Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deathly Hallows

Spoiler Alert

The last movie and final movie is over and it was thoroughly satisfying. The movie enhanced the books. Once again a great story and good acting rise above cinematic gimmicks (I saw the 2D version, more on that later). The child actors have certainly grown, but the surrounding giants allow the film and series to excel.

In the final film, several performances stood out. They were helped by their excellent situations, but they took it to the next level. Ralph Fiennes as Tom Riddle was great. The steady deterioration due to parts of his soul being obliterated was done quite well. The quick transitions from pompous triumph to shocked vulnerability were excellent. Matthew Lewis played Neville Longbottom to a T. Limping to his defiant speech and then ignorantly and boldly challenging Voldemort was a highlight of the film. Helena Bonham Carter playing Hermione Granger using a polyjuice potion to play Bellatrix Lestrange was very convincing. Just like part 1, I enjoy watching actors play characters pretending to be other characters. Those 3 exceeded expectations. The others certainly did well and my high standards were met.

3D Rant
I realize that 3D allows you to charge extra to attend a movie, but it typically adds very little to the actual movie (unless it is a low budget 80s monster flick). There were several spots that I am sure would look fun in 3D (e.g. the Gringott's Mine Train). The real travesty to me was that the 2D experience was affected by this. Several times I could tell that rather than the background being out of focus, it was actually doubled up like a 3D film would look without glasses. Unacceptable.

Grand films might just need a break. This is not a new idea at all. Movies such as Ben Hur and Lawrence of Arabia had intermissions. Why? Because they were really long. But also because they were a single idea and could not be split up. The Deathly Hallows was split in two at its most logical point, but the story really works as a whole. The drama and setup in part one is entirely unfulfilling. The action of part two really makes little sense without part one. The other epic conclusion this century was 3.5 hours in theaters and 5 hours on extended DVD, yet The Return of the King only makes sense in that context. It could have been split after the battle of Minas Tirith. It makes logical sense but not emotional sense. The ups and downs of a movie need to be there. Separate them by 8 months and you lose all of the buildup that works in the ending of the film. I suggest that the best way to watch both films is to watch part one, take an hour break for food, and then watch part two. As soon as the DVD comes out, I think it will make both parts of this film that much better. The Deathly Hallows as a whole might just be the best movie in the series.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Saber Answer to 300 Wins

Yesterday I took on the 3000 hits plateau. Today, 300 wins. Trying to smooth out longevity and performance is difficult with pitchers. There are so many eras out there. This list because of its components is skewed towards the former days. I considered all outings since 1890 so that Cy Young would be involved. In the 1880s some pitchers threw up to 650 innings in a year and really skewed things. But for simplicity sake, I chose Innings Pitched divided by WHIP minus 1 times 2. Boy that seems complicated doesn't it. Basically it measures longevity in innings pitched. Performance is measured by (WHIP - 1) * 2. This takes CY Young's WHIP of 1.13, turns it into .13, and then finally into .26. The times 2 part keeps some rarely used pitchers with good stats from sneaking too far up the ladder. I also limited this to pitcher with > 1500 innings pitched. Without that restriction, Mariano Rivera is the greatest pitcher ever (which you could argue for I guess). So without further ado, here is the list:

RankNameWinsW RankIPWHIPNew Stat
1Walter Johnson41725914.21.0648338
2Christy Mathewson37334780.21.0540543
3Cy Young51117354.21.1228322
4Pedro Martinez219632827.11.0525966
5Mordecai Brown239463172.11.0624083
6Pete Alexander373351901.1221411
7Tom Seaver311154782.21.1219755
8Eddie Plank326104495.21.1118891
9Don Sutton3241152821.1418525
10Greg Maddux35575008.11.1417492
11Juan Marichal243423507.11.1017328
12Babe Adams1941072995.11.0916257
13Fergie Jenkins284234500.21.1415851
14Gaylord Perry314145350.11.1814801
15Rube Waddell1931152961.11.1014521
16Roger Clemens35484916.21.1714237
17Robin Roberts286224688.21.1613809
18Warren Spahn36355243.21.1913465
19Chief Bender2127530171.1113385
20Catfish Hunter224553449.11.1312849
21Bert Blyleven2872149701.1912551
22Doc White18912130411.1212429
23Deacon Phillippe18912126071.1012402
24Randy Johnson303174135.11.1712077
25Curt Schilling2166832611.1311868
26Don Drysdale2098134321.1411616
27Kid Nichols36165056.11.2211372
28Jim Palmer2682839481.1810945
29Sandy Koufax1651772324.11.1010938
30Nolan Ryan3241153861.2410889
31Carl Hubbell253353590.11.1610814
32Steve Carlton32995217.11.2410566
33Jim Bunning224553760.11.1710505
34Eddie Cicotte208843223.11.1510369
35Bob Gibson251363884.11.1810320
36Dennis Eckersley197983285.21.1610204
37Jack Powell2454043891.2110127
38Phil Niekro318135404.11.2610078
39John Smoltz2137434731.179870
40Jack Chesbro198952896.21.159623
41Vic Willis2493739961.209538
42Sam Leever1941072660.21.149415
43Mike Mussina270263562.21.199292
44Ed Reulbach1821362632.11.149190
45Joe McGinnity246393441.11.189152
46Bret Saberhagen1671672562.21.149097
47Hoyt Wilhelm1432402254.11.129044
48Luis Tiant229523486.11.198769
49Jim Kaat283244530.11.258748
50Tommy John288204710.11.288328

The winners? Pedro Martinez and his 219 wins. Lots of people from the early days... Sandy Koufax and his short lived career.

The losers? Lefty Grove and his 1.28 WHIP. Tom Glavine and his 1.31 WHIP.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Saber Answer to 3000 Hits

3000 hits is always a fun topic. Does it mean anything or is it arbitrary? I decided to come up with a new stat to judge hitters by: Plate Appearances times On Base Percentage. This combines longevity with performance. How does this redefine our top hitters? Currently 27 players have 3000 or more hits. If we sort by PA * OBP, we have to show 76 players to see those 27.

RankNameHHit RankOBPPA * OBP
1Pete Rose425610.3735929
2Barry Bonds2935320.4445599
3Ty Cobb418920.4235532
4Rickey Henderson3055210.4005343
5Carl Yastrzemski341960.3795304
6Stan Musial363040.4155282
7Hank Aaron377130.3735205
8Tris Speaker351450.4164998
9Babe Ruth2873400.4684978
10Eddie Collins3315100.4064891
11Willie Mays3283110.3834791
12Ted Williams2654710.4814714
13Mel Ott2876390.4094648
14Eddie Murray3255120.3594606
15Frank Robinson2943310.3884561
16Craig Biggio3060200.3604505
17Honus Wagner341580.3834503
18Rafael Palmeiro3020240.3704460
19Paul Molitor331990.3664460
20Wade Boggs3010250.4134445
21Cap Anson341870.3914433
22Joe Morgan2517910.3904422
23Cal Ripken3184140.3394379
24Dave Winfield3110190.3524351
25Al Kaline3007260.3744339
26Gary Sheffield2689630.3924299
27George Brett3154150.3684283
28Paul Waner3152160.3974281
29Lou Gehrig2721570.4424274
30Frank Thomas2468990.4194222
31Ken Griffey Jr.2781480.3694174
32Mickey Mantle24151120.4194161
33Robin Yount3142170.3394156
34Derek Jeter2997280.3804125
35Jimmie Foxx2646720.4254111
36Rod Carew3053220.3884096
37Charlie Gehringer2839450.3984075
38Alex Rodriguez2762500.3854069
39Luke Appling2749520.3964062
40Reggie Jackson2584810.3554055
41Rusty Staub2716580.3604050
42Chipper Jones2562850.4034020
43Rogers Hornsby2930340.4234016
44Manny Ramirez2574830.4104012
45Jim Thome22391600.4034007
46Tim Raines2605750.3833977
47Tony Gwynn3141180.3863955
48Jesse Burkett2850420.4113954
49Harold Baines2866410.3553942
50Omar Vizquel2831460.3303898
51Nap Lajoie3242130.3723892
52Dwight Evans24461080.3683890
53Darrell Evans22231670.3593863
54Luis Gonzalez2591790.3663857
55Jeff Bagwell23141380.4073843
56Fred McGriff2490960.3763834
57Lou Brock3023230.3413833
58Mike Schmidt22341620.3793820
59Richie Ashburn2574830.3913815
60Roberto Alomar2724560.3653806
61Billy Williams2711610.3613799
62Eddie Mathews23151370.3743785
63Max Carey2665660.3513782
64Bobby Abreu23421270.3993771
65Brooks Robinson2848430.3193761
66Sam Rice2987290.3663751
67Sam Crawford2961300.3533744
68Goose Goslin2735540.3803739
69Jake Beckley2930340.3563729
70Tony Perez2732550.3403700
71Fred Clarke2672650.3763699
72Harmon Killebrew20862220.3753693
73Harry Hooper24661010.3593678
74Johnny Damon2662680.3523663
75Bill Dahlen24571050.3523661
76Roberto Clemente3000270.3583656
77Frankie Frisch2880380.3603639
78Willie McCovey22111710.3743625
79Edgar Martinez22471590.4173619
80Zack Wheat2884370.3613611
81Todd Helton23181360.4223605
82George Davis2660690.3553605
83John Olerud22391600.3973602
84Chili Davis23801170.3593589
85Lou Whitaker23691200.3593586
86Willie Keeler2932330.3733585
87Eddie Yost18633320.3893576
88Al Simmons2927360.3753572
89Ozzie Smith24601030.3303565
90Harry Heilmann2660690.3963556
91Mark Grace24451090.3823554
92Brett Butler23751190.3713542
93Julio Franco2586800.3633541
94Nellie Fox2663670.3403524
95Roger Connor24671000.3963507
96Mickey Vernon2495950.3553499
97Willie Randolph22101720.3683491
98Rabbit Maranville2605750.3093483
99Andre Dawson2774490.3223474
100Dave Parker2712600.3383451

So who wins using this system? Well, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams all move up. Not bad at all.

Who loses? Roberto Clemente (twice as many strikeouts as walks), Lou Brock (over 1700 strikeouts)

So using that stat... hitters with a PA*OBP > 4500 would be:
  1. Pete Rose
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Ty Cobb
  4. Rickey Henderson
  5. Carl Yastrzemski
  6. Stan Musial
  7. Hank Aaron
  8. Tris Speaker
  9. Babe Ruth
  10. Eddie Collins
  11. Willie Mays
  12. Ted Williams
  13. Mel Ott
  14. Eddie Murray
  15. Frank Robinson
  16. Craig Biggio
  17. Honus Wagner

Not a bad group to be in.