36 thoughts on “May 22, 2023: The Sporting Life”

  1. Are all Twins Daily writers idiots or just the ones that Twitter throws in front of me?

    1. I was privy to a conversation in which Seth defended Schwerz after he bungled the Correa signing by claiming the Twins were out shortly before Correa signed (and got roasted by the Twins in a PR video). For whatever else the other writers stand for, it’s clear that the site is addicted to clickbait titles and formulaic writing peddled by a guy with a sports radio listener mentality who pretends to be an insider* and is too obtuse or self-deluded to recognize he’s a joke. Seth seems to prefer traffic over credibility, and doesn’t mind that it comes from someone like Schwerz who has a past dabbling in bigotry & doxxing.

      I wish Matt Trueblood posted his pieces somewhere other than Twins Daily, because he’s insightful and sensible and I’ll never be able to read them as long as I have to pick my through a field of mushy dog turds to get there. I did appreciate Jeremy Nygaard’s perspective when he had a podcast.

      * It's so convenient how Schwerz is "just a fan" when he wants to hide behind his incompetence, but postures as an insider with his paid checkmark & unverifiable claims to have "sources."

      1. I disagreed with one of their writers and shared JAWS as a reason why. Response was that lost is trash because they disagree with it. Latest rebuttal is a TikTok video. Had to utilize mute.

        1. I had to unfollow Nick Nelson on Twitter because of he was pro-Twins front office choices to the point of ridiculous. His defense of Sano bordered on the insane.

          1. A lot of words devoted at the WGOM lately on early aught bloggers who most of us liked and learned from when we were young but can't stand any longer.

            I wonder how Scot is doing. I had editing privileges at Coffeyville Whirlwind and my son has access to my WordPress, so he regularly provides me updates on the site stats over there despite their not being a new post since 2015

            1. I was a regular writer at Twins Territory, Bonnes’ follow-up to his TwinsGeek site, before The Boss opened up the Old Basement to a community of writers. I think Bonnes deserves some credit in helping the Twins blogosphere gel, and also some “credit” for enabling Gleeman’s excesses. When I made the jump, I never looked back.

            2. I'm sympathetic to bad takes, as I've surely had many over the years, but I have a really hard time tolerating cynicism in sports anymore. Like, I have enough of that in other aspects of my life. And even some of the "Twins good" or "Twins FO good" takes can be rooted in a type of "fans bad" cynicism, which is actually one of the original, obnoxious, GOML attitudes that bad fish-wrap columnists had against bloggers way back when.

              So these days I suppose I am especially irritated by what practically seems to be a PR campaign to end Pagan's career -- twisting his performances as something like worst reliever in the league -- when teams are putting 8 relievers at a time on their roster and surely are going through 10-12 a year due to pitcher injuries and churn at the back end of the bullpen. The expectations for what it takes to be a decent bullpen arm are sometimes rather absurd. I don't think all fans are really that critical of the players, but when the media beats on a drum for long enough, the fans all know how to dance to that rhythm. Especially with relief pitchers, if you start to think that a pitcher is not very good, then it's so easy to let confirmation bias creep in and get you all irritated for every bad outing.

              I saw an interesting exchange earlier, that apparently Gleeman had said that it would have been some kind of no-brainer move to re-sign Fulmer, which is kind of interesting to me. It's interesting, because Fulmer this season has a bad ERA, bad WPA, and a bad home run rate -- things that have been used to beat the drum against Pagan -- but looking at his FIP/xFIP, he doesn't seem that far off from what projections were, given that the season is still young. That said, his xERA has been awful in part because he hasn't been inducing much soft contact at all (7.3% versus 17.9% for his career and 17.0% last year), so it's possible he's injured or something else is going wrong with him.

              Hell, just in a straight-up comparison between Pagan and Fulmer, Fulmer's been worse than Pagan in basically every way, even in stats that I don't put much stock in. Fulmer's four worst WPA appearances have been -0.81, -0.48, -0.30, and -0.21. Pagan's four worst appearances are -0.63, -0.30, -0.04, and -0.02. Those are actually the only four appearances Pagan has all season with a negative WPA. (Somewhat coincidentally, or not really that coincidentally, both Pagan and Fulmer had their worst WPA appearance @LAD.) They have very similar K/9 and BB/9 rates so far this year, but Fulmer has given up more HR, and consequently his FIP is worse.

              I don't mean this to pile onto Fulmer, especially because so often it seems that when a reliever takes a big step back, pretty soon they are on the IL or under the knife, but just to show that it's actually pretty hard to evaluate relievers and they tend to be judged overly harshly.

              One aspect of this is that WPA has gotten more popular, and WPA piles the entire run prevention situation onto the pitcher, when in every case you have some contributions from the fielders, the umpires, the ballpark, and yes, the hitters. And there aren't nearly enough games per year for the luck to even out. As far as I understand it, the win probability on the road with a 2-run lead in the 7th inning is the same at a hitter's park facing the 2-3-4 hitters in a good lineup as it is with a 2-run lead in the 7th inning at a pitcher's park facing the 6-7-8 hitters of a bad lineup. And until shown otherwise, I am inclined to believe that WPA has not been adjusted for the 3-hitter minimum rule change, which surely must have increased scoring late in games relative to the overall scoring environment.

              This is also complicated by the managers trying to deploy their bullpens in an effort to maximize the number of wins in the season and not maximizing the chance of winning on that day. If one pitcher is somewhat better than another, then the manager is generally going to use them in higher leverage situations, but also against somewhat better hitters. It's not really like comparing starting pitchers where they are for the most part facing a similar panel of hitters as other starting pitchers. Which is all to say that the farther away you get from evaluating relievers by strikeouts, walks, and the kind of contact they are giving up, the more and more noise you are piling into the equation.

          2. I heard Sanó is

            ————————————————> t h i s c l o s e <————————————————

            to making an adjustment that gets him signed by the Guardians…

            of the CPBL.

          3. He went off on me once for suggesting the front office had made some mistakes a could off-seasons ago. It was the year that everyone they let go blew up.

    2. I cut out sports media a long time ago, and bloggers were not far behind. I prefer places like here were I can chill with my friends and the sports are just a part of the whole.

      My sports intake is down to watching a game a week of something max and practically forgetting about it the second it's over. The rest of the noise, especially the cyncisim ubes notes below, is just not worth it. I used to be a lot different, who isn't, but things have definitely changed for me.

  2. Unglued the final chapter. We closed on the house today. Signed. Check in hand (well, wire in the wind). Took a pretty big hit financially in the downturn of the housing market, but that was all fictional cash anyway…..

    Had some feelings regarding the new owners. Never did it come up that there is a street pharmacy next door . They’re adults, yeah, but hard to not feel … something.

    The next chapter starts. Dr. Chop is off to Ireland for 6 weeks. I’ll be headed over for a short trip. We’ve begun to seriously consider not buying another house. We’ll see in a hot minute.

    1. I'm starting to have fantasies of selling the house, buying an RV and roaming the country.

    1. That fare is almost low enough to tempt me to fly out for lunch at Queen of Sheba, a scoop or two at Gunther’s, and some late night donuts from Marie’s.

      1. Heh.

        FWIW, you can now get Gunther's at a place in my humble town.

        Queen Sheba is homey. Far from the best Ethiopian I have had, but tasty nonetheless.

        I don't know from Marie's.

    2. Whoa.

      Unfortunately, we already made our travel arrangements for early August. Coming back for a big family shindig to celebrate my parents' 65th anniversary. Almost all of the extant cousins will be in attendance, in addition to my mom's maid of honor, my dad's best friend, our kids and brotherS's kids and grandkids.

      We then head up north for a few days.

  3. Just found out that the joint will be the 2023 recipient of this award. Usually goes to bigger companies and definitely never a restaurant that I know of. I don't get taken by surprise too often, but it was a shocker to be told about this today.

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