Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trade Deadline Baseball Chat

Since we are close to the Friday trade deadline, I thought last night was a good chance to pick the brains of Mr. Grant and Mr Hindman during the first hour of last night's game against Detroit. We talked about Rangers pitching and deadline moves, as well as what it might take to get Roy Halladay, and what the Rangers motivation level should be.

One note, both of the chatters have busy lives, so Evan arrived a bit after we started, and Mike had to leave a bit early, but still we got you almost 2,000 words of Rangers talk for you to digest today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bill James vs Scott Feldman

billjamesOn the left, you will see the cover of one of my favorite baseball books of all-time. It is "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract". Printed in 2003, I likely have not read this great thing cover-to-cover, but I reference it all of the time.

I always find it interesting how polarizing Bill James can be to people. The reason I find it curious, is that when he has an opinion that seems controversial, he then demonstrates why he believes what he believes about the great game of baseball. When he demonstrates his cases, it always includes the miles of research that appears to cement his thoughts. Once you have a mountain of evidence that supports his claims, then it no longer is a claim. Based in facts, one's opinions seem to carry much more substance. And that is the way Bill James seems to operate in his book.

The essay that he wrote about studying young pitchers and trying to figure out how to project a pitcher's success rate is called "Bird Thou Never Wert" from pages 289-294 of the book. If you would like to read the entire essay, you should be able to read it here .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ask Sports Sturm: Pujols the Great


Ronald sent me this week's project - which I referenced on the air yesterday, but now you have it in print. This is a pretty good one. Check this out:

Maybe you can help me with this. Albert Pujols has pretty much wrapped up the "best hitter of the decade". It looks like he will win the decade triple crown for the National League. Has any other player ever done that? That guy is too good.

And yes, I am a die hard Cardinals fan.



The decade triple crown?

Sports Debating Rudy and Romo

I always very much enjoy a good email disagreement after putting something up here at Inside Corner. Let's be honest, arguing a good sports point is all part of the fun. And we are having fun here, no?

So, in the last few days and weeks, I have written (Edit) about Tony Romo and Rudy Jaramillo - 2 of the greater lighting rods of 2009 in DFW. So, I thought I would share two of the hotter disagreement emails, and then answer them for all to see:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chatting W/ Evan Grant

One thing I want to make sure I try to do is to fill the voids around here. So, in that line of thinking, who is someone that rarely emerges from seclusion to share his thoughts of the Rangers with us?

Evan Grant. Exactly! Last night, while we both watched the Rangers-Boston game, we thought I would fire a few Rangers topics that were on my mind in his general direction for another award-nominated 60-minute chat.

Bob: I want to ask you for your best theories about the hitting around here. Frankly, the numbers are quite staggering for this roster for the better part of the year. .255 as a team? Impossible!

Evan: My best thinking cap answer is that we are seeing teams have to pitch to the Rangers like runs matter for the first time in a long time and they are actually putting some thought and effort into their pitch sequences. The Rangers have been slow to adjust. Then there are these facts: The bottom of the order was going to be a trouble spot if Chris Davis didn't have the same year as 2008. Josh Hamilton has gotten himself out. And, yes, Kinsler has been a little wild in his approach.

Evan: That said, I'm sitting here at Rangers-Red Sox. And Red Sox are supposed to be so patient. They've swung at more first pitches than Rangers tonight.

Bob: Interesting theory about other pitchers putting more thought into it...Hadn't considered it, but that is non-linear of you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

MGM: Watson, Cowboys Stadium and Paula

83868218SH024_The_138th_OpeLooking back at the weekend in sports, I am tempted to say that this is one of those weekend's that golf fans will never forget. Dan and I talked British Open on Friday afternoon on the radio and we were discussing the impact of Tiger Woods missing the cut and how that might affect our viewing habits.

We both love Tiger Woods, and all that he has done to impact golf. But, where we part ways is that my love of the majors is almost unaffected by Tiger's and Phil's presence (or absence). I wish they were there, but I will watch the entire weekend of a major regardless of who is there. It isn't the players - it is the event. I don't need the Yankees to watch the World Series; I don't need the Cowboys to watch the Super Bowl; and I don't need Tiger and Phil to lock in on Sunday for as long as they need me for the British Open on the 3rd weekend of July each year.

If you give your full attention to the back 9 of a major on a Sunday, you are almost guarenteed to witness gold. The tension and excitement of a Sunday at a major is often unmatched. And Sunday was off the charts.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chat w/ Followill

followillThis morning's chat is with the great Mark Followill. The voice of the Mavs agreed to join me for 60 minutes of instant messages about the Mavs summer of transition. Hope you enjoy:

sturm1310: This is truly a great pleasure. Since you have been traveling the 7 seas, give me a quick idea of your feelings about life since Denver, Game 5 for our Mavs.

mark.followill: The pleasure is actually mine, Great Sturminator. As far as your Dallas Mavs I thought on draft night they did a fairly nice job of managing assets. Turned one first rounder into three picks. Seems like they might have a nice diamond in the rough in Beaubois and who knows about the other two. Resigning Kidd was a must, I think Marion helps as a good two way player. Losing out on Gortat was a punch to the stomach. At least mine anyhow

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Preparing for Life After Zubov

D050061007.jpgI finally have a chance to write about the Stars again, and more specifically, the story that is in the process of completion as speak: The exit of the great Sergei Zubov.

I think many of us hate to see this happen. Zubov is one of my absolute favorite Dallas Stars for years and years. Imagining this organization moving on without him is as tough to process as moving on without Mike Modano or Jere Lehtinen.

But, there comes a time. And that time is now it would appear.

Zubov and his agent claim that they have up to 9 teams who are interested in Zubov. That is a believable number, and in reality, you wonder what the other 20 teams are thinking. A healthy Zubov merits a spot on any team in the National Hockey League. A healthy Zubov is amazing.

A healthy Zubov, say one that is somewhere between the ages of 25-37, is one that kills all of the penalties, powers all of the power plays, and plays roughly 30 minutes of every 60 minute playoff game. He is the calmest player on the ice, but also plays with incredible vision and clarity of what each moment calls for. There is no question that Sergei Zubov is a player who belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it will be an absolute travesty (in my eyes, at least) if that doesn't happen.

But, that is for later. What about now? Didn't the Dallas Stars have the 27th best Power Play in the NHL? And, didn't they also have the 24th best Penalty Kill in the NHL? And would anyone argue that he is the very best defensemen on both of those units that the Dallas Stars have EVER had? - (Some might suggest Derian Hatcher was the better penalty killer for his fine work clearing the crease in front of Ed Belfour, but I would roll with Zubie) - I think back to the firing of Dave Tippett, and when Joe Nieuwendyk was at the press conference he made reference to the special teams not being terribly special. I would interject that Dave Tippett was trying to make due without his best option on the ice.

Which brings us to where we are right now for both parties. I don't believe Sergei Zubov wants to leave Dallas. And, truth be told, I don't belive the Dallas Stars want Zubov to leave Dallas, either. So, why is this about to happen?

Follow the money.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Romo Manifesto

The following entry may not make a ton of sense to all of you. I write this only for a certain portion of the audience. If you consider yourself a football fan that believes Tony Romo's story has yet to be written, and the truth shall be told in the years to come, then this might not be for you.

However, if you consider Tony Romo either a loser, a spare, just a guy, mediocre, or another over-rated Cowboys' QB, then this is for you.

If you have ever accused guys like me who think Romo's got something of being "Cowboys' Apologists", "Romo Lovers", or "blind because of your love for Romo", then this is for you.

If, this summer, you dreamed of grabbing Brady Quinn, Mark Sanchez, or Jay Cutler to push Romo out, then this is for you.

This entry is not to say, "Tony Romo walks on water and is the best QB in the NFL". But, rather, it is to make the point that Tony Romo appears to be on track to go from where he is now (undoubtedly one of the best 6 or 7 QBs in the NFL) to even another level (One of the top 3 or 4).

It is to demonstrate that in the NFL, Rome is seldom built in a day. It is to show that he has warts, but if he should harness them, the sky is the limit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Magic Keep Gortat, Mavs Fans Panic!

panic_buttonJust when you thought the off-season was rolling...

Just when you were ready to congratulate Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson for their fine work this summer...

And, just when you didn't feel scared of the rest of the West anymore...

Reality Bites.

So, Orlando matched the offer. They will keep Marcin Gortat and pay him crazy money to sit the bench in Orlando, while paying the luxury tax to boot. Or, did one of the Mavs rivals (Houston?) find a way to stick it to Dallas and get a young, talented center out from right under their noses? We won't know that answer until December 15th when the Magic are allowed to trade him to any team in the NBA not named the Dallas Mavericks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

MGM: Depp, Beaubois, and Roy

public-enemies_lCould anyone pen a weekly cyber-column called "Machine Gun Mondays" and not at least offer some sort of review for Public Enemies? Yes, I am fascinated by the gangsters of the 1920's and 1930's - Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie and Clyde, and of course, John Dillinger. Yes, I found the old Untouchables on tv wonderful while growing up. Yes, Robert Deniro can play Al Capone anytime he wants in my book. But no, Public Enemies is not a great film.

Public Enemies is about Dillinger (played by Johnny Depp) and his life and times of robbing banks and running from the law (Christian Bale stars as the lawman) but my bar was very high and the movie disappointed me. I gave it a Meh +. The storytelling was left a bit to be desired and the bank robberies were not especially tense. Lots of cool cars and costumes and sets, and Depp is one of my favorite actors, but not a ton of substance in the final tally. I wanted the best movie of the summer and instead, I am wondering why I didn't go see the Hangover. It is probably worth seeing just on principle, but lower your bar.

You might be wondering, why is Bob reviewing a movie on his MGM column? Well, that is how we roll. You just never know what MGM is going to bring you on a Monday morning.

But wait! There is much, much more....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

UFC 100 - Live Blog

mirkneebar_aim6401 Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. For those of you who paid $55 to watch this thing, or for those of you who are paying nothing, welcome to a live-blog that will effort to actually cover this thing live as we go. Since I have never done an "actually-live" blog before, hopefully everyone can bear with me.

First, a few things for you to have handy if you so choose:

You may or may not have read my full preview of the PPV event that ran yesterday. It may or may not inform you on the overall feelings about this thing before we get started. One thing I would add to it is I have not seen Frank Mir look so ripped as he did in the weigh-in yesterday. Not that looks decide anything, but Mir is usually doughy, and the fact that he appears to be well conditioned speaks to the level of his preparation. Of course, he is still the under-dog according to the betting public.

If you are interested, Here are the actual betting odds for the proceedings. It appears GSP is the biggest favorite tonight, followed by Lesnar. That seems a bit odd.

Finally, if this is your first night on a computer, and you are not sure how to find Evan and the Rangers' live blog, Click Here ...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Previewing UFC 100


OK. I don't want to get carried away here, but I have not looked forward to a UFC PPV like I am looking forward to Saturday night's card. This is going to be amazing.

Many of the PPV's are not dynamite from top to bottom. But, this card has at least 4 fights that have "I can't wait" status, and I want to make sure they get previewed here now, and then reviewed after the show is over from your favorite MMA wanna-be expert.

The UFC has made it to 100, and therefore, Dana is blowing this thing out with a show that should live up to its hefty price tag ($54.95 in HD). Do they do too many Pay-Per-Views? Yes. Do they water down their own product and continue to throw stuff together every month to get another $55 from the most loyal fans? Yes. Should we plan on them stopping? Not as long as we keep coming back for more.

This sport is blowing up. It might be on the verge of going to the very next level (I have no idea, really, but I love it). But, do you really need 10-11 PPV's a year? Oh well. Let's celebrate when they get one right.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Mavericks Summer Plan Unfolds

shawn-marion-matrix-wallpaperIt would appear whether we are in love with this idea or not, the Mavs are going to get this Shawn Marion deal done this morning. Mark Cuban was serious about being aggressive this summer and this represents a pretty bold stroke. After a few days of coming to terms with this happening, I think I do like this deal on the surface - because the Mavericks are clearly better today when they were yesterday. If that is the bar that we use to measure this, then this summer is a complete success.

Marcin Gortat (assuming that is as done and dusted as we are led to believe) makes the center position clearly superior to anything we have seen in years. Imagine the premise of Erick Dampier as a back-up center! Now, he makes sense on the roster.

Shawn Marion gives you many things you didn't get at small forward last year on many levels. He defends well (although I don't believe quite at 2005/2006 levels), he rebounds very well, he scores, he scores above the rim, and he certainly will be on the receiving end of 100 lob passes from Jason Kidd this season.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chat With Skin

Last night, I decided it would be big fun to chat up the Dallas Mavericks summer of 2009 with my friend and sports colleague, Skin. It is a complete and total coincidence that Skin was in the news yesterday and even though I did ask him all about the career changes that are underway in his world, that was not something I wanted to share with the class. Those of you who do care which station or what time many of us talk into a microphone have Barry Horn and Richie Whitt to follow, but Skin has some things on the horizon that sound pretty cool.

Anyway, on the Mavericks landscape, he is generally as dialed in as anyone, and I wanted to pick his Mavs brain and see what I found as we exchanged Mavs IM's for 60 minutes last night while watching Kevin Millwood blow up in Anaheim:

Sturm1310: ok- let's get this party going- 60 minutes of Mavs talk in your face.
Sturm1310: So, tell me, how is this Mavs summer feeling to you?

skinnyfresh25: I think it's off to a good start. Actually saw J Kidd and his three kiddos at the Mac store today off of Knox and he was in a great mood. Says cuban isn't done yet. That was obviously the first domino. How are the P1s reacting to Gortat?

Sturm1310: I think most people see a big man who is: A) Big, B) White, and C) Foreign and the masses get worried. But, I like it. I think he is at that perfect age for a breakout and I also like that Morey and Popovich wanted him. And, Orlando hates to see him go, too. I am bullish on this. Very much so. You?

skinnyfresh25: I'm pretty pumped about it too. It's not like I've seen the dude play a ton, but I feel like he's a dude that goes hard which is the number one knock against Big Damp. He also has nice hands which is the second biggest knock on Big Damp. And the money is right. I don't think he's a post scoring threat, but he's not an offensive liability either because he can catch and finish so slip picks and on the ball screens become weapons with him. Mavs need his size and motor. And as you said, the age is right. but this off-season hinges on trades...

Monday, July 06, 2009

MGM: Federer, Chestnut, and McNair

machinegun1-300x199I am not sure where a compilation of this weekend's events could possibly start if not in southern London, where yesterday we had more fabulous sport theater at Center Court where the Gentlemen's Final gave us absolute, positive pure gold.

I know many of us avoid tennis 99% of the time. But, I hope you make an exception for the majors -especially Wimbledon and the US Open. If you do, it seems that like golf, if you give yourself to the final day at most majors, it will deliver to you wonderful drama. To watch Roger Federer and Andy Roddick duel yesterday was as wonderful as watching Federer and Rafa Nadal go at it one year ago. And make no mistake, last year was unbelieveable.

There is plenty more to discuss in the world of sport (Oh, yes), but the lead is given to a tennis match that reminds us how much fun a summer can be with the constant parade of golf, tennis, soccer, racing, and other events that supplement baseball during our long weight until Labor Day when the brilliant run of football begins once again.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Pitching Profile - June Edition

Just like we did at the end of May, here is a good, extensive look at the Rangers starting rotation. The point of this exercise is to dig a bit deeper than the basic stats for each starting pitcher to see what they are good at - or what they are not good at.

Through the end of June, the Rangers rotation has taken the ball 76 times. Only 6 pitchers have made more than 2 starts, so we will focus on those guys. Kevin Millwood, Scott Feldman, and Vicente Padilla have taken the most turns, then Matt Harrison and Brandon McCarthy both have 11 starts a piece. Finally, Derek Holland has 6 starts under his belt.

As you might expect, June was not a bed of roses for any part of this team. Let's take a look and see how it worked out for the starting rotation.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Times are Tough

tom-hicks-and-george-gillett-460-349991090Reports on the first day of NHL Free Agency were wild across much of the National Hockey League, but in Dallas, where we hear about the tough economic times of Hicks Sports Group, all seemed quiet.

Sure, the Stars were able to keep Jere Lehtinen for what was reported as a home-town discount (1-year, $1.5m), but forgive my cynicism when I point out that in order for there to be a discount, that must mean that someone somewhere else was planning on offering him top dollar. He is 36, and has been broken for the last two seasons. There was not going to be an aggressive bid placed on his services this summer, in my estimation.

Otherwise, the early days of the Joe Nieuwendyk/Marc Crawford regime have been dotted with very little discussions (that have leaked out) about improving this team at all cost, but rather the issue that we hear and read about is mostly about the Stars operating under a very tight (by Dallas Stars' standards) budget.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Who is Miguel De Los Santos?

miguelEmail of the Day:


I am in desperate need of your Sturm-O-Sports Brain. Please help…

I often review minor league baseball stats as I am interested in who could be potential stars for the Rangers. In the 15 years that I have followed baseball I have never seen a stat that stood out as much as this one:

Miguel De Los Santos | Pitcher | Class A DSL Rangers

15.2 Innings Pitched
1 ER
2 Hits
41 SO

That’s not a typo. 2.7 k’s per inning! In 4 Minor league seasons (mostly Dominican League and seemingly injury plagued) he has 151 SO in 92IP.

Do you know anything about this guy? I must learn more. Why is he not at least at the AA level? I know it’s only single A, but still almost a SO for every batter he faced is pretty amazing and not something you see everyday.

Thank you,


I couldn't believe it. But the numbers are absolutely true.