Dook-UNC has nothing on Aris Salonika-PAOK

April 22, 2008 at 9:06 am | Posted in Jackie Manuel, Lates Links | 3 Comments
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On Franklin Street, we might occasionally turn a car over and light it on fire. Not proud moments for the university. But at least there isn’t anyone in the car. I’m glad Reyshawn is OK. Aris and PAOK have a long rivalry that I thought was only strong in football. Think Cameron is a tough place to play, check out the Alexandrio Melathron. Keep your head up, Reyshawn. No, really.

Wayne, Tywon, and Tyler have Q-Tip’s support! I’m sure they are relieved. I thought Danny Green would consider his options too.

I don’t really mention much Carolina baseball here, but anytime Bill James makes his way into an article . . . I must link:

Sabermetricians like Bill James are convinced that a batting order doesn’t make much difference.

“There is no real evidence that batting order matters,” James has said previously. “What matters is having good hitters. Who hits second and who hits sixth…there is little evidence that it makes any difference.”

Maybe that’s true. Maybe over the course of a long 75-game season–or, in James’s case, a 162-game major league season–everything evens out. But sometimes baseball is a game about feel. And the feeling in Chapel Hill after Carolina’s sweep of Boston College is that Mike Fox has hit upon a lineup that seems to bring the right hitters to the plate in the right situations.

It is not VORP, WARP, or OPS. Baseball is about FEEL (Fraudulent Empty Easy Layout?). What is Adam talking about?

The current order is a bit unconventional, because it features Dustin Ackley in the leadoff spot. Ackley is probably Carolina’s best pure hitter, which suggests he should be in the third spot, the usual domain of a team’s best hitter.

But he also has terrific speed, a good idea of the strike zone, and is followed by solid run producers, which makes him a solid leadoff candidate.

Pretty unconventional to bat the player with the highest On Base Percentage first?…what? I’ll leave it there, because honestly I have not watched one minute of (ping) college (ping) baseball (ping) this (ping) season. It appears that Alex Keaton is doing a fine job, batting his guys that get on base ahead of the guys who can slug them home. If that is FEEL, I’m all for it.

Tar Heel Fan hears of rumors that Billy f*cking Packer might be fired. Also there will be peace in the Middle East. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but it just seems too good to be true. Chat with Joe’s intern. A hard foul.

Have a lovely Tuesday.



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  1. Dammit you scooped me. I was about to post this!

  2. Alex Keaton? Is that a “Family Ties” reference?

    Does James really argue that where folks hit in the batting order is irrelevant? I mean, wouldn’t you want better hitters at the top, since they will get more at bats?

    I must admit, I find the whole stat geeks vs. no-nothings debate to be a bit like watching atheisists vs fundamentalists. That’s why I’m agnostic.

  3. Yes. Yes it Is.

    Yes. Yes he does.

    Yes. Yes you would. Some stat geek did some math and determined that batting order did not matter. I suppose the randomness of which .320 hitter goes 1-4 when batting 3rd followed by a. .298 hitter going 2-3 when batting 4th is just not significant. I think it is likely that it was only moron managers that put Juan Pierre types who can’t get on base at the top of the lineup that cause the stat geeks to believe that.

    Larry King is agnostic.

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