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Gammons Homage Notes, Auld Lang Syne edition
2005-12-29 16:18
by Will Carroll

* So what the hell is "auld lang syne"? That's easy ... now. Wikipedia is both one of the coolest tools around and a frightening problem.

If anyone's going to try and take on Baseball Reference, it will be a Wiki that does it. I still have the copy of Total Baseball that I was given in high school somewhere, but it's dusty and unused. Lee Sinins' SBE is pretty friggin' amazing, but doesn't work on Mac -- it may be the one thing I miss from the PC World.

* I make my living as an "expert." Does it worry me that this book proves that I'm not likely to make better predictions that anyone else?

If you didn't realize my predictions suck, then you haven't been paying attention. I admit they suck, know they suck, and make them anyway. Know why? Because the debate is interesting. It's funny that someone like me that hates, hates, hates blog commenting on most stories really likes the idea of a web-based debate. If things happened like they did recently with the "Ten Good Bloggers" discussion, I'd change my mind about comments. Until then, I'll continue to think that they're the talk radio of the web.

* While the Blue Jays spent the most and the rest of the AL East is getting all the attention, no one is noticing the very quiet job of restructuring that Josh Byrnes and Peter Woodfork are orchestrating in Arizona. The signing of Eric Byrnes (no relation) finishes off a great winter where they off-loaded older and unhappy players and opened up slots for their young players. Luis Gonzalez remains and he's likely to be a nice acquisition for someone at the deadline -- unless the D-Backs are running away with a very winnable division. With a great minor league system in place, the D-Backs could be a very, very good team for the latter part of the decade.

* 24 is back soon, but not soon enough. There's some amazing additions to the cast, I'm told, and perhaps the return of Elisha Cuthbert. Peter Weller? Julian Sands? Holy cow, that's a casting dream from my teenage days. Please tell me there's some sort of wink towards Buckaroo Bonzai or Gothic!

* Corections. Err, corrections. How do we deal with corrections on the web? Do we take the "it posted, so treat it like print" model or do we acknowledge an initial error with a strikethru -- or do we fix things when they don't affect the outcome of the story? I'll give an example - if I said that Juan Pierre strained his left hamstring in UTK, but it was the case that it was his right hamstring, should that be changed? To me, I think it gets changed if it's caught quickly and doesn't change the story materially. In this example, Pierre would have the same problem no matter which leg and it wouldn't change how fantasy players would react. (Yes, I know who my core market is.) If it turned out that my source was incorrect and that Pierre in fact had a knee problem, then I would correct it in the next column, because that changes things and deserves acknowledgement.

*The new iPod rules. Flat out rules. The video capabilities aren't as mind-altering as carrying around a couple thousand songs, but they're nice. I can see watching a show or movie while sitting in the airport or waiting at the doctor's office. It has an amazing "oooh" factor as well. A broader selection from the iTunes store would help, but then again, if you really want movies, you go to Blockbuster and rip a DVD or hit up Bit Torrent.

* I may be sick, but this Dick Clark thing might be the best NYE marketing gimmick since dropping a ball. (By the way, I only learned this year that Times Square is named after the New York Times. I thought it was because that's where we marked the passage of time. I should have checked the Wikipedia.)

* I'm soooooo done with the Cubs. Seriously. I mean it this time.

* I'm debating an interesting writing project. More on this soon. The big question now is structure and if it's something that can safely run at

2005-12-29 19:46:40
1.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, but do you know why they drop the ball? Hie yourself back to Wikipedia for the answer.

And not just the ball in Times Square. I mean a big ball from a tower in general.

2005-12-29 20:04:00
2.   Ken Arneson
"Auld Lang Syne" makes sense to me, but only because I speak Swedish. Swedish has a similar phrase: "för länge sen".

The equivalent Modern English cognate words, I suppose, would be "old long since". But the phrase really means something like "a long time ago".

There was a time when the Anglo-Saxon languages of the British Isles and the Scandinavian languages were mutually intelligible. There are a lot of language structures that have disappeared in English, but remain in Scotland and Scandinavia.

Anyway, the new year is the appropriate time, I think, to pause, remember, and drink a toast to the "days of long ago."

2005-12-29 22:32:46
3.   Erik Siegrist
To paraphrase Magnolia:

You may be through with the Cubs, Will, but the Cubs ain't through with you...

2005-12-30 06:29:03
4.   Baby Maddux
Will, I don't think we're allowed to be through with the Cubs. We have to sit there and say things like "I know it's July 23, and the Cubs are 12 games out, but if Jacque Jones starts hitting .320, and Prior, Wood, Maddux, and Dempster come back from the DL, we could win 25 or 26 of the next 30 and be right back in it!"
2005-12-30 06:47:05
5.   Todd S
I'm drawing my Cubs' line in the sand as follows:

If Dusty Baker is still managing the squad on opening day in 2007, I will no longer be subject to an accident of geography and marketing; I will no longer root for the Cubs.

My new team? Still undecided, although I might just adopt my dad's favorite team: the Cleveland Indians.

Still, Wrigley Field makes it hard for me to be forever "done." Sigh

2005-12-30 08:24:01
6.   dbt
I've sworn not to attend a single game next year unless Dusty is fired or they make the postseason.

I may extend that vow beyond next season if necessary.

2005-12-30 13:13:54
7.   RickM
Arizona is an interesting team. They are a smaller market than Minnesota, yet have been competitive, and will likely be in the future. I'd wait to see their pitching before I'd crown them the favorite, even in the NL West.

I'll hang with the Cubs ... I always do. By the way, I'd make the Prior for Tejeda deal in a minute, even though I don't think it will happen.

2005-12-30 13:21:23
8.   Norm
It appears that also returning to 24 will be former presidential advisors, Wayne Palmer and Lynn Kresge (the Michelle Forbes character who fell from a balcony on Day 2). Did anyone else notice Jude Ciccolella (Mike Novick) dancing in a gay bar on Everyone Hates Chris? It had me in stitches.
2005-12-31 11:26:48
9.   Smed
If the Cubs sign Marquis Grissom I think I'll just give up.
2006-01-03 11:57:26
10.   Murray
Can you guess what Herald Square was named after?
2006-01-07 10:45:15
11.   sforman

I already have a wiki on Baseball Reference. The bullpen.

Here is the Charlie Metro entry for an idea what we are trying to accomplish.


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