a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Top 200 Major League Baseball Players Ever #162-160 RICK REUSCHEL, JOSE CRUZ, ROBIN VENTURA





EDIT - YOU CAN FIND THE UPDATED RANKINGS BY SEARCHING THE LABEL FOR BEST BASEBALL PLAYERS EVER

#162 RICK REUSCHEL RHP Cubs/Giants
1972-91
ERA+ 115
PW 23.2
WARP3 101.2

#161 JOSE CRUZ LF Astros
1970-88
OPS+ 121
BFW 20.5
WARP3 101.6

#160 ROBIN VENTURA 3B White Sox/Mets
1989-04
OPS+ 115
BFW 24.5
WARP3 108.8

Three modern ballplayers, higher than you'd think and higher than the Palmer number - but lower than the WARP3 numbers would rank them, as each tops 100 and Ventura, staking a claim as severely underrated given the value of his third base glove, solidly over 100.

159 to go.

Revelation 19 - The 2008 MLB All Star Rosters Should Be:




The parameters - 32 spots now on each roster, each team must be represented. I've gone with 20 position players and 12 pitchers for each league. Pictured are my two starting second basemen, Ian Kinsler and Chase Utley, who would get my midseason MVP votes.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

C BRIAN MCCANN ATL
RUSSELL MARTIN LA
RYAN DOUMIT PIT
1B LANCE BERKMAN HOU
ALBERT PUJOLS StL
ADRIAN GONZALEZ SD
2B CHASE UTLEY PHI
DAN UGGLA FLA
SS HANLEY RAMIREZ FLA
JOSE REYES NYM
RAFAEL FURCAL LAD
3B CHIPPER JONES ATL
DAVID WRIGHT NYM
OF PAT BURRELL PHI, MATT HOLLIDAY COL, JASON BAY PIT
NATE MCLOUTH PIT, CARLOS BELTRAN NYM, RYAN BRAUN MIL,
RYAN LUDWICK STL

P TIM LINCECUM SFG
BEN SHEETS MIL
EDINSON VOLQUEZ CIN
COLE HAMELS PHI
CARLOS ZAMBRANO CHI
DAN HAREN ARI
TIM HUDSON ATL
JOHAN SANTANA NYM
JAIR JURRJENS ATL
JON RAUCH WAS
KERRY WOOD CHC
BRAD LIDGE PHI

AMERICAN LEAGUE

C JOE MAUER MIN
DIONER NAVARRO TB
1B KEVIN YOUKILIS BOS
JASON GIAMBI NYY
2B IAN KINSLER TEX
BRIAN ROBERTS BAL
PLACIDO POLANCO DET
SS MICHAEL YOUNG TEX
DEREK JETER NYY
3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ NYY
CARLOS GUILLEN DET
EVAN LONGORIA TB
OF MILTON BRADLEY TEX, GRADY SIZEMORE CLE, JOSH HAMILTON TEX
JD DREW BOS, CARLOS QUENTIN CWS, JERMAINE DYE CWS,
MANNY RAMIREZ BOS

P CLIFF LEE CLE
JOHN DANKS CWS
SHAWN MARCUM TOR
JUSTIN DUCHSCHERER OAK
ROY HALLADAY TOR
FELIX HERNANDEZ SEA
RICH HARDEN OAK
ZACK GREINKE KC
JOE SAUNDERS LAA
JOE NATHAN MIN
JOAKIM SORIA KC
MARIANO RIVERA NYY

Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Movies of the Past 25 Years, 41-50.



41. Dazed and Confused (1993)


It makes my list, but this is too high. It's the indie slice of life of the moment selection, I get it, but I get it about 50 spots lower.





The film that isn't on the list, that would occupy a similar slot, would be Clerks.





Clerks is in my top 20 and I might actually like it as high as number 12, just behind Spinal Tap.





I've been saving the mention of Clerks, and one other film - Leaving Las Vegas - as they're the last films that are sitting in my brain as obviously needing to be on my list. Their omissions glare.





I don't think Before Sunrise, speaking of Linklater, makes my list, but it's close - Clerks is the only Kevin Smith, but I also really liked Chasing Amy.





42. Clueless (1995)
I liked Clueless, funny and cute, both Alicia and the screenplay, but it wouldn't be within two hundred spots of the best 100 movies of the past quarter century. My apologies to Amy Heckerling as Ridgemont High was a year too early for the list.


43. Gladiator (2000)
No. Crowe's had 3-4 better films; my favorite is The Insider, which probably wouldn't make the list. Dude may be a pain in the ass, but he's crazy talented.


44. The Player (1992)
And higher. Top 25. Short Cuts also makes my list.


45. Rain Man (1988)
Yup. Right here too. Tom Cruise has always appeared to me to be hatched, Gatsby like, what's his real name, where did he grow up, did he have parents, did he hire Joey Potter to give birth to the Messiah - he has an interesting life. Now, I don't see any difference at all, literally none, in believing the Scientology rap, the aliens and L Ron and the thetans and meat bodies - and Christianity or any other theistic worldview. I'm not a man in the sky guy; I made reference to George Carlin the other day as the top stand up comic ever - I actually think he's more significant than that, I think he's Mark Twain except funnier and more prolific, and as important as any of his accomplishments was his willingness to stand out all by himself and offer the incredibly dangerous view that Christianity is just superstition with a better marketing campaign. To my eyes, do whatever you need to do to get you through the day; I'd just rather your particular worldview didn't run public policy. But I've been on the "Cruise is a curious cat" train for a couple decades.


To recap the Jerry Maguire thoughts: Risky Business is on the list and should be; I like both All the Right Moves and Color of Money for the list; his best performance was in Magnolia and that makes my list too.


You know what Hoffman would make my list?


Death of a Salesman.


No reason why TV movies don't count. I'm putting Death of a Salesman on my list.

46. Children of Men (2006)
It can take this spot right here. I don't get this choice at all; I rolled through this film as if it weren't even there; it's not that I disliked it (like the Lion King, for example) it's that it I thought of it as entirely disposable.


I've already said Closer's the best Julia Roberts, I think it's the best Clive Owen too, but it still doesn't make it, I don't think. Julianne Moore already has Boogie Nights, I'd add Short Cuts and Magnolia - I liked Far From Heaven a lot, but it wouldn't make it. Either would Safe or that Uncle Vanya version she did, but they're both good -- you know what might make it would be The Fugitive; in terms of action movies - I'll take The Fugitive over the Bond or Bourne movies.

47. Men in Black (1997)
I'll also take The Fugitive over MIB, speaking of Tommy Lee Jones. I didn't like MIB or the sequel or anything similar to either. Not to hit the JFK button again - but, you know, MIB is 47th and JFK isn't on the list? Will and I share a birthday; although he's 2 years older, but he isn't on my list.


48. Scarface (1983)
Spoiler Alert:
Scarface sucks.
I know you aren't allowed to say that anymore, and it means I have to turn in my cool kids club card, but Scarface is a cartoon and not a good one.


Let's consider Pacino - I've never made it all the way through Angels in America, since we've broken the TV movie seal. I think if I were to go with a multi-part long form film it would be The Staircase first. I've already mentioned Glengarry (in) and Insider (out, with regrets) Donnie Brasco's on the list, as I recall, and it would be close for me, as would Carlito's Way, which isn't on the list. I liked Frankie and Johnny and Sea of Love, neither make it. Pfeiffer should make it with Liaisons, as mentioned.


49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Nope. It's pretty, but that's as far as I go with it. If Requiem for a Dream doesn't make my list, I don't think I have a film from 2000.

50. The Piano (1993)
I really liked the Piano. I don't think it makes my list, but I liked it. Broadcast News is coming up lower, and I'd like to move it up here and I'd like to pair it with Accidental Tourist, so that's the film I'd have take Piano's place.

Halfway through.

So - let's do some bookkeeping.

I've taken out:
Lord of the Rings
Titanic
Toy Story
Moulin Rouge
Matrix
Scissorhands
Jerry Maguire
Casino Royale
Lion King
Schindlers List
Room with a View
Shrek
Aliens
Wings of Desire
Bourne Supremacy
Brokeback
Breakfast Club
Incredibles
Spider Man 2
Pretty Woman
Sixth Sense
Speed
Clueless
Gladiator
Children of Men
MIB
Scarface
Crouching Tiger
Piano

So - I'm keeping 21, eliminating 29, that gives me, at present, 29 spots to play with. Considering I want to put in every documentary shot in the last 25 years, I feel comfortable in saying I currently have too many films in the list. Fortunately, the back half of the top hundred will involve more paring then adding and...perhaps...somehow...it will work out at the back end.

Top 200 Baseball Players Ever, #165-163 HOYT WILHELM, DUCKY MEDWICK, ALBERT PUJOLS





EDIT - YOU CAN FIND THE CURRENT RANKINGS BY CLICKING ON THE LABEL BEST BASEBALL PLAYERS EVER
#165 HOYT WILHELM RHP Giants/Orioles/WSox
1952-72
ERA+ 146
PW 37.1
WARP3 90.9

Best ERA+ on the list to this point. Wilhelm's a better Goose Gossage; higher on the list than virtually every relief pitcher who ever played.

#164 DUCKY MEDWICK RF Cardinals
1932-48
OPS+ 133
BFW 25.6
WARP3 95.4

Second highest in his similarity score is Harry Heilmann, who will be appearing shortly.

#163 ALBERT PUJOLS 1B Cardinals
2001-
OPS+ 169
BFW 35.3
WARP3 87.2

Better question is where he'll wind up; he's got Joe Dimaggio's bat but without the ability to play CF; he's comfortably inside the top 100 and only longevity will dictate if he makes the top 50 or higher.