Sunday, 27 May 2012

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Los Angeles, Where Weird People Go.

Full Disclosure: I've never been to Los Angeles. Mind you, I'm not one to try things that I do not like. I'm not going to eat horse, despite President Obama's personal recommendation to me via the internet. I'm not going to read The Hunger Games despite the mad shout-out in Justin Bieber's take on "Call Me Maybe."

Seriously, are these kids not the coolest kids that you know? I'd hang out with Ashley Tisdale.

With all of this said, Los Angeles seems like an awful place to live and I have no intention of ever visiting that part of California.

But, it must be one hell of a time to be an LA Sports Fan.

The Kings are up 3-0 over the Blues and should make the Conference Finals as an 8 Seed.

The Lakers are up 2-1 over the Nuggets, and hell, even the Clippers are holding their own.

The Dodgers are the second best team in baseball (tied) and Matt Kemp is going God-Mode on opposing pitching. Twelve Home Runs is absurd.

Also, there's a fucking super moon tonight. SUPER MOON!

My Ubuntu Experience

I love linux. I really do. I used to be a Slackware nerd before discovering Gentoo. Having my computer act exactly as I intended with little bloat was probably an ego thing. I loved it. Then, I got lazy. I started using Ubuntu.

After leaving my phone at a friend's house, I had to install a computer alarm clock. Alas, the Alarm Clock application combined with Ubuntu has resulted in hilarity. What song would I choose?

T.G.I.F, T.G.I.F, T.G.I.F!

But, for some unknown reason, the alarm clock just kept replicating itself. NB: I'll always reference my own stupidity as 'some unknown reason.' I'm now blessed with a bunch of instances of the same alarm...

kristopher@kristopher-studio:~$ ps aux | grep alarm
1000      3407  0.0  0.1 387224  5332 ?        Sl   May01   0:00 /usr/lib/evolution/3.2/evolution-alarm-notify
1000      6935  0.0  8.9 1682960 363404 ?      Sl   May01   4:16 alarmclock
1000     15525  0.0  5.5 1287996 223228 ?      Sl   May03   1:33 alarmclock
1000     16979  0.0  4.7 1222552 193764 ?      Sl   May04   0:32 alarmclock
1000     17001  0.0  4.7 1222572 193732 ?      Sl   May04   0:32 alarmclock
1000     17015  0.0  0.5 870792 22240 ?        Sl   May04   0:10 alarmclock
1000     24884  2.8  0.6 812844 24504 ?        Sl   09:00   0:00 alarmclock
1000     24956  0.0  0.0   9380   908 pts/0    S+   09:00   0:00 grep alarm

Each alarm begins just milliseconds apart and makes sure to tell me that it is not happy about playing so many sounds at once.

It seems like only Ubuntu truly understands my love of Katy Perry.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Jason Grilli

I'll always remember Grilli's performance in the 2009 World Baseball Classic against Team Canada. It angered me.

Jason missed the entire 2010 season after surgery on his right knee (karma) and dominated AAA (karma) for the Phillies prior to signing with the Pirates (karma karma).

The 35-year old Grilli has been really, really good since signing with the Pirates though. Apparently he's paid his karma-bounty in full and is free to dominate the base and ball game.

I have absolutely no clue how this came to be, though.

Prior to his knee injury, Grilli posted ERAs of 5.40, 6.08, 7.40, 3.38, 4.21, 4.74, 3.00, and 5.32. Basically what you'd expect from a journeyman.

Then, 2011 happened. Grilli was still throwing about 92mph on the heater. Grilli was still throwing a breaking pitch about a third of the time. So what the hell happened?

Pitch Count Frequency H. Mvt V. Mvt Mph H. Rel V. Rel Spin Θ RPM
2007 Slider (SL) 176 25% 6.18 -29.11 85.67 -3.07 6.69 123 708
2008 Slider (SL) 490 40% 7.46 -29.53 84.84 -2.94 6.74 119 861
2009 Slider (SL) 305 32% 5.76 -26.27 85.11 -3.08 6.61 144 939
2011 Slider (SL) 195 38% 12.48 -37.59 81.91 -3.04 6.4 79 1348
2012 Slider (SL) 58 36% 9.99 -33.94 83.04 -3.21 6.5 92 1041


That's almost a brand-new pitch and batters have been having a hell of a time with it. Batters have went from swinging at about a quarter of the pitches that Grilli throws outside of the zone (league average) to swinging at 40% of 'em.

After posting a 10.19 K/9 in 2011, Grilli's sitting pretty with a 16.20 K/9 mark in 2012.

What The Hell Guys?

Chris Sale found himself privy to the council many of my fantasy starters receive upon being drafted to my make-believe baseball squad. I invested time in Chris Sale and I'm rewarded with.... this?

If this is an injury concern then, well, treat the injury. If this a move to lessen the wear-and-tear on Sale's left elbow then someone needs to remind Kenny Williams that according to the Mayan Calender, 2012 is the year of the Closer Apocalypse*.

Sale is an asset not a relief pitcher. Addison Reed is a relief pitcher. A really, really, really good relief pitcher.

Why doesn't Chicago limit the number of sliders that Sale hucks rather than limiting the pitches?

*Andrew Bailey, Mariano Rivera, Joakim Soria, Drew Storen, Brian Wilson, Sergio Santos, Kyle Farnsworth, Ryan Madson, etc.

Drabek On The Bump

My fascination with Drabek's stuff is well documented. Last night against the Rangers, a game that I unfortunately missed, Drabek looked sharp against a plethora of smash-killing bats possessed by the best club in baseball.

Again, according to someone that loves baseball and is probably smarter than you, the keys to Drabek's success are as follows:

  1. Continued control over the change-up.
  2. Improved control on the sinker.
  3. Some whiffs on the bender.
And, how.

Drabek's control over the change wasn't astonishing, but he continued to use it as a swing and miss pitch. Opposing batters are swinging and missing 12.5% and Monday against the Rangers, he managed a couple whiffs on fourteen changes. Rarely was Drabek's change in the zone against the Rangers, but that's to be expected against a line-up featuring only one opposite-handed batter as Josh Hamilton was given the night off.

Furthermore, Drabek found himself going to the cutter 18 times against the Rangers; eleven of which resulted in strikes, and four ended in whiffs. As seen by the green triangles, Drabek located the cutter extremely well against both lefties and righties by keeping it down and away. Drabek made his name as a prospect on the back of his cutter, but had drastically decreased its usage to open the season. Drabek's increased reliance on the cut-fastball over the past two games is something worth monitoring.

As for Drabek's sinker, he managed to throw 23 of 36 for strikes, despite being a little wild. He kept most of them off the heart of the plate and worked the edges well, but elevated more of them than I'd like to see.

Finally, it was nice to see Drabek really go to his breaking pitch as a means of inducing whiffs. Drabek threw 12 curveballs and nine of them went for strikes. Furthermore, he managed five whiffs on the pitch. For the game, Drabek induced 18 swing and misses and looked incredibly sharp. Drabek's 1.73 K:BB Ratio certainly isn't stellar, but it's blowing the pants off last year's horrendous 0.93 K:BB rate.

Drabek's certainly out-pitching his peripherals with a shiny 2.40 ERA, but there's plenty of reason to believe in the kid. 

Free: Brandon Belt

Imagine you are a fly on the wall in the Giants front office.

Smack. You are dead. Brian Sabean hates flies. As the longest tenured GM in baseball, he's become rather adept at killing them.

But what comes after is marvellous. Not only does Sabean kill you (which he wouldn't have been able to do had you remained human) but he also turns Bruce Bochy into the Manchurian Manager.

"Hopefully going out there every day, he's going to get comfortable"

These are words that came out of Bruce Bochy's mouth.