The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deadspin Packer Preview

The esteemed AJ Daulerio was kind enough to publish my Packer Preview on Deadspin. You can read it here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Steve Phillips, Brad Lidge, and The All-Star Game

Charlie Manuel thinks that Phillies closer Brad Lidge may have been hurt in the All-Star game, as he was asked to warm up 6 times and reportedly threw over 100 pitches. This is insane, and Manuel is right to be pissed off.

However, if there's one thing we know about ESPN commentator and former Mets GM Steve Phillips, it's that he can be counted on to make an idiot out of himself even when the facts are clear. Steve clearly doesn't like that the All-Star game counts for something, and ripped this setup when, on Mike and Mike this morning he said the following (paraphrased, obviously):

This is what happens when you have a game that counts, and managers are forced to do things that they would never do otherwise.

Now, in true Steve Phillips fashion, this sentence is stupid on several levels. First of all, it contradicts itself. Most baseball games count, and managers are accustomed to managing such games.

It's also factually inaccurate. The problem of player usage at the All-Star game stems from managers ignoring incentives, and still treating the game as an exhibition. No manager would ever run out of pitchers in a normal game, even though 4 of those pitchers are almost completely off limits. In the All-Star game, a manager running out of pitchers speaks to the shittiness of the manager, not to a problem with the All-Star Game.

If you have a problem with the All-Star game, that's fine. I think the game should count for something since players apparently don't have enough Herm Edwards in them to play the game hard on their own, and otherwise the All-Star game is pointless. But if you do have a problem with the game, you should at the very least have a decent argument against it.

Of course, Steve Phillips' first instinct is probably to blame the system and not managerial incompetence, for obvious reasons.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Do Not Trade Favre To The Vikings

In what would be the ultimate checkmate in this chess match of stupidity, the Packers are apparently considering trading Brett Favre to the Vikings.

This would be a very bad idea.

The market for Favre is obviously weak at the moment. Trading a QB during a weak QB market is stupid to begin with. Trading him to a division rival is lunacy.

Every year the market for QB picks up. This is the league that gave Jeff George interviews and tryouts (and the occasional job) for like 15 years after his, uhm, "prime."

Moreover, the Vikings only real weak spot is the terrible Tarvaris Jackson at QB. Their defensive line is fantastic after the acquisition Jared Allen. Their linebackers are OK, and their DBs, while not great, will benefit from the front four.

Offensively, their line is outstanding. Their RBs are outstanding. Their WRs do suck, but this is one of those situations where it's hard to separate the QB from the wideouts. Bernard Berrian is OK.

Up front, the Vikings are stacked. If you give them even an average QB they become one of the strongest teams in the NFC. If you give the Vikings a QB, you are bailing them out.

Basically any course of action would be superior to a trade with the Vikings. Sitting Favre on the bench would be better. Trading with the Bears (or any other team) would be better. Waiting for his value to increase would be better.

If the front office actually does this, they should all be fired.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is dead

From Bryan Caplan:

But let us be generous. We will not shoot them. We will not pour salt water into them, nor bury them in bedbugs, nor bridle them up into a "swan dive," nor keep them on sleepless "stand-up" for a week, nor kick them with jackboots, nor beat them with rubber truncheons, nor squeeze their skulls with iron rings, nor push them into a cell so that they lie atop one another like pieces of baggage - we will not do any of the things they did! But for the sake of our country and our children we have the duty to seek them all out and bring them all to trial! Not to put them on trial so much as their crimes. And to compel each one of them to announce loudly:

"Yes, I was an executioner and a murderer."
--The Gulag Archipelago

I was recently driving with someone, listening to NPR. The host stated that we won the "war of ideas" with the communists. My friend took great umbrage with this statement, claiming that we only won economically and militarily. I spouted off immediately about the deaths. The gulag. The forced famine. The murders.

Communism pisses me off. Solzhenitsyn allowed me to be informed enough to be pissed off.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fun Friday: I Think I'll Have Myself A Beer

Beer makes us stronger as a people. Seriously:

To avoid dangerous water, people had to drink large quantities of, say, beer. But to digest that beer, individuals needed a genetic advantage that not everyone had -- what Johnson describes as the body's ability to respond to the intake of alcohol by increasing the production of particular enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases. This ability is controlled by certain genes on chromosome four in human DNA, genes not evenly distributed to everyone. Those who lacked this trait could not, as the saying goes, "hold their liquor." So, many died early and childless, either of alcohol's toxicity or from waterborne diseases.

The gene pools of human settlements became progressively dominated by the survivors -- by those genetically disposed to, well, drink beer. "Most of the world's population today," Johnson writes, "is made up of descendants of those early beer drinkers, and we have largely inherited their genetic tolerance for alcohol."

That's George Will discussing the book, The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic -- and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson.

Evolutionarily speaking, I'm fit as a fiddle.

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