Recent Comments by grum@work

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Talk about home-field advantage! The Yankees won last night's game because their home grounds crew was unable to get the tarp on to the field during a rainstorm, and the field was rendered unplayable. The Yankees had the lead after 5 innings, so the umpires called the game after the rain stopped and they were unable to get the field dried out.

posted by grum@work at 08:26 AM on July 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Reading about the Champions Hockey League makes me realize that my dream of a "Hockey Champions Cup" tournament in September (instead of watching meaningless pre-season games on TV) will never happen.

In my dream, the following teams qualify for this one-month tournament:
- the playoff winners
- the regular season winners (or the playoff runners-up if the playoff winners were also the regular season winners

from the following leagues:

NHL
KHL
Finnish Elite League
Swedish Hockey League
Czech Extraliga
Swiss National League A
German Ice Hockey League
and two more teams that qualify from the other European leagues (to be determined later)

The 16 teams would be entered into a single-elimination tournament, played in 2-to-4 cities of the host country. The teams would be seeded so that teams from each league can not play each other until the finals, and the KHL/NHL teams wouldn't face each other until the final four.

The tournament would alternate between a North American host and a European host each year.

posted by grum@work at 10:44 AM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Monaco vice-chairman Vadim Vasilyev said his club had no plans to sell Rodriguez, but were proud to be part of "one of the most significant transfers in football history". Vasilyev said: "The time came when the solution of a transfer was considered to be the most beneficial solution for all parties."

Translation:

posted by grum@work at 01:10 PM on July 22

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Our previous discussion about the possibility of Rodriguez moving on from Monaco.

posted by grum@work at 01:07 PM on July 22

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The Baltimore Orioles (1901-1902) connection to the existing New York Yankees franchise has been officially severed by the guys behind Baseball Reference (to line up with every other reference, and the Yankees/MLB themselves).

posted by grum@work at 11:33 AM on July 22

Pitcher Freaks Out Because of Bunt in 2-Run Game

The Rangers currently have 16 players on the DL. They've used 51 different players this season.

In comparison, the AL East leading Orioles have 7 players on the DL. They've used 35 different players this season.

posted by grum@work at 04:18 PM on July 21

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

And after the game, at two in the morning, he took our players away. The very talented ones: Teixeira, Douglas, Fred. The rest are not so important.

Oof.

posted by grum@work at 01:54 PM on July 21

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I had never heard about her before, but holy cow she won the looks lottery. Some company in Belgium/Europe is going to sign her for sure, regardless of the photo.

posted by grum@work at 12:11 PM on July 20

Pitcher Freaks Out Because of Bunt in 2-Run Game

The shift is designed ONLY to thwart singles. Rasmus countered by hitting a single in a different way because of the defensive shift.

Someone should make sure Lewis gets his diaper changed before he talks to the media next time.

posted by grum@work at 11:10 AM on July 20

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

We have a new front runner for the worst use of "unwritten rules" whining in MLB history:

"I told [Rasmus] I didn't appreciate it," Lewis said. "You're up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don't think that's the way the game should be played."

In summary: "Waaaaaaaaah!"

posted by grum@work at 10:14 PM on July 19

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

No way. That Toronto lineup is ridiculously overstocked in talent. You have two of the top three goal scorers over the last 4 seasons (Stamkos, Perry), you have the #7 goal scorer (Tavares), and then you arguably have the best two defensemen in the NHL. As long as the goalie isn't you or me, that lineup smokes all the other Canadian ones.

The only one that comes close is Winnipeg, and Salvador is a big drop-off from the Leafs defensemen, and you already know my feelings about James Reimer...

posted by grum@work at 06:08 PM on July 18

How is Qatar building a national team for the 2022 World Cup?

If you really wanted to be restrictive and say only from teams outside the top 100 AND have never made the World Cup at any time, then your list of twenty-three countries would be:

Moldova
Latvia
Lithuania
Bahrain
Tanzania
Luxembourg
Rwanda
Ethiopia
Equatorial Guinea
Namibia
Mozambique
Sudan
Liberia
Central African Republic
Lebanon
Malawi
Aruba
Tajikistan
Dominican Republic
Burundi
Kazakhstan
Philippines
Afghanistan

posted by grum@work at 12:22 PM on July 17

How is Qatar building a national team for the 2022 World Cup?

It's too bad Qatar can't just take the best players from the countries that have zero chance of qualifying and make them citizens for six weeks. That would be an interesting team.

If you were to take the best player from the top 23 ranked teams that haven't competed in the last three World Cups, then you'd have the following nations to choose from (current world rank):

Romania 28
Venezuela 30
Turkey 32
Panama 33
Egypt 36
Hungary 38
Armenia 41
Austria 43
Wales 44
Iceland 47
Guinea 51
Uzbekistan 52
Finland 55
Jordan 57
Burkina Faso 58
Peru 59
Mali 60
Senegal 62
Libya 63
Sierra Leone 64
United Arab Emirates 65
Albania 67
Israel 67

Side note: Holy fuck, Canada! 118th?! I am disappoint.

posted by grum@work at 11:55 AM on July 17

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

How much more was Derek Jeter mentioned than everyone else in the All-Star Game?

Jeter's mentions outnumber the cumulative mentions of 28 other All-Stars. They match the combined mentions of the game's MVP, the MVP runner-up, the winning pitcher, and the guy who got the save.

posted by grum@work at 11:20 AM on July 17

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

What are they Espys?

It's Esperanto for "desperate time filler".

posted by grum@work at 10:38 PM on July 16

SportsFilter's World Cup Confidence Pool Winner

I blame Africa.
And the Iberian peninsula.
And me.

posted by grum@work at 10:05 AM on July 16

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The Nike commercial for Derek Jeter's last hurrah.

Respectfully tasteful, but it ended a bit soon. Here is the extended ending as it reflects Jeter's final season.

posted by grum@work at 11:49 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Congratulations to @holden for winning the SpoFi World Cup fantasy league, with @goddam a close second and--after a huge gap myself--third. @grum wins the Costanza.

To be honest, I lost the password for that game about two days into the tournament, and I never had a chance to get it reset. I knew I was going to lose when I realized that I never got around to removing Julio Cesar as my keeper...

posted by grum@work at 01:44 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I see that I avoided the Costanza for the World Cup confidence pool.

Since the name of the one person below me is "ecade", I'm going to guess that the only person who did worse than me is rcade's progeny.

My hope is that he/she is over the age of 12 so I can at least retain some of my dignity.

posted by grum@work at 10:24 AM on July 14

Germany Wins World Cup

My wife has a nursing degree (and has suffered from a concussion herself), and she was (remotely) livid at the team for letting Kramer stay on the field. She said that watching the replay it was obvious that he had been knocked temporarily unconscious from the contact because he didn't brace himself at all when he fell to the ground. His left arm stays close to his body, and his fingers remained locked in their last gesture as he made contact with the turf:

I said that if anyone on the team's medical staff (with a medical degree) had seen the replay where Kramer gets hit in the head and they still allowed him to stay on the field, then they should have been charged with negligence.

posted by grum@work at 12:14 AM on July 14

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

But he does get beat in big moments by players with less talent and a better mindset. That never happened to Jordan.

That's interesting, because Jordan won titles in less than half the playoffs he participated in when in Chicago. Unless you think Isaiah Thomas or Shaquille O'Neal are players with "more talent", I'm going to say that the same thing happened to Jordan.

posted by grum@work at 08:37 PM on July 13

Germany Wins World Cup

I felt bad for Messi on that final free kick. He knew that this was the time to shine, but he was facing the best keeper in the world, and the keeper knew there is no chance that Messi was going to pass the ball or any trick play.

I don't think anyone beats a world class keeper from that distance, and the extra pressure just meant he was probably too amped up to moderate the balance between touch and power.

He should have had a better result when he shot it wide earlier in the game.

Now he's got four more years of "If he's really one of the best of all time, how come he hasn't carried his nation (team) to a championship?"

It's the "Ted Williams" career curse.

posted by grum@work at 07:56 PM on July 13

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

rights to Euro 2016, which expands to 32 teams and ought to be great.

32 teams?!

With that many, who DOESN'T get into the tournament?

There are only 54 UEFA nations to start with, and after you discount the ridiculously small populations of Faroe Islands, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino, that leaves you with 32 places for 49 teams (or a 66% chance for the larger countries).

It's positively 1980's NHL-ish.

posted by grum@work at 03:36 PM on July 13

Blackhawks Sign Toews, Kane Through 2023

I don't necessarily think that these signings are a bad move, but I sure as hell don't think that having two players around, any two players, ensures that a team will be Cup contenders.

Assuming their prime...

Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr?

Steve Yzerman and Niklas Lidstrom?

Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier?

Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito?

posted by grum@work at 01:22 AM on July 13

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I'll bet Grum was.

Hey! I'm not that old!

Ivan Rodriguez was the first player younger than me to play in MLB, and Jason Giambi is the last player older than me to be playing in the majors.

Dave Chyzowski was the first player younger than me to play in the NHL, and Teemu Selanne is the last player older than me to play in the league.

Amp Lee or Alonzo Spellman were the first players younger than me to play in the NFL, and Jason Hanson was the last player older than me to play in the league.

Shaq was the first player younger than me to play in the NBA, and Lindsey Hunter was the last player older than me to play in the league.

posted by grum@work at 01:18 AM on July 13

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I picked an interesting couple of days to go to a friends' cottage with no internet/tv/radio/wireless connections.

posted by grum@work at 12:10 AM on July 13

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Yes, because it's the only way I think I can avoid the Costanza if Germany wins.

posted by grum@work at 09:40 PM on July 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Update:

The lawsuit exists! And it is gold!


The false statements include but are not limited to:
...
d. Plaintiff is a confused disgusted and socially bankrupt individual.

posted by grum@work at 04:18 PM on July 09

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

That is my concern. It caused me to have an Oliver Stone follow-the-money moment. Silva had to know he was going to get booked for doing it

As I saw mentioned on another site, anyone thinking that the Brazilian players would throw a game are crazy. All of them are highly paid players (unlike their African opponents who are always suspects, it seems) and winning the World Cup this time would have made them legends in Brazil. I don't think there is enough money to get one of them to throw the game.

I took his move as a boneheaded attempt to get the ball from the keeper, and the lack of protest simply being the case that everyone could see what he did and there was no (legitimate excuse) for doing it. His coach could be seen face-palming and shaking his head immediately after it happened.

posted by grum@work at 03:39 PM on July 09

Nate Silver Had Brazil at 65% to Win Today

The interesting part is that because Brazil collapsed so spectacularly (and Germany took great advantage of it), no one is really making fun of the people who predicted Brazil to win. If Germany had won 1-0, or 2-1, or 3-1, then you could say "Haw haw, what do you know?"

Brazil losing 7-1?! That's black swan stuff right there, and anyone that tries to tell you that they saw it coming is crazy. It's so outside the realm of conceived possibilities that it actually protects the bad predictions. "Oh, sure I was wrong, but look at what happened? That's not normal, and you can't predict that sort of thing to happen."

posted by grum@work at 08:04 AM on July 09

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

posted by grum@work at 11:31 PM on July 08

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

The best/worst name I've heard for this game?

"The Goalocaust"

posted by grum@work at 11:12 PM on July 08

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

The countries met once before in the 2002 World Cup final, which Brazil won 2-0.

I was stunned by this. Given how many titles (and SF/QF) appearances these teams have had, the fact that they've only faced each other once before is amazing.

posted by grum@work at 04:14 PM on July 08

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

*poof*

The St. Louis Cardinals from 1985 to 1989 were:
101 wins
79 wins
95 wins
76 wins

Their "highs" were higher than the Red Sox, but their "lows" weren't as low.
If the Red Sox really are a 70 win team at the end of the season, that'll definitely be the biggest 4-year swings I've seen.

*poof

posted by grum@work at 02:07 PM on July 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Now there is some doubt being cast on the legitimacy of the lawsuit even existing. It may well be a prank.

posted by grum@work at 11:52 AM on July 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That better be facial hair....

posted by grum@work at 09:57 PM on July 07

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I present to you, probably the dumbest lawsuit in MLB fan history.
Probably in sports fan history.
Probably in history.

Here is the video.

posted by grum@work at 09:55 PM on July 07

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I like to think this is the result of a DC-universe-style temporal warp, and it really is all the Tim Howards stopping all the shots at once.

Please note his teammates just standing around...

posted by grum@work at 09:45 PM on July 06

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

That fourth set between Djoko and Federer was like watching two boxers standing toe-to-toe and doing nothing but throwing haymakers.

Federer gets knocked down!
Djoko gets knocked down!
Federer gets knocked down, again!
Now Djoko is knocked down again!

And just when you thought that Djoko was a mental wreck after losing the 4th set (and a championship point), he stays cool and breaks Federer in the final game of the 5th set.

posted by grum@work at 06:02 PM on July 06

The Netherlands Faces Underdog Costa Rica in World Cup

That was a Krul way for Costa Rica to go out.

And as much as I HATE Robben's diving, the man is a god damn Energizer Bunny out there. He's 30, looks 40, but he put more effort out there than anyone else in the tournament. He just runs and runs and runs (and flops, and dives, and embellishes...)

posted by grum@work at 09:56 PM on July 05

Brazil Knocks Out Colombia, But Loses Neymar

Did anyone else see the giant motherfucking bug on James Rodriguez after he scored on the penalty kick?

And in case you think that's 'shopped into the picture...

posted by grum@work at 02:47 AM on July 05

Brazil Knocks Out Colombia, But Loses Neymar

Neymar is out for the rest of the tournament with a fracture of a vertebra.

posted by grum@work at 08:56 PM on July 04

Germany Closes Down France in World Cup

Everyone else gets the Mesut Ozil = Peter Lorre vibe, right?

posted by grum@work at 01:59 PM on July 04

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

2. Shouldn't the catcher have tried to tag the base runner heading for home, as well as stepping on the plate, just to be sure?

No. His first reaction is to see if there is any other baserunner that they can throw out, and wasting time for the baserunner to get within tagging distance isn't really a smart play (if you assume the umps aren't lying/mistaken on their calls).

I'm just surprised the Blue Jays manager/players were smart enough to make that original challenge (that the tag WAS made) to get the "side effect" of the run scoring. That really isn't an expected maneuver.

I suspect that the rule will be modified to allow for the umpires to "reset" or "adjust" the baserunners as they see fit after a replay. In this case, I would have sent the baserunners (except the one that was tagged) back to their original bases, and the batter would be awarded 1st base. It gives the fielding team the out, but acknowledges that both teams would have had an opportunity to benefit from the correct call (no run scores, but no extra outs are made).

posted by grum@work at 01:09 AM on July 04

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The insanity that is instant replay in MLB:

Blue Jays runner is called safe.
Blue Jays ask for instant replay to reverse it and have him called out!
Instant replay confirms he was, in fact, out.
Blue Jays celebrate the decision, but opposition manager officially plays the game under protest!
Confused? Here is the explanation.

posted by grum@work at 11:14 PM on July 03

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Match, fixture, and table are all phrases I have no problem with.
Pitch I don't mind using, but I'm probably going to say "field" by default.
I never get used to "kit", it's always "uniform" or "jersey" for me.

I need to dive headfirst into cricket someday for another pleasure to distract from crap on TV like this.

I've done that, and it's fascinating (T20 IPL). I finally understood the complete disorientation that non-baseball-fans have when they watch a baseball game on TV. It's taken some time, but I've got about 90% of the fundamentals (order of play, scoring, rules, required skills) down pat, and I can even follow the strategy a bit. The statistical side of things is still tough for me to grasp at times (I understand the stat "run rate", and that "higher is better", but I can't tell you if a number is bad/average/good/great by looking at it), but I try to sponge up as much as I can.

I get the feeling that while they display a crap load of stats on the screen (hit spray graphs, run rates, ball bounce locations, bowling speeds), the foundation of a strong sabremetric base for the sport is still being built.

posted by grum@work at 09:38 AM on July 03

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

You know what's going through his head here, right?

"I wouldn't have messed it up..."

posted by grum@work at 08:32 AM on July 03

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Randy Johnson's ballot time is this year, and it's a fucking crowded one.

With the hold overs that aren't in the BBWAA dog house (Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Schilling, ), there is also Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz joining the ballot.

Remember, even the dog-house players (McGwire, Clemens, Sosa, Bonds) and "lesser lights" (Edgar Martinez, Walker, Trammel, Kent) will pull some votes.
(Lesser in the sense that the BBWAA have decided they don't get the votes, not that they don't deserve them.)

Plus, newcomers like Sheffield, Garciaparra, and Delgado will garner a non-negligible percentage of votes.

posted by grum@work at 03:33 PM on July 02

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

DBacks

You don't remember this HOFer's illustrious Arizona career?

posted by grum@work at 03:09 PM on July 02

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

ASCII numbers answer to trivia above:

1) 067 111 108 111 114 097 100 111 032 082 111 099 107 105 101 115

2) 068 101 116 114 111 105 116 032 084 105 103 101 114 115 032 097 110 100 032 065 108 032 075 097 108 105 110 101

(Translate here to read the answers.)

posted by grum@work at 03:05 PM on July 02

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Stupid baseball trivia time!
(that I got an idea about from somewhere else)

1) There is one team in MLB that has NEVER had an MLB Hall of Famer play for (or manage) them at least one game in their franchise history. Name the franchise.

2) The the longest active MLB HOF playing drought for any franchise that has had at least one player reach the MLB HOF is now 40 years. The last player who became a MLB HOF who also played for this franchise, did so in 1974. Name the franchise and the player.

posted by grum@work at 02:33 PM on July 02

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux arrested in Ottawa, seems he got a little cheeky toward the local constabulary.

[checks story for expected phrase...]

Alcohol is believed to have been involved.

[nods understandingly]

posted by grum@work at 11:12 AM on July 02

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

posted by grum@work at 08:11 AM on July 02

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

That tricky free kick with the two quick passes that gave Dempsey the open look on the net (but fumbled the first touch) was amazing. If Dempsey scores on that, it goes into the World Cup "best goals" list for all time.

posted by grum@work at 10:00 PM on July 01

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

Wondo misses a golden opportunity for US soccer sainthood.

posted by grum@work at 05:56 PM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Nice tweet from the Vatican:

posted by grum@work at 02:40 PM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

This World Cup continues to pull away from every recent World Cup in terms of scoring and excitement. With leads being lost in the final minutes, previously unheralded teams making deep runs, and goals coming at an unheard of pace (in the 32 team format), this has been a ton of fun to watch.

posted by grum@work at 08:03 AM on June 30

Colombia Faces Suarez-Less Uruguay in World Cup Knockout

there's no income tax (I believe)

There would be for the players and the team, if they hadn't openly paid off the French football league to avoid it.

("It" being forced to move their headquarters to France and paying a 75% tax on earnings over 1million euros.)

posted by grum@work at 03:06 PM on June 29

Colombia Faces Suarez-Less Uruguay in World Cup Knockout

Oh, and everyone just watched James Rodriguez add another zero to his paycheck (and his transfer fee).

posted by grum@work at 07:12 PM on June 28