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You guys might notice something different at Viva El Birdos today.
An all-new vibe. New ways of doing things, of looking at all the things we've always done. Innovation. Paradigm shifting. New media synergy. Well, the cat's out of the bag: Viva El Birdos is different, and it is all new.
And this is what the new Viva El Birdos is all about: Pete Kozma. Pete Kozma United.
You're welcome to explore the new Pete Kozma for yourself, but I'd like to take you on a little tour, if that's all right, of some of the new features you can expect in Pete Kozma 2.0. The Vox Media product team has been working day and night on the Cardinals' shortstop-to my detailed specifications-and I feel confident in saying that it's the best Pete Kozma you've ever seen.
Here's some of the new stuff you're going to want to see:
Home run power. Older Pete Kozma designs afforded minimal space for power hitting. It just wasn't something we thought about back in 2007, the last time he was redesigned. Shortstops were different then; Pete Kozma 1.0 was great for its time, but here in 2012 the limitations were beginning to show.
Pete Kozma United's slugging percentage is now rated more than 300 points higher than Rick Porcello's. You've been asking for a lot of features, and my new specs deliver. Pulling the ball? Check. Full-screen dinger highlights presented by Joe Mauer? Yawn.
Actual shortstop defense. When I started talking about a full-scale Pete Kozma redesign, a lot of people were really unhelpful about it. Some of them said it was because what I was proposing was dangerous and illegal, but I've been moderating internet communities for a long time, and I've learned that when people say "dangerous and illegal" they usually mean they're worried about someone changing the things they love about a blog, or a shortstop.
No worries, guys: I listened. Pete Kozma is still an actual shortstop, and not a second baseman, or Skip Schumaker, or a big pile of baseball bats with a glove on it.
You can count on the new Pete Kozma to continue to be a real shortstop even under Jake Westbrook-sized ground ball loads. The new Kozma has been designed to respond gracefully to the grounder needs of the pitcher you have, not the pitcher you wish you had.
A BAbip of .363. Okay, I need to recheck some of my math on these specs, if you'll just-
-sorry, Excel takes forever to open, you know how it is-
-yeah. A batting average of .363 on balls in play. Because a high batting average is good, right? You want that. Nobody would ever say, "Man, this guy's batting average is too high, I wish he were
Half as many triples as singles. Which, again, like, who's complaining, exactly? I mean Ichiro would have like 100 triples a year at that
A 2012 line of .238/.296/.377. You know, some people-some people are just never going to appreciate what you do, and they're never going to come around to new ways of doing things, no matter how many laws you had to circumvent to redesign a professional baseball player.
It's been nice for now, though, right? I mean, Bo Hart finished the 2003 season as a totally average second baseman, no matter how below-average he really was, and that team couldn't have finished the way it did without him. That is-it would have been less heartbreaking, but probably over sooner, at least.
Okay. Okay. The 2012 Cardinals are 3.5 games up in the second Wild Card spot this morning, and Pete Kozma United has a lot to do with it. So maybe he'll almost definitely fall back to earth, and maybe he shouldn't be starting at shortstop right now, even, but you liked the dingers, right?
And-well, look. I probably shouldn't have asked bjork and the rest of the product guys to redesign the shortstop while they were busy relaunching all the websites, especially since they turned me down and I had to code Pete Kozma United myself and I don't really know a lot of assembly. But SB Nation United is pretty great, at least.
Did anybody remember to back up Ryan Jackson?