Thursday, January 19, 2017

Baseball's HOF Worthy

Jeff Bagwell was elected into the Hall of Fame yesterday, along with Tim Raines and Pudge Rodriguez. The Astro great’s numbers compare favorably to borderline candidates Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy. Perhaps Bagwell’s super cool long goatee endeared himself to the voters.
In fewer games Bagwell collected more home runs, doubles, runs, stolen bases, hit by pitches, sacrifice flies, walks, and fewer strikeouts than the two former Braves sluggers. Bags won Rookie of the Year and played his entire 15 year career in out-of-the way Houston. Perhaps HOF voters are finally getting their act together, electing worthy small market candidates like Bagwell and Tim Raines.
Also to Bagwell’s credit: he played 60% of his career in the cavernous Astrodome. Add just one Astrodome home run a month for those nine years to his total, and he’s a member of the 500 home run club.
McGriff 1986-2004, 5 ASG, 3 SS
Murphy 1976-1993, 7 ASG, 4 SS, 5 GG, 2 MVPs
Bagwell 1991-2005, 4 ASG, 3 SS, 1 GG, ROY
While Murphy’s number fall short of Bagwell’s in every area except triples, sacrifice bunts, games played, and intentional walks, the Stormin’ Mormon had more all-star appearances and Silver Sluggers. Murf won more Gold Gloves while playing a tougher position. Then there’s the matter of Murphy’s two straight Most Valuable Player Awards.
McGriff played in more games and had more plate appearances, helping him edge Bagwell with more hits, home runs, RBI, total bases, and intentional walks. The Crime Dog also played in more all-star games and won as many Silver Sluggers as Bagwell. McGriff had a pretty good run, especially early in his career, with numbers comparable to several hall of famers who played in larger markets. His 493 home runs alone merit consideration.
15 2150 09431 1517 2314 488 32 449 1529 202 78 1401 1558 JB
19 2460 10174 1349 2490 441 24 493 1550 072 38 1305 1882 FM
18 2180 09041 1197 2111 350 39 398 1266 161 68 0986 1748 DM
21 2543 10270 1354 2844 572 51 311 1332 127 64 0513 1474 PR
Some small numbers that stand out: Rodriguez’ high number of sacrifice bunts, and his low number of walks (and intentional passes).
297 408 540 948 4213 221 128 03 102 155 JB
284 377 509 886 4458 226 039 02 071 171 FM
265 346 469 815 3733 209 028 06 060 159 DM
296 334 464 798 4451 337 058 31 076 067 PR

Interesting to compare Pudge with two of the greatest catchers of all time: Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench. In both comparisons it’s clear that Pudge was more of a line drive singles and doubles hitter than he was a slugger – a little odd for an elite catcher. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
21 2543 10270 1354 2844 572 51 311 1332 127 64 513 1474 PR
19 2120 08359 1175 2150 321 49 358 1430 030 26 704 0414 YB
17 2158 08674 1091 2048 381 24 389 1376 068 43 891 1278 JB
Pudge tallied more singles, doubles, triples, and runs than Berra and Bench, he had almost 2000 more plate attempts. Ivan’s .296 average is impressive, as well as his 2543 games played. With fewer chances Yogi had more home runs and RBI, walked more, and struck out over one thousand fewer times (and over 850 fewer times than Bench). Berra’s on base, slugging, and therefor OPS were higher than Pudge and Bench.  
296 334 464 798 4451 337 058 31 76 067 PR
285 348 482 830 3643 146 052 09 44 049 YB
267 342 476 817 3644 201 019 11 90 135 JB  
Rodriquez was a worthy candidate, with 14 all-star appearances, seven Silver Slugger Awards, and 13 Gold Gloves – a record for catchers. His lone MVP were fewer than Berra (three) and Bench (two).
Rodriguez 1991-2011: 14 ASG, 7 SS, 13 GG, MVP
Yogi Berra 1946 1965: 15 straight ASG, 3 MVPs
J. Bench 1967-1983: 14 ASG, 8 GG, ROY, 2 MVPs
As always, it goes without saying that all the numbers above are dwarfed by Herschel’s NFL numbers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Productive Weekend

It wasn't just the Falcons: GT won as well. Maybe this year the Jackets can win most of the games against the lower and middle-of-the-pack ACC teams.

Worked until six on Friday. Checked out a store on Jimmy Carter near 85, then headed home. Stopped by Kroger and Dollar Tree as well. Fixed supper and Netflixed a movie. Also watched a little of the Hawks/Celtics.

M spend three straight nights over at Shep's. Anna was camping north of Asheville. W&MC road-tripped to Charleston. They all are coming home for Joel's concert on the 28th. The Hurts have been visiting Haley in Napa.

Saturday morning I shaved off the beard I had been growing since Christmas Day. Kept it a week longer than I'd planned. Takes too long to cut off during the week.

Later M came home, so I took his car to get the emissions checked. His band was playing a house concert that night. I raked out the leaves in the back yard, then attacked the pile of wood chips that had been sitting in the backyard for over a year. Worked until almost dark. Watched every bit of the Falcons game. Always good to beat the bad guys. Instead of watching the Pats, I Netflixed another movie.

Sunday at Johnson Ferry Bryant Wright lauded Dabo for giving the glory to God last Monday night. High praise for a South Carolina grad, but every good preacher knows a good illustration when he sees one. Probably half the preachers in the country were talking about it. I saw where Denison did the same, but Jim pointed out the Nick Saban has also given God credit for his success. Speaking of Clemson, my brother-in-law's family made the trip over to Saturday's victory parade.

Sunday I realized my six month front end alignment warranty was expiring so I had it checked at Firestone. Did laundry, straightened the house, washed dishes, cleaned off the deck, and worked on the wood chips even longer. Ceil arrived just as I was finishing, and she wanted to do more. Finally crashed on the couch to watch the Packers/Cowboys. Took a little nap. Sunday evening C grocery shopped and cooked Mexican.

I packaged two shipments and mailed them Monday morning. Took a new coworker on an extended plant tour.

Need to replace my FitBit, perhaps upgrading to a FitBit watch. They just don't seem to do that much. More than an Timex Ironman, but less than an Apple Watch. I could get an Apple Watch, but it seems like overkill.

Have you heard about Kitti Murray's burgeoning new business/ministry, Refugee Coffee? Several national news programs have aired stories about it. In April Ceil wants to either run or volunteer at their 5K road race, a fund-raiser for the ministry. I plan on challenging young Scott Morris to a footrace. The Braves will be in town but DOB will probably be busy.
My 1969 Braves jersey finally arrived in the mail from China. Nice enough, though you can tell it's a knockoff. Patches aren't exact but ok. Number on the back is way too thick, and not at all like what was pictured on the website (below). Lightweight, so it will be great to wear to games. Now I wonder how many fans will recognize it as an actual throwback once worn by the Braves, and not just a pinstriped Braves jersey. The real fans will know.
Video: Braves Bobbleheads from past and present players:

Unique bobbleheads from past and present players of the Atlanta Braves.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Royal & Lime

 Last Friday the Hawks wore their 1970's throwbacks against the Celtics.
Former Duke standout Mike Dunleavy
Classic under the basket photo.
 Gotta get me some of those socks.
 Howard vs. Horford
You'da thunk Dwight couldda found some matching sneakers.
Dunleavy with the J

Monday, January 16, 2017

Road to the Super Bowl

All four of the teams that I like best won: Atlanta, Patriots, Packers, and Steelers. But Green Bay is hot. Might've been easier to beat Dallas than Green Bay, but at least "we" are playing at home.
GB@Dallas: Great ending. Basically four 50+ yard field goals in the last few minutes. Mason Crosby has an Abraham Lincoln quote on his Twitter profile, and like Rodrigo Blankenship, conducts postgame interviews with his helmet on. Probably a good idea when you just kicked the game-winner on the opposition's home field.
Aaron Rodgers is on a roll, and could be tough to beat. All the bandwagon fans who before the preseason predicted a so so season (and called for Matt Ryan to be traded) are now pumped up - but should the Falcons lose will be the first to scream "same old Falcons."
The Seahawks rough you up on defense and complain when a penalty is called on them. Seems to be their plan, to goad opponents into penalties. Didn’t work to well against the Falcons.
Same with the Cowboys. Running back Ezekiel Elliott is battling QB Dak Prescott for rookie of the year. He’s had a great season, leading the NFL in rushing. The Cowboys have perhaps the best offensive line in football, which helps make both Elliott and Prescott look and perform better. Elliott is also a fine pass blocker and can catch passes. He is taking a beating, and you wonder if he’ll experience a drop-off in year two, like what happened to the Rams’ Todd Gurley. At some point I wonder if/when Elliott will revert to the attitude he had at Ohio State, complaining about not getting the ball and such. Gurley is also taking a beating, and might’ve said something improper this year out of youthful inexperience – but he didn’t have a bad attitude.
We’ll see how Elliott and Prescott handle success. Growing up both had loving families, but both have stumbled at times. Interesting that in college Dak was supposed to be the next Tim Tebow, but as a pro has surpassed Tebow – running less and passing better.
That’s the thing about pro football. It’s a whole world of look-at-me athletes, most only lasting less than four years in the league. I’m familiar with fewer than ten Falcons, but they’re all out there strutting and posing and posturing and mouthing off like they’re the greatest in the world. And there are 30 other teams each loaded with 50 other players thinking the same thing about themselves. I am not impressed.
Jay Leno used to go out on the streets and ask regular people questions of common knowledge: Who is the President? And the like. They should ask regular Americans to identify NFL players. I consider myself a sports fan, a football fan – and I couldn’t identify 90% of them. It’s great to have a blog so I can tell the world how out of touch I am.

Conversely Aaron Rodgers plays light out, engineering two great scoring drives at the end of yesterday’s game. Immediately after the game-winning field goal a camera and microphone are stuck in his face and he’s asked about next week’s game in Atlanta. With joy all over his face, he just wanted to enjoy the moment – praising teammates and his worthy opponent. Eventually Rodgers was able to gather himself enough to say nice things about Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Another HOF List, Another Omission’s 15 best NFL players not currently in the Hall of Fame. Saw it on FB so I checked it out. Like all the other similar lists, with a few exceptions.
15. Terrell Davis RB SB
14. Cornelius Bennett LB
13. Kurt Warner QB SB
12. Deron Cherry DB
11. L.C. Greenwood DL SB
10. Peyton Manning QB SB
9. Terrell Owens WR
8. Ricky Watters RB SB
7. Ken Anderson QB SB
6. Marshawn Lynch RB SB
5. Jim Marshall DE SB
4. Steve Tasker WR SB
3. Jerry Kramer G/K SB
2. Calvin Johnson WR
1. Randy Moss WR
A silly list, because naturally Payton Manning will be voted into the HOF as soon as he’s eligible. Same with Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch, though both may be borderline cases due to the shortness of their careers. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lynch didn’t mount a comeback.
At least two thirds listed played in the Super Bowl. Several have appeared on similar lists: Anderson, Davis, Kramer, Marshall, Moss, Owens, Tasker, Warner, Watters. Ridiculous that anyone is listed ahead of Manning, who retired with many records in his name.
As usual, no mention of Herschel Walker, whose 18,000+ NFL yards gained dwarf every player on the list.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Picture Day

SunTrust Park. The upper deck will offer views of downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Perimeter Center, Kennesaw Mountain, Stone Mountain, and the north Georgia mountains. 
Lombardi. Unitas, Jim Brown. Marion Motley. Jerry Rice. Don Hutson. Butkus. Mean Joe Greene.
Fun fact: Joe Garagiola photobombed Willie Mays' great World Series catch off Vic Wertz.
My class at Rosa Taylor Elementary School.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Hunter Renfrow: Cover Boy

Stay up to the end of the game Monday night? Ceil almost went to bed, but I told her she shouldn't. Didn't get to bed until 1 am. C cooked burgers and baked French fries, and tossed a salad.

Alabama had only given up 15 touchdowns in their previous 14 games. Down 14-0, Clemson scored 5 touchdowns in just over three quarters. Walk on receiver Hunter Renfrow (above) caught four touchdown passes in the two national championship games. I need to read up on his story. Deshaun Watson is the only college quarterback in history to appear in six postseason games.

Four teams had won the last seven national championships: Alabama, Auburn, FSU, and Ohio State. This year Clemson beat all four.
Tuesday after work I met my brother to get something he'd brought up from Macon. Went a different route home so I stopped by three stores I usually don't get to. Bought a pair of black Nike basketball sneakers. Now I have three pair of black Nikes with green trim. At least I've been selling some of my shoes. Here's the list of just my black sneakers:

Nike Crusader basketball black/teal "new"
Nike Air Max black black/teal
Nike Lunarthlon black/lime
Nike Flyknit black/white
Nike spikeless golf black/white
Adidas spikeless golf black/white (selling)
Reebok Fury black/white (selling)
New Balance 990 black/grey
Nike Huarache Trainer black/grey (might sell)
Nike Lunarthon black/orange
New Balance Minimus black/orange
Altra black/orange (already sold)
Crocs black

Some are old and worn and can't be sold, but I occasionally wear them all. Some are for yardwork and others to wear when I go out. This doesn't include other colored sneakers: blue, orange, red, silver, grey. Maybe it's time for a group picture

Baked chicken for Tuesday supper and Wednesday lunch. Ceil brought me a Chickfila sandwich to eat after our meeting at Johnson Ferry. Ceil and I are signing up for a Wednesday night class at Johnson Ferry. We'll probably be the oldest ones there, due to the nature of the class. Means I'll miss the rest of the winter's hot stove baseball meetings. The meeting was in the big classroom building. The third floor had several big classrooms filled with people in various Bible Studies. A lot going on. Since this first week was just an introduction, it only lasted 30 minutes. Only knew one guy out of six couples.

C had wanted to go to the library so that was our next stop. I'm usually in and out in less than 5 minutes, but it took her longer. I sat down and deleted 100 emails while I was waiting. I checked Phil Jackson's autobiography, so get ready for more Michael Jordan stories.

For some reason I got sick Wednesday night. It was after 10 pm. Felt terrible. Not sure if it was the baked chicken or CFA that got me sick. Went to bed around 11:30 but woke up around 1 am, still sick. Used it as an excuse to not exercise the next morning.

Meetings all day Thursday, but they're needed due to the new way we're doing things. A good time for the meetings because I'm relatively caught up. Plenty going on.

Friday night the Hawks are wearing their blue throwback uniforms, the ones with the green trim.