Archive for June 4th, 2009

Symposium: Joba In the Rotation Part 2

Tim, Tim, Tim. I think you’ve been listening to a little too much Mike Francesa. You seem to have bought into the “Joba isn’t a very good starter” line of thinking.

But even the stats you cite (thanks for showing me up, by the way) prove otherwise. A 3.19 ERA is very good. Is it phenomenal? No, but it’s pretty impressive. Johan Santana’s career ERA: 3.06. CC Sabathia’s: 3.65. Roy Halladay’s: 3.48. Do you want to move those guys to the bullpen? I bet they would be pretty awesome set-up men. Joba has certainly had some rough patches and some bad starts, but the idea that he hasn’t proven that he is capable of being a brilliant starter is a little misguided:

Continue reading


A Defense of More Variable Tipping

I find that most people’s tipping at restaurants varies by about five percent, say from 15 to 20 percent. I believe that this variation is too low and that people ought to have a larger tipping range (e.g. 10 to 30 percent). Why? Two of the primary purposes of tipping are to reward good service and to set an incentive for good service in the future.  Assuming that you do not repeatedly have the same waiter (I will use waitress in my next post that mentions the waitstaff: I’m not taking any critiques for gendered language.) at a restaurant, the waiter generally has his other customers to use as a basis for comparing tips. Yet, there’s some natural variation in different individuals conceptions of what constitutes a “good” tip. One person’s 15 percent may be another person’s 20 percent.  Accordingly, 15 percent may be a “good” tip for one person but a “bad” tip for another person and the waiter has no way of discriminating between the two.
Continue reading

Symposium: Joba to the ‘Pen

John, John, John. I’ll start with a concession: Yes, starting pitchers are more important than relief pitchers. We’re not breaking any new ground here with that vague and general idea. But that’s not at the heart of the Joba Debate. Instead, the first critical question here is: Is a good starting pitcher more important than a great relief pitcher?

Because Joba Chamberlain isn’t the same pitcher across those two roles. With the help of Baseball Reference (really a great tool; maybe you should use it sometime), we learn the following:

Continue reading