Friday, February 10, 2012

An open letter to the MLB Hall of Fame

Bill James has published An open letter to the MLB Hall of Fame about Dwight Evans' rightful place in Cooperstown.
Look, I have not said that either Parker or Cedeno does not belong in the Hall of Fame. With a career won-lost contribution of 262-153, Cesar Cedeno was, in my view, a better player than many Hall of Fame outfielders, and there is a good case to be made for him as a Hall of Famer. With a career won-lost contribution of 300-201, Dave Parker is right on the boundary of being a completely qualified Hall of Famer in my opinion. He was a great player, and if he'd had one more outstanding season, one more outstanding month, I think there would be no doubt that he belonged in the Hall of Fame. Even without that, I think he was probably a Hall of Fame–caliber star.

But of the three, it is my opinion that the most worthy Hall of Fame candidate was Dwight Evans. With a career won-lost contribution of 323-183, Dwight Evans is comfortably above the Hall of Fame line.
What can I say? I agree, and have agreed for years. When the Jim Rice HoF debate was going on, I said that
Career OBP: Evans .370, Rice .352
Career OPS: Evans .840, Rice .856
When you take into account that OBP is more valuable than SLG, and that Evans played over 600 more games of better defense at a tougher defensive position, I think it's pretty clear that Evans had a signficantly better career than Rice did. BP's WARP3 (Wins Above Replacement Player, adjusted for all-time) has Evans at 119 and Rice at 89.2. Bill James Win Shares had Evans with 347 and Rice with 282.

As to the peak, that's debatable.

Rice Evans
158 163
154 156
148 149
141 147
137 137

Evans' best year was 1981, which makes it tough to evaluate, but it's a legitimate discussion as to peak, and a no-brainer as to career.
It's too late, of course, unless the Veterans Committee some day does the right thing. James' support is the kind of thing that could bring Evans' case to the attention of that committee, though I don't know how long he has to wait before they can consider him.

Anyway, James agrees with me, and it's a good piece...

Labels: , ,

| Links to this post

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

God Is Our Hope And Strength

Park Street Church Sanctuary Choir, 1/22/2012

Labels: , , ,

| Links to this post

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"Cheers ensued..."

I'll bet they did. I cheered this morning when I saw him say it via closed captioning on a muted television...
We elected this president to lead. He chose to follow. Now it’s time for him to get out of the way.
- Mitt Romney, speaking in Colorado

Labels: ,

| Links to this post

Monday, February 06, 2012

Why did they lose?

They lost because
  • Brady underthrew Gronkowski and got picked.
  • Welker dropped a very catcheable ball that would have put them in field goal range and extended their last real drive.
  • Belichick wasted a timeout on a no-chance challenge.
Yes, Gronkowski's limitations significantly hurt the offense. Yes, the defense didn't stop the last drive. Yes, the Giants came up with another miracle pass/catch, and yes, every ball that hit the ground bounced right into the hands of a Giant. But in the end, they lost because the the strengths of the team - the brilliant coach, the All World QB and the NFL's leading pass catcher - all made critical mistakes in the fourth quarter. The game was there to be won. They failed to win it.

Labels: , ,

| Links to this post

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Democrats’ bad presidential choice

There's been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the perceived weakness of the Republican primary field, but Frank J. Fleming notes - correctly - that all is not sweetness and light for the Democrats, either...
The primaries are supposed to be to find the strongest candidate for the general election, but that route is simply failing for the Democrats this time. The Republican primary field has at least offered a few options people can imagine doing a decent job as president, but the reason for Obama’s easy success so far in the Democratic primaries (the fact that he’s the incumbent) means no one will be able to imagine that about the Democratic nominee.

Democratic voters must be looking to the Republican field with envy. Having a few potentially bad choices certainly beats having just a single horrible one.

Labels: , , ,

| Links to this post

Show tunes and politics

Another entry from the They Learn What You Teach Them files...
Singing Camelot at the dinner table: "A law was made a distant year ago here, July and August cannot be too hot. And there's a legal limit to the snow here, in Camelot."

And the 16 year old shakes his head, and says, "Big Government at its worst."

I'm so proud...

Labels:

| Links to this post

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A Child's Dream of a Star

What is the internet really good for? Accessing the collective wisdom of the ages.

From the University of Florida, we have The Literature For Children Collection, and it's a blessing.
Literature for Children is a collection of the treasures of children's literature published largely in the United States and Great Britain from before 1850 to beyond 1950. At the core of this Collection are books from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature, housed in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies at the University of Florida. Books from the Departments of Special Collections at the Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida join volumes from the Baldwin Library to complete the Collection.
This morning, I've discovered a (very short) work of Charles Dickens (A Child's Dream of a Star) with which I was previously unfamiliar. It's there for anyone. And it is beautiful...

Labels: ,

| Links to this post

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Three bold decisions by Robert Kraft

An excellent piece on Robert Kraft and the Patriots from SI's Peter King...
On the last day of the 1993 NFL regular season, Patriots players and die-hard fans seemed resigned to losing their team. Absentee owner James Orthwein, a Missouri native who had bought the club two years earlier, intended to move it to St. Louis, which had lost the Cardinals in '88. "We were as good as gone," said Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett. But the fans wouldn't go down without a fight. Though they had the league's worst team (13--50 over four seasons heading into that game, against playoff-contending Miami) and worst venue (dumpy, no-frills Foxboro Stadium), damn it, this was still their bad team and their crappy stadium. Before the game they burned empty cases of Budweiser in the windswept parking lots. (Orthwein was a great-grandson of brewing mogul Adolphus Busch and sat on the board of the St. Louis--based brewing company.) And once the game ended, victoriously, on a Drew Bledsoe overtime touchdown pass to Michael Timpson, the fans wouldn't leave. "Don't take our team!" they chanted. "Don't take our team!"

Robert Kraft, the owner of Foxboro Stadium, was getting in an elevator when he heard the crowd. It had been a frenzied time for Kraft and his family, as they watched Orthwein shop the Patriots to prospective owners who would take the team to St. Louis. Kraft was a potential buyer, but he felt the deck was stacked against him because he would keep the Patriots in New England. As the elevator door closed, he turned to his son Jonathan and said, "There's no way we're not winning this."

Labels: , ,

| Links to this post