Recent Comments by grum@work

The Borders of Baseball

My take away is that Oakland gets no love...even in Oakland.

I would have thought there might have been some Blue Jays love near the northern borders (especially around Washington state or northern New York state), but I guess not.

If you did a heat map of Canada, you'd have large swaths of Blue Jays (obviously), some Nationals (people still clinging to the Expos), and huge pockets of Tigers (south west Ontario), Yankees & Red Sox (Maritimes), and Mariners (British Columbia), with a smattering of the Twins (near the Minnesota border).

posted by grum@work at 03:29 PM on April 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

(And yes, that Yzerman goal was bonkers. I don't think he hits that spot again in another 100 tries.)

posted by grum@work at 11:17 AM on April 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

What year is this, 1978 1996?

I was off by a year. I meant 1979, and it was the game tying goal.

(Cut me some slack, as it was 35 years ago and I was 7 at the time.)

posted by grum@work at 11:14 AM on April 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

What makes that tying goal look even worse is that even if Fleury controls the puck, the two closest players to him are Blue Jackets. It's like the Pittsburgh defence just decided to pull the chutes and let them skate right by them.

posted by grum@work at 10:04 AM on April 24

Albert Pujols Hits 499th, 500th Homer

Albert Pujols being a great hitter wasn't exactly a hotly debated topic on this site.

Given his performance the last two seasons (since leaving St. Louis), it was definitely beginning to look like his decline had come early.

posted by grum@work at 09:36 AM on April 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

It's a bad play by Fleury, but the real cause of the goal was that horrible skip off the boards as it went behind the net. Even a master of stick handling like Brodeur would have been handcuffed by that crazy bounce.

But to give up the game winning goal on a wrist shot from the blue line?

What year is this, 1978?

posted by grum@work at 08:17 AM on April 24

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

It looks like the "bad Fleury" is back in the Pittsburgh net. That OT goal was just brutal.

posted by grum@work at 10:07 PM on April 23

Bench-Clearing Brawl Between Pirates, Brewers

I think Cole was well within his rights to go over and give him a little verbal jabbing for blowing what should have been an inside-the-park home run.

"You idiot! Why didn't you run harder and score a run against me!"

No, I'm pretty sure Cole was a moron for going over to complain to someone that helped his team.

posted by grum@work at 08:28 AM on April 22

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

STATS says it was the first three-error play since 2007. THANKS OBAMA

How the hell is the now-legendary play by the Astros not at least 3 errors?

Error #1: Collision gives the runner 1st base.
Error #2: Overthrow at 1st base gives the runner second base.
Error #3: Overthrow at home gives the runner home base and allows batter to go to third.

posted by grum@work at 12:09 PM on April 21

Brewers' Maldanado Knocks Cover Off the Ball

Life imitates art...almost.

posted by grum@work at 12:01 AM on April 19

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

For those three triple plays, only Robinson Cano was involved in more than one of them.

First one
Alex Rodriguez
Robinson Cano
Nick Johnson

Second one
Robinson Cano
Jason Nix
Kevin Youkilis
Lyle Overbay

Tonight
Yangervis Solarte
Brian Roberts
Scott Sizemore

One name is suspiciously absent from all this defensive wizardry by the Yankees over the past 3 years... ;)

Yup, when I think about the Yankees, the names Solarte, Roberts, Sizemore, Overbay, Youkilis, and Nix jump to mind immediately.

posted by grum@work at 11:38 PM on April 17

Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew

When the restriction of having to give up a draft pick to sign him in disappears (the June amateur draft), then I think you'll see teams line up to sign Drew.

posted by grum@work at 12:18 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

There is a difference between flopping (implying contact when there isn't any) and faking an injury (when there couldn't possibly be any).

(Besides, the NBA at least hands out fines to floppers, and they get roundly mocked on the broadcasts for doing so.)

I have to admit that watching this weekend's Liverpool match and seeing Suarez hit the ground no less than five times in a three minute span (and each time implying an injury to the leg) does tend to drain my enthusiasm for the sport.

If I had my druthers, I would be telling the EPL/FIFA refs to call simulation at a far higher rate than they currently do. Basically, if an attacking player hits the ground in a dramatic fashion (and fakes injury), and you don't feel the need to call for a foul on the defender (because it was (co)incidental contact or fair play), then you should be issuing a yellow card to the attacker.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

"He became the first pitcher to be credited with a win despite allowing at least five earned runs while pitching an inning or fewer since Jack Knott of the 1934 St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics." -- ESPN

Can we finally all agree that "wins" are a completely useless statistic for evaluating the ability of a pitcher? As in, never reference it again for things like Cy Young awards, HOF nominations, or contract negotiations...

Please?

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Yup, he's blocking it all right.

posted by grum@work at 10:46 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America. Faking injuries is so antithetical to people who cheer for hockey players who play after losing 6 teeth, or football players who finish a game with a separated shoulder.

posted by grum@work at 09:02 AM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

The team I want to follow at the Premier level is Sheffield Wednesday.

I actually saw them play live when I went to England with my wife back in 2007. While we were in London, we decided to see if we could catch a professional football match. Unfortunately, we chose the weekend when there were a slew of big matches and couldn't land any tickets for the local London teams. So we dropped down a level and went to watch Charlton Athletic host Sheffield Wednesday over in Greenwich.

A quick subway and bus ride, a walk across the prime meridian, and then following the crowd through a suburb and OH there's the stadium. The Valley seats about 27,000, and it looks a bit on the old/worn side. A fair sized (and friendly) crowd helped us get to our seats.

SW score two goals in the first half, but CA came roaring back to score three in the second half, including a late one just before injury time. The stadium went bananas. I still wear my red Addicks jersey (which I picked up in the team store outside the stadium on the way out) on the weekends.

posted by grum@work at 11:38 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Heartwarming "overcoming-the-odds" teams like Manchester City in the EPL

Seriously, what's heartwarming about a group of mercenaries backed by Middle East oil money?

Aren't most major teams in the EPL just a "group of mercenaries" backed by foreign money?
ManU is American owned.
Liverpool is American owned.
Chelsea is Russian owned.
Arsenal's biggest shareholder is American.

I would think waiting 40+ years while watching their immediate/hated rivals win 11 times in between, and then winning it on what many consider the most exciting day in English football history in the greatest season of the EPL might qualify as "heart-warming".

The last 5 minutes of that game alone would probably be considered "overcoming-the-odds".

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

How much did you like playing an infield position (first base) for the first time in your 16-year career, Carlos Beltran? "I hope I don't have to do it again. Thank God nobody hit the baseball to me."

Obligatory movie quote pertinent to the story.

posted by grum@work at 12:45 PM on April 14

Video: Ball Girl Saves Run in Baltimore

She has better range than Jeter.

posted by grum@work at 12:43 PM on April 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I'm getting really excited, first title since I started actively following them in the late '90s seems a real possibility after today's wonderful result.

The last 20 years of sports has been dream-making times, it seems:

NHL
1994 - New York Rangers win their first title in over 50 years.
1997 - Detroit Red Wings win their first title in over 50 years.
2010 - Chicago Blackhawks win their first title in almost 50 years.
2011 - Boston Bruins win their first title in almost 40 years.
2012 - Los Angeles Kings win their first title in history (over 40 years).

MLB
1995 - Atlanta Braves win their first title in over 45 years.
2002 - Anaheim Angels win their first title in history (over 40 years).
2004 - Boston Red Sox win their first title in over 85 years.
2005 - Chicago White Sox win their first title in over 85 years.
2010 - San Francisco Giants win their first title in over 55 years.

Then there is perennial cellar-dwellers/losers winning the Super Bowl, like New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Heartwarming "overcoming-the-odds" teams like Manchester City in the EPL, Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, and Deportivo winning in La Liga.

posted by grum@work at 10:22 PM on April 13

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Ryan Smyth

It was a nice send-off for Captain Canada. The Canucks were pretty awesome to come back for the hand shake.

posted by grum@work at 09:49 PM on April 13

Was Michael Pineda caught cheating

I think it would be HILARIOUSLY hypocritical if the Red Sox fans start accusing Pineda of cheating, what with the same accusations being leveled at Buchholz last year.

That's definitely pine tar, and it was suspiciously absent a couple of innings later.

posted by grum@work at 12:29 PM on April 11

Exceptionally Small Crowds Greet New Baseball Season

Guaranteed stories for the early part of the MLB season:

1) Home runs are [up/down] X% since last year at this time. Steroid testing [is/isn't] working!

2) Attendance is [up/down] X% since last year at this time. Steroid stories [are/aren't] bothering fans!

3) Player X is doing a lot [better/worse] than last year at this time. [He's in the [best/worst] shape of his career!]/[He's definitely [on/off] steroids now!]

posted by grum@work at 03:26 PM on April 10

Exceptionally Small Crowds Greet New Baseball Season

If you're doing the math (and you know I am), that's a difference of around 0.68% between 2013 and 2014. That's not close to being above statistical noise.

posted by grum@work at 02:48 PM on April 10

Exceptionally Small Crowds Greet New Baseball Season

Of course they show Blue Jays/Astros series, and not the 132,000+ that showed up for the three game series against the Yankees last weekend.

Now, it would probably be interesting to do a straight comparison between 2013 and 2014, right?

Attendance is down a whopping 204 people per game (as of games played on April 9th).

Begin panicking!

posted by grum@work at 02:20 PM on April 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

You probably didn't watch the Astros/Dodgers game on TV on Monday.
In fact, according to the numbers, nobody did.

posted by grum@work at 11:14 AM on April 10

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

In 20 years, will Galarraga still be as well-remembered like Mike Witt and Kenny Rogers? I don't think so.

I had to look up Mike Witt to find out he threw the perfect game. I thought it was Bobby Witt.

And Kenny Rogers isn't going to be known for his perfect game, but for pushing around a cameraman and getting lit up like a Christmas tree whenever he pitched in Yankee Stadium (or pitched in the playoffs for any New York team).

posted by grum@work at 10:42 PM on April 07

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Armando Galarraga (sigh) has signed with the Brother Elephants in Taiwan.

I get that the "sigh" has to do with his (im)perfect game that was ruined by the umpire call, and that he was denied immortality.

It's interesting that I when I see Galarraga's name, I immediately remember that moment in baseball history. I think I'm more likely to remember his name for that moment than perfect game pitchers Philip Humber (the worst pitcher to ever throw one), Dallas Braden (the second worst pitcher to ever throw one), or Mike Witt.

posted by grum@work at 01:32 PM on April 07

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

It's really impressive when I consider just how bad they looked (except Shabazz) against St. Joseph's in their first round of the tournament.

posted by grum@work at 10:43 PM on April 05

LPGA players frustrated by Golf Digest cover of Gretzky

Side note: Huh. That picture of Gulbis I liked to isn't actually of her in a bikini. It's her in a painted on bikini. So, if the powers-that-be for SpoFi want to tag that link as "NSFW", or drop it completely, I'll understand.

posted by grum@work at 03:09 PM on April 04

Would You Bat Bryce Harper Sixth?

Ha! That last partial sentence was a copy of one of the earlier ones. I'm not sure how it got there.

posted by grum@work at 03:07 PM on April 04

Would You Bat Bryce Harper Sixth?

Would You Bat Bryce Harper Sixth?

No.

If he's the best hitter in the lineup, he absolutely should not bat lower than 3rd. I want my best hitter to have a chance at an extra AB during a game, and scoring a run in the 1st inning also helps.

If he's extremely light on SLG but has OBP and wheels (like Rickey Henderson), then he bats 1st.
If he's heavier towards OBP than SLG (like Joe Mauer), I'd bat him 2nd.
If he can mash it (like Jose Bautista), I'd bat him 3rd.
If he can mash it, but doesn't have as high an OBP (like Edwin Encarnacion), then I'll put him in the 4th slot.

From 5th to 8th slot, I pretty much slot the remaining batters by OBP (best to worst) with some consideration for alternating LH/RH or putting the fastest remaining guys in the 8th/9th spot (if applicable).

If he's

posted by grum@work at 01:37 PM on April 04

LPGA players frustrated by Golf Digest cover of Gretzky

The fact that Golf Digest hasn't even tried to put Natalie Gulbis on the cover is pretty much proof to me that

You know the old saying, sex sells. And nobody can argue with that. It's just the way it is.

needs to be modified to

You know the old saying, famous/well known/popular sex sells. And nobody can argue with that. It's just the way it is.

posted by grum@work at 01:29 PM on April 04

Four strikes and you're out

The only way that it could work out to "50/50" would be if they called the "favour pitcher" result 100% of the time and the "favour batter" result only ~ 17% of the time.

posted by grum@work at 09:30 AM on April 04

Four strikes and you're out

The other side of the coin is that if you were to take the number of times that such a call favored the pitcher vs those that favored the batter, the resultant percentages would come very close to 50-50.

Mathematically:

Count where pitch "leans" towards being called a ball (result "favours batter"):
0-2
1-2
2-2

Count where it pitch "leans" towards being called a strike (result "favours pitcher"):
3-0
3-1

Total counts in MLB in 2013:

Result "favours batter":
0-2 (16267 pitches)
1-2 (27133 pitches)
2-2 (25523 pitches)
Total: 68923

Result "favours pitcher":
3-0 (3773 pitches)
3-1 (8133 pitches)
Total: 11906

Total pitches thrown in 2013 MLB:
184873

Potential "favour batter" result %:
37.3%

Potential "favour batter" result %:
6.4%

It would seem to me that the the batter would be getting the benefit of the "favourable call" six times as often as the pitcher.

posted by grum@work at 09:28 AM on April 04

Tiger Woods out of Masters after back surgery

Now what does CBS do with the 25% of their airtime now that Tiger isn't there?

posted by grum@work at 04:47 PM on April 01

Angels Hitting Coach Don Baylor Breaks Leg On Ceremonial First Pitch

Now everyone sees another lesson as to why you can't just stick any old fielder behind the plate as an "emergency catcher".

posted by grum@work at 11:36 AM on April 01

Dodgers Set Record with $234 Million Payroll

Two players make more than the league average ($3.95million) on the Astros.
Seventeen players make more than the league average on the Dodgers.

Six players have at least 5 years MLB experience on the Astros.
Twenty-two players have at least 5 years MLB experience on the Dodgers.

Three players are signed for 2015 on the Astros, for approximately $15.5million.
Thirteen players are signed for 2015 on the Dodgers, for approximately $171million.

posted by grum@work at 04:23 PM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Last Reds Opening Day--1989

There have been over 300 different players (335 by my count) who have played in the majors who were born in 1989 or later.

As an American, I reserve the right to believe in my own perceptions, even if they are completely wrong.

posted by grum@work at 04:11 PM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

It used to be all teams were even in the standings on Opening Day

Except Kansas City. They were usually eliminated from the playoffs by then.

posted by grum@work at 03:00 PM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

The idea of "first pitch in Cincy" tradition 8-track decks in cars has been dead for more than 20 years.

Not in the eyes of Cincinnatians my 70-year-old parents. ;)

And a pitch in Baltimore (or Detroit, if memory serves) an hour or so ahead of Cincy isn't the same thing as the ESPN-engineered Sunday night game inevitably involving the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers.

Going back at least 10 years:

2002 - First game of the season : Sunday, March 31st - Cleveland @ Anaheim
2001 - First game of the season : Sunday, April 1st - Texas @ Toronto
1999 - First game of the season : Sunday, April 4th - Colorado @ San Diego
1996 - First game of the season : Sunday, March 31st - Chicago @ Seattle

Those were the only games being played on the first day of the season.

Not a Yankee, Red Sock, or Dodger in the bunch.
And that 2001 game started at 4:14pm. That's definitely not an "ESPN-engineered Sunday night game".

posted by grum@work at 02:59 PM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

In hilarious news, England just lost to the Dutch at cricket.

North American sport comparison, please!

Are we talking Michigan losing to Appalachian State?

Is it Sweden losing to Belarus?

posted by grum@work at 10:42 AM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Point is, opening day used to generally mean the first game and pitch took place in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It hasn't been that way in a LONG time.

I know there were some hackles raised when Toronto had the first game of the season one time back in the late 80s. Unfortunately, the scoresheets used by Baseball-Reference.com don't seem to track the start time (just the length) from back then. Later scoresheets do have the start time.

Just taking a quick look, the first game of the 1993 season was in Baltimore (April 5th 12:35pm), and Cincinnati didn't start their game for another 90 minutes.

The idea of "first pitch in Cincy" tradition has been dead for more than 20 years.

I'm not sure why previously played games would impact the fun of games that are being played today. Do I think a game being played today is diminishing the fact that the Jays don't start their season until Monday? No.

It's baseball games. I'm glad they are playing them any time I can watch them.

posted by grum@work at 11:39 AM on March 30

DeSean Jackson released by the Eagles

I'm adding that to my repertoire, "I heard he has some disgusting on-field issues".

Donovan McNabb had some...

posted by grum@work at 09:02 PM on March 28

Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera agree to 8 year extension

An early peek at Mike Trout's dreams tonight after hearing about this deal:

posted by grum@work at 10:24 PM on March 27

Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, dies at 95

Five years, minus three months (it can be assumed that the Bills' season ends in December, right?).

For a guy with a BMath degree, you think I could read quoted material and do the math right in my head....

posted by grum@work at 02:30 PM on March 26

Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, dies at 95

BTW, it seems unlikely that a new owner/ownership group moves the team. They recently signed a 10-year stadium lease ... and it comes with a $400 million relocation fee.

I did not know that. Let me change my position.

I give it 7 years and 1 day before the Bills move.

There is a one-time, $28 million buyout in the seventh year of the deal, which occurs between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, that could come into play if new ownership wants to move the club.

posted by grum@work at 12:28 PM on March 26

Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, dies at 95

Can Toronto support an NFL team, grum?

Yes. If you really make the team Toronto's, they'll support it. Measuring attendance based on playing one over-priced, inconsequential game a year in Toronto isn't a good indication of support.

Do I want Toronto to get the Bills?

No. I'm a fan of the team, and I know how much the city of Buffalo loves them (even when they suck). I'd prefer they stay in Buffalo.

posted by grum@work at 08:17 PM on March 25

Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, dies at 95

I give it 5 years before the Bills move out of Buffalo entirely. He was the anchor that was keeping the team there. Without him, I don't know if they can resist the money to move.

posted by grum@work at 07:29 PM on March 25

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Someone had a printed copy of that newspaper front page at the second game. What was the front page on Sunday after beating Syracuse?

"Orange Crushed!"?

posted by grum@work at 02:09 PM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

the Hawks mascot (a guy in a anthropomorphic hawk outfit) flapped his arms for the entire game. He must have been exhausted by the end of the game.

He damn well better if he wants to keep his scholarship.

I thought this was a joke. It isn't. Holy. Crap.

posted by grum@work at 01:34 PM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

We stayed at the Millennium Hotel, which is about a 10 minute drive from the parking lot we used in downtown Buffalo. It's right next to the highway, so travel is quick to other parts around Buffalo (including the outlet malls). The hotel itself is next to a super-sized mall, so the non-basketball fans in our group enjoyed the convenient shopping. The rooms are typical "nice but not luxury" style. My one complaint was with the TV setup. It uses that "hotel entertainment" menu system, which means you have to go through 3 or 4 clicks to actually get to the TV channels every time you turn on the TV.

Side note: If you are travelling from Ontario to Buffalo, definitely use the Lewiston border crossing. The longest lineup we had was 2 cars (in either direction), while listening to reports of 10-15 minute lineups at the larger border crossings.

posted by grum@work at 08:21 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Just got back from watching the NCAA tournament in Buffalo. Here is my report about the eight teams we saw:

Milwaukee Panthers - a large number of their players are from Wisconsin and Iowa...and one from Senegal. They were never really that competitive after half time.

Saint Joseph's Hawks - Another team, another player from Senegal. The first overtime game I've witnessed in the three years I've gone to the round of 64 games, so I thank them for that. I'm kind of glad they didn't go into a second OT, as the Hawks mascot (a guy in a anthropomorphic hawk outfit) flapped his arms for the entire game. He must have been exhausted by the end of the game.

Western Michigan Broncos - a bunch of white guys from Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana...and a guy from Croatia. There were four college dudes in Croatian national soccer jerseys in the stands. They seemed to have more fun than the team, as they were blown out in the first half and never really recovered.

Ohio State Buckeyes - I went into the day not really cheering for any team, but I have to admit I was cheering AGAINST one of them. THE Ohio State team was it, simply because of how I read that they refused to put their intrastate opponents on their schedule. The final shot attempt by Craft was one of the ugliest things I've seen, and I'm kind of glad it didn't go in purely for aesthetic reasons.

Syracuse Orange - I always thought they were called the Orangemen. Huh. Anyways, they easily had the largest contingent of fans since they were so close (2hr drive). They dominated the first game, but last 5 minutes of their second game was UGLY. I was pulling for my fellow Canuck, Tyler Ennis, but his game-tying 2-pointer and then game-winning 3-pointer attempts weren't close. When Syracuse got knocked out in the early game for the night, I'd say about 1/3rd of the Syracuse fans left the building before the second game started. I guess they wanted to get home early on Saturday night. The Orange also had the most revealing cheerleaders, with a sports-bra-and-miniskirt combo (the only ones to show a bare midriff). Oh, and chalk up another player from Senegal.

Villanova Wildcats - I didn't know Tyler Ennis had a brother (Dylan) who played for Villanova. They were making some terrible shooting decisions in the first half of their second game (only scored 24 points), and they only trailed by a point. Despite losing the second game by 12, it really was closer than that. They trailed by as little as three points late, but their ugly shooting showed up again and they never could make up the ground they lost.

UConn Huskies - (That's how they are officially listed.) The show is all about Shabazz, and it was a hell of a performance. Inside, outside, uncontested, double-teamed...it didn't matter. He just seemed to hit his shots when he needed to. In the second game, he took a close score and blew it wide open by draining three 3-pointers in a row. He briefly left the game with what looked to be an ankle injury (turned out to be a bruised shin). You got the feeling that their opponents said "Okay, maybe we can turn this around.", but then Shabazz came back into the game and kept it cool. I would also like to point out that UConn had the best looking cheerleaders (both in women and outfits).

Dayton Flyers - How can you not want to cheer for the massive underdog against their intrastate rivals, AND then against the big, bad, super school? Throw in another Canadian (Dyshawn Pierre), and a player named Scoochie ("Scooooooo!"), and they were easily every one's favourite "alternate" team. I really thought that they had peaked when they beat Ohio, but they came out just as scrappy in the second game, and simply wouldn't let Syracuse play their game.

The arena: First Niagara Center That's a really nice arena. Unfortunately, there is a lot of construction going on around that area (trying to build up around the canal), so it's not a very pretty area right now. Nice big concourses, and the sight lines were great. The food selection is easily the best of the arenas we've been to (Columbus and Detroit). They also had volunteers outside the stadium as we left that would hand out maps that showed restaurant/bar locations, and answered questions on how to leave. The free above-ground tram service from the city center (where there was extremely cheap parking) to the arena was nice, but VERY slow. Given the freezing temps and the high winds, we still took it.

posted by grum@work at 11:01 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

You glance over, the manager gives you a set of signals that basically say "It's a 2-1 count, and there's an 82% chance the next pitch is a fastball lower in; sit dead red on that, and try to inside-out it the other way". Maybe it's a curve or slider this time, but over the course of a game/season each player could see meaningful- say even 3-5%- benefit in their batting average/OBP. Which... if a team BA goes up 30 points, they'd basically worst-to-first their entire offense.

It doesn't take a super-computer to do that. You could put together an off-the-rack machine for 1% of the cost that could do that.

I suspect that someone on the MLB team is doing a favour for his buddy in the Cray corporation. $500,000 isn't that big of a deal to an MLB team (it's about the cost of a replaceable player for a season), so the money won't really bother them (unless it's Miami). But selling one of these would definitely be a feather-in-the-cap for the Cray guy.

posted by grum@work at 09:21 PM on March 18

Enter the SportsFilter NCAA Bracket Contest

Sorry, you leeches, but I was able to get my picks in the system. No money if I win, but I'll be sure to hype up Sportsfilter when the press come knocking on my door to talk about my perfect picks.

posted by grum@work at 03:22 PM on March 18

Enter the SportsFilter NCAA Bracket Contest

Quicken Loans and Warren Buffett are holding a contest to award $1 billion to the person who picks the entire bracket perfectly, which has a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of happening.

Stupid "American citizens only" requirement!
*kicks dirt*

posted by grum@work at 12:10 PM on March 18

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Super-computer purchase by mystery MLB team to handle in-game analysis.

My favourite comment from Baseball Think Factory about this article:

"Open the bullpen door, HAL."
"I'm sorry, Ron [Washington]. I'm afraid I can't do that."
"What's the problem?"
"I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do."
"What are you talking about, HAL?"
"This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it."

posted by grum@work at 08:44 AM on March 18

What is the best possible season a player could have?

It's amazing to think that the difference is that minimal that one game out of every seven makes that big of a difference.

That is the team version of this quote from "Bull Durham".

Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There's 6 months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium. -- Crash Davis

posted by grum@work at 08:19 AM on March 18