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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Hold Steady: FREE Friday night @ The Slowdown.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heavy Soul is Dead

Friday, September 18, 2009

Greinke's Case

I real good feeling that the Cy Young is not going to go to Greinke. I also know that it is a little late in the season for a Royals fan to be caring about baseball. I did find this article and it just speaks to how bad the Royals Bullpen and Offence has been this Year.

By the way Greinke being overlooked for a Cy Young this year is much worse the when that D-Bag Eric Chavez in Oakland beat Randa out of the Gold Glove in 2004.


1. He doesn't have enough wins.

Obviously, the Royals have the worst record in the American League, and Greinke personally possesses the worst individual run support in the AL as calculated by total runs scored in all starts. The bullpen has blown four games in which he's left the game in line for the win. The Yankees bullpen has not blown ANY of CC Sabathia's wins. Absolutely no one in the AL, pitcher or hitter, gives his team a better objective chance to win as monitored by WPA.

WPA (win percentage added):

Greinke 5.30, Verlander 4.25, Hernandez 3.53, Sabathia 2.52, Halladay 1.73

WPA's a little nebulous to me, so here's a breakdown by start of how well each starter kept his team in the game by starts (5+ runs = bad, 0-2 runs = good).

Starts allowing 5+ runs:

Greinke 3, Halladay 6, Verlander 7. Hernandez 7, Sabathia 8

Starts allowing 0-2 runs:

Greinke 21, Hernandez 19, Verlander 15, Sabathia 15, Halladay 14

Wins lost due to blown saves:

Greinke 4, Hernandez 3, Verlander 2, Halladay 1, Sabathia 0

Run support/9 IP:

Greinke 4.71, Hernandez 5.73, Halladay 6.14, Verlander 6.21, Sabathia: 7.80

Being more than a full run behind the next guy in run support with more wins lost to blown saves than anyone is like having to run two extra miles in the marathon more than everyone else in the competition.

2. His W/L % isn't very good.

In addition to receiving the worst run support in the AL, Greinke is also extremely unlucky. He has left eight games trailing, and the Royals were not able to take him off the hook in any of them. In contrast, Felix Hernandez, despite pitching for the team that has scored the least runs in the league, has left twelve games trailing and been taken off the hook on seven occasions, including two in which he got the win. Zack's also the only pitcher in the majors who has more than one outing where he gave up one run in seven or more innings and lost. On top of all that in his 30th start, he received a lead in the first inning for the first time all year.

Leads in the first inning:

Greinke 1, Hernandez 4, Sabathia 5, Verlander 5, Halladay 6

Baseball Prospectus's LUCK index measures the difference between expected W-L (calculated from pitcher performance) to actual W-L record:

Zack Greinke LUCK: -4.08, Team W-L: 59-87

Roy Halladay LUCK: 0.43, Team W-L: 66-80

Felix Hernandez LUCK: 2.99, Team W-L: 76-71

Justin Verlander LUCK: 3.25, Team W-L: 78-68

CC Sabathia LUCK: 6.07, Team W-L: 94-53

Hey, isn't it funny that luck correlates directly to team performance?

No decision breakdowns by games left ahead (A), tied (T), or behind (B):

Greinke: 3 A, 5 T, 0 B, ERA: 1.95

Hernandez: 2 A, 3 T, 5 B, ERA: 2.15

Verlander: 2 A, 2 T, 3 B, ERA: 4.63

Halladay: 1 A, 3T, 1 B, ERA: 2.73

Sabathia: 0 A, 4 T, 3 B, ERA: 3.71

All those other guys have bailed out by their teams when they've left the game behind, and they all have fewer games blown by the bullpen. Greinke has no such luxuries

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Woodhead Waived By Jets; Picked Up By Mystery Team?

Long time, no posty. Hi friends.

So Danny Woohead had quite the past few days. Rushes for the most yards in an NFL preseason game since the 90's, plus adds a couple of touchdowns. Makes final Jets roster. Less than 24 hours later, is waived by the Jets.


Or is it?

According to Pro Football Talk:

The Jets became one of the last teams to announce their practice squad, and the list is notable for a name not on it: preseason cinderella running back Danny Woodhead, who made the team Saturday, only to get waived Sunday.

This is likely good news for Woodhead and bad news for Jets fans that took a shining to the kid, because Woodhead has probably been claimed on waivers elsewhere.

The question is, of course, who is this mystery team? My only hope is that it is a team that plays the Jets, only in that Bill Callahan can be reminded YET AGAIN that he screwed up passing on this kid at Nebraska.

(Er, that's not my only hope. My *main* only hope is that he is picked up by the Bears. After that, though, the above paragraph remains true.)

Good luck with your new team, Danny. And regardless how it turns out, you've always made us Platters proud.

(P.S.: The "quote box" function on Blogger sucks my butt.)

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Geekiness is Getting in the Way of my Nerdiness

District 9 is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. The style (half historical documentary/ half normal film) really draws you into the movie. It's also one of those rare movies where you actually find yourself rooting for what you initially thought was an unlikable character. Definitely worth seeing in the theatre. Just thought I would try to up the posting to a twice monthly thing.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Gee it has only been a month...

since the last time someone posted on here! I don't really have anything except the Rick Pitino scandal is awesome.

1. Paying for an abortion after a one night stand. Classy.

2. Louisville sticking by his side. Classier

3. Possibility that her now husband might have been paid off to marry her. Classiest

God bless America

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Congratulations, GA!

GA Hill and his better half welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world last night while most of us were watching SportsCenter.

Congratulations from the Heavy Soul Crew.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big XII Preview, a la Heavy Soul

Like Michael Jackson deprived of Diprivan, ol' Heavy Soul is hurtin' for posts. Fear not, King of Blogs fans, MIB is here with your fix.

Big XII North

1. Nebraska Cornhuskers. With a more physically talented, albeit less experienced, quarterback at the helm in addition to the most legitimate rushing attack the school has seen since a Heisman winner named Crouch donned the Scarlet and Cream, NU looks to be the favorite in the North Division. NU looks to have an improved defense in the second year of the new scheme.

2. Kansas Jayhawks. KU returns the Division's best QB in diminutive Todd Reesing as well as their top 5 rushers and top 4 receivers. One of those receivers is Dezmon Briscoe who with a similar season to 2008 will land himself multiple post-season accolades. However, offense was never the problem under Mark Man-i'll-eat-anything-including-your-child-if-you-don't-mind-gino, it was a defense that gave up about 450 ypg. And they lose their LB crew from that mediocre defense. To boot, the Jayhawks face Oklahoma, Texas, and Tech from the South Division. A bit rough.

3. Missouri Tigers. MU loses everyone that mattered to their recent success including key members of their coaching staff. They have the conferences fewest returning starters and fewest returning letterman. And Gary Pinkel couldn't coach Creighton's football team. Their best recruit, DT Sheldon Richardson failed to qualify academically. Missouri probably shouldn't even field a team this year. They'll probably fold after the Nebraska, @Okie St., Texas stretch.

4. Colorado Buffaloes. Dan Hawkins is predicting 10 wins from a schedule that includes games at West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma St. They also draw Kansas and Nebraska at home. That's 5 pretty conservative choices for losses. And these days, unless you play in the NFC North and not the Big XII North, it's difficult to rack up both 10 wins and 5 losses. And they can't stop receivers from transferring.

5. Iowa State Cyclones. Call me crazy, but this Iowa State bunch might surprise a few foes. Sure, they've had 3 head coaches in 4 years. And I'll spot you the fact that Iowa State is in fact still located in Ames, Iowa and not Dallas, Texas. And yes, I realize they do not have a bye week during the regular season. They do return a veteran QB that threw for nearly 2800 yards while completing 62% of his passes. They do return both of their leading rushers and add former Florida RB Bo Williams to the mix. They do return 4 of their top 5 tacklers. They get Iowa, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Colorado at home. They WILL improve on a 2-10 record.

6. Kansas State Wildcats. So Bill Snyder has returned to Manhattan to resurrect the program he built up from nothing. They're gonna suck this year. He's 70. JoePa called him an old fart. Their defense won't be awful. Everything else will be.

South Division

1. Texas Longhorns. I think that Oklahoma is a more dangerous team, but am giving Texas the edge due to their schedule. By no means is their schedule filled with creampuffs, in fact I don't think Texas will be the beneficiary of any huge blowouts. They only lose one of their top 7 rushers and return their top 5 tacklers. Getting WR Jordan Shipley back for a seemingly 16th year of eligibility will help tremendously. Colt McCoy is the key and is my favorite to win the Heisman.

2. Oklahoma Sooners. I'm not so sure that we might not have a repeat to last year's South Division race. It could come down to a tiebreaker. They have a salty defense returning and serious star power coming back on offense. Games versus BYU and @Miami have the ability to be dicey early season tests. Probably not.

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys. A great QB, RB, WR, and LT have the Cowpokes primed to jump on any mistake the Longhorns or Sooners make. The opener against Georgia could make me look like an idiot.

4. Baylor Bears. Wha? For reals? Yep. They have the most returning starters in the Big XII. However, none of them are offensive tackles. Luckily, they have the most mobile QB in the nation. LB Joe Pawalek and S Jordan Lake are All Conference and Penn State transfer DT Phil Taylor is expected to be difficult to run around. They'll go bowling for the first time since joining the Conference.

5. Texas Tech Red Raiders. I think it's letdown time in Lubbock. Mike Leach just got a big deal and while coaches aren't exactly like free agents, it's one less thing to motivate the quirky coach. They lose their two best players on offense and just lost potential All Big XII DE McKinner Dixon to the NFL supplemental draft. They are on the bad side of the momentum battle right now. Last year, #2 TTU got their Red Asses handed to them by #5 OU. The next week they barely beat Baylor at home. After a month to get their shit together, they ran into the buzzsaw that was Ole Miss last January. They'll still go to a bowl, but I can honestly see up to 5 conference losses.

6. Texas A&M Aggies. Well, they shouldn't get worse. They do return 10 starters on offense, albeit a shitty one. They lose former fixtures in Mike Goodson, Jorvorskie Lane and Stephen McGee. Despite his name, true freshman Christine Michael is a MAN. Should win Conference Freshman of the Year.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

What in the World is Going On?

Just heard that Steve McNair was found shot to death in downtown Nashville earlier today. So adding that to Carradine, McMahon, Fawcett, Jackson, and Mays; that's six celebrities that have died in the last three weeks. My heart goes out to all of the families of the recently deceased. At the same time, this is almost too much in too short of a time. The news stations probably won't stop talking about celebrity deaths for the next 6 months.

While McMahon and Fawcett both fought valiantly against cancer and eventually succumbed, the rest of the list all died untimely deaths. Carradine died from something that I'll probably make fun of in future blog posts, but I'll leave it alone for now. We don't really know what happened to Michael Jackson, but pills seem likely to have a hand in his death. Billy Mays died from coronary artery disease at the age 50. And now McNair is found dead at the age of 36. The really crazy thing is that all of them are people I genuinely liked for one reason or another. Hopefully this is the last celebrity death for a while.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Jersey Boys

I discovered this little nugget over at the AVCLUB.

To all of our Jersey readers, I would suggest starting a band so this could happen to you someday!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Free Darko, You Have Company.

Holy crap, this is the coolest baseball site ever. It's called Flip Flop Fly Ball, and essentially, it is composed of totally nerdy baseball/humor graphs. Flipping awesome (get it?).

And just as a reminder, here is some of the artwork from Free Darko's unbelievable book The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac:

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New Wilco tomorrow!

I can't think of a better way to celebrate our nation's independence than with the sweet, sweet, all-american rockin' tunes of Wilco.

Be sure to visit your local independent record store as soon as you can to pick this one up.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

US Open

I honestly believe that Chris Berman is ruining the US Open

Thursday, June 18, 2009

NebraskaLand Days

Taking the family to The Official Celebration of Nebraska, highlighted by the state's largest parade.

I plan on showing them the sights. Leave a suggestion of your favorite NP site to see.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Reasons for optimism

It's been a good week of digesting preseason football magazines. And from what the pundits think, Nebraska will do just fine.

Dr. Phil Steele, the wizard behind the curtain, uncovered a statistic that has me thinking positively. His creation of ypp, or yards per point, is a measure of offensive and defensive efficiency. Basically, an offense wants to have a very low ypp and a defense wants to have a higher ypp. Last year Nebraska's D had a ypp of 12.26. Not great. According to the nubmers that Steele has crunched over the past 19 years, Nebraska has between a 72.6-72.9% chance of equalling or bettering their record from last year's mark of 9-4.

A second statistic that gets me excited is Nebraska's turnover margin. Last year, the Cornhuskers were a pitiful -11. According to Dr. Steele, since 1996, 80% of teams with a negative double-digit turnover ratio had the same or better record the following year. Using the power of deductive reasoning, one might infer Nebraska might improve on this mark.

Here are some other reasons to get excited about the 2009 version of the Blackshirts:

--Nebraska returns seven starters on defense, including the top four tacklers from last year's squad.

--Nebraska is 6-0 against current Sun Belt Conference teams with an average score of 47-9. Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, and UL-Lafayette are all current Sun Belt Conference teams.

--Nebraska is 33-2 in its last 35 conference openers and is 31-1 in its last 32 conference home openers.

--Last year's 62 points given up to Oklahoma is the most that Nebraska has ever given up to the Sooners. So at least that's out of the way. And the last visit to Lawrence saw Nebraska give up 76 points. That won't happen again.

Given that there is a strong to quite strong possibility that Nebraska will equal or improve its record from last year, let's take a look at this year's slate of games.

September 5 vs. Florida Atlantic. Win. NU hasn't lost a home opener in 24 years.
September 12 vs. Arkansas St. Win.
September 19 at Virginia Tech. Loss. There are some definite factors working against NU here. Blacksburg is a very tough place to play. VaTech is widely considered to be a Top 5-10 team this year with 9 returning starters on offense. VT has beaten the last 10 visiting non-conference BCS teams by an average of 20 points per game. The only redeeming factor is that the gametime has been recently announced as a 2:30 start time. Much better than playing there at night.
September 26 vs. UL-Lafayette. Win. NU has won the final non-conference game of the regular season 20 out of the last 22 years.
October 8 at Missouri. Win. Missouri loses four of the best players its program has ever seen. Nebraska wants blood and a lot of it. Nebraska will have an extra week and a half to prepare. Pelini wants to put up 52 on Mizzou. Nebraska fans still have a bad taste in their mouth from the Blaine Gabbert and Dan Hoch defections from the 2007 recruiting class. Nebraska wants to play well on a national stage after failing to do so in a long time. A win here will have pundits heralding the return of Nebraska to prominence on a national level.
October 17 vs. Texas Tech. Win. Nebraska will be hungry for this rematch, but not for redemption as in the Missouri case. A win last year versus Texas Tech would have done wonders for the confidence of the team. Nebraska is 0-17 against Top 19 teams since November of 2001. That could have changed, especially against the best Tech team in their program's history. Tech loses a ton of offensive personnel (lose 7 starters), but as we all know, it's their system that is the true danger. In a close game, Nebraska takes the momentum and extra time to rest up from the Missouri week to gain an edge.
October 24 vs. Iowa State. Win. NU is 37-3 in its last 40 Homecoming games.
October 31 at Baylor. Win. Although the last two meetings have been close and a victory over Nebraska would be a feather in the hat of the Baylor program, Baylor is still probably a year or two away from having the overall talent to beat a team like Nebraska. Baylor will also be limping in from a probable beating against Okie State.
November 7 vs. Oklahoma. Loss. NU would love some revenge against OU, but much like the case of Baylor/NU, Nebraska is a few recruiting classes away from really competing against the likes of Oklahoma.
November 14 at Kansas. Win.
November 21 vs. Kansas St. Win. Bill Snyder, meet Bo Pelini. Oh, you two know eachother?
November 27 at Colorado. Win. Colorado is not there yet.

So, 10-2 is in fact an improvement from 9-4. I think we go on to lose the Big XII championship and the bowl game is a toss-up at this point. So 10-4 or 11-3 is definitely an improvement.

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