June 30, 2006


So, I went to pick up my stipend check from the math department for the summer and found that it was .... $2000 less than I expected! This should make for a crappy rest of summer. Dammit.

I guess I have no one to blame but myself for not being on top of all this...but we were supposed to get the goddamn checks 8 months ago.

June 28, 2006

Oh no!

Peter Gammons is in the ICU afterbrain surgery to treat an aneurysm. I hope he's okay...he's the greatest baseball writer in history (at least in my history). Get better Peter!

June 21, 2006


Hooray for air conditioning!

The A/C in our apartment has always been kind of spotty ever since we moved in. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't work very well, and sometimes it leaked water onto our carpet. We had it on all weekend because of the hot days (and even worse, warm nights) and on Monday it was barely blowing. I called up maintenance to ask them about it...I wasn't sure if it needed to have its filter cleaned or what.

When I got home yesterday I found an entirely new air conditioner in the apartment! They neglected to turn it on after they installed it so I switched it on. The thermostat read 80+ degrees when I turned it on. An hour later, it was already down to 68, and when we got up this morning it was below 60. Our old one could barely get it down to 70!

The other great thing is that this one is so much more quiet. We kept our old AC going full blast and kept a fan next to it for better air movement. My computer was right next to this whole apparatus and I entered a black hole of sound whenever I went over there. Now the new AC makes less noise and blows as much air as the old setup, to which I say w00t.

June 20, 2006

Why do you tease me so?

In Rob Neyer's chat today:

David, CT: Do you see Dotel and Pavano making a positive impact on the Yankee's pitching staff this year? If both come back and are effective I think it would put the Yanks in the driver seat in the AL East.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: I agree. I also think the Cubs could get right back in the WC race if Prior and Wood are perfectly healthy from tonight through the end of the season.

I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about this - clearly Prior and Wood aren't, well, Prior and Wood this year. It may be that I'm wrong and their poor velocity and control are due to the fact that they had no Spring Training to build up arm strength, but I have a feeling that their injuries have something do with it (especially in Wood's case).

Then again, they're not really worse than most of the other rotation plug-ins we've been using (see Rusch, Hill, Guzman, Marmol, Ryu). We still have Derrek Lee coming back, though things are still looking kind of dicey on his wrist injury. Similarly, the jury's still out on Wade Miller.

Here's the current NL central standings

StL 42-26 --
Cin 38-32 5.0
Hou 36-34 7.0
Mil 35-36 8.5
ChC 27-42 15.5
Pit 26-25 17.5

And, as Neyer mentioned, here's the even more scary looking wild card race
Cin 38-32 --
SaD 36-33 1.5
LAD 36-33 1.5
Ari 36-34 2.0
Hou 36-34 2.0
Phi 35-35 3.0
Col 35-35 3.0
SFo 35-35 3.0
Mil 35-36 3.5
Fla 29-37 7.0
Was 32-40 7.0
Atl 30-40 8.0
ChC 27-42 10.5
Pit 26-45 12.5

10 and a half games is far more surmountable than 15 and a half...but still there are 12 teams in front of the Cubbies.

June 19, 2006

6 game losing streak

Stick a fork in them. The Cubs are done.

June 09, 2006

Obviously, I know nothing

Despite the good news that Wood had a clean bill of health, the Cubs still put him on the DL today...so it looks like we will be seeing Marmol on Sunday. Maybe he and Prior will be back in the same week.

I'm listening to the Cubs-Reds game and they just picked up a bunch of lucky runs. Maybe offensive breaks like this will signal the start of a surge from the Cubs?

Blanco is playing well today...maybe I should speak badly of otehr players to try to get them to do better?

Non-baseball update!

I've been doing research on various numerical algorithms for solving some fancy wave-modelling equations. I might put some pics up on my math website someday when I'm not feeling so lazy.

As I mentioned a while back, Jim managed to lure me back into WoW. I now have a lvl 35 Warrior on Dentarg. He managed to lure several old high school folks, including my brother, his girlfriend, her brother, and another of their friends. We're in a PvP guild and have had a good time PvPing it up - I'm a big Warsong Gulch fan.

I've read a bunch of (gasp!) new books this summer too. I read the first book (Shaman's Crossing) in the new series by one of my favorite fantasy authors and was merely whelmed by it (not over or underwhelmed). I'll probably buy the next book when it comes out...probably used though. I also read The Briar King, which was also whelming (though slightly more so than SC), I just bought the next book and plan to read it sometime soon.

Currently, however, I am reading Cryptonomicon (which was recommended several times to me by Marijka). Just as an adventure novel it's quite awesome - it gets bonus points for bringing up all sorts of cool math and CS stuff. It makes me want to go take an information theory class!

Last night we went to see The Taffetas - the first of the three shows that Jennie is working on this summer. It was a hilarious show - good tunes and tons of retro humor. There are 2 more shows this sumemr and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

NL Central update

Lots of writers have said that Pujol's injury has opened the division right up...I strongly disagree. Cincy seems to be the biggest beneficiary to the injury, since they're the only other team over .500 in the division and just grabbed 1st place from the Cards. I still don't think they have the pitching to take the division though. Even without Pujols, the Cardinals are still the best team in the division - they're scuffling because their 4 best players are hurt right now, or might as well be. Carpenter will be off the DL soon which will provide a boost. The Cardinals' season depends on how Edmonds bounces back from his abdominal injury and whether Isringhausen gets it together again.

Look at the rest of the teams - Houston is getting Clemens and Oswalt back soon but the rest of its rotation is in total shambles. Milwaukee's pitching is also falling apart. The Cubs will be reloading soon and hopfully will be able to dig themselves out of the hole they are in (they're only 2 games in front of the Pirates !). I'm thinking that the Cubs and 'Stros will make a run before the All-Star break, and the cards and Cincy will slide. My predictions for the ASB standings

Team Back
StL --
Cin 3
Hou 5
ChC 8
Pit 16

Batting update

Things are starting to look a little better offensively for the team.

Among the slumping players, there seems to be some hope. Juan Pierre has raised his average to .250 which still sucks...but it is better than the .215 he was hitting before. Here's hoping he gets better. Similarly, Ramirez's bat has shown some signs of awakening from it's early season slumber. He's always been a slow starter anyway. Murton has proven to be an incredibly streaky hitter.

The best hitter on our team the past few weeks has by far been Jacque Jones, who is now hitting over .300 - exactly as he promised when he signed with the Cubs after his sub-par season last year (take that, Rob Neyer!).

Cedeno, Walker, and Barrett also continue to his around .300, and Womack should be playing at 2nd whenever Nevin isn't playing first. I think that Nevin was a great acquisition too. Though I agree that they picked him up a month later than he was needed...he wasn't available until around when we got him, and the rest of the possible trades out there were terrible.

We just need to hit a good stretch, where more than one batter is hot for once. Also, the less Neifi Perez there is in the lineup the better it will be.

Pitching News

Good news x2 today

Prior had a good outing yesterday in his AA rehab start. He had one brain cramp and gave up a 3 run homer in the first inning, then cruised for the rest of the game. I can't wait till he's back - he can knock Rusch out of the rotation again! He'll probably make 1 or 2 more starts for the AAA team, then we'll have him back.

Kerry Wood had his shoulder checked out again to make sure that his soreness was just the usual pitching soreness and not another injury, and he got a clean bill of shoulder health. He's going to throw on the side today, and if he's feeling good he'll be ready to go on Sunday.

If Wood isn't ready, we'll get to see Marmol pitching. After his 2 appearances this year I've already felt he should be in the rotation over Rusch. He's thrown 4 scoreless innings with several strikeouts, and hasn't even used all of his pitches yet! Hooray for glimpses of the future.

Finally updating

Finally making an update...I think I'll touch on a few points.

Now that the whole Cubs-Sox brawl has had some time to cool down, I acknowledge that the hit by Pierzynski was not a cheap shot, just smashmouth baseball. He's still a tool though, and I do feel that he's at least partially responsible for the fight. The plate slap was showing up the Cubs but that could be written off to enthusiasm, no big deal there. However, I still don't buy the whole "I was going to get my helmet" story - he is so full of crap. Who goes to pick up their helmet? That's what bat boys are for. He wanted to run into Barrett to try to get him to start something, and I'm still glad Michael punched him in the face. If nothing else, it could have hopefully given a spark to a listless Cubs team.

I don't know why MLB is dragging its feet on the whole suspension thing. I feel like they made the right decisions more or less on the suspensions (Mabry and Pierzynski didn't do any actual fighting, hence no suspensions for them). Hopefully we'll know at some point...and Soto or Fox can fill in nicely for Barrett, as Blanco is a terrible everyday catcher.