Sunday, December 18, 2005

More Planarity

Semi-mindless fun with Planarity this evening. Made it through Level 15 without skipping any levels and piled up 5,641 points.

The last couple levels have taken about 15 minutes each. I think I better stop before my addiction goes to far...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Milton Bradley an Athletic - MLB- Dodgers trade Bradley to A's

"The Dodgers have traded outfielder Milton Bradley to the A's for one of Oakland's top minor-league prospects..."

My questions about the deal: (1) How much will the A's pay Bradley? (2) Is there any cash in the deal? (3) Who did the A's give up? (4) Does Milton have his head screwed on straigh?

Sounds like Kotsay in CF, Bradley in RF, Payton in LF, Johnson/Swisher at first and Kielty/Swisher/Johnson at DH... Or some such combination. Looking at that mix, I'm not sure how Frank Thomas fits in to the mix. It would definitely be nice to have a right-handed slugger (can we even call Frank a slugger anymore?), but we've already got so many OF/1B/DH types that are somewhat versatile. We'd have a hard time finding playing time for everyone with the Big Hurt stuck at DH. That depth is nice, but I suppose I'd like to see someone spun off for more pitching depth -- assuming Thomas is still in play.

(And yes, I realize you need a lot of positional depth if you're planning on Frank Thomas being a part of your team.)

UPDATE: A's give up Andre Ethier. I'm starting to feel optimistic about the deal. So is Blez: "I like getting Bradley. But I still think The Big Hurt's power would also be a welcome addition. And then with the rotation and Bradley and Thomas in the mix, look out American League."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Retrosheet for Football? is a great resource for historical baseball knowledge. Why isn't there something like that for the NFL?

Our VP of Technology here at (my favorite employment resource for executive jobs) and I are trying to figure out the record for the most field goals in a game (by both teams) without a touchdown. And there just isn't a resource out there that can help us. If you know the answer to the question *or* you're working on retrosheet for the NFL, email me: andrew at theladders

There's gotta be someone at Elias that can answer this question - throw us a bone here.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Too Much Hype About The Bears?

I listen to sports radio (Mike & Mike) as I get ready for work in the morning. I read the Sports Guy whenever he writes something. And I feel like there's a lot of talk about the Bears defense - how this year’s Bears are the new "Monsters of the Midway" and how the team is just like the 1985 team. I don't get it. Didn't everyone say that about the 2001 Bears? Check out the history of the Chicago Bears. And take a look at these defensive numbers:

1985 Bears
198 Points allowed
43% fewer than average
25% fewer than next-best

1986 Bears
187 Points allowed
43% fewer than average
21% fewer than next-best

1988 Bears
215 Points allowed
34% fewer than average
8% fewer than next-best

2001 Bears
203 Points allowed
37% fewer than average
2% fewer than next-best

2005 Bears (pace through 12 games)
170 Points allowed
49% fewer than average
22% fewer than next-best

So, I guess some of these defensive comparisons are justified. This defense has a chance to be something special - allowing only 170 points would be spectacular. But the Bears have had good defense a couple times since 1985 - let’s stop saying that this is the best Bear’s defense since 1985 until they finish the year.

And don’t forget – those ’85 Bears were also 2nd in the league in scoring offense.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Game Theory and Splitting Cab Fares - The Numbers Guy

"Three economists get into a cab. They're each getting off at different places along the route. How should they split the bill?"

I find this kind of thing way too interesting... And brings to mind a question I've had for a while about minizing walking in the NYC subway system: If you enter a station at the end of the platform and are travelling to an unfamiliar destination where the exit could be at either end of the platform or in the middle of the platform, where should you wait for your train so as to minimize the distnace you'll have to walk?

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Scott Barker, Local Celebrity

The White Rhino Report - Acknowledging Good Customer Service – The Ladders and Scott Barker

I just wanted to offer my view on the effectiveness of The Ladders. I tried an experiment over the course of the last month. I posted a job for a Sales Executive in the Software/Market Research space - and I did parallel postings on The Ladders and on Career Builder. The difference in response was dramatic - higher yield and more qualified candidates from The Ladders than from Career Builder.

In addition, I have had numerous conversations with Scott Barker, who is the consummate professional and representative and is a delight to work with. I will be using them much more extensively in the future.