March 17th, 2006

Calvinball

Sports, Sports, Sports, Spam, and Sports...

Sunny and cold out, what happened to my spring?

Seton Hall was bounced from the NCAAs in the very first March madness game played yesterday, almost before I had a chance to realize they were even on. CBS is streaming video for all the games FOR FREE, so I tried to watch a little of the game, but it turned out I was #120,936 in the queue for access, so after ten of minutes or so of waiting (I managed to get down into the 80,000's) I turned on the Dodger game. (It wasn't really a Betelgeuse moment. The queue was winding down pretty quickly. The Hall was already way behind when I got there, so I decided to cut my aggravation.) The Hall had an interesting season. In their second game of the season they suffered one of their worst defeats ever, losing to Duke by 53 points, but they came back from that to have a much better, if up and down, season than anyone expected.

OTOH, after the first day of play, I'm up on TomZ 36-25 in our annual bracket challenge thanks to two sturdy 12th seeds, Texas A&M and Montana. We'll see if I can maintain momentum today. Tomorrow I head over to CT for our annual March Madness + ribs fest. Whoot!

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Dodger Thoughts has a good analysis of the Dodger bullpen situation here, and the outlook is pretty rosy. There's a lot of depth there. The only potential fly I can see is that Jon is assuming that the rotation is already set, while I worry that Grittle may take Sele's good spring as an excuse to start him over Seo, who's still off pitching for Korea in the WBC. Sele finally gave up a couple of runs in yesterday's game, and only pitched three innings, so I'm a bit less worried now than I was.

It's not that I'm not happy to see Sele have a good spring, but after having Erickson crash and burn so badly after his great spring last year, I'm a little gun-shy. Fortunately, one big difference between this year and last is that this year there are other options available. Last year, because of injuries and Edwin Jackson stinking up the spring, Erickson and Houlton were all we had left for the fifth spot. This year there is some depth.

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Speaking of which, there's a piece at the Hardball Times today that ranks Neddy's offseason moves as the best in baseball. HT is nothing if not sabermetrically driven, so that's a pretty decent endorsement. I find especially interesting because some DePo supporters over at DT still seem to be having a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that Neddy could be doing a as good a job from a sabermetric point of view as DePo.

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Team USA lost to Mexico last night in the WBC, getting knocked out of the competition in the process. This despite the best efforts of umpire Bob Davidson, who yet again made a totally ridiculous call in favor of the hometown boys, calling a shot that hit 10' up the foul pole a abll in play instead of a home run. The batter eventually scored, so no harm done to Mexico, but you really have to wonder about this guy's competence, and/or his impartiality.