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SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The Out Of The Park Baseball developers used the 2015 version of their game to run the upcoming World Series five times.

The first series went six games. All the others went seven.

I won't spoil the projected winner, but I will say they posted the stats generated by the five series in a big google doc. If only we knew anyone who liked that sort of thing.

Interestingly, the overall losing team scored more runs across the five series and had a better ERA from the starters and the bullpen.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:35 AM on October 21

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

There's a local Sunday morning football TV talk show here in the Triangle that is hosted by former ECU head coach Steve Logan and he said during yesterday's show to watch out for Carolina and Cincinnati and how awful they'll be since they had to play a full five periods last week. Sure enough, both teams were awful yesterday. Good thing for you gamblers to take note of.

posted by NoMich at 09:48 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Osh Kosk B'gosh

posted by yerfatma at 08:33 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

...but are they getting more overall people to watch?

I have watched much of the postseason, and I have enjoyed it. However, I do not wear overalls, nor do I know very many people who do. Perhaps people who wear overalls are too busy with other things to watch baseball.

posted by Howard_T at 05:09 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

As relates to baseball on TV, I was traveling last week and in Philadelphia, and my hotel did not have Fox Sports 1 as an in-room channel (although they did end up having it in the hotel bar), meaning I could not watch the Cardinals-Giants games (4 and 5) in my room -- maybe a good thing, seeing as how I could not then damage the hotel room after Matheny's mismanagement in Game 5. Maybe the idea here is that making Fox Sports 1 more "indispensable" means it gets picked up more -- from an anecdotal perspective, it seems to me that more domestic hotels now have NBC Sports Network than did 2 years ago, so maybe once the market gets big enough or public clamor reaches a fever pitch, these networks will become more ubiquitous in terms of being included in basic cable packages and picked up by hotels and the like -- but overall seems pretty non-user-friendly to park these games on Fox Sports 1 to grow that channel's brand and prestige at the expense of viewership numbers instead of having it over on Fox where it can be viewed by basically anyone with a TV (over-the-air or cable/satellite). If I was MLB, I would be kind of pissed off. (With respect to advertisers, hope their ad buys factored in the network's coverage and likely viewership numbers.)

posted by holden at 05:05 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

More discussion of baseball's post-season TV ratings. One thing that would be interesting to look at is the total number of viewers across all games for the post-season. The number of games and the spread to cable dilutes the peaks (and the quality), but are they getting more overall people to watch?

posted by yerfatma at 02:02 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Love Peter King's explanation of the Rams' punt return TD:

Fassel, who obviously saw in scouting the Seahawks that punter Jon Ryan mostly kicked to his left when trying to pin the opponent deep in its territory, had return man Tavon Austin line up to the punting team's right (Austin's left), and when the ball was punted, Austin faded further to his left, and his protection also went left even though Ryan punted the ball where Fassel thought he would, toward the coffin corner, on the opposite side of the field from Austin. Meanwhile, seven Seahawks charged toward Austin. The punt flew away from the crowd, but Stedman Bailey did just what Fassel had ordered— run down the field where the punt was going, not where the crowd was flowing.

posted by yerfatma at 01:53 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Peyton Manning just keeps on rolling, and the St. Louis Rams bust out some "EA Madden" plays.

posted by grum@work at 12:54 AM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

So the Dolphins beat the Patriots and folks said they were clearly in decline. The Dolphins beat the Raiders and they fired their coach. The Dolphins beat the Bears and there was apparently a fight in the Bears locker room.

I'm not sure how to feel about this.

It reminds me of a few years ago where (I think) three teams fired their coaches after losing to the Maple Leafs. (I think it was also the same season where the Leafs played against an inordinate number of backup goalies.)

posted by grum@work at 12:36 AM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

So the Dolphins beat the Patriots and folks said they were clearly in decline. The Dolphins beat the Raiders and they fired their coach. The Dolphins beat the Bears and there was apparently a fight in the Bears locker room.

I'm not sure how to feel about this.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:40 PM on October 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I remember some time at the beginning of the season, someone mentioned that if Kirk Cousins was really good and ready to lead a team as a starting QB, Kyle Shanahan probably would've had the Browns trade for him during this year's draft as they really didn't have a QB then. If anyone in the NFL knew how good Cousins really was, it would've been K. Shanahan.

posted by NoMich at 05:11 PM on October 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Prior to the season, Kirk Cousins might have gotten you a first-round draft pick in trade bait.

At this point, you'd be lucky to get a 7th round pick for him.

posted by Bonkers at 04:12 PM on October 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Between yesterday's Tigers game and today's Rams game, Missouri is currently the special teams capital of the US.

posted by beaverboard at 04:05 PM on October 19

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I watched the end of the Muschamp era in brief snippets. Every time I checked on the game, the Mizzou defense or special teams had just scored again.

posted by beaverboard at 10:51 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

*drops mic*

That was like the end of a b-boy competition.

posted by BoKnows at 10:49 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I don't mind the move for the Jets. They have a ton of cap space and a young QB who is actually showing some promise, getting an elite WR type to take some of the pressure may work here over the next couple of years.

Looks like the Giants are on the slide too, never hurts to be better when the crosstown team is down.

posted by deflated at 08:31 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Ha! I was just pulling that out of my ass, but I was actually right. I'll have to mention those stats like they mean something sometime.

posted by LionIndex at 06:17 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I know the Jets carried a lot of cap space through the off season, but at 1-6, this seems like an odd move. They're not exactly one wide receiver away from anything.

They're maybe one receiver away from finishing on a high enough note that Idzick and Ryan keep their jobs. They need progress to make that happen, and Harvin's a hail mary attempt at that.

The pick doesn't really matter to either of them if they get canned following a 2- or 3-win season. I see this as borrowing from the future to keep yourself alive a little while longer.

posted by dfleming at 04:32 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Games in Arizona under a waxing moon while his brother was a base coach:

grum, you've outdone yourself this time. BTW, thanks for the Bobby Thompson video. I almost got in my truck to head for the State Liquor Store to buy a bottle of Four Roses. I'll make do with a beer later on.

posted by Howard_T at 04:07 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I think Hoffy was especially bad in games played in Arizona under a waxing moon and where his brother was a base coach.

Sorry, I was out of the house most of yesterday night and this morning.

Glenn Hoffman was a base coach for the San Diego Padres from 2006-present.
Trevor Hoffman played for the Padres during that time (1993-2008), so there is a three season window we have to examine (2006-2008).
Here are all the games in Arizona during that time where Hoffman pitched.
It's not that hard to find the state of the moon at any time in history.

Games in Arizona under a waxing moon while his brother was a base coach:
August 30, 2006
September 30, 2006
October 1, 2006
April 24, 2007
April 25, 2007
July 5, 2008

6 games, 5.0 innings pitched, 9.00 ERA, 5 saves, 1 blown save, 1 loss.

*drops mic*

posted by grum@work at 02:21 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Ryan is a very fortunate man. I get offered extensions every day via email, but at least there's a reasonable explanation for why I'm receiving those offers.

posted by beaverboard at 02:02 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

this seems like an odd move

Really?

posted by cixelsyd at 12:35 PM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Howard_T: You'll like the video at the top of this article.

posted by grum@work at 08:31 AM on October 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Last year the Seahawks traded 2013 first and seventh round picks and a 2014 third-round pick to the Vikings for Percy Harvin.

Today they traded Harvin to the Jets for a conditional mid-round draft pick.

If he goes lights out for the Jets, then Seattle might get a second round pick in return.

I know the Jets carried a lot of cap space through the off season, but at 1-6, this seems like an odd move. They're not exactly one wide receiver away from anything.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:52 PM on October 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 10

Calgary by 4

Edmonton by 7

Toronto by 2

posted by JPR at 08:52 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I think Hoffy was especially bad in games played in Arizona under a waxing moon and where his brother was a base coach.

**waits**

posted by LionIndex at 08:29 PM on October 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 15

Toronto by 8

Calgary by 12

Edmonton by 6

posted by rcade at 06:48 PM on October 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 18

Montreal by 2

Calgary by 10

Edmonton by 9

posted by Reever at 04:58 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

ABC News compared last night's walk-off to the Bobby Thompson home run in 1951. Man, did that stir a memory. I was 10-years-old, listening to the game on the kitchen radio as my mom fixed dinner. I was a Braves fan, but for some reason I liked the Giants, or perhaps it was dislike for the Dodgers. I really don't remember the reason, but when Thompson hit the home run, I started jumping around and yelling. My mom was a bit of a fan too, she broke out the bottle of Four Roses, and poured each of us a shot. She was smart enough to sip, I wasn't! Once I could breathe again, I was considerably quieter. Perhaps that was mom's plan all along.

posted by Howard_T at 04:56 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Well, one good thing came out of last night's Pats' win-that-felt-like-a-loss

Belichick had the Patriots play just well enough to win on purpose. He really wants to keep Rex Ryan around as HC of the NYJ for just a little longer. Ah Bill, you sly devil, you know he's good for 2 NE wins per year.

posted by Howard_T at 04:44 PM on October 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

I'm running late as usual. I've promised my son "chicken macaroni and cheese" for dinner tonight, and it takes a bit of time. Here we go with abundant babblement.

Ottawa at Hamilton: The REDBLACK will attempt not to become a group of rakeshames, but in so doing might incite the Tigercats to become wranglesome. An Ottawa win here would certainly be ear-erecting. Hamilton by 16.

Montreal at Toronto: The ability of the Argonauts to illaqueate appears superior to that of the Larks. Since the Allouettes have to fly to the big town by the lake, they might avoid becoming a daggle-tailed group. However, their chance of a victory is nuncupatory only. Toronto by 12.

Calgary at Winnipeg: A meeting of two teams in longinquity. From recent performance it looks like the Blue Bombers' chances aren't worth a quadrin. Perhaps the squabbish linemen of the Stampeders will prove to be tardigridous and make jackpuddings of themselves, but I think not. Calgary by 9.

Edmonton at Saskatchewan: The valiant but stalactical Eskimos enter the land of the Roughriders. The Riders are likely to obequitate and not do well in this. The cycopede agrees that nothing is sure, but Edmonton's chances appear to be packthread. Edmonton by 11.

My attempts to uptrain my vocabulary show me to be a gastriloquist. Next week, in the after-wise, I probably will be shown to have maffled.

posted by Howard_T at 04:39 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

don't bother looking, grum

"Look, mister tiger, there is a big juicy antelope flank just hanging from that hook over there. But don't you dare take it, you silly cat!"

Trevor Hoffman
Behind: .633 OPS
Tie game: .656 OPS
Ahead: .589 OPS

Career: .609 OPS

So, he definitely did worse in tie game scenarios, but not so much it was worrisome.

Comparisons:

Mariano Rivera
Behind: .595 OPS
Tie game: .655 OPS
Ahead: .528 OPS

Billy Wagner
Behind: .543 OPS
Tie game: .540 OPS
Ahead: .565 OPS

posted by grum@work at 03:15 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I always liked how Sparky Anderson handled his Reds bullpen in the mid-70s. Without a staff of dominating starters who threw a ton of innings, he went to his pen whenever and in all types of situations.

His relievers didn't rack up a massive amount of saves, but they were involved in a significant number of decisions, and posted a noteworthy number of wins, with the top guy having a W-L record equivalent to the number 4 or 5 starter (and with a lower ERA to boot). Being able to field an insane everyday lineup of Bench, Perez, Rose, Foster etc. created a lot of latter inning plate production, which made it all possible.

But some of those Cincy pitchers could hit pretty good too...

posted by beaverboard at 03:12 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

It always seemed like Hoffy wasn't quite as reliable in a tie game

The one that always drives me nuts is closers who routinely (again, possibly confirmation bias) give up runs in non-save situations. I feel like Papelbon and Lowe were kings of that. Oh look: "Papelbon has been flawless when securing a save this year [2012], with 16 scoreless innings. In non-save scenarios, however, his ERA is 6.48." Similar story the year before.

posted by yerfatma at 01:57 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Jonah Keri mentions it in his current article about the Giants manager Bruce Bochy, praising Bochy for using his bullpen in a retro way instead of hewing to Conventional Wisdom.

When Bochy managed the Padres, he'd frequently bring in Trevor Hoffman (2nd in career saves ever) in tie situations, so that's not a new thing for him either. It always seemed like Hoffy wasn't quite as reliable in a tie game as when he had a lead, but I don't know if that's some odd kind of confirmation bias or if stats would back that up (don't bother looking, grum).

posted by LionIndex at 01:51 PM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Well, one good thing came out of last night's Pats' win-that-felt-like-a-loss: the Jets managed to lose in a way no one had ever done before.

posted by yerfatma at 11:02 AM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The reality was the A's were a fantastic team top to bottom and had a closer on perhaps the best run in history (which The Eck punctuated in perfect Eck style by remarking at the end of the year, "Let's see some other motherfucker do that!"1).

His 1990 season is definitely the contender for "best season by a modern closer".
The only other ones that I would put up there would be:

  • Fernando Rodney (2012) - higher ERA+ but more walks
  • Craig Kimbrel (2012) - less innings, but the lowest opposition OPS I've ever seen (.358) at that level of production.
  • Eric Gagne (2003) - more innings, insane opOPS (.374)*
  • Koji Uehara (2013) - same innings, lower WHIP, great opOPS (.400), but more HR



* My choice for the greatest "modern closer" season of all time, as those 14 extra appearances and 10 more innings are pretty important. Plus, he's Canadian. :)

posted by grum@work at 10:21 AM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The team's "closer" only seems to be used in a save situation

It's one of those weird things in sports where it became accepted wisdom because a team succeeded with it and people made the logical leap to it being the reason they succeeded. And Tony LaRussa was never one to deny his own brilliance. The reality was the A's were a fantastic team top to bottom and had a closer on perhaps the best run in history (which The Eck punctuated in perfect Eck style by remarking at the end of the year, "Let's see some other motherfucker do that!"1). Like in every sport, once there's an accepted practice, it's used by lesser coaches as a CYA thing: "Sure it might have been stupid to not bring my closer in for the high-leverage situation that cost us the game, but The Book says not to do that on the road!"

Jonah Keri mentions it in his current article about the Giants manager Bruce Bochy, praising Bochy for using his bullpen in a retro way instead of hewing to Conventional Wisdom.

1. The top (only?) Google result for this possibly apocryphal story is me saying it 8 years ago, so don't take it as gospel

posted by yerfatma at 09:36 AM on October 17

Was Belichick to New England the Best Deal in NFL History?

I don't understand the SI site: it was amazing to me it's unreadable on a tablet. It's unbelievable it's hard to use in a browser as well.

posted by yerfatma at 09:08 AM on October 17

Was Belichick to New England the Best Deal in NFL History?

Great reading - even though the SI site is woefully restless and volatile at times. (It's like trying to read a comic book that has ADHD.)

I always thought that it was Belichick's Cleveland experience that turned him into the lovable, carefree person he is today. Good to learn that he was the Sheriff of Taciturn County from the get go. (Which doesn't make Modell any less of a schmuck).

And as for Weis...you think you know everything about him that you need to know, and then you learn more, and it all just adds to the legend.

posted by beaverboard at 08:29 AM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The team's "closer" only seems to be used in a save situation. Is it something to do with the coach and the player trying to pad the closer's save stats?

It seems to be a "push-button managing" mentality where it is better to stick to some pattern and fail, than it is to try something new (or smart) and fail.

Since Tony LaRussa popularized the 9th inning "closer", who only comes in when the team is ahead by 1/2/3 runs to "close" the game, it seems that every manager needs to have a "closer" on their roster that they use the same way.

I'm sure the player likes having the stupid "save" stat padded (as they can then use it in arbitration negotiations or free agent contract talks), but other than moping about not being used for a save, the player really shouldn't have any say in it.

You would think that a manager/GM would break this cycle by utilizing their best pitchers in high leverage situations (tied in the bottom of the 9th is MUCH more important than ahead by 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th) and say to hell with the "save" stat. It would give them a better chance at winning more games AND would help reduce payroll costs because they don't feel the need to saddle themselves with an expensive "closer".

Here are a list of relief pitchers from just this season who could have easily played the role of a "closer" (> 20 saves) but were not used that way and were amazingly effective:

                                                
Rk              Player ERA+ SV   IP Age  Tm  ERA
1           Wade Davis  403  3 72.0  28 KCR 1.00
2        Aaron Sanchez  361  3 33.0  21 TOR 1.09
3          Drew Storen  340 11 56.1  26 WSN 1.12
4            Ken Giles  316  1 45.2  23 PHI 1.18
5         Dan Jennings  287  0 40.1  27 MIA 1.34
6       Kelvin Herrera  285  0 70.0  24 KCR 1.41
7      Dellin Betances  277  1 90.0  26 NYY 1.40
8         Neil Ramirez  266  3 43.2  25 CHC 1.44
9        Buddy Carlyle  243  0 31.0  36 NYM 1.45
10       Fernando Abad  238  0 57.1  28 OAK 1.57
11      Joaquin Benoit  225 11 54.1  36 SDP 1.49
12       Matt Thornton  224  0 36.0  37 TOT 1.75
13         Darren ODay  223  4 68.2  31 BAL 1.70
14         Tony Watson  219  2 77.1  29 PIT 1.63
15        Bryan Morris  207  0 64.1  27 TOT 1.82
16       Kyle Crockett  207  0 30.0  22 CLE 1.80
17    Santiago Casilla  204 19 58.1  33 SFG 1.70
18           Joe Smith  202 15 74.2  30 LAA 1.81
19       Neftali Feliz  198 13 31.2  26 TEX 1.99
20          Pat Neshek  197  6 67.1  33 STL 1.87
21          Jake McGee  197 19 71.1  27 TBR 1.89
22         Zach Putnam  197  6 54.2  26 CHW 1.98
23       Andrew Miller  192  1 62.1  29 TOT 2.02
24        Jared Hughes  183  0 64.1  28 PIT 1.96
25          A.J. Ramos  182  0 64.0  27 MIA 2.11
Rk              Player ERA+ SV   IP Age  Tm  ERA
26        Roman Mendez  181  0 33.0  23 TEX 2.18
27           Sam Dyson  179  0 42.0  26 MIA 2.14
28      Luke Gregerson  176  3 72.1  30 OAK 2.12
29      Tyler Clippard  174  1 70.1  29 WSN 2.18
30         Pedro Strop  173  2 61.0  29 CHC 2.21
31      Burke Badenhop  169  1 70.2  31 BOS 2.29
32       Dominic Leone  168  0 66.1  22 SEA 2.17
33          Joe Beimel  166  0 45.0  37 SEA 2.20
34           Dan Otero  163  1 86.2  29 OAK 2.28
35      Tom Wilhelmsen  161  1 79.1  30 SEA 2.27
36    Jonathan Broxton  160  7 58.2  30 TOT 2.30
37     Al Alburquerque  159  1 57.1  28 DET 2.51
38      Jeurys Familia  158  5 77.1  24 NYM 2.21
39        Blaine Hardy  158  0 39.0  27 DET 2.54
40      Brad Boxberger  158  2 64.2  26 TBR 2.37
41    Justin De Fratus  156  0 52.2  26 PHI 2.39
42           Zach Duke  155  0 58.2  31 MIL 2.45
43        Chad Jenkins  154  0 31.2  26 TOR 2.56
44      Jeremy Affeldt  152  0 55.1  35 SFG 2.28
45        Jason Frasor  150  0 47.1  36 TOT 2.66
46         J.P. Howell  147  0 49.0  31 LAD 2.39
47         Brett Cecil  145  5 53.1  27 TOR 2.70
48       Aaron Barrett  143  0 40.2  26 WSN 2.66
49         Dale Thayer  143  0 65.1  33 SDP 2.34
50         Cory Rasmus  142  0 56.0  26 LAA 2.57
Rk              Player ERA+ SV   IP Age  Tm  ERA
51         Sam Freeman  142  0 38.0  27 STL 2.61
52          Bryan Shaw  142  2 76.1  26 CLE 2.59
53      Shawn Tolleson  142  0 71.2  26 TEX 2.76
54       Evan Marshall  139  0 49.1  24 ARI 2.74
55        Kevin Jepsen  139  2 65.0  29 LAA 2.63
56     Jeremy Jeffress  138  0 32.0  26 TOT 2.81
57      T.J. McFarland  138  0 58.2  25 BAL 2.76
58     Anthony Varvaro  137  0 54.2  29 ATL 2.63
59      Danny Farquhar  137  1 71.0  27 SEA 2.66
60      Brandon League  136  0 63.0  31 LAD 2.57
61      Yoervis Medina  136  0 57.0  25 SEA 2.68
62      Junichi Tazawa  136  0 63.0  28 BOS 2.86
63           Vic Black  136  0 34.2  26 NYM 2.60
64   Kevin Quackenbush  135  6 54.1  25 SDP 2.48
65    Marc Rzepczynski  135  1 46.0  28 CLE 2.74
66          Jean Machi  134  2 66.1  32 SFG 2.58
67      Scott Atchison  134  2 72.0  38 CLE 2.75
68         Javy Guerra  134  1 46.1  28 CHW 2.91
69       Jake Petricka  131 14 73.0  26 CHW 2.96
70         Adam Warren  130  3 78.2  26 NYY 2.97
71        Oliver Perez  130  0 58.2  32 ARI 2.91
72     Eury De La Rosa  130  0 36.2  24 ARI 2.95
73        Tommy Hunter  128 11 60.2  27 BAL 2.97
74       James Russell  127  1 57.2  28 TOT 2.97
75         Seth Maness  126  3 80.1  25 STL 2.91
Rk              Player ERA+ SV   IP Age  Tm  ERA
76          Mike Morin  126  0 59.0  23 LAA 2.90
77       Jordan Walden  126  3 50.0  26 ATL 2.88
78       George Kontos  125  0 32.1  29 SFG 2.78

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/17/2014.

posted by grum@work at 08:12 AM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Baseball idiot here, but I've wondered the same thing. The team's "closer" only seems to be used in a save situation. Is it something to do with the coach and the player trying to pad the closer's save stats?

posted by owlhouse at 01:21 AM on October 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

What makes it even crazier is that if St. Louis had a one-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, they would have brought in Rosenthal/Maness/not-Wacha to pitch. Why do managers save better pitchers for when they have a 1/2/3 run lead in the 9th, instead of using them when they have absolutely no room for error (tied in the 9th)?

posted by grum@work at 11:41 PM on October 16

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Huh.

I didn't think a manager would do something stupider than what Mattingly did these playoffs (benching Puig, and then using him as a pinch-runner instead of a pinch-hitter), but St. Louis' manager Matheny has managed to pull it off.

He decided to use a pitcher who hasn't thrown a competitive pitch in 20 days in the bottom of the 9th, and then left him in there after watching him give up a hit, a hard hit out, and a four-pitch walk. It was completely unsurprising that he threw two more balls, and then grooved one for a walk-off hit (which happened to be a home run, but it really didn't matter).

As one person said BEFORE the game-winning hit on another site:
Matheny should have to walk back to St. Louis.

At least Rosenthal/Maness is rested and ready for the next inning/game that never happened.

posted by grum@work at 11:20 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Australian National Treasures. You want a much maligned underdog with the ability to steal a win? Ottawa by 7. The clash of the mega cities? Toronto by 11. The battle of the prairie towns. Calgary by 18. Damn there's a lot of prairie in Canada. No wonder our Prime Minister is confused. Edmonton by 15. And an idiot as well.

posted by owlhouse at 09:50 PM on October 16

Concussions last longer than they used to

To quote the infamous Bill Handel: "And where did you, Eric Winston, go to medical school?"

posted by skifan at 08:08 PM on October 16

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

If it can't be the Red Sox, I'm happy to see a small market team that hasn't made it to WS for decades there. I agree, a Royals-Pirates match up would have let me relive my youth.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:54 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

cats by 13

Argos by 4

cal by 12

edy by 6

posted by argoal at 06:52 PM on October 16

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

Like Time, who say the Royals are leading a movement with their one truly successful year in 20 years.

They were a wild card team that didn't even win 90 games. This isn't a "movement". It's a 14 day hot streak. If they win the World Series, they deserve it.

But as Jays fan I hope a lot of other AL teams try to mimic their impatient (dead last in walks) noodle bats (last in ISO).

posted by grum@work at 04:20 PM on October 16

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

The Royals have a terrible GM, a terrible manager, and terrible plate discipline.

And people are going to go ahead and use them regardless as an example for how the game is changing rather than considering the "weird shit happens sometimes" effect. Like Time, who say the Royals are leading a movement with their one truly successful year in 20 years.

Pitching and defence have been the foundation of the game forever, but a single data point on a quirky team doesn't mean a trend. Go back a couple of years and both San Fran and St. Louis hardly ran at all in 2010/11. Plus - it's not been THAT long since a team that hit a lot of home runs made the World Series.

posted by dfleming at 04:00 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 24

Toronto by 8

Calgary by 26

Edmonton by 12

posted by ic23b at 03:26 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 21
Toronto by 12
Calgary by 10
Edmonton by 9

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:14 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 18

Montreal by 3

Calgary by 21

Saskatchewan by 7

posted by goddam at 01:58 PM on October 16

Concussions last longer than they used to

posted by grum@work at 01:42 PM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 26

Toronto by 6

Calgary by 26

Edmonton by 16

posted by tommytrump at 10:46 AM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

Hamilton by 10

Toronto by 7

Calgary by 24

Edmonton by 13

posted by cixelsyd at 10:40 AM on October 16

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

The only part missing from the script is that they won't be facing the Pirates in the Series. That would have been the ultimate "return from eternal irrelevance" matchup.

I similarly yearn for a Browns - Lions Super Bowl.

I watched every minute of the 1985 Series. I can still hear Al Michaels announcing Balboni and Biancalana with a tone of incredulity in his voice as they stepped up to the plate, BEFORE they defied the law of averages and prevailing wisdom with yet another timely and productive at bat.

Felt very happy for Dick Howser after how he had been treated by Steinbrenner, and felt awful for Herzog having to watch his team fall apart in game 7.

With the memories so vivid, it's sometimes hard to remember how long ago that Series took place. Three days after it ended, the space shuttle Challenger took off on a mission...and returned safely to Earth (for the last time).

posted by beaverboard at 10:23 AM on October 16

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 17

In Toronto, the Argos barely show up for most of the game, heading into the 3-minute warning down 13 points. But Ricky Ray and Chad Owens connect for a massive comeback to shock the Ti-Cats and preserve Toronto's share of first place.

Elsewhere in Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton, the Redblacks, Roughriders, and Bombers had the exact same plan, but forgot about the comeback.

HAM @ TOROTT @ BCSSK @ MTLWPG @ EDM
ResultToronto by 1B.C. by 38Montreal by 31Edmonton by 32
Margin of Error1 to 127 to 4922 to 4022 to 42

Mostly a push this week, but argoal and JPR differed on the Hamilton-Toronto game, leaving argoal alone in first place - but just barely.

SpoFiteHAM @ TORSOTT @ BCSSSK @ MTLSWPG @ EDMSPointsTotal Points
argoalToronto B.C. Montreal Edmonton 457
JPR B.C. Montreal Edmonton 356
cixelsydToronto B.C. Edmonton 355
Howard_T B.C. Montreal Edmonton 354
owlhouseToronto B.C. Edmonton 353
ReeverToronto B.C. Montreal Edmonton 452
rcadeToronto B.C. Montreal Edmonton 451
goddamToronto B.C. Montreal Edmonton 449
tommytrumpToronto B.C. Edmonton 348
ic23b B.C. Montreal Edmonton24448
DrJohnEvans B.C. Edmonton 245
benderToronto1 343

WEEK 17

Into the home stretch with something to play for: with four games remaining, nobody has been mathmatically eliminated yet, and it's all divisional play from this point on.

Ottawa @ Hamilton (Friday, October 17)
Wait, even Ottawa's not eliminated yet? It's true! Although they will be with a loss, or a Toronto win. But they're going up against a decent Hamilton team that's coming off a crushing loss and looking to get back in the saddle, so maybe this ain't the Redblacks' year.

Montreal @ Toronto (Saturday, October 18)
Battle for first! Montreal, Toronto, and Hamilton are in a three-way tie for first. But Toronto has an actual quarterback, while Montreal has... a lovely stadium and a decent ground game. Montreal's had a nice comeback run, but I don't think they have the fuel to sustain it.

Calgary @ Winnipeg (Saturday, October 18)
Oh, Winnipeg. Remember July? Yeah, me too. But you've lost six in a row now, and Calgary's coming to town. The Stamps can clinch the division with a win, while likely eliminating the Bombers from contention.

Edmonton @ Saskatchewan (Sunday, October 19)
Here's the money game of the week. It's pretty much down to these two to host the division semi-final, and guess what? They play each other twice before the season's out. The Riders have fallen on tough times in the post-Durant era, while Edmonton's clawed its way into second place. Edmonton's got the edge until Saskatchewan can find its offence again, but should be a fun one regardless.

Good luck!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:38 AM on October 16

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

"Manager Ned Yost has become Midas here in October,"

Free mufflers for everyone! Really happy for them and hope they can win it all. A quarter century of failure has been enough time to dull the pain and my hate for that AstroTurf team of speed merchants that wrecked seemingly every other Sox season of my youth.

posted by yerfatma at 08:34 AM on October 16

"How Rebounds Work"

Is there a system for tracking Dennis Rodman's off-court spatial relationships and rebound locations?

There is, but the map goes dark over North Korea.

posted by owlhouse at 11:06 PM on October 15

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

The Royals have a terrible GM, a terrible manager, and terrible plate discipline.

Yet, they are going to the World Series and I'm hoping they sweep the NL team that faces them.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 PM on October 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

That assumes perfect umpiring, which we do not have.

Robot umps, man. Can't wait.

We do not have perfect players either. Nor do we have perfect men (or women) in anything mankind does. This is the beauty of competitive sports. Because they are played and officiated by imperfect people, the result of the contest is unpredictable. Has there ever been a poll of professional baseball players that asks their preference for human (imperfect) umpires or robot (allegedly perfect) judging machines? I wold bet that the players not only prefer the human element, but would rather have some imperfection to the calling of a game. If you really want perfection, let's go all the way. Develop robot players, robot judges, and the contest will become one among the engineers and software developers to build the better robots. Just wait until general managers look to trade a faster processor for a field programmable gate array.

posted by Howard_T at 10:21 PM on October 15

"How Rebounds Work"

Rebounds work through the combination of Newton's law (a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion in a straight line, unless acted upon by a force.), the force of gravity (Newton again), and the coefficient of restitution of the basketball. Someone with a high mathematics and physics IQ could probably predict in general terms where the rebounds of shots from certain positions will go. Of course, it's a lot easier to use data accumulated over a number of trials. I'm being a bit facetious with the above, but the best rebounders have long had the game sense to position themselves in the most advantageous position. The smaller players, particularly guards, seem to be better at this than many of the "bigs".

posted by Howard_T at 10:10 PM on October 15

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

I missed today's clinching game, but it has been just a lot of fun watching KC in the postseason this year. They hustle, play great defense, have good pitching, and play with great enthusiasm. I am officially a fan (at least until April).

posted by Howard_T at 10:02 PM on October 15

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

Their situation is eerily similar to Rocktober of 2007, but I hope they're able to do better in the World Series and don't suffer or lose their hot streak in the long wait for the Series to start like the Rockies did.

posted by LionIndex at 09:48 PM on October 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

That assumes perfect umpiring, which we do not have.

Oh, I'm well aware of that truth. Robot umps, man. Can't wait.

posted by tron7 at 06:24 PM on October 15

"How Rebounds Work"

Is there a system for tracking Dennis Rodman's off-court spatial relationships and rebound locations?

posted by beaverboard at 04:23 PM on October 15

"How Rebounds Work"

I want to bathe in the data.

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

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

trying to get calls you don't deserve

That assumes perfect umpiring, which we do not have. Given the strike zone is defined by the current home plate umpire's perception of it, there is a gray area between balls and strikes-- why wouldn't the players involved try to make that gray area theirs?

posted by yerfatma at 08:10 AM on October 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Hi there Septics.

Jarryd is on his way.

posted by owlhouse at 12:13 AM on October 15

Drone with Flag Sparks Brawl at Euro 2016 Match

This is the Balkan version of Iko Iko. Despite the fact that the Serbs being pissed off predates the founding of New Orleans by around 325 years.

posted by beaverboard at 11:59 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Subtlety, yes, but the framing of the pitch must be done very nicely. As an umpire, if I see the catchers glove move after the catch is made, I will usually make a ball call. The only way I won't is if the pitch is obviously a strike or the catcher was crossed up by the pitcher (expecting a pitch outside and getting one inside, etc.). A really accomplished catcher (Molina is the best at the craft) will start moving the glove before he makes the catch, and then continues the motion into the strike zone. When a pitch is just off the corner, it is really hard to tell whether the glove first contacted the ball in or out of the strike zone. The difference might be two or three calls per game, but in a close game that can make a real difference. A catcher who does it well is an artist, all the others are journeymen.

posted by Howard_T at 11:08 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Sure they won't be the Seattle Metropolitans, Grum? Luongo back in the PNW is pure win.

posted by deflated at 10:21 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman, the Rays' old GM, to be president of baseball operations leading to a writer teasing a story about Joe Maddon following him to LA.

And it appears today's Albania/ Serbia match got a little too interesting; no story yet but if you check out the author's feed, it looks like a drone flying an Albanian flag above the stadium led to a riot.

posted by yerfatma at 04:14 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

When indoor ice rinks first came to South Florida in the late 60's/early 70's, the kids discovered that after a resurfacing, the Zamboni drove out into the parking lot to dump its load on the tarmac. The hellacious ice ball fights that ensued became the main event for many people. It was the first time some folks had seen frozen water other than at a saloon. You had to fight fast, because the pile went down in a hurry.

People eventually lost interest in the rink itself because you could slip and fall down unless you knew what you were doing. That ice surface was harder than people thought it would be.

Nothing like watching people try to get up a head of steam on skates knowing they were going to go down, so they could go into a full body glide before slamming into the boards. Tropical luge. Not always feet first. (The money for the MacArthur grants comes from Florida. But the recipients generally don't.)

But oh my, it was so nice and cool in there compared to the wall of steam outside.

Attendance at the general public skate sessions was about equal to what the Panthers game looked like it pulled in.

posted by beaverboard at 03:06 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I think attendance is going to take a nosedive in Raleigh as well. Unless the 'Canes can actually start winning, that is.

posted by NoMich at 01:54 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

A photo taken during first period action

posted by cixelsyd at 01:27 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Say hello to your (probable) 2015-16 Quebec Nordiques!

(Obviously, I'm extrapolating and prognosticating, but come on...)

posted by grum@work at 12:10 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Subtlety.

posted by rcade at 11:56 AM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

What makes pitch framing joy-inducing while flopping/diving in other sports is roundly criticized? In both cases the player resorts to trying to fool the official instead of trying to win the play in honest competition. I think the sport would be better if there weren't important strategies revolving around trying to get calls you don't deserve.

posted by tron7 at 10:35 AM on October 14

Infamous College Tackler Tommy Lewis Dies

I wonder if Jeffrey Maier will be similarly honoured at a Yankees game in 2056.

posted by grum@work at 09:53 AM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That was a really nice heads-up play on Smith's part.

Agreed, but I can't help thinking that the new rules do allow for the fielding side to bait a trap in this way.

posted by owlhouse at 12:52 AM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I just want to point out that Rogers' broadcasts of NHL games introduced a real gimmicky piece of TV this week: the ref helmet cam.

It just SCREAMED of "throw crazy stuff at the wall and see what sticks", and some think that it's as stupid as the puck streak from the bad old days of FOX hockey. Here's the thing: The ref-helmet-cam is goddamn awesome.

I couldn't watch a whole game like that, but the times this weekend where they cut to the camera for an instant replay of a goal/penalty were fantastic. There was even a moment when a goal went to replay review, and they showed (from the helmet-cam) that the referee couldn't actually see the stick make contact with the puck (since the body of the player blocked his view), so that's why it they went for a replay.

Other times, they showed the players hooking/holding, or the sweet passes that set up the goal, all from the ice-level point of view.

posted by grum@work at 12:17 AM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That was a really nice heads-up play on Smith's part. Steve Smith has really been making a name for himself in this series.

Aside: is there any reason I should feel bad for liking Danny Morrison's announcing? He cracks me up. He's not a neo-nazi or anything is he? He doesn't dine on the livers of the young or anything like that, right?

posted by NoMich at 10:03 PM on October 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I've never seen anything like this in cricket before.

Well, that's probably because up until last month, it was illegal. And because of things like this, might be made illegal again.

posted by owlhouse at 09:24 PM on October 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Why did the Rams ever give up this great blue and yellow color scheme? The replacement colors were so...meh.

posted by NoMich at 08:59 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

He's having a nice season. Too bad he's overdue to go down for several weeks with an injury.

posted by dyams at 07:38 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

Cowboys have a weak division, a premier offensive line, and a solid running back. As long as Garrett or whoever is calling the plays in Dallas recognizes that the Cowboys should host a playoff game.

Somehow it's hard to imagine the customary December games where Romo heaves the ball 40 plus times with 3 ints while Murray only gets 6 touches.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:27 PM on October 13

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 6

As long as I stay level or ahead of @rcade, I'm happy.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:51 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

A first round exit would be a nice finish for a team I expected to go no more than 4-12 this year

I expected them to go 7-9 but hoped that they proved me wrong. They can still go 2-8 the rest of the way but the way they're playing right now I think a playoff run is possible. Even if they are a first round exit, I would take that over another mediocre season.

posted by BornIcon at 03:32 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

If the Cowboys offensive line keeps playing like it is, the team will have success with Murray's backups too and can use them more.

A first round exit would be a nice finish for a team I expected to go no more than 4-12 this year.

posted by rcade at 01:06 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

First round exit.

posted by phaedon at 12:54 PM on October 13

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

It will be interesting to see what happens with Murray the rest of the way - he's on pace to eclipse his previous high in carries in game 9. The Cowboys talked about easing off his workload, but he touched the ball 35 times last night.

He's on pace to just break Larry Johnson's carries record, which for a guy with a questionable track record for health is playing fast and loose. That said, the Cowboys are a pretty devastating team when Romo's able to play off a running game and not do-it-himself, so unless Joseph Randle shows he's able to consistently get yardage on touches, I'm not sure they can stay this good without him.

posted by dfleming at 11:39 AM on October 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

After watching him get carried into the end zone like a rodeo clown, I'd love to ask Richard Sherman whether or not he thinks DeMarco Murray matters in this league.

Except that I think the line for that forms behind Skip Bayless.

posted by beaverboard at 10:45 AM on October 13

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 6

Yeah, can't pick against my team/lol, even if I'm pretty sure they're going to lose. At least, there's no money involved.

As a Bills fan, I make the mistake of changing my mind every week, and it's going to cost me. If I just stuck with one thought (always win/lose), then I'd have a couple more points in my favour. Instead, I flip/flop and I'm getting burned every week but one.

posted by grum@work at 03:16 PM on October 12

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

a Bucs team who look utterly hopeless right now.

You don't have to repeat yourself.

posted by grum@work at 03:14 PM on October 12

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Jesus - Joe Flacco has 5 touchdown passes at the half against a Bucs team who look utterly hopeless right now.

posted by dfleming at 02:25 PM on October 12

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 6

Yeah, can't pick against my team/lol, even if I'm pretty sure they're going to lose. At least, there's no money involved.

posted by jagsnumberone at 01:50 PM on October 12

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

If there is any local, regional or college radio audio feed of the fourth quarter of the TCU - Baylor game available, I want to listen to it. Bingo, bango, bongo.

posted by beaverboard at 10:34 AM on October 12

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

rcade: Jarrod Dyson getting caught stealing last night raises a question: Can the player making a tag push the sliding runner off the bag? To me, it looks more like a push by Jonathan Schoop than an overslide by Dyson. I thought it was weird the TBS crew never even suggested that possibility.

I caught up with the recap on MLB Network, and they really dug into this one. From what I gathered, it is of course not a legal move on the part of the fielding player; somewhat similarly, there was a game-deciding big play during the ALCS last year I believe, where an innocent play at 3rd was ruled interference because the Red Sox 3rd baseman was very arguably "interfering" with the runner while going after the ball thrown from home.

What MLBN was saying last night is it is purely a judgment call, made at the discretion of the umpire. However, because the question is one of intent, it's apparently not something that can be called for in instant reply- meaning, Ned Yost couldn't contest the play and demand a replay, because the umpires would say "No, he's clearly off the bag at one point" and they wouldn't assess the "intent" portion as a replay matter.

For whatever it's worth, in my opinion even after multiple replays, I couldn't say with 100% certainty that it was a clear shove, as opposed to part of the sweep of the glove. It was clearly a tag with a lot more force behind it, which MLBN went on to report was an actual gameplan from Showalter to keep the Royals closer to the bag by tagging aggressively and holding the glove there, since the Royals tend to overslide the bag a lot.



grum@work: Very cool! I bet it will be in broadcasts real-time in the next few years. I do like that style, where you can get a clear sense of how close they're getting, when the throw is released, etc, all as one motion. They'll have to come up with a good way to cut to the camera focused on the tag smoothly, however.

posted by hincandenza at 12:08 AM on October 12