Recent Comments by holden

Wage Lawsuit by Bills Cheerleaders Details Appalling Treatment

A little unfair to impugn the current owner, seeing as how the lawsuit was filed several months before he bought the team, and it sounds like the squad was disbanded before he took over.

posted by holden at 01:36 AM on December 12

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

According to Jeff Sagarin's rating system, OSU had the 52nd-toughest schedule, while Baylor's was 56th and TCU's was 42nd. Bama came by their ranking honestly, with the 4th toughest schedule overall (teams in the SEC West had the 6 toughest schedules according to these rankings).

posted by holden at 11:31 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

TCU is in North Texas, but it ends right before Waco. So this outraged North and Central Texas.

Funny -- I almost looked it up when I posted this to make sure I was geo-characterizing the applicable parts of Texas correctly, but thought to myself "No one is going to call you on that." Forgot that we have an unrepentant North Texan as overlord.

posted by holden at 12:09 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

I would be inclined to say that the Big XII not having a title game hurt them, but Baylor had a competitive game against a ranked opponent, so it's not like they did not have a chance to make their case on the last weekend of the season. Considering the Big XII generally has been stronger than the Big Ten this year, I would have given the nod to one of the two Big XII teams, but OSU dominated in a conference title game, so it's not entirely indefensible. Either way, I doubt anyone is Madison is getting a fruit basket from anyone in NorthTexas this holiday season.

posted by holden at 04:08 PM on December 07

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Nails were driven in the Giants' (collective) coffin weeks ago. Question is whether this is the final nail in the Coughlin coffin.

posted by holden at 08:46 PM on November 30

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

There is some text missing in the Scott Stevens lineage above, namely that he left the Caps for St. Louis as a free agent in 1990, which should have been noted in the second bullet.

posted by holden at 06:28 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Here's one that I got just dicking around with Wikipedia for the Washington Caps (started by looking at Shanahan and the Devils, as he was involved in some notable transactions, but ended up with Scott Stevens as an earlier entry point):

Washington Capitals: 1982 (Scott Stevens) to 2014 (Michael Latta)

Transaction History:

  • Caps selected Scott Stevens 5th in 1982 draft --->
  • for whom they received draft-pick compensation from St. Louis due to his restricted FA status, one of which (Sergei Gonchar was one of the others) they used on Brendan Witt --->
  • who was traded in 2006 to Nashville for Kris Beech and a 2006 first-round pick, which they used on Semyon Varlamov --->
  • who was traded in 2011 to the Avs for, among other picks, a 2012 first-round pick, which they used on Filip Forsberg --->
  • who they traded to the Predators in 2013 for Michael Latta (has played in 14 games for the Caps this year) and Martin Erat (who they subsequently traded to the Coyotes for Chris Brown, who has played 5 games for the Caps this year, plus Rotislav Klesla (currently playing in the Czech League) plus a 2015 fourth-round pick)

You can get some better ones in the NHL than MLB I think because of the trading of draft picks. Sure there are longer ones than this.

posted by holden at 04:25 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

MLB Roster Lineage -- surprised grum did not get to this first.

posted by holden at 02:59 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Do you have Air Force 1 in leopard print? Thanks.

posted by holden at 12:38 PM on November 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

NoMich -- did you see the image in yerfatma's post under the text that links to the wiki page? It's a photo of a page of what I assume is Tendulkar's autobiography.

posted by holden at 08:55 AM on November 08

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Five or six inches? That's it?

Young Tendulkar's got nothing on the Chinese.

posted by holden at 09:50 AM on November 07

Giants Win World Series

Great performance by Bumgarner, but agree with the bunting thing in the 5th. It's not that you necessarily play for the big inning, it's that you make Bumgarner work for it.

posted by holden at 03:58 PM on October 30

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 Tuesday Huddle

Mattingly carried 12 pitchers for a short series in which he likely knew he would only go with three starters. If you're not going to use Puig as a starter, surely he has to get an at bat. Might have been helpful to have a few more position players on the bench, even if just to use as pinch runners. Hell, seems like the Royals have multiple guys who serve no purpose but to come in as pinch runners and steal bases.

posted by holden at 10:52 PM on October 07

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Yes, that Maddux piece was excellent.

Makes me not want to want crack wise about the last thing you see with Maddux is the inside of your scrotum as he sews your detached eyeballs into it.

posted by holden at 03:34 PM on October 03

Why no one wants to host the 2022 Olympics

Some part of me still believes we're not far from a time when the IOC and FIFA get torn apart and rebuilt, but then I remember money talks. It's going to require multiple, major Western nations to skip an event or two though and I'm not sure there's enough of a common bond to make it happen for any one country, let alone many.

I keep thinking these institutions (particularly FIFA) only go away or get reformed if the sponsors start pulling out. Of course, if Nike (or Coke) says "we're out," then I'm sure Adidas (or Pepsi) would simply replace them. But considering the increasing focus on corporate social responsibility, anti-bribery/anti-corruption, etc., seems even if the companies themselves were not motivated to cease doing business with, or push for reform of, FIFA, IOC, etc., then pressure at some point might be brought to bear by their shareholders or regulators.

Here in Chicago, the hometown Olympic bid committee (and autocratic -- surprise! -- Mayor Daley) was bummed to have lost to Rio for the 2016 summer games, but I think folks now realize that the city (which is not in exactly great fiscal shape, in case you didn't know) really dodged a bullet with that one. I'm sure whatever money we could have made renting out our house out for those weeks (we live within walking distance of/easy public transport to a couple of the proposed venues) -- because we surely would have looked to get out of dodge -- would be lost through the increased taxes to pay for the cost of the games.

posted by holden at 12:18 PM on October 03

Watch the Senators beat the Giants in the 1924 World Series.

Great stuff. Interesting thing I noticed -- after Walter Johnson induces a pop up to the third baseman (around 2:40 mark of the video), the third baseman, after catching the ball, takes off his glove and starts working the ball with his hands (presumably before returning it to Johnson). Kind of similar to what you see with cricketers in polishing the ball, although obviously this is not done in baseball any longer by fielders (and not sure if it was done frequently back then) -- though pitchers obviously themselves engage in some of the same action with the ball on and around the mound.

posted by holden at 04:25 PM on October 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

A couple of years back, Lance Moore of the Saints was penalized for doing a soccer-style slide after catching a touchdown in a London game at Wembley. I thought it was a clever nod to his surroundings, but seems the officials did not want to make allowance for the setting.

posted by holden at 12:10 PM on September 30

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 13

Howard -- please don't undo the image I have of you on a nuclear sub under the polar ice cap for the past 30 years, getting periodic updates on Boston sports glories and devastations through Morse code. I know that throws the parentage of your PSU-alum son into doubt, but please allow me the latitude to construct my own little fantasies of those I know only through the other side of a computer, without being encumbered by the facts.

As for owlhouse, I am sure he is in the jungles of Cambodia training rebels as we speak, hoping to snatch some time away for a rickshaw ride to the nearest village with an internet cafe so he can post gifs of Australian cricketers taking one in the nuts for our viewing pleasure.

posted by holden at 06:12 PM on September 18

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 13

I love that this picks pool is being dominated by an Australian and a septuagenarian who spent half his life on a submarine. Take that, Canada!

posted by holden at 05:00 PM on September 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

And rcade - "Go Roadrunners!" indeed. In my later years, always wondered why the mascot was not the Bulldogs, but that probably was too highfalutin east coast for mid-70's Texas.

posted by holden at 03:50 PM on September 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Peyton Manning had this to say in a recent interview with Peter King:

"There's some different laws out here in Colorado. Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes. So when you come to a different place, you've kind of got to learn everything that comes with it."

posted by holden at 02:56 PM on September 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I do not recall seeing paddles at schools when I was a kid (coincidentally, I also went to school in Richardson, TX -- Yale Elementary -- for Kindergarten and 1st grade), although we left the south in the early 80's when I was in second grade. However, up until 4 or 5 years ago my wife worked for a non-profit literacy program that goes into Chicago public schools and she suggested that corporal punishment is still found in some CPS schools on the south and west sides, and that some/many parents in those communities actually want the teachers to paddle or otherwise physically discipline their kids.

posted by holden at 01:54 PM on September 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

With respect to the Peterson thing, 538 took a look at the correlation between region, religion, race, and political party affiliation and attitudes on corporal punishment, and the attitudes in the South are definitely more pro-spanking, even after controlling for the other variables.

posted by holden at 12:58 PM on September 18

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Florida is an outlier because only the north part of Florida is culturally "southern."

Louisiana is an outlier because the Saints play the Vikings this weekend.

posted by holden at 09:52 AM on September 18

Gus Johnson Booted as Fox Soccer Announcer

Glad to see the change. No ill feelings personally towards Johnson, but a bit of hubris on the part of Fox (and perhaps him as well) in seemingly thinking that you can just plug talent from one sport into another and it will work fine (and that's putting aside that he's not actually a particularly good announcer in other sports, at least to my tastes).

Good take on this in The Guardian, from someone who understands sports television on both sides of the Atlantic.

posted by holden at 09:20 AM on September 16

NCAA College Football Week 1 Recap

This is a precap not a recap and no self linking.

posted by holden at 12:26 PM on September 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I am in the current league (el tigre negro de holden). Happy to join the new league. Some of the other participants no longer actively participate on SpoFi, so while I am sure we will add some folks, we will lose some as well. Would help to have rcade or someone who will be around in future years as the manager for the new league though, as those things just get renewed year-over-year.

posted by holden at 02:41 PM on August 26

The Premier League Season Kicks Off Tomorrow

I don't think Man Utd will finish top 4, but if one were to make the case (other than new manager), it would be the Liverpool phenomenon from last year -- only needing to battle on one front (other than domestic cups).

posted by holden at 10:29 PM on August 15

The Premier League Season Kicks Off Tomorrow

My predictions:

Title: Arsenal
Top Four: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool
Best Champions League Showing for an English Team: Chelsea
Relegated: Burnley, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace
Top scorer: Daniel Sturridge
Most Assists: David Silva
Most clean sheets (team): Chelsea

posted by holden at 11:42 AM on August 15

Red Sox owner Tom Werner has become a dark horse candidate to be baseball's next commissioner

When I was in law school, Peter Gammons came in and spoke for some Sports and Entertainment Law-type organization and he brought (or the organization brought) Rob Manfred with him, together with Donald Fehr. There was some good "inside baseball" stuff from Gammons -- two I remember: (1) GWB, who was President at the time, might have never "owned" the Rangers but for Reinsdorf, which obviously burnished GWB's resume on his way to the Texas governorship and then the White House (talk about an OMFG game of "what if"); and (2) Billy Koch, then a closer for the White Sox, when in college as a drafted Junior (still eligible to hold out for more and come back to be redrafted as a Senior if he did not sign) allegedly found out from his agent he got what he wanted from the Blue Jays while taking a test at Clemson and promptly got up, went up to the proctor, handed in an unfinished exam and said "See you in the Big Leagues, man" and walked out. People were there to see Gammons, but Manfred provided some good color on labor relations, the business of baseball, etc. He struck me as a good lawyer, but largely a bureaucrat.

That view of Manfred (as an MLB guy, but not necessarily an "owners' guy") ties into one subtext here that I'm not sure has really been fleshed out in what I've read -- and that is what the commissioner of baseball is meant to be. In the past, commissioners were largely "independent" individuals who came from outside of baseball (or outside of baseball prior to being a league president, like Bart Giamatti) and were viewed as "honest brokers" who could help find peace and a middle ground between owners and players. Selig changed all that, and this succession battle, to me, is a now a battle over whether the owners feel they have a right to effectively assign someone from "ownership" to the commissioner's office vs. someone whose interests are more neutral or ambiguous (although, as has been noted in various analysis of this situation, Manfred has done a pretty good job of fighting the owners' fights). Should be an interesting process.

posted by holden at 11:00 PM on August 11

"Kyle Korver: An Offense Unto Himself"

Really enjoyed this read. Gave me more of an appreciation for what Kyle Korver does and, in particular, how disruptive he is. I had viewed him as much more one-dimensional.

As an aside, Zach Lowe is probably the best thing going on Grantland. I find his articles really informative and his volume is bewildering.

posted by holden at 06:30 PM on July 29

Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings

uc -- to spare you a grumming, Johan Santana threw the Mets' first (and only) no hitter just over two years ago.

posted by holden at 11:03 PM on July 23

Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings

posted by holden at 11:00 PM on July 23

Germany Wins World Cup

I think concussions get a big look before the next World Cup, and likely before the next European Championships. ESPN's coverage of the issue was actually pretty good (both in the booth and back in the studio), primarily because Taylor Twellman is such an advocate for better concussion protocols in part due to having his own career cut short as a result of suffering multiple concussions. No way Kramer, Mascherano, Pereira and probably others should have played on in the games in which they were concussed.

I appreciate the fact that soccer does not really afford the luxury of pulling a player to the sideline and putting someone else in for him so doctors can assess whether a player has suffered a concussion, but something needs to be done. I think there needs to be an independent doctor (hired by FIFA, the applicable Confederation, or the applicable FA or whatever) who determines whether a player has suffered a concussion and/or should not play on. I know FIFA hates implementing things at one level that cannot theoretically be replicated all the way down to the lowest leagues, but too much is at stake. Maybe even change the rules so that if the independent doctor determines a player has suffered a concussion, he/she can be subbed out and it does not count against the 3 substitutions, so as to mitigate the effect of taking a player off against his or the coach's will. I guess that could lead to some measure of gamesmanship (in terms of players trying to "fake" concussions), but FIFA needs to think outside of the box here to protect players from themselves.

posted by holden at 02:52 AM on July 14

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

Not the only thing one has been stunned by today, presumably.

posted by holden at 04:31 PM on July 08

The Netherlands Faces Underdog Costa Rica in World Cup

In regards to Robben, my two older sons (ages 6 and 8) kept asking how that "really old guy" could be competing (and so well) at the highest level. I told them that he has looked like that since he was 20.

Another burning question has been how a guy named Fred (who they have branded as a cheat since game 1) could be allowed to play, when he clearly has the name and face of a guy "that works at Target" (their words, not mine).

posted by holden at 10:57 PM on July 06

Colombia Faces Suarez-Less Uruguay in World Cup Knockout

Unless it's Madrid or Barcelona on a Bale-type deal, would be surprised if Rodriguez moves again this summer. He just was sold from Porto to Monaco last summer for 47M. I would also imagine that with that club's wealth and tax status, he might be hard pressed to find a situation with potential for greater net wages.

posted by holden at 09:34 PM on June 28

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

In addition to the Uruguay games, I count 9 Liverpool premier league matches this will cover (roughly 1/4 of the season) and adding in league cup matches and Champions League matches, looks like this will be a 20+ game ban in reality.

posted by holden at 10:38 AM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

HOF bonus points for wearing U.S. jersey in locker room after game.

posted by holden at 12:09 AM on June 26

Mavericks, Knicks shuffle up players.

Shocked that Chandler is only 31. Seems like he has been around forever, which he has (as he came straight out of high school). Remember that the Bulls drafted both him and Eddy Curry? (Not totally factual -- they traded Elton Brand for Chandler on draft day). Curry has been out of the league for 2 years.

posted by holden at 11:55 PM on June 25

Broken Aereo

Nothing really to say on this, other than nice title.

Also, where is the Huddle for today?

posted by holden at 08:12 PM on June 25

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Adidas was ahead of the curve with this ad:

posted by holden at 08:27 AM on June 25

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Now that I think of it, didn't someone bite Bergeron in the playoffs a couple of years back?

On edit (decided not to be so lazy and actually Googled it) -- Alex Burrows of the Canucks bit Patrice Bergeron's finger in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals 3 years ago.

posted by holden at 07:41 PM on June 24

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Do not think I will ever understand what would compel one to bite an opponent. I get lashing out in the heat of the moment, just not in that specific manner.

posted by holden at 07:12 PM on June 24

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Anything that can break a guy's leg, basically.

posted by holden at 03:57 PM on June 24

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Who doesn't love to grab a quick bite of Italian from time to time? Credit to Suarez's global outlook and adventurous palate in that he's now tried Dutch, Serbian and Italian. Bit Eurocentric, but still.

posted by holden at 03:33 PM on June 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Have really been enjoying El Tri in this tournament. Not sure if it's just a matter of loving Miguel Herrera and his haircut and emotions, a younger generation of Mexican footballers without much of a history of bad blood with the U.S., the fact that they really have seemed to try to win games where the team (Brazil) or circumstances (Croatia) would suggest sitting back and being defensive as a viable strategy, or the general sense that we should get behind CONCACAF teams, but hard for me personally to gin up much bile for this Mexico squad.

posted by holden at 11:42 AM on June 24

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

With McCreary and Burns, I defy you to make a better case for best mustachioed class. Maybe the class that had Lanny MacDonald?

posted by holden at 10:55 PM on June 23

Luis Suarez Pushes England to Brink of World Cup Elimination

If I recall correctly, as Suarez slowly exited the stadium he was despondent and on the verge of tears. In the short time I've been obsessed with the World Cup (SportsFilter converted me), this incident is the one I remember best that didn't involve the U.S.

You remember the tears, but not the obnoxious reaction that followed.

posted by holden at 03:45 PM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Pretty impressed with Costa Rica so far in this game and in this tournament. Very fluid passing and really taking it to the opposition, instead of sitting back against allegedly superior competition.

But yes, one well-placed through ball and that back line is potentially screwed.

posted by holden at 01:26 PM on June 20

Luis Suarez Pushes England to Brink of World Cup Elimination

I'm surprised that the concussion protocols in soccer are so lax. At least twice in the past year, we've seen someone literally get knocked out cold (Hugo Lloris in a game against Everton and lvaro Pereira in this England-Uruguay game) and then return to the match. Considering that studies have shown that the risk of a second concussion and lasting damage are much greater in the aftermath of a concussion, it's just amazing to me that there is no automatic removal from a game or even just a real evaluative process in the event of serious head trauma. I appreciate that soccer is not the same as American football, where the substitutions are free-flowing and whether a concussion has occurred and whether a player should be removed can be assessed without losing a player for the entire game, but soccer seems to be a bit behind the curve on this one.

posted by holden at 11:37 AM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Chile's Vargas (no. 11) has a Jumpman (Air Jordan) tattoo on his neck. Bizarre and fantastic.

posted by holden at 04:59 PM on June 18

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Kind of surprised Fabregas has not gotten (and will not get) a run-out in this game. I know his club form has slipped, but he can help Spain with a bit more of a direct approach, and formations in which he has played with largely the same surrounding personnel (the Euro 2012 final, for instance) have been successful.

posted by holden at 04:47 PM on June 18

Keeper Guillermo Ochoa Saves Mexico's Tocino

Brazil have been insipid, but as Mexico and Croatia presumably will cancel one another out, I suspect it will not stop them from advancing.

Ochoa had a great game, although a couple (Neymar's last good chance and Silva's header as well) were hit right at him. Helps to be lucky and good.

On Russia, I felt bad for the goalie for about 10 seconds and then thought -- Crimea, screw them.

posted by holden at 10:36 PM on June 17

U.S. Defeats Ghana with Late Header by John Brooks

Agreed on the Ghana shirts, although let's hope the replica kit for fans is a bit less form-fitting than the Puma shirts the players wear. Players on all of the teams with those shirts (Ghana, Switzerland, Cameroon, etc.) look like they are wearing Batman suits, with chiseled physiques showing through. Doesn't nobody need a high definition look at my under-the-shirt parts.

posted by holden at 10:50 PM on June 16

U.S. Defeats Ghana with Late Header by John Brooks

The way Brooks initially seemed to almost call off the celebration after looking to the sideline made me think for a minute that the goal had been called off like that bullshit phantom foul on Maurice Edu's goal against Slovakia at the last World Cup.

Great result, pretty ugly game from a U.S. perspective. Holy cow did they give up possession cheaply. They will need better to advance.

posted by holden at 09:47 PM on June 16

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Not sure why Ronaldo (who came into the WC nursing some injuries) is still in this game, but that's good for the U.S.

posted by holden at 01:08 PM on June 16

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I don't know, I have a hard time recalling a headbutting of any level of force and that the ref or one of his assistants saw that did not result in a sending off. I mean, dude got a red card for this.

But yes, being Pepe did not help his cause.

posted by holden at 12:57 PM on June 16

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 4-1 to win the NBA championship.

I meant to add France and make the point about all those teams being 4-1 and the Finals ending (not by coincidence? -- Sepp Blatter Illuminati-level stuff going on here) at 4-1 as well, but totally slipped my mind.

Poor Patty Mills and the other Australian guy. Being left out and bringing down the average. And poor Canadian guy, although hockey.

posted by holden at 12:50 PM on June 16