The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


You Can Piss Off Some of the People Some of the Time

The first Prospectus Hit List of the regular season went up on Tuesday at BP, and it's new and improved as it begins its second year. I'll save my breath and simply crib the intro (itself a new feature), which explains the upgrades:
With one week of play in the books and the tempers of last week's angry mob of White Sox fans in need of more stoking (2-4 record be damned), it's time to break out the first in-season edition of the Hit List. This week marks the debut of the Hit List Factor (HLF), the underlying figure which determines the rankings of the 30 teams (it was there last year, we just didn't publish it). Normally, the HLF is calculated from the actual, first-, second-, and third-order winning percentages as presented in our Adjusted Standings, but since those magical numbers aren't online yet, we're working with the bathtub gin equivalent: one part actual winning percentage, one part Pythagenpat and one part PECOTA (the same rotgut that gave some of you the dry heaves last week). Ready to fire off another angry e-mail? Hold your fire and instead get giddy over small sample sizes. They don't mean much unless you're expecting Chris Shelton to knock 116 homers, but they remind us to enjoy the hothouse flowers before they're wilted by the heat of the pennant races. To everything there is a season, and now's the time for guys hitting .536.
As you can see, the slings and arrows of a small cadre of indignant White Sox fans last week left me a little punchy, so I also set a little boobytrap of sorts for them in the Pale Hosers' entry. Most of the folks who've seen it got a good chuckle -- our system administrator even forwarded me a couple of actual emails, though one reader took extreme offense, as did one Blue Jays fan about my frank admission that the Toronto franchise's current state leave me yawning.

Memo to Mr., who didn't leave me a valid reply address in his very rude email about my Blue Jays comment: I'm not a Red Sox fan, I have no intention of eating shit, I've got nothing against Canada or Canadians in general, and most importantly, I don't answer to "bucko." Oh well, you can't please all the people all the time. A Bronx cheer to anyone who takes offense or who gets too worked up about rankings at this time of year. The Hit List is a conversation starter, a summary of the week, and an entry into the rest of BP's content, not a reason to fly off the handle.

Speaking of da Bronx (I'll show you da Bronx...), I'm off to this afternoon's Yankees-Royals game. It's not Opening Day at the Stadium (which again lived up to its special billing yesterday), but it's a great day for a ballgame here.

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