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A Million Bucks and Massive Thumbs: Halolinks

2K Sports Major League Baseball 2K10
2K Sports is offering $1,000,000 to the first person who "throws" a perfect game while playing their 2K10 baseball video game.

Just think, you could earn more than Brandon Wood this season.

Rex Hudler is having a tough time -
It has been a hard few months for the 49-year-old Hudler, the best bubbly baseball analyst around, if you like your analysts unabashedly bubbly. In November, after 11 seasons, he was let go from the job he loved: talking about the Angels for FS West and KLAA radio 830. More devastating, though, was the effect that had on his mother. "When I told her I lost my Angels job," he said, "she went downhill so fast. For the past couple of years she would sit all summer. She couldn't do anything, she couldn't walk or talk, but she could watch the Angels and she thought so much of her son doing those games." Three days before Hudler's mother died, Rory Markas, one of Hudler's Angels broadcast buddies who handled the play-by-play, passed away. In talking about that first week of the new year, Hudler's voice gets unsteady -- but only for a minute and above all else he said he'd like to speak to his fans. "Everyone has personal tragedies in life," Hudler said. "God never promised me smooth waters. He only promised me navigation."

This sucks. A lot.

Buckner: I would have been tempted - Herald News
"I was a little bit aware of the extraordinary physical gains some guys were making," Buckner said. "But I don't really look at it like some former players do, that it's cheating. "It's a very tempting thing to do whatever you can to get healthy because the game puts such demands on you physically. I didn't have the opportunity to use those things, and I'm glad I didn't because I definitely would have been tempted. "The direction is always better and stronger, better and faster, better and better. Anybody would have been tempted." (thanks to BBTF for the link)

I think this is the feeling most former players have (they'd have been tempted to use steroids if they were around during their playing days), except Buckner and Robin Yount are the only two players I've read about who have had the balls to say it.

Retired Big Unit to throw out first pitch before M's opener - MLB - Baseball
The Big Unit is coming back to Seattle for opening day. The Mariners announced Thursday that former ace Randy Johnson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before April 12's home opener against Oakland.

And the Mariners season is all downhill from there.

Jim Edmonds, Milwaukee Brewers agree to minor league deal - ESPN
Outfielder Jim Edmonds agreed to a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. The 39-year-old Edmonds did not play last season but never retired. General manager Doug Melvin has been looking for left-handed hitters to help fill out his predominantly right-handed roster.

It appears the Brewers won the Edmonds sweepstakes and I won't get to have Jimmy mow my lawn. I wonder what Erstad's doing? Anyway, the deal is for $850,000 plus incentives, or about $150,000 less than if he throws a 2k10 perfecto.

Michael Lewis' Moneyball was eye-opener but not game-changer - Sky Andrecheck -
Eight years later, other teams have caught up with Beane's approach. Nearly every team in the majors has come around to see the value of drawing walks and on-base percentage. Mainstream media now routinely quote a player's OBP and OPS, and walks are no longer vastly underrated. So have the fears of a boring Moneyball-style league come to fruition? If teams were now coaching players to draw more walks, we would likely see a rising trend in the number of base on balls since the publication of Lewis' book. Do we?

Answer me when I'm talking to you!

On the Shoulders of Giants: A Compilation - Lookout Landing
So while bored today, not being clever enough to do my own analysis, I (Fett42 from LL) created sort of a sabermetric almanac, or whatever you'd like to call it, on a Word document and decided to post it here for everyone's perusal. Either way it covers a whole host of concepts through links to various articles I've found enjoyable and instructive over the years on Tom Tango's blog, Fangraphs, The Hardball Times, etc.

For all you sabermeically-challenged (such as myself), here's a great compilation from Lookouts Landing. Learn It, Live It, Love It.

Revenge of the RLYW: Extremely Early 2010 MLB Projected Standings - CAIRO Edition
So I'll take the results from the Diamond Mind simulations and then feed them into my Monte Carlo simulator, which I can adjust for a higher standard deviation. I'll use a standard deviation of .065 on team Pythagenpat winning percentage for this, which gives us a range of about 10.5 wins instead of 7.0 and then run an additional 1,000 iterations through the Monte Carlo simulator which should give us a little more variability in the final results.

I've got an El Camino simulator, I call it a "rusted-out-Dodge-piece-of-shit". At least it never predicted the Angels would finish in last.