Personal Reflection

21 April 2008

I've been blogging a bit more on the obscure and pop culture (when I been able to)....

I heard a song on my iPod this morning for the first time (not uncommon, I shuffle a lot) from a cd that I had not listened too all the way yet... Though the words are not exact to the situation I'm posting as this where I had been for the last year or so, and perhaps longer. I just hope the words speak to someone else as much as they did to me.

Lord, I lift my friend to You, I've done all that I know to do
I lift my friend to You
Complicated circumstances have clouded his view
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

I fear that I won't have the words that he needs to hear
I pray for Your wisdom, oh God, and a heart that's sincere
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You
My best friend in the world, I know he means much more to You
I want so much to help him, but this is something he has to do
And Lord, I lift my friend up to You

'cause there's a way that seems so right to him
But You know where that leads
He's becoming a puppet of the world, too blind to see the strings
Lord, I lift my friend up to You
My friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You

Posted by Darth Shan at 9:33 AM 0 comments  

Dancing Machine

26 February 2008

I still like Bush. I 'd vote for him again.

iPod Functionality

One of the bad habits I have is that I never utilize my tech to its fullest. I have had a video iPod for over a year (my previous one got repo'd by the Best Buy lemon policy - thank you Dan Van Winkle) and am just now starting to really load videos on to it. Amazing what that thing does.

Hall of Fame Talk : Jim Rice

14 January 2008

Lots conversation going on about what constitues a HOFer and not. (Amazes me the Dave Concepcion is not in the HOF)

Interesting piece here from ESPN's Buster Onley ...

Rice production and OPS+

A lot of e-mail landed here about Friday's Jim Rice column, most of which suggests: First, that I cherry-picked statistics to make Rice look good; second, MVP voting is irrelevant; and third, I'm an idiot. There's no point in trying to defend my own idiocy, but the cherry-picking and MVP observations are interesting.

So if I understand the argument from some e-mailers: If you criticize Rice's candidacy by relying on Adjusted OPS+, through which Rice fares badly, that's analysis. But if you support Rice's candidacy citing home runs and RBI, then it's cherry-picking.

Hmmmm …

Adjusted OPS+ is a useful number. And if this your be-all, end-all statistic, keep in mind that:

Mark McGwire and Frank Thomas rank higher than Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Joe DiMaggio.

Jim Thome ranks higher than A-Rod and Gary Sheffield.

Lance Berkman ranks higher than Ken Griffey Jr.

Brian Giles ranks higher than George Brett, Al Kaline, Orlando Cepeda, Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew and Roberto Clemente.

Adam Dunn ranks higher than Eddie Murray.

And if you think that Adjusted OPS+ is a set of numbers that generally creates a level statistical playing field for all of the eras of baseball, then you'd have to ignore the following. Of the top 63 players all time in OPS+, there are:

Nineteen players who performed the bulk of their careers in the years leading up to 1920.

Eight players who performed the bulk of their careers in the years from 1920-1939.

Seventeen players who have performed the bulk of their careers from 1990-2007.

And a total of 17 players from the 50-year period of 1940-89.

To repeat: According to Adjusted OPS+, there are an equal number of players, among the top 63 of all time in the statistic, in the 50-year period of 1940 to 1989 as there have been in the 18-year period from 1990 through 2007.

Part of the reason, of course, is there are more teams now. But part of the reason is that in years in which there is less offense, generally, it is more difficult to create a plus/minus disparity in this statistic. From 1940-1989, there were a total of 11 league leaders with Adjusted OPS+ numbers of 200 or higher; there wasn't a single Adjusted OPS+ leader of 200 or higher from 1981-1991. Since 1992, there have been eight leaders of Adjusted OPS+ of 200 or more in the NL alone, and nine overall.

Let's go one step further. In the 16 seasons since the start of the 1992 season, there have been only three instances in which an Adjusted OPS+ league leader registered less than 171. But in the 50 years prior to that, there were 42 instances in which a league leader was at 170 or lower. If you don't think that Adjusted OPS+ is a statistic that skews toward the elite players of the Steroid Era, well, then that's your story and you're sticking to it.

It's not a perfect statistic. There aren't any perfect statistics.

A lot of the Rice critics say the focus on his best years -- 1975-1986 -- is arbitrary. Well, not really. Those are the years in which he was at his best, when he built his Hall of Fame candidacy, and considering that a player must have 10 years in the big leagues to qualify for HOF consideration, focusing on a 12-year span is hardly a cherry-pick. And in that time, in some power statistics -- maybe not Adjusted OPS+ -- Rice was the best in his league.

While I'd generally agree that to focus on building a Hall of Famer's credentials around a single year of MVP voting might be dubious, the numbers cited in Friday's column accounts for hundreds of votes from every AL city over more than a decade. A lot of writers who watched Rice play daily, at the time he was on the field -- rather than through the time-machine prism of Adjusted OPS+ -- thought he was pretty damn good. (Keep in mind, most writers will talk to players, managers and coaches throughout the season as they formulate their ballots.)

If you want to quibble with the fact that he won the award in 1978, or with his placement in some particular year, OK, I get that. But to ignore the MVP voting entirely, as if it isn't at least some kind of barometer of his play over the course of his career, is embarrassing. This is like saying, "Hey, forget the Oscar voting of the 1950s. Marlon Brando was clearly overrated."

Look, I've never met Jim Rice, didn't grow up a Red Sox fan, don't think he is one of the very elite players of all time. I understand why someone wouldn't vote for him (but don't agree). But to portray his career as entirely unworthy of Hall of Fame consideration is silly.

Posted by Darth Shan at 2:41 PM 0 comments  

More Fred

11 January 2008

Posted by Darth Shan at 3:52 PM 0 comments  

Fred Thompson calls it right

Fred Thompson calls it right. Period.

Posted by Darth Shan at 3:48 PM 0 comments  

Hiatus Over

08 January 2008

Okay, so I 'm back from Christmas and New Year's. (Happy New Year btw) I survived and only got sick while on our New Year's trip (still recovering).

I ran the blogging everyday experiment as I had time, but time is fleeting and I don't know with what I need to do and hope to accomplish in this New Year if I will be able to maintain the blog that way. So what this means is that the blog won't have regular daily features (Verbum Diurnum for example), but will be used hopefuly as an inspirational and aspirational and some comic relief for the readers out there, while Tidbit of me are intertwined (hey, it's my blog after all).

Sit back and enjoy this New Year.

Posted by Darth Shan at 8:09 AM 0 comments  

Merry Christmas

24 December 2007

The Gospel according to St. Luke (2:1-14)
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Merry Christmas ! Enjoy the video below.

non sequitur

23 December 2007

non sequitur (plural non sequiturs)

  1. (logic) An invalid argument; one in which the conclusion cannot be logically deduced from the premises.
    The argument "All ravens are black; this object is black; therefore, this object is a raven" is a non sequitur.
  2. Any abrupt and inexplicable transition or occurrence.
    Having a costumed superhero abduct the vicar was an utter non sequitur in the novel.
  3. (humor) A kind of pun that uses a change of word, subject, or meaning to make a joke of the listener's expectation:
    "Take my wife - please." -- Henny Youngman
    "If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." -- Dorothy Parker
    "A fool and his money are soon partying." -- Steven Wright

Posted by Darth Shan at 9:19 AM 0 comments  

Marvelous Light

Posted by Darth Shan at 9:15 AM 0 comments