Tuesday, September 20, 2005


So, I'm sitting here typing out my notes from Physical Organic after barely getting to my first graduate level class, and I decided to take a break. So of course, now that I'm done playing with statistics to determine how much n-pentane will be in its most relaxed conformer at room temperature (it appears to be about 35%) as an introduction to P-Org, the first thing I'm going to do is zip over to somewhere that's completely and utterly devoid of statistics. Right? No.

Though to be fair, I landed on a page that has more commentary than most at BaseballProspectus.

So now I'm clicking through the homepages of each of the Major League ballclubs, and I can't help but notice something. The Pirates poll (every organization has a little opinion poll at the bottom of their page, except the SF Giants) seems to be more irrelevant than everyone else's.

While most of those at the top of their divisions or remotely involved in the Wild Card "race" are very understandably performance oriented, even those at the bottom of the league (with us) are more relevant than ours.

As an example:

Division Leaders:

  • St. Louis Cardinals: Which potential Division Series opponent makes you the most nervous? (Not the best question, but reasonable enough. It's asking something that Cardinals fans are no doubt thinking about after clinching the NL Central)

  • Atlanta Braves: Other than Jeff Francoeur, which rookie has had the biggest impact? (Terrific question: Involves analysis of their rookies in a more involved manner, maybe. Probably not, but let's say it does.)

  • Chicago White Sox: If the playoffs started today, who would be your No. 1 starter? (Again, good. Implies to the polled that their opinion might matter. It doesn't.)

  • San Diego Padres: Who deserves the most playing time at first base? (Same as CWS, and kudos to the Padres for finally breaking that .500 mark while leading their division.)

Last Place

  • New York Mets (11.5 GB): Who should be the Mets' second baseman next season? (Good, question about the future that makes the polled think they're making a difference.)

  • Kansas City Royals (40.5 GB): Who is your pick as Royals Pitcher of the Year? (Good, for a team that has done so horrendously, it's good that they're focusing on strong points, even if the organization doesn't actually care.)

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays (24.5 GB): What position should Jorge Cantu play next year? (Good, future oriented, and relevant to the Pirates case, what with Rob Mackowiak.)

  • Colorado Rockies (14.0 GB in the worst division in the Majors, 0.5 games behind the Pirates overall) Who has been the biggest 2005 surprise? (Good. Terrible year, but let's try to look for some bright spots. Couldn't be a better question for the Pirates.)

So what's the Pirates question?

Which current Pirates jersey is your favorite?

What?! Not only is it the only fashion related poll question out of the 29 that exist, it's somewhat mocking that the Phillies poll question (Who is Ryan Howard's biggest threat for NL Rookie of the Year?) includes at least some indication that yes, the Pirates are a ballclub, not a fashion house. It doesn't even really allow for the illusion that the person being polled is having some kind of input on the team. While I'm well aware that no one in the organization really gives a damn who the fans of their team thinks is the best choice for third baseman, it's somewhat comforting to the fans to think that they do. The most that will come of this poll is that the Bucs decide to ...I don't know...not play as many road games (the road gray jersey is trailing with 8% of the vote at present).

In more interesting news, Ian Snell chose a bout with Roger Clemens to get his first win in the Majors, and we (by we I mean not me, because Chicago TV stations don't really care about Astros/Pirates games) get to watch Gorzelanny make his debut against Pettitte and the Astros tonight.

I'm going to get back to work now, and try to finish this up in time to do something else with today.


Scott said...

I thought you were talking about some sort of sport, but they you had download sizes in gigabytes next to the team things and I got confused.

-Murphy said...


"Games Back".

Though I like the prospect of thinking of the Kansas City Royals as, not people, but a big freaking file.

Rory said...

Dude, I totally thought it was gigabytes too, I had no idea what was going on.

I wish there was a server somewhere that I could download my team off of and burn it onto 54 easy to store CDs.

-Murphy said...

I get the feeling not all of those cds would stick around very long.

I'm just saying, you get Jose Mesa and Restovich on a cd...suddenly skeet shooting is looking fun and I'll be damned if we ran out of clay targets and oh look quick replacement.