Monthly Archives: August 2006

I’ll Take Overly Simplistic Analysis for a $1000, Alex

Just imagine though if we could’ve had Wickman all season.

Indeed! In an overly optimistic analysis, let’s say he doesn’t blow any saves this season. The Braves have blown 22 saves this season, tied with Kansas City for the worst in baseball.

So instead of 52-61, they would be 74-39. Which is good for the 2nd best record in baseball behind the Tigers and 5 to 6 games ahead of the the Mets.

More realistically, they’d probably be around 65-48 if Wickman made that much of a difference. But the bullpen has simply killed us.

So I actually did some research, and this is what I came up with. Essentially, 12 of the bullpen’s 22 blown saves went on to be losses. So assuming those all became wins, the Bravos would be 64-49. A more realistic scenario with the Braves still not winning a few of those still puts them well in the wild card hunt and within striking distance of the Mets.

Also, as Rob Neyer pointed out today (Insider subscription required), the Braves are doing a lot worse than one could expect them to, given the runs they’ve scored. (Like him, I will decline to lay blame solely on Jeff Francouer’s mighty .282 OBP.) They’ve scored 583 runs and allowed 574, which comes out to around 57-55, which is a much better position than 52-61. This 5 game disparity is mostly a function of luck, but nevertheless it seems to me that a better bullpen would’ve made up for some of that.


So if I’m going to do this thing, I should have a page about my sports background, as a sort of introduction to myself.

I grew up in a suburb of Huntsville, Alabama. Despite what you might think, I did have indoor plumbing, and why yes, we do have computers. (As evidenced by this post.)

At any rate, this had two important effects. Due to the total saturation of the Braves by TBS, their success during my formative years in the early 90’s, and their relative geographic proximity, I became a staunch fan. There are probably few people that watch more innings per year than I do, or at least did, because my time in Barcelona the past couple of months for a study abroad program sort of made it difficult to watch them.

Also during this time I became aware of the Iron Bowl and the trappings of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. Since my 3rd grade teacher was an Auburn fan, I became an Auburn fan, and remained so until my junior and senior years of high school when I was looking at college and found Georgia Tech.

This means I cared mostly for baseball and football. The only strong loyalty either of my parents had at the time was to the Redskins via my Dad, so I picked that up for the NFL. I remain a ‘Skins fan to this day, but my interest in the NFL waned with the ‘Skins with the late 90’s and as my interest in college football picked up in high school. It also doesn’t help that it’s really hard to Redskins games here in the south.

I don’t care much for the NHL, and I almost dislike the NBA. I started to become interested in college basketball late in my high school years, but thanks to Georgia Tech’s 2003-2004 campaign during my freshman year I became hooked. (Funny how that works.)

Otherwise, I tend to root for underdogs in games. I’ll also root for colleges some of my friends go to, like UAB and Vandy, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of them. Teams I dislike: Notre Dame, New York Mets, surely others. Teams I hate: New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, the Alabama Crimson Tide (despite not really being a huge Auburn fan anymore, my dislike of the Tide still lingers), probably others. And, of course, to Hell with Georgia.


So, by actually looking at some other sites, I actually found some other decent GT blogs.

I mentioned to the aforementioned Will that I had started reading Deadspin, which has probably become the best national sports site on the Internet. He mentioned that there was another site in a similiar vein that writes exclusively about college football, called Every Day Should be Saturday (or EDSBS for short), a statement I wholeheartedly support. They have a whole sidebar full of links to other sports commentary sites, including 3 Georgia Tech ones (Golden Tornado, In Dodd We Trust, and What’s the Good Word?) and a very amusingly named West Virginia one.

Of UGA and The Duke Blue Devils

Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Editor’s comments are in brackets. I’m Nick.

Will: uga suspended another player for the first two games of their season today
Nick: yay uga
Will: if they keep going at this rate, they’re going to look a lot like their 04-05 basketball roster when they play western kentucky and south carolina
Nick: at least there’s one SEC game in that span
Nick: can you imagine if they lost to USC?
Will: the uga fans would be all over richt’s ass for daring to suspend someone for silly, minor transgressions like borrowing a teammate’s car without permission, using another person’s driver’s license to gain entry into a strip club, getting into a car accident and being charged with DUI.
Will: [copy/pasted w/tense changed from article]
Nick: hehehe
Will: [and yes, that was a different player than the one suspended today–that player got a whopping three games]
Will: good lord, uga has an even easier schedule than usual this year
Will: although to their credit, i don’t think they could’ve predicted colorado being on the downswing when they scheduled that game
Nick: ooo, it’s even at south carolina
Will: they even managed to get every single crummy team in the sec
Will: yeah
Will: usc almost beat them there two years ago
Nick: well, their west-division games are miss, miss st., and auburn
Nick: not much sure it gets easier than that [due to the first two, not AU]
Will: yeah
Nick: both vandy and kentucky are in their division….christ, who’s going to beat them this year?
Nick: (other than florida)
Will: i was about to say
Will: honestly, we’re [read: Georgia Tech is] at worst the fourth toughest team they play, and that’s only if tennessee is able to rebound and florida/auburn live up to their billing
Nick: people seem to think tennessee will be okay this year
Nick: I don’t know how, though
Nick: in fact
Will: yeah
Nick: I’m not really sure how phillip fulmer still has a job
Nick: I figured he was a goner after losing to vandy
Will: me too
Nick: seriously, what the hell happened up there?
Nick: I mean, we probably have the half talent they do, play as good of a schedule, and still have winning seasons
Will: i wish i knew
Will: okay, here’s a quote along the lines of brett favre saying the packers have the most talent in the nfl:

“Virginia Tech safety Aaron Rouse had several reporters shaking their heads when he said: “If Duke wasn’t in the ACC, they’d probably be the No. 1 team in the Big 12 or somewhere.””
Nick: he’s actually played duke, right?
Nick: I’m pretty sure baylor could beat duke
Will: i think so too
Nick: I mean, I know the big 12 north was really, really, really bad last year
Nick: but duke? c’mon man
Will: duke would be hard pressed to win a game against anyone in even the big 12 north
Will: maybe they could stay on the field with kansas state or something since their program has fallen apart in the last two years
Will: but i’m not sure they’d make it to bowl eligible if they played in the MAC
Nick: what about the sun belt?
Will: they’d win minimum six or seven there, i think–the sun belt is plain bad, even by duke standards


Well, hey there. Didn’t see ya come in. Have a seat.

I’ve been toying around with an idea lately – I do these bowl predictions every year. So why not publish them somewhere where more than 1 person might actually see them? Keep in mind, I predict who will go to what games, a task usually reserved for unorganized people on sports message boards and a couple of the hacks at ESPN.

Then I thought it about. Why not just have a whole sort of column, if you will, where I talk about sports – year around! While not exactly a novel idea, I figured I’d invite some folks to join me as well. If this stays around, you may see them in a couple of days.

I like to think I bring a unique perspective to the table. I’m currently a senior at Georgia Tech, an institute not exactly know for its sports journalism output – in fact, the amount of media that covers it, I think, is rather low. (Indeed, one of the most popular topics on Georgia Tech sports message boards is the coverage, or lack thereof, from the media.) I don’t just do college football either – you may get laments from me about major league baseball, college basketball, or even a NFL rant on occasion.

So I’ll chew on that for awhile. Check back again in a bit.