Steve Treder makes a good point in this BTF thread that went political soon after it started:
There is something, though, to the notion that “it used to be better,” and it’s this: there was a time when we could engage in genuine, passionate and interesting discussions about various baseball topics — PEDs, the DH, fielding metrics, interleague play, and so on — because there was a certain freshness to them. We hadn’t yet beaten them to a horrible death. But we have now. Do we really need to have a discussion about whether the DH is a good rule? Is there anything that all of us hasn’t said about a question such as that, gazillions of times?
Someone was mourning the good old days when Baseball Think Factory was known as Baseball Primer. In some respects, I miss those days, too. But life goes on, we hope. I think about writing about other topics besides baseball.
This past week I started two or three projects that I’ll probably never finish. One had nothing to do with writing. It was an attempt by me to see if there was a way of factoring semiprimes by treating them all as differences of squares. For a man with no math beyond calculus, this was a dangerous experiment. I have about 1500 words of a totally uncomprehensive history of organized crime on a legal pad. And I have been thinking about using the format of the Pulp Fiction screenplay to write about a famous baseball game from years past.
I did read a short book about the beginning of the Civil War by Emory Thomas and thought for a moment about tracking down some Vietnam vets and start an oral history project on that war. How was your weekend?
An appropriate link now that it’s after 4 here on the East Coast.
If you think you can hold your beer, there may be a competition coming to your local beer hall that will give you a chance to prove it once and for all.
Move over, beer pong, and make way for Masskrugstemmen — which literally means “beer-stein holding.” It’s possibly the hottest import from Bavaria to hit the U.S. since the BMW.
Notes from a Panel Discussion on Blogging About Sports and Economics
This gets meta, but I eat meta up. Berri also linked to a great story about a dumb criminal.
Wheeler had walked into two Pittsburgh banks and attempted to rob them in broad daylight. What made the case peculiar is that he made no visible attempt at disguise. The surveillance tapes were key to his arrest. There he is with a gun, standing in front of a teller demanding money. Yet, when arrested, Wheeler was completely disbelieving. “But I wore the juice,” he said. Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras.
In a follow-up article, Fuoco spoke to several Pittsburgh police detectives who had been involved in Wheeler’s arrest. Commander Ronald Freeman assured Fuoco that Wheeler had not gone into “this thing” blindly but had performed a variety of tests prior to the robbery. Sergeant Wally Long provided additional details — “although Wheeler reported the lemon juice was burning his face and his eyes, and he was having trouble (seeing) and had to squint, he had tested the theory, and it seemed to work.” He had snapped a Polaroid picture of himself and wasn’t anywhere to be found in the image. It was like a version of Where’s Waldo with no Waldo. Long tried to come up with an explanation of why there was no image on the Polaroid. He came up with three possibilities:
(a) the film was bad;
(b) Wheeler hadn’t adjusted the camera correctly; or
(c) Wheeler had pointed the camera away from his face at the critical moment when he snapped the photo.
As Dunning read through the article, a thought washed over him, an epiphany. If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity.
Well, they’re both pitchers. But now they are both victims of accidental gunshot wounds.
Gloveslap to Repoz.