Saturday, September 10, 2016

Deep Thoughts, by Jaylen Brown (Part 2)

Take a look at a pair of Jaylen Brown's Instagram posts this past week:

A photo posted by Jaylen Brown (@fchwpo) on

A photo posted by Jaylen Brown (@fchwpo) on

Brown's recent selfies play right into the "deep thoughts" theme as well:

A photo posted by Jaylen Brown (@fchwpo) on

A photo posted by Jaylen Brown (@fchwpo) on

Here's the original Deep Thoughts, by Jaylen Brown.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dustin Pedroia hitting like it's 2008

In 2008, a 25-year-old Dustin Pedroia won the American League MVP with a career-best .326 batting average.  After his 2-for-4 showing in San Diego Wednesday, the 33-year-old Pedroia is once again hitting .326.  A month ago his 2016 average stood at .295, but he hit .406 in August and is batting .385 (with 10 hits in six games) so far in September.

Pedroia's numbers through the Red Sox's first 139 games this year:

176 hits, 91 runs, 32 doubles, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 56 walks, 7 steals, .326 AVG, .388 OBP, .844 OPS

This is what those project to for the full season:

205 hits, 106 runs, 37 doubles, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 65 walks, 8 steals, .326 AVG, .388 OBP, .844 OPS

Here are his 2008 MVP totals:

213 hits, 118 runs, 54 doubles, 17 HR, 83 RBI, 50 walks, 20 steals, .326 AVG, .376 OBP, .869 OPS

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I'm not impressed with Dos Equis' new "Most Interesting Man in the World"

In March, Dos Equis sent the Most Interesting Man in the World on a one-way trip to Mars (in reality, the 77-year-old actor was ready to call it quits).  Now, it appears they have found his replacement:

It's basically just a younger version of the same guy--which is fine, but if that's all they were going to come up with, why wait six months to do it?  At this point, I was hoping for something a bit more creative.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Doc Rivers wishes Celtics kept '08 title team completely intact, sounds skeptical of Warriors' Durant signing

On a recent CSNNE podcast with Kyle Draper, former Celtics coach and current Clippers boss Doc Rivers sounded less than convinced that signing Kevin Durant was a smart move for the 73-win Warriors:

"You only get 95 shots a game--that's what they took last year, they're gonna get 95 this year. ... Is [Stephen] Curry going to take less shots? Is Klay Thompson going to take less? ... They lost a lot of guys, they lost a lot of their bench which I thought was huge for them. If I've learned anything, even like when we won in 2008, if I could have a redo I don't think we should've touched that team the following year. We made changes. We let [James] Posey go, and chemistry is a very tentative thing. When you have it, you've gotta keep it and I think, ah, we'll see..."

Other than wanting to teach Doc the difference between "less" and "fewer," I wholeheartedly agree with his premise.  The Warriors may well win the title in 2016-17, but odds are they won't be as good as they were last season.

The same podcast also includes an interview with Brad Stevens.  Among other things, Stevens shared his thoughts on the Celtics opting not to re-sign Jared Sullinger:

"I really like Jared and I thought Jared had a great year last year. He started most of our games throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. [He] did a lot of great things and he's a heck of a young player. Obviously when we got Al Horford we had to make tough decisions. That was a really hard decision for everybody."

Stevens always chooses his words wisely and never says anything bad about anyone.  Clearly there's more to the story here--if the C's wanted to keep Sully around they could've, regardless of Horford's arrival.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Update: It's now a 4-man race for AL Cy Young Award (with Rick Porcello in the thick of it)

Yesterday, I wrote about Rick Porcello's chances to win the American League Cy Young Award.  At the time there were five worthy candidates.  But after getting rocked for seven earned runs in 1.2 innings last night, Cole Hamels (who's ERA jumped from 2.91 to 3.25) is currently out of the running.  Justin Verlander and Chris Sale both received no-decisions in their head-to-head matchup Monday, leaving the top four candidates with the following numbers:

Screenshot from

Porcello, Verlander, Sale and Corey Kluber now own the four best WHIPs in the AL.  They also have very similar ERAs, all among the top 10.  The major difference in Porcello's case is that he has significantly fewer strikeouts than the rest.  However, the Red Sox hurler also owns four more wins and four fewer losses than any of the other contenders.  I'm fully aware that win-loss record can be a terrible stat to measure by, but that is an enormous difference (and Porcello's other numbers are good too).

With just 4-5 starts remaining for each guy, the odds are very good that Porcello will be the league's only 20-game winner (J.A. Happ also has 17 victories, but is winless in his last three outings).

Monday, September 5, 2016

Can Rick Porcello win the Cy Young Award?

After Saturday's victory in Oakland, Rick Porcello is now 19-3.  No one else in baseball has more than 17 wins.  Porcello's 3.23 ERA is 10th in the American League, but his 1.02 WHIP is tied for second.  And while his 154 strikeouts are on the low end (tied for 11th) for a Cy Young candidate, Porcello's 186.2 innings pitched rank third in the AL behind teammate David Price (190.2) and former teammate Justin Verlander (188).

Verlander (14-7) might be the leading contender at the moment with an AL-best 0.99 WHIP and 198 strikeouts (second), but his 3.30 ERA is worse than Porcello's.  Chris Sale (15-7) also has a strong case with a 3.10 ERA (seventh), a 1.02 WHIP (second, tied) and 185 strikeouts (fifth).

Here's how the top five candidates stack up:

Rick Porcello: 19-3, 3.23 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 154 K, 186.2 IP
Justin Verlander: 14-7, 3.30 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 198 K, 188 IP
Chris Sale: 15-7, 3.10 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 185 K, 185.2 IP
Corey Kluber: 15-8, 3.09 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 189 K, 183.2 IP
Cole Hamels: 14-4, 2.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 171 K, 173 IP

Porcello likely has five starts remaining.  If he wins three of them and gets to 22 victories without anyone else in the league reaching 20, it'll be hard to argue against him.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "High Enough" by Damn Yankees

Sticking with the theme of hair-metal power ballads that were also mainstream pop hits (following last week's 1989 Skid Row smash), here's High Enough from Damn Yankees, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts in 1990.

Until checking their Wikipedia page just now, I had no idea that Damn Yankees was a "super group" that included Ted Nugent and Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw.  I remember seeing the High Enough video when it came out, but clearly I didn't know who Nugent was back then.

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