Thoughts on the Phils’ Run

After his Milwaukee Brewers got swept by the Phillies in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park, Ned Yost was relieved of his managerial duties. Many fans of the Brew Crew will tell you that it was a long time coming — Yost should have been canned a long, long time ago. I’m not going to discuss that here, though. It is interesting to note, however, that this is the third person to lose his job after playing the Phillies: starter Matt Morris, then of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Willie Randolph (technically it wasn’t directly “after” playing the Phillies, though it was a bit of punishment for last year’s epic collapse), and now Yost.

Want to play rough tomorrow, Bobby Cox? Bring it — I’m sure Frank Wren won’t have a problem with canning you.

Friend of the blog MattS (whom I quoted in my appearance on the Live from Gotham podcast) noted that CoolStandings.com had the Phillies at 69.1% to make the playoffs yesterday, up from 39.6% on Saturday. That’s significant. The Phils picked up all four games they trailed the Brewers by going into the four-game series, and also picked up three games on the New York Mets, including their loss tonight at the hands of the Washington Nationals (meaning the Phillies are now only 0.5 games behind in the NL East).

There are still a lot who doubt the Phillies, taking into account their recent offensive ineptitude and the somewhat unsurprising struggles the various members of the bullpen have had. Still, though, between the Phillies, Mets, and Brewers, the red pinstripes have the best average run differential (+0.72 per game). And even compared to the Brewers, the Phillies can feel good about their starting pitching with Cole Hamels and the resurgent Brett Myers, whose second-half performance is topped only by C.C. Sabathia.

After a bit of a grace period, the Mets’ bullpen appears to be back to hemorrhaging leads. Both of their recent losses to the Atlanta Braves were bullpen-authored. Since September 9, the bullpen has thrown nearly 17 innings (nearly an average of 3 innings per game) and put up an ERA of 8.10 and a WHIP of 1.80. Equally as unimpressive are the BB, K, and HR rates: 5.4, 5.4, and 2.2 respectively. The walk and HR rates are really, really high, and the K-rate is way too low, especially for relievers.

To what can we attribute the Phillies’ recent success (7-3 over their last 10)? The easy answer is starting pitching, as the only bad starts have come from Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton (Sept. 8). However, the offense has hit at least one home run in eleven straight games, their longest streak since July 22-August 6 (the Phils went 9-2). The Phillies’ offense is more dependent on power hitting than most other offenses, so if they’re not hitting home runs, they’re not going to score many runs any other way.

Additionally, the Phillies have an average .304 BABIP over those last ten games, a huge step up from the .269 BABIP they had in August and the average .231 BABIP they had going into the series with the Florida Marlins.

Let’s have an updated look at the teams’ remaining schedules…

PHILLIES

9/16-18: @ ATL

9/19-21: @ FLA

9/22-24: vs. ATL

9/25: OFF

9/26-28: vs. WAS

METS

9/16-18: @ WAS

9/19-21: @ ATL

9/22-25: vs. CHC

9/26-28: vs. FLA

BREWERS

9/16-18: @ CHC

9/19-21: @ CIN

9/22: OFF

9/23-25: vs. PIT

9/26-28: vs. CHC

The Phillies easily have the easiest remaining schedule. On the season, they’re 10-2 against the Braves, 6-9 against the Marlins, and 9-6 against the Nationals.

The Mets have the unfortunate circumstance of having to play the Cubs in a four-game series, but there is a silver lining for the ‘politans: the Cubs will probably clinch the division before the series starts, so they will probably not be facing the Cubs at full strength. On the season, the Mets are 10-4 against the Nationals, 6-9 against the Braves, 0-2 against the Cubs, and 9-6 against the Marlins.

The Brewers have it bad — real bad. Six whole games against the Cubs and at least three of them will be against the “try hard” or “pre-clinch” Cubs. On the season, the Brewers are 4-6 against the Cubs, 7-8 against the Reds, and 11-1 against the Pirates.

Should the division and/or Wild Card leads come down to the final series of the season and it’s within a game or two, the Phillies have only the Nationals to slay while the Mets have to fend off the pesky Marlins and the Brewers have to deal with the Cubs.

Last season, of course, the Phils went 2-1 in the last series of the season against the Nats, with Brett Myers closing out Game #162 which saw the Phillies clinch their first post-season berth since 1993. The Phillies also closed out the season against the Nationals in 2005, sweeping the three-game series.

If the Phillies win the Wild Card, they’ll face the Cubs in the Division Series with the likely match-ups being Hamels/Zambrano, Myers/Harden, and Moyer/Lilly.

If the Phillies win the East, they’ll probably face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS though I’m not sure how the Dodgers will order the rotation. I’d assume they’d open with Chad Billingsley but manager Joe Torre might prefer veteran starter Derek Lowe in the opener (Lowe, of course, won the clinching game each of the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series in 2004 for the Boston Red Sox).

However, all of this talk of the post-season is much too hasty. There are still 12 games to be played. And if Kyle Kendrick gets one more start with the way he’s been pitching, it may hamper the Phils’ post-season chances. Since the start of July, he has a 6.58 ERA and a 1.9 WHIP to complement a lousy 3.9 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 1.4 HR/9. Shortening the rotation to four starters, or replacing Kendrick with J.A. Happ is a necessary use of strategy at this point.  It will leave a sour taste in my mouth if the Phillies lose either the division and/or the Wild Card by two games or less having allowed Kendrick to make two or more starts.

But I didn’t mean to dampen all that optimism with a bit of reality. The Phillies will steamroll their way through the playoffs, just like they did last year, right? Oops, there goes that self-defense mechanism. Just too used to getting shafted (read: Phillies, Wild Card circa 2003 vs. Marlins; circa 2005 vs. Astros).

It’s September 11

…and you know what that means: endless propaganda.

I apologize for another non-baseball article that is only tangentially related to sports. What will follow is very political in nature and probably controversial. If you’d prefer not to hear me blather on with my opinions, read no further. I’ll write more about baseball soon enough.

If you choose to comment on this article, I will be much more authoritarian. Only comments that are mature and well-reasoned will be allowed. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, just do so rationally. I understand that 9/11 is a sensitive subject, but we can all be objective about it.

ESPN has recently seemed like a Republican mouthpiece (remember, ESPN is owned by Disney, which also owns ABC, and you remember when they aired this completely biased miniseries on 9/11?). Earlier this week on SportsCenter, they ran a piece that praised John McCain and detailed his NASCAR fandom in glowing terms. Just a coincidence that McCain is running for President and they wanted to air a piece about him? They canceled a Barack Obama podcast interview with Bill Simmons back in April.

This morning, I begrudgingly started my day with some Mike and Mike at around 8:45 to find them running a 9/11 tribute and, if I recall correctly, a clip of Jack Buck on the day baseball returned following the terrorist attacks — very moving. If it was simply a tribute to the people who lost their lives on that day, I have no problem with that, but I’m taking ESPN’s behavior and their connections into account and concluding that there’s an agenda behind it.

Let’s be honest: the only reason any media outlet is running a 9/11 tribute is for the ratings and the mostly positive feedback they will receive (and, in the end, money). There’s a reason why none of the channels aired them at 4 in the morning: because no one’s watching. It’s all about the ratings, and it’s all about money. ESPN is predatory when it comes to sappy tributes, as they use the sad stories of dead or disabled athletes for their Sunday Conversations or one of their similar bits like My Wish. I’m not saying that the people they cover don’t benefit from it, it’s just that the #1 motivation behind these pieces is money, not compassion. If My Wish didn’t make ESPN money, they wouldn’t do it. Same thing goes for their 9/11 tribute — the motivation isn’t compassion.

Overall, I’m tired of the 9/11 tributes. They generally miss the point and end up serving as right-wing propaganda. There are still a lot people out there who can’t separate 9/11 from the fighting in the Middle East. Maybe I’m wrong (doubtful, as about half the country currently supports the war-mongering McCain). From my experience, though, it seems like the 9/11 tributes just reinforce the generalization of people in the Middle East, something like this:

Those brown people who live in sand attacked us! Our presence in Iraq is justified.

Keep in mind that’s the start of a strawman argument and a generalization, but that’s generally the way I think a good portion of Americans responded and still respond to 9/11. There are still a lot of people who don’t know that the majority of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (but they have connections with the U.S. government, so no one wags nary a finger at them), or that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 (even W. eventually admitted as much).

September 11 should not be a day to simply reflect back on the same day in 2001 and give a day of reprieve from doling out criticism. How about an honest look back?

  • The Bush administration was warned by Osama bin Laden about the U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia and the open U.S. support for Israel. [L.A. Times]
  • The Bush administration ignored many warnings about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the months preceding 9/11. [New York Times]
  • After being told that his country was under attack, Bush literally did nothing. [YouTube]
  • Bush linked 9/11 and Saddam Hussein to justify a venture into Iraq while simultaneously fighting a war in Afghanistan. [Christian Science Monitor]
  • On September 13, 2001, President Bush said, “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” To this day, they have not found him. In 2002, they had a great opportunity and failed, and since then, have gradually but noticeably decreased efforts in the search. The venture into Iraq had a lot to do with this. In fact, it was likely used to distract Americans from the administration’s failure to capture Osama bin Laden.
  • On May 1, 2003, President Bush stood in front of a sign on the USS Abraham Lincoln that read, “Mission Accomplished,” referring to the War in Iraq. [Wikipedia]
  • Iraqis have never supported the American presence in their country. [USA Today (2004), Washington Post (2006)]. In fact, the polls show an overbearingly negative Iraqi view on everything as it pertains to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. For instance, half of Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces. [World Public Opinion]

September 11 is a day for remembering the innocent people who lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. It is not a day for passivity; it is not a day for accepting government sound bites and catchphrases; it is not a day for having your eyes glaze over at the numerous amounts of propaganda that will air today. It is not a day to say, “Gee, thanks, government, for keeping me safe from the sand people!”

Those who lost their lives on this day seven years ago aren’t around anymore directly because of the Bush administration’s failed policies starting from day one. 9/11 was the Bush administration’s fault and they should not be reaping the benefits of Americans getting misty-eyed when shown images of the collapsing twin towers and the thought of friends and family lost that day.

And to tie into my opener, ESPN, with their obvious right-wing bias, has no business doing the government’s bidding. Perhaps they were forced to do so by their parent company Disney, who knows? There will be a lot of tongue-biting on camera today, and it’s a shame because those that are honest get punished for it.

I’m not the most gifted writer (or speaker, for that matter), so I’d like to point you to Keith Olbermann, who eloquently and clearly says what I’ve been struggling to say. Click here to watch the video at Crooks and Liars. I urge you to watch it.

What Are the Secrets to Jamie Moyer’s Success?

Jamie MoyerI originally posted this on the Flushing University forums, but I figured it was extensive, informative, and interesting enough to repost here. I was asked how Moyer, nearly at the age of 46 and throwing a fastball that barely tops 82 MPH, was able to find so much success this season.

I’ll just copy-paste my response:

. . .

He’s had a 5% increase in ground balls as compared to last year and his 44.2 GB% is the highest it’s been since at least 2001 (FanGraphs only tracks batted ball percentages as far back as 2002, though we can manually calculate them using Baseball Reference’s Hit Trajectory splits). As a result of throwing less fly balls in a stadium that helps push a lot of fly balls a lot further than they justifiably should have flown (Ed.: This is mostly due to the winds, not the dimensions of the ballpark), Moyer’s home run percentages have gone down as well. His HR/FB is at 9.2%, which is the lowest it’s been since 2005, when his home stadium was Yellowstone… excuse me, Safeco Field.

Moyer’s also been a little bit lucky on balls in play. With a 20.8 LD% and considering the 5% increase in ground balls, we’d expect a BABIP in the .325-.335 area, but it’s only at .295. He’s faced 739 hitters, so we’d expect the following amounts of hits…

.295 BABIP: 218 hits
.325 BABIP: 240 hits
.335 BABIP: 248 hits

So, he’s saved between 22-30 hits on the season because of his lower-than-normal BABIP.

Looking at FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), which looks only at events that the pitcher can directly control, we’d expect his ERA to be around 4.30. Compare that to his current 3.64 ERA and we see that the Phillies’ defense has saved Moyer about two-thirds of a run per game. That’s 19 runs over his 29 starts.

Lastly, Moyer has been throwing a lot more fastballs, believe it or not. According to FanGraphs, Moyer has had a 5.2% increase in the use of his four-seam fastball from ’07 to ’08 and a 5.7% increase in the use of his cutter. It looks like he ditched his slider, and he’s thrown his curve ball 2.0% less and his change-up 7.6% less.

So, based upon my research, I conclude the following have been factors in Moyer’s success:

  • More groundballs, less HR
  • Fortunate BABIP
  • Good defense behind him
  • Modified pitch selection

There’s a good chance that Moyer will be returning to the Phillies in ’09, so it will be interesting to see if these numbers hold, considering that the Phillies will generally be fielding the same defensive team. Burrell will probably be back, but if he isn’t, it only makes the defense better.

. . .

I’d like to add to that by pointing out that Moyer has given up significantly fewer extra-base hits. Moyer is on pace to allow 201 total hits: 138 singles, 39 doubles, 5 triples, and 20 home runs (.408 SLG). Last season, he allowed 222 hits: 131 singles, 57 doubles, 4 triples, and 30 home runs (.483 SLG).

And going back to the Hit Trajectory splits, I think it’s interesting to note the difference between 2007 and ’08.

Fly Balls, 2007: 39.4% .855 OPS
Fly Balls, 2008: 35.1% .731 OPS

Ground balls, 2007: 39.4% .492 OPS
Ground balls, 2008: 44.2% .459 OPS

Line Drives, 2007: 21.2% 1.765 OPS
Line Drives, 2008: 20.8% 1.644 OPS

The OPS is down across the board this season. The difference is at its highest on fly balls, most of which is due to the decreased home run rate, but as mentioned, hitters aren’t getting too many extra-base hits off of him. Surely the plus-arms of Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, and Geoff Jenkins help in the prevention of singles being stretched into doubles and doubles stretched into triples, but overall, hitters just aren’t hitting Moyer very hard, as evidenced by the 16.8% infield fly balls (IFFB) he’s induced, a 4.3% increase from last season and about 3% above his career average.

While it is surprising to see a 46-year-old up among the league leaders in ERA (16th in NL), Moyer’s success isn’t fluky. Considering that he’ll have essentially the same defense behind him in ’09 (assuming he doesn’t retire and returns to the Phillies), there’s very little that would cause Moyer to have a clunker of a season, considering that he doesn’t rely on much more than location and intellect when he’s on the mound.

. . .

I was just notified of an interesting and useful website: FirstDibz.com is a place where season ticket-holders sell and put “dibz” on post-season face value tickets for their particular team. Here’s the Phillies section.

A Note to the New York Mets

Brett Myers, September 5 @ NYM: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K

Jamie Moyer, September 7 @ NYM: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K

Oh, and you have to face Cole Hamels in about two hours. Cue the “Everybody hits! Woo hoo!” guy.

Speaking of fun times, Brad Lidge will be appearing on the Las Vegas-based Country Fastball radio show at 6 PM tonight. The radio show combines baseball and country music, so it’s no surprise to learn that Lidge will be a guest. You may recall that Brad Lidge is also a hard rock fan, particularly of Drowning Pool.

Completely Non-Sports-Related

I’ll get back to baseball eventually… but I just finished reading this article by Charlie Sorrel and I had to use my platform — albeit a small one — here to respond to it. It’s basically a grouchy “I hate technology” article though it appears it’s Sorrel’s job to cover technology. Well, no one said you had to like what you write about for a living, but it sure helps you get out of bed every morning.

He lists five technologies that “should be banned” and gives little explanations after each of them. I’ll just quote Sorrel in bold and my response will be under it, FJM-style.

A speakerphone’s advantages are far outweighed by the fact that it can be used to play music. Specifically (and you might detect the voice of experience here), really bad rap music on the train to the beach.

Technically speaking, a speakerphone doesn’t play music (actually, I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to cell phones as I don’t even own one myself, so I am probably wrong about that); a speakerphone allows the voice of the person calling you to be emitted so that you either don’t have to hold the phone up to your ear (great for driving) or so multiple people in the room can listen.

And we should ban these speakerphones because they play music that Mr. Sorrel doesn’t like? There’s no more annoying person than a music snob…

Worse, the speakers are terrible. Bass becomes buzz, drums become tinny taps and vocals distort. At least the old 1970s boomboxes packed a decent punch.

This is actually true but it’s still not a reason to ban them.

If the cyborg-like plug in your ear weren’t bad enough, you look like a crazy-person whenever you use it, muttering to yourself as you walk down the street. Throw it away, now.

I don’t know what to say, this is such a nonsensical argument. People should not use Bluetooth technology because Mr. Sorrel gets confused by the fact that he’s talking but his hands are at his sides and there’s no one in his vicinity? I bet he gets confused and walks into glass windows after they’ve been cleaned, too. Oh, and he tries to interact with his reflection in the mirror.

the ringtone is the bane of modern existence, and reached a nadir with the release of the Crazy Frog, a ringtone based on a piece of music designed to piss people off

Crazy Frog is 100% annoying and I guess if you really wanted to put a halt to annoying ring tones, you could cite something like a public nuisance (did I forget to tell you that I’m not a lawyer?), but the easier solution is to just chill out. We’re basically talking about strangers you will never see again, or at least won’t have any meaningful interaction with ever again.

But they are invariably used as a way to make the owner of the phone somehow look smart or funny. This, as we know, never works.

It depends on the ring tone. Most people’s tones don’t do anything — at least for me — to think they’re smart or funny, though I will laugh every time I hear “You could hear me ‘fore you see me, I got king Kong in the trunk” (listen to the song).

Lightweight, convenient and offering hundreds of titles in your pocket, the e-book is surely a perfect gadget. It can’t even annoy your fellow-travellers on public transport. But it has a secret agenda: to destroy romance itself.

Yeah… no.

You might remember that I hollowed out a Moleskine notebook to hide my iPod Touch, the theory being that while a handsome young man reading a paperback and sipping a coffee at a pavement café would attract the ladies, a nerd reading an e-book would not.

My theory was proved correct this week. Sipping a glass of wine and looking very intellectual, I finished reading the last page of my book (something by Paul Auster, if you must know). I switched to my iPod Touch (without the Molekine prophylactic). Just then, the pretty girl at the next table turned around and, with a flirtatious smile, asked what I was doing.

“Reading” I said

“Reading?” she asked, tipping her lovely head to a rather coquettish angle.

“Yes,” I replied, “I’m reading a book on my iPod.”

She glanced down at the device in front of me.

“Reading a book on your iPod?”

As I nodded she simply turned away, brow slightly furrowed. I went home alone.

So, we should not use e-Books because Sorrel doesn’t get laid by some woman he randomly talked to about his iPod? Based on the conversation he described, he didn’t come off as warm; in fact, he came off as cold and anti-social. Maybe instead of blaming technology for his lonely weekends, he should blame himself.

This one comes from my brother, a motorbike rider who commutes daily. His problem: Morons. He thinks that most of the time people know where they are going and don’t actually need a satnav unit. Further, he argues, owners use them when they don’t need to, to justify the purchase.

So what if they know where they’re going “most of the time”? By this logic, anyone who has a daily commute should not ever buy a Satnav. It’s not for the tedious commute to work every day; it’s for those times when you have no clue where you’re going: a wedding (this comes from personal experience… last week, I went to a wedding and arrived late — but just in time for the “You may kiss the bride” part — because I had no idea where I was going and drove by the entrance to the place probably three times), a camping trip out in the country, to your cousin’s new house in another county, etc.

Furthermore, who cares how people use it? So what if they use it to “justify the purchase”? Sorrel (and his brother) need to back out of other people’s lives and just relax and stop being so opposed to new technology.

Here’s what a legitimate anti-technology list would look like:

  • Ban the use of cell phones while driving. Some states have already done this, but it needs to be wholly enforced. Unlike Sorrel’s list, this “ban” focuses on meaningful issues, like the safety of the hundred-million drivers in this country (I’ not sure if that’s an accurate guess).

That’s it. That’s pretty much the only gripe with technology that can legitimately be made (aside from cell phones in hospitals… that’s an obvious one). Life is kind of pleasant when you don’t get angry at people all the time because of how they look while they talk on their cell phone or what tune is emitted from their phones.

I’ll “get offa” your lawn now, Mr. Sorrel.

Sorry!

I apologize for the lack of updates here at Crashburn Alley (and at Baseball Digest Daily and Flushing University). I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had enough time to intelligently discuss the Phollies (not a typo?) and their quest for the NL East pennant.

But, yeah… losing two of three to the Washington Nationals in September. That’s, uh, what winning teams do, right?

Something for you to look forward to: In a couple weeks, I’ll have a big post on who I think should be recipients of those great awards. Don’t get the party hats and streamers yet!

Carlos Ruiz at Third Base?

Charlie Manuel just put Carlos Ruiz at third base in the ninth inning of tonight’s game against the New York Mets. Like, defensively.

Box score, a.k.a. proof that it actually happened.

I just have to ask Charlie Manuel, “Uh, what?”

Eric Bruntlett, a utility infielder, hasn’t been used yet. 4-5-6 hitters due up in the ninth, Brad Lidge/pinch-hitter (Bruntlett) is in the 7-hole. Charlie’s hoping for some baserunners, although maybe it’s not such a bad idea to have your reliever hit. After all, Clay Condrey did hit a double earlier in the game and scored on a Jimmy Rollins two-run home run.

Luckily, Ruiz didn’t have to do any fielding. Lidge got Carlos Beltran to ground out to Rollins and struck out Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis.

Let’s hope Manuel played his cards right.

UPDATE: Mets reliever Luis Ayala got the first two outs but Jayson Werth saved Manuel from criticism by getting a single to bring up Bruntlett.

Bruntlett tied the game with an RBI double. Charlie is a genius? (Intentional question mark.) Carlos Ruiz is robbed of a hit by Jose Reyes to bring the game to extra innings.

Speaking of updates, once this game is final, the BABIP and LI spreadsheets will be updated. Oh yeah, and I have an article up at Baseball Digest Daily on the Phillies possibly transferring their offensive ineptitude to the L.A. Dodgers.

UPDATE #2: This game is pretty freakin’ entertaining. Cole Hamels is pinch-hitting since the Phillies have no more bench players available. Runners on first and second with one out.

Hamels struck out looking.

UPDATE #3: Not going to update again until the game goes final but it’s in the 13th inning now, making this the longest game of the year for the Phillies. They’d played four twelve-inning games (04/10, 07/06, 07/11, and 08/08) previously. Still 7-7.

An interesting note, looking over the FanGraphs play log: only two line drives have been hit in the game. Carlos Delgado hit one in the fourth inning and Brian Schneider just hit one in the thirteenth inning; the Phillies have hit none. With 78 outs in 26 half-innings, that’s a LD% of 2.5%.

UPDATE #4: The game is close to ending. Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the thirteenth with a triple, so the Mets intentionally walked the next two hitters (Werth and Bruntlett) to get to pinch-hitter Brett Myers. Bases loaded, no outs for Myers.

He worked the count to 3-2 then struck out looking — a smart move not to swing, considering how high the probability of a double play was.

Coste wins it with a line drive over Carlos Beltran’s head (he was playing in, obviously). 8-7.Now we can sleep. BABIP and LI spreadsheets updated. The following chart comes courtesy FanGraphs:

Mets-Phillies 08/26/08

Oddly enough, there were only five events in the game that had a Leverage Index (LI) higher than 5.00. Three came in the eighth inning, one came in the eleventh, and obviously Coste’s hit in the 13th. All of them were while the Phillies were hitting.

Radio Appearance Today!

MetsToday.com, host of the radio program Live from Mickey Mantle’s, invited me to appear on their program as a guest this evening. As expected, we’ll be talking Phillies-Mets. If you’d like to listen in, click here. The show starts at 6 PM EST I believe, and I’ll be coming on at around 6:30.

You may recall that I was on a podcast earlier this year after being invited by the Toronto Blue Jays blog Drunk Jays Fans. Hopefully I’ll improve on that appearance.

UPDATE: Just got done talking with the guys on Live from Mickey Mantle’s and I have to say it was a pleasure to take questions from them. I had a lot of fun and I made it a point to throw in some jabs at the Mets. Hopefully I didn’t completely bomb on there and I provided some good insight. Click here if you’d like to listen to it. The clip is “MLB Rundown (Part I – NL).”