09 September 2009

Foolish American Meltdowns

Jamaal here. Matt jingled me on the red phone to dissect last night's 5-4 loss, and charged me to recapture the game in this space, as he is otherwise engaged. It seems his comment privileges at azsnakepit.com have been tampered with and he's pursuing that with a large, caucasian Phoenix attorney.

On that score, I simply note the social networking portal in question enjoyed 1500 comments on its most recent realtime ballgame post, so I doubt Matt will be missed - less so given only seventeen of the comments pertained to baseball, and of those, three made any sense.

Onto the game. Everyone's focused on the eighth inning, so let's look at that. Manager AJ Hinch intimated that his relief corps could not execute pitches, on their way to yielding six Dodjer singles. Indeed, tenderfoot Hinch required three bowlers to record the third and final out, prompting the fevered swamp to shreik "Meltdown!" , once their alleged 95% win probability vanished, as if Seattle was shockingly consumed by Mt Rainier.

Alas, none of it is true.

Hinch lamented the fact it all started with a runner on first and two out, but that's not quite faithful to the facts. There was a runner on first with one out, after which Blaine Boyer induced the second out of the inning on a ground ball. Had not Juan Pierre been batting, it likely would've marked Arizona's sixth double play of the game. As it was, Boyer induced three ground balls from the first three batters faced.

Furcal, a career .284 batsman, who's hit safely in seven of his last 8, rapped a single to center. Matt Kemp, a fearsome Ameri-African, went the other way to right for another singleton, and Boyer was done. Well, he was done after Upton bobbled the ball, enabling Furcal to race to third. Did Boyer pitch badly? Hardly.

Schlereth was summoned to eliminate the lefty Ethier, but the 93 rbi man tried not to do too much with the southpaw, and succeeded, with yet another grounder up the middle that eluded Steven Drew. Did Schlereth pitch poorly or not execute pitches? Hardly.

The panicked American, Hinch, called on Esmerling Vasquez, who did what he always does when he faces Manny Ramirez. Falls behind. Ramirez walked on four pitches, loading the bases, after which James Loney ( career .299 v RHP) cooly dispatched a 1-0 pitch to left. Belliard ended the scoring on a rather gay nubber to short - the only hit of the six, incidentally, that was remotely pulled.

Six singles, one miscue, four runs and the game. It's fair to say Vasquez didnt excel, but he certainly didnt pitch horribly either. No one did. Every LA batter performed well within their expectations, yielding big team results. There were no Belliard grand slams off the foul pole. There were just good hitters doing what they do. The grounders finding holes presumes some luck, but is it any luckier than Buckner's five double plays on earlier balls?


Six singles in any inning is unusual, yet this is the type of lineup the Dodjers have. This is what they do. The Dodjers lead theNL in singles (930) and the Diamondbacks are near league bottom (758). That's an enormous difference, in not only ability but priority, sustained over five months. It does not result from coincidence or meltdowns, from Mt Rainier or from anywhere else.

Praise be to Allah


Diamondhacks said...

Thanks, jb, for getting this up on short notice. You have more actionable baseball intelligence in your pinky than oozes from McLennan's indentured morass of prepubes, misfits and Rockie lovers.

jamaal said...

Glad to be of service, and thank you. AZSnakepit.com is not my cup of tea by a long shot, but surely some of its many members are virtuous.

Diamondhacks said...

Oh absolutely. The indentured morass is a mere subset of snakepit. There are people I respect, enjoy chatting with, etc -at least until the contentious dipshit mismanaging the site nervously proclaims "No contentious dipshits allowed", just as his provincial positions are reduced to putty, and/or his obfuscation exposed.

jamaal said...

Matt, my fraternal service to you stops somewhere short of injecting myself into this imbroglio, however I have observed that among the SBN sites, the quality of baseball insight on their Phoenix portal is somewhat lacking.

PAUL said...

Sounds like AJ was trying to do a La Russa. Except when La Russa does it, it, y'know, WORKS.

Jeff said...

I am disappointed in Jamaal. Why was he even watching the game? Most devout Muslims would've been deep in prayer. It is Ramadan season you know. Tisk, tisk.

jamaal said...


Matt's ballgame began after sunset and presented no conflict with Islamic Law, although I did miss the so called "pre-game" rituals.

Ramadan is when Muslims reunify with God. One way we do that is through good works. I was pleased to do a favor for my friend.

Peace be upon you

Jim McLennan said...

It's the "contentious dipshit" here, with the reality of what happened at AZ SnakePit

After showing, on multiple occasions, an unpleasant tendency to poison topics with vitriolic personal abuse - just as we see in your comments here - you were politely asked to confine yourself to discussing baseball. Unfortunately, you continued in the same vein: as you'd been warned, those comments were deleted.

Despite your clear contempt for the site and its members, you remain welcome, at any point, if you can refrain from that kind of nonsense. Otherwise, you can continue to talk to yourself here.

Diamondhacks said...

It's the "contentious dipshit" here, with the reality of what happened at AZ SnakePit

Well, if we can each somewhat good-humoredly cop to being contentious dipshits from time to time, I think that's a very positive development. I can certainly be difficult, and rude on occasion, but if three years online is the yardstick, similar self-realization seems virtually foreign to you. It's unfortunate how often you start or escalate controversy, then sidestep responsibility, with little or no apparent self-examination. Snakepit doo doo is, without exception, somebody else's fault.

You've come to discuss "reality"? You dispense with reality like a frightened Chinese minister. On multiple occasions, you erased reality, and worse, now come peddling your disturbing, totalitarian spin in its place? Blech.

As I see it, we've both been dogging each other's integrity and motives, in a variety of ways, for a while now, which has both entertainment value and a shelf life. I think I speak for many readers in saying the shelf is rotting from the wall. So, I'm comfortable letting that go, provided all members, including you, are accountable to the same standard. Either that sort of thing is acceptable or it's not. Or should be.

It's your blog. Decide. And let someone whose not quite such an emotional, moody ass enforce the standards. Not 'skins. Someone less self-absorbed and vacuous, like charmer, azreous or njjohn. People who dont assume the worst in others or play favorites. Your blog will be the better for it.

Instead, you launch all manner of idiotic accusations and innuendo my way, casually ignore or misrepresent substantive positions, but as soon as I coin a phrase like "spreadsheet jockey" on the tail end of your evasive shenanigans, oh well then, by all means, bring out the Stasi. You're an absurd coward sometimes.

Despite your clear contempt for the site and its members, you remain welcome, at any point, if you can refrain from that kind of nonsense.

Invitation declined. Until you refrain from the acerbic, reflexively suspicious 'nonsense' also. It's clear to me, if not to all your readers, that you have little to no self-control in this area. You're a sarcastic, embittered ass, with all sorts of emotional problems - which, btw, doesnt bother me in the least. We're all God's children and it makes for a colorful blog. Whether you decide to celebrate these excesses or repress them, I'm fine either way. What's important is that you (or your admins) hold everyone else to the same standard. That's all I ask, and frankly, all I require. Of any forum.

You can continue to talk to yourself here.

Please. The objects of your embarrassing affection in the FO read me every day (virtually) - even if they dont feel it in their interests to comment. Russell is consistently smarter and funnier than anyone in your sizable stable, or either of us for that matter. Instead of fearing him (as you do me), I treasure having someone smarter than me as a regular reader. It keeps me honest. Paul the Jew doesnt know OPS from OPP, but is a remarkable vessel of indigenous baseball wisdom you could never hope to acquire. I'm gratified to have contributors and readers whose adult lives dont revolve around my little blog.

Be sure and give my regards to those 1500 valued commenters of yours ;-)

Jim McLennan said...

This is where we differ. I'd never dream of storming in here, demanding you "improve" your site. That's the beauty of the 'Net, we don't all have to conform to someone else's dubious and hypocritical standards of pseudo-morality.

I don't treat everyone the same, because they don't behave the same. You get the respect you deserve - and in your case, that's very little. Sorry you apparently find this hard to grasp.

Otherwise, thanks for such a convincing, delightful job of proving my points for me. With each abusive comment, you demonstrate ever more perfectly why you wore out your welcome.

Diamondhacks said...

we don't all have to conform to someone else's dubious and hypocritical standards of pseudo-morality.

Exactly. That's why you lost me, and that's why we're having an open discussion here instead of your place. Nothing will be deleted. My comment management will consist of addressing your remarks, absent any pre-emptive or misguided threats.

I insist on ground rules that apply to everyone, and am quite comfortable with a variety of types, as evidenced by the fact I've commented on hundreds of blogs, been banned on two, both run by you. It's this comically selective enforcement, and utter lack of public introspection, I dont abide. Now you've proudly declared (see below) you hold people to different objective standards. Thank you for making that crystal clear.

I don't treat everyone the same, because they don't behave the same.

No, you manage people based on how much their ideas threaten you and your rather delusional self-image, rather than by any objective or verifiable measure of civility. I've seen it far too many times. You ridicule, demean, talk down to and misrepresent others as a matter of course, then morph into Miss Manners the instant anyone returns the favor.

I'd never dream of storming in here, demanding you "improve" your site.

That reflects your competitive instincts, not a misplaced, highbrow sense of decorum. You've criticized this site before and are hardly above such a thing. Nice "dubious and hypocritical standards of pseudo-morality", btw.

I'm more interested in how the Dbacks fan market is generally served, than in which blogger gets credit. By virtue of your considerable work and the enormous advantages being linked to SBNation, snakepit is the most obvious place to serve that market. That's why I care about it and get frustrated when it doesnt meet its potential - either as a fairly adjudicated forum, or serving as more of an editorial counterweight to excessive corporate spin at odds with the public interest.

Russell said...

I'm obviously late to this posting but seeing as I am

"consistently smarter and funnier than anyone in your sizable stable, or either of us for that matter."

I will offer my valuable insight. The problem with the Snakepit is that it is advertsied as a "community" blog but Jim constantly refers to it as "my" blog. Which I think is the problem.

Diamondhacks said...

Fine! If you wanna eschew bitter namecalling to deftly identify the issue, then....whatever.

It is the false promise that disappoints. Snakepit has shared responsibilities and community aspects, but at the end of the day it's a sanctuary protecting a person instead of any idea or principle. Ultimately, that's not a place I want to be - and for all his work and effort, I just think it's a shame.

Jim McLennan said...

Just to correct Russell, the Pit is not "advertised as a community blog," - the header has always called it a "community AND blog," which I'm sure he'll appreciate is quite a different animal altogether.

Russell said...

My mistake. I foolishly confused "community blog" with "community and blog".Perhaps the AND should be capitalised on the actual site to avoid confusion for new visitors.

I'd like the Pit to be irreverent,confrontational and informed, and sometimes it is all of those things but too often it seems that commenters are jumped upon for straying outside the party line.

Maybe in the winter months an unmoderated open thread asking people what they like and don't like about the Pit and what they'd like to see in the future would be a good idea.

Diamondhacks said...


To clarify, I've never found you to be "funny strange". I find you funny AND strange.

I'm sure you'll appreciate this important distinction.