I really need to get my temper under control.

Last weekend I drank several shots of Jagermeister, decked a guy, punched awnings, ran from a policeman on a bike through a graveyard over a fence and through alleyways back to the main street near where I started. It was there, hiding behind a bush exhausted from sprinting that I was found by another police officer. Within a minute the original bike officer arrived and shortly thereafter I was arrested for disorderly conduct.

It's a shame because I met a nice young lady that night who seemed to have a little bit of interest. All of it dissipated, of course, when I knocked that drunk fool on his ass.

Three days later I was in court, ready to accept the D.A.'s offer of a $200 fine and a $50 victim witness fee. Of course, the judge asked for the police report to be read in court which lead to my downfall. The document was an embroidered mess featuring a crazed lunatic trampling graves and yelling various taunts, including "fuck you, fuck the police" and otherwise being verbally abusive.

The judge was appalled and asked me why this happened. I was surprised by the question, evidenced by my response: "I have no reason." After some serious reprimanding, the judge recomended in addition to the fees, a written apology to that poor police officer whose feelings must have been hurt, a year probation, screening for alcohol, and evaluation for anger management. I almost accepted on the spot but was unable to decide. At which point I said, "I need a lawyer." I promptly applied for a public defender. The probation, the apology and the fine are acceptable. But the alcohol screening and the evaluation for anger management are unacceptable. I will never be able to convince anyone that I don't have an anger problem. I thought about this for an hour and decided that even if I remained completely silent and stoic as possible during the screening I'd still fail. I determined that "evaluation" basically means "sign up". As in "sign up" for anger management. The alcohol screening is total bullshit. I'm not an alcoholic. I have problems controlling my emotions, my impulses and my anger. Alcohol makes it worse. And I know that many would say this makes me an alcoholic, but this is akin to saying that anyone who drinks is alcoholic. These folks would have you believe that sixty percent of the population is alcoholic. This is a rehash of prohibition era sentiment. If you admit to drinking, if you admit that it has any effect on your behavior or your life, then you're an alcoholic. The hassle of having to be accountable to some agency who can call you at any time and demand your urine is far worse in my mind than not drinking.

I felt like Fred Sanford having a token heart attack when I watched the Yankees defeat the Red Sox. That palpable sink in the chest region. It felt good knowing that the Cubs blew it too. I'm also thankful that there was no Cubs vs. Red Sox World Series. This seems like cheating the respective curses. After all, barring apocalypse, one team has to win. It's a can't lose situation regarding curses in general. It's much more poetic if the curses are broken against fortunate teams such as the Marlins or the Yankees.

But poetry has no business in baseball anyways.


Babe Ruth should be glad he developed his home run stroke in 1918 because his pitching career looks like it was about to be over.

At the age of 20, in 1915, he broke out as basically a league average pitcher. Notice his strikeouts per inning pitched and his walks per nine. 112 Ks in 217 innings is a little over 4.5 and 85 BB in 217 IP is something like 4 BB per nine. In 1916 his control improved drastically and his strikeouts per nine improved slightly. This was his best season. At the age of 22, in 1917, his numbers tailed off. More hits per inning but fewer walks (net increase of 4). But his K/IP declined severely. 170K in 323 IP in 1916 versus 128K in 326 IP in 1917. He even gave up two more homeruns than the year before. He comepleted 12 more games in 1917 but had 3 fewer shutouts. He probably completed more games because 1916 saw him gain the confidence of the manager as no longer a young arm but now a workhorse. Unfortunately his pitching career was doomed. In 1918, the first year The Babe started hitting homeruns, his pitching totally fell off. More hits per inning, way fewer strikeouts. He started 19 games and finished 18. His strikeouts per nine innings pitched is something like 2.5.
The next year he gave up more hits than innings pitched, walked more people and still wasn't striking anybody out. Lucky for him he hit 29 homeruns that year and the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees who saw the wisdom in letting him swing the bat full time.

His pitching data:

1914 19 BOS AL 2 1 4 3 1 0 0 23.0 21 10 1 7 3 3.91 2.68 68
1915 20 BOS AL 18 8 32 28 16 1 0 217.7 166 59 3 85 112 2.44 2.78 114
1916 21 BOS AL 23 12 44 41 23 9 1 323.7 230 63 0 118 170 1.75 2.77 158
1917 22 BOS AL 24 13 41 38 35 6 2 326.3 244 73 2 108 128 2.01 2.58 128
1918 23 BOS AL 13 7 20 19 18 1 0 166.3 125 41 1 49 40 2.22 2.69 121
1919 24 BOS AL 9 5 17 15 12 0 1 133.3 148 44 2 58 30 2.97 3.02 102

And his relevant hitting numbers.

1918 23 BOS AL 95 317 50 95 26 11 11 66 6 58 58 .300 .411 .555 176 3 2
1919 24 BOS AL 130 432 103 139 34 12 29 114 7 101 58 .322 .456 .657 284 3 6

I just looked at some of the other stats from this era, apparently the league leader in K/IP in the years discussed (in 1917 for ex. Walter Johnson led the league with 5.22 K/9IP) was rather low. Ruth was probably around league average. But we cannot ignore the fact that in 1917 and 1918 his strikeout ratio fell significantly each year. The only explanation that could save his pitching career is the hypothesis that in 1917 he knew he was a go to guy and that he was going to finish just about every game he started so he threw fewer unhittable pitches and more close pitches--hoping the batter would put them in play quickly and let his fielders record the outs. Basically the argument is that he paced himself in order to throw less pitches and finish more games.

You could also argue that his lowered K total in 1917 means nothing as many pitchers of the day had similar variations. And go on to say that his pitching decline in 1918 was, understandably, because he was playing in the field most of the time and didn't have the same focus, energy (what have you) for pitching.