Saturday, August 16, 2008

Aybar knows how to field


A week into the Olympics and I'm already disillusioned. It probably started when I realized the psuedo-political posturing that was the opening ceremonies. Sure, 2008 Chinese dudes playing synchronized drums is cool, but it's about a lot more than just drums. That, my friends, is a show of force, of military power, and to think it's simply 2008 drummers is downright dense. And this country just had an earthquake...they're spending countless millions on opening ceremonies for a sporting competition...why? From that moment on, I've grown more and more stupefied as to why people still look at the Olympics with such unbounded respect.

First of all, we all know China is fucked up, and we all know America is fucked up, and basically every country has a long list of social, political, and cultural issues. But to have a 9 year old girl lip sync the national anthem because the 7 year old who actually sang it has crooked teeth is a lesson in ethics. The lesson is called "How to show kids that the most important thing about life is appearances." The Rev (I'm Carl Johnson on that site) did say this much, though:

My girlfriend pointed out that America would have wanted the better looking little girl too, but would have let her sing her own off-key version of the song because being good-looking is all that matters here.
I do agree, but hey, at least we're upfront about it. Not that that makes it any better.

Second, swimming. Seriously. I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks every record will be broken at every Olympics is a case study in idiot fandom. I'm not saying Michael Phelps uses PED's, but seriously, every record should not be falling during every race of the Beijing Olympics. The pool is deeper and wider*, the swimsuits they wear are expensive and hydrodynamically engineered, and any scientist can tell you there are 500 different things you can take to improve athletic performance that don't even get tested. Comparing Phelps to Spitz, or comparing any swimming records now to any in the past is wrong. Dead wrong. Yet NBC's obsession with world records only continues to prove that humans, as a whole, aren't very smart when it comes to statistics.

Moreover, nobody cares about most of these sports. It's strange how the interesting ones, like baseball, tennis, and soccer aren't televised.

Back to Northeastern colors for the blog. And with all that said, I'm still loving USA basketball, a team which I already know is full of egomaniacs and overpaid professionals. But at least they're a known quantity.

*I'm not very good at fluid mechanics, but here's why depth and width are important. Any fluid flowing along a surface actually sticks to the surface, generating a velocity profile that goes from 0 at the wall to however fast the swimmer is going at the swimmer's body. If the pool is deeper, that "no-slip condition," as its called, becomes a lesser influence on the swimmer's body. So, make the pool deeper and wider and you give athletes an advantage.


More dumb bullpen management yesterday, this after I specifically stated my distaste for Scisocia throwing Arredondo out there seemingly every day. Jose gave up a bases loaded walk that proved to be the winning run, and frankly, he was due for a bad outing. Oliver should've been in that inning. Regardless, the Angels lost, which they typically will when scoring only two runs.

Today, the Angels only one because their 3 double plays were less of a crime than 4 Cleveland errors. John Lackey was having zero success with his big curve, so naturally he just kept throwing it and got smacked around for 3 runs, both from homers. Meanwhile, my favorite buddy Oliver came in and loaded the bases before getting any outs, and was saved from 2 ER by a fantastic Aybar diving catch into short left, one that I can guarantee will make top 10 plays of the week. This, of course, assumes ESPN gives a shit about the Halos, so your mileage may vary.

Shields and Frankie pitched scoreless innings, with Frankie tying his Angels record for season saves with 47. Both pitchers owe me a new pair of underwear after leaking baserunners, Frankie in particular nearly surrendering a game-tying double to Ryan Garko, the same batter who hit a 2 run homer off Lackey earlier.

The contact play is the dumbest play Scioscia runs ona regular basis. With 1 out, Aybar grounds a ball to the second baseman. Napoli, standing at third after a leadoff double and a
Figgins groundout, takes off for home where, about 10 minutes before he arrives, Cleveland catcher Kelly Shoppach has received the ball and is waiting to tag him out. Stop running the contact play with slow runners, Sosh.

Either way, Angels win and hope to continue their lossless series streak vs. AL teams with Saunders facing off against Jeremy Sowers. The Halos love ending streaks, both good and bad, for pitchers, and Sowers has been crappy lately, so we'll see how it goes.

Oh yeah. SIGN MARK TEIXEIRA. The guy is the ONLY player on the team with a plan at the plate.

No comments: