Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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34 Responses

  1. Tod Kelly says:

    I’m confused. It looks like you have some players on this team that aren’t Dodgers.

    Was this a typo?Report

  2. Patrick says:

    Jordan picked Pippen?


    Old man’s getting addled.Report

    • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Patrick says:

      And Olajuwon? A great player, indisputably, but only maybe in the top 5 of centers all time. I’d take Jabbar, Russell, Wilt, Shaq, and then Ewing, and probably Olajuwon after that.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Woh… Ewing over The Dream? Please.

        I think there was some politicking in Jordan’s answers to this (and other related) questions. He doesn’t think anyone belongs in his rarified air. So he takes shots at those who might legitimately be considered for such.

        Do you think he REALLY thinks Kobe is better than Lebron? I don’t. But I think he sees LeBron has a more legitimate challenge to this throne than Kobe. So he dubs Kobe #2 behind him, knowing that Kobe will remain #2 behind him and thus pegging LeBron even further down the list.

        As much as I enjoyed watching and rooting for Jordan as a kid, he has really exposed himself as a petty, sad man who I doubt is much fun to be around at all.Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        I did say maybe top 5, which would just slide him in above Ewing. Statswise he just slides in there, although it’s close. But I have a soft spot for mean defenders at center because I think they set a good tone for the team.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Olajuwon had many of the characteristics I fetishize a bit in basketball, so I might have him too high. I’d make a strong argument that he is #4 on the list, behind Wilt/Russell/Kareem (in some order*) and just edging Shaq. Then again, I’m a guy who wasted a whole afternoon watching YouTube videos of Olajuwon’s footwork, so I might be a bit biased.

        * I don’t feel particularly qualified to comment on these three guys, as two played their entire careers before I was born and the other retired when I was 5. But they seem to be hands down the top 3, from what others say. I do sometimes get the impression that people are not all that impressed with Kareem (relatively speaking), but I look at his numbers and can’t figure out for the life of me how they arrive at that position. Six MVPs!Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Wilt and Russell both had larger-then-life personalities, while Kareem often seems just to be petulant. (Though I loved him in Airplane, it doesn’t seem like having that kind of fun with his image comes naturally to him.). I think that’s a big factor.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        And you’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m glad I opted for the RecSpecs. It earned me just the sort of respect I was looking for.”Report

      • Chris in reply to J@m3z Aitch says:

        Jabbar was the best college player of all time. The only competition is the guy who occupied his spot a couple years later. Until Jordan, he may have been the best basketball player of all time. If you want to see footwork, watch some old Kareem footage. Then watch the “sky hook,” perhaps the only unguardable move in the sport, a move that basically one player has ever been able to execute consistently.

        Wilt was so dominant because no one had his length. Or at least, anyone who did couldn’t move the way he could. He was Shaq before there was Shaq. Jabbar was something else entirely.Report

  3. So, we’re dumping Clemens as being more trouble than he’s worth, but keeping A-Rod and Bonds? Bonds, I can kind of understand, and not just because of you being a fan of the Giants – he had plenty of years without the ‘roids when the “trouble” he caused was little different to the “trouble” Ted Williams caused. Still, it’s tough to keep him over Hammerin’ Hank.

    But A-Rod is at least as much trouble as Clemens. I’d go with Ernie Banks instead.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Clemens, on several occasions, got himself thrown out of big games because he couldn’t keep his temper, and then there’s the bat he threw at Mike Piazza. Bonds was a difficult personality (roids or no roids), as was Williams, but that never interfered with his play.

      You make a good point about A-Rod, though if I were going to replace him, I’d go for defense and pick Ozzie Smith.Report

      • I actually had a tough time deciding between Ozzie and Mr. Cub as A-Rod replacements, so I’m not going to object to going that direction.

        The main reason I’d go with Aaron over Bonds is mostly that it’s close enough between them that I think if you adjust for the ‘roids, Aaron comes out on top. But without an adjustment for ‘roids, I’d tend to agree that Bonds should come out on top.Report

  4. Tod Kelly says:

    I assume since you’re including Ruth that you’re going on stats and performance against the athletes of the time, so I am curious: Why no Satchel Paige? He is, to the best of my knowledge, the only pitcher whose outfield would sit while he pitched because they weren’t concerned batters be able to hit the ball. He’s also the only pitcher I’ve ever heard of that threw every kind of pitch.

    Also, I would trade Bonds for Ted Williams to play in my LF any day.Report

    • Chris in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I would have put Paige on the staff as well.

      Bonds I’d keep, though. Steroids or no, he was the most intimidating hitter in history.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Yeah, Oscar Charleston and Josh Gibson are the same issue; if they’re even mostly as good as their reputations, they belong as well, but there aren’t numbers (available to me, anyway) to back that up, so I punted on the whole thing.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Bonds was a Gold Glove defender, where Williams in left field was a butcher. And Bonds ran a bit better (524 steals to Teddy Ballgame’s 24.)Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Which Bonds? The graceful young man or bloated Roids slugger? You can’t have both.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        The graceful young man (through age 34, before any hint of roids) won three MVPs, had 400+ home runs, and hit .290/.411/.556 . I’ll take him. (The myth that before PEDs he was a skinny, fast guy with no power is just that.)Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I completely agree… he would have been HOF if he’d retired in 1997.

        The fact that he was an inhuman monster at age 39… (.362,.609,.812,1.422 – Holy Shit)… That’s just, just, well, incroyable.

        I hadn’t looked at his career stats since he retired… seems pretty clear he went to the dark-side after his injury year in 1999; having just watched Sosa/Maguire duke it out in 1998.

        But yes, I admired him more as a man in his godfather’s mold pre-2000.Report

  5. Chris says:

    If Hornsby doesn’t get on base, teams are just going to intentionally walk 2 through 4 and hope A-Rod’s having an off night and hits into double plays.Report

  6. Marchmaine says:

    I’m in, sir… your first division win is not assured with this team in the field.

    I broke two rules…
    1. Had to take a couple pre-1920 players… Honus Wagner is mine, mine.
    2. I employed the official Hall of Fame Rule 5 draft… one player from your bench can be taken to start.

    1. H. Wagner (R) – SS
    2. T. Cobb (L) – CF
    3. F. Thomas (R) – 1B
    4. H. Aaron (R) – RF
    5. Ted Williams (L) – LF – Rule 5 draft
    6. C. Jones (S) – 3B
    7. C. Fisk (R) – C
    8. E. Collins (L) – 2B

    Christie Mathewson (R)
    Carl Hubble (L)
    Pete Grover Cleveland Alexander (R)
    S. Koufax (L)
    Greg Maddux (R)

    Nolan Ryan (R)
    S. Carlton (L)

    T. Hoffman (R)
    B. Sutter (R)
    L. Smith (R)

    Bench: I. Rodriguez (C); J. Foxx (1B); R. Sandberg (2B); O.Smith (SS); R. Henderson (LF); K. Griffey (CF); S. Musial (RF).

    For Hitters I studied OBP and preferred that where possible (though your HOFer’s have that too). I also factored speed and base-running, and, while out of fashion, I think it pays dividends in Runs Scored (and defense).

    For Pitchers, I preferred to select for the lowest unforced errors (Low: BB, HR, HBP, with High SO) – with the exception of Nolan Ryan (hey every team needs a stretch reliever to mop up innings and keep the other team in line).

    Your pick-of the litter team is better, but I think Whitey will be able to work with these players (who are better at all around baseball) to beat you more often than not. 🙂Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Very nice (though you took *two* of my guys — I also had Lefty as a reliever.) And I think team chemistry might be an issue among Messrs. Thomas, Aaron, and Smith and Mr. Cobb.

      By the way, have you ever read Whitey’s book You’re Missing a Great Game? It’s excellent, though you have to just accept that he’s never been wrong about anything in his life. He also mentions being a disciple of my guy.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Eeep… I’m screwed on lefty pitchers then… will have to think on a replacement for Carlton.

        Re: Chemistry, that’s what Koufax is for… no one likes the People’s Front of Judea (or is it the Judean People’s Front? – anyhow, they are both splitters.) So, he unites the team against the PFJ… but, since he pitches to Carlton Fisk, and Fisk is the ultimate guardian of the game’s integrity, then he will respect Koufax’s artistry and see to it that Koufax is accepted for the good of the game. Not even Cobb would challenge Fisk (more than once). Problem solved.

        Whitey, right on everything? He blogs here too?Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    An interesting question to consider…

    Do you use Ruth as a pitcher? Consider… if you do, you basically get to plug either Williams or Mantle into the lineup as your outfielder.

    So, is the difference in Pedro the Pitcher and Ruth the Pitcher greater or less than the difference between Pedro the Hitter and Williams/Mantle the Hitter?

    Ruth did have seasons of 8.7 and 6.5 WAR as a pitcher (1916 and 1917, respectively). However, I put less stock in WAR numbers of the early guys, only because replacement level was so low. In 2013, replacement level is a phenomenal athlete who is just not phenomenal enough to crack the majors. In 1913, replacement level was a guy who paid the bills fixing sinks.

    For a guy like Ruth to put up 10+WAR as a RF as often as he did in contemporary times, he would have had to have bested Bonds’ 2001-04 period for a decade and a half. And while that might be theoretically possible, I’m not sure we can just assume he would.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    Silly question:

    It seems to me that pitching has changed *DRAMATICALLY* since, oh, the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to wherever that is that they moved to.

    “Pie throwing”, I think the term is, seems to me to have dominated in the 1940’s and earlier… while hitting hasn’t changed *THAT* much since Babe Ruth did his thing.

    How wrong on that am I? I’m guessing that if you take something as simple as the top AAA guys back in time to throw at the guys in the 20’s, you’ll have a surprising number of no-hitters and if you take some of the guys from the big leagues, you’ll have one or two perfect games.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      The big change came with the home run boom in the 20s, when one fat pitch would now be more likely to go over the fence for a score. Before that, a pitcher could (relatively speaking) coast until he got into a jam, and then bear down. After that, every pitch had to count. You see innings pitched start to trend way down. (This trend accelerated as salaries went up and pitchers started to worry more about the health of their arms. Nowadays, you’d never see someone like Koufax agree to destroy his arm through overwork, have to retire at 30, and lose 5+ years of 8-figure income.) That’s why I didn’t take any of the pitchers with gaudy numbers from before that.

      Hitting has changed more gradually, as players became bigger and stronger and could afford to train all year instead of selling insurance during the winter. But there’s been nothing as dramatic.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I think the slower trend towards the “three true outcomes” (BB, K, or HR… so named because they involve solely the pitcher and batter) has also been a big but gradual shift. Credit “Money Ball”, credit sabremetrics, credit the ‘steroid era’ inflating/exaggerating each of the trends… but Ks continue to rise and not just because of increased specialization of pitchers. The counterintuitive realization that a K is more good for the pitcher than it is bad for the hitter (it’s more complicate than that, but that’s the best I can offer right now) has sent them skyrocketing.Report

      • “The big change came with the home run boom in the 20s, when one fat pitch would now be more likely to go over the fence for a score. Before that, a pitcher could (relatively speaking) coast until he got into a jam, and then bear down. After that, every pitch had to count. You see innings pitched start to trend way down. ”

        Ray Chapman and Carl Mays sadly and deservedly get much of the credit for this.Report