Dale Sveum: Deer Hunter

The Chicago Cubs have announced that Rob Deer has been hired as assistant hitting coach. 

I remember looking at this card as a kid and seeing batting averages of .232, .238, and. 252 combined with strikeout totals of 179, 186, and 153. 

Yeah, he hit some home runs (33, 28, 23) in those years, but I didn’t understand the value he provided. 

What Word Was Born With You?

Every once in a while one of the best twitter accounts to follow, OEDonline (The Oxford English Dictionary) will have a theme day about the words added to its famous pages. Usually it’s a game of sorts where people ask about the origins of words based on the theme. For example, adjectives

I usually try to put together a Storify about the event and group the results together for a neat resource, learning tool, and just plain fun exposure to new words or new aspects of old words.

Well, it’s that time again. A few days ago the OED played a birthday game and asked for people to tweet the year of their birth in return for a fresh new word added to the dictionary in that year. 

[<a href=”//storify.com/mikecarlucci/oed-birthday-words” target=”_blank”>View the story “OED Birthday Words” on Storify</a>]<h1>OED Birthday Words</h1><h2>What words reached the pages during the year of your birth? There are plenty of good ones!</h2><p>Storified by Mike Carlucci &middot; Tue, Nov 20 2012 14:27:11</p><div>Find out a word that first appeared in your birth year. Tweet &quot;I want to play #OEDBirthdayWords with @OEDonline&quot; and your birth year.The OED</div><div>@loupyloupowell 1996: gastropub, n.: A public house which specializes in serving high-quality food. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@elliedrinkz 1995: picture messaging, n.: The action of sending picture messages, esp. from one mobile phone to another. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>Interesting. I would have thought this would be either much older, using postcards or something, or about six years more recent.</div><div>@urbaniserad 1991: riffage, n.: Chiefly in music journalism: riffing, esp. on a guitar. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@williamrikard 1990: cereologist, n.: One who studies or investigates crop circles. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>This calls for a movie like Twister about a&nbsp;lovable, ragged, daredevil team of cereologists.</div><div>@joanne_bartlett 1990: shout-out, n.: A mention or acknowledgement, esp. over the radio or during a live performance. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@vjkalbraier 1989: crowd-surfing, n.: Lying flat while being passed over the heads of the audience at a rock concert #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@JonesasaurusRex 1988: boo, n. Esp among teenagers: a girlfriend or boyfriend. Also as a form of address. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>RT @OEDonline: @LuisPCastelo 1987: cross-trainer, n.: A training shoe suitable for a range of sporting activities. #OEDBirthdayWordsLuis P. Castelo</div><div>@AmieSparey 1987: ragazine, n.: A magazine, esp. one regarded as being of inferior quality. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@LuisPCastelo 1987: cross-trainer, n.: A training shoe suitable for a range of sporting activities. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>“@OEDonline: @Littlest_Bailey 1987: bazillionaire, n.: A person of enormous wealth. #OEDBirthdayWords”Oh the irony.Cat Bailey</div><div>@chillbrowncoat 1986: dis, n.: Failure to show respect; abuse, disparagement; an expression of contempt, an insult. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@tearsonfadedink 1986: po-mo, n.: Postmodernism. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@LizzieSwann1 1986: chat-up, adj.: Designating or relating to flirtatious conversation. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@StevenOfKansas 1985: annus horribilis, n.: A disastrous or particularly unpleasant year. #OEDBirthdayWords (sorry!)The OED</div><div>RT @gerryhowley: Loving the word that first appeared in my birth year:’oak-aged’ as in wine! Thanks @OEDonline #OEDBirthdayWords @phillyrhythm may like thatPhill Howley</div><div>A brief intermission for a satisfied customer!&nbsp;</div><div>@AaronHeintz 1984: leccy, adj.: Esp. of an appliance or device: electric, electrical. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@artistartless 1984: perma-tan, n.: A permanent suntan. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@AdkinsJason 1984: wonga, n.: money (Brit. slang) #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@AlenaBuis 1983: fuzzword, n.: A deliberately confusing or imprecise term; jargon used more to impress than to inform. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@joeaturner 1983: re-mark, n.: An act of marking an examination or piece of academic work again. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>RT @OEDonline: @MrB_Helton 1982: camcorder, n.: A portable video camera incorporating a built-in video recorder. #OEDBirthdayWordsMr. Helton</div><div>@MissVickie23 1981: over-oaked, adj.: Of wine: excessively matured in an oak container; heavily flavoured by oak-ageing. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@alsmartina 1981: melony, adj.: Resembling a melon in taste, smell, or shape. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@Djsolie 1981: text messaging, n.: The action of sending text messages, (now) esp. from one mobile phone to another. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@GlobaLangMtl 1979: breatharian, n.: A person who claims to require no nutrients other than those absorbed from air. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@jahochcam 1978: bustier, n.: A short, close-fitting, sleeveless and often strapless bodice or top worn by women. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@michael_siegel 1978: scripophily, n.: The collection of old bond and share certificates as a pursuit. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@daniellempullen 1977: brewski, n.: Beer; a drink of beer, esp. in a can or bottle. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>RT @OEDonline: @Canzonett 1975: brainiac, n.: A very intelligent person; an expert. #OEDBirthdayWordsCanzonett</div><div>@jigbean 1974: beefalo, n.: A cross-bred livestock animal that is three-eighths bison and five-eighths domestic cow. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@dplaister 1973: weirded out, adj.: Strange, unusual, anxious, uncomfortable. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>Predating the career of “Weird Al” Yankovic by just a few years. Though people were probably weirded out by him for years.</div><div>@MmeCVE Here’s one from 1973: Marie Rose, n.: Designating a pink mayonnaise-based sauce served with seafood, esp. prawns. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@WhiskyBaker 1973: minibeast, n.: A small animal, esp. an insect, spider, or other invertebrate. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@ginnikin 1972: outie, n.: A convex navel; (also) a person having such a navel. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@MmeCVE 1972: guilt trip, n.: An episode of severe, often excessive or unjustified self-reproach. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>RT @OEDonline: @Wolf_six 1972: ecocentric, adj.: Centring on environmental conservation and protection. #OEDBirthdayWordsMichelle O’Brien</div><div>@ms_emmalyon 1972: boom-boom, int.: Used to draw attention to a joke or pun, esp. one regarded as weak or obvious. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@runswithhicks 1970: humongous, adj.: Extremely large; huge, enormous. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@gotcha42 1970: metaphoricity, n.: The fact or quality of being metaphorical; metaphorical nature, figurativeness. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@schlchtmyr 1969: rockumentary, n.: A documentary (now usually a film) on the subject of rock music or rock musicians. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@ruthpnc 1967: zester, n.: A utensil designed to remove the outer rind of citrus fruit in thin shreds. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>I like this. Would have thought this was just one of those cooking tools from way back. Not as far as I thought I guess.</div><div>@JPStrategy 1965: stagflation, n.: A state of the economy in which stagnant demand is accompanied by severe inflation. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@GrantCribb 1962: allogrooming, n.: The grooming of one animal by another of the same species. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@gotcha42 1962: blag, n.: An attempt to obtain or achieve something by persuasive talk or deception; a hoax or con. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@anniebeanie 1961: chocoholic, n.: A habitual and prolific eater of chocolate; a person who is very fond of chocolate. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>RT @OEDonline: @PellWallPerfume 1961: people-watch, v.: To pass time in a public place by idly observing people. #OEDBirthdayWordsChris Bartlett</div><div>@tommo212 1958: film noir, n.: A cinematographic film of a gloomy or fatalistic character. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@4thEstateX 1957: Marlboro Man, n.: The American cowboy character used in advertising campaigns for Marlboro cigarettes. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@fritzanderson 1955: artificial intelligence, n.: The capacity of computers to exhibit or simulate intelligent behaviour. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>@purexplorer 1955: deejay, n.: A disc-jockey. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div><div>Honorary words for 1955 include: heavy, adj,: a situation that is ponderous or serious. #BTTF</div><div>@Archergal 1952: bafflegab, n.: Official or professional jargon which confuses more than it clarifies; gobbledegook. #OEDBirthdayWordsThe OED</div>

Mighty Pen? Might Be.

Kickstarter has gotten some bad publicity recently. Doubts about several high-profile projects have caused some anxiety over the crowd-funding gold rush. But the future of Kickstarter is a topic only time will answer. So far, my experiences with Kickstarter have all been positive: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Robotic Edition, The Hall of Very Good, 162Pixels 2012 Baseball Statographic Book, and most recently, The Pen Project. To be fair, aside from the pen, the other projects are books, two of which are electronic, and not hardware.

The Pen Project

My handwriting is partially to blame, no doubt. And the Pen Project and Space Pen use the same cartridge,  but I’ve really come to like my unique pen over the last month.

It did take some getting used to. It’s hard and made of metal, and completely smooth, but feels very nice to hold in your hand. There are no parts to break off, unlike my graveyard of pen caps and buttons. No little bits of plastic to wear out.

On the whole, the Pen Project is everything I think Kickstarter should be: unique, solid ideas come to life. It was made using local shops and craftsmen. And it has a core component, the Space Pen cartridge, which should continue to be available for a very long time to come. Given that the pen is designed to last many years, this is a good feature, preferable to a solution that only works for one pen.

Red Sox & Dan Haren

There’s no way to put it nicely: The Red Sox pitching needs help. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester both improved as the season went on and we saw a breakout year from Felix Doubront, but even with John Lackey penciled in as his 2010 self the rotation is still full of question marks. According to Nick Cafardo, the team is interested in Angels’ starter Dan Haren. It looks like Ben Cherington is actively trying to shore up a major weakness from the past season. Available on a one-year deal, potentially for a small price in trade, Haren may well be the best option for the Red Sox to acquire for 2013.

Why Would the Angels Trade This Guy?

From 2005 to 2011, as a full-time member of the starting rotations in Oakland, Arizona, and Anaheim, Dan Haren was durable and at times, dominant. The right-hander averaged 226 innings per season with nearly 200 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.12. While his 3.49 ERA over that time is not eye-popping, it was good enough to net 101 wins in his 237 starts. Haren is known for his control: in parts of ten big league seasons he has a K:BB of 4.01.

To put it another way, Haren has three balks and seventy-seven wild pitchers in the Majors. The Red Sox staff issued eleven balks and threw forty-two wild pitches this season. Obviously Franklin Morales is unlikely to have five balks called against him ever again, but the Red Sox starters had trouble getting out of their own way at times during the 2012 season.

For the Angels though, it comes down to money. Their spending spree on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last offseason is not going to be a yearly event. In addition, the team is still saddled with Vernon Wells.

Is It Good for the Red Sox?

The Red Sox are usually among the leaders in team payroll every season and 2013 is likely to be no different. Because the team freed up so much payroll when Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, one-year financial commitments that would normally be a burden of sorts even to a large market team become freebies. And why shouldn’t they? The Red Sox will not be lowering revenue expectations with a lower payroll. Taking on the full $15.5 million obligation for next year is merely spending money that the team can allocate as they choose on short-term deals while looking to the future for the impact pieces to sign long-term, like Will Middlebrooks or even Jacoby Ellsbury.

There is a caveat: Haren is coming off the worst season of his career. His ERA rose to 4.33, his WHIP and walk rate climbed, and he was plagued with back problems which limited him to 176 innings, the only time Haren failed to reach 200 innings while pitching a full season. But a potential number two starter for one season is tempting. If Haren isn’t healthy he’s only signed for one season.

If the Angels are not interested in keeping Haren around for next season, the cost in trade will be minimal, like the recently completed trade of Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals. The return in that case was minor league lefty Brandon Sisk. Sisk is 27 year old relief pitcher who may help out in the bullpen. If multiple teams are bidding on Haren, the cost may be higher in terms of prospects, but don’t expect any of the big names on the farm to head to LA.


So, the Angels didn’t trade Haren to anyone. But if his medical records look good, the Sox will probably at least knock on his preverbal door.