Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Fantastic Chavez

Over at Catfish Stew, Ken Arneson is feeling pious: Praise Be for Eric Chavez, Deity of Fielding

Eric Chavez... is simply having the most astounding season of fielding I have ever had the pleasure to witness. Great fielding seasons don't get the kind of attention that having a bunch of walkoff hits like David Ortiz gets, but after last night's game, it's obvious to me the Chavez is having a season for the history books. This is defense of Ozzie Smith-Brooks Robinson-Bill Mazeroski's ilk, the kind of defense that deserves to be remembered for generations.


The latest jaw-dropper took place last night. With one out, runners on second and third, and Texas one run down, Chavez took a chopper near the bag, and quickly tagged out Mark DeRosa trying to return to third base. Now, I can't ever remember seeing a 5-unassisted at third base like that before, but Chavez didn't stop there. After tagging out DeRosa, he jumped over him into foul territory, planted his feet, and fired across the diamond to throw out the batter, Ian Kinsler. Double play, inning over.

I'd have to agree. He's been amazing at third base, but he's still not so hot at the plate. Here's another look at his OPS, this time by month:

Apr: 1.083
May: .770
Jun: .609
Jul: .614
Aug: .451 (to date)

The team is playing well, the defense is fantastic and the pitching has been good. But the A's need some offense from Chavez.

He only has two multi-hit games since June 16 and 5 RBIs over that same strech. We just need more.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Too Many Non-Readers

Marc's "Advice for Authors" post pointed me to Seth Godin's "Advice for Authors", which in turn pointed me to the following stats from Para Publishing:

<> 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.

<> 42% of college graduates never read another book.

<> 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.

I find that terrifying. I have a wishlist on Amazon with over $1,000 worth of books I want to read. I have no storage in my Manhattan apartment, in part because every nook and cranny is filled with books, books, books. I spend my commute on the subway reading books. I'm going on vacation later this month, and I'm excited to have more time to read books.

Who are these people that don't read? What's wrong with them? (And are they asking the same thing about me?)