Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Baseball: Re-Visiting Pronation

I wroted about Pro-Nation the other month or so.

This one: Supination Versus Pronation (Sept 3. 2015)

I wrote that mainly based on things I've read Mike Marshall write about as well as some other things. Mike Marshall has a free online book on his website where he writes about himself being his own test subject in the field of kinesiology over his baseball career.

My rule with strange unconventional data on the internet is ... first figure out if this person is saying whacky things in order to make money and if that's the case then be skeptical ... in this case his book on his website is totally free and incredibly interesting ... he wants people to read it and he doesn't want any money for this information. He just really wants people to know about Pronation, that's all.

Mike Marshall's free online book: http://www.drmikemarshall.com/FreeCoachingBaseballPitchersBook.html

When you read free data on the internet by interesting fellows, you may come away from it with a case of "View Point Shock" as Ivan Stang refers to the condition in his book "High Weirdness by Mail."

With Mike Marshall's Pronation book I think I did walk away with a bit of View Point Shock and the whole concept of pronation may have taken on some sort of ancient guru-like mythical proportions to it.

Like a hippie who learns about the Cosmos ... and walks away from it all like "whoaaa man, it's like, whooaaa man" ... I think I walked away from Marshall's book all like "whhooooa man, like Pronation, man! Like Whoaaa."

I still think it's a great book though. Don't get me wrong. There's just one thing I want to alter in that article I wrote. There was one factor that I totally didn't think of before making one of the thesis in it. I claimed that Japanese pitchers in the Nippon League's use of pronation style pitches more frequently (i.e. the Shuuto) was a factor in why Japanese pitchers required less surgery and were healthier during their careers.

There is a more obvious factor though that I failed to consider (as such).


Other Factor in Why Japanese Pitchers are Injured Less Often than the Ones in MLB

The screwball is still a great pitch and is proven by Marshall that the myth that it "destroys arms" is unfounded. He has adequately proven Supination does far more damage to arms than pitches that require Pronation to achieve their breaks. He has indeed proven that the screwball is no more dangerous than any other pitch.

It is no more dangerous ... but is it safer than other breaking balls? Possibly, yes. Yet, the claim that I made that it was highly probable that Japanese League Pitchers are not injured with the same frequency as MLB pitchers due to their use of more pronation break pitches, may not be fully correct. There's a great big factor that was not considered on my part.

The factor that was not considered was that Nippon League pitchers have a lot more rest time than Major League Pitchers. The Japan league over there starts in mid March and ends in early October, a bit longer than the MLB calendar. BUT, They only play 146 games as opposed to 162 games.

So, they take the same amount of time to finish one season but they play 16 less games. I was looking at the Yomiuri Giants schedule for 2016 and there's large chunks in some months where they have 5-7 days off in a row. You wouldn't find that in an MLB team's schedule.

Example month: http://www.giants.jp/en/schedule/201606.html

Having 7-10 days off per month is not uncommon at all in that league. It may be that Japanese pitchers lose less games to injury and require less surgery than MLB pitchers because they have way more time to rest their arms. It may just be as simple a cause as that ... and may not have to with Japanese pitchers use of pronation breaking pitchers.

Major League Baseball is looking lately at trimming the schedule but they are looking into that not to save pitchers arms but to have the season finish earlier (to avoid conflicting schedules with other pro sports teams and to avoid winter weather during the playoffs). So even if they end up cutting the schedule down it will not translate into more rest days per month for pitchers.

It might save them a lot of arm injuries if they trim the schedule down from 162 games but still run it from April to October.

Conclusion

Alright so Yes pronation is still cool and, No the screwball is not more dangerous than other pitches. It is not an "arm killer" or "arm destroyer" in the least.

But, the case of Nippon League pitchers not getting injured as often as MLB pitchers may have more to do with how many off days they get per month to rest their arms and maybe is not because Japanese pitchers throw more pronation breaking balls than MLB pitchers do.

I know in the Winter Meetings MLB was looking to trim the schedule down from 162 games ... but their reasons were not for arm health and won't give the player more off days but would make the season finish in September instead of October. This move would not reduce any arm injuries therefore.

It would be an experiment to see if they do trim the schedule but still do the league from April to October ... give a few more off days per month ... and see if injuries and surgeries come down for pitchers' arms. I don't know how viable that is though ... but it may indeed reduce pitchers injuries greatly.

Friday, February 19, 2016

RIP Tony Phillips: Was He the Most Under Rated Player of All Time?

Baseball Star Tony Phillips died of a heart attack today at the age of 56, may he rest in peace.

I just want to write a short article about him because, as a fan of baseball stats, I consider him a guy who probably has a legit chance of being the Most Under Rated Player of All Time.

Let's look at as his career stats first.

Position(s): SS, 3B, 2B, OF ... very versatile. 

Plate Appearances: 9110
Runs: 1300
Hits: 2023
Doubles: 360
Triples: 50
Homers: 160
Runs Batted In: 819
Base on Balls: 1319
Steals/Attempts: 177/291 (60.8% success rate)

Avg.: .266
OBP
: .374
SLG: ..389
OPS: .763

Awards and Accolades: None What-So-Ever

That's a pretty decent career that he had and I almost find it shocking that he was never elected to even one All Star Game or ever won any sort of award of any kind.

I'm not saying he's a Hall of Fame caliber player but he only got 1 vote in total when his name came up and did not warrant a discussion of his candidacy.


How Come No One Remembers Tony Phillips as the Star that He Was?

I think I have the reason why and it is something that comes up when I write those "Tim Raines for Hall of Fame" articles every year.

Back in the days that Phillips played in the 80s and 90s when you watched baseball on TV the station would put a stat line overlayed on the screen for every hitter during their first at bat (and then what he did that day for the rest of his at bats). This stat lines would always be in bright yellow font for the categories and white font for the numbers and the categories were always without fail...

1. AVG
2. HR
3. RBI

Those are the metrics that everyone was told to take as what was important for a player to do in order to be considered a good player. Despite being a star player, Tony Phillips DID NOT excel in those three categories and therefore no one who watched baseball ever thought he was as good as he was. He'd come up to the plate and they'd see ... let's take his last at bat of 1996 when he played Left Field for the Chicago White Sox as an example.... People watching WGN baseball with Hawk and Wimpy back in '96 would have seen Tony Phillips walk to the plate and this stat line would appear on the screen as he took his practice swings in the box....

1. Avg: .277
2. HR: 12
3. RBI: 63

Fans at home would look at that back in '96 and say things like...

".277 ? Heck, that's not that great. He's not that good. He can't hit that well."

"Only 12 homers? That's not that much. He's not a good power hitter."

"Only 63 Runs Batted In? That sucks. This player sucks."

...and those fans would have been correct. BUT, that's not what made Tony Phillips a star player. That stat line does not tell you that Tony Phillips walked a league leading 125 times that season! A hundred and twenty five times! If you're new to baseball stats what does that means? It means 125 times during 1996 Phillips reached base without making an out ... yet those 125 instances are in no way reflected in that archaic stat line of AVG/HR/RBI.

Phillips had a .404 OBP in 1996 and was hitting ahead of the South Side Sluggers ... Mr. Big Hurt Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura. His walks and decent speed helped him score 119 runs that year. When you're hitting ahead of Frank Thomas ... a walk is a pretty big deal. If Hurt homers or doubles next at bat ... you score a run.

This was the case for Tony's entire career.... he played for six different teams over his 18 year career and managed to score 1,300 runs. That's quite a lot of runs. He had above average speed (career high 19 stolen bases in 1990 for the Tigers) and was frequently on the bases. He ranks 126th all time in Runs Scored ... only 125 players have scored more runs than him in all of history.

On top of it all, he was a switch hitter who could play well in almost every single position (except catcher and pitcher) making him an asset on any team and could almost fit any role they needed him to fit.

It's not a stretch to consider Tony Phillips as the most under rated baseball player of all time, it really isn't. No one remembers him as being a great ball player but he definitely was.


Conclusion

Tony Phillips is probably the greatest baseball player who never got invited to an All Star Game.... at least from the era that I watched baseball in. I'm sure there's other candidates for that title but from all of the ones I can think of and that I'm familiar with ... I think Tony was one of if not the most under rated players of all time. He's not a Hall of Famer but he was definitely All Star Caliber ... though he was never considered as such in his playing days.

For those Montreal baseball fans that read these articles on this site, Tony has a small place in Expos history. He was drafted by Montreal but traded for Willie Montanez (who in 81 at bats with the Expos had a .460 OPS with Zero Home Runs). If anyone compiles a Worst Trade in Expos History List ... you have to include Phillips for Montanez near the top. It wasn't a great trade.

Rest in Peace Mr Tony Phillips.




 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Short Retraction: Of a Statement Made in Regards to James Douglas Muir Leno

This is a retraction piece in regards to statements made in this following article:


Stupidest Fake Wrestling / Talk Show Host Cross Overs (3/3/15): http://writtting-d.blogspot.ca/2015/03/stupidest-fake-wrestling-talk-show-host.html


Out of all individuals mentioned in that article, only two, were presented in a less than positive light. Everyone mentioned in that article was presented in a good light ... except for two people ... one was Brother Love and the other was Jay Leno.

The following retraction of negative statements in this retraction does not apply to Brother Love ... he's still uninteresting and a lame wrestling personality ... but the negative statement about Jay Leno has to be amended or even removed.

I refrained from calling Jay a "retard" in that article because I personally believed that he was legitimately mentally handicapped and due my code-of-ethics I will never call a genuinely mentally handicapped person a "retard" because it's low-handed and it's not polite.

Now, look. I wasn't just being mean for the sake of being mean to Jay Leno. I have actual (or what I thought was) decent evidence that Jay Leno was a bit slow ... but ... before we get into that ... for the record I should also state at this juncture that in all the Three Big Media Feuds that Jay Leno has been involved in over the years I've historically never sided with him.

These matters were:

1. One David Letterman versus One Jay Leno
2. One Howard Stern versus One Jay Leno
3. One Conan O'Brien versus One Jay Leno

In all three of these historic media feuds I was staunchly in the anti-Jay camp and supported his opponents in each matter as such. Now, does this mean I am simply biased towards Jay Leno? No, it doesn't. The reason I have never publicly supported Jay Leno is due to very specific reasons and has nothing to do with any sort of negative bias I may hold against Jay Leno.

In the case of Letterman versus Leno ... Jay hid under a desk during a meeting between individuals regarding matters which did not concern him and thus engaged in extremely under-handed tactics to secure his position as replacement for One Johnny Carson.

Leno and Rondstadt lure Robin into Pincer Attack
In the case of Stern versus Leno ... Jay offered an olive branch to the Stern camp by inviting One Robin Quivers onto his show as a sign of goodwill and friendship in order to smooth out relations between both camps. YET ... Jay then used this feigned trust offering as means to ambush Ms. Robin Quivers in a pincer attack in which himself and One Linda Ronstadt proceeded to verbally abuse her. Again, the methods used in this feud by Leno were underhanded and showed much cowardice.

In the case of Conan versus Leno ... Jay agreed in paper to retire at a certain point and Conan signed an agreement saying he would be the replacement when Leno retired. On the eve of the retirement and take-over ... Leno somehow negotiated a counter-deal in which he would move his show to air before Conan's yet Conan would still technically get the 11:30 Tonight Show space. Leno's new earlier show thus pushed the drama lead-ins to an earlier time slot (Law and Order et. al) ... thus ... the drama lead-ins were still Leno's ... and Conan's lead in was an aging and boring Jay Leno. Thus, Leno's retirement became more of a strategic shift that ultimately destroyed both shows ... much to Leno's delight. It was some sort of underhanded Japanese Kamikaze suicide attack used by Leno ... and it can only be described as being vindictive and underhanded.

So, yes, even though I've never sided with him in any Media Feud regarding Leno, it IS NOT because I have a bias towards the fellow. My opinions on those matters are based on what I perceive to be under-handed and cowardly tactics employed by Leno over the years.

Now, with that out of the way let's get to the main question of this article....


Jay Leno is NOT Mentally Handicapped

Again, I honestly believed that was true and he was "slow"... I didn't just say that to be mean. Why did I previously believe that Mr. Leno was possibly slightly mentally handicapped? This is why....

First of all, he inherited the Tonight Show, and we need a little history on that first. The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson took a hard line when it came to charlatons, brigands, and snake oil salesman. Carson would routinely lure unsuspecting bozo-clowns such as Uri Geller into unbreakable traps designed by One James Randi to expose these con men for the world to see....

Observe:

Uri exposed in Johnny and Randi's Deadly Trap!

Uri Geller is put into a situation where his scammy ass shitck won't fly. Unlike the trap Leno set up to stab Robin Quivers in the back ... this isn't a cowardly trap ... this is a service to humanity and Carson and James Randi should be commended for their valiant efforts and stratagems.

That was the Tonight Show's stance in regards to charlatans and scam artists... but fast forward to the Leno Era of the Tonight Show and that main tenet of the program was removed like it never happened. Spoon benders and any other "psychic" bozo-clowns were on Leno's version of the Tonight Show doing the dumbest crap without any questions asked of them ... and that's fine ... I guess ... but the Tonight Show under Carson flew with a skeptic banner for its entire history until Leno just didn't feel like carrying on that tradition.

Jay Leno went a completely "go along with the bit" route with every spoon bender and person like that who ever appeared on his show. Now did Leno go along with these bits for fun or did he really actually believe that people can bend spoons with their "minds"? I never thought he did believe this shit but ... then one time ... I heard him tell a very silly story that led me to believe that he is a very gullible and a genuinely odd fellow.

Sometime in the late 1990s ... Jay Leno told a story once to a guest on the Tonight Show, in which he claims to have ordered a package from an ad on the back of a comic book as a kid, and they sent him the wrong package. When he opened the package ... he claims a "small man" in a "suit" jumped out of the box ... looked at him .... freaked out ... and proceeded to run out of his home ... never to be seen or heard from ever again.

Now, he goes on to insist that this really did happen, that it's not a joke, or a ruse. He honestly believed this happened.

Okay, this was the exact moment that I became convinced that Jay was slightly mentally handicapped. I can believe a guy who tells a story like this could really be dumb enough to believe that a guy can bend spoons with his mind and other gullible ass shit.

He said a "Small Man" (which using his hands he claims to have been maybe 1 foot tall or less) ... totally 100% alive and not a toy ... was sent to his house through the mail ... and then once freed from the box ... this 1 foot tall "small man" freaked out and ran outside never to be seen from again.

Yeah........... Okay, there....... Leno. Yeah right.

You're a moron. Or are you?


Interesting Information Comes to Light

When I heard Jay make that claim ... and defend it like it really happened ... I honestly thought the guy was fucking crazy. The first thing I thought of when he described it as a small man was that bit on Sesame Street. I was picturing that darned Teeny Little Super Guy running out of Jay Leno's childhood home when I heard him refer to it as a "small man."

I thought it was the Teeny Little Super Guy or some shit...


Obviously this never happened, right? Yet new evidence which may exonerate Jay in this matter has come to the forefront....

I was listening on Monday of February the 8th to the wonderful and delightful radio program called "The Gilbert Gottfried Amazing Colossal Podcast" hosted by One Gilbert Gottfried and side-windered by One Frank Santopadre. They had on a guest, One Joe Dante, brilliant director of great films such as Gremlins 1 and Gremlins 2 (great movies, great movies) and founder of the website "Trailers from Hell." 

Gilbert, Frank, and Joe were discussing old movies and campy sixties and seventies culture and Gilbert brought up the topic that in the back of comic books in that era there was an ad to literally purchase MONKEYS via mail order. Joe Dante thought Gilbert was talking about the gimmicky specks known as "sea monkeys" BUT NO.... Gilbert said there were ads to buy real live monkeys via the mail. I looked into this and...

....YES! Fools were selling live small "squirrel monkeys" via the mail in that era! What the fuck!? First of all ... that's inhumane and disgusting. Gilbert said that most of the monkeys came dead on arrival to the home or on the verge of death as they were unable to survive whatever these cruel assholes packaged the poor creatures in.

The ads were the following:

Whaaaaaat?


No! Stupid! You don't send Monkeys through the MAIL! 


They put clothes on it!? It's looks like a "Small Man" !


No! What is wrong with people!? Don't send monkeys through the mail system!


So, as it would seem ... the backs of comic books in the era in which One James Douglas Muir Leno was a child ... were INDEED selling what could be described as "small men" through the mail ... which is obviously animal cruelty and very stupid and wrong ... but ... it 100% occurred.

Describing it as a "Little Man" really threw me off. I thought, like Joe Dante thought Gilbert was talking about, that Leno sent away for those stupid little bacteria specks known as "Sea Monkeys" and when Leno claimed he received a "small man" in the mail I thought he was full of shit ...

.... but it turns out he wasn't. Wow. His description of a Small Man coming out of a package actually makes sense after this new evidence has been brought to light.


Final Retraction and Conclusion

Since this dumb blog has morphed into basically a "Compendium of My Dumb Opinions on Things" as opposed to "Writings on Subjects" ... I must retract the statement I made a while back that Jay Leno is retarded.

Jay Leno is an under-handed fellow in regards to Media Feuds he engages himself  in ... yet ... with new evidence supporting his claims that he was sent a "Small Man" via mail order to his abode ... I officially and with great remorse retract my statements in regards to Jay Leno being a big retard because it turns out he actually isn't.

Some time this month I'm gonna write about the current Late Night Wars between Colbert and Fallon ... and I will let you know ... I honestly believe that it is in the utmost and urgent importance that Colbert surpass Fallon in the ratings. Jimmy Fallon hosting a Day-Time talk show (which is lamer than the one Ellen Degeneres does) in the 11:30 Tonight Show slot is an affront to the history of Late Night television. Stephen Colbert must win this modern Late Night War ... it's not even a joke ... it's not even funny anymore. 

Fallon is one of the most affronterous fellows I've ever seen on Tee Vee. A brazen fellow if I've ever seen one. What is his end-game? Who knows but what this man is up to is simply not correct. Simply not correct.

With this revelation that Leno is slightly less bad than previously thought ... Fallon has fallen to the bottom rung of historic hosts of the Tonight Show.  


Official Historic Tonight Show hosts Power Ranking:

1. Carson
2. Allen
3. Conan *
4. Parr
5. Leno
6. Fallon

*Conan didn't get enough time to shine in the slot, only 1.5 years, due to the underhanded kamikaze-style actions of Leno which dropped him down in the rankings.