The Mockingbird

Look At These Fucking Peppers

with 3 comments

Look At These Fucking PeppersSo it took about thirty seconds to realize that my plan to take hijack the blog while Jon was on vacation and turn it into the Piratebird, or something equally lame, was totally shot. Apparently, taking a sunny Florida vacation has increased his productivity tenfold. Months of intoxicated blogging in your underpants leaves a man completely impervious to all distractions.

Despite the hardships of sunny beaches, thong bikinis, and a haze of tiny cocktail umbrellas, we here at the Mockingbird strive to leave no comment unanswered.

So why the fucking peppers you ask? It’s my way of saying: before we start freaking out on the Jays for getting swept by an A’s team that mailed it in last December – and loosing a game to the O’s with virtually no starting rotation, and who can be summed up in one glorious sentence from their Deadspin Season Preview:

Beyond plain categories of optimism and pessimism live those of us who see a sparkling half-glass of water and know for sure that the Orioles are eventually going to take a crap in it.

So just look at the FUCKING peppers, ALL OF THEM, before we go and get our knickers in a knot.

  1. We swept the World Champs
  2. We went and swept the Rangers in Arlington, for the first time in 23 years.
  3. Its baseball, who knows what the shit will happen, on any given day (just ask any Tiger’s fan).

Why do we play some teams better then others? Why do we sweep the yanks one day, and then get murdered by a bunch of pimply teenagers on the Rays? That’s just the game of baseball, and 162-game season is the great equalizer. Let’s take a peek at our record vs. the league, against the AL, over the past 3 seasons:

Team

Rest Of League Against

Our Record Against

Difference

Their Overall Record

Los Angeles

0.428

0.652

0.224

0.572

Boston

0.430

0.581

0.152

0.570

Minnesota

0.469

0.565

0.096

0.531

Seattle

0.516

0.571

0.055

0.483

New York

0.411

0.407

-0.004

0.588

Kansas City

0.615

0.608

-0.006

0.385

Baltimore

0.561

0.553

-0.008

0.438

Chicago

0.463

0.454

-0.008

0.537

Tampa Bay

0.600

0.581

-0.019

0.399

Oakland

0.471

0.448

-0.023

0.529

Detroit

0.477

0.450

-0.028

0.522

Cleveland

0.450

0.333

-0.117

0.549

Texas

0.518

0.384

-0.134

0.482

So what does this tell you? Well for one, we seriously beat up on the 2nd and 3rd best teams over that stretch (LA and Boston). And at the same time, the only two AL teams with sub .400 records (TB and KC) – we just can’t seem to take advantage the way the rest of league does. As for Texas? Who knows – we never seem to play well in Arlington (a little stage fright there Vernon?). But, after looking at the numbers a bit, I feel way better about sweeping a team that’s had our nuts like Texas, then loosing three to Oakland who we’ve played pretty much league average.

So what’s the moral of this rather unscientific, obvious story? I think Bull Durham said it best:

You know what the difference is between hitting 0.250 and hitting 0.300? It’s 25 hits. Twenty-five hits in 500 at bats is 50 points. Okay? There’s 6 months in a season, that’s about 25 weeks — you get one extra flare a week — just one — a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail — just one more dying quail a week…you’re in Yankee Stadium.

We’re counting hits and runs here, and the difference between first and fourteenth, is only a handful – and totally unpredictable one day to the next. Whoever get’s those extra few hits (and gives up less), over the course of the entire season, well, they’ll be on top. That’s why things like a team’s Pythaorean Expectation are such a powerful predictors of a team’s record.

So, don’t fret, we’ve still got a long way to go, and the way our 3-5 has been pitching, I’ll take those odds.

Written by mulliniks

April 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Seriousness

3 Responses

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  1. nice post. i too will take those odds.

    Navin Vaswani

    April 15, 2008 at 3:50 pm

  2. […] about that pretty little table that Rance tossed up for y’all (oh no, now I’m doing it) yesterday. This year it has been impossible to read a series/season preview of the Jays without hearing the […]

  3. […] Nerd Fight! Posted in Seriousness by halejon on April 19th, 2008 You know you’ve made the big time when you start getting taken down by blogs. I feel like making an acceptance speech or something, because the Southpaw just called B.S. on me calling B.S on the myth of the Jays playing to the level of their opponents. […]


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