More mail. I’m thinking of

More mail. I’m thinking of answering more of it “out loud” like this, just because I get a lot of the same questions and comments. We’ll see how it goes.

Ron LaPlante writes in:

“Do you realize that with constant complaining about about Borges you are starting to sound just like the writers and agendas you so vociferously complain about. My the way for all the love you profess he has for the Raiders he picked against them in the Globe last Friday. I didn’t see any mention of that now did I? I guess it didn’t fit your ” agenda ”

Fair enough. I do sometimes worry about sounding like a broken record, or that I’m picking on one or two guys too much. Perhaps though, I could answer this question in true Borges fashion…”what do you want me to do…I been calling the guy a genius for a month now…”

Happystick wants to put his vote in with Shawn:

“I think Stampy is a riot and has made the Mike Adams show much better. Candy still doesnt bring much (except for her pics on the website) Who is Stampy(Stumpy?) and where did he come from. No mention of him on the website, it seems one day he just showed up. D&C is unlistenable. I like Gerry’s columns in the Herald, but listening to him commenting on headlines and calling everybody a scumbag got old real fast.
I’m 35, married w/children, homeowner, household income over $140K and I spent over $7k in audio-visual equipment last year. I should be in a coveted demographic. Yet WEEI thinks I only understand screaming matches and stupid jokes. If someone complains on the air they call them stupid and say how good their ratings are. I listened to WEEI from the beginning. I remember the Glen Ordway& Janet Pransky show. Now I only listen out between WZLX commercials. Within 2 years the WEEI fizz will dry up”

I agree to a point. Many times I don’t enjoy D&C. I often feel exactly as you do about Callahan….great in print, HATE him when he starts talking politics.

I looked forward to the Mike Adams show as being funny, being not negative, being different….Mike can do it…but he needs help…like I said he needs a straight man…someone to play off of, someone who knows all the sports and can do a real interview. I’m just hugely disappointed in the Mike Adams show and know it can be so much better….I don’t think WEEI is going away, however.

Al wants to know:

“… are we going to be subjected to an entire week of schtick about the Glen and the boys’ accomodations on the Big Show? Not exactly scintillating listening… and I don’t believe for one second that they don’t ALL have top of the line accomodations…
PS.. nice free ad for Campbell soup with that Michael Strahan appearance… I imagine there will be more “infomercials” during the week, as well.”

What? You don’t think the “Pete has a great suite, but should give it up to Fred because Smerlas brought his wife out for the weekend” soap is real? And it’s only Tuesday…wait till Friday. Of course you can always switch over and listen to Andelman if you want, it’ll be a constant stream of his Vegas buddies and business partners.

Eli (and many others) asked:

Any idea what happened to Michael Holley? Talk about a guy who fell from the face of the earth.

As was actually first reported here, Holley took a leave of absence from the Globe in order to write a full-access, behind-the-scenes book about the 2002 Patriots. He even got to be on the sidelines during the games. No word yet on when the book is due out, or when Holley will be back with the Globe.

Frank points out:

I think you missed a good opportunity to point out a truly humorous quote from Chris Wallace, or the General Manager Who Should Be Replaced (GMWSBR).
It was as follows:

”You are always looking to upgrade your team,” said Wallace. ”However, there are realities that you have to deal with in today’s NBA, which is that virtually every team in the league wants shorter contracts coming back than they’re sending, or at worst equal. There are not too many teams that are looking to take on more financial burden than what they already have. With that in mind, there’s a situation in the NBA right now which is like gridlock on the highway, because you can’t have everybody accomplish that.

The key words, of course, are as follows: “. . .virtually every team in the league wants shorter contracts coming back than they’re sending, or at worst equal. There are not too many teams that are looking to take on more financial burden than what they already have.”

Vin Baker kind of comes to mind, don’t you think? Anderson’s contract would have ended after this year. Vin’s contract, of course, runs on several more years.

I wish Shira was more of a reporter and less of a transcriber. I mean, this would have been the best lead into asking him again to justify the contract, using his own words against him.

Other than this missed opportunity on your part, I love the coverage and commentary you are providing on the Celtics… Do you think you could start a campaign to get rid of GMWSBR? I would gladly sign the list first. I am not too pleased with new ownership, either. I mean, their first order of business is to cram new seats into the Fleet Arena so they can make more dollars? Why not wait and do this after signing two quality role players? You’d think they might understand a little more about marketing than that. Right now, they seem eerily similar to Gatson, whose main priority was the bottom line.

Frank, thanks for pointing this out to me, and for your thoughts on the Celtics and Shira. Also, imagine if the Celtics had a Kenny Anderson with an expiring contract to dangle around the league at the trading deadline…

Finally, Aaron Schatz compares and contrasts Casey Fossum and Bartolo Colon (no added comments from me) :

I’ve been thinking about the Sox not dealing Fossum for Colon. I’ve been getting ready for the next roto baseball season, using some sabermetric tools I use to judge pitching, and I looked at both Colon and Fossum. Those who think this Bill James business is a load of horse pucky should stop reading now.

First of all, the greatest indicator of future pitcher success is strikeouts. The higher the rate of K to walks, the higher the rate of K per 9 innings, the more likely a pitcher is to get better (or stay great, if they are at their peak like Colon is).

2002 K/BB rate: Fossum 3.37, Colon 2.13
2002 K/9IP rate: Fossum 8.52, Colon 5.75

Colon good, Fossum better.

There’s a stat called “Strand Rate” that measures how many baserunners a pitcher allows that don’t score. Usually, a pitcher over 80% will decline in the following year, while a pitcher under 65% will get better, simply due to luck.

Fossum: 72%, Colon 81%

Last year, a guy named Voros McCracken came up with a theory that, with the exception of knuckleballers, the number of hits a pitcher gives up per ball put in play is no different for good pitchers and bad pitchers. It’s dependent on luck and defense quality. Randy Johnson led the league in hits per ball in play one year and was last the next.

Based on this theory, last year, Colon gave up 18 less hits than his other stats would suggest. Fossum gave up 18 MORE hits than his other stats would suggest – in HALF as many innings. It is likely both these numbers will move towards the middle this year.

Do you want conventional stats? How much difference do you think there was between Colon’s ERA and Fossum’s? Actually, the difference wasn’t that great – Colon was 2.93, Fossum 3.46.

There’s one caveat – Fossum was a relief pitcher until July. Relievers always have better numbers because they can let it all out for an inning or two while starters have to conserve energy.

So let’s look only at Fossum’s 12 starts. His K/BB ratio was actually HIGHER, 3.90. His K/9IP ratio was actually HIGHER, 9.53. His luck, as far as hits per balls in play, was actually WORSE. His strand rate was the same, and his ERA was higher as a starter (3.66 vs. 3.00) – but remember that relief pitchers always have lower ERAs than starters because starters get charged when crummy relief pitchers let their inherited runners score.

Fossum was better as a starter in the second half than he was as a reliever in the first half.

I’ve been thinking, well, Colon is better, but I’m glad that the Sox didn’t trade Fossum because there isn’t $7.5 million dollars difference between them. Ya know what – now I don’t even know if Colon is better. The difference between him and Fossum last year was almost entirely due to luck. The only advantages Colon would seem to have are experience under pressure, the ability to go a little longer into games before he needs the bullpen, and the ability to win any clubhouse eating contests. There is an even money chance that Fossum will have a better year than Colon this year.

And, if the Sox sign some free agent like Rogers or Finley and push Fossum to the bullpen, they are nuts. But then again, since Theo believes in all of these numbers, I doubt that will happen.