Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Baseball scoreboard. Zito strengthens his contract negotiations, while The Big Hurt keeps drinking from the Fountain of Youth
  • The Hurt is getting paid $500,000 this year! Maybe the best money ever spent since free agency began.


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This week's movies: early reviews. The Departed - 95% positive reviews
  • Could this finally be Scorsese's year for a shiny statue?


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The Weekend Warrior's predictions for the upcoming weekend
  • He thinks the new Scorsese film will finish first with about $24 million
  • The Texas Chainsaw prequel a solid second at $16m
  • Employee of the Month fourth at about $11m


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Last Tasmanian Tiger filmed in 1933
  • The (presumably) extinct animal is not a tiger at all, but a large carniverous marsupial. It sometimes moves like a cat, at other times like a wolf. This is the only time I have seen one in motion.


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"The Internet’s Biggest Google Whores"


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The five worst superpowers to have


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The Hoff no longer makes a fool of himself on recorded TV shows. Now he makes a fool of himself on live TV interviews.


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Wisconsin Woman Arrested For Hamster Neglect
  • Those cheeseheads are passionate about hamster rights. I think a lot of Norwegians settled there.


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One more reason why I love Norway. Norwegians will debate whether boys should pee sitting down.


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Korean dictator hires doubles to do the boring jobs


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MARK FOLEY E-MAILS TO BE ADAPTED FOR ‘C-SPAN AFTER DARK’


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The trailer for Arthur and the Invisibles, Luc Besson's new animated film.


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The trailer for For Your Consideration, Christopher Guest's new film.
  • "Christopher Guest turns the camera on Hollywood for his next film, 'For Your Consideration.' The film focuses on the making of an independent movie and its cast who become victims of the dreaded awards buzz. Like Guest's previous films, 'Waiting For Guffman,' 'Best in Show' and 'A Mighty Wind,' this latest project will feature performances from his regular ensemble, including co-writer Eugene Levy."


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Anna Nicole's ex-beau sues for paternity. This woman is a walking adventure. She needs to hook up with Terrell Owens.


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Letterman's: "Top Ten Signs You Watch Too Much Television"


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"Colbert Report: Mark Foley"


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Colbert announces this week's threat-down, and bears are back on top


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Colbert rails against science's "rampant rationality"


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Daily Show: "There you have it, ABC's Brian Ross: worst phone sex operator ever."


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"Senator Trent Lott talks about his new book and the state of the House. Part 1" ... Part 2 ... Part 3


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The Daily Show's Samantha Bee discusses her own experience as a Congressional Page

  • "A Congressional page should exude the musky aroma of forbidden youth and bacon."


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Daily Show: "The Foley scandal sent the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or Congress, into action."


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The Daily Show's Jon Oliver reminds us that the internet is a series of tubes through which Congressmen can reach through and fondle boys.


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"Claim: Boxer Muhammad Ali's refusal to wear a seat belt on a plane spurred an answering quip from a stewardess."
  • Status: unlikely.


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Chavez decides to pump up Venezuela's economy by acting as a celebrity spokesperson
  • Since he caused Chomsky's dense book to rise to #1 at Amazon, Chavez has been besieged with offers from marketers worldwide.


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The United States bans online gambling
  • As you probably know, the ever-shifty congressional leadership tagged it on to a Port Security Act which would be career suicide to vote against.


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The Top 10 Weird Al Videos - with YouTube links


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"James Blunt's Goodbye My Lover has become the most requested song to be played at funerals "
  • The link lists the Top Ten Funeral Songs, which include Candle in the Wind, Tears in Heaven and, surprisingly, Zip-a-dee-doo-dah


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Tom Wolfe finds that New York and California media types are out of touch with the rest of America.
  • His study was sponsored by those same people who proved that Mr Bean wasn't sexually exciting.


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NAMBLA To Support Foley
  • "Citing a philosophical kinship of karmic proportions, the North
    American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) has announced that it is
    planning on throwing its full support behind the re-election of
    embattled page-enamored ex-Congressman Mark Foley."


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Here's some baseball trivia for you. (I discovered this while researching the question below.) Which of these teams has a stronger offense: Seattle Mariners or Boston Red Sox?


Answer: the Mariners scored 403 runs on the road, the Red Sox 395. The reason that you answered the Red Sox (assuming you did) is Safeco Field. The Sox score 20% more runs at home than the Ms. That's a lot of runs.

In fact, the Ms have approximately as good an offense as the mighty White Sox and Rangers. The Ms scored 403 on the road, the Rangers and White Sox 407 each.

In case you are wondering, Safeco is not the MLB park least conducive to offense. It's the AL choice, but the batters who really have to struggle are the poor Padres. PETCO park is to hitters as Coors is to pitchers. In fact, the amount Petco cost the Padres' hitters (101 runs) was actually greater than the amount Coors helped the Rockies' hitters (99 runs)!!! The Padres actually have a good offense. They scored 416 runs on the road - fourth best in the NL - but they finished a distant last in runs scored at home with 315. They were so far in last that they couldn't even see second-last, which was 353! Brian Giles knocked in 53 runs on the road, 30 at home. No Padre knocked in more than 38 at home. Mike Piazza slugged .564 on the road, .425 at home.

Poor Piazza has spent his entire career in the toughest hitters' parks in the NL. Imagine what his lifetime numbers would look like if he had played in Denver. Piazza's lifetime stats on the road: obp .390, slugging .576. His OPS of .966 on the road would be great for a first baseman. It's off the chart for a catcher. No catcher (except Piazza, of course) has ever had a lifetime OPS over .900. Bench is considered a great hitting catcher at a meager .818!!


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Reader question: what about Johjima for AL rookie of the year?

Well, he would be my runaway choice if they separated ROTY into two awards, one for pitchers and one for position players. In fact, he's just about the only possibility.


But you can't compare him to the three pitchers. Johjima hit .290, but actually has the offense of a much weaker hitter - thanks to a .332 OBP. (That's actually below average. The league average is .339.) Guy never takes a walk. Mike Napoli of the Angels hit only .228 - but got on base FAR more than Johjima (.360 vs .332) The stat which most accurately parallels true offensive value is OPS. Johjima's OPS was .783, compared to a league average of .776. Meh.



In all fairness, it should be pointed out that Safeco Field is a place where offense goes to die, so Johjima is a much stronger hitter than his raw stats indicate. On the road he had the same lousy on-base percentage (.333 versus .331), because his batting eye is just as poor everywhere, but he slugged .119 better!!! His slugging average was .504 on the road, .385 at home. That's a mammoth difference. In the universe of catchers, that's roughly the difference between Johnny Bench and me. In fact, Bench's lifetime slugging avg was only .476! If you multiply Johjima's road stats times two, you have a season of .307, 24HR, 92RBI, which is very impressive for a catcher, even with the poor OBP.

Still, I just can't mention him in the same breath as the three pitchers, who were all major stars. There's Verlander. There's a closer with 35 saves and a 0.92 ERA. Or there's Liriano. Forget Rookie of the Year, Liriano would have been the Cy Young winner except for the injury. Word. Santana will win the Cy, I suppose. Compare their records. Liriano, pitching in identical conditions, has 'im beat in every category. Better winning percentage, better ERA, better K/9, and the same WHIP! If you look at the detailed stats, the story continues. Batters hit .216 against Santana. But they hit .205 against Liriano. Batters slugged a pathetic .360 against Santana, which seems really impressive until you see that they slugged a truly anemic .306 against Liriano!

I would place Johjima fourth in the balloting behind the three pitchers, or maybe ahead of Papelbon, if I were to give it more thought. I don't know whom I would vote for! It would have been Liriano if he had maintained that level without an injury, but given his limited action, the other two guys have equally strong cases.


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Will California increase its own internet regulation
  • I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of governmental regulation. Cities, States, Countries, the U.N ... EVERY governmental entity should pass its own internet regulations.


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MovieJuice! looks at The Guardian - "Protect and Swerve"


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