King Kaufman's Sports Daily

O.J. Simpson's new interview: Yeah, it's weird. Plus: New baseball stat! Uselessness all but guaranteed.


Salon Staff
August 3, 2007 5:00PM (UTC)

O.J. Simpson said this week that his hypotetheticonfessional book "If I Did It" was ghostwritten, and that the hypothetical ghostwriter did a theoretically lousy job on the chapter in which Simpson hypothetically described the night he killed his wife and her friend. Hypothetically.

"I read what he wrote, and I saw all of these major holes, all of these impossible things," Simpson said. "All of these other parts of the book I would correct, but I told myself, 'If I correct this, there are going to be people out there that say, "Oh, look how accurate this is,"' right?"

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Right.

Also: Huh?

Simpson vowed to begin searching for the real ghostwriter immediately. The book, which was to be published by HarperCollins, was canceled in November by the publisher's parent company, News Corp.

The interview is a weird, online-only affair that pretty much lives up to what way too many people still think when they hear the words "online only." Ahem. It's on a Web site called Market News First, or MN1.com. I couldn't get the video to play -- note to Market News First: Fix the video player first -- but there are highlights available on YouTube.

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Simpson seemed not to have known he'd be shot head to toe. He's ready for work from the belt up, in a suit jacket and tie, but below he's got on jeans, loafers and no socks. Meanwhile, interviewer Kate Delaney is sort of slumped in her easy chair.

There were phoned-in questions from viewers, many of whom took the opportunity to rag on Simpson, who pretended not to hear them. The best one I heard:

Caller: "Remember when you played for the 49ers?"
Simpson: "Yeah."
Caller: "Yeah, did you kill Bill Walsh?"

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Simpson also took yet another opportunity to blast the Goldmans, the family of his ex-wife's friend whom he killed. Hypothetically.

The Goldmans were awarded the rights to "If I Did It" this week by a bankruptcy judge, and they told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that they will release it, though not under that name or in its current form. Simpson called them hypocrites for calling Simpson's proposed earnings from the book "blood money," then seeking the rights as part of the $38 million wrongful death judgment they won against him.

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"But we now see it wasn't 'blood money' if they got the money," Simpson huffed.

Actually, it is "blood money" if the Goldmans get it, according to the second definition in the official Salon dictionary, which is "money paid as compensation to the next of kin of a murdered person; wergeld." The third definition is what it would have been for O.J.: "money gotten ruthlessly at the expense of others' lives or suffering."

The interview is continuing throughout the week on MN1.com, if you're into that sort of thing. Simpson says he's still searching for the real killer. Maybe he ought to just search for his socks.

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Either way, best bet would be to look straight down.

New stat! Transaction percentage [PERMALINK]

Odd little tidbit in the Oakland A's game notes for Wednesday's tilt against the Detroit Tigers:

"The A's released Bobby Kielty yesterday, ending a streak of five consecutive days without a 40-man roster move ... that was their longest such streak since May 5-10 when they went six consecutive days."

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The little things you celebrate when you're 13 games out in the American League West and your season has turned to mush, and also you didn't do anything exciting at the trade deadline.

"Hey Ma," thousands of young A's fans must have shouted from their computers Wednesday, "the A's went five days without making a roster move! [To self:] Cool!"

This has the makings of a new stat. Days with or without transactions. The A's made at least one transaction on 35 of the 82 days from May 11 to July 31. Most of the time, a trip to or a return from the disabled list was involved. Only 15 of those 35 days had transactions that didn't involve the D.L.

We don't need this stat -- what shall we call it? -- to tell us the A's have been riddled with injuries this season. We don't need it at all, but since when has this column let uselessness get in the way of inventing a new stat? Eh? That's the spirit.

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I suspect transaction percentage -- days with at least one 40-man-roster transaction divided by total days, abbreviated as TP -- correlates pretty well with losing. The A's TP from May 11 to July 31 was 42.7 percent, which, based on my extremely preliminary research, is indeed astronomic. Overall, through July 31 they'd made transactions on 45 of the season's 121 days, for a TP of 37.2.

Compare that to the A.L. West leaders, the Los Angeles Angels, who had a TP of only 26.4 through July 31. Also, from May 11 to July 31, while the A's never went as many as five straight days without a transaction, the Angels did it seven times. They did it three times before May ended. They had a 13-day transactionless streak in June. How did "SportsCenter" miss that?

The Boston Red Sox, who have the best record in baseball, had a tiny little TP of 20.7 through July 31, with transactions on only 25 days. It wouldn't surprise me if that also led the majors. The Sox also had a 13-day transactionless streak, in late April and early May, and that immediately followed an eight-day streak. Wow, no transactions on 21 out of 22 days!

I know you're dying to know, so I'll tell you that that one move in between was trading right-hander Scott Schoemaker and some cash to the Texas Rangers for lefty Daniel Haigwood. That's a real TP-buster right there.

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If anybody wants to be my statmonkey and figure out the TP for the whole league, and how well it correlates to winning and losing, step right up.

We should also consider the idea of dividing total transactions into the number of days, but then you'd have to actually read the transaction reports rather than just counting the dates, and when it comes to new stats, I'll take less work over greater precision every time.

Previous column: Michael Strahan; legalize PEDs?


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