(the previous day had my Copa America picks)
My Euro picks:
Switzerland 2, Poland 0 (Mehmedi)
Portugal 3, Croatia 2 (Ronaldo)
Wales 2, Northern Ireland 1 (Bale)
France 4, Ireland 0 (Payet)
Germany 3, Slovakia 0 (Muller)
Belgium 1, Hungary 0 (Benteke)
Italy 2 (win on penalty kicks), Spain 2 (Eder)
England 3, Iceland 1 (Rooney)
posted by grum@work at 08:30 PM on June 22
That Iceland goal call is exactly how I would want my announcer to sound if something insanely amazing were to happen.
posted by grum@work at 07:39 PM on June 22
Is there an on-going update for the 2016 SpoFi Overall Pick'em results?
posted by grum@work at 03:18 PM on June 22
(Seriously...I have no idea how Pillar isn't injured from all of these plays. He's made of adamantium, I guess.)
posted by grum@work at 11:42 AM on June 22
I'm not going to have internet access from Thursday - Sunday morning.
Therefore, I'm going to make my picks for the Copa America final now:
Argentina 3 - Colombia/Chile 1 (Messi)
If it's time of last goal : 83 minutes
If it's time of first goal: 21 minutes
If it's number of cards (yellow+red): 6
If it's possession percentage: Argentina 68%
I'll have to wait to see the results on Wednesday to make my Euro 2016 picks for the round of 16.
posted by grum@work at 12:12 AM on June 22
It was true amateur hour stuff by the USGA. I can't imagine how the nightmare scenario (DJ ahead by a stroke, or tied, after the final hole) could possibly be handled without a problem. They lucked out that nothing happened this time.
I don't even care about the actual ruling. Just make a decision in a timely fashion so that everyone understands where they stand with regards to the leaderboard.
posted by grum@work at 02:16 PM on June 21
Agentina 3, USA 1 (Messi)
Colombia 2, Chile 1 (Vargas)
posted by grum@work at 02:12 PM on June 20
What I neglected to tell them is that they will never have half of the size, speed, or general athleticism to pull it off.
He was like a predator rushing out of the bushes to take down his prey.
You know he's out there. You know he can do that. You just don't think it's going to happen this time.
And then, with a furious flash, you're dead.
I've watched it a few times now and it still blows my mind. He changes speed three times during the run down the court. The first time is when he accelerates past Thompson. The second time is when he decelerates as he approaches Curry, because he's about to jump up to reject HIS shot (that never comes). The third time is when he accelerates again to go after Iggy, and he stutter steps to time his leap absolutely perfectly.
It's the perfect blend of athleticism, awareness, and adjustments.
I guess all that's left is for LeBron to go after titles 4 through 7...
posted by grum@work at 01:25 PM on June 20
The Stephen A. Smith (on ESPN First Take) curse continues!
2011 - Miami will beat Dallas!
2012 - OKC will beat Miami!
2013 - San Antonio will beat Miami!
2014 - Miami will beat San Antonio!
2015 - Cleveland will beat Golden State!
2016 - Golden State will beat Cleveland!
posted by grum@work at 10:40 AM on June 20
Long time losers Leicester City finally win.
Long time losers Cleveland finally win.
Long time loser Dustin Johnson finally wins.
Long time losers Chicago Cubs are heavy World Series favourites.
It might be time to put a couple bucks down on the Detroit Lions...
posted by grum@work at 08:50 AM on June 20
This is just bonkers:
LeBron James led all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in series.
I mean, come on. That's some Konami code level craziness.
posted by grum@work at 12:29 AM on June 20
Given the insane pressure he put on himself to bring a title to Cleveland, I fully expected an emotional meltdown from him if he pulled it off. What's left for him to do now? That was pretty much the single most important thing left in his career.
And imagine how impossible it will be for the haters to have anything to complain about the King?
He won without DWade.
He won in Cleveland.
He put up monster numbers in the finals.
His team had the greatest series comeback in NBA Finals history.
He wins. He's clutch. He's resilient.
And that block! Oh. My.
That's the signature play for him...it's like he's imposing his will against history repeating itself. No, Mr. Last Year's Finals MVP, you will NOT stop me from winning this time.
posted by grum@work at 12:18 AM on June 20
Javier Baez invokes the Matrix to avoid tag at second base.
(Replay reviewed overturned the umpire call and he was declared safe.)
posted by grum@work at 11:06 AM on June 19
Worst trade in baseball history based on immediate impact?
It's gotta be the White Sox trading for James Shields.
He's made three starts for the White Sox:
June 8: 2.0IP, 7ER
June 13: 5.0IP, 6ER
June 18: 1.2IP, 8ER
If you're doing the math (and you know I am), that's 21.81 ERA in his three starts.
He's given up more runs in those three starts than Clayton Kershaw has in 14 starts this season.
The start BEFORE he was traded (the one that the White Sox saw and thought, "Sure...we'd love to have him!") he gave up 10ER in 2.2 IP.
That means, his last four starts have been 11.1IP, 31ER (24.62 ER). That's more earned runs than Jake Arrieta has given up in his last 31 starts (going back to his start on July 2, 2015).
posted by grum@work at 11:31 PM on June 18
Regardless of who wins game 7 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James should be the first choice for the MVP, right? Unless he fouls out early in game 7, or scores below 10 points, I can't see how his performance in this series isn't enough to be MVP.
posted by grum@work at 11:33 AM on June 17
I've been informed that the hit total above does not include Ichiro's Japanese minor league or Japanese playoff totals. If you include those, he jumps over Ty Cobb and moves into second with 4,423. He's still well behind Pete Rose's total.
posted by grum@work at 04:05 PM on June 16
Compiled from this article and then updated someone else to include hits from Suzuki, Jeter, and Franco (!) since it was published:
Most total hits, all professional leagues, in non-exhibition games:
(playoffs included, but spring training and all-star games not included)
Pete Rose, 4,769
Ty Cobb, 4,379
Ichiro Suzuki, 4,284
Hank Aaron, 4,245
Derek Jeter, 4,216
Jigger Statz, 4,093
Julio Franco, 4,080
Minnie Minoso, 4,073
Stan Musial, 4,023
posted by grum@work at 10:46 AM on June 16
Thursday: USA 2, Ecuador 1 (Dempsey, USA)
Friday: Colombia 2, Peru 0 (Zapata, Colombia)
Saturday: Argentina 0 (win on PK), Venezuela 0 (Messi, Argentina)
Sunday: Mexico 3, Chile 2 (Hernandez, Mexico)
posted by grum@work at 01:54 PM on June 15
I heard one person say that his records were just because of longevity, but I don't think people realize that he had 20 consecutive seasons where he finished among the NHL's top five in scoring.
Twenty consecutive seasons!
posted by grum@work at 11:35 AM on June 10
The Gordie Howe Hat Trick
posted by grum@work at 10:02 AM on June 10
Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
He'll definitely score the most amazing goals, if not the most.
posted by grum@work at 03:26 PM on June 09
Player: Olivier Giroud (France)
Player: Wayne Rooney (England)
Player: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
Player: Nolito (Spain)
Player: Eder (Italy)
Player: Christiano Ronaldo (Portgual)
posted by grum@work at 12:07 PM on June 09
A beauty glove save!
posted by grum@work at 02:34 PM on June 08
Well, Las Vegas made some good money on that one!
posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on June 08
Raonic, Thiem, Nishikori, and Berdych are the best players on the tour to not win a major title.
Wawrinka (having won 2 majors) deserves to take Nadal/Federer spot in the top 3 (if those two are thinking about retiring due to age/injury).
It's amazing that someone like Federer (an all-time great), might get eclipsed so quickly by Djokovic. He's won 12 majors, and 5 of the last 6, and he's still under 30 years old. His toughest competitors are either fading fast (Nadal/Federer), or he still dominates them (Murray).
[Note: He has a winning record against both Nadal (26-23) and Federer (23-22), and owns Murray (24-10).]
posted by grum@work at 11:38 AM on June 07
Mini-doc about Ali lighting the torch in 1996.
posted by grum@work at 11:18 AM on June 04
If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend "When We Were Kings", or even just watching the Rumble in the Jungle. It's right up there with the greatest sports moments in history.
posted by grum@work at 11:05 AM on June 04
posted by grum@work at 01:08 AM on June 04
Hey, remember that time when people got angry about a bat flip, and there was a late slide into second base that wiped out the defender, and the benches cleared?
Sure you do!
(Order of events may be different than expected.)
Please note who slid into second base...
posted by grum@work at 02:37 PM on June 02
Rough 5th inning for the Braves starting pitcher:
Home Run (by the opposing pitcher)
Hit By Pitch
He was pulled at that point.
posted by grum@work at 01:55 PM on June 02
posted by grum@work at 01:10 PM on June 02
The new Killer Bs in Boston make it very hard to cheer against them.
If their starting pitching wasn't 3/5ths of a dumpster fire, I'd be worried they could run away with the AL East.
posted by grum@work at 12:47 PM on June 02
Well, he was right about Iglesias..maybe. Sorta. If you only take the data from this year...
posted by grum@work at 12:44 PM on June 02
Pick the team that will win the Finals: Cavaliers in 6
Who will win MVP: LeBron James
What will be the largest margin of victory (come within +/- 3 points): 22
What will be the highest combined score in a single game (+/- 8 points): 230
Tiebreaker: How many total 3-pointers will be made in the series? 120
posted by grum@work at 12:37 AM on June 02
I think we're all clear on the superiority of a team that won 2.6 more games a season. That's almost a series!
It's more wins than the first three playoff appearances for the Rangers! :)
posted by grum@work at 03:39 PM on June 01
But I think most fans would rather have their best run in franchise history now as opposed to a quarter century ago.
But, even "now" becomes "a quarter century ago" in the blink of an eye, and if you haven't actually won a championship then is that "best run" really something to celebrate when it's become "a quarter century ago"?
Just for the record, in the 20 years since they've had full seasons with the expanded playoff format (1996-2015), the Jays have had a better record than the Rangers in 10 of them.
(And that's while playing in the "Division of Death".)
They have the second-best record in the AL. I am aware of the date on the calendar, but 10 games over .500 after two months is a good place to be.
It is. Just ask the Chicago White Sox back on May 15th. They might give you a different answer compared to today.
posted by grum@work at 02:19 PM on June 01
posted by grum@work at 10:02 AM on June 01
OH MY GOD!! THE MINNESOTA TWINS WERE KICKING ASS THIS TIME LAST YEAR?!
Only two teams that led their division at this time last year (Cardinals, Dodgers) ended up winning it, two of them grabbed the wild card (Astros, Yankees), and two of them missed the playoffs (Twins, Nationals). That's why talking about playoff positioning on May 31st is a bit premature.
posted by grum@work at 10:46 PM on May 31
produced six AL MVPs
Josh Hamilton - legitimate choice
Alex Rodriguez - oh, so now he's a good guy again? :)
Ivan Rodriguez - maybe one of the worst choices in the past 20 years, as Pedro Martinez was a much better choice and would have won if two writers had not left him off their ballots entirely.
Juan Gonzalez - wait, found the even WORSE choice! He finished 15th in WAR among those that got MVP votes in 1999, and 17th in WAR in 1996. Albert Belle beat him in literally every category except RBI (157 to 152) in 1999, and Gonzalez was even less impressive statistically in 1996.
Jeff Boroughs - Back when RBI = MVP, there is no other explanation for him winning this award. His teammate (Fergie Jenkins) or Rod Carew would have been better choices, as would probably 20 of the 24 players ahead of Boroughs in WAR.
two AL MVPs
Josh Donaldson - 0.6 WAR less than Trout, but still well ahead of #3 and with a much better narrative/result than Trout.
George Bell - horrific choice, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, or Alan Trammell (especially how that season ended) would have been much better winners.
posted by grum@work at 10:44 PM on May 31
Joey Bats wanted payback more than he wanted runners on base.
I'm guessing you don't actually remember how it played out because of the bloodlust when it happened.
If Bautista doesn't aggressively slide into second, it's a double-play anyways. It was Justin Smoak running to first, and he was going to be out by a mile.
and one post-season trip in 22 years.
Nice selective end points.
Blue Jays: 2-0 in the World Series, 6 playoff appearances in 39 seasons.
Rangers: 0-2 in the World Series, 7 playoff appearances in 44 seasons.
(not counting the second Washington Senators, of course)
Added bonus: Texas looks more like a postseason team so far this year.
Nice! The self-inflicted jinx!
I'm surprised you'd say that since the Rangers were only a half-game up in the division coming into tonight, and only 4.5 games ahead of the Jays.
Besides, lots can happen between May 31st and the end of the season.
Surely you can remember what the standings looked like for both teams last May 31st.
posted by grum@work at 10:24 PM on May 31
Bats should've been happy he was hit. It was late in a one-run game.
So what you are saying is that the Rangers were DOUBLY stupid for doing it?
Not only does it show them to be petulant children, but IGNORANT petulant children?
Ah, well. At least the Rangers have some reading material for the next while.
posted by grum@work at 07:20 PM on May 31
The hit by pitch caused no injury. Why did it entitle Bautista to anything?
You think a 95+ mph pitch in the ribs caused "no injury"?
Let's get you in front of a pitching machine and find out if that's true.
The normal payback for a hit by pitch is a hit by pitch.
And the normal payback for getting beat in the playoffs is to take it like men.
It looks like no one was following the rules.
That's okay. If Profar proves to be even moderately good, either Jays playoff hero Andrus or Stinky is probably going to be traded by the end of the year.
posted by grum@work at 05:54 PM on May 31
Other bonus ideas:
Predicting which teams have a perfect group stage (3-0-0): You list the teams that you think can do it. If the team you list does it, you get a point. If the team you list DOESN'T do it, you lose a point. So if you list three teams, and only one of them does it, you LOSE a point (1 for getting it right, -2 for getting them wrong).
Team which scores the most goals in group stage.
Team which has the most goals scored against them in group stage.
Team with the most yellow/red/combined cards in group stage.
posted by grum@work at 12:05 PM on May 31
A suggestion to the scoring system:
You should get points for guessing the two teams that advance out of each group, but you should get bonus points if you select the exact order that they finish (1st/2nd).
If Argentina finishes in first in Group A and Chile second:
Picking Argentina and Chile from Group A gets you 4 points (2 for each team), you should get an extra 4 points for getting Argentina 1st and Chile 2nd, but no extra points if you picked them in reverse order. If you picked Panama 1st and Chile 2nd, then you get 4 total points (Chile for advancing, and Chile for finishing 2nd, and no points for Panama).
Also, with so few teams in the tournament, maybe you can add an extra point for predicting the total goals scored in each Group (+/- 1 goal), for an extra 4 bonus points available.
(Oh, maybe make selecting teams worth 5 points, order worth 2 points, and bonuses worth 1 each. I think you should get more points for being "smart" than being "lucky".)
posted by grum@work at 12:00 PM on May 31
2. 6 games
3. 1 OT
5. Murray (Pittsburgh)
10. Murray (Pittsburgh)
Tiebreaker: 30 goals
posted by grum@work at 10:59 AM on May 30
The rare walk-off double-TOOTBLAN*!
*Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop
posted by grum@work at 09:05 AM on May 29
Raptors fans show their love to their team, and King James recognizes it.
posted by grum@work at 10:14 PM on May 28
Direct link to the video
posted by grum@work at 08:31 PM on May 26
Not so awesome picture:
Ryan Vogelsong got hit in the face by a pitch today.
Definite broken orbital bone, possible eye injury and concussion.
Warning: Graphic image! I've moved it to a link instead of an inline image.
posted by grum@work at 06:34 PM on May 23
I don't understand how that isn't an instant ejection/suspension.
posted by grum@work at 08:32 AM on May 23
Pillar doing Pillar things, again.
posted by grum@work at 06:56 PM on May 22
Adam Silver is going to wake up sweating and screaming tonight, at even the slightest chance of a Thunder/Raptors final...
I'm cheering for the Raptors, and even I don't want that to happen.
Warriors/Cavs - the sequel, except the Cavs have a healthy lineup, except the Warriors are trying to finish off a legendary season...how can Silver not touch himself thinking about that.
Warriors/Raptors - either one team has the greatest upset in NBA history, or one team stomps their way to history.
Thunder/Cavs - Lebron/Love vs Durant/Westbrook, and an NBA championship for a city that has never had one.
Thunder/Raptors - American ratings nightmare, and neither #1 seed makes it to the finals.
posted by grum@work at 11:52 PM on May 21
Fraternizing with the enemy!
posted by grum@work at 07:35 PM on May 19
Bartolo Colon has a second secret family.
My favourite comments I've seen about this story:
- Triple chin, double life!
- Too much pork for just one fork!
- He couldn't afford to pay child support because he's got his own mouth to feed.
posted by grum@work at 12:54 AM on May 19
i'll just leave this here
Khris Davis grand slam
Khris Davis grand slam
With that jump shot helmet toss, looks like someone should be on the look out for a Matt Bush fastball in the ribs...
posted by grum@work at 06:04 PM on May 18
As for the suspensions, I have no problem with the ones that were handed out, and the players/coaches that were fined. They are all within the range I would have expected, and I don't think any one player/team has too much to complain about.
I didn't expect Bush to get punished (there is too much precedence of the instigator getting away with it because no warnings had been issued before hand), even though the umpire knew something was up because he actually issued warnings after he hit Bautista.
Side note: I think that's bullshit, by the way. Issuing a warning after the first HBP means that the initiator gets away with it and the other team gets no response (using a pitcher). I'm not saying the second team should be allowed to go headhunting (I never proscribe to that logic) but Chavez's throw into Fielder's enormous ass would have been a perfectly acceptable response to the Bautista plunking (if the rest of the stuff hadn't happened).
posted by grum@work at 08:57 AM on May 18
Out of all this, I did find this pretty funny.
Sam Dyson, for aggressive actions during the brawl, was fined by the league.
He's the only one that ended up with any visible injuries. It looks like his foray into the brawl was about as successful as his pitch from October.
posted by grum@work at 06:26 AM on May 18
Is Bautista's any more dangerous or aggressive than that one (which didn't result in a brawl)?
The Odor slide was the subject of a replay review in New York and it was not deemed an illegal slide. I agree with the call.
The Odor slide was the subject of a replay review in New York and it was not deemed an illegal slide. I agree with the call.
That's not the question I asked. I didn't challenge the legality of the slide (since, as I've pointed out in the other picture, it seems to be still in flux), I asked about the dangerous nature or aggressiveness of the slide.
If Bautista had done that to Odor, what do you think Odor's reaction would have been?
posted by grum@work at 06:17 AM on May 18
21-year-veteran play by play broadcaster Tom Grieve seemed to do a pretty good job of that in the video you linked.
The Texas Rangers broadcaster (and former Texas Ranger himself) didn't see anything wrong with the Texas Rangers player's action? I'm shocked!
I mean, the line "He did SLIGHTLY slide to the right of the base." is a howler of a homer line, as is the description that Simmons was "3 feet in front of the bag" and "in the base path".
But you do see the distinct similarities, right? He slid hard into the fielder's legs and took him out, just like Bautista did with Odor. He also slid past the base, but in Odor's case, he made a token reach back to touch the bag after he went by. The difference is that Simmons didn't get up and try to start a fight.
(Also, Bautista went right over the bag, while Odor went to the right of the bag in an attempt to take out Simmons.)
Curious as to how Jays fans feel about this Don Brennan column though. I don't know him from anyone, so if he's a muckity BS peddler, don't worry about it.
He's writing for the Ottawa Sun, so pretty much none of the local fans will have read anything he's written. Besides, the first time one of their sports writers says something positive about a Toronto team (that isn't winning), it'll be a miracle. Also, throw in the "look at me!" page view "hot take" (a phrase I learned today), and it's pretty much expected. I mean, he has one article that says "Slumping Ottawa Senators should not fire coach." and then a month later has an article that says "Senators coaching change would make sense."
Bautista put on quite the whine as well.
No, he didn't. When the play was reviewed and the game ended, he went straight into the dugout. He didn't argue, he didn't yell, he didn't show any emotion about it. When asked about it after the game, he said:
"I feel like I respect the rule, that it was an absolutely clean slide," Bautista said. "And it's just disappointing to lose a major league baseball game, with so much at stake every day here. We put a lot into the game since we were little kids and then to all of a sudden have everything taken away like that is just strange."
That's not "whining".
posted by grum@work at 11:06 PM on May 17
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