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Archive for May 18th, 2007

voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Texas Gal from Ladies… Hottness and Behavior
Sunil from Hurricanes Are For Drinking Atomic Mass and Exposure
Gary Gnu from The GNUru Fantasy Sports Clutchness
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)

legends_clemens.jpg

This falls under the heading of “equal time”. And, oh yeah, “hitwhoring”. Actually, I promised Texas Gal that as soon as her favorite Longhorn signed with a team, we’d profile him, and that day has predictably come. As much as this guy is unlikeable, he is also thrilling to watch for exactly the same reason. His personality and his ability are inseparable, in my opinion. So he doesn’t want to travel with the team, so what? That just means more honey-roasted peanuts and hot towels in first class for Robinson Cano, am I right?

Meet Roger Clemens

Name: He’s Roger to us, but to his parents, he was William Roger Clemens. Roger’s dad hit the low road while he was in the cradle, but Roger had a strong male role model in his mother’s second husband, Woody Booher. Sadly, Woody passed when Roger was nine, so Clemens had to essentially make a name for himself. He made a damn good one, because nobody personifies the nickname “Rocket” like W. Roger does. I seriously get the shakes if I try to imagine myself in the batter’s box with him squinting at me. His name really means something.

William Roger “Rocket” Clemens (Booher): 10 out of 10.

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sunil.jpgAtomic Number: If a starting pitcher joins a team, but only shows up on the days that he pitches, is he a distraction? It’s a bit like the tree falling in the forest, I suppose, existing mostly in the eye of the beholder, and serving to clear the mind. With a mind this clear, one would think that I would be able to answer this very easily, but it’s kind of challenging. Here goes….

pecanpie.jpgOn any other team, in any other city, I would say that Clemens’ shenanigans would have a negative effect on clubhouse chemistry. On the New York Yankees, who face the unholy alliance of New York Media members, it’s just another day. But let’s revisit this if Roger starts out 0-5, with a 5.66 ERA; then people are gonna start grumbling. His Atomic Number is 4.5223, the Atomic number of Goode Company Barbecue Sauce, Roger’s REAL family in Houston (How’s THAT for some sweet copy?).

Exposure: This just in: Roger Clemens just finished a plate of Pad Thai. Details on the consistency of his BM during the next Sportscenter. Seriously, though, Roger Clemens is one of the most over-exposed athletes, playing in one of the most over-exposing cities in the world.

Roger reminds me a bit of Madonna. Both have been around forever (I can’t remember a time without either); both have extended their careers through reinventions (Roger went from Boston, to Toronto, to New York, etc; Madonna went from S&M Goddess, to Evita, to MaMOMMA, etc); both still have their fastball (they play this Madonna music video at my gym … she’s still got it.); both have homoerotic relationships with members of the same sex (Andy Pettite for Roger – I’M JUST SAYING, Britney and Christina for Madonna); both have turned to performance enhancers (HGH, Botox, probably for both); really, I could go on all day. The point is, both have the media eating out of the palms of their hands, and both score a 10 out of 10 on the exposure scale.

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jackcobra1.jpgNeighbor Quotient: There are a few things that Roger has going for him in this department; 1) He has a hot wife, 2) He likes to golf, 3) He drinks from time to time. Those are all good things because I’m cool with all of that.

clemenswife.jpgHe also has some things that are not going for him 1)Roid rage where he flips out and starts throwing tree branches around like he did to Mike Piazza’s bat, 2) He’s extremely intense so I could never invite him over to play cards, 3) There was a time when he had blonde tips…I’m not cool with that. So, write these down, average them out, roll the dice and you get a 7 out of 10.

Scrappiness: While Clemens has more God given talent than most people, he still works out harder than nearly everyone. Clemens is infamous for his ridiculous workout routines and whether or not they are because of steroids…..he still gets major kudos. He also never shies away from taking away the inside corner from hitters or doing what it takes to win the game. Even after all of his years of throwing ‘high and tight’, Clemens still grabbed a bat and was a halfway decent hitter in the National League. All of this means he rates at a 9 out of 10 on the scrappiness scale.

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texasgal-96.jpgHottness: Immeasurable

clemens83.jpgThere is one baseball player in all the land who I am incapable of judging on face value, whose hottness is not measured by his physical being, but by his supernatural qualities and preternatural abilities. That man is Roger Clemens. There is one simple reason for that: he is perfect. Yeah, you heard me right- the Rocket is gloriously, wonderously, infallibly HOT. That sexy scowl-snarl of his- I can’t get enough. The burnt orange halo that surrounds him (thanks for giving my University a National Championship, Rog!) cannot be penetrated.

OW! Sooze- quit pelting me with baseballs! You’re not gonna make me change my mind!

rogerhouston.jpgBehavior:

Roger is an asshole of the first order, and mega intense at all times. He will buzz your head without thinking twice- hell, he buzzed his own son’s cranium after Koby hit a homer off him in the minors. He gets mad and stomps around on the mound. He screams and yells. He’s an attention whore and wants to be the prettiest princess at the ball. There will be hell to pay if everyone does not jump to fulfill his every wish and command. That’s kind of awesome. Mostly because in spite of his massive ego, his teammates adore him- and not just his best bud Andy, but pretty much anyone he’s ever played with. He’s crazy like a fox. Batten down the hatches when Hurricane Rocket is in town, because there’s no telling what might happen.

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mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Appearance. The Rocket stands six feet, four inches tall, and, at the shoulders, is two feet, eleven inches broad. This is a stocky man. He’s got beady little eyes, and a constant need to shave. As a younger man, he was a skinny guy with a round, almost chubby face. Now, as an older fella, he’s got a bit of a gut, and a well defined face.

Quotability. Roger’s known for being a little fiesty on the mound, but dull as hell in front of the microphone. The past few years, he’s been working the whole “will he retire? or won’t he?” Most people are finding it as annoying as anything in sports–right up there with Brett Favre’s retirement waverings. Personally, I like the idea of Best Pitcher Ever as Mercenary For Hire. While I could do without all the theatrics–the nonsense of the percentages, especially–I can’t help but enjoy the entire production.

Rocket, I’m mostly ambivalent toward you, even though I love watching you pitch. And since everyone else hates you, I’m bumping my score just a tad for ya. Have yourself a Victory V-12, on me.

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suzyheadshot-1.jpgThe Rocket’s jollity level depends greatly on the media. It fluctuates from Satan to Santa – relative to how many cameras are within a 24-ft radius of him. It seems that when the focus was on whether he would make his glorious return to baseball, his jolliness was abundant, punching reporters jokingly in the arm. On the other end, when questions arose about the strange family clause in his contract, his jolliness plummeted to the depths of hell. He’s tricky, so I’ll give him a whirling dervish on the jolly scale.

clemensdervish.jpg

Whirling dervish: (n.) A person whose behavior resembles a rapid, spinning object. These actions are often spastic fidgeting and incessant babbling. The actions of the whirling dervish are irritating and annoying, often exhausting other people in the immediate vicinity.

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There is apparently an alarming shortage of Biologists in the Chicagoland area, and Gary GNU has been called into action to fill in for some of them, so he’s unable to cover the clutchness angle this week.

Great, there goes any semblance of credibility this feature ever had.

I, Extra P., will make a clutch apperance for him this week (nice seque, eh?), but I hate looking at the numbers, so I’m going to the photographic evidence. Roger’s clutchness is indicated quite clearly in the number and variety of items he has clutched in his decades of service to MLB. For instance:

clemensimages1.pngclemensimages21.png
(I made these triptychs waaay too large, so ye’ll just have to click on ’em.)

Hell, this buckaroo is clutching a lot of stuff! It’s practically a full-time job! No wonder he doesn’t have much time for traveling. I give him a full 10 out of 10 on the Extra P. clutchmeter.

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Usually I wrap this up with a pithy comment or two about what we learned about our voodoo victim for the week, but there is nothing to learn about ol’ Rog.  What you see is what you get, and he’s been around long enough for you to have formed your own opinion about him long ago.  The only thing I’m going to say is, Google has almost zero images of Rocket in a Toronto uniform – I find that odd.  Has Bill Simmons had them all destroyed? Or has Rocket had them all destroyed?  Things that make you go “hmmmm”.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to take some time off to spend more time with my family.   Unless someone’s got a spare few million laying around.

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Read past issues of Voodoo Sabermetrics here.

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wordpress_install.gifA new blog has started up here on WordPress recently, called Pyle of List. It’s partly dedicated to that thing we all love to do so much – make lists, share those lists, and then argue over those lists.

It’s also about interviews, and I am extremely honored to get the first crack at being interviewed on the new site. If you’ve ever wondered what my #1 personal best athletic achievement is, read part one.  If you want to know why I was dumb enough to call a sports blog The Extrapolater, read part two.

Between this and the Ladies… hot blogger challenge, you all are going to know way too much about me by the end of this month.  To your eternal detriment, I’m sure.

Thanks again to Mr. JP for the interesting questions!

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