure, I know that if the Yankees lose tonight they're in it up to their necks, and I know that if they win they still don't have home field, and still have to go against Pedro twice. But favorites? The Red Sox are favorites?

Here are the current odds:

Boston 8-5
NY 9-5
Chi 12-5
FL 6-1

For my money, I really like the Marlins at 6-1, and still think they have a helluva chance to win that series with the Cubs. And hey, the Sox were perfect last night. The pitchers pitched well, the hitters hit well, the fielders fielded well, the baserunning was good except for Damien Jackson being caught stealing. If they keep playing like that, they could indeed be Champs. Champs!

Yesterday, I gave this summary of the Sox's chances:

"Pedro has to be a Hall of Famer, Lowe has to be an all-star, the offense has to hit like the 1927 Yankees (who's slugging record they amazingly broke), and Mariano Rivera has to be over the hill."

I realized today that I didn't even mention the Sox's bullpen. Assuming it would be inconsistent, I just hoped that Rivera would be, too. But after last night, you would have to say that the team of Timlin and Williamson has a chance to gain serious control over the outcome of this series.

The Boston Red Sox. World Series Favorites. Man, oh man.

BAP Scores -

Boston 5 New York 2
OBP - Bos .381, NY .156
SLG - Bos .564, NY .138
OPS - Bos .945, NY .294
BAP - Bos .619, NY .219
EBs - Bos 1, NY 1
BA - Bos .333, NY .103
SecA - Bos .308, NY .103
BA+SecA - Bos .641, NY .206

All stats get it right in a game between two teams that aren't interested in running at all.

Chicago 12 Florida 3
OBP - FL .316, Chi .476
SLG - FL .486, Chi .816
OPS - FL .802, Chi 1.292
BAP - FL .526, Chi 1.091
EBs - FL 1, Chi 12
BA - FL .257, Chi .421
SecA - FL .229, Chi .526
BA+SecA - FL .486, Chi .947

The Cubs turn the EB tables on the Marlins. Every stat is successful.

The Standings:

BAP 15-1
OBP 14-2
BA 14-2
BA+SecA 14-2
SLG 13-3
OPS 13-3
SecA 10-6

Look for the College Football Weekend Preview, and BAP updates all weekend, including the four missing ALDS games.


BAP For Beginners

Dave's Email

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

To BAP Or Not To BAP

I was going to do the BAP preview for Sox-Yankees, but decided it would be largely irrelevant. There were many similarities between the division series of the Marlins and Cubs, but that just doesn't exist in the AL league. The Yankees had home field but the Sox didn't. The Sox played their road games in a pitcher's park but the Yankees didn't. The Yankees cruised, while the Sox battled to the very last pitch of the very last game.

As for regular analysis, I find myself approaching the series like the Red Sox fan that I am, rather than the impartial observer I try to be, or the ruthless gambler my Dad accuses me of being. I look at all of it and ask myself, "So how can the Sox win this thing?" Well, Pedro has to be a Hall of Famer, Lowe has to be an all-star, the offense has to hit like the 1927 Yankees (who's slugging record they amazingly broke), and Mariano Rivera has to be over the hill.

It's all possible of course, but that's a lot of ifs. So my prediction is this, Yankees in six, but this is no doom and gloom prognostication. The Sox can take this thing if the Yankees aren't careful. New York is minus 200, the Sox plus 170. I wouldn't put money on it either way.

I'm still going to do BAP scores for all of the AL games, but tonight I'm going to get the NL up to date. Here is last night's game, and the rest of the NLDS:

Marlins 9 Cubs 8
OBP - FL .360, Chi .289
SLG - FL .711, Chi .651
OPS - FL 1.071, Chi .940
BAP - FL .920, Chi .696
EBs - FL 10, Chi 2
BA - FL .311, Chi .256
SecA - FL .511, Chi .442
BA+SecA - FL .822, Chi .698

More big offensive numbers from the Marlins. Every stat gets it right.

Braves 6 Cubs 4
OBP - Atl .422, Chi .359
SLG - Atl .474, Chi .543
OPS - Atl .896, Chi .902
BAP - Atl .644, Chi .590
EBs - Atl 4, Chi 0
BA - Atl .316, Chi .286
SecA - Atl .368, Chi .371
BA+SecA - Atl .684, Chi .657

Slugging, OPS, and Secondary Average gets it wrong.

Cubs 5 Braves 1
OBP - Chi .278, Atl .212
SLG - Chi .514, Atl .226
OPS - Chi .792, Atl .438
BAP - Chi .600, Atl .303
EBs - Chi 2 , Atl 1
BA - Chi .257, Atl .161
SecA - Chi .257, Atl .129
BA+SecA - Chi .514, Atl .390

A dominating performance by the Cubs in game 5.

Marlins 7 Giants 6
OBP - SF .342, FL .450
SLG - SF .375, FL .529
OPS - SF .717, FL .979
BAP - SF .553, FL .951
EBs - SF 5, FL 15
BA - SF .281, FL .353
SecA - SF .188. FL .353
BA+SecA - SF .469, FL .706

Surprisingly, a very close game that every stat gets right.

The Standings:

BAP 13-1
OBP 12-2
BA 12-2
BA+SecA 12-2
SLG 11-3
OPS 11-3
SecA 8-6

BAP maintains it's lead, and BA continues to surprise.

BAP For Beginners

Dave's Email

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The First Ever BAP-Based Predictions, and ECF and pointspreads, too.

Rock'n Roll Band
Everybody's Playing
Gettin Crazy
And Hitting
Play, Play, Play!
- loosely translated from the Boston (the band) hit that they played right after the National Anthem on Sunday.

If you tuned in before last night's Sox-A's game, you got to see this prediction:

"Pedro is dominant, Zito pitches out of jams for five innings before getting walloped, Timlin pitches a perfect ninth, and the Sox win 5-1."

Well, it wasn't perfect, but not half bad, if I do say so myself. Pedro wasn't dominant but he was very good, Zito didn't pitch out of jams but did get clobbered in the sixth inning, and Timlin MAY have pitched a perfect ninth, if Grady had only had the good sense to leave him in.

Now, to the Marlins-Cubs matchup. The Cubs are currently minus 220, the Marlins plus 180. This isn't that surprising, seeing that everybody and their brother wants the Cubs in the series, and also considering that the Prior/Wood combo has received so much hype. But what does BAP have to say about this?

This might be a good time to list the BAP link for those newcomers out there: BAP For Beginners
It's only one series, but both teams were playing in their most important and current games of the season against a team that had won 100 games and had home-field advantage. Because of the similarities, I thought the BAP averages for each series might be revealing. So I ran all the numbers, and this is what I came up with:

Offensive BAP - .339
Defensive BAP - .309

Offensive BAP - .402
Defensive BAP -.372

Yeah, that's right. The exact same point differential between offense and defense. But then, look at this:

Cubs EBs/game - 3.00 for, 4.25 against
Marlins EBs/game - 10.5 for, 7.5 against

The Cubs are a fairly passive baserunning team, and not an especially powerful one. They hit only 15 more homers than the Marlins this year, and that's playing in Wrigley. In the Atlanta series, the Cubs had the advantage of playing another station to station team, but that won't happen this time. The Marlins gained 30 more EBs in the NLDS than the Cubs, playing in one fewer game, and gained more bases in one game than the Cubs did in their entire series - twice. How will the Cub pitchers and fielders deal with an opponent who constantly has runners on the move? How will they deal with a team that isn't swinging for the fences?

I wanted to pick the Marlins over the Giants but didn't have the guts to do it, and someone has to go the other way. Marlins in 6.

OK, college football fans. Home ECF teams against the spread, the team that covered is in bold:

Texas Tech -5 Texas A&M
Texas -6.5 KSUCincinnati -8 SMiss
Memphis -9.5 UABGeorgia -12 Bama
Purdue -13.5 Illinois
Mich St -16.5 Indiana
N Illinois -21.5 OhioNebraska -27 Troy St
Bowling Green -28.5 C Mich
Wash St -29.5 ArizonaTCU -30.5 Army
Ok St -34 La-Lafayette

That's 6-7 against the spread, which doesn't tell us anything. If you take out the pretenders though, the numbers look a little better.

Look for all of the NLDS BAP scores later this week, and the Sox-Yankees BAP preview tomorrow.

Dave's Email

Monday, October 06, 2003

Breaking The Fast

My heart went out to those Chicago Jews who love baseball last night. Here they were, just about to break the Fast of All Fasts, 95 years without a playoff series victory, at virtually the exact same moment that the Day of Atonement was about to begin. Now, if you're one of those Cultural Jews like myself (The "I don't believe in anything, but I want to stay connected to my roots" group), it's an easy call: you're glued to the TV, and you'll be in the synagogue in the morning. But for the more religious among us, this is all far more serious. If you don't ask for forgiveness on Yom Kippur, and instead watch the game, do you jinx the Cubs? Does the fate of the Wrigley Faithful rest on your tallit-covered shoulders?

So to those Cubs fans who sacrificed seeing the game not just to atone for themselves but to also protect their beloved team, I salute you.

What about Jews in Atlanta, you ask? I suppose the same could be said for those members of the Tribe in Georgia, but with the half-hearted support that team has received over the years, it's hard to feel sorry for them.

Meanwhile, I was at game 4 of Sox-A's on Sunday, drinking water instead of beer, and witnessed first hand the most glorious Sox victory these eyes have ever seen. It's hard to see how the Sox can lose tonight. I think the 5-14 record of pitchers on three days rest over the last 15 years is pretty telling. The problem is all of these old-school managers who remember four-man rotations, and just can't accept that pitchers have changed.

So here's the prediction: Pedro is dominant, Zito pitches out of jams for five innings before getting walloped, Timlin pitches a perfect ninth, and the Sox win 5-1.

There are no BAP scores today, although I hope to have a lot tomorrow. As for you football fans, I've decided to split up the college stuff, and put in a little every day. The baseball playoffs makes it impossible to commit a large amount of time to football in any one day, so we're going to deliver it piecemeal. It might even work about better. A little something for everyone.

Here are the current ECF standings. There are 36 teams left in contention for the ECF Championship. Teams that have beaten a Top Ten team are in bold:

Teams eliminated from the ECF Championship yesterday (9):
Clemson, Cincinnati, Memphis, Michigan, Nevada, NC St, Rutgers, Washington, USF

Teams With A Perfect Record (9):
Arkansas, FSU, LSU, Miami, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, TCU, Virginia Tech

Teams With A Half-Acceptable Loss (4):
Louisville, Ohio St, USC, Washington State

Teams With One Acceptable Loss (11):
Air Force, Boise St, BG, Georgia, Iowa, N Illinois, Pitt, Oklahoma St, Oregon St, Stanford, Utah

Teams With One-And-A-Half Acceptable Losses (1):

Teams That Have To Remain Perfect The Rest Of The Way, either due to having an Unacceptable Loss Protected By The Three Weeks Rule, Or By Reaching Their Maximum Number Of Acceptable Losses (17):
Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, Syracuse, Miami OH, Wisconsin, Purdue, Mich St, Virginia, UNLV, Houston

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Home Run Trot

Trot Nixon's extra-inning homer has propelled me to the internet in search of MBTA schedules, as the combination of the Red Sox win, a fortunate starting time, and a very generous Dad will put me seven rows from the field for Game 4 this afternoon. If you saw the post-game interview, Trot spent a lot of time telling us how he had asked his Savior for calmness at the plate, and how He had delivered. I'm hoping that this morning he's asking Him how to hit lefties.

I'm going back to doing BAP the old way, more numbers and less analysis, so I don't fall so far behind that I'm finishing the World Series around the same time as the Winter Meetings. The three games here will bring us right up to yesterday morning.

Yankees 4 Twins 1

OBP - Min .200, NY .343
SLG - Min .219, NY .300
OPS - Min .419, NY .643
BAP - Min .371, NY .667
EBs - Min 3, NY 11
BA - Min .125, NY .267
SecA - Min .188, NY .167
BA+SecA - Min .313, NY .434

Every stat gets it right except for Secondary Average.

Marlins 4 Giants 3

OBP - SF .404, FL .319
SLG - SF .302, FL 350
OPS - SF .706, FL .669
BAP - SF .630, FL .542
EBs - SF 12, FL 5
BA - SF .279, FL .200
SecA - SF .233, FL .325
BA+SecA - SF .512, FL .525

Slugging, Secondary Average, and Secondary Average Plus batting Average get it right. The first loss for BAP, as the giants leave people on base all day, and the Marlins get two on the game's only homer.

Cubs 3 Braves 1

OBP - Atl .206, Chi .286
SLG - Atl .107, Chi .273
OPS - Atl .313, Chi .559
BAP - Atl .294, Chi .486
EBs - Atl 2, Chi 6
BA - Atl .071, Chi .242
SecA - Atl .214, Chi .091
BA+SecA - Atl .285, Chi .333

Every stat except for Secondary Average gets it right.

The Standings:

BAP 9-1
OBP 8-2
OPS 8-2
BA 8-2
SLG 8-2
BA+SecA 8-2
SecA 5-5

The race tightens in the middle. SecA falls off of the pack, but we never expected it to do much on it's own. The big surprise is Batting Average, the old reliable coming through. BAP maintains it's one-game lead.

Dave's Email

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Oakland 5 Red Sox 1

If you're a College Football fan looking for the Weekend Preview, just check the entry below this one. I'm trying to stay on top of my goal of giving BAP analysis for every baseball playoff game, so there's no time to waste. As for the baseball fans, I realize I'm a couple of games behind, but hey, the first round is a killer. I figure I'll make a glorious come-from-behind-rally somewhere near the beginning of the World Series. Of course, that seems to be the Giants' plan too, and it's not working for them.

This is what I said last week about Todd Walker:

"I have nightmares of Todd Walker recreating the role of Bill Buckner. I hope I'm wrong."

It's actually one of the nicer things I said about him, and I did it just in time for him to hit a game-tieing three-run homer. Then, as he jogged around the bases with his second of two home runs in the first game, I knew that with my insults I had somehow Reversed The Curse, and made Walker a valuable contributor to a Championship squad. Unfortunately, that feeling didn't even last a full inning. Here is what Todd Walker has done for the Red Sox (or the A's) since he hit his second homer:

Made an error.
Flied out to center.
Grounded out to 2nd.
Made an error.
Grounded out to 1st.
Grounded out to the pitcher.
Grounded out to first.

Yikes! Walker won't start today, as even Grady Little can figure out that having this guy on the field when you're putting a groundball pitcher on the mound is suicide. And I'll say this about him: I actually like Walker off of the bench. With all of the hitter's in the lineup, play the better defensive secondbaseman (which in this case is Damian Jackson, but could be just about anyone), and use Walker as a pinchhitter for Jackson IF you're losing. When you're losing, you can gamble with the horrifying defensive player if he has a chance to get you a couple of runs.

The Numbers For Game 2

OBP - Bos .229, Oak .306
SLG - Bos .242, Oak .226
OPS - Bos .471, Oak .532
BAP - Bos .371, Oak .694
EBs - Bos 3, Oak 13
BA - Bos .182, Oak .194
SecA - Bos .121, Oak .194
BA+SecA - Bos .303, Oak .388

Slugging drops it's second game of this series, and is the only loser. The A's now lead the Sox in BAP bases for the series to the tune of 20-4. They also set a playoff record of 10 EBs in one inning. Check out this game log from ESPN (the EB scores are mine):

-Bottom of the 2nd inning
-S Hatteberg grounded out to first.
-J Guillen walked.
-J Guillen to second on passed ball by D Mirabelli (1 EB).
-R Hernandez singled to right, J Guillen scored (1 EB).
-J Dye hit by pitch, R Hernandez to second.
-E Byrnes doubled to left, R Hernandez and J Dye scored (1 EB).
-M Ellis walked.
-E Durazo grounded out to first, E Byrnes to third, M Ellis to second (2 EBs).
-E Chavez safe at second on throwing error by second baseman T Walker, E Byrnes and M Ellis scored (5 EBs).
-M Tejada flied out to center.

5 runs, 2 hits, 1 error


Bum of The Day - Take a guess.

Play of the Day - Take a guess.

Guy Who Will Talk About This Game When He is 80 - It would be Zito, except he's going to have many, many bigger days, maybe even this year.

The Standings:

BAP 7-0
OBP 6-1
OPS 6-1
BA 6-1
SLG 5-2
BA+SecA 5-2
SecA 4-3

Dave's Email

College Football Weekend Preview

I hope none of my newly found college football fans have been scared off by the case of Baseball Fever that has enveloped Eisenberg Sports. It's certainly kept me busy. But I've had the Weekend Preview in the back of my mind all week, and now we'll give it the attention it deserves.

If you noticed College Football at all this week, it was probably Miami's two-point win over West Virginia. But there were two other games that also deserved some attention:

Houston 27 East Carolina 13
Utah 17 Oregon 13

You might have noticed the Oregon score, because they were ranked in the top 20. But what do they have in common? Lots.

- Both Houston and Utah are Eisenberg's College Football (ECF) Championship Contenders.
- Both Houston and Utah were playing non-ECF eligible opponents.
- Both Houston and Utah were projected to be in tight games (Houston was a 2-point favorite, Utah was a 3-point underdog).
- Both Houston and Utah scored impressive victories.

If it walks like a betting angle and talks like a betting angle, is it a betting angle? Well, maybe. I had noticed this last year, when The ECF was essentially Emails to Ray, but it seemed to me to be happening over and over. And if you think about it, it makes some sense. An ECF-eligible team is almost by definition playing well, where as a non-ECF-eligible opponent must have thrown a lemon out there somewhere.

There are 25 matchups this week of ECF and non-ECF teams. Want to guess how many times the ECF team is favored? That's right - 25. Well, Oregon St is even money at Cal, but we'll count it. Let's do the home favorites first. They are listed in order from closest pointspread to largest difference.

Home Favorites

Texas Tech -5 Texas A&M
Texas -6.5 KSU
Cincinnati -8 SMiss
Memphis -9.5 UAB
Georgia -12 Bama
Purdue -13.5 Illinois
Mich St -16.5 Indiana
N Illinois -21.5 Ohio
Nebraska -27 Troy St
Bowling Green -28.5 C Mich
Wash St -29.5 Arizona
TCU -30.5 Army
Ok St -34 La-Lafayette

Some big matchups in Texas. I've always liked teasing home teams that were 6 to 8.5-point favorites. The rationale behind that is you're taking a team that is a clear favorite at home and making it so they only have to win by a field goal, a very common outcome. If you add in the ECF component, it would seem to only help. We'll keep an eye on this the rest of the season.

Here are the road ECF favorites against non-ECF teams:

Oreg St even Cal
Tennessee -1 Auburn
Wisconsin -1.5 Penn St
Washington -1.5 UCLA
NC St -6.5 Ga Tech
Virginia -8 UNC
Boise St (I'd love to call them BSU, but no one would know what the hell I meant) -8 La Tech
Clemson -8 Maryland
Minn -12 Northwestern
Oklahoma -21 Iowa St

So let's see what happens. Will ECF teams cover a higher percentage of the time? Should be interesting to see. Also, remember that any of the home ECF teams that lose will now be eliminated.

Now, in a classic case of Burying the Headline, here are the Playoff Games between ECF teams!

Michigan at Iowa - The Blue are a 3.5-point favorite. This would have been a highly-hyped matchup had Iowa not fallen last weekend. I think the line is pretty accurate. College teams don't recover from losses as quickly as pro teams. But Iowa is still at home, and Michigan really hasn't proven anything yet, either. A tossup.

UNLV at Nevada - The Battle For Nevada is also an ECF Playoff Game! I love it. UNLV is a 5.5-point favorite. The Rebels have already gone into Madison and beaten the Badgers, so it's hard to see this as a difficult road match. Speaking of the Badgers, if they run off 7 wins in a row and get ranked in the top 10, that would give the Rebels the key ECF component, a victory over a Top Ten team. I like UNLV in this one.

Games Between Two ECF-Eligible Teams

Va Tech at Rutgers - Goodbye Scarlet Knights. But 27.5 points? Don't be surprised if Rutgers makes a game of it.

Louisville at USF - The Cardinals are favored by 2.5. Could this be the biggest game in the history of the Bulls? It shouldn't matter. We'll go with the more traditional football "power", Louisville.

The Weekend Wrapup will be either Sunday Morning (before the Sox game, if there is one) or Monday night (after Yom Kippur). I may also have some more baseball stuff throughout the day. Enjoy the games everyone.

ECF Championship Rules

Dave's Email

Friday, October 03, 2003

A's 5 Red Sox 4, and the Rise of BAP

I went against my own better judgement, and even my BAP intuition, and picked the Red Sox to win this series. And it wasn't even all rose-colored glasses. My thinking was that Pedro would win games 1 and 5, but then would only get one start against the Yankees, putting New York in the World Series. Of course, none of this takes into account the large difference in BAP abilities. If you dig back in my blog you'll find me coming to a conclusion that reads something like this:

The A's are surprisingly an amazing BAP team. The Red Sox are the anti-BAP.

The A's have the reputation of being a station-to-station team because of Billy Beane and their low stolen base totals. But what seems to be lost in that is they do have players that can take an extra base, and they almost never get runners thrown out on the bases. They also don't ground into many double plays. Now, that's mostly a function of not getting many men on base, but still it's true.

Almost every game I've scored for BAP with the A's has given them a positive number of EBs. Conversely, the Sox always seem to end up with low or negative numbers of EBs. So here it is, essentially a battle between BAP Good and BAP Evil, with me rooting for the wrong team. Life as a Red Sox fan.

Which brings me to a joke that a co-worker and I shared today:

Question: Why don't Red Sox fans go to Hell?

Answer: They're already there.

The Numbers

OBP - Bos .413, Oak .365
SLG - Bos .435, Oak .244
OPS - Bos .848, Oak .609
BAP - Bos .609, Oak .683
EBs - Bos 1, Oak 7
BA - Bos .261, Oak .195
SecA - Bos .348, Oak .366
BA+SecA - Bos .609, Oak .561

BAP and SecA both win, and everyone else loses. This seems like a great time to update the standings:

BAP - 6-0
OBP - 5-1
SLG - 5-1
OPS - 5-1
BA - 5-1
BA+SecA - 4-2
SecA - 3-3

BAP sees things the others don't see. Cool!

Bum of The Day - Has to Kim, but otherwise it would be Grady. Trading a Nixon-Rincon matchup for Brown-Bradford? Yikes? And I like pulling Walker for Jackson as a defensive replacement, but if you know you're going to do that, how can you have Walker hitting between Nomar and Manny?

Most Likely To Remember the Game When They Are 80 - Got to be Ramon Hernandez. A bunt single with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th? Are you kidding?

Dave's Email

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Man, I'm just too tired to write about the Red Sox Debacle. It can wait a day. And somewhere in there, I'll get the College Football Weekend Preview, although that may be Saturday morning.

Game 2: Braves 5 Cubs 3

Getting this one out of the way before discussing the Sox Debacle, and the Jekyl and Hyde routine that is Todd Walker.

The Numbers

OBP - Chi .341, Atl .405
SLG - Chi .233, Atl .400
OPS - Chi .575, Atl .805
BAP - Chi .395, Atl .590
EBs - Chi 1, Atl 7
BA - Chi .200, Atl .371
SecA - Chi .267, Atl .086
BA+SecA - Chi .467, Atl .457

Secondary Average is doing awful, losing it's third straight, and this time taking down BA+SecA with it. All of the other stats are undefeated, including, amazingly, batting average.

Temporary Heroic Performance - Mike Hampton gets out of a jam in the first by striking out three straight batters, then strikes out the side in the second, too.

Guy Most Likely To Be Talking About This Game When He Is 80 - Mark DeRosa hits a two-run double with two outs in the eighth to give Atlanta the lead for good.

Bum of The Day - Eric Karros. Here's his game log:

- In the first inning, strikes out with the bases loaded and no outs.
- In the third inning, grounds into a doubleplay to end the inning.
- In the fifth inning, grounds into the third out with a runner on third.
- In the eighth inning, singles with one out, then gets lifted for a pinch runner.

Dave's Email

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Marlins 9 Giants 5

Four entries in two days! There won't be another one until tomorrow night. Watching the Sox tonight, doing the work thing tomorrow, watching the Sox tomorrow, then you'll hear from me. I have to say though, I'm pretty impressed with myself.

The Numbers

OBP - FL .386, SF .297
SLG - FL .452, SF .382
OPS - FL .838, SF .679
BA - FL .357, SF .235
SecA - FL .159, SF .206
BA+SecA - FL .516, SF .441

Secondary Average drops it's second straight game, while batting average improves to 4-0. The Marlins set the current playoff record with 16 EBs (Extra Bases).

Crying Baby! Crying Baby! Oh man, the game's in fifteen minutes, and we're trying this whole Ferber thing, which basically means let the baby cry, and go in every ten minutes. Every ten minutes! Maybe he just wants to watch the game.

Sprinting Now.

Big Play of the Game - Jose Cruz Jr. trips on Juan Pierre's flyball into the right-hand corner, scoring two runs for the Marlins and giving them the lead for good.

Most Likely To Talk About This Game When He's 80 - Pierre goes 4-5 with a stolen base.

And I've got to cut it short there. Wait . . . Quiet Baby! Quiet Baby! Go Sox!

Dave's Email

Cubs 4 Braves 2

I've got tickets for game 4 of Sox-A's, which happens to be the eve of Yom Kippur. Do me a favor and pray in what ever religion that suits you that the game is a 1:00 pm start, because that's the only way I'm going. I wish they would just announce the time already, and get it over with. How dare MLB play with people's emotions this way. And if the game is at night, does Gabe Kapler play?

Cubs-Braves Numbers

OBP - Chi .400, Atl .243
SLG - Chi .324, Atl .194
OPS - Chi .724, Atl .437
BAP - Chi .500, Atl .324
BA - Chi .294, Atl .097
SecA - Chi .267, Atl .290
BA+SecA - Chi .561, Atl .387

Secondary Average is the first loser of the playoffs. Looking at the other stats, the game wasn't as close as the score.

Bum of the Day - Leading off, Rafael Furcal goes 0-5 with 3 strikeouts.

Most Likely to be Talking About This Game When He's 80 - Kerry Wood strikes out 11 and gets as many hits as he gives up.

Best BAP Moment - Paul Bako grounds out to first with the bases loaded, scoring the first Cubs run and advancing two other baserunners.

Best Temporary Heroic Performance - Russ Ortiz loads the bases in the fourth with no outs, but strikes out the next two batters and gets Wood to foul out to keep the game scoreless.

Three playoff games down, potentially 45 to go. If I can get through the first round, I'm golden. Every game, man. Every game.

Dave's Email