Recent Comments by grum@work

Crowd Catch

Ouch. I flinched when I saw the wound.

posted by grum@work at 01:25 PM on January 29

Martin Brodeur to Announce Retirement.

Well, it's still weird to me and none of your fancy pants ivy league facts and stats won't change that.

He was in my comparison list (because I like doing things in threes like that) and I pulled him when I realized that fact.
(Leetch also would have been in there, but he played 1/3 of a season in Toronto before playing his last season in Boston. I completely forgot about his time in Toronto.)

posted by grum@work at 10:56 AM on January 28

Martin Brodeur to Announce Retirement.

Orr played two seasons as a 'Hawk.

posted by grum@work at 10:11 AM on January 28

Martin Brodeur to Announce Retirement.

I think the spot for #1 in terms of overall career is between Roy and Brodeur.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of raw skill is between Hasek and Sawchuck.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of bravery is between Plante, Sawchuk, and Hall.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of class is between Plante and Dryden.

To pick between Roy and Brodeur, you have to decide if Roy's performance for the Canadiens/Avalanche is more impressive because they weren't known as "defense first" teams, or if Brodeur's performance for the Devils is the reason they seemed to be "defense first".

It's a shame that Brodeur's career ends the same way as other NHL HOFers like Salming and Modano, clinging to one more season of play wearing an unfamiliar jersey.

posted by grum@work at 12:04 AM on January 28

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Dale Jr. sez: yer snowblower oal may be OK for the time being, but check them belts and shear bolts.

In the first week of December in 2010, London Ontario had 2 meters (79in) fall in 3 days. While plowing the driveway for the first of 5 times in that period, my plow hit SOMETHING under the snow (a kid's toy? a kid?) and broke a shear bolt. It took me 50 minutes (without gloves) to clear off the snow from the blade, push out the remnant of the bolt from the hole, and then try to push the new bolt through the quickly-icing-over hole.

Since then, any time I use the snowblower I am beyond fearful of having that happen again.

posted by grum@work at 03:15 PM on January 27

New MLB Commissioner: We May Ban Defensive Shifts

Yay! A stupid solution for a non-problem!

I can't believe they'd want to legislate against defensive innovation.
Nobody had a problem when they did the "Williams shift".
Nobody had a problem when they bring in an outfielder to play infield with a tie game in the bottom of the 9th.

posted by grum@work at 01:40 PM on January 27

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Yeah, it's a commercial for GoPro, but my GOODNESS there is some serious skill on display.

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

For the 13-year-old me, Tom Brady does nothing but talk about his balls.

posted by grum@work at 03:10 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

It won't stop until the parties involved come clean.

The problem with this (as is the case most of the time) is that if they have "come clean", no one will know the difference between that and "covering up/lying". If someone says "I had nothing to do with it!", how do you prove you had nothing to do with it, unless someone else comes forward and says "I did it"?

posted by grum@work at 12:35 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

The only problem I have with hincandenza's essay is one number: 11.

Why did only 11 (of the 12) balls "naturally deflate"? Shouldn't all 12 of them be "deflated", if it was a natural occurrence?

posted by grum@work at 01:56 AM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Sure, but it should be speeding ticket punishment, not murder punishment.

What if someone was caught drunk driving, was punished, and then later on were caught sitting in their car with the keys in the ignition, with 6 empty beers beside them?

Sure, they didn't actually do anything that caused a problem (like the deflated balls probably had no affect on the outcome of the game as they were only used during the first half, and the Patriots trounced the Colts harder in the second half), but it should does look like they were caught TRYING to do something, and that should be severely punished.

posted by grum@work at 11:04 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

The Christian Science Monitor actually ran this headline yesterday: "Will Patriots be banned from the Super Bowl?"

You know the rule about headlines. If it asks a crazy question, the answer is always "no".

posted by grum@work at 11:01 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

If it happened, which seems likely but I'm not sure yet, it is somebody sticking a needle in a ball for 3 seconds because that's how how Brady likes them

You can hand wave any rule breaking like that, if you are so inclined.

"The players used only half an ounce of stick-um on their gloves, and no one would have noticed it was there if they hadn't shook hands after the game."

"The team is only over the cap by $150,000, which is just over 1/10th of 1% of the salary cap. That's barely even noticeable, except for some number geeks."

and no one has ever once given a fuck about ball pressure

Obviously someone once gave a fuck about ball pressure because there was a rule about it.

posted by grum@work at 10:57 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

So the balls aren't deflated enough for a normal person to tell the difference but enough to warrant talking about losing draft picks or suspending a coach for a Super Bowl?

Like I said, it's not the balls, it's the conspiracy (and seeming recidivism) that should be harshly punished.

posted by grum@work at 10:27 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

I am amused at the juxtaposed view of Bill Bellichek being a Keyser Soze-esque genius mastermind who is so much smarter than everyone else in the NFL and who must be constantly getting away with things, but also the same schmuck who's gotten caught cheating twice as much as virtually everyone else in the NFL. How patently absurd.

You can be a brilliant cheat, but still get caught because of the number of times you've tried to cheat is simply too many to avoid detection...

I'm not saying the crime (soft balls) is what should draw the big penalty. Since that can happen accidentally, and the penalty is to make sure that teams don't let it happen accidentally, that's okay by me.

The big penalty is the for the possible conspiracy to deliberately tamper with the balls, and for the fact that they'd already gotten caught once before in a conspiracy.

Obviously, if they can't prove that they were deliberately tampered with (and given the NFL's incredibly weak investigative skills during the Ray Rice incident, I wouldn't be surprised if they find nothing) then I don't think some draconian punishment should be invoked.

But if they find someone willing to squeal and say that he was told to do that by Keyser Belichick, then drop the Super Bowl ban hammer on him (or other extreme punishment).

posted by grum@work at 10:21 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Only if there are rules that stipulate it. Lacking that, the punishment should fit the specific violation.

I'm sure the commish can invoke the "best interests of the game" rule and throw down whatever punishment he wants. In fact, that's what he did with SpyGate, so why couldn't he do it again with P.S.I.Gate?

posted by grum@work at 09:33 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Taking away a single high draft pick would be a significant penalty.

But that was the penalty for getting caught cheating the FIRST time they did it.
Shouldn't repeat offenders be punished more harshly?

SpyGate was eight years ago.

It's the same people in the same positions.
If a person commits fraud once, and gets punished for it, I assume that if they get caught committing fraud eight years later that the judge isn't going to say "Well, it's eight years since the last one so I'm going to give you the same penalty as last time."

The Patriots haven't been caught cheating since then. Either they didn't cut as many corners or they got better at cheating.

"I swear these are the only two times we've ever broken the rules. It's purely coincidental that you've also caught us the only two times we cheated. I guarantee that we've never attempted to circumvent the rules in ANY other case."

posted by grum@work at 09:01 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Jesus, grum, why not just kill them by firing squad and be done with it?

Well, the first punishment for cheating doesn't seem to have made a difference, the only option is to provide a strong deterrent. It also sends a message to the rest of the league that they better toe the line with regards to the rules in play.

As for losing all their draft picks in a draft, it's happened before in other sports and hasn't killed a franchise.

posted by grum@work at 11:24 PM on January 21

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Don't you think suspending Belichick would have a much greater impact on the Super Bowl than 11 underinflated balls had on the AFC Championship Game?
...
Assuming he finds evidence of cheating, I think Goodell should take a draft pick from the Patriots and hit them with a big fine as soon as possible.

Isn't the point of the punishment that it is supposed to deter anyone from doing it again?

When the Patriots were caught during Spygate the punishment was:

$500,000 fine to Belichick (the maximum allowed)
$250,000 fine to the Patriots and the loss of a 1st round draft pick

Just repeating that would imply that the Patriots didn't learn any lessons from Spygate.

I think suspending Belichick for the Super Bowl would be a pretty strong statement.
If you just want to punish the team and not the coach, take away ALL of the Patriots draft picks for the upcoming draft (unless the pick has already been traded away), and make them draft dead last in every round for the next three drafts after that.

posted by grum@work at 09:47 PM on January 21

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Leafs season record with Carlyle as coach:

21 - 16 - 3 and battling for a playoff spot.

Leafs record after Carlyle fired:

1 - 6 and moving up the draft board.

The implosion of the Leafs, and the sudden struggles of the Raptors has quieted what used to be a fun task of trying to figure out how to schedule NBA/NHL home playoff games in the ACC.

(Sure, the Raptors have a LONG way to go before they miss the playoffs, but going 2-8 in the last 10 is a bit frightening.)

posted by grum@work at 12:09 AM on January 21

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

That re-introduces the true sudden-death aspect that seems to be distasteful to people, though.

Kind of, but not really. If you have the ball and then let the other team score during your possession, why would the other team need to do anything during their own possession? I guess you could let them just kneel down for four plays in a row, and call it a game, but that seems really weird and anti-climatic.

But honestly, just let them play for the full N minute quarter and you'll solve for most edge cases automatically.

Yes.

posted by grum@work at 08:33 AM on January 20

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

When Mike McCarthy went for two field goals on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and one-half line, I thought he was playing it way too safe.

That's probably why I'm not as pissed about how the OT worked out as I could be (since I picked GB).

McCarthy was absolutely brutal in his decision making at the start and end of the game.

Kicking the two field goals when you are inside the 2 yard line is just stupid. Even if you fail, you are forcing the opposition to start from inside their own 2 yard line! That's a dream scenario for the defence, and if they can hold them to 3-and-out, you are probably starting on the Seattle side of half when you get the ball back.

Then, as they were marching down the field at the end of the game when trailing by 3, McCarthy didn't use a damn time out until there were 19 seconds left on the clock. He should have used two of them to at least make an effort to go for a TD to avoid OT. Then, even when he decides to use a TO, he flubs that. Why leave 19 seconds on the clock to kick the field goal. Why even give Seattle a chance to return the kick-off and possibly throw a hail mary?

The only reason Seattle deserved to go to the Super Bowl is that McCarthy made it perfectly clear that his team didn't deserve to go to the game, and someone has to go...

I like the beat the clock idea a lot, although it's almost too cool for pro sports. It's like HORSE with a clock. The only quirk: what if the first play is the 2014 opening Superbowl snap/safety on the Broncos.

As for the "beat the clock" option, if the defense scores points on the opposition's possession (safety, interception, fumble recovery), the game should be over. In this case, the Broncos scored -2 points, so Seattle's offense would only need to score -1 points or more to win, and that's an automatic win in my books.

posted by grum@work at 09:15 PM on January 19

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Why not just play a set amount of time, and the winner is the team that is ahead at that time. If it's still tied, play another set amount of time. Eventually, someone is going to score and the other team won't.

I think it's a bit weird to be worried about tired players getting injured if you are still saying they have to play the current NFL OT rules. There are 45/46 players on each roster that is dressed for each game. If they are getting tired, use a substitute. Who knows who could be the surprise hero.

(I remember when the Edmonton Oilers sat Petr Klima for the first two and a half overtime periods of a Stanley Cup finals game (because he's a TERRIBLE defensive liability), but were forced to put him on the ice eventually because of the exhaustion of his teammates. Lo and behold, he scores the game winning goal just seconds later.)*

And really, if the teams were worried about injury, please explain why Sherman was out there with what looked like a broken/sprained/separated shoulder/arm/elbow for the entire 4th quarter.

*The fact that it happened almost 25 years ago is kind of melting my mind right now.

posted by grum@work at 02:42 PM on January 19

High school coach suspended after basketball team wins by 159 points.

I think there's a point where standing around on the court doing nothing is as disrespectful as running up the score

I'm not saying do nothing. I'm saying pass the ball around to kill time on the shot clock, and then shoot. Don't press on defense. Switch up the positions of your players (so your really tall guy is your point guard, and your fast kid is the centre). You lessen the chance of scoring (by using scrubs out of position and killing the clock) and maybe not win by 159 points.

posted by grum@work at 09:57 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

So you're saying that Russell Wilson "just knows how to win" even better than Tim Tebow does.

Is that even possible?

Isn't that like asking if God could make a grilled cheese sandwich so hot that even He couldn't eat it?

posted by grum@work at 09:27 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Seahawk fans imitate Heat fans.

posted by grum@work at 09:25 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

When that ball hit the top of its arc, I couldn't help but remember Tebow's one-play OT win from a few years back. For those exact reasons.

Tebow had a better game.

Look it up.

posted by grum@work at 06:52 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

but NFL overtime rules suck.

Agreed. The fact that Rodgers doesn't even put on his helmet in OT is silly.

posted by grum@work at 06:47 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Oh, great.

Now, after Wilson shits the bed for 55 minutes of the game, he throws a game winning touchdown in OT.

I guess that'll keep the "Wilson just knows how to win" bullshit alive for another game.

posted by grum@work at 06:33 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Clay Matthews made a blindside block on Russell Wilson to his head on that interception return in the 2nd quarter. Wilson's head was badly jolted, but he seems to be okay. If Matthews had made more contact, Wilson would be out of the game for sure.

I'm glad Matthews got the flag, but that's dirty play that should be fined (at least).

(If that had been Suh making the hit...)

posted by grum@work at 04:17 PM on January 18

High school coach suspended after basketball team wins by 159 points.

There are some schools that have a basketball team just because they want kids to play. It seems that the losing team here is one of those cases. I can understand not scoring any baskets, because if me and my friends went up against any college team, we'd be hard pressed to score any points.

The winning team should have realized that and did what rcade said, switch up positions, put the scrubs in, pass the ball to every player at least once, only take a shot when the clock gets to zero, and play a very loose zone defense. Let the opposition jack up some bad shots, grab the rebound if it lands at your feet, and keep going.

posted by grum@work at 04:15 PM on January 18

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Conference Championship Round

Green Bay by 3
New England by 2
Most Points: New England
Most Passing Yards: Aaron Rodgers
Most Rushing Yards: Marshawn Lynch
Most Recieving Yards: Reggie Wayne

posted by grum@work at 11:18 PM on January 16

The Gaming Obsession of the Green Bay Packers

I'm pretty sure it would be considered "nerdy" among the those deep in the football culture/workplace.

It's also a perfect gateway game for more of those German-designed board games as well.

posted by grum@work at 10:35 AM on January 16

The Gaming Obsession of the Green Bay Packers

The game's popularity among the Packers is due in part to the lack of other things to do in town. Green Bay is the smallest town in the NFL. "We're always looking for something to do, it's cold. No one wants to go outside, better find something," Flynn said. "And this is a great game."

posted by grum@work at 09:22 AM on January 16

Boy Asks All 32 NFL Teams: Why Should I Be Your Fan?

Someone in their PR department knows EXACTLY how news/information works in the modern age. The positive attention they'll get for this is MORE than worth the time/price/effort for the letter and the signed helmet.

Even if a news site didn't pick it up, the word of mouth (probably) through Facebook is still a net gain.

posted by grum@work at 01:33 PM on January 14

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

Today's SportsCenter has a sidebar "Is Cardale Jones NFL-ready?" Am I nuts or are they?

To be fair, it's the same sort of logic that leads a team to offer a back-up quarterback a multi-year multi-million dollar contract because of just one start the previous season.

posted by grum@work at 01:30 PM on January 13

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Don't leave the ice angry.

posted by grum@work at 01:25 PM on January 13

Colts Silence Broncos Offense, Make Peyton Manning Look Old

The AFC East already has the Jets and Upstate Rex. We mustn't be greedy.

At least there will be something to "talk about" in Buffalo next year.

*sigh*

posted by grum@work at 12:10 PM on January 13

Colts Silence Broncos Offense, Make Peyton Manning Look Old

The NFL is trying to figure out which coaches to use in the Pro Bowl, because right now it's a mystery.
...
The NFL is exploring how to address the dilemma, sources familiar with the situation said. One possible solution would be to send the coaching staffs of the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers -- the other teams that lost in the divisional playoff round. stop holding a Pro Bowl that no one tries in, no one cares about, and no one watches.

posted by grum@work at 12:09 PM on January 13

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

Urban Meyer and his offensive co-ordinator/QB coach Tom Herman deserve a special award for getting the team this far after having to create schemes that had to work for 3 different quarterbacks (planned for Miller, adapted for Barrett, re-adapted for Jones).

Most teams would have folded if their 1st string QB went down (in the pre-season), and almost every team would have folded if their 2nd string QB went down (right before the Big 10 championship game).

posted by grum@work at 12:04 PM on January 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Inverted celebrity photo bomb: when the celeb takes a picture of you and you don't know.

posted by grum@work at 01:10 PM on January 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

So with Luck being the only QB who hasn't won a Super Bowl, I guess he becomes the default "underdog" and choice for those without a real routing interest in any of the remaining teams.

It would be easier to sell him as the plucky young underdog if he didn't look like such a scary homeless guy with that beard.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on January 12

Colts Silence Broncos Offense, Make Peyton Manning Look Old

The fact that he has that 2006 playoff run (including the comeback against the Pats), it definitely puts the kibosh on "can't win the big game" stuff.

I've always felt that it says something about Manning that he's led his team to the playoffs so often, and a lot of those one-and-done games are in the division round. If his team had a chance to pancake a lesser opponent in the wild card round, then those could be 1-and-1-and-done instead.

I hope Manning comes back for another try.

posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on January 12

Packers Rally Past Cowboys, Who No Longer Love the Refs

Of course, the same logic they used to determine Dez Bryant did NOT catch the ball (didn't complete a football move before the ball was jarred from his hands by contact with the ground) was then completely ignored when the Colts punter returner was obliterated by his own teammate (and a Bronco), causing (what was ruled at the time) a fumble.

The FOX talking head (Mike Carey, former NFL official) swore up and down that the replay official would agree with the call on the field...and then seemed stunned when they overturned it and said he was "down by contact".

Side note: It was nice to see that player safety means something to at least one person. After the fumble, it was painful to watch all of the Broncos trample/jump on the prone body of the Colts returner in order to get the fumble. Afterwards, the first guy from the sidelines to help the obviously concussed player seemed to be the Broncos trainer/assistant.

posted by grum@work at 12:07 AM on January 12

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Divisional Round

Damn it. Way too late to get in for the second round, but I'll do it anyways.

Dallas by 3

Denver by 11

Most points: Dallas

Most rush yards: Murray (Dallas)

Sack: V. Miller (Denver)

GB Temp: 17F

posted by grum@work at 10:41 PM on January 10

South Korean PGA Golfer May Be Conscripted into Military

The South Korean baseball team players were exempted from military service after advancing to the semifinals of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and when they won the 2010 Asian Games tournament. Olympic athletes receive exemptions if they win a medal at the Olympics.

It seems odd that the strongest/fittest men are the ones getting the exemptions...

posted by grum@work at 04:13 PM on January 08

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

I copied/played with the online spreadsheet that was tracking announced HOF ballots.

There were 174 unique complete ballots (including one submitted blank ballot) out of the 226 recorded.
(I didn't count ones that were marked as partial or missing information.)

The three most common ballots were:


13 times 11 times 4 times
Jeff Bagwell Jeff Bagwell Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio Craig Biggio Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds Randy Johnson Randy Johnson
Roger Clemens Edgar Martinez Pedro Martinez
Randy Johnson Pedro Martinez Mike Piazza
Pedro Martinez Mike Mussina Tim Raines
Mike Piazza Mike Piazza Curt Schilling
Tim Raines Tim Raines John Smoltz
Curt Schilling Curt Schilling
John Smoltz John Smoltz

There were 19 other ballots that appeared more than once.
8 of them appeared three times, 11 of them appeared twice.

The weirdest unique ballot I found?

Lawrence Rocca submitted a ballot that had NONE of the elected players (Biggio, Johnson, P.Martinez, Smoltz), but wasn't blank.
His ballot?

Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

posted by grum@work at 12:07 PM on January 08

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

and if he hadn't been stuck on some awful Phillies teams for most of his career

Or be relegated as the second best pitcher on his team (and in the league) for a couple of years in Arizona. He finished 2nd in the NL Cy Young voting twice, while going 45-13 with a 148 ERA+ in those years. Johnson was 45-11 with a 192 ERA+.

That's a HUGE shadow to get caught in, and not winning one Cy Young award definitely stands out (since Johnson had a million of them (rough estimate) and Smoltz had one).

posted by grum@work at 10:38 PM on January 07

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Stan van Gundy telling his Pistons to form a fucking wall. vine link

And it worked!

posted by grum@work at 03:32 PM on January 07

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Bill James made predictions about the next 25 years of HOF elections...in 1994.
Bold indicates was elected.
Red indicates was elected that year.

1995 Mike Schmidt, Jim Rice
1996 Don Sutton, Pete Rose
1997 Steve Garvey, Phil Niekro
1998 Gary Carter, Al Oliver
1999 Nolan Ryan, George Brett
2000 Robin Yount, Carlton Fisk
2001 Andre Dawson, Dave Winfield
2002 Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith
2003 Dave Parker, Jim Kaat
2004 Dennis Eckersley, Ted Simmons
2005 Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken Jr.
2006 Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor
2007 Tony Gwynn, Roger Clemens
2008 Kirby Puckett, Dale Murphy
2009 Jack Morris, Lee Smith
2010 Tim Raines, Ryne Sandberg
2011 Barry Bonds, Joe Carter
2012 Brett Butler, David Cone
2013 Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker
2014 Goose Gossage, Don Mattingly
2015 Jack McDowell, Greg Maddux
2016 Fred McGriff, Dwight Gooden
2017 Frank Thomas, Ruben Sierra
2018 Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar
2019 Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez

Any of the predictions that are red after 1999 are great, simply because that player hadn't retired yet and therefore the year of first induction was still to be determined.

posted by grum@work at 12:57 PM on January 07

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Erstad won a Gold Glove at two positions (OF and 1B) and was a crucial player in the 2002 Anaheim Angels World Series win, batting .352 in the post season. He had one fantastic season as a batter (2000), but then followed up with 9 consecutive seasons of below-average hitting.

He also was the starting punter on the 1994 national college championship-winning Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.

Even Erstad himself is confused by the vote for him.

posted by grum@work at 06:54 AM on January 07

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Like, say, 90 percent of votes are needed, but then no one is playing games about "Well, he's not first ballot worthy..." or "I'm gonna use one of my finite votes for this other guy because he's on his last year of eligibility..."

It's almost impossible to get 90% of people to vote on something, so you'd end up with a TINY hall of fame. I'll point out that Cy Young received less than 50% of the vote on his first ballot. While it was a "super class" to choose from (the first vote), we are talking about Cy Young here...

posted by grum@work at 08:39 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

... all of which I (and probably you) would agree are reasons to suggest those voters no longer be eligible.

Of the four reasons I listed, I think #1 (steroid taint) is the most defensible, even though I think it is the one I'd fight most against. If you've got a moral stand, take it. But don't let me catch you making an exception because that player who gave you the great interview/quotes is now on the ballot.

#2 (strategic voting) might be the most honourable one if you are more concerned with "in/out" rather than "percentage of vote" for determining worthiness. Most people don't remember the percentage of votes a player got when they were inducted, only that they were inducted. Of course, this only matters if you feel that there are more than 10 candidates that deserve to be enshrined, in which case you shouldn't be wasting your votes on the Boones/Percivals on the ballot...

#3 (no unanimous votes) is just stupid, and almost always will be violated by the same writer when a favourite player comes up. It should be interesting to see how those writers vote when Jeter hits the ballot for 2020.

#4 (oops!) is the least defensible, and really should get people dropped from the voting list. They added a "registration" piece to the voting (you had to actively sign up, instead of having the ballot just mailed to you) and hopefully that reduced the ancient retired writers who only pay attention to baseball when the ballot arrives each year.

posted by grum@work at 08:25 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

One other thing:

professional watchers and cataloguers of baseball

Some of the voters have been retired from sports writing for over 40 years, and some of them don't even watch baseball that much. In fact, one of the voters from Montreal is neither involved in sports OR writing, he's the political cartoonist for the Montreal Gazette (Terry Mosher, aka Aislin).

posted by grum@work at 08:17 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

I think there are 549 ballots, and yet 15 actual, professional watchers and cataloguers of baseball said of Randy Johnson "Not quite enough, maybe next year, son"

That's easy to figure out.

Let's say five of them simply submit blank ballots because they feel the entire era is tainted because of steroids.

Another five of them leave Johnson off the ballot because (as yerfatma explains) they want to use the spot for a player that "needs it more".

I'm sure there are four of them that feel that he shouldn't get a unanimous election because "If Ruth/Mantle/Mays/DiMaggio/etc didn't get 100%, then this guy surely doesn't" and makes it a self-fulling prophecy.

Finally, one of them probably simply forget to include Johnson on their ballot because they are old/senile/lazy. You don't think that happens? One of the MLB writers admitted that he forgot to check off Raines last year, even though he meant to give him a vote.

posted by grum@work at 08:07 PM on January 06

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Leafs are a mess.

Eh, that's a bit of an overstatement.

When they had that 9-out-of-10 run back in November, nobody was saying they were a train wreck.

They have a winning record (21 wins vs 19 losses), currently hold a playoff spot, and they have some very talented players (Kessel, JVR, Bernier), some good young players (Kadri, Reilly, Gardiner), and decent role players. You can always teach someone to play defense (or use a scheme to enhance it), and it's real hard to score goals, but Toronto is 2nd in the league in putting the biscuit in the basket.

This is exactly the kind of team that could use a coaching change, much like St. Louis in 2011-12 before Hitchcock took over.

posted by grum@work at 04:44 PM on January 06

Canada defeats Russia 5-4 to claim first world junior hockey gold since 2009

When the Russian player taunted the Canadian bench after making the score 2-1 early in the first period, I was hoping Canada would run it up to 10-1 (when they were ahead 5-1).

I like that one of the biggest cheers of the night went to the Slovakian goaltender, Denis Godla, for winning the top goaltender award.

posted by grum@work at 03:24 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Missed some players in the "changes" list:

Schilling +10.2%

Trammell +4.3%

posted by grum@work at 03:01 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Annual rant:

Anyone that gave a vote to [players listed with less than 10 votes] should lose their voting privileges. With a limited number of ballot spots, and a large number of legitimate choices, wasting a vote on [name] shows a lack of respect for the position they are in.

posted by grum@work at 02:37 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

New strong candidates for 2016:
Ken Griffey Jr.
Trevor Hoffman
Jim Edmonds

Wild guess for election in 2016:
Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Ken Griffey Jr.

posted by grum@work at 02:33 PM on January 06