I have been on this planet, effective this morning, for a grand total of 20,735 days. Of those, today marks the only 97th time that the 13th of the month has fallen on a Friday. (Excel is a very handy tool!) That is .00467808 of the time. A pittance. A smidgeon. A crumb. A speck. A modicum. I laugh at Friday The 13th!!
But wait. There is a scary part. Let's go to Wikipedia: "Each Gregorian 400-year cycle contains 146,097 days (365 × 400 = 146,000 normal days, plus 97 leap days). 146,097 ÷ 7 = 20,871 weeks. Thus, each cycle contains the same pattern of days of the week (and thus the same pattern of Fridays that are on the 13th). The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week. On average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days (compared to Thursday the 13th, which occurs only once every 213.59 days).".............So, essentially, I have been on this planet for 97 X 212.35 days. 212 days is something like 2/3's of 365, which implies that my age is something like 2/3's of 97. And it's true. Crap. And scary.
A couple of more tidbits from Wikipedia while we are on the subject: 'According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day". Despite this, representatives for both Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines have stated that their airlines do not suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.
The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) on June 12, 2008, stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.' '
And to think, most of all this hoopla is a direct consequence of the impact from this particular little publication.
I don't care. I have Mike Trout on my team. that makes me one of the luckiest fans in all of sports. So, again, I laugh at Friday The 13th!!
On To Angels Baseball!
- Angels 4, Jays 3: Honest to gosh, at this time last Friday I truly thought I would be writing R.I.P. Angels 2013 in this week's Edition. But, lo and behold, the team has entered the Season Of Meaningless Wins and have claimed the championship throne of this period all for themselves. Their Elimination Number for the Division remains at 2, and for the last AL Wild Card spot it remains at 8. But with their 4 - 3 victory last night they find themselves 15 and 5 since August 21. And they remain only 4 games out of the Protected Pick zone. Think of it this way: had the Halos just started playing this well from July 26th instead of from August 21, they would actually own the 2nd AL Wild Card spot right now...and everything from April 1st would have been forgiven.
- More Win: Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the 2013 News Website Lede Winner for Irony in a Sporting Topic: Yahoo! Sports for "Calhoun leads no-quit Angels to sweep over Jays". Good on Calhoun, hotter than pistols by going 10 for 18 over the past 5 games. But "no quit Angels"? After all we have seen in 2013? Wow. Winner right there.
- Kole Calhoun: Something to think about - if Calhoun keeps this up, he will create some serious decision thinking on the part of Jerry Dipoto between the end of this season and the Opening Day next year. It's a good problem to have, and restores some flexibility in the off season.
- Daily Mike Trout Porn Section: You will not recall, so I will tell you now that I told you so then. The 2012 MVP vote was a sea change in the mindset behind the narrative of what makes for important baseball. We are now getting deeper entwined into the era of "The Trout WARs". The Sabremetrics behind Trout in 2012 successfully established a beachhead in the national dialog, and the reinforcements have been arriving weekly. In this year's season of MVP chit chat, a lot of the new support is now coming from the MSM itself. Case in point: we can now witness a bitch session between old guard members of the MSM. The luddites scramble to hold territory as one of their major peers starts to argue for a more accurate way of understanding. In this instance, we have Joe Posnanski trying to to better understand the real accomplishments of Trout, which then triggered the luddite response from Jon Heyman, who goes out of his way to use the strength of Cabrera's season in 2013 to beat everyone over the head using the same old tropes of ignorance we suffered under in 2012 (he also takes a cheap shot at this post of Posnanski doing some thinking about errors). Posnanski fights back, and I should point out that Posnanski is trying to be very fair and reasonable in all this as his mindset shifts. So, of course, since Heyman didn't bully Posnanski back into the box, David Schoenfield over at ESPN jumps into this fray on behalf of Heyman and tries to redirect the entire rationale to....wait for it....RBI's!..........Meanwhile, USA Today goes off the reservation and picks up a sword on behalf of Mike Trout.
- More Mike Trout: SportsNet goes all Morley Safer on Mike rout and discovers the secret to his success. It's sleep. Lots of it. Says Trout: "It hasn’t been too bad for me as a guy who likes to have a lot of time by myself and be able to sleep and not have to wake up early."
- But wait! Even More Trout!: By the way, Trout's manager just went out of his way to, once again, carve into what little chance Trout might have to garner any MVP consideration for 2013. " And a team that he has a year like that for and leads into the playoffs should be part of the equation. I believe that." Thanks, Mike. That kind of support just might come in handy in a few years when Trout needs to decide his future. (HIDDEN BONUS LINK: While on this topic, here is Rant Sports making the case that Robinson Cano deserves the award over Miguel Cabrera because he is carrying the Yankees into the playoffs, single-handedly, whereas the Tigers have all sorts of alternate weapons.)
- Trust Fans: Sometime it's the fans that just get it. In the Posnanki rebuttal above, there is one particular comment that just nails it. Heyman tries to invoke some snark to make his case by claiming: 'But it's for the "most valuable" player, and precedent tells us the hitting and fielding exploits that led to wins ultimately mean something significant. That means the playoffs. Rare MVPs…have come from losing teams. But they have come in years when their seasons were so much better than anyone else's.'.............So "Jake Bucsko", a commentor to Posnaski's rebuttal fires back with the following O, Snap! Bitch Slap: "Think of it like this: if the Angels had Cabrera, would they all of a sudden be better than the Rangers? If the Tigers had Trout, would they be worse off, or worse than the Indians? Of course not."
- Josh Hamilton: Since August 9th, through September 11th, Hamilton has a slash line of .357 / .433 / .571 with an OPS of 1.004. His BAbip is .444. He has 4 of his 40 hits have been homers, to go with 15 walks. So it must be a perfect time for the Dallas press to go scouring the Internet for "Hamilton Sucks" articles over which they can hand-wring any satisfaction out of the recent collapse of their own club.
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Finds On the Internet:
You are artistic. You could paint your Derek Jeter hagiography on black velvet and hope that John Carpino stumbles across it, or you could paint it on a vintage baseball glove, add some stats, and sell it for thousands and thousands of dollars!
Friday, September 13 @ 5:10 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park - Houston
Jason Vargas (LHP) 8-6 3.76 ERA versus Dallas Keuchel (LHP) 5-9 4.99 ERA
Saturday, September 14 @ 4:10 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park - Houston
Jered Weaver (RHP) 9-8 3.38 ERA versus Brett Oberholtzer (LHP) 4-2 2.65 ERA
Sunday, September 15 @ 11:10 AM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Houston Astros - Minute Maid Park - Houston
Jerome Williams (RHP) 7-10 4.81 ERA versus Paul Clemens (RHP) 4-4 5.91 ERA
Guess who has the most losses to the Houston Astros in all of Major League Baseball? Yup. To paraphrase one of the great anti-heroes in cinematic history, "Losers..uhhhh...find a way". Let's see if the recent turnaround is real and works against our new nemesis. And, wouldn't it be cool if Trout and Trumbo simply dominated these three games? Something like a combined 20 for 25 with 5 HR's, 2 SB's and a cycle?? Just one glorious weekend. That's all I can ask for any more.
This Date In Baseball History: 1883 - Paving a road that will be walked by Jim Abbott 110 years later, Hugh Daily of the Cleveland Indians pitches a no-hitter. Hugh "One Arm" Daily had the full use of only his right arm, having lost his left hand in a shooting accident years earlier..........1902 - The infield alignment of Johnny Evers at second base, Joe Tinker at shortstop, and
Johnny Evers Frank Chance at first base occurs for the first time, establishing the Cubs' historic double play combo..........1936 - Bob Feller, still a teenager, strikes out 17 batters facing the Philadelphia A's and sets the then AL record. In a few months Feller will return home...to graduate from high school............1946 - Ted Williams clinches the AL pennant for the Boston Red Sox 1-0, with the only inside-the-park home run of his illustrious career...........1965 & 1971 - Willie Mays becomes the 5th player to reach 500 home runs., and Frank Robinson becomes the 11th player to reach 500 home runs respectively (Jim Thome will do it on a September 16th, and Reggie Jackson will do it on a September 17th)...........1969 & 1996 (for you numerologists out there) - Bobby Bonds becomes the 4th player to join the 30/30 club & Danta Bichette becomes the 15th such player, respectively............1971 - 1989 - Fay Vincent takes over as Commissioner of Baseball, in response to the passing of Bart Giammatti (who was this guy's father, for those not paying attention).............2004 - Texas Rangers players get into an altercation with fans in Oakland, and Frank Francisco throws a chair into the crowd, busting a lady's nose and resulting in his arrest for felony battery...........2008 - Frankie Rodriguez breaks the single-season record for saves.............1996 & 2009 - Alex Rodriguez, at the tender age of 20, becomes the first player in Mariners history to collect 200 hits in a season...AND ALSO ON THIS DAY....Ichiro Suzuki of those same Mariners becomes the first player in history to collect 200 or more hits in 9 consecutive seasons.
Rounding Up The Major League News
- Mark Buehrle: I love stuff like this. Especially since it happens to me far too often. Jason Linden must have put together his weekly update on the evening of September 10th, in time for publication on September 11. He starts by waxing on and on about the inning-churning success of Mark Buehrle. "Last week, we touched briefly on Mark Buehrle's impressive run of consecutive season with 200 innings pitched. Very shortly, he will complete his 13th such season. Multi-season queries like this can take a bit, but thanks to THT's James Gentile, I have some new fun numbers for you. As soon as he gets to 200 innings this season, Buehrle will be in a nine-way tie for ninth all-time...Anyway, Mark Buehrle is actually having an historic run here." On that same night of September 10th, Mark Buehrle was getting shelled by the Halos and was bounced after only 4 innings in a rout. And we were wishing that Buehrle would pitch against the Halos every night.
- Statuary: Larry Granillo up at The Mothership does a rundown of statues throughout Major League Baseball. Topical inasmuch as the Reds unveiled a new statue of Joe Morgan. Now that Joe Morgan guy can never get fired. "Former owner Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, looks great. The second statue, of Rod Carew's 18-year-old daughter who died of leukemia in 1996, is a nice gesture from the club.". So, quick, how fast can you locate in your mind the exact locations of the Gene Autry and Michelle Carew statues at Angels Stadium??
- Attention Lyle Spencer: For the next 4,000 games you witness with your own eyes, maybe you should try getting yourself Google Glass and this nifty app. "...the video...shows the result when the ball is put in play (example: Home run). And, again, this is eyewear. You are just looking at the game and seeing the numbers in the upper-right corner." IMHO, the "game changer" will come when they put the PitchFX images in the upper left!
- Voodoo: I have to admit, I suspect the Oakland A's of some sort of witchcraft over the past few seasons. That whole myth of those guys being a curiosity of random strangers getting lucky and playing way over their heads for a few golden weeks ended a long time ago. It's gotta be something else - Lew Wolff has made some pact with Satan, or there is some sort of radioactive agricultural runoff in their water, or ground unicorn horns are being smoked over Peruvian crystals and green Skittles,
or possibly even some umpiring conspiracy being masterminded by Bud Selig( Ok. Too far. Bud Selig? "Mastermind"? Um...no.) It's either that, or they have taken full advantage of all the gifts handed to them by the suckage that are the Astros and Angels in 2013.
- Time To Retire: You know your sun is setting when official scorers have the cojones to rule against MFY mojo and pull down off the board that which you are famously credited for throughout your career. And in a manner practically unheard of. Last night Mariano Rivera came into a game with a one run lead, retired the side, got the save, only to have the official scorekeeper later convert his save to a win on the judgement that the preceding NY pitcher was ineffective. This is definitely NOT something that happens behind the scenes more often than we suspect: 'It seems the official scorer of note departed just a bit from the recommended guidelines and took the win from Robertson despite his having pitched a full inning. With that said, the rules say that the scorer "is not required to" adhere strictly to those criteria.'
Video Of The Week
(Completely Off Topic. I see no way this could ever go wrong.)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
So it appears that the Rangers, and Nelson Cruz, have a somewhat lower concept of morals and ethics than, say Melky Cabrera and the Giants.............Watch out Salty Nuts Guy. Don't let the customers become offended! First we had The Singing Hot Dog Vendor fired, and a small uproar ensued. Now we find out that Singing Hot Dog Vendor was fired for berating customers...for insisting on ketchup. If I know anything about the human condition, I already know that he has his anti-ketchup supporters here on HH..........Stealing signs in baseball. It came back up this week. Is this some kind of moral signpost? Do you think sign stealing is good or bad?..........John Kruk Alert!! baseball teams have had an epiphany, and are improving the dietary values of the free smorgasbords they serve their players...........Sigh. Yet another Red Sox meme of looking as ugly as possible while insisting that it defines you as gritty. Gives new meaning to "chin music"...........I wonder how often this happens? Miami player in one uniform, and Miami coach in another, during the same game...........Here is something that could never happen in Boston. An unruly fan tries to choke the Rays mascot and gets arrested for "disorderly intoxication in a public place". I mean, if that happened in Boston, how could you pick out any one person suffering from such a condition?
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
Friday: Gather all ye socially at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego for their 26th Anniversary Party and get your mitts on free food, raffles, gift certificates and swag...........and, of course, The LA County Fair is still in full swing..............Over in San Pedro, at the Ports O' Call Village (come on, be honest, when was the last time you went there?) the Port of Los Angeles is staging their Lobster Festival (current Guinness Book of World Records holder for most seafood served at an outdoor event). The Lobster Festival runs all weekend.
Saturday: There is not much going on Sunday, so it's a great thing that so much is going on this day! For openers, The LA County Fair...........And The Lobster Festival............Left Coast Brewing Company in San Clements is the site for the Barrel Aged Voo Doo American Stout Bottle Release...........Albert's Restaurant at The San Diego Zoo is host for a Brewmaster Dinner............Churchill's Pub & Grille will be holding their 4th Annual Sourfest..........The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach throws Drink Good Beerfest (scroll way down)..........The Morgan Hill Downtown Association is drumming up business for Morgan Hill, with a Brew Crawl..........Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival takes place in Historic Downtown Petaluma Riverfront..........Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco celebrates Zwanze Day..........Finally, for a twist, the Doubletree Inn in Sacramento is serving up The Dinner Detective - Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Show.
Sunday: Nuthin' but The LA County Fair and The Lobster Festival to report.
Future Forecasts: Still gifted to us by Ladybug:
First, coming up next, is Rocktoberfest at The Yost Theater in Santa Ana, on September 21...........
Second is the Ultimate Beerfest OC on October 19th at the OC Fairgrounds. Again, Living Social..........
BEER BONUS: Buy Crazy Stuff...You always wanted to own your own pub, yes? Yes!