Levi also tweets at @levistahl on occasion — and sometimes he even mentions baseball.
I tweet at @trainman74, more frequently than Levi does — and, again, sometimes I even mention baseball. I’m still unemployed from last year, but unlike last year, I won’t be in Ireland for Opening Day, so I do plan to live-tweet while I watch the games on TV via the MLB Extra Innings free preview. Opening Day being April 1 this year, I might even make up stuff. For example, I might mention that the Dodgers have a $250 million payroll. Ha ha! That’s clearly a ridiculous number.
As for baseball road trips, which — you may recall from way back when — are really the entire raison d’etre of this site: no plans. My ongoing unemployment makes a road trip pretty much a non-starter this season for financial reasons, and as for the future, Levi and I haven’t discussed anything. For this season, I’m mainly looking forward to the Rays’ August visit to Dodger Stadium (as well as their Angel Stadium visit in September), which I hope I’ll have enough money to attend!
Now that I visited New Yankee Stadium last June, there are 9 current MLB stadiums that I have not been to. I haven’t been keeping up with the “Jim’s MLB Games” link in the sidebar at left, but I have scanned all my baseball ticket stubs — which includes all but the first two MLB games I attended (in 1983 and 1987), as well as all the minor-league games from 1989 on.
On to the predictions. I want to note for the record that Sports Illustrated picked the Nationals to win the NL pennant, and the Rays to win in the AL. I also want to note that I think the cold equation that creates the baseballrelated.com predictions has the Yankees too high.
And…poor Astros. At least neither we nor Sports Illustrated foresee you outdoing the 1962 Mets (or the 1935 Boston Braves).
As usual, to remind you of what happened last year, here are our mathematics-based predictions and Sports Illustrated’s expertise-based predictions compared to the actual results of the 2012 MLB season.
Very obvious that the Orioles and the Nationals beat expectations (and the Red Sox did…not). If it’s possible to be proud of my ability to do addition and division on a calculator, then I’m most proud of our correct prediction about the Marlins’ order of finish, compared to Sports Illustrated having bought the hype that, hard as it is to believe now, actually existed around the Marlins at this time last year.
2013 predictions to come later this week, after SI arrives in my mailbox.
First of all, I’d say the Cardinals have found their replacement for Albert Pujols!
I’m currently out of work, which would have allowed me to sit in front of the TV on Opening Day and live-tweet, as I did in some past years (even before Twitter was invented) — but instead, I’m going to be in Ireland, where there will probably not be any baseball on TV.
On to the predictions. Kansas City appears to be Sports Illustrated’s pick to be the surprising team of the year, but our cold equations still have them finishing last in the AL Central. They’re also obviously taking Pujols into account with their Angels prediction, but we’re not.
And here’s what has become the entire raison d’être of this site’s existence, in which we compare the Sports Illustrated projections and our own mathematical formula projections with the actual results.
As you can see, neither we nor SI predicted the Diamondbacks doing as well as they did, nor the Twins doing so poorly. Please note that we got the standings order of the AL East and the AL West correct, unlike SI.
I got a phone call today from the Angels selling season ticket plans. Despite the single-game tickets I’ve bought over the last decade-plus, this is the first time I’ve ever been called by a salesperson from any team — never the Angels previously, not the Dodgers, not any of the teams we’ve seen on the road trips.
My guess is that the Angels hired some extra people in the ticket department due to Pujols, and now to give them all something to do, they’re going further down the lead sheet than they would have in the past. Fortunately, I got the salesperson off the phone quickly when I said I’d just lost my job — no, wait, I guess that was unfortunate, right?
Anyway, Levi might be happy to know that Pujols didn’t come up during the brief conversation, so at least they’re not leading with him.
In 1996, I sent Levi a condolence card after the National League Championship Series, in which the Braves came back from being down 3 games to 1 to the Cardinals (including a 14-0 win at Busch Stadium in Game 5).
In 2004, I sent Levi a condolence card after the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series.
This year, if the Rangers had won in Game 6 or Game 7, what I would have sent Levi is some random sort of greeting card — perhaps a My Little Pony birthday card that would normally be intended for a 5-year-old girl — and writing in it, “I asked my friend Tony La Russa to call and order a condolence card.”
Of course, I don’t think Levi necessarily minds that he didn’t get to fully enjoy that joke.
You’ve got to like a baseball movie that can, at the most crucial situation depicted in the film, have the audience hoping for a walk.
Not to mention any movie in which the very first image depicted on screen is that of Johnny Damon. (Unfortunately, he’s only in the movie via archive footage and as a topic of conversation, so we don’t know who would have played him. Instead, we know Stephen Bishop as David Justice and Chris Pratt as catcher-turned-first-baseman Scott Hatteberg.)
Jonah Hill seems particularly good — or maybe it’s just surprising to see him acting dramatic in a drama. Of course, the only reason he’s in this movie is because Paul DePodesta and his Harvard economics degree wouldn’t sign off on the use of his name and likeness, so instead they created a completely different character: one with an economics degree from Yale. (Wikipedia claims that Paul DePodesta would have been played by Demetri Martin, who you may note has a slightly different body type than Jonah Hill.)
Since I remember 2002 fairly well, I was of course on the lookout for anachronisms, and the only one I remember seeing was the current logo of KICU being used, although I’m sure there were some uniform details that were wrong, and they’ll probably get brought up soon on Uni Watch. (Something that did correctly make it in to the movie was the ad on the outfield wall at the Coliseum for “Fox Sports Net/Cable Channel 40.”) I also heard a huge anachronism, but I’ll leave that out of this post to avoid spoiling it for future nitpickers.
A very good baseball movie, and it also has plenty of Brad Pitt displaying emotion for people who don’t like baseball. If you don’t like either of those things, well, too bad for you.