In 1881 the future National League wanted to upgrade its image and target a more upscale fan base by doubling ticket prices, banning gambling, and outlawing alcohol sales. Several team owners who happened to be brewers refused to accept the new rules and banded together to form what would eventually become the American League. The National League attempted to discredit the new league by dubbing it the Beer and Whiskey League. This, of course only made the new league more popular. Duh!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Quote of the BLEEPIN Century

As you may well know, there has been a recent rift between Ozzie Guillen and Magglio Ordonez. Well, here's a rather erudite and insightful comment from Mr. Guillen when asked about Ordonez. From Friday's Chicago-Sun Times:

''He's a piece of [bleep],'' Guillen said. ''He's another Venezuelan [bleep]. [Bleep] him. He thinks he's got an enemy? No, he's got a big one. He knows I can [bleep] him over in a lot of different ways.

''He better shut the [bleep] up and just play for the Detroit Tigers. Why do I have to go over and even apologize to him? Who the [bleep] is Magglio Ordonez? What did he ever do for me? He didn't do [bleep] for me. But he said I'm his enemy -- he knows me. Tell him he knows me, and he can take it how he wants to take it.

''Did he play good for me? Yes, he did. Did he play hard for me? Yes, he did. He might like me. He might be sensitive of me. He might be jealous of me, I don't know why. But saying I'm his enemy, he hates me, I could care less what that [bleep] thinks. I don't give a [bleep] what he does with the rest of his life. He [bleep] with the wrong guy, and he knows that, too. He knows for a fact that he [bleep] with the wrong people.''

I'll let Steve add the commentary to this.

In other baseball news, The New York Times has two rather interesting tidbits. One is a long article by Michael Lewis. It's not exactly a follow-up to Moneyball (although Lewis has indicated in the past that he does want to write such a book) but he does follow the career paths of two players who were drafted in the now infamous "Moneyball" draft. What I found most interesting about this article was the suggestion that there existed a deeply-ingrained, institutionalized value on power that made steroid use almost inevitable.

One of the players Lewis spotlights is Steve Stanley ... basically a speedy, slap-hitting OBP machine (kind of in the same mold as little David Eckstein). Even though Billy Beane valued OBP, the organization's coaching and scouting staffs continued to emphasize power. While I don't necessarily disagree with this assessment, Lewis seems to overlook one simple fact: the "statistical community" is in many ways just as guilty. While stat-heads may value walks more than "traditional" scouts, the ultimate stat line is OPS. In other words, slugging ability is a highly valued skill even with stat-heads; hence, all the slack that Ichiro gets for hitting a "meaningless .365 average."

And speaking of Ichiro ... Bob Sherwin has a nifty little piece on Ichiro (also in the New York Times). I realize that at the beginning of every season, it's easy to get overly excited about a hot start but considering that Ichiro has historically been a slow starter it's pretty darn hard not to think .400! What a BLEEP year this might be!