Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Picked The Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Glue

...but I didn't pick the wrong night to Netflix it instead of watching the game. What the hell happened? Can one game erase two weeks worth of good feelings? Why am I asking so many questions? I didn't even watch the game.

Quick review: Capote was pretty good. I was expecting it to be boring, considering how it's about a effete New York intellectual traipsing around corn fields in search of higher forms of art. I can't say that it had me on the edge of my seat, but as a character study, it was quite effective. And Hoffman's performance as Capote was much more believable and engrossing over the course of the entire movie than during a :30 clip where his voice and style can be jarring.

Quick review of tonights game: Simontacchi stinks. The bats stink. I dunno. I'm making it up. What say you?

Incidentally, I read this, and my first reaction was a mixture of revulsion and horror at the idea, then some sympathy with the writer who was likely asked to write a puff piece to promote All-Star balloting. But the more I thought about the former (the latter thought something I casually disregarded almost immediately), the more it actually -- GASP! -- makes sense.

With his recent hot stretch, Dmitri Young is now up to .298 .387 .468. While that's not jaw-dropping, we need to keep those two points in mind that I keep hammering home 1) offense is down league-wide; 2) RFK sucks the life out of our bats.

When you adjust his OPS+ for the context of the league and park, he's at a 131 OPS+, which means he's been 31 percent better than the average batter in the league. That's an All-Star caliber season, even if it's coming from a fat DH. That's an OPS+ number that's right in line with what Carlos Delgado did last year, a year any one of us would gladly take!

And most importantly, the average NL 1B stinks. They're hitting .256/ .319/ .376 as a group. By unadjusted OPS, he's clearly better than some guys you'd have in the back of your mind like Delgado, Nomar and Berkman. By Runs Created per game, he's better than Pujols -- which isn't as laughable as it seems on its face given Pujols' struggles. By Baseball Prospects' EQA (an offensive only stat), he's among the league leaders.

Is he a deserving All-Star? Probably not. Helton, Gonzalez, Fielder and probably Lee deserve to go ahead of him (and Pujols is a virtual lock to be selected as a starter).

But he wouldn't be an embarrassing one.

And nobody, not even Jim Bowden would've thought that 3 months ago. And certainly nobody would've thought that on May 5 when an 0-3 night bottomed him out at a pathetic .225/ .328/ .392.

In those 17 games since: .452/ .511/ .619.

Those aren't All-Star numbers; those are MVP numbers.

We're not that crazy though!


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