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04 Nov 2016 16:41

http://wgntv.com/on-air/live-streaming/

Parade live now, never seen anything like it. First estimates are 3m+ !!
#FeeltheBern
User avatar Amsterhammer
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04 Nov 2016 17:00

THE HEAVENS—Following a 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians that clinched the team’s first World Series title since 1908, sources confirmed Wednesday that millions of intoxicated Chicago Cubs fans are currently rioting across Heaven.
Moments after watching the game’s final out from above Earth, massive throngs of intoxicated Cubs fans—most of whom went their entire lives without ever seeing the team win a World Series—poured out all over the eternal city, where they reportedly continued drinking heavily as they cheered, hugged strangers, and loudly played golden harps in celebration of their long-awaited championship.
“Let’s go, Cubbies!” screamed Susan Leitch, who died of cardiac arrest in 1997 at the age of 70, before joining hundreds of fellow deceased Chicago fans as they repeatedly sang the chorus of “Go Cubs, Go!” “World Series champs! Finally!”
“Woo!” continued Leitch as she drunkenly stumbled over her feet and broke out in a fit of laughter.
According to reports, after one fan managed to affix a large “W” win flag to the top of the Pearly Gates, a large mob of Cubs fans began violently shaking the gateway as they chanted third baseman Kris Bryant’s name for nearly an hour. Sources confirmed that the gold-paved streets were quickly littered with empty beer cans, cigarettes, spilled food, and other refuse, while a number of inebriated fans were also seen urinating against the sapphire, emerald, and diamond–encrusted walls that protect the sacred realm.


http://www.theonion.com/article/millions-drunk-cubs-fans-rioting-heaven-following--54580
#FeeltheBern
User avatar Amsterhammer
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21 May 2017 18:20

I like this story! And honestly, it makes me like TT even more.
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/19409566/fans-flocking-see-tim-tebow-minor-league-baseball
jmdirt
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30 May 2017 02:20

Strickland hitting Harper today is just another reason why I have mostly lost interest in MLB. Hitting a batter is almost as old as the game, but it is so bastardized now that its stupid. Hitting a batter/plunking them is a retaliatory message for something that happened in the game. Not 10 games ago, or last season, or three season ago.
jmdirt
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Re:

30 May 2017 13:58

jmdirt wrote:Strickland hitting Harper today is just another reason why I have mostly lost interest in MLB. Hitting a batter is almost as old as the game, but it is so bastardized now that its stupid. Hitting a batter/plunking them is a retaliatory message for something that happened in the game. Not 10 games ago, or last season, or three season ago.

2014 to be exact. Harper faced Strickland 2 times in the NL DS and both time Harper went yard. I watched those games and really nothing unusual about Harper's actions after those home runs. The first one Strickland started yelling at him to get around the bases and then the second one Harper paused just a little after he rocked it.

I think Harper tossed that helmet to the side on purpose because right as he was getting ready to unload it on him he must have decided that it would have brought a huge suspension or fine.
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22 Jun 2017 15:37

The Mets are upset with Puig for taking too long to round the bases after his home run. WAAAAAAAH! WTH?! In the NFL they dance all over after they score. NOTE TO MLB Players: Don't kill your sport while its seeing its best revenues in years.
jmdirt
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Re: Major League Baseball

25 Jun 2017 22:59

Tim Tebow is being promoted from low A ball to Advanced A ball. So much for promotion based on merit. In 63 games, his line is .222/.311/.340, with a wRC+ of 91. For those of you unfamiliar with these stats, a wRC+ of 100 is average, so even playing at the lowest possible level, Tebow has been a below-average hitter. Moreover, since he plays in the outfield, where players are generally expected to hit better than at other positions, he’s even more below average than the number indicates. At 6’3” and 250 lb, the one thing he was supposed to offer was power, but he’s hit only 3 HR, and two of them came in his first three games.

No secret why the Mets organization is doing this: money! Tebow sells tickets, even if he’s not much of a player. But if I were a player in A ball, putting up better numbers than Tebow and not going anywhere I’d be pretty p---ed. Unlike Tebow, most of these minor league players have no higher paying job opportunities, like sports media, to fall back on. Most of them make less than a decent living wage, putting up with this only in the hopes that they can make it to the majors in a few years. (The minimum that a player on a major league team's roster makes is about half a million a year; the maximum that a high level minor leaguer makes is around $2000 a month--and that's only for the months that the season goes on).

The move seems to add more evidence to the idea that the Mets are using Tebow as a sideshow. His promotion to a new club means there will be more Tebow merchandise for fans to purchase. More merchandise means more money to the organization.


With the Mets falling out of contention, there’s at least a chance Tebow makes it to the majors by the end of the season. That might seem ridiculous considering his numbers and lack of experience, but those things haven’t factored into the team’s choices thus far.


https://sports.yahoo.com/tim-tebow-moves-level-proving-mets-care-one-thing-185741902.html

I guess it was inevitable that once it was accepted that great athletes should be paid a lot in recognition of their accomplishments, some athletes would try to eliminate the middleman: what you accomplish on the field doesn’t matter, as long as the money comes in. Boxing of course is now taking that logic further than anywhere else, but Tebow is doing his part to bring that notion to baseball. If it’s all about entertainment, who needs to be good at anything but selling tickets?
Merckx index
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Re: Major League Baseball

26 Jun 2017 03:33

Merckx index wrote:Tim Tebow is being promoted from low A ball to Advanced A ball. So much for promotion based on merit. In 63 games, his line is .222/.311/.340, with a wRC+ of 91. For those of you unfamiliar with these stats, a wRC+ of 100 is average, so even playing at the lowest possible level, Tebow has been a below-average hitter. Moreover, since he plays in the outfield, where players are generally expected to hit better than at other positions, he’s even more below average than the number indicates. At 6’3” and 250 lb, the one thing he was supposed to offer was power, but he’s hit only 3 HR, and two of them came in his first three games.

No secret why the Mets organization is doing this: money! Tebow sells tickets, even if he’s not much of a player. But if I were a player in A ball, putting up better numbers than Tebow and not going anywhere I’d be pretty p---ed. Unlike Tebow, most of these minor league players have no higher paying job opportunities, like sports media, to fall back on. Most of them make less than a decent living wage, putting up with this only in the hopes that they can make it to the majors in a few years. (The minimum that a player on a major league team's roster makes is about half a million a year; the maximum that a high level minor leaguer makes is around $2000 a month--and that's only for the months that the season goes on).

The move seems to add more evidence to the idea that the Mets are using Tebow as a sideshow. His promotion to a new club means there will be more Tebow merchandise for fans to purchase. More merchandise means more money to the organization.


With the Mets falling out of contention, there’s at least a chance Tebow makes it to the majors by the end of the season. That might seem ridiculous considering his numbers and lack of experience, but those things haven’t factored into the team’s choices thus far.


https://sports.yahoo.com/tim-tebow-moves-level-proving-mets-care-one-thing-185741902.html

I guess it was inevitable that once it was accepted that great athletes should be paid a lot in recognition of their accomplishments, some athletes would try to eliminate the middleman: what you accomplish on the field doesn’t matter, as long as the money comes in. Boxing of course is now taking that logic further than anywhere else, but Tebow is doing his part to bring that notion to baseball. If it’s all about entertainment, who needs to be good at anything but selling tickets?

I'm less cynical about it Merckx. He's doing something because he enjoys it. He could be doing several other things while making more money, but he wants to play baseball. Even though his stats are average, he has been great for the Fireflies so the Mets are betting he can have the same effect for St. L (especially since its in FL). By all accounts his teammates love him, even so some will be upset that they didn't get the nod...win a Heisman, two National Titles, play in the NFL, sell lots of merch$. and ticket$, and you too can get an early promotion.
jmdirt
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26 Jun 2017 12:16

I have no problem with him wanting to play, and teams giving him a shot. Good for him.

As to the merits of him moving up? Well, since almost everything is about money and the bottom line in America these days, who can blame the franchises? I'm sure if Tebow were almost as good as the worst player on the Mets roster, he'd be sitting on their bench, wouldn't he?
User avatar Alpe d'Huez
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Re: Major League Baseball

26 Jun 2017 15:06

JM, there's nothing exceptional or particularly noteworthy about the fact that Tebow wants to play baseball (ignoring the fact that this desire only surfaced several years after he was out of the NFL, when it became clear that his options for staying in the limelight were dwindling). There are probably millions of men in America who would give up a higher paying job if they could get a shot at playing pro baseball.

The problem is that he’s done nothing to deserve the shot. If he were a former Heisman Trophy and National Championship winner WITHOUT the in-your-face religion, there’s no way he would have even had the chance to play low A ball, let alone be promoted. Think Matt Leinart would be given this opportunity? Or Sam Bradford, who didn’t win a NC, but at least has been somewhat successful in the NFL? Baseball is supposed to be a meritocracy—hence it was de-segregated long before most other American institutions. Being a great football player, at the college level, says nothing about his baseball talent.

Yes, you could say much the same about Michael Jordan, but at least he was, obviously, successful at the highest level of his original sport. He didn't take up baseball because he had failed to make an impact in another sport. In Jordan’s case, there was also curiosity to see how much his elite skills in one sport might transfer to another sport; at the time, there had never been a case quite like Jordan’s. Unlike Jordan, Tebow has not demonstrated elite pro-level skills in any sport.

Alpe, so ironic that you rail against money in politics, while you don’t seem to mind at all when it corrupts other areas of American life—as though the two were completely unrelated. The root problem is greed, and you can see those roots very clearly in the way Tebow is being handled. The crowning irony is that Christianity at its founding was very much oriented against greed, something today’s so-called Christians, including Tebow himself, of course, almost completely ignore.
Merckx index
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Re: Major League Baseball

26 Jun 2017 15:24

Merckx index wrote:Alpe, so ironic that you rail against money in politics, while you don’t seem to mind at all when it corrupts other areas of American life—as though the two were completely unrelated. The root problem is greed, and you can see those roots very clearly in the way Tebow is being handled.

You have completely misread my statement. Either that, or I wrote it in such a way it was easy to misinterpret. I imagine my "who can blame them" probably came off that way, when my wording was meant to come off as one of disgust.

The whole "greed is good", Ayn Rand's "virtue of selfishness" moral code placed in our political-economic system, which certainly includes the private sector, disgusts me as much as it does you, and not only to the level in politics. Recall that I frequently, frequently try to shine lights in the politics forum on the revolving door of connections between private and public collusion and graft. That definitely includes the private sector of American life as well.

So my point with Tebow was that I'm not one bit surprised that the Mets and their farm system are trying to promote him, because our society is based on the avarice you mention. If you want to say I'm cynical about it, so be it. If you want to say I'm jaded about it, so be it. But to say I don't seem to mind, you couldn't be more wrong.

As a stat, Tebow also lead his team in strikeouts.

Here's an article saying don't be surprised if he's on the Mets roster by September, especially if the team sucks. It's all about selling tickets. Welcome to modern American sports/business. :mad: (Mad emoticon added to emphasize disgust).

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/06/mlb-mets-tim-tebow-promotion-minor-league-stats
User avatar Alpe d'Huez
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26 Jun 2017 16:19

Alpe, yes, some disgust did come across in your earlier post, which is why your position on Tebow is puzzling to me. Because you also said that you “have no problem with...teams giving him a shot”. As both I and the article I linked to emphasize, the reason the Mets gave him a shot is because of money. So if you have no problem with this, you aren’t just cynical about the money factor, you don’t seem to mind in this one particular case. If you’re really disgusted about greed, shouldn’t you very definitely have a problem with his getting a shot?

What did Ossoff, who doesn’t even live in the GA district he ran for Congress from, do to deserve his candidacy? I’m quite sure you would say mostly nothing, and that his candidacy was mostly about money (the root cause behind political power). Why not apply the same logic to Tebow? The Democrats thought they saw in Ossoff a way to gain political power, and weren’t really all that concerned with his potential merits as a representative, what he would actually accomplish, or try to accomplish, in Congress. The Mets see in Tebow a way to boost marketing, and so far don’t seem really concerned about his potential merits as a player.

Maybe you’re trying to distinguish Tebow’s role in this from that of the Mets. The Mets made the decision, Tebow just went along with it. But Tebow started this by very publicly stating his desire to play baseball, and if he had any real integrity, he could refuse the promotion on the grounds that he doesn’t deserve it on merit. What a teachable moment that would be! I could really admire him if he did that, and maybe believe that playing baseball for him is all about love for the game, not about money and public relevance. But don’t hold your breath.
Merckx index
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26 Jun 2017 17:31

One thing I would like to distinguish here is that politicians misusing our tax money isn't even in the same realm as people spending their own money on entertainment.

Yes, I think that those other guys that you named would get a shot.

Millions of USA men might think the idea was cool, but I don't think that they would give up their job to try it, nor do I think that they could do as well as TT. Of course the HUGE advantage that TT has is the $$$$ he already has in the bank, while the rest of us likely don't have that backup. So his risk is zero, while ours would likely be devastating.
jmdirt
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Re:

26 Jun 2017 19:06

Merckx index wrote:Alpe, yes, some disgust did come across in your earlier post, which is why your position on Tebow is puzzling to me. Because you also said that you “have no problem with...teams giving him a shot”.

Oh my! I meant the shot he was already given at the lowest level he has been playing. I did not mean with the MLB Mets! He thus was given a shot already, and pretty much failed from what I can tell. I would not give him a promotion for that like he got. Sorry for that confusion!

You bring up one other excellent point. If Tebow were really of the same fiber as the lord he prays to, would he not then state that he does not deserve to be promoted over the many players at his level playing better than he is? Can he be so over confident to think that he'll actually play well at a higher level of competition? Or is it, like the Mets, he doesn't really care, and it's all about exposure, and thus, money? That really is a good question.
User avatar Alpe d'Huez
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Re: Re:

26 Jun 2017 20:21

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Oh my! I meant the shot he was already given at the lowest level he has been playing. I did not mean with the MLB Mets! He thus was given a shot already, and pretty much failed from what I can tell. I would not give him a promotion for that like he got. Sorry for that confusion!


Fair enough. But it’s questionable whether he even deserved the shot at low A ball. JM apparently thinks that Matt Leinart, Heisman winner and member of a national championship team, would have been given the same opportunity. I don't think so. What would happen if Leinart, around age 30, decided he wanted to play pro baseball, on the basis of two years of HS play?

For starters, he couldn’t have his agent invite scouts from every MLB team to attend a work-out, the way Tebow did. Why not? Because they would have laughed. Millions of guys play baseball in HS, some of them very well, what makes Leinart so special? That he was a great football player in college? Come on. There’s very little overlap in the skill set. There have been a few athletes at an elite or near-elite level in both sports, but they’re not that common. And of course the few that made it big in both sports, like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, played in college, and weren’t away from the game for a prolonged period of time. They received a lot of attention precisely because it is so rare for someone to be highly skilled in both sports.

Maybe Leinart could have finagled a try-out with some minor league team. But if he had displayed the same level of skills that Tebow did, I doubt he would have gotten a roster spot. Scouts were almost universal in dissing Tebow at his public try-out. Some gave him credit for being better than one would expect after not playing for more than ten years, but none I’m aware of thought he had a serious chance of making it to the majors. Maybe they thought he could play decently at a low level in the minors, but you don’t recruit players on that basis. I believe a majority of players drafted now have played in college, and the ones that haven’t at least have played more than two years in HS, not to mention are currently active.

You bring up one other excellent point. If Tebow were really of the same fiber as the lord he prays to, would he not then state that he does not deserve to be promoted over the many players at his level playing better than he is? Can he be so over confident to think that he'll actually play well at a higher level of competition? Or is it, like the Mets, he doesn't really care, and it's all about exposure, and thus, money? That really is a good question.


Many people have suggested Tebow could have made it in the NFL as a RB or TE. I think we can all agree his chances at that would be better than playing MLB. So why didn’t he try?

I think it’s because he doesn’t want to be second banana. QB is the most important position in football, usually (though not always) the team leader, and Tebow had his sights set on that. When that didn’t work out, he turned to baseball where, if he somehow turned out to be a great hitter, he could be the leader, the star, for that team.

Why this obsession with being the main man? Let me give Tebow the benefit of the doubt here. Let’s assume he really doesn’t care at all about money and fame as it applies to himself. He wants to be famous solely because it will increase his platform from which to spread the gospel. The more successful and famous he is, the further his message will spread. I don’t think this is the entire story, but I’m willing to concede it is a major aspect that motivates him.

This is a very conventional approach, that people have used in all walks of life to spread some message they’re passionate about, but as applied to religion, I think it’s dead wrong. Most of us are influenced not so much by words as by example. Tim Tebow, the hypothetical second coming of Tom Brady, might tell people that he’s motivated by God and the Bible, but the primary message people take home—whether they’re conscious of it or not—is that fame and success matter; people who are famous and successful are better, more important, in some very profound way than people who are not. After all, why are people paying so much more attention to a famous QB than someone with the same message who has accomplished nothing out of the ordinary?

This is, or used to be, profoundly antithetical to religion. Religion is not only not supposed to be about seeking success, in the materialistic, worldly sense, but on the contrary, about becoming indifferent to it. If you really want to spread your religious belief, you do it by example, and the best example you can possibly provide is one in which you don’t pursue fame or excessive (beyond satisfaction of your essential needs) materialism. Part of the reason for this is to avoid becoming a cult figure, or what used to be called a false idol (which Tebow obviously is), and part is because the original goal of religion—which seems to have been forgotten today—is to break attachments. You spurn wealth and fame not from some ascetic ideal, but because it’s the way to freedom, at least the most we mortal creatures can aspire to.

Edit: When Tebow was asked if he thought he deserved the promotion, he took the easy way out:

For me, it's not something I have to answer. There's a lot smarter, wiser people than me that make those decisions. I just try and show up and play hard every day.


And what did the Mets say?

"It's not like he's tearing up the league, but at the same time, all of the indications are positive in terms of various things we look at: chase rates and exit velocity," [GM Sandy] Alderson said. "The bottom line is the average isn't there, but he's improving."


Chase rates? His K-rate is almost 30%. If he's not swinging at pitches out of the zone, he either can't see or can't hit pitches in the zone.

Exit velocity? He has three HR. If his exit velocity is high, he must be hitting either way over or way under most pitches. (Some of the numbers back that up; > 60% of his balls in play are grounders, which is exceedingly high. His HR/FB rate is 12.5%, which is somewhat low. Assuming his exit velocity is good, he's getting under too many of those FB)

Improving? After one 16 game stretch when he was hitting really well, his numbers have gone way down again more recently.

It's certainly possible Tebow is a better hitter than his stats indicate, 60 games isn't a very large sample size, but not that much better. And after such a long layoff, he probably needs a lot more time to reach his potential. But the usual procedure is to master one level before taking on the next.

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/tim-tebow-baseball-mets-promoted-video/niunclsm4gy41ka2v757qyqd8
Last edited by Merckx index on 26 Jun 2017 21:34, edited 1 time in total.
Merckx index
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Re: Re:

26 Jun 2017 21:29

Merckx index wrote:
Alpe d'Huez wrote:Oh my! I meant the shot he was already given at the lowest level he has been playing. I did not mean with the MLB Mets! He thus was given a shot already, and pretty much failed from what I can tell. I would not give him a promotion for that like he got. Sorry for that confusion!


Fair enough. But it’s questionable whether he even deserved the shot at low A ball. JM apparently thinks that Matt Leinart, Heisman winner and member of a national championship team, would have been given the same opportunity. I don't think so. What would happen if Leinart, around age 30, decided he wanted to play pro baseball, on the basis of two years of HS play?

For starters, he couldn’t have his agent invite scouts from every MLB team to attend a work-out, the way Tebow did. Why not? Because they would have laughed. Millions of guys play baseball in HS, some of them very well, what makes Leinart so special? That he was a great football player in college? Come on. There’s very little overlap in the skill set. There have been a few athletes at an elite or near-elite level in both sports, but they’re not that common. And of course the few that made it big in both sports, like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, played in college, and weren’t away from the game for a prolonged period of time. They received a lot of attention precisely because it is so rare for someone to be highly skilled in both sports.

Maybe Leinart could have finagled a try-out with some minor league team. But if he had displayed the same level of skills that Tebow did, I doubt he would have gotten a roster spot. Scouts were almost universal in dissing Tebow at his public try-out. Some gave him credit for being better than one would expect after not playing for more than ten years, but none I’m aware of thought he had a serious chance of making it to the majors. Maybe they thought he could play decently at a low level in the minors, but you don’t recruit players on that basis. I believe a majority of players drafted now have played in college, and the ones that haven’t at least have played more than two years in HS, not to mention are currently active.

You bring up one other excellent point. If Tebow were really of the same fiber as the lord he prays to, would he not then state that he does not deserve to be promoted over the many players at his level playing better than he is? Can he be so over confident to think that he'll actually play well at a higher level of competition? Or is it, like the Mets, he doesn't really care, and it's all about exposure, and thus, money? That really is a good question.


Many people have suggested Tebow could have made it in the NFL as a RB or TE. I think we can all agree his chances at that would be better than playing MLB. So why didn’t he try?

I think it’s because he doesn’t want to be second banana. QB is the most important position in football, usually (though not always) the team leader, and Tebow had his sights set on that. When that didn’t work out, he turned to baseball where, if he somehow turned out to be a great hitter, he could be the leader, the star, for that team.

Why this obsession with being the main man? Let me give Tebow the benefit of the doubt here. Let’s assume he really doesn’t care at all about money and fame as it applies to himself. He wants to be famous solely because it will increase his platform from which to spread the gospel. The more successful and famous he is, the further his message will spread. I don’t think this is the entire story, but I’m willing to concede it is a major aspect that motivates him.

This is a very conventional approach, that people have used in all walks of life to spread some message they’re passionate about, but as applied to religion, I think it’s dead wrong. Most of us are influenced not so much by words as by example. Tim Tebow, the hypothetical second coming of Tom Brady, might tell people that he’s motivated by God and the Bible, but the primary message people take home—whether they’re conscious of it or not—is that fame and success matter; people who are famous and successful are better, more important, in some very profound way than people who are not. After all, why are people paying so much more attention to a famous QB than someone with the same message who has accomplished nothing out of the ordinary?

This is, or used to be, profoundly antithetical to religion. Religion is not only not supposed to be about seeking success, in the materialistic, worldly sense, but on the contrary, about becoming indifferent to it. If you really want to spread your religious belief, you do it by example, and the best example you can possibly provide is one in which you don’t pursue fame or excessive (beyond satisfaction of your essential needs) materialism. Part of the reason for this is to avoid becoming a cult figure, or what used to be called a false idol (which Tebow obviously is), and part is because the original goal of religion—which seems to have been forgotten today—is to break attachments. You spurn wealth and fame not from some ascetic ideal, but because it’s the way to freedom, at least the most we mortal creatures can aspire to.

Edit: When Tebow was asked if he thought he deserved the promotion, he took the easy way out:

For me, it's not something I have to answer. There's a lot smarter, wiser people than me that make those decisions. I just try and show up and play hard every day.


And what did the Mets say?

"It's not like he's tearing up the league, but at the same time, all of the indications are positive in terms of various things we look at: chase rates and exit velocity," [GM Sandy] Alderson said. "The bottom line is the average isn't there, but he's improving."


Chase rates? His K-rate is almost 30%. If he's not swinging at pitches out of the zone, he either can't see or can't hit pitches in the zone.

Exit velocity? He has three HR. If his exit velocity is high, he must be hitting either way over or way under most pitches.

Improving? After one 16 game stretch when he was hitting really well, his numbers have gone way down again more recently.

What BS. It's certainly possible Tebow is a better hitter than his stats indicate, 60 games isn't a very large sample size, but not that much better.

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/tim-tebow-baseball-mets-promoted-video/niunclsm4gy41ka2v757qyqd8

If that is why he's doing it, I just puked! :eek:
jmdirt
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28 Jun 2017 19:19

This popped into my head today while I was mindlessly sitting in traffic due to the lights being out in a major intersection.

My take is that you guys are "blaming" Tebow and/or the Mets. Its not their fault that the sheeple keep paying higher and higher ticket prices, buying merch, and paying higher and higher prices for sports cable packages. If TT's jersey wasn't the best selling one in the history of the minors, and if ticket sales hadn't skyrocketed, he wouldn't have gotten this latest promo. Even his shot with the Fireflies was driven in part by the fact that his tryout generated so much fan and media attention. With that being said, if people are entertained (for whatever reason) its good, and the only harm is that a guy who might have gotten a promotion didn't (TT might not have been promoted over another player, they might have moved him simply to generate interest and revenue).
jmdirt
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30 Oct 2017 12:53

The LA vs HOU (MLB) score almost matched the PIT vs DET (NFL) score. I was watching the NFL game, and at commercial breaks switching to the MLB game. I got to see a homer almost every time that I flipped over!
jmdirt
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Joined: 06 Dec 2013 17:33

Re: Really? No Baseball Thread?

09 Apr 2018 01:22

Any interest in baseball around here? I’m generally not a fan of any team, but a stat geek who follows the advances in sabremetrics. But something historic is happening in Major League Baseball. For the first time since Babe Ruth, just about a century ago, we have a player who appears capable of making it as both a pitcher and a hitter. And a Japanese import at that.

Shohei Ohtani was known as the Japanese Babe Ruth when he played in his home country. He was considered the best pitcher in Japan, and one of the top hitters, and at age twenty-three, he presumably had not even reached his peak yet. Major league scouts had been drooling over him, but because of the way the signing system works, he could not get a huge contract to play in this country until he turned twenty-five.

Putting career over money, he decided not to wait, and during the off-season, signed with the LA Angels for a relative pittance—a rookie’s salary of about half a million year. The Angels had to pay $20 million to the Japanese league as well, but he was still considered an absolute steal at that price. His pitching alone would have been worth a nine figure contract had he been old enough to qualify as a free agent.

During spring training, he was a pretty big disappointment, both pitching and hitting at a poor level. But since the regular season has begun, about ten days ago, he has exceeded expectations (which were very high to begin with). He has won his first two starts as a pitcher, and in the second one, just completed a few hours ago, he had a perfect game going into the seventh inning. As a hitter, he has hammered a HR in three consecutive games—not something even the best players do very often--all of which his team won. One of the HR, and another hit, were hit harder (by exit velocity, which is routinely tracked in all MLB games) than any ball hit by an Angel since Mike Trout (considered the best player in the game) last August.

It’s far too early to say how he will turn out, but this stretch alone will go down in the record books. For example, he’s the first player since Ruth in 1921 to win a game as a starting pitcher and hit a HR within a two game stretch. Other than Ruth, the most HR in a season by a pitcher is nine, and it seems very likely he will pass that easily. He also appears to have a good shot at joining Ruth as the only player to win ten games and hit ten HR in the same season.

Ruth eventually gave up pitching, of course, because he was so valuable as a hitter. But Ohtani has worked out a schedule that allows him to do both. He pitches once a week, not hitting then, and he also rests the day before and the day after pitching. The other days he’s in the lineup as designated hitter, which keeps him off the field. Just being able to maintain this schedule for an entire season is a major experiment, but so far it’s working.
Last edited by Merckx index on 09 Apr 2018 01:58, edited 1 time in total.
Merckx index
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