Friday, May 24, 2013

Maybe Pineda Trade Will Work Out

With the news today the the Mariners have sent the potentially great Jesus Montero down the the minors, last year's preseason trade for Michael Pineda doesn't look so bad for the Yankees anymore. Montero is a catcher who can't catch, but had a great reputation as a slugger. Unfortunately for the Mariners he hasn't been slugging either. Maybe the Yankees knew something....

But, then again, you have to wonder what the Mariners knew when they gave up the 6'7" fireballer Pineda. If you remember, he reported to the Yankees camp overweight last year and then came down with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Over a year later, Pineda is finally throwing again and reports are that he's almost ready for a minor league rehab assignment. Whoopee!

Seriously though, he was fairly good in his first full season of big league pitching at age 22, posting 173 strikeouts vs. 55 walks with a Walks & Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP) of a very solid 1.099, although as to be expected because he pitched for Seattle, his home numbers were slightly (although not that much) better than his road numbers. Another promising indicator is that his minor league strikeouts/walks/hits numbers were slightly better than his major league numbers - so it appears he's been fairly consistent.

Now all Pineda has to do is comeback fully from shoulder surgery, which is something that others have certainly done, but we shall see. At least it doesn't seem like we really missed out on anything by giving up Montero for him.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Allosourus vs. T-Rex - new dinosaur modeling

So, if you know me, I've always been a big fan of dinosaurs. It's even my belief that as the once dominant creates of the earth, dinosaurs represent the forebearers of the human race. But that's a conversation for another day.

It's also been my observation that Google News, which I try to peruse several times per week, if not daily, gives an inordinate amount of coverage/links to dinosaur stories in its science section. This another reason I like Google.

Today's featured dinosaur article discussed the eating habits of the Allosourus' vs. the Tyrannosourus Rex. For background, the Allosaurus lived 155 milion to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period, while the T-Rex roamed the earth during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 million to 65 million years ago. T-Rex was about 30% longer and weight about three times as much as the Allosourus.

A few quotes from the engaging article:
  • "'People think of it as a smaller, earlier version of a T. rex, but it was successful in a very different way,' said Eric Snively, an Ohio University paleontologist."
  • “'Allosaurus really was better at certain things' than T. rex, Snively said. 'It was quicker at striking prey and more efficient.'"
  • "'T. rex was extremely powerful and had a very large head, huge teeth and large … muscles, which sounds great and is,' Witmer said. 'But that comes at a cost, meaning it was difficult for the T. rex to move its head around with great speed and control. Allosaurus had a much lighter head.'”
All great stuff. The information they came up with was based on computer-generated studies that take into account soft tissues and not just bone structure. The articles call these computer generated dinosaurs the "future of paleontology," replacing the old bone-centric models that have been used historically.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Hunter S. on Kentucky Derby

Great second look or whatever they call it on Grantland, on a 1970 Hunter Thompson story by Louisville native Hunter Thompson on the Kentucky Derby. There is some commentary from Hunter's sidekick and cartoonist Ralph Steadman. The story originally appeared in some counterculture publication, which I guess you had back them. Here's a link to the entire story.

To tease you, here is a quote from it (It's Thompson talking to Steadman, who is from England, about the sketches he keeps drawing and giving to people.): "Fuck England," I said. "This is Middle America. These people regard what you're doing to them as a brutal, bilious insult. Look what happened last night. I thought my brother was going to tear your head off."

And so forth....