Archive for the ‘asides’ Category
In case you didn’t notice, there’s a new theme. WordPress was annoying me with the different blog layouts and how restrictive each one was. I had been fighting with that green one for a while, trying to get it to organize the blogroll, and trying to add other widgets. So instead of having a sub-par blog viewing experience, I decided to go with a different look. With this new look also comes more fun things in the side bar. Check over to the right side of your screen and you’ll now see categories for the links in the blogroll, a recent comments section so you can quickly check if anyone responded to a comment of yours, and that little bubble (the subtitle) in the top right that says “Just another WordPress.com weblog.”
Well with the old theme, the page didn’t display a subtitle for the blog, so I never bothered to make one. Now that it has one shown, the fact that it says “just another…” is annoying the crap out of me. So if you, the readers, would like to have an enhanced role in this blog then feel free to contribute ideas for a subtitle in the comments section of this post. Or if you really don’t like this new look, let me know and I can look for something else that works. I’m not going back to the green and black look, it was just too annoying to deal with.
I hope someone comes up with a good one, or anything really, so that I don’t have to come up with something on my own that’s guaranteed to be un-funny and awkwardly worded. Fire away.
Sorry for the break, everybody. It came at a good time actually, since I was pretty much out of ideas anyway. Also, those player valuation things became a whole lot less fun since FanGraphs just came out with total value estimates, along with market value for each season dating back to 2002. If that wasn’t enough, each player’s actual salary is also listed right next to that, so you can compare. So instead of reading my long posts on player value for individual players (like the Nate McLouth thing), you can just look it up for yourself on FanGraphs.
I came up with an idea for some epic posts (not gonna share what the framework is just yet), and had a few other random ideas for things to write about. But in order to do some of these, I’m going to need help from you guys. I’ve been searching for weeks (on and off, obviously) for a way to convert either .swf or .mpg (or mpeg) files into .gif files for free. I found this one place called media-convert, but every time it finished the steps it then says an error occurred, and I have to start over. Also, I’m on a mac computer, so not all programs will work. The reason I need .gif files is because that is the only kind of “video” that wordpress will support. The reason I don’t want to use simple YouTube videos is because you can’t view them on a frame by frame basis (as far as I know). One thing I could do if someone knows how to view them frame by frame, is just embed the video as is, and then also throw in a bunch of still images from that video. If someone knows how to do that (and doesn’t know how to convert to gif), then that could be a decent substitute.
So basically: I want to convert .swf or .mpg to .gif for free on a mac. And if that’s not possible, I’d settle for capturing individual frames from a youtube video. E-mail me at dcn29(at)cornell(dot)edu if you can help me. Thank you very much.
I made a decision tonight to suspend blog activity until some time around new years. I’m going on vacation tomorrow for about 5 days and don’t think it’s worthwhile to post 5 of those “From the Archives” things just so that I have something going up every day. So check back around the start of the new year for new content. I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with a whole bunch of new content while I’m away, which I’ll get to work on when I get back. Happy holidays everybody.
One of the most difficult aspects of predicting pitcher performance is the seeming inevitability of injuries. Some pitchers are more injury-prone than others. There are reasons that Greg Maddux has been on the DL once in his career (for a back injury) and A.J. Burnett has been on the DL practically every year except this past one. For a mechanical analysis on why this may be, I’ll direct you here.
But I’d like to compare the injury histories of A.J. Burnett and Ben Sheets. The Yankees were apparently scared off somewhat by Sheets’ medical records, and apparently didn’t seem to hesitate after seeing Burnett’s. Without further ado, I present the injury history of A.J. Burnett:
Aug 19,2002 – 15 Day Disabled list – (bone bruise on his right elbow)
Mar 29,2003 – 15 Day Disabled list – (right elbow inflammation)
Apr 26,2003 – 15 Day Disabled list – (right elbow inflammation) Resulted in Tommy John Surgery
Mar 26,2004 – 15 Day Disabled list – (right elbow injury, scar tissue removed)
Apr 1,2006 – 15 Day Disabled list – (Injury unknown)
Apr 22,2006 – 15 Day Disabled list – (right elbow soreness)
May 29,2006 – 15 Day Disabled list – (Injury unknown)
Jun 19,2007 – 15 Day Disabled list – (Right shoulder)
Jul 1,2007 – 15 Day Disabled list – (Right shoulder)
That’s a whole lot of elbows and shoulders. What about the oft-disabled Ben Sheets?
Aug 14,2001 – 15 Day Disabled list – (rotator cuff tendonitis in right shoulder)
Apr 29,2005 – 15 Day Disabled list – (vestibular neuritis in his left ear)
Aug 27,2005 – 15 Day Disabled list – (torn latissimus dorsi muscle)
Mar 30,2006 – 15 Day Disabled list – (right posterior shoulder strain)
May 10,2006 – 15 Day Disabled list – (tendinitis in his right shoulder)
Jul 16,2007 – 15 Day Disabled list – (Right finger sprain)
And then this past season he had a pulled muscle in his forearm, but did not hit the DL because rosters had already expanded. I don’t know about you, but I feel much more comfortable relying on Sheets than Burnett to start every 5th day. Most of what Sheets has had were fluke-type injuries, or at least aren’t serious arm injuries. It’s possible the Yankees just didn’t want to go near another National League pitcher after the problems that guys like Vazquez, Pavano, Randy Johnson, and Kevin Brown had adjusting to the AL East.
The last few days this site has been getting a lot of traffic. Or at least it seems like a lot to me, I’m not sure what qualifies as a lot. But when I started this about two weeks ago, I expected approximately one reader…myself. No, not even my parents know about this blog.
So I want to thank everyone who’s been reading, I hope you’ll continue to do so in the future. Finals are starting right about now, so I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting over the next week or so, but I’ll definitely have a few things to say. Let’s hope they don’t turn out to be a huge waste of time like that second Johan Santana post from yesterday.
My favorite blog is having coverage of everyone’s favorite part of the off-season… from the event itself. Joe and Mike from RAB will be providing news and analysis from Las Vegas as the winter meetings happen. All of their coverage can be found here. I feel bad for Ben, who can’t go because of finals. I’m currently pulling an all-nighter doing a business project, so I feel a small part of his pain (writing this is my little 5-minute break for the night…err, morning).
Apparently, the Yanks and CC already met today, and Cashman made sure to wear one of his WS rings. It’s been a boring off-season so far…something is bound to happen over the next few days.
I’m sure anyone reading this blog already has FanGraphs bookmarked (and if you don’t, you should). But just to get this up on here as well, FanGraphs just added defensive stats in the form of Mitchel Lichtman’s UZR. This fielding system ranks up at the top of free, publicly available fielding metrics. Go check ‘em out.