TRUM: Fun with numbers

May, 29, 2007
Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless information and Musings for Tuesday, May 29.

Sorry, I would have been here sooner, but I couldn't decide which to ignore first: the Stanley Cup finals or the start of the WNBA season. I'm sure there are things in this life I care less about, but nothing comes to mind. I don't even know what channel the Stanley Cup finals are on. Seriously, that's not a joke.

What is a joke is the fact that I could not get brunch on Sunday. There are some good things about living in Connecticut. And I am sure eventually I will find out what they are. But until then, it's insane.

Every place closes on Sunday. It's like a ghost state. My friend and I drove around to three different places and couldn't find one open. Understand, these are the ones that we were told "would be open," by people who supposedly knew such things. It was like we were asking if there was a place that served goat's blood. "Wow, brunch. Huh. That's a new one. [Calling in back] Marge, you know any place that serves brunch? [Others join in now.] Isn't there that place off the freeway that does?" "No, they closed three years ago." "Huh, well I know there's a place to get toast 10 miles down the road here."

It's insane. When we finally did find a place that was open, they didn't serve brunch. I just wanted some stupid French toast. Nothing crazy, nothing outlandish, just some bread dipped in batter.

We finally found a pizza place that was open, but we had to hurry because they were closing soon. I'll be very excited once they get the Internet here and I no longer have to take a horse to work.

Let's have some fun with numbers.

1. Number of innings it took Ryan Madson to give up two earned runs Monday night in a non-save situation. Antonio Alfonseca's grip on the closer role, such as it is, just got stronger.

2. Number of days in a row Andruw Jones has hit a home run. People were freaking out about Gary Sheffield, Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright, Ryan Howard … and we say the same thing every time. Nine times out of 10, players will do what they are supposed to do. Over the last two years, Jones has hit over 90 home runs. Your chance to buy low on him will be gone by the end of the week.

2.41. ERA of Chad Durbin over his last seven starts.

4. Number of third basemen in major league baseball that have more home runs than Adrian Beltre. He now has nine and is hitting .275. He is available in way too many mixed leagues. Remember, he's always hot in the second half and he already has five steals.

5. Number of bricks no one's ever been able to jump. There was a rumor that a kid in the next neighborhood jumped four bricks and a piece of wood. But no one's ever jumped five bricks.

6. Number of home runs Lyle Overbay now has in the month of May. He also has 15 RBIs and is hitting .309 over that span.

6. Again. Number of men left on base by Travis Hafner Monday night. He's down to .259 and there might not be a better buy-low guy.

7. Number of total home runs Craig Monroe now has. I told you guys last week. He's heating up.

9. Number of RBIs Miguel Tejada has over the past seven days. He also has three home runs and is hitting .440 over that span. Last chance to buy low on him as well.

10. Number of hits Jose Contreras gave up in 5 1/3 innings Monday night. This is why I hate Jose Contreras. I finally started to think maybe he had turned it around.

12. Number of stolen bases Willy Tavares now has to go along with his .312 batting average. He is hitting .339 for the month of May.

17. Number of times I cursed Steve Trachsel last night. On ESPN2's "First Take" yesterday, I told folks to start all of their Royals last night because Trachsel's road ERA was over five and the Royals have been hitting well recently. He had a complete game. I hate Steve Trachsel.

21. Number of hits Akinori Iwamura has in 59 at-bats this year for a .356 average. He went 2-for-3 in his season debut.

27. Number of fouls called on Utah last night. Compare that with the 17 fouls called on the road team, San Antonio. The Spurs are a dirty team of thugs. I really don't like them. Make no mistake, I can't stand Utah either. Carlos Boozer is a scumbag for what he did to Cleveland and Jerry Sloan isn't high on my list, either. As a longtime Lakers fan, I'll always have a soft spot for Derek "0.4" Fisher and Robert Horry (even with the hip check) thanks to his 3 against Sacramento. But Utah got hosed last night by the refs. They are not as good a team, but still. I hate the Spurs.

There's nothing to love in Detroit, either, so I'm left with Cleveland. Go Cavs, I guess. But I'm probably sitting out this NBA Finals.

32. Number of pitches Jose Valverde needed Monday night to get two outs before being pulled. He gave up three earned runs and almost blew the save before Brandon Lyon came in and nailed it down. Valverde will get the next chance, but the leash just got shorter. I've been saying it for a while now, but Jose Valverde will lose the closer job within the next six weeks.

42. Number of pitches David Aardsma threw Monday night. He's either injured or overworked, because he's starting to be ineffective. Three walks, two hits and one earned run in 1 1/3 innings.

5.26. Big Fat Bartolo Colon's ERA after last night. See Trachsel, Steve.

53. Number of stolen bases Norris Hopper had in the minors the past two years. He's the biggest beneficiary of the Ryan Freel injury. He's a great add in NL-only leagues if you need speed.

688. Combined gross in millions I am predicting for "Pirates 3" and "Harry Potter." Every year, my friends from Hollywood and I do a summer movie pool where we all pick our top 10 movies (in terms of total gross) of the summer. It starts with Memorial Day weekend and this year we are disallowing both "Pirates" and "Harry Potter." ("Spiderman 3" and "Shrek 3" opened before Memorial Day.) Total box office wins and we give a bonus for picking a movie in the right order. In other words, if you pick "Rush Hour 3" as the sixth-highest-grossing movie and it ranks sixth over the summer, you get a $5 million bonus.

I won it two years ago and I mentioned the league to Bill Simmons once, who mentioned it in a column of his, and some friends of mine started a free Web site based on it called, if you feel like playing a version yourself. Anyways, every year, I get asked about this league, so here ya go. After taking out "Pirates" and "Harry Potter," here's my top 10, in order:

1. "Ratatouille"
2. "Transformers"
3. "The Bourne Ultimatum"
4. "Fantastic Four 2"
5. "Evan Almighty"
6. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"
7. "Ocean's 13"
8. "Knocked Up"
9. "Rush Hour 3"
10. "Surf's Up"

I was torn between "The Simpsons" and "Surf's Up" at No. 10. I just don't feel any excitement for the Simpsons and people love their penguins. Crazy for them. In fact, if I could find a penguin that knew anything about fantasy sports, I'd hire it. Come on. A fantasy sports talking penguin? That would be the you-know-what.

896. Number of pitches thrown by A.J. Burnett over his last eight starts. Including 127 in his last outing. If you won't sell high off of that, I can't help you.

Cyberstalk the TMR



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