Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Where is your head?

I'm on the verge of completely turning on Paul Pierce. Last year he negotiates a 3 year $60 million dollar extension which will make him one of the highest paid players in the NBA. So instead of being grateful to a team an owner that invested so much money in a player that probably doesn't deserve to be paid as an elite, he starts grumbling that he wants to be traded if the Celtics don't make a get another elite level player. Now the Celtics have very little space under the cap to get a free agent due to Pierce's contract and missing out on Oden and Durant made their #5 draft pick not all that valuable. I'll never understand why players who want to be traded go to the press which instantly weaken their team's bargaining leverage with anyone they hope to negotiate with and making an eventual trade more difficult. I say screw Pierce. By the time the Celtics are decent again Pierce will be beyond his prime. His body type makes me think that he is not going to be great player in his 30's. A charitable observer would say that Paul desperately wants to win and is frustrated by the current state of things. Well so am I but this is not going to make it any better and if he really wants to be traded he isn't helping his own cause by being such a loudmouth. Danny should get the most he can for him and start over. My God the Celtics are a disaster.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Benny, Benny

Did I know who Benny Feilhaber was before yesterday? No and I follow the U.S. National team pretty closely. This was an absolutely fantastic strike to win the 2007 Meaningless Cup. It was exactly the kind of spontaneously creative goal that the United States team could not produce for years. It was also nice that the tv camera caught the 8 U.S. fans in attendance at Soldier's Field. I’d be pissed off at Hugo Sanchez’s pathetic comments after the game if it wasn’t for our complete dominance of the Mexican national team for the last 7 years. There were quite a few things I didn’t like about this game most notably the weak first half and DaMarcus Beasley’s whiff that should have given us a third goal. I don't expect too much so the Copa America should be fun.

Friday, June 08, 2007

No no-no

I don’t want to take anything away from Curt Schilling's near no-hitter yesterday but if Alex Cora had reached Shannon Stewart's grounder in the 9th and got him out at first, it would have been one of the luckiest and least deserved no-hitters in the last 20 years. It all come down to batting average on balls batted into play. The best way to get a no-hitter is to limit the number of balls put into play by striking guys out. There is a reason why Nolan Ryan has 7 career no-hitters, he was one of the best strikeout pitchers in the history of baseball (#4 all time in strikeouts per nine innings) and had a ridiculously long career. The logic is simple, the fewer balls put into play, the greater the chance that there will not be a hit. A batter that strikes out has a 0% chance of getting a hit but a batter that puts the ball into play has about a 30% chance of getting a hit. Yesterday Schilling struck out just 4 batters. If the averages had held Schilling should have given up at least 7 hits. There have been 24 no-hitters since a pitcher has had less than 4 strikeouts and still had a no-hitter (in 1993 Jim Abbot struck out just 3 Indians and walked 5 in the luckiest no-hitter I could find). In the 24 no-hitters since 1993 the strikeout average is 8.45. So if anyone should be congratulated on yesterday’s 1 hitter it should be the Sox defense which converted 24 of the 25 balls in into play into outs. I can't say enough how happy I am with the Sox improved defense over last year. So far they are converting .709 of balls in play into outs compared to the woeful .683 last season. It was a good performance by Schilling but not even his best of the season. That would have been on May 28th against a much better Cleveland lineup when he struck out 10, walked 0 and gave up no home runs.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Demetri Martin

With a few exceptions I hate stand up comedy. Like musicals I think there are a few good ones and the rest are unbearable. It’s not like I have any knowledge of current comedians but of what I’ve seen I think David Cross and Sarah Silverman are very funny. Chris Rock used to be up there but he seems to be floundering. Recently I saw a little of Demetri Martin. He obviously owes a lot to Steven Wright but I thought his jokes were hysterical.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The National

I bought The National's "Boxer" last week and can't recommend it enough. It's not exactly cheery summer music with lyrics like...

"arm in arm in arm and eyes and eyes glazing under
oh you wouldn’t want an angel watching over
surprise, surprise they wouldn’t wannna watch
another uninnocent, elegant fall into the unmagnificent lives of adults"

but that is some good writing.

Here is a boring video to a great song.

But National Carpet is twice the band of The National.