Happy Birthday to Mark Leonard, 48. Who knows? Maybe it would never have happened. Lifetime minor league OBP, though, was .411. He wound up getting 374 major league PAs...that's not much more than half a season, spread out over bits and pieces of six seasons. He didn't hit. But, you know, a lot of guys have had a lousy 400 PAs, even in really good conditions. I don't think there's any chance he would have been a star...the upper limit is probably Matt Stairs, something like that. But then again, the guys who played ahead of him in 1992, when he did hit some, were Chris James, Cory Snyder, Mike Felder, Kevin Bass, plus some for Ted Wood and Steve Hosey...it's not as if those guys had any future. No, I'm not still upset about it. Too much.
Ah, need to get to the good stuff:
1. Nate Silver has a much more comprehensive look at the early numbers on Paul Ryan than I had yesterday, but came to the same (equally tentative) first conclusion: mediocre. Just one thing...be careful about these initial polls. I'm pretty sure that some of them were taken after the convention speech (that is, for the running mates chosen right before the convention); some, as with Ryan, were not. Ryan's rollout must have been one of the quietest ever, given that it was early on the last Saturday of the Olympics. I have no idea how that will affect things down the line, but all things equal one would have to assume that the very first reactions would be off a bit.
2. Conor Friedersdorf makes an excellent point about Ryan: if he was an Ayn Rand character, "he'd be a villain."
3. And for academics: Salma Patel has some advice about going public on the intertubes.