105 thoughts on “May 4, 2020: May The Whatever Be Whatever”

  1. The digital caucus last night was pretty, pretty, pretty good. Record crowd! Torii Hunter made an appearance and juuuuuuuuuuust missed making a great catch. Well, it wasn't that close, actually. Also confirmed: Rosebud is a sled.

      1. eh. Was working in the yard until after 5 local time (7 your time), then shower, then make cocktails and dinner.

    1. I completely forgot about the caucus. I was out spraying Creeping Charlie until about dark.

    2. Lots of good talk about Juan Berenguer, Rickey!, Twins-era Lefty, Bobby Castillo, and the ‘82–‘88 Twins. Rhu_ru had some date-relevant trivia. Some speculation about the last time Sid Hartman actually wrote a column occurred. DPWY cleared the air on Poultry Man’s radio presence. And, thanks to Pepper, a longstanding WGOM mystery was cleared up!

        1. Come on, now. People confuse me with Derek Jeter all the time. Just kidding. I'm a little taller than him.

        1. That was pretty good. I think mine was your marveling at the idea & memory of Szechuan peppercorn ice cream (at Un Deux Trois? I forget that part), prompting Pepper to observe that everything is better with pepper. So true!

  2. went down a rabbit hole this morning to visit the 1974 NL Cy Young voting. Some interesting tidbits:

    Of the 11 pitchers who got votes, 4 were relievers. 3 of those 4 had over 100 IP that season.

    The Dodgers and Reds each had 3 pitchers receive votes, 2 starters and 1 reliever. Of the Cincy pitchers, one, Jack Billingham (who finished 6th) had a negative rWAR and an ERA+ below 100. I wonder what the highest finish ever for Cy Young was for a pitcher with a non-positive rWAR?

    Also, Phil Niekro got screwed. He was a 20-game winner for a mediocre team, led the NL vote-getters in rWAR for pitchers by 2.5 wins (Jon Matlack, with 9.1 rWAR, got zero votes), threw 300+ freaking innings, was 2nd in ERA, WHIP, and ERA+.

    And Matlack got uber-screwed. 9.1 rWAR, led the league in shutouts with 7 and in FIP. But he had a losing record for a team that finished 71-91.

    1. He's the only one to receive a Cy Young with a negative rWAR. I searched through CYA history and expanded the selection to anyone below 1.0 rWAR and there are quite a few more of those. The Sutter placed the highest at third. The MVP history has many other poor players placing high. I think the pitching triple crown stats, especially before relievers started pitching significant innings, had a strong enough positive correlation to WAR that it filtered out enough bad players

      Year Person rWAR Rank
      1971 Jerry Johnson 0.7 6
      1974 Al Hrabosky 0.9 6
      1974 Jack Billingham -0.1 6
      1980 Joe Niekro 0.9 4
      1982 Bruce Sutter 0.9 3
      1992 Lee Smith 0.6 4
      1994 Lee Smith 0.8 5
      1994 John Franco 0.9 7
      1994 Rod Beck 0.8 8
      1996 Todd Worrell 0.9 5
  3. Meanwhile, in the things that make me personally nervous department.

    We talked with our daughter this weekend. She's fine. No panic-buying as of yet in her city. The local babushkas are on the lookout for young women not following the "rules," such as not wearing face masks or dressing "inappropriately" or sitting on a park bench (because doing so in the cold might "freeze her ovaries").

    1. Me reading: "Sure, a little nosy but I get it....Ugh, busybodies are the worst.../blink.../blink...wat?!"

      1. I love the tradition of sitting in silence for a moment, with bags packed and the house settled, before a journey. I have enjoyed explaining why I wanted 11 flowers, rather than a dozen, to a befuddled American florist. I can kind of understand not eating ice cream if you have a sore throat as a a cultural quirk. I drew the line at keeping the windows shut at night in an unairconditioned Khrushchyovka in mid-summer Moscow.

    2. She doesn't work in healthcare, does she? I was reading about another quaint Russian tradition...

      A third Russian health-care professional has fallen from a hospital window under mysterious circumstances.

      1. saw that this morning. The Defenestration of Russian Health Care has become all too real.

        thankfully, no. She teaches English.

  4. Welp, everyone better pick out their new favorite team:

        1. Doosan Bears are, uh, my team. Not that we can't share, but I have a certain interest in that squad.

            1. Of course. I was merely pointing out that I have a relationship with the owner of that club.

    1. Here are your options

      Team City
      Doosan Bears Seoul
      Hanwha Eagles Daejeon
      Kia Tigers Gwangju
      Kiwoom Heroes Seoul
      KT Wiz Suwon
      LG Twins Seoul
      Lotte Giants Busan
      NC Dinos Changwon
      Samsung Lions Daegu
      SK Wyverns Incheon
      1. Funny to read that list all the way and end with...Wyverns?!
        Sing with me..."One of these things is not like the others..."

          1. I don't disagree on Dinos and Wiz...but those are kindof normalized names. Washington Wizards and all that. (Toronto Raptors, for that matter). I had to actually look up "wyvern." It's a very specific mythological creature, and a bit obscure, at that. I suppose if they were the Hydras or Griffins, those wouldn't be a materially different situation. I may have raised an eyebrow, but a good chance nothing would have been typed.
            I wonder if wyverns are just more culturally relevant there? Why not dragons?

              1. Circles? Which circles? Your circles? Maybe I should show up to the zoom meeting.
                This may be a case where I get to be this guy who otherwise thought he has absorbed plenty of mythology and likes cool words.

        1. I like how Danyeres' dragons on GoT are technically wyverns (by most basic definitions anyway )

      2. Three teams in Seoul. Which is owned by the mega-rich owner that buys all the best players, which is the one owned by the fabulously rich owner who is incompetent, and which is the lovable losers which always seems to trip over it's feet?

        We need a "if you are a Milwaukee Brewers fan you should follow xxxxx of the KBO..." cheat sheet.

        EDIT: I should have scrolled down. Thanks Nibs!

      3. I am disappointed that there is no team called the Seoul Survivors.

        I'll take the KT Wiz, because why not?

      1. I've got mine set for tonight. I might try to stay up to watch an inning or two. It strikes me as a bad idea, but....c'mon.

  5. When I came up from my “office” a little bit ago, Mrs. Hayes informed me the furnace is not working.* The thermostat is new as of last summer, so I don’t think it’s bad. No matter what setting I dial in, I can’t get the fan to run or the furnace to light. Checked the breaker; no trip. I’m guessing it’s the limit switch, but don’t have a multimeter to confirm. If that’s it, I suppose I could replace it. At the same time, the furnace is in its third decade, so what is the end-game? I really don’t want to replace it right now, but once A/C season is here, we’ll need the blower.

    * SelectShow
    1. Limited experience with major appliance replacement, but for comparison shopping...had 20 y/o furnace replaced a little over a year ago, got a Lennox through Costco. Was under $5K, 18 month, 0% financing through Costco. Local guy put it in.
      Stupid maintenance program guy tagged it out of service during the polar vortex. They would've charged way more than Costco. They did bring a pile of electric heaters for us.

    2. We had a couple nights this week where the upstairs AC wasn't really doing it's job, and we just shut it off at bedtime. Got an afternoon appointment for a Spring checkup and we'll see what the verdict is.

    3. In other news, I fixed my garbage disposal this weekend. I have no handyman instincts at all, but I can sometimes follow a YouTube video!

      1. I always heed jimmy carter’s advice and put on a sweater. Dr. Chop uses the furnace. We disagree, but the furnace is still on.

        1. As someone who is almost always cold, I can tell you that putting a sweater on is not a solution.

  6. Somebody last week recommended frying dogs in butter. Tried that with a cheddarwurst for lunch today. Yeah, that's going in the rotation.

  7. I found this article about card collecting and "breaks" to be kind of interesting.

    Plus, people who went to CRHS might recognize one of the quoted breakers.

    1. Breaks have been around for a long time, it's just that they're videoed and posted, so they get much bigger viewership. Not a fan, what with the speculation part of it.

      1. The simplest breaks are when people "buy in" for a particular team/teams (or random, sometimes) and then the box/case is opened and any cards from that team/teams go to the player who bought them. If any of the packs had a rare/valuable insert from that team, you score big. If you didn't get any/many inserts, you probably paid too much for what you got.

        Usually the prices for teams are set based on the cost of the box/case and prorated by the number of cards a particular team has in that set (also can be modified based on the plethora of premium inserts -- think Yankees tickets at Target Field vs. Rays tickets).

        1. But why would anyone watch that wasn't a participant? It's the viewership I don't understand.

          1. I follow Phil Hughes on Twitter, though I don't watch any of the videos. I find the jargon inscrutable and the fandom kind of annoying, but it's far from the worst thing on YouTube.

          2. Why do people watch unboxing videos at all? Mystery indeed. However, we made a series of unboxing videos of loans for the museum before the ronas. Unfortunately that series is on hold.

            1. YouTube and such have introduced us all to weird pleasures I can’t imagine any of us explaining to our great-grandparents without the benefit of an example. Eleven setting aside the prurient: Watching people...take stuff out of boxes? tie flies? hop freight trains? eat painfully hot wings? whisper?

              I could not have guessed I had any interest in art conservation, but somehow I stumbled across Baumgartner Restorations’ YouTube channel. I don’t know enough to have an informed opinion of how good his work is, but I really enjoy how explains what he’s attempting to do, why he makes certain choices, and the slow, almost contemplative pace to the videos. Here’s a recent example:

    1. if you're into a singles hitting GIDP machine then yeah, I'm into watching his wallet slow him down on the basepaths too. /not

      1. Eh, he hasn't been paid yet. Twins won't do anything stupid like give him A-Rod money. What I'd really like to see if he won't take a hometown discount is to trade him to the Yankees for Cano and Teixeira

  8. It looks like KBO is streaming a bunch of games through Twitch (all in Korean though). That's supposed to be legit, right? If you can't tell, it looks like there are 5 channels; just add 1-5 to the end of the URL.

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