Friday, May 21, 2004  
Summertime and the livin's easy

This summer was supposed to be an opportunity to catch my breath in between college semesters. I'd only be working 30 hours a week with no classload, instead of 30 and a full load. Instead, my wife and I are buying a house, so the expected blade-of-grass-and-rocking-chair summer I expected has turned into Gilligan running in fast forward into the lagoon, his pants aflame.

All the same, there's nothing for me to do about the house this weekend. Our bid has been accepted and my wife is handling the mortgage stuff while I'm at work. All of my weekly tasks are done at work, so I'm just killing the next two hours.

So my mind is racing, and moments like this are great times to fill the blog with random thoughts.

1) Is Dusty The Great Motivator or Phil Jackson? Did he arrive at the time when the fruits of the farm system and Hendry's work were ripening, or was it his nurturing hand working the orchard that have brought the 1.25 seasons of unexpected success? The answer has to be equal parts of each. Imagine Lefebvre or Essian or Riggleman at the helm; wouldn't they have had a tougher time keeping the troops believing through all the injuries and possible conflicts (Grudz/Walker playing time, Sosa vs. anyone else getting attention, etc.)? Imagine if you took away Zambrano and Wood (Prior would still be injured), leaving us with a rotation of Clement, Mitre, and 3 league-average starters. Would Baker win with those guys?

2) This Cardinals series has got me nervous. If the Cubs win one of three with Clement, Rusch, and Mitre, I'll breathe a sigh of relief. If they sweep I'll start going back to church. Okay, not really, but maybe I'll be kinder to my fellow man and stop coveting my neighbor's wife so much.

3) Numerically, Baker and Matthews ended up with eerily similar careers.
The differences between the two are as follows:
Games Played: 6
At-Bats: 30
Runs: 119
Hits: 30
2b: 1
3b: 28
hr: 8
rbi: 35
sb: 46
cs: 1
bb: 178
SO: 199
ba: .003
obp: .017
slg: .007
tb: 61
With the exception of runs scored, BB, SO, and OBP, the statical differences in their career lines are negligible. I doubt there are any manager/hitting coach combinations in baseball history whose careers ended up with numbers so similar.

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