Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens can’t open the season at home because the Orioles play a game on September 5, when the season opener is scheduled to be played, and the two teams share a parking lot. While there was talk of the Orioles potentially moving their game to another time, Ryan proposed something more ridiculous—moving its location—during a rant against the Baltimore baseball team.
“Well who really cares, you’ve got 81 at home, maybe you could have done the right thing and given one up and then played 82 on the road and then 80 at home,” he said. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game.”
Perhaps Ryan didn’t quite consider how substantial the loss in gate revenue, not to mention the lack of home-field advantage the Orioles would give up, in such a bizarre scenario.
Posted: April 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM | 40 comment(s)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
This week [Robinson] received the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game. No problem, right? He’s a quarterback. There job is to throw passes. Piece of cake, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Baseball IS harder than football!
Monday, March 11, 2013
It ain’t baseball. It’s probably soccer.
Each year, as ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz has noted, more and more people are coming to Sloan. That’s literally true, but could be said figuratively of sports analytics in general. The days are long gone when seemingly unremarkable players could be signed on the cheap by the few teams smart enough to understand the value of, say, a high on-base percentage. “You used to know how other teams operated,” complained stats-friendly Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at the opening panel. “Now you have to reverse-engineer what they did to see how they do it.”
Or, as Nate Silver put it on the same panel, “There’s not the low-hanging fruit anymore of having some teams that are totally stupid.”
Over the course of the two-day conference, I asked many people which sport—out of the four major U.S. team sports (baseball, basketball, football, hockey) and soccer—is least amenable to an advanced analytical interpretation, where little is to be gained by looking at the game from a new, maverick angle. In short: Which sport can’t be Moneyball-ed?
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
And what better day for it than the Babe’s birthday, pt. 2…
At the time Babe Ruth allegedly corked his bat, was that against the rules?
Yes. And he didn’t “allegedly” cork his bat; he was caught using a bat glued together from three pieces of wood. Sisler and Kenny Williams were caught with funny bats at about the same time.
Are NFL offensive linemen the only subgroup of players in the big 4 sports for which POSITIVE statistics aren’t kept? Or is there some statistic of measurement used for offensive linemen that i’m not aware of? I’m thinking that all other the other players in the NFL have some stats kept on them; same for all of MLB, NBA, and NHL players, right? Just curious.
It’s a good question. Do they keep stats in hockey?
Regarding the question about Malcolm Gladwell and authors you like, recently I have been reading Noam Chomsky, and I have to say his style reminds me a lot of your style. And for this reason I find it very enjoyable, even though I disagree with nearly every single thing the man says. But he explains his points in bracingly clear prose, like you do.
Thanks, Jules. I always enjoy being compared to a raving lunatic.
I recently moved to the SF Bay Area and have been told several times by old Giant fans that Willie Mays would purposely stop at first base on a sure double in order to have McCovey bat with a runner on first. Could this be true? Mays taking himself out of scoring position?
You know, I’ve read that. I doubt that it is true… I would suppose that what happened is that Mays, in some situation, turned down an effort to make a double because it was kind of a breakeven gamble, and then EXPLAINED what he had done by saying that he wanted to keep the hole for McCovey. Looked at in that way, it actually reflects extremely sophisticated on-field decision making from Mays: That, in calculating whether to push the gamble of trying for a double, he adjusted his calculations to include the fact that even if he succeeded, he would be closing the hole for McCovey. Mays was an extremely sophisticated player in those ways, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he DID do that.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
“Corroded by scandal and undermined by shocking new science, America’s killer sport may be nearing collapse” Not if “Dr. Death” Steve Williams has anything to say about thi…oh, wait.
If baseball is, or at least used to be, a languidly paced sport played on an asymmetrical greensward that recalls America’s agrarian past, football is an industrial product of the modern age. Confined to a precisely measured rectangle that mimics the electronic screen, football plays out in staccato bursts of violence, interrupted by commentary and meta-commentary, near-pornographic slow-motion replays and scantily clad young women selling you stuff.
...It’s admittedly difficult to imagine that possibility now. For at least 20 years, football has had unquestioned supremacy among America’s major spectator sports. If the process wasn’t quite complete by the time baseball committed near-suicide with the 1994 players’ strike and the ensuing “steroid era,” that pretty much settled matters. Beyond the obvious fact that football is more fun to watch from the sofa from the stadium, and brings people together on weekends when it’s too cold to spend time outdoors, various aspects of the game seemed to capture the ethos of 1990s and 2000s America on a symbolic level. At least at the pro level, football focuses on freakish excesses of size and speed (augmented by who knows what exotic chemical regimens), head-on collisions that rival a demolition derby, and overheated masculine melodrama surrounded by endless nattering. It’s like all the vulgarity, violence and excitement of American life served up in a colorful three-hour package on Sunday afternoon. With beer! No wonder people enjoy it so much.
...Just as the Church in America will never be the same after the sexual abuse scandals, America’s dominant sport will never reclaim the air of cartoonish, ‘roided-up unreality it had a few years ago, when no one in sports journalism knew how to spell “encephalopathy.” All the loudness and emptiness of the Super Bowl spectacle can’t conceal the aura of doubt around the future of the game, or the collective shock of our discovery that the endpoint of this gladiatorial combat is actual death. Football is a central ingredient in the American narrative of masculinity, and it’s also the zillion-dollar linchpin of network television. But in case you haven’t heard the news, both those institutions are in crisis. Is it hard to imagine America without football? Yeah, but it’s time to start. It’s a killing game, and we have to let it die.
Posted: February 03, 2013 at 10:54 AM | 212 comment(s)
Friday, January 25, 2013
Colin Kaepernick drew the attention of major league baseball scouts as a senior in high school in Turlock, Calif.
He could throw in the 90s and he had tossed two no-hitters. There were baseball scholarships and interest from some major league teams. The Chicago Cubs were particularly intrigued and interested enough to draft Kaepernick in the 43rd round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Figured the Superbowl should gets its own thread, and the regular football thread was getting large anyway. Also, this one is actually sorta baseball related as well.
Posted: January 25, 2013 at 12:49 AM | 49 comment(s)
Monday, January 21, 2013
Friday, January 18, 2013
In light of recent events involving All-American linebacker Manti Te’o, the Brooklyn Cyclones have announced that June 21st will be Fictitious Friday at MCU Park…
Anyone who purchases one ticket at regular price will be allowed to bring their make believe significant-other to the ballpark free of charge. Fans will also have the chance to draw a picture of their girlfriend, because obviously something came up and she couldn’t make it, so that their friends can finally see what she looks like. As a special treat, MCU Park will host a unique petting zoo for those in attendance, featuring a unicorn, a mermaid, and a Minotaur. The Cyclones are also in discussions with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot to throw out a ceremonial first pitch that evening. In keeping with the tradition of Coney Island amusements, the Cyclones will put a spin on a traditional carnival game, as fans that are able to toss a ping-pong ball into a fish bowl will receive a catfish. Lastly, all of the player headshots used on the video board will just be random people whose photos we find on the Internet.
Monday, January 07, 2013
The choices say more about the mores of the respective sports than the men making them. Football is brutal and vicious, and players are pumped with all manner of painkillers and drugs to get them through Sunday. You wonder if ANY coach would have pulled Griffin if he thought Griffin gave them the best chance to win. Baseball keeps counts on the number of pitches thrown. Baseball players are tough, but they can also walk when they are 60.
Both Griffin and Strasburg faced their dilemma with the same rub-dirt-on-it ethos. Shanahan said he based his decision on what Griffin told him – that he was “hurt” and not “injured.” Strasburg raged at the decision to shut him down and repeatedly told Nationals brass he felt fine. Players always want to play.
When Rizzo made his decision, he took all competitive considerations out of play and made what he believed was a purely medical decision. When Shanahan made his decision, he placed victory above all and, if Dr. James Andrews’s quotes to USA Today tell the full story, may have willfully ignored medical opinion.
for his generous support.
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