Recent Comments by dfleming

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Now this appears to be a trade that truly benefited neither team, at least for the long term

Well - the Bruins now have Loui Eriksson (22 goals last year despite underwhelming), Jimmy Hayes (a 25-year-old who scored 19 goals last year who they picked up for Reilly Smith from the Seguin trade), Joe Morrow (a perpetual prospect D), Zachary Senyshyn (15th overall this year) and two second-rounders this year from the assets they got in the trade.

That's still substantially better than what the Leafs have coming back to them from the Kessel deal, which should have a bit of an asterisk attached to the value they got due to the stupid contract they gave him and needed to eat to get rid of him.

posted by dfleming at 09:34 AM on July 02

U.S. Defeats China, Advances to Women's World Cup Semifinals

Was at the game and though they weren't regularly pressed, the U.S. really cleaned up a lot of their issues defensively this game. They also generated a lot of pace considering two of their better offensive players were on the sidelines.

The Chinese midfielders continually fell for the same U.S. trap where they'd show a seemingly open Chinese forward only to take it away a second before the pass was made. I doubt the Germans will be so formulaic, but that was the first complete performance they put in so far.

posted by dfleming at 08:46 AM on June 27

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Champion: Cixelsyd

Well done Cixelsyd!

Ufez, you're 2/4ths of the way to the Costanza Grand Slam for the year. I believe in you.

posted by dfleming at 10:58 AM on June 25

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Dowd is expecting lawyerly precision from Rose when he interprets Rose's "I did not bet on baseball as a player" to mean "as a player or player-manager," and this furthers Dowd's attempt to portray Rose as an unrepentant liar. (You're doing the same here in how you interpret his 2015 comment.) But Rose says in his book that bets were made earlier than the 1986 postseason, so he's making an implicit admission there to betting in 1986, at least.

I'm sorry, but a favourable interpretation vs. what Rose actually said is not very convincing. He said specifically he did not bet on baseball as a player and I find it extremely unlikely that Rose does not remember his player-manager days as him playing the game.

The hit record was broken when he was a player-manager, and is something baseball has allowed him to commemorate with the team. He would have to have forgotten that hit occurred while he was a player for that logic to make any sense.

Also - Pete Rose has a lawyer handling his reinstatement. His post-report "no comment" statement was made by his lawyer. The statement did not include "Pete Rose already admitted to this." This is not Charlie Hustle in the commissioner's office and doing interviews without coaching and it is not expecting lawyerly precision to expect a definitive statement that you did not do something.

posted by dfleming at 07:37 AM on June 24

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

I find it hard to believe that anything Rose could say today would be accepted by Rose critics as a reason to trust him in the future.

For the record, I was in the camp of letting him back into baseball until we found out in this latest report that he's lying about betting on games as a player. He is still disrespecting baseball. That is, arguably the worst possible way for him to violate this rule - or at least on par with his manager bets. This is a pattern of behaviour over years, some of which he wasn't going to be honest about with the commissioner. So no - with this new evidence, I don't trust him.

I don't know why you're positioning yourself as the only voice of reason here - my position changed with new evidence coming forward that he's still lying. Yours seems to be unfazed by anything except how long his lifetime ban has been.

posted by dfleming at 09:27 PM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

That's a Charlie Brown and the football scenario, and danging it out there when you're so adamant about continuing the ban is not serious. Be honest, Lucy. Any admission Rose made would be thrown into the pile of reasons to justify dragging this all the way to his grave.

No - I am being given yet another reason to believe Pete Rose's issues with gambling can not be taken as a guaranteed past tense problem. He's copped to as little as he can in an attempt to improve his likelihood to get reinstated and he's gotten caught at it.

Cutting through all your hyperbole - do you seriously think a still lying Pete Rose can be trusted not to gamble on baseball if he's back in a dugout or in a front office? What has he done to give you that indication, other than more time than you think is appropriate has passed?

posted by dfleming at 06:40 PM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Why do you feel it is important that he be banned for 27 years instead of 26? 36 instead of 26? His entire lifespan plus one day? What interest hasn't already been served that will be served with more time?

Because I don't feel confident that Pete Rose, in a team position, will not bet on baseball. I don't know why you are so confident these are past problems.

The reason I have significant doubt? He is still trying to cover up the extent of his previous problems. He is still not truthful. His remorse has entirely been related to how much he gets caught. All classic addict signs.

Ignoring the fact it's apples to oranges - your example of Mark McGwire is again irrelevant because can't take PEDs and play anymore. Pete Rose can certainly be hired by a team and put in a position that he can use to improve his odds.

posted by dfleming at 05:01 PM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

You make it sound as if everyone affiliated with MLB wouldn't associate with Rose. They don't have the choice, so we don't know what some organization in baseball would do if the commissioner allowed it.

Professional associations hire people and give them powers to enforce the rules as a uniform body and not as a collective of individuals operating on their own rules. This is how things like bans from the game or sanctions on an owner/team can actually work. They give them the things they think are bigger than one owner or team's decisions to work on.

Those same associations have the opportunity to change those rules should they want to and have had ample opportunity to do so as a collective since Rose was banned. PED rules and penalties have been changed in recent memory.

The commissioner acts on their behalf - and from time to time, the ownership get directly involved. In the case of Marge Schott in 1993, it was a process engaged by the ownership that resulted in a owner-led committee voting to ban her from the game. Ditto for Steinbrenner. They can also toss a commissioner whose regulatory record they don't like.

The reverse for Pete Rose could be initiated by an owner (in response to a reinstatement request), however like anything related to the integrity of the game, it would need the broader support of the ownership to move forward.

Mark McGwire got coaching gigs eight years after the PED scandal sent him into hiding.

Mark McGwire did not receive a lifetime ban from baseball.

posted by dfleming at 12:29 PM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Grum has it exactly.

Pete Rose has benefited significantly since his expulsion from baseball because he's a former player. His records are still acknowledged widely. He makes a lot of money at it.

The only price he's paying currently is the people to whom he lied and cheated refuse to associate with him professionally in a way that earns him a place in the Hall of Fame or on a team. The idea that he's now an old man and deserves something when he's still denying the truth (and cowering behind a PR statement on his reinstatement) to me is wholly irrelevant.

He was aware of what happened to Shoeless Joe and did it anyways. Fuck him.

posted by dfleming at 11:10 AM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Because 26 years is long enough for his punishment. I think it's way past long enough and deeply into ridiculous territory. Baseball is hardly so pristine that his jersey should be a hair shirt for a quarter century and counting.

Alex Rodriguez was suspended for a season for being a huge PED cheat. Is what Rose did 26 times as bad?

Marge Schott was banned in 1996 for racist, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler statements and reinstated two years later. Is what Rose did 13 times as bad?

Baseball didn't want A-Rod back (nor did the Yankees), but unfortunately they don't get to unilaterally ban guys from the game for PEDs. The union has a say, particularly when contracts are being negotiated.

Do I think A-Rod belongs in the game at all? No, I don't. Do you?

Marge Schott to me is entirely irrelevant, because PEDs and betting on baseball are about the integrity of the game, not about whether a person is a horrible human being or not.

You're conflating this with crimes like embezzlement which is again irrelevant. People banned from their profession are done so for life routinely because they've undermined the integrity of everyone else doing it. There's no fundamental right to be associated with the profession of your choice as there is a fundamental right to freedom after a jail sentence.

Pete Rose is still doing damage to baseball - this would not be a story if in 2004 he had've said "yes, I bet on games I was in when I was a player." He didn't, and now baseball gets to deal with entire news cycles on this stuff yet again.

Pete Rose has also been making something like a million dollars a year in speaking fees as a former player. He has a job in baseball. He's benefitted from his legacy as the hits leader, but the game won't benefit at all from letting him back in, in part because he continues to plague them with his the fact even his mea culpas (which netted him money too) were full of lies.

posted by dfleming at 07:50 AM on June 23

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Let the old fart be a part of the game, and if there are concerns some team might put him in a prominent position, limit what he's allowed to do.

Why let him be part of the game at all?

He had a chance in 2004 to set the record straight. He chose to lie to the fans and to folks in the game - yet again.

He's still the hits leader. He works for FOX in baseball. What more does Pete Rose deserve considering he's still lying about what he did?

posted by dfleming at 08:36 PM on June 22

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

At this point, it's not even the cheating that bugs me - it's the flat out, repeated, and unrepentant lying to save whatever little bit of face is left and letting fans go out there and try to make a case for you that you know is false.

Manfried must feel like he dodged a bullet with this coming out now. The tide was turning on Charlie Hustle, and thankfully he's going to stay exactly where he belongs - outside of the game.

posted by dfleming at 03:27 PM on June 22

Tokyo 2020 Committee Releases Short List of New Sports

Roller sports? As in hockey? Or as in half-pipe/course flips/tricks?

Roller derby, man. I have never once met so many women in my life I simultaneously had a crush on and was absolutely terrified of than at a derby. Perfect TV sport.

posted by dfleming at 02:53 PM on June 22

Tokyo 2020 Committee Releases Short List of New Sports

I don't even know how American football would work in a seventeen day span - could you responsibly play more than three games in that timeframe?

posted by dfleming at 02:18 PM on June 22

Max Scherzer Has Perfect Game Through 8 2/3, But Hits Tabata

I really don't look at that play and think that Tabata meant to get hit. For one, he was lost at the plate against Scherzer and clearly not picking the ball up well. If you are, there's a split-second to react to a pitch and if you're not, it feels like less.

Second, it was a pitch tracking inside that was nowhere near the plate. Tabata moved a little down, not in. Scherzer was spotting the borders of the strike zone, which while an effective strategy, also means guys have a small viewing degree inside to deduce where a pitch is and where it's going.

And third, I don't think (neither did Scherzer in his post-game) that the impetus is on a hitter to cover up a pitcher's bad pitch so he has to lose the perfect game on a hit. I watch games with guys who think taking a walk late against a perfect game is unacceptable (particularly if ball four is a borderline strike), which is bullshit. A no-hitter is broken up by a hit, but a perfect game requires a pitcher to avoid the other ways it's broken up too.

The guy's job was to get on base and start a rally. Creating unwritten etiquette rules late in the game for how guys should break up perfect games just cheapens the whole thing.

posted by dfleming at 10:17 AM on June 21

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship

Once Golden State is making its 3-point shots, packing the defense in down low is not a solution.

I totally get you, but increased minutes and perimeter coverage from JR Smith (who isn't stopping the three or contributing efficiently on the other end) is less of a solution than Mozgov giving them ample high-percentage looks at the other end even if he's allowing some penetration opportunities.

It'd make sense if they had the personnel to match, but they so clearly don't so to me it's a strategy that's doomed to fail.

posted by dfleming at 12:30 AM on June 16

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I can't imagine the NBA being willing to give the MVP to a member of the losing team.

I would say no too, with the caveat that Adam Silver seems like the most likely commissioner in a long time to actually consider something like this. Anyone else getting this award is going to look like a total sham and he seems like the kind of guy to favour logic over tradition, at least somewhat.

Jerry West won it in 1969 on a losing team, so it's been nearly half a century since it happened. The time is right.

posted by dfleming at 09:25 AM on June 15

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship

I do not understand playing Mozgov for 9 minutes last night - of all the things that the Cavs could have done, shortening the bench even further and taking the second most effective player they have off the floor for a game is nuts.

Dellavedova is clearly cooked, as is Thompson. The last thing I think they needed was to try to beat Golden State at its own small-ball game - all it did was further decrease the talent they had on the floor.

If Blatt really wants to get creative with lineups and what is left in the tank, get Marion out of purgatory for a little bit, throw him at C against Green (6'7 vs. 6'7), fire Mozgov up for some runs at PF against either of Lee/Barnes, LeBron full-time at PG with Dellavedova offering relief and whatever Jones/Miller/Smith can give you at the 3.

posted by dfleming at 09:16 AM on June 15

Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout

It felt dangerous and a lot of effort to get the ball where he wanted it and even then they would often be left with little time on the shot clock.

You are right, but on some level I think the entry passes from Dellavedova were often haphazard. He was lobbing the ball in at such a slow speed that Barnes and/or Igoudala could pivot and position on him by the time he had control of the ball. He rarely got the ball in a position that allowed him to move immediately - rather, he had to reset and the move. But - even when he got position, he seemed to have very little power finish left in him.

Shumpert's shot selection last night was horrific - no wonder he doesn't want to shoot, because he's taking almost exclusively low percentage shots. He and Smith not only shot poorly, but shot so wildly that they didn't give a lot of second chance opportunities to maximize the fact they had a distinct rebounding advantage inside.

posted by dfleming at 10:15 AM on June 12

Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout

Agreed jmd.

LeBron, even before the camera shot to the head, looked exhausted last night. He had the initial explosive step towards the basket and was able to get a good shoulder position regularly on Igoudala which typically leads to either a foul or a lay up - but his final move to the basket at times seemed very timid and often tangential to the rim. It seemed like he ran out of steam routinely by the time he got in scoring position.

That and the fact they got entirely away from his post game suggested to me his legs weren't giving him much power. At times on the bench he was getting massages/etc. so I wonder if he just had nothing to give in the lower body.

On the plus side, the blowout means he (only?) played 41 minutes last night and has two nights to rest.

posted by dfleming at 09:44 AM on June 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I wonder if this is a product of putting the tournament in a country whose relationship with soccer is relatively tepid and which is sparsely populated.

I can imagine folks driving from PEI/Nova Scotia to Moncton for a game on a weekend, but I can't imagine a lot taking time off work to do so during the week unless it was the home team playing.

posted by dfleming at 07:41 AM on June 12

Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout

He had three-time all-stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love with him all year and they finished second in the East. The problem isn't that he doesn't have good players, the problem is they had really bad luck with injuries during the playoffs.

posted by dfleming at 07:18 AM on June 12

Golden State Exposes Cleveland in Game 4 Rout

Oh how the tides have turned this first half. Golden State has cleaned their offensive game up significantly and the Cavs' support cast can't seem to execute at all and are resorting to a lot of mid-range jumpers.

posted by dfleming at 10:13 PM on June 11

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Watching Germany-Norway, I see some sections with quite a few empty seats.

Some coworkers got tickets yesterday for $20. The game started at before the government folks got out from work, but still, it's nutty in a city of over 1 million people you can't fill a 22,500 person stadium for a major sports event like this.

On the plus side, my quarterfinal tickets are sweet and cheap.

posted by dfleming at 09:40 PM on June 11

LeBron James Puts Cavaliers Up 2-1 on Warriors

In the World Series he put up an insane .471/.700/1.294 in 30 plate appearances!

Yeah, but in his second at-bat of game two he swung badly at a slider, so how good was he really?

/LeBron comments

posted by dfleming at 04:50 PM on June 10

LeBron James Puts Cavaliers Up 2-1 on Warriors

Mike Bossy in 1982 (I wasn't alive, but my dad showed me those tapes) is up there in terms of that kind of thing, but it's really hard to individualize 4/5 of the major sports the way you can 5 on 5 basketball.

posted by dfleming at 12:04 PM on June 10

LeBron James Puts Cavaliers Up 2-1 on Warriors

They'll hang 20 in a row on the Cavaliers to make a game a laugher and Stella will get her groove back.

It's been interesting to watch and I don't know if it'll sustain, but Dellavedova has done an insane job on Curry and has exploited the fact that the Warriors need him to put points on the board to get everyone else going.

He's playing him more physical than anyone seems to do and is giving him no room for uncontested quick-release threes. It doesn't help that he's now hospitalized, but his effort on D to prevent the easy 3's that get Curry in a rhythm makes the GS offense look a lot less potent.

I don't think Curry's down and out, but it's become pretty clear that Klay and company can't shoulder an off-night from Curry against a D this committed to every single defensive board and second-chance opportunity. They are getting chased around the court on every play and every lane is getting filled.

So it looks to me like it's Curry or bust for GS (or another Cleveland injury) unless they can match Cleveland's relentless heart at this point. GS hasn't shown me that they deal well with adversity or getting outworked well yet.

posted by dfleming at 11:53 AM on June 10

NBC Sports to NHL: Hey Good Lookin', Shave Those Playoff Beards

Grum is, if I recall correctly, in Toronto. A few months ago when I was in the Annex, men with buns and ponytails outnumbered women with buns and ponytails by about 3:1.

In general, I think these comments are on their face ridiculous. Put a guy in a hockey helmet and it doesn't matter if he has a black eye, beard, Lanny stache, or whatever else. People are going to know he's a hockey player.

If anything, beards, cuts, black eyes and broken noses align better to the warrior narrative which has been arguably the most unifying thing about sports heroism since the Greeks. People want to watch Tom Brady the battle-tested game hero, not Tom Brady in makeup and Ugg boots.

posted by dfleming at 11:36 AM on June 10

LeBron James Puts Cavaliers Up 2-1 on Warriors

This really is an incredible time to be a basketball fan. Regardless of the outcome, this will be the kind of series you bore your kids telling them you saw live over and over again.

Every time LeBron drives as if he's playing against shadow opponents on the playground when he was 12 (in that - this is exactly how I scripted my own solo games in the NBA finals), I feel the collective cringe from all those folks still clinging to the "yeah, but he hasn't" elements of his resume. That list is getting smaller and more insignificant by the minute.

posted by dfleming at 11:20 AM on June 10

NBC Sports to NHL: Hey Good Lookin', Shave Those Playoff Beards

Talking about beards, did something happen about 3 or 4 years ago that suddenly triggered all of the athletes to start trying to grow beards during the regular season?

MLB is FILLED with furry-faced guys now, when it used to be very rare.

It's a product of broader society. I've had a beard since I was 19 (when it was relatively rare, noticeable, and dare I say irresistible to the ladies...okay, maybe that's a LITTLE far), and now at 32 have noticed professionals in every industry I interact with now have them. I've been told that most people did it in the last few years.

The man bun is now replacing the beard (which had replaced placed funky colored socks under dress clothing) as the minor day-to-day rebellion for average joes.

posted by dfleming at 08:52 AM on June 10

James Scores Triple-Double as Cavs Even NBA Finals at 1

Isn't that exactly what they're doing Howard? I don't get how The Formula is a change from their current strategy.

The Cavs needed LeBron to take 35 shots and play 50 minutes. He shot 11/35. They pushed him on both sides of the court and the rest of the team shot 18/55 with nobody else going off. They held them to 87 points at the end of regulation.

Golden State wins that game (and nearly all others where they hold the other team to 87 points) if Steph Curry shoots within three standard deviations of his mean and both teams play that way.

posted by dfleming at 05:13 PM on June 08

SpoFil NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Largest margin of victory: 19! Sorry - don't know how I missed that. May be invalid as it's after the game but so be it.

posted by dfleming at 07:19 AM on June 05

SpoFil NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Win: Cleveland
Games: 6
MVP: Lebron James
Rebounds: Tristan Thompson
Assists: Lebron James
Free Throw Attempts: Lebron
Steals: Steph Curry
Blocks: Timofey Mozgov
Fouls: Andrew Bogut
Turnovers: Lebron James
3-pt %: Steph Curry
Tech fouls: 5
Triple Doubles: 0
Total points: 174

posted by dfleming at 07:49 AM on June 03

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

But over on the Dartmouth side, it seems like a stadium could be more workable. No realistic prospects there? Is Dartmouth a completely separate municipality and as such would have to form their own bid?

The cities of Dartmouth and Halifax amalgamated in 1996 into one municipality - like the GTA. There are a number of locations (Shannon Park in Dartmouth being one) that are suitable, but that's not the problem.

Halifax is a very lukewarm sports town with only 410,000 residents in the city with another 400,000 within a two hour drive. They would be building it for one use with no guaranteed other reasons to have it - which, for a $50m venture, is pretty specious.

There are a number of well-to-dos who believe a city of Halifax's size and stature needs to have a CFL team and want to build the stadium to that eventual end (with this tournament as the proposed catalyst), but there's been no evidence to date that the CFL wants to expand to Halifax, and a dismal record with major sports and music concert attendance.

Halifax likes stuff like junior hockey, university football, and small concerts, but that doesn't necessarily scale well. Regina's a smaller city, but there's a fervour around the CFL team that Halifax doesn't have for just about anything.

posted by dfleming at 01:15 PM on May 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

It was a bid process - I was involved in the evaluation of the case for the Halifax potential bid. There was a $25k fee just to be considered for games (and those games could be irrelevant group games) which drove quite a number of bids out. Plus - Halifax had to build a stadium as they have none remotely appropriate.

Moncton has a long history of paying exorbitant to be placed on the world stage (see the Magnetic Hill concert fiasco as an example.)

posted by dfleming at 09:17 AM on May 31

Golden State Reaches First NBA Finals in 40 Years

The first black manager to reach the World Series wouldn't happen until 1992 (a span of 17 seasons), and there have never been two black managers in the World Series.

Heck - there's only one in the league right now and depending on who you believe, he's on the hot seat and might not make it through the summer. The MLB one at this point will be miraculous.

posted by dfleming at 01:52 PM on May 28

LeBron Takes Cavaliers to NBA Finals in First Season Back

This game was exactly what they needed - Irving comes back for a tune-up but only needs to play 22 minutes and they now get a bunch of rest before the finals.

Tristan Thompson's stock certainly is on the rise - I wonder whether a team like the Raptors will take a swing at him in the off-season with one of those front-loaded structure deals that would put the Cavs in a position to either cut bait with one or both of Kevin Love and JR Smith (who will push them deep into the luxury if Thompson gets above value in year one) or to deal them and roll with Thompson.

posted by dfleming at 04:58 AM on May 27

Golden State Routs Houston, Takes Commanding 3-0 Lead

There have probably been better players and runs than the one Curry is on right now, but good lord I can't remember enjoying watching a guy play when he's on more than Curry. Bonus for when Klay's on too.

posted by dfleming at 09:52 AM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Is Ligue 1 a revenue/profit sharing league?

If not - I find the idea that we'll change the integrity of a league to mitigate the downside risk for investors, but not do anything to share the upside potential for everyone, terribly unnerving.

posted by dfleming at 09:52 AM on May 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

More than anything, I kinda feel like Revis is saying what he usually says - my job is to play cornerback. I get paid to do that. I don't care about any of the other stuff that's going on in the game.

posted by dfleming at 11:56 AM on May 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Marvin Hudson threw Bryce Harper out of last night's game for stepping out of the box - while Hudson had his mask off.

On some level, Harper was definitely showing him up at the end, but isn't there a defined penalty for this that Hudson skipped over on his way to throwing him out of the game?

Relevant passages from the official rules:

Once a batter has taken his position in the batter’s box, he shall not be permitted to step out of the batter’s box in order to use the resin or the pine tar rag, unless there is a delay in the game action or, in the judgment of the umpires, weather conditions warrant an exception.

Notwithstanding Rule 6.02(c), if the batter intentionally leaves the batter’s box and delays play, and none of the exceptions listed in Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i) through (viii) applies, the umpire shall award a strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. The umpire shall award additional strikes, without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch, if the batter remains outside the batter’s box and further delays play.

posted by dfleming at 10:23 AM on May 21

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I think if anything, Shanahan has institutionally made it really difficult for the Leafs management and ownership to snap-react to a media storm and fire the coach. This is a contract designed with patience in mind. Six years at $6.25m is a heck of a lot of dead weight on a coach to swallow if this isn't a playoff team after two years.

posted by dfleming at 04:06 PM on May 20

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Never mind - it was a browser extension. Disregard.

posted by dfleming at 10:14 AM on May 20

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line

Two point conversion rates have averaged around 45-50% over time. So effectively - an average of around 0.9-1 pt per try. Who knows if that scales at all - if NFL offences spend more time going for two-point conversions, presumable defenses will prepare more for them.

30-39 yard field goal (this is 33 so perhaps consider this a lower bound) here. Most kickers make at least 85% of them. If we assume this holds for extra points, then we're looking at .85-1 pt per try.

So we're looking at somewhere around a wash in terms of points per attempt at this point which is exciting.

I wonder if the Bears, who went 5/5 on two-point conversions last year and whose kicker only made 66.7% of field goals from 30-39 yards, might consider becoming two-point specialists. I also wonder if teams might employ a Tebow-esque player who might push their efficacy on two-pointers to 60-70% and capitalize on a gap in probabilities that could open up if you make 1.2-1.4pts per attempt.

Chances are, old habits will die hard, but this could be an exciting rule change.

posted by dfleming at 08:38 AM on May 20

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

And Kraft supposedly choosing the wiser course of action (from any number of different perspectives) has not silenced one bit of anti-Patriot rancor and hatred. On the contrary, the haters are more revved up and irrational than ever. Additionally, many Pats fans are infuriated at Kraft's tent folding. No waters have been calmed by Kraft's reversal.

The other owners seem calmed - the prospect of this months-long ordeal which has tarnished the NFL's reputation further going on into the summer was likely to wear on all of them. It seems like the public voices so far are just glad it's over.

posted by dfleming at 07:29 AM on May 20

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

two men already have "met, spoke and even hugged" already and that they were spotted "on a couch, talking by themselves for quite a long time" at a birthday party

No word on whether they agreed to a first date, though.

posted by dfleming at 03:49 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I went back to figure out what date that game was on the premise I would feel a copious amount of schadenfreude to know a stat that stupid was also wrong.

Sadly, they used this key to improve to 13-0 that day.

posted by dfleming at 12:52 PM on May 19

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em

Cleveland in 7
Golden State in 6
East Points: LeBron James
West Points: Steph Curry
East Blocks: Al Horford
West Steals: Steph Curry
Foul Out: Draymond Green
Offensive Rebounds: Dwight Howard
Rebounds + Assists: LeBron James
Margin: 16

posted by dfleming at 08:21 PM on May 18

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Instead, I'm curious. Hypothetically, what is the minimum amount of evidence, facts, explanation, testimony, or other piece of data that could make you change your mind, or at least admit a possibility that the case is not "clear cut"?

I guess I could approach this two ways:

1) Video from inside the washroom showing the guy was taking a leak and didn't touch the balls. That's the only period in this where anything could've happened and would match up to the dubious-er by the day looking measurement angles of this case.

OR Something on record that proves what I think is a pretty insane conspiracy - that the NFL preferred the tarring, feathering and disgracing of their reigning Super Bowl champs to a clean post-season which ended incredibly. That the NFL wanted a significant portion of its fans thoroughly angry at them all off-season, only to have another big group of its fans thoroughly pissed at them once they came down hard on Tom Brady.

It is such a counter-intuitive thing to think folks concerned with PR would have believed this outcome was better. Goodell seemed to have few friends left in the NFL and he just torched his closest relationship. None of that makes any sense to me. Nobody was going to forget Ray Rice because they prosecuted a seldom-considered rule harshly. Nobody could possibly have expected that outcome.

OR Something that showed that in fact Tom Brady was willing to comply and that Ted Wells' terms he offered in the media were not in fact the terms. Say - they really only offered unadulterated seizure of his phone for a week without any scrubbing of personal shit on it.

OR Some other shoe to drop regarding the actual measurements - say in reality one of the gauges didn't really exist, or things were forged, or the refs changed their stories on what they did to measure these balls to adhere to the narrative that something happened here.

2) Video that corroborates some of the folks like Jeff Blake et al. who have claimed this happens all the time, by all teams, and this situation is being overblown by Irsay to make up for his team's failings.

Blake claimed ball boys used to stick pins in the balls all the time - a few videos like that would blow the doors off the Colts' accusations that the Pats are specifically doing something wrong. Say we catch 2 other teams in the last 5 years doing that. Bonus if it's the Colts.

Something in those arenas would let me feel really comfortable that the Pats got a super raw deal here and there's enough to throw the whole thing out and blame the NFL for yet another total clusterfuck.

posted by dfleming at 03:05 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Anaheim in 7
New York in 6
Goals: Corey Perry
Powerplay goals: Rick Nash +1
PIM: Andrew Shaw
Saves: Lnudsquist

posted by dfleming at 01:55 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I mean how incredibly unlucky would you have to be to have a term you created that is thoroughly unused in a particular context - but you use it that way - to then become the subject of a massive scandal?

It's like all those moms and dads on November 8th, 2000 who named their kids Hanging as they normally would, and then that one dad who suggested the middle name Chad to his wife to go with it. "It's a perfectly good name" he said. "What could possibly go wrong?" he said.

posted by dfleming at 03:53 PM on May 14

Corey Kluber Strikes Out 18 in 8, But Doesn't Pitch 9th

Yeah, what a silly decision.

Kluber's never thrown more than 120 pitches in his career, but it would be pretty unlikely he'd survive an extended inning with base runners anyways.

Effectively Wild pointed out that teams now have a sleeve that gives them information on arm torque, so it's plausible that they have some data on what happens to Kluber's arm and the risk it poses as he goes deep into games, but still - it seems like the risk would be minute to let him go out and at least try to get the lead off guy in the inning, then assess.

posted by dfleming at 10:23 AM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Thanks, rcade.

The physicist article you posted yerfatma is a really good read. It challenges the scientific integrity of the findings (in addition to the findings themselves) but really gives me a real reason to pause here. It's one thing to conclude based on a set of factors that have been reasonably controlled for and recorded, another to simply fill in blanks with what seems most plausible and then assign certainty to that.

posted by dfleming at 08:56 AM on May 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I think the leap between an outcome which seems relatively implausible and proving there was a concerted effort to get to it is going to be a problem for him.

If at some point during the offseason, a team chatted with him and priced him out (say - the Mariners who employed 308 AB of Jose Vidro at DH that year) then his offer later to play for the minimum doesn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things.

Bonds also had one monster postseason in 22 seasons in the bigs. He didn't have an extensive pinch hit resume. It's questionable whether a team would've kept him happy as a part-time player, which would've really limited his available pennant run teams to teams with a gaping full-time hole in LF or DH. Plus he was 44 and would've missed half a year. I could see any combination of those things making a GM think of going another direction.

That said - I think a damning piece of evidence was how many shots Manny Ramirez got late in his career, despite over and over again showing he couldn't play in the field and his bat was gone. If a guy like that is worth a flier (at 40 and as a former PED user), then if Bonds could prove he would've accepted a similar deal and didn't get one, that's really tough to put back on those GMs in particular why one guy was worth it despite recent evidence, but a guy who had a 1.045 OPS the year before he was unemployable was not.

posted by dfleming at 10:09 PM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

They started last year 2-2 with a jaw-dropping bad performance in Kansas City in week 4 and still secured home field the whole way.

It would be hard to imagine anything other than 0-4 leaving them in worse shape than they were 4 weeks into last year.

posted by dfleming at 03:54 PM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Breaking news - Pats sign undrafted QB Dom Grady to take #12's spot on the roster.

posted by dfleming at 11:19 AM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

If Tom Brady likes to throw a softer ball than one other qb, I haven't yet heard a good reason why he shouldn't be able to.

Because quarterbacks are not the only ones with a stake in how the balls are prepared (defensive players would prefer pickable and strippable balls) and because 32 teams came together to decide, like baseball did with doctoring baseballs, that they prefer a uniform standard for the equipment they use.

This wasn't foist by a ghoulish king against everyone's will, and clearly Brady et. al had influence on the process as they very recently had a rule changed.

posted by dfleming at 03:24 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I'm not sure if you're being serious or facetious here, but I'll assume the former. With the exception of the separate balls for kicking, the team provides the referees with their balls, and they (the referees) throw them in for each play. The team doesn't get to pick a running ball or a throwing ball for each play.*

I believe, though, a team or QB can ask for a ball to be replaced at any time. If I am wrong there, I apologize for adding to the noise.

It doesn't negate the fact that a run-heavy team (or a team playing in the rain) could use a half-deflated ball to avoid fumbles and strips.

I mean, if it didn't matter at all, QBs wouldn't have a preference or have pushed for ball prep control would they?

posted by dfleming at 01:38 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

What exactly is that reason? What is this a slippery slope to? Quarterbacks inflating the football to their liking leads to what, exactly?

Play one - a run. Team A subs a half-filled ball in which can be gripped with one hand and is next to impossible to strip from a runner.

Play two - a pass. Team A subs in a fully-filled ball that flies through the air better.

Play three - the kicking team inflates a ball to just below its explosion point before punting to encourage fumbles.

posted by dfleming at 01:02 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

If the NFL actually cared about how inflated the footballs were, there is no principled reason why you would allow a team to play a half of the AFC championship game with balls they expected were deflated. The league could have told the Patriots to knock it off or measured the balls before the game and levied a fine (if they were even under at the time) but they wanted their sting so they could make a stink about it and now everything stinks.

I don't understand the logic of this at all.

First - the league would've had to have known the Colts' allegation was definitely true and had occurred during this game (i.e., the Pats may or may not do this every game, or just some games, or just once, or never) - in this instance, they didn't get confirmation until a ball came back to the sidelines that was questionable and confirmed it. They had zero measured balls at kick-off to conclude this theory.

Second - they would've had to known the procedure "more probably than not" included the balls being properly inflated prior to inspection then deflated just prior to the game. They had no analysis or theories at that point on possible ways this might be accomplished.

Third - the allegation indicated that there was the belief this was not an isolated incident, but a pattern of behaviour. The Colts' allegation pre-game was not about this game, but about previous games, and they wanted the NFL to analyze this game.

Fourth - this also presumes that the fine would've prevented any additional investigation into conspiracy or how it happened. There were conspiracy theorists here (hey cixelsyd) last week believing that the NFL favoured the Pats and were going to get a "blind eye" treatment because of Kraft's relationship with Goodell. Those people would've had a conniption fit over sweeping this under a rug in a title game.

The ideal scenario for the NFL in this was the Colts levy an accusation, they measure the balls, and they're fine. It was not a witch hunt that left a ton of people really angry in the end.

posted by dfleming at 12:30 PM on May 12