Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
Enjoy the archives. . .



Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Like Logic Off a Kruk's Back
I think the Widow has already spoken of John Kruk, but the man is so bad he deserves another rant.
Did anyone else notice that Peter Gammons was laughing at Kruk's asinine remarks last night on Baseball Tonight?

Does anyone actually like this guy, or did he just strong-arm his way through the interview process? Because that's certainly how he handles the show; He just steamrolls through the opinions of the more seasoned commentators. One example is his argument last night that Juan Pierre is more valuable to his team than is Barry Bonds. At one point he supported this reasoning with the idea that a Bonds home run only scores one run, but when Juan Pierre hits a single, he increases the likelihood that multiple runs can score. First of all, a run at the plate is worth more than a runner on first base. Beyond that, Kruk makes the simpleton's mistake of assuming Bonds's entire worth is in his home run potential. If he were a one-dimensional player, there would be none of the suggestions that he's the greatest player ever.

Though Kruk seems impervious to logic, here's a stat that easily deflates his half-cocked theory. Juan Pierre has been on base 34 times this season, with 26 hits and 8 walks. Barry Bonds matches that in walks alone--32 walks, in addition to 9 homers and 5 doubles. Even if on base percentage is all it takes to be great, Pierre is way outclassed by Bonds.

Guys like Kruk are enough to make me long for the brainless babble of Erin Andrews. What the Kruk?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

For those of you who don't have finals. . .

While the Widow continues to toil with finals, I'm going to try to stir up some debate on this page. Which is more exiting, the triple or the homer?

A few days ago I heard (as I've heard many times before) a couple of announcers arguing about the most exiting play in baseball. Arguing is really a poor word choice because what they were actually doing is rehashing a tired old script that I can only assume is taught in the first semester at BAC (the Baseball Announcer College, see Joe Morgan's ad in Golf Digest). The script goes something like this:

Announcer A [seeing a triple]: Wow, it's great to see a triple these days -- what an exiting play.

Announcer B [knowingly, as if we cared]: You know, A, they say that the triple is the most exiting play in the game.

A [playing the stooge]: Why's that, B?

B: Simple, a homer is commonplace, but the triple is a rare gem . . . and there's running!

(Ah, the expert commentary that keeps us watching baseball on TV.)

So, which is more exiting? Neither. We do baseball injustice by narrowing the "interesting" parts of the game to these options. The real excitement of a game is the suspense of who will win and how will it happen. A 1-2-3 inning is exciting--if it's the ninth and your closer (who blew his last three saves) has a one run lead.

A triple or a homer? Please! Here are my nominations for the game's greatest plays:

1. The Double Play. Graceful and often decisive, a good double play is way more exiting that a triple.

2. The Strike Out. Think this isn't exiting? Picture your favorite pitcher striking out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded and then think again.

3. Ok, you need some offense? The Walk Off Home Run. I'll concede the homer has a place in this debate, but it has to be at the right time to be truly exiting.

4. The Play at the Plate. My personal favorite. It's got it all, offense, defense, grace, power. If it comes at the end of a game (or playoff series, think Sid Bream) all the better. A good play at the plate starts with men on base, involves a hit and a good throw and ends in a run being scored or denied. That's excitement.

Am I wrong? Well, that's what the comments are for. Let's do baseball justice by raising this debate above its current announcer inanity.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Never say never

A few hours ago, Baseball Widow was procrastinating. Now, she's gone off the deep end. Baseball Widow just finished cleaning house. She even dropped some cinnamon in the teapot and set it to boil--filling the place with yummy smells. As if that weren't adequate to ruin any plans she had of actually studying, Baseball Widow then did a little surfing. Found an interesting post about me--sorta.

Over at The Rage Diaries, the Slate article on Baseblogs is criticized for its choice to use Baseball Widow as the only reference to female baseball blogging.

Baseball Widow would like to weigh in on this subject, but it will have to take a back seat to Jurisprudence for now. I'm sure I'll be back in ten minutes. . .
Procrastination Techniques

I know I shouldn't be blogging right now, but in the attempt to avoid studying, I've seriously done everything else I can think of to do (besides cleaning house, but let's not go crazy).

Baseball Hubby added Kazuo Matsui to his 5th-place fantasy team. (Sorry--couldn't resist the dig.)

I wonder, why don't we ever see the Kaz-Mat team at games? They could wear orange outfits and carry Geiger counters. Just a thought, and probably not an original one at that.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Baseball Hubby Comes Clean Too

Since Baseball Widow has copped to being a law student, I have a confession to share myself: I like Barry Bonds. Now, this is significant because I don’t as a rule like a player unless he’s got a Tomahawk across his chest. I’m not sure why (besides the obvious reasons) I’ve recently become so fond of him, especially because so many other people seem put off by him (despite the obvious reasons).

Of course, my infatuation with Mr. Home Run Machine is complicated by his alleged drug problem, but there’s something else that troubles my newfound fondness for him. It seems to me (and I could be wrong, just ask the Widow) that too much attention is being placed on personal accomplishments in baseball.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m as pleased as the next guy with stats, records, and streaks, but are they really more important than the game itself? Here’s an example. It seems like ESPN is interrupting its programming for every single Bonds at bat. The reason is simple, to see if Barry makes history. But think for a second if the game situation is taken into consideration (or even given to the viewer). When the at bat is done, so is the coverage, as if there wasn’t even a game with 9 innings and 2 teams vying for the win. Think also of the headlines about Giants ballgames, a typical one might read, “Bonds does it again with a record setter, and, by the way, the Giants lose.”

I don’t want to be a curmudgeon on this issue. Let me say that I don’t think “things used to be better in the old days” or even that this only has to do with Bonds. It’s just so relevant because he seems to be breaking or making records every day. Last night, however, Bonds didn’t homer. This stopped his streak of games with a homer just short of the record held by a few other players. People will be complaining today that Bonds didn’t get the chance he deserved because Jake Peavy (the Padres pitcher) walked him twice. The game announcers certainly spent a lot of hot air on the subject. Lost (to me) in this talk was the fact that Peavy was tossing a shutout for a team trying to compete with the giants for the pennant. So what will the headline be for this game? Could be “Pads over .500 on the strength of Peavy’s gem,” but I wouldn’t bet my Balco stock against one like this, “Bonds misses records, and by the way Giants lose.”

Update

Iain at The Baseball Desert notes that today's ESPN headline is "Schmidt struggles; Peavy shines", which is true. However, ESPN articles usually have two headlines, one on the article and one on the main page. The mainpage article (that I linked to in the original post, although it has been changed now) was "Swingless in San Francisco: Bonds fails to homer."
Update

Baseball Widow would like to make a couple of quick updates.

I've received some email asking how the Eye-Candies are coming along. Well, despite a couple of days in first place, they're settling down around fourth--about where Baseball Hubby had predicted. (Did I mention that he thinks he's very smart?)

Offense is generally good, although on Tuesday I had six of my starting lineup pull 0-fers. God bless Javy Lopez, because he's anchoring me. Fifty-two at bats in, and he's still swinging .462.

I've made one lineup change, dropping the injured Joe Mays and picking up Danys Baez to fill the closer role. In general, I'm hesitant to over-manage because I really do want to field the team as I picked it, but the Eye-Candies were getting slaughtered without a closer. Besides, I hadn't initially separated closers from middle relief, so I feel okay about mixing up the pitching a little. Don't worry: Baez is a looker, too.

That's the first update, about the Eye-Candies. The second update is about I, Candi. (Please don't give me grief about the use of "I" instead of the proper "me." Sometimes I have to sacrifice grammar for entertainment value.)

Baseball Widow has tried not to burden this site with information about herself, but it's time to make a confession: I'm a law student. As a matter of fact, the blogfather himself, Glenn Instapundit Reynolds, is currently my Con Law professor. I was shocked to learn a couple of days ago that he actually knows my name, but as far as I can tell, he knows nothing about Baseball Widow and her comparatively measly 6000 hits.

I've said all that to say this: I'm rapidly approaching finals, so I probably won't have much to say about baseball for the next week or so. I think I'm gonna let Baseball Hubby step in and write a few. Remember, too many hours sitting in front of the BV (that's Baseballvision) might have caused his expository writing muscles to atrophy, so don't be too hard on him.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Seriously, this has to stop

You've got to be kidding me. You seriously have to be kidding me. Oh, okay, I'm the one talking to you. Well, I'm not kidding either.

Reese Witherspoon is set to play in Sports Widow, a movie about--you know what? I'm not even going to tell you what the movie is about. Let's just say that if you read Baseball Widow, you've pretty much stumbled onto the plot.

You've got to be kidding me!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

They have the Internet on computers now

D'oh! How did Baseball Widow not know this?

The Florida Marlins' AAA affiliate in Albuquerque, NM, is none other than the Albuquerque Isotopes. The nickname stems from "Hungry Hungry Homer," an episode of The Simpsons in which the Duff Beer Company threatens to move the Isotopes, Springfield's minor league team, to (where else?) Albuquerque.

Baseball Widow and Hubby are huge fans of The Simpsons, as are most people with brains and TVs. And Baseball Widow doesn't want any crap about how you used to like them, but the last few seasons have been bad. That line is tired, in addition to being wrong. Don't get me started on psychological feedback loops and misplaced nostalgia.

As if reference to nuclear energy weren't a controversial enough nickname, Tampa Bay's new AA team attacks another controversial subject: carbohydrates. Eschewing the low-carb life, the Montgomery (Alabama) Biscuits, have opened their inaugural season, and they just might steal the best logo title away from the Augusta GreenJackets.

And did you hear? Minor league baseball will also open in Japan next year, when the Biscuits will take on the Ham-Fighters. . .that's a match-up Baseball Hubby is already salivating over.

Baseball Widow loves minor league baseball. First and foremost because she can afford good seats. Second, it's cool to check out prospects or check in on re-habbing names. Third, there's something intimate and exciting about a minor league game--as if, at any moment, a star might be made in front of your eyes.

Speaking of minor league ball, Baseball Widow will be heading to a Tennessee Smokies game soon. Last year Rick Ankiel was trying to get things under control with the St. Louis AA team. The night I saw him pitch, he appeared frustrated with the game--as if baseball had become a chore. Ankiel should try being married to Baseball Hubby.


Thursday, April 15, 2004

Ya can't p'ahk ya b'ahd in the y'ahd

Baseball Widow decided to meet her neighbors in oddball outlier land. First up was the Score Bard. Sure, Baseball Widow is impressed with his flow, but even more exciting was his blogroll in the form of a Periodic Table--and Baseball Widow thought she was a nerd!

Here's to hoping that one day the Bard discovers Baseball Widow as a new element in the Baseball Family. . .


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Steal this Post

Again, someone has latched on to the wisdom of Baseball Widow and taken it for his own purposes. If Baseball Widow had a nickel for everytime that happened, well, she'd have about fifteen cents.

No sooner did Baseball Widow comment on Johnny Damon's new 'do (see post entitled "The Passion of the Sox") than did Damon's Disciples crop up. Of course, Dave Pinto wants credit for the moniker, but Baseball Widow's "genesis" for the idea was posted two hours before he coined the phrase.

You know, Pinto went to Harvard--not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just saying. . .
Leftover Easter Candi

Thought I'd start to catch up on the posts that I promised last week. . .

Baseball Widow celebrated Easter by purchasing "Baseball Oreos"--five different baseball-themed designs on the cookies plus the chance to "Take the Field with A-Rod." Baseball Widow was amused and a little concerned at the tagline "You can lick, twist, and dip with A-Rod." That kind of language seems much more suited to banter on the Eye-Candies site than to a product marketed at kids.

Check out the Oreo's website, though, for all sorts of goodies about the contest--like the section on "A-Rod's Tips and Tricks." Baseball Widow's favorite is number 8: when batting, wear a batting helmet. That A-Rod. . .you can't pull anything over on him.
Better Slate than Never
Baseball Widow was just mentioned on slate.com.
Granted, she's classified as an "oddball outlier," but there's no such thing as bad press, right?

It's confusing, though. . .Baseball Widow practically abandons her blog for a week and gets a slate.com mention. What if I never write again? Pulitzer?


Friday, April 09, 2004

Not Your Everyday Blog

Baseball Widow would like to begin this post by issuing a public thank you to everyone for being so supportive of this site since its debut just a couple of months ago. Baseball Widow is particularly flattered by the sites that have chosen to link here. I also apologize that I don't update my own links more frequently because there are a lot of great blogs (and people) out there whose work deserves recognition.

Baseball Widow was recently added as a link on the Reds Daily page. She appears under the title of "Semi-Daily" reads, and Baseball Widow thinks that sounds about right.

I know I don't update as frequently as some, but I hope that my posts are thoughtful and thought-provoking. (If they're not, please let me know!) Because my posts are sporadic, many of you may not be in the habit of stopping by daily. That's cool--you should spend that time reading some of the other amazing stuff out there, or, hey, even watching a game.

Baseball Widow doesn't want to be your everyday blog, but do drop in once or twice week 'cause you never know what Candi's cooking.

Tomorrow Baseball Widow will return to a familiar topic, and on Sunday we'll discuss a special Easter treat. Hope you'll come back.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Get an eyeful of this

Eye-Candies in first place--for now. In other news, Baseball Hubby's team is clawing its way up from last place.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Ich Bin Ein Dodger

Baseball Hubby had predicted that Milton Bradley would become a Dodger--either that or he'd move to Providence and develop a new game for his namesake toy company. They already make "Don't Break the Ice" and "Don't Spill the Beans," but Bradley (the person, not the trademark) would have been marketing the latest addition "Don't Backtalk your Boss."
The Passion of the Sox

Is it just me, or should Johnny Damon be telling parables and turning water into wine? Either that, or he's moonlighting as a Billy Ray Cyrus impersonator. . . love you on Pax!
Here's a shock: another terrible announcer who's a former jock

Baseball Widow has decided to keep tabs on how often John Kruk makes reference to "the facts." Baseball Widow has been watching Baseball Tonight's season preview for less than twenty minutes, and he's already said "for the simple fact that" five times! Economy of words, John. If you mean "because," say "because."

Saturday, April 03, 2004

If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts. . .

Baseball Widow knew that readership was up, but this is ridiculous. . .

Just last week Baseball Widow posted a diatribe about the shortcomings of sports announcers, and the next day ESPN had the Baseball Tonight Crew calling the Yanks/D-Rays game. In the same post, I referred to TBS's problem-child, Erin Andrews.

Well, call the dog and spit in the fire, 'cause Ms. Andrews is outta here! Here are some highlights from a post-firing interview:

Q: Why do you think that Turner chose not to bring you back?

A: Because they were going in another direction. . .

(B-Widow running commentary: Uh, yeah, they decided to go in a direction that didn't suck.)

A (continued): . . .it doesn't surprise me that they wanted someone with more baseball knowledge. . .

(B-Widow: No, Erin, all they wanted was someone with some baseball knowledge--any baseball knowledge at all would do. Quick: How many outs in a half-inning? How many strikes and you're out? How many letters in "out"?)

Q: What was your relationship with the local fan base?

A: . . . There were the doubters out there but I think that anyone who watched the studio show enough realized how much I knew about sports. I hope.

(B-Widow: You know it's bad when Erin herself hopes that she knows something about sports.)

Q: What was your most embarrassing moment onscreen at Turner?

A:. . . I couldn't see the Teleprompter straight, and I sent it back "Don Simpson" and "Joe Sutton."

(B-Widow: 'Cause you have to see the Teleprompter to correctly identify your co-workers, what with the Braves constantly changing their announcers and all.)

Marc Fein will replace Erin. Although Baseball Widow would have preferred the return of Beau Estes, she's sure he'll do a "Fein" job.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

"Post" Ipsa Loquitur

Baseball Widow is disappointed to announce that she will be discontinuing her fantasy team, The Eye-Candies, and the blog that chronicles them. Baseball Widow received a cease and desist letter from the representation of Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson. Portions of the letter are excerpted below. . .

". . . by undertaking your identification of visually stimulating baseball players, using such terms as "hot", "attractive", "cute", and "handsome", you intentionally and willfully maligned those members of Major League Baseball who do not meet your requirements. Our client, Mr. Johnson, was specifically injured by your statements that "If God had wanted men to have facial hair, he wouldn't have invented razors" and "mustaches are really ugly."

As Mr. Johnson's legal representation, we must insist that you immediately cease and desist your weblog (hereinafter "blog") entitled "The Eye-Candies", located at hypertext address http://eye-candies.blogspot.com. Failure to do so by 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) Eastern Standard Time on April 1, 2004 will result in legal action on Mr. Johnson's part."

Well, it was fun while it lasted, folks.