86 thoughts on “June 8, 2011: Tin-Eared”

  1. I didn't get to see the game last night: I was enroute home. Listened to the 1-0 loss on the radio. When I got home, I could have watched the game, but I decided to play with Miss SBG. Sounds like another terrific game.

    1. I watched until halftime. I had to get to bed. I got up an hour earlier than I'm used to yesterday to beat the heat (obviously no pun intended).

    2. I missed it too, but for reading and sleeping. I need to remember to turn it on since its pretty clearly looking to be a good series.

  2. I picked up American Gods at the library yesterday. I got through Chapter 1 last night. I really like Gaiman's style so far. It's like there's a little Harlan Ellison thrown in, the way he describes what's happening in an almost conversational manner. I can imagine this story being told person to person.

      1. And now I have it on the way. Have I mentioned I love half.com? For those of us who still love our books made out of dead vegetation, I got eight titles by five authors(Tim Powers, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Woodring Stover, and David Drake ) for just over forty bucks, even with shipping.

        1. I found a pretty obscure work on the portrayals of the Irish in the Victorian press & literature for like $10 on half. I was pretty pleased about that. I got a Gaelic-English dictionary I saw in the same vendor's store, so as to save on shipping. Turns out it was Scots Gaelic, not Irish Gaelic, and is completely useless to me. I suppose I should have guessed by the thistle on the cover, but in my experience unless it specifically says "Scots" Gaelic means the Irish version.

          As far as paper v. electronic books, I'm in the "whatever is more convenient/cheaper" camp. Some stuff, like a lot of the journal articles I read for research, are PDFs. I could spend the money to print them and have them take up space and probably lose a page or two, or save the money and paper and put them on my Kindle. American Gods is $10 for Kindle from Amazon, or free at the library. In both cases, I chose the latter. I'm not really beholden to one form or the other. The only thing I try to avoid is reading too much on the laptop screen for reasons of eye strain.

            1. I may convert to e-books once there is wide-spread library compatibility, but for now I'm too cheap to not get my books from the ole public reading institution.

              1. I don't think I've actually paid for anything on my Kindle yet. I just keep putting public domain stuff on there from Gutenberg.

            2. That was very handy when I was at my conference. I was talking to a guy from Portsmouth who studied high-level referees. I had to such papers on my Kindle, so I grabbed it and showed him. One of them he had seen, one he hadn't, so that was cool to help him out a bit. And while I was writing my journal article, I had all my research at my fingertips, research which completely filled two large binders when I had it all printed out.

      1. the only thing I've read of his is I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Loved it. They actually made a computer game of that story where Harlan also designed it and voiced AM. I won't be reviewing it for Pixel Perfect, because sadly the game is pretty meh.

        1. The voice acting in that game is awful. The computer ought to seem like the ultimate in malicious uncaring evil, and instead, it sounds like the world's biggest ham.

          ...and I must Scream is an awesome story, though.

          1. Oh, lordy yes. The voice acting is horrific. But it pales in comparison to the endgame. Don't know if you made it that far, but it's one of the most tedious, illogical, pointless puzzles of all time. It's too bad, because I enjoyed most of the individual scenarios.

  3. The first 4 games have been decided by 16 total points, 8 of those in Game 1. I wonder what's the smallest difference in points needed to decide a championship. The theoretical limit is a 4-0 sweep all won by 1 point.

        1. The way I originally meant it was, yes, total margin regardless of victor, but I can see now how I worded it. Your 7 game scenario is interesting. I suppose I could look at both total margin and margin of winning team.

          1. I think the total margin regardless of victor is most interesting. Difference in total score could be zero, or negative. (For example, the Bruins could win game 3 by 7 goals while the Canucks win games 1, 2, 4, and 5 by one goal each, which ends up with a goal differential of -3 for the champion).

        2. So here's the 2010 Finals, which the Lakers won in 7.

          Winning Team Single Game Margin Running Difference (to Champion)
          Lakers 13 13
          Celtics 9 4
          Lakers 7 11
          Celtics 7 4
          Celtics 6 -2
          Lakers 22 20
          Lakers 4 24
          Total Points 68  
          Avg 9.71
          1. 2009 - Lakers in 5. I'm just gonna post the overall results from now on, to keep from clogging the coffee.

            Winning Team Single Game Margin Running Difference (to Champ)
            Lakers 25 25
            Lakers 5 30
            Magic 4 26
            Lakers 8 34
            Lakers 13 47
            Total Points 55  
            Avg 11.00
  4. Following MagUidhir's lead, I biked into work for the first time today. It wasn't too bad, though we'll have to see how the ride home goes...

    1. That's great, join the club. I rode in today as well and there's nothing better than riding across the Mississippi River at 7:00a on a glorious day, downtown on my left; University on my right and some music blaring through the i-pod. My leg strength has really improved and now I can go 20 mph on straightaways with little effort.

      1. Man, I miss biking into work. Sadly, for me to bike nowadays would be about 40-50 miles, which I am not prepared to do.

        1. I'm pretty lucky. It's only 7 miles each way, so without really trying that hard, I was able to get in in about 30 minutes. My drive typically takes 15-20 minutes, so it really isn't that big a delay.

          In high school I could go 20 MPH without undue effort, and my goal is to get back to that level, but I felt pretty good hovering around 14 MPH as a starting point.

            1. My door-to-door commute when I taught in Davisville was 10 miles and took me a good 45 minutes by bike, despite the surgically-precise flat land around here. Plus the two hours of recovery time. Biking against a headwind is hard work.

            2. It really depends. I'm pretty lucky, also, that my route is entirely back roads and bike paths, with fairly minimal hills (total time for the ride was 33:23, moving time was 30:32, Min elevation 643 ft, max 913 ft), so that really helps the time thing.

              The biggest thing I learned about cycling when I was younger is that you want your feet spinning pretty quick (80-100 rpm) no matter how fast you're going. This'll build your leg strength and will eventually get you moving quicker. Also, this is really good for your knees, where spinning slower puts a ton of torque on them and can lead to all sorts of bad things happening.

              1. With those long legs of yours, once you get in shape I bet you could easily top 20 mph.

                It's nice, on my 6.5 mile trek I would guess a good 5 is on bike trails, including the fantastic midtown bikeway. Very little change in elevation as well. Moving time for me is typically just under 25 minutes. My morning drive is usually 12-15 minutes but then I have to walk 2 blocks from the ramp to my office. Afternoon is a good 20-25 drive so the bike is basically a wash on the way home.

                1. I rode the MS 150 when I was in high school, and, as apart of a pace line, I averaged 23 MPH over both days, so it's definitely possible. Taking 7 years off didn't do me any favors, but I'm young enough that biking 3 - 5 days a week for the summer should get me in shape pretty quick.

                  Plus, now I have a trailer to tow during the weekends!

        2. I did it every day in grad school, which was fantastic for my health. I'd had two knee surgeries in college and couldn't walk around a shopping mall for more than 10-15 minutes without pain. But the biking got my leg back into good enough shape that I was able to play basketball again. Ahhh, youth.

    2. I would love to give it a shot now that I'm busing downtown everyday, but there is no way I could making it without needing a shower and no where that I know for me to shower (plus lugging around a suit on a bike can't be fun either).

    1. While they would have liked to get some catchers in the draft to build depth in the organization behind the plate, things did not line up well for the Twins to do so.

      They selected just one catcher in the first 30 picks of the Draft.

      "We definitely would've liked to get one up high," Johnson said. "We got picked a couple times early in the Draft and it just didn't fall this year. So we had to make an adjustment and we went elsewhere."

      I like to hear that. It's one thing to use positional need as a tiebreaker between otherwise equally talented players, but if it's not working out to draft for a particular organizational weakness, the smart thing to do is to grab the talent and work out trades to fill positional gaps later on.

  5. hmm, i don't see yickit anywhere. i'll get something started just in case...

  6. I updated the Our Features page to include a calendar of sorts at the bottom. Forgive me if I transcribed anything incorrectly. Any thoughts on the layout or usefulness of it?

    1. when we first talked about making that page, i was envisioning something like that. my only suggestion would be to get some horizontal lines in between the days if possible. other than that, nicely done.

    2. If you like, you can add "This Week in Ex-Twins" and "This Week in Twins Transactions" to the Friday page. I don't get them done every Friday, but that's the goal.

    3. That looks great, sean. What would really help now is if authors without special privileges could see what time the other posts are scheduled to go up so nobody steps on anybody else.

      1. I was really stumped what you were talking about when you first mentioned that. Then I remembered* in older WordPress version, when a post was scheduled it would tell you the date and time. While it only displays the date now, you can hover over the date and it will show the full date and time.

        * I may just be making this up though. It may have been a plugin... If so, then that should be an easier fix. If not, then I think it wouldn't be too hard to change.

    1. I'll wait to see others link to their columns, but I glanced at Simmons' first column, and dang do I like the sidenotes (as opposed to footnotes).

    2. The single greatest sporting event Chuck Klosterman ever witnessed? An obscure junior college basketball game 23 years ago

      It was really obscure. You probably haven't heard of it.

        1. I didn't actually click-thru, just saw the blurb on the landing page AMR linked to. I have to assume that's a high-level trolling by Klosterman.

        2. I doubt he wrote the hed.
          Still, I can't believe I missed that perfect hipster-sports joke. Thanks for pointing it out, nibs.

          1. Also, without reading it, I must say that the greatest sporting events I've ever witnessed have been high school Basketball, and town-ball baseball, so I can get behind the sentiment.

            1. boy, that's a subject for a post if I ever heard one.

              What are the criteria? In-person or TV?

              for sheer excitement, the greatest event I've ever attended in person was a North Stars/Blackhawks game at Met Center in 1983(?). It was a late-season game, SRO crowd (we had SRO tickets, but spent 2 1/2 periods sitting in premo seats a couple dozen rows behind one of the goals). I think the two teams set a league record for penalty minutes, and the house was rocking from opening drop to the final whistle. Awesome, awesome experience.

              1. I'd go with Game 7 of the 1991 World Series followed by Game 6 of the 1991 World Series for my favorite sporting events I've ever attended.

                1. My favorite sporting event I've ever attended was probably a high school basketball game - Blue Earth against Pipestone - back in about 1989. Close game, raucous atmosphere (it was the last game before state), every close friend of mine was there. If I ever manage to go to what turns out to be a perfect game, that might eclipse it, but I can't imagine anything else getting the job done.

                  1. The basketball game I was thinking of was girls' New Ulm Cathedral vs ??? in March 1995. Regional Finals, last game before state, in town (at Martin Luther College), snowstorm just beginning outside as we game began. NUC was undefeated, probably favored to win state. It was close all along, but we figured we'd pull it out in the last bit, but instead they did. A monumental, heartbreaking loss, and I wish I could remember more details.

                    New Ulm was bigger at the stick-and-ball-and-base games, but the open arenas kept the intensity down for that and football, but for basketball and even volleyball, we were all penned in the same small gyms with decent numbers of opposing fans there across the court.

                    I'm probably making the town-ball games bigger in my head. When you're a 13 year old allowed to stay in whatever three-stoplight town until 2am or so because your uncle's game made it into the 20th innings, it sticks with you. (Grandma was our ride and she wasn't leaving her son's game.) Again, I wish I knew more details. I think the winning run was on a sac fly but I'm pretty sure most of the bonus innings were 1-2-3.

          1. I don't remember having seen that color of undershirt used for the past half-dozen years or so, except maybe by JC Romero?

    1. The shortstop seems pretty blurry...did someone go back in time and prevent his parents from falling in love?

      1. The shortstop seems pretty blurry...did someone go back in time and prevent his parents from falling in love?

        On a related note, we are only four years from having flying cars! I can't wait.

    1. Sorry to hear that, man. Always a bit harder to hear when it hits so close to home.

  7. So I started working on a _elm_n trade value post that went no where fast. Sadly, when I tried to find similar players to Young whom had been traded during their careers it always seemed to be a salary dump for the team acquiring the 25 year old corner outfielder, not the team trading him.

    Now I know that baseball-reference similarity scores are to be taken with a grain of salt but _elm_n's 2nd most similar player made me smile in a way that only DK would smile when seeing the same thing:

    James Loney.

    1. All corner outfielders are the same! Delmon excepted.

      I hope Spooky would smile seeing that too. Well, for him, "smile" may not be the right word, but he ought to get it.

    2. Delmon's #3 most similar player may be a model for his future. And he was cheaper and had an extra year of arbitration when traded.

      1. That's hard to compare, though. I think everyone was cheaper when he was traded. I'd certainly take an equivalent of either an aging Willie McGee or a Gregg Jefferies who is about to have his one great season, though.

        1. Oops, I meant to say Francoeur was cheaper in terms of salary and amount of team control left compared to Young. Even though they seem to be similar hitters (but not fielders), Francoeur had additional value.

          1. Yeah, I figured you really meant Frenchy; I just couldn't resist perhaps my one chance to make a tongue-in-cheek reference to Felix Jose.

            1. I had half a post written about Felix Jose for Gregg Jefferies! Once it got to Xavier Nady for Mike Cameron though I couldn't keep a straight face anymore.

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