Sunday, April 04, 2004

So I took Saturday off--big whoop. It’s not like anybody’s reading this blog yet. Even I’m reluctant to click the link. I mean, after I take a crap, I don’t look into the toilet and admire my work; I flush it and hope I never see it again.

Nevertheless, Opening Day for the rest of us stiffs is upon us. So besides boxscores, we’ll be reading players/managers/coaches comments and as sure as Bud Selig couldn’t pour water out of a glass if the instructions how to do it were on the bottom of the glass, we’ll hear the dreaded cliche. I thought as a public service to absolutely no one in particular I’d give you a handy translation chart so you’ll be able to decipher what folks are saying:

When they say: "He's got great raw stuff."

What they mean is: "He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but boy those three digits on the speed gun are fun to look at."

When they say: "He'll add veteran experience to the club."

What they mean is: "He can't hit, he can't throw, he can't field, rigor mortis is about to set in, but he signed for the minimum."

When they say: "We're going to build from within and see what the kids can do."

What they mean is: "Every agent we called either laughed at us or hung up."

When they say: "They're leaving him in to see if he can pitch his way out of this jam."

What they mean is: "I guess the manager read the pitcher's comments in the paper yesterday and he just told him to kiss his ERA goodbye."

When they say: "He's been through a lot to get back to this point."

What they mean is: "He beat his wife, cheated on his taxes, impregnated the eastern seaboard, killed three reporters and singlehandedly put no fewer than 213 drug dealers' kids through college and you're supposed to be all perky at he's hitting .300 on May 1."

When they say: "We have a veteran club this year."

What they mean is: "Tell the trainer to stock up on Polygrip, Depends, Geritol, and prune juice and make sure the guys on our AAA club keep their bags packed."

When they say: "His teammates claim he's great in the clubhouse."

What they mean is: "His teammates are scared stiff that he'll take a fungo bat to their heads if they diss him in the press."

When they say: "He's still got a lot of time to get it together."

What they mean is: "And he won't be doing it here as long as I'm manager."

When they say: "He offers protection to the middle of the lineup."

What they mean is: "He'll whiff 160 times but that keeps him from hitting into inning ending double plays."

When they say: "It's his job to lose."

What they mean is: "My general manager is too #@%#!! cheap!"

When they say: "He has great fundamentals."

What they mean is: "He can't hit, he doesn't walk, he can't field, but he never throws to the wrong base."

When they say: "He eats a lot of innings."

What they mean is: "Which is why his ERA is so huge!!"

When they say: "It looks like he's gonna bring in the second lefty in the 'pen."

What they mean is: "The game's out of reach, and we thought the fans would like to see A-Rod, Giambi and Sheffield go yard."

When they say: "He's a player who values his privacy."

What they mean is: "The media once saw him eat somebody from Sports Illustrated."

When they say: "They don't appreciate me here."

What they mean is: "They gave him a stupid contract, now I want one even stupider."

When they say: "Everybody has a shot, all jobs are open."

What they mean is: "Not only will we suck, we might lose 130 games this year."

When they say: "He's got great raw tools."

What they mean is: "He's talented; dumb as a post, but talented."

When they say: "He's your typical crafty lefty."

What they mean is: "If he ate with his other hand, he'd be saying: 'would you like fries with that?'"

When they say: "He's a speed merchant."

What they mean is: "He's a living, breathing, out machine."

When they say: "He's around the plate a lot."

What they mean is: "Opposing hitters refer to him as the human launching pad."

When they say: "He keeps hitters off balance."

What they mean is: "Hitters know that not even he knows where the pitch is going."

When they say: "He's effectively wild."

What they mean is: "Bases empty, two outs, and Bonds gets it in the middle of the back."

When they say: "Brian Hunter's speed makes him a logical choice to lead off."

What they mean is: "We're a small market team, our number two hitter is due for arbitration and we don't want him to have more than 30 RBI."

When they say: "We're going with a bullpen by committee."

What they mean is: "Y'know, I don't think any of these stiffs can get three outs before they bat around."

When they say: "Remember the name; he's gonna be the next Mickey Mantle."

What they mean is: "Remember the name, in three years he'll be left unprotected in the Rule V Draft."

O.K. Link time: Again, it’s a pretty well known one if you’re a baseball fan. Believe it or not, these yoyos used to run some of my stuff. Once they got rid of me, they felt their content improved enough that they could charge for it. Truly a sound business decision. Baseball Prospectus offers excellent content and stat features that even the most hard core baseball fan will enjoy. Again, I’m biased since I know (and have worked) with a number of their staff. Let’s see, name dropping roll call time (in no particular order): Jonah Keri, Dayn Perry, Joe Sheehan, and Gary Huckabay are all folks I’ve been privileged to work with over the years. If they get too successful, I’ll cash in by telling stories about ‘how I knew them when’ and boy, they’ll have to cough up big to keep me quiet.

P.S. Go Leafs Go.

Best Regards