However, what is happening in Safeco this season looks like it goes beyond just the park effects that we already know about. For some reason, Safeco Field is just destroying offense this year in a way that it never has before.
Any time we talk about overall run scoring in a specific ballpark, we have to account for the home team that makes up a vast majority of the at-bats in that park. And, of course, the Mariners are not a particularly good offensive team, as their .293 wOBA ranks 28th in baseball, ahead of only Pittsburgh and San Diego. Even by wRC+, which accounts for Safeco’s historical impact on run prevention, they’re still 28th in the Majors in offense. So, naturally, the home of a poor hitting line-up will have lower scoring games than average.
However, the Mariners aren’t just equally below average offensively at home and on the road. At home, they’re the worst offensive club in baseball, and on the road, they’re actually okay. In Seattle, the team is hitting .201/.280/.297, good for a .260 wOBA this year. The next worst hitting team at home is the A’s, but they come in at a .295 wOBA. The gap between the Mariners and the next worst hitting team at home is as large as the gap between the A’s and the White Sox.
On the road, the Mariners are hitting .259/.310/.420, good for a .317 wOBA that actually ranks 6th in the American League. When they’ve played away from Safeco, their offense has been slightly above average. When they’ve played at home, they’ve been the worst offense in the history of the sport. These results have led to speculation about the park getting into the player’s heads and questions about whether the mental toll of watching balls die on the warning track has begun to take an effect on the team’s psyche.
I enjoy baseball stats beyond individual players and games. Nerd it out with weather stats and justify my home team’s traditional mediocre performance and I’m more than happy to agree.
…One of our hospital appointments was with a financial advisor. The advisor had already charted who pays for what, including our insurance:
ESTIMATED CHARGE PATIENT LIABILITY Evaluation $75,000 Medicare pays 100% Procedure $550,000 Medicare pays 80%; supplementary ins pays 20% Post-op $350,000 Medicare pays 80%; supp. ins pays 20% Rehab $25,000 Medicare pays 80%; supp. ins pays 20% Travel $5,000 Out-of-pocket but tax-deductible Meds $varies Medicare pays; co-pay up to $190/month
…The point I want to make is evident in the chart: Don’t screw around with Medicare. In November if we vote into office those who want to “improve” Medicare and make operate with “market efficiencies,” we’ll regret it mightily. There are ways of fixing the Medicare funding problem other than turning into a voucher process but there are serious candidates out there whose ideologically-driven answer is to kill off every social program they can get their hands on. Don’t let the elephants ruin the essentials.
If we did not have the Medicare and insurance policy underwriting, the financial advisor would have had another sort of discussion with us about fundraising strategies including bake sales, website solicitations, charity options, etc.
The “advertisement” above is from individuals close to me at the wrap of a long email detailing tests, results, discussions, options and meetings. I hope it is as eye-opening to others as it was to me.
It seems particularly relevant with SCOTUS’ announcement today. Case in point:
This concludes healthcare’s tour of the three branches of government. See you at the voting booths in November.
“Proper respect for a co-ordinate branch of the government” requires that we strike down an Act of Congress only if “the lack of constitutional authority to pass [the] act in question is clearly demonstrated.” United States v. Harris, 106 U. S. 629, 635 (1883). Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”—
Chief Justice Roberts (whose job is not “to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices”), writing in defense of the June 28th SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act
Panguite is believed to be among the oldest minerals in the solar system, which is about 4.5 billion years old. Panguite belongs to a class of refractory minerals that could have formed only under the extreme temperatures and conditions present in the infant solar system.
Some threads on The Spearhead are virtual gold mines of crackpot misogyny. Today, from the same thread I drew upon for a post the other day, I present to you yet another long-winded antifeminist manifesto from a dude who doesn’t know shit about feminism. This time the dude in question is someone calling himself Darryl X. Here’s his little screed:
There is only feminism and it is evil and civilization depends upon its complete and utter elimination. Feminism is the product of false constructs and straw men and false flags and lies and fraud and is a political campaign of hate against men and children. Period.
And apparently Darryl loves the word “and.”
It has coopted our financial and legal and political and social institutions to affect the enslavement
and imprisonment and exile
of men and the forcible separation of children from their fathers. It is responsible for the collapse of our economies worldwide and the fall of civilization.
[citation … oh, forget it. Every single thing he says needs a citation.
“Bear in mind that Big Baby is strangely moving in both his euphoria and his mawkishness; it’s hard not to feel the emotional tug beneath his hatefulness. As if Big Baby were America’s collective, clumsy, retributive, asocial child, we can’t help but think: Big Baby may be reading Birther apocalyptic conspiracy tracts, but at least he’s reading.”—
n + 1 argues that the conservative theme of the moment is that of the big baby.
“Please God. Please make it stop.”—A “blonde young Western girl” journalist writes of being forced to leave Cairo prematurely following a horrific sexual and physical attack in Tahrir Square. Really tough read. Hugs to you, Natasha. (via newsweek)
The United States, we’ve been warned, has piled up a dangerous amount of public debt. The fear is that at some point, the bond market will cut us off, yields will skyrocket and the government will no longer be able to finance its deficits.
The problem with this idea is that we haven’t experienced anything close to it yet. Of course, I’m not saying it can’t or won’t happen. I’m merely pointing out that the more debt we pile on, the lower interest rates seem to go.
So at what point, exactly, will trouble start? Instead of looking for an economic stat, I think we should instead worry about a social stat. More specifically, it will truly be time to worry when we see the beginnings of emigration—if there’s a noticeable movement of young people and more entrepreneurial minded citizens leaving the United States
” … ‘We tried making her the blacksmith’s daughter and the milkmaid in various things,’ she says. ‘There [are] no stakes in the story for us that way. We wanted to show real stakes in the story where, you know, the peace of the kingdom and the traditions are all at stake.’
Now, you’d think someone could find stakes in the story of a blacksmith’s daughter or milkmaid, but apparently not Pixar (which is owned, of course, by Disney). Still, Pixar didn’t seem to have the same problem with ordinary civilian boy heroes in movies such as ‘Up’ …”
“ … [Miner’s lettuce] tastes a little bit like say those expensive French baby lettuces that you might buy for a lot of money in the market. You can harvest it for free right within the Seattle city limits … ”—
Miner’s lettuce. So tasty. I hope the patch I planted in my house—now rental property—is doing well. I’d tell my tenants to eat it but judging by Facebook they don’t eat things not covered in melted cheeze.
At some point this year the ultra violent Japanese film Battle Royale will finally see a US release eleven years after the original movie. In a post Columbine world, kid on kid violence has become a very touchy topic. The movie focuses on a group of kidnapped Japanese high school students brought to an island to kill each other as part of the government’s brutal Battle Royale Act. If the media ranted over Skins’ US remake, imagine their reaction when Battle Royale comes out here.
An incredible film, famed director Quentin Tarantino’s favorite in fact, nonetheless, many wonder how American audiences will handle a movie this graphic involving fifteen year olds committing murder. That being said, the film received an R15 rating in Japan, meaning that no one under the age of 15 can watch the film. If fifteen year olds in another country can watch it, why shouldn’t we? After seeing the movie, I can see why some people were concerned, but honestly, far more violent and disturbing movies have come out here without any problems.
New Line Cinema even wanted to do a remake in 2006; unfortunately the Virginia Tech massacre occurred in 2007, causing New Line to cancel the movie. While I’m glad that American producers didn’t have a chance to mutilate and cash in on the movie, it’s disappointing that US audiences have been deprived of such an incredible film.
Though one might argue that US audiences could watch the movie online, they’d not only have to know where to look, but also what to look for. Without mainstream exposure, this hidden gem would stay undiscovered.
Not for the faint of heart, this is still a must see for fans of action and horror flicks alike.
“Part of the problem is that we have few models in mainstream cultural life that interpret the way the world is, what it may become, or how we arrived at this point, with reference to science. The focus of culture – of theatre, fiction and art – is on personal, interior journeys and emotional and moral truths.”—Highlighted by erin kissane in The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World by Nick Harkaway (via kissane)
Brain Pickings has rapidly become a favorite in the last 3 weeks and articles like this one about Pierre Bayard’s book are precisely why. Maria Popova does a bang-up job of discussing the book in question without deflating my interest in reading the source material.
Plus! Hello, this book sounds pretty great.
Near the end of the article, Popova has an extended quote from the book; I have thoughts:
Paralyzed by the respect due to texts and the prohibition against modifying them, forced to learn them by heart or to memorize what they ‘contain,’ too many students lose their capacity for escape and forbid themselves to call on their imagination in circumstances where that faculty would be extraordinarily useful.
I grew up with my nose almost always in a book and not until my junior year in college did I accept that I could dislike a classic (Jack London, The Sea Wolf [hate]). More than that, the pile of books I thought I should read plagued me (especially as an English major…) until I finally tried to read Ulysses and got nowhere.
I can grok the importance of a work without actually liking it and I am down to discuss it! But don’t waste your breath trying to explain to me why I should love the Beat poets as much as you do.
To show [students], instead, that a book is reinvented with every reading would give them the means to emerge unscathed, and even with some benefit, from a multitude of difficult situations.
…the annual meeting results reported by Live Nation in an 8-K filed yesterday should be particularly embarrassing to all involved.
Shareholders withheld 26% of votes cast for Dolan, for example. So assuming that the insiders and major investors all stuck together, that means most of the company’s other investors gave him the raspberry. Worse yet, the other three directors on the ballot — Ariel Emanuel, Gregory B. Maffei and Randall T. Mays — also saw sizable no votes, ranging from 14% to 25%.
Even at companies without such a clubby group of major investors, that kind of showing is pretty bad — we rarely see more than one or two directors get significant no votes. And make no mistake: In a world where most directors are swept to re-election by immense margins, even 14% of shares withheld is significant, and 25% is a wake-up call.
Shareholder dissatisfaction, though, is even more evident when you look at the company’s “say on pay” results: 64.9 million shares were voted against the company’s executive-compensation arrangements, vs. 92.6 million for it. So the pay package passed, but by a relatively narrow margin: 58.8%. In other words, once you strip away insiders and major investors like Blackrock (who presumably have direct access to management and the board), only about 10% of independent shareholders thought the pay package was appropriate. Either that, or even some of the big holders are unhappy.
And let’s face it, there’s a lot to be unhappy about at Live Nation. …
Here is a very small sample of the harassment I deal with for daring to criticize sexism in video games. Keep in mind that all this is in response to my Kickstarter project for a video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games (which I have not even made yet). These are the types of…
Backed! Though its well over its goal. Also, regarding the comments: as awful as you’d expect.
“Michael B. Jordan (Wallace, Barksdale gang dealer): This is some real shit. It was real to the point where crackheads would come up and try to cop. I had fake money, and they would come over, and an exchange would go down. I would think they were part of the crew, and I’d make the exchange. Then security would come around and be like, “No! No! No!” and break it up. I was like, “Oh, shit! That’s really a crack-head! I’m sorry! I’m not really a drug dealer!”—Maxim Interrogates the Makers and Stars of The Wire | Maxim (via brianoberkirch)
Ha! I was watching/reading this post and got to the cornfield breath-holding recollection and thought, “hey, my family used to do that”. Then I remembered I was reading my own brother’s blog.
…I think I need a nap. Or a weekend.
The particularly challenging part Adam didn’t mention is that both of us were younger than driving age when we lived in Chester County. Our parents would *slow down the car* past the cornfield+graveyard+cornfield combo. And the combo covered both sides of the road, one longer than the other and staggered. So we the breath-holders had to mind both sides while watching Dad slow down to laugh at us.
I also remember being in a big van full of my brother’s cub scout troop, all doing the breath-holding thing. Just before we hit the target area, one of the kids hollered out “No fair to breathe when the dead people can’t!” which promptly meant we had to hold it through giggle fits descending into morbid thoughts.
“I don’t think there is any way to be interesting once you’ve been asked the same question over and again. The first time your daughter asked you why the stars shine so brightly, I bet you gave some intricate astronomical explanation. The second time, you talked about how they would look even brighter out in the desert, and the third time you said that stars always give 110 percent.”—Malcolm Gladwell, part of a back-and-forth with Bill Simmons on the banality of professional sports discourse. (via marathonpacks)