September 01, 2002

I don't feel out-geeked very

I don't feel out-geeked very often. There was the time at the SCA event, the astrophysics conference, and the good old days when I spent too much time in the UGCS lab. Then there was Thursday night when I went to the Baseball Prospectus pizza feed in Concord. These folks sit around and wonder what Rule 5 draftees have panned out over the years (stumped the room on that one). Heck, we actually know how the Rule 5 draft works, which is a feat in and of itself. The East Bay crowd was mostly A's fans, so the mood was jovial, but it was the night before the strike deadline, so everyone was interested in Gary Huckabay's take on the negotiations, especially when he opened the Q&A with "I just talked to Donald Fehr on the way over..."

It was interesting to get the inside scoop on various organizations and players, if only to confirm the suspicions of the incompetence of most baseball management. Of course, Billy Beane is The Man, even if T. Long's play in center field is almost an inside joke among the crowd. There was actually a guy there who doesn't drink the OPS Kool-Aid, who made for a nice foil to the mutual-admiration society.

Interesting tidbits:

  • Mark Bellhorn is a jerk
  • John Mabry kills right-handed, fly-ball pitchers. Hello Juan Acevedo.
  • Young players with old player skills (high walks, high strikeouts, high home run to doubles ratios, i.e. no speed) tend to collapse for some reason. Danger, Troy Glaus
  • There's a good chance they'll let Tejada walk after next season. Especially if he suddenly gets older when he renews his visa.
  • No, the A's didn't trade Jeremy G. for Mabry because of baseball stats. Too much booze on a team flight back from New York.

Too bad we couldn't spend more time asking questions about real baseball instead of the labor stuff. Highway 4 was the road to Concord, and it was one of the few times when I actually felt the need to slow down on a California freeway. It's still a narrow state freeway winding through the hills of northern Contra Costa county with no street lamps, and with the recent growth in the area, it's becoming a commute corridor, connecting to 80 and 680. Hitting the highway after a long commute makes it a tough home stretch, and I'm not surprised that it's one of the more deadly highways in the Bay Area.

Posted by mikewang on 02:45 PM