# May 21, 2012: Programming Note

Third Monday Movie Day will be on Tuesday this week, because I’ll be around on Tuesday. In the meantime, talk about the NBA playoffs or Drew Butera striking out Carlos Gomez.

### 103 LTEs written in response to May 21, 2012: Programming Note

• socaltwinsfan

The toughest three outs.

• GreekHouse

I’ve heard from a couple of radical thinkers inside the game that that teams might be better off to have official game STARTERS rather than CLOSERS, that is to say one- or two-innings specialists who start two or three games a week and whose job is to get you off to a good start. Obviously stuff like this might work better in theory than in practice*, but in theory this is a very interesting concept.

ZOMG. This would be so awesome.

• Beau

I’m sure this has happened a time or two in history in elimination playoff games, but yeah, I would love to see a team try this for a month. Have your closer pitch the first two innings. Then put in your starter. Then if he gets bombed, you got a long reliever. This would really mess with the Win statistic

• the Win stat needs messing with

• GreekHouse

I’ve never thought of doing things exactly this way, but I have thought about just limiting the number of innings a pitcher pitches. Have a guy go in there and put in 3 innings, then have somebody else pitch 3 innings. If the game is close, you can mess around with situational stuff, otherwise you can put in a crappy long reliever. If you did this, it would enable you to put your good pitchers in every few days rather than every 5th day.

I’m not saying either of these ideas are better than what’s currently being done, but it would at least get people thinking about the game in a way that’s not so closed minded.

• bhiggum

Any plan that would lower the number of pitchers teams carry on their rosters would be good in my book.

• sean

The Book talks about that, especially for NL teams. One pitcher “starts” and pitches until it’s his turn to hit. The manager uses a pinch-hitter and then has the next pitcher go until it’s his turn to hit. That would give the team five innings most games from two pitchers that can pitch more effectively knowing they’re going to pitch three innings at most. Also, with two pinch-hitters, presumably often used, that would add eliminate the black-hole batting ninth. Theoretically this arrangement would give the NL team a few extra wins a season.

• GreekHouse

If teams played that strategy, that would add a significant edge for home teams whose pitchers wouldn’t bat as soon on average.

• ubelmann

Isn’t that basically what La Russa did last year in the postseason? Okay, so he didn’t really plan it all out that way, but if you look at, say, Brewers vs. Cards last year in the NLCS, the Cardinals didn’t have any starter pitch more than 5 innings.

Looking at really rough numbers, if you got rid of starting vs. relief distinctions say you had pitchers who threw 3 innings per appearance on average. (Figuring that every now and then a pitcher will hit because the offense is doing really well, or the pitcher is being really efficient.) Last year in the NL, there were 8.97 IP/G. (So extra-inning games mostly balanced out the losing team not pitching the bottom half of the 9th in an away loss.) That makes about 1454 IP per season, so you’d need 485 appearances per year, which would be:

53.9 appearances per pitcher — 9-man staff
48.5 appearances per pitcher — 10-man staff
44.1 appearances per pitcher — 11-man staff
40.4 appearances per pitcher — 12-man staff

161.7 IP/pitcher — 9-man staff
145.5 IP/pitcher — 10-man staff
132.3 IP/pitcher — 11-man staff
121.2 IP/pitcher — 12-man staff

Just as a guess, in such a system, you’d probably keep pitchers healthier for longer (overuse injuries are probably more from long outings than frequent outings with at least one day of rest?), but you’d also probably have your top pitchers pitching a little bit less than they do now, though they’d be having a positive impact on more games. So maybe fewer shutouts but fewer games that don’t get out of hand.

• Jeff A

I suspect the fear, other than the “we’ve never done it that way” fear, is that if you run into a couple of pitchers who don’t have it and get blasted, it could really mess up the schedule.

This won’t happen any time soon, but as teams carry bigger staffs and starting pitchers throw fewer innings, baseball could evolve in that direction over time.

• ubelmann

I thought Lou Piniella did this for a couple of games back when he was with the Devil Rays? My google fu is failing me, though.

• kg2005

I think he threatened it but never followed through.

• AMR

OK, Now Butera has the team’s highest Avg, Highest OBP, third-highest SLG (behind Revere & Willingham), Second-highest OPS and OPS+ (Behind Willingham), the Lowest ERA, Lowest BAA, and the fifth-lowest WHIP.

Is there some new kind of steroids out there? Did he have Lasik and Tommy-John?

• LASIK!

Everything’s been bizarro since Plouffe! cut his hair.

• GreekHouse

LASIK? Is that some kind of new stat? I’m sure Butters leads the team in that, too.

• hungry joe

we watched the game with the twins bullpen yesterday. they were about as impressed as we were.

• cheaptoy

And here is the view from the other way around with the trinket.

• SBG

Hey, this kid illegally downloaded 30 songs and shared them with others! What to do? I know, let’s ruin his life.

• Philosofer

There are few things that make me more upset than copyright laws.

• GreekHouse

Fining him 2,000 times the value of what he stole seems excessive.

• GreekHouse

Any hey, 20,000 times would be even worse. Did I mention I have a PhD in math? That would be like fining somebody $40 million dollars for stealing a big screen TV. • Beau only if you let 30 people come over to your home to watch your TV, because that means they’d never consider buying a TV themselves • GreekHouse Who needs their own TV when anybody you know has their own? Ridiculous! • SBG Hey PhD boy, do you know what that “$” symbol before 40 million dollars means?

Okay, I’m being a jerk.

• brianS

I just assumed it was a malformed shell command

• GreekHouse

We’ll go with that. Besides, you can never have too much redundant redundancy.

• Philosofer

I’ll secondy-second that.

• I just got back from 3 hours at the Czech Beer Festival. The atmosphere left something to be desired, but then again I was there at 2 in the afternoon. The beer, however, was everything you would expect it to be. I went by myself, which left me to contemplate life’s great mysteries. This is what I came up with:

Spoiler SelectShow

Spoiler for the fact I don’t want anyone stealing my “great” ideas.

• freealonzo

Because, why not:

My son and I have decided that whenever something good happens the proper response is to yell out Drogbaaaaaaaaa! For instance:

Me: That was Grandma and Grandpa, they’re taking us out to dinner.
Son: Drogbaaaaaaaaa!

• Beau

Third Monday Movie Day will be on Tuesday this week, because I’ll be around on Tuesday.

Then I guess I’ll move Pixel Perfect Memories to the 5th Tuesday.

• Wait, you were scheduled? Balls, sorry.

• New Guy

I took my car to the shop the other day because the coolant warning light was sporadically coming on and I was worried that the sensor might be going. They informed me this morning that the sensor was fine, but oil was leaking into the coolant system because of a cracked head gasket. It’ll cost about $2,200 to fix, which is coincidentally almost the entire amount that I had saved for my trip to Italy in July. It’s one of those days. • Philosofer If it makes you feel any better, I almost certainly have the exact same problem in my vehicle, but I’ve been pushing it by driving on it… and my other car had a head gasket blow, I drove on it without realizing it, and ultimately needed to replace the entire engine. I empathize dude. Oh, and get a warranty on the work. • New Guy I’m not sure I’m even going to have the work done. The value of the car itself is considerably less than$2,200 at this point, so it probably isn’t even worth it. But I can’t get to my current job without a car. It’s looking like it’ll be a choice between finding a different car that I can afford to buy or finding a new job that I can get to without driving. I’m not sure which one sounds more daunting.

• Philosofer

Having just gone through the engine replacement this summer, I like to remind people that the cheapest car is the one you already have. I’m so glad I replaced the engine instead of looking for a new car. It hurt. A lot. But it was definitely the right decision.

• New Guy

The problem with my car is that it’s turning into a complete money trap. I spent around $900 fixing an unrelated issue just three months ago, and there’s about$500 of other repairs that should be done but that I have been avoiding. I don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad.

• Philosofer

Sunk costs. Don’t let ‘em affect your decision going forward.

• Beau

I’ve always thought that if the predicted about of monthly upkeep on a car costs more than the monthly payment of a new one it’s time to get a new car.

• Philosofer

If the new car doesn’t have any upkeep costs, sure, that could make sense. But new cars become old cars, and sometimes that can happen pretty quickly. It’s pretty hard to predict the cost of monthly upkeep, both for old cars and, soon enough, for new cars.

• New Guy

That’s a good point. But the repairs are becoming more and more frequent and more and more expensive… I don’t know. It’s gonna be painful either way.

• AMR

I don’t have any solutions for you New Guy, but maybe it would help hearing a song written about your situation:

• AMR

You put your money in it and there you are,
the owner of a two-thousand-dollar thousand-dollar car.

Also: NSFW warning, song lyrics include the S-word.

• GreekHouse

Third Monday Movie Day will be on Tuesday this week, because I’ll be around on Tuesday

I totally dropped the ball on TNHP this month. It will be back last month, but I’ll probably have to make that the final month, unfortunately.

• Philosofer

It will be back last month

?

I assume this problem will have something to do with time travel.

• GreekHouse

Time travel would be fun. I don’t know if I can come up with anything that involves it.

• TNHP? I have problems trying to figure out acronyms.

• Beau
Spoiler SelectShow
• GreekHouse

I’ll give you a hint. Butters leads the team in it.

• brianS

this deserves a fractional point.

• Philosofer

Poi GreekHouse.

• brianS

that even looks Greek
Ροι Greekhouse!

• sean

No more awful white hats for Memorial day, Fourth of July, and 9/11.

• Philosofer

I hated the white caps, loved the flags for certain teams on normal colored caps (including the Twins. Their colors made it work, and when I wear a Twins cap I usually wear a flag one).

• AMR

The white hats were short-lived. Two years tops.
I am not a fan of these hats, either in the old version or the new. You want a different hat to signify holidays? Replace the MLB logo on the back with something else, or embellish it like the Yankees did all season for the opening or Yankee Stadium 3. Put a 42 on the back for Jackie Robinson day.

• brianS

SVG: Free at last!

• SBG

What a stunning turn of events.

edit: And Otis Smith out, too.

• meat

Why anyone would want to coach Howard after this mess is beyond me.

• brianS

so, you are saying he was coached in the past?

• brianS

also, I would like to point out that Benoit Benjamin was traded four times, drafted twice (NBA draft; NBA expansion draft), and signed four times as a free agent by NBA franchises.

• SBG

Then again, Phil Jackson quit the Lakers and wrote a book that shredded Kobe Bryant. Then, he came back and coached the Lakers for another five or so years. You may remember that Kobe Bryant was still on the team during that second go around.

• brianS

Yea, but they got rid of the malingerer, Shaquille. I’m sure that that fixed the relationship between Kobe and Phil.

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

If only TNT would get rid of him too.

• Philosofer

Nah, I still hate Kobe.

• GreekHouse

Time has not been kind to that guy.

• Philosofer

The girls on the G train weren’t very kind to him either.

• meat

Some folks shouldn’t use twitter.

• Jeff A

That’s really more sad than anything.

• SBG

It doesn’t make me happy that Chuck is off the rails, that’s for sure.

• hungry joe

his fall from grace has been rather staggering.

• Philosofer

I see what you did there…

• punmanbowler

This is what happens when you sell out to the Yankees.

Hope you’re enjoying that ring Chucky. Hope it was all worth it.

• Livan et al givin’ the grief

• SBG

Jon Morosi on the twitters:

Source: #Twins to designate Jason Marquis for assignment. Has 8.47 ERA in Minnesota but good track record in National League. Only 33.

• cheaptoy

I knew Gardy could hear me when I yelled for them to do that yesterday. Someone must have left the bullpen phone off the hook.

Also, good.

• DK

Guys, he’s only 33!!!

• meat

Nobody doubts his suckitude.

• ubelmann

I read this as “Has 8.47 ERA in Minnesota, but good track record in AAAA. Still breathing.”

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

Future book post fodder.

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

If Rondo were not on a team named the Celtics I think my appreciation of him would increase at least 4 times.

• For some reason, I’ve never found myself strongly disliking the Celtics, so I love Rondo’s game in an unqualified manner.

• bhiggum

I’m with strategery spooky. I don’t care much for Pierce (or Perkins when he was there), but I like the Celtics as a team.

• kg2005

I never cared for the Celtics, but I will always love Kevin Garnett. So, you know, go Celtics.

• SBG

Our boy has been something.

• cheaptoy

All that matters to me is that Griffin is out, Kobe is on his way out, and Wade cold be heading home too. That’s three of my least favorite players ever. Schadenfreude all around!

• SBG

Kobe is out. Zero assists tonight.

• AMR

I’d like the team more if I didn’t have to feel like a fool each time I speak the team’s name with a hard initial “C”.

• SBG

OKC V. SAS. This is what the NBA is all about.

• kg2005

I would like to see KG vs. Duncan in the finals. Sure, it would be about 5 (8?) years too late, but it would be fun.

• kg2005

Alternatively Durant vs. LeBron would not be bad.

• socaltwinsfan

Freudian Slip?

• brianS

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Wolves were forced to forfeit Friday’s Division III Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game at the Sacramento Softball Complex when their head coach Cameron Goodwin was ejected while arguing a call. Since Goodwin has no assistant coaches to take over for her, the game was stopped and Benicia was awarded the victory.

Late Friday Goodwin indicated that a Woodland parent, a Pioneer softball assistant coach and an assistant from Woodland’s baseball program were present and willing to coach the Wolves the remainder of the game. But on Saturday section softball tournament officials, citing the tournament rule book, said those scenarios were not acceptable.

Tournament director Don Barney refused to be quoted directly but offered that had Woodland’s principal, vice principal or athletic director been present, they would have been allowed to coach the remainder of the game. In fact, Barney noted a tournament rule which dictates a school administrator is expected to be present at playoff games.

Pioneer is our kids’ school; they (Pioneer, not my kids) were playing a playoff game the same day at the same venue. Woodland is the cross-town rival.

Oy. Sometimes, rules suck.

• bhiggum

Looks to me like the tourney was trying to make a point about the administrators, though if the rule is actually phrased like this-

a tournament rule which dictates a school administrator is expected

I can understand if the rule isn’t completely understood or followed to the letter. Forcing a team to forfeit because of it is just being petty, in my opinion.

• Jeff A

As someone who has been a tournament administrator, I can tell you that you get into less trouble when you follow the rules to the letter than when you bend them to make exceptions. Also, one of the things you do is make sure everyone has a copy of the rules well in advance, encourage them all to read them, and encourage them to ask any questions they have well in advance.

I once had to declare a forfeit in a district tournament baseball game when a team came with ten players, used their only substitute, and then someone got hurt. The rules did not allow a team to play with fewer than nine, nor did they allow re-entry. I didn’t feel good about it--the coach was just trying to let a kid play--but I also felt that if there was a problem, it was with the rule itself and not with me for enforcing it.

• brianS

yea, that is a damned if you do/don’t position.

One might wish that all tournaments would have an “except if both teams agree” provision for bypassing technical stuff. But that just transfers anger from the tourney director to the opposing team for being an a-hole in rules enforcement.

• yeah, that was my thought too. at least the rules as they stand don’t put the onus on the other team