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Conference Registration Only $8-10   16 comments

Check it out: http://biblicaljustice.wordpress.com/

Justice in the Eyes of God Conference

March 19, 2011 @ American University

Posted February 17, 2011 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Fielding Awards Part II   Leave a comment

2000 Fancy Fielder Awards (with Gold Glove Awards in parenthesis)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher: G. Maddux, ATL (Maddux)

Catcher: M. Matheny, STL (Matheny)
First Baseman: T. Helton, COL (J. Snow)
Second Baseman: W. Morris, PIT (P. Reese)
Shortstop: N. Perez, COL (Perez)
Third Baseman: A. Beltre, LAD (S. Rolen)

Left Fielder: B. Bonds, SFG (J. Edmonds)
Center Fielder: A. Jones, ATL (Jones)

Right Fielder: B. Abreu, PHI (S. Finley)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher: K. Rogers, TEX (Rogers)
Catcher: B. Ausmus, DET (I. Rodriguez)
First Baseman: J. Olerud, SEA (Olerud)

Second Baseman: R. Alomar, CLE (Alomar)

Shortstop: A. Rodriguez, SEA (O. Vizquel)
Third Baseman: T. Bautista, TOR (T. Fryman)
Left Fielder: D. Erstad, ANA (Erstad)

Center Fielder: M. Cameron, SEA (B. Williams)
Right Fielder: P. O’Neill, NYY (J. Dye)

E6 Awards (in honor of Derek Jeter)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Pitcher: R. Ankiel, STL
Catcher: R. Hernandez, OAK
First Baseman: A. Galarraga, ATL

Second Baseman: M. Morandini, PHI & TOR

Shortstop: D. Relaford, PHI & SDP
Third Baseman: D. Palmer, DET
Left Fielder: G. Sheffield, LAD
Center Fielder: T. Long, OAK

Right Fielder: D. Bichette, CIN

Posted November 11, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Fielding Awards Part I   1 comment

The Gold Glove Sucks
I think the term Gold Glove is a misnomer. Shouldn’t the glove be something soft, something light, something that eats up balls? Gold is hard.

Furthermore, fielding is about more than just the glove. Fielding is about the arm. What is the role of the glove when Ichiro Suzuki grabs a routine ground ball and fires a shot with his rifle arm at home plate to nab the runner trying to score? Fielding is about the feet? One of the most iconic fielding plays is Willie Mays running out to deep center field in the Polo Grounds and making an over-the-shoulder catch. The catch wasn’t really the greatest thing about that play. It was the fact that Mays was even in a position to make the catch. He traveled a mile to even make it there.

Finally, the Gold Glove is awarded somewhat arbitrarily without much of a standard. That’s why Derek Jeter has won 5 Gold Gloves, even though almost everyone is in agreement that he has one of the most limited range among shortstops in the last quarter century. He has possibly deserved one, maybe two of his Gold Gloves. And this isn’t just my bias against the Yankees. I’m also upset that Scott Rolen just won his 7th Gold Glove. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve any of them… it’s that he didn’t deserve this latest one, at the least.

My Own Fielding Awards
I love that The Fielding Bible has created their own award, but that only goes back to 2007. Therefore, I decided to create my own fielding award. I know that all 10 of you sports readers are ecstatic about this. Obviously, there will be some subjectivity to this, but I want to explain my standards as much as possible so that you can hold me accountable to my picks. I will take these picks as far back as possible. These awards will be given out based on standard statistics (such as fielding percentage, putouts, errors), sabermetrics statistics (UZR, range factor, arm factor), and oh-my-gosh-did-he-just-do-that (such as Web Gems). It will be called “The Fancy Fielder.”

Also, there will be a second award called “The E6” in honor of Derek Jeter for the worst fielder in each position for each league.

Up Next
Next, I will be unveiling The Fancy Feilder and The E6 awards of the past decade (from 2000-2009).

Posted November 11, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

UCLA Athletics: Why Must We Suffer?   1 comment

In 2007, UCLA lost another game to USC, 24-7. This is nothing new for Bruins fans, as UCLA has only one win against USC in the past decade. But this victory was the culmination of half a decade of futility under Coach Karl Dorrell. The Bruins finished 6-6 and the Dorrell era at UCLA was finally over.

Afterwards, the Bruins believed we had found the one to lead them to redemption–to guide them to the promise land among the upper echelon of football greats. The man was Rick Neuheisel, who had formerly led UCLA to some level of greatness as a Bruins quarterback. Neuheisel stirred the waters right away, with a one-page ad campaign aimed directly at the football dynasty across town: “The football monopoly in Los Angeles is officially over.”

But now, three years into the Neuheisel era, the UCLA Bruins are at a familiar level of mediocrity–3 wins and 5 losses. So, this begs the question. Why must we suffer? Why must our expectations be elevated only to have our hearts destroyed so brutally? Why? Why? WHY???

The same can be said of the UCLA basketball team recently. Sure, Ben Howland has led us to three straight Final Four appearances. But remember those brutal losses? Remember how Joakim Noah of the University of Florida was mocking the Bruin cheerleaders during their team’s demolition of the Bruins? Remember last season? Our star point guard, Jrue Holiday, left for the NBA… and, to top it off, he actually played better in the NBA than he ever had for the Bruins. Our backup point guard, Jerime Anderson, was not ready to take control of the team. Our best player, Drew Gordon, picked a fight with teammates and proved to be an immature jerk… now he plays for New Mexico State. Our hustle man, Reeves Nelson, lost an eyeball–or something like it. And, I actually longed for the days when we had Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey roaming the paint. (BTW… one of my greatest memories of Fey was a pickup game at the Wooden Center. Fey, a 7-ft. giant, played against five Asians, none of whom where over 6-ft. tall. Fey tried to dunk on one my friends, whom I will call Belanda Wang, and Belanda knocked him to the ground. Imagine that–a 7-footer so soft that he was knocked on his butt by a guy who was over a foot shorter and nearly 100 pounds lighter. AND I STILL MISSED HIM. Why? Because I’m suffering here… why must I suffer?

Well… suffering is good for us… because suffering makes the eventual victory that much sweeter. If we only understand victory and glory, we will definitely enjoy it. However, if we get a taste of victory after years of having our taste buds drenched in bitter sweat and tears, the victory is that much sweeter–because we understand the great chasm that exists between sweet victory and bitter defeat.

And that brings me to the upcoming UCLA basketball season. While I’m fairly sure that Howland’s purged roster will do much better than last season–with the potential to make a run into March Madness–I’m excited about the recruiting. Because, while we have a solid team this year, we can have an AMAZING team going forward. There are three reasons why 2012 will be one of Howland’s best recruiting classes ever. First, Howland is going to recruit his guys. He is going to place a greater emphasis on people with character, determination, and a willingness to play defense. Second, Howland has opened up his offense so that his players can run more fast breaks. The Bruins aren’t going to be mistaken for Kentucky, but at least we’ll be separating ourselves a bit from Washington State. Third, Howland has a reputation of developing players of all positions who succeed in the NBA. Think of the Howland players who are currently in the NBA: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ryan Hollins. That’s 4 point guards, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, and a center. Fourth, it’s U-C-L-A! We are the school of John Wooden, who will be prominent this season because the entire Pac-10 will be honoring him. We have a school of beautiful weather and beautiful girls. There’s plenty of things that will attract players.

And, now, without further ado, here’s the list of players who are considering Westwood as their collegiate destination. Sorry, the information is pretty bare bones, since I’m just doing this during class.

Shabazz Muhammad, SG/SF (6-5, 185)
Scout #1 SF, Rivals #1 SG

Brandon Ashley, PF (6-8, 225)
Scout #3, Rivals #2

Grant Jerrett, PF/C (6-8, 200)
Scout #5 C, Rivals #5 PF

Roscoe Allen, SF (6-7, 205)
Scout #5, Rivals #4

L.J. Rose, PG (6-3, 175)
Scout #1, Rivals #4

Marcus Paige, PG (6-0, 155)
Scout #2, Rivals #5

J.P. Tokoto, SF (6-5, 190)
Scout #9, Rivals #10

Willie Cauley, C (6-11, 220)
Scout #12, Rivals #9

Anrio Adams, SG (6-3, 180)
Scout #9, Rivals #8

Jordan Tebbutt, SF (6-5, 215)
Scout #11, Rivals #14

Jordan Adams, SG/SF (6-5, 220)
Scout #4 SF, Rivals #10 SG

Xavier Johnson, SF (6-6, 180)
Scout #23, Rivals #19

Landen Lucas, PF/C (6-9, 240)
Scout #8 PF, Rivals #13 C

Tyrone Wallace, PG (6-4, 165)
Scout #15, Rivals #15

Hope you enjoyed hearing about the state of UCLA basketball recruiting…

Posted November 2, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Climbing the Ridge to Holiness   1 comment

Hebrews 13:7 states that we should “remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you, and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” And God has graciously put before me many heroes of the faith, whether I consider them brothers in Christ or fathers of the faith. These are men in my life whom I seek to imitate, as they seek to follow Christ’s example (1 Corinthians 11:1). Then, there are the men who my heroes follow after. One such men is John Owen. It’s not that John Owen is a hero of my own, but there are so many steps between myself and him. But one of the amazing things is to recognize that fathers of the faith like Owen recognize the wide chasm between their holiness and the holiness of God more than I. I was reminded of that in John Piper’s biographical sermon of John Owen.

In this sermon, Piper said of Owen’s holiness:

Owen was the kind of person–[Jonathan] Edwards was another one–who had climbed so high up the steeps of wonder revealed in the Scriptures that he could pull his face up over the ridge to see the ridges. Most people are down here looking up at that first ridge carping at intellectuals who try to understand it. The people who really know how low they are are the ones who climb high enough in biblical revelation to see over the first ridge to the other ones that disappear into the clouds. These people down here who never got to the top of the first ridge, they might be a little impressed. But they haven’t even begun to see what Owen saw when he climbed up over 16 volumes worth [of written work] into God and said, “I haven’t even touched it.”

Read it over again. I had to listen to this a few times and spent some time meditating on it.

It all reminds me of climbing Mt. Everest. Mind you, I’ve never climbed Mt. Everest and will most likely never do so. But it reminds me of hearing from other climbers, especially those who have never climbed before. That’s because, to climb the Everest, climbers have to trek up to 16,990 feet–and that’s only so they can set up base camp. Then, they have to climb over 3,000 feet to get to Camp II. They next set up their advanced base camp at 21,300 feet. All this climbing and trekking, and they’re still 5,000 feet away from an altitude so high and dangerous that it is known as the “death zone.”

Well, I’m not even at base camp. I’ve only begun climbing the initial few thousand feet up the steep slopes of personal holiness. I can see base camp at a distance, and it seems like a long way but I’m fairly sure I can make it. And I’m pretty certain that when I get there, I’ll be just a stone’s throw away from where I need to be. I realize that I cannot attain to the holiness of Jesus Christ, but it seems like the camp set up in the far distance would be a good place to get to. But I have no idea that all I’m looking at is the initial base camp. I’m huffing and puffing, not realizing that what I’m attempting to attain is really just the start of the climb.

On the other hand, you have men like John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. These are men who have climbed into the death zone of the Everest of personal holiness. They get there to look up and realize that the rest of the mountain is still hidden amongst the clouds. At 28,000 feet, they haven’t even reached the second step of climbing the mountain, which would require the use of Chinese ladders, a permanent fixture of the mountain that assists climbers going up the steep slope as the oxygen gets thinner. Then, there’s the additional third step. Once there, the climber still has to climb up the 50 degree snow slope to ascend to the ridge.

This adds great weight to what the Lord said in the book of Leviticus: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). We think we have an idea of what it means to be holy because we see what holiness looks like off in the distance. But what we’re seeing is not holiness… its just the first ridge, where you could see all the other RIDGES. That’s when you get an understanding of JUST HOW HOLY God truly is.

For now, that first ridge is still off in the distance. But I look forward to the day when, by God’s grace, I might approach that ridge and look over it to see that the true climb has yet to begin. However, this should not be a discouragement for believers. We will get to the peak… guaranteed. God, in His plan, has given us the promise of the peak. “[The Father] made [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And all those who are found in Jesus Christ will one day gaze upon that peak and say, “WHOA! It’s even higher than I could’ve ever imagined. I would’ve never thought THIS is what perfect holiness was like. Beyond my wildest dreams!” It’s what the apostle Paul is getting at in Ephesians 3:17-19: “[T]hat you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

And our only response will be the verses (Ephesians 3:20-21) that follow directly after: “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Posted October 30, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

The Heidelberg Catechism   Leave a comment

We believe in the cross,
Believe in His life,
We believe in His death,
Believe He’s the Christ.
We believe that He rose from the grave,
Yes it is Him, and we read the Heidelberg Catechism.
We believe in the afterlife,
And we believe love is after Christ,
So we stand our ground,
Cuz the truth’s been around,
From the word to the Heidelberg.

Curtis Allen, aka Voice, answered a challenge by C.J. Mahaney to write a rap on the Heidelberg Catechism. It’s a pretty sick song, and you can get a legal copy of it for free here. If you’re unfamiliar with the Heidelberg Catechism, Kevin DeYoung recently wrote a book on it: The Good News We Almost Forgot.

To give you a small taste of the Heidelberg Catechism–which is written in Q&A form–here are the first two questions and answers of the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563.

What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own, but belong–body and soul, in life and in death–to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.

Posted October 27, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

The Dodgers Almost Have Cliff Lee   Leave a comment

Okay, they don’t. But they have the closest thing to Cliff Lee… Clayton Kershaw. One independent scout said, “[Cliff] Lee is basically [Clayton] Kershaw with impeccable command.”

Lee’s ERA the past three seasons: 2.54, 3.22, 3.18. Kershaw’s ERA the past three seasons: 4.26, 2.79, 2.91. Despite the similarity in ERA’s (especially considering the 4.26 from Kershaw was his rookie season), one major difference is their respective WHIPs this past year. Lee with a 1.00 and Kershaw with a 1.18. Although Lee is a lot more hittable than Kershaw (.240 AVG and .214 AVG, respectively), Lee had a K/BB ratio of 10.28 while Kershaw had a ratio of 2.62. Lee walked 18 and Kershaw walked 81. And, although the Dodgers can’t afford Lee because Frank and Jamie wasted all the team’s money on their various debaucheries, the Dodgers have hopes of replicating Lee–maybe even getting someone better.

Here’s what I wrote last month about Kershaw:

Kershaw has shown something this year that we haven’t seen before. Although his final numbers were similar to last year, here is something that is making me salivate. In 2009, Kershaw never had a month where he allowed less than 4 BB/9IP. He had 3 months where he had more than 5 BB/9IP. This year, aside from the first month, he had only one other month with a BB/9IP greater than 4. The other 4 months? 3.89, 2.86, 2.25, and 1.85. Now, I’m not saying he’s gonna be the next Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, in terms of control. But I my heart starts beating faster when considering how he might do if he can keep his BB/9IP under 3.00 for next season. His ERA is not a random guess, but I calculated it based on the percentage of base runners who score runs on him. It’s pretty constant, so if he can lower the number of base runners, he will lower the amount of runs scored. Kershaw will finish in the top-5 in the Cy Young race for the first time, ever. And, if he can win 15+ games, I think he has an awesome shot of winning the award, even over Halladay and Lincecum. BTW… I consider K/BB as one of the greatest indicators of pitching dominance. Look at any great pitcher and they will have a K/BB ratio greater than 3/1.
2.34 ERA, 215 IP, 235 K/70 BB, 165 H, 1.09 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 3.4 K/BB

Posted October 19, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized