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Fly, Fly Away

Things on the internet don't really die; they just sort of stop moving forward. Add this blog as another little nook in the great world wide web that will cease to update.

I know there are some of you out there who have faithfully read this blog and enjoyed its updates over the years. You undoubtedly have noticed the blog's pace slowed down over the past few years. A quick glance at the post count each year tells the story thoroughly enough. This blog peaked in 2010 with 142 posts and has generally sunk since then with a current 2016 pace of just 46 posts - with approximately half of those being the weekly projected standings updates.

The post numbers are no surprise to me. 2010 just so happened to be my first year after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. It was a transition year where I had a few part-time jobs. Time sprang eternal for this baseball habit. Curiously enough, 2013 is when I got the full time teaching job I enjoy now, and that coincides remarkably well with a noticeable drop-off in this blog's activity.

A good statistician would remark on the small sample size and also that correlation does not equal causation. However, this is my life and I know a thing or two about it. Anonymous sources close to the situation tell me that the correlation is a result of causation in this instance.

I started blogging in the fall of 2005 when I started at PLU. I began blogging because I wanted a mind dump and an excuse to learn some HTML/CSS. It was a diversion more than anything else. I (not so) jokingly claimed many times that it was my outlet to talk baseball so that all the new people I met at PLU would hear me talk about something besides America's pastime when they met me face to face.

Seattle Mariners Musings never moved beyond a diversion in my life although it ballooned into something bigger and more lasting than I ever imagined. Don't get me wrong, I understand how minuscule this blog is in the grand cyber universe. The Musings never got much traffic, lthough I know there is a strong cohort of you who check every post. Thanks to all of you who found this worth checking regularly over the years. That I consider this blog so much more than I ever envisioned says more about my own expectations than anything that happened. I never entertained visions of writing professionally or growing my audience.

This is a blog that had the world change around it. Consider that since this blog began:
  • Facebook added features like photo albums and games. It would eventually open up to people without college e-mail addresses too.
  • Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat were invented.
  • Social media in general became a thing.
  • The iPhone went from the future to the present, ushering in the smart phone era.
  • The iPad was invented and spawned a whole new category of computers (tablets).
  • I bought my first car.
  • I earned a bachelor's degree.
  • I earned a master's degree.
  • I morphed from college student to stipended AmeriCorps volunteer to high school math teacher.
When I step back and survey the last 11 years I am amazed that the Musings remained constant. I did not start it with any clear picture how long I would keep it up, but I did not expect it to survive the gauntlet of changes it has.

Still, everything expires at some point. I always wanted to walk away from the Musings before it got too stale to munch on. I wondered back in 2013 if teaching would necessitate me finishing off this blog. I found myself at times exasperated and wondering why I kept this diversion going, but then over breaks (especially summer break) I would subconsciously form a list of things I wanted to do on the blog. It seemed to me that I had slowed down but there was still an interest.

However, a feeling that this blog's expiration date approached kept getting stronger. I very nearly wrote this post last December. It was the first prolonged break from school where I had little interest in the Musings, which I found especially peculiar in the midst of all of Jerry Dipoto's wheeling and dealing. He rejuvenated my interest in the Mariners, yet my desire to write about the team waned.

The 2016 Mariners have helped me see for certain that this is the right time for me to hang up my...keyboard, I guess? I don't write my posts while wearing cleats. Sorry if this disappoints you. I follow this M's team closer than in several years. They are fun, albeit flawed, but I am excited about the direction Dipoto seems to be steering the good ship Mariner. His interest in capable AAA players has made my hometown team, the Tacoma Rainiers, a much more polished product than they really ever were under Jack Zduriencik. I am thankful for that.

Growing up I frequented Dodger Blues. It made me laugh endlessly and captured wounded fandom at its finest. I was disappointed when they stopped updating. It sits frozen in time though for anyone who runs into it, and that's what will happen here too.

I still have a Twitter account too (@msonmnd24) and might actually tweet from it again (?!) since I won't be writing on the Musings. I will probably dabble in some statistical projects sporadically and the odds of those getting shared on Twitter are pretty good.

Technology changed, I changed, the Mariners changed, but through it all the Musings did not change. Now it will never change. It amused me and hopefully amused you too along the way.

MLB Projected Standings, Week 13

Happy Independence Day! What's more American than watching baseball? Watching baseball with HOT TAKES about contenders and pretenders! Who reigns supreme this week in the projected standings?

You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses, playoff teams underlined).

MLB Projected Standings, Week 13:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Rangers, 90-72 (0) 0 GBIndians, 95-67 (+3), 0 GBOrioles, 88-74 (+1), 0 GB
Astros, 87-75 (+1) 3 GBTigers, 85-77 (+2), 10 GB     Blue Jays, 87-75 (+1), 1 GB
Mariners, 83-79 (+2), 7 GBRoyals, 82-80 (+1), 13 GBRed Sox, 87-75 (-2), 1 GB
Athletics, 72-90 (0), 18 GBWhite Sox, 78-84 (-2), 17 GBYankees, 82-80 (0), 6 GB
Angels, 72-90 (-2), 18 GB     Twins, 64-98 (0), 31 GBRays, 71-91 (-4), 17 GB
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Giants, 95-67 (-1), 0 GBCubs, 100-62 (-3), 0 GBNationals, 97-65 (+2), 0 GB
Dodgers, 94-68 (0), 1 GBCardinals, 87-75 (-1), 13 GBMets, 90-72 (-1), 7 GB
Rockies, 74-88 (-1), 21 GB     Pirates, 82-80 (+2), 18 GBMarlins, 84-78 (0), 13 GB
Diamondbacks, 73-89 (-2), 22 GB    Brewers, 71-91 (-1), 29 GBPhillies, 69-93 (+3), 28 GB
Padres, 70-92 (0), 25 GBReds, 63-99 (-3), 37 GBBraves, 59-103 (-1), 38 GB

Wild card play-in games: Red Sox at Blue Jays, Mets at Dodgers
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Orioles vs. Rangers
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Giants vs. Nationals

Some musings:
  • The Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Astros are separated by .3 wins. The wild card is a true wild card at the moment.
  • Cleveland's 14 game winning streak sure helped them out in the projected standings. Shocking. However it's also worth noting they were the projected champion of the AL Central and projected to be one of the best teams in the AL. Still, is Cleveland all of a sudden title town?
  • The Orioles still hold on to first place in the AL East and rise in the standings even with their four game sweep in Seattle included.
  • The Cubs have some competition at the top of the NL for the first time this year. Chicago has sunk while the Washington Nationals have risen. This could very well be a fluky weak where one team's low and another team's high intersect, or it could be something more. It doesn't matter all that much anyway. These are both teams well on their way to the postseason.
  • The handful of teams I would say have tough choices between buying or selling at the trade deadline: Mariners, Royals, Yankees, Cardinals, and Marlins. Everyone else is fairly securely in the playoff hunt or out of it. I would guess that the Royals and Cardinals will buy, given their recent playoff history. The Yankees seem to be wavering according to press reports. The Mariners and Marlins will be interesting given their playoff droughts.

MLB Projected Standings, Week 12

Teams will start hitting 81 games played around this time next week, meaning the actual halfway point of the season is almost here. Pretty soon this model will be more about what has happened than what is about to unfold.

You can read about the model here, or keep on reading for the updated standings (change in win total from last week in parentheses, playoff teams underlined).

MLB Projected Standings, Week 12:

AL WestAL CentralAL East
Rangers, 90-72 (+2) 0 GBIndians, 92-70 (+4), 0 GBRed Sox, 89-73 (0), 0 GB
Astros, 86-76 (+3) 4 GBTigers, 83-79 (0), 9 GB     Orioles, 87-75 (+1), 2 GB
Mariners, 81-81 (-2), 9 GBRoyals, 81-81 (+1), 11 GBBlue Jays, 86-76 (-1), 3 GB
Angels, 74-88 (-1), 16 GBWhite Sox, 80-82 (-1), 12 GBYankees, 82-80 (0), 7 GB
Athletics, 72-90 (+1), 18 GB     Twins, 64-98 (+1), 28 GBRays, 75-87 (-4), 14 GB
NL WestNL CentralNL East
Giants, 96-66 (+2), 0 GBCubs, 103-59 (-1), 0 GBNationals, 95-67 (-3), 0 GB
Dodgers, 94-68 (+3), 2 GBCardinals, 88-74 (0), 15 GBMets, 91-71 (-2), 4 GB
Rockies, 75-87 (-1), 21 GB     Pirates, 80-82 (-4), 23 GBMarlins, 84-78 (+2), 11 GB
Diamondbacks, 75-87 (+3), 21 GB    Brewers, 72-90 (-2), 31 GBPhillies, 66-96 (-2), 29 GB
Padres, 70-92 (+2), 26 GBReds, 66-96 (+1), 37 GBBraves, 60-102 (+3), 35 GB

Wild card play-in games: Blue Jays at Orioles, Mets at Dodgers
ALDS match-ups: play-in vs. Indians, Red Sox vs. Rangers
NLDS match-ups: play-in vs. Cubs, Nationals vs. Giants

Some musings:
  • The Astros have 85.5 projected wins and the Blue Jays 86.4, so the Blue Jays hold on to the final AL Wild Card spot for the time being.
  • With that said, nobody is talking about the Astros and everyone should be. They were the favorites in the AL West to start the year, got off to a horrible start, but have turned their season around.
  • The Mariners current scuffle certainly sucks, but the bigger problems they face are the simultaneous rises of both the Rangers and Astros simultaneously. The Mariners are back to being a projected .500 team and honestly haven't strayed much beyond that all season. Meanwhile, the Astros are back to their preseason projection and the Rangers are well beyond what was expected.
  • Misery likes company. For you Mariners fans feeling bad out there, take a look at the Pirates swoon and feel better.