Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Universe Wished Me a Happy Birthday

When I was much younger I let my birthday be known to co-workers. They made a huge deal out of it, embarrassingly me terribly, on TV. It was then that I decided it would be better to keep my birthday under wraps and avoid the unwanted attention in the form of people making stupid comments about my age.
But that means no cake. And because last year we bought a Fudgie the Whale cake at home and I ended up eating 19 of the 22 servings (as per the box), I decided I didn't want a cake this year.
As I left for work that morning I reminded Mrs. Poop that I was serious, a cake was not necessary.
Mrs. Poop was ok with that, the Universe wasn't. At work I have a birthday twin. She is not as bashful as I am. Her desk was decorated with about 20 mylar balloons, she was wearing a birthday tiara, and cutting a Fudgie the Whale cake.
So she got the attention she wanted.
And I got the ice cream cake I wanted.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Only Rule of Parenting

There are many different parenting methods and approaches that can lead to raising happy, healthy, successful, well-adjusted children. And there are many good parents who try hard and the kids still come out screwed up. There is no right way to do it, and even if there were, it wouldn't be a guarantee of success.
But I do have one ruling of parenting everyone must follow: love your kids more than you love yourself.
Put their needs ahead of your own.
That's it, that's the rule. Do that and you've got a good shot. Don't do that and you are pretty much Kim Kardashian and Kanye West naming your baby girl North because you think it's funny or because it will attract more tabloid attention.
I'm still holding out hope that this North West thing is a joke and they actually went with something more normal like Kaydeins. But for a girl who did a sex tape, got pregnant by a gay rapper and wore a tiny bikini while 8 months pregnant, nothing she does will surprise me.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

3000 Words

Free Bill Posters!

The Suns center-court logo is perfectly symmetrical so that it appears to be right-side up when viewed from either side of the court.

Say what you want about New Jersey but we do have some beautiful sunsets.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chemistry Lesson

Pardon the Interruption, PTI, is the best show on television. It's well-produced, they always pick the best topics of the day and discuss them in interesting ways. The format is great, the topics never get stale or boring. And they are not afraid to break format and talk about some ridiculous internet video, or a men's hairstyle. They talk about the same things you and your friends talk about it, in the same way.

Billy sent me this video, sort of an outtake as Mike and Tony were getting ready to do an interview with Brad Keselowski. It demonstrates the main reason PTI works, the amazing chemistry between Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser.

Song of the Week

"I Go To Extremes" - Billy Joel
"I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low, there ain't no in betweens"
Sound like someone you know?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who Should Go?

Zack Wheeler will make his first major league start today which will force one pitcher from the rotation. Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have their spots wrapped up, so it comes down to Shaun Marcum vs. Jeremy Hefner.
By traditional measures you would think Marcum should be demoted to the bullpen or the minors because of his 5.43 ERA, his 0-8 record and his poor performance in his last start against the Cubs, when he could have been said to be fighting to keep his spot.
Meanwhile Hefner while nearly as bad in won-loss record at 1-6, his ERA is 3.96, and he gave up only 1 earned run in each of his last three starts. So clearly Hefner deserves to stay right? Wrong!
Here's why: Marcum's WAR is 1.4 (and he missed at least 4 early season starts), while Hefner is only 0.2, barely above replacement level.
I know some of you distrust WAR, but there are some very good reasons WAR is telling us what it is. There are 2 main things a pitcher has total control over, strikeouts and walks.
Strikeouts per 9 innings:
Marcum 7.74
Hefner 6.72

Walks per 9 innings:
Marcum 1.81
Hefner 2.76

So Marcum strikes out an extra batter per 9, and walks one fewer. It's those pesky things he can't control that are hurting him.

BABIP (batting average on balls in play)
Marcum .329
Hefner .271

So the Mets defense is turning batted balls into outs at a much higher rate for Hefner than they are with Marcum, which causes this:

FIP (Fielding-Independent Pitching)
Marcum 3.06
Hefner 4.69

So basically, because Marcum strikes out more batters, walks fewer and has been victimized by bad defense, his ERA should be close to 3, not five and a half.

Eventually you would expect those things to normalize which means Marcum is more promising for the last three months than Hefner. Especially if you consider that Marcum had four horrible starts to being the season after his injury, and has improved since.

Also throw in the fact that Hefner would likely be a more effective reliever, and Marcum would be more likely trade bait, it's almost a no-brainer to keep Marcum in the rotation and to demote Hefner to the bullpen.