Friday, April 23, 2004

Weekend Thoughts 

A few other baseball thoughts:

1. I did want to make it clear that I wasn't jumping on the Danny Bautista bandwagon solely because of his out-of-his-mind performance on Thursday -- I'd been pondering this for a while. While I firmly believe that you can't make evaluations of long-term performance based on 15 games (that 20-game bar I set is coming up soon!), I do think that you should try to play the hot hand. And that means moving Bautista up in the order, no lower than 5th (which admittedly is only one spot higher than where he batted yesterday).
2. While we're at it, let's move Finley down some slots. Fins has always started slowly, then kicked into higher gear (though I haven't yet figured out where to get that data). Do I think his slow start this year means he's on the tail-end of his career? No. Take a look -- he really hasn't shown any drop-off over the past five years (2001 looks like an anomaly). Past performance is no indicator of future performance, but I'm willing to give Finley the benefit of the doubt here. But not at the leadoff position. Move him down in the order (maybe to 5th or 6th) until he (hopefully) heats up once more.
3. Pitching. Urgh. Maybe we should be looking once more at Finley (check out his pitching stats).


Condolences to the family of Pat Tillman, who has apparently died in Afghanistan as a member of the Army Rangers. Pat gave up a multi-million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers, and it's sacrifices like his that make it possible for people like us to, well, write blogs.

He will be missed.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Danny Bautista for President! 

OK. It's the top of the 15th, and Danny Bautista has just had his fifth hit of the game, with his fifth RBI. This won't last, of course (and I have fears about even winning this game) but let me add my voice to those encouraging Brenly to move this guy up in the lineup, at the very least until he cools down. Chad Tracy also is having an excellent first game. (Yeah, I know he played last night, but one pinch-hitting attempt doesn't really count.) Glad to see him in the starting lineup.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Brewers: 4, Diamondbacks: 2 -- is page C8 far behind? 

A game remiscent of 2003 -- Elmer collapses in the middle innings after a strong start and the offense can't get anything going. On top of that, Roberto Alomar gets hit in the hand by a pitch and could be out of the lineup for six to eight weeks. Chad Tracy will be called up from Tucson. Tremendous celebration from bloggers and statheads around the country. Clearly the $1 million gamble on Alomar has not panned out so far, so Tracy's arrival probably won't make anything worse.

In this article, Robert at Veteran Presence goes through a detailed assessment of the Diamondbacks' AAA and AA prospects. He's been a big Tracy fan for a while. Given that Tracy's stats are for just 7 games, I'm not as convinced that Tracy is a mortal lock, but clearly he was going to get here, and it now appears to be sooner rather than later.

Also interesting to note that the Diamondbacks are already being relegated to "below-the-fold" status in the Republic. They're not on page C8 yet (a la the Suns, Coyotes, Sun Devils in this past season of mediocrity). But was the fluff piece on swimmer Amanda Beard really necessary above the fold?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Why The Blog? 

Well, in my real job I get paid a decent wage to not express my opinions on subjects I'm a comparative expert on. So I guess I'm looking for a venue in which I get paid nothing to express my opinions on subjects I'm not a comparative expert on.

That isn't to say I don't know anything about baseball. But I'm not a person who can tell you -- right now, anyway -- which side of the plate each Diamonbacks player hits from. With the discipline of wanting to post here on a regular basis, I hope that changes.

So, here are the ground rules for my blog:
1. Focus on long-term issues. While I reserve the right to express my frustration with the latest lost lead or express happiness about the latest 2-game power surge, I don't want to praise or criticize without some long-term basis for that. So, to begin with, I'm not going to use any statistics until the D-Backs have played at least 20 games.
2. Statistics / quantitative analysis / sabermetrics -- like many baseball blogs, I'll be using this to analyze the team. You can't use sabermetrics to make every decision -- there are other, perfectly reasonable prisms through which to view decisions on and off the field -- but statistics are the only source I expect to use regularly.
3. Baseball is a game. I know, it's completely obvious, except when it's ignored. For most of us it is a diversion, not the main source of our interest. I work, eat, sleep, and spend time with my family. Beyond that, baseball is just one diversion of mine.
4. It's not just baseball. Like the blog description says, I'm not going to limit myself to just D-Backs baseball. Music, movies, TV, and other media will make occasional appearances here in the blog. If I get really creative, I'll figure out how to link the baseball and non-baseball diversions, but first I've got to post on a regular basis.

Please have patience as I work through design issues with the site and content issues with the blog. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 19, 2004

A Blog Is Born 

First post. In this blog I'll write about my local baseball squad, the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with some occasional digressions about other cultural diversions.

(Edited to add title in "Title" format.)