Recent Comments by littleLebowski

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

Mathis' left leg is clearly in the base line before the catch.

There's just too much gray area for this. How long before "true interference" must the catcher vacate that area of the plate/baseline? The catcher is standing in order to get a good view of the developing play - does he have to be concerned about the runner just starting to approach/round 3rd base? If the goal is truly reduce injuries, then why isn't this rule applied to 2nd and 3rd bases? To my knowledge, there's no rule that says if a shortstop's body part ever enters the plane between 1st and 2nd, then the runner is safe. But, I admittedly might be wrong.

The point, to me, is that Mathis' leg being where it was had no role in the development or outcome of the play. Now, had Gwynn come into contact with the leg before Mathis had the ball, then yes, he should be safe, no matter whether the leg blocked him from the plate before being tagged. But, Mathis was in a reasonable position to complete the play and his body position before the ball arriving didn't impact anything. That said, I didn't say you (rcade) or grum or MLB was wrong in how you're saying the rule, as written, should've been applied. Nor do I have a problem with the ultimate intent. But, this situation is just the poster child for why this rule, as is, is just dumb.

posted by littleLebowski at 03:38 PM on April 15

MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home

If this is a violation, that just reinforces how insane the rule is. Part of the problem is how you define "as he is attempting to score". Gwynn does not alter his path as he heads into home plate ... plus the ball beats him there. Yes, Mathis' leg is in the baseline before the ball gets to him, but it's while he's in the process of making the catch. What is the expectation of the catcher in this situation, especially on an excellent throw that is heading directly at the plate? You want the catcher standing upright in the grass, be out of position to take the throw, then make a falling catch and try to apply the tag. To me, the rule is ridiculous, as written, regardless. But it's slightly better if the definition of "score" is "touch home plate". If that's the case, then I don't give a crud where the catcher is while the runner is rounding third (nice little non-chalant dance there, btw, Gwynn), as long as the runner isn't yet upon the catcher, then the catcher should be able to be whereever he needs to be, in order to make the catch.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:36 PM on April 15

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Congrats, grum!

posted by littleLebowski at 01:22 PM on May 22

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Former referee Mike Pereira clarified that while it is not allowable in the rules, there is no penalty.

That's precious. So, do it and you're only on the receiving end of a finger-wag? When I questioned dyams, it was purely out of curiosity. As a Brown's fan, I long ago swore in blood to forever hate the Ravens, and the practice kick "felt" wrong. So, I agree - that should be sured up in the offseason.

But, I don't have a problem at all with the "practice kick" after a late icing timeout - within reason. Like others have said, anything that discourages that childish practice is fine by me. But, maybe a solution is to have an official stand between the snapper and holder and then leave the "pocket" after the line is set. That way, the rule could be "you can still be an asshat and call a timeout whenever you want, but if you call it after the official steps away, the kicking team gets to take that practice shot." but at the same time, the kicker can't abuse the situation if the timeout is called in undeniably plenty of time.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:34 PM on January 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

The Ravens kicker ... isn't legal and should have been penalized.

It felt weird to me, too, but I'm not aware of any rule explicitly forbidding it. I could be un-lazy and look this up myself, but since you're the one calling shenanigans - do you have a source for the claim that it's illegal?

posted by littleLebowski at 01:08 PM on January 14

MLB Post-Season Pick 'Em, World Series Edition

Detroit in 7
Verlander
5 IBB
3:38

posted by littleLebowski at 03:18 PM on October 24

Penn State Fined $60 Million, Paterno Wins Vacated Since 1998

I wouldn't consider myself "invested" but I definitely think the punishment is appropriate ... but, I'd honestly almost rather see the team perform admirably and even win throughout this. I hold no ill will toward the current staff and certainly not the players. While I feel punishment had to be levied, as a reminder of the athletic program's proper "place" in the grand scheme of things and what is "right", the most severe penalites against the most applicable offenders have or are going to be assessed directly to those individuals. Heck, if the university and the football team approach this in a humanly decent way, they could use "football wins" to bring even more positive light to the healing process, moreso than they'd probably have a pulpit to do, if they were losing.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:56 PM on July 23

Penn State Fined $60 Million, Paterno Wins Vacated Since 1998

"just seems to create an untenable position for a school"

Untenable, really? Difficult, maybe. Yes, the police and prosecutors let everyone down in 1998. That doesn't eliminate Penn St. from doing what is "right". And I don't think "right" smells like granting someone who you're pretty damn sure is a child predator with a sweet retirement package and continued access to your university. Couldn't the appropriate actions taken by Penn St be conversations such as a) "Police and prosecutors, you might think you're doing Penn St a favor be sweeping this away, but please don't go soft on this guy on our account." and b) "Sandusky, we can't take criminal law into our own hands, but there is the gate leading out of this university. Walk through it, never look back, never set foot on these grounds again, and by god, if we even catch a whiff of you being up to no good ..."

Certainly not a fun situation to find yourself in as a university, but to say you can't do anything about it ... BS.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:54 AM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

That's likely the most appropriate response any of the original Dream Team-ers could've offered. Well done, Mr. Bird.

posted by littleLebowski at 07:22 PM on July 12

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

there's a legitimate point to be made about someone being both judge and jury.

That might be a fun discussion ,but then they should've made that point before agreeing to it in the CBA. Your judge-and-jury stance is fair, in a vacuum, but that's not what this grievance is about - not just my opinion, but look at the details of the grievance. So, turns out out to be simply "even thought we allowed it in the CBA, we don't like anything-Goodell, plus we have to stand up for our players, who feel they got the shaft (even though what they participated in is afront to other players), so we're throwing a couple loopholes against the wall and hope they stick." That's why, despite an acknowledgement of the union's purpose, some folks might have a foul taste from this kind of gamesmanship.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:40 PM on May 04

MLB prediction thread!

AL East : NY
AL Central : Detroit
AL West : Texas
AL WC 1 : Anaheim
AL WC 2 : Tampa

NL East : Philly
NL Central : Cinci
NL West : Arizona
NL WC 1 : Miami
NL WC 2 : LA

posted by littleLebowski at 01:52 PM on April 04

NFL suspends Sean Payton, fines Saints, takes draft picks, and more

I haven't seen anything about them being warned.

From what I recall, there were inklings/rumors floating around about this, specific to the Saints, a couple years ago. The NFL looked into it but didn't find (or want to find, at that time) absolute proof, so they went to Saints ownership and management and said something like "we're pretty sure this is going on here; knock it off". Benson reinforced that to Loomis and the current perception is that Loomis, Payton, and Williams (any or all) essentially mooned the NFL and went on their merry way without addressing this at all.

posted by littleLebowski at 03:34 PM on March 21

Tebow Traded to New York Jets

They wouldn't be so dirty to Sanchez ...

Makes every second I read SpoFi worth it.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:37 PM on March 21

Report: Peyton Manning Has Picked Broncos

I am not the biggest imbecile on the planet.

This thread was worth reading, just for that quip.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:42 AM on March 20

States Passing 'Tim Tebow' Bills for Home-Schooled Athletes

I'm not following your question ... the intent for bypassing of the public school system seems immaterial. I think the question is simply, if you choose to not participate in the applicable public school's academics, do you have the right to its other "activities"? If you're point is that "what difference does it make whether we're talking home-schooled or parochial, I'll give you that. I don't know that there was a sound difference between parochial and homeschooling; it was just a mental exercise. On the other hand ... Interesting callout, opel70. I wasn't aware of those kinds of arrangements. So, that seems to further support a home-schooled student to be able to have access to the public school's athletics (or band, theater, or other programs). My point was simply that it "felt like" crossing the line to go to a "competing, formal" educational environment and then cherry-pick the public school system. And, based on your comments, at least in part, I'm hearing less-and-less solid justification to exclude home-schooled kids from public school activities.

I'm not seeing this as "a la carte government services". Maybe an analogy, is ... my tax dollars go in part to community infrastructure, including roadways and public transportation. If I choose to not use the city bus system (aka, public schools) and decide to use my own car (homeschooling), does that mean I'm not allowed to drive on city streets or use city bike paths (public school athletics)?

posted by littleLebowski at 04:41 PM on February 10

High school team gets technical for wearing pink cancer uniforms

We've seen this kind of thing before ... officials unaware of an infraction or not wishing to do anything about, until the opposing team brings it up (I remember a thread on here a while ago about a women's softball team losing a game because the game-winning homerun hitter hugged her 3rd base coach while rounding the bases, or something).

The comments beneath the article provide more insight than the actual article. Sounds like the opposing AD showed up part of the way through the game, noticed the "odd" uniforms, and approached his own coach about it, who in turn went to the officials. The technical foul resulted in a lead change but the whistleblowing team ended up winning by a decent margin. But, who knows the full effect.

Yeah, "rules are rules" and "if you allow this, then where do you draw the line", blah, blah. To me it boils down to : if it wasn't glaring enough that the officials caught it on their own and/or has a direct impact on that game, then get some perspective and keep your trap shut, otherwise you look like (and probably are) an asshat.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:49 PM on February 10

States Passing 'Tim Tebow' Bills for Home-Schooled Athletes

It might be one thing if a taxpaying but homeschooling family would try to pull a stunt where they try to say "we pay school levy taxes, and since we don't use the schools, we want to receive some other public service in exchange". But, in these cases, although it still feels hinky to me, they're actually just utilizing something that would otherwise be at their disposal.

On the other hand, this potential slippery-slope just popped into my mind ... What if a taxpaying family who had consciously decided to bypass the public school system in favor of a parochial school, but upon realizing that the local high school would provide greater exposure for their child, they want to have him/her still receive their education from the parochial but play sports for the public school team? I don't think that would fly at all. (It's admittedly on-the-fly thought and may easily be debunked.)

posted by littleLebowski at 01:44 PM on February 10

Giants Sought to Give Kyle Williams Another Concussion

But the question remains - how do you play NFL-capital-F-Football with velvet gloves?

There's a difference between the sport being inherently violent versus a few knuckleheads going above-and-beyond normal gamemanship to intentionally inflict what they know to be potentially deadly, or at least severe, injuries. Not asking these guys to pull off of "normal", sound technique tackles because they might be violent. But to excuse intentional harmful conduct because the sport is otherwise violent feels misguided to me.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:51 PM on January 24

Giants Sought to Give Kyle Williams Another Concussion

I could edit it out, but strike my last comment about dviking's intent ... you're entitled to whatever you want to say or think and for whatever reason. Sorry.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:32 PM on January 24

Giants Sought to Give Kyle Williams Another Concussion

I think if they had decided to go after his head it would be one thing but I saw no evidence of that

Well, they admitted that they DID consciously decide to go after his head. Their lack of "execution" isn't a reprieve from despicable intent. And despite your observations, they seem to be proud of themselves ... from here : "Sash did a great job hitting him early, and he looked kind of dazed when he got up."

most players that sense a weakness are going to exploit it

If "most players" try to exploit someone's bad ankle or sore shoulder, that's mildly ugly but it's somewhat understandable and palatable. You can "exploit" without intentionally causing irreparable harm. However, if "most players" feel head-hunting with the specific intent of trying to add another concussion on to someone's medical rap sheet is acceptable, I'm done with football.

this is part of the game

This has nothing to do with special teams play or normal risks. This is about the intent to cause physical damage, a type of damage that is known by everyone involved to have potentially long-term, far-reaching and life-threatening impacts. I honestly think you're taking a contrarian stance for shits and giggles - at least I hope so.

posted by littleLebowski at 01:26 PM on January 24

Giants Sought to Give Kyle Williams Another Concussion

Maybe I'm too naive or unrealistic, and I know some form of this goes on all the time ... but this seems like a gigantic deal to me. Wanting to rattle a QB by knocking him down a couple times and making him think twice about being comfortable in the pocket is one thing. So does knowing that an opponent has a nagging injury and using that in the sense of taking advantage of how he might be limited. But, to intentionally target someone's HEAD and their propensity for concussions (and then be stupid and callous enough to brag about it) seems like a huge black eye for the league and just a reprehensible practice, especially considering all of the realizations about head-related injuries over the past few years.

I was convinced that whoever won last weekend, I'd be pulling for the NFC champ. Now I'm with bperk; this makes that kinda hard.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:46 AM on January 24

Giants, Patriots in Super Rematch

" Truth being told I am not sure I'm going to watch the unSuper Bowl since the two best teams are sitting at home #ravens #49ers."

I hate it when teams/players I despise do something that causes me internal turmoil ... thank you, Baltimore, for not being that kind of team.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:51 PM on January 23

NFL Playoff Pick 'em

Cincinnati by 2
New Orleans by 8
Pittsburgh by 9
Atlanta by 3

Kicker : Kasay
RB : Turner
TO : Pittsburgh

posted by littleLebowski at 02:28 PM on January 06

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I might try this in my rec league - a sort-of power play in college hoops

posted by littleLebowski at 10:23 AM on January 06

NCAA Slaps OSU on the Wrist, USC Still Feeling Groin-Kicked

I don't care if a sports story is "extensively reported" by you, me or SI ... I don't care if a story on childhood obesity is "extensively reported" by an 8-year-old or the American Academy of Pediatrics ... Oh, if only "reported" = "true". If the stories are "extensively wrong", can't be substantiated by anyone including a governing body and are even proven incorrect - no matter the source, they're all essentially flaming bags of crap. But, if you want to cite it as gospel despite the facts as they are known, I can't stop you.

And I'm at a loss how a statement such as "Tressel royally fucked up" can be interpreted as somehow minimizing his fault or trying to absolve anyone of anything? HE tried to cite mitigating factors, not me or anyone else in this thread. Everything you then soapboxed points to Tressel completely fucking up with intent - no argument from me, so what exactly are we debating there?

I've admitted to being an OSU fan, while talking about a level of fault on the university's part and refusing to be a Tressel apologist. On the other hand, just maybe, could your allegiances be the source of your biased FPP headline and your vitriol on this one?

GODDAMMIT, Kansas. I went to USC and Michigan, and you have to hire Weis into the Big 12 so I can't see either of my teams tune up on him every year?

posted by Etrigan at 11:23 AM on December 09

I don't think the scenarios are remotely similar, but I feel for innocent USC players and fans stuck with the lingering penalties and we're in agreement the NCAA has real issues overall. But like a friend said, even though I've been guilty of it, it's a 5-year-old's tactic of "yeah, I broke the vase, but sister didn't clean her room either and you didn't ground her as much." USC complaining about OSU is like OSU complaining about Auburn, Miami or Oregon. We can debate about the inequality of the "crimes" all we want ... every situation is different in some way, but if you don't eff up in the first place, then there's no debate about your punishment.

I said I'd TRY to bow out ....

posted by littleLebowski at 01:27 AM on December 23

NCAA Slaps OSU on the Wrist, USC Still Feeling Groin-Kicked

You're a better man than I, tahoe, but I can't let some of this silliness slide. Just as one example, Twenty-seven other Buckeyes (then-current and former) were implicated in the original SI story ... In your world, I should be able to get the NCAA to impose some wonderfully horrific sanctions on Michigan by simply tossing out here (since that would approximate the level of journalism put forth by SI and ESPN throughout this debacle) that "all signs point toward Brady Hoke and no less than 41 players being involved in a black market organ harvesting ring". There, that looks good to me, and no matter what the NCAA proves, since this is the starting point, that should really screw Michigan.

The original allegations, errr rumors, such as what you're trying to pass off as fact, were unfounded and don't appear in the NCAA findings - heck a couple players so vehemently denied them and had proof to the contrary, that they considered defamation lawsuits. But if that helps your case to belabor the "woe is me" for USC, have at it (a USC program, who contrary to a previous post, was not at all cooperative, which according to some reports helped add to their penalty). Tressel royally fucked up, OSU had a hand in it, USC got the screws put to them, and we can all agree that the NCAA has some "sham-iness" to it. But, this hand-wringing over OSU's supposed hand-slap is near comical.

This thread has degenerated into a couple OSU fans vs a couple anti-USC fans, and that's not what SpoFi is about (unless the Red Sox and Yankees are being discussed ... I kid, I kid), so I'll try to bow out and will be visiting my therapist about that "let it go" thing.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:57 PM on December 22

NCAA Slaps OSU on the Wrist, USC Still Feeling Groin-Kicked

I don't think you'll find too many of us crying.

I'm with you, tahoe. I should've actually said "any of us Ohio St. fans, ..." The majority of folks around here are of the same mindset as you and I. No complaint against the NCAA (maybe in regards to "dragging out" assigning the penalties), but disgust toward the players, betrayal toward Tressel (like you said) and anger at AD Gene Smith (his arrogance and the whole bowl ban situation - like holden said). But, they're plenty of clowns running around here, too. I still don't see any valid argument in remotely comparing USC to OSU, but that's going to be like trying to convince a Michael Vick hater to "let it go" since he served his time (or vice versa).

posted by littleLebowski at 11:12 AM on December 22

NCAA Slaps OSU on the Wrist, USC Still Feeling Groin-Kicked

Guess Ohio State must bring more revenue to the NCAA than USC.

I think the answer is more in the area of the same anti-West Coast bias that pervades American sports hierarchy and media.

Or, the answer could be - unless you try to dumb both situations down to the most generic statement of "players got money", one might be able to realize that the infractions and paths of investigations of the USC and OSU situations have pretty much nothing in common, so why would the penalties mirror each other?

Any Ohio St fan that cries about these penalties needs to simply shut up. But likewise, anyone else whining about USC, or equality, or slaps on the wrist is trying to grind an equally lame axe. Yes, the problem is with the whole system.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:11 PM on December 21

Bears Receiver Charged with Cocaine Distribution

No drug dealer is worth their weight in packing peanuts, but in some alternate universe, I can almost understand why some people resort to something like this as a last resort (I'm not justfying ... "almost understanding"). However, Hurd got a million+ signing bonus, receives almost $1 mill/year in salary and has a family. Hence this bringing out rare blind rage in me. Whether he is distributing this around all of Chicago or is more simply the hook-up for a bunch of other rich, hopefully-soon-to-be-out-of-the-NFL players, this guy has to be one of the world's top-notch morons.

posted by littleLebowski at 04:55 PM on December 15

Warner to Tebow: A Little Less Jesus, Please

"if you can be a good role model, someone that a mom or dad can look to their son ..."

I know you can take a tiny piece of any conversation and turn it into anything you want, but this phrase is probably the poster-child for my personal Tebow "dilemma". On one hand, I think he's completely genuine about wanting to be a good role model, and that's refreshing in today's sports society. But, I think the theme of his "critics" in this thread is that some of his methods come across as fairly hard-sells that it's somehow your fault if you don't completely join him (I guess that's probably a core tenet of "missionaryism"). On the other hand, he's pretty spot-on with the statement above ... I WOULD be thrilled to have my son have the heart, compassion, general values that he seems to genuinely carry. Granted, I'd probably suggest to my kid that he tone down the religious rhetoric a bit, but I'd otherwise be pretty stinkin' proud of him.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:07 AM on December 02

Report: Urban Meyer to Coach Ohio State

Put me in that same camp, recade. After I got over my initial bitter pill as a Buckeye, I think Meyer is otherwise a perfect fit for OSU. But after admittedly doubting his excuses after his first "retirement", I now think his reasons are genuine, so there's cause for pause there. But that's part of why I'm hoping the rumors about Fickell are true. It otherwise seems like a very odd scenario ... except that the almost universal feeling around here has always been that Fickell is very highly thought of. This experiment has actually only strengthened that sentiment, although it was accompanied by the realization he simply wasn't ready for the head gig. Had he the benefit of a few more years under Tressel, we could've easily seen an heir-apparent situation. Now, with this last year's experience, it feels like he could take some of the daily pressure off Meyer and they might have more of a duo-approach that we would've expected with a coach of Meyer's standing. ... /fully admit I may very well be in la-dee-la land

posted by littleLebowski at 11:22 AM on November 23

Report: Urban Meyer to Coach Ohio State

The impressions from the talking heads around town is that the framework is in place but that everyone needs to knock it off with the "it's done" tal because it's not done until there is a signature, which there is not. Hopefully the reports are accurate (I particularly like the possibility that Fickell stays) and that Meyer is doing the honorable thing and not stepping on Fickell's final moments.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:49 AM on November 23

Syracuse puts Fine on leave after police inquiry

That's funny how the University says they won't ignore such charges, but they have since at least 2005. Why are University's doing their own investigations of these things?

But, this from the article :
" ... the school conducted its own four-month investigation at that time, including interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but that all of them 'denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct' ..."

"We were informed by the complainant that the Syracuse City Police had declined to pursue the matter because the statute of limitations had expired,'' Quinn said.


Why would anyone corroborate any allegations now?

True ... if they weren't willing to corraborate when this was initially investigated in 2005, it a shame they won't do so now. That MUST be the fault of the media and society coming down hard on the folks involved in the 2011 Penn St debacle.

I'm not judging whether the Syracuse accusations are founded (if so, it's certainly another unbelievably sad situation, and I'm otherwise neutral toward Syracuse). And, if the Sandusky tragedy encourages other legitimate victims with the strength to step forward regarding other crimes, at least something somewhat positive comes from it. But, by the time the Penn St story broke and the outcry became so strong, that had already started playing out in significant legal processes. The same should be allowed here.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:58 PM on November 18

Bob Costas Asks Sandusky About Penn State Abuse Scandal

Haven't seen the interview either, just read some excerpts and heard Costas on the DP Show this morning. I'm thinking calculated move on the part of the attorney, but rather than a jury issue, maybe this helps establish a psuedo-"insanity" defense. I may be off-base regarding whether Sandusky could receive lighter punishment based upon "limited faculties" even if argued, but that was my gut reaction.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:31 PM on November 15

Penn State AD Charged in Child Sex Abuse Cover Up

Joe is not some random employee or middle management in this scenario, and being informed about alleged crimes by Sandusky is not comparable to finding something out about a co-worker that may or may not be true.

Paterno may not have been signing his checks, but Sandusky was employed under the absolute direction of Paterno and was using facilities that are, at least in part, under Paterno's oversight. And, JoePa IS Penn St ... he can't simply take the path of least personal turmoil, turn his back, and never think about this again if he remotely cares about his legacy, his school or his fellow humans.

I'm no big Penn St fan, but I'd hate to see Paterno or PSU take a big fall for this because of the impact on the sport and a much-revered person. But it feels like a monstrous cover-up, and even if not, it has too many moral pitfalls. Even though this has nothing to do with boosters or agents or players making questionably corrupt decisions, regardless, talk about "lack of institutional control".

I'd like nothing else than some facts to come out that exonerate Paterno completely (morally, ethically), but if not, allowing him to retire from the game at the end of the year would be a nice but lenient way to say goodbye.

posted by littleLebowski at 03:04 PM on November 07

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Congrats, Papa Hoser!

posted by littleLebowski at 08:58 AM on September 15

American Wins Golf Major

Dufner handled the walking-off-the-last-green interview well.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:13 AM on August 15

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Yep - the devil on my shoulder (who dislikes Tiger) sadly allowed part of me to get a kick out of his comment. But overall, I feel for Scott. It's too bad that Williams was even faced with a decision by having a mike thrust at him (this isn't hyperbole, I've never seen a caddy interviewed at that moment of a tournament/victory - maybe after the Bruce Edwards [Tom Watson] cancer story broke?). It's moreover too bad that he couldn't have swallowed or delayed his comments and reacted with only ""hey, I'm an effing caddy. Adam won this tournament - he's your story and is where your cameras and microphones should be." Plus, whatever chuckle I got was snuffed by the repetition of "I'm a front-runner on the racetrack AND the course." The idea that Williams was insufferable just because that's what Tiger paid him to be is in doubt.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:58 PM on August 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Yeah, Tiger's never going to get any sympathy from me , but Williams gets only a miniscule amount. Tiger's dismissal seemed dick-ish, but Williams made a great life though him and some humility and "moving on" is maybe the best medicine. If this is the last we hear about it (from Williams' mouth), then he gets a chuckle outta me for this interview. Otherwise, if he keeps chatting, then he loses any good-will.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:17 AM on August 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Loved the big "screw you" from Steve Williams to Tiger : (paraphrased) : "I've been a caddie for 33 years. This was the best week, the best win, of my career."

posted by littleLebowski at 08:38 AM on August 08

Randy Moss announces his retirement

I never heard of him being arrested or even acting like a jackass in public.

And wasn't there the day he disgraced a Minneapolis resutrant owner for a post-practice meal? No DUI, manslaughter or domestic advice ... but that's pretty jackass-y in my book. Then again, nothing that enters the HOF discussion.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:51 PM on August 02

Thomas Robinson's Tragic Month

Sorry, but I can't fathom any comparison of a student-athlete-with-child to this situation. Forget about the conscious decisions, typical support systems, etc of the semi-normal scenario ... the sheer emotional strain on a 19-year-old and a 9-yeay-old of a lifetime's worth of tragedy consolidated into 1 month has to make this an incomparable situation. How does Robinson's full-ride do anything other than take steps to help him take care of himself and possibly live in the same building as his sister? His full-ride can't pay for her food and other needs, right? Maybe I'm just too saddened by the situation to recognize the alternatives, so I honestly ask this non-snarkily, but what are some solutions that make you believe "I don't think it is impossible"?

And, putting compassion aside (which I'm not), even if you're only concerned about the having productive members of society walking around, there has got to be some out-of-the-box assistance allowed here.

I'm not an overly religious chap, but my prayers go out to Robinson and Jayla, as well as the NCAA for the strength to do the right thing.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:44 PM on January 28

Zach Thomas: Jets Formed Wall Before Sideline Incident

It's not like that wall was at exceptional danger compared to any other play.

I couldn't give two shits about the fools who chose to be part of the wall - the concern would be for the gunner or active players not expecting the sidelines to suddenly become a human obstacle course. Yeah, we see plays carry into the sidelines areas and even the benches, but that is a natural continuation of the play that is unavoidable ... this situation is wholly avoidable and again, is absolutely outside of any gamesmanship. And, you're repeated point is that noone was breaking any rules ... but THOSE guys ARE.

So, guys in track suits can be "situational substitutions"? And, I don't care who they are - head coach, last coach on the totem pole, active players, inactive players, my aunt ... I'm betting that the NFL doesn't allow someone to be in that area with the intent to interfere with the play of the game. And it seems like something very easy to regulate. I would imagine that teams would adjust right quick after a handful of 15-yard penalties over such an avoidable infraction. Heck, why not have the replay official or some other lackey, who's in the booth playing solitaire for a good chunk of the game, phone down to an on-field official , "hey you got a bunch of knuckleheads on the Home team hanging around at the sideline - may want to warn or flag 'em".

posted by littleLebowski at 03:04 PM on December 16

Zach Thomas: Jets Formed Wall Before Sideline Incident

The wall was within those lines.

You keep making insinuations like this, but I think you're factually incorrect. See the thin white line BEHIND the wall of idiots? It's my understanding that all players are supposed to be behind that line. Only coaches (which a strength-and-conditioning coach is a stretch, especially during an in-game situation) are to be in the green area immediately past the thick sideline.

Even if we forget the bush-league and clearly-not-in-the-spirit-of-the-game nature of this, this coach and players (at the behest of the coach) are breaking a rule. What's worse, even if we forget about the knee extension, while they maintain they're doing it to force a gunner around them, they full well know that injury could easily come to everyone involved. If they want to be reckless with their own bodies, fine, but this has moved from "what a goofy spur-of-the-moment act by the coach, but the crime fit the punishment" to a realization of "holy shit, these guys are morons and are dangerous".

posted by littleLebowski at 11:50 AM on December 16

Legendary Tigers/Reds Manager Sparky Anderson dies at 76

Ugh.
All my love for baseball can be traced back to me being a young-un watching both my uncle play Legion ball and the Big Red Machine coached by Sparky. Always seemed like a class act. Godspeed, Sparky.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:34 AM on November 04

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Compare part of what was discussed yesterday here with this quote from Maddon after the Michael Young home-run following a questionable check-swing call ... ""The Rangers have outplayed us for two consecutive nights, so I've got to give them all the credit," Maddon said. "You can't win games by just getting two hits, but I had to make my point. ... That's all that was about." ... Orlando Cabrera of the Reds might want to take a pointer.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:16 AM on October 08

Doctober

Yeah, in the 9th, TBS scanned the crowd and paused for a second on a boy, probably 9ish, who couldn't have had a bigger smile. The whole ordeal had me in goosebumps but that sight and imagining the unadulterated joy of a kid in that moment = extra chills.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:54 AM on October 07

Europe Wins Ryder Cup

JJ, if you're still checking in on this thread (or anyone) ...

Why is it that European Tour players consistently play on the US Tour (I'm betting at the consternation of many Euro fans) - but we rarely see an American head across the ocean, except for The Open?

I mean, I'm sure that on a global scale, the PGA Tour in America provides more exposure and is more lucrative. But, I can't believe that some of these millionaires who clearly take pride in their craft refuse to expose themselves just occasionally to the European style of the game.

If for absolutely no other reason, no matter the makeup of the teams, I will always consider the Euros a notable favorite when the Ryder Cup is played over there, but the Americans will either be a push or tiny favorites (again, in my mind) when played here.

posted by littleLebowski at 07:10 AM on October 07

Doctober

The umpire called only one ball a strike the entire game.

If we're going solely by your blog link, then not only my eyes but also TBS's pitch monitoring graphic need seriously re-evaluated. There were a number of very questionable strikes that I, TBS' technical team, and occasionally the announcers were all in agreement with. There was more than one comeback fastball where it seemed like Hirschbeck seemed to be saying to himself "ooo, that was pretty how that ball slid back toward the plate - nevermind it's still in the batter's box area ... STRIKE".

HAVING SAID THAT, linking those few questionable calls to Halladay's performance, Cabrera is a tool for coming out with that statement. It's one thing for me, a nobody, to come out and say that the ump made some curious strike calls but, at least I give due credit to Halladay. To be the guy that comes out and says that immediately after the guy made your entire roster look completely silly ... knucklehead, Cabrera.

The one other point that Halladay didn't have control over but may have helped his cause - the Reds strategy of sitting on first pitches. In the first inning, it looked the Reds hitters were going to be aggressive, but that sure tailed off and I think that was a mistake against Halladay, especially when he's on like he was (gawd, the movement on his fastball was unreal). So, I wonder what was (or wasn't) being said in the dugout about that strategy (or lack thereof). Regardless, he made multiple good hitters look very goofy up there, regardless of the count.

So, I'm with tahoe ... all my minor bellyaching about the ump and the Reds' strategy aside, that was amazing to watch. And despite how impressed I was with the Reds' bullpen, by the 8th inning, I had to put my Reds' fandom aside and I was hoping he'd pull it off. And, from everything I've heard and seen, couldn't happen to a more quality individual. Congrats!

posted by littleLebowski at 07:04 AM on October 07

Orioles Pitcher Keeps Hitting Yankees

Interesting article and good post, but overall, seems like a near-non-story. Probably doesn't make any wires if the Yankees are the "victims'.

As for anyone concerned for the Yankees and remotely convinced Guthrie is doing this on purpose - have the AL get rid of the DH and maybe you'll see Guthrie chill out a bit.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:14 PM on September 23

Ohio Mascot Tackles Brutus Buckeye

well, that, and the huge cheque I bet they got

oh, and yeah, $850k goes a ways for a program like OU's

posted by littleLebowski at 11:19 AM on September 22

Ohio Mascot Tackles Brutus Buckeye

I thought about putting together my own MasterCard commercial, closing with : When the mascot of your alma mater assaults the mascot of your favorite team ... priceless.

Yeah, so this is getting a lot pf play back here. Most of the folks I've talked to in my situation (OU grad but grew up in central Ohio and loving OSU), it's pretty consistently ... ok, that's hilarious but only because of how big a tool Hanning is and it's just bizarre that someone would go to those lengths, but thanks a lot for black eye on our school. At least it seems like most of the folks are taking this in stride. Another interesting twist is that it sounds like Hanning isn't even a current OU student but is affiliated with a nearby technical school.

posted by littleLebowski at 11:17 AM on September 22

Buckeye Gets Standing Ovation in Ann Arbor

Can't put into words how hard this is for me ... but in all seriousness, due to the gravity of the situation ... I tip my cap to UM. And of course, also to Mr. Mealer (that part isn't hard at all).

posted by littleLebowski at 08:38 AM on September 08

Manny Ramirez Ejected After Seeing One Pitch

That about sums up Manny's contribution to the Dodgers- leave em hanging when they need him most.

Ummm... Manny Ramirez has been an absolute monster for LA, particularly in the post-season when 'they need him most'.

I'm not puttin' words in irunfromclones' mouth, but I'm guessing it's simply a reference to the game situation - 1 out, bases loaded. Not the best time to be pushing an ump's buttons on balls and strikes.

All I can do at this one is shrug my shoulders. On one hand, Manny should be able to recognize the situation and keep his trap shut, regardless of the lack of profanity. You rarely see a batter argue a strike 1 call. Yeah, they might step out of the box and/or shake their head while looking away, but not turn around and argue. On the other hand, seems like the ump was definitely a little touchy and hot-head-y. On the third hand, while I doubt Manny was intentionally getting tossed, he has a history of phoning it in.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:36 AM on August 31

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Monty fills out out the European roster. I'm surprised/relieved/disappointed at Casey in particular being left off, but hard to argue on paper at the hot hand (Molinari + being able to play with his brother), a multi-major champ (Harrington) and a stellar Ryder cup record (Donald). Where's JJ when ya need 'im? Methinks the US side is in for a rough patch this time around.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:27 PM on August 30

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I feel a bit sorry for Furyk

Does jail time really benefit anyone here, what about just a fine? Sorry, wrong thread, but really ...
This definitely qualifies as the other golf rules infractions we've seen recently ... it's a rule, know it, make sure you live by it, but man ... I agree, seems like there could be a scale for punishment for this kind of mistake ... late 5 minutes, buy your amateur partner a bottle of bubbly and give the resident charity a nice little sum ... late 30 minutes, be prepared to fork over a percentage of your weekend's winnings ... late an hour, go home for the weekend.

posted by littleLebowski at 09:13 AM on August 26

Gators Cap Costs Razorbacks Reporter Her Job

To me there's 3 parties involved here, with differing levels of accountability :
The reporter : dumb, dumb, dumb ... should expect to be disciplined in some fashion, but it doesn't seem to me to be a deliberate attention-seeking act. If nothing else, it sounds like she has two young kids. I don't think she's oblivious enough to the environment where she wouldn't recognize that an intentional affront to the Razorbacks may lead to some uncomfortable situations for her whole family. Still, not lose your livelihood-worthy.
The radio station : It might be refreshing to see a radio station stick behind its employee. However, whether it speaks to a bigger problem is another issue, but I can believe that the radio station feared that this would put themselves at a disadvantage within the university sports program and would thus lead to their inability to cover the team as it should, which would lead to a competitive disadvantage in their market.
The university/football program/Petrino : They come out smelling the worst, to me personally. I don't have inside knowledge, but it would take a lot of convincing to get me to think that some facet of the university didn't put some pressure on the radio station. It may not have been a direct "you fire this broad", but it could've easily been "see, this is the kind of thing that makes us wonder if we want to give your station full access to our team". And to let a hat, regardless of the level of unprofessionalism or stupidity on the part of the reporter, get you this riled up ... I fear it says something about your program.

posted by littleLebowski at 12:53 PM on August 18

Federal Judge: Cheerleading Not A Sport

I realized I had only started the article in the FPP and then jumped to the comments. I still maintain that competitive cheer seems to be a sport by overall definition, but from the article, it seems clear that it had not been recognized so by the college system, so it seems like the judge's ruling may have been founded.

And the school's response to not being able to call cheerleading a sport and facing having to reinstate volleyball? ... To announce it will start a women's rugby team. Is it just me or does it seem like the school is hellbent on F'ing with the volleyball team? If they could muster the budget to create a new program (women's rugby), couldn't they muster the budget to keep an established program running? If I were a QU volleyball player, I'd be transferring out of principle, if nothing else.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:26 AM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Maybe this is only interesting to soccer watching amateurs like me, but Thierry Henry scores in Red Bull debut.

posted by littleLebowski at 07:14 AM on July 23

Federal Judge: Cheerleading Not A Sport

I don't care for competitive cheerleading and had never given this any thought, but it seems to me that competitive cheering is more of a sport than many other things we debate.

Cheerleaders lead the crowd in cheers, they are not competing against the girls on the other sideline to determine the outcome of the contest. You've already admitted to the athleticism involved, and you even highlight competitive cheerleading. In competitive cheerleading, it seems to me that your audience of "crowd" or fans are no more integral than the crowd in other sporting events. In competitive cheerleading, they truly ARE competing against members of another squad, in an effort to determine an outcome decided by a point/ranking system. Seems to me that those two aspects (athleticism, competition) satisfy even the most narrow definitions of "sport" (Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.)

Can anyone name another activity that would normally be called a sport that is mixed gender? How about golf? Again, there's been debate about whether golf requires the athleticism to be a sport, but society in general considers it one. Now, colleges have gender-specific golf teams, but at the pro-level, we've obviously seen cross-over (Annika). And, even if we disregard this gem, haven't there been females that have stepped onto a football field (see Katie Hnida)? Again, certainly not the norm, but I would bet someone could name even better examples of female-male competition, even if they were fringe sports. Regardless, I don't think that "boys and girls playing together" should discount something from being a sport.

posted by littleLebowski at 06:43 AM on July 23