Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Analysis of the Analysis

Beaneball, which I've just discovered(!), wraps up the A's-blogosphere take on the Kendall trade. Jason rightly calls me out for not bothering "with silly things like payroll implications."

The best of the bunch is from Faust on Athletics Nation.


Photo Recognition Software Gives Location

Roberto Cipolla and Duncan Robertson have developed a program that can match a photograph of a building to a database of images. The database contains a three-dimensional representation of the real-life street, so the software can work out where the user is standing to within one metre.
This is an old article (4/04), but the idea is pretty crazy. If these scientist-folks can create a scalable solution that actually works, they'll have something I'd be willing to pay $0 for on a regular basis. Seriously, if it was free, wouldn't we all play with it for at least a day or two?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Those Crazy Yalies

Five thousand Harvard students can't all be wrong

Before the Harvard-Yale football game a band of daring Yale students, led by Mike Kai PC '05, donned red shirts labeled "Harvard Pep Squad" and placed thousands of sheets of red and white construction paper on the Harvard bleachers. Yale may have lost The Game, but every time Harvard scored a touchdown the entire Harvard student body proclaimed to the world their own suckiness...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Kendall Trade

Jason Kendall to the A's; Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes to the Pirates.
Damian Miller to the Brewers.

The A's are essentially replacing Damian Miller, Arthur Rhodes and Mark Redman with Jason Kendall, Huston Street and Joe Blanton.

Here's how this looks from a (2004) Win Shares perspective.

Miller: 15 WS / 4 WSAA (above average, given same playing time)
Rhodes: 1 / -2
Redman: 9 / -1

Kendall: 25 / 7

While we don't have any 2004 WS numbers for Blanton and Street, Kendall's 25 Win Shares equal the contribution of the three guys we're losing. And his 7 WSAA are MUCH better than the combined ONE WSAA from the Miller/Rhodes/Redman combination. From where I'm sitting, this looks like a great move for the A's, as any WS contribution from the two youngsters will put the A's ahead on the ol' Win Share scoreboard.

Concerning Lack of Clue

"We don't need a study, if I remember my biology correctly, to show us that those people who are sexually abstinent have a zero chance of becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease." -Wade Horn, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. (Bush Seeks Money for Abstinence Education)

The study in question here is whether or not abstinence education actually leads to abstinence. It's a wee bit disturbing to see the logical failure on Wade's part to make the connection.

Here's a much more reasonable argument from that same article:
"The only 100 percent way to avoid a car collision is not to drive, but the federal government sure does a lot of advocacy for safety belts." -James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Shame on you, Cuban

Mark Cuban on Donald Trump

How does it feel to know that in future years when the question is asked , "Which show was the anchor when NBC's Must See Thursday Night slipped from its perch for the first time in decades ?", the answer will be Trump's show ?
Bold words from the man that brought us the suckfest he called "The Benefactor." Here's an independent review from PittsburghLive.com:

"The Benefactor" makes "The Apprentice" resemble an episode of "Masterpiece Theater." Cuban's game, and television show, looks like a child created it. Money cannot buy maturity. Which is something these contestants lack. "The Apprentice" tests people on their business and people skills, and then rewards the winner with a lucrative job. "The Benefactor" asks people to play silly games, possibly humiliating themselves, and then hands them a million dollars. Why? Because Cuban can.
Cuban - pick the fights you can win, like "Hey Donald, who owns more sports teams?" or "Who's younger?"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Employment Humor

A little wry employment humor for the holidays... Non Sequitur

We're a Much Dumber Country Than I Thought

Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory

"Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence."

If you're in the two-thirds that don't "believe" in evolution - please, for the love of God, read this entry on Evolution. The key phrase in here: "the theory of evolution is widely accepted"

And don't miss the sections on Evidence. I find it all quite convincing...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Wealthy Beyond Belief

Yahoo! News - Bill Gates Gets 4 Million E-Mails a Day

"Literally there's a whole department almost that takes care of it."

A whole department, just watching his inbox? Yoiks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Site of the Day

The Sneeze - An Open Letter To My Hair

"Hey! How are you? Everything's good down here."

It's an old post on what seems to be a great site. I'd recommend extensive exploration from this first post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Those Zany Red Staters

Stone points us to this article: Hostettler mounting campaign to change the name of Interstate 69

"John Hostettler, the Congressman representing the 8th district of Indiana, has been convinced by local religious groups to introduce legislation in the House that would change the name of an Interstate 69 extension to a more moral sounding number."

Even more amusing than the "moral" legislation is the poll on the left-hand side of the page, asking "Should prostitution be legal in Indiana?"

As of this writing, over 92% of 2,584 are voting in favor of prostitution. If he wants to get re-elected, Hostetler might have to readjust his "morals", eh?

...Or more likely, the same teenagers that "snicker" at his I-69 button are getting a giggle out of the ol' prositution survey.

Friday, November 12, 2004

More on the 2006 Baseball World Cup

Craig Burley posts his thoughts on the World Cup over at The Hardball Times: World Cup 2006: A Look Ahead -- The Hardball Times

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Yee Haw!

ESPN.com - MLB - Report: Baseball World Cup set for 2006

"The first World Cup of baseball will be held in March 2006, Japanese baseball officials told the Japan Times, following meetings involving American, Japanese and Korean officials."

I hope this is true. I can't wait to see it.

You've gotta like the Dominican Republic:

Catcher - Miguel Olivo
First - David Ortiz, Albert Pujols
Second - Alfonso Soriano, Placido Polanco
Third - Adrian Beltre, Aramis Ramirez
Short - Miguel Tejada, Rafael Furcal
Outfield - Vladimir Guerero, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, Jose Guillen, Juan Encarnacion
Starting Pitchers - Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon, Jose Lima, Ramon Ortiz, Odalis Perez
Bullpen - Octavio Dotel, Guillermo Mota, Damaso Marte, Rafael Soriano, Solomon Torres, Jose Mesa

And the U.S.:

Catcher - Mike Piazza, Jason Varitek
First - Todd Helton, Jim Thome
Second - Bret Boone, Jeff Kent
Third - Eric Chavez, Scott Rolen
Short - Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter
Outfield - Barry Bonds, Jim Edmonds, Gary Sheffield, Adam Dunn, JD Drew
Starting Pitchers - Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Ben Sheets, Jason Schmidt, Curt Schilling
Bullpen - Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan, John Smoltz, Billy Wagner, Tom Gordon

Gold Glove - Eric Chavez

"Chavez took home the [Gold Glove] hardware for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the first AL third baseman to win as many as four in a row since Gary Gaetti won each year from 1986 through 1989."
-AL Gold Gloves

I'm pleasantly surprised to see Chavez win this award. He wasn't quite as good defensively this year as he has been in years past, and New York's own Alex Rodriguez, a former Gold Glove shortstop, played fairly well at the hot corner. I thought A-Rod had the GG all wrapped up, but Chavez's award is (again!) one of the few bright spots for the A's between September and March.

If you awarded Gold Gloves solely on Fielding Win Shares (courtesy of The Hardball Times), the AL GG's would look like this:

Catcher: Damian Miller (7.9 WS)
First Base: Mark Teixeira (2.8)
Second Base: Orlando Hudson (6.6)
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez (5.8)
Shortstop: Christian Guzman (9.6)
Outfield: Johnny Damon (7.1)
Outfield: Mark Kotsay (5.9)
Outfield: Torii Hunter (5.3)

The only player that the voters and Win Shares agree upon is Torii Hunter. Hmm.

UPDATE: With an extra two seconds of research, I could have just pointed you to this great analysis: American League Gold Glove Awards by Clay Davenport of Baseball Prospectus

Tuesday, November 2, 2004


Yahoo! News - Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 Retreat on Exit Poll

"That's what we're hearing," said Lisa Hansen, head trader at Transamerica Investment Management. "Apparently the blogs are saying that Kerry is ahead in one or two of the swing states and that's why the market dipped."

Advice from a Google Investor

It's the people, stupid. Shriram helped co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the Menlo Park garage by consulting his "Ram's Book of Mistakes,'' which he said he started eight or nine years ago to help remind him of all the bad decisions he'd made. Bad hiring decisions are the most fatal.

-MercuryNews.com | 10/30/2004 | Google guru shares words of wisdom


Non Sequitur

Lloyd Braun

Why would Yahoo! hire such a loser? He lost the election with Dinkins, he was a terrible computer salesman for Frank Costanza and then ABC cut him loose.


ELAINE: Lloyd Braun? How's he doing?
GEORGE: (almost gleeful) After Dinkins lost the election, he had a complete nervous breakdown. They had to lock him up.

-Seinfeld- The Gum

George: Well what about all the Lloyd Braun sales?
Frank: He's crazy. His phone wasn't even hooked up. He just liked ringing that bell.

-Seinfeld, Serenity Now

Lloyd Braun, ousted last year as the chairman of ABC Entertainment, will become head of entertainment and media content for Yahoo, the company announced yesterday.

-Yahoo Names Media Executive