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Monday, December 19, 2011

Yahoo: Denver Broncos Have Found a ‘Moneyball’ Player in QB Tim Tebow: Fan View

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has been one of the most fascinating stories in the National Football League (NFL) this season. His success has been surprising and strangely similar to the 2011 baseball movie Moneyball.

Moneyball is based on a true story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team. In 2002, Athletics General Manager Billy Beane struggled to assemble a competitive team. Without the payroll to sign high-priced homerun hitters, Beane turned to undervalued and overlooked statistics. He believed that on-base percentage and slugging percentage could be better statistical indicators for success in baseball. Beane boldly signed no-name players that met these criteria. The results were astounding. Rent the movie and see for yourself.

Tebow is the NFL version of a moneyball player. He has been criticized for his lack of accuracy, poor passing mechanics and horrendous footwork. He does not throw for yardage like Peyton Manning or touchdowns like Tom Brady. But Tebow wins. He may change the way NFL coaches view the quarterback position.

An article by Kerry J. Byrne at SI.com offers an explanation as to why Tebow is winning. In the article, Byrne shows that Tebow is actually outplaying opposing quarterbacks without compiling traditional passing numbers. Like the moneyball players in baseball, Tebow has excelled in undervalued statistics. He protects the ball better and finds the end zone more often than any quarterback in the game.

Like the players in Moneyball, Tebow is changing the game. How far can Tebow and the Broncos go? We will soon find out. By the time the skeptics recognize what Tebow is doing, he may be wearing a Super Bowl ring.

Tripon Posted: December 19, 2011 at 05:12 PM | 255 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DA Baracus Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#4019557)
An article by Kerry J. Byrne at SI.com offers an explanation as to why Tebow is winning.


Well it's certainly an explanation, it's just not the right one. Because Kerry Byrne is a terrible analyst.

Tebow is the NFL version of a moneyball player.


He was a first round draft pick. One that was heavily criticized at the time. He was overvalued and might still be.
   2. sardonic Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#4019558)
If he's so good, why doesn't his offense score very many points?
   3. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#4019559)
They spent a 1st round draft pick on him. How much surplus value is he really giving them?

The only thing he's proving is that with a really good defense you can have a mediocre QB run the read option and win football games. I applaud Denver for running the read option, that's thinking outside the box, but it's not like he's scoring 42ppg running it. Their offense is mediocre at best with Tebow at QB.
   4. Tripon Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#4019560)
2. sardonic Posted: December 19, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#4019558)
If he's so good, why doesn't his offense score very many points?


But Tim Tebow gets on base.
   5. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#4019562)
Tebow is a fat catcher?
   6. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4019564)
Tebow has quickly become what Jeter was in the early-00s. Those who think he's good seem to hold him up much too highly while those who are critical seem to go overboard with their criticism.

To me the coach of the Broncos is the more interesting aspect of this. I find the NFL boring because there is so little variety. It seems like he has been willing to try something pretty radical with the way he uses Tebow with an eye toward getting the most bang for his buck.
   7. DA Baracus Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4019565)
Coming off of a loss I was curious why someone would write about how he just wins. Then I saw that this article is 3 weeks old.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4019567)
I think there's some merit to the idea that if you build your club around a style of offense that no one else is employing, the assets you covet may be undervalued by the rest of the market. It doesn't really make Tebow a moneyball quarterback.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:36 PM (#4019569)

An article by Kerry J. Byrne at SI.com offers an explanation as to why Tebow is winning. In the article, Byrne shows that Tebow is actually outplaying opposing quarterbacks without compiling traditional passing numbers. Like the moneyball players in baseball, Tebow has excelled in undervalued statistics. He protects the ball better and finds the end zone more often than any quarterback in the game.


*slaps forehead*

Yes, these are undervalued skills, but they're also probably non-repeatable skills. Its like saying a GM is "Moneyball" because he has found undervalued clutch hitters who hit .350 in "close and late" situations.

Hey, what a brilliant strategy the Broncos have discovered that no one else knows about - throw touchdowns and don't throw interceptions. Broncos = GENIUS.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#4019576)
We all realize that this wasn't written by a real journalist, right? This is the most over-the-top pro-Tebow thing I've seen so far - most of the commentary I've seen has included some "I'm not sure how he's doing it!" or "We'll see how long it lasts" caveats.
   11. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4019578)
QBs who can't throw are the new market inefficiency.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#4019579)
Some other recent articles by Mr. Torres:

"Disneyworld at Christmastime 2011"
"How to Get a Workout at Your Corporate Job"
"Free Breakfast Entrees at Chick-fil-A: September 6-10 Promo"
   13. Dale Sams Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:55 PM (#4019582)
By the time the skeptics recognize what Tebow is doing, he may be wearing a Super Bowl ring.


I'm guessing his salary would allow him to win one on EBay.
   14. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4019584)
Tebow is the NFL version of a moneyball player.

In that he's going to lose in the 1st round of the playoffs...yes.
   15. DA Baracus Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4019585)
"Free Breakfast Entrees at Chick-fil-A: September 6-10 Promo"


Damnit. Missed that one.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#4019588)
I stopped watching football with all the expansion and team moving, but I did watch some of last nights game. I was impressed by his ability to sense pressure (the 29 yard sack notwithstanding.)

...and I noticed the stupid nebulous rules regarding hurting QBs allowed him a lot of freedom in running with the ball.
   17. they sit at the same 57i66135 and eat sometimes Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#4019590)
He was a first round draft pick. One that was heavily criticized at the time. He was overvalued and might still be.
actually that does sound exactly like a moneyball player.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#4019591)
By the time the skeptics recognize what Tebow is doing, he may be wearing a Super Bowl ring.


To go with all those World Series rings that Billy Beane's A's teams piled up.

Now, if Tebow improves a bit, and Denver's defense also improves its defense, and gets great special teams play, and is lucky, then in a few years it is possible that with some luck they just might get a super bowl ring; teams with truly dominant defenses have done so with less than memorable quarterback play.

But not this year, and not with this team, and not with Tebow at his current skill level.
   19. Urkel's Boner Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#4019592)
Billy Beane should never have written that playbook.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM (#4019593)

"Free Breakfast Entrees at Chick-fil-A: September 6-10 Promo"


Still better than most of the stuff Murray Chass churns out these days.
   21. Rally Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:05 PM (#4019594)
Inability to protect the ball is the biggest reason the Broncos lost yesterday. But on the season, Tebow has certainly done a lot more to win than he has done to lose.
   22. Eddo Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4019603)
I stopped watching football with all the expansion and team moving

NFL expansions since 1990: 2002 (one team), 1999 (one team), 1995 (two teams)
MLB expansions since 1990: 1998 (two teams), 1993 (two teams)

NFL relocations since 1990: 1997 (Tennessee), 1996 (Baltimore), 1995 (Oakland and St. Louis)
MLB relocations since 1990: 2005 (Washington)

How long ago did you stop watching football?
   23. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#4019604)
Tebow stands there and hands the ball off. Or runs it. Any runningback in the league can do it better. Why even have a quarterback? Why not just snap it direct?
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#4019607)
Tebow stands there and hands the ball off. Or runs it. Any runningback in the league can do it better. Why even have a quarterback? Why not just snap it direct?


That's pretty much what they do now if you want to consider him a running back. But I don't know why you think all other running backs could do it better? I assume most of them have little to no experience running the option as the QB...or taking snaps from under center...or calling audibles....etc etc
   25. Erix Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4019612)
The Broncos' defense is the equivalent of Oakland's Big 3. Tebow is a washed up David Justice.
   26. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#4019616)
That's pretty much what they do now if you want to consider him a running back. But I don't know why you think all other running backs could do it better? I assume most of them have little to no experience running the option as the QB...or taking snaps from under center...or calling audibles....etc etc


Or passing the ball 23 times a game with an 11-2 TD/INT ratio
   27. PreservedFish Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#4019618)
Tebow stands there and hands the ball off. Or runs it. Any runningback in the league can do it better. Why even have a quarterback? Why not just snap it direct?


Troll harder.
   28. SouthSideRyan Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:34 PM (#4019620)
Denver's defense is 24th in points allowed, 22nd in yards allowed, 23rd in 1st downs, 25th in takeaways.

They're the Big 3 if the Big 3 was Erik Hiljus, Gil Heredia, and Aaron Harang.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#4019622)
Denver's defense is 24th in points allowed, 22nd in yards allowed, 23rd in 1st downs, 25th in takeaways.

Maybe they should stick the balls in a humidor.
   30. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#4019623)
I hope LionOfTheSenate shows up...
   31. tshipman Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:44 PM (#4019625)
Tebow stands there and hands the ball off. Or runs it. Any runningback in the league can do it better. Why even have a quarterback? Why not just snap it direct?


Tebow's job is to motivate the defense to play better. How is he supposed to do that from the sideline?

Huh, Ray, Huh?
   32. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#4019626)
Or passing the ball 23 times a game with an 11-2 TD/INT ratio


And a 9% completion percentage.
   33. joker24 Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:52 PM (#4019629)
If they really want to commit to Tebow they should definitely sign Vince Young (or a Terrelle Pryor or something). Viable "backup" within a system that's likely to lead to injury, and hell he's probably better at doing the same stuff anyway. Not sure how willing Vince Young would be to do that, but one can dream.

They might actually have something that could put up more than 15 offensive points a game with some dual-QB sets. Now that'd be cool. Bringing Vince on a jet-sweep motion might legitimately cause the problems people are ascribing to this crappy offense right now.
   34. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#4019631)
Let's stop pretending Tebow is an asset. His teams have won in the small sample of games we have, but they have not scored.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: December 19, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#4019632)
Troll harder.


And a 9% completion percentage.


...I think the challenge was accepted
   36. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#4019634)
...and I noticed the stupid nebulous rules regarding hurting QBs allowed him a lot of freedom in running with the ball.


The only thing nebulous about yesterdays game, was the Patriots Defense's understanding of their coverage schemes.
   37. phredbird Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#4019637)
But Tim Tebow gets on base.


huh? isn't he claiming to be a virgin?

i guess that means he doesn't hit the long ball.
   38. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#4019644)
If he's so good, why doesn't his offense score very many points?

Tebow is a master of quarterbacking to the score.
   39. John DiFool2 Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:37 PM (#4019649)
Tebow has quickly become what Jeter was in the early-00s.


Or what a former Broncos QB was in the 80's and early 90's. If Tebow wasn't from my alma-mater and didn't help them win 2 NCAA championships I'd probably hate him just as much if not more than I hated Elway. If he's lucky he'll become as half as good as Elway did by the time the latter won those 2 Super Bowls in the last part of his career.
   40. Dale Sams Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#4019651)
But Tim Tebow gets on base.


huh? isn't he claiming to be a virgin?


Phred is the Dave Kingman of making out.
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#4019653)
Tebow's passing was terrible his first few games, but he's been getting better. He had some nice throws down the field against the Vikings a few weeks ago. And the field goal drive against the Bears was all passes of 10 or more yards downfield.

Also, John Fox has to be coach of the year for the way he completely rewrote the offense to work with Tebow at QB. Also, the Broncos are averaging 20.8 pts/game with Tebow. NFL average is 22.1. And a run heavy low turnover offense is going to be involved in fewer possessions, hence scoring plays- longer fields for both sides and running the ball keeps the clock moving.
   42. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 19, 2011 at 11:57 PM (#4019656)
Tim Tebow is a first-round draft pick who struggles to complete half his passes.

Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the draft, completes two-thirds of his passes, and has three Super Bowl rings.

Which is the better example of identifying talent that others missed?

Also:

Against the Bears' Caleb Hanie, the Tebow-led Broncos won 13-10, in OT. The Bears have utterly collapsed in the last month, since their QB went down.

Against the 2-10 Vikings' Chirstian Ponder, the Tebow-led Broncos won by a field goal. The Vikings are dreadful.

Against the then-4-and-7 Chargers, who had lost their previous five games, the Tebow-led Broncos won in OT, 16-13.

Against the lousy Chiefs, where Matt Cassel was knocked out for the season, the Tebow-led Broncos beat Tyler Palko, 17-10. Tebow went 2-for-8 in the entire game.

Against the then-winless Dolphins, the Tebow-led Broncos beat Miami 18-15 in OT.

Against the Jets, the Broncos won 17-13. Because of Tebow? No. He went 9-for-20 or 104 yards, no TD and No INTs.

Against the Raiders, the Broncos won 38-24 - probably their best win of the Tebow Era. Tebow completed 10 passes for 124 yards, and the Broncos took the lead in the 4th quarter...on an 85-yard punt return. Of course, they tied the game late in the 3rd quarter...on a 6-0-yard run by McGahee.

Then, they got torched against the two best teams they've played: Detroit (45-10) and New England (41-23).

What does all this say? They are 8-2 in games decided by a TD or less. With average luck, they're 5-5, and we're not talking about Tebow.

When they've won, it has not been primarily about Tebow. It has been strong running, against poor competition, in a bunch of close games. Yawn. They still need a QB, in my opinion.
   43. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:04 AM (#4019658)

Against the Bears' Caleb Hanie, the Tebow-led Broncos won 13-10, in OT. The Bears have utterly collapsed in the last month, since their QB went down.


They were okay when Cutler went down. It was when Forte went down that the season effectively ended.
   44. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#4019660)
Let's stop pretending Tebow is an asset. His teams have won in the small sample of games we have, but they have not scored.


Let's see, the first 5 games (not started by Tebow)
the Broncos gave up 28 points per game and scored 21 points per game

since Tebow has been starting they have scored 20.8 points per game and have given up 22.6 point per game
clearly the Tebow inspired offensive improvement is behind Denver's success

Ok, in fact, in 2 games Tebow's team has in fact scored a boatload of points:
November 6, they whipped Oakland 38-24, Tebow was 10 for 21 for 124 yards, but no Ints AND he ran for 118 yards on 12 carries...
Oakland in fact had more net yards, but Carson Palmer threw 3 picks- (all 3 while in Denver territory)
one play after the second pick, McGahee (clearly inspired by Tebow) ran 60 yards for the TD...

Ok, Tebow had a nice game, that 112 rushing yards was definitely value added, but Palmer did more to lose that one than Tebow did to win.

And on 12/4, Denver beat Minnesota 35-32, Tebow was 10/15 for 202 yards, no picks, that is actually a nice line, he only rushed for 13, and lost a fumble (which he does more than most QBs btw)- Minnesota had a huge net yardage advantage, so how'd they lose? Ponder's two ints were both killers- one was returned for a TD the other one came with the game tied 1.25 left, in Minny territory, and, well cost them the game, Tebow handed the ball off 4 times, carried the ball himself for a 2 yard loss, then they kicked the game winning FG.
Fumbles? Ponder fumbled the ball away when inside the Denver 10...

So no, the Tebow lead Broncos do not score more points than they did before being lead by Tebow- in fact they are still underwater pointwise- but seem to win the close ones and lose the blow outs- and look at the close ones- Minnesota lost because they turned the effing ball over - on their side of the field- they were ALREADY within Prater's range, Tebow's job was simply run time off the clock before the kick.

Look at the Chicago game, Chicago wins if Barber does not run out of bounds in the final seconds
Chicago likely wins if Barber does not fumble the ball away in OT

13-10 newsflash, Tebow did not win that game (maybe Prater did), Barber and the Bears LOST it- not to be crude, but getting Hanie rather than Cutler was simple random luck on Tebow's part...

and Oakland and Minny give up a ton of points- to everyone

Look, Tebow is not terrible, he does some things that other QBs do not, he's big and strong, and hell he could probably even block for the 1/2 Back, but Jaysus the Tebow lovers are even crazier than the reflexive Tebow haters
   45. Kurt Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:13 AM (#4019661)
They were okay when Cutler went down. It was when Forte went down that the season effectively ended.

Nonsense.
   46. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#4019662)
When they've won, it has not been primarily about Tebow. It has been strong running, against poor competition, in a bunch of close games. Yawn. They still need a QB, in my opinion.

1. Tebow has 106 carries for 610 yards and 5 TDs this year. A lot of the "strong running" has been coming from him.

2. Running QBs have a positive effect on the production of their running backs.

It's obviously not all about Tebow by any stretch of the imagination, and the ridiculous run of close games suggests that it's probably unsustainable. But you can't completely write off his contributions, such as they are.
   47. covelli chris p Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#4019665)
2. Running QBs have a positive effect on the production of their running backs.

tebow is a pretty good runner, but how many teams would also have a good running qb by putting their running back at qb?
   48. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#4019670)
tebow is a pretty good runner, but how many teams would also have a good running qb by putting their running back at qb?


They'd have a better runner but an awful passer. Tebow's the best passing "RB" in the league.
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#4019671)
Look, Tebow is not terrible, he does some things that other QBs do not, he's big and strong, and hell he could probably even block for the 1/2 Back, but Jaysus the Tebow lovers are even crazier than the reflexive Tebow haters


I think they're equally crazy, but then again, I don't think I've ever encountered any Tebow lovers, either in person or online. Some of you guys must be hanging around with way too many evangelicals.

I've been saying for four weeks he's been about average, and I'll stick with that. He's obviously a subpar passer, particularly completion percentage wise. But he throws a decent deep ball, he's done an excellent job taking care of the ball (Watching his games the last two weeks, I'd say the low comp percentage and low INT rate are related. He really doesn't take many chances throwing it). He can obviously run the ball better than most QBs, and I think his running threat has made it easier for McGahee and co. to run as well (FO posited that). When I look at the number of crappy guys helming teams who are actively damaging their team's efforts, Tebow's First Do No Harm policy looks much more appealing.
   50. covelli chris p Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:28 AM (#4019672)
They'd have a better runner but an awful passer. Tebow's the best passing "RB" in the league.

that may be true. actually, i'd say that's more accurate than calling him a good running QB.
   51. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#4019674)
that may be true. actually, i'd say that's more accurate than calling him a good running QB.


I've said in a couple of threads that to me he's not a QB so much as he's a really good football player who the Broncos put under center. I don't think it'll work over the long haul (I would like it to) but it sure is fun watching people go bonkers about him.

Meanwhile Cam Newton's rushing stats are nearly identical (although he has way more TDs) and he's a much better passer and he's not getting the same attention, although he's a lock for OROY.
   52. Kurt Posted: December 20, 2011 at 12:36 AM (#4019675)
Ok, in fact, in 2 games Tebow's team has in fact scored a boatload of points:
November 6, they whipped Oakland 38-24, Tebow was 10 for 21 for 124 yards, but no Ints AND he ran for 118 yards on 12 carries...
Oakland in fact had more net yards, but Carson Palmer threw 3 picks- (all 3 while in Denver territory)
one play after the second pick, McGahee (clearly inspired by Tebow) ran 60 yards for the TD...

Ok, Tebow had a nice game, that 112 rushing yards was definitely value added, but Palmer did more to lose that one than Tebow did to win.


I'm really not sure what the point of this is. If Palmer hadn't thrown any interceptions, he would have ended up with 5 or 6 touchdowns and Oakland would have won 45-38? And this would have been part of the case *against* Tebow?
   53. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#4019688)
I'm really not sure what the point of this is. If Palmer hadn't thrown any interceptions, he would have ended up with 5 or 6 touchdowns and Oakland would have won 45-38? And this would have been part of the case *against* Tebow?

I think the point is, Carson Palmer is an awful QB these days. There is a reason he was without a starting job, until the Raiders lost theirs, got desperate and overpaid for him.

Also, John Fox has to be coach of the year for the way he completely rewrote the offense to work with Tebow at QB. Also, the Broncos are averaging 20.8 pts/game with Tebow. NFL average is 22.1.

Those pts/game include a brace of pick-6s, and about 5 OT wins. It's not a true reflection of the Broncos offense.
   54. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:02 AM (#4019691)
Bon Jovi died? ####
   55. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:07 AM (#4019693)
They were okay when Cutler went down. It was when Forte went down that the season effectively ended.

Nonsense.


They put up 20 on the Raiders with Forte. Then they couldn't even get a touchdown against the Chiefs when he left after 5 plays.
   56. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#4019701)
If he's so good, why doesn't his offense score very many points?


You don't measure football success just by isolating offense as you would in baseball. How you perform on offense has a direct impact on defense. Tebow has been well above average in yards per turnover, the guy he replaced was a disaster on yards gained per turnover. That's why they are winning, that simple.

Football Outsiders shows that Denver's defense has not improved much at all, using yards per play, since Tebow took over. The big difference has been the lack of costly turnovers on offense thanks to Orton that put the Defense in difficult position week after week.

We are still in the "conventional wisdom era" for football. Only it is much worse in football than it was in baseball.
   57. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#4019702)
Yes, these are undervalued skills, but they're also probably non-repeatable skills.


It is silly to suggest low turnover rate for a QB is non repeatable. Turnovers pretty much define good QB play....not passing yardzzzzzz....
   58. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#4019704)
When they've won, it has not been primarily about Tebow. It has been strong running, against poor competition, in a bunch of close games. Yawn. They still need a QB, in my opinion.

1. Tebow has 106 carries for 610 yards and 5 TDs this year. A lot of the "strong running" has been coming from him.

2. Running QBs have a positive effect on the production of their running backs.


It's amazing this comment was written on this site. HELLO!!! Tebow is a running QB!!!! HELLO!!!

This must of been what it was like in the dark ages of baseball, when batting average and clutch hitting were as immutable as the laws of physics.
   59. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:23 AM (#4019705)
They put up 20 on the Raiders with Forte. Then they couldn't even get a touchdown against the Chiefs when he left after 5 plays.

That would make sense, except Forte was terrible against the Raiders, mostly because they didn't respect Hanie at all (though Barber actually was better in Oakland).

Cutler is at least three times the loss than Forte.
   60. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:25 AM (#4019706)
There is a reason he was without a starting job


That reason was he decided that not playing for the Bengals was better than playing for the Bengals.
   61. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#4019707)
   62. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#4019709)
Yay, LionOfTheSenate appears!

In all seriousness, I agree that that the pocket passer is an endangered species. Every year CFB produces more and more option types, because the proof is in the pudding. These guys are impossible to defend. It makes me wonder if Pat White didn't get enough of a shot....
   63. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#4019710)
There is a reason he was without a starting job, until the Raiders lost theirs, got desperate and overpaid for him.

Palmer wasn't without a starting job. He refused to report to the Bengals, where he would have been the starter, and forced them to trade him.

Coke to DA
   64. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#4019711)
#44 you probably think you had a smart post, but #41 beat you to the punch. Get out of the stone age. Football is stuck in the stone age of data analysis.

Football outsiders should be spending most of their time on college football, if they want to unmask hidden truths about the sport.
   65. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#4019713)
Meanwhile Cam Newton's rushing stats are nearly identical (although he has way more TDs) and he's a much better passer and he's not getting the same attention, although he's a lock for OROY.


Cam Newton is being noticed. You don't smash all time NFL records and get ignored. Carolina and Denver drafted #1 & #2 last year. QBs with running ability are better than QBs that can't run.
   66. LionoftheSenate Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:33 AM (#4019715)
It makes me wonder if Pat White didn't get enough of a shot....


I love Pat White, incredible speed. But one thing Tebow has convinced me of, is that it is much more important to be a tougher kind of runner than a speed first runner (Vick, White, etc...), as QB.
   67. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#4019720)
I love Pat White, incredible speed. But one thing Tebow has convinced me of, is that it is much more important to be a tougher kind of runner than a speed first runner

Pat White is also short, though I don't know if that short QB thing is more of that nonsense NFL conventional wisdom stuff.
   68. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:36 AM (#4019721)
I think they're equally crazy, but then again, I don't think I've ever encountered any Tebow lovers, either in person or online. Some of you guys must be hanging around with way too many evangelicals.

I present... LionoftheSenate!

SoSH, in all seriousness, I'm shocked you don't see the Tebow love going on (though you're right that the hate is roughly as loud as the love). The Patriots whooped the Broncos, yet NBC's highlights before the night game consisted of one Patriots offensive play, and the rest Tebow.

------

It is silly to suggest low turnover rate for a QB is non repeatable. Turnovers pretty much define good QB play....not passing yardzzzzzz....

Well, turnover avoidance is repeatable... to a point. I'm of the belief that a high turnover rate by a QB is much more indicative of true talent that a low one; i.e., it's not symmetrical about some mean.

And really? Turnovers define good QB play? I guess Alex Smith (4 interceptions) is better than Drew Brees and Tom Brady (11 each), then?

------

Tebow haters are over the top, certainly. He is definitely not a "RB playing QB"; his passing is improving, but with his super-slow throwing motion and iffy ability making reads, he currently has a pretty low ceiling. Those things could be improved upon, but it's not inevitable.

One great example: in the second half Sunday, Tebow dropped back into his own end zone, got hit, shook off the tackler, and fumbled. He fumbled in his own end zone - definitely a hugely negative play. He was fortunate to recover his own fumble, scrambled around (nearly stepping on the end line for a safety), and threw the ball away. His athleticism prevented a safety, but the fact is it was still a very negative play; the ball could have easily bounced toward a Patriot and resulted in a defensive touchdown. What's the mainstream media's spin on the play? How athletic Tebow is! No mention of the fumble he committed, nearly costing his team seven points, of course.
   69. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:37 AM (#4019723)
I like LionOfTheSenate's posts a lot, as long as he doesn't start talking about how Alabama could beat The Colts!
   70. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:37 AM (#4019724)
That would make sense, except Forte was terrible against the Raiders, mostly because they didn't respect Hanie at all (though Barber actually was better in Oakland).

Cutler is at least three times the loss than Forte.


Forte's biggest asset is as a screen receiver. The Raiders had to guard against that, and Hanie was able to exploit it in the 2nd half. KC, on the other hand, didn't have much of a screen threat and could drop back into coverage, forcing Hanie to beat them (and he wasn't able to). Forte didn't do great against the Raiders because he was such a big part of their offense, so the Raiders wanted to shut him down.
   71. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:38 AM (#4019725)
In all seriousness, I agree that that the pocket passer is an endangered species. Every year CFB produces more and more option types, because the proof is in the pudding. These guys are impossible to defend. It makes me wonder if Pat White didn't get enough of a shot....

Maybe, but people were saying the same things when Michael Vick came into the league. And going all the way back to Randall Cunningham, too.

Let's see how durable guys like Tebow and Newton are before we expect them to redefine the position.
   72. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#4019727)
One thing I haven't seen mentioned much, if at all, is how the Broncos displayed one of the bigger negatives about an offense that relies on the run; once you trail by more than two scores, it becomes extremely tough to mount a comeback, since your offense, by design, will take up a lot of game time to score.

A run-heavy offense can be effective, but you absolutely must have a top-tier defense to be a contender with it. The Packers, Saints, and Patriots, however, show that an elite offense can do a decent job dragging a poor defense with it to contention.
   73. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:44 AM (#4019729)
One thing I haven't seen mentioned much, if at all, is how the Broncos displayed one of the bigger negatives about an offense that relies on the run; once you trail by more than two scores, it becomes extremely tough to mount a comeback, since your offense, by design, will take up a lot of game time to score.


Except that they have come back from 2 score deficits. 15 points against Miami, 10 vs. Chicago. That's the magic of Tebow!
   74. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:45 AM (#4019731)
Also, John Fox has to be coach of the year for the way he completely rewrote the offense to work with Tebow at QB.


It was Fox's wet dream. I'd be shocked if the clock doesn't strike midnight sooner rather than later.
   75. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:48 AM (#4019735)
SoSH, in all seriousness, I'm shocked you don't see the Tebow love going on (though you're right that the hate is roughly as loud as the love). The Patriots whooped the Broncos, yet NBC's highlights before the night game consisted of one Patriots offensive play, and the rest Tebow.


Oh, I have no doubt people love the guy (and while I think he's just an average QB, I've come to root like hell for him. I like him a lot).

And it's also undeniable that people absolutely love talking about him (or, at the very least, talking about everyone else talking about him). All I'm saying is that in my interactions with folks, either in real life or online, I've never actually encountered one of those Tebow is a Legitimately Great Quarterback* individuals. And, yes, I don't get out much.

* LotS would be the closest, but he strikes me as more anti-NFL than pro-Tebow.
   76. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#4019738)
Except that they have come back from 2 score deficits. 15 points against Miami, 10 vs. Chicago. That's the magic of Tebow!

Well, I did say more than two scores...
   77. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#4019740)
Well, I did say more than two scores...


My bad. I agree with you.
   78. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4019742)
And it's also undeniable that people absolutely love talking about him (or, at the very least, talking about everyone else talking about him). All I'm saying is that in my interactions with folks, either in real life or online, I've never actually encountered one of those Tebow is a Legitimately Great Quarterback* individuals. And, yes, I don't get out much.

And I'm not sure many exists. Of course, outside of Ray, I also haven't heard anyone say he's the worst QB in the league, either.

Most of the backlash is due to calls for him to be in the MVP consideration. Or analysts saying they would rather have him as their starter than Tony Romo(*) (who at least has put together multiple seasons of production), or putting him in the same class as Tom Brady(**), or attributing the entire Broncos turnaround to him.

Personally, I'm fascinated by the offense they run, as a football nerd. I think he's actually pretty well-suited for this Bronco team, with some OK running backs and crappy wide receivers, with a defense that can keep games close against bad-to-average offenses. But if he's an asset at QB, it's due to his low turnover ratio, and barely anything else. He's not providing much more than Alex Smith or Tarvaris Jackson(***) or Matt Moore at this point.

(*) Michael Irvin
(**) Rick Reilly
(***) And Jackson's actually been somewhat productive the last few weeks. Who would have thought?
   79. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4019743)
My bad. I agree with you.

I thought so, but wasn't sure.
   80. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4019744)
Well, I did say more than two scores...


I think the Frank Reich-style QB is the only one who can be expected to work in that situation.
   81. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 01:58 AM (#4019745)
LionOfTheSenate is grade A- troll. It's enjoyable so long as you remember that he's talking completely out of his ass. Like, for example: "QBs with running ability are better than QBs that can't run." Or: "Football outsiders should be spending most of their time on college football, if they want to unmask hidden truths about the sport."

That Tom Brady isn't nearly the QB that Tim Tebow is! He can't run for ####! We know this because of how little Brady played against shitty non-conference teams at Michigan compared to Tebow against shitty non-conference teams in Florida in even smaller sample sizes than the NFL!
   82. Kurt Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#4019746)
I think the point is, Carson Palmer is an awful QB these days. There is a reason he was without a starting job, until the Raiders lost theirs, got desperate and overpaid for him.

It's a pretty poor point then. Denver's offense put up 400 yards and 31 points in that game. Not sure how the numbers on Palmer's paycheck or the current ownership of their 2012 and 2013 draft picks has anything to do with it. I guess I haven't seen that argument before, that a quarterback whose team wins a game 38-24, with no defensive scores and 1 kick return TD, is subject to the criticism that if both QB's weren't such bags of crap the game would have been 52-51.

------------------

They put up 20 on the Raiders with Forte. Then they couldn't even get a touchdown against the Chiefs when he left after 5 plays.

Um, they didn't have Cutler for the KC game either. I don't disagree that [Bears minus Cutler minus Forte] is worse than [Bears minus Cutler]

Let's say I'm in a BBTF boxing league. After ten matches, I'm doing okay. Then my right arm gets amputated, and my next match I lose but put up a reasonable fight. Then my left arm gets amputated, and I get pummeled. It doesn't make me left-handed.
   83. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#4019747)
But if he's an asset at QB, it's due to his low turnover ratio, and barely anything else.


I think his running, and the affect he has on the team's ability to run, is also an asset.

Altogether though, I think he's been about average, which is better than many of the analysts ever expected out of him, but far less than any MVP pushes or Romo comparisions would suggest.
   84. covelli chris p Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:05 AM (#4019748)
Tebow haters are over the top, certainly. He is definitely not a "RB playing QB"; his passing is improving, but with his super-slow throwing motion and iffy ability making reads, he currently has a pretty low ceiling. Those things could be improved upon, but it's not inevitable.

he needs to improve on that stuff to be at all useful in a situation where they need to throw the ball. i mean, it was a joke in the 4th quarter yesterday.
   85. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:05 AM (#4019749)
LionOfTheSenate is grade A- troll.


Nobody moves the goal posts quite like LotS. He's made an art form out of it.

I think the Frank Reich-style QB is the only one who can be expected to work in that situation.


Frank Reich had two 30+ point comebacks in his career. One in college, one in the pros.
   86. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#4019750)
He's completing his passes at 48.6%. In this era of football, that is flat horrible.

People point to his rushing as value added. But is it, really? He's rushed 106 times for 610 yards, which is an average of 5.8 yards/rush -- which sounds great. But what is the opportunity cost of those rushes? He's forgoing pass attempts in order to rush the ball, and we know that pass attempts go for more yards on average.

What if his runningbacks got more of those attempts? Would they be able to do more with some of them? In 837 career rushes his long is 40. (40 was his high last year; this year his high is 32. Could a real runningback have broken off a run for more than 40 yards several times in 837 attempts?)

It's not as simple as "5.8 yards/rush." How many yards is the Tebow offense gaining per game? How many points are they scoring? (*) Are those numbers anything special?

(*) Both numbers take into account fumbles and interceptions, which he's good at in part because he doesn't risk anything. He really, really sucks. I will grant him that *IF* "clutch" ability in the 4th quarter is real (I have no idea), he's worth something.... but even then, I'd rather have a quarterback that didn't need to rely on 4th quarter miracles seemingly every game.

If the defense gives up points, he's toast.
   87. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#4019751)
Um, they didn't have Cutler for the KC game either. I don't disagree that [Bears minus Cutler minus Forte] is worse than [Bears minus Cutler]

Let's say I'm in a BBTF boxing league. After ten matches, I'm doing okay. Then my right arm gets amputated, and my next match I lose but put up a reasonable fight. Then my left arm gets amputated, and I get pummeled. It doesn't make me left-handed.

Well-said.

------

I think his running, and the affect he has on the team's ability to run, is also an asset.

Ah, yes. You're absolutely correct, I should have mentioned that.

For once, I'd like to see someone paid to analyze football mention that when they talk about Tebow's effect on his teammates, not nonsense like, "Ooh, look how Champ Bailey watches while the offense is on the field" (while also showing shots of the opposing defenders doing the same thing, without comment).
   88. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:09 AM (#4019753)
Btw, speaking of those stone age metrics at Football Outsiders, they have Tebow as 29th in the league with 88 DYAR (yards above replacement player adjusted for opponent defensive quality). He's basically a replacement level QB with his arm, one step above Jamarcus Russell. All of his value comes from his running.

Also btw, low interception rates are not a repeatable skill after a certain point. Anything below about 2% isn't really repeatable, which is why you see Tom Brady going from 4 INT last year to 11 this year. You'd think this website would understand that certain percentages aren't sustainable, but boy howdy...

To make that last part clear, seeing a .8% INT rate and saying that's sustainable is like seeing a hitter with a .450 BABIP over 300-400 AB and saying it's sustainable. No, it isn't. At best it's evidence that the guy can really rake with the best of them.
   89. DA Baracus Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:11 AM (#4019755)
People point to his rushing as value added. But is it, really?


Yes. He also adds value to the rushing of his RBs. We know it's not a line of BS because this effect also happens with Mike Vick and Vince Young.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:12 AM (#4019756)
He's completing his passes at 48.6%. In this era of football, that is flat horrible.


It is horrible. And if completion percentage was the sum total of a quarterback's value, he would indeed be the most horriblest QB in the league. Instead, it's really the only area of quarterbacking where he's really a negative.

You'd think this website would understand that certain percentages aren't sustainable, but boy howdy...


It's possible to recognize that his current INT rate is not sustainable while believing he can maintain a low INT rate.
   91. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#4019758)
Instead, it's really the only area of quarterbacking where he's really a negative.


Throwing the ball is a pretty big area of being a QB. He's below average and not replacement level thanks solely to his feet.
   92. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#4019759)
Um, they didn't have Cutler for the KC game either. I don't disagree that [Bears minus Cutler minus Forte] is worse than [Bears minus Cutler]

Let's say I'm in a BBTF boxing league. After ten matches, I'm doing okay. Then my right arm gets amputated, and my next match I lose but put up a reasonable fight. Then my left arm gets amputated, and I get pummeled. It doesn't make me left-handed.


That's great, except that the offense ran reasonably well when they were missing just Cutler. Without Forte, it becomes a disaster because on pass plays they have no screen threat(made more important by a lack of TEs that can catch). Without Forte, just about every pass has to go to the sidelines or for 10+ yards. If you remove the area around the line during a pass play, you can seal a few more gaps and force the QB to keep the ball longer (which inevitably means more sacks, especially with that OL).
   93. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#4019760)
Anyone watching SF/Pitt? For some reason I find your average NFL game piss boring lately
   94. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#4019763)
Throwing the ball is a pretty big area of being a QB. He's below average and not replacement level thanks solely to his feet.


Not throwing the ball to the other guy is a pretty big negative. He's been well above average at that.

Throwing the deep ball is imporant. He's been decent at that.

He has a horrible completion percentage. That's important, but it ain't everything.
   95. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#4019764)
It is horrible. And if completion percentage was the sum total of a quarterback's value, he would indeed be the most horriblest QB in the league. Instead, it's really the only area of quarterbacking where he's really a negative.


He's also really a negative in pass attempts per game. Being able to attempt passes has value. (*)

But what was the line Baseball Prospectus had about Mike Gallego towards the end... "He can't play baseball, and that's something of an obstacle in his line of work."

If you can't complete passes at a decent percentage, you suck at quarterbacking. You're trying to paint completion percentage as akin to batting average, but is it, really? Is "everything else" Tebow is good at worth as much as extra base hits and walks are in baseball?

(*) Part of the problem may be that he sucks at making reads and checking down his receivers (oh, look, another thing he is really a negative in), and so when his primary receiver is covered, he has nothing left and has to run it. I also think he has serious problems with certain types of routes and pass attempts (which is... wait for it... another thing he is really a negative in).
   96. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#4019765)
If anything, it seems like cfb is producing more pocket passers with spread offenses. I don't know anyone in the Big 12 that runs the option anymore. There are a ton of traditional pocket passers expected to be at the top of this April's draft.

EDIT: KState runs the option and Colin Klein is a poor mans Tim Tebow.
   97. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:24 AM (#4019767)
Not throwing the ball to the other guy is a pretty big negative. He's been well above average at that.


At a level that's simply unsustainable. If he reverts to even above average, then he's a poor man's Tavaris Jackson in the passing game.

edit: to go further, see point 3 http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/11917/can-tim-tebow-keep-it-up - Interception rate over the first 10 games of a career have a .02 r with career interception rate.
   98. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:25 AM (#4019769)
one play after the second pick, McGahee (clearly inspired by Tebow) ran 60 yards for the TD...

He's not providing much more than Alex Smith or Tarvaris Jackson(***) or Matt Moore at this point.

Comments like these, particularly the first one, are why the Tebow "haters" seem to be either reaching or just missing some basic stuff. Here's the play in question. You can see that it's a run from an option set where the deep safety on the weak side (#27) stays outside to protect against a Tebow run, and this leaves the middle of the field open for McGahee to run through. The safety is cheating outside despite the fact that the QB is clearly looking to hand the ball off on an inside run. In short, however inspired McGahee may have been, the lane he ran through for the score doesn't exist with 99% of NFL QBs handing off the ball. That's not intangible stuff, that is readily observable with simple film and is plenty tangible. 60 yards and 6 points worth of tangibility in fact. With actual game film (overhead or All-22 view) I suspect you can see a good deal more value that the Broncos are getting with a QB who is a legitimate running threat. Tebow's running skills do have legitimate value outside of Tebow himself racking up yards (which are also valuable of course) and that type of value (the kind no one is recognizing or using) is exactly the type of undervalued asset a GM should be looking for.

The "Moneyball" stuff is nonsensical for a host of reasons, but Tebow has been valuable to the Broncos this season and that value doesn't just show up in his own line and it's not just inspiration. He gives his coach options that other coaches don't have, particularly so in the running game. If you're trying to have a ball control offense, that's a big deal. His throwing limitations take away some options to be sure (and in that respect Eddo's comment, in terms of total value, is reasonable) but I'll ask the same question here that I asked in the NFL thread- does anyone think the Broncos win 7 of their last 9 games with Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn at QB airing it out 40 plus times a game?
   99. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:27 AM (#4019771)
At a level that's simply unsustainable.


Yes.

He is basically like Chien-Ming Wang at his peak. A decent pitcher even though he can't strike out batters, *IF* everything else -- walk rate, groundball rate, home run rate -- is just so.

If Tebow can't sustain the low interception rate, he is basically replacement level.
   100. Eddo Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:27 AM (#4019772)
That's great, except that the offense ran reasonably well when they were missing just Cutler. Without Forte, it becomes a disaster because on pass plays they have no screen threat(made more important by a lack of TEs that can catch). Without Forte, just about every pass has to go to the sidelines or for 10+ yards. If you remove the area around the line during a pass play, you can seal a few more gaps and force the QB to keep the ball longer (which inevitably means more sacks, especially with that OL).

FO stats for the Bears against the Raiders (along with a discussion about Forte)

------

Tebow's completion percentage is horrible, Ray is right. And it's not the only measure of a QB, SoSH is also right.

How about we look at other things?

Yards per attempt takes completion percentage into account, but also how many yards your completions gain. Tebow's is 6.7. His Y/A+ is 93 (as in, 93% as good as the league average).

Adjusted net yards per attempt goes even further, sack yardage and giving turnovers negative yardage. Tebow's is 5.8. His ANY/A+ is exactly 100 (as in, exactly league average).
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