Musings about, um... well, the Seattle Mariners as well as a love affair with this game baseball. By Peter J. White
Thursday, October 23, 2003
You think Jeff Weaver just earned his release? The Yankee Ghosts must not like him. And Roger Clemens probably doesn't either.
|| Peter @ 10/23/2003
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Knock, knock: Anybody home?
Two things in life I passionately despise: 1) Hunting for a new church. 2) Hunting for a new job.
Six months after moving to the DC area, I can cross #2 off the list.
For the first time in my life I can answer with pride the question, "So what do you do?" "I'm an editor," I can now say, with thumbs in my belt loops, chest puffed out. My first assignment last Monday was a 400-page Latin document from 1585, and I had to proofread all the Greek references. I wrapped that up, and was then given the Racovian Catechism to run the gamut of editorial tasks. Today I finished that and I'm now working on a 16th century text with Greek notes that look nothing like the Greek characters in my New Testament. These look like they're hand-written and resemble a 2-point curvise font (or "ligatures" in my new shop talk). As the kids say these days: "Dude, this rocks!" Seriously, I think I've died and gone to heaven.
And if anybody has a recommendation for a church in the DC/Northern Virginia area, I'd appreciate it.
The one caveat about the new job is rather than working from home, now I'm commuting three hours roundtrip by car, train and bus every day. I'm still trying to figure out a routine and, most relevantly, where blogging will fit. After sitting hunched over my computer in my home office eight hours a day for the past year, it's a wonder I ever wrote anything on this website. So that's where I've been. Well, that and the lack of interesting Mariner news lately. (GM rumor mill? Hitting coach replacements? Come on.) That and the daily baseball games I've been watching for the past three weeks solid. That and the two thrilling championship series last week and the emotional one-two punch in the stomach seeing Bartman's Blunder and Grady's Gaffe. That and the umpteenth gazillion advertisement for Fox's Romeo and Juliet knock-off Skin sapping every creative muse in my general vicinity. I still have yet to watch two consecutive innings of any World Series game.
Actual conversation with a new co-worker today:
Me: "So you read much baseball on the web?"
Me: "Are you familiar at all with blogs?"
Him: "Oh, yeah."
Me: "You ever hear of Mariners Musings?"
Him: "Umm, I know of the U.S.S. Mariner."
Me: "Well Musings is my site."
Him: "Cool, I didn't know you were a celebrity!"
Hmm. Humbling. Funny. Yeah, something like that.
Commuting Lesson #1: Always write your name and phone number on your train pass. Today I purchased a 10-ride ticket. Forty bucks. So I arrive at the Alexandria station. Wait 10-15 for the bus. I then realize I have left my train ticket (which I need for the free bus ride) on the train. No identifying info on it. Nothing. The guy at the ticket window tells me he doesn't want to get my hopes up but they're usually pretty good about finding lost tickets like that. He calls the station in DC, where apparently my train #308 is about to arrive. I leave my name and cell phone number. After work, I return around 5:30 and no word, so I shell out $40 for another pass and make a call to the Virginia Railway Express lost and found. I'm really, really hoping against hope they find my ticket. My budget isn't exactly fond of $40 one-way train rides.
Then, to put the whole train ticket fiasco in perspective, I arrived at work to discover the Associated Press reporting the death of Elliott Smith. Initial reports are suicide, which makes it a horribly sad and tragic thing. I have thoroughly enjoyed his songwriting since discovering his music about a year ago. My deep, heartfelt condelences to all those who called Elliott family and friend.
So any Mariner tidbits today? John Hickey offers three contenders for the open position of hitting coach: Dwayne Murphy, Chili Davis and Hal McRae.
Just for kicks, in his major league career, Dwayne Murphy posted a .356 OBP versus a league average of .320. He drew 105 walks as a 25-year-old with the 1980 Oakland A's. In fact, for his career, he took a free pass in 14% of his plate appearances. That's an above average ratio. If plate discipline is something to look for in a hitting coach, Murphy looks to be an admirable candidate. He's also a Bob Melvin cronie, which, I'd say, gives him the inside track.
Chili Davis had a slightly more impressive career. He put up a career OBP of .360 versus a league average of .332, and .380+ for six times between '91 and '97. He picked up a career high 95 base on balls for the World Champ Twins in '91, and over his career took a walk in 12% of his plate appearances. He's another decent plate discipline guy.
Hal McRae had a career OBP of .351 compared to a league average of .329, and walked in 8% of his plate appearances. But the very fact that he has "Tampa Bay Devil Rays Manager" on his resume disqualifies him in my world. You can't blame 196 losses in two years on Vinny Castilla and Jose Canseco.
For comparison's sake, the departed Lamar Johnson spent 9 seasons in the big leagues and put together a .338 OBP versus a league average of .328, and walked in 7% of his plate appearances.
Does any of this really mean anything? Will swapping Johnson for Dwayne Murphy or Chili Davis advising John Olerud about his swing make a difference in the win column? Nah, probably not. But it's fun to think about anyway.
It appears the fellows of USS Mariner plan on hosting a get together. I think you should all go. I would go, but my zip code no longer begins with "98." So I'll need a designated hitter, er, go-er. Sounds like it could be good times. When else are you going to have a chance to shake hands with Pat Gillick?
And in closing, at the invitation of blogging pal Eric, I've joined the fantasy basketball league sponsored by Tim Kraus of End of the Bench. Now let me recap my knowledge of professional basketball. I'm pretty sure the Lakers are the Yankees of the NBA. From what I hear, that Kobe Bryant guy is in a lot of trouble. If I recall correctly, San Antonio won the championship last year and the Sonics traded Gary Payton and my favorite ex-Cowboy now ex-Sonic last winter. How I can translate these morsels of data into a fantasy championship team, God only knows. I'm hedging my bets on beginner's luck right now. But any tips would be appreciated.
Just kidding--I thought of something else. Let's all welcome Brew82 to the blogosphere. Go ahead and send Jack an email and ask if the BrewCrew will consider Scott Podsednik as an advance for Richie Sexson. Then there's Insider's TV Info written by Erik, an ESPN employee who's taking questions pertaining to the nuts and bolts of sports broadcasts. It's pretty enlightening stuff.