Recent Comments by bender

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 4: First-Place Jacksonville Edition

Pittsburgh by 4
Miami by 8
Atlanta by 7
New York Giants by 3
Oakland by 3
Kansas City by 7
Indianapolis by 7
Carolina by 6
Philadelphia by 7
LOCK San Diego by 13 LOCK
Minnesota by 7
Arizona by 4
Green Bay by 10
New Orleans by 5
Seattle by 9

posted by bender at 11:45 AM on October 01

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Fifteen

Montreal by 6
Calgary by 9
Edmonton by 6
Saskatchewan by 3

posted by bender at 10:16 AM on October 01

Toronto Blue Jays Clinch Playoff Spot, But Nobody Notices

(Ironically, I do this sort of calculation all the time near the end of the baseball season, looking for the ridiculous 3-, 4-, or 5-way tie for multiple playoff spots. This is the one time I didn't do it.)

I assume this has something to do with the improbable nature of the Blue Jays clinching a playoff spot with a week to go (or at all) and not wanting to jinx it.

posted by bender at 10:40 AM on September 27

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 3: Indy's Bad Luck Edition

Cleveland by 10
Dallas by 9
Tennessee by 6
St. Louis by 5
Minnesota by 5
LOCK New England by 17 LOCK
Philadelphia by 8
Carolina by 12
Baltimore by 9
Houston by 3
San Francisco by 7
Buffalo by 3
Seattle by 4
Detroit by 4
Green Bay by 13

posted by bender at 05:33 PM on September 25

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

I did it twice last season, once when I had a slew of injuries and was looking for healthy players to get on the field, and once during that late-season stretch where a few teams played twice in the same gameweek, so I wanted to load up on players with a doubleheader. It worked out for me in those unique situations, but I can't imagine doing it on a regular basis. Of course, I don't have a sophisticated enough knowledge of the EPL to have a number of potential moves lined up week-to-week.

posted by bender at 05:12 PM on September 25

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 3: Indy's Bad Luck Edition

Giants by 11

posted by bender at 08:29 PM on September 24

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Fourteen

Calgary by 19
Edmonton by 6
Ottawa by 15
Saskatchewan by 2

posted by bender at 02:17 PM on September 23

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

OH MY GOD how are we not doing this with the balls yet? Slap two tags inside each one to give you precise position and orientation info, and that stupid stupid stupid "Let's check the chains" ritual vanishes.

Seriously! This has got to be the simplest impactful change the league could make, yet they still haven't done it for who knows what reason. We spot the ball by eye. We spot the chains by eye. Then we run the chains out to precisely measure the ball against them as if there was anywhere near that level of precision in the original marking.

posted by bender at 11:09 AM on September 22

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 2: Teddy Bridgewater Fail Mary Edition

Buffalo by 2
Chicago by 4
San Diego by 6
Tennessee by 6
Detroit by 10
New Orleans by 13
New York Giants 9
Pittsburgh by 7
St. Louis by 10
Carolina by 7
Oakland 4
Miami by 14
Philadelphia by 7
Green Bay by 7
LOCK Indianapolis by 13 LOCK

posted by bender at 04:22 PM on September 19

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 2: Teddy Bridgewater Fail Mary Edition

I'll pick tonight's game now and come back later to pick the others

Kansas City by 6

posted by bender at 09:51 AM on September 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Thirteen

B.C. by 9
Edmonton by 5
Saskatchewan by 2
Winnipeg by 11

posted by bender at 04:17 PM on September 15

Super Bowl Ditches Roman Numerals

It's going to take a really long time to get to M...

posted by bender at 04:33 PM on September 10

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Twelve

Toronto by 3
Winnipeg by 14
Edmonton by 19
B.C. by 18

posted by bender at 09:18 PM on September 09

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 1: Win One for the Duke

I think, since we're picking straight-up, if you lose the lock, -3.

New England by 11
Buffalo by 6
Green Bay by 7
Seattle by 12
Cleveland by 2
Miami by 9
Jacksonville by 2
Kansas City by 4
LOCK Arizona by 10 LOCK
Detroit by 4
Denver by 7
Oakland by 6
Tennessee by 3
Dallas by 8
Atlanta by 11
San Francisco by 2

posted by bender at 12:36 PM on September 09

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Eleven

BC by 8
Saskatchewan by 12
Toronto by 11
Edmonton by 3

posted by bender at 04:06 PM on September 02

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

University of Illinois has decided that one week before the season opener is a good time to part ways with head coach Tim Beckman.

posted by bender at 04:38 PM on August 28

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Ten

Montreal by 8
Edmonton by 12
Winnipeg by 4
Saskatchewan by 12

posted by bender at 11:07 AM on August 26

Little League Team Throws Game at World Series

If the team was going to easily advance, there's certainly no problem (to me) with clearing the bench for a game that they did not need to win. The travesty is that the coach instructed all of his players to bunt. That would be absurd at the professional level, but certainly even worse when those players are kids. I would commend the tournament officials for their resolution to this situation for the same reasons that hincandenza mentioned.

Incidentally, I play in a large softball league in that just completed our tournament. Due to the size of the tournament (this year we had 68 teams) the league went to a group play/knockout round format a few years ago after several years of straight double elimination format, to make scheduling easier. I think it has generally been viewed as successful, but the one issue that has drawn a bit of consternation is tiebreakers, which are far less satisfying in softball than they are in, say, soccer, if they are anything other than head-to-head. Each year, a couple of pods end with a three-way tie at 2-1, and one of those teams gets bounced. The discussion of the past week looks like it could be headed toward turning the pods into mini double elimination brackets to eliminate that issue. With 5-team groups in this this little league tournament, I suspect ties are even more likely, so perhaps a format tweaking is in order for them as well.

posted by bender at 07:45 PM on August 18

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Nine

Montreal by 8
Hamilton by 14
Calgary by 9
Toronto by 16

posted by bender at 10:21 AM on August 18

Fantasy Premier League, Week Two

Last season I had an abysmal first half which I parlayed into a very solid second half, but alas, the hole was just too big. I may not have the injuries to replace after week 1 that I did last season, but my scoring output is no more impressive...

posted by bender at 12:10 PM on August 14

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Yes! I second the motion for Mr. Robot. Very compelling show.

posted by bender at 10:51 AM on August 14

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Eight

Edmonton by 2
Toronto by 19
B.C. by 12
Ottawa by 17

posted by bender at 10:50 AM on August 11

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Maybe NoMich's hat is just an enormous hat with a regular-sized logo?

posted by bender at 10:32 AM on August 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Seven

Edmonton by 14
Montreal by 14
Toronto by 11
Winnipeg by 18

posted by bender at 10:48 AM on August 05

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Mexico's last four goals in this tournament have been three penalty kicks and an own goal. That's a hell of a gameplan right there!

posted by bender at 01:54 PM on July 23

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Five

Calgary by 6
BC by 8
Winnipeg by 16
Hamilton by 3

I'm also making next week's picks early due to some upcoming travel:

Week 6
Winnipeg by 15
Edmonton by 11
Montreal by 3
Hamilton by 15

posted by bender at 02:45 PM on July 22

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Four

I'm making picks early for the next two weeks due to some upcoming travel:

Week 5
Calgary by 6
BC by 8
Winnipeg by 16
Hamilton by 3

Week 6
Winnipeg by 15
Edmonton by 11
Montreal by 3
Hamilton by 15

posted by bender at 02:56 PM on July 21

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Four

Montreal by 8
Edmonton by 5
Saskatchewan by 4
Calgary by 6

posted by bender at 11:09 AM on July 15

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Three

Edmonton by 11
Winnipeg by 19
B.C. by 13
Toronto by 2

posted by bender at 04:48 PM on July 07

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The 20th annual Wife Carrying World Championships were held this weekend in Sonkajarvi, Finland.

posted by bender at 12:11 PM on July 07

U.S. Defeats Germany, Advances to Women's World Cup Final

Those may have been some slightly dodgy PK calls at both ends, but the US was still the better team tonight and played their best game of the tournament. Plus, remembering back to this heartbreaking play from 2002--a day when the US again had the better side and deserved to win, Germany had it coming. The karate kick goal by O'Hara to seal it was also outstanding!

posted by bender at 11:04 PM on June 30

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Two

Winnipeg by 5
Montreal by 16
B.C. by 6
Saskatchewan by 8

posted by bender at 04:57 PM on June 29

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

But what does reinstatement do for the game of baseball or the league other than undercut the punishment that is codified in the league's bylaws and agreed to by Rose? The league has every right to say that gambling on games in which you are involved is an act that will block you from induction into the hall of fame. Furthermore, his subsequent and continued lying about it at the very least would give pause to allowing him access within an organization.

As has been said, he has and still does make a lot of money off of baseball. It is not like the ban is a prison sentence, denying him his freedom. In effect, it has only truncated his managerial career and kept him out of the hall of fame. If they let him in now, what difference did it make if he was inducted into the hall of fame 25 years ago or now? He broke the game's most important rule. He doesn't need to be celebrated by being put in the hall of fame.

posted by bender at 04:33 PM on June 23

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

Rcade, why do you feel that it is important that Pete Rose be reinstated by MLB?

posted by bender at 02:45 PM on June 23

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

His records are still acknowledged widely.

I feel like this is a very important point. MLB is not ignoring Rose or pretending he didn't exist, rather, they just do not want to celebrate a man who broke the cardinal rule by giving him a plaque in the hall of fame. I haven't been, but I suspect there are exhibits there with some of his memorabilia and such, and of course his hits record still stands, and I would say that that is an acceptable amount of recognition. MLB certainly doesn't owe him anything, particularly when he has repeatedly thumbed his nose at them.

posted by bender at 11:27 AM on June 23

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

It would be like petitioning the government to rehire someone who had been convicted of treason/spying. "Oh, it was 26 years ago, and he's sorry he did it. He deserves another chance!"

That, and he's not even sorry he did it.

posted by bender at 09:08 AM on June 23

The 11th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

Montreal by 12
Calgary by 16
Toronto by 18
Winnipeg by 6

posted by bender at 08:46 AM on June 23

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

Actually, it seems that there is a particular reason for the chocolate syrup, via Max Scherzer earlier in the season.

"You know, what's your favorite ice cream topping?" Scherzer said. "Chocolate syrup. You know, it tops it all off. So, when you have a great win, and you have a walk-off win, let's top it off with the best topping there is, chocolate syrup. So, what are you gonna do about that? It's the best thing there is."

And as beaverboard speculated, Hershey's has jumped on the bandwagon and set the Nats up with syrup for the season.

posted by bender at 12:30 PM on June 22

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

What's up with the chocolate sauce thing?

I don't believe that there is a particular reason behind the choice of chocolate syrup, but the Nats have been using it all season to dump on the guy being interviewed during the postgame who hit the walkoff or did some otherwise noteworthy thing. Just an update on hitting him with a shaving cream pie.

posted by bender at 11:10 AM on June 22

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship

...the maker said he was inspired by the Mexican soccer coach.

We should be so lucky as to have more Miguel Herrera!

posted by bender at 12:51 PM on June 15

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I wonder if it is more likely for Lebron to win MVP if the Warriors win game 6 and the award is being handed out in Cleveland rather than if the series goes to 7, and they would have to interrupt Golden State's celebration at home to hand a trophy to the defeated.

posted by bender at 09:42 AM on June 15

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

That was truly bizarre. I was wondering why Nigeria wasn't more vigorous in their disapproval afterward. Maybe there was only supposed to be 1 minute, and the board was wrong?

posted by bender at 02:37 PM on June 14

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

And the scriptures hath fortold that communing with David Blatt shall be pleasing to the king.

posted by bender at 05:16 PM on June 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Pat Venditte may have an even cooler skill than pitching with both hands!

posted by bender at 11:21 PM on June 08

SpoFil NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

I also missed the margin pick: 17

posted by bender at 02:29 PM on June 03

SpoFil NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Win: Cleveland
Games: 7
MVP: Lebron
Rebounds: Timofey
Assists: Lebron
Free Throw Attempts: Lebron
Steals: Curry
Blocks: Bogut
Fouls: Green
Turnovers: Thompson
3-pt %: Curry
Tech fouls: 2
Triple Doubles: 0
Total points: 182

posted by bender at 10:55 PM on June 02

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Stanley Cup Finals

Winner: Tampa
Number of games that team will require: 6
The longest game: 1 OT
The average U.S. television rating: 2.7 +1
First player to score a goal: Stamkos
Conn Smythe winner: Bishop
Player to score the most goals: Stamkos
Player to get the most assists: Keith
Player to get the most points: Stamkos
Player with the best plus/minus: Hedman
Player with the most penalty minutes: Paquette
Starting goaltender with the best GAA: Bishop
The SportsFilter member who will win this contest: bender

posted by bender at 10:47 PM on June 02

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Announces His Resignation

Meanwhile, there's a Women's World Cup set to start in 4 days. I wonder how much he will be present at that event...

posted by bender at 04:09 PM on June 02

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Mr Bismarck's link doesn't work for me, but I assume it is this outstanding effort. Incredible stuff right there!

posted by bender at 12:49 PM on May 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I can't tell if he was pulling his hand up anyway, but it may have been his right knee that knocked his hand up into his face. In any event, it was an outstanding effort, and grum, the ball went harmlessly out of play for a goal kick.

posted by bender at 05:04 PM on May 18

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em

Cleveland in 6
Golden State in 5
East points leader: LeBron
West points leader: Steph Curry
Blocks: LeBron
Steals: Steph Curry
Fouls out: Timofey Mozgov
Most Offensive Rebounds: Tristan Thompson
Highest Avg REB + AST: LeBron
Largest Margin of Victory: 23

posted by bender at 12:23 PM on May 18

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Anaheim in 6
Tampa in 7 +2
Goals: Stamkos
PP Goals: also Stamkos +1
Penalties: Hamonic
Goalie: Andersen

posted by bender at 11:21 AM on May 15

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Wow! that is an incredible throw! And those two plays were in the 10th and 11th innings.

posted by bender at 04:28 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

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

I'm neither saying that it doesn't make a difference nor that it doesn't matter. I'm simply suggesting that the league goes to the teams and says, "On gameday, it is your responsibility to give us X footballs for kicking and X footballs for your offensive plays. You may do whatever you want to them short of adding anything to them that is not air, but once you turn them over to us before the game, they are in our custody, and we will put them in play at the appropriate time." How simple is that?

If a team wants highly inflated balls or lowly inflated balls, that is their prerogative, and all teams would have the same opportunity to prepare them to their liking. As I understand it, that is fairly close to the rule as it is now except that there is a pressure range that the balls must be within. I just don't see why there needs to be one. 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.

As for the punishment, I don't think that anyone is suggesting that they should not be punished; they did, after all, break a rule that was in the rule book. I do however believe that (1) the punishment handed down was excessive--even if the fact that it was a playoff game is reason enough to go beyond the prescribed $25k fine, and (2) the rule itself does not serve sufficient purpose that it shouldn't be stricken from the book.

posted by bender at 02:38 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I still think Goodell could have, on the Monday or Tuesday after the AFC Championship Game, used the deflated balls as evidence of a violation and punished the team $25,000 and possibly a mid- or late-round draft pick without ever getting into intent.

I would have been satisfied with that punishment, though I suspect the cries of the league being soft on the Patriots would have been loud and unrelenting. Also, after the Ray Rice incident, I suspect Goodell was reluctant to penalize early, lest another shoe drop (even if it didn't matter if there were any more shoes).

It would have been great if the result of all of this was that in addition to letting the qbs prepare the balls prior to the game, the rule was changed so that they could inflate the balls to whatever level they like; it's not like they were going to knock they down to 5 psi and try to throw them half-flat. Unfortunately, this penalty leaves no chance of that.

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.

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.*

*Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if I am, that would seem to be a very easy thing to fix.

posted by bender at 01:24 PM on May 12

The Cleveland Cavaliers catch heat for in-game promotional video.


posted by bender at 03:18 PM on May 07

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Hmm, guess I have been outed as not watching the NBA playoffs. That guy looks like he's good for at least 3 boards a game, though.

posted by bender at 12:31 PM on May 04

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Wow, that's a really quick turnaround from the first round to the second round. Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

Cleveland in 5
Washington in 7
Los Angeles Clippers in 6
Golden State in 5

Kevin Love on the glass
DeAndre Jordan on the other glass
Stephen Curry from downtown
7.8 assists

posted by bender at 11:11 AM on May 04

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

Chicago in 6 +1 (Toews)
Anaheim in 4 +1 (Silfverberg)
Montreal in 6 (Subban)
New York in 7 +2 (Brassard)
Lundqvist +1

posted by bender at 12:58 PM on April 30

Fan Hit in Head by Foul Ball Through Home-Plate Netting

Gotta disagree with this. Other than the debatable rudeness of squeezing in front of the other fans during an at bat (you can't wait a minute to block their view?) she's tight up against a mesh net with her back turned while someone throws fastballs at it.

I will grant that walking in front of other people during a pitch is a rude move on her part, but someone walking during a pitch (in front of someone or otherwise) is something that will definitely happen, and this should be taken into account in the design of the safety net.

posted by bender at 10:26 AM on April 22