Thursday, February 23, 2017

A blog with no name.

For I was hungry and you said "drug test those who would ask for food." I was thirsty and you said "oil for us is more important than water for them. Build the pipeline." I was a stranger and you said "he could be a terrorist don't let him in." I was sick and you said "take away her health insurance."


FINE - I'll blog.  I've gotten a few emails asking me if I'm OK or am I depressed and I received an email from England wondering if Columbus is still on the map.

Yes, No and Yes, at the moment.

I attended the final James Street Reconstruction meeting for the over 70 age group last night.  It wasn't like the MG&E investor meeting where I brought the average age down by 10 years but it did seem like it was a "crowd" that was 30 years over the average age of a Columbodian.

 Construction starts in about 10 days on the upper (but seems like lower) end of James Street.  From River Road to the stop lights. (Columbus will have 4 (FOUR) sets of stop lights when it's all finish).

Check out this detour map for phase one.

Pretty awful. But this is the official detour for highway.  This is so what happened during the filming of Public Enemies (huge road repairs for Columbus) will not happen THIS time. 

HOWEVER - the shocking part will be the major tree cutting on the lower (but seems like upper) part of James Street.  Seems the trees need to all be cut down before a date in April to spare a certain bat starts to look for a home.   I'll have to ask our bat expert at home brew club tonight (Sun Prairie Worthogs).  She has flown all over the world studying bats.
Then sometime in early July the 2nd phase will start from the downtown stoplights to the Kwik Trip intersected. (stop light to stop light).  The 3rd phase will be from Kwik Trip 151 where another set of stoplights (not sure why we need another set) and then to the new stop lights on the other side.   

BUT back on topic - I'm actually, WONDERFUL - this is a fantastic time of year if you are into sports and virtual sports or gambling sports (well, not so much for gambling sports it seems).

OH OH - before I lose many of anybody reading this who are not "into" sports.  Here is a shot of the 100 year old Pavilion in Fireman's Park (yes it really is FireMAN'S Park).


Back to sports and how excited I am.

First of all I received my Strat-o-matic (SOM) cards which are like Fantasy baseball where you actually play the games.  After 162 games each player, on average, does what he did in real life from the correct amount  home runs to the correct amout of ground balls to 3rd base that move the runner up one base. Everything is taken into account. . except because of weather and ballpark dimensions and random luck it's not "exact".  If I had Chris Carter who lead the NL in Homeruns in Milwaukee (the easiest place in the majors to hit a home run - greater the Colorado) a move him to San Francisco he would not hit 40+ HRs.  Get my point?

I started playing in my first SOM league in 1968.  The game is on the Hall of Fame and 90% of sports announcers have played the game.  In fact before SOM nobody really knew there was a difference between lefties and righties, pitching match ups, and walks were something frowned upon. Because of SOM statisticians started to look at baseball in a different light.

SOM was the very first table top baseball simulation that actually used a pitcher. Every other game only had batter cards.

Just so people have some sort of clue here is Freddie Freemans super advanced card and how it's played.

3 dice, 1 red, 2 white
roll dice - add the white
look at Freeman's card
Column two on the right side because Peralta throws RIGHT
Result Strikeout (against a lefty it's a gb C and runners advance (C)

If it was a RED 5 and WHITE 7 it would be a strikeout (unless the pitcher was tired, the DOT, and it would be a single ** meaning runners advance 2 bases.

And you can figure out the rest - movin' on

BUT - baseball and real life intertwine. 

I'm reading a book called "Ahead Of The Curve" by Brian Kenny who so far has really bashed most baseball writers and the institution of baseball. WHY? Because the people who put teams on the field AND write about baseball are stupid . . . BUT . . coming around. It's only taken 40+ years.

For instance "people can maintain an unshakable faith in any proposition, however absurd, when they are sustained by a community of like-minded believers."  Does that sound like anything that is happening in America right now?  Humans are a herding animal, very social. Many of our beliefs are based on what the herd believes and it's uncomfortable to believe differently. We are very resistant to change.

But he is talking about baseball and how so many major league baseball clubs resist in looking at the science behind the game.  TOO MANY NUMBERS they complain.  "We know what we are doing, it's worked for over 100 years".  Major League baseball players have a "look". Have you ever noticed that MOST major league managers all sort of look the same? All the same size-ish and every one played major League baseball (not like other sports).

Money Ball - WIDELY panned my 90% of major league clubs as a stupid movie and Brad Pitt actually received hundreds of hate mails saying how he is helping ruin the game.  Very good baseball movie about Billy Beane who took the Oakland As' tiny bankroll and produced a champion by using science. If you like baseball, watch that movie.

Science shown that the way the game is played is wrong. - Things like bunting - there is no reason to EVER bunt in baseball unless you are a pitcher - EVER!.  Science tells us this - yet, you see bunting every game.  Moving a guy up one base is FAR FAR less important then losing that out.  A study of 150,000 baseball games tells us

Man on 1st, no outs chance of scoring a run is 44.1%
Man on 2nd, one out chance of scoring is 41.8%

YET - you see bunting every game. You even saw it in the World Series which totally failed.

Other sports are also having issues with numbers.

In the NFL - punting is a negative expectation strategy.  There were two college teams this year that never punted.  An economics professor at UCal Berkeley did a study.

There are 3 times when you should go for it instead of punting

1. Inside your opponent's territory on 4th down and 7 or less  
2. Inside your opponent's 33 on 4th and 10 or less
3. 4th and 4 or less, ANYWHERE on the field

Your 11 yard line, 4th and 4?  Go for it.  Yea - your opponent will score if you fail . . . and your opponent will ALSO score if you punt. But punting you are guaranteed to NOT score at all.

Yea - that is a tough one but , , , he did the math and some schools tried it and it works.

And now you see why I have not been blogging - this stuff has been consuming my brain and is freakishly boring to non-baseball people . . . how about golf.


Along with IRL (In Real Life) golfing I have been on a number of virtual golf tours starting with Links 30 years ago, then Tiger Woods Golf by EA Sports but nothing compares to the TGCtours .com tour where I absolutely suck.  No really.  But that is why it is so popular.

There are actually 9 tours. You start off in Q-School which is like a boot camp of 6 rounds in hideous conditions and real tough courses.  Then you are given a tour card. Each tour has about 200 golfers. There are cut lines and you can get demoted and so forth.

NOTE - I think I'm trying to escape into a "happy place" and not think about politics (which REALLY is fascinating but would be more fun if I knew the ending).

ANYWAY - I just wanted to show this clip of a hole in my 1st tour event.  Now this looks all good but about 5 holes later I took a 10 (TEN) as the wind REALLY kicked up on this highlands course, yea, we will not speak of that.

So that is my story at the moment. I won't way 10 days next time since I was invited to a Facebook closed group of bloggers around the world so I guess I need to blog more.  Seems there can be blogging burnout (especially after 8 years).

SO - until next time