Posted by: Eugene | March 17, 2008

Draft Analysis

Just finished my first fantasy baseball draft of this season today, and I’m pretty pleased with the way things transpired. I managed to snag David Wright with the 5th pick and then David Ortiz with the 18th. Almost took Ryan Howard in the first round, but Ortiz should put up comparable power numbers.

Some head-scratchers:

- Jonathan Papelbon, pick 25: I was blown away. Could be the best closer in the game, but 25th overall?

- Mariano Rivera, pick 39: Overvaluing of closers continues in full swing. This guy’s ADP is around 88!

- Aaron Harang, pick 36: Can’t say this is a bad pick, and I like Harang. I’m just bitter that he wasn’t around for me to pick; with an ADP of around 72, I thought he’d be around for a couple more rounds.

The steals:

- Dustin McGowan, pick 185: Would have picked him up myself, but gambled and waited too long. Amazing bargain.

- Rich Harden, pick 201: I was up two picks later and I would have taken him if he wasn’t off the board. You can pretty much mark his annual vaginal strain on the calendar, but in the 19th round he’s a worthwhile gamble.

- Edwin Encarnacion, pick 236: Everyone’s high on this guy, and if his post-demotion breakout last season is a sign of things to come, they’re right. He typically comes off the board around pick 169! What a deal!

I took a really late-round flier on Clayton Kershaw, and so I’m especially upset that the Dodgers are actually leaning towards giving the 5th starter spot to Esteban Loaiza, with Chan Ho Park in the mix. Why do teams do this? With Esteban Loaiza, he’s never going to surprise you; you know exactly what you’re going to get–an ERA around 5 and about half a strikeout an inning. Or in Chan Ho Park’s case, an ERA around 15. Do they think Kershaw’s going to be worse than that? What’s the downside of giving him the job? Protecting his confidence? You gotta pitch in the bigs some day, and he’s not going to get any more confident beating up on any more minor leaguers.

Posted by: Eugene | March 5, 2008

I Hate Videos

One of the most annoying things about the last few years of the Internet has been the complete reliance on using video to deliver content, especially when it’s not necessary.

Case in point: I want to read something on the Yahoo Fantasy Sports page about the top 4 fantasy downgrades or something like that, but instead of giving me a short 500 word page, it tries to serve up a video. Hello? I DON’T WANT TO WATCH A VIDEO. I just want those four things and I want to leave.

Instead, I’m constantly forced to wait and wait while some proprietary video player loads, and half the time it doesn’t even work anyway. Can the fucking videos unless they add something to my life! Use video if it’s about a midget having a baby or Britney Spears’ nipple popping out, but don’t give me that crap when I just want my four fantasy downgrades or top five recession-proof stocks. Please.

Posted by: Eugene | February 26, 2008

The Only Scary Thing About Driving Other Than Old People

I routinely drive like a racecar driver, but the only thing that really scares me about driving sometimes is merging onto the highway. You see, everything is fine when you have a fair distance until the ramp ends, and ideally, you find a gap somewhere and accelerate before you squeeze in. Problem is, in Northern Virginia, the ramps are short and there’s never a gap anywhere in interstate traffic. And if you think that sitting there with your pathetic little turn signal going off is going to get you in, think again. This is the Washington DC metro area. We INVENTED road rage. People just laugh as they gun their engines past your sad little blinker.

So you pretty much have to constantly practice what I call Offensive Driving. Your car is your weapon, and if people don’t get out of your way, everybody dies in a 20 car pileup. That’s the game. You get on the ramp, you speed up, and then you force your way into the lane.

Problem is, sometimes you want to force yourself in front of a driver who is too stubborn or too stupid to realize that if he doesn’t get out of the way, you’re going to collide. After all, if I have to choose between sideswiping you or ramming into a concrete wall, guess what? I’m going to take you out, ten times out of ten. So don’t get cute. Don’t try to speed up and not let me in. Just play the game and none of us die. 

Look, I understand wanting to vote on principle. And as arrogant and careless as Nader strikes me, he’s been monumental in consumer rights causes. But congratulations, Ralph Nader supporters, you’re responsible for the Bush hegemony. Now, I guess 35% or whatever percentage of people who approve of him don’t mind, but I would bet none of them were Nader supporters in 2000 or 2004.

While Nader espouses vitriol at both Democrats and Republicans, the truth is, he’s a lot closer to a Democrat than the latter. So by voting for him (since ideologically, we would expect them to choose Democrats) and funneling support away from the Democrat, Nader voters PROMOTE THE REPUBLICAN! They indirectly help the election of the one candidate that is most opposed to their ideology. I’m not making a Republican/Democrat merit judgment here, it’s just that that result is not optimal for Green Party supporters based on their espoused values, whether it’s Bush for the last eight years or whichever Republican-du-jour.

Every time Ralph Nader disparages the politics of the day, he shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that at best, he made it all possible; at worst, he delivered it in a sealed envelope.

Even if you want to argue that third parties have to start lodging a foothold somewhere, well, frankly, if Theodore Roosevelt tried to do it and failed, I doubt Ralph Nader is the one to do it.

Posted by: Eugene | February 13, 2008

Overrated Fantasy Players

Now that Spring Training is almost upon us, I want to highlight a few players who I think are overrated. I have absolutely no methodology and no qualifications, except for 2007 Yahoo Fantasy League Champion. I just got the bobblehead yesterday, making my superiority offically official. Okay, just kidding.

1. Curtis Granderson – Dude can’t hit lefties for shit and with his contact rate should not be a .302 hitter. Also, I don’t care that he’s the first player since Willie Mays or whatever to have 20 triples and 20 doubles and 20 homers or whatever. Triples and doubles aren’t a category in my league. He’s getting better though, admittedly, though don’t expect him to steal 26 bases and only get caught once this year. He’s not even really all that fast. Real nice guy though. I like his blog.

2. Alex Rios – This is not to say that Rios isn’t a good player, and he may even be a superstar. But an average draft position of around 30? Take a look at this:

Rios in 2007: .297-24-85, with 17 steals, in 161 games, age 26

72nd ADP Player: .295-24-81, with 23 steals in just 140 games, age 25.

Alex Rios drafted 40 picks before Corey Hart? I don’t think so.

3. Bobby Abreu – Give up, guys. He put on an awesome show in the home run derby, but when you get right down to it, the guy has struggled to jack 20 the past two years. Even Johnny Damon blew him away in 2006, and I’ve never seen HIM in the home run derby. I have no idea why Abreu’s being drafted ahead of Nick Markakis.

4. BJ Upton – This guy is typically the 25th pick! You are on crack if you think he’s a surefire .300 hitter, what with his prodigiously high K rates and his prodigiously low contact rate. The guy had a BABIP of .399 last year! That is absolutely not sustainable next year. I know he has 2B eligibility, but if you’re going to play the scarcity game, take Russell Martin–who’s going with the 30th pick, on average. Upton might be very good someday, but he’ll have to iron out some flaws…don’t be the owner he irons himself out on.

5. Kevin Millar – I’m just amazed anyone is looking at their roster, no matter how late in the draft, and thinking, “hey, I could really use Kevin Millar in that roster spot.” Millar’s old enough and established enough that we can pretty much write down now how valuable he’ll be in a 1B slot–not very. He’s not going to surprise you. You’d be better off taking a chance on Ryan Shealy or Brad Wilkerson.

Posted by: Eugene | February 8, 2008

Let’s Get This Fucking Show on the Road

I’m tired of elections already. It’s the same old shit every damn time, but apparently nobody notices. Blah blah blah change blah blah blah experience blah blah blah foreign policy. None of it makes a damn difference if we don’t stop wasting tax money and giving our best friends important cabinet jobs and salaries for doing no work.

When are platforms going to start addressing shit I care about? I don’t care if gays can marry each other or not, though surprisingly, a lot of people do. I don’t feel particularly strongly either way, but I do have to say that I can’t understand the vehement objection. Do you lose sleep at night because two guys want to give each other rings? It doesn’t even matter anyway; once they can get married, they’ll discover the same thing that straight people eventually figured out – marriage blows.

Show me a candidate who’s committed to getting all the fucking old drivers off the road. You’ve got my vote! Too bad nobody’s ever going to admit to that, since most of the old voters are too selfish and delusional to realize that taking their death machines off the road greatly benefits society. Look pops, there’s a lot of shit you can’t do anymore! Thank God for your Viagra and deal with it. There’s a lot of shit I can’t do anymore that I could do when I was 15, but whatever. I’ve accepted that. 

Posted by: Eugene | February 5, 2008

Why I Don’t Give a Shit About Voting

Because who fucking knows who’s going to do the best job? Nobody.

I mean, Jesus, everyone complains about the state of the government nowadays and how politicians are all corrupt, wasteful, money-grubbing idiots. Probably true in some cases. But guess who put them there? YOU did, if you voted for them.

Do you shake your head at the paparazzi and how they relentlessly destroy the lives of celebrities who more or less just want to live out their posh lives? Well guess what? YOU made it happen when you bought that tabloid at the supermarket checkout counter. 

I find it entertaining and utterly depressing how people conveniently forget how they directly play roles in creating the lives that they denigrate. My new proposal is this: you can vote, but once you vote and your candidate turns out to be a scumbag, you don’t get to vote again for ten years. Clearly, your opinion shouldn’t be trusted. The obvious danger, of course, is that after a few elections, nobody will have the right to vote anymore. In such a case, I should be installed as president. I can’t promise anything, except that things will move fast. Hey, that’s more than we have now, isn’t it?

Posted by: Eugene | January 29, 2008

Wii Can’t Stop Buying the Damn Thing

I find it absolutely amazing that the Wii is still widely out of stock everywhere, despite it having been, oh, about 14 months since it was first released. I actually had one, I bought it the first day it came out, but I got bored of it and sold it. So whatever. To each his own, right?

The one thing that does irk me, though, is how we look at people scalping brand new Wii systems on eBay and then get outraged. Why? I think it makes a lot of sense. Someone buys it at the store, they see that people are paying twice what it cost them, they sell it. That’s called buying low and selling high, the most celebrated of the golden investment principles. People are willing to pay the price on eBay, right? Blame them if you want to blame anyone. If they stopped acting like the damn thing was a virgin hooker then people would have no incentive to buy up all the stock as soon as it was delivered and then at least you’d have a fairer chance at scoring one for retail price. But hey, if they want to pay, more to power to them.

But wait, you say, people are making money at the expense of the kids! Little Billy barely saved up $250 but can’t buy a Wii because some dirty old man sleeps outside the Gamestop and buys up all the stock on Wednesday! Well tough shit. About time the little bugger started reading some books or learning how to masturbate. Game consoles come and go, but books and masturbation last a lifetime.

Posted by: Eugene | January 26, 2008

Today On the Metro, I Saw…

- A man standing and reading the newspaper…while picking his nose;

- A woman seated and reading a book…while picking her nose.

WHERE THE FUCK DO THESE PEOPLE COME FROM?

I mean, I see people picking their noses in their cars while stopped at stoplights, but at least that’s sort of understandable, because you’re in your car and you feel like you’re alone, even though in reality, you’re surrounded by windows. But while you’re on the Metro, how can you even pretend that you’re alone? There’s somebody practically right on top of you during the morning and evening commutes.

Posted by: Eugene | January 23, 2008

Stuff That Annoyed Me This Week

- I can’t stand the damn FBI warnings that come before you play DVDs. Does anybody with the knowhow and tools to pirate a DVD look at the warning and think, “Oh shit, that’s illegal? I just can’t do this now”? I don’t think so. It just pisses off people who just want to watch the thing.

- The Metro: I don’t know that there’s anything more to say on that.

- Comcast: I tried to order their combination Internet/TV package and it turns out I have to call two different numbers to get each of them set up (and by “set up” they mean charging you money to have someone flip the same switch to turn on the cable that they flipped a month ago to turn it off for the previous resident). That’s bad enough, but when I call, nobody even knows what I’m talking about. Damn the cable cartel.

- AT&T Wireless: Their service gets shittier and shittier, but I can’t leave because the government has decided that while it’s illegal to package Internet Explorer with Windows, it’s absolutely okay to lock me into one cellular provider. Jesus, if my payments to them got shittier and shittier, they’d drop me without hesitation. Why can’t I do the same?

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