FanDuel - WFBC

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SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Jozy Altidore draws a penalty and Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini puts the PK past backup keeper Mark Schwarzer to hand Mourinho his first Premier League home loss in four seasons of bossing Chelsea. Angry Mourinho congratulates referees.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:34 PM on April 19

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Lucic was fined $5,000 for intentionally spearing Dekeyser in the crotch. Quenneville was fined $25,000 for grabbing his own. NHL discipline at its finest.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:51 PM on April 19

Pirates' Maldanado Knocks Cover Off the Ball

Life imitates art...almost.

posted by grum@work at 12:01 AM on April 19

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Milan Lucic gave Danny Dekeyer a solid whack between the legs tonight. I imagine his wallet will be a bit lighter after the NHL takes a look at it. Thankfully the Wings got the last laugh.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:08 PM on April 18

Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7

See, this is what you get for pulling a guy. It is indisputable, inarguable, an absolute known fact that Harang would have got Wright.

posted by Etrigan at 09:52 PM on April 18

Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7

David Wright breaks it up against Luis Avilan with four outs remaining. Boo.

posted by rcade at 09:47 PM on April 18

Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7

MLB.Com had TV of the bottom of the seventh for free.

posted by rcade at 09:40 PM on April 18

Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7

Oh, boo. They pulled him.

posted by Etrigan at 09:38 PM on April 18

Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7

On ESPN right now: Repeat of 30 for 30.

On MLBN right now: Orioles at Red Sox, with a bug in the corner saying "A. Harang Hitless Thru 7 IP Stay Tuned".

What is the fucking point of an MLB Network if you're not switching to a 7-inning no-no?

posted by Etrigan at 09:35 PM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Very nice, Howard!

posted by billsaysthis at 09:29 PM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

Howard, you forgot the part about the rod and the staff.

Begorrah, I'm goin' to hell.

posted by beaverboard at 05:02 PM on April 18

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

Thanks. I regard it as a great literary achievement that I didn't need the word "cripple."

posted by rcade at 03:06 PM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

McFarlane Toys needs to do a Chris Resop action figure with kung fu grip.

posted by rcade at 02:46 PM on April 18

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

rcade, I'm unsure whether to tell you that there's a great career before you, or to tell you not to quit your day job. Not bad, buddy.

posted by Howard_T at 02:44 PM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

Perhaps he's praying, as in a line from Psalm 23: "My cup runneth over".

Pardon the sacrilege, I know it's Good Friday and all, but I couldn't resist.

posted by Howard_T at 02:41 PM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

There already is one. It's shaped like Chris Resop.

posted by hincandenza at 01:57 PM on April 18

Pro Golfer Attacked by Hornets at Malaysia Open

The Chinese government is saying that their air search has located him, and that he's still in the water hazard, but closer to the Indonesian border than previously thought.

posted by beaverboard at 12:02 PM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Wednesday have had a man sent off and scored again. Now 2-3... Go Owls!

And again! 2-4!

And Reading lost. And Blackburn drew. Now we just need Brighton to slip up. Oh. And win our game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:00 PM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Your wish was granted in the final 10 minutes.

posted by rcade at 11:58 AM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

If your Wednesday could silence the crowd by scoring a bunch of times, that would be fine.

Yes, Ipswich are in a playoff chase with Bournemouth.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:38 AM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

It just happened again, but not for a goal: "This time a substitution made the fans stand up and took us off the air. ... The substitution was made, we just could not bring it to you. Ryan Fraser replaces Matt Ritchie."

posted by rcade at 11:27 AM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

Can someone design Chris Resop a new athletic supporter??

posted by bender at 11:22 AM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I'm listening to Sheffield Wednesday play at Bournemouth this morning. Whenever Bournemouth scores it knocks the audio broadcast offline while the crowd is roaring. (Announcer: "Everytime Bournemouth scores and fans stand up, it knocks us off. Our set up is not ideal.")

posted by rcade at 11:20 AM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

Right column SpoFi ad at the moment reads:

Take 29 Seconds and Learn How to Pitch Harder and Faster

paulreddickbaseball.com

Can't make this stuff up.

posted by beaverboard at 10:38 AM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

This guy is sort of the anti - Jim Abbott. Two fully functional arms, but one is always occupied.

Any clips of him fielding a comebacker to the mound, then having to make the excruciating decision about whether or not to let go of himself and throw the runner out?

posted by beaverboard at 10:32 AM on April 18

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

SportsFilter's new mission is to get a parchment print of that poem signed by Solarte and Roberts and Sizemore. Bonus points for getting Sabathia, Rodriguez, Myers or Longoria to sign it too.

posted by Etrigan at 09:55 AM on April 18

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

These are the gladdest of possible sounds:
"Solarte to Roberts to Sizemore."
Trio of fill ins, of no great renoun,
Solarte to Roberts to Sizemore.
Becalming rough seas to nary a ripple
Making a Tampa hit into a triple --
Sending our enemy straight to the tipple:
"Solarte to Roberts to Sizemore."

posted by rcade at 09:48 AM on April 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Bad Boys and Good Times

posted by BornIcon at 09:37 AM on April 18

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

I always count the PawSox.

posted by yerfatma at 09:36 AM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

This is fantastic. You made my week. He should be a Spofi meme.

posted by yerfatma at 09:34 AM on April 18

Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.

So you're saying he needs more strikes and fewer balls?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:00 AM on April 18

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

For those three triple plays, only Robinson Cano was involved in more than one of them.

First one
Alex Rodriguez
Robinson Cano
Nick Johnson

Second one
Robinson Cano
Jason Nix
Kevin Youkilis
Lyle Overbay

Tonight
Yangervis Solarte
Brian Roberts
Scott Sizemore

One name is suspiciously absent from all this defensive wizardry by the Yankees over the past 3 years... ;)

Yup, when I think about the Yankees, the names Solarte, Roberts, Sizemore, Overbay, Youkilis, and Nix jump to mind immediately.

posted by grum@work at 11:38 PM on April 17

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

Fun fact from ESPN: the Yanks have turned three triple plays in the last 45 years, and CC Sabathia has been on the mound all three times.

posted by werty at 11:07 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I have the urge to do a bit of writing tonight, so please bear with me while I bore you for a few minutes. By way of background, last night was the final game of the season, a rather dismal one, for the Boston Celtics. I'm a season ticket holder, a fan since around 1952, and my adult son and I went to the game. There were a few extra attractions going on, it was the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, but we really wanted one final chance to watch live NBA basketball.

We scheduled our departure from home based on a 7:30 scheduled start, and the idea that we wanted to be a bit early. About the time I rolled the truck out of the driveway, the realization hit that it was an 8:00 game and we would be way early. This is not a problem. North Station, which houses the TD Garden as well as commuter rail, is equipped with a small but good beer garden featuring Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr beers from Munich. These happened to be my son's preferred brands at Oktoberfest last fall, so stopping for a short one before going upstairs to the game was in order. We were still a bit early, but while I stood in line for a couple of "thank you" gifts, my son went for a couple of Sam Adams Summer Ales. "You can't fly on one wing", my mother always said. Fortified as we were, we settled into our places in Section 315.

Pre-game we were treated to a few words from Jared Sullinger, thanking the fans for regularly turning out dressed as something other than an empty seat. An aside here, even with a 25 - 47 record, the team still drew 90% capacity every night. Next, the post-season Red Auerbach Award was handed out. This award is given to the Celtics' player or coach who best exemplifies what it means to be a Celtic. If you know anything at all about Boston sports, you understand how much tradition means to the fans. This year it was Brandon Bass who was honored, and my son and I, and a sizable majority of the fans, agreed with the selection. The final pre-game activity was perhaps the best rendition of the National Anthem that we had heard all season. It was done by a quartet from the Massachusetts Army National Guard, they sang well, kept the tempo quick, put no extraneous notes or flourishes into the music, and looked really sharp in their "dress blues".

Now we move into the first quarter as Washington takes an early lead. My son and I begin a discussion of Kelly Olynyk and what it will take for him to maximize his potential and just how far that potential may take him. We agree that his biggest need is to work on his defense, add some upper body muscle, and put a few more offensive wrinkles into his repertoire. I say he can be a frequent member of all-star squads, while my son says he will make an all-star team or two or three, but will not be an annual selection. We move on to Phil Pressey's game. We agree that he shows a great amount of hustle, a high IQ for the game, and good passing ability. His limitations are inconsistent shooting and lack of size. 5-11 (perhaps an exaggeration) point guards rarely succeed in the NBA.

The end of the first quarter draws near, and my son volunteers to make another beer run. He takes a bit of a scenic route out of the row in order to get a bit closer look at the blond sitting several seats to our right. His assessment is that it was worth the trip.

As the Washington lead gradually increases in the third quarter, we begin a discussion of Christianity, including the evolution of the Nicene Creed, the Nestorian heresy, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, and the nature of the Trinity. The discussion grows deeper, and we begin to draw some curious looks from neighboring fans. Most of the looks reflect a "do I hear what I think I hear?" thought. The game continues as we watch, and our theological discussion is interrupted briefly but frequently to admire one or another really good plays and individual efforts.

Now we get to the fourth quarter. Our theology has exhausted itself, and we begin a discussion of the alienation of younger voters in the USA. My son claims that it doesn't matter whom we elect, it is still the same bunch of old men. I counter that the important thing is not individual or even party, but the entire philosophy of government must be considered. You must discover what sort of governing philosophy you prefer and support those who would place the same into effect. This discussion becomes a bit more heated than theology, but still respectful. The curious looks become brief stares, but I think our neighbors have figured out that we might just be having some fun with this. At least the language used is not too offensive to ladies and minors, and the dreaded F-bomb has been kept in the holster.

The end of the game is at hand. As the final seconds expire, the crowd rises with a warm round of applause and we head for the exit. Our timing on the T is perfect, catching an Orange Line train as the doors close and getting to Downtown Crossing just as a Red Line train rolls in. We are first in line to roll through the exit barrier from the Alewife parking garage, and even the traffic on the way home is lighter than usual. The ride is mostly silent until I remark on the nearly full moon and suggest we howl at it. My son counters with the idea that we should wait until we are home, grab my wife, and all 3 of us go out on the lawn and howl. This would serve only to have our neighbors believe that we really should be committed to a mental health facility, so we refrain.

As we finished the ride home, I thought about what it means to have a 25-year-old son who has grown into a very mature individual. He is now well past the time when you should be his father but not be his friend, and is at the time when he's a really good friend and companion to have. As happened with my father and I, our mutual love of sports has been part of the bond between us. It's a pretty good place to be.

posted by Howard_T at 10:47 PM on April 17

Secret Service Once Threatened to Kill Mr. Met

Why couldn't a sitting president have been at Game 6 of the 1986 World Series?

posted by beaverboard at 09:06 PM on April 17

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

When was the expansion?

posted by Scottymac at 06:43 PM on April 17

Secret Service Once Threatened to Kill Mr. Met

Well, I mean, to be fair, who hasn't threatened to kill Mr. Met?

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:39 PM on April 17

Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns

In Mankato, most people take the side of Hoffner, calling the kids spoiled brats or entitles or something along those lines. Pretty much everyone likes Hoffner and thinks he deserves to get his life back together.

posted by jmd82 at 05:05 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Sick burn, Ohio.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:07 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

One unaswered question after Real Madrid's Copa del Rey win: did they let Sergio Ramos hold the trophy?

posted by yerfatma at 01:04 PM on April 17

Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns

I'd wager this protest probably happened because of officials inside the school's athletic department who are resentful of the arbitration decision

The deadspin article suggests the administration is happy with the new coach but can't publicly say so without risking a lawsuit. Just to sharpen the knife a bit more, Hoffner brought in the person who was interim head coach.

posted by yerfatma at 01:03 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I should have credited earlier that that came from the @MassiveCityFFC twitter feed yesterday.

posted by bender at 12:43 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Masahiro Tanaka has 28 strikeouts through his first three MLB starts, the third-highest total ever behind Stephen Strasburg's 32 in 2010 and J.R. Richard's 29 in 1971. Karl Spooner also had 28 in 1954-55.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

*slowclap*

Bravo, Columbus. Bravo.

posted by Etrigan at 12:32 PM on April 17

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Yeah, I was in a damn courtroom all day yesterday. Please accept these picks with my sincere contrition for their lateness. And I did check last night's scores before I realized this was up. Anyhoo--

Colorado in 6

St. Louis in 7

Anaheim in 5

San Jose in 7

Boston in 5

Montreal in 6

Pittsburgh in 5

Philly in 7

posted by tahoemoj at 11:37 AM on April 17

Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns

The players' statement that they have all become outstanding community members since Hoffner was removed also implies some sort of causation. If they want to support the interim coach, they may want to elaborate on how he has helped them become such outstanding human beings; perhaps even explain how Hoffner was inhibiting that development. Or is it as simple as "we are better people because the new coach doesn't think naked babies are adorable"?

posted by tahoemoj at 11:32 AM on April 17

Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns

This is sad. If these athletes were truly outstanding community members, they would recognize the wrong that was done to him and embrace Hoffner's return. I hope this ends up being a one-time gesture of support for their other coach.

It is amazing that he gets his old life back. People destroyed by false allegations of that kind usually don't.

I'd wager this protest probably happened because of officials inside the school's athletic department who are resentful of the arbitration decision.

posted by rcade at 10:59 AM on April 17

Minnesota State players refuse to practice as coach Todd Hoffner returns

Wow, some great kids. Guy is cleared after it turns out his child porn is videos of his own kids in the bath and an arbitrator reinstated him but they "want answers". My favorite part:

"We've all become outstanding community members, students and athletes in the last year and a half since the removal of Todd Hoffner . . ."
Are they saying they were all douchebags before or that only some of them were? Either way, how did the firing of someone who didn't do what he was accused of make them better? If they were better students and community members they might have put some thought into this.

posted by yerfatma at 10:47 AM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

some text

posted by bender at 09:34 AM on April 17

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers

No One Walks Off The Island

posted by BornIcon at 08:48 AM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Here's Gareth Bale winning the Copa del Rey for Madrid last night.

Nice to see someone ride a completely illegal challenge instead of falling over looking for a booking, and get rewarded for it.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:38 AM on April 17

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

I'll go against the teams that won or are leading, got in late...

Tampa in 7

CBJ in 7 (as if)

Dallas in 6

Chicago in 5

Kings in 7

Flyers (yuk) in 6

Detroit in 7 if there is a god

Avalanche in 5

posted by rumple at 12:35 AM on April 17

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

"What's a shork, for Christ's sake? A fuckin' midget with a dorsal fin? Was he on Ellen during Freak Week? Quit lookin' at me like that. What are you, a bouncer from a salad bar?"

- RIP Otto and George

posted by beaverboard at 11:42 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Go Shorks!

posted by tommytrump at 11:05 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Just got outta work. Have watched nothing. All games saved on DVR

posted by Debo270 at 10:41 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

West
Lanch in 6

Chi in 6

Ducks in 5

Sharks in 6

East
Boston in 6

Habs in 6

Pens in 5

Rangers in 7

posted by Debo270 at 10:39 PM on April 16

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers

This is a great read. It's hard to believe that baseball stars like Puig could be so vulnerable to organized crime -- Mexican drug cartels, even -- and nothing could be done about it. Could it really be possible that 20% of his money is being siphoned off by people involved in his defection?

One more pleasant anecdote from the story:

One evening last October, unplanned and unannounced, Puig dropped by the Northeast Los Angeles Little League field, in the hills right across from Dodger Stadium, and after nearly an hour of autographs and photos, insisted on throwing batting practice.

"It was just mind-blowing," said John Vergara, whose nine-year-old son, Daniel, got to smack a meatball off Puig. "I've been coaching at Northeast Little League for about 14 years, and there's never been a current Dodger player, let alone a star, who's come up to the field and just done that."

posted by rcade at 07:22 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

East

Boston in 6

Tampa in 6

Pittsburgh in 6

New York in 7

West

Anaheim in 6

Chicago in 7

Los Angeles in 6

Colorado in 7

posted by cixelsyd at 06:51 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

East

Boston in 6
Tampa in 7
Pittsburgh in 6
New York in 6

West

Anaheim in 6
St Louis in 6
San Jose in 6
Minnesota in 6

posted by tommytrump at 05:58 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

West:
Colorado in 6
Chicago in 7
Anaheim in 5
Los Angeles in 7

East:
Boston in 5
Tampa Bay in 6
Pittsburgh in 5
New York in 7

posted by NoMich at 05:43 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Colorado in in 5
St. Louis in 6
Anaheim in 4
LA in 7
Boston in 6
Montreal in 6
Pittsburgh in 4
New York in 7

posted by bender at 05:27 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Remember when Gareth Bale ate Maicon's lunch in the Spurs-Inter game a few years ago?

He's just done it again in the Copa del Rey final, riding out a clear and blatant foul from Marc Bartra to outrun him like he was standing still and score the winner.

Since last Wednesday Barca have gone out of the Champions League, lost to Grenada in la Liga and then lost the cup final to their biggest rivals. Not a great seven days there.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:23 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Minnesota in 6
Chicago in 5
Anaheim in 5
San Jose in 7
Detroit in 6
Tampa Bay in 5
Pittsburgh in 5
Philadelphia in 6

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:08 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Colorado in 5

St. Louis in 7

Dallas in 7

Los Angeles in 5

Boston in 5

Tampa Bay in 7

Pittsburgh in 4

New York in 6

posted by rcade at 05:04 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Colorado in 6

St. Louis in 7

Anaheim in 5

LA in 6

Boston in 6

TB in 6

Pittsburgh in 6

New York in 5

posted by BoKnows at 05:04 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 1

Picks will be accepted for a series until the puck drops in the first game.

posted by rcade at 04:57 PM on April 16

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

I think grum's hit the problem, though Drew seems valuable enough that a draft pick might be worth two extra months of Drew. Drew was worth 3.4 WAR last year, about 0.6 WAR / month. Is a draft pick + $12 million or so (assuming Drew wants around $14 million and a sandwich pick would cost ~$2 million) really worth more for all 31 29 teams?

posted by yerfatma at 03:48 PM on April 16

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

If Drew gets the $14M per year he wants, then good luck to him. I somehow feel he is rather overvaluing himself. True, he has a very reliable glove, excellent range, and good arm, but do not his deficiencies with the bat, especially against left-handed pitching make his total package worth somewhat less than what he wants?. Scott Boras has been using Drew as a test case to get rid of the rule that requires the forfeiture of a draft pick for signing a tendered free agent. If Drew comes out behind on the deal, does Boras make up whatever difference there might be in compensation? I don't begrudge anything Drew might merit, but he is allowing himself to be used as a pawn by Boras. Boras is interested in increasing his own earnings potential and is doing so by claiming it is doing a good thing for all players.

posted by Howard_T at 03:04 PM on April 16

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

When the restriction of having to give up a draft pick to sign him in disappears (the June amateur draft), then I think you'll see teams line up to sign Drew.

posted by grum@work at 12:18 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Sure, yerfatma, #5 and about 60% of the total payroll of #1 in their league.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:39 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The IPL starts up in about five minutes.

posted by NoMich at 10:27 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Top prospect George Springer is getting his call up today.

posted by rcade at 10:11 AM on April 16

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Replay is working well, says Bud Selig.

posted by rcade at 09:33 AM on April 16

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

I agree. The left leg blocks the plate and prevents Gwynn from touching the plate before he is tagged. There's a debate to be had of whether or not we like the new rule, but as it's written, Gwynn should have been awarded the run.

posted by bender at 09:08 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Mike Napoli suffered a gruesome looking finger dislocation sliding into second last night. But X-rays showed no fracture.

posted by rcade at 09:02 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The Diamondbacks have matched their worst start in team history at 4-14.

posted by rcade at 08:52 AM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Flopping and the stretcher bearer and aerosol interludes that sometimes follow are the evil offspring of the continuous game clock. Everyone needs a breather now and then regardless of fitness level, so the players manufacture them. The episodes of phantom injury field theater then help create the evil grandchild, added stoppage time, which to a US viewer is disturbingly discretionary and opaque.

Often, it isn't clear that stoppage time will be added until near or even after the expiration of regulation time. Then, it is often not known at first how much stoppage time will be added. To top it off, there is often a time offset between when everyone expects the final whistle to be blown at the end of stoppage time and when it actually is blown. It's all rather casually scripted and apparently of secondary importance based on the way it's handled. And it's entirely out of the hands of the team managers trying to win the match.

We're accustomed to crisp, precise, accountable timekeeping that has a bearing on how the competition is conducted. We expect to see teams use the clock strategically and to treat the last few seconds of a close game as though they were pints of blood. I would far prefer clock stoppages in regulation instead of added stoppage time as it is currently administered.

As for the flopping men themselves, they should all be forced to stand in a cold windowless room and watch the USA - Brazil match from the 2011 Women's World Cup. I'll take the resilient, determined Xenas over the writhing Ken dolls any day.

posted by beaverboard at 08:19 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America.

It's the #1 thing that's mocked but I don't think it's that big of a reason why North Americans aren't into soccer. The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

I'd say that it's a big reason because of the perception of the difference that it makes. (Note that I say perception; all of this is based on how people think things work rather than actual statistics.) In soccer, a single goal is incredibly important, so a single flop can make the difference. In basketball, teams are expected to score 100 points a game, so a single flop has a much smaller effect on the game.

posted by Etrigan at 07:21 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I don't see much flopping in the Premiership. When it is flagrant the announcers make a big deal out of it and it seems like the refs are more likely to ignore it or book the flopper for simulation than to reward it.

As for the World Cup, how can you not watch the group stage? I'm going to watch as much as I can, work and family permitting.

posted by rcade at 06:36 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I don't think anyone is so annoyed by it to stop watching the sport

Guess my vote was a spoiled ballot.

Seriously, I'll watch World Cup playoff matches, but nothing else. For me the whole pace and feel of the game gets destroyed at every flop.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:21 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

seeing Suarez hit the ground no less than five times in a three minute span does tend to drain my enthusiasm for the sport

It's all in what you're looking for; I'd say Luis Suarez is the most interesting figure in sport right now (of the sports I know about; I'll defer to NoMich and the rest of the world about cricket): what to say when one of the transcendent talents in the sport is (taking the worst possible spin on everything) a racist, cheating cannibal? Alexi Lalas drives me a little nuts on ESPN FC with his constant claims that diving is an art and a fun part of the game, but I don't think anyone is so annoyed by it to stop watching the sport. It's only a barrier to entry; think of all the people who won't give hockey a chance because of the fights.

posted by yerfatma at 05:35 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

"You have to attend the World Cup to [understand] what it means. It's the most unusual sporting event I've ever attended, and I've attended thousands. It's in the air, it's a palpable sense of energy that I've never quite experienced. It's the most consequential sporting event in the world. We have our Super Bowl, we have our World Series, the NBA Finals, March Madness, but my Lord, there is nothing quite like the World Cup." -- Vice President Joe Biden, a former soccer player at Yale

posted by rcade at 04:32 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

There is a difference between flopping (implying contact when there isn't any) and faking an injury (when there couldn't possibly be any).

(Besides, the NBA at least hands out fines to floppers, and they get roundly mocked on the broadcasts for doing so.)

I have to admit that watching this weekend's Liverpool match and seeing Suarez hit the ground no less than five times in a three minute span (and each time implying an injury to the leg) does tend to drain my enthusiasm for the sport.

If I had my druthers, I would be telling the EPL/FIFA refs to call simulation at a far higher rate than they currently do. Basically, if an attacking player hits the ground in a dramatic fashion (and fakes injury), and you don't feel the need to call for a foul on the defender (because it was (co)incidental contact or fair play), then you should be issuing a yellow card to the attacker.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

I think in the long run catchers will adjust to the rule and stand in the field of play directly in front of home plate, as some have been doing thus far this season.

The point, to me, is that Mathis' leg being where it was had no role in the development or outcome of the play.

I think it plays a definite role in the outcome. Mathis is able to plant and ready himself in a plate-blocking position before the ball arrives. Gwynn slides into his leg instead of the plate. If Mathis couldn't put the leg there until the ball was caught, Gwynn likely reaches home before it could block him, or lacks the leverage to block him.

posted by rcade at 03:53 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Mathis' left leg is clearly in the base line before the catch.

There's just too much gray area for this. How long before "true interference" must the catcher vacate that area of the plate/baseline? The catcher is standing in order to get a good view of the developing play - does he have to be concerned about the runner just starting to approach/round 3rd base? If the goal is truly reduce injuries, then why isn't this rule applied to 2nd and 3rd bases? To my knowledge, there's no rule that says if a shortstop's body part ever enters the plane between 1st and 2nd, then the runner is safe. But, I admittedly might be wrong.

The point, to me, is that Mathis' leg being where it was had no role in the development or outcome of the play. Now, had Gwynn come into contact with the leg before Mathis had the ball, then yes, he should be safe, no matter whether the leg blocked him from the plate before being tagged. But, Mathis was in a reasonable position to complete the play and his body position before the ball arriving didn't impact anything. That said, I didn't say you (rcade) or grum or MLB was wrong in how you're saying the rule, as written, should've been applied. Nor do I have a problem with the ultimate intent. But, this situation is just the poster child for why this rule, as is, is just dumb.

posted by littleLebowski at 03:38 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Hmm. I guess the ERA in box scores is season ERA, not game ERA. Anthony Varvaro had no earned runs the same game and the box score reports an ERA of 2.70.

posted by rcade at 03:20 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Trying to decide who's the most heart warming underdog out of Liverpool and Man City is adorable.

I watched the second half of the Liverpool - Manchester City match when I got home from church on Sunday. I found I had a warm sensation in my heart, but I think it might have been heartburn from the onion bagels.

To be serious, watching that match was perhaps the most involved I've ever been in a soccer match. The tension and drama were coming close to a playoff NHL hockey level.

posted by Howard_T at 03:15 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Atlanta Braves pitcher Luis Avilan's line yesterday:

IP H R ER ERA
1.0 4 5 5 13.50

I don't profess to be a baseball stats expert, but doesn't 5 ER in 1.0 IP equal an ERA of 45.0?

posted by bender at 03:06 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Yes, Mathis' leg is in the baseline before the ball gets to him, but it's while he's in the process of making the catch.

The basic mantra always has been "the runner has the right to the baseline, but he must not interfere with a fielder in the act of making a play on the ball". Take the example of a runner going from second to third as the shortstop settles under a pop-up. The runner, to avoid contact, must deviate from his direct line, even though the shortstop has not yet caught the ball, and indeed might be a second or two from actually making the catch. Why should there be a difference for a play at the plate? If the catcher puts himself into a blocking position, but such a position is not necessary to making a clean catch of a throw, then the runner should be called safe. For example, putting one's leg out into the baseline when one could remain upright should be called obstruction. On the other hand, a catcher forced to the third base side of the plate and into the runner's line by an errant throw should not be considered as obstructing a runner. The rule is an attempt to codify what should happen on plays at the plate in order to minimize injuries. As such, like most well-meaning attempts to legislate things, it takes a lot of time and experience for all to understand how to interpret it.

By the way, the "baseline" with respect to the runner is not the direct line between the bases. Rather, it is the direct line from the runner to the base he is trying to reach as the play is made.

posted by Howard_T at 03:04 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Aren't even in the top 20 when looking at all sports teams in all leagues worldwide. They're #5 in their actual league, those plucky underdogs!

posted by yerfatma at 02:46 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America.

It's the #1 thing that's mocked but I don't think it's that big of a reason why North Americans aren't into soccer. The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

posted by tron7 at 02:35 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Yes, Mathis' leg is in the baseline before the ball gets to him, but it's while he's in the process of making the catch.

Mathis' left leg is clearly in the base line before the catch.

The new rules for home plate plays bring two obligations: The runner must not leave a direct line towards home to collide with the catcher and the catcher must not block the plate before the ball arrives.

I think this is fair, given the need to reduce concussions and injuries on these plays. A catcher is supposed to catch and sweep tag and a runner is supposed to stop impersonating Brian Urlacher.

nice little non-chalant dance there, btw, Gwynn

That seemed like a third base coach screwup to me.

posted by rcade at 02:10 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

If this is a violation, that just reinforces how insane the rule is. Part of the problem is how you define "as he is attempting to score". Gwynn does not alter his path as he heads into home plate ... plus the ball beats him there. Yes, Mathis' leg is in the baseline before the ball gets to him, but it's while he's in the process of making the catch. What is the expectation of the catcher in this situation, especially on an excellent throw that is heading directly at the plate? You want the catcher standing upright in the grass, be out of position to take the throw, then make a falling catch and try to apply the tag. To me, the rule is ridiculous, as written, regardless. But it's slightly better if the definition of "score" is "touch home plate". If that's the case, then I don't give a crud where the catcher is while the runner is rounding third (nice little non-chalant dance there, btw, Gwynn), as long as the runner isn't yet upon the catcher, then the catcher should be able to be whereever he needs to be, in order to make the catch.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:36 PM on April 15

Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection

Gotya, misunderstood yo.

posted by justgary at 11:05 AM on April 15

"The unofficial king of sports paperbacks", Zander Hollander,

Cool story. His role in helping Howard Cosell get his start in sports broadcasting would once have been met with the question "why the hell did you do that?"

posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

"He became the first pitcher to be credited with a win despite allowing at least five earned runs while pitching an inning or fewer since Jack Knott of the 1934 St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics." -- ESPN

Can we finally all agree that "wins" are a completely useless statistic for evaluating the ability of a pitcher? As in, never reference it again for things like Cy Young awards, HOF nominations, or contract negotiations...

Please?

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

I don't remember a season having this many rules changes to absorb in a while. The replay system, home plate rules and transfer-to-hand rule for fielders are all a challenge to get right.

That last one seems particularly capricious. A player catches the ball, takes a step or two, fumbles the ball and it's no longer a force out?

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The agent for Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley is pushing hard for him to be called up -- the team has a league worst 5.96 ERA -- and said he's being kept down in Triple A to delay his future timetable for free agency and arbitration.

posted by rcade at 10:48 AM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Yup, he's blocking it all right.

posted by grum@work at 10:46 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Atlanta Braves pitcher Luis Avilan's line yesterday:

IPHRERERA
1.045513.50

"He became the first pitcher to be credited with a win despite allowing at least five earned runs while pitching an inning or fewer since Jack Knott of the 1934 St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics." -- ESPN

posted by rcade at 10:38 AM on April 15