Friday, October 07, 2005

My Daughter the Bookie Strikes Back 

Last year I unveiled a feature so popular that it literally made the Internet crash.

OK, nobody really paid any attention to it, but then again, it had nothing to do with the Metrozoids, Jennie Finch, or Mark Grace cursing, so why should they?

Being firmly in Billy Beane's camp regarding the general crapshoot nature of the playoffs, in lieu of making my own playoff predictions, I had my 3-year-old daughter predict the playoffs. Seeing as she picked Boston the entire way, maybe she has a special gift.

So at some point Wednesday night (prior to the end of the Sox-Sox Game 2), I asked my daughter who she thought would win each of the first-round series.

I'm sorry these are late, but if you're actually gambling on baseball playoffs and using the ramblings of a 4-year-old girl as a crucial decision-maker, you have far bigger problems than my tardiness:

St. Louis - San Diego: St. Louis (and considering she's actually been to San Diego, I considered that as mortal a lock as existed)
Atlanta - Houston: Houston
Chicago - Boston: Chicago (though she first said Boston, then changed her mind. Clearly the closest series to her way of thinking.)
Los Angeles - New York: New York

So there ya go.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Closing Time 

Closing time
Time for you to go back to the places you will be from.
Closing time
This room won't be open 'til your brothers or you sisters come.
So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend.
Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

-- "Closing Time," Semisonic

Here we are at the end of another season. For fans in other cities, the season goes on, hopes and dreams intensified. For the rest of us, we watch with varying degrees of detachment.

The Arizona Diamondbacks shouldn't be terribly disappointed in their season. A record of 77-85, an improvement of 26 games from last year, and second place in the division is nothing to be disappointed by, even if the division challenged writers to come up with new words to describe the division's awfulness. (My entry: "crap-arrific!")

Losing the final game of the season 3-1 to the Giants Sunday only put a small damper on what had unexpectedly become a decent end to the season, capped by a season-high seven-game winning streak. The Pythagorean record, disfigured by a bullpen that liked to collapse in tandem, is none too good, but once you take a look at the second or third-order Pythagenport records, well, they still weren't good, but they weren't that bad, either.

You would expect that a team which improved by 26 games would have a new influx of bloggers ready to micro-analyze each and every move that was and wasn't, but that wasn't the case with the Diamondbacks. Last spring, when I started this blog, there were several prolific Diamondbacks bloggers, enough to inspire me to compare them to the Scooby gang.

This year? Whew. We did gain a new blogger in Devin, who helped keep the MVN D-Back blog, Out in the Desert, alive, if sporadically. William continued his excellent and exhaustive summaries of the Diamondback minor league system at Baby Backs: The Next Generation. And whether it's incredible devotion or the fact that he signed over his soul to Blez and won't get it back unless he posts for every game, Jim's AZ Snake Pit was and is the single essential Diamondbacks blog.

Where does that leave me then? While I never started this blog for readership, the fact that my readership has gradually declined over the summer is best seen as an indicator that I'm just not having much fun writing the blog this way anymore. I feel like I'd fail some blogging self-examination ("Moody? Check. Prone to ranting? Check. Disappears for days at a time? Check.") And I haven't written anything that I'm anywhere near as proud of this season as I did last season. I still think my Randy Johnson/Rush piece amidst last summer's trade rumors, tossed off fairly quickly, easily trumps anything I've done since Opening Day 2005.

I started the blog because I like baseball and I like writing. I still like baseball and I still like writing, but over the past year my work life and my home life have become so busy (in good ways) that I can no longer proceed in the same half-assed manner I've been blogging. I'm jealous of people like Jim, Rob, Jon, or Ryan, who -- like me -- appear to have both gainful employment and a family life and yet -- unlike me -- are able to produce enjoyable and insightful text on a regular basis.

This is not the last post ever on this blog. Heck, this may not even be the last post this week on this blog. (Find out by using your friendly RSS aggregator such as Bloglines.) But by writing this post, I am giving myself permission to stop writing, to feel like I have to write something, even if it's worthless drivel. And maybe, in time, I'll figure out how to get back to posting well-written pieces about Arizona Diamondbacks baseball and other cultural diversions.

Until then, thank you for reading.