Links randomly selected from the stuff I saw the previous week: an essay on climate change by Zadie Smith, a tweet about baseball statistics, a photo I took of cherry blossoms in Vancouver (which itself contains further links), and an interview with the developer of a social reading service. Some links are from longer than a week ago.
This is my first full day in Toronto, here for about a week. I've already seen a Blue Jays' game (my first ever in Toronto!) but they lost 10-5. Evidently there will be—or possibly already is—video of me singing terribly out of tune the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" song during seventh inning strech, but you won't get me pointing to it! No foul balls came my, the closest one hitting a lady in the head.
Regular readers know I'm a fan of both PubSub and baseball (alright, I don't talk about the latter a lot, since none of my TV channels show any games). PubSub lets you subscribe to feeds of searches that match 'on-the-fly', that is, once someone writes about something you're interested in, it matches against a search, and pings you either by RSS or—okay, RSS is the way that the overwhelming majority of people using PubSub get their notifications.
Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game: “The news just can't be intelligent about baseball because news by definition is small samples. Because it's daily, right? The most typical opinion in sports is the opinion about something that just happened. If you listen to them, they are always rationalizing the most recent events.
For Christmas, one of the gifts I received was a year-long subscription to Sports Illustrated. Since it comes every week, I haven't had a chance to read a lot of them, but last month Tom Verducci wrote an article about what it was like to play in Spring Training with the Toronto Blue Jays, my favourite team ever since I heard there was a thing called Major League Baseball.
Nathan: “the simple fact of the game is that the team that never makes an out is impossible to stop. Bonds' .609 on-base percentage shatters his old MLB record of .582 (2002). The next best seasons ever are: Ted Williams 1941 (.551); Babe Ruth 1923 (.542); Bonds 2003 (.529).
Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation—they're not just fans, but a nation—on the team's win of the 2004 World Series. This is an historic win, the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox have won a World Series, and the comeback to beat the hated Yankees was the biggest comeback in baseball history, possibly major league sports history.
Dan Agonistes disagrees that ESPN's conception of 'productive outs' is useful: “The actual utility of "productive outs" is heavily dependant on the context in which they are made. For example, a productive out in the first inning of a 0-0 game is far less valuable than the same productive out when your team is tied in the bottom of the 9th.