* Jessica Simpson segment - checkI can't say I was all that surprised at the outcome. I refused to let the producer put words into my mouth, settling for responses to their questions that didn't break up into neat two-second soundbites ("This is a dark day for baseball," "A-Rod is the last hope," etc.). Basically, my every suspicion about tabloid TV's depth of interest in the story was confirmed. While I'd have loved the segment to have aired so that I could add it to my clip files, and while rushing out the door to jump through their hoops was a serious inconvencience given my workload, the whole adventure was nonetheless a fascinating peak into the sausage factory of TV, and I'd be lying if I said I was the least bit bitter about the outcome.
* Britney Spears segment - check
* Lindsay Lohan segment - check
* Anorexic Survivor contestant segment - check
* Nine-year-old smart enough to call 911 segment - check
* Golly, sextuplets segment - check
* Nuanced discussion of the Mitchell Report by yours truly - fuggedaboutit
I shoulda shown more cleavage, I guess. Apologies to anybody who wasted their time trying to track this down.
Raines [123.7 career WARP/68.4 peak/96.1 JAWS] is often slighted because he doesn't measure up to his direct contemporary, Henderson (187.8 career WARP/83.4 peak/135.6 JAWS). He doesn't have 3,000 hits, and his 808 stolen bases rank "only" fifth all time, and while his 84.7 percent success rate is the best among thieves with more than 300 attempts, that skill doesn't really register in today's power-saturated age, limiting the impression of his all-around ability. But Raines does more than measure up to another Hall of Fame contemporary, 2007 inductee Tony Gwynn. Their JAWS totals are virtually identical (124.4/68.4/96.4 for Gwynn, within one win in each category), but Raines outdistances the left field benchmark by 4.8 JAWS points, while Gwynn rates a hair below that in right field (125.0/68.7/96.8). Gwynn gets the glory because of his 3,141 hits, five 200-hit seasons, and eight batting titles. Raines won only one batting title, but while he never reached 200 hits due to his ability to generate so many walks, he compares very favorably to Gwynn in many key statistical categories:I received a good amount of support regarding Rianes from BP's readership, including a very nice note from a beat reporter who is still a few years away from obtaining his ballot but who told me that I had swayed his thinking about the Rock. That made my day.AVG OBP SLG ISO EqA HR SB TOB TB BG R RBITOB is times on base (H + BB + HBP), BG is bases gained, the numerator of Tom Boswell's briefly chic mid-'80s Total Average stat (TB + BB + HBP + SB - CS), which is presented here to show that Raines' edge on the basepaths made up for Gwynn's ability to crank out the hits. The point is better served via the comprehensive Equivalent Average and WARP valuations, but it's nonetheless a worthwhile comparison for those wishing to stick to traditional counting stats. The conclusion is the same: Tony Gwynn and Tim Raines were two fantastic ballplayers who had slightly different skills. One was disproportionately heralded in his time thanks to his extreme success by the traditional measures of batting average and hits, while the other was under-appreciated in a career that included a more concentrated early peak and a lot more ups and downs. The two were equally valuable on both career and peak levels, and there is absolutely no reason why one should be in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot while the other should languish outside for more than five seconds. If the voters don't see it that way -- and the early line is that they won't, at least initially -- it will be a gross injustice.
Gwynn .338 .388 .459 .121 .305 135 319 3955 4259 5267 1383 1138
Raines .294 .385 .425 .131 .307 170 838 3977 3771 5805 1517 980
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
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