Recent Comments by lawn_wrangler

Galarraga robbed of perfect game by blown call on last out.

MeatSaber...welcome to 25 comments ago:

But really, whats the deal with how easy it is to toss these things now?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 01:43 PM on June 03

Galarraga robbed of perfect game by blown call on last out.

Hey everyone, no worries. The Governor of Michigan is going to make it all better.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 01:32 PM on June 03

The end of the line for America's most hated soccer commentator?

Incidentally, I think that Derek Rae is a good announcer. Classy, well-prepared, knowledgeable and articulate.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:19 PM on April 16

The end of the line for America's most hated soccer commentator?

I would rather listen to Tommy Smyth read the entire Internal Revenue Code with sound effects than listen to ONE MINUTE of Marcelo Balboa's inane commentary. I watched large portions of the 2006 World Cup Finals on Univision to avoid listening to that d-bag.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:38 AM on April 16

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

Looking a little more closely at Guardian's scoring table, it seems like there are some key differences with the Premier League's. Clean sheets per half, crosses, clearances, blocked shots, etc. Many of these things were duly reflected in the Premier League's bonus system, but my impression is that it was heavily weighted in favor of the winning team. Of course, on Guardian your defense is getting docked for each goal...so there is some counterweight for performing well on a poor team.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 02:10 PM on July 23

EPL Fantasy 08-09 Open for business

Guardian has a free league as well. Setup is similar but player values, scoring, and a few other things are somewhat different. Anyone fielding a team in Guardian's league?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:07 AM on July 23

Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva injured in outrageous tackle, possibly ending his career.

To compare a player guilty of a clumsy challenge to a murderer shows a complete lack of proportion, sensitivity and sense. In his retraction VVenger made it clear his comments were made in the heat of an emotional day. I think they were more than understandable in the circumstances: One of his rising stars had his leg split in half, and the whole team were in a state of shock and horror. I don't think he owes anyone an apology, he was just looking out for his boys. Now the dust is settling and he's had some time to reflect and clarify. Hardly a "disgrace[ful]" response, more like natural.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:08 PM on February 24

Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva injured in outrageous tackle, possibly ending his career.

Thanks Trox, Grum and Blarp for the pics. I watched the game. The ghastly looks on the players' faces left me in a state of unease for most of the match, but by the end all I could think was that it was the end of Arsenal's campaign. The pictures remind me that it could well be the end of a career. So thanks for the perspective.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 10:22 PM on February 23

Asian Football Confederation joins growing backlash against EPL globalization plan.

What happens when Man U and Arsenal are tied (or close) after 38 games and Man U gets Derby while Arsenal draws Man City? Arsenal beat Man City, Man Utd beat Derby and goal difference decides the title. What's shocking there? Kidding, of course, because your point is valid--equally so at the bottom as at top of the table--and, well, any place in the table where something's at stake. The moaning would never end if Liverpool lost their Champions League spot to Everton (lovely though, eh?) or Newcastle got relegated (do they need any help getting relegated?) due to asymmetry in drawing overseas fixtures. Relegation could cost a team £30million; losing a Champions League spot (assuming the teams moves on from the group stage) could amount to losing out on £30-50million. Serious money. As much as I'd love to see them in the States (bearing in mind I have to drive 300 miles even to see MLS), I can see how it undermines the balance and simplicity of 38 games, home-and-home with each other team, best record (read: Arsenal) wins.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 10:11 AM on February 13

South Korean soccer players dislocate their shoulders to become draft dodgers

Adept, does that make you part of the problem or part of the solution (to channel the MC5)?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 07:41 PM on February 04

Steve Yzerman Duped.

holden's full of sh*t. we watched Stevie Y's final game together and holden stood up on the bar shouting "Oh captain my captain!!" whilst clutching his #19 sweater and bawling like a baby.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:54 PM on January 31

Fans make Liverpool takeover move

I wish them all the best (so long as they remain a safe distance behind Arsenal in the table). I don't completely understand these kinds of deals. Over time, don't shares trade hands and you eventually end up with a few major players with controlling shares and economic interests eventually displacing club loyalty? Greed (if that's what wanting to make a lot of money by owning a football club is) takes over and you're in much the same place as having one or two owners (witness the power struggles in Arsenal's board room).

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:22 AM on January 31

Week 17 update for the Spofi EPL fantasy footie.

One week asleep at the wheel + one week too many depending on Blackburn's sh*tty defense = I continue to slide.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:01 PM on December 19

Simon suspended 30 games

He's close to becoming the first NHLer to test the league's 9 strikes and you're out rule. Thug.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:58 AM on December 19

Derby to become Mickey Mouse club?

Sounds like the makings of a Cinderella story.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:19 PM on December 18

Spofi EPL fantasy footie Week 12 update.

garfield: i was just thinking the same thing about chelsea....may have to spend some points and move for a couple Blues this week.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 05:05 PM on November 08

The Kick Is Up and Itís ... A Career Killer.

Great article. I wonder if Vinatieri is as vulnerable to a career ending miss as the writer suggests, though. If it's true that his "clutch" numbers are no more impressive than many other good kickers, then isn't his enduring popularity more down to the way he has changed coaches' and players' perception of him then his actual performance? Could one bad kick cause his fans to forget his three triumphant ones? I doubt it. I think the point of the article is that he's transcended the kicker's role, so the conclusion should be that he won't be subject to the same plummeting confidence that kills careers if he has one high profile blunder.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 02:22 PM on October 30

Martin Jol sacked by Tottenham! Sevilla's Juande Ramos to take over.

Holden: Just to set the record straight, I don't necessarily think they should have sacked Jol months ago. But if it was inevitable, then they should have done so sooner rather than later--at least after they botched the super-secret meeting in Seville. To rcade's point, it seemed premature since, at that point, Spurs had only lost a couple games. (Although, when you look at the embarrassment that is Bolton, the lesson is to have your backup plan secure before sacking your manager.) And I am a FIFA god, and will destroy you.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 05:19 PM on October 26

Martin Jol sacked by Tottenham! Sevilla's Juande Ramos to take over.

Most Spurs fans would agree that this was a decision that maybe should have came sooner. I think r8rh8r's right that Jol remains popular at White Hart Lane. That said, they should have completed the deal weeks/months ago. It embarrassed Ramos, who, according to Sid in Madrid, waited patiently nevertheless. But even worse, it put Jol in the crucible. It couldn't have helped Spurs players or Jol himself to know the manager was on his way out without instant results (or perhaps even with good results). I'm sure it accelerated their slide down the table.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:52 AM on October 26

Greg Ryan Fired as U.S. Women's Soccer Coach

Should bungling one tactical move cost him his job? Maybe so. It was an absolutely diabolical decision that made U.S. Soccer look ridiculous on the world stage-- and not because we lost 4-0 to an excellent Brazilian side--regardless of speculation as to whether it would have made the ultimate difference. (I think you could chalk up at least two of the goals to poor goalkeeping, by the way, and with that change of scoreline who knows). Momentum and form are too important in soccer. You simply don't pull a form goalkeeper for a "match up" keeper. It's not as much of a match up sport as, say, baseball. Yes, you may try to meet an opponent's formation with a formation meant to stifle or overpower it. You may even play a particular defensive midfielder to mark a wily talent like Riquelme or Ronaldo. But goalkeeping is all about form and confidence.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:33 AM on October 23

Drogba vows to leave 'broken' Chelsea as soon as possible.

I don't think Chelsea will lose the Champions League spot. They have too much quality, even if they are running amok, Lord of the Flies style, in the locker room. That said, I'm taking Man City more and more seriously. I too thought the first few games were a fluke, but by all accounts they have a great game and continue to get results.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:09 AM on October 20

Torre Leaving New York After Turning Down Incentive-Linked Contract

BornIcon: cheers on all points. budman: since I'm a transplant to STL, I don't understand all the Torre baggage. what you and Holden have said makes sense.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 10:28 AM on October 19

Torre Leaving New York After Turning Down Incentive-Linked Contract

the Yankee's thinking is certainly the same (i.e. you haven't produced for us lately, here's a 1 year/incentive laden contract...if you produce this year we'll consider longer options). I'm not arguing that it was not a reasonable proposal on its terms. Makes a lot of business sense. I'm just arguing they never expected Torre to sign it. I doubt anyone will ever convince me that a contract that guarantees him over $2 million MORE than the SECOND HIGHEST paid coach is an "insult". Indeed it shocks the average person's conscience. But you (assuming you're average here, sorry if that's an insult) and I are not Joe Torre. What insults him, for a variety of reasons, would not necessarily insult us.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:24 AM on October 19

Drogba vows to leave 'broken' Chelsea as soon as possible.

And then he promptly backpedals.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 06:53 AM on October 19

Torre Leaving New York After Turning Down Incentive-Linked Contract

I think it's pretty uncommon (though perhaps not wholly unprecedented) for a manager to have his contract renewed at a lower annual salary. No one, leastwise someone of Torre's stature, could be expected to want to do more work (and, as you point out, rely on huge amounts of luck) only to make less or (with even more luck) slightly more than he used to make. They never expected Torre to sign the deal. Publicity stunt? More like elaborate insult. budman: why don't you want Torre to come to STL? I'm all for it in theory. Practically speaking the front office won't spend the money, so it will never happen. What about you Holden?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 06:23 AM on October 19

Ajax coach Henk ten Cate joins Chelsea.

Or it could be a complete flameout like Leeds, if Roman tires of his hobby. I think that's a distinct possibility. The team is made of quality players but built on a shaky foundation. No one coming up through the academy, a graveyard for formerly formidable talents like Ballack and Scheva, the core of the team pissed off with management and longing for the sacked manager, and legions of carpetbagger fans. Meanwhile Leeds has been galvanized and energized by the point deduction somewhat unfairly (let the punishment fit the crime--financial malfeasance should be met with fines and rolling heads, not point deductions that hit the fans hardest) leveled on them, and have already climbed middle of League One. As for Grant....I give him 4-6 weeks.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:35 PM on October 08

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

In comparison, I can say that every single NHL and NBA championship has been decided in the last game of the playoffs. True enough. I simply prefer the English method of defining "champion" not as who gets hot at the end (even though I'm a Cardinals fan), but who actually deserves it based on quality the entire season long.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:27 AM on October 06

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

now if you meant anticlimactic, where would you place this?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:43 PM on October 05

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

yerfatma, are you saying that england is devoid of weather patterns at the end of the season? Cuz I think, if true, that's remarkable.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 11:38 PM on October 05

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

Sorry, meant to address that to Chicobangs....

posted by lawn_wrangler at 04:50 PM on October 05

The Playoffs, As We Know Them, Are Bunk

Chicago...I'm on board broadly speaking. But gd has a point. Crowing a Premiership champion at the end of the season makes sense because the top flight is fixed at 20 teams, so each team plays every other team twice, home and home. That's the perfect balance required to put so much glory into winning the "regular season." It's not just about creating a trophy awarded to the team with the best record. The challenge is making it meaningful. Unfortunately, none of this will ever happen... Good luck undoing or dramatically changing the franchise system in favor of adding dozens of smaller clubs. The leagues operate so well in Europe because they grew up that way...affiliations of independent clubs who fought their way in the system and up through the lower leagues. You'd also have a hard time breaking up the League/Conference/Division scheme, which is designed to serve a playoff system.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 04:38 PM on October 05

Isiah Thomas found guilty in sexual harrassment case

The most telling thing about this lawsuit though is that the organization tried to sweep this under the rug rather than take the opportunity to get rid of him. There may have been a huge legal advantage to them getting rid of him. An employer may not be liable for "condoning" harassment if it takes timely action to correct.* So their risk assessment must have balanced extent of P.R. damage and the unlikelihood of a successful harassment claim. Oops, maybe they used metric scales and english calculations or something. *Disclaimer: Author is 2nd year law student who researched Title VII retaliation/harassment last year for a brief. He claims no knowledge of the realities of practicing labor and employment law.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 10:38 AM on October 03

The top 10 worst sports team names

psmealey: I have the same problem with listing the Maple Leafs... Last time we checked, the plural of "leaf" was "leaves." Pretty sure it's pluralized that way intentionally. Hmm, where in Canada would you find a single notable maple leaf? Ricardo: what's the double meaning in Red Wings? You calling us commies?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:33 PM on September 13

Broken Faces

Great post. There's way too little serious art devoted to sports (Maria Sharapova in S.I. aside). So much untapped potential there, all of them on display in this collection. Epic battles, racial tensions, everyday people with apparently god-like abilities, mythology, idolatry...all capture the imaginations of sports fans. Why shouldn't art have more to say about this? By the way, anyone found the reportedly amazing Zidane film in a theatre near you?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 10:03 AM on September 12

Newspaper: Rick Ankiel Received Human Growth Hormone Shipments

where Modern Life fails us: we want idols. We need them. I don't think there's anything particularly modern about it. I think the impulse to tell stories and to create mythologies has the same anthropological roots as the athlete worship of modern times. Probably wouldn't kill us to return to some of those 'lofty tales so tried and true' which disappoint much less than professional athletes.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:01 PM on September 07

Newspaper: Rick Ankiel Received Human Growth Hormone Shipments

If that's what it is, it doesn't sound like Ankiel's the one with the issue. Indeed. Paul Simon (pop ups) once wryly noted "the cross is in the ballpark." I'm planning to teach my kids better than that. Maybe they can look up to politicians instead?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 05:20 PM on September 07

Newspaper: Rick Ankiel Received Human Growth Hormone Shipments

"Yet another human being whom, simply because they're famous, we feel fit to judge and find wanting." Or not. Could be another human being who we wanted to believe was better than us, but turned out is just the same (or only slightly better). I think they're all as rubbish as I am, just with more money, so I don't get pissed.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 04:10 PM on September 07

Newspaper: Rick Ankiel Received Human Growth Hormone Shipments

well, drinking mountain dew may be wrong, even if it's not unlawful. unless it's code red, luv dat sh$t.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 03:29 PM on September 07

Third footballer dies from heart problems in 10 days.

surely he played for the youth squad, but the point is that having an eight year old sign a contract with a professional football club and placing him into a training, diet, social regiment etc. has the ring, okay, not of enlisting in the army (since when is hyperbole criminal?), but at least of demanding much more of a lad of that age, stature, maturity, development, than seems reasonable. longest.run-on.sentence.ever.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 09:13 AM on August 30

Third footballer dies from heart problems in 10 days.

Fence: Reports were that Sevilla had a defibrillator, and that they used it on Puerta when he had a second attack in the locker room. My guess is all the bigger clubs would have them as well. What would be interesting to know is the rate of such early onset cardiac issues in the general population, versus in the football (and sporting) world. Seems like clubs are bringing younger and younger kids into their academies. Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky started with Sparta Prague at EIGHT years old! Anyone else think that's sort of like enlisting your third grader in the Army?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 06:43 AM on August 30

Spofi EPL fantasy footie

yerfatma: check out Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007. that franchise is preferred over FIFA across the pond for its gameplay, while FIFA has a more robust manager mode and extensive licensing (and a less ungainly title).

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:35 PM on August 16

Spofi EPL fantasy footie

just to set the record straight: i was Wolves and Holden was Barcelona. and i won. by a lot. and the fist pumping was more than justified. Why not just play football? can't. broken fourth metatarsal from dancing around and giving Holden the bird after a big Monopoly win. Baltic and Mediterraneaned your ass all the way to bankruptcy bitch!

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:30 PM on August 16

Rafa's men won't go to Israel

I'm with squealy and sic. European footballers (and their owners and managers) love to use the media in a similar way to the Congress in the States. It's a lot of posturing and posing and in this case, co-opting the patently obvious to appear strong.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:38 AM on July 29

Real bites again

The 24 year old's transfer fee dwarfs that of his would be teammate, Kaka, who left Milan for Madrid on a (then) record 56 Million transfer earlier this week. Guardian argues the world class Portuguese international is irreplaceable, world class ego and all.

posted by lawn_wrangler at 08:05 AM on June 11