Picks of the Pen (11/22): Gammons-Haters and Rage Calculators

Peter Gammons gets not one, but two middle fingers from FanSided bloggers this week, along with such topics as brain surgery, the periodic table, Harry Potter, not Thanksgiving, and maybe thoughts on the MVP awards, nominees, and winners, if we get to it. Stuff your face with delicious cyber-links just after the bump.

We also have a kitty.


In honor of Michael bringing us a periodic table of rage, here’s a quick peak at Jose Offerman about to kill a man with a baseball bat, in broad daylight, in front of a small crowd.

[That's Top Ten]


  • Last Thursday, I vented on Blog Red Machine about how I still feel Dusty Baker was deserving of the NL Manager of the Year. It was a close contest as San Diego’s Bud Black won the honor by one point.I quickly found out a reason (not THE reason). Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer received a tip and went on his own vent.
  • For the last couple of seasons, New York Mets pitcher Oliver Perez has banked a cool $24 mill. In that same timeframe, he’s failed to produce anything close to a decent season. He’s almost become the poster child for bad contracts (3 years/$36 mill for 2009-2011). Well, D.J. Short of Hardball Talk tells us something that is not shocking at all: Perez is struggling in winter ball.
  • Probably my favorite blog on the FanSided Sports Network is Rum Bunter. Tom Smith has an excellent blog over there with great insights and art. You don’t have to be a fan of the Pirates to enjoy it.  Another reason is that I like Tom’s work. If you want his opinion, ask him, because you’ll get it. If you don’t want it, too bad; he’ll give it anyway. And one of baseball’s most respected names, Peter Gammons, gets an eyeful of Tom’s opinion. Why? Gammons referred to Pirates fans as “short-sighted.”  Not a smart move, Mr. Gammons. Not a smart move at all.


  • Despite the controversy leading up to the game, the Wrigleyville Classic lived up to the hype it was receiving. The Chicago Tribune describes the scenes at Wrigley Field as the home for football instead of baseball.
  • The Houston Astros are up for sale, and Climbing Tal’s Hill has the latest on the their price tag while looking back on Drayton McLane’s time as owner.


  • I’m not even going to link to MLB.com’s brilliantly headlined “WHY VOTTO SHOULD WIN NL MVP” article.  Unless it just says “Because he was the best lol” over and over again, I see no reason for it to exist.  Just give it to him, because its the right thing to do, the Reds deserve something of a consolation prize, and nobody wants to sift through piles and piles of Reds blogs rightfully clenching their fists and screaming at the skies come Monday.  So instead,  here’s a picture of a gorilla playing with a one-eyed kitten.
  • Peter Gammons is pissing off all of FanSided this week; first invoking the aforementioned wrath of Rum Bunter, then straight up kicking the Snakes in their serpentine balls with the label of “…one of the worst franchises in baseball.”  Scott Allen says to kindly shut the hell up, sir, via Venom Strikes.


  • With a game as old as baseball, it’s difficult to compare players from different eras and decades with today’s players (or those that our generation has seen in action, be it during the 1980’s or otherwise).  Well, Larry Granillo at Wezen-ball.com plotted Hall of Famers onto a periodic table as one visual representation of the best players in the game and a handy way to compare them.  But he didn’t just look at the stats in organizing the table.  Just like the chemical periodic table organizes elements according to property and reactivity, Granillo has his Hall of Fame Table organized based on players achievements AND temperaments.  Example: the calm Jackie Robinson who withstood the most tense of situations off the field to play in the majors is in the Nobles category, while George Brett is in the “Temperamental” category – and to see his 1983 Pine Tar Game reaction, you’d have to agree with the categorization.
  • So you probably thought Harry Potter’s impact was limited to theaters, but Lou Olsen has found that it might extend into the ballpark as well.  Reviewing the Brew has the first of a series of comparisons of the famed characters and their Milwaukee counterparts.  Best part, you don’t even have to like Harry Potter to read it!


  • Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland continues to recover from brain surgery and is now taking batting practice a couple of times a week. Whether or not the young man is able to actually resume his professional baseball career, he is a testament to the power of the human spirit and an inspiration.
  • Whenever someone brings up Twins farmhand Luke Hughes, my ears immediately perk up. Hey, I’m a fan, and I believe he can have an impact in the Major Leagues IF given a chance. You can imagine my elation when Erin of Twinkie Talk suggested that one of the reasons the Twins weren’t interested in trading for Dan Uggla was the possibility of playing Hughes at 2B.


  • The Tigers committed $16.5 million over three years to Joaquin Benoit last week. Dave Cameron at Fangraphs wonders why, if the Tigers wanted to pay the best setup man in baseball, they didn’t give that money to J.J. Putz instead.
  • At Climbing Tal’s Hill, Evan Riney gives us the lowdown on how Houston’s starting rotation is shaping up for 2011. Evan thinks a youth movement is the way to go, but I have to say, the idea of Mike Hampton coming back to the Astros would be fun. Especially since I’m not an Astros fan.


  • Fangraphs is often a great resource for deciphering statistics. A few days ago, they looked at some of the biggest changes in power, 2009-2010. It’s a really interesting, in-depth discussion of several players who rise and fell out of nowhere, like Jose Bautista.
  • Swingin’ A’s recently broke down the latest in the never-ending A’s stadium saga.

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