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Friday, April 09, 2010

ESPN: Female knuckleballer signs in U.S.

Eri Yoshida, an 18-year-old pitcher who played pro ball in Japan last year, signed with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League. The team said she will report to spring training next month.

Is that even legal?

Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 09, 2010 at 09:06 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, minor leagues

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   1. Anonymous Observer Posted: April 09, 2010 at 10:11 PM (#3498771)
I can't wait to see what Rob Neyer has to say about this!

AO
   2. Guapo Posted: April 09, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3498795)
Personally, I think the best part of this story is her manager is going to be Gary Templeton.
   3. phredbird Posted: April 09, 2010 at 10:47 PM (#3498797)
wow ... is that an independent league?
   4. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2010 at 11:08 PM (#3498811)
Chico's Outlaws? Sounds like an entire league was inspired by The Bad News Bears. What's the next team/league level in her journey to the Grail: Homer's Isotopes in the Enchanted Jock Strap League?
   5. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 09, 2010 at 11:19 PM (#3498819)
wow ... is that an independent league?


Not just any independent league- it's where Rickey and Canseco finished their careers.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: April 09, 2010 at 11:35 PM (#3498840)
Any smart Major League GM ought to lock her up in a long-term deal now!!!
   7. Justin T's pasta pass was not revoked Posted: April 09, 2010 at 11:38 PM (#3498845)
Neyer made special effort to comment via Twitter at least on how poor the basketball played in the UConn-Stanford game was, so he is still beating that drum. He's right, but I just don't see the usefulness of piping up about it every chance. Let the girls have their fun. If it isn't your thing, don't watch.
   8. jwb Posted: April 09, 2010 at 11:43 PM (#3498849)
Last season, former MLBers Travis Hughes, Jose Lima, Scott Spiezio, Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, Alexis Gomez, Eude Brito, Vic Darensbourg, Bartolome Fortunato, Emiliano Fruto, and Junior Spivey played in the GBL. Also the guy who played Leon in that beer commercial a few years ago. I don't know if he played last season. Chico has a juvenile detention facility, so the name is rather tasteless in my opinion.
   9. Bhaakon Posted: April 10, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3499205)
Neyer made special effort to comment via Twitter at least on how poor the basketball played in the UConn-Stanford game was, so he is still beating that drum. He's right, but I just don't see the usefulness of piping up about it every chance. Let the girls have their fun. If it isn't your thing, don't watch.


Considering how much screen time ESPN is giving women's college basketball, I can see why he's annoyed. I swear that heard more about UConn and that 7' center/Boxer as I did about baseball last month.
   10. Steve Treder Posted: April 10, 2010 at 03:22 AM (#3499218)
Last season, former MLBers Travis Hughes, Jose Lima, Scott Spiezio, Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, Alexis Gomez, Eude Brito, Vic Darensbourg, Bartolome Fortunato, Emiliano Fruto, and Junior Spivey played in the GBL.

I watched one of the games, down in Tucson. Decent caliber of play, and an all-around fun brand of ball. I suspect it's very much like the low minors were back before the farm system had become ubiquitous.
   11. Darren Posted: April 10, 2010 at 03:48 AM (#3499225)
I don't understand the complaints about the level of play in Women's hoops. People really enjoy men's college hoops and it's not close in quality to the pros. Same goes for college football and minor league baseball. Funny how the line between entertaining and non-entertaining stops right above the women.
   12. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 10, 2010 at 03:58 AM (#3499230)
Give the women a proportionally equivalent rim (9"4?) and the game would look a lot better.....casual male viewers who watch a significant amount of the women's tournament (like me) see a LOT of "woman drives the lane and flings ball off front underside of rim." 90% of what makes the women's game look awkward and bad has to do with the rim just being too high, imo...

EDIT: and I realize that this solution is impossible. So yeah, it's a real aesthetic problem.
   13. CrosbyBird Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:19 AM (#3499234)
I don't understand the complaints about the level of play in Women's hoops. People really enjoy men's college hoops and it's not close in quality to the pros. Same goes for college football and minor league baseball. Funny how the line between entertaining and non-entertaining stops right above the women.

I don't watch college basketball until the NCAA tourney, and that's more a gambling experience. I don't even watch the Knicks, my favorite NBA team, because they play so poorly. I don't really watch Olympic basketball because the US team is so dominant that it isn't interesting.

I prefer women's tennis to men's tennis, and I think women's soccer and men's soccer are about as interesting (I will watch either only in international competition).

It has nothing to do with sexism, and everything to do with the quality of play and the quality of competition.
   14. Kurt Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:19 AM (#3499235)
I don't understand the complaints about the level of play in Women's hoops. People really enjoy men's college hoops and it's not close in quality to the pros. Same goes for college football and minor league baseball. Funny how the line between entertaining and non-entertaining stops right above the women.

There's an enormously wide gap between DI men's hoops and DI women's hoops; it's not surprising that the line would fall somewhere in there.
   15. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:51 AM (#3499238)
One of the big problems with NCAA women's hoops, in my opinion, is that the talent pool is very, very shallow. Even though they only have 32 teams in the women's basketball tournament, way too many of the games are not competitive. As a semi-informed duffer, I estimate that only somewhere between five and ten women's teams are really championship-level in a given year.
   16. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:56 AM (#3499240)
Nettleton Stadium is a really nice park, but it's hotter than hell in the worst of the summer in Chico. There's a fairly large group of students from China that go to Chico State.

Chico has a juvenile detention facility, so the name is rather tasteless in my opinion.


News to me. But I only lived there 20 years. The nearest juvenile facility I can remember was up in Susanville.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:07 AM (#3499242)
Even though they only have 32 teams in the women's basketball tournament, way too many of the games are not competitive. As a semi-informed duffer, I estimate that only somewhere between five and tean women's teams are really championship-level in a given year.


Actually, there are 64 teams in Women's NCAA Tournament. Add in the 64 more in the Women's NIT, and the 16 in the Women's CBI tournament, and that means that 144 Division One schools made it to the postseason this year...
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:11 AM (#3499244)
Give the women a proportionally equivalent rim (9"4?) and the game would look a lot better.

That's the thing. If you want me to care about women's sports then fix the sports. Lower the rim a little in basketball, move the mound and the bases back in softball so every game isn't just all walks and Ks. I'll care when you care enough to maximize the watchability of the sport. Women's tennis works and people watch.
   19. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:17 AM (#3499245)
Golf has "ladies' tees". The game is customized to the fairer sex, yet no one cares about the LPGA.
   20. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:25 AM (#3499247)
Yeah the LPGA has an altogether different problem in that they have been overrun by Asian players. They really need a young (and to be honest it wouldn't hurt if she were kind of hot) American star. Obviously Michelle Wie is not up for it.
   21. Jay Z Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:41 AM (#3499248)
I don't have a problem watching the women in Olympic sports. I could never be as good a downhill skier as the best women. But how hard is it to find a men's team that can beat UConn women? Any decent pickup team can probably do it. That's part of the problem.

I wouldn't watch women's hoops intentionally. It just happened to be on the tube at the bar I was at. I guess I could intentionally turn away, but when it's on half of the TVs you tend to watch. That first half was just horrendous. Why do I want to see shots constantly go off the front of the rim. Most women who PLAYED basketball don't like watching women's basketball and prefer men's.
   22. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3499251)
I've heard people say they prefer women's tennis, and I don't get it. Don't get me wrong. I like women's tennis. To me, it's the most entertaining and watchable women's sport on tv. That said, men's tennis is a much more dynamic game in main part because of the insane athleticism on display. You might get longer rallies in women's tennis, but you're not going to get as many exciting shots. The great matches in men's tennis are far more memorable than the great ones in women's tennis. This is partly because men's matches are longer, so the epic match can truly feel epic, and a comeback is more likely to be an impressive comeback. But it's also because these matches are more likely to feature great points.
   23. base ball chick Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:06 AM (#3499255)
sigh

men won't watch women's "sports" unless they aren't wearing much clothing and look like anna sharpova with her hoohaha almost bustin out. they'll watch women play golf in bikinis i bet - and what is wrong with asian women? here and i thought white guys LIKE asian women because they are so skinny. and if they are foreign, well then, IF they talk you can be comfortable because you honestly don't understand a word and can ignore evreything. what could be better?

but honestly i don't get why it matters what the female athletes look like. i watch baseball and theres sure nuff a lot of ugly or fat or fat + ugly men playing. yeh, i'll sure nuff do some staring at certain HOTTT guys, but i do watch an awful lot of baseball with icky looking guys

and even gay guys are, uh, prejudice about what female athletes look like. one of the byttchy ice skating commentators said about one of the american skaters (who is not pretty) - well, what you can say about her is that she doesn't fall.

womens fake baseball is boring beyond belief. and them playing in shorts makes them look like the 78 white sox. why look at people dressed in unis that make them look silly, and playing with that huge soggy ball that you can't hardly hit or throw worth a darn.

womens hoops is bad because they don't either play Old Style or the mens violent game but something boring in between. and females can't jump for shtt because our hips are defective, so no one wants to watch that. don't ask me why they can't sink shots because no excuse for that

i guess women prefer to watch other women swim, skate and ski - not play fake baseball, golf or basketball

and i don't understand why women can't play tennis as well as men, but i guess it is because the new rackets make the ball go harder or something? and females can't hit the ball as hard? or is it something about being unable to move sideways fast because of the hip defect problem? i got no idea whether or not women like watching women's tennis
   24. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:10 AM (#3499257)
I thought Paula Creamer was the young and hot American star. Maybe they need another one.
   25. JoeHova Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:22 AM (#3499259)
That's the thing. If you want me to care about women's sports then fix the sports. Lower the rim a little in basketball, move the mound and the bases back in softball so every game isn't just all walks and Ks. I'll care when you care enough to maximize the watchability of the sport. Women's tennis works and people watch.

The thing is, people have tried that. Softball is already the women's version of baseball (and it is unwatchable, as you mention. Women's baseball would be far more interesting). Basketball used to have very different rules for women and there are female-specific version of hockey and basketball (ringette, netball). Nobody watches or cares about those, nor should they. I'm not sure why women would be considered unworthy of playing the full version of popular sports but a lot of people used to have that attitude and some people apparently still do. My mom grew up playing all the sports with her older brothers. When she got to high school, she had to play bastardized versions that she had never played before and she soon lost interest. I'm sure the same thing happened to many women and what kind of sense does that make? Why shouldn't women be able to enjoy established sports along with their brothers and fathers and sons?

What rules are so different in women's tennis that make it more suitable for women, in your mind? If anything, the success of women's tennis seems to show that people will show interest in unaltered women's sports if the conditions are right.

I think that the thing that hurts women's basketball is that male basketball players are probably the best all-around athletes in the world when you consider their size, speed, strength and agility. No woman who is as big as the average NBA player (6'7", 225 lbs.) is even close to as coordinated. The women in other sports don't really have to deal with not being able to do many things that their male counterparts can. I mean, women can do pretty much anything that men can do in tennis or golf or soccer. Maybe they won't do it quite as well but they can do it. That's not the case in basketball and a lot of people can't get past it. In particular, I think it's a shame that so many people have so much antipathy for the WNBA. I can understand indifference but why do so many people seem to be rooting for the failure of the only American women's team sport league that has lasted for more than a couple years?
   26. base ball chick Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:35 AM (#3499264)
joe

people rooting for the wnba to fail because they don't like the idea that them uppity byttchez tryin to play sports just like men do. thre are a LOT of people who get off on the idea that females can't play sports as well as men and they like to sneer and spit at the inferior

also, all females who play sports are lezzbos, but not the kind of lezzbos who, for some reason, look like pr0n stars and have sex with lots of men
   27. dirk Posted: April 10, 2010 at 07:08 AM (#3499269)
count me in for bikini golf. is that still in the mix?
   28. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 10, 2010 at 07:23 AM (#3499270)
Give the women a proportionally equivalent rim (9"4?) and the game would look a lot better.....casual male viewers who watch a significant amount of the women's tournament (like me) see a LOT of "woman drives the lane and flings ball off front underside of rim." 90% of what makes the women's game look awkward and bad has to do with the rim just being too high, imo...
Actually, I think one of the big problem with (men's) basketball is that the rim is too low and the court is too small.
and i don't understand why women can't play tennis as well as men, but i guess it is because the new rackets make the ball go harder or something? and females can't hit the ball as hard? or is it something about being unable to move sideways fast because of the hip defect problem? i got no idea whether or not women like watching women's tennis
1. Women can't hit the ball as hard.
2. Women are shorter - so they have a worse angle for their serve. This is a bigger deal than it sounds.
3. Women have less reach so they cannot cover at the net as well.
4. Women cannot cover as much ground at the baseline.

Adding 1 and 2 together is why women's serves are so far behind men's serves. It's also why some people say they prefer the women's game - more rallies.

Women's tennis is popular among both women and men. But it is far behind in popularity compared to men's tennis. The Grand Slam events (Wimbledon, US Open, Roland Garros, Australian Open) are for both genders, but apart from that, there are separate tournaments for men and women. The women's tournaments are basically nothing compared to the men's tournaments in terms of attendance, viewership, etc. However, at the Grand Slam events the women's matches are not so far behind the men's.
   29. rfloh Posted: April 10, 2010 at 07:32 AM (#3499272)
7. Justin T once made Kurt Suzuki angry Posted: April 09, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3498845)
Neyer made special effort to comment via Twitter at least on how poor the basketball played in the UConn-Stanford game was, so he is still beating that drum. He's right, but I just don't see the usefulness of piping up about it every chance. Let the girls have their fun. If it isn't your thing, don't watch.


The ongoing European Weightlifting Championships would shut Neyer up. I'd like to see him, or most guys for that matter, try to do snatch with double bodyweight, as Nurcan Taylan nearly did, and has done before. Hell, just a snatch with their own bodyweights would end up with most guys injuring their shoulders / knees / lower backs.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 10, 2010 at 08:16 AM (#3499277)
What rules are so different in women's tennis that make it more suitable for women, in your mind? If anything, the success of women's tennis seems to show that people will show interest in unaltered women's sports if the conditions are right.

It's not the rules so much (although three sets is really enough for me) but the technology has made the power game too dominant in men's tennis (IMO, obviously) and the woman's game is more watchable. Women's tennis is an interesting product and so it gets a fair amount of eyeballs.

I want to like women's softball - I play fast pitch softball, I hope my daughter will one day play softball - but I can't because they refuse to address the obvious problem that the pitchers are too dominant and the field dimentions in general are just too small.
   31. Something Other Posted: April 10, 2010 at 08:44 AM (#3499278)
sigh

men won't watch women's "sports" unless they aren't wearing much clothing and look like anna sharpova with her hoohaha almost bustin out. they'll watch women play golf in bikinis i bet - and what is wrong with asian women? here and i thought white guys LIKE asian women because they are so skinny. and if they are foreign, well then, IF they talk you can be comfortable because you honestly don't understand a word and can ignore evreything. what could be better?

but honestly i don't get why it matters what the female athletes look like. i watch baseball and theres sure nuff a lot of ugly or fat or fat + ugly men playing. yeh, i'll sure nuff do some staring at certain HOTTT guys, but i do watch an awful lot of baseball with icky looking guys
Is there really any point to your rants other than to vomit your sickening bigotry and bizarre claims regarding how vastly more "openminded" and generous you are than most men? It's puerile behavior. There's no excuse for it.
   32. CFiJ Posted: April 10, 2010 at 09:10 AM (#3499281)
Women's volleyball, like tennis, is another game I enjoy watching over the men's version. Like tennis, the men's game is two powerful, and too fast, and incredibly boring. When the men go up for the spike, there's only a slim chance the spike will be dug out. Either it will be blocked, be in bounds, or be out bounds. If anyone gets their hand on it, it's likely to just boom out of bounds. I may enjoy that kind of athleticism watching it live, or even playing it, but on TV it's more boring than Major League Soccer.

Rallies are good. Rallies offer more chances to see amazing things than super fast, hard angle spikes and tennis serves. Imagine if the only outcomes in baseball were strike out, walk, fly out, or home run. That's what men's tennis and volleyball feel like to me.

And bbc, you're cool.
   33. Charlie O Posted: April 10, 2010 at 09:39 AM (#3499282)
I don't enjoy the WNBA or women's NCAA basketball because it's bad basketball. The passing and shooting are of poor quality and the game is too slow. It doesn't matter to me if the women are attractive. If they played naked I wouldn't watch their games.
   34. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: April 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM (#3499283)
I see your points about rallies, but I can't get past the idea that if I were to rank the most exciting tennis players of the last 30 years, my list would be basically all men, with martina navratilova being the only woman to crack the top 15. And Nadal and Federer would be up there in the top 10.
   35. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 10, 2010 at 10:13 AM (#3499284)
The Grand Slam events (Wimbledon, US Open, Roland Garros, Australian Open) are for both genders, but apart from that, there are separate tournaments for men and women.

Aren't they separate events? Men can't play in the women's brackets, can they?
   36. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 10, 2010 at 10:39 AM (#3499285)
Men can't play in the women's brackets, no! And I don't think women can play in the men's, either.

The point I was making is, you go along to a Grand Slam, the men's tournament and the women's tournament are taking place side-by-side, in the same place. But that is NOT generally the case - the ATP tour (men) and the WTA tour (women) are separate. So at the moment there are men-only tournaments taking place in Houston and Casablanca (Morocco), and a women-only tournament taking place in Marbella (Spain). And for whatever reason, the crowds and TV ratings are much higher at the men's tournaments than the women's. Which is why the men earn far more.
   37. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2010 at 01:36 PM (#3499307)
I actually think that women's golf is more popular than the WNBA, but... that's just my impression, anecdotally. I'd have to look at the numbers to be sure. As a golfer, I enjoy watching it.

And geez, Francoeur playing well really makes you angry, doesn't it Omar?
   38. CrosbyBird Posted: April 10, 2010 at 01:47 PM (#3499313)
I've heard people say they prefer women's tennis, and I don't get it. Don't get me wrong. I like women's tennis. To me, it's the most entertaining and watchable women's sport on tv. That said, men's tennis is a much more dynamic game in main part because of the insane athleticism on display. You might get longer rallies in women's tennis, but you're not going to get as many exciting shots. The great matches in men's tennis are far more memorable than the great ones in women's tennis. This is partly because men's matches are longer, so the epic match can truly feel epic, and a comeback is more likely to be an impressive comeback. But it's also because these matches are more likely to feature great points.

Some others have mentioned how the power game sometimes reduces the excitement factor. Aces are interesting when they happen occasionally, but boring when they become too regular.

I think another part of the problem is that there isn't a great rivalry (although perhaps history will show Nadal/Federer to be one) on the men's circuit. There's no Agassi/Sampras or Borg/McEnroe or Connors/Lendl. (It probably doesn't hurt to have an American player be at least one of the members of the rivalry either).

men won't watch women's "sports" unless they aren't wearing much clothing and look like anna sharpova with her hoohaha almost bustin out. they'll watch women play golf in bikinis i bet - and what is wrong with asian women? here and i thought white guys LIKE asian women because they are so skinny. and if they are foreign, well then, IF they talk you can be comfortable because you honestly don't understand a word and can ignore evreything. what could be better?

It never hurts to be an attractive woman wearing skimpy clothing. There could be a "hot women doing housework in their underwear" channel and it would have fantastic ratings. I'd watch it.

Then again, as pretty as Chris Evert was, it was a lot more fun to watch Martina play tennis. As incredibly hot as Kournikova is, I'd much rather watch Serena Williams play.
   39. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: April 10, 2010 at 02:01 PM (#3499318)
I think the narrative in women's tennis has been more interesting in recent years partly because the Williams sisters are an amazing story, and mainly because there are a lot more players who are capable of winning the big match. Federer has been so ridiculous (like Pujols times 2) and then there's only Nadal.
   40. base ball chick Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:11 PM (#3499373)
dear omar,

the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything

am not exactly clear where you think this bigotry is

unless you are miffed that i point out that many men don't think that females are athletes. or say - well, they are just 12-14 year old boys, only worse, so why bother to watch, look at or discuss crap?

unless you are denying that a female athlete's physical appearance seems to be a lot more important than a male athlete's physical appearance
   41. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 10, 2010 at 04:41 PM (#3499380)
men won't watch women's "sports" unless they aren't wearing much clothing and look like anna sharpova with her hoohaha almost bustin out. they'll watch women play golf in bikinis i bet - and what is wrong with asian women? here and i thought white guys LIKE asian women because they are so skinny. and if they are foreign, well then, IF they talk you can be comfortable because you honestly don't understand a word and can ignore evreything. what could be better?

womens hoops is bad because they don't either play Old Style or the mens violent game but something boring in between. and females can't jump for shtt because our hips are defective, so no one wants to watch that. don't ask me why they can't sink shots because no excuse for that


I'm probably going to get pilloried for this, but as a white guy with a strong preference for Asian women, I feel I have to respond. I'd like to make it clear that I like all women - white, black, Asian, whatever. If I liked someone, I'd be interested in them, no matter what race they were. I'd date a woman of any race. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have a preference. Why? The most obvious answer is that I like the way they look. Duh! I like dark hair, I like dark eyes, especially almond eyes, and I love Asian women's eyes. Simple as that. But I also have a preference for Asian-American women, simply because I can talk to them much more easily. I'm shy enough that trying to overcome language and cultural barriers becomes something of an impossibility. I much prefer someone I have more in common with culturally, and can have intelligent conversations with without the problems of language or cultural misunderstandings.

I've kept the official scorebook for both the men's and women's basketball teams at a BCS university for the past quarter century, and I can honestly tell you that I enjoy the women's game as much as the men's. Yes, it's slower, and less athletic, but there is more team play, and less one-on-one showboating than in the men's game. They're just different...
   42. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3499400)
I like white women best. Wooohoo, white!
   43. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:15 PM (#3499401)
the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything


I enjoyed the hell out of the women's saber fencing in the Beijing olympics. Zagunis and Ward kicked the crap out of those Europeans. It was great. And fencing is a sport where good women can routinely beat good men. Maybe not a straight 1-1 equality: the very best men can probably easily beat the very best women most (but not all) the time, but if you pick one female olympian and one male olympian out of a hat, I'd have no problem betting on the lady.
   44. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:30 PM (#3499412)
I think another part of the problem is that there isn't a great rivalry (although perhaps history will show Nadal/Federer to be one) on the men's circuit. There's no Agassi/Sampras or Borg/McEnroe or Connors/Lendl. (It probably doesn't hurt to have an American player be at least one of the members of the rivalry either).

How can you say that Nadal/Federer isn't already as great as those other rivalries? How many major finals do they have to square off in?

I don't like women's basketball because a team of "me"s in my younger days (6', slow, mediocre shot/ballhandler/jumping, good passer, good elbows, tough in the paint) could compete with the college champs.

Tennis, that's a whole different story. Either Williams sister could have kicked my butt from here to Wimbledon. I would score a couple of points only because they both give up a lot of unforced errors.
   45. rr Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:48 PM (#3499431)
but honestly i don't get why it matters what the female athletes look like


In this thread, no had said it did prior to your post. I am sure there is some sexism going on in terms of guys not watching women's sports and there certainly is at times in the way said sports are marketed. But I don't see it in this thread.

I don't enjoy women's hoops, but if all the women were hot and played in g-strings, I still wouldn't. I can see hot women in g-strings using media any time and don't need to tune in to basketball for it.

That said, guys like Neyer and Simmons complaining about women's sports is really, really dumb--about as useful as emailing Neyer every day to tell him that baseball is boring and tweeting Simmons every day telling him the NBA is rigged and it sucks would be.

Also, Omar--lighten up. bbc is one of the few irreplaceable Primates.
   46. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 10, 2010 at 05:55 PM (#3499435)
I swear that heard more about UConn and that 7' center/Boxer as I did about baseball last month.


This may have something to do with the fact that women's college basketball was being played and baseball was not.
   47. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:05 PM (#3499448)
Here is the problem with women's sports IMO. I watch sports for two reasons, which I think are fairly typical:

1) The existence of breathtaking moments -- usually (but not always) this is feats of pure athleticism, e.g. 500-foot HR, wicked curve, pinpoint 40-yard pass, a defensive lineman busting through for a sack, powerful dunks, rejections, steals/fast breaks, hitting a golf ball 250 yards within 3 feet, devastating forehands, diving stab volleys, massive wrecks, etc..
2) The inherent attention-grabbing nature of something that matters -- pure competition, combined with the existence of famous people playing the sport.

2) is circular, but I think the thing that women's sports are largely devoid of is 1). (As a complete tangent, I also think that (1) is why non-beach volleyball will never catch on as a major sport. Nothing unbelievable ever happens in volleyball, and when it happens (e.g. an amazing dig) it happens so quickly you don't really appreciate it.) Because of the reduced athleticism nothing unbelievable ever happens. This is most true in basketball -- you simply don't see anything unbelievable happening in the women's game. In my mind, the most exciting play in basketball is the hyperathletic block (either Dwight Howard-style or LeBron chase-down style). This play does not exist in women's basketball. Blocks in WBB tend to involve players just being taller, not ... well, actual jumping. Maya Moore actually had a nice athletic block in the women's national championship game, but that's a rarity.

I went to the Australian Open this year and saw an enormous number of men's and women's matches. This is basically how things stack up from an entertainment perspective:

Matches involving Roger Federer
<big gap>
All other men's matches (there is little difference between a match between #7 and #9 and a match between #95 and #100 from a spectator perspective; Nadal plays such a weird style that his matches are outliers and I feel unqualified to judge them)
<small gap>
Matches involving the very top women's players (of which there are maybe 2-5 at any point)
<big gap>
All other women's matches

For instance, I saw a match between Azarenka and Zvonareva, two of the top 10 players. This match was essentially decided by who would make an error first on each point -- either a short ball their opponent could hit for a winner, or an outright unforced error. There were literally no breathtaking moments at all. It's quite obvious that these players would have no chance against a caliber of tennis player far below the worst player in the men's draw. Was the match worthwhile? Yes, because of (2) -- women's grand slam tennis has made the leap to "this matters," and good for it. But the pure entertainment value, as distinguished from the value of seeing a competition one believes to be important, is very lacking.

Now, those top women's players are a cut above in that they basically _have_ the athleticism that men do. Graf, Evert, Navratilova, Serena Williams, etc.. It's similar in women's basketball. Usually at any one point there is a player in women's basketball who "plays like a man," i.e. plays the athletic game instead of the game with set shots and no jumping. Maya Moore and Candace Parker are the two recent examples of this. Each of them, when playing, was literally the only person on the floor who played that kind of hyperathletic game (it's not a surprise that each dominated).

Of course, the question is, if women's CBB (and presumably the WNBA; I haven't watched a game in years) isn't watchable, why is men's CBB. As someone who prefers NCAA to NBA men's basketball, I contend that it's because more breathtaking moments happen in the NCAA. The NCAA has just as good athletes as the NBA, only there are fewer of them on the floor -- which allows these athletes to completely take over the game in a way that is incredibly fun to watch. It allows them to have more breathtaking moments. But even the athletic women don't really have those same breathtaking moments in any venue.
   48. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 10, 2010 at 06:16 PM (#3499456)
This is the worst thread ever. Kill it
   49. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 10, 2010 at 07:28 PM (#3499541)
the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything

Hmmmm, I wonder what the female audience would be for men's sports if all the men looked like Willie McGee or Yogi Berra. I seriously doubt whether it would even exist, beyond the women who were dragged to the game by their menfolk. The idea that women have a more objective enjoyment of games played by the opposite sex is kind of amusing.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: April 10, 2010 at 08:50 PM (#3499637)
I think another part of the problem is that there isn't a great rivalry (although perhaps history will show Nadal/Federer to be one) on the men's circuit. There's no Agassi/Sampras or Borg/McEnroe or Connors/Lendl.


I don't understand how Nadal/Federer isn't already in the pantheon of great tennis rivalries. I think it's probably the best and most fascinating and exciting rivalry in all of sports right now.
   51. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 10, 2010 at 08:51 PM (#3499640)
[45]: 'Irreplaceable' is definitely one way to put it. [31] may be slightly over the top but it's a lot closer to the truth than the majority BBTF opinion on bbc which is largely composed of simpering sycophants.
   52. mex4173 Posted: April 10, 2010 at 08:56 PM (#3499646)
the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything



Curling (which isn't to say there aren't attractive curlers, just that it is a bonus, not part of the...main event)
   53. Nolan Giesbrecht Posted: April 10, 2010 at 09:41 PM (#3499658)
the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything


Come to Canada and watch some hockey with us.

The women's gold medal game did not have as many viewers as the men's, but I greatly enjoyed it, as did many of my friends. I've watched many women's Canadian hockey team games and was even able to see them play the U.S. team here in Winnipeg for an exhibition game.

These are fun, entertaining games and, although there are attractive women playing, it's very hard to glimpse this through the helmet and equipment.
   54. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: April 10, 2010 at 10:07 PM (#3499672)
This is the worst thread ever. Kill it

Rather than saying about a thread, posters should try to hijack it with Mariner and Francoeur jokes.
   55. depletion Posted: April 11, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3499732)
1) Women's figure skating is apparently a bigger draw than men's as it usually gets the superior time slot in the Olympics.
2) I played a bit of tennis when younger, and prefer watching the women's game. Yes the ladies are slim. Ever see a successful fat tennis player?
3) I'd like to see the ladies weight lifting in the Olympics (or world championships) but they don't show it on TV.
4) Francoeur is playing pretty well, as is Matthews, so far.
   56. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: April 11, 2010 at 01:12 AM (#3499746)
simpering sycophants


I thought that we were "lily-livered". Or at least "nattering nabobs of negativity".
   57. Shredder Posted: April 11, 2010 at 02:30 AM (#3499781)
Chico has a juvenile detention facility
That's a horrible way to refer to my brother's alma mater, Chico State University. Then again, after the Pioneer Days riots in the late '80s, it's probably accurate.

Also home of the Sierra Nevada brewery.
   58. villageidiom Posted: April 11, 2010 at 02:38 AM (#3499783)
the day i see men watching any womens sport in which there are zero attractive women, they have no money riding on the outcome, and they are praising the athletic prowess of the women, is the day i will take back everything
You don't spend enough time in CT.
   59. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: April 11, 2010 at 02:42 AM (#3499784)
Caroline Wozniacki is an interesting corner case. She is amazingly gorgeous in a very classy way, with this grace and bubbly personality and stunning looks. She also has one of the most boring games I have ever seen -- her strategy is just to get the ball back in an uninteresting way and wait for her opponent to miss. This is an astonishingly effective strategy in women's tennis (and, for that matter, in women's basketball), and thus she has ascended to, I believe, world #2.

The contrast between her incredibly attractive personality/looks and her incredibly boring style of play is quite remarkable.
   60. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 11, 2010 at 02:56 AM (#3499789)
Mariel Zagunis is actually much better looking than I remembered.
   61. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 11, 2010 at 03:14 AM (#3499792)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV6Oj61pznU

great female athletes
   62. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2010 at 03:19 AM (#3499793)
Well, Sharapova's in the top 15, but it's not like she has a chance to win a major.

Uhhhh you mean other than the three she's already won?
   63. Chokeland Bill Posted: April 11, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3499802)
Well, Sharapova's in the top 15, but it's not like she has a chance to win a major.


She's won three. Sharapova is a top-flight talent who has had her career derailed by injuries. She just also happens to be photogenic.

The problem with women's tennis right now is that outside of the injured Sharapova, the Williams sisters, and the Belgians (Henin and Clijsters), there is an amazing amount of mental fragility. Case in point - Ana Ivanovic was number one less than two years ago after appearing in 3 out of 5 major finals and winning one. She is now outside the top 50 because she cannot control her service toss and the rest of her game has fallen apart because of it.

With that said, Justine Henin is probably as much fun to watch as any tennis player other than an on-fire Federer.

Those who say the men's game is all about power need to watch more closely. The ability for most players to end points quickly has placed a premium on defense, and the top 4 players in the rankings are arguably the top 4 defensive players around. Even Andy Roddick, whose game was always predicated on power, has changed up and largely become a defensive machine who happens to have the best serve in the sport.

The only thing the Federer-Nadal rivaly is missing is more post-Wimbledon matches, which may happen now with Nadal's ranking on the decline. Though, with the apparent decline in Nadal's skills those matches may not be all that interesting. He only has one win against a top 10 player since May, and no wins against the top 8. It's hard to see him hanging with an in-form Federer on a quick hardcourt.
   64. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: April 11, 2010 at 05:19 AM (#3499817)
I love what's happened with the Federer/Nadal dynamic this past year. Australian Open, 2009. Nadal beats Federer in a five-set final and Federer has that heart-breaking post-match crying fit. ("God, it's killing me.") Federer has one title in the last five majors, the '08 US Open, and he won that because Nadal was knocked out. Nadal has three titles in the last five major tournaments and is cresting while his chief rival begins his slow, sad, inexorable decline.

Now, Federer has three majors in the last five tournaments and sits at 16 total majors. 20 seems like it's easily within reach. Nadal, meanwhile, can't get through a tournament without breaking, snapping, straining or chipping something. His future is cloudy in the extreme, and you can imagine a world where he doesn't win another major.

I mean, I distinctly remember sitting in a waiting room and picking up a Sports Illustrated with the cover, "HOW NADAL BROKE FEDERER."
   65. CrosbyBird Posted: April 11, 2010 at 05:55 AM (#3499821)
The only thing the Federer-Nadal rivaly is missing is more post-Wimbledon matches, which may happen now with Nadal's ranking on the decline. Though, with the apparent decline in Nadal's skills those matches may not be all that interesting. He only has one win against a top 10 player since May, and no wins against the top 8. It's hard to see him hanging with an in-form Federer on a quick hardcourt.

Agassi and Sampras was the rivalry that I found most exciting in all of tennis. It was such a contrast of styles: the long-haired hippie Armenian against the straight-laced but curly-haired Greek. Agassi's defensive style of wear-you-out tennis from the back of the court against Sampras's aggressive net play. In one of their Grand Slam matches, neither could break the other man's serve. It wasn't a finals, but I don't think that matters very much.
   66. Zipperholes Posted: April 11, 2010 at 06:22 AM (#3499829)
Federer has one title in the last five majors
Is this a joke? I don't get it.

the '08 US Open, and he won that because Nadal was knocked out.
Yes, that's how tournaments work. A tournament win isn't any less legitimate just because the winner doesn't have to go through his chief rival, especially when he beats his rival's victor in straight sets in the final.

In any case, to assume that Nadal would have won is insane -- he had never beaten Federer in a major on hard court.
   67. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: April 11, 2010 at 07:08 AM (#3499836)
Is this a joke? I don't get it.

I presume he meant that as of the Australian in '09 Federer had 1 title in the last 5 slam events- a title which did not feature a victory over Nadal. At the time, many had the sense that Nadal was about to dominate the game. Things have changed in a hurry.

There's a million ways to celebrate Federer's greatness, but I think my favorite stat is that of the last 19 Grand Slams, he has failed to reach the finals only once. Simply unbelievable. Of course, he hasn't failed to make a GS semi-final since 2004 which also seems pretty decent.
   68. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 11, 2010 at 08:54 AM (#3499853)
I played a bit of tennis when younger, and prefer watching the women's game. Yes the ladies are slim. Ever see a successful fat tennis player?
Lindsey Davenport. Monica Seles for a while. Well, for some value of "fat." But those two were definitely carrying a spare tyre at certain stages of their career.
   69. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: April 11, 2010 at 10:49 AM (#3499858)
Lindsey Davenport. Monica Seles for a while. Well, for some value of "fat." But those two were definitely carrying a spare tyre at certain stages of their career.

Moresmo is quite possibly the ugliest female alive.
   70. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 11, 2010 at 11:15 AM (#3499860)
Agassi is Iranian.
   71. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: April 11, 2010 at 11:37 AM (#3499861)
Come to Canada and watch some hockey with us.


(snip)

These are fun, entertaining games and, although there are attractive women playing, it's very hard to glimpse this through the helmet and equipment.


I dunno. I enjoyed the gold medal game, but the women smoking stogies at the end of the game removed any attractiveness for me.

Chico has a juvenile detention facility

That's a horrible way to refer to my brother's alma mater, Chico State University. Then again, after the Pioneer Days riots in the late '80s, it's probably accurate.

Also home of the Sierra Nevada brewery.


It's my alma mater as well.

I meant the college, not the brewery.

Edited for typos, which means I probably caught half of them.
   72. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: April 11, 2010 at 01:19 PM (#3499875)
Agassi is Iranian.

Iran is a political entity which contains many different ethnic groups. Agassi's father was from Iran, but he was not Persian like the majority of the population. The family name was originally Aghassian, which is extremely Armenian (Wikipedia claims he also had some Assyrian ancestry).
   73. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 11, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3499901)
I dunno. I enjoyed the gold medal game, but the women smoking stogies at the end of the game removed any attractiveness for me.

Are you nuts? A chick who likes sports, drinks beer and will smoke a stogie with you?
You'd think they'd be the hottest girls on the planet for most sports-enthusiast guys.
   74. rfloh Posted: April 11, 2010 at 04:38 PM (#3499925)
depletion,

"2) I played a bit of tennis when younger, and prefer watching the women's game. Yes the ladies are slim. Ever see a successful fat tennis player?"

Aside from the Davenport and Seles who were mentioned, Clijsters is hardly slim either.

"3) I'd like to see the ladies weight lifting in the Olympics (or world championships) but they don't show it on TV."

Eurosport shows weightlifting. It isn't carried by any cable operator in the US, unfortunately.
   75. rfloh Posted: April 11, 2010 at 04:41 PM (#3499929)
Are you nuts? A chick who likes sports, drinks beer and will smoke a stogie with you?
You'd think they'd be the hottest girls on the planet for most sports-enthusiast guys.


Yeah. Also, it was nice to see them let their hair down, instead of making of bunch of canned statements about how proud, how thankful, how fortunate they, blah blah blah.
   76. rfloh Posted: April 11, 2010 at 04:47 PM (#3499937)
You ever taken a real close look at Martina Navratilova? It's true that most of the current top players in women's tennis look great, but that's just because they're athletic.


Uhh, when Navratilova was playing, at least before she became the elder stateswoman of tennis, she was hardly a fan favourite. Her muscularity was derided, in contrast to "girl next door" Chris Evert. The modern day equivalent is Amelie Mauresmo.

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