36 Chambers – The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

December 31, 2009

More fuel for the Hall of Fame

Filed under: Sports — Tony Demchak @ 10:58 pm

Here’s a really nice table from baseball-reference that breaks down the HoF ballot and lets you see the stats at a glance. It doesn’t show all the pitching stats, but you can pull up the original table if you like.

Batting Stats Pitching Stats
Rk YoB %vote HOFm HOFs Yrs G AB R H HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ W L ERA ERA+ WHIP G GS SV IP H HR BB SO Pos. Summary
1 Andre Dawson 9th 67.0% 118 44 21 2627 9927 1373 2774 438 1591 314 589 .279 .323 .482 .806 119 ++9,+8,D,7
2 Bert Blyleven 13th 62.7% 120 50 22 218 451 19 59 0 25 0 5 .131 .144 .146 .290 -19 287 250 3.31 118 1.198 692 685 0 4970.0 4632 430 1322 3701 +1
3 Harold Baines 4th 5.9% 66 44 22 2830 9908 1299 2866 384 1628 34 1062 .289 .356 .465 .820 120 +D,++9,8,-7
4 Lee Smith 8th 44.5% 135 13 18 770 64 2 3 1 2 0 3 .047 .090 .094 .183 -50 71 92 3.03 131 1.256 1022 6 478 1289.1 1133 89 486 1251 +1
5 Jack Morris 11th 44.0% 122 39 18 23 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100 254 186 3.90 105 1.296 549 527 0 3824.0 3567 389 1390 2478 +1,-D
6 Tim Raines 3rd 22.6% 90 47 23 2502 8872 1571 2605 170 980 808 1330 .294 .385 .425 .810 123 ++7,8,D,4,-9
7 Mark McGwire 4th 21.9% 170 42 16 1874 6187 1167 1626 583 1414 12 1317 .263 .394 .588 .982 162 +3,D,-5,–9
8 Alan Trammell 9th 17.4% 118 40 20 2293 8288 1231 2365 185 1003 236 850 .285 .352 .415 .767 110 +6,D,5,-4,–7,-8
9 Dave Parker 14th 15.0% 124 42 19 2466 9358 1272 2712 339 1493 154 683 .290 .339 .471 .810 121 ++9,+D,7,8,-3,-4
10 Don Mattingly 10th 11.9% 134 34 14 1785 7003 1007 2153 222 1099 14 588 .307 .358 .471 .830 127 +3,D,9,7,-5,-4,-8
11 Dale Murphy 12th 11.5% 116 34 18 2180 7960 1197 2111 398 1266 161 986 .265 .346 .469 .815 121 ++8,+9,3,7,2
12 Roberto Alomar 1st 194 57 17 2379 9073 1508 2724 210 1134 474 1032 .300 .371 .443 .814 116 +4,-D,-6
13 Edgar Martinez 1st 132 50 18 2055 7213 1219 2247 309 1261 49 1283 .312 .418 .515 .933 147 +D,+5,-3
14 Barry Larkin 1st 118 47 19 2180 7937 1329 2340 198 960 379 939 .295 .371 .444 .815 116 +6,-4,-D
15 Andres Galarraga 1st 114 35 19 2257 8096 1195 2333 399 1425 128 583 .288 .347 .499 .846 118 +3,D,-5
16 Fred McGriff 1st 100 48 19 2460 8757 1349 2490 493 1550 72 1305 .284 .377 .509 .886 134 +3,D
17 Mike Jackson 1st 52 11 17 374 28 3 5 0 1 0 1 .179 .207 .250 .457 21 62 67 3.42 125 1.218 1005 7 142 1188.1 983 127 464 1006 +1
18 Ellis Burks 1st 50 42 18 2000 7232 1253 2107 352 1206 181 793 .291 .363 .510 .874 126 ++8,+9,+D,7
19 Pat Hentgen 1st 37 12 14 42 84 4 9 0 0 0 4 .107 .148 .107 .255 -34 131 112 4.32 108 1.391 344 306 1 2075.1 2111 269 775 1290 +1
20 Robin Ventura 1st 32 30 16 2079 7064 1006 1885 294 1182 24 1075 .267 .362 .444 .806 114 0 0 0.00 1.000 1 0 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 +5,3,-D,-4,-1,-6
21 Kevin Appier 1st 32 24 16 41 83 4 8 0 4 0 1 .096 .118 .096 .214 -43 169 137 3.74 121 1.294 414 402 0 2595.1 2425 232 933 1994 +1
22 Eric Karros 1st 30 17 14 1755 6441 797 1724 284 1027 59 552 .268 .325 .454 .779 107 +3,-D
23 Ray Lankford 1st 22 26 14 1701 5747 968 1561 238 874 258 828 .272 .364 .477 .840 122 ++8,+7,-D,-9
24 Shane Reynolds 1st 18 12 13 296 546 34 77 5 43 0 14 .141 .165 .196 .361 -6 114 96 4.09 103 1.314 305 278 0 1791.2 1935 191 419 1403 +1
25 David Segui 1st 15 16 15 1456 4847 683 1412 139 684 17 524 .291 .359 .443 .802 110 +3,D,7,-9
26 Todd Zeile 1st 14 27 16 2158 7573 986 2004 253 1110 53 945 .265 .346 .423 .769 103 0 0 22.50 20 3.500 2 0 0 2.0 5 0 2 1 +5,+3,2,-D,-7,–1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/31/2009.

EU 3 Rise to the Throne: A review you can use [tm]!

Filed under: Computinating, Reviews you can use [tm]!, Video Games — Tony Demchak @ 3:34 am

This will be a quick review – my opinions on Europa Universalis III can be found here and here. The purpose of this article is to hit the high points.

First off, DO NOT BUY THE GAME FROM IMPULSE. It’s direct download only, and I used Impulse because I had earlier purchased Sins of a Solar Empire on Kevin’s recommendation (review on that coming soon). However, there’s a lovely little trick – Impulse’s version won’t work as packaged if you didn’t buy the game on direct download! I found out after the fact, but the notice is quite small. Thanks to the folks on the Impulse forums, who eventually helped me out. If you have the same problem, the fix is here.

The changes:

New casus belli system — Honestly, worth the price of admission here. There’s not just one generic cb, there are lots of them (30+!). With more options for ending a war (more later) and starting one, you tend to get more frequent, but shorter wars for limited objectives. Good stuff.

Army balancing — Biggest news here? Zero morale = automatic surrender, so no fighting the same army in thirty battles. Also, they made infantry a little more powerful and reduced casualty rates a bit. More decisive in the early game.

Pirates! — Pirates are no longer annoying. Instead of popping up every two to three seconds with two ships, they appear much less frequently but are more dangerous when they do.

Trade leagues — You can now form trade leagues between merchant republics and non-republics, exclusive trading rights, and much more! Makes republics worth something now.

Dynasties — The title says it all. With a new stat called legitimacy, your dynasty is relatively strong or weak. If you have a weak dynasty, you can have wars of succession. Claiming the throne of another power makes lots of people irritated but when it works… Spain + France = scary! A wonderful opportunity here, gives you a CB if you’re impatient too.

New diplomacy options — During peace time, you can expand your sphere of influence (basically, if somebody starts trouble inside your sphere, you can kick the crap out of them with no penalties) or work with trade (if you’re a merchant republic). However, after a war, there are more options besides demanding money, territory, revoking claims, ending vassals, or releasing nations. You can make them break agreements (who’s your ally now, Scotland? Not France!), force them to concede defeat (small bonus to prestige, no infamy), and much more!

Interface improvements — Moving reputation (now Infamy) to the top screen is a big boost, and when you make demands, you actually find out what kind of punishment you’ll take infamy wise. They redid the mini-map, and added more options for viewing the map. Modifiers are now in one separate window instead of dozens of different ones.

There are other changes, like magistrates, cultural decisions, national focus, and a bigger role for the HRE and Papacy. Overall, a great expansion that nobody expected!

December 30, 2009

And why I should have a HoF vote.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tony Demchak @ 5:30 am

Just finished reading a post by Rob Neyer, who talks about Jon Heyman’s HoF Ballot, reproduced here (from twitter):

voted for alomar, dawson, larkin, parker, morris & mattingly

Dave Parker? Really?!? This guy? Look, Dave Parker was a good player. But he’s an outfielder. Judged against his fellow outfielders, well, he doesn’t look good. Neyer points out the stupidity of voting for Jack Morris and not Blyleven. I won’t dignify Don Mattingly with a response.

My Hall of Fame ballot (if I had one, which I don’t)

Filed under: Sports — Tony Demchak @ 5:18 am

I read an article on the other day on ESPN by David Schoenfield. I had earlier thought of writing a post on this topic, but his article inspired me. In his article, Schoenfield mentioned one stat that absolutely floored me about Edgar Martinez.

He had an OPS+ of 150 eight seasons. In an offensive era, to have those kind of numbers (and these are adjusted for park and era) is simply mind boggling. 24 other men in baseball history have accomplished that feat. There is one fewer 300 game winner. There are two more hitters with 3,000 hits. Of those 24 men, all who are eligible are in the Hall of Fame, except for Dick Allen. Those that aren’t eligible are guys like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramirez, all guys who will likely (or should likely) find their way into the HoF some day.

Anyway, here’s my imaginary ballot. Keep in mind, you only have a maximum of ten names.

1. Bert Blyleven — I honestly thought he was already in. He’s no. 5 in strikeouts all time, has 287 wins and a career ERA + of 118. Tommy John deserves to be in more, if for no other reason than his contribution to pitchers of today with TJ surgery, but Blyleven shouldn’t be punished because his teams sucked.

2. Mark McGwire — PEDs have nothing to do with the Hall of Fame. Andro was not banned by MLB when he used it. The man was an absolute hitting machine, with a career OPS+ of 162. Here’s the list of folks with a better OPS+ over their career.

1. Babe Ruth+ 207 L
2. Ted Williams+ 191 L
3. Barry Bonds 181 L
4. Lou Gehrig+ 179 L
5. Rogers Hornsby+ 175 R
6. Mickey Mantle+ 172 B
Albert Pujols (29) 172 R
8. Dan Brouthers+ 170 L
Joe Jackson 170 L
10. Ty Cobb+ 168 L
11. Jimmie Foxx+ 163 R
12. Pete Browning 162 R
Mark McGwire 162 R

Source: Baseball Reference.

That’s one hell of a list.

3. Roberto Alomar — And I’m not just saying that because he played for the Indians. If you were to make an argument for the best 2B of all time, Alomar would be in the discussion. I don’t think he’d win (Rogers Hornsby for my money, you could talk me into Joe Morgan), but he’s in the conversation, definitely top five. 2700 hits, 200+ HRs, nearly 500 SBs, and a great fielder to boot. OPS + of 116 for his career, but that’s dragged down by his lousy seasons with the Mets.

4. Tim Raines — Like Bert Blyleven,  unfairly punished for playing on bad teams. .385 career OBP, 800+ stolen bases, 2600 hits, the second best leadoff hitter of all time. OPS+ of 123+, 131+ just with the Expos.

5. Edgar — See above.

6. Barry Larkin — It’s creepy how close Alomar and Larkin are in offensive quality. A point’s difference for career OPS. OPS+ is identical. Nearly the same number of hits. More power and stolen bases for Alomar, but a better SB rate and higher OBP for Larkin. I was ultimately going to leave Larkin off, mostly because the 1995 NL MVP should have gone to Maddux or Piazza, but I have to be consistent. Jayson Stark makes some good points, but he does base it awfully highly on awards.

That’s my ballot. You could talk me into Alan Trammell, I suppose, who was a slightly poorer man’s Barry Larkin. He did play in a tougher offensive era, too, but ultimately Larkin towered over the shortstops of his era, and you can’t say that for Trammell.

Lee Smith may have held the all-time saves record for a time. Saves are a junk stat, though, and he just wasn’t that dominating. He has the same ERA + as Roberto Hernandez. Hell, Kent Tekulve has a better one!! Relievers are tough to judge, and if he got in, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Nietzsche – Big Jerk or the Biggest Jerk?

Filed under: Enemies, Jerks — Tony Demchak @ 4:32 am

Since we were rooming together at the eponymous 36 Chambers, I have heard much about him, from Dan and Kevin. Now, thanks to my European general field exam, I have actually read him. My opinion?

Nietzsche was a misogynistic, narcissistic jerk. I hate him more than Karl Marx, which I thought would never be possible. In fact, he is my newest enemy. For those curious, the book I read was Beyond Good and Evil.

Why do I hate him more than Karl Marx, another of my sworn enemies? Karl Marx, while misguided, wrong, and possibly insane (maybe it’s the hair), was actually trying to contribute positively to society. Nietzsche only sought to make other people look stupid. Now, making people look stupid is fun, so I don’t dock him for that, but at some point, it degenerates into meaningless abuse. So, to the enemies list with you!!

December 29, 2009

Quick Notes

Filed under: Cool Toys, Curmudgeonliness — Kevin Feasel @ 11:37 pm

- My latest in the “What the heck?” series involving Japan.

- Can you squeeze your car into that space? Answer:  yes, but getting it out will be tough.

- “Hide the decline” should become an internet meme.  It makes fun of people, involves some level of being in the know, and sounds vaguely naughty.  What’s keeping it from exploding?

- My first foray into robotics may be this thing.  Also, during one of my used book runs, I found this book on easy electrical projects on clearance.  Given that I’m more likely than the average geek to give myself lead poisoning with a soldering iron, this may not be the smartest thing to do, but I’ve become interested in robotics and electronics and would like to try it out.

Another Purchase

Filed under: Product Whoring, The Wheels On The Bike Go Round And Round — Kevin Feasel @ 12:29 am

I decided to try to get into cycling shape a bit early by purchasing an exercise cycle.  It’s roughly the same price as a fluid trainer plus a mat to hold my bike, so I was fine with that.  Apparently, though, I am entirely incapable of anything with “some assembly required.”  It would help if I put the things right-side-up before screwing them in, but at least I had a second pair of hands to hold things and mock me when I do it wrong.  Fortunately, it’s 98% complete.  Unfortunately, I need an adjustable wrench to complete it.  Seeing as how I just bought one of those for my dad, you’d think I would have one for myself.  You’d think wrong…

December 27, 2009

My thoughts on Assassin’s Creed III

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tony Demchak @ 2:34 pm

In Grand Theft Auto (the new ones, anyway), there’s always been a great deal of speculation on where the next game will take place. Although the AC franchise is fairly new, I think it’s about time to speculate already on where the next game will take place.

I used the following criteria:

1) It can’t be an overly industrialized time/region. Sword play is too prominent a feature of the series and I don’t want to see it become another FPS.

2) I doubt they’ll retrace any steps, so no more 10th-11th century Levant or 15th century Italy.

In no particular order, my guesses for the next AC III.

1. Russia, ca. 16th century

Why it will be : You get Ivan the Terrible and the Time of Troubles. Lots and lots of people assassinating other people.

Why it won’t be: I think Russia is simply too alien a frame of reference for most folks. I highly doubt it would be outside of Europe, to be honest.

2. France, French Revolution-Napoleonic Empire

Why it will be: Ubisoft Montreal does the series, and I can’t imagine they would pass up this opportunity. If you get to meet Napoleon, that would be the greatest game ever.

Why it won’t be: The French Revolution is still really controversial, even in France. It’s a bit too industrialized for a largely sword based game, but perhaps not too much.

3. Germany, Protestant Reformation

Why it will be: The first AC had religious overtones; although they really aren’t there in AC II, religion is still a subtext.

Why it won’t be: Ultimately, you need interesting people the man on the street will recognize (Richard the Lionhearted in AC I, Leonardo Da Vinci in AC II). Martin Luther is pretty much your only option, and I don’t think most people care about Martin Luther, except possibly Lutherans.

4. World War II

Why it will be: Tons of oblique references to World War II in AC II, particularly when solving the glyph puzzles. Lots of great characters to meet.

Why it won’t be: I don’t see how you could avoid turning AC into an FPS in this scenario. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s hard to see.

5. England, English Civil War

Why it will be: Guns are prevalent about this time, but they’re muskets for Crissakes. Swords are probably more effective. You have the prerequisite characters (Oliver Cromwell) and plenty of potential for war.

Why it won’t be: No reason not to be, other than the fact that there aren’t too many beautiful/interesting places to visit in England during this time. It’s not very exciting to jump from thatched roof to thatched roof, when you usually fall in.

6. The Roman Republic

Why it will be: The opportunity to kill Julius Caesar? Score! Lots of great places to visit, including Rome restored to her former glory.

Why it won’t be: The Assassins, at least those based in the Middle East, weren’t around yet. The Pieces of Eden were, but Templars and Assassins were not.

Put your thoughts in the comments!

Book Ordered

Filed under: Programming & Work — Kevin Feasel @ 7:09 am

Among the authors of the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book, there are several whose websites I follow.  I just ordered the book (with discount code helpfully provided by Kalen Delaney, editor of the performance tuning and optimization section).  I’m not sure how much longer the code lasted, but it did on the 26th of December.

December 26, 2009

Preparing For Ubuntu

Filed under: Computinating — Kevin Feasel @ 11:04 pm

After buying a new power supply, I am going to give Ubuntu a try on my newly-repurposed computer.  Being a Red Hat/Mandrake/Fedora fan, I’ve spent most of my Linux time in the RPM world, but I like the idea of Wubi and will probably put it on my non-Linux laptop.  Here’s hoping that I won’t have the problem that killed me last time with Ubuntu:  not being able to get wireless networking going.

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