Bull Pennings: The Readers Take Over

Welcome to the all-new, gold-plated, re-invented, top-shelf mailbag.

Remember "Bull Pennings"? It was the old name for my blog. Then we had a re-design at CBSSports.com, and Bull Pennings sort of went away.

Remember "Love Letters"? It was the old name of my reader mailbag, in tribute to a feature in one of the newspapers I grew up reading, the Detroit Free Press.

Well, after much research, several focus groups and maybe even a margarita or two, the thought occurred that while the Love Letters thing served its purpose for many years, as Chad Ochocinco once decided, maybe it was time for a name change. And what better way to carry forward the Bull Pennings tradition than by paying tribute to readers than by calling what YOU guys write Bull Pennings? Lovingly, of course. ...

FROM: Mark
Re.: Weekend Buzz: Pirates have plenty to do for us to believe they won't get shipwrecked

I just read "They were in first place in late July last summer before sinking like a peg leg" regarding the Pirates. Am curious about your metaphor ... peg legs were made of wood, and therefore would float.

Aaaaargh! I knew there was a reason I should have taken Wood Shop in high school.

FROM: Jason

"Roy Oswalt is now 9-2 lifetime against Colorado with a 1.89 ERA. Of the 16 clubs he's faced more than three times, those are easily his best numbers" ... 23-2 with a 2.62 ERA against the Reds is at least equal. Yeah, wins aren't everything, but damn.

See, under your numbers I would agree. But Oswalt is 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 34 career appearances (32 starts) against the Reds. That extra loss and .19 ERA makes it no comparison to his numbers against Colorado!

FROM: Rick L.
Re.: Baseball season not all fun and jokes so far -- plenty of milestones, too

Baseball season not all fun and jokes so far ... nice recap, Scott. And you get to cover it all. Lucky you -- wait, another Hiaasen reference!

You sly dog you. I was still back on Tourist Season.

FROM: Robert

In a trade of CC Sabathia for Cole Hamels. Of which pitcher would you like?

Hamels, because Sabathia is on the disabled list.

FROM: Steve Horowitz

Scott, I live in San Diego just like you. Don't think badly for the 42 percent who can't get Go Padres games on television -- think about the 58 percent, the poor souls who can get the games!

Oh doctor!

FROM: Archie
Re.: No-hitters, perfect games no longer a rarity

The title alone should be all the evidence needed to prove that you know absolutely NOTHING about the game of baseball. You are a complete and total moron. Your ignorance is also breathtaking. I suspect that in two years you will be writing an article about the rarity of the same. Stop. Go away. Go back to whatever menial job you did before you thought about making a complete idiot of yourself. And shame on CBS for having someone write about baseball who does not know the first thing about it.

Act like a goon, I'm going to give you a goon's grade. Did you even read the column? Go back, read more than the headline and your Bazooka Joe comics, or whatever it is you attempt to read, and come back to me after you're finished. Then we can talk.

FROM: Harry Monroe


I enjoyed the article on no-hitters and perfect games no longer being a rarity. I have an additional theory that I have not heard anyone address, and I don't know if data could be found to back it up:

While pitching stats have improved in the post-steroid era, this has also coincided with the growth of the pro-Moneyball era, with its emphasis on taking pitches and working counts. My theory is that this approach to hitting helps some batters, but it hurts others by taking away their natural aggressiveness. Some batters have been forced into a mentality that doesn't work for them. In addition, good pitchers have responded by more consistently throwing strikes. Any corroboration or disagreement would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, and interesting theory you present. I have not heard any baseball people mention this in particular, but I do think there are a ton of reasons that are producing the increase in no-hitters and I think this could play a small part. I think the theory you lay out, Harry, in particular may factor into the sharp increase in strikeouts in the past several years. I do not have the data to back this up, but I'd bet anything that because of the emphasis on working the pitcher, more hitters than ever are getting into two-strike counts. Thus, more strikeouts, thus, more no-hitters. That's my feeling.

FROM: Mickey Culbreth

Go Bryce Harper. He needs only 17 more homers to tie Tony Conigliaro's teenage record.

You are correct. Conigliaro hit 24 when he was 19 in 1964. Most remarkably, he did it in only 111 games -- his season ended early with a broken arm.

FROM: Andy

Hey Scott,

Did you know that the Reds are only a couple of games behind the Yankees? And beat them two out of three in NY earlier? ... I guess Cincy isn't a big enough market, or you're not able to write a compelling enough story about them for people in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to take notice. Take the easy way and keep selling Chalupas to fat people.

Rest easy, folks. Andy and I have privately communicated and worked everything out. I pointed out that I had written a couple of items on the Reds, and that I will be again soon. One key item we're in agreement on: I will continue hawking Chalupas to fat people. Yo quiero Bull Pennings!

Likes: The Harvard baseball team's video of Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe. Did those fellas ever nail it. The choreography, and the lip-syncing ... hilarious. ... It Might Get Loud, the film in which guitar legends Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White (well, not sure if he qualifies for legend status yet) meet and discuss their craft. Didn't love it, but it's pretty good. If you like Led Zeppelin, U2 and/or whatever Jack White is up to, you'll enjoy this doc. ... What I'm reading about Glenn Campbell's Farewell Tour. What a giant this guy is. Wish I could catch a show. ... Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Didn't love this, either -- Part I of the two-DVD set drags some, in my opinion. The entire thing is 3:47. But when it's on, it's really good. Great interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Harrison's widow, Olivia, in particular. And Tom Petty regarding the Traveling Wilbury days.

Dislikes: All of these injuries. Man, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Andre Ethier on Wednesday alone. ... Cable issues. Pay your bill a day late and there's hell to pay, but Time-Warner "upgrades" its service in my area, knocks many of my channels out in the process, and it's days before I can get a technician out. SOS.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"It's a sweet, sweet life
"Living by the salty sea"

-- Zac Brown Band, Knee-Deep

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