I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

April 05, 2018 - 12:03 p.m.

Is This Any Way to Broadcast a Baseball Game?

I watched the Mets – Phillies game yesterday. It was historic, the first game ever broadcast exclusively on Facebook Live. People hated that but it's great for me. I don't have a TV and could watch on my computer. Even if I had a TV because of my vision the computer is better. The game was delayed because of rain and I missed the start because I was busy writing yesterday's entry, Survey Says. Since I sacrificed to write that read it now if you missed it. I'll still be here when you get back. By the time I turned the game on the Mets were winning 2–0 on a Yoenis Cespedes home run. Thor was dominating. Syndergaard had a weird game and bad luck. He only lasted four innings and gave up two earned runs, but he was much better than that. The Phillies scored their second run on a botched run-down play. If I were in charge of baseball stats that would be an unearned run. Why aren't I in charge? I'd rule that a team error. Sometimes you can't blame one person but it's still an error.

That reminds me of a baseball puzzler. How can the number of earned runs given up by the team in a game not equal the sum of the earned runs given up by the pitchers? I'll give the answer at the end.

The Mets won 4–2. Their relief pitching was sterling and Amed Rosario hit a clutch triple to drive in two. That was enough. The Mets are off to a great start and are all alone in first place.

MLB Facebook Live broadcasts are not off to a great start. The good part is that there are no commercials. The bad part is that it was the worst announced game I have ever heard. I don't know who the play-by-play guy was, the color men were ex-Philly John Kruk, and ex-Met Cliff Floyd. I think they spent more time discussing Kruk eating than on the game. Kruk was a fine player, a three-time all-star, and loved by the fans. He's also a doofus. The entire team talked like the sabermetric revolution in baseball never happened. The game was broadcast on the latest 21st Century technology but the analysis was out of the 1970s. This is going to be a weekly feature, MLB better get their act together.

John Kruk is a Philly icon, he was on the 1993 NL champion team that should have won the World Series and was a three-time all-star. Floyd played four years for the Mets but played more than 113 games only once. He had one fine season, 2005. He was not an all-star and never a fan favorite. I bet many people don't even remember he was a Met. It's not how I think of him, to me he was a Marlin that started with the Expos and joined the Mets late in his career.

Floyd was far better than Kruk, dead air would be better than Kruk, but he still said things that drove me up a wall. He seems to think we can judge players based on the first five games. In his mind Adrian Gonzalez is a huge addition to the Mets. He hasn't been a great player since 2011 and hasn't been a good player since 2015. He's 35-years-old. His ZIPS projection puts his WAR at 0.6. That means a team with him at first base would win about half a game more than a team with a typical AAA callup. He has drawn a lot of walks in 5 games, he's not going to sustain that.

Brandon Nimmo is not a "you have to find a place to play this guy" player. He might very well be good enough to be a major league starter but that's far from clear. He too has walked a lot, he did last year too. I'm happy with him as a platoon player. Floyd said he could see him winning a batting title. There is nothing to indicate he's that kind of player. Could he pull a Murphy or Turner and suddenly explode? Sure, so can anyone else. It's not something you can predict. Batting 0.286 with no extra base hits is not someone you need to find a place to play. If the team made no moves now that Conforto is back I'd platoon Nimmo and Lagares in center, put Conforto in right, and move Bruce to 1st displacing Gonzalez.

They also need to find better ways to fill the time between innings. They people they interviewed did not give insight. Features not necessarily tied to the game might be a good way to go. How about explaining all the ways the game has been revolutionized of late, the upending of traditional batting orders with power hitters instead of fast guys at the top of the order, Defensive shifts, the fly ball revolution, explain what advance stats like WAR mean. They could talk about the games history. Give the Mets and Phillies highlights, name each team's greatest pitcher, position player and manager. Explore the quirks of the ballpark. So much they can do instead of the fluff they used.

After the game I made an Aldi run. It was cool by then, the upper 40s and windy. I somehow forgot my jacket and went out in just my hoodie. I hate being an idiot. It's not like I'm in a nice warm car the whole trip. I wait for two buses and walk for 13 minutes. I obsess over dressing properly for the weather but when I don't, like yesterday, I tolerate it. I see no reason to be uncomfortable but if I am I am.

I still have challah in the house, that means French toast again. This time I'll remember to use fewer eggs as I'm using more milk. I don't want a huge, just a hearty breakfast.

Answer to the puzzler: A pitcher gets two outs and the third batter reached base on an error. The pitcher is then replaced. The reliever gives up a home run. That isn't a team earned run as there should have been 3 outs. It is a personal earned run for the reliever. Whenever runs are unearned for the team because the inning was extended are earned for the relief pitcher responsible for the runners.


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please hold me accountable.





Detecting and Ranging, Crys, Jacob, and Annie, with Radio - April 11, 2018
What Word Follows Rainbow and French in Titles? - April 10, 2018
John Lilly, Red Molly, and Dancing Girls - April 09, 2018
Mari Don't Bar Me - April 07, 2018
The Argument Clinic - April 06, 2018



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