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From the Notebook

Justin Morneau

Image via Wikipedia

-Captain Boggs laughed when I asked him about sleeping traffic controllers. Guess it’s not all that worrisome.

-I was tasked with finding out how many other MLB pitchers have thrown no-hitters after Tommy John surgery by an old chum on Twitter. After a lot of research, and arguing with other people on Twitter, it turned out Parker Hageman posted the answer on my Facebook page seconds after I asked. For those wondering, Liriano’s no-hitter was the third thrown by someone after TJ surgery. Kenny Rogers was the first to do it with his perfect game in 1994. He recieved the surgery in 1987 while in the minors. Anibal Sanchez threw his no-hitter in 2006 after his 2003 surgery (again, while Sanchez was in the minors). Liriano was the first person who got TJ surgery after making the majors to throw a no-hitter. Since Tommy John got his surgery in 1974, over one hundred fifty pitchers have received the surgery, there have been 79 no-hitters and only three of them have been by TJ surgery recipients. For those wondering, Liriano’s no-hitter was not the worst one ever thrown. Not even close.

-I’m against Selig’s proposal to expand the playoffs to include more teams. I’d prefer instead an expansion of the number of games played to 7/9 versus the current 5/7. Adding more teams will add to the randomness of the playoffs, which is a bad thing. Expanding the number of games will reduce it, while also increasing revenue.

Osama bin Laden is dead, and Obama is a political genius in not releasing the photo. He will let the conspiracy theorists fester again, then embarass when the time is right. Just like the birth certificate/OBL-death combo where Trump went from headliner to loser. I am sometimes shocked by the political prowess of the Obama administration. Luckily, they misstep just as often, as we’ve seen from the aftermath of the OBL execution.

Justin Morneau‘s career is not dead. I took a look at some of his stats, including BABiP, Swing%, GB/FB/LD%s, HR as % FB and others. The results are telling. Morneau is making contact at basically the same rate. His plate discipline is just about the same. The missing component is just home runs. As he gets stronger, more of his fly balls (FB) will leave the park, his BABiP will rise and the old Morneau will return. He’s not having problems making contact. He’s not more or less disciplined at the plate (basically), he’s just weak. He lost 12 pounds to the flu in April, and didn’t have a complete spring to get in shape. Parker Hageman took a closer look at Morneau, and suggests his mechanics have changed and pitchers are burning him by throwing the ball on the outside of the plate. That too might explain the lower number of FBs leaving the ballpark for Morneau. I think Parker overrstates his case because Morneau’s LD rate this year (about 15%) is close to his career rate (18%). I’d expect to see a bigger drop, especially considering his LD rate has been around 15% in several previous seasons. I’d be tempted to rest Morneau until his strength returned.

-Delicious, the online bookmarking application I use to produce all those awful ‘links’ posts, has been sold by Yahoo to the YouTube creators. The transition will be complete by midsummer. I don’t know if I’ll still keep using the service, depends on what changes. I’m quite interested in ending the ‘links’ posts. We’ll see.

Books Read:

-Lucretius’ “On the Nature of Things.” This long poem from the first century is part of the GBWW ten-year reading program. Lucretius presents several of the earliest arguments against teleology and Divine intercession. Some of his arguments are remarkable in their construction and rather strong. Others are absolutely silly, including some of his arguments regarding the existence of “soul” atoms that have no weight and leave the body after death. His passages regarding nature are beautiful. His materialism, absurd.

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