Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fun With Numbers

This was originally posted by Brian MacPherson from the New Hampshire Union Leader on his terrific blog One If By Land. I know you can make numbers dance just about any which way you choose (and no one can make numbers do the boogaloo like a radio station GM with the latest Arbitron numbers in his hands), but this still makes for an interesting discussion/comparison. After all, some people were ready to write David Ortiz off at the All Star Break, while the other player has people talking MVP.

"A little player comparison for your afternoon. Below are the numbers of two prominent players since June 1 -- one of whom should be relatively easy for Red Sox fans to identify:

Player A
* .265 batting average, .357 on-base, .558 slugging
* 27 home runs, 77 RBI
* 50 walks, 79 strikeouts

Player B
* .300 batting average, .386 on-base, .551 slugging
* 22 home runs, 76 RBI
* 52 walks, 76 strikeouts

Player B has a significantly higher batting average and on-base percentage. Player A has a slight edge in power numbers -- more home runs, more RBI and a higher slugging percentage. The walk numbers and strikeout numbers for the two players are almost identical.

Player A, of course, is the resurgent David Ortiz.

Player B?

Any guesses?

(Cue Jeopardy music.)

It's Mark Teixeira."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

John Gorka Live On All Mixed Up

Singer-songwriter John Gorka will be my guest in the 8 AM hour tomorrow morning on "All Mixed Up." The show streams live at

Monday, July 27, 2009

How I've Spent My Summer Vacation

I turned to my wife Lauren last week and said, "I think I finally hit my limit."

Since March, I've been coaching 8-year olds for the equivalent of four seasons. My son Matthew played for a town recreation team this spring, along with a more advanced travel team sponsored by the training facility I work at. That travel team continued into the summer; we have a playoff game tomorrow and if we win that, a championship game on Thursday to finish up the season. Without sounding too much like one of "those" parents, he had a remarkable spring. He was one of the better pitchers in his town league (8 and 9 year-olds) and gave up only three hits all spring. So when it came time to put an 8-year old town travel team together for a local summer tournament, he was one of the first kids chosen. That in itself was fine, except that the other coaches unanimously asked me to be the head coach which I knew was going to present a conflict or two with two full-time jobs and the other travel team. However, the other coaches pledged full support and delivered BIG TIME (thanks Rich & Larry!). So for the past six weeks, it's been 6 to 7 games a week split between Matthew's two summer teams. Matthew has given up just two or three hits all summer on these two teams and has really blossomed as a pitcher. Lauren and I are already looking for ways to spend his signing bonus when he gets to the Major Leagues (I say, that's a joke son, and by the way, he gets the talent from my Dad who was scouted by the Red Sox while in high school.)

One other thing - you don't know just how hard an 8-year old boy can throw a baseball until one of those kids hits you in the face with a fastball. One of Matthew's teammates hit me on my right cheekbone last Friday night during a warm-up drill. I literally never saw the ball coming. All I remember hearing is another kid yelling, "LOOK OUT!" before everything went black for a second. I never lost consciousness, but I've had a pounding headache for more than 72 hours and there's some swelling, numbing and discoloration around my right eye. I'm lacking some of the better-known symptoms, but I'm pretty sure I suffered a low-grade concussion. (Side note - I suffered what the doctor called a "minor concussion" about 9 years ago and if these two situations are minor, I can't even begin to imagine what a serious concussion must feel like. Both times the headaches have been brutal and I have a reasonably high threshhold of pain.)

Matthew's travel team has a playoff game Tuesday night. If they lose, they're done; if they win they play for their summer league championship on Thursday. Either way, the season ends no later than this Thursday. By the time all is said and done, it will have been about 60 games since March. As I said, "I think I finally hit my limit."

Thank God!

And I wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

When I was a kid, I thought my Dad was the coolest person on the planet. And I remember saying to him on more than one occasion, "I wish you were a kid so we could play together."

He did some amazing things in his lifetime. He was an All State high school basketball player. He was scouted by the Red Sox based upon his high school baseball career. He served his country in the United States Navy in World War II. He was the first male in his family to graduate from college. He married a girl from Brooklyn and raised a family in places like Richmond Hill, Elkins Park, King Of Prussia and Basking Ridge.

We used to play catch all the time, until a tear in the rotator cuff in his throwing arm simply made it impossible to make more than a few throws.

Those are his three grandchildren; unfortunately he never got to see them which means they were never able to meet the man I thought was the coolest person on the planet. There isn't a day that's gone by in the last 28+ years that I haven't thought about him. In the faces of those three kids, though, I see him. And while I never got to be a kid with him, I got to play catch with all three of them. And I swear, there are moments when we're doing it that I just KNOW he's right there with us.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The High Holy Days 2009

It's official! Spring is on its way! Here is official run down for the 2009 High Holy Days.

February 6 - Truck Day
February 12 - Pitchers and catchers report
February 16 - Position players report
February 18 - Full squad workouts begin
February 25 - First Red Sox Spring Training game
March 1 - First day of spring (unofficial)
March 14 - Morris County St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 16 - Matthew's birthday
March 17 - St. Patrick's Day
March 20 - First day of spring (official)
April 5 - 2009 Major League Baseball Opening Day
April 6 - Red Sox Home Opener