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I have some thoughts about the film "The Verdict," wherein the movie jury is told to ignore info they've been told because it's inadmissible, but the jury basically decides (offscreen,) "Screw that, we're gonna HEED the 'inadmissible' testimony.'"  
 
The phrase for a jury that decides what they think is right and just, irrespective of the law, is "Jury nullification." It is ABSOLUTELY the right of EVERY American juror to do their very best to make sure that justice is served, no matter what they're told! Any BJOL readers that see this and end up on juries: Justice is what matters, so do what you think is right!  
 
That's it, that's all, just wanted to yammer in praise of jury nullification. Hey, Baseball's starting soon!
Asked by: JohnPontoon

Answered: 2/25/2021
 Yes, I agree with that, and that is what the Paul Newman character says in the movie.  "Today, you ARE the law."   Brilliant soliloquy. . . .begins "So much of the time you're just lost."  But Newman makes, and I would also make, the additional point that sometimes, in some cases, the process of the trial works against justice, rather than in favor of it.  

 

Hey Bill, the NBA has a similar problem that MLB has with instant replay... It turns out that if you run the tape at 1/10000 speed, a ball that’s been swatted out of bounds by a defender *actually* remained on the fingertip of the offensive player for a millisecond after the swipe.
Asked by: PB

Answered: 2/25/2021
 Well. . .sorry to divert your question to a different purpose, but that's a messed-up rule for a different reason.  A ball that goes out of bounds should be "off" the last team which provided the momentum for the ball to go out of bounds, or off of the last team that had clear possession in the relatively few cases in which it is unclear who knocked it out.  The rule doesn't make any sense the way it is, because it makes an incidental event, not controlling of the action, the key to resolution of the play.  But people accept the rule the way it is because it's always been that way.  

 

In a recent Hey Bill answer you said that the reason NY football teams don't dominate like the Yankees is because TV revenue is controlled by the league.  
 
I think one of the fundamental differences between MLB and the NFL is that the NFL has a hard salary cap whereas MLB has a luxury tax threshold ( a soft cap if you will )  
 
This year the NFL cap, I think, is actually going down to about 185 million. That has to be spread around 53 different players. You've got QBs now making 25, 30 or 40 million a year. So teams are cutting players making 3 or 5 or 7 million to pay for their QBs.  
 
If a team generates more revenue, it doesn't help them become more successful on the field. They can only spend up to the cap.  
 
The Jets and the Giants are 3rd and 8th in total revenue, a lot of good that does them.  
 
I believe MLB is different. Teams can spend whatever they want to. Sure, they would have to pay a luxury tax, but they can do it.  
 
Anyway, I know this isn't a question, just thought I'd throw
Asked by: Allen Schade

Answered: 2/25/2021
 I think you underestimate the effects of money in different forms.  Paying $20 million salaries to attract star players is a fools game.   That's what the Angels do; you wind up attracting Luis Pujols and Josh Hamilton.  The real effect of money is the money you spend in other ways.  

 

    Hi Bill,  
    To answer your twitter query, Days Of Wines And Roses was originally done as a presentation of Playhouse 90 in 1958 with Cliff Robertson who also starred in a tv version of The Hustler. When those vehicles were turned into movies, Robertson was passed over in favor of Jack Lemmon and Paul Newman so when he did a program about a mentally challenged man who becomes a genius, Charly, he purchased the movie rights for himself and went on to win an Oscar. Other notable movies from around that time that began life as live tv dramas include Marty, Judgement At Nuremberg, and Twelve Angry Men.  The '58 Days Of Wine And Roses is on you tube.  
 
Asked by: dlang62

Answered: 2/25/2021
 Thanks.  My wife and I are planning to watch it this weekend.  

 

No offense to djmedinah, but if you think about it, Chicago has to be the no 1 in wins, not because they're sneaky good but because they have had so many teams for so many years. It's the only city that has had a representative in the 4 major sports since their respective sports' foundings (or close enough), and only 1 team has moved away (football Cardinals). Think about it: Cubs 1876 White Sox 1901, Bears 1920, Blackhawks 1926, Bulls 1966. And the football Cardinals were there for 40 years (1920-1959). No other city can match that. Cubs alone probably have more wins than most cities' combined sports, because they've had 145 years to do it.
Asked by: TheRicemanCometh

Answered: 2/25/2021
 Pretty sure the NBA wasn't founded in 1966, but OK.  

 

Bill on Twitter: "Tom Hanks has done about 60 feature films, depending on what you count. What's interesting (and odd) is that the second half of that list is OBVIOUSLY much better than the first.  How many of those 60 films would you guess you have seen?"  
 
Not counting shorts or television, I counted 56. Based on your multiple choice boxes, I would have guessed that I've seen slightly fewer than 15 of them. However, I counted 26. He must be the actor I've seen in the most movies. So, probably, has everyone else.  
 
Checking the top contenders:  
Nope, it's Robert DeNiro: 27  
Jack Nicholson: 22  
Michael Caine: 18  
Gene Hackman: 18  
Dustin Hoffman: 17  
 
Combining Dustin with Phillip Seymour, I've seen as many Hoffman movies as Hurt movies (William, John, or Mary Beth) 29 in all. Little Gaby Hoffman of Field of Dreams puts them in first - a few more than the Fondas (Henry, Jane, Peter, & Bridget). The Coopers are gaining on them (Gary, Chris, & Bradley), but still far off.
Asked by: hotstatrat / John Carter

Answered: 2/25/2021
 I actually counted, but whatever.   I would guess John Wayne still holds the record for me, or perhaps Robert Duvall.  There's a lot of character actors that you forget, because they don't own the movie the way that Wayne or Hanks owns the movie.  

 

Hi, Bill. On Twitter you mentioned Jeff Nelson having the greatest slider you ever saw and Frank Wills as maybe having the second best. I was young but in his brief time with the Red Sox, I remember Scott Williamson having an incredible slider-almost as good as Nelson's.  Am I misremembering?
Asked by: izzy24

Answered: 2/24/2021
 I don't know whether you are or not.  I hardly remember Scott Williamson with the Sox.  I just remember that when we got him we knew that he was an injury wating to happen, and it happened.   

 

Hi Bill,  
 
So I did a quick study along the lines you mentioned in an earlier exchange, which concerned the relationship between management performance and city population, and whaddya know—the city with the most wins in the four major sports (26,126) is none other than Chicago. This I think would come as a surprise to many of the city’s sports fans, but perhaps the management in the town isn’t doing so badly? (A huge chunk of those wins, of course, come from the two MLB clubs—which as you pointed out in your own study regarding "sneaky good" franchises, are sneaky good.) Anyway, I’d be happy to present the rest of my findings if you knew of a forum: my study compiled total wins per franchise per league, but seeing my results might enable somebody else to do it better.  
 
Thanks!    
Asked by: djmedinah

Answered: 2/24/2021
 Without seeing the study I can't commit, but I think you'd be willing to publish it here,if that can be accomplished in two or three e-mails or less.  If the e-mail chain goes on too long I lose interest.  

 

With regards to the passing on of political office to relatives, I guess it depends on what you consider "higher political Office".  There are a number of cases, usually in large urban areas, where congressmen or aldermen have stepped down from their position with timing that led to the election/selection of their progeny as their successor.  In Missouri, for instance, William Clay to William Lacey Clay as Congressman.  I was starting to list all the recent cases in Chicago aldermanic politics and just had to stop because the list was longer than my character allowance.  Quite a few Carnahans in recent years in Missouri, with the most famous example when the patriarch's corpse won a US Senate seat in 2000 and his widow became Senator.
Asked by: bhalbleib

Answered: 2/24/2021
They've always been around, at least in Kansas.  Nancy Landon Kassebaum, our Senator for many years, was the daughter of Alf Landon, our Governor in the 1930s, who was the Republican candidate for President in 1936.   Our Governor about 15 years ago, Kathleen Sibelius, is or was the daughter-in-law of Keith Sibelius, who was a US Representative around here in the 1960s and 1970s (don't know the exact years) and also I believe that her father was Governor of Ohio.  George Docking, governor of Kansas from 1952 to 1960, was the father of Robert Docking, who was governor in the 1970s.   Two members of the third generation of Dockings ran for high office but lost; well, one of them got to Lieutenant Governor, but then lost the Governor's race; I forget whether he lost in the primary or the general election.  We've always had them.  I don't really know if there are more of them or less, over time.  

 

Hi Bill. I recently read that Kolten Wong said that he will have to get used to more shifting, now that he is on the Brewers. This begged a question in my head:  
 
Does shifting have an adverse effect on an otherwise stellar fielder (as in a Wong)?  
 
Not sure if this has been studied.
Asked by: tommyr

Answered: 2/24/2021
 I'm not sure what it is you WANT studied, to be honest.  Are you talking about an actual loss in value due to the shifting, or increased complications in accurately measuring his value.  
 
One can see that it could make a big difference to a second baseman, because it will change many of the plays on which he would otherwise be making a pivot into plays on which he will have to feed the shortstop to make the pivot.  

 

What managers not yet in the Hall of Fame deserve serious consideration for inclusion, in your judgment?
Asked by: fcollig

Answered: 2/24/2021
 I wrote an article here on that subject maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and then almost all of the people I nominated then have since been put in.   We've been putting in too many managers.  We need to back off of them for a while.  

 

Old age is the time of life when you can't remember Anthony Hopkins' name (actually true for me, several times) and all you can come up with is "Fava beans and a nice chianti".
Asked by: BlueRulez

Answered: 2/24/2021
 I can never remember Eric Clapton's name, haven't been able to for 40 years.   I always have to google "Layla".  

 

Bill, at one point you said that the Man From the Train was very unlikely to have committed the Borden murders, but I think that was before you traced him back to a murder in Massachusetts in 1898. Do you now think it was possible that he killed Andrew and Abby Borden six years earlier?
Asked by: TJNawrocki

Answered: 2/24/2021
 No.  The crimes are just completely different.   You can't make them match up.  

 

Hey Bill, I was a Dodger fan in the mid 50s, remotely from the Deep South.  There was much talk that the reason they could never beat the Yankees, until Mantle was unable to play, was that they were choking dogs.  
 
From a remark in the 2000 Historical Atlas, I gather that a more important reason was that they had only one left-handed power hitter.  
 
So I wondered.  What if they had traded , say Furillo for Skinner or Hodges plus prospects for Klu?  (I can’t think of any other NL power lefties.)  It would reduce their pennant prospects, maybe, but also maybe improve their chances against the Yankees.  Would the Dodgers have been crazy to do that?
Asked by: hazelmaye

Answered: 2/24/2021
 From my standpoint, I would not mess with the framework of the team for a percentage advantage.  The Dodgers were an unusual unit, on which it is almost true that every player had a good year every year.  I know about Campy's up/down pattern (due to injuries), but Furillo, Hodges, Snider, Gilliam, Pee Wee, Jackie. . .they all had good years every year.  That happened, I think, because they supported one another.  THe worked one another through tough patches and back to the light.  I would never mess with that to get a percentage advantage.   You're risking a dollar to gain a nickle when you do that.  

 

An old friend - and famous lawyer - enjoyed The Verdict, but said it was terrible law.  He was referring to the behavior of all parties and the rulings of the judge. The fact that jurors do not always disregard what they are told to disregard is why judges need to rule on whether evidence or testimony is admissible to keep it from being presented in the first place. Without that protection, constitutional rights would be trampled (and they were) and hearsay and other kinds of prejudicial evidence would increase the error rate, particularly against poor defendants who lack quality legal representation.
Asked by: Robinsong

Answered: 2/22/2021
Yeah, well. . .hopefully either you or your lawyer friend will eventually see the light.  

 

 
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