Facts of Life: Kenny Williams' Big Mistake

The White Sox decided to experiment with their DH spot in 2010. Instead of re-signing a prodigious slugger with great on base skills (Jim Thome), Kenny Williams instead decided Mark Kotsay was awesome (he is not) and that the DH should exist for the alternative purposes of resting the fielders (some of whom -- specifically Quentin -- should not be playing defense in the firse place). Comically enough, Ozzie Guillen blames Thome for no longer being a White Sox. Quote Guillen:
Jim Thome made the decision to leave to the Dodgers," Guillen said initially about the August 2009 deal. "He made that decision to himself, all right.
Though Ozzie Guillen has sarcastically accepted the blame for the Thome non-signing, he and G.M. Kenny Williams owe a genuine apology to White Sox fans. Here is why.

The White Sox, after tonight's win against Cleveland, sit four games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central Standings. Jim Thome, who makes a measly $1.5 million this season, has accrued +2.4 WAR for the Twins while Mark Kotsay, who has the exact same salary as Thome this season, has produced -0.6 WAR for the White Sox.

In a vacuum, a re-signing of Thome by the White Sox would give the South Siders a +3.0 WAR swing in the AL Central Standings. Note, however, that Thome has only accrued 279 PA this season while splitting DH duties with Jason Kubel. Of course, Thome's been platooned, which may exaggerate his bottom line, but any potential non-platoon "regression" would surely be offset by the additional playing time he would have seen with the White Sox. Let's just leave the WAR at +2.4 and call it even.

The White Sox do not play in a vacuum, however. Thome, in not re-signing with the White Sox, signed a deal with the Twins. Hence, in a Thome-on-the-Sox-over-Kotsay theoretical situation, you have to not only add +3.0 WAR to the White Sox 2010 win total, but also subtract 2.4 WAR from the Twins' 2010 win total. That turns a 4.0 game lead by the Twins in the AL Central into a 1.5 game lead by the White Sox.

Still think it is OK to be sarcastic, Ozzie? It gets worse.

Not only are the White Sox sitting 4.0 games behind the Twins in the AL Central standings, but they have found themselves ultimately in need of a hitting DH (turns out burning Mark Kotsay's bat was not enough of a move at the July trade deadline. Maybe the White Sox should have tried burning Kotsay's contract (and Mark Teahen's, while they were at it) instead).

Unable to procure either Adam Dunn or Lance Berkman, the White Sox claimed Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers in exchange for salary relief. Without question, the Manny move is an upgrade for the White Sox. Whereas Manny is projected by ZiPS to hit .290/.398/.533 (.399 wOBA) for the rest of the season, Kotsay was only pegged to hit .244/.313/.384 (.305 wOBA) down the stretch. Dave Cameron sees this difference as worth around +1.0 WAR for the White Sox. Unfortunately for the White Sox, however, they are four games behind the Twins (thus, they have three more wins to make up somehow) and Thome has a wOBA of .413 on the season (with a projected wOBA of .370 down the stretch).

Per MLB Trade Rumors, 31 games of "salary relief" means $3.8 million. That figure is more than 2.5 times what Thome will make all season and almost $1 million more than Kotsay and Thome's salaries combined.

Then, of course, you need to consider that Manny is Manny and you never know quite what you are going to get with him. He might try and get pregnant again or invoke his alleged "do not play" clause during day games. In another chapter in the "Manny Being Manny" saga, Manny took the early flight to Cleveland from L.A. this morning and was at Progressive Field in time to play ball, but did not in the White Sox starting lineup. Manny told reporters that he felt like he was 25 again, but he could not play because, as TBO speculates, he woke up to early that day. Ozzie Guillen's comments after the game seem to confirm this speculation.

To summarize, the White Sox are not in first place this year because they decided that subpar offensive production from the DH position was acceptable so long as they could rest Alex Rios' and Juan Pierre's knees every so often and find a way to work Mark Kotsay's mighty bat into the lineup. Had the White Sox just not give Kotsay a bat to burn to begin with, the Sox would be at least a half game closer in the AL Central Standings. Because the White Sox gave Kotsay said bat, they are now paying 2.5 times the money it would have cost them to keep Thome all season for just 31 games (scratch that, 30 games, as Manny did not play Tuesday) of Mannywood. Talk about "fail."

I wonder if the White Sox will sell re-branded Manny dreadlock caps left over from his time in L.A.

News Flash: Federer Is Good At Tennis - Again

Nearly a year after I documented Federer's incredible between the legs shot against Novan Djokovic in last years US Open played at Flushing Meadows New York, he did it again this year.

The GOI Football Draft Wrap-Up Special, Part IV

Everyone is doing a review of the GOI fantasy football draft auction so apparently I need one as well.

First of all, DME who was kicked out of the league, probably cause he never wins fantasy, was in my ear on the phone for my first 5 selections. I didn't do extensive research and didn't partake in any mock drafts. Instead I decided to not let price get in the way of the players I wanted. For some reason in auction drafts, people become very stringent in how much they are willing to pay for a player. Oh, I will pay not pay more than 25 dollars for Roddy Roddy White, even though I really love him and believe he can single handedly win me a couple weeks of fantasy football. Sure, sometimes you get into a bidding war and 2 dollars above budget becomes 4 then 6 then 8, but you cannot worry about the future when it comes to auction. This concept is not the same as going stars and scrubs like DME did in baseball where you spend all your money on 3 guys, this is simply extending your budget a few dollars that you may not even need later in the draft. The bench if fairly inconsequential to a fantasy football team. Each player only has 1 bye week and you can probably find a better option in FA once the season starts than anyone you actually drafted.

Football is probably the least skilled sport of any of the top 10 you can think of. The players who dominate tend to be the ones with the freakish athletic ability. I grew up watching Miami-Florida St dominate college football in the late 90's and no one had more freaks than those Florida teams. That was my strategy, simple as that.

There have been too many NFL season's where a single running back has literally won entire fantasy leagues. Whether it be Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, LT, or Chris Johnson. So it is crazy important to get a top RB and hopefully the top RB. I made the decision that AD, whom I still call AP, was the running back to go with. His athleticism is undeniable with an amazing combination of size, strength, and speed. Only 2 years ago people were anointing him the greatest of all time, and now he is becoming overrated because he fumbled a couple times. It is almost a given that he will lead all running backs in TDs and possibly will lead in yards. His passing skills are suspect, but 43 receptions last year is no chump change and only 7 less than Chris Johnson with an identical average. I love love love CJ, but to think that he can break off 3 80-yard runs again is kinda nuts. I was willing to do whatever for AP, but getting him at $65 while guys like MJD, Rice, and Turner went for the same or more was a huge steal.

I was willing to play the season without a top tier QB such as a Cutler, Palmer, Flacco type, but seeing the prices QBs were going for, I decided it was worth the $36 I paid for Brees. In fact, it was DME who was urging me to stay in the bidding war for Brees which I ended up winning, such that I felt a little bad for spending so much for a QB after paying 65 for AP. But then I thought to myself, how can i feel bad about a QB who throws for 4500 yards and 30 TDs like clockwork.

I bypassed a lot of RBs who I really liked, such as a Charles, Slaton, Jacobs, Mathews simply because I had my top guy at running back locked up. I took a gamble on Run DMC hoping the retards who run the Raiders would stop giving 10 carries each to a clusterfuck of RBs and just make McFadden the featured back. Dude invented the wildcat and may be the greatest college player I've ever seen. Yes, Bush had better numbers in the Pac-10, but Run DMC ran over the entire SEC, without even a marginal QB, and ran for 200 yards against LSU and Alabama. If he played for any other team in the NFL, be would already be in the pro-bowl. I knew this was a dangerous pick, but I made it knowing full well that I was getting Reggie Bush at any cost. I figure that combination of #2/3 RB was a winning complement along side AP. (Side note, I thought Forte at $26 was the steal of the entire draft)

To me, the WR position is like starting pitchers in fantasy baseball. I value them very low because I feel I can find suitable options later in the draft or even FA instead of wasting top picks on them. Sure we all want King Felix, but i'll settle with Clayton Kershaw 8 rounds later. WR simply do not get enough touches on a weekly bases to be worth the money. We complain that Pierre Thomas only got 184 touches last year. Well every great WR not named Andre Johnson only gets 80-90 touches for the whole season! I completely disregarded the whole PPR concept. The difference between 70 and 90 catches is only 10 points over the course of 16 weeks. Who the fuck cares? I stuck to my freak athlete theory and got great value in Marques Colston, who is a top 5 WR talent and is only hindered by having too many weapons around him, and DeShawn Jackson who in the words of Kenny Powers is faster than fuck. My only worry is having Kolb throwing to him. Sorry Cubsfan but Kolb will show up in your nightmares this season. Getting Mike Wallace was a bonus as he is basically a Jackson clone with no Holmes standing in his way. Though I love Santonio Holmes. Then I drafted a barrel of WRs hoping to use as trade bait in Henderson, Heyward-Bay, Moore, and Cribbs.

There is usually a very small point differential between TEs, so no need to overpay for any. None appear to be great/in their prime to really consider spending money on them this year. Only guy who I see as having potential to dominate this year is Witten and that is unlikely. My comp actually logged off for me and autopicked Kellen Winslow, which I had no problem with as he fits the athletic freak category and played for The U.

No chance I pay for a kicker, so I got Sebastian Janikowski for a dollar. He did play for those Florida St. teams i loved so much and the Raiders should score more points this year. Oh and he's the best 50 yard kicker in the game and those are worth 5 points I believe. Maybe I pick up Rob Bironas if he is dropped by a team with 2 kickers.

I payed less than no attention to defense thinking I would just get on in FA or just stream every week like I usually do, until I saw the Cowboys just sitting there for me. They only have the best defensive lineman in Ware, a stellar secondary, and a 3-4 defense that is very prone to fantasy related stats.

Overall I was extremely happy with how my team turned out. Regardless whether I win or lose, I can feel satisfied knowing i am playing with the team I wanted.

Like Marshawn Lynch when he finds out he's gonna be a baby's daddy again, I am OUT!

1.(6)Adrian Peterson$65
2.(26)Drew Brees$36
3.(41)DeSean Jackson$16
4.(51)Marques Colston$19
5.(61)Kellen Winslow$11
6.(89)Darren McFadden$10
7.(99)Mike Wallace$10
8.(131)Reggie Bush$10
10.(168)Julius Jones$1
11.(179)Devery Henderson$5
12.(188)Darrius Heyward-Bey$3
13.(196)Lance Moore$1
14.(203)Sebastian Janikowski$1
15.(208)Joshua Cribbs$1

View the GOI fantasy team at http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/goi and vote on who you think the preseason favorites are

View Cubsfan's take on the draft in Part III here
View Sexy Rexy's take on the draft in Part II here
View Part I here

The GOI Football Draft Wrap-Up Special, Part III

Cubsfan's thoughts on the draft:

We have recently just completed the Game Of Inches Fantasy Football Auction draft 2010. This was the second time I have ever done an auction draft. The first time being the Game Of Inches fantasy baseball draft 2009. For those of you who haven’t followed this draft, it was less than pretty for me. I went in with no game plan for my first auction draft and it showed. I wasn’t aggressive and let all the players I wanted go off the board because I was worried about spending all of my money up front and not having enough left for later in the draft. As I learned the hard way, you don’t need much later when all the good players are gone. Us it is good to have some for the mid value guys you think will outperform their value, but you don’t need to have $20 left over like I did in the Game Of Inches fantasy baseball draft 2009. I had a rough baseball season because of not being prepared for the auction draft. So I started my research early for fantasy football 2010.

I am in a few competitive fantasy football leagues this year. Of course all of them are different types ranging from auction drafts, snake drafts, 10 team leagues to 12 and 14 teams. I did my research and did my best to have strategies for each of them. It makes it hard to put together a plan when all the leagues you are in are so different. So I had a few strategies for the GOI auction draft. I figured I would see how the draft played out and try a combo of them. That turned out to not be a good idea.

My first pick was Maurice Jones-Drew for $66 after I missed out on Chris Johnson for $69 and Adrian Peterson for $65. TBO got AD as a steal and everyone thought he paid a lot, but it obviously was a bargain. As you see MJD for $66 was stupid. I would have been much better paying that for Peterson or Chris Johnson. Going into the draft I was targeting MJD because he is steady, gets a lot of TD, catches a bit for this PPR league, and one of the most consistent safest players to take in my opinion. Another big reason I was targeting him was I thought I could get him for a discount thinking people would get in bidding wars and over pay for Peterson, Johnson, Ray Rice who is a PPR stud, and Frank Gore who I think has a lot of upside even though he is a top 5 guy. For some reason this didn’t happen and I didn’t want to lose out on MJD because then my team would of had a big hole and missing a stud anchor.

My second pick was Greg Jennings for $25 who I feel has a lot of upside. My goal was to get Jennings at $20, but like all of my players except Jeremy Maclin I overpaid for him. I love Jennings this year and think he will rebound from last year’s disappointing season. Last year he only had 4 TD with 9 and 12 the previous years respectively, so I think that number will go up. With that said, he isn’t an ideal PPR player because last year he only had 68 receptions last. In 2008-09 he had 80, with 53 in 2007-08. I feel like his receptions this season should be similar as they were last year, with 2008-09 just being an outlier year. Thus, I like Jennings as my second receiver, not my first receiver which he turned out to be!

With this being a partial points per reception league for my number one receiver I was obviously targeting guys who caught a lot of passes last year. Andre Johnson led the league last year with 115 catches, but Sexy Rexy beat me out for at $49. Wes Welker looks like he is making a very quick comeback, but I didn’t want to take that risk for $24, but in retrospect that might have been a good investment. With Brandon Marshall switching teams and playing with a unproven QB I was concerned. Fourth in receptions last year was Larry Fitzgerald, but with no QB I didn’t want to pay $29. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was 5th in receptions last season and has always been a good possessions receiver. He was a steal for $9 and I don’t know why I didn’t on him because he would have been a receiver for me even at 12 or 13 dollars. Roddy White was a guy I was targeting but stopped bidding at $30. I thought Michael Crabtree would be a good value, but I was surprised he went for $25. Dwayne Bowe had 80 receptions last year and Anquan Boldin had 89 so both were on my list of players to target. So I lost out on all of these receivers that I wanted so I settled on Jeremy Maclin for $9. I wish I would have bided a few more dollars for T.J. Houshmandzadeh though; who I think went underrated in this draft being a PPR league. TBO drafted DeSean Jackson for $16 and Marques Colston for $19 which were both great steals at those prices, even in an auction draft. I like Maclin, but wish I had a better receiver than him to go along with Jennings.

With my two receivers set I needed a QB and that was an ugly story folks. I really like Kevin Kolb and thought I could get him for a steal under $10. Obviously other people liked him because I got in a bidding war for him where I won at………………………………$16 which was way over priced. The problem was I liked him better than Cutler, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, and all of the guys I would have liked better, Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Brees, and more realistically Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, and Tom Brady were off the board. Funny story about Tom Brady, the guy who drafted him accidentally bided on him for $60 and he already had Rodgers! So I felt I needed Kolb and way overpaid for him. You should be noticing a trend with my Team now, I missed out on all of the players I wanted or overpaid for the ones I wanted!

I needed to get two RB for my flex and second RB spot. I got my guy Ryan Grant for $38, about 9 dollars more than I wanted to spend on him. He is a good RB, but doesn’t catch much at all. I also had to over pay for Arian Foster who I was hoping to get around 10 at $16. People made fun of me for this move, but all the RB left at this time who I liked such as Michael Bush and Justin Forsett aren’t the starting RB and have a logjam of guys with them, while foster is the guy. So I liked this move.

My computer timed out during the draft and got me a kicker in Nate Kaeding at $12, which is 10 dollars more than I would have paid for a kicker. Over paying a lot for Kevin Kolb, Nate Kaeding, and to some degree Ryan Grant and Arian Foster I didn’t have any money left over for my bench. My bench is an embarrassment and barley serviceable with Mohamed Massaquoi, Fred Taylor (Patriots), Matt Hasselbeck, James Jones for when Driver shows his age, Chris Chambers, and Golden Tate.

As you should be able to tell by now, I don’t like my team, especially for a PPR league. We will see how the season plays out though

View the GOI fantasy team at http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/goi and vote on who you think the preseason favorites are.

View Sexy Rexy's take on the draft in Part II here
View Part I here

Rob Dibble Cares Not About Your Torn Ligaments

Apparently former Nasty Boy, Rob Dibble, has a full time job as a color commentator for the Washington Nationals. Being a former flamethrower himself, you would think that he would be on the Whales Vagina bandwagon. Apparently not. After the future of Washington baseball grimaced in pain like he took a bullet to the elbow following a random fastball, Dibble said on the air that Strasburg should "suck it up" and "stop crying" like a little baby with a boo-boo. Well that boo-boo turned into a torn medial collateral ligament and a little procedure called Tommy John Surgery. And those comment from Dibble turned into a 2 day vacation, followed by a 6 day suspension, to most likely a pink slip in his announcer locker in the coming days. Nice knowing you Rob Dibble, I'm sure there are plenty of job openings for a loud mouth with tattooed sleeves.

The GOI Football Draft Wrap-Up Special, Part II

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight's entertainment!
On the last Saturday of August, I spent six hours drafting. I spent the day at my buddy Bennett’s place (whom I have a few board bets with) because he was in both of the leagues that had drafts on this Saturday. During our first draft, we popped in The Dark Knight to help pass the time. There’s a scene in the movie in which Harvey Dent is lying in his hospital bed when The Joker comes to visit him. The Joker tells Dent:
I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan." But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
Besides the obvious, what The Joker is talking about is expectations. When we expect things to go one way, and they don’t, we get upset. But if we expect things to go a certain way, even if what you expect is bad, and it does go the way you planned- well then we don’t get upset. If you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant and the hostess tells you the wait will be an hour, you get a bit upset but you love this restaurant and you go sit down and sulk. However, to your amazement, the wait was only a half hour so you’re pleasantly surprised to wait only 30 minutes. Now let’s say the waitress tells you the wait will only be five minutes. You go and sit down and smile because you’re not going to be sitting down for very long. But then 15 minutes rolls around and you’re table isn’t ready. 20 minutes roll around and you’re table isn’t ready. 25 minutes roll around and you’re table isn’t ready. Finally after 30 long minutes you’re table is ready. In both these scenarios it took you 30 minutes to get a table, yet you’re happier in the end when the hostess told you it would be an hour wait as opposed to the five minute wait. And that’s because of the expectations that were set up from the get-go.

And that’s why I felt upset during this 14 team Game Of Inches auction draft. (My second of the night).
And here… we… go!
Actually before we begin, go to http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/goi to see who drafted who and vote on who you think the preseason favorites are.

Like all good fantasy players, I made sure to do my research before the draft. Admittedly I could have done more, looking extensively at all 32 teams and analyzing their offense like I did the Baltimore Ravens. But alas I did not. But what I did do is enter plenty of mock drafts to see how I should rank and pay for the players I wanted. I made a list of every position and assigned a dollar amount to these positions of how much I wanted and was willing to spend based upon my mock drafts.

Unfortunately how the computers spent money in mocks seemed to be drastically different than how my fellow drafters spent their money in my league. And because my expectations changed, I was very upset at the end of the draft.
Look at you! What do you believe in, huh? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN!?
I believed in the stars and scrubs approach in this draft. I spent most of money on three players: Frank Gore ($61), Tony Romo ($26), and Andre Johnson ($49). In a .5 PPR league, I’m a big fan of Gore and Johnson. I had allocated $62 to spent on a top tier running back and I put in bids of Rice, Johnson, MJD, AD, and Michael Turner (the man I actually wanted). Unfortunately all those backs went for more than $62 so I was “stuck” with Gore. I don’t like the fact that he’s really injury prone but he’s very good at catching the ball and I expect about 50-60 receptions for him this year. I love Andre Johnson. Normally WR don’t perform as well as RB and QB, but I trust that Johnson will. And especially considering he’ll be AT LEAST top 3 in receptions this year, I didn’t mind that I had to pay a lot for Johnson. Especially considering I was willing to pay $50 for him.
The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. And tonight you're gonna break your one rule.
Now my Tony Romo pick I like and I don’t like. I had only allocated $21 to the QB position, but I wanted and needed a top tier QB. My plan was to put in $21 bids for Rodgers, Brady, Manning, Brees, and Romo and if I missed all of them then I’d wait on Joe Flacco. Unfortunately Bennett spit out Joe Flacco while Manning, Brees, and Romo were still on the board and got him for $16. I couldn’t in good faith risk paying for Flacco at that point in the draft (although now I wish I had). But when Manning and Brees both left the pool, I knew I had to get Tony Romo at whatever cost. This meant paying five more bucks than I actually wanted.
I know the truth: there's no going back. You've changed things... forever.
I also only allocated $9 to my TE position and even though TE don’t nearly produce the same fantasy results as RBs and QBs and many WRs, I wasn’t going to get stuck with Greg Olson (as I did in my ten team draft a few hours earlier) and with Clark, Gates, Witten, Celek, Davis, Finley and Daniels already off the board I needed to get Tony Gonzalez- which cost me $11. But now that I had overspent an extra $7, I couldn’t pay for many of the sleepers I had wanted to get. While $7 doesn’t seem like a lot of money, when my sleepers Mike Wallace and Reggie Bush went for $10 each and my max budget was $6 at the time both went off the board, that extra seven dollars really could have come in handy.

After my boy Mike Wallace went to my hated rival TBO and Malcolm Floyd went for $8, I loaded up on cheap WR sleepers I liked- like Steve Breaston, Julian Edelman, and Anthony Gonzalez hoping that at least one pan out. I even tried spending $6 on Johnny Knox but he went for $9. I also have what I believe to be the #1 wide receiver and this is a 14 team league- which means the 28th best wide out will still work out well for me.

Now If I could go back I probably would have spent money on Reggie Wayne ($33), Randy Moss ($34), or even Brandon Marshall ($30) so I could pair them with better sleepers and wide outs. But c’est la vie. There’s no going back.
I am very good with calculations.
I did think I allocated some money appropriately. I wanted to spend $24 on a second RB and I spent that much on Felix Jones. (Ideally I wanted Matt Forte but he was still out there and I didn’t want to risk of losing out on both Jones and Forte- who ended up going for $25). I also wanted to spent $14 on my flex RB position and I ended up getting Ahmad Bradshaw for $12. Last year I LOVED Brandon Jacobs and I wasted my first round draft pick on him. So you’d think I’d hate him but when training camp and pre-season started, I still liked Jacobs and thought he would be a post hype sleeper and I could get top tier talent for cheap. But as training camp went on and pre-season games went underway and reports of the New York running back situation came out, logic just told me that Bradshaw would perform better than Jacobs. But my heart’s still for B.J.
And I thought my jokes were bad.
See, I'm a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite, and gunpowder and gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They're cheap!
You know what else came cheap, the rest of my team. I like Chad Henne a lot so as my back up QB I got him for $2, I also got a back up TE (Kevin Boss, $1) and a back up RB (Bernard Scott, $1) and as well as the best K (Jeff Reed, $1) and D/ST (Washington, $1) left on the board. I also got L.T. for three bucks. The guy can't run anymore but I expect Shonn Greene to be out for an extended period of time, that Jets O-line is amazing, and they LOVE to run the ball. Also part of the reason I couldn't spend money on Bush or Wallace but his value was too good for me to pass up
-Did she believe you?
-Of course she did. Because she trusts you!
Cubsfan and I have a board bet Arian Foster vs. Steve Slaton. I took Foster. Cubsfan took Slaton. I love the talent of Slaton more than I do of Foster, but this bet is about fantasy football and I think the Texans like Foster more than Slaton and thus will get more carries (a lot actually) and be more fantasy relevant. Apparently Cubsfan agrees with this sentiment because him and I were duking it out for Foster when his name got spit out. The $14 allocation that I used on Ahmad Bradshaw was meant for Foster. But apparently Cubsfan liked Foster more because he paid $16 for him.
Now, for obvious reasons, no one except me can know the location for now. But rest assured, your money is safe.
For one member of this GOI league, his money was safe, because he still had $109 left at the end of the draft. The reason for this was because he autodrafted. At one point we got lucky and only had 2 out of the 14 members autodraft. But towards the end we had about 4-5 that weren’t picking for themselves. The computer loved to drive up the value on some crappy players (like Vincent Jackson and Sidney Rice) and made drafting for us real humans annoying sometimes. But we got the last laugh because not only did the computer spend more than a dollar for these teams kickers, they made sure these teams had two.
Why so serious?
At the end of the draft when my expectations weren’t met and a lot of players I wanted and were targeting did not fall to me and when the players I ended up getting costs too much for me- I was upset. I was in a bad mood. I walked back to my place cranky.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And believe me, the dawn is coming
But after I’ve had a night to sleep on it and briefly trying to work out a trade with TBO to get either/or Mike Wallace and Reggie Bush, I like my team. While I didn’t get the top sleepers on my list, I did get ones that I have full faith in. While I don’t believe with full 100% confidence that Felix Jones will emerge as Dallas’ #1 back, I do love the man’s talent and do think the price I paid for him is reasonable. I do like Ahmad Bradshaw in my flex, I still like the top of my team. I also think I have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs after looking at everyone else’s team. So when my last pick was in the books and I sat at my seat a bit ticked off, I was in the dark. But the night is darkest just before the dawn.
If you're good at something, never do it for free.
On a final note, good friend of GOI FFSpin (who was in our draft) told me during the draft that he started up a new website called fantasyfootballcrystalball.com. For only a $15 subscription, you can get more and great fantasy football advice. I know I’m signing up for it. And when he probably defeats me and wins this league, you’ll see why paying for his service will be worth it.

So here's how my team turned out

QB- Tony Romo ($26)
QB- Chad Henne ($2)
RB- Frank Gore ($62)
RB- Felix Jones ($24)
RB- Ahmad Bradshaw ($12)
RB- LaDanian Tomlinson ($3)
RB- Bernard Scott ($1)
WR- Andre Johnson ($49)
WR- Steve Breaston ($4)
WR- Anthony Gonzalez ($2)
WR- Julian Edelman ($1)
TE- Tony Gonzalez ($11)
TE- Kevin Boss ($1)
K- Jeff Reed ($1)
D/ST- Washington ($1)

So what do you guys think of my team? Take a look at the rest of the league and how do you think I'll fair?

Part Three, with at least Cubsfans thoughts of the draft, to come shortly.

LAST EDITOR'S NOTE: If you couldn't tell, all quotes are from The Dark Knight

The GOI Football Draft Wrap-Up Special, Part I

I am extremely tired and am going to go to bed now, but a full wrap up and analysis (from at least myself and Cubsfan) about how the draft went and our thoughts on it will come later.

For now, you can visit the league and see how we all are doing at http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/league/goi.

So for right now, take a look at it and tell us who do you think are the pre-season favorites to win it all?

View my thoughts in Part Two here

Sexy Rexy's Fantasy Advice: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Sleepers In 2010

I have been patiently waiting and keeping all my players a secret. But now that the Game Of Inches' 14 team, 1/2 PPR, auction league draft has concluded, I can now give away my secrets. (BTW: you can access and look at the league here)

Here is my rankings in a standard scoring league for quarterbacks and running backs


1) Chris Johnson
2) Adrian Peterson
3) Ray Rice
4) Michael Turner
5) Maurice Jones-Drew
6) Frank Gore
7) Steven Jackson
8) DeAngelo Williams
9) Rashard Mendenhall
10) Ryan Grant
11) Cedric Benson
12) Joseph Addai
13) Jonathan Stewart
14) Ryan Matthews
15) Jamaal Charles
16) Matt Forte
17) Pierre Thomas
18) Knowshown Moreno
19) Justin Forsett
20) Arian Foster
21) Ahmad Bradshaw
22) Beanie Wells
23) Felix Jones
24) LeSean McCoy
25) Shonn Greene
26) Jerome Harrison
27) Clinton Portis
28) Fred Jackson
29) Reggie Bush
30) Ricky Williams
31) Jahvid Best
32) Ronnie Brown
33) Michael Bush
34) LaDanian Tomlinson
35) Marion Barber
36) Brandon Jacobs
37) Tim Hightower
38) CJ Spiller
39) Kevin Smith
40) Fred Taylor

Some quick notes about this because I'm sure if you're reading this you most assuredly disagree
- I love Ray Rice. I don't hide it. I think if I had the 3rd pick in a draft, I would take Rice over MJD. And then I put MJD next to Michael Turner and I choose Turner. Turner was awesome two years ago and was awesome when he played last year. No curse of the 370 for this season. It's not that I don't like MJD because I do, I would just choose others ahead of him. Lots o' studs this year.
- I don't like Shonn Greene this year. When he plays, he'll be awesome. That Jets O-line is amazing and they'll run the ball like crazy. But Greene is extremely injury prone and I don't think he stays healthy this year. So my ranking reflects his final overall numbers for the year.
- Same to be said for Reggie Bush, except I do like him.
- I'm a big believer that Justin Forsett and Felix Jones will break out of their clusterfuck situation and be their teams legit #1 back.
- I'm a believer that Pierre Thomas and LeSean McCoy will not.
- I think people are WAY overvaluing Ryan Matthews and I stayed clear away from him in the two drafts I had today.
- I am not aboard the CJ Spiller bandwagon.


1) Aaron Rodgers
2) Peyton Manning
3) Tom Brady
4) Drew Brees
5) Tony Romo
6) Joe Flacco
7) Matt Schaub
8) Phillip Rivers
9) Brett Favre
10) Kevin Kolb
11) Jay Cutler
12) Ben Roethlisberger
13) Eli Manning
14) Donovan McNabb
15) Chad Henne
If you have to go past Chad Henne then you're probably screwed

Some more quick notes:
- I love Joe Flacco this year. Read why here.
- I'm also extremely superstitious and believe in the Madden curse. This year I think it affects its cover boy Drew Brees.
- I also have a Board Bet with Cubsfan that Tom Brady finishes ahead of at least one of the following: Rodgers, Manning, Brees. I think Brady has fully recovered from his ACL surgery and returns closer to his 50 TD form than is usual 28 TD form.
- I love Matt Schaub. I drafted him last year in a league late and he was nothing but money in the bank. But I think he suffers from the "Shonn Greene Syndrome". Guy has never played in all 16 games before last year and I don't trust that he does it again last year.
- I love the talent of Phillip Rivers even more than Schaub but with the Vincent Jackson hold out, I don't trust that Legedu Naanee and Malcom Floyd (whom I love, see below) will cut it to give Rivers his numbers. Not even with Antonio Gates there.
- I like Chad Henne a lot and he's my back up in the 14 team league. Three out of his last five games he threw for 300+ yards. And now he has Brandon Marshall.
- Jay Cutler's interception rate was so statistically high and out of sync with his career that I refuse to believe he comes close to what he did in 2009 in 2010. You take away Cutler's interceptions and his numbers last year look really good.


While I do not have specific rankings for wide outs (because I do extremely extensive analysis when I project my wide outs), I have done many post prior about how I project certain receivers. Here are my predictions for some receivers (click on the name to see how I came up with my projections).

- Santonio Holmes
55 receptions/ 675 yards/ 4 TDs
-Brandon Marshall
99 receptions/ 1195 yards/ 7 TDs
-Anquan Boldin
92 receptions/ 1100 yards/ 9 TDs/
-Derrick Mason
52 receptions/ 730 yards/ 5 TDs
-Mark Clayton
25 receptions/ 352 yards/ 2 TDs


- Mike Wallace
With only 39 receptions last year he had a little over 750 yards and 6 TDs. With Santonio Holmes now gone Walalce gets more targets, receptions, and fantasy points.

- Malcolm Floyd
He put up good numbers with Vincent Jackson last year and now that he's the legitimate number one (I don't think Jackson plays a whole lot, if at all, in San Diego) he'll get the "Mike Wallace" effect

- Steve Breaston
see above. Plus he has a 1000+ yard season under his belt already.

- Joe Flacco
Haven't you read my previous post yet?

- Johnny Knox
If Devin Aromashodu is the trendy sleeper and I think Knox will be better than D.A. (currently ranked lower) then by the transitive property Johnny Knox is a trendy sleeper.

- Felix Jones
My gut tells me that Jones' awesome talent (drafted in the first round bee tee dubs) wins him the starting job and emerges like what Ray Rice did last year. But if I'm basing any decision off of my guy as opposed actual statistics, then I'm probably wrong. We don't base decisions here at GOI with our eyes, only with the numbers we see on a page!

- Justin Forsett
See Jones, Felix above.

- Fred Taylor
He was my Elijah Dukes last year, so why not this year too.

- Anthony Gonzalez
A super super super deep sleeper. I know Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon emerged last year but A-Gon (another first round draft pick) is currently the Colts' #2 starter behind Reggie Wayne and he's showed to be awesome when he plays.

5 Brownie Points To Anyone Who Can Name The White Guy On The Left

I'm guessing this photo was shot circa 1999. Obviously we have a young Jeter and Arod, but who is the third lucky guy on the left? Big ups to anyone who can identify him. (hint: he was bad at baseball, and no it's not Neifi Perez

Stolen Goods: How To Calculate Platoon Splits

Read about it at Royals Review. Too sleepy to summarize. This post is honestly more of a bookmark for personal future reference.

Carry on.

Stolen Goods: "Marlins execs funneled cash to themselves"

In another edition of "You Know What Really Grinds My Gears?," Yahoo Sportswriter Jeff Passan shows even further how corrupt the Jeff Loria ownership situation is (and sheds further light on how bad owners are abusing the fans to line their pockets).

I feel this article is so important, so crucial, so revealing, that it will be reproduced here in full and become the first non-sabermetrics post with the "Stolen Goods" tag. Without further adieu, Yahoo's best sports article ever:
Marlins execs funneled cash to themselves
Jeff  Passan By Jeff Passan

Florida Marlins president David Samson has perfected the art of doublespeak. Even after the mushroom cloud settled over the disclosure of financial statements that showed he and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria are indeed duplicitous, Samson couldn’t help himself. Lies are simply part of how the Marlins do business.

The latest came during Samson’s weekly radio appearance on The Dan LeBatard Show in Miami, during which he addressed Deadspin’s publication of the Marlins’ balance sheet. What Samson said was so provably false that it was akin to a 3-year-old trying to hide his peas under a pile of mashed potatoes.

“Jeffrey Loria did not put a dollar in his pocket,” Samson said.

So programmed is that statement in Samson’s head, he keeps repeating it, like a robot with a shorted circuit. He’s right. Jeffrey Loria did not put a dollar in his pocket.

He put millions.

On Page 34 of the documents, under the heading Note Y, is a transaction called “Management Fee.” A corporation named Double Play Company is listed as the Marlins’ managing general partner. The partner is paid a yearly sum. For the two years the documents cover, the fees were $2.6 million and $2.8 million. In 2009, the documents say, the fee was raised to $3.2 million.

Records from the Florida Division of Corporations show Double Play’s CEO is Jeffrey Loria. Its president is David Samson.

Of the six teams whose documents were leaked, only the Marlins have a management fee listed in their operating expenses.

Earlier in the balance sheet, under Note L, is a one-paragraph section called “Related Party Promissory Note.” It explains that the managing general partner made a number of loans to the team at 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent above the London Interbank Offered Rate – a particularly high interest rate for the current lending climate, according to two accountants who reviewed the Marlins’ financials. Over the past two years, the loans have paid Double Play $1.83 million and $1.19 million, respectively.

While the financial records of Double Play are unavailable because it is a private company, at least $8.42 million went to the managing general partner in the past two years. Though the documents do not show that Loria has taken a direct distribution of money as owner, it is undeniable that he plundered the team’s coffers as it received nearly $500 million in public funding for a new stadium and more than $75 million in revenue sharing from MLB.

Samson did not reply to a request for comment.

The ugliness of the ballpark debt was apparent long before the documents surfaced. To help fund the $634 million stadium complex, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted to secure more than $400 million in loans, most of which are loaded with balloon payments. The worst is a $91 million loan that will take $1.2 billion to pay off. By 2049, the county will have spent $2.4 billion to cover its portion of the stadium.

The anti-Marlins groundswell in South Florida continued Thursday when Miami mayor Tomas Regalado asked the city attorney to look into renegotiating a $100 million parking-facility contract for the stadium complex. Political backlash was a given after the Marlins’ refusal to release their financial records during the push for the new stadium.

For years, the Marlins cried poverty. Loria threatened to move the team from Florida. Despite several sources claiming the Marlins raked in money — Forbes’ annual valuations for the Marlins have proven extremely close to reality, and Miami-area accountant Jorge Costales has written incisively about Marlins finances — the county commissioners voted in December 2007 to pay for more than three-quarters of the stadium due open in 2012.

Samson claimed on LeBatard’s show that the tax dollars will come from tourism money devoted to sports and convention complexes. That is only half-true. To free the tourism-tax dollars, the county shifted general-use monies from property taxes to pay other debt. Take from one hand, give to the other and buy an owner worth hundreds of millions of dollars a new toy from which he reaps damn near every cent, all with the money of hardworking citizens.

This was avoidable, of course, had the county commissioners refused to approve a deal until they saw the Marlins’ financial statements. The management fee was an obvious red flag. How could Loria and Samson say they didn’t have enough money for a stadium when they were paying themselves? The loan was another red flag. Such revelations almost certainly would have given the commissioners pause about offering the breadth of public financing they did.

Loria refused transparency. He is an excellent businessman, and he knew the repercussions. In the end, the Marlins hoodwinked local politicians so caught up in the excitement of keeping the team in Miami, they forgot with whom they were dealing. When hundreds of millions of dollars are involved in anything, people are going to lie, and Loria and Samson made statement after misleading statement and got away with it.

“I never go back to regret what I do because I make decisions based on the information provided to me, my conscience and what is best for those I represent,” said Rebeca Sosa, one of the nine county commissioners who voted for the stadium funding against four opponents — including Regalado, now the mayor. “The situation and information I have today in my hand is different than the one I had before.

“I still support the Marlins stadium.”

How Sosa, or any commissioner who voted yes, could stand by a potential $2.4 billion of debt with a clear conscience is difficult to fathom. The Marlins are up to their old tricks, still pussyfooting their way around the facts. All those years the team had the lowest payroll in baseball, Samson claimed money went to hidden costs in running a ballclub. One of them, he told Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde, was marketing.

“Eight figures,” Samson said. He told The Miami Herald it was among the most in baseball.

In 2008, the Marlins spent $9.8 million on marketing, according to their balance sheet. The Tampa Bay Rays spent $23 million, the Pittsburgh Pirates $17.1 million, the Texas Rangers $16 million and the Los Angeles Angels $10 million. The only team to budget less among the six whose financials were leaked was the Seattle Mariners, whom the Marlins outspent by $11,000.

This isn’t a white lie here, a fib there. It is systemic. Marlins mislead, public follows. The balance sheet was a gift to Miami-Dade County taxpayers who deserve – and have deserved since the “yes” vote – to know how the team they were endowing is run.

The poor, poor Marlins had an operating profit of $48.9 million in 2008 and 2009, including $11.1 million last year, when they increased payroll and started paying off their stadium debt. Loria has already doubled his money on the Marlins – he bought the team for $158.5 million, including a $38.5 million interest-free loan, and it’s now worth $317 million, according to Forbes’ valuations – and the revenue streams from the new stadium should only increase that figure. A county hemorrhaging jobs funneled tax money to fund a stadium for a team with a reckless disregard for its community’s welfare.

The politicians can pursue recourse, and the fans can bellow, and it doesn’t change the reality that a $91 million loan to the county will take 39 years and $1.2 billion to pay off, and that Jeffrey Loria still owns the Florida Marlins with David Samson as his president, and that the retractable-roof stadium, the one that’s 40 percent done, was built on lies that never seem to end.

How To Be A Successful Internet Writer

We at GOI have gotten several emails about how to gain notoriety in the internet writing universe. The answer is honestly to just start writing. Quality work eventually gets noticed. In the movie Field Of Dreams, there is the famous line "if you build it, they will come." There is a beautiful truth in that statement.

Way back when, when I was in high school, I began blogging about movies and life. That material landed me a job as a film critic for the Daily Illini, a student run newspaper which acted as the primary news/entertainment publication for the University of Illinois.

A few months after my tenure with the Daily Illini ended, SexyRexy, TBO, Cubsfan4ever and myself decided to start a sports blog in the wake of the demise of FJM. Our blog began with a post I wrote about why I felt Tom Glavine was an overrated pitcher who did not particularly belong in the Hall of Fame and has since blossomed in to over 1,700 posts about sports (mostly baseball and football). Each and every post taught us more about writing and in reading our material from beginning to present, you will notice a clear evolution in our writing style and thought. Particularly, you will notice how we slowly developed into statistically minded fellows more and more sabermetrically involved in every endeavor.

The moral of the story is that if you want to be a writer, just start writing. The beauty of the era we live in is that anyone who wants to write can. Doing is the key to refining and success.Start a blog with friends, start one on your own. In time, if you produce material worth reading, people will notice. Our blog began as a small project between friends and our posts have since been featured on various sites such as Sports Illustrated, Bloomberg Media Sports and MLB Trade Rumors (amongst many others). My work on this blog also lead to a (brief) position as a sportswriter and later a position on The Hardball Times. Doing builds a resume, which leads to bigger and better things.

If nothing more, working on a blog with friends will help bring you closer to them. I strongly feel that SexyRexy, TBO, Cubsfan4ever and myself have become closer as friends as a result of our work on this blog. I think they would agree.

Let me end this post by saying thank you to everyone, including the readership, who has made this blog what it is today.

2005-2007 Movie Reviews

Few may know this, but before I began my career as David "MVP" Eckstein, I worked for two and a half years as the lead film critic for a newspaper. From 2006-2008, I saw almost every movie that was released in theaters -- at least ones I wanted to see. I accidentally uncovered an old list of movie star ratings of films released between 2005-2007 and thought I might publish them here, for general review. You will find them below.

2005 Film Reviews:

AEON FLUX (2005, zero stars)
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005, three and a half stars)
BATMAN BEGINS (2005, three and a half stars)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005, three stars)
BROKEN FLOWERS (2005, four stars)
CAPOTE (2005, three and a half stars)
CINDARELLA MAN (2005, one star)
CRASH (2005, one star)
DARK WATER (2005, one star)
DEVIL'S REJECTS (2005, three stars)
DUKES OF HAZZARD (2005, one half star)
FANTASTIC FOUR (2005, zero stars)
FUN WITH DICK AND JANE (2005, one and a half stars)
GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (2005, four stars)
HIDE AND SEEK (2005, zero stars)
HOUSE OF WAX (2005, one star)
HUSTLE AND FLOW (2005, three stars)
JARHEAD (2005, zero stars)
JUNE BUG (2005, three and a half stars)
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005, three stars)
KING KONG (2005, two stars)
LAND OF THE DEAD (2005, three stars)
LORD OF WAR (2005, three and a half stars)
MADAGASCAR (2005, one star)
MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN (2005, three stars)
MATCH POINT (2005, four stars)
ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (2005, four stars)
MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005, two and a half stars)
MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS (2005, three and a half stars)
MUNICH (2005, four stars)
PRIME (2005, three and a half stars)
RED EYE (2005, two and a half stars)
ROBOTS (2005, one and a half stars)
SAW II (2005, two stars)
SIN CITY (2005, four stars)
SQUID AND THE WHALE (2005, three and a half stars)
STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005, three and a half stars)
THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN (2005, four stars)
THE BROTHER'S GRIMM (2005, two stars)
THE CONSTANT GARDENER (2005, three and a half stars)
THE CORPSE BRIDE (2005, three stars)
THE DUKES OF HAZZARD (2005, zero stars)
THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (2005, two and a half stars)
THE ICE HARVEST (2005, three stars)
THE INTERPRETER (2005, two stars)
THE ISLAND (2005, three stars)
THE MATADOR (2005, two and a half stars)
THE PRODUCERS (2005, one and one half stars)
THE WEATHER MAN (2005, four stars)
UNLEASHED (2005, three stars)
USHPIZIN (2005, three and a half stars)
WAITING... (2005, three stars)
WALK THE LINE (2005, three and a half stars)
WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005, zero stars)
WEDDING CRASHERS (2005, one and a half stars)
WOLF CREEK (2005, zero stars)
YES (2005, three stars)


2006 Film Reviews:

A PRARIE HOME COMPANION (2006, four stars)
A SCANNER DARKLY (2006, three and a half stars)
ALPHA DOG (2006, three stars)
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006, three stars)
APOCALYPTO (2006, three stars)
ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (2006, four stars)
BABEL (2006, three and a half stars)
BEERFEST (2006, three stars)
BLACK CHRISTMAS (2006, one and a half stars)
BLOOD DIAMOND (2006, three stars)
BORAT! (2006, three stars)
BRICK (2006, three stars)
CARS (2006, two stars)
CASINO ROYALE (2006, three and a half stars)
CHILDREN OF MEN (2006, four stars)
CLERKS II (2006, three stars)
CLICK (2006, one half star)
CRANK (2006, two and a half stars)
DEJA VU (2006, two stars)
DREAMGIRLS (2006, three and a half stars)
FEARLESS (2006, three stars)
FLUSHED AWAY (2006, three and a half stars)
FRIENDS WITH MONEY (2006, three stars)
GRANDMA's BOY (2006, three stars)
HOODWINKED (2005, two stars)
HOSTEL (2006, three stars)
INSIDE MAN (2006, two and a half stars)
KEEPING UP WITH THE STEINS (2006, three stars)
LITTLE CHILDREN (2006, four stars)
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2006, three stars)
MARIE ANTOINETTE (2006, four stars)
MIAMI VICE (2006, three stars)
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III (2006, two and a half stars)
MONSTER HOUSE (2006, three stars)
MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND (2006, two and a half stars)
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (2006, two stars)
NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006, three and a half stars)
PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006, four stars)
PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN (2006, three and a half stars)
ROCKY BALBOA (2006, one half star)
SAW III (2006, one half star)
SCARY MOVIE 4 (2006, two and a half stars)
SCOOP (2006, three and a half stars)
SLITHER (2006, three stars)
SNAKES ON A PLANE (2006, three stars)
SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006, three stars)
STRANGER THAN FICTION (2006, three and a half stars)
STRANGERS WITH CANDY (2006, three stars)
TENACIOUS D IN THE PICK OF DESTINY (2006, one and a half stars)
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2006, three stars)
THE BLACK DAHLIA (2006, two stars)
THE DA VINCI CODE (2006, one and a half stars)
THE DEPARTED (2006, three and a half stars)
THE DESCENT (2006, two stars)
THE FOUNTAIN (2006, three and a half stars)
THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006, three and a half stars)
THE ILLUSIONIST (2006, four stars)
THE LAKE HOUSE (2006, two and a half stars)
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (2006, three stars)
THE LAST KISS (2006, three stars)
THE LOST CITY (2006, three stars)
THE NIGHT LISTENER (2006, one star)
THE PAINTED VEIL (2006, four stars)
THE PRESTIGE (2006, four stars)
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (2006, three and a half stars)
THE QUEEN (2006, three stars)
THE WOODS (2006, three stars)
TURISTAS (2006, zero stars)
V FOR VENDETTA (2005, one and one half stars)
VOLVER (2006, four stars)
WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (2006, one half star)
X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2006, two stars)


2007 Film Reviews:

1408 (2007, three stars)
28 WEEKS LATER (2007, three and a half stars)
300 (2007, three stars)
3:10 TO YUMA (2007, four stars)
30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007, one and a half stars)
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2007, three and a half stars)
AMERICAN GANSTER (2007, four stars)
BALLS OF FURY (2007, three stars)
BENEATH THE MASK (2007, two and a half stars)
BREACH (2007, three stars)
BUG (2007, two stars)
CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007, three stars)
DEAD SILENCE (2007, four stars)
DEATH PROOF (2007, three stars)
DEATH SENTENCE (2007, four stars)
EASTERN PROMISES (2007, four stars)
GHOST RIDER (2007, two stars)
GONE BABY GONE (2007, four stars)
GRINGHOUSE (2007, three and a half stars)
HALLOWEEN (2007, one and a half stars)
HOT FUZZ (2007, three stars)
HOT ROD (2007, three stars)
I AM LEGEND (2007, two and a half stars)
JUNO (2007 , four stars)
KNOCKED UP (2007, four stars)
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (2007, three stars)
MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007, three and a half stars)
MR. BROOKS (2007, three stars)
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (2007, one and a half stars)
NEXT (2007, one half star)
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007, four stars)
PARIS, JE T'AIME (2007, three stars)
PLANET TERROR (2007, four stars)
RATATOUILLE (2007, three and a half stars)
REIGN OVER ME (2007, three and a half stars)
RENO 911!: MIAMI (2007, three stars)
RESCUE DAWN (2007, three stars)
RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION (2007, zero stars)
SHOOTER (2007, three stars)
SHREK 3 (2007, one half star)
SICKO (2007, three and a half stars)
SMOKIN' ACES (2007, two and a half stars)
SUNSHINE (2007, two stars)
SUPERBAD (2007, four stars)
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2007, three and a half stars)
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007, two and a half stars)
THE COMEBACKS (2007, three stars)
THE DARJEELING LIMITED (2007, four stars)
THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 (2007, one and one half stars)
THE HOAX (2007, two and a half stars)
THE KINGDOM (2007, three and a half stars)
THE KITE RUNNER (2007, three and a half stars)
THE LAST MIMSY (2007, one half star)
THE MIST (2007, three stars)
THE NUMBER 23 (2007, two stars)
THE ORPHANAGE (2007, four stars)
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE (2007, three and a half stars)
TRANSFORMERS (2007, two and a half stars)
WALK HARD (2007, four stars)
WE OWN THE NIGHT (2007, two stars)
YOU KILL ME (2007, two stars)
ZODIAC (2007, two stars)

TBO and Adam Carolla: Same Time Same Place

Concentra Urgent Care Facility & Bar

Only in Wisconsin can you find an urgent care health facility which is literally connected to a bar (click image to enlarge):

Monumental Comeback By The Colorado Rockies

Colorado overcomes a 9 run deficit by scoring 11 unanswered runs including 3 in the 5th, 6th and 4 in the 8th inning. This is the 3rd greatest comeback I have ever witnessed.

Number 2 on my list is the time the Pirates scored 8 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning off of Billy Wagner. It was capped off by a walk off grand slam off the bat of Brian Giles down by 3

And at number 1, the greatest game I have ever seen, drumrolllllllllllllll, Cleveland Indians over the Seattle Mariners 15-14 in 11 innings. Indians were down by 12 runs to the Mariners, who would go on to win 116 games that year, and scored 3 in the 7th, 4 in the 8th, and 5 in the 9th to tie the game. Yes, it went into extras, but there was no doubt who was winning that game. I was merely 14 years old at the time, but I can still remember watching the game on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball with Kenny Lofton jumping for joy and Jeff Nelson in disbelief of what was happening. Here is the marvelous WPA graph of the memorable night

You may be asking yourselves how I could possibly remember such instances, well I am The 'Bright' One so nothing should be all that surprising. Expect to see the exact same post on fangraphs tomorrow morning - they tend to do that kind of stuff

We Are Bill Simmons Whores

Always awkward on video, not sure why

Jose Bautista Likes To Pull His Balls

Jose Bautista is having an all-time unexpected, unexplainable, unrealistic season much like Brady Anderson and his 50 homer campaign. Today Bautista launched his 39th and 40th homers of the season with his identical yank swing out to left field. In fact, of all the highlights i have seen of his homers this year, all of them were pulled to left field. Looking up his Hit Tracker page, Bautista has in fact hit every home run to the left of dead center field. You would think pitchers would just pitch him on the outside corner forcing him to hit the other way, but i don't have 50 years of professional baseball experience like a Lou Piniella for instance. (Too early?)
In fact, only 3 of Bautista's 99 career home runs have gone the other way. That's very Rob Deer of you Jose Bautista

Football Outsiders On Freakonomics Blog

Freakonomics is probably the greatest book ever written of our generation. Yes, we baseball nerds love to jerk it to Moneyball and everyone who believes RBI is a crap stat has read and enjoyed Moneyball. But the ultimate "stat" book ever written was one written about life: Freakonomics.

Well the authors of Freakonomics have an awesome blog sponsored by the New York Times and recently had Football Outsiders co-creator/author Bill Bramwell on to talk to him about football. For the many of you who don't know, Aaron Schatz is essentially the Bill James of what I call "football sabermetrics" and Bill Bramwell is, I'll say, the Voros McCracken of football sabermetrics. Or maybe DME's daddy Tom Tango. Well whoever the #2 guy is in actual sabermetrics.

Normally I'm not a big fan on Bill Bramwell (and it's not because he yelled at me), but I found this talk fascinating. You can read the full "interview" here but here are some excepts from the chat.

Q. As a Bills fan, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on perennial cellar dwellers. Have you found any statistical indicators of pending turnarounds?

A. The miracle turnaround you speak of is often accompanied by a remarkable, unexpected, drastic shift in team health. We’ve found in the past that about 25 percent of a team’s year-to-year change in wins is accounted for by the change in their injury rate.

As examples, consider the biggest swings in win-loss record from each of the past two seasons. In 2007, the Miami Dolphins went 1-15. By Adjusted Games Lost (our proprietary injury metric and a variant on the HGL metric that is mentioned in the link above), they were the eighth most-injured team in football. A year later, they went 11-5, shocking everyone en route to an AFC East title. While much of the credit was given to the team’s quickly-overrated “Wildcat” offensive scheme, there was one patently obvious factor driving their success: the Dolphins had become the league’s fourth-healthiest team.

Q. Do you account for personality and psychological effect?

A. Although I don’t think anyone doubts that there are intangible effects and they affect both the motivation and performance of players, I don’t think we can ascribe statistical significance to those ideas. We could probably come up with motivations for every quarterback in the league: Eli Manning wants to get back to the Super Bowl and erase his team’s humiliating finish to last season. Donovan McNabb wants to prove that the Eagles shouldn’t have traded him. Kevin Kolb wants to prove that the Eagles were right. Tony Romo wants to stop the chatter about how he can’t get it done in big games. There’s the NFC East right there.

You’ll also note that only skill position players (quarterbacks, running backs, wideouts, and tight ends) and the occasional prominent defensive player are ascribed motivations. You’ll never read a game story about how the left guard was clutch and willed his team to win.

Q. To what degree does luck play in determining the outcome of a game?

A. When it comes to an individual game, luck plays a far bigger role than anyone cares to admit. We know that the act of recovering a fumble is almost entirely luck, and that the distance of a fumble (or interception) return is mostly random, but a game can very well come down to who recovers the fumbles or whether a player slips on a return.

There are also factors that we see regress towards the mean on a seasonal level that can drive huge single-game swings in performance. Research published by Football Outsiders in the Times suggests that a kicker’s field goal accuracy is mostly random from year-to-year. We’ve also found that teams have no ability to influence the success rate of field goals taken against them

Q. How well can you isolate the play of any particular player (e.g., the RB) from that of his teammates (e.g., the O-line)? Who contributes more to a 2000-yard season, the RB or the line?

A. We’re nowhere near the point of valuing a player as being worth a number of wins, because we’re light-years away from quantifying all the things a player does. I doubt we’ll ever have a reliable “wins” metric because there are too many interactions between positions that we can’t account for in football. Take a quarterback, for example: even if we were to develop a measure of performance that stripped out the effects of his receivers and offensive line and placed his passing performance in a perfect, league-average context, we’d have to account for how he read defenses and called audibles at the line, how effective he was in setting up defenses on the play-fake, whether he had any impact on the running game versus an average quarterback … it’s not a realistic goal.