Monday, May 12, 2014


This is just a little memo/To remind you of my demo
Put it in the mail a week ago/Haven't heard it on the radio tho'

And why should you, anyway, young mister whippersnapper Jimmy Webb? Just because at the time (1968) you'd written a dozen hit songs and left that freakin' cake out in the rain? Don't you know that everything is fungible--'cept taxes and death, that is? Don't you know that screaming at disembodied voices and projecting anger onto a strawman is little more than meta-irony run amok?

Oh...hello!! Just a vagrant thought, not meant for public consumption. This is just a little sketchbook entry/Meant for the masses (not the gentry), a kind of private pandering to the public. We just wanted to get a quick sense of how our friends at the thirty major league franchises were faring in terms of what chicks dig the most...y'know, the long ball?

Yeah...we's only a cupcake.
We told you it was a "crude comp"!!!
We know there are more sophisticated ways to project offensive totals, we've been reading about 'em for awhile now...but we figured that a "crude comp" (shorthand for "straight-ahead, unmassaged data projection from a fixed point early in the season") would at least give us something to shoot at while sanitation officials clean up all that spoiled green cake icing down in MacArthur Park.

I got two sleeves I tore off the Beatles/Had 'em sewn on with the magic needle
Now I can play like George and Ringo/Haven't heard it on the radio tho'

A sophisticated projection system is kinda sorta like playing lead guitar and drums at the same time, which means that--all else being equal--you've got to do a lot of overdubbing. It works a lot better for individuals than it does for teams...but we wanted to see these numbers anyway. So we took the team totals as of the crack of dawn, and did a straightforward projection--a "crude comp," stitched 'em together, and took a quick look at what teams project to hit more HRs at the end of '14 than they actually hit in '13.

According to the "crude comp," ten teams project to hit more HRs, nineteen project to hit less HRs, and one team (Arizona) is going to match their previous season total.

Now believe us when we say we'd don't believe much of any of this. We'll come back at year's end just to see how this "crude comp" fares with respect to the actual numbers. (For example, we have no idea who's going to keep hitting all those HRs for the Astros--or the Giants--or even the Rockies. And can the Royals really stay toe-to-toe with the lowest team HR total since 1991 [Cardinals, with 68]?)

It's the bottom line that's of most interest. An aggregate loss of 10HRs per team means a modest downturn in HRs for 2014--around 300 less than the year before. That would put HRs at their lowest frequency since 1993, inhabiting a region that had its previous existence in--not in 1968, with all that green icing conspiring with the high pitching mound to thwart the long ball, but during the not-so-staid late 50s, when the War was Cold (and death'n'taxes were still defiantly unfungible). From 1955 through 1962, to be exact, when the HR/G ratio was in the nine-tenths range, just as it is right now.