Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jhonny Peralta: Cold Like the Weather

From Andy Castrovince's latest mailbag:
I'd be interested to see Jhonny Peralta's batting average in warm weather vs. cold weather. He was red hot down in Arizona this spring, but now he seems ice cold, much like the first six weeks of last season. Great Odin's raven, am I on to something here?
-- Tim R., San Diego

I'd love to help you find those numbers, but, much like the translation of the name for your hometown, scholars maintain that the ability to calculate such statistics was lost hundreds of years ago.

Actually, I asked hitting coach Derek Shelton and media relations director Bart Swain if they've ever heard of such a stat, and neither has. You'd really have to be the obsessive-compulsive type (even by baseball statistician standards) to calculate those numbers, especially when you consider the temperature at first pitch can take a drastic dip by the last pitch.

Well, when it comes to the Indians (and especially Peralta, apparently), I am that obsessive-compulsive baseball statistician. After reading the question, I immediately thought, "I bet Retrosheet tracks weather information. Sure enough, they do.

If you want me to bore you with the details, email me. Otherwise, let's skip to the pretty picture:

The short explanation is that I took Peralta's batting average (hits/at bats, obviously) for each gametime temperature reading. As you can see, there is an upward trend. Thoughts:
  • There's no context. Maybe all, or at least most, hitters follow the same trend. That would make this "revelation" meaningless.

  • Correlation is not causation. It's warm at midseason, when hitters are thought to be at their best, and when the ball is said to travel better. It's cold at the beginning of the season, when hitters aren't yet in "midseason form", and at the end, when fatigue starts to set in. So, again, maybe this is a trend for everyone and not just Jhonny.

  • I'd be interested to see weather-related trends for other statistics, starting with BABIP and OPS, and perhaps moving onto the more advanced stuff.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekly Cleveland Indians Lineup Analysis

Back again for its second season, this is the weekly series where I plan take the top 9 Indians in terms of OPS and feed them into Dave Pinto's Lineup Analysis Tool to determine the theoretical ideal batting lineup.

This Week's Results
Click Here

This Week's Ideal Lineup

Theoretical Runs Per Game
A whopping 6.524.

Theoretical Improvement
The Indians are currently scoring 5.368 runs per game, which is impressive in its own right. But the ideal lineup is an improvement of 1.156 runs per game, or 187 runs over the course of a season. That's an additional 18-19 runs.

Defensive Plausibility
This team isn't too bad defensively, except it lacks a third baseman. The best candidate appears to be Travis Hafner, who played 29 minor league games at the hot corner.

Fan Believability
Defensively, there's the issue with third base. Offensively, the lineup is very believable outside of Grady Sizemore getting bumped down to sixth. You might not readily think of Asdrubal Cabrera as a leadoff hitter and Jhonny Peralta as a ninth-place hitter, but of late the former has been surging and the latter has been struggling.

My Take
This again is a good example of how the lineup tool is supposed to work. The best overall hitter - in this case, Victor Martinez - is batting second, and the next best overall hitter (Shin-Soo Choo) is fifth. The top OBP guy is hitting leadoff. Believe it or not, that's Asdrubal Cabrera, who was recently promoted to the number two spot in the lineup in real life.

Random Indians Thought of the Week
Don't judge Cliff Lee by his win total this season. He has more than a few things working against him. Not only is he due for some regression, but he also has people gunning for him as the reigning Cy Young Winner. Plus, he'll be facing other teams' aces this year, whereas last year he was facing other teams' fifth starters. That means last year's 5-2 wins are this year's 2-1 losses. Oh, and he got "lucky" by facing an inordinate number of bad teams last year.

If anyone for the Indians can repeat Cliff Lee's performance this year, it's Aaron Laffey. Not only is Laffey off to a hot start, but he's also "pulling a Cliff Lee" by facing fourth and fifth starters, and so far facing poorer teams. (Two of his three starts this year have been against the Royals.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The Boston Red Sox believe Fenway Park should last for another 40 to 50 years. It's nice to know the stadium will still be around for Tim Wakefield's final season.

A pair of filmmakers just completed a documentary about Len Bias. The movie starts out promising but ends abruptly after just five minutes.

The Kansas City Royals had to cancel their season opener due to snow. The Royals didn't have to give anyone their money back since they hadn't yet sold any tickets.

Former QB Jeff George is reportedly trying to figure out how to get back in the NFL. At this stage in his career he might want to try buying a ticket.

And Oklahoma's Courtney Paris promised to give back her scholarship money because they didn't win a national title in women's basketball. But her lawyer said she's not obliged, because nobody cares.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Yankee star C.C. Sabathia admitted that he didn't look very good in the season opener. He also doesn't look good in a bathing suit.

Michael Jordan has been elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Probably not as a general manager.

Former President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch before the Texas Rangers' home opener. The Rangers went on to win the game, even though they had fewer runs.

Manu Ginobili is out for the rest of the season and the playoffs with a stress fracture. The veteran guard is believed to have injured his foot while doing the Dance of Joy with Cousin Larry.

And rowdy basketball fans ransacked the Motor City following Michigan State's loss to North Carolina. Or maybe Detroit just looks like that.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Jaguars receiver Reggie Williams was tasered by police in Houston. It was such an intense shock, Williams said it felt like Jacksonville made the playoffs.

Ricky Rubio's family is reportedly in favor of him entering the NBA draft this year. Ricky Rubio's family is also in favor of him staying in the draft til after the Kings have picked.

Renovations to Wrigley Field have been temporarily stalled. The Cubs plan on resuming work in October, once it's vacant.

Clippers forward Zach Randolph was arrested for DUI. Randolph was obviously drunk, because he was happy about being on the Clippers.

And Boston's Fenway Park is predicted to sell more hot dogs than any other stadium in the majors this season. Mostly to David Ortiz.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The San Diego Padres are now offering fans a special hot dog wrapped in bacon, stuffed with onions, tomatoes, and pinto beans, and served on a potato bun smothered in mayonnaise and jalapeno sauce. It's the perfect snack for fans who love hot dogs but don't want to live to see the seventh inning.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. And no one is happier than the team's fan.

In the wake of his recent arrest video in which he trashed New York, Joba Chamberlain said that he loves the Big Apple. But he was drunk when he said it.

Yankee fans are wondering if it's too early to start worrying. Not about the season, but about saving enough to afford a seat at the new stadium.

And Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki has an ulcer. Doctors say he developed it over years of playing for the Mariners.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The Atlanta Dream selected Angel McCoughtry with the first pick in the WNBA draft, thereby marking the last time her name will ever again appear in a national sports broadcast.

St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter threw a one-hitter in a dazzling start against Pittsburgh. And just like that, the Pirates have used up all of their hits for the season.

Darko Milicic has said he would like to play in Greece... or anywhere else fans don't know he was drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade.

Boston University staged a miracle rally by scoring two goals in the final minute to win the NCAA Hockey Championship. Of course, the real miracle is that we're even discussing college hockey.

And Barack Obama has declined an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Washington Nationals' home opener, because he didn't want to show up their pitching staff.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Linebacker Zach Thomas will now play for the Chiefs. Because he wanted to retire early.

Dwyane Wade scored 55 points against the Knicks. He later apologized for such a poor performance.

The Florida Marlins took two of three games from the Mets. The Mets haven't been this disappointed since very recently.

Chicago is excited about having Jay Cutler quarterback the Bears. Because they were running out of Rex Grossman effigies.

And Yao Ming has been cleared to play. But he's so weak as a Rocket, fans now think he's from North Korea.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The U.S. Women's Hockey team beat Canada to win its second consecutive World Hockey Championship title. In related news, it's been a very, very slow day in the world of sports.

Florida International University is close to striking a deal with Isiah Thomas. We're guessing Thomas has put together a fantastic intramural team.

Ichiro Suzuki said he's excited to rejoin the Seattle Mariners. Which is conclusive proof that a stomach ulcer can impair your judgment.

In boxing, Paul Williams donminated Winky Wright this weekend. Williams is a fighter so intimidating, he is avoided by most opponents, while Wright is a fighter so boring, he is avoided by most fans.

And colorful Tigers hurler Mark Fidrych has passed away at the age of 54. Sadly, baseballs around America now have no one to talk to.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The last place New York Islanders have won the NHL draft lottery and will have the first overall pick. Unfortunately, the rules do not allow them to draft a new GM.

Isiah Thomas has signed a five-year contract to become the new coach at little known Florida International University. On the positive side, the games will be so boring that he'll no longer need sleeping pills.

Celine Dion is on the verge of buying the Montreal Canadiens. Because she wants to ruin more than just music.

TBS has signed David Wells to become their newest baseball analyst. In related news, TBS will now broadcast on a 10-minute delay.

And Oscar De La Hoya has announced his retirement from boxing. In related news, so has ticketmaster.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The NBA is considering using instant replay to judge shot-clock violations. The idea is being applauded by those who were concerned that the last two minutes of an NBA game weren't quite long enough.

Alex Rodriguez has said his time in Colorado gave him the opportunity to rethink things, recommit himself and understand his responsibility to his teammates and his team. In other words, his hotel room didn't have a mirror.

Earl Watson reportedly wants out of Oklahoma City. Then again, so do half of the town's residents.

Partners in the Charlotte Bobcats have been told to expect $35 million in losses over the next two years. Luckily for the Bobcats, they're used to losing.

And Jose Canseco's ex-wife Jessica is now dating Jeremy Piven. Someone should probably tell her that he's not really an agent.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Michael Vick is reportedly shopping a post-prison reality show. Something tells us it won't be on Animal Planet.

Head coach Charlie Weiss has talked openly about quitting Notre Dame. He saw how much fun his team was having doing it, so he wants to try.

Ken Griffey Jr. recently hit career home run No. 613 and his 400th as a Mariner. The veteran outfielder hopes to break another personal record later this week when he attempts to play in three consecutive games without snapping a hamstring.

Florida high school pitcher Patrick Schuster has thrown three straight no-hitters. No one was more impressed than his opponents  the Washington Nationals.

And the Marlins beat the Nationals to improve to 11-1, making them the first team in Major League history to have more wins than fans.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Tennessee Titans backup Vince Young said that he wants to avoid any hoopla this season. Which will be pretty easy, what with him not playing any games.

Raymond Felton has said that he'd like to remain a Charlotte Bobcat. In related news, Raymond Felton may be off his meds.

The Cleveland Brows are looking to get rid of Brady Quinn and most of their female fan base.

The NBA Playoffs started this weekend. And as per tradition, they kicked off with the ceremonial clearing out of the Knicks lockers.

And a 100-year-old woman from New Jersey has become the oldest competitor in the history of the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships. Because bowling is totally a real sport.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Love and Sabermetrics on the Softball Diamond

I jumped head first into managing a co-ed softball team during the summer of 2007. It was a memorable experience - especially since it introduced me to my soon-to-be-wife - and I've often thought about turning it into a book.

But I'd sat on that idea until recently, when Baseball Prospectus announced its BP Idol contest. Below is my entry, and hopefully an introduction to future posts about that fateful season.

It's the kind of thing that can only happen in an adult co-ed league. Four couples had gotten pregnant, meaning eight members of our team would be unavailable for the upcoming slow-pitch softball season – including our manager.

Our team was in danger of missing the season unless someone stepped up to manage. I knew I wanted to run a team someday, but I never imagined it could happen in only my third year in the league. Still, for better or for worse, I accepted the challenge.
The first step was to fill out the roster. I was lucky enough to have seven returning players, including myself. I was also lucky that these seven were hungry for playing time and (relatively) talented. More importantly, none of them was with child.

To complete the team, I called in every last favor I had, essentially digging up every high school classmate still in the area. But even that wasn’t enough, as the league rules dictate that we needed an even number of men and women in the lineup at all times. Apparently I didn’t know that many girls. So a coworker took the liberty of signing up not only herself, but her sister and a friend as well. Sure, the other girls had never played before, but at least we could all get a cheap laugh out of that, my coworker promised.

With a team together, it was time to pick a lineup. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to practice before the season, so my chances to evaluate the available talent were limited. Fortunately, this burgeoning stathead had some sabermetric tricks up his sleeve.

Without any statistics at the beginning of the season, I had to choose a batting order the traditional way. Our speedy, high energy guy would lead off. Of course, my decision was aided by his impassioned, two-page email to me explaining how hitting leadoff gets his juices flowing and can help spark the team. Our lone power hitter would bat third, and our most consistent line drive hitter (a guy who was greatly underappreciated on our past teams) would hit fifth. League rules required us to alternate men and women in the lineup, so I essentially ordered the girls in descending order by my limited understanding of their abilities. It just so happened that the girl who would be hitting second had a little speed, and the girl who would be hitting fourth had a little pop. To round out the lineup, and to avoid favoritism, I hit myself ninth and our lone unplaced guy seventh.

The next task was to configure our defense. Again, the league gave us a few guidelines. The pitcher and catcher had to be of opposite genders, and there had to be two guys and two girls each in the infield and outfield (with four total outfielders). As a starting point, I did some research and created an initial defensive spectrum for slow-pitch softball:

C – RF – 2B – RC – 1B – LF – LC – 3B – SS – P

Yes, this was largely based on the pre-1920s spectrum found on Wikipedia. My main premise was that slow-pitch softball is dominated by pull-happy righties, so the four spots on the left side of the diamond are the most valuable. Now, one could argue that catcher, right field, and second base are more valuable than where they are shown here. But the reality was that any alignment I put out on the field would have some holes, so I just tried to minimize the damage. As for first base – well, in baseball first base is low on the defensive spectrum because it doesn’t take much skill. But in slow-pitch softball, especially with this team, the ability to consistently catch a thrown ball was not a skill that could be taken for granted.
The preliminary spectrum set, I did my best to break each position down into a skillset, evaluating my players’ range, glove skills, and arm. The arrangement I came up with looked good – at least on paper. Our best infielder went to short – nevermind that he was left-handed. Of our two best women, one didn’t want to play outfield, so she went to third and the other to left. Our aforementioned speedy, high-energy guy ended up in left center while I manned right center. The remaining positions were filled by people who actually had experience at their respective spots, and for lack of a better options our slugger volunteered to pitch.

There may be no pride in taking a walk in slow-pitch softball, but this team needed all the help it could get – especially since a league rule gave guys two bases on a walk, intentional or not. (In addition, if a guy walked with two outs, the girl behind him had the option to take their normal at bat or also take a walk.) Fortunately, that rule didn’t differentiate between guys who normally hit the ball 400 feet and guys who normally hit the ball 40. So I preached patience, and it showed off to some extent, as the leader board for walks was peppered with both men and women from my team.

A few weeks into the season, the league batting stats were passed out, and I eagerly dug in. I had been waiting for the stats not only to check my own performance, but to use them to better construct my batting order. I planned to use Dave Pinto’s Lineup Analysis Tool, but I had to modify it to accommodate the guy/girl rule. It was nothing a little Perl hack couldn’t handle. The end result still had the girls in descending order by OPS, but this time it was the slugger batting second and the speedster (who apparently struggled in the transition to slow-pitch) batting fourth. For the guys, I found myself hitting leadoff, thanks in no small part to many dates at the batting cages with the then-right fielder (and my current fiancĂ©e). All the other guys slid down a spot. Sure, it took some explaining and convincing, but I pulled it off. Our high-energy guy accepted the move to third, and our ego-driven slugger tolerated the move to fifth after a white lie about giving him more baserunners to drive in.

As the season wore on, and the losses piled up, several members of the team found they had more important things to do than play for a winless softball team with a megalomaniacal manager. Late in the summer, we found ourselves playing with only nine people more often than not. That meant taking an out every turn through the lineup, a major blow for a team that already had trouble scoring runs. But perhaps more importantly, it meant one less fielder.

One time we faced the league’s juggernaut with only nine players. Knowing the opponents’ power-hitting potential, I pulled another trick out of my sleeve: the 3-4 defense. This wasn’t a Boudreau shift like many of the Major Leagues’ best lefties face today; it was four outfielders playing straight across with only three full-time infielders. I was normally overmatched at shortstop, but such was our personnel that day that I tasked myself with cover both middle infield positions. I did a few leaps and spins around the keystone sack to make things look impressive, but all in all there was too much ground to cover for me to be effective.

As it turned out, though, the 3-4 defense was our best option against that team. Later that year, we again faced the juggernaut with only nine of our own players. On that 95-degree day, I made the mistake of going with three outfielders, thinking the three outfielders we had were good enough to cover that ground. Three dehydrated outfielders and 30 runs (as of the time the scoreboard stopped counting) later, our winless team was handed what was perhaps the worst defeat in league history.

But we had fun. Oh, did we have fun! I haven’t been able to run my own team these past few seasons, but I’m still playing. I hope to make my triumphant return to managing in the summer of 2010. Hopefully the lessons I’ve learned will help the team win a few games. Or at least one. Hey, we have to start somewhere.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Oklahoma Star Blake Griffin Headlines First Team, one of the web's hottest basketball sites, announced their second annual All-American teams today. Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin is a member of the First Team.

Griffin averaged 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds per game on the season. The sophomore forward led the Sooners to a record of 30-6 and was named Big 12 Player of the Year. He scored at least 30 points on six occasions, including a 40-point, 23-rebound outburst against Texas Tech in February.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” says senior writer Adam Stanco, “but it was Griffin’s utter dominance that established him as the best player in the nation from start to finish.” All-American First Team:
Stephen Curry, Davidson, Jr.
James Harden, Arizona State, So.
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, So.
DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh, So.
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut, Jr.

For the complete list of all five All-American teams, please visit

Launched in January of 2008, covers all levels of basketball, from high school to the pros. The site features rare insight, great writing, and a place for basketball minds to come together to share ideas.… For the basketball purist.

# # #

For more information, follow us on Twitter at or contact Adam Stanco at or by phone at (610) 316-6825.

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Injured Bulls forward Luol Deng is reportedly done for the season. Just a few months after the team's fans.

Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin scored a 12 out of 50 on his Wonderlic test at the NFL combine. And that's with a tutor taking it for him.

Japan has now won the World Baseball Classic twice, giving them one trophy for every person in America who watched them do it. Baseball fans are relieved to get back to watching games that matter. You know, spring training.

And Curt Schilling has officially retired from baseball. Schilling is looking forward to spending more time criticizing his family.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels recently swore his loyalty to quarterback Jay Cutler. The rest of the Broncos staff just swore.

A congenital amputee missing his arms and legs is planning to make his MMA debut next month in Alabama. Which is safer than him making his swimming debut.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Kelvin Pichardo has been suspended for 50 games following a positive drug test. Pichardo is relieved not to have to watch 50 Giants games.

A team manager said that a broken collarbone won't keep Lance Armstrong from competing in the Tour de France. Though if he gave up in France, he would be a local hero.

And Nicolai Valuev's win over Evander Holyfield was recently voted the worst boxing decision of 2008. In second place was the decision fans made to pay $50 to watch it.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Phillies ace Cole Hammels is set to pitch this season. He's so ready to play in Philadelphia, he's already bad-mouthing the Mets.

Floyd Mayweather is still undecided about returning to the ring. It's either that or play quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

And in women's basketball, the #9 Michigan State team defeated top-seeded Duke. Not many people got to see the game, as it was pre-empted for a Sham-Wow ad. Even more shocking than the upset was seeing women's basketball make a headline. Duke coach Joanne McCallie actually used to coach Michigan State. And now she'll have the opportunity to coach elsewhere.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

The city of New York may be chopping up the old Yankee Stadium and selling it to fans in little pieces. The team could profit over $15 million from the sale, which is enough to buy half an outfielder.

Joba Chamberlain's fastball is nearly 10 miles per hour slower than it was last year. Although five of those miles are attributed to Chamberlain's gravitational pull.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wants to expand the season to 18 games. Lions fans are thrilled to get a chance at two more losses.

NBA owners have approved a rule change that gives a technical foul to teams that have an extra player on the court. Except for the Sacramento Kings, because having an extra player on the court is the only way they can stay competitive.

And Jerry West has rejected the Los Angeles Clippers' request to help turn around their franchise. Instead, West plans to focus on a far less challenging project, like world peace.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Major League catcher Ronny Paulino has been traded for the third time since December. Let's hope he's renting.

The NBA has fined Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $25,000 for making disparaging comments about the league through Twitter. Cuban was able to pay the fine after rummaging through his couch cushions. We're not sure what's more shocking: the fact that the NBA is still disciplining Cuban or that someone has finally found a way of monetizing Twitter.

Detroit is excited about hosting the Final Four. It's been a while since their last sports riot.

And Memphis coach John Calipari may coach Kentucky instead. At least he was the first to reply to their Craigslist ad.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

A minor league baseball club is selling a 1.7 pound hamburger that comes with lettuce, tomato, nacho cheese, chili, salsa and crunched tortilla chips. In related news, they've just signed David Wells.

Alex Rodriguez recently told reporters that his rehab is "going good." Just about as well as those grammar lessons.

Michael Vick has reportedly been working on a book while in prison. He'd have finished by now, but he ran out of blue crayons.

Alyssa Milano has a new book entitled "Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic." That's certainly better than her original title, "Touch 'Em All."

And an Australian rugby player was hit by a car in South Africa. Sadly, the car is not expected to survive.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Injured Lakers center Andrew Bynum recently blew off his rehab assignment to party at the Playboy Mansion. In his defense, many of the women there were dressed in nurse's outfits.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to call up Shaun Livingston from the Tulsa 66ers. Although Livingston is too late to qualify for comeback player of the year, he certainly wins our award for this season's most depressing itinerary.

Senator John McCain wants a posthumous pardon for Jack Johnson, a black boxer unjustly imprisoned over a hundred years ago. Not only does McCain think the conviction was wrong, but Johnson was high school buddy.

A new study released by the American College of Cardiology suggests that watching your favorite NFL team lose in the Super Bowl could actually end your life. But if you live in Chicago, watching them win is just as dangerous.

And LeBron James recently admitted that he had never heard of Sports Illustrated until he was on the magazine's cover. Granted he was only four years old at the time.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit

The National Lampoon Sports Minute (Or So)
By Steve Hofstetter, Keith Alberstadt, Ryan Murphy, and Chris Strait

Sprint announced that it will remain a part of NASCAR's premier racing series. Just as long as the drivers don't go through tunnels, cross state lines, or try to call when it's windy.

Michael Jordan is expected to be part of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. So is his bookie.

The Texas Rangers have decided to keep rotund outfielder Andruw Jones. Mainly to provide shade for the other outfielders.

Las Vegas odds have the New York Yankees winning 95.5 games this year. Because you can't count a win against the Royals as a full game.

And San Diego ace Jake Peavy threw five more shutout innings to finish spring training with a 0.00 ERA. The only way his spring could have been any more perfect is if he hadn't spent it with the Padres.

For more of the Sports Minute (Or So), visit