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Thursday, July 30, 2015
Tulowitzki for Reyes
This is the right time to trade Tulo. He's got a lot of money left on a massive contract, including all of the expensive years, and he's exactly at the age where decline gets sharp. He's already showing decline in patience, contact, and power this season, and those are Colorado numbers.
In exchange the Rockies got a contract reduction named Jose Reyes. Reyes is old too, but he's not that much of a dropoff from Tulowitzki. The money saved alone is worth it.
But that's not all they got. They also got 3 prospects. Jeff Hoffman is a first-round pick who's already pitching in double-A in his first professional season. Miguel Castro is 20 years old and has already pitched in the majors, and Jesus Tinoco, also 20, is in single-A and may or may not make it.
Toronto also got LaTroy Hawkins, who has been doing the same thing for 3,000 years (pitching very well), and somehow is only making 2.25 million this season. It doesn't make up for the prospect hemorrhage.
The Blue Jays are stupid.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
We're gonna talk about strategy. Like baseball, Starcraft is most interesting at the highest level, so we're gonna talk about that. Also, series are more interesting than single games, so we're talking about series. Starcraft series strategy between high-level opponents. In this case, TvZ.
The first thing I have to say is hellions suck. Actually, I was gonna say Zerg is better at macro, but listen: hellions suck. They're good against Terran, and they have uses against Protoss, but against Zerg, there is a massive value misunderstanding.
A lot of it relates to our first paragraph. Hellions are popular because they wreck less-talented players. They get in there, in the mineral line, and roast Drones for days. But we're not talking about less-talented players. We're talking about top players. And against top players, Hellions are not good. Let's examine this.
They're good against light units, and they get into mineral lines, so their strengths, it would seem, are against Zerglings and Drones. But Zerglings are so cheap that killing them essentially doesn't matter. And Zerglings with speed are faster than Hellions, so they can surround and overwhelm, reversing the Hellions' advantage. As for Drones, Zerg, due to their Special Awesome Zerg Powers, can make as many as they want at a time, assuming resources and Larvae, so killing them doesn't make much difference either. You have to kill a ton for it to matter. And we're playing top players, so you're unlikely to do that. Effectively, you're rolling the dice, with very bad odds.
What else is bad? Reapers. That's right: I said it. The most common opening, in Terran vs. Zerg, is bad. Reapers are bad across the board, and I'm gonna tell you why.
What are Reapers good for? They're good for scouting. I was excited about this when they came out. The idea of a unit that scouts is a good one, as scouting is key to the game. But Reapers are too expensive to be scouts. If you're spending that much gas, your unit better kill shit. And Reapers don't kill shit.
Sure, technically they do nonzero damage, and they wreck weak players. But we're not talking about weak players: we're talking about top players. And top players do not lose units to Reapers. So that leaves Reapers as scouts. And the problem, when you scout with a Reaper, is you also scout yourself for your opponent. They know what you did: you built a Reaper. It's too expensive for you to have done anything else.
So that's why I think Reapers are bad in all matchups. And when I see Reapers and Hellions fight Queens, I throw up a little in my mouth.
TASTELESS: I'm gonna say something that's controversial, but true.
WOLF: Lay it on me Tasteless.
TASTELESS: Starcraft is bad for you.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Number 1 Artosis Joke
Jim builds a Stargate at IEM Shenzhen.
ARTOSIS: I say Phoenix. What do you say?
APOLLO: I'm gonna flip this fan. Pink will be Oracle and Blue will be Phoenix.
APOLLO: Blue! I say Phoenix.
Jim builds a Phoenix.
APOLLO: We were right!
ARTOSIS: I guess that's your number 1 fan.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Reverse Alphabetical Analysis
I don't know Starcraft as well as I know baseball, but I do have theories. I'm a Protoss but I think mostly about Terran because it's the most interesting and best-designed. I think about Zerg too.
In many ways, Zerg is the most pure design. The smoothest, most straightforward design. The most powerful macro, the best unit flexibility, and units for every purpose. The best unit is the Queen, and the best building is the Hatchery.
The Hatchery is the best building in the game.
What is Zerg's weakness? The units themselves, especially in the air. And defense, though the economy powers a lot of units to defend with.
Terran has the most interesting design, the most interesting strategic choices. That's what I mean by "best". So my description before was redundant.
It has the right amount of unit flexibility to make unit composition choices interesting. And it has many viable unit compositions, so matching a unit strategy to an opponent is a satisfying challenge.
It has the most interesting units, and the most interesting buildings. Because the buildings make the unit choices interesting, with the add-ons.
If I were to redesign Starcraft, I'd change Terran the least, Zerg a little more, and I would redesign Protoss from the ground up.
Protoss has the best units. Those best units are all power units though so it has trouble with support, for which it ends up using Stalkers, which have low damage and low health for the cost, but have the best ability in the game when upgraded with Blink. The power units have weaknesses, but are complimented by other power units, so the general result is a ball of power units, with stalkers.
Protoss has shitty macro and shitty buildings. The macro is better than Terran at the very beginning, because of chronoboost, but this is balanced by the shittiness of the early units before they are upgraded.
Except for Force Fields, which are the most broken thing in the game.
Force Fields are no fun because they stop you from doing things. Games are fun when you can do things. Protoss is all about being no fun. But Force Fields are necessary in so many situations, to stop the enemy masses and protect fragile Protoss units.
Storm is also pretty broken.
So you've got a lot of power units with a lot of micro requirements and they're all used at the same time.
On the subject of High Templars, Feedback is pretty sweet too. It's like Terran EMP, but it also does damage. But it doesn't do area of effect. But EMP's area of effect is pretty small.
Dark Templars are pretty crappy. Terran has flying Dark Templars, and Dark Templars with range that cast spells. But Dark Templars must be used, because they're the only Protoss cloaked attack (without Mothership), and because all threats must be real.
They're pretty effective against Terran, because they force out Scans, and Scans mean fewer MULEs, and Ravens are easy for Protoss to kill. In certain situations you can maintain a steady rate of Dark Templar production, prohibiting MULEs to maintain an economic as well as material advantage, while a finishing attack is structured.