Friday, October 11, 2013

Because LA Guy's Computer Is Broken

Hey sportsfans- I see LA Guy has asked us to stand up again and post something.   Actually I would like to post more but I when I get caught up in posting & commenting, I tend to lose focus on things I should be doing -like the job I'm paid to do or interacting with my family and unsuccessfully trying to convince my teen that I am not a moron (yes, I hear you saying "good luck with that").

So here are some random thoughts to ensure that your screens are filled with new words for a period of time

-The Pittsburgh Pirates had their first winning and playoff season in 21 years though it sadly ended this week after they dropped 2 straight to the Cards in the first playoff series after being up 2 games to 1 and getting everyone's hopes up.   This is somewhat of a dissatisfying ending as I have enjoyed bashing the self-proclaimed best management team in baseball or BMTIB for short over the past 5 years of the 20 year reign of shame but now I guess I have to give them their due. 

To recap: The team had a horrid three year run (299 losses) from 2008-10 with a sleepy nonpersonality manager  and they seemed to just be playing at playing ball- the games had the feel of extended spring training.  There were bizarre stunts like having the pitcher bat 8th and trading the team's young and surprising Home Run leader, Nate McLouth on June 1st (!), 2009  for 3 unproven prospects one of whom, Charlie Morton went on to have the worst April and May ever (1-11, 9.00+ ERA) in 2010 since Steve Blass in 1973 (for whom a disease was named).  (Interestingly, one other pitcher had a longer stretch with a 9.00+- 92 earned runs in 90 innings- none other John Van Benschoten, the Pirates #1 pick in the early 2000s).

The team showed life under new manager Clint Hurdle in 2011, reaching 51-44 in July (a big deal because they not been 7 games over .500 since the 90s)with seemingly smoke and mirrors  before collapsing and going 21-47 over the rest of the season.  And then almost the same thing occurred in 2012- 63-47 in first place on August 8 and then going 16-36 to finish under .500 for the 20th straight season.

Therefore when the team started out well again in 2013 and the two prospects from 09 (Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton) were key contributors, fans like me felt snakebit but the team continued to excel - reaching 26 games over .500 on August 8 (that date again) which proved to be a high point as they never got back to that rarefied height until the last day of the season when they swept a strangely subdued Cincinnati team and then vanquished them in the play-in Wild Card game.

At this point it seemed to be a team of destiny but their problematic bats fell silent in the last 2 playoff games.  Baseball writers outside of Pittsburgh are opining the team won't be back soon.   Oh well wait till next year- if they don't win, I can still have fun mocking the management.  But I'd rather they win. 

- The Steelers really stink this year but more people in Pittsburgh watch them than watched the Pirates this September.

-Do you think Harvard is more embarrassed about graduating Ted Kazcynski or Ted Cruz?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

turn out the lights.....the party's over

3:59 PM, October 11, 2013  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Ted Kaczynski actually published a handful of decent articles in mathematical journals before he went off the deep end. When I was in math, my field was close enough to his that I thought it would be interesting to read them, but my research advisor thought that was too creepy, so I never did.

5:35 PM, October 11, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is funny. Makes me wonder about driving a Volkswagen.

5:36 AM, October 12, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

As you probabvly know, Hurdle gave the Rockies their best season in their history (2007) when they closed out the year by winning 20 of 21 games and going to the World Series (where they were swept by "your" red socks).

This was his 5th year as our manager, and all his years were pretty good. But when he couldn't reproduce such results in 2008, management tired of him, and he was fired a month into the 2009 season. We have really sucked ever since, so I think it was a mistake not to let him have some more time with the team.

We've had three managers since - Buddy Bell, Jim Leyland and this year Walt Weiss (promoted from being ahigh school manager!). I think our owners are looney - a team needs some stability. I suggest the Pirates should give Hurdle plenty of leeway to keep developing the team.

7:42 AM, October 15, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Oh, and given the political bent in Cambridge, I'd guess Cruz is considered a mass murderer, while Kazcynski was just a littlle over-zealous.

7:45 AM, October 15, 2013  

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