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Kobe Bryant, total bases, five-team star, walks, the Red Sox' new closer, Bruins in second place

Wednesday 12/7/22

Something not weighty because I try to mix it up on here and there's been what there has been and things are coming.

Anytime a Kobe Bryant video comes up on social media with him talking about basketball I usually listen to it. He had great insight into the game. You'd think that'd be common with players, but it's not. It almost never is. Look at all of the ex-NFL guys.

I didn't pay any attention to him before, but looking in of late, it seems like Jon Heyman embarrasses himself every day.

Something interesting about Fred McGriff: He was a star on five different teams. I wouldn't expect that any other Hall of Famer could say the same. It's one thing to be a star on two teams. Take Rickey Henderson. He was a star on three teams. But five?

I see blue checkmark baseball people make a big deal about total bases on Twitter. Do they not know how statistics work? Walk a lot, and your total bases will be lower. Ted Williams never had 400 total bases, Jim Rice did. Rice didn't walk. Williams walked often. There is no comparison between the two as hitters.

Steve Garvey and Bill Buckner were similar players in that they both seemed to hate walks, as if walking was unmanly and real men got base hits. Garvey had lots of 200 hit seasons, but his OBP was never much to speak of because he wouldn't walk. But that was also how the game was at the time--walks were nothing special. I've always found that interesting about guys who used to walk a lot, from Babe Ruth through the 1980s at least--it was if they were rebels, based on how the game was played and how hits and batting average were viewed. No one was preaching about the value of a walk. Guys had to think that on their own.

The Red Sox signed Kenley Jansen for their closer. Let it be admitted into record here in December that this is a bad move and one I believe was made to save face by throwing some cash at someone. This guy is thirty-five and had seven blown saves last year. He walks people. Closers who walk people are pitchers who shouldn't be closers. And seven blown saves? Of course, you get incredibly dumb sports fans on Twitter--these are people for whom sports are their entire life, too--who say, "But the Red Sox had twenty-eight blown save last year so I'll take it!" (I'm translating--it's like deciphering the prose of monkeys.) They don't know what a blown save is and think it's just when someone gives up the lead in the ninth inning. If you relieve the starter in the top of the sixth up 5-4, and you give up a run to make it 5-5, you get a blown save. There can be, and often are, multiple blown saves in a game.

Bruins play the Avalanche in Colorado tonight. Will be a good test for them after beating Colorado convincingly the other night. Remarkably, despite only having three losses on December 7, the Bruins don't have the most points in the NHL.


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