Results for the 2011 Dugout Central Challenge

by KerryWhisnant

At the beginning of the season, Dugout Central readers and staff were challenged to predict the number of wins for each of the thirty MLB teams. The predictions were given in previous articles for the AL and NL. There were actually two contests, each with a different scoring method. One was simply to take the average win difference (AWD) between our picks and the final win totals. The other used root mean square error (RMSE), which penalizes really bad individual predictions.

In the AWD contest, it went down to the wire and ended up in a tie for both first and third. The final AWD standings:

*DM-Bill James 7.33
*DM-CAIRO 7.47
*Over/Under 7.67
*Diamond Mind 7.77
*BaseballProspectus 7.96
Average 8.36
*DM-Marcel 8.43
John Bowen 8.47
Chuck Johnson 8.47
Patrick Greco 9.10
Kerry Whisnant 9.10
*2010 9.27
*TheHardballTimes 9.33
Robert Owens 9.36
Jon Ellis (Seven) 9.43
*81 Wins 9.43
*2010 Pythagorean 9.47

The Average prediction used the average of the six Dugout Central entries (John, Chuck, Patrick, me, Robert and Jon). Asterisks denote various automatic picks. The DM entries are the predictions from Diamond Mind simulations using Bill James, CAIRO, and Marcel individual player projections – the Diamond Mind prediction used an average of several player projections. Also included were win predictions from Baseball Prospectus and The Hardball Times. The Over/Under used the over/under Vegas line from bookmaker.com. 2010 used last year’s records and 2010 Pythagorean used last year’s Pythagorean records. Finally, 81 Wins “predicted” 81 wins for each team.

Chuck Johnson and John Bowen finished in a dead tie for first place. Congratulations, gentlemen! Patrick and I, who tied for first last year in AWD, remained joined at the hip again as we tied for third. Six heads were better than one as the Average predictions outperformed any individual. Overall, the computer picks and Over/Under did better than the DC predictions, with the exception of The Hardball Times. Baseball Prospectus, which has done horribly the last two years, returned to respectability. For a good part of the year, 81 Wins was doing better than many of the other predictions, but in the end it faded badly. This year was a little harder than last, when the best AWD score was 6.53.

Chuck easily wins Most Improved honors, going from last to first, while John clearly is the Rookie of the Year.

In the RMSE contest, which emphasizes consistency and penalizes really bad predictions, the standings were:

*DM-CAIRO 8.93
*Diamond Mind 9.25
*DM-Bill James 9.30
*BaseballProspectus 9.38
*Over/Under 9.49
*DM-Marcel 10.03
Average 10.33
Chuck Johnson 10.39
Kerry Whisnant 10.87
John Bowen 10.88
*TheHardballTimes 10.92
Patrick Greco 11.16
*81 Wins 11.42
Robert Owens 11.99
*2010 Pythagorean 12.03
Jon Ellis (Seven) 12.11
*2010 12.21

Chuck took top honors for RMSE, while I sneaked into second place ahead of John. The best RMSE last year was lower, at 8.16, again indicating that 2011 was a tough year to make win predictions. DM-CAIRO won the overall RMSE title.

Congratulations again to our winners, and hopefully we can do it again in 2012.

121 Responses to “Results for the 2011 Dugout Central Challenge”

  1. KerryWhisnant Says:

    Sorry this took so long to get published, it was a rough semester last fall.

  2. Chuck Says:

    Not sure if I can participate this season, I seem to have lost my lucky hat. :)

  3. Raul Says:

    Yankees are talking to Edwin Jackson.

    Dear god, please.
    No.

    I really hope this is just a courtesy. Edwin Jackson is the last thing they need.

  4. Kerry Says:

    No, Chuck, say it ain’t so! You need to defend your title. And you did seem to have a good formula last year, which was to scale back your initial estimates to avoid results that were too extreme (I seem to remember you said something like that when submitting your entry).

  5. Kerry Says:

    @4 Really, Raul? I must admit I was skeptical when the Cards got him last year, but he was a serviceable back-end-of-the-rotation guy. You might get close to 200 IP and a sub 4.00 ERA out of him — wold you rather have Burnett?

  6. Chuck Says:

    Lucky hat meaning nothing to pull the numbers out of.

    Other than my ass.

  7. Raul Says:

    Happy 25th birthday, Ivan Nova. Yankees fans are hoping you can progress, or at least, not regress this season.

    Happy 30th birthday, Dontrelle Willis. Wow. You’re only 30, and your heyday was forever-ago.

    Happy 28th birthday, Scott Olsen. Are you still in the league?

    Happy 30th birthday, Chris Ray. I only remember you closing for the Orioles. Also, are you still in the league?

    Happy 32nd birthday, Bobby Crosby. You actually made Juan Uribe look like a good baseball player.

    Happy 41st birthday, Andy Fox. A former Yankees prospect, you went on to be a disgrace. Six foot, four inches, and you hit like a little leaguer.

  8. Bob Says:

    LOL at youur description of Bobby Crosby.

  9. Bob Says:

    A couple of months ago, this group mentioned that USS Mariner writer Dave Cameron had cancer. In his most recent post, he says he is now cancer-free.

  10. Raul Says:

    Excellent news about Cameron.

  11. Raul Says:

    On this date in history:

    •1988 – Former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Stargell, leader of two World Championships in Pittsburgh and National League co-MVP in 1979 at age 39, becomes the 17th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Pitcher Jim Bunning falls four votes shy of the 321 needed for election in his 13th year on the ballot.

    Bunning would go on to the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee in 1996.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Dave Cameron..isn’t he the founder of Baseball Prospectus?

  13. Bob Says:

    1. UssMariner
    2. FanGraphs
    3. Technically co-founder of both.

  14. Chuck Says:

    I knew it was one of those nerd sites..couldn’t remember which.

  15. Raul Says:

    Kerry,

    It’s not a matter of Burnett vs Edwin Jackson.

    It’s that I don’t think Edwin Jackson is worth the money. He isn’t going to make much of a difference. If I’m looking at ALDS Game 3, I’m really not that much more confident with Edwin Jackson on the mound, as I would be with say…Phil Hughes.

    Simply put, he isn’t the guy to put the team over the hump.

  16. Raul Says:

    Looks like Dmitri Young is trying a comeback. He’s 38 and who knows if he’ll get a shot.

    But he’s lost close to 100 pounds. That’s great for him.
    I used to read that Young was a great guy. Anyone here get a chance to meet him?

  17. Cameron Says:

    No, I’ve heard good stuff from his family… Then again, I can’t shake the feeling there was something bad about him before.

    Personally, I’m the guy who thinks “He lost a platoon battle to Nick Johnson. …Six years ago. He’ll never get a shot.” At the same time, I pull for him to get a minor league deal somewhere just so he can play again. I liked him.

  18. Chuck Says:

    No.

    Can’t see anyone taking a shot at him either.

    100 pounds is awesome, but not playing for 3 years won’t help his bat speed.

  19. Cameron Says:

    His bat speed wasn’t great to begin with. The guy’s contact ability came from technique and strength.

  20. Kerry Says:

    @15, I understand Jackson might be rather expensive, but I didn’t think that was a big issue for the Yankees :-)

    Also, salary aside, wouldn’t he be an upgrade at 5th starter over their current options? (Assuming he performs at close to his 2011 level.) Of course maybe you think they can get that elsewhere for less money…

  21. Raul Says:

    If Edwin Jackson is your 5th starter, yes, that is pretty good.

    But 9/10/11 million dollars for a 5th starter isn’t a smart use of money.
    It’s true, the Yankees have deep pockets. But I just think you have to be smart about deciding when you should overpay for talent.

    I don’t have a problem with the Yankees outbidding teams for a CC Sabathia. Sabathia has proven to be quite good in New York. But I do have a problem with them giving mediocre relievers and legacy players more money than they deserve (I’m looking at Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Rafael Soriano, to name a few).

    Edwin Jackson means nothing to the Yankees.

    Take the 30 or 40 million dollars he wants and invest some of that money on the international market and scouting. When you can pay closers 15 million dollars, there’s no excuse not to snatch up every 2-3 million dollar stud player in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Do THAT, and your organization would have 4 or 5 players that would take up Edwin Jackson’s spot every year.

  22. Lefty33 Says:

    Giants signed Volgelsong for 2/8.3 with the possibility of making up to 300K more per season based on innings pitched bringing the total deal to slightly less than 2/9.

    Not bad for a guy who had nothing but an ST invite going into last season.

  23. Raul Says:

    Agreed, Lefty.

    He’ll be 36 at the end of the deal, and if he pitches like he did this year, he might find his way to a 3 year deal to end his career.

  24. Cameron Says:

    I probably would’ve tried to go for 2/6, but for a performance like it was and a team as well-off as the Giants (just because they don’t like to spend doesn’t mean they can’t), it’s an affordable risk.

  25. Cameron Says:

    Oh, and thank you Ryan Voglesong, for making Jonathan Sanchez look expendable to Bruce Bochy.

  26. Cameron Says:

    Bud Selig got a two-year extension. …I think it’s because they still don’t know who the fuck they want to replace him yet.

    …But time to watch y’all lose yo damn minds.

  27. Mike Felber Says:

    Raul, #21. That would indeed be much more effective & intelligent.

  28. Cameron Says:

    It’d be one of the better investments. The Yankees, by far, have some of the best scouting presence down there.

  29. Jim Says:

    Saw that Yoenis Cespedes is going to play in the Dominican winter league. It will be interesting to see how he does against live pitching in a game situation. The video evidence is that he is a tremendous athlete with a lonnnng swing.

  30. Raul Says:

    Long swings tend not to work out very well in the Major Leagues.

    Strawberry had a long swing, but Darry Strawberry was…well..Darryl Strawberry.

  31. Raul Says:

    I was really thinking more along the lines of a Ritchie Sexson.

  32. Kerry Says:

    I just saw that Jackson is asking $15M per year for 5 years (yikes!). That’s ridiculous. And the Yankees aren’t biting, which means nobody else will at that price. I wonder what he’ll end up with…

  33. Raul Says:

    Edwin Jackson

    W/L: 60-60
    ERA: 4.46
    WHIP: 1.476

    And he’s 28. I’m sure he’ll reel off 2 or 3 Cy Young Awards in the next few years.

    I guess I should be fairer and just look at his 3 seasons. Alright…
    W/L: 35-30
    ERA: 3.96
    WHIP: 1.363
    ERA+: 108

    So 5 years and 75 million?

    I guess that’s good news for John Lannan when he becomes a FA…
    (Last 3 years)
    W/L: 27-34
    ERA: 4.03
    WHIP: 1.445
    ERA+: 101

    And he’s lefty. So maybe not 5 years, 75 million, but he’s surely down for 60.
    LOL

  34. Raul Says:

    Bob Forsch passed away this last November. Today he would have been 62 years old. Forsch was apparently quite the hitter. He won Silver Slugger Awards in 1980 and 1987. He hit 12 home runs in his career, and 8 triples. Maybe it’s just me, but 8 triples seems like quite a bit for a pitcher.

    Happy 62nd birthday, Mike Tyson! Obviously not THAT Mike Tyson. We’re talking about the former Cardinals middle infielder.

    Happy 50th birthday, Kevin Mitchell! Your 1989 National League MVP, Mitchell certainly goes down as one of the more truly feared players in the history of the game. Not “Jim Rice” feared…I mean “crazy man in a dark alley” feared. Mitchell was a nut.

    Happy 41st birthday, Elmer Dessens! You’re practically a poster child for what the crappy use of middle relievers can do for a career. Honestly, you should have been out of the game by your late 20s. Yet you managed a really, really bad 14-season career where you earned about 15 million dollars. Must be nice…

  35. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 34 – Mitchell’s best play.
    (Other than hopefully rolling himself out the front door after his 8th plate at The Old Country Buffett)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b_NY5iA3hw

  36. Kerry Says:

    @33, yes, if you can get $15M/yr for an ERA just a little better than average, then CC is underpaid. And Jackson’s WHIP is higher than average, which is worrysome.

  37. Raul Says:

    So the Mets put Fernando Martinez on waivers.

    In other words, every prospect Minaya drafted has been terrible.

  38. Chuck Says:

    I was waiting for someone to notice that.

    They didn’t even try and trade him, they just flat released him.

  39. Cameron Says:

    @34 …Didn’t Mitchell decapitate his girlfriend’s cat to end an argument?

  40. Raul Says:

    Sure did.

    Though after it became public, he denied it.

  41. Cameron Says:

    That’s one way to become a good hitter, I suppose. Make them think you’ll follow them out to the parking lot after the game and take a knife to them. See how many strikes they throw.

  42. Chuck Says:

    Remember I told you guys what an asshat Rob Neyer is?

    Read this puke fest;

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/1/12/2700688/mickey-mantle-hall-of-fame-steroids

  43. Raul Says:

    I FINALLY UNDERSTAND.
    HOW CAN I HAVE BEEN SO IGNORANT??

    THESE PLAYERS WERE JUICING IN THE INTERESTS OF THE TEAM. TO MAKE THE WILD CARD AND DRIVE FOR THE POSTSEASON. WE SHOULD BE APPLAUDING ALL THE STEROID USERS. WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE YOU MUST BE NOT TO USE THEM.

    Rob Neyer is an even dumber fuckface than I thought.
    And that’s saying something.

  44. Cameron Says:

    So he wants to kick Mickey Mantle out for… Being a drunken celebrity who fucked everything that walked? Why not go for Babe Ruth if you’re using that reasoning. That said… Mr. Neyer, no. Hand in your laptop, you’re banned from writing articles for anyone for the rest of your life now.

  45. John Says:

    Neyer’s point, if you read the article, is that it’s fucking bullshit to invoke the character clause for players who used steroids (undeniably helping their teams win ballgames) but completely ignore it for aplayer, no matter how great a raw talent, who routinely showed up to games hungover and in no shape to play his best baseball (which, um, hurts the team).

    That Mantle used to show up, routinely to games in no position to play his best (even if 50% of Mantle is still better than 100% of anyone else) is a far more despicable than anyone who juiced.

  46. John Says:

    By the way, Kerry – thanks for doing this.

    I’m surprised that I did this well (even if Chuck beat me on the tiebreaker).

    I called the Twins, A’s, Reds and White Sox to win 90+ games and make the playoffs.

    Also, the Red Sox but I have a feeling most people did that.

  47. Kerry Says:

    John — I enjoyed it. I have other contests that I run, too, for some friends (as you know, since you joined one of them).

    I just hope DC is still here come March so we can do it again.

    Most people were bullish on the Bosox; the lowest pick was 91 wins.

  48. Lefty33 Says:

    “That Mantle used to show up, routinely to games in no position to play his best (even if 50% of Mantle is still better than 100% of anyone else) is a far more despicable than anyone who juiced.”

    Are you trying to win an award for the most stupid internet comment of the day?

    To compare being drunk with knowingly cheating with a PED is brain dead.

    And Neyer’s comments about what happened to Mantle’s sons and etc. have zero to do with Baseball. It’s irrelevant and only makes him look more bias and stupid than the BBWAA writers he’s weakly trying to question/go after/make fun of.

    Personal things can impact Baseball like when Rose made the decision to bet on Baseball while being a player/manager. Gambling is a personal thing but not when you control what happens with one of the teams in the game your betting on and when there are rules in place telling you that betting on the sport you are apart of is not allowed.

    Neyer is just a simple minded apologist for guys that knew what they were doing and knew the potential pitfalls of what might happen but they did it anyway.

    Guys like Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, Raffy, and Clemens traded money and fame for a HOF plaque and that’s what they’re not getting in nor do they deserve to.

    “Neyer’s point, if you read the article, is that it’s fucking bullshit to invoke the character clause for players who used steroids (undeniably helping their teams win ballgames) but completely ignore it for aplayer, no matter how great a raw talent, who routinely showed up to games hungover and in no shape to play his best baseball (which, um, hurts the team).”

    Neyer has no point because the two acts of drinking and PED usage are not comparable and since you cannot “kick a guy out” why even talk about it?

    Last I checked being drunk is not illegal but taking a PED is.

    Even if you want to make the mistake and think that they are comparable, grow up and be sensible enough to see that just because BBWAA members from a generation or two ago may have let guys slide with question ethics it doesn’t mean the same mistakes need to be continued or that the two sets or ethical issues in play are even closely related.

    You can’t blanket drinking and PED’s together.

    That’s like saying you should get 30 years for manslaughter and for jaywalking.

    Blanket statments/judgements are for the stupid and lazy.

    It’s called context John. Give it a try.

  49. Raul Says:

    @ John 45

    …I’m fully aware of Neyer’s point.
    And he, like you, is wrong.

  50. John Says:

    Clearly, “cheating” isn’t grounds for prohibition from the hall of fame, as evidenced by guys like Gaylord Perry and numerous users of greenies.

    So, we’re left with the character thing.

    As if making yourself better at your job is indicative of bad character.

    It’s not.

    You know what is? Showing up to work drunk.

  51. brautigan Says:

    1) As most of you know, I like Rob Neyer. I like Rob a lot.
    2) The article Chuck linked has to be one of the worst articles on baseball I have ever read.
    3) Compound that stupidity by John’s comments.

    It’s 10:30 Saturday morning and I am in no mood for charity. Fuck it.

  52. Raul Says:

    LOL

    So…like I said…steroid users should be COMMENDED!

    YAY STEROIDS!!!!!!!!!

  53. John Says:

    “Blanket statments/judgements are for the stupid and lazy.

    It’s called context John. Give it a try.”

    You know what’s stupid and lazy?

    Writers who can’t put players into the *context* of the era that they played in.

    These old farts are so pissed off that guys like McGwire and Bonds hit more home runs in a season than the Great Bambino, and are afraid that by inducting them, we’ll be putting them in the same class of ballplayer.

    Voting was so easy when 500 HR or 3000 hits was a nice little rubber stamp. Got those marks? You’re in. Now that Rafael Palmeiro – a guy who was never among the best players in the league – is part of both clubs, they’re afraid we’ll put him in the same context as Mays and Aaron.

    Don’t worry, we won’t.

    Bottom line is that if you were a professional ballplayer in the 1990’s and WEREN’T doing steroids, you were hurting your team. All steroids should mean for voters is that they should reevaluate how they judge players. Carlos Delgado and Willie Stargell have the same number of career HR. Stargell was one of the best players of his day, Delgado was about the 7th best 1B in the league while he played.

    Get off your pedestal, make a tiny effort, and just induct the best players from an era. Simple stuff really.

  54. John Says:

    I love the logic.

    Showing up to the game drunk? Adorable.
    Using a spitball? Crafty.
    Making yourself stronger? CHEATING OMG CHEATING YOU’RE CHEATING

  55. Raul Says:

    …so just come right out and say it…you’re for steroids in sports.

    Just say it.
    Please.

    I just want you to say it.

  56. Raul Says:

    Tell everyone you’re glad…no…HOPEFUL that Ryan Braun juiced.

  57. John Says:

    Quite the contrary, I’m glad they’re mostly out.

    But, while there were zero consequences for using them?

    If I was a manager in the 1990’s, I would’ve gotten pissed if I found out my players WEREN’T juicing.

  58. Raul Says:

    This is…I hate to say this because I can’t find the proper word….a moral issue.

    Zero consequences or not, you have to have a feeling one way or the other about steroid users.

    For example, your opinions on crack cocaine don’t change based on whether it’s legal or not — on whether there are consequences or not. You have a feeling one way or the other about it.

    And don’t be a fucking asshole and try to compare steroids with crack cocaine. That’s clearly not the point. I’m just illustrating.

  59. Lefty33 Says:

    “As if making yourself better at your job is indicative of bad character.

    It’s not.”

    So I guess when it’s done via illegal means then that’s OK?

    Again John context.

    Big difference between Perry throwing the infrequent spitter, he actually rarely threw it as he used the mental angle of guys looking for it far more than him actually using it, versus guys purposefully using substances banned by both the United States and finally the sport.

  60. John Says:

    If you’re going to be sanctimonious about the character clause, than either it’s all ok, or none of it is.

    The Hall has both cheaters (Gaylord Perry), drug abusers (Tim Raines), as well as people who did far worse things than make their muscles big (Ty Cobb).

  61. John Says:

    “versus guys purposefully using substances banned by both the United States”

    So, just so I’m clear, Paul Molitor shouldn’t have been inducted either…because he did cocaine…which was “banned” by the United States.

  62. Lefty33 Says:

    “Get off your pedestal, make a tiny effort, and just induct the best players from an era. Simple stuff really.”

    Maybe it is for an apparent immoral person such as yourself but for people who actually have morals, integrity and who actually understand that when things are illegal they are wrong it does matter.

    Again John, context.

    You’re wrong but yet as always just keep diggin’ because you look more assinine by the post.

  63. Lefty33 Says:

    “If you’re going to be sanctimonious about the character clause, than either it’s all ok, or none of it is.”

    Nope

  64. Lefty33 Says:

    “You’re in. Now that Rafael Palmeiro – a guy who was never among the best players in the league – is part of both clubs, they’re afraid we’ll put him in the same context as Mays and Aaron.

    Don’t worry, we won’t.”

    You’re right no one should put them together because last I checked Mays and Aaron didn’t perjure themselves in front of Congress either.

  65. John Says:

    So…what I’m hearing:

    Taking a substance is ok and moral, as long as you’re making yourself shittier by doing it, and hurting your team.

    But it’s immoral, awful, and grotesque if you take a substance that makes you BETTER and HELPS your team.

    What a fucking backwards world you live in.

  66. John Says:

    The Hall of Fame has fucking klan members in it.

    But yeah, the honor and integrity of the Hall would be besmirched if people were let in who injected things into their body to make them better at their jobs.

  67. Chuck Says:

    “Neyer’s point, if you read the article, is that it’s fucking bullshit to invoke the character clause for players who used steroids”

    I don’t know of anyone who invoked the character clause for player’s who used steriods.

  68. Chuck Says:

    “That Mantle used to show up, routinely to games in no position to play his best (even if 50% of Mantle is still better than 100% of anyone else) is a far more despicable than anyone who juiced”

    I thought your New Year’s resolution was to stop being an idiot.

    Lasted what, a week?

    Nice.

  69. Raul Says:

    LOL

    I just don’t see how you can be happy steroids are out of the game, yet you make these comments that are essentially praising baseball players for using steroids.

  70. Chuck Says:

    ” It’s irrelevant and only makes him look more bias and stupid than the BBWAA writers he’s weakly trying to question/go after/make fun of.”

    Which is weird, considering he is one.

  71. John Says:

    Nor should they, because none of the proven steroid users who’ve hit the ballot so far have been worthy.

    That includes Palmeiro.

    Now, Bagwell is obviously worthy but he might have done steroids.

    He also might have murdered someone, beat up a cripple, or shown up to a game hungover as balls.

    But apparently, none of these things are as reprehensible as roiding.

  72. Chuck Says:

    “The Hall of Fame has fucking klan members in it.”

    Yeah, that fucking Hornsby.

    If he wasn’t a Klansman, he would have hit .260 lifetime.

  73. John Says:

    Seriously, someone please explain to me how showing up to a game drunk demonstrates better character than someone using steroids.

    I would love to hear that argument. Someone who shows up to a game IN NO CONDITION TO PLAY and FUCKS HIS TEAM is a better person than someone who shows up to a game IN AWESOME SHAPE and HELPS HIS TEAM.

    That’s the argument you’re making.

    Character clause my ass.

  74. John Says:

    “I just don’t see how you can be happy steroids are out of the game, yet you make these comments that are essentially praising baseball players for using steroids.”

    It’s called necessity.

    If they’re readily available to pretty much anyone, and there’s no consequences to doing them (thereby ensuring that everyone will use them) then you’re an IDIOT if you’re not using too. Because you’ll probably be out of the game…or your team will be in last.

    “Yeah, that fucking Hornsby.
    If he wasn’t a Klansman, he would have hit .260 lifetime.”

    I hear Hornsby also did a batting practice session or two in his day. How DARE he do something to make himself better at baseball. That’s “cheating.”

  75. Raul Says:

    Seems rather silly to make the issue alcohol vs steroids.

  76. Chuck Says:

    “He also might have murdered someone, beat up a cripple, or shown up to a game hungover as balls.

    But apparently, none of these things are as reprehensible as roiding.”

    Or as reprehensible as that comment.

    McGwire said publicly he would have retired after the ‘96 season because of injuries, but he decided to juice up and added 250 homers to his career total and temporarily the single season record.

    My guess is he shouldn’t have taken steriods starting in ‘97, and instead he should have run through a pre-school with an Uzi.

    Wonder how many extra homers he would have hit then.

  77. Raul Says:

    @74…

    So you’re saying…because it wasn’t illegal in baseball..they should have been using — or at the least — it was ok that they used.

    So if a country doesn’t make honor rape illegal…it’s perfectly ok to rape someone?

    Oh, that’s a silly comparison? That’s kind of the point though, isn’t it?

  78. Lefty33 Says:

    “Because you’ll probably be out of the game…or your team will be in last.”

    Plenty of guys never used a thing and you’re an idiot to assume otherwise.

    “I hear Hornsby also did a batting practice session or two in his day. How DARE he do something to make himself better at baseball. That’s “cheating.”

    Again John, context.

    Your arguments are getting dumber by the post.

    Lets see….batting practice = legal taking banned substance = illegal

    Have I made it stupid enough for even you to understand?

  79. Raul Says:

    btw…who ya got today?

    Pats/Broncos
    Niners/Saints

  80. Lefty33 Says:

    “Seriously, someone please explain to me how showing up to a game drunk demonstrates better character than someone using steroids.”

    Seriously, show me why that matters or how the two are related.

    One thing detracts from your abilities and the other helps to give you an unnatural advantage.

    Keep diggin’ John.

  81. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 79 Pats & Saints

  82. Lefty33 Says:

    @ 70 – Obviously Neyer is going after the so called “Old Farts” who are not as “enlightened” as he is. LOL

  83. John Says:

    So Lefty, which part offends you?

    The illegal part? Because Paul Molitor did illegal drugs.
    The “cheating” part? Because Gaylord Perry cheated.
    The “immoral” part? Because Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby were about as immoral as you can get.

    “So if a country doesn’t make honor rape illegal…it’s perfectly ok to rape someone?”

    Yes. Doing something to your OWN BODY is the same as unwantingly ravaging someone else’s.

  84. Raul Says:

    Wow,

    I thought I saw the spread in the Pats/Broncos game at 9 points earlier in the week. Either it went up, or I mis-remembered (Thanks Clemens).

    Spread is 14 points now.

  85. John Says:

    “One thing detracts from your abilities and the other helps to give you an unnatural advantage.”

    Over who, exactly?

  86. Raul Says:

    LOL @ 83.

    Well the point isn’t doing things to yourself. You said the point was that it wasn’t illegal.

  87. Lefty33 Says:

    @85 – Who do you think genius.

  88. Chuck Says:

    Pats and Saints.

    Tomorrow

    Giants and Texans.

  89. John Says:

    “Well the point isn’t doing things to yourself. You said the point was that it wasn’t illegal.”

    No. My point is that it isn’t terribly unethical.

  90. Raul Says:

    So if it’s not terribly unethical, why are you happy that PEDs are illegal now?

  91. Raul Says:

    I’m hoping for Pats and Saints to win.
    Also hoping the Giants and Texans win.

    But I have a feeling the Packers and Ravens will move ahead.

  92. John Says:

    Well steroids are bad for you long-term, and I find the game more enjoyable without steroids than with them.

  93. Lefty33 Says:

    “The illegal part? Because Paul Molitor did illegal drugs.”

    He did illegal PED’s? When was that?

    Blow is not a performance enhancer. Been there done that.

    “The “cheating” part? Because Gaylord Perry cheated.”

    Not disagreeing with that but are you going to make the analogy that Perry throwing a few spitters a game is the same as Bonds juicing for almost a decade?

    “The “immoral” part? Because Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby were about as immoral as you can get.”

    What they did off the field is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Then I guess you want to kick out every pitcher who ever used a Rosin bag?

    Then after that kick out every hitter who ever used pinetar?

    Again John your George W. Bush simplistic black and white / good and evil approach is juvenile and naive at best.

  94. John Says:

    Last weekend was the first weekend that Tebow actually impressed me as a quarterback. For the first time, he played a quality defense and succeeded outside of the last five minutes.

    But yeah, Pats should have no trouble winning this one.

  95. John Says:

    “Then I guess you want to kick out every pitcher who ever used a Rosin bag?
    Then after that kick out every hitter who ever used pinetar?”

    No, I’m saying we should admit people who did steroids.

    So far, we’ve decided that steroids are immoral on the basis that they were against US law and also performance enhancers.

    But we have no trouble with people doing one or the other?

  96. Raul Says:

    I’ve been reading number of articles that Tom Brady is pissed off.
    There’s a feeling the Pats might look to make a statement with this game and try to turn this game into a rout.

    Some writer made the point that after starting his career 10-0 in playoff games, Brady is 4-4 in his last 8 — and unhappy about it.

    To be fair, it doesn’t really matter how happy you are. The defense needs to keep the other team’s offense off the field. And that’s really been New England’s problem the last few years.

  97. Bob Says:

    I will also go with the Pats and Saints.

  98. Raul Says:

    Bob, aren’t you in MA? By default you have to root for the Pats.

  99. Chuck Says:

    “Then I guess you want to kick out every pitcher who ever used a Rosin bag?”

    Or had Tommy John.

  100. Bob Says:

    Raul, not anymore. I live in Ct. now. Still New England. Used to live in Winthrop Ma. If you want a few laughs, check out its public school system.

  101. John Says:

    Since Tommy John surgery wasn’t available before 1970, does that make it cheating?

  102. Raul Says:

    LOL

    I was up at the Foxwoods Casino one time and my buddies were at the poker tables. I sit down to watch tv for a while and the only channel showing on any of the televisions was NESN.

    I was not happy.

  103. Bob Says:

    Foxwoods is the Southeastern part of CT, close to Rhode Island. I am a mere 5 minutes from Port Chester NY.

  104. Raul Says:

    http://www.greatschools.org/massachusetts/winthrop/1832-Winthrop-Senior-High-School/

    Seriously? 1 star?

    I’ve been to shitty chinese restaurants with broken lightbulbs that weren’t rated 1 star.

  105. Raul Says:

    Ah, ok. My uncle lives in Portchester. And another one lives in Norwalk, CT.

    I grew up in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown, NY.

  106. Bob Says:

    ” I’ve been to shitty Chinese restaurants with broken lightbulbs that weren’t rated 1 star.”
    So have I.

  107. Bob Says:

    You were only 30 miles from the city, and somehow never had a lox and bagel?

  108. Raul Says:

    LOL. I worked on 45th and Lexington. I saw lox spread on bagels every day. I just never really wanted to get it.

  109. Bob Says:

    Actually, just read that bacon and sausage are two of the the worst foods one can eat.
    I mention this because Raul, I believe you said you love pig. Limit your intake of that stuff. Also, now I can no longer order bacon and onion pizzas. Fuck me.

  110. Raul Says:

    For Christmas in the DR, I was in the countryside, and we roasted an entire pig.

    Delicious.

  111. Chuck Says:

    My father in law used to roast pigs in his back yard.

    Get a good sized bunch of banana leaves.

    That he picked from trees that grew in his back yard.

    He had mangoes, bananas, figs, and coffee trees in his yard.

    Throughout the year, he would save the branches he trimmed and stored them inside a shed in the yard.

    When it came time to do the roast, he had this big variety of flavored wood he would use.

    Dig a big ass hole, buy a big ass pig, and party.

    I’m not a big pork fan, but that shit was orgasmic.

    The Don Q helped, though.

  112. Raul Says:

    Wow. That sounds awesome

  113. Chuck Says:

    The last one he had was 140 pounds.

    And that was after it was gutted and cleaned, which means alive it was probably 200.

    Took 16 hours to cook.

    We’d stay up all night, drinking rum and playing dominoes.

    It was awesome.

  114. Chuck Says:

    I got ten bucks says the Saints win.

    Interested?

  115. Raul Says:

    After down 17-0…looked good for the Niners.
    Saints scored and they did so pretty easily.

    I’m not betting, lol.

    The pig we had was…I think they said 110-120 pounds. The guy cooking it said he was there for like 6 hours? 7? I don’t remember.

  116. Raul Says:

    I had no idea how strong those banana leaves were. They used the leaves to carry the finished pig to the table.

  117. Chuck Says:

    The banana trees in his yard were in the 10-12 foot range.

    Banana trees at an actual farm are twice that size and have unlimted water and fertilizer resources, so there’s your difference.

    Because I’m a chef, I would always be elected to portion it out.

    We’d take to hearty volunteers (read: the two drunkest dudes) to reach into the pit an grab the pig and lean it back off the fire, two guys on the other side would slide a piece of plywood underneath and they would lift it out.

    That was my cutting board.

    My first plan of action would be to cut out one of the tenderloins, wrap it in foil, and send it into the house where my mother in law would hold it for me.

    For the next two or three hours I would trim, cut, hack and serve the bastard until it was nothing but a few bones, then go inside and slice that mignon and party like it was 1999.

    I may be as drunk as anyone there, but I’ll be damned if I’m eating shit.

  118. Raul Says:

    LOL

    Slick

  119. Mike Felber Says:

    John, I do not often disagree with you-& you know I do not like the name calling, but you seem not to object-but I do not think you have a whole & accurate picture of the objections presented. Lefty actually has a very good understanding here.

    Start with the larger context: the ethics/character clause is too undiscerning, I would have it rewritten to explicitly refer to baseball related issues. But most analysts properly do not consider flaws like affairs, drunkenness, racism, the proper province of HOF voting.

    If Mantle takes something legal that hurts his game, that is not ethics (rules), & while it is morality, the point is that it is even in this sphere a much lesser sin than taking something both illegal & a PED. A guy who used effectively-from the very early ’90’s-broke not only US law, the written rule of baseball (even if unpunished), & the EFFECT on the game (* balance of offense/defense re: power) team, & reputation of the sport of using something that artificially boosted your performance could be large.

    A user could deny other guys his dreams to even make it, & honest men had a tougher time reaching their goals, & it could effect their wallet & renown in ways that are clearly unsportsmanlike.

    You could argue that racism, drinking, then for a while ‘roids were approved to a degree by the baseball & general culture. Fair enough, but as a counterpoints, only the latter was illegal & done secretly, effecting its ethical & moral standing, AND it just as a different impact on the game.

    Sure, things like Ford & Perry cheating are broadly comparable. But that is when you need to consider degree of cheating & effect on the game.

    I would admit the cheaters & liars if they were both likely good enough to make it anyway, & admitted & apologized for their usage. Not a very harsh standard for someone very anti-PEDs.

    Very good story Chuck. Just went to an former factory again that had much art & performances tonight. In the past they did a pig roast, also corn. But I do not like pig meat variants much-bacon especially-yes, beef is much better by me.

  120. Cameron Says:

    Don’t… Like… Bacon?

    Can those words even follow in sequence?

  121. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha, yeah, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I am more literal re: that expression, but even the finest drink I cannot appreciate. Nor the more low brow achin’ for bacon. And I am no gourmand, but pork does not sit as well with me, though I am no vegetarian. G’nite Cam.

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