Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Rome

Rick Ankiel continues to impress. Not as a ballplayer, because he's been awful, but as a story. Not only is he in many important ways just like a dinosaur, he appears to be just a heck of a nice guy.
During his first trip back to St. Louis as an opposing player, Ankiel thanked Cardinals fans with an advertisement in the city’s main newspaper.

“Many Thanks to Cardinals’ fans and the City of St. Louis for your support and cheers over the years,” the ad read, with a picture of Ankiel smiling. “It was a privilege and an honor.”
So that's nice, and he even played pretty OK during that series, so we shouldn't mistake his kindness for weakness.

Did you notice how all during the Brewers series Santangelo was whining about all the shifts? The complaints just kind of zipped into one side of my head only to escape from the other side without sticking to anything, but they did increase awareness of all those shifts. Turns out the Brewers are trying something pretty interesting.
The Brewers use spray charts to set their defense, and in many cases, that means defensive shifts that put infielders in odd places. It's common for most teams to position three infielders on the right side to play defense against power-hitting lefties such as David Ortiz, Adam Dunn or Jim Thome.
But thanks to information in spray charts that indicate where a batter is likely to hit a ground ball, the Brewers are taking infield shifts to a different level, sometimes to the extreme. For example, the Brewers' infield shifted against the Nationals' right-handed batters Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, rookie catcher Wilson Ramos and Rick Ankiel, a lefty.
I'll be interested to see if this winds up helping. As the data available to teams become more detailed, we could see some seriously crazy stuff. Only two of the dudes out there are restricted in where they have to be on defense. A maniacally charismatic manager could maybe find seven strong men without well-developed regards for their own safety and have them stand right in front of the plate. I'd think about that for the major league minimum.

Important news in the field of blogging equipment: Costco is apparently selling giant jugs of good-quality bourbon for basically nothing. Now, I live in a police state (as far as liquor blogging paraphernalia goes) bordering another police state. BUT! Say I put up an add on this thing and clicked on it from as many computers as I could get to. Could I write off gas for a road trip to Delaware on my taxes? Something to think about.

1 comment:

WFY said...

Kirkland Bourbon has been a long-time coming. Sadly, I won't be able to compare it to Col. Kwik-E-Mart's Real Kentucky Bourbon. Remember four years ago when Kwik-E-Mart set up shop in Bladensburg? It was great except for the fact I couldn't find Col. Kwik-E-Mart's Real Kentucky Bourbon. Or Duff beer. Stupid nanny state! What were they thinking putting Kwik-E-Mart in Maryland, especially PG, anyway?