Archive for the 'Red Sox' Category

24
Apr
08

An interesting baseball subtlety

Today I looked at the box score for this afternoon’s Red Sox/Angels game and I was confused by what I saw. Hideki Okajima was charged with a blown save despite not allowing a single run, earned or otherwise. I puzzled over how this was possible. It turns out that a pitcher is charged with a blown save if he allows a runner to score the tying run (thus eliminating the chance of earning a save) regardless of whether he was responsible for allowing that runner to reach base. In today’s game, Okajima entered the game with the bases loaded. The runs that were scored while he was on the mound were charged to the pitchers who preceded him but he was charged with the blown save.

This seems a little unfair to me. He came into the game with a 1-run lead and the bases loaded. Any mistake, including a walk or even a passed ball, would earn him a blown save. By the time the inning was over, he had allowed 3 runs to score, so he probably earned the blown save. However, in general, I think assigning credit or blame to pitchers is a fool’s errand. I have commented on this at length in the past so I won’t go into it again. However, this situation highlighted to me that wins and losses aren’t the only types of credit/blame quantities assigned to pitchers that are problematic in their execution.

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29
Oct
07

A Halloween Project

We’ve had 2 pumpkins in our apartment for a couple of weeks now and they’re begging to be carved.  With Halloween coming up in 2 days, I thought that I better get cracking (or, carving…).  Anyway, after watching lots of postseason baseball and not getting too excited about the Red Sox, the fact that the Pirates are “my team” was confirmed again.  So, I decided to carve a pumpkin with the Pirates’ logo on it.  Here’s how I did it:

  1. I got out my Pirates hoodie (with a nice, embroidered logo) and photographed the logo:

    hoodie_logo.jpg

  2. I opened up the GIMP and applied a Gaussian blur to make the colors a little more uniform, then I posterized the image to get just white, black, red and yellow (plus a little residual junk):

    pirates_logo_blog.jpg

  3. I printed out the image and cut out the details in the face so I could use it as a template on the pumpkin:

    logo_cutout.JPG

    Seen here taped to a little curtain thing we have.

  4. I taped the template to the pumpkin and, using a permanent marker, marked in black all the stuff I was going to carve away.  I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m pretty happy with it so far.

    pumpkin_in_progress.jpg

When I get it all done (hopefully before Wednesday night), I’ll post a picture of it all lit up.  I hope it’ll look decent.  I may wind up needing a giant lightbulb to put inside it in order for a decent amount of light to shine through.  We’ll see.  Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve worked on a project that involved using my hands in ways other than pressing keys on a keyboard, so I’ve had a good time with this.

29
Oct
07

I’m back.

So, I haven’t posted in a while.  You can blame that on postseason baseball.  You might be surprised to find that my reaction to the Red Sox winning the World Series was “meh”.  I was rooting for the Indians to beat the Red Sox.  Then, when the Indians lost, I was rooting for the Rockies.  Here’s why:

  1. I like to root for the underdog.  The Red Sox have been favorites since the beginning, at least in the Boston media.  Hence, I wasn’t that interested in rooting for them.
  2. I hate the sense of entitlement that surrounds some teams.  This is one of the primary reasons I dislike the Yankees.  With all the success the Red Sox have had recently, I found more and more of this sense of entitlement creeping into coverage of the Red Sox.  This turned me off big time.
  3. I disliked the arrogance of the coverage here relating to the Red Sox.  People acted as though beating the Indians was a trivial formality.  Obviously, the Red Sox won, but not before finding themselves in the hole 3 games to 1.
  4. I guess my interest in the Pirates has made me resonate more with small market, low payroll teams.  So, I just find it harder to get excited about teams who have a huge payroll.
09
Oct
07

Another year begins

Monday was my 29th birthday.  I may have mentioned this last year, but I’m definitely getting outside the realm of plausible deniability when it comes to my status as an adult.  Actually, I think this year’s birthday was less traumatic than last year because I’ve become more comfortable with being an adult and I’ve started to appreciate some of the perks.  Maybe it was also made better by a heartfelt birthday wish I got from a friend:

brain_age_birthday

Ok, actually, that’s just the greeting I got when I started playing Brain Age for the Nintendo DS – a birthday gift from my wife.  It didn’t help me feel any better about my birthday when it turned out that my “brain age” was calculated to be 66, based on my wretched performance on some of the tests.  My only solace is that when I last played Wii Sports, my “fitness age” was in the low 20’s.  If my body is so much fitter than my brain, maybe being a graduate student isn’t a great occupation for me…

As the final present of my birthday, I was glad to see the Yankees lose to the Cleveland Indians, ending the Yankees’ hopes of advancing in the postseason.  I guess I just have a real problem with fans and organizations that have such a pervasive sense of entitlement.  Of course, they probably don’t see it so much as a sense of entitlement, but rather as a sense of getting their money’s worth.  Either way, it’s satisfying to see Goliath fall.  Nice job, Cleveland.

22
Jul
07

Boston: America’s Walking City Team

Yesterday, I went to the Red Sox vs. White Sox game at Fenway Park.  In many ways, the game was unremarkable.  The White Sox scored first, with 1 run in the top of the 2nd inning.  The Red Sox answered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning and two more runs in the bottom of the 6th.  The bottom of the 7th was when it got interesting.

A pitcher came in from the bullpen to replace the White Sox’ starter and gave up a lead-off single to Eric Hinske.  He struck out the following two batters while allowing Hinske to advance to 2nd.  This brought Manny Ramirez to the plate.  He was intentionally walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd.  Kevin Youkilis came up and managed to draw a walk to load the bases.  A new reliever was brought in and he promptly walked J.D. Drew, which scored Hinske.  A third reliever was then brought in and he walked the first 2 batters he faced, putting Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek on base while scoring Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis.  He proceeded to give up a 2-run single to Coco Crisp (scoring Drew and Lowell) followed by a 2-run triple to Eric Hinske (scoring Varitek and Crisp).  Julio Lugo’s subsequent strikeout put an end to the White Sox’ misery.

When the dust had settled, White Sox relievers had walked 5 consecutive batters (including one intentional walk), walking in 3 consecutive runs.  Eric Hinske had both a single and a triple in the inning, while Julio Lugo was responsible for making 2 out of the 3 outs in the inning, both on strikeouts.  The Red Sox ended up scoring 7 runs, all when there were already 2 outs.  It seems like there must be some kind of record in there.

While the White Sox managed to draw only one walk in the whole game, the Red Sox walked a total of 9 times during the game.  On the other hand, the White Sox struck out only twice, while the Red Sox struck out 8 times.  Also, there were no home runs hit by either team.

As a side-note, at one point I heard a group of people nearby chanting something that I couldn’t make out initially.  After listening for a few seconds, I realized that they were chanting “Joe Buck sucks!”  I was pretty amused, since the game was supposed to be the Fox Game of the Week, at least in the Northeast, and it was likely that Joe Buck would be one of the announcers.  If anyone recorded the game, let me know if you can hear the chant.  I think it was in the 7th or 8th inning.

20
Jul
07

Adrian shows us how to get enthusiastic about the wave

At the July 5th Red Sox vs. Devil Rays game:

adrian_wave.jpg

This picture could fit into Liz’s set of pictures of her and Adrian’s trip to Boston over the 4th of July.  Adrian has a summary of the game on his blog, though he doesn’t mention the wave…

06
Sep
06

Red Sox lose, Pirates back to last place

Today, I went to the Red Sox game against the White Sox. Since both teams are affectionately referred to as just “the Sox” by their fans, it was certain that the Sox were going to win. Tonight, the winning Sox were White. The game was one-sided from the beginning. Jim Thome got the scoring started with a towering homer into the bullpen. Later in the game, Jermaine Dye hit a homer over the Green Monster. The only run the Red Sox scored came on a solo home run by Coco Crisp. In the end the White Sox outscored the Red Sox 8-1 and outhit the Red Sox 14-4. Apart from a nice diving catch by Mike Lowell and a couple of decent catches by Trot Nixon on the warning track, there weren’t too many exciting defensive plays to add life to the game. It was fun to go to a game, but after the 3rd inning, there wasn’t really any doubt who was going to win.

Despite the Red Sox’ weak performance tonight, I wasn’t too disappointed. That’s mostly because I’m not really a big Red Sox fan anymore. In 2004 I was. In 2005 I was to an extent, though by that time my interest in the Pirates was growing. This year, I don’t really pay any attention to the Red Sox and the Pirates are the only team I follow closely.

Speaking of the Pirates, I regret to say that their tenure in 5th place in the NL Central was short-lived. After winning yesterday, boosting their win percentage to .403 and sending the Cubs to last place in the division, the Pirates find themselves back in familiar territory after today’s loss: last place in the division again. Fortunately, the loss did not send the Pirates back below .400, rather, they are now sitting at precisely .400. In addition, if they can win tomorrow, they can retake the half-game lead on the Cubs they had yesterday. Let’s hope they can win the series with the Cubs and say goodbye to last place for good!




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