For the last like two or three years, I have had people in my virtual ear, pleading for me to write more SEO-friendly headlines. At last I think I finally have it nailed down. It's always so fulfilling when you figure something out on your own. I'm going to call my mother! But after I write this post. Gotta write this post first, it's full of time-critical information.
Brendan Ryan was one of several current or future to pay a visit to this weekend's FanFest. At one point, a fan asked Ryan who his favorite player was growing up, and Ryan's response was "Joe McEwing". Of course Ryan's response was Joe McEwing. Joe McEwing played in 754 Major League games and posted a career WAR of 0.0. Why wouldn't he be somebody's favorite player?
Here's the spooky part: Brendan Ryan is 29 years old. He has a career 78 OPS+. Through age 29, Joe McEwing had a 78 OPS+. After age 29, Joe McEwing had a 56 OPS+. Brendan Ryan will probably not do that. They're not actually copies of the same player. Did you think that they are? That's crazy! You're crazy.
- This isn't exactly current, but I noticed a few days ago that Erasmo Ramirez threw 30⅓ innings in the Venezuelan winter league, with 20 strikeouts and one walk. One's first thought is that putting up 20 strikeouts and one walk is impressive. One's second thought might be that ratios in the VWL might be all weird-like. But the league this year had an average strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.7. Ramirez's numbers were legitimately exceptional.
Ramirez, of course, has built his whole prospect name around sexy-looking ratios. He doesn't have the sexy-looking stuff or the sexy-looking build. The guy's 21, though, and before he excelled in Venezuela, he did good things in Tacoma, throwing 67 percent strikes and missing an above-average number of bats. Ramirez is a guy worth having on your radar, and he could conceivably show up soon. While he's not intimidating, he's not a slop-thrower. He could make it.
In keeping with the spooky theme from above, here's one Erasmo Ramirez over his career in the minors:
And here's the other Erasmo Ramirez over his career in the minors:
One of those Erasmo Ramirezes is a 21-year-old pitching prospect for the Mariners. The other of the Erasmo Ramirezes is a 35-year-old ex-journeyman. You could try to figure out which is which, but why spoil the fun? And more importantly, why even bother?
Miguel Olivo says he's in the best shape of his life after spending the offseason working out at home in Modesto. Miguel Olivo resides in Modesto and boasted about being in phenomenal shape. The city leaders are going to kick him out! Shit, this joke might be too subtle. I'm going to have to throw in a less subtle joke, just to be safe. More like Mo-dust-o! Am I right? Really, am I right? I've never been to Modesto. I assume that it's mostly dust and saloons.
We're long past the point of making fun of the meaninglessness of a player saying he's in the best shape of his life. We all know to ignore it. Was shape ever even Olivo's issue, anyway? My problem's never been with the condition of Olivo's body so much as it's been with the condition of Olivo's synaptic clefts.
I guess it's not a bad thing that Olivo's in good shape. Hey, all right, he's not a fatty. Who remembers what condition they've been in their entire lives, though? When someone says he's in the best shape of his life, does he mean he's in the best shape of his life, or does he mean he's in the best shape he's been in in a while? Miguel Olivo is a 33-year-old big leaguer. Miguel Olivo used to be a 25-year-old big leaguer. Is he in better shape now than he was then? If so, what does that say about him then? I'm going to stop writing this section now.
- FanFest attendance on Saturday was 5,218 - down from 5,290 the opening Saturday a year ago. For the weekend, attendance was 9,774. I can't find last year's total attendance, but it was probably a little bit higher. For reference, FanFest attendance in 2010 was 17,299. That was a record. People these days are a little less optimistic. People these days have absorbed 196 losses in two years.
I wonder if FanFest attendance might in any way be a reliable indicator of regular season attendance. I am guessing that there is a weak but statistically significant correlation. I am so confident in my guess that I am not going to investigate any further.