WBSC Premier 12, and the embarrassment that is the Taiwanese managerial staff

Some people say baseball is boring and slow and that it’s just a game played one frame at a time between two people, the opposing pitcher and a batter. Well, they got the part about a two man show correct. It’s at least a 4 player game, because those old dudes sitting in the dugout? Well those managers play a pretty big role in the outcome, so I have seen in the Premier 12 tournament being held in Taiwan right now.

I stopped my Legacy of the Void binge to watch my favorite underdogs, Chinese Taipei, show the world once again what it means to shoot yourself in the foot, on purpose. Because this is the Taiwanese way.

Lovers of Taiwanese baseball, such as myself, are all too accustomed to watching heartbreak after heartbreak as our team self destructs because, why the hell not?

Jokes aside, in recent years the domestic talent has gotten quite good. In recent years, we’ve seen a massive surge in batting prowess develop within the CPBL, which is demonstrated by pitchers unable to hold ERAs lower than 4 and numerous players carrying ridiculous mid-300 batting averages for the duration of the season. Homeruns are up, too. But who knows? The CPBL might be using tennis balls like the South Koreans used last season.

Pitching quality has been very mixed. This generation has failed to yield anyone worth writing home about. Everyone is hits the mid/low 90s now but that’s sort of useless considering it’s all waist-high, down the center, and ready to be destroyed. Okay I’m exaggerating but really, most of the new blood is mediocre, and so many of the Major/Minor League washups have returned worse than they’ve ever been.

But baseball isn’t as simple as the players on the field. What I’m trying to say is that this iteration of the Taiwanese National Team has never been better offensively, which should make up for its mediocre pitching… unless the incompetent managerial staff decides to use their brains and ruin this delicate balance.

Last night I witnessed Taiwan fall to the Canadians due to Coach Kuo Tai-yuan’s master strategy of using only LHP against the predominately left-batting Canadian team. I mean this is a perfectly viable strategy, but this isn’t Starcraft, where you can use one strategy to make it up Gold League. His thought process must’ve been as follows:

  • I see my starting LHP getting rocked by the lefty hitters…
  • Let’s send another LHP onto the mound… he’s not doing so well either
  • Got anymore lefties? Use him! Clearly we’re having so much success with this… he’s faltering…
  • ONE MORE LEFTY! Because Chen Kuan-yu, the starter that got demolished in the opening game of the tournament, is a better option than any of the PROVEN right handed relievers. Yes! Because lefty against lefty has been working out so well today.

Taiwan lost 9-8 last night. 6 ER for the 4 left-handed pitchers vs the 2 ER for the 4 following RHPs. Because fuck winning right?

Baseball’s not that simple but the choices that were made last night were just infuriating.

To be honest I’m also pretty ticked off at Chiang Chih-hsien. That lazy washup has no business in the infield when he can’t turn two on routine plays.

Honestly, to start winning games, Kuo Tai-yuan really needs to be banned from any managerial spots in the future. His player selections revolve around recruiting players who have overseas experience, completely disregarding whatever abysmal numbers they’ve put up over the years. He’s also shown his masterful grasp of baseball tactics. I feel like I need to back up my opinions with evidence. I will deliver! And I will show that Mr. Kuo specializes in driving the teams he manages into the dirt.

For the record, I still maintain that our discount Ace, Kuo Chun-lin should’ve started against Canada. He’s touted as some fancy pants up and coming talent… I don’t buy it, but he’s competent. The truth is that because nobody wants to admit that he sucks and the Seibu Lions wasted a ton of money and a Foreign Player spot on this kid. Oh, and did I mention that Kuo Tai-yuan helped get facilitate this too?


Stress eating

Little things in life are really piling up. It certainly doesn’t help that my house was broken into a few weeks ago. That’s on top of schoolwork, interviews, remembering to feed my fish, and the creeping anxiety that one of my housemates has forgotten to shut something (honestly this guy seems incapable of closing/locking the front door, shutting the fridge, shutting off the gas stove). I was really hoping that my workout schedule would help with the stress. But it seems like what really makes me happy is food. Oh great, another item to add on my list of troubles, my overeating is not helping me fit in my suit.

First Hackathon!

So I attended my first hackathon today! Put off another day’s worth of school work to do learn Android development.

Perhaps this wasn’t in the spirit of a hackathon, but I pitched a redo of Party Tracker, this time called blackoutben.

It’s not completely done yet, but I feel that when it is, this will be the app, finally done right, especially since location data is stored remotely on Google App Engine. Honestly, I feel like I could’ve done this last year too if I had learned about the available services on Internet. It’s really in times like these that I appreciate that I am no longer working in isolation.

I thought it was really neat how much coding up my Windows Phone 8.1 app helped in getting the Android app going. So many things carried over and in so many ways it was the same.

Perhaps the biggest thing is that I’m finally using version control. Saved my ass so many times today. I’m really unsure how Android Studio does Git. Checking out different branches does NOT add/remove files!

Here’s the repo.

Will post updates when it’s all finished.

Career Fair

Today I attended the Viterbi Career Fair here at USC. I didn’t have class today so I had the time to spend the whole day there, from start to finish. In that amount of time I saw a total of 5 companies. So at a rate of 1 company/hour, I can’t say this was the most effective use of my time, though the ROI on this if I were to get hired would make it all worth it.

I could’ve applied to all 5 companies online in 10 minutes. Which got me thinking about what it must feel to be on the other side of the table. As a recruiter, the prospect of shaking hundreds of hands and reviewing just as many resumes seems like such an unreasonable task. I wonder how effective these on-campus events are for both companies and students.

Big week!

After finishing that MSFE degree, I thought that there’d be no way in hell I’d go back to school again. Then I promptly forgot how stressful studying for midterms were and wound up back in school a year an a half later. It’s for the best I suppose. Perhaps my interests are finally lining up or I’m just delusional, but this is the first time in a while that I’ve been excited to get to work.

Either way, I believe I passed that algorithms exam with a score = Ω(1). I hope this means what I think it means. Or it could just be very self-incriminating evidence that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

HackSC 2015 is coming up. I’ve signed up and hope to participate in my first hackathon. I’ve got an idea going in already as an “easy” thing to do. In my experience, anything that is “easy” and can be done in X amount of time should actually be expected to be completed in at least quadruple the time. I think I’ll have a crack at retrying my last app. I think I’ll name it after its inspiration this time and call it Blackout Ben.

Fumbling through network programming

Last year I spent a good portion of September figuring out how to get my phones to communicate to each other in that Bluetooth/GPS Windows Phone app I was writing.

I guess what really steered me towards Bluetooth was my aversion to communicating through the web. Bluetooth would help keep things somewhat local and would simplify my application by cutting out the need for a server to forward information to the host phones. I also had bad memories from that one year when my group and I spent the Thanksgiving Holidays implementing our Senior Design project. Somehow I couldn’t get a good grasp on socket programming, so I ended up proposing that we just use libpcap to sniff and inject instead of actually writing a robust routing system.  I suppose our implementation was robust enough in the interim,as a proof of concept, but production would be much different. When things started going South over Thanksgiving, we turned to our friends at the ACM in Siebel Center, only to get a door slammed in our faces, no joke. Oh well, the project worked alright. Even so, I kind of just decided socket programming wasn’t going to be a part of my life after that.

Anyway while doing that Windows Phone app, I spent a ton of time designing a somehow functional communications protocol and even a three way handshake to make sure things were being sent and received. Kind of cool considering I’m finally learning about this stuff at school again. Honestly should’ve picked up a book back then. Probably would’ve saved me a month. This time around everything’s much easier.

Rest in peace (pieces) PartyTracker. The logo and icon were the slickest part of the entire program. 😛