30 thoughts on “March 30, 2021: Sign Up Today!”

  1. Out of nowhere, Mrs Runner announced to me that she was going to sign up to volunteer at the mass vaccination event in town, and this morning she left bright and early to put in her seven hours. I think she is going to be a "scribe", and she has a good friend who will be there administering shots. Proud of her

  2. I ordered the Poissonnière a new Twins cap, as she’s outgrown her first. Apparently that signed me up for a free copy of the MLB season preview issue of Sports Illustrated. The main article was on Francisco Lindor and the Golden Age of the Shortstop, in which I found this graphic:

    Spoiler for Size SelectShow

    That immediately rubbed me the wrong way. I’m very willing to believe the game has the best simultaneous cohort of shortstops in quite a long time, and perhaps ever. But this context-free comparison is so absurd that it actually undercuts the argument! It annoyed me enough that I had to provide myself the context. So, here it is:

    Player PA OPS+ wRC+
    Tatis Jr. 584 157 150
    Foxx 1302 157 160
    Story 2541 114 114
    Killebrew 3364 140 139
    C. Seager 2301 129 130
    Schmidt 2548 139 139
    Lindor 3510 117 118
    Kaline 5071 129 128
    Correa 2583 126 127
    Stargell 1387 122 121
    T. Turner 2383 116 118
    L. Walker 2690 128 128
    Báez 2708 102 101
    Dawson 3741 123 123

    In short, I’m thankful that Fangraphs and The Athletic exist.

    1. The really sad part is these players are in their prime and haven't gone through many years in their 30s or even 40s like the career numbers of those they supposedly comp to. Maybe if they had gone through and compared to similar great shortstops, that would something better. For instance, Trevor Story's '18 and '19, his top comp at that age is Ernie Banks. Maybe throw in Simmons and compare him with Ozzie. Simmons has actually been a better hitter through age 30. Ozzie really didn't become even close to an average hitter until his age 29 season. His first all-star season, Ozzie led the NL in PAs for the Padres and had a .294 OBP. Yikes.

      1. SI did at least specify these numbers were comped through the corner guys’ career numbers at the same age, but yes, I’d like to see comps to great shortstops of the past.

        For example, Trevor Story’s most similar batter through age 27 is...Troy Tulowitzki! In fact, nine of his top ten most similar batters are middle infielders, including interesting names from earlier eras — Miguel Tejada, Rico Petrocelli, Alfonso Soriano, and Nomar Garciaparra. (Ernie Banks might’ve been in there, too, except he had an absolutely monster age-27 season: .313/.366/.614 (155 OPS+) with 47 homers, good for 9.3 rWAR. He won the NL MVP over a superior season by Willie Mays, the first of two in a row. However, Banks was even better the next year — 10.2 rWAR!)

    2. So much to unpack with this topic. For decades, power hitting shortstops were rare due to the fact that teams valued defense at such a premium. Add in the sheer athletic condition of today's athletes compared to past eras. I guess it's fine to value, and even celebrate, the golden age of shortstops, but it is such a different game in so many ways. For instance, back in the 70's, I am unsure if a guy with a larger physical stature would ever get a shot at shortstop in college or the minor leagues. He would be pushed to a corner infield or outfield position. I can see why you are a bit annoyed by the graphic, and for guys my age, it almost feels like an affront to have guys like Foxx, Killebrew and Schmidt on it at all.

  3. So out of the blue YouTube TV suddenly has MLB.TV channels in its lineup. From what I can gather it's for the full baseball season, but local blackout restrictions apply, so I can watch the Twins on the road but not at home. That might be enough, especially since it's not costing me an extra penny.

    1. Will you be able to watch the Twins on the road? My understanding is you are not allowed to watch your local team(s) for any of their games through anything other than the local cable channel. I can watch the Twins most of the time but can't when they play the New York or Boston teams, home or away.

      1. I guess we'll find out this week. For some reason I'm not all that concerned about it anymore, though. But MLB really needs to revisit their blackout restrictions, especially after a full season with no fans in the seats. Blackouts are a relic of a time when protecting the gate mattered much more than it does now with the massive TV money the teams get.

  4. Based on the day the results were recorded (that's not how the state does it, they go by day of test, which makes it difficult), Dakota County's 14 day average of new cases / 10,000 people stands today at 41.19. That's the highest it's been since January 21st. Meanwhile over 1 million people in the state are fully vaccinated and 37% of all adults (16 and over) have at least one shot. We are in this weird situation where vaccines are coming fast, but people have let down their guard so much that we are gonna have a peak just as the vaccines start to really get distributed to a large segment of the population. I don't expect a peak like in late November (the peak 14 day/10K number was 156), but I wouldn't be surprised if it's half that. Man, I wish people would just hang on for a couple of months. But no. They are not gonna.

    There were 80 straight days where the 14day/10k number was higher than it is right now. A week ago the number was 33.68, there were 87 straight days when the number was higher than that.

    1. I was able this morning to get an appointment for Thursday afternoon for my first shot.

      And in Buffalo too! I assumed I'd eventually have to go to St. Cloud or into the Cities

    2. The big issue isn't cases so much as hospitalizations and deaths. As long as the right people are being prioritized with vaccines, then those new cases will tend to be more and more young people without other health factors so hopefully the hospitalizations and deaths won't spike as much as new cases.

      1. As long as the right people are being prioritized with vaccines,

        There are three, competing approaches. One approach is to intensively vaccinate those most likely to die. That seems to be a lot of what we are doing (Governor Cuomo's relatives aside).

        A second is to intensively vaccinate those most likely to be vectors of transmission--people with lots of primary and secondary social contacts. We are doing some of that with first responders and healthcare workers, but decidedly not doing that with teens and young adults. Evidence strongly suggests that people are most infectious in the day or two BEFORE they develop noticeable symptoms.

        Both of those strategies can lead to poor uptake and vaccine waste because of logistical problems or vaccine hesitancy. A hybrid of those approaches probably best describes what most states are allegedly attempting, but with huge omissions on the efficient distribution among teens and young adults.

        The third is just to jab arms. Administratively easiest, least strategic.

        If I was king, I would have included more high-contact young people in the earliest eligibility, and I would have pushed hard for broad, community registration so that vaccines were not wasted. Every day, with doses remaining, call the damn list until you secure enough people to exhaust the supply, regardless of "eligibility". But make a concerted effort to sign people up from every community.

      2. I would say the BIG issue is that the rollout of the vaccine has given a preemptive false sense of security to many people. As a result, an alarming percentage of our population is letting down their collective guard... way... too... early. I see far less masks when I go out and about. I see people congregating together way too closely. I see businesses and other organizations lightening up on, or completely ignoring, restrictions far too early.

        In conversations around here, I have repeatedly said that I would not breath a little easier until every single at risk person is vaccinated, or has had the opportunity to do so, and that every single person who wants a vaccination has received one. Until then, I struggle with loosening up restrictions much more than they have already been loosened. I also worry that not enough of the population is going to be willing to get vaccinated to squash this thing in it's tracks AND I don't know that the nature of this mutating virus will allow us to squash it at all. My feeling is it will be here for a long, long time and we will all require booster shots, or different variations of a vaccine on an annual basis just to protect enough people to avoid a long haul affect on our health and economy.

        1. My feeling is it will be here for a long, long time

          Yes, probably.

          and we will all require booster shots, or different variations of a vaccine on an annual basis just to protect enough people to avoid a long haul affect on our health and economy.

          But this is very unlikely. All previous pandemics, HIV excepted, have ended eventually. Influenza pandemics don't last more than one or two years. I expect it will continue to affect communities that refuse to vaccinate, like measles, mumps, etc. The population at large should be okay.

          1. Influenza pandemics are endemic. We vaccinated millions every year to try to manage them, in large part because they are evolving constantly, slipping around prior vaccine defenses.

            1. I am not an expert by any means, but as I understand it, one thing that tends to happen is that viruses mutate into more contagious, less lethal versions. Some of the variants now are problematic because not less lethal maybe more, but I think eventually this novel coronavirus will be less novel, less lethal and will probably not go away, ever.

            2. Yes, that's the point. We can vaccinate now to end them faster and with fewer deaths but that didn't help prior to the vaccine being available in the '30s. The pandemics still ended.

              1. I guess that depends on our understanding of the definition of "pandemic."

                Global, annual mortality associated with seasonal flu is generally estimated to be in the 290,000-650,000 range. That's not the millions of deaths that are associated with the "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1917-18, to be sure. And with 50 million-60 million people dying annually around the world from all causes, I guess one could reasonably argue that a disease that is the primary cause of 0.5-1 percent of deaths annually doesn't really qualify as a "pandemic" so much as part of the background noise.

                My point is that the moving-target nature of seasonal flu looks a lot like rolling pandemics.

                As an aside, here's something from a 2018 document on the History of Vaccines and Influenza Pandemics:

                The need for continued attention to pandemic influenza plans is apparent. As a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report states, “If a pandemic influenza virus with similar virulence to the 1918 strain emerged today, in the absence of intervention, it is estimated that 1.9 million Americans could die and almost 10 million could be hospitalized….” (Pandemic Influenza Plan, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

                So, should we be relieved that things haven't been worse in the US during the current pandemic? Or frightened that the numbers can still get a lot worse?

Leave a Reply