Category Archives: Written


Scouting Report of 5 Pitchers

May 20, 2013, by

For my 162 class, we were asked to create a detailed scouting report of 5 different players. My 5 players were pitchers. In this process we had to create a list of statistics in which to measure the player’s skill. We also looked up their salaries and what they are due to make. All in all it was nice to study sports and use it as a school project.

Basic Stats Analysis

Wins vs loss (example – 4wins and 3 losses is 4/3)
Innings pitched is IP
WHIP is Walks and hits divided by the amount of innings they have pitched
ERA is earned run average, how often they gave up runs

Player Biographies –

Cj Wilson : CJ is 32 years old and pitches for the Los Angeles Angels. He is a 2 time all star, so his salary is well deserved from the past, but he isn’t quite living up to his billing, at least so far this year. He is still a very good pitcher who at any point during the season could get hot and be a catalyst for the Angels playoff success. It’s hard to compare him to other pitchers I’m analyzing, because he’s a closer and not a starter.

Alex Cobb : Alex is a young 25 year old pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. At this point in his career, he is a bargain for his team making only a half million dollars this year. He clearly still has some kinks to work at as a young pitcher, but also has an extremely high ceiling. This was exemplified in his most recent outing, where he threw 13 strikeouts, but also gave up 3 runs in almost 5 innings. Once these flaws and inconsistencies are worked out of his games, he is primed to be an elite pitcher in the league.

Adam Wainwright : Adam is a 31 year old pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals. In the past he has won 2 World Series with clutch pitching, and has been a gold glover and an all star. In 2011 he had major elbow surgery in 2011, so he is a slight risk injury wise. He has posted 2 near complete games this season and has been lights out, definitely playing up to his contract.

Carlos Villanueva : Carlos is a 29 year old pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. In his most recent outing against the Colorado Rockies he performed awfully giving up 5 runs in just the first 3 innings. It’s early in the season, so its hard to judge his season so far. However, he is pitching very poorly, hardly even earning his low-mid level contract. He will probably return to the Cubs next season, but if he doesn’t start improving, he is either doomed to the bullpen or pitching outside of the MLB.

Felix Hernandez : King Felix is a 27 year old pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Widely regarded as one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball, he got one of the biggest contract extensions in the history of the MLB last summer. He even threw a perfect game in 2012. This season, he is an extremely pricey pitcher, but so far is still performing at an elite level. He is still a relatively young arm, and consistently throws very long efficient games for the Mariners.

Top 5 in order of salary.

1. Alex Cobb, 502,000$ each of next 2 years
2. Carlos Villanueva, 5,000,000$ each of next 2 years
3. CJ WIlson, 11,000,000$ this year, then 16,000,000, 18,000,000, and 20,000,000 next 3 years after that
4. Adam Wainwright, 12,000,000$ this year, then 19,500,000$ for the next 5 years
5. Felix Hernandez, 19,860,000$ this year, then over the next 6 years to 27,000,000$

Top 5 in order of Statistics/performance (2013)

1. Adam Wainwright, 5-2 2.30 era 58.2ip .989 whip
2. Felix Hernandez, 5-2 1.53 era 64.2 ip .928 whip
3. Alex Cobb, 4-2 3.09 era 46.2 ip 1.221 whip
4. CJ Wilson, 3-2 3.88 era 48.2 ip 1.541 whip
5. Carlos Villanueva, 1-3 3.93 era 52.2 ip 1.139 whip

Top 5 in order of who the Falcons should buy in the opinion of HP…

1. Alex Cobb

2. Felix Hernandez
3. Adam Wainwright
4. CJ Wilson
5. Carlos Villanueva

Final Analysis :

I would recommend getting Alex Cobb by a landslide as the first option due to his obvious talent as a pitcher. He has the ERA and WHIP of a good pitcher (as displayed in my graph), and while obviously he still has some flaws that young players have, he has a lot of potential. His price is also extraordinarily appealing, he is not even close to his full potential. He is only worth 500,000 dollars next year. This is the cheapest player on the list who has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in the league and is worth taking a risk on. I would definitely advise the Falcons to act quickly before other teams offer him enormous contracts.

Next I would hope to get Felix Hernandez, as he is obviously one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball. However, he’s extraordinarily expensive so we’d have to be very lucky in order to lure him out of Seattle, and be able to sustain his enormous contract.

Adam Wainwright would be my next choice. He is a top pitcher in the game, similar to Felix, however he has a history of injuries and is also 31 years old. Like the Mariners with Hernandez, it would be hard to convince the Cardinals to let him go.

CJ Wilson is my fourth option, he is a great closer for the Angels. Like everyone except Cobb, he is very pricey and is not a contract we should offer him just to close games for us.

Lastly, Villanueva might be the second cheapest, but I believe his career is plummeting into irrelevancy. His pitching numbers are very average and he is throwing very poorly for the Cubs this year.

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Policy Project 3 – Community Service Work

May 12, 2013, by

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For my third action project we were asked to do community service for 3 hours, while attempting to address a human right we felt strongly about. I chose to help out my school, and help the community garden. As I will explain, I wanted to tackle the issue of access to food. For a class field experience we worked at a church to prepare lunches for the hungry, and then worked at a homeless shelter. This gave me an appreciation for what I have, and specifically how easy it is for me to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Many people, for a variety of reasons, do not have this luxury, but I am in a position where I can help tackle the problem. here is my project.

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Some skills that I offer are in the manual labor parts of service. This includes anything that requires some sort of physical ability, such as shoveling, lifting, etc. I have experience with this in places like South Africa and Ecuador where I built things like schools and bathrooms. I have also done labor like this in Chicago, and even in my school. Overall I enjoy doing manual work and believe I offer a lot. The human right I am addressing is the right to food. Everyone deserves access to healthy food no matter your financial situation or location. The organization I worked for was my school. I helped prepare a garden, which will grow vegetables for the community. This can be done in any neighborhood, and we are living examples of that. While the food we are growing cannot feed all of the hungry people in Chicago, it is displaying different ways in which we can do it. Vacant lots can be turned into gardens, and families that need more vegetables in their diets now have a fun and proactive way of approaching the problem at a relatively low cost.

We asked our project manager a few questions about this project and how she felt it helped the community. Kim Campos said “Everyone who walks, bikes or drives pass the park way will be able to visually appreciate the garden aesthetically or enjoy the scents that may emanate from the raised herbal garden. Therefore, in answer to who will utilize this space, the community will use the space.” This explains why she wants to plant this garden. It is inevitable that people will end up taking the food we grow, but in the end “those people are obviously in greater need for it then we are”. I am proud to have been affiliated with this project and to have our supervisor explain it to us really helped me understand our purpose.

To make this garden project possible, me and a few people tilled (got glass, rocks, and trash out of the dirt) and upturned the soil in the front of our school, to make planting in it a reality for the future. I would have probably ended up doing this project anyway, but it was nice to be able to fill my community service requirements with this. Working with friends also helped the time go quicker and make the project more fun. I got a lot from this experience. It gave me an appreciation into where my food comes from, especially organic food. it also gave me a better appreciation for farming, and even gardening, I have never realized how difficult it was just to prepare land to grow the food.

Being outdoors was also a great opportunity to take a break from the day indoors, in classrooms and the gym. People would often walk past us and even interact, asking us about our project. I really enjoyed the experience because it also fully allowed me to utilize my abilities as a worker. This was a perfect opportunity for me to contribute to the community.

Overall I’m glad I was able to use manual labor and service as a school project.

“6” – Bill Russell’s Life in Hindsight

April 15, 2013, by

For my statistics class, 162, my partner MML and I chose to do a project on Bill Russell. The project was about segregation in sports, and we felt that Bill Russell was astronomically important in the fight for civil rights in and out of basketball. We researched his life, interviewed legendary sports writer Bob Ryan, and created entirely new statistics on the racial make-up of the NBA, as well as new statistics on his impact on the Celtics. Overall this was one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done, and hopefully it does justice to Bill Russell’s life.

Here is the slideshow we created, the complimentary paper is below it.

Here is our written report…

Policy Proposal – Clybourn Park Amendments

April 14, 2013, by

For my policy class, we were asked to either amend or create an element of our neighborhood ward. Due to the strange ward borderlines, my proposed amendment goes to Ward 43, just down the street from where I go to school, in Ward 42. I sent an email to Alderman Michelle Smith, proposing different ways in which she could help improve my favorite park, without spending much money. The park has clearly come a long way in the past years, but clearly it could still improve, and be a centerpiece of the neighborhood.

Clybourn Park Then

Clybourn Park Now

Here is my email to the alderman…

Dear Michelle Smith of Ward 43 (2523 N.Halstead Ave)

I would like to propose an amendment to help improve a part of your ward. My problem occurs at Clybourn Park, just down the street from us at Clybourn and Sheffield. It affects the residents of this neighborhood, and in nearby areas who want to enjoy a day at the park, or need a place to play basketball.

The park can get very dirty at times, but overall the infrastructure is the biggest problem. Addressing the issue of cleanliness, a city employee once a week for 30 minutes could keep the park very clean. On the issue of infrastructure, it will take more time to fix. The hoop near the gangway (away from the street) is bent awkwardly and needs to be fixed. The hoop near the street needs a safety net or higher fences so that the ball doesn’t go in the street. Not only does this eliminate the risk of losing your basketball, but it keeps kids safe from not having to run into the streets. It also eliminates the potential for a car accident, or even a pedestrian accident. This is the biggest issue facing the park. On another note, there is also a huge brick wall which could use a community mural on it. This could be an initiative to bring more youth into the area, and add some identity to the bland neighborhood.

Improving the park could bring many positive outcomes. Making the park a more attractive place to visit, as stated earlier, would make the area a very distinctive part of the neighborhood. With many local restaurants next door to the park, they would benefit greatly from an influx of more visitors to the area. Next, it would make the area more kid friendly. Starting out with the initiative to paint a mural over the brick wall, that would bring the communities families together, working towards a common goal. Also, having that place to play would be a cornerstone of the community, improving the connections that neighborhood families have with each other. Lastly, the park is already a very unique place. But beautifying it a little bit more would make the area a more attractive place to visit.

This corridor of the ward has extreme potential to be a defining area in the neighborhood. Overall I still love the park but it could be better.

Sincerely, HP


1990s image – – Accessed April 14 2013

Clybourn Park – Original Image taken by HP, GCE Chicago High School

The Separation of Church and State – Argument Project 4

March 8, 2013, by


Introduction – In the United States, the Constitution is one of, if not the most important documents in our country’s history. We must follow its word, and anything “unconstitutional” is demonized. With this in mind, the First Amendment states there must be a separation of church and state in government. In this email exchange with Eric Davis (a religious studies major from Lewis and Clark University in Portland who has created a high school), I expressed my views as to why I support a full separation. Eric expressed viewpoints as to why my thinking shouldn’t be the nationwide thought process, and then together, we created a common theory as to how this amendment can be put to use in a more efficient way, synthesizing our opinions.

For an unedited version of the email exchange, you can see it here.

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Thesis (I say)

Religion and government should be separate, and in the United States they arent; even though it is in the constitution that we can’t have that.

“God Bless America” is the saying that opens up Congressional sessions in the United States of America. However, the first Amendment in our constitution states there must be a separation between church and state (religion and government) explicitly, and I agree. In practice, on the other hand, the United States breaks this oath in a multitude of different areas of law and justice, and is simply not fair for non-Christians.

For instance, before a trial, you must swear on the bible no matter what religion, or lack of religion you believe in. To me, this is ridiculous and also sets an awful mood for the rest of what is supposed to be a fair and unbiased trial. If you follow a different “bible”, or do not swear to a god at all, having to do this is not only pointless, but it could be offensive and demeaning.

Another instance where church and state can be seen mixing is in the pledge of allegiance, which personally I was forced to recite every day until fifth grade. “One nation, under god” is the country we are stating our love and loyalty too, even if we don’t know what god is. At such a young age having this drilled into your head can drive ideas in that should not be driven in. What you believe in should be up to you, and having the pledge ingrained in your head can either misguide you towards religion for the wrong reason, or back you away from it for a different wrong reason. Overall I believe freedom of religion is an extraordinarily important part of the backbone of our country, yet fundamentally we are abusing this and even breaking amendments because of one group of people’s religious beliefs, that could alter the country and it’s people for better or worse.


Antithesis (They Say)

Eric believes there is a potential place for religion in any school.

People “have lived peacefully and honorably in line with god’s will” for thousands of years and it still is a vital part of Earth’s blood to this day. Eric thinks there is definitely a time and place to teach about other’s beliefs within a schoolhouse. “I have no interest in the pledge.  It makes many assumptions about individuals beliefs, self-identifications, and values.”

Perhaps the theory I could understand the most was on how religion could be implemented into normal classes. “I suspect that any school I will create will have religion as a part of it, just not institutionalized religion.  There is a critical difference.  Our students have been exposed to religious practices and ideologies in numerous courses. ” After thinking about this I realized I had learned numerous things about cultures I’d never been exposed too before, and it was never shoved down my throat. To me this is how it could be successfully taught in schools.

Synthesis (together)

There is plenty of room for religion in our country, but if one religion is being recognized, then the others have to be too.

Eric has shown me different examples of places in public/government controlled areas of the country where religion does have a place. Church and state don’t have to be totally separate, but if one religion plays a role in a situation, every other religious affiliation has to also be recognized. For example, as opposed to swearing on a bible, the choice of religion is available. Swearing on a Koran could be a lot more powerful and less offensive for certain people, and this option needs to be available if we have to swear on something.

Another area where religion could be introduced and not shoved down people’s throats, is school. Eric did not believe in having a pledge of allegiance in school, however having religious studies classes available and implemented in other courses could be very enriching and powerful. These courses “will never be intended to push anyone toward one religion, another, or any religion at all. Rather, they will be used to their ideal purpose — challenging our understanding of existence, ritual, and community on macro and micro levels.” I recognize the impact these classes could possibly make, and I agree with this. Understanding, and not simply tolerating, another person’s viewpoints is not only an extremely important skill to have, but is vital for a better chance at global partnerships and local unity.

Overall I realized the possibilities outweigh the doubts of gently implementing aspects of religion and beliefs into some areas of the public, such as in school. I would be cautious in this whole process, yet I believe knowledge of other cultures and beliefs is just as important as math and science; if taught correctly it could be immeasurably impactful.


Creating a Time telling Device – Light & Sound Project 3 :: HP

March 7, 2013, by


For my third and final project in my light and sound class, we were asked to create a time telling device to travel back in the future with. Here is my report on that device.

My device incorporates aspects of scaling and measurement, in order to have the optimal size to fit inside a camera. For instance, with area, my device is 1.5 in x .75 in, measuring a total of 1.125in squared. Another element of math to look at is light, and earth rotation. The Earth revolves while orbiting the sun in 24 hour periods, once the sun reaches my part of the planet again, I will know another day is passed and another picture needs to be taken.

Unlike a sundial, or a very intricate sun dial, my device cannot tell time in minute or hour cycles. My device solely relies on the Earth’s rotation, as it revolves around the sun. The principles of my internal investigation lead me to believe my device is less accurate, yet more abstract in the process of telling time.

I believe my device would be more used in Eastern culture, or times before ours, due to the fact that timeliness and on point scheduling weren’t as common or widely used. The culture which I was studying in 1891 Kansas was just evolving as a media culture.

Photographs were becoming the most widespread medium of non verbal/text communication throughout the world. At a time when taking photographs would not totally throw off the balance of things or disturb the peace, taking a picture once a day would be the most effective way to communicate and tell time during my stay.

I believe that my device brings out a more meaningful way to tell time because of the abstract nature of it, leaving more room for enjoyment of the day, rather than worrying about the small things. My photo memory chip emphasizes enjoyment of one’s self as opposed to a more strenuous to the minute day.



Smith, John H. “Photography.” National Geographic. Nat Geo, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013.
“EOS Rebel T3i 18-55mm IS II Kit.” Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office :. Canon, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
“Digital Camera Memory Card Selector.” CNET. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2013.
“History of Basketball – James Naismith.” History of Basketball – James Naismith. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.