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Bauxites: Tampa, Boo!, Terry Who?

Well, the two most recent Batter's Box Interactive Magazine polls have gone off the beaten path a bit, with the first demonstrating the Box's disapproval of all things Devil Ray and the second surprisingly raising the specter of cartoon question mark balloons over most people's heads at the mention of singer/songwriter Terry Cashman.

First, following a comment from Thomas in the Dave Miley thread, the question was posed, "Which MLB team is the worst managed (front office and field combined) in the big leagues?" Especially in light of the recent Piniella controversy (gee, there's a phrase that's never been used before), the Tampa Bay Devil Rays snared nearly half, 46 percent, of the vote, more than the next three teams (Reds, 16 percent; Rockies, 15 percent; Royals, 11 percent) combined. Where have you gone, Fred McGriff?

The next poll hearkened back, a little, to our recent string of enternainment (movies, books, music) polls, and in preparation for an upcoming "Hall of Names" feature, asked "what do you think of Terry Cashman's baseball music?"

A full two-thirds of the respondents really had no idea how to answer, with 47 percent opting for "Terry who? Is he related to Brian?" while another 20 percent claimed, "All I know is that song from The Simpsons , but that was cool." The leading response after those two non-starters, with 12 percent, was the decidely lukewarm and noncommital "Meh."

In Other Recent Poll Results ...

Book-Smart Bauxites Like Pounding Bud, Praising Beane
When Batter's Box Interactive Magazine moved to ask the question, "What is the best non-fiction, non-statistical treatise, baseball book ever written?," much to the dismay of Joe Pepitone and Dooley Womack former Yankee 20-game winner Jim Bouton came out on top for his classic, if somewhat tame by today's standards, exposition of baseball's seamier inside, Ball Four. The surprise second-place finisher was the equally controversial, though for different reasons, tradition-buster, Moneyball, which Batter's Box economics professor Mike Moffatt has categorized as "a better business textbook than baseball book."

Bauxites Don't Appreciate Silver Screen Monkey Business
Poor Matt LeBlanc -- not only did he have to take second billing to a monkey in a horrific accidental parody of classic sports films like Gus and Air Bud, but Bauxites who bothered to leave comments with their votes tended to refer to him as "Joey Tribiani," the name of the character he played on Friends. Well, come to think of it, maybe LeBlanc wouldn't want his real name associated with Ed.

A distant tied-for-second in the "worst" category were the Disney re-make of Angels in the Oufield and the third installment of the Major League series, which Bauxites agree, like its own subtitle, would be better off shipped "Back to the Minors."

Bauxites Love Costner and, uh ... Costner
When asked "What is the best baseball movie made since 1980?," Batter's Box Interactive Magazine gave an overwhelming 52 percent of its support to Kevin Costner movies, with the sarcastic, funny "Crash" Costner's Bull Durham at almost 22 percent, trailing only the sappy, sentimental "Ray" Costner's Field of Dreams at more than 26 percent (For Love of the Game grabbed the remaining Costner trifecta support).

The bronze medalist in the competition, and the only non-Costner movie to gather double digits in percent of the vote (with a more than respectable 20 percent) was the original Major League flick.

Bauxites Intentionally Looking to Draw a Walker
Magpie asked, perhaps rhetorically, in an Instant Replay thread: if not Chad Gaudin again in five days, then who?

Posed with 10 options, mostly drawn from the current Jay bullpen and AAA rotation, Bauxites went convincingly for Pete Walker, who garnered more than 37 percent of the total vote -- more than the second- and third-place finishers (David Bush with about 22 percent and Scott Downs with just over 10 percent) combined.

It should be noted that some respondents may not have been taking the poll entirely seriously, with almost eight percent opting to hand the ball to Pat Hentgen, either having forgotten last year entirely or perhaps time-warping and believing it's 1996. Incidentally, Gaudin received about three percent of the vote himeself.

Bauxites Don't Love L.A.
In response to the question "20 years from now, which 'Beane Bag' team will be judged to have had the best 2005 amateur draft?," Bauxites narrowly went with J.P. Ricciardi and the Jays, who just nudged out Theo Epstein's Red Sox, 40.1 percent to 38.8 percent, with Oakland's Billy Beane and L.A.'s Paul DePodesta running a distant third and fourth, respectively.

Don't Worry, NFH, You're Good
In response to the question "Shea Hillenbrand currently has an OBP of .372 and frankly, NFH seems pretty confident that he'll win the NFH Challenge vs. Robert Dudek. What will Shea's OBP be at the All-Star Break?," the response was overwhelmingly with NFH's pre-season wager of greater than .350 -- 82 percent selected either ".350-.374" or ".375+" ... one sullen Bauxite chose "Below .300" -- really, Dudek, so negative?

Riding the GO Train
It was a pretty even split in the first round which involved a number of candidates. But after eliminating contenders like "Miggy and the Jets" and "Toronto Fire Department," it came down to Arny's Army versus The GO Train. And it was close until a late rush at the end landed The GO Train with a final victory of 58 percent to 42 percent.

Please feel free to post your ideas for additional poll questions and your reactions to the results so far ...

Interactively Speaking | 10 comments | Create New Account
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VBF - Thursday, June 16 2005 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#119881) #
I voted for Scott Downs as the starter to replace Gaudin's next start. Pete Walker is certainly deserving of it, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. So far this season he has gone above and beyond his role. For a team with some very noticeable holes so far this year in many aspects, the long-relief role shouldn't be shaken up.

If you insert Scott Downs (who has been effective also in Walker's role at times) you potentially upgrade over Gaudin, yet maintain the long relief effectiveness. This argument could be made visa versa, but if you can use the word "proven" three months into the season, Walker is "more proven" of the two, yet Downs and Walker have been equally effective at times.

I do realize that in my case for Downs to fill in Gaudin's role, I have made potentially an even better case for giving the job to Walker, which makes my entire argument neutral.

Basically, Walker has been too good at his job to be moved, and Scott Downs doesn't have a designated role, but has been effective enough to deserve a chance.
The_Game - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#119889) #
I also voted for Scott Downs behind the same reasoning as VBF. I believe Walker is too good in the long relief role this year to be moved out of it (atleast based on his results thus far), and by doing so it would only cripple our team even more so. By inserting Pete Walker into the rotation, it would just create a even bigger hole in the long-relief role. Scott Downs has looked decent in his time here, and i'm sure he would be an improvement to Gaudin right now. I'm pretty sure any move they do with Walker/Downs isn't permanent anyway, as i think Bush will be back up in Toronto by the All-star break.

SimonB - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#119891) #
I disagree with this argument. If you're talking about an effective closer, say (see John Smoltz), I buy it. But Pete Walker comes into games in which the Jays trail or lead by 5 or 6 runs. Sure he's been good in that role - but why not ease him into higher pressure situations where his effectiveness will actually impact upon the team's ability to win games?

That said, I would also support a promotion of Downs instead of Walker, if only because I went to Olympic Stadium last year in which he started and pitched relatively effectively. But Walker should undoubtedly be promoted to a more crucial role - the long relief role is for BAD pitchers.
VBF - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#119892) #
The long relief is for BAD pitchers

I don't know. If you're down 5-0 by the third inning and a manager decides to go to long relief, you still want a guy that can put up some eggs for a decent amount of innings, hopeful that your offence is going to chip away at the early lead. That's mainly the job of long relief. One of the reasons its primarily a spot for less effective pitchers is because its the role with the least pressure, not because the pitchers aren't effective.

Ryan C - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#119893) #
What about Batista? Or is it another case of him being too good in the role he's currently in to move? It would be a big gamble, but we know Batista can handle the number of innings required, and if he can maintain the same mental focus and approach he's had as a closer it has the potential to pay huge dividends. Of course there's also the possibility he goes back to his old habits and you lose your lights out closer so it certainly would be a significant risk.
Mick Doherty - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#119942) #
This comment is posted to mark the point at which this thread has been updated with the latest (best baseball movie since 1980) poll results.
CeeBee - Friday, June 17 2005 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#119958) #
I voted for Downs as well, but Walker's not a bad choice either as it leaves us 2 lefties in the pen and we still have 2 lefty starters as well.
Bid - Tuesday, June 21 2005 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#120158) #
The top ten baseball complaints about Kahn & Bouton & Ritter, but whither Mark Harris, Roger Angell, Robert Creamer, Bill Kinsella, Charles Alexander, Al Stump, Donald Hall, Tom Boswell, Robert Coover, etc, etc?
Bid - Tuesday, June 21 2005 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#120159) #
Sorry about slipping in fictioneers Harris, Kinsella & Coover.
Jacko - Tuesday, June 21 2005 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#120203) #
There's a few key titles missing here:

1. A Whole Different Ballgame by Marvin Miller

2. Lords of the Realm by Paul Helyar

3. The Wrong Stuff by Spaceman Lee

The first two are outstanding looks at the history of labour relations in baseball. They are eye both eye opening reads.

The Wrong Stuff is a classic in the same vein as Ball Four.
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