Killing Time

I’ve got baseball on the brain, but at the same time I’m trying not to spend too much time and effort over analyzing every little thing about today’s game.  So instead I revisisited one of my favorite baseball sites, Flip Flop Fly Ball to see what latest and greatest graphs and charts were available to peruse.  And much to my delight, there was a bobblehead chart!  Check it.    

The first thing that came to my mind was which two teams gave away a bobblehead when the Giants were visiting.  Not an easy thing to figure out without researching every teams’ bobblehead activity, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.  (Like I said, this day is crawling way too slowly towards 7 PM!)   So using Flip Flop’s own key, I made my own chart:
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I found a few discrepancies in Flip Flop’s chart, but for the most part they’re the same, square-wise.  I added all the applicable teams though, so on the left side you can see what team was visiting during bobblehead day, and on the right you can see what teams gave away a bobblehead while being visiting. 
I would have assumed that most teams would decide to give away a bobblehead when they’re scheduled to play a bad team in an attempt to generate ticket sales.  The Phillies giving away a Roy Halladay bobblehead on the day they have to play the Pirates makes perfect sense.  (And photos of the sucker blew up all over Twitter, so obviously it worked!)  But then there’s the Dodgers giving away a bobblehead when the Giants came to play, and what would fill seats better than a Dodgers-Giants game?  
Note also that the Braves, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees are too cool for bobbleheads (or draw enough ticket sales without gimmicks) and the White Sox was the only team to give away a bobble when the Red Sox and Yankees came to town (not enough of a draw for Chicago, I guess).  
I wonder if there’s a bobblehead website…
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SF @ OAK | CLE @ SF | CIN @ SF | SF @ ARI | TEX @  SF

I think I’ve decided that spring training is stupid from a spectators point of view. 

Either your team or player of choice is doing awesome, so that’s officially what you can expect for the upcoming season, or they suck so it doesn’t count because they’re just experimenting and spring training means nothing. 

Either you’re a veteran player who is using springing training as practice to try out new things so your numbers mean nothing, or you’re a wannabe rookie trying to work his way up into a position and your numbers mean everything (except even then they should still mean nothing because you’re playing against veterans who may or may not be doing what they would normally do AKA their best). 

So I wonder if I should continue to post and comment on these scores, because what can you really comment about?  “Oh he looks good (but it doesn’t matter!).”  “Oh, he played horrible (but it doesn’t matter!).”  Yeah, that’s pretty much it. 

But I started it, so I guess I’ll finish it. What else am I going to do with this blog?  Come up with something original?  Ha!  As I’ve been under the weather for the past week, I’m a bit behind.

SF @ OAK

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CLE @ SF

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CIN @ SF

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SF @ ARI

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TEX @ SF

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Five games, five wins, still #1 (but it doesn’t matter!).

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SF @ CLE

Yikes.

sfatcle20100316.jpg10-5.  Lincecum starts again.  Is this 0-3 for him?  I don’t feel like looking it up, but I think it is.  Is he done or is he experimenting?  Is it Zito all over again, or is going to bring the real thing come April 1st?  I’m kind of leaning towards the Zito thing, but I’m a pessimist like that sometimes.  If he’s working out kinks or new pitches, now is the time to do it, of course.  But with all the hype, it’d be nice to see him blow away the opposition, even in a fake games.  Oh well!  Great catch by Velez, though!

 

The Mighty Giants

Mottoes?  Subtitles?  Tag lines?  Slogans?

I don’t know what they’re called, but some teams have “we rock!” type sayings on top of their websites, as well as in their stadiums, on merchandise, and anywhere else they can think to plaster it. 

Up until Spring Training came along, the Giants’ slogan read, “Your Giants.”  Now it reads, “It’s Magic Inside.” 

I don’t know how often these things change, or whether anyone even pays attention to them when they do, but can I say yuck on the new idea?  Now they sound like they play at the Magic Kingdom or were turned into candy bars or something.

Here’s a commercial with the new slogan, invented by the marketing genius that is Swirl:

I liked “Your Giants” better.  It sounded more personal to us, like “Hey!  We have our very own team!  Cool, huh?”  It also sorta paralleled or bizarro-fied the evil Dodgers slogan of “This is My Town.”  Yours.  Mine.  See?  It goes together. 

So who else has tag lines? I tried to Google the answer, but either I can’t effectively search for a complete list because I do not know what to call them, or no one cares about them and hasn’t bothered to make one. 

So I’ll make one.

As of right now, at least based off their websites, of the 30 major league teams, 11 have slogans, 5 on the American League and 6 on the National League.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

  • Chicago White Sox – There Are Traditions.  And There Are White Sox Traditions.
  • Cleveland Indians – Are You In The Tribe?
  • Detroit Tigers – Always A Tiger
  • Seattle Mariners – Believe Big

NATIONAL LEAGUE

  • Atlanta Braves – The Excitement Of Turner Field
  • Florida Marlins – Serious Fun.  Get On It!
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – This Is My Town
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – Pride. Passion. Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • San Francisco Giants – It’s Magic Inside.
  • Washing Nationals – Nats Town: Get Your Red On

So who wins?  I don’t know, maybe the Dodgers, doesn’t that suck?  I like the Pirates’ and White Sox’ too, though “Sox traditions” make me think of cheating, so maybe that’s not so hot. 

It’s Magic Inside.  Bleh. 

Flip Flop Fly Ball

Craig Robinson’s Flip Flop Fly Ball site is my new favorite thing.  As self-described:

A love of baseball plus a love of infographics equals Flip Flop Fly
Ball
.

The thing is loaded with fun statistics in graphics form, and while I haven’t perused them all yet with equal scrutiny, here’s my current favorite (so far):

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CLICK FOR FULL SIZE

It’s crazy that the “best team” has only won the series three times since 1995, isn’t it?  (Since the Wild Card system has been in effect.)  I suppose that’s what playoffs are for, but so much for the reliability of stats, eh folks?  Also specifically interesting to the theme of this blog, the last time the Giants made it to the series was the only time that that two Wild Card teams went head to head.  (Giants lost of course – boo!) 

Salary vs. Performance

I came across this cool applet that displays a team’s salary by year and compares/contrasts it to their performance for the same year. You can slide the date bar on top around to see how your team did throughout the season, but here’s a screen shot for the end of 2009:

salaryvsperformance2009.jpgI don’t know how accurate this information is, or what to even take from it really. I keep reading here and there about how money makes teams in the MLB, but this chart doesn’t necessarily confirm that.  Although the Yankees pay the most and are #1, so there’s that.  But there are also a lot of red lines (bad performances) in the top 10 salary positions, so maybe money isn’t everything.  At least the Giants appear to have used their money wisely! 

Facebook Wars: The League

Last war, I swear, and this one’s all out.  Let’s see how the Giants fair in the National League:

National League Fans
Arizona Diamondbacks 57,822
Atlanta Braves 209,828
Chicago Cubs 446,474
Cincinnati Reds 72,063
Colorado Rockies 89,973
Florida Marlins 74,655
Houston Astros 102,833
Los Angeles Dodgers 118,844
Milwaukee Brewers 133,330
New York Mets 155,838
Philadelphia Phillies 272,750
Pittsburgh Pirates 59,735
San Diego Padres 58,558
San Francisco Giants 300,691
Saint Louis Cardinals 243,610
Washington Nationals 38,962

And the winner is…

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Alas, Chicago takes it, but second place for the Giants, not bad!  Even with the Phillies headed for the World Series, they still fall into 3rd place.  Nice!

Now let’s look at that other League we only care about once a year:

American League Fans
Baltimore Orioles 78,528
Boston Red Sox 908,460
Chicago White Sox 186,300
Cleveland Indians 121,942
Detroit Tigers 197,837
Kansas City Royals 98,031
Los Angeles Angels 79,211
Minnesota Twins 211,973
New York Yankees 1,018,320
Oakland Athletics 186,981
Seattle Mariners 101,736
Tampa Bay Rays 93,549
Texas Rangers 98,296
Toronto Blue Jays 97,056

And the winner is:

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Shocker…

How about if you mix them all together?

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So 4th place for the Giants overall.  Not bad, and way better than I expected, for some reason.  Again, I have no idea what Facebook pages mean in terms of representing reality, but the Giants made the top five!  Who could ask for more?  I think what we really learned here is that I have way too much time on my hands.