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Wrigleyville 23 - A Chicago Cubs blog
There Is No Finer Example Of A TOOTBLAN
Written by wrigleyville   
Saturday, 03 April 2010

As the inventor of the TOOTBLAN, I get one question more than any other from the adoring public as I walk the streets, visit schools or speak at corporate outings across this great land:

What is a TOOTBLAN?

I've always had to say TOOTBLAN is an acronym for "Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop," which inevitably led to followup questions of how do you define like a nincompoop and who decides nincompoopiness and whatnot. And lengthy explanations and debate. It was tiring because the TOOTBLAN is the pornography of the advanced statistic world: You know it when you see it.

Then this happened yesterday:

(click "read more" for full article)

Stats Show Albert Pujols Better Than Ronny Cedeno
Written by wrigleyville   
Saturday, 03 April 2010
Seattle Mariners Photo Day

Bill Simmons has an interesting column up examining the usefulness of "new" baseball stats and arrives basically where I am - they aren't the end-all, be-all of baseball enjoyment, but they add a valuable layer of understanding into the game.

And there's this little tidbit on VORP (value over replacement player), featuring a former Cub:

It's not easy to figure out, but it's easy to understand. Pujols led baseball with a 98.3 VORP last season; that means he created 98.3 more runs than a generically sucky replacement-level first baseman. Ronny Cedeno finished last with a minus-15.4 VORP, meaning he created 15.4 fewer runs than a generally sucky replacement-level shortstop ... so he really, really, REALLY sucks. And sure, a sarcastic anti-sabermetrics guy could joke, "Great, we needed a stat that proved Albert Pujols was great and Ronny Cedeno sucked." But it's the guys between them who make VORP work.

I miss Ronny.

Runs Saved And Logical Fallacies
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 02 April 2010

Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal wades into the new emphasis on emphasis among major league baseball teams on preventing runs (also known as defense) - most notably by the Boston Red Sox.

In the article, he spends some time pondering what it will mean for attendance:

There's something quaint about all of this. It harkens back to the days when ballplayers were regular-sized people who cared about mastering the fundamentals. But there's one problem nobody wants to address: After years of paying good money to watch burly men launch baseballs into celestial orbit, it's not clear whether fans are ready to pay the same price to watch nifty glovework.

"The average fan would want to see a 10-9 game with seven home runs flying over the fences," said Jamie Moyer, a veteran pitcher who has played for seven major-league teams during his 23-year career. "Baseball's always catered to that, as they should, because that's what most of their fan base wants."

"You don't see people coming to the ballpark to see great defense," said Tim McCarver, a former Major League catcher and current Fox television analyst. "They want to see guys hammer it."

(click "read more" for full article)

Tom Ricketts, Child Birth And Bad Similes
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 01 April 2010
Pregnant woman, mid section, close-up

I'm thinking Tom Ricketts doesn't know what childbirth is like:

The only downer, he said, was long and drawn out sale process.

"That was difficult," he said. "I told my wife, ‘It's the closest I'll ever get to childbirth.' She said, 'How do you know? You were at Starbucks.' No, that was a drag. But I kept reminding myself, we're kind of amortizing that aggravation over 50 years. So it was like, just get through it."

He was at Starbucks during the Cubs sale or during the birth of his children? If it's the latter, why? Did he get stuck in one of those endless lines?

(click "read more" for full article)

The Official WV23 Season Preview
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 01 April 2010

The Cubs open the 2010 season against the Atlanta Braves on Monday in Atlanta.

After that, there are 161 more games - almost daily - and fans, journalists and the Trilateral Commission will overreact with the outcome of each.

They will win between 68 and 98 games - and finish anywhere from first to fifth (they shouldn't finish behind the Pirates).

That's all. You get what you pay for.

Bradley Imitates Lou?
Written by melissa rakes   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Cubs Piniella Ejected Against the Rockies in Denver

Just in case Cubs fans had forgotten about a certain outfielder from the 2009 team, a staff report from the Trib Tower has been issued:

Bradley imitates Lou, flings base in mock rage

In the interests of having a little spring training fun the Mariners had an intrasquad scrimmage Monday, complete with Milton Bradley as an acting manager.

Apparently he has enough self-awareness to poke fun at himself and his volatile reputation or as the Trib would have us believe, Lou Piniella:

Playing off his controversial reputation, Bradley imitated Piniella with a mock tirade in which he kicked dirt on "umpire" Josh Bard, then dug out first base and heaved it.

The original source of the story, The Olympian,  of course, made no mention of Piniella since apparently he's not the only manager that's ever tossed a base or kicked dirt at an umpire.

While we anxiously await how the Trib will link Bradley's next move to his former team, the Cubs said good-bye to the Mr. Wizard of clubhouse chemistry and released Kevin Millar.

Mets Fans, In 29 Words
Written by wrigleyville   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Will Leitch sums up fans of the New York Mets nicely:

I've found that many Mets fans have a certain operatic quality to them, particularly when that opera has a lot of dudes in Members Only jackets yelling the f-word. (By "the f-word," I mean "fuck.")

That's a nice sentence.

Sullivan Celebrating Small-Mindedness
Written by wrigleyville   
Monday, 29 March 2010

Paul Sullivan is proud of himself:

Milton to Chicago media: "Beat it. You guys ran me out of town." Mea culpa, Milton.

Sullivan vastely overstates his power, though he certainly fed the environment that led to Bradley being run out of town.

The Trib's Successful Strategy Of Losing Readers
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 26 March 2010
General Election - Crime

Paul Sullivan has banned another person from following him on Twitter.

The offense? Apparently either defending him - or pointing out a silly mistake:

Please @PWSullivan, please stop writing about MB so every other blogger in the city can stop writing about how much they hate you. -11:24 AM Mar 10th

Yeah we're pretty sure Lou will be managing in April too. RT @PWSullivan: Oz sez Lou will return to Cubs in 2010: http://bit.ly/bdDxHo 1:58 PM Mar 6th

Welcome to the club, One minute Cubs, as Sullivan continues to wrap police tape around his mind.

It's also lovely to see the Tribune lose readers one person at a time - as a opposed to in huge chunks like they usually do.

WV23 In The 702
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 26 March 2010
Garth Brooks Announced As Resident Headliner At The Wynn Las Vegas

A good first day at the sports book at the Wynn - winning Kentucky (-8.5), Kentucky first half (-4.5) and West Virginia (-4), while losing Syracuse first half (-3).

Poker wasn't so good, culminating in losing with a set of 10s (to a set of aces).

Further bulletins as developments warrant.

(We aren't touching the Cubs, nor will we be seeing Garth Brooks - who apparently plays here nightly on the weekends.)

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