Tag Archives: baseball

World Champions

The Giants won the World Series! The Giants won the World Series!

First time since they moved to San Francisco. Some might say that the Giants have won the Series before and that’s fair – for the players, moving from NY to SF doesn’t mean they gave up those titles. However, for the fans, it’s something new for sure.

I didn’t get to attend any of the World Series games, but I did go up to SF to watch game 1 at the Royal Exchange with some friends and the atmosphere was excellent. It wasn’t close to the park at all, but the place was packed, and there were chants of “Let’s Go Giants” and “UUUUU-Ribe” going up amongst the patrons.

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The Grab Bag: Sabermetrics

The NLCS starts today, and the San Francisco Giants are taking on the Philadelphia Phillies. The main story lines so far have centered on the pitching for each side, and maybe the Philly bats to some extent as well.

(1) The line from Lincecum’s first postseason start (a complete game shutout!) was pretty nice – 9 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 14 K. But the most amazing stat compiled that day was the 31 swing-and-misses by the Atlanta Braves!

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On the brink

Two World Championships are going on these days, one in the chess world and one in the baseball world.

The Tampa Bay Rays lost again today, 10-2, to the Philadelphia Phillies. That brings Philly a 3-1 series lead, and with their ace Cole Hamels going tomorrow, I’d expect them to finish it out. Philly is swinging better bats right now and their bullpen is much more of a shutdown unit than Tampa Bay’s. The Rays need to win the next 3 games to win the series.

Viswanathan Anand managed to draw today as white against Vladimir Kramnik in the chess world championship, which is being held in Bonn, Germany. That brings him to a 6-3 match lead, and with only 3 games to play, Kramnik also needs to win the next 3 games to avoid defeat. Of course, that would only take him to a 6-6 tie and the rapid chess playoffs would ensue. Kramnik has had the lion’s share of the chances the past two games, but after only coming away with draws in both games, I don’t expect him to win his first game of the match tomorrow.

These two series also showcase my poor prognosticating abilities – I predicted a Rays win in 5 and Kramnik to win 6.5-5.5. Not only did I not pick the right score, it looks like I predicted the wrong winner in both. Oops.

Marking Time

–    On August 15th, I went to a baseball game with my dad. The company he works at, Xenoport, was having a company outing at the San Jose Giants game, and the tickets were only $2. This was my first time going to a minor league game, and it was pretty cool. Very different from a major league game, from the $2 seats being about 10 rows behind home plate, to the announcers trying to get the crowd and kids involved between every inning, to the $2.50 beers. The game wasn’t amazing, as the Giants lost to the Stockton Ports, 3-2. Still, it was a fun game and definitely worth a return visit.
–    I’ve since dropped by Cornerstone as well, to see some of the analysts and also some of my old managers. I also picked up my “tombstone”, commemorating the firm’s success on the big JDSU case where Cornerstone assisted with expert reports and trial testimony. The case went to trial in the fall of 2007, and a verdict in favor of the defense was returned after Thanksgiving.

The tombstone lists the company name, law firms, and Cornerstone on one side, along with the names of every Cornerstone employee who billed time to the set of JDSU cases.

Thanks are in order to Gil Lee for the idea and following through with the idea.

–    Over the weekend, I visited Merced, to see the new house my brother and his wife bought a few months back. He’s an assistant professor at UC Merced now, and classes start pretty soon. The campus is miniscule compared to Berkeley, but they’re hoping to build it out and model the campus after Berkeley.

–    My next tournament is coming up over Labor Day Weekend in San Francisco. It’s the annual CalChess Labor Day Tournament, which doubles as the official state championship. Somehow I’ve avoided playing in this tournament for years (the last time I played was in 1999), but as I’m making a return to the chess scene, this will serve as my first tournament anywhere in the Bay Area since 2005. The tournament is at the Golden Gateway Holiday Inn in San Francisco (corner of Van Ness and Pine) with rounds from Saturday through Monday.

–    As a closing note, the other day I was on Expedia looking for plane tickets for one of my later tournaments (at the end of December in Las Vegas) and I got this amusing suggestion. Note that the airports are Oakland and Las Vegas …

It’s kind of sad that the cheapest way to Las Vegas from Oakland is to first fly a few thousand miles east.