Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mail Call!

Whenever you get a mailbag, you may assume that Bob had somewhere to be, and yes, I am seeing a movie Thursday morning (like Elvis – in a totally empty theater) – Gunnin for that #1 spot – is requiring me to get downtown by 9am.

So, with that in mind, enjoy a link or two, and some emails or ten….

Click Here to hear our conversation with Sean Avery …I thought he did very well – there were about a million more things to talk about with him, but we will have an in-person sit down when he comes to town and will cover many other items…

Hitch gets another deal with Columbus …and the Jackets finally are putting the talent together to get a playoff run going…

The Columbus Blue Jackets have given head coach Ken Hitchcock a contract extension on Wednesday.

Hitchcock has held the reins behind the bench since being hired by the club on November 22, 2006. He was named the fourth head coach in franchise history after Gerard Gallant was fired.

Since taking over the team, Hitchcock has guided the Blue Jackets to a record of 62-65-17 and fourth place finishes in the Central Division in each of the past two seasons. Last season, he guided the team to an 80-point finish (34-36-12), which is a franchise record. Also, he became the 20th coach in NHL history to coach in 900 or more games when he was behind the bench for a contest on April 5 against St. Louis.

"Signing Ken Hitchcock to this contract extension is another important step for the Columbus Blue Jackets as Ken is at or near the top of anyone's list when it comes to NHL coaches," said general manager Scott Howson. "He has brought credibility, presence and structure to our team and is an integral part of the Blue Jackets' identity. We are pleased to have stability for at least the next four years at the head coaching position."

In parts of 12 seasons, Hitchcock has amassed a 470-292-88-51 record in 901 games with Dallas, Philadelphia and Columbus, winning a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999.

And now, let’s reach into this email bag and get this party started:

I have been listening to your show for the last month and I think it is radio gold. I love the synical dry humor, it gets me through work.

Ok here is my beef, I am a KC Royals fan. I grew up in KC and I will always follow them. They are doing better this year but if they were having a year like the Rangers I would go crazy like in 03. To be over 500, I can only dream. I have lived in DFW for 3 years and I have seen this is not a baseball town. If it were, people would be excited and there would be a buzz.

These people are the biggest fair wheather fans I have ever seen. What? Did the Rangers in the 90's win 5 World series and now they suck? No, They have never went all the way and im tired of hearing how BURNT the fans are. Get off your a** and cheer these guys on, they just went to New York and took 2 of 3. And I love Ian Kinsler he is a University of Missouri guy! I know there are no real baseball fans here!


p.s. The Titanic was a real historical event, Texans dont know that. It didn't happen in Texas. People from the North know what going on.

Well, there is no doubt that this city is not a baseball town. But it could be. And it should be. As I always said, and as the great Brett Michaels said before me, “Just give me something to believe in”. It appears the Rangers are finally building this thing right, but this is the easy part. The big question is will Tom Hicks fulfill his role this winter, and buy the missing parts to supplement what you are growing. Repeat after me Hicks apologist: Winning baseball is not Either/OR. The best teams grown their own talent AND spend money. Look it up. Building is not mutually exclusive to spending. Will he do it? Will he put a Anaheim-like payroll when the time comes? Anaheim’s payroll was $119 million on opening day. The Rangers sat at $67 million. So, if it looks like the Angels have a team twice as talented, I have a guess as to why. They grew it, and then they bought it, too.

I am going through my baseball card collection and using various Price Guides to determine the collection's value. I came across this card and was stunned to find that the consensus valuation of my 1977 Texas Rangers' Mike Bacsik card is a measly 20 cents!!

As I am a P1 since about Day 47 and I do appreciate the contributions of the entire Bacsik family to both The Ticket and to Major League Baseball, I am going to go out on a limb here and personally value this card at a quarter. Sorry Bob, but my '77 Milwaukee Brewers' Sixto Lezcano card is staying at 20 cents.

Stay hard.

- John in Grapevine

I love it. That card brings back memories. I wish cards were like they used to be. I might still buy a pack if it was 1977 Topps.

1924 World Champion Washington Senators

Bob, Is this story accurate? I've can't find it anywhere. It was part of a sermon a few Sundays ago. I lifted the text from the transcript.

In 1942, the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators played in the World Series. It was a very close series. At the end of six games it was tied at three games. The stadium was filled for the deciding game, played in Washington. They came to the ninth inning with the score tied at two. New York was put down in order and Washington came to bat. The home team screamed for one lone run which would win the series and the World Championship. The first two men made outs and it looked like extra innings. Then a player named Goslin came to the plate. Two strikes were called and then two balls. The crowd was watching every pitch. On the fifth pitch, Goslin stepped into the ball and slammed it to left center field. The crowd became delirious; it looked like a home run, but it hit six inches below the top of the wall and fell back into the playing field. Goslin was slowing down for a triple when the third base coach signaled him to try for an in field home run. He ran for home. The shortstop took the peg from left center, spinning to fire the ball to the catcher. Goslin slid into home in a cloud of dust, seemingly a split second before the tag. The umpire made a delayed call and finally as the dust cleared, he raised his right hand shouting, "You¹re out!" The Washington fans were furious. Washington managers and players rushed out to argue the call. The umpire announced he would consult with the other umpires. After the four umpires conferred for a minute or two the umpire announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, the batter is out, because he didn¹t touch first base!"


P1 Austin

I am not accusing your pastor of lying, but, No, I don’t think that story is accurate. Something is wrong here. For one thing, the Cardinals played the Yanks in the ‘42 series.
For another, the Yankees and Senators were both in the American League, therefore impossible to play in the WS.
But, it appears the 1924 World Series was Washington and the NY Giants. And it went 7 games, and Goose Goslin played in it- But as far as any wild play like that, I am not seeing it…Once again, not to “sports bully” your clergy, but I might need some documentation on this one..


I have worked with a wild bird refuge on several occasions. They, as well as many others who have studied/worked with wild birds, insist that the mother bird shunning it's young, because they were touched by humans, is an absolute myth. It seems that birds have a terrible sense of smell.

Also, my own limited experience has shown that mother birds will indeed accept the young back into the fold. So, chalk this up to another urban myth that is taken as fact and propagated the herd.



Kinsler apologists aka (Tom Grieve) are saying about his defense are the same things Soriano apologists(aka Tom Grieve) used to say about him.

For instance, Soriano has great range and a great arm. He gets to balls other second basemen wouldn't get to thus increasing his chances to make more errors. In fact, it's the easy plays Soriano has trouble with. Sound like another second baseman we know?

Kinsler's over all offensive game, at least for this season, is superior to Soriano's. But Kinsler's defense is atrocious and as bad if not worse than Soriano's. The reason Soriano was so vilified is because the Rangers did a great job of telling the fans they had no intention of hanging on to him. Therefore, the fans never embraced him and only focused on his negatives.

Like I said on the air Wednesday, I would really like an unbiased professional to break down the gloves of Kinsler and Soriano as 2nd basemen. There is so much implied bias here that it is tough for anyone around here to break it out. Think about it, one is the guy who was from the Yankees for A-Rod and was only a short-timer here anyway, who did not run hard to 1st base and was never embraced. The other is the organization’s golden boy who we all love. But is one better with the glove than the other?

Stats to consider: Soriano with the Rangers
2004: 142 Games: 23 Errors - .969 Fielding Percentage – League Average: .982
2005: 153 Games: 21 Errors - .972 Fielding Percentage –League Average: .983
2006: 119 Games: 18 Errors - .973 Fielding Percentage – League Average: .986
2007: 130 Games: 17 Errors - .977 Fielding Percentage – League Average: .985
2008: 88 Games: 16 Errors - .969 Fielding Percentage – League Average: .987

So, as you can see, they are very close. Soriano had 44 Errors in 295 games (one every 6.7 games) and Kinsler has 51 errors in 337 games (one error every 6.6 games). While it should be said that Soriano was the 2nd baseman here when he was matured, and Kinsler could still be considered “developing”, I think the result of this project shows that they are both pretty close with the glove. Which suggests that before long, Kinsler may need to follow Soriano to Left Field.

I need to offer more research tomorrow on this...


You were at 7-11 last year as part of the Simpson's Promotion.

I was doing my duty as an American and voting for the last All-Star. After some thought I decided I would vote the player with the most total bases.

With regards to the possible choices it is Jermaine Dye. But that's burying the lead.

1. Josh
2. Ian

Very impressive and I wasn't sure if you were aware of this.

Very impressive indeed. Indeed


I realize you're a busy guy, but have you ever considered writing a Liverpool blog? I for one would be very interested. I've read your Essays on your trips to England and Premiership 101 and really enjoyed them. In fact a friend and I are planning our on trip (hopefully this season, but probably next year) to Anfield.

I am sort of a newbie when it comes to soccer, but I keep up with the PL and really like LFC. My interest started in Istanbul and led to me getting FSC last Spring. I think your Sports Genius mind would be an easy way to keep up with matches, cup runs and especially Transfers.


CQ, Thanks, but I have to stop looking for more projects. I need to spend some time with the wife and kids, but I have felt a disturbance in the Force that can only mean we are quickly approaching English Football Season. August 10th is the Charity Shield with Portsmouth (thanks to many readers when I originally had Chelsea in this game) and Manchester United. Awesometown.
And now, a final email that is a reply to the A&M email from the last mailbag on July 1 ……

First of all, those numbers are probably accurate. However, you can't compare today's college football to football dating back to 1894.

10-win seasons - Consider this fact . . A&M didn't even play 10-game seasons until 1930. So there's a 36 year stretch where it was pretty much impossible to win 10 games in a season. From 1930 to 1969, A&M played 10 game seasons. So barring a perfect year, it's pretty impossible to win 10 games. So out of "113 years," really it was only possible to win 10 games in 38 of them.

Bowls: There didn't used to be 80,000 bowl games a year like there is now. A&M has only 13 bowl wins, but it's only played in 30 bowl games. texas, is 2nd in the history of college football as far as bowl games played at 47 (Alabama is 1st). Of those 47 games, texas has won 24. OU has only played in 40. So again, framing it as a 113 year history is misleading.

Also first round draft picks - how many years has the NFL been around to have 1st round draft picks? once again, I'm thinking not 113 years. So that stat is misleading.

Also, I believe it was about 1972 when A&M opened its doors to women and became a full-fledged university as opposed to texas a&m college and mainly the corps of cadets. Since 1972, texas is 18-18 against A&M.
Mack in 10 years - 1
A&M since joining a conference in 1915 - 18
I think Mack Brown is an underrated coach - especially within the state of Texas. It's funny cause he probably got and still gets more crap from longhorn fans than aggie fans. I'd have loved for Mack Brown to have coached A&M the past 10 years.

Thanks and Gig Em


And now all of the Aggie-hater begin to compose their responses….


Or Moyal said...

For the sake of the Kinsler v Soriano arguement, I'm going to post a Baseball Prospectus excerpt I emailed to Junior last week.
(Lengthy wall of text inc)

With 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases, the Rangers' Ian Kinsler is on pace to become the first second baseman since Alfonso Soriano in 2002 to hit at least 25 homers and steal at least 40 bases in a season, and just the fourth in history. Kinsler also is akin to Soriano in the field. The current Cubs outfielder made more errors than any other major league second baseman in all five seasons he played the position, starting in 2001. Soriano's last two years at the keystone were spent in Texas, in 2004 and '05, and the player that succeeded him as the Texas second baseman--Kinsler--has taken on at least one aspect of Soriano's leather work. That's because Kinsler tied for the major league lead in errors in his rookie season of 2006 (18), was tops again last year with 17, and so far this season is first once more, with 14 already. However, Kinsler is a much better second baseman than Soriano was because of his extraordinary range, for while Kinsler makes a great number of errors, he also reaches more balls than any other second baseman: he has ranked first in Range Factor at second base by a healthy margin in each of his three major league seasons, including this year.

BACM said...

Avery's comments yesterday gave me complete tiredhead. Is he here to help win the Cup or is he chasing tail?

Lancerdfw said...

I have a very simple response for aggy. 73-36-5.