PewDiePie Makes $15M/Year and Is a Racist

Sigh.

I haven’t watched much PewDiePie but occasionally I’ve enjoyed one of his playthroughs as a way to get a sense for a game. Now, after he’s been dropped by Disney and YouTube, I realize from the reports that he’s a dirty scumbag and a hero to neo-Nazi hate groups. (I also realize he was pulling in $15M per year for his goofball videos. WHAT?!?!)

This is yet another sign that the Internet is making it so we can’t have nice things. It used to be that you could watch baseball, play videogames, and pretend for a few isolated moments every day that we can all coexist without hating each other based on superficialities.

But no, that’s no longer the case. Baseball’s now political (I cite the congressional hearings where Democrats and Republicans lined up on party lines to support or criticize Roger Clemens for PED use). Choosing a home improvement store or a pizza delivery service is now political. And watching a freaking game playthrough is political.

I blame you, PewDiePie. Die, PewDiePie, die.

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Scott Feldman’s Revival? And Bending the Rules in the Oldest Game

Normally this blog is about videogames, but today is about a different kind of game. The summer game! Baseball, of course!

Scott Feldman Reborn?

Here’s an insight for you baseball fans. The Astros’ Scott Feldman is one of those veteran pitchers who’s now vacillating between the bullpen and a starting role. He’s 31, has been pitching in the majors since 2004, and has been doing a pretty good job this season, 5-3 with a 2.76 ERA, down from last year’s 3.90. But he was bumped to the bullpen in late April and like all pitchers who signed on as starters and are now essentially filling in where needed, Feldman feels a little lost.

The interesting part is that, pushed out of his comfort zone, Feldman is now experiencing a renaissance of sorts as his fastball, typically in the high 80s, is now blazing in the mid 90s. That’s the kind of velocity difference that marks the gap between a control pitcher and a strikeout artist.

Yesterday, Feldman got his chance to show how his velocity holds up in a five-inning spot start against the Angels. He gave up a single unearned run, struck out two, and didn’t walk a man. The key data, though, is his average fastball velocity, which came in at 90.7 MPH. That’s pretty good, since it takes a lot of fastballs to get through five innings.

Although a far cry from his best average of the year, which was 94.3 MPH in a one-inning relief stint against the White Sox on May 19, he threw harder yesterday than in any of his other 2016 starts, where his FBv varied from 88.0 to 89.4 MPH. Is he better as a reliever than as a starter? Hard to say, and that depends on the needs of the team. But here’s to Feldman’s revival. It just goes to show that your comfort zone is often the last place you want to be. I think that’s true of life as well as games of all sorts.

Bending (the Rules) Like Beckham

Okay, you gotta check out this pitching delivery:

Baseball’s an old sport, and a conservative one. But as we all know there are some old rules that haven’t kept up with the times, like the “ghost tag” that umpires allow around second base and the various nuances of what gets called a strike at home plate.

That’s why this guy — Carter Capps of the Marlins — is such a shocker. But the fact is… if the rules don’t clearly indicate that you can’t leap off the mound and throw your pitch when you land… well, you can. And as a result you’re the best and most cheesy reliever in the game, circa 2016. I mean, that crap is just hilarious.

But come 2017, we’d better see a freakin’ rule change, because that crap is just cheating.

All Star Game 2009

all-star-game-2009

The NL Didn’t Have to Lose the All Star Game in 2009

The All Star Game 2009 is over, and the NL lost again. Good thing the Astros (the team that unfortunately has my witless loyalty) aren’t going to the WS, because now I don’t have to be angry about losing the 2009 All-Star Game.

Wait, I’m still angry about the 2009 All-Star Game. The American League has owned this contest for too long. The NL played this All-Star Game like a bunch of rookies, especially with all the fielding boo-boos and missed cut-off throws.

The crucial juncture IMHO was Heath Bell against hotshot rookie Adam Jones. At this point the All Star Game is tied in the 8th. Bell has a devastating breaking ball and a high-90s heater. He gives up a triple to Granderson, and then after an intentional walk, he faces the rook.

All Star Game 2009, Now 100% Strategy-Free

Bell throws two filthy breakers – sliders, I think. They look positively Brad Lidge-like. Jones is helpless against them, fouling them off his shoetops. Then Bell goes to the heater. “Good idea,” I think. “This guy is going to show him some heat to set up the breaking-ball strikeout. Classic technique against a rookie who’s never seen an All-Star Game-quality slider.”

Bell throws Jones another heater, and another. Unsurprisingly, the rookie is getting dialed in on that, catching up with each pitch. You don’t make the majors if you can’t hit straight cheese. “Where’s the slider?!?” I think. “And why is that four-seamer so damned straight?” Jones unsurprisingly pounds the crap out of the fourth straight fastball he sees in the AB. Fly ball to right. Granderson scores. Goodbye, All-Star Game 2009.

The Loser of the All Star Game 2009 Speaks Out

Here’s some Bell wisdom from the All-Star Game wrap at Fanhouse.com:

Bell explained that he had no scouting report whatsoever on Granderson.

“That’s the only thing that was worrying me [before the game], how am I going to pitch them?” Bell said. “I was trying to throw it by him, simple as that. I didn’t do my job. I probably should have thrown a breaking ball there. Oh well. I’m driving with my eyes closed.”

[I’m guessing this is actually what he said about Jones, not Granderson, since Jones is the rookie and Granderson’s been around awhile. Apparently this guy is so prepared that he never bothered to talk to any of the coaches or catchers about the guys he was about to face. I mean, it’s just the freakin’ All Star Game. Anyhow, here’s what he did after losing the 2009 All Star Game.]

“I got pissed, threw my glove, kicked a door, like I normally do,” he said. “Then I realized I’ve been pitching really good lately and I kind of needed a wake-up call and this is a good wake-up call, because it doesn’t count on my record. It didn’t ruin it for the Padres, my ultimate team.”

When it was pointed out to Bell that he may have ruined it in the World Series for the Dodgers, who have the majors’ best record, he seemed to get some satisfaction.

“I’ve ruined it for the Dodgers with saves against them,” he said, “so I’m just doing what I normally do.”

Would that be… losing the All-Star Game 2009?