Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hump Day in the Life of Chicago Sports

---The White Sox are in talks to sign a former Nebraska punter. Seems a certain starting left-fielder had surgery and might not be ready by spring training. GM Kenny Williams, less than thrilled by the prospect of well, prospects, playing multiple outfield positions is trying to bring in ex-Angel Darin Erstad. If it so happens to make Scotty Posednik expendable/tradeable, all the better.

---The Fightin' Illini scored an upset at home. Did Indiana, and coach Kelvin Sampson, phone it in? Illinois' men's basketball program took another step toward securing an N.I.T. bid by knocking off the sanctions-in-waiting Hoosiers, previously ranked number twenty-third, although first in the hearts of Klan-worshippin' rednecks (go ahead, pretend it isn't true). Welcome to the era of daylight savings time!

---This just in; the Blackhawks still suck. Firing coaches only helps when the new coach can make good players better. The problem for Chicago's hockey fans is their NHL club can't seem to acquire enough good players in the first place. At thirteen points out of the last playoff spot, things sure do look bleak for the fellows in the bright red sweaters. No matter what, though, this is upper-management's fault. Don't blame head coach Denis Savard for this Suck-o-Rama.

---Former SouthSider Donovan McNabb is not unhappy in that happiest of cities, Philadelphia. Reports that he called teammate Jeff Garcia "gay" are also unfounded. Former Terrell Owens publicist Kim Etheridge was overheard telling anyone who would listen that McNabb has "millions of reasons not to want out of Philly".

---Over on the other side of town, it appears the Cubs are in talks to sign outfielder Cliff Floyd. Gm Jim Hendry can't buy anymore good pitching, so the only option is to stock bats. Much like the Soriano contract, there are rumored to be added perks to sweeten the deal. Floyd will get his own locker on the road, and full access to the post-game buffet spread.

---In other Cub news (and doubling the bad news day for our beloved administrator), the team recently plucked ND wide receiver Jeff Samardzija from a life without Brady Quinn, to, of all things, pitch. In his never ending pursuit to spend all of the Tribune's money, Hendry will soon roll out his new aftershave Desperation. Eau du Toilette (translation:toilet water) indeed.

---Turns out the local pro football team had some measure of success recently, in case you hadn't heard. Something about one more big game. Bears fans just hope that when the Tank (Johnson) rolls into Miami (having gotten a judge's permission to leave the state), all the bars of Ice have already melted. Without a pass rush, Peyton Manning just might have a good day.

---Speaking of that local football team, how a about a big huzzah (yeah you read that right) for the head coach, Lovie Smith? Criticized for sticking by Rex Grossman, demeaned for not being the best X's and O's coach, he nonetheless finds himself the coach of a team going to the SuperBowl. The first black head coach to do it, too, just hours ahead of friend and mentor, Tony Dungy. To invert, subvert, and paraphrase a moon landing astronaut, it is a big step for black folks, and a giant leap for nice guys everywhere.

---Until next time, be good.


Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

Baseball Prospectus, or at least PECOTA, is expecting a sub-.300 ON BASE PERCENTAGE from Erstad next season. My only hope is that he stinks in training camp so that the Sox aren't fooled into giving him 300 ABs this year.

3:44 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Even though Samardzija grew up a die hard Sox fan -- he's from Valparaiso -- he's got 10 million reasons to be happy on the north side.

4:05 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Question about that PECOTA thing. Do they take into account the line-up that Erstad (or anybody else for that matter) is batting in? In this case Angels vs. White Sox batting orders? Just curious.

Jimmy-Sure he's got reasons. You have one less receiver.

5:37 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Criminal Appeal said...

PECOTA adjusts for all kinds of things, from league difficulty to the way a ballpark plays, but I don't think it adjusts for lineup protection. A) I don't think they have the manpower to make the constant adjustments as players come and go from a line up, and B) my recollection is that most sabermetric guys argue that the stats show that lineup protection doesn't change a guy's numbers. There's a section in Baseball Between the Numbers on that issue, and my recollection is that guys perform about as you'd expect from one year to the next even when there is a drastic change in who is hitting in front of or behind them. Obviously, that's not true for runs or RBIs, but saber guys discount those stats anyways.

6:46 PM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Thanks CA. I can pretty much understand why stat guys discount some stats. Of course agents never discount runs or RBIS, nor does the Hall Of Fame. Having said that, Erstad is probably just a injury waiting to happen. (See also Floyd, Cliff.)

I DO wonder if it doesn't matter where a guy hits, or who is around him, why does it matter what the lineup is, aside from maybe the left/right matchup stuff? Just curious, once again.

1:42 PM, January 25, 2007  

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