DLD 8/27/07 Should I Read BTF? Let's Find Out

Aside from checking out stats, this is the only baseball website I visit on anything resembling a regular basis (well, LL too). Some of you like to link to BTF and I invariably enjoy the links. Ought I visit on a regular basis, or should I continue to rely on AN readers to alert me to the cream of the crop?

Let's find out.

First up:
US deploys baseball coaches to Vietnam:

US baseball coaches will be sent to Vietnam to help develop the sport in the Southeast Asian country.

Sounds like a recipe for good comments. I found the results mildly disappointing. Many were guilty of the (ruinous of their contest) New Yorker Caption Contest sin of just restating the already obvious joke. If any of you weigh in saying you enjoy the caption contest in its current iteration, I shall update this diary with a personal rebuke, which will strike you where you are most weak.

Cal Ripken is an out and out commie, endorses ties.
Jokes aside, and validity of his points re: learnings lessons blah blah blah in youth baseball, ties in baseball are completely abhorrent.
chris p. said it best:

i think all of my t-ball games ended in ties. at least that's what the coaches told us.

He didn't exactly say it best, because he didn't make my point, but there were ties in my youth sports career that irritate me to this day (and certainly much more at the time), whereas the losses have faded away. AN parents, take notice. (Certain Expecting AN parents: your son may or may not excel in Little League, but the Flynn Effect dictates that he will surely one day rule us all, so just try to prepare him for that.)

This was a good one: Bonds's (proper names ending in "s" should have the possessive form "xxxs's" although pointing that out ends in a long and confusing link) predictable power progression.
The author apparently argues that Bonds's power surge was part of a natural upswing. I'm something of a Bonds defender, but come on.... Commenters don't pull their punches.

What's wrong with Bonderman?

FACT: Jeremy Bonderman, who is advertised as one of the better pitchers in baseball, has posted an ERA better than league average only once in five seasons. His career ERA+ numbers: 77, 92, 93, 111 (last year), 95 (this year). So the truth is, even though ESPN has you convinced Bonderman is an ace, he’s really just a good LAIM (League Average Innings Muncher).

By odd coincidence, I had made the same discovery just yesterday, and was very surprised that he had done so poorly. But what stuck out was not his poor performance, but that fact that he's 24 and in his 5th full year (i.e. younger than most A's pitchers in their first full year). Bad job Detroit. He apparently also consistently underperforms his FIP and struggles in the first. I was interested to learn that.

Our own Mike Piazza on Clemens (leave it to the Globe to bring that up in 2007):

We’re just different people, I guess. I don’t carry a resentment or anything like that. Someone made a comment to me the other day in Canada that, ‘With all your accomplishments, you’re going to be remembered for that.’ Are you that shallow that you only remember me for that? If that’s true, then you’re too stupid and I can’t help you. I don’t look back in any sort of regret. He’s who he is, I am who I am, we’re two different people, but we’re both very competitive and strong-willed. He does his own thing and he’s had a very successful career. I’m sure we can coexist in the future in some way, shape, or form.

Commenter Chip wins for (ostensible) Boston h8:

Is there a beat writer who knows less about baseball than Nick Cafardo? Whatever the last scout he spoke to said becomes the theme of his piece that day - even if it completely contradicts what the next-to-last scout said the previous day. Isn't he supposed to be out in Foxboro covering Pats camp by this point in the calendar year?

Racist or just really old?
"Andrew Aitken Rooney" had the right spirit, but lost some steam by the third sentence:

I am very sorry for those that I've hurt. In a long life, you can sometimes regret an action or two, such as the afternoon when some chums and I took the streetcar to Chinatown and boxed the ears of a Chinaman. Have you ever noticed that they don't make racists like they used to? Today's racists couldn't terrorize a Negro-run drugstore soda fountain.

What have I learned, you may ask. Well, a daily visit to btf is probably not worth it.

What's more, I would advise against hemming in your DLD by committing to what is probably an ex ante dubious theme.

For redemption's sake, I offer this quote from Martin Amis:

What we eventually run up against are the forces of humourlessness, and let me assure you that the humourless as a bunch don't just not know what's funny, they don't know what's serious. They have no common sense, either, and shouldn't be trusted with anything.

Lesson: Good jokes are serious business. They can sometimes be hard to come by, but I find them here. Get to it.

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