June 2010

Beat the Streak Report: Thursday, June 3

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The roughly 25 percent of streakers who selected Robinson Cano, Ichiro Suzuki or Michael Young feasted like kings yesterday, as each of these sure-swinging batsmen collected hits last night.

Cano is currently riding high with a 16-game streak and is one away from tying Jorge Cantu for the season’s longest run. This leads us to perhaps the biggest dilemma that an aspiring Beat the Streak entrepreneur can face:

Do you keep dancing with the guy/girl you took to the prom, or do you scavenge for other options before your date turns into a pumpkin?

Clearly, Cano is beyond locked in right now, batting .525 over his last 10 games and an absurd .373 for the season. But in all likelihood, he isn’t going to last you the entire 57-game run …right?

So when do you cut bait and look at other options?

I’m not exactly sure, but I can tell you that it won’t be today with Kevin Millwood on the mound.

Gravy train all around! Who’s with me?

Also, if you haven’t already, take a look at yesterday’s Beat the Streak mailbag. I posted it in the late afternoon so there is a pretty decent chance you missed it.

As always, keep the e-mails coming at david.feldman@mlb.com.

Time for Thursday’s picks

Oh, hello there …

? Robinson Cano: 16-game hitting streak; .381 AVG (8-for-21) lifetime vs. Orioles starter Kevin Millwood

? Joe Mauer: .526 AVG (10-for-19) lifetime vs. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez

? Ryan Zimmerman: .500 AVG (6-for-12) lifetime vs. Astros starter Brian Moehler

? Jose Guillen: .444 AVG (8-for-18) lifetime vs. Angels starter Jered Weaver

? Nick Swisher: .355 AVG (11-for-31) lifetime vs. Orioles starter Kevin Millwood

Feeling kinda spicy?

? Garrett Atkins: .636 AVG (7-for-11) lifetime vs. Yankees starter CC Sabathia. Is this even possible?

? Erick Aybar: .455 AVG (5-for-11) lifetime vs. Royals starter Zack Greinke. Yeah, I think I’ll pass.

You’ll thank me later …

? Kevin Youkilis: .111 AVG (1-for-) lifetime vs. Athletics starter Brett Anderson

? Shin-Soo Choo: .167 AVG (2-for-12) lifetime vs. Tigers starter Rick Porcello

? Hanley Ramirez: .000 AVG (0-for-9) lifetime vs. Brewers starter Chris Capuano

Justin Morneau: .143 AVG (3-for-21) lifetime vs. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez

Leaderboard time!

Another one bites the dust, as Adrian Beltre’s 0-fer pushed the reset button on “agentstjohn”‘s 28-game streak last night.

This means we now have a six-way tie for the BTS leaderboard, as each of the following villagers of Streakville are rocking 26-game streaks:

? bathetruth

? jshoreyinsurance

? khouryboysan

? lisacco17

? scan15

? steveellis24

May the best streaker win.

Top MLB streakers

? Robinson Cano: 16 games

? Vernon Wells: 11 games

? Jeff Mathis: 10 games (DL)

? Daric Barton: 9 games

? Casey Blake: 9 games

? Jose Lopez: 9 games

Beat the Streak Report: Mail time!

If there is one thing I learned from asking for some Beat the Streak-related comments, it’s that ohmygŁtness do you people really really love this little fantasy game. I mean, you people love Beat the Streak more than the Real Housewives of New York love being insane. Or more than I loved busting out that u with the two dots on top of it.

How spectacular is that? It’s like a smiley face with an oversized mouth and no nose. Or like some strange math symbol you’ve never seen before that just appears on your Calculus final exam and immediately punches you in the stomach and makes you cross-eyed.

I love those.

Anyway, here are real e-mails sent from real villagers of Streakville:

Hello.  Since you invited questions, there are a couple of things I’ve been wondering.  First, when someone does get to 57, what happens to Beat the Streak?  Will it end there?  Be replaced with something else?  Also, as long as no one gets it, will the prize money continue to increase year by year (if you have any idea)? 

-Daniel M

Interesante.  Daniel, I like your style.  I’ll be totally honest – I have no idea as to the answer of either of these pointed questions. What I do like is Daniel’s unabashed confidencehere. Asking what happens to Beat the Streak when someone actually beats the streak and gets to 57 is like asking a nuclear scientist, “So, once you solve cold fusion, are you going to tackle human teleporting next?” Maybe it’s just me and it’s because it’s my job to monitor the game up close on a day-to-day basis, but let’s not count our chickens before they hatch, ya know? We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  And I’ll stop using nonsensical clichťs …NOW.

As for Part II, I also don’t know. Glad, I’m here. We’re at $3 million now. Last year we were at $1 million and upped that to $1,500,000. So we are currently on pace so that in the year 2025, the Beat the Streak prize money will be somewhere around $85 billion, also known as the opposite of what MacGruber took down at the box office last week; we’re the anti-MacGruber.

What is the longest non-hitting streak in the game?   

-Jeff J.

Love this. This is actually an idea we have toyed around with for some time – creating Beat the Streak: Bizarro Edition. It’d become a game where research entails:

Well, I don’t know if I can take Jason Kendall, his .184 average against Ian Snell is just too high! Snell’s ERA is ONLY 5.28?? Anyone know who Roy Halladay is facing? Is anyone playing a tripleheader?

And while we’re here, here’s my Bizarro Beat the Streak starting lineup:

C: Gerald Laird (.162 AVG)

1B: Carlos Pena (.176)

2B: Luis Valbuena (.134(!))

SS: Adam Everett* (.189)

3B: Brandon Wood (.156)

RF: Willie Harris (.179)

CF: Nate McLouth (.179)

LF: Kyle Blanks (.157)

DH : Ken Griffey Jr. (.184 )

* = Captain

And don’t think it was easy leaving Garrett Atkins off this list.

It wasn’t.

Hi Dave – I think you’re doing an AWESOME job with the report – keep up the great work!!   The reports are entertaining as well as informative and I look forward to reading them.

 - Carol-Ann S. (nardberg)

Oh, well, hello to you … 

Oh, wait, there’s more …

One question that I’ve heard a lot (and I wonder as well) is….how many active players are there???  

Thanks for the compliments, Carol, and thanks even more for the excess question marks, I can’t ever get enough of those.

I’ll be real.  I don’t have an exact number, but I will say that there are a lot of Beat the Streak active players. Tons, really. At least double the highest number kids ever count to when they see if they can count to a million.

And that’s pretty high.

As far as doubleheaders go, I think that you should be credited with 2 games if your player
gets a hit in each game, rather than needing hits in both games to just get credit for 1 game. 

-David S.

Couldn’t agree with you more, David. In fact, I’m pretty sure “lavolpe” is still writing his Beat the Streak Ph. D dissertation, “Doubleheaders: Double the fun, but double the risk” on the BTS blog as we speak. I kid, “lavolpe,” I love the enthusiasm.

Anyway, I too think that if your player gets a hit in each of the doubleheader games you should get credited with two hits for the price of one. It’s a fun all-or-nothing strategy and an easy way to get your streak up to a respectable number in a hurry. It’s like going for the special video bonus round on “Cash Cab”. Who wouldn’t risk it all and go for the special video bonus round on “Cash Cab”?  And furthermore, would you ever want to be friends with somebody that didn’t go for the special video bonus round?

Exactly. And here at Beat the Streak, we want to be your friend.

In short, I’ll see what we can do for next year.

Hi David,

Can you get this done?


CZamhitting.jpgAdd Carlos Zambrano to Chi Cubs list hitters to pick from in HR BTS.  He swings a mean bat and now that he is returning to the starting rotation he will be batting again.  As tough as HR BTS is he would be someone I would take as my streak is usually at zero anyway!

-dragbunt104

Why not, right? My question is, why limit it to Home Run Beat the Streak?

If you have the audacity to risk everything and bank on a pitcher getting a hit in one of our games, you should not only be saluted, but you should be rewarded exponentially. I’d actually be in favor of crediting you with a +7 on your streak. In fact, I think it’s time we vary up the rewards for your player getting a hit into tiers.

Here’s what I’m thinking: 

If you select a pitcher, say Carlos Zambrano, and he gets a hit, that’s +7 onto your streak.

If you select a backup catcher, say Alex Avila, you get +5.

If you select someone that should be a backup catcher, say Matt Treanor, you get +3.

And, of course, if you select a Molina brother, you get +2.

How is this not an incredible idea?

What happens if a player is removed after 2 at bats with no hits? (2 strikeouts) Is the streak over?

Thanks!

Brian Gelman

Yes. And while we’re here, I’d like to address the exclamation mark (!) at the end of “Thanks!” issue. It’s a problem we all deal with every day. We e-mail a co-worker, co-worker does a favor for us, we are appreciative that said favor has been completed, we want to show appreciation for the completed favor and we end up panicking and drop the (!) at the end of thanks. This happens to us all.

Not that it wakes me up at night in a pool of sweat, but I think it’s time we pump the brakes on this little procedure; I just always feel like a five-year-old whenever I toss around !s.

I refuse to believe I’m alone here.

And I understand the lack of alternatives – you don’t want to come off as rude and you don’t want to go with an all-caps “THANKS” since it looks like you are yelling at the guy.

I don’t have an easy solution. A period (.) somewhat gets the job done, but doesn’t hammer the point home strong enough.

Which brings us back to ‹.

Perfect.

Thanks

Anyway, thanks for all the e-mails.  Feel free to drop be a line at david.feldman@mlb.com whenever you desire.

Also, please start following our new Twitter account:  @Beat_the_Streak

-Dave

 

Beat the Streak Report: Wednesday, June 2

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Hi-fives all around Streakland yesterday, as an incredible 13 of the top 15 selections for the day each laced hits, combining to extend the streaks of about 45 percent of the universe.

Magglio Ordonez was the day’s biggest Debbie Downer, going 0-for-4 against the Indians and disproving the common misnomer that despite what most think, Beat the Streak is not like the SATs — you don’t automatically get a hit by just writing in your name and selecting a batter vs. the Indians.

Anyway, my mailbox was incredibly flooded yesterday with e-mails from you folks with stellar ideas, questions and changes you’d like to see with the BTS Report and the BTS game in general. I’ll post a full mailbag edition on the Beat the Streak blog update later in the day, so there is still time for you to send in your splendid and definitely way-smarter-than-anything-I-could-dream-of ideas to me, just drop me a line at david.feldman@mlb.com.

Time for Wednesday’s picks

 

Oh, hello there …

? Robinson Cano: 15-game hitting streak; 0-2 lifetime vs. Orioles starter Brad Bergesen. But, come on, it’s Brad Bergesen.

? Chase Utley: .444 AVG (12-for-27) lifetime vs. Braves starter Derek Lowe

? Chipper Jones: .438 AVG (7-for-16) lifetime vs. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick

? Ryan Doumit: .471 AVG (8-for-17) lifetime vs. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano

? Denard Span: .462 AVG (6-for-13) lifetime vs. Mariners starter Cliff Lee

? Nick Markakis: .353 AVG (6-for-17) lifetime vs. Yankees starter Phil Hughes

Feeling kinda spicy?

? Ryan Theriot: .359 AVG (14-for-39) lifetime vs. Pirates starter Zach Duke. I could not be more confident in The Riot in this one.

You’ll thank me later …

? Brandon Phillips: .167 AVG (4-for-24) lifetime vs. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter

? Brad Hawpe: .107 AVG (3-for-28) lifetime vs. Giants starter Matt Cain

? Carlos Gonzalez: .000 AVG (0-for-11) lifetime vs. Giants starter Matt Cain

Leaderboard time!

Well, there goes the whole 27-game streak jinx.

“agentstjohn” rode Derek Jeter’s 2-for-3 performance to extend his BTS journey to 28 games.

“agentstjohn” is now officially 49.1 percent on his way to kingdom come.

Top MLB streakers

? Robinson Cano: 15 games

? Jeff Mathis: 10 games (DL)

? Vernon Wells: 10 games

? Derek Jeter: 9 games

? Reed Johnson: 8 games

? Daric Barton: 8 games

? Casey Blake: 8 games

? Jose Lopez: 8 games

Beat the Streak Report: Tuesday, June 1

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I don’t know what’s better news: The fact that the top six player selections each laced hits to extend the streaks of about 35 percent of Streakland combined, or that I keep thinking it’s Monday only to repeatedly hover my mouse over the clock thing on the bottom right corner of my monitor and it reads “Tuesday, June 1, 2010.”

That clock is so wise and just the bearer of the bestest news.

And what better way to celebrate a great start to a shortened Beat the Streak workweek then to reach out to the BTS world for a little Q&A?

That’s right, I’m asking all of you fantasy game multi-million-dollar entrepreneurs out there to send in any questions, comments, qualms or just incredible ideas that have anything to do with Beat the Streak to david.feldman@mlb.com.

Think the Beat the Streak Report needs a little face lift? Some lipo? One of those sounds-amazingly-painful gastric band surgeries?

Let me know and drop me a line at david.feldman@mlb.com.

I will post them in tomorrow’s Beat the Streak Report and we can all get wiser together.

Just like the clock thing.

Time for Monday’s picks

Wait a second …

Time for Tuesday’s picks

So wise!

Oh, hello there …

? Manny Ramirez: .548 AVG (17-for-31) lifetime vs. Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren

? Chone Figgins: .563 AVG (9-for-16) lifetime vs. Twins starter Nick Blackburn

? Carl Crawford: .467 AVG (7-for-15) lifetime vs. Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet

? Chipper Jones: .409 AVG (9-for-22) lifetime vs. Phillies starter Cole Hamels

? Ty Wigginton: .355 AVG (11-for-31) lifetime vs. Yankees starter Javier Vazquez

Feeling kinda spicy?

? Casey Blake: .351 AVG (13-for-37) lifetime vs. Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren. It’s pretty much Octoberfest when it comes to Dan Haren these days.

You’ll thank me later …

? Troy Tulowitzki: .152 AVG (5-for-33) lifetime vs. Giants starter Barry Zito

? Bobby Abreu: .167 AVG (2-for-12) lifetime vs. Royals starter Brian Bannister

? Albert Pujols: .182 AVG (2-for-11) lifetime vs. Reds starter Johnny Cueto

Leaderboard time!

“kneetgm”, our leader entering the weekend, saw his/her streak bite the dust at 27 games to become the fifth BTSer who was KO’d at the 27-game mark.

Anybody else find this a smidgen interesting? Just me? Alright, just checking …

Anyway, let’s see if our new leader, “agentstjohn” can buck the trend and eclipse the 27-game mark tonight.

Top MLB streakers

? Robinson Cano: 14 games

? Jeff Mathis: 10 games (DL)

? Jose Reyes: 9 games

? Vernon Wells: 9 games

? Derek Jeter: 8 games

? Reed Johnson: 8 games

? David Ortiz: 8 games

? Denard Span: 8 games

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