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Chiburb

  • joined Mar 24, 2008
  • last login Jul 13, 2014
  • posts 162
  • comments 20320

An old fart who's passion is White Sox baseball. You know, when I was your age...

A Fan Of...

  • MLB Chicago White Sox
User Blog

Joe Pos On Farnsworth

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This is the time of year for stories. The aging veteran is trying to squeeze one more year out of his tired body — he looks better than he has looked in years! The phenom is looking better than the manager ever dreamed — he might actually make the club! This legend is visiting camp — all the kids ask him questions! The stories rarely pan out, of course. The wrinkles in the aging veteran’s face tend to show up in late March. The phenom starts striking out as the curveballs tighten up. The legend goes back to his home and the kids return to their same habits. The spring training stories are usually illusions. But like many illusions. they’re a lot of fun. My favorite spring training story so far comes from Surprise, Ariz. — the best name ever for a spring training home — where according to my good friend Bob Dutton the Kansas City Royals look serious about trying to make Kyle Farnsworth a starter.

Tiger's Penis Begs To Differ

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Just minutes after Tiger Woods vowed to lead a life of decency and integrity, the golf legend's penis issued a furious rebuttal. "Let's make one thing very clear," Mr. Woods' penis told a select group of reporters. "Tiger Woods does not speak for me." Mr. Woods' penis sought to draw a clear distinction between his plans and those of the PGA champion, particularly concerning their futures on the golf tour. "Tiger has said he is not returning to the tour," Mr. Woods' penis said. "I am here to say that Little Tiger is definitely putting it out there." Reaction to the statement by Mr. Woods' penis was mixed. "The world needs to forget about everything else and focus on the Tiger Woods scandal," said the chairman of Toyota.

FanPost
10

Optimizing the Lineup...

Almost every thread these days contains a suggested/proposed lineup for 2010, usually including a player the Sox don't have!  Not that there's anything wrong with fantasy lineups, but if you/we're...

Jermaine lies

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"It all boils down to once we got crowded in the outfield and I started playing every couple of days," Dye said. "Before we got crowded, I was already in a couple-weeks slump. It was just a situation that built up. "Having everyone rotate between the outfield and DH, doing all that, I think it made it that much tougher than being in the lineup every day, trying to work your way out of a slump. It just kind of piled up and piled up." Dye manages to push three falsehoods in two paragraphs here. Talk about piling up — he starts out with a minor misrepresentation and ends up destroying any semblance of a case.

Naked Baseball Painting at the Library of Congress Greets, Amuses Visitors

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Asylum called up Susan Reyburn, a staff writer-editor at the Library, to find out more about this book and the amazing mural. Click through to learn more about the image that she and her colleagues refer to as "the naked 19th-century baseball team." Of the five images depicting games, the naked baseball and football images are the only ones showing men playing American sports. They were painted by the same artist, Frederick C. Martin, in the late 19th century.

Joe Pos With A (Respectful) Smackdown Of Fisk

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Yeah, it's steroids again but a very thoughtful piece. Worth reading the whole thing at the link, but here's his bottom line response to Fisk's rant: Yes, the era may be defined by steroids, but it’s like people don’t want to hear that steroids were not the only reason that people hit a bunch more home runs. There are a lot of reasons people hit home runs. For instance, there was a player, a really good player, who had never hit more than 26 home runs in a season. He was a good hitter but he was just not a 30-home run guy. And he was also a catcher, which meant that it was likely his body had taken a terrible beating and had worn down. But this is the point I want to make: When you talk about the three greatest power hitting catchers of all time — Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra, right? Well, there’s Josh Gibson, of course, but we don’t have his numbers. When the three power catchers (Piazza, Bench and Berra) were 37 years old, how many home runs do you think they averaged? The three greatest power-hitting catchers of all time averaged 11 home runs at age 37. How many do you think our guy hit? He hit 37! Of course, our guy is Carlton Fisk. And I am not suggesting that he did anything illegal — I am in fact entirely convinced that he did not do anything illegal and never would. But he had never hit more than 26 homers in his career. And he was a 37-year-old catcher — no 37-year old catcher had ever even hit 20 homers before. And at 37, he hit 37 home runs because, well, baseball isn’t always easy to reduce to a few indignant words. See, there’s a lot that goes into baseball. Stuff usually isn’t black or white, up or down, left or right. It’s complicated. Carlton Fisk, of all people, should know that. If it makes people feel better to shout "fraud" in a crowded theater, hey, it’s a free country. But it seems to me there’s already enough noise out there. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mark McGwire Comes Clean

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McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade. "I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."

Bert Blyleven's HOF Case (yes, again!)...

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Even though folks like WU and Mick10 are in "good" company (LaRussa, Billy Martin, as the article spells out) in not recognizing BB as a dominant pitcher, hopefully those of you who never saw him will accept this argument that he belongs in the HOF. Big Hall, small Hall, don't matter.

Facebook Users: Beware New Privacy Changes

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On Wednesday morning, users began seeing a message offering a new, simplified privacy settings page and the ability to set specific options for every post made to Facebook. The changes, first announced this summer, again promised last week, and available today, give users much tighter control of who sees what, down to the individual reader, if desired. Especially important is the new "everyone" setting that determines whether a Facebook post will be seen on other services, such as in Google search results.

Grady SIZEmore!

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But what will we tell the children?!?

Jim's Off-Season Sox Schedule...

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Nov. 9 – General managers meetings, Chicago. Nov. 1o-11 – General managers meetings are moved to Rio de Janeiro. Nov. 15 – Joe Cowley reports that the White Sox have interest in trading for Chone Figgins. Nov. 29 – The White Sox front office ponders whether or not to offer arbitration to Octavio Dotel. Nov. 30 – Scott Linebrink wakes up from yet another undeservedly good night of sleep. December – Questionable Latin American alleged crime period. (More at the link)

Denver Post beat writers told to stop making game predictions

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For as long as most of us can remember, beat writers at the Denver Post have been allowed to make game predictions about teams they cover -- but no more, because of a decision by the paper's editor, Greg Moore. What was the real motivations for eliminating predictions? And did readers upset that none of the writers had confidence in the Broncos have any impact? Not according to Moore, corresponding by e-mail, who says, "It is an ethical move. Sports writers are no different than other news-beat reporters. We would not have political reporters picking sides in a political contest.

Satchel Paige vs. Babe Ruth

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Integrating Major League Baseball retroactively with Strat-o-Matic cards. It's the bottom of the ninth in the Bronx. The Yankees are tied 5-5 with the Dodgers, and Babe Ruth is coming to the plate with two men on and two out. Future Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston is on first base. Tony Lazzeri is on third. And on the mound for Brooklyn is Martin Dihigo, the greatest Cuban pitcher of all time. This showdown never took place in real life. It couldn't have. Charleston, an African-American, and Dihigo, a black Cuban, were never allowed to play in the major leagues. Instead, this historic game was happening in Strat-O-Matic on the kitchen table of Scott Simkus, an amateur baseball historian from the suburbs of Chicago. Simkus has been playing the dice-and-cards baseball simulation since he was a boy. Strat-O-Matic has always been a great vehicle for answering what-ifs like How would Ty Cobb have hit against Sandy Koufax? or Would the 1962 New York Mets have lost to the 2003 Detroit Tigers?

Lillibridge In Rare Company...

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Going into the last games, our own Little Bridge has a chance to make history. Click through to see how!

No Wonder Rios Can't Hit

+

Former MLB pitcher Dave Baldwin (Sox, 1973) explains the brain's functioning during the 4/10 of a second between release and contact. Snip: The batter needs to begin collecting pitch information as soon as possible. To prepare for this "quick read," the batter’s conscious mind concentrates on an imaginary "box" where he expects the pitcher’s release point to be. Thus, his cerebral cortex is thoroughly occupied and doesn’t hinder the unconscious mind. If he has guessed correctly and the ball is released from that box, he can begin to evaluate the pitch as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. Otherwise, the batter must spend precious milliseconds searching for the ball.

How Swisher Got His Groove Back

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What the heck do the Yankees want with a guy who had just hit .219? As somebody who asked the very same thing, I thought about the trade on Tuesday night as I watched Swisher wipe the remnants of a pie from his face, planted there in celebration of his walk-off homer to beat the Rays 3-2. A year ago, Swisher was one of the unluckiest players in baseball. His line drive rate in 2008 was a career-high 20.9 percent. Based on that figure, his expected batting average for balls in play was .329, which would have been a just reward for hitting the ball hard. But instead, even though he pounded the baseball, Swisher's BABIP was a criminally low .251, a number that can be attributed to lots of terrible luck. Flash forward to Tuesday night. After swatting a pair of homers against the Rays, Swisher is hitting .254/.378/.506, defying even the most optimistic projections. His 26 homers are the second highest total of his career. What's changed? Well, scenery, for one. Swisher is having a lot more fun contributing to a winning team in New York than he did languishing for a winning team in Chicago. That's to be expected. But the real answer lies in Swisher's luck. (Goes on to explain BABIP, Line Drive %, wOBP, and other unexpected stats by a newspaper reporter. Cowley could learn from this.)

Foreign Talent Loads the Bases in Minor Leagues

5

Recent changes in U.S. immigration law and growing competition in baseball for raw talent have allowed the minor-league farm system to flourish with imported players. It has been a home run for globalization, but bad news for U.S.-born players, who suddenly have much more competition. Across the minor and major leagues, the total number of foreign-born players is growing fast, to almost 3,500 of the 8,532 players under contract this summer, from 2,964 three years ago. The surge of young foreign players into the U.S. minor leagues began in 2007, a few months after then-president and former major-league team owner George W. Bush signed the Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professionals, Entertainers and Teams Act, known as the Compete Act. It freed the farm systems of major-league teams from having to compete with all U.S. employers seeking H2B work visas for foreign employees, the supply of which usually was exhausted each year by February. Now, teams can import as many prospects as they want. "There is no longer a limit on work visas," explains Oneri Fleita, the Florida-born director of minor-league development for the Cubs. "So, yeah, you might see more foreign players getting an opportunity."

An Appreciation Of Don Fehr

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After Don announced his retirement, Marvin Miller, the union leader who preceded him, observed that Don has always had a unique set of challenges. He had to gain consensus with a group of players who now had a lot more to lose economically in the event of a strike, some of whom were industries unto themselves. In Marvin’s time, all the players knew what it was like to play without a union. They understood how it felt being "owned" by a team and having no medical or retirement benefits. When Don took over, few if any players could remember such conditions. Don helped them understand and appreciate how they came to have such advantages, what exactly was at stake, and how this was a movement that would benefit future generations, not only themselves. To accomplish this while keeping everyone on the same page was, according to Miller, "one of Don’s greatest strengths." It is easy to make Don Fehr a target representing everything that frustrates us. Anyone perceived as the guy who fought for the rights of millionaires — especially millionaires who get to play baseball for a living — will never get a warm welcome. Yet our entire nation across the economic spectrum has been the beneficiary of his work and the work of the organization he headed for many decades, most often for the better.

A quiet subversive on the mound

12

Leroy Paige: But there is more to Satchel’s legacy than eye-popping records. While many dismissed him as a Stepin Fetchit if not an Uncle Tom, he was something else entirely - a quiet subversive, defying Uncle Tom and Jim Crow. He refused to play in a town unless it supplied lodging and food to him and his teammates, a defiance for which young civil rights workers later would get arrested. Satchel’s loudest claims for equality came on the field. He pitched spectacularly enough, especially when his teams were beating the best of the white major leaguers, that white sportswriters turned out to watch black baseball. He proved that black fans would fill ballparks and that white fans would turn out to see black superstars. He drew the spotlight first to himself, then to his all-black Kansas City Monarchs team, and inevitably to the Monarchs’ rookie second baseman Jackie Robinson. As one veteran Negro Leaguer put it, Jackie may have opened the door to the new racial reality when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, but it was Satchel who had inserted the key a full generation before.

OT: Sad Day For "815" And ALL Illinoisans

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As usual here in Illinois the social service agencies are the first on the chopping block because we have no lobby in Springfield, and don't provide enough monetary compensation for our representatives to give a damn about us. When agencies asked how to deal with the thousands of people who will be displaced by these cuts, the State's Secretary of the Department of Human Services had no response. The new fiscal year as well as the budget cuts started today. I want to have my state legislature spend an afternoon in any number of agencies today who are closing their doors and explain to an adult or child suffering from mental illness–self-mutilation, pyromania, dimentia, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders, sudden onset explosive disorder, anger management etc. that the one place which has been helping them is now closing. That where they have friends is closing. That where they have built a life for themselves is closing. But our clients are the marginalized, the poor, the ghosts who walk our city streets seen but not heard, acknowledged but not understood, and in most cases roundly ignored and thankfully forgotten by our politicians as soon as they are finished with their photo op at our agencies. They have no lobby and no money and are therefore expendable. These people will be tossed out onto the streets with no treatment, no help and no options. People will die, and no one seems to care.

IF there was a blog called SoxMachine...

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Run by someone who MIGHT be named Jim, what would you like to see changed/added/deleted from that site? Inquiring minds want to know. Unless I imagined this whole thing.

High School Team Throws 3 No-Hitters In 6 Games

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Clovis West High School baseball coach Kevin Patrick knew he had a lot of pitching talent going into the season. He just didn't know the school, located in Fresno, Calif., was on its way to becoming No-Hitter High. When J.D. Salles struck out the last batter during a tournament victory, it was Clovis West's third no-hitter in the first six games this season. The three pitchers who threw no-hitters – Salles, Sean Silva, and Jared Lee – are Division I prospects. (Salles has signed with Fresno State, and Lee will play for UNLV. Silva has not decided on a school.) Moreover, since none of the pitchers played football last fall, the entire pitching staff was able to work during the offseason and fall ball on mechanics with pitching coach Shawn Hannah, a former pitcher with the Detroit Tigers.

South Side Sox Reflects On Nick...

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This member of SSS wrote a beautiful tribute that reflects on life, death, baseball, and community. It's lengthy, but perhaps deserving of your attention. Once again, our condolences.

Babe Ruth "guest blogs"

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Ken Levine, a comedy writer who hosts the LA Dodgers pre and post game show, invited the Bambino to fill in at his blog. A couple of snips for flavor, more at the url: THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS – What kind of pussy name is "Blue Jays"? How the hell is a Blue Jay supposed to strike fear in the hearts of opponents? "Blue Jays" wear pigtails and sell cookies, "Giants" stomp on people and get arrested with Mickey Rourke. Same with… THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM – When you think of an "angel" you don’t think some bad ass dude who’s gonna grind your guts into garters. Fuck no. You think of Nicole Kidman prancing with wood nymphs and shit. Who cares if you’re from Los Angeles, Anaheim, or California ? If your team name is "angels" your city of record is Fantasyland. And along those lines…

Must-read if you love newspapers...Roger Ebert

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In the way some kids might be awed by a youth gang, I was awed by admission to the fraternity of newspapers. I adopted the idealism and cynicism of the reporters I met there, spoke like they did, laughed at the same things, felt that I belonged. On Saturday nights about midnight at The News-Gazette, when we put the Sunday paper to bed, we gathered around the city desk, tired, released, and waited for the first papers to be brought upstairs. Ed Borman, the news editor was in the slot; Bill Schmelzle, the city editor, had Saturday nights off. Borman would crack open a six-pack. I tasted beer for the first time. I was a man. My parents, my family, my friends at school, nobody, would ever really understand the fellowship into which I entered. Borman didn't care that I was drinking at 16. We had all put out the paper together. Now we would have a beer.

Baseball Analysts Versus Vegas: Over/Under

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Many teams looked at, but here's the snip of the White Sox: Chicago White Sox - Over 77.5 (-125) Under 77.5 (-105) Prediction: Under What is Vegas missing here? Aging bats anchor a mediocre offense. Fluky 2008 performers set to return to earth headline a pitching attack that strikes fear in nobody now that Vazquez has headed south.

FanPost
15

March Madness, Non-Beckham Style

While I don't particularly care for hoops, pro or college, I can't help but see some of the March Madness on the tv.  Some, however, are GLUED to the tv and intertubes... especially to check their...

FanPost
274

Community Project: New Member/Vistors "Cheat" Sheet

In response to a recent suggestion, perhaps we can use this thread to catalogue the origins of certain phrases or references that often have newbies/visitors scratching their heads.  For example,...

Nate Silver's Take On The Economy

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His article is about the economy, but here's a baseball snip from it: Let me divert your attention momentarily to something more important: baseball. Each year, baseball teams bid against one another for free agents — players like CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A. J. Burnett, the trio of stars whom the (apparently recession-proof) New York Yankees have signed for more than $400 million. One might assume that with that sort of money at stake, teams would do their homework. After studying the free-agent bidding process for many years, however, I have concluded that this money is not generally well spent. Teams tend to discount risk, particularly the risk of injury. And they tend to place too much emphasis on recent performance as opposed to a player's longer track record, invariably overpaying for a player who had a career year. These contracts are one manifestation of a phenomenon known as recency bias — the tendency to place too much weight on recent events. Think of the gambler who doubles her bet at the blackjack table because she's won her past couple of hands — her odds haven't changed any, but her perception of them has.

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