Best Morning Reads Ever?

Today will be the best Morning Reads ever. Why? Because it is the first day of my new assignment! Yes, that’s right. Every Wednesday from here until perpetuity I will be supplying you with the best links and music. Such as The Membranes with “Shine On Pumpkin Moon.”

U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee chair says he is looking in to deaths at the Decatur VA hospital. 

Jeffery Sprecher, CEO of ICE (the Atlanta-based company that now owns the NYSE) hopes to lead an overhaul of the stock exchange–can he do it? 

A Georgian almost won one of the big lottery drawings last night.

The two churches that could, at the very least, cause a massive headache for Arthur Blank getting his shiny new toy stadium. 

For you Atlanta Braves fans: DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE NUMBER OF STRIKE OUTS THE TEAM WILL RACK UP. Seriously. An out is an out is an out is an out. Strike outs carry no more or less weight in a game than a ground out to third. If there’s one out-dated way of thinking about baseball that I could abolish, that might be it. Or fascination with closers. Or the reliance on bad statistics with RBIs, runs and wins probably at the top.

Paul Kwelicki, who spent four decades photographing life in Decatur County, had a book published with his work. “The Lens” blog at The NYT has a post with some of his pics and a neat little essay on his life. 

For the second year in a row, the Georgia State University Marching Band will perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. *sigh*. It is so tough to be an alumni of the best school in Georgia…

The AJC publishes their list of the 50 best restaurants in Atlanta on Friday, while Atlanta magazine already published theirs (the results will surprise exactly no one.)

Conference realignment seems done (as an FSU fan, not really happy about staying in the ACC but whatever) and the college football playoff name revealed (they went all original and creative-like with the name). First championship Jan. 12 2015. 

Want to know what to cook? Hmm, I don’t know, really. Maybe this?

64 comments

  1. Ghost of William F Buckley says:

    I was just thinking this is the BEST morning read:

    “My powder is dry, my musket is clean and I have a satchel full of bullets.” – Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, considering running for United States Senate.

    Run, Vernon, Run!

            • MattMD says:

              Oh, I bet they do when they come on down for baseball and football games. Oh yeah, and when they ride MARTA to that airport.

              • This might surprise you, but some of us don’t really watch much baseball or football. That which we do watch, we feel we get better coverage by watching it on the big screen at home. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t take MARTA to the airport? Why? If I got on at the westernmost station, I’d still have to ride it in to five points, change trains, and then ride south. Instead, I gladly drive straight to the airport from where I live in SW Cobb… without even getting on the interstate. I’m there in 30 minutes with traffic and park in the express lots for $9 per day. Not a bad deal really.

                Now, that’s not to say I don’t go downtown… I do. But for reasons other than what you mentioned. Georgia has a population of 9M to 10M. What percentage of that is ITP?

                • Ed says:

                  For not even 50% of the cost of one day of parking you can have a round trip on MARTA and not use gas (the forgotten cost of driving). And if a two-minute transfer at Five Points wrecks your schedule you might need to plan things better. Just… throwing that out there.

                  • TheEiger says:

                    How many times do you have to be told that folks OTP don’t like MARTA. Stop trying to convince us. It won’t work. MARTA takes you from where you don’t want to be to where you don’t want to go. If I could ride MARTA from East Cobb or North Fulton to Turner field then you may be able to get me to ride it a couple of times a year.

                    If I want to go to a Braves game right now I have to drive to the North Springs station and wait 30 minutes for a train. It then takes me another 30 minutes to get downtown. I then have the pleasure of waiting on a bus for 15 minutes to take me to Turner Field. After the game I get to repeat. Or I can leave my office at 5:30 and make it to a weekday game in less than 45 minutes (with traffic because I live in the burbs and I’m okay with the traffic downtown) and have time to tailgate.

  2. RayH says:

    Seriously? “An out is an out is an out.” Bill Buckner. Putting the ball in play matters. San Francisco was #26 in the league last year. St. Louis was #29 in 2011.

    • xdog says:

      That’s quite a league you have there, RayH.

      More importantly, SF was 6th in NL runs last year, StL 1st in 2011.

      • RayH says:

        I should have been clearer: SF — as a team — was #26 in strikeouts in 2012 (i.e., 25 teams struckout more than SF did as a team); St. Louis was #29 in 2011.

        • bgsmallz says:

          OBP correlates to runs which correlates to wins. 14 of the last 20 teams in the ALCS and NLCS were in the top 10 in the ML in OBP with the #1 team in OBP going to the LCS 4 out of the last 5 seasons. The Braves are sitting at an ok 12th in OBP. Unless you think they are going to shatter the all-time HR record (currently held by the 97 Mariners), then that is the area that needs improvement. K’s don’t matter.

  3. peachstealth says:

    To anyone who knows baseball a strikeout is only the same as a ground out if there is no one on base. A deep fly out that can score a runner from third is much better than a strikeout in the same situation.
    The same for a bunt out that moves runners from first and second to second and third. They’re called ” productive outs” for a reason.

    • Ed says:

      The actual analysis shows that sacrifice bunts are terrible options (except for when pitchers are at bat).

      And yes, there are “productive outs” but their value is greatly overstated.

      • Ed says:

        A quick follow up is that there is far too much that has to be in place for a “productive out” to occur (less than two outs, deep hit ball, runners in a position to advance etc) that shows that while, yes, they do exist, they really ought not be a part of a team’s strategy or given too much weight.

        • Ed says:

          Also, I hope this means you are at least sabermetric sympathetic as my last point will really rile baseball traditionalists (or know-nothings).

        • peachstealth says:

          Yes conditions have to be right, but if you’re the team at bat, a strikeout is never a productive out so it is not the same as a ground out or fly out.

          • Ed says:

            And there are 5,000 at bats in a season. You’re talking about a statistically irrelevant stat over the course of a season…

            • Ed says:

              Just, FWIW, the record for sacrifice flys for a team in one season is 77. That is 1.54% of at bats (assuming 5000 at bats for a team in a season). Over the course of a 162-game season, that is not a material difference.

    • xdog says:

      Ks are marginally more costly than a ground-out. Yes, a ground ball can get through or get bobbled. It can also result in a DP.

      As always, the key to baseball offense is avoiding outs. If you’re regularly making more than your share, your offense will suck. Ks don’t have anything to do with that.

      • Ed says:

        I think we’re kind of talking about the same thing, there are such marginal differences between the types of outs but strike outs confirm the narrative bias that most beat writers have (and thus, so do most sports fans) that they get weighted much more heavily which is the wrong way to look at things. Also, the Braves will have no problem on offense. I haven’t looked at any of the advanced statistics yet (I don’t care about stats or standings at this point in the season) but I would hazard to guess that they will all prove this.

      • drjay says:

        in a vacuum what you are saying about strikeouts is probably reasonably correct–the problem is that someone who strikes out a lot is not putting the ball in play and is just not a very good hitter. if you are dave kingman and hitting 37hr with less than 100 rbi, only getting 109 hits, striking out 156 times and batting .204–i’m not sure you are actually helping your team that much…the strikout is just 1 piece of the puzzle–but it’s usually a puzzle that reveals a less productive hitter in general…

        • Ed says:

          “the problem is that someone who strikes out a lot is not putting the ball in play and is just not a very good hitter”

          This is demonstrably false.

          • drjay says:

            look i don’t have statistical analysis in front of me, and i’m not saying it’s a hard and fast rule, but people who strike out a lot (tend) to have lower batting avg’s compared to those who don’t…and to xdog below–i would argue both bourn and heyward are over rated and that heyward in particular would be a better batter if he cut down on his k’s–he only had 27 hr last year, we aren’t talking about a traditional slugger with him…

        • xdog says:

          drjay, what you’re saying is frequency of strikeouts determines offensive quality. You need to look past Kingman. I’ll refer you to Bourne and Heyward from last year. Chase Headley too. It’s probably piling on but I’ll mention that many current and future HoF players are prominent on the career K list–Reggie and Schmidt, ARod and Stargell, Mantle and Killebrew and Rickey.

          The tradeoff for Ks is increased power. Power in baseball has increased for 40 years, and Ks have gone up too. Now when every team has a reliever or 3 who can come in and throw 95 mph buzzbombs, Ks are moving ever higher. I expect weak grounders to 2b have jumped too but we don’t count those, saving all our disapproval for Ks.

  4. Lea Thrace says:

    Urgh. Why is football season not back yet??? All this baseball talk does is remind me that football is not back. Also, it puts me to sleep.

      • Ellynn says:

        I can’t even pull up the link.

        I have not heard of this Membranes song before. I have “Everything Brilliant” and “Ice Age” thumbed up on Pandora (I think…).

  5. bowersville says:

    Where are we going?

    Rand Paul: “I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on,” Paul said. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash … I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

    Al Franken: “We had a situation in Boston, a guy holed up in a boat who for all accounts had explosives on him. They did send a robot in to take off tarp,” Franken said. “Isn’t it possible we could see a situation in which we might want to take that person out in a different way [with drones]?”

    Attorney General Holder: Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder said it is “possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/04/23/boston-bombing-changes-lawmakers-views-on-drone-killings-of-americans-on-us-soil

    • Charlie says:

      One of the reasons I like Rand Paul’s filibuster was that he actually sounded quite reasonable on the topic, a point that was apparently lost on quite a few of his (dad’s) supporters.

      Now that he says the same thing while not in a filibuster setting, those same folks are freaking out.

      Proving once again that many are more interested in the vision they create of their favorite politician instead of letting that person actually practice representative government.

      Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, and now Rand Paul.

      I never knew this RINO club could get so large….

      • bowersville says:

        Charlie, my concern is not who’s in the RINO club. My concern is whether civil law enforcement will handle drones with over-sight from the courts or will the CIA/DoD conduct the operation of the drones with little to no over-sight from Congress. Congress hasn’t made a dent in it’s oversight of the US drone program.

    • sockpuppet says:

      Honestly, what is the difference between killing someone with a drone and killing someone with a soldier or police officer? To put it another way, what is the difference between a manned aircraft dropping a bomb on someone and a drone doing it?

      I hate to say it, but people are freaking out because they want the enemy – be it a criminal or a terrorist or a soldier of an opposing army – to have a chance. If it is a guy robbing a liquor store, he has a chance at killing the police officer and getting away. If it is on the battlefield, you have a chance to kill the other soldier or shoot down his plane. What is making people uncomfortable is one side having to risk its life while the other side doesn’t, which makes it “unfair.”

      If people think that police departments are going to keep sending their people into armed confrontations with criminals because it is “fair” to give the criminals a chance to kill the police officers and get away (and have people put up “Run Dorner Run” type Facebook pages and in many cases have the ACLU, NAACP, Amnesty International and the alternative media outlets pretty much rooting for them too) then you have another think coming. As soon as the technology becomes affordable and the training becomes widely available, all big city police departments and not a few medium sized ones are going to have drones. Which is going to make hostage situations and the like a LOT more easy to deal with.

        • sockpuppet says:

          Why?

          The only thing that changes is the technology. Police officers using drones to kill armed criminals who would shoot at police officers if given the chance. The military using drones to kill enemy soldiers who would shoot at our soldiers if given the chance. Either way, the only objection would be giving our side such a huge advantage.

          The only debate is – or should be – whether the military should use drones in civilian law enforcement situations. But again, that should be no different than asking whether soldiers should be deployed with orders to use force against civilians when armed with fighter planes, ships, tanks, MPs carrying rifles and pistols, etc. In either case, the core question doesn’t change. The technology is irrelevant. If it is wrong for a soldier to shoot a civilian, it is wrong for the military to use drones against them. On the other hand if you accept that it is OK for a military policeman or infantryman to use force against our civilian population using gunfire (or batons, knives, pepper spray, bombs) then drones should be OK too.

          • MattMD says:

            The police do not generally shoot someone if they are armed, the suspect has to put another person’s life in danger. It seems you’re conveniently forgetting that the government uses drones to assassinate suspected terrorists, our civilian police forces do not carry out legal assassinations. Other than surveillance have you ever heard of a drone using less than lethal force on someone?

            If anything, police will be able to use drones for surveillance but not armed with weapons.

          • bowersville says:

            Why? Who signs off on expected civilian casualties and what number of civilian casualties is acceptable. That’s a statement, not a question.

  6. sockpuppet says:

    @Ed:

    Of those two churches, only one of them, Friendship Baptist, would have any real problems relocating. (Truthfully, churches relocate all the time for a variety of reasons. The only issue here is that the churches are being forced to relocate to accommodate a stadium that nobody really wants. If someone wanted to build a new highway, rail line, major tourist attraction or some giant research center for Emory/Georgia State/Georgia Tech, eminent domain or similar would be used without a second thought and the churches would be accused of standing in the way of progress and the common good if they fought it.) And if Friendship Baptist ultimately decides to dig their heels in, it will be no skin off Blank’s nose at all. He doesn’t care which site the stadium chooses because he makes the same amount of money either way. Instead, the ones who will have the headache will be Reed and the city, who want to use putting the stadium on that site as a catalyst for revitalizing downtown. (Not much has been said about it publicly, but yes the ideas on the table do include the Braves, who also do not much like their stadium/location/surrounding area and whose lease expires in 2016, and yes they would also like to stay in the city instead of going to the suburbs, plus there are a lot of proposal for new development.) Having to use the alternate site would really harm those plans. But in any case, haggling with Friendship Baptist won’t delay this project very long because deadlines are so tight … construction will have to start in less than a year. If Friendship Baptist doesn’t agree to move in a (very) few months, it will be on to plan B and the alternate site. And Friendship Baptist will be stuck with having to explain why remaining in that location – when again churches move all the time – was more important than redeveloping that area.

      • sockpuppet says:

        Tactics toward what end? The stadium is going to be built. The only question is whether it will be built in an ideal location or a less ideal (for the city’s economic development purposes) site. As for follow the money purposes, the alternate site is actually more expensive than the site that the city wants, that the churches are on. But holding out won’t stop or even delay the project.

  7. The Comma Guy says:

    $14 discount at Express Oil Change for the runs scored yesterday and the Gattis homer run in the 4th means a $144 discount on 4 tires at Kauffman tires.

  8. MattMD says:

    What’s wrong with the ACC for FSU? Is it the ACC’s fault that FSU continually has problems getting by NCState and UF? Or Wake the year before that?

    The UTexas-10 is unstable, I seriously question the sanity of any team that wants to go to that conference.

    I could understand the monetary arguments for wanting to join the SEC but that ship has sailed.

    • Ed says:

      The ACC decided to double down on basketball for one, which is not good for a football school. Its schedule this season is embarassingly soft thanks to the ACC.

      And then (And I promise this is not homerism) the ACC officiating during FSU games has been routinely awful since they joined. As in, so bad the conference has apologized to the school.

      No schools are going anywhere now, all the TV rights are locked up with their conferences for years.

      • MattMD says:

        Did the ACC go out and schedule Bethune-Cookman and Idaho for you guys?

        I wouldn’t worry too much, FSU will probably be playing 2-3 ranked teams by the end of the regular season. (Which was a few more than Georgia played last year).

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