That went well.
There Is No Special Higher-Stakes Home-Field Advantage
Unless you decide that the only time during the playoffs that home teams really really try is the last two games of the World Series, all the stats we've been hearing about road teams in Games 6 and 7 aren't remotely predictive. Sure, the 2002 Giants make it seem like this team can't possibly win, but they can, they absolutely can, no matter what Bryan says. The Giants can win tonight. The Giants can win.
Have I convinced you? I hope so, because I haven't quite convinced me. Maybe i need to say it another twelve thousand times while staring at myself in a mirror, eating a pint of ice cream and sobbing. That'll help.
Madison Bumgarner offers sense of pride for South Caldwell High School
We all generally expect to see Madison Bumgarner pitch today, so before that happens, let's all marvel at how little he's changed since high school. All that "Gimme the ball, Boch" stuff is exactly the same, except in high school Bumgarner didn't say "Boch" because his manager wasn't Bruce Bochy, which you may think is a technicality not worth mentioning, but consider this: I'm nervous. I'M NERVOUS. BASEBALL IS STRESSFUL. I LIKED 2012 BETTER. WE HAD A SWEEP. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL 5 FOR MORE BASEBALL TODAY?
All these factors and more are why I put in that dumb part about Bumgarner's manager.
Who are the active players who've been to the most World Series? Well, not to ruin the surprise, but most of them are on the Giants, because the Giants have been to lots of World Series lately, unlike, and here I'll just pick a team at random, the Dodgers. Dodgers fans are probably laughing at us, though. "Our stress levels are quite low right now," they'll say. "Aren't you jealous that our team has long been eliminated? The real winners are the ones who play in less rounds, you know. Understanding that is what makes Kershaw a true ace."
Vanguard after the Revolution
Bill James is already the Charlemagne of the baseball nerd community, so it's not like Joe Posnanski's profile of him is going to tell us much about his work that we don't already know. But in getting at why he started writing about baseball, and why he thinks that the work he started isn't done and never will be, it's fantastic. I do wish there was a little more about his problems with WAR – it feels like a local news station saying "What common household object is likely to malfunction and murder you and your whole family and your dog and your best friend from third grade? The answer at 11" and then spending the whole 11:00 hour playing smooth jazz, but that's more of a quibble than anything. Overall, this article is excellent.
I have never heard anyone compare his work to the Velvet Underground, though.
My Thoughts on Royalty (NSFW language)
Let's try not to barf, everyone.