… although it may or may not be a shark. Marine biologists say the dorsal fin is wrong.

Tarpon, maybe? But still, that’s one big backyard fish.

Legends of backyard sharks creep in after every storm, but this is the real deal.

Rutgers opened the week as 41 point underdogs against THE Ohio State University.

41 points? Ouch! (73% of the bettors have taken Rutgers and the points, which have now plummeted to a mere 39.5 from the opening 41.)

Rutgers, the Big Ten’s perennial punching bag, actually started this season 3-0 against non-conference teams, including a 66-7 drubbing of Wagner, whatever that is. Can a football team schedule games against dead German composers? In that case, I’m impressed that Wagner scored a TD. At least he must put on a good halftime show. I wonder if they bothered playing the second half after the fat lady sang.

The Knights stayed within 17 last week against Iowa in their first conference game, but I suppose the ol’ Rutgers dream bubble is about to burst against THE.

I think Pin Stripe Alley summed it up perfectly:

He has been worth 11 wins, on a team with a 9.5 game lead in the division. Despite being pitched around for a week, he hasn’t expanded, chased, or pressed at the plate. He walked 14 times between No. 60 and 61, including five straight times in the last two games. He never shook from his approach at the plate, and when Tim Mayza left a sinker out over the plate, well, you’ve seen it by now:

It’s not just the homers that make this guy incredibly good. He’s no Dave Kingman. He’s totally disciplined, and oh, that long, smooth, beautiful swing. His adjusted OPS+ is 213. Mickey Mantle’s was 210 in his triple crown season when he batted .353 with 52 homers. That’s how good Judge has been. Judge is leading in all three triple-crown categories, plus walks and runs scored. Oh, yeah – also on-base percentage and slugging average.

Nothing against Ohtani, who has been equally good, but the Angels are far below .500 and are probably going to finish in about the same place they would have finished without him. I know its not Ohtani’s fault that he and Trout seem to be about the only capable major leaguers on the team, but that’s today’s reality. Judge, on the other hand, is absolutely the reason the Yankees won the division, as Pin Stripe Alley noted. He’s surrounded by a bunch of guys hitting below .230. The two guys hitting behind him now are a rookie who was playing for Scranton in mid-August, and an aging veteran with an OPS+ of 97, so you know Judge is not going to get anything meant to go over the plate, but he never presses. The team has already clinched, so he could just swing for a homer every time up, but he continues to play optimal baseball, working for team victories rather than his personal records. He takes his walks, and lies in wait for the pitchers’ inevitable mistakes.

Judge is one level-headed dude. He earned that record.


On the other hand, the AL pitchers of 1961 couldn’t afford to pitch too carefully around Maris. He had four great hitters behind him – three MVPs (Berra, Mantle, Howard) and Moose Showron, who hit 28 homers of his own that year. The details:

  • Maris received a grand total of zero intentional walks that year. Judge has been awarded 18.
  • Maris came to the plate 157 times with runners in scoring position, and drew only 19 walks. Judge has had about the same number of opportunities (151), but was walked 40 times (18 intentional).
  • Weirdly enough, Maris came to the plate with runners on second and third 20 times and received no intentional walks in those situations, and only one unintentional walk. (Walk rate: 5%) Judge has had only 12 such plate appearances, and three of those resulted in intentional walks, with one more unintentional free pass. (Walk rate: 33%)
  • In seven of Maris’s “second and third” appearances, there was only one out – an obvious situation to walk a guy in the process of setting the all-time home run record, since it simultaneously avoids his bat and sets up the double play. No dice. They pitched to him all seven times rather than face Mickey with the bases juiced. In contrast, Judge had six chances in that situation, and was intentionally walked three of those times. Only three? Yeah, go figure. The other three pitchers or managers were obviously daft, since Judge took two of them deep, giving him a nifty 3.500 OPS in that situation.


RELATED: Judge now has 672 plate appearances, Maris had 698 in 1961, and didn’t hit #61 until the very last game of the year, which was #163 in a 162-game schedule! (One game was rained out while tied. The stats counted since it went enough innings to be “official.”)

Miami Dolphins fans set up a makeshift strip club in the parking lot before the game.

One wag tweeted: “Disgusting! Does anyone know when the next Miami home game is?”

Hey, it’s good to root in Miami. Outdoors at Lambeau we’re lucky to set up a makeshift igloo. I once saw some guys ice fishing in their truck bed.

And that was a pre-season game in August.

New pics 09/30 (if you don’t see thumbnails below, this link should work):

Murielle Huet des Aunay in “Neige”:


Marina Hands in “hommes au bord de la crise de nerfs”:

Céline Mauge in “ça tourne à Saint-Pierre et Miquelon”:

Marie Carrour in “ça tourne à Saint-Pierre et Miquelon”:

French version, with extensive commentary

Charlie’s archives (1000s of collages, no ads, no password required)