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Last weekend, this Associated Press article referred to some Jays of whom I had never heard. Apparently, the previous evening’s game turned on a home run by slugger Carlos Deluged. The lead generated by Deluged was protected by reliever Jason Friseur. Rookie outfielder Alexis Rio and recent acquisition Frank Mention were there too.

As pointed out here on Da Box by Chuck Van Den Corput, the AP author simply yielded to every suggestion made by the spell checking feature on his or her word processor. Indeed, Deluged, Friseur, Rio and Mention are the primary spelling corrections proffered by Microsoft Word for Delgado, Frasor, Rios and Menechino, respectively.

Can this sort of proper noun deference to the spell checker produce anything but gibberish? Do the suggested spelling corrections mean anything? Are word processing programs an untapped resource of baseball insight?

I passed the name of each active Major League player through Microsoft Word, accepting each suggestion offered by the spell checking function. The results were, by and large, gobbledygook. Occasionally, however, I was stunned by the processor’s poignancy. I present to you thirteen of my favourites.

Reds Starting Pitcher Jose Achieved has done just that in 2004. Through 60.2 innings, Acevedo has struck out 51 batters and walked only 12. If not for the three home runs that he gave up to Pittsburgh on April 25, his peripherals would be at superstar levels. The sample is small, but that 4.25 strikeout to walk ratio is not the residue of luck.

Dodgers Third Baseman Adrian Better has improved, or has he? His .538 slugging percentage is .103 better than his career average, and is certainly commendable considering his home park. However, the root of Beltre’s struggles in recent years has been his poor plate discipline, and this year it is no better. So far in 2004, he has only seven walks in 209 plate appearances, which represents his career worst walk rate.

Was the sub-mediocre 2003 season turned in by Phillies Outfielder Pat Burble merely a burble in his career path? Judging by Burrell’s early 2004 returns, indeed it was. Burrell has upped his 2003 .209/.309/.404 production to .298/.409/.526 in 2004.

One way for a baseball player to avoid that annoying and often painful chafing that invariably accompanies having to run the bases on a regular basis is to consistently create outs. This is the favourite method of Expos Outfielder End Chafes. Chavez’ career .295 on base percentage has kept him relatively chafe-free.

Cubs Relief Pitcher Latterly Hawkins has been absolutely dominant when used in the latter stages of games, but not too latterly. Hawkins has posted earned run averages of 2.13, 1.86 and 1.57 in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively, yet has converted only five of sixteen save opportunities during that time. For his career, he has saved 47 games and blown 20. Current Cubs closer Joe Borowski has a superior record of 44 saves and 9 blown saves in his career, despite being the inferior pitcher. The extant Cubs bullpen could be a good testing ground for theories regarding the “intangibles” that are thought to be required for success in a closer’s role.

Rangers Catcher Gerald Lard is 6'2", 220 lbs. According to Health Canada’s Body Mass Index, Laird’s score of 28.2 classifies him as “overweight”.

Reds Starting Pitcher Cory Lidless has thrived in lidless parks over the past three seasons. Combining his 2002, 2003 and 2004 numbers, Lidle has a 5.98 earned run average in domed stadiums, relative to 4.42 in open air stadiums. Of course, these numbers are tainted by SkyDome’s pro-hitter bent, but I suppose that it is permissible for the spell checker to occasionally forget to adjust for park factor.

Few bats have been calmer in 2004 than that of Phillies Second Baseman Placid Plank. Polanco’s plank has been so placid that his 27 games played and 112 at bats have yielded exactly one run batted in. Those numbers project to three runs batted in over 349 at bats, a heretofore unseen level of placidity.

Diamondbacks Starting Pitcher Casey Possum is pulling the favourite trick of his namesake, and playing dead. Despite the obvious skills that have enabled him to strike out 206 batters while walking only 93 in 249.1 career innings, he has yet to have that breakout season that many have predicted for him in each of the past two springs.

The thinking was that with a move to from the outfield, Angels First Baseman Darin Rested could be injury free and productive, like he was in 2000 (.355/.409/.541). On May 9, Erstad was forced to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, and is currently a week away from beginning rehabilitation. Before the injury, Erstad posted career worst on base and slugging percentages (.294 and .333, respectively) in the young 2004 season.

Which member of the 2004 Blue Jays comes to mind when (by some cruel act of fate), you hear Nelly’s “Hot in Herre”? It ought to be Catcher Gregg Saunas. Zaun has produced to the tune of .393/.479/.508 in 2004.

Blue Jays Relief Pitcher Justin Sepia is currently on the disabled list, but likely to return soon. Sepia is a stain produced using the inky secretion of the cuttlefish. Here is a picture of a cuttlefish: Yeah, cuttlefish, baby!

Florida Starting Pitcher Montreal Willis is one of the better hitting pitchers in recent history. So, which is a better hitting name: Montreal or Dontrelle? Willis is a career .263/.314/.388 hitter, whereas the 2004 Expos are currently at .231/.288/.348.

The Associated Press may, in fact, have stumbled upon a great new tool in the field of baseball analysis. The best part is: no spell checker has ever pronounced that “Jeter is clutch”.

I will leave you with the following names, which made me giggle but about which I have nothing substantive to say:

White Sox Shortstop Juan Urine
Angels Outfielder Valium Guerrero
Twins Designated Hitter Matt Lechery
Tigers Designated Hitter Dimmer Young
Angels Starting Pitcher Barstool Colon
Brewers Starting Pitcher Matt Kinky
Mets Relief Pitcher Brained Lopper
Phillies Starting Pitcher Vaccinate Papilla
The Name Game | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Moffatt - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#60242) #
Behold the Cuttlefish!

Barstool Colon

I got this once from drinking a 12 of Labatt 50.
_Jordan - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#60243) #
End Chafes

I'm not even going there.
_Mathew - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#60244) #
LOL. This is great! I have a client who's last name is Barnard which spellcheck never fails to suggest 'barnyard'. Makes me laugh every time.
_Rob - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#60245) #
Frank Menechino, courtesy Word XP:
Frank Minchin, Menacing, or Munching
_Daryn - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#60246) #
Chris Woodworm
Greg Mryyh
and Josh Phallus..

ok, not the first pick in each case... but funny
Woodwind Helps and Dyer, to be more precise..
_Cristian - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#60247) #
I'm pretty pissed off at Brained Lopper at the moment. His Monday-Thursday streak of saves in consecutive games will probably give my BBFL opponent the saves category this week.
_Tom - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#60248) #
Some of the Red Soxxers put through the spell-check wash:

Curt Schooling: Well, he has been dominant to say the least.

Mike Timeline: As in you can see the progression from him leaving the bullpen to a blown lead with much clarity.

Doug Miracle: It must be a miracle to catch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. Then there's every time he comes to the plate...

Jason Variety: Yeah, I guess there's a lot of hit. Up to bat, hit ball into gap, get thrown out at first.

Cesar Creeps: Apt name if you've ever seen the guy.

Brian Doubt: As in "I doubt Daubach will be in the majors next week."

Kevin Yokels: The Greek God of backwater Louisiana?

Buying-Hyun Kim: Well, at that price....
_NIck - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#60249) #
I think we should have some sort of tradition involving the cuttlefish and flinging one (or part of one) from section 518 every time the Jays win. Are they readily available or am I talking crazy talk?

P.S. I'm such a poseur. I haven't even been to a game in section 518 yet. :( I can't wait to go to my first one soon though!
_NIck - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#60250) #
P.P.S. I roffled at Kevin Yokels.
_Moffatt - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#60251) #
I think we should have some sort of tradition involving the cuttlefish and flinging one (or part of one) from section 518 every time the Jays win. Are they readily available or am I talking crazy talk?

Only if it's a stuffed one (or a cuttlebone).

Cuttlefish are almost impossible to get in North America live, unless you work in a research lab. It's a shame, because they actually make really good pets. I've never seen any at a fishmarket either, because apparently they taste like squid but are a lot more expensive. Eww.
_Fawaz K - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#60252) #
You could always go for cuttlefish crackers. If the Jays lose at least you've got a treat for the trip home.
_NIck - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#60253) #
Right, crackers it is then. We could just pour them down on the sections below.
_Sneeps - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#60254) #
The content on this site gets better every day!
_My Names not Ry - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#60255) #
Now, apologies if this has been brought up, but i heard it on espn radio this morning and found it quite funny, former Jays prospect, Jose Mesa, as listed on the Pirates MLB site, was born 5/22/76, his first child a girl was born, 11/15/74, and his first son born 6/29/79.... Man, I knew something was special about Jose, bet he was the talk of Santa School in the Dominican Republic
_My Names not Ry - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#60256) #
Correction, Jose was born in 66, but still do the math, quite funny, although mine was funnier :)
_Mark - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#60257) #
The funniest has to be this ESPN pronunciation guide for Albert Pujols' name. I would write it here, but you wouldn't believe it unless you COMN!
The Name Game | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.