Recent Comments by Bernreuther

NHL Player Wears Blackface for Halloween

How about that, facebook is (sort of) useful for something...

A friend posted about Dwayne Wade's Justin Timberlake costume along with the (unverified) claim that it was declared "best costume" by Yahoo sports just a day before the same site declared that Torres' getup was racist. I'm not sure I see why there's a difference between the two.

Doesn't Plaschke always wring his hands too hard?

posted by Bernreuther at 08:52 AM on November 03

New Maryland Uniforms Shock and Awe

If they make them the regular uniform it will kill recruiting. Their athletes will be catching hell for years over that monstrosity.

We all probably thought the same about Oregon. I know I did. And look what it has done for them.

We're not exactly among Nike and UA's target audience.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:25 PM on September 06

Chad Ochocinco Traded to Patriots

What will Aaron Ochocinco think about this?

This guy is hoping he refuses to give up the number, thus giving Paul Lukas and others the pleasure of seeing OCHOCINCO above an 86 on the back of the jersey next year.

posted by Bernreuther at 06:49 PM on July 28

Pouting Kid Scores Free Baseball

he didn't even attempt to reach for the ball to begin with.

Exactly. Why was he even pouting?

posted by Bernreuther at 03:17 PM on July 21

Darnell Dockett Crushes Quarterbacks, Crushes on Oprah

As if that wasn't enough, he also has a nickname for the ages:

Fart Box

posted by Bernreuther at 10:48 AM on April 28

Peyton Manning Tanks Concussion Tests

As for making Manning look foolish, I suppose it could

If you're predisposed to thinking he's foolish and Tom Brady is always the ice-in-his-veins consummate professional, it doesn't matter what they do. You'll find a way to tailor it to your existing opinion.

This answer came in an interview with a family that spent most of the time joking about who runs faster, how many wet willies were given, and how their mom was a #4 pick in the CFL draft. It's really hard to take it seriously, regardless of the phrasing of the question.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:10 PM on April 27

The Strongest Hands in the World

He also competes in other strength sports, and I assume he has a real job, so calling the Mighty Mitts/grip competitions his career is not entirely accurate.

The link doesn't work but I assume the contest they describe was at this year's Arnold. The grip contest was little more than a poorly-commentated sideshow for the Pro Strongmen, which was kind of a shame because grip is part of strongman (usually they'll throw one grip test in per contest) and these guys are better than any of the pros who followed them.

The most impressive part of it to me was Andrew Durniat, who is just a regular sized guy. He was able to pick up the anvil and the giant circus dumbell (each of which I tried and failed, though I did get a 115lb anvil off the ground) with one hand. Having a name like Big Rich means you have some built in advantages, namely giant hands, so it's the other folks that impress me more.

Oh, found the article. Good read. It's a shame that some of that story wasn't passed along to the idiot announcer, who instead made canned football jokes like "you look like you were probably a wide receiver, right?" (Williams didn't humor him... kind of scowled and just said "offensive tackle.")

posted by Bernreuther at 03:47 PM on April 11

Adding Rushing to Quarterback Rating

So a rush doesn't count as an attempt? So a 30 yard scramble gets put into the total but not in the denominator?


As a modification for one of the four sections of passer rating, sure, go ahead and put this calculation in (remove the foolish thresholds and TD pass percentage crap while you're at it)... it'd improve it. But by itself it's even more flawed than most stats. Many of the names above Manning by his measure amuse me.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:14 AM on November 26

Michael Vick Lights Up Washington for 6 TDs, 413 Yards

Fine, hate him. Wallow in it. No one cares, but when can we stop hearing about it? Can we talk football ever without the amateur psychology rants? It's getting old. That was an absolutely amazing MNF game, and the thread has been ruined by those nursing grievances.

When the rest of the world stops treating him like the second coming and hyping his little 5-6 game resurgence as postively MVP-like, I'll stop countering with the opposite.

Yes, his game last night was great. The end. It's not some amazing redemption story. If anything, it's a damn shame he never worked that hard when he was first in the league, and it's a damn shame he wasted his talent then and while in jail.

What exactly does he need to do to show you remorse?

Maybe say he's sorry?

To my knowledge, he has only read from a script (or recited finely coached words) to say he's sorry that he let people down, sorry to the fans, that he's learned a lot in jail, etc. He hasn't said a word about the whole psychopath animal torture bit, other than to admit that he'd still be doing it if he hadn't been caught.

SWAT teams.

Yeah. And murderers kill people. (Actually, PETA has argued for mass euthanization of pits too, which makes them just as bad, and kind of funny that his little pro-animal publicity stunt was to be with them.)

The difference, in my mind, is that he was doing this for fun. Torturing and killing. For fun. Because it made him laugh. I agree that the sentence for such a thing (though he never even got tried for any actual animal cruelty related crimes) shouldn't match the penalty for killing humans - I'm not one who goes that overboard with the animal rights crusading - but the fact that it was habitual, and the fact that his eyes tell me things that contradict his words, means I still don't think there's anything redeeming about him except for his athletic ability.

Holden, I think we're all smart enough to divorce on-field from off-field. But so much of the hype before and after last night doesn't do that. That's my problem. They're celebrating him again. Football-wise, at least this time it's deserved (though I still expect some sub-50% passing games once he starts playing good teams... maybe I'll be wrong). But it still bothers me that people are going out in droves to buy his jersey again. And it bothers me that this is regarded as a great story of redemption rather than a sad story about what a waste it was that he wasn't playing at this level before, and that he engaged in such awful behavior for so long.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:33 PM on November 16

Michael Vick Lights Up Washington for 6 TDs, 413 Yards

He did his time and absolutely deserves his second chance in the game. I am 100% behind it, just as I support the ability for any convicted felon to be released and find employment.

But we're entitled to hate him for what he did. He hasn't shown an ounce of genuine remorse for it. He's a psychopath who tortured and killed innocent companion animals for fun. He has admitted that he'd still be doing it if he hadn't gotten caught.

So excuse me (and WFrazer and many others) for not letting it die. I don't care that he did his time. He's still an evil person that I wouldn't piss on if he was on fire. (I'd happily piss on him if he wasn't, though.) He had a game for the ages last night, full of excellent throws, good decisions, and well-timed runs, and I support his right to do that and earn his free agent check. But fuck him.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:02 PM on November 16

Lions Cornerback Alfonso Smith Does a Carlton

There was no penalty. Burleson got one for kicking the ball into the stands. Smith's was fine.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:28 PM on October 12

Mario Williams Shuts Up Hecklers

Those are some really dorky hecklers.

posted by Bernreuther at 07:18 PM on September 23

The Hangover: Roethlisberger

I actually believe everything negative that's been said about him... but I agree that this is nothing more than a lowest common denominator hit piece. It's the kind of thing I'd expect to see in TMZ or Deadspin, not SI.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:26 PM on May 07

Peyton Manning wins 4th MVP award

Favre played much better than anyone expected, but he had plenty of help. He had entire months where he didn't ever get hit. I don't want to discount his improved discipline and accuracy at all, but he didn't really have to work all that hard this year.

That said, I think their run blocking declined as the year went on and they weren't quite as good as last year. So the 08 vs 09 comparison isn't entirely fair. It doesn't help him, but I think the strength of schedule is more relevant. He wasn't really tested. The only good team they beat was Green Bay, twice in a few games when they weren't playing well.

OK, I guess Baltimore is good. They sure didn't look it back then though.

Anyway, I'd say that all the other candidate QBs, as well as Brady, were actually more valuable this year. Unlike baseball, in this sport you kind of have to look past the stats.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:16 PM on January 09

Three-Way Trade in the Works for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

IIRC, keeping Lee would have put the Phillies at around $160M this year, and even if you're chasing a title, I don't think Philadelphia can eat that.

I'm certainly guilty, as a Yankee fan, of a bit of "what's $8m when you're over 150 anyway" thinking, but I believe it was Buster Olney who listed several realistic ways they could've shed that 8 million elsewhere. Seems like it would've been prudent to consider that, even if they were short a few prospects.

I'm also of the opinion that a year with those two together might be worth whatever downgrade in value there is between the two guys they got back and whoever they'd take with the pick(s) received after Lee signs next year. But that's just my guess. I don't really track minor leaguers all that much, nor do I really buy into the Fangraphs/Cameron model of valuation.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:29 PM on December 15

Three-Way Trade in the Works for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

This seems good for Toronto and for Seattle but I still don't get it for Philly. I understand the concerns about 2011 and going forward and think it's great for them that they locked up Halladay, but I still haven't seen any good reason why they couldn't have still kept Lee for 2010 too and been a powerhouse. Lee isn't expensive and if they're really not willing to pay $8m over budget to have that huge advantage, they have several ways they could've cleared that 8m from their books. Why did giving up on signing Lee for 2011-on have to mean he couldn't stick around for the last year of the current deal?

posted by Bernreuther at 12:20 PM on December 15

Belichick Call Questioned in Pats' Loss to Colts

As a former coach, The slant pattern if run correctly is the hardest pass to defend and should almost always give you the needed yardage. The Colt defender made a hell of a stop

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but as a former coach wouldn't you know that Faulk gave a quick fake of a slant but ran a quick out?

To those suggesting deeper routes - in theory I love the idea of just floating one deeper to Moss, but the Colts blitzed 6 (which I hated at first but now appreciate) and Brady honestly didn't have any more time to throw. Another half yard on that route would've given them some margin for error in the catch/spot but there really wasn't time to get any deeper.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:58 AM on November 17

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Yerfatma, that's why if Bonds wasn't an asshole I'd give him a pass. Actually I already do give him a pass on the steroid use.

I started to feel myself losing strength and speed and recovery ability, plus started getting hurt more, at age 28. If I was a pro athlete I'm sure I would have started feeling the temptations around then. A trainer at my gym and I had a conversation a while back agreeing that there are ways to use steroids safely and responsibly, but he was opposed to anyone ever using them before age 30, especially in the teens and early 20s. Kids have enough testosterone already. With hard work and the right programs and diets they can make amazing progress. Pro athletes can too, since they have nothing to do other than sleep, eat, and train. But when you hit 30, your body starts slipping. And you're used to a higher standard that all of a sudden you can't meet. Judging from my own experiences at 28-29, I can only imagine how bad it gets five years from now. I'm no pro athlete but I could see that depressing me and driving me to the needle.

Another reason I find it hard to fault them, even ARod, as summed up nicely by Bill James to Joe Posnanski:

In 36 words: 1) Baseball allowed a situation to develop in which it was in the self-interest of players to use steroids. 2) Now we are very angry with people because they did what the system rewarded them for doing.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:34 AM on February 22

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Another article about Presinal from ESPN in Feb 2007. I'll be the first to say that ESPN piles on or sensationalizes a story to drum up a controversy, but I don't think there's anything irresponsible here. There's one paragraph (right before he describes the actual contents of Gonzalez's bag) I don't like, but in general it's a pretty balanced article that seems to imply that if not for Gonzalez's issues with that flight, this guy would have a fine reputation as a trainer to Dominican athletes. It's not as if MLB was picking on him when they banned individual trainers. Several players, including the Balco guys, Clemens (which at the time was no big deal), hell even Kevin Brown (I think) had his own guy. Giambi is the one I remember most, I think he had a post-Balco trainer/good friend who was no longer allowed to come around due to that rule. Point is, plenty of guys had personal trainers who were banned from locker rooms, which I think is fair and no big deal.

Surely more info will be revealed about this guy now that they're on to his 2007 association with ARod, but so far, I'm not convinced it's the issue some people seem to think it is. To me he just sounds like a better than average physical therapist who was in the right place at the right time to attract a really famous client... Do good things for one famous player and it's easy to attract many more. This is how Tim Grover got famous among NBA players despite not having any real clue at first...

posted by Bernreuther at 03:37 AM on February 21

A-Rod from a Yankee view

I mean, everyone loves big papi, amirite?

Well, I'm a Yankee fan and I like the guy (except when he comes up to the plate against us in big spots of course).

I'm not sure what that article tells us. It's just a bunch of quotes and an insinuation that we can't believe anything, whether it's talk or even current testing. I don't necessarily believe Ortiz is and has been 100% clean either but that's not exactly what I'd call quality journalism.

RCade, my guess is that evidence of USE will come out for years. And reporters will toss about the term ABuse and imply that any use at all is abusive and evil and irresponsible and everyone will make it out to be worse than it seems. It's not. Guys like Canseco and early Giambi used irresponsibly, abused the drugs, and likely did permanent damage to their bodies. But probably 80% of the users did so safely. I guess that's just a pet peeve of mine as a semi steroid advocate, but I think people are way too eager to use the word abuse.

That said, I think you're right - this will drag on for years - no matter how solid the MLB testing plan is, there will always be a drug that stays ahead of the curve, just like the stuff that is used in every other sport, and surely those who aren't careful or who are unlucky will get exposed - not for failing tests, but due to their purchasing habits or trainers or something else linking them. And it's quite likely that MLB athletes will take more shit for it than NFL, olympic, cycling, or otherwise, regardless of what MLB has done with their testing program. To me, that's not fair. At this point, regardless of one's opinion on the legality, usefulness, and legitimacy of steroids, it's fair to say that a large portion of athletes in all sports have tried, if not habitually used, the stuff, and it's only fair to punish whoever was caught after testing standards and enforcement were put in place. MLB just happened to be very late to the party. And while I think that the testing plans are relatively solid and anyone who tests positive for a banned substance is pretty much retarded, I don't expect the amount of players willing to try the next maskable or non-testable substance to go down in any sport. When millions of dollars are at stake, even the noblest among us will be tempted to experiment and/or regularly use things that might give them an edge. I'm apparently in the minority on this, but I don't really see that as a bad thing; I see it as a fact of life.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:15 AM on February 21

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Papi is savvy enough that he could say something to the effect of "sure, I did in the past, but that doesn't mean I can't support stiffer penalties now, as they'll put us all on a level playing field and end all the questions" and it'd be forgotten in a day. I know I'd buy that.

(Plus he's on the Sox so ESPN would just bury the headline anyway.)

posted by Bernreuther at 09:59 PM on February 20

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Yeah, you're definitely the first person I've heard say that. I think that album sounds almost like 80s radio music. I still listen to it of course. Might go put it in now, actually.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:37 PM on February 20

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Every one of us in this discussion could be a meth-addicted wifebeater who cheats at golf and strongarms grannies for pocket change

Wait, that stuff is bad?

"Dream Theater's best album"

There have been discussions about this stuff here? Damn, I'm sorry I disappeared for a few years.

(For the record, I'm partial to Images and Words, but that's largely because it's the first CD I ever owned after years of being way behind technology.)

And now it is only going to get worse.

I don't know. I guess some people will pounce on his use of the words "over the counter" as having implied that it's legal, but it's pretty well known that to get steroids, you go to a foreign country like Mexico or the DR, walk into a store, and they hand it to you, legal or not. It's all "underground market" there. Getting it over the border, not acquiring it, is the hard part. I don't think the written law in the DR is going to make people think of this as any worse.

Now, Gary's link... if that shady guy ever gets linked to the new steroid alternatives... Look out.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:05 PM on February 20

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Gene Wojciechowski's garbage article (which is of course the ESPN cover story right now) is a good example of the stuff I was talking about. Wrapping "cousin" and "boli" in quotes and pretending not to know what he was admitting to (recycling the Giambi taunts of 05) are about par for the course for him. The logic that he obviously can't be believed about the cousin or the timeline, even in the face of his passed blood test for the last WBC and passing MLB's testing is poor.

But you know what?

His stupid 2008-2017 proposal actually isn't bad.

It's dumb to just throw all of his stats to this point out, but he does give the 2022 BBWAA voters a decent template: Even if you're the biggest anti-steroid crusader there is, just use his last ten years, the ones we can reasonably conclude are clean. If he puts up ten HOF-worthy years, plays to the level of his contract, well damn. There wouldn't be a single good argument against him.

I can't believe I just said something nice about that moron.

BoKnows, there will always be kids who make dumb decisions just like there will always be people who find ways to cheat at the pro level. That'd happen regardless of what has been going on in baseball. One good thing to come out of the steroid era is that it coincides with an era of players simply hitting the weights and working out more. Even without steroids, someone who works hard, especially at that age, is going to have a HUGE advantage. I have seen teenagers do some freakish things in the past few years. The few schools with legitimate strength coaches end up producing kids with incredible strength and a big leg up on their competition. They're arguably better off than a pro who used steroids is, relative to the competition. The key teaching point is that with hard work and 1200ng/dL natural testosterone coursing through their 16 year old bodies, incredible things are possible without chemical assistance. If there's testing and punishment in place and kids are working hard, they'll turn out just fine. Seeing an athlete get caught and embarassed isn't going to make them more likely to use. Seeing an unregulated and unpoliced sport with obvious use and no consequences likely would, though. In that regard, MLB has done a great job. They were late to the party, but they're doing fine now.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:44 PM on February 18

A-Rod from a Yankee view

BoKnows, I for one would love it if everyone just came clean. Part of this is because I'm intensely curious about how and what people used and how it helped, but part of it is because I would hope it'd give us all more information so that we'd stop unfairly crucifying a few guys while turning a blind eye to dozens of others just because they were fortunate enough not to get caught. Maybe that's me just being a fan of Mark McGwire talking now though.

But people won't come clean unless they're caught, and I don't think that we should hold that against anyone. While there are many flaws with the argument that "everyone else would do it/is doing it/did it so what's the difference" in general, I do think it can be legitimately applied to the suggestion that ARod is a fraud for only coming clean once he got caught. That's one of the biggest criticisms in all these articles: that it's not genuine, he's not really sorry he used, he's only sorry he got caught." Well no shit. That's the way we all work. I'm all for admitting a bias against ARod based on his extreme social awkwardness, but let's lay off him on that count, because truly, we'd all be the same. Nobody is going to just walk up and start publicly confessing to their many sins in the past for no reason. I agree - you don't have to like it; but it's still unreasonable to expect more. Especially from such a known phony.

By the way, I apologize for my long bullet point hypothetical interview coming out garbled. It looked OK in the live preview but I never looked at it once published to notice that the line breaks were lost so that I could've edited. Now it's even tougher to get through my post. Sorry.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:43 PM on February 18

A-Rod from a Yankee view

That's true. You can go back in the archives here to when I used to post a lot more to learn that I believe that steroids can be used responsibly and safely and that they're not the evil things most people would have us believe... but the fact is, they are dangerous when you don't know what you're doing. And a lot of people don't. I have no problem with a person who works hard all the time, does research, and decides that a cycle might push them through a plateau to the next level, but most people who use steroids do so out of laziness. They look for the easy way out. To me, that IS cheating. And I suppose that, combined with the fact that like most substances they are dangerous when used incorrectly, is a very strong argument in favor of outlawing them from sports and life. It's kind of sad, really, that someone whose body and talents are their sole source of income would use the stuff without doing any actual research, but most of these guys aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. (If they were, they'd know better than to hire morons like Brian McNamee, judging from what I've seen and heard of his training regimens. Seems he's no more effective than a random chump a a Globo Gym.)

That's another discussion though. I buy that excuse from Jeremy Giambi and a lot of impressionable young rookies, but I'm actually with you guys in that I don't really buy it from ARod. He is known to meticulously plan and chart his diet, from what I've read, so it makes very little sense that he'd just try something on a hunch.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:16 PM on February 18

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Gary, there are plenty of legit criticisms. I hate him too. But I'm finding that a lot of the inconsistencies people are harping on are insignificant. No story is going to be perfect, and no athlete (except Canseco) to this point has been 100% forthcoming. They'll admit to only what they have to without worry of getting caught.

I think the biggest problem I have with the criticisms is that even people like Posnanski have said things to the effect of "Why should we believe that he stopped in 2003?" as if that's some outrageous hole in his story. I think that's the most believable part! Of course he stopped then. So did most everyone else - they were finally going to test and punish people.

I also don't like that people seem to think he should've given up his cousin. That's an unreasonable expectation.

Finally, I tend to believe, based on the experiences of gym acquaintances, that something acquired in the Dominican could be a random mishmash of more than one substance and/or improperly labeled. It's easy to say he's lying because a few reporters asked a few experts if they've heard of it by name and they hadn't, but there are thousands of shady curiously-named steroids on the markets down there and in Mexico. Hell, I know people that have smuggled unlabeled gear in from Mexico after having guessed at the content based on the animal shape that was on the sticker on the bottle. It's very unscientific.

(Now, on the flip side: Much like with Pettitte, I don't believe he's being truthful about his regimen - one shot every 2 weeks does nothing, and a continuous 3 year cycle is irresponsible; I don't believe he didn't deliberately plan to take testosterone and primobolan; I don't believe that he was being that naive or felt any more pressure due to the contract than he did when breaking in as a #1 pick.)

It's not that I think he's a saint, or even that he's being unfairly attacked - I just think many of the attacks focus on unrealistic expectations and some are there just because it's the fun thing to do. Being the best player in the game, a social dunce, and getting caught juicing means you're going to get attacked more than anyone else. It goes with the territory. But even while still being evasive and abrasive, he has given us more than anyone else so far, and most of the complaints people have about it are about details that don't really make that much of a difference, in my opinion.

That said, I'd still have handled it differently. One of these days I really hope someone personable gets caught and simply rolls up his sleeves and takes questions til there aren't any more. I really thought Giambi would've been a great guy to do this (and maybe after he retires he will) but his lawyers muzzled him in 05. I want someone to stand up and say the following:

- I took testosterone, primobolan, _____, _____, and other substances in 12 week periods for a span of 3 years early in my career - I recovered from these cycles using women's fertility drugs - Sorry, but I will not give up my source. This is about me. - I did one cycle in the offseason during a strength building phase when I worked mostly with weights - I did another cycle late in the season as I started to wear down from the volume of games, the travel, and the heat - While on cycle, I felt more confident, got better sleep, and hit better - After a cycle, I felt terrible for a few weeks, but I tried to time it so that this wouldn't cause a slump in my play - I would say it was worth it because I played better, helped my team, and helped myself, but I would not have done the same, and did not since 2004, if there was testing in place. - No, I do not believe I was cheating, as it was implicitly encouraged and had no consequences - Yes, I believe that anyone caught after 2004 is cheating and should be punished - Yes, of course I am only talking about this because I got caught! Do you really think anyone would just stand up and say "oh, hey, I used a bunch of steroids" while they're still playing without being exposed? - I do believe it's unfair that baseball players take so much more heat from this than other sports, but then again, I understand it because of how late the game was to the testing party. - No, I don't resent the reporter that exposed me, as he was just doing his job, but yeah, I really wish he hadn't. - In my estimation, the steroid cycles added X number of home runs, X number of extra hits/bases, but mostly confidence, comfort, and a feeling of physical well-being - The side effects for me were ___, ____, and ____ . - Would I do it again? YES, if they weren't testing. Now? No. Not worth the risks. - I think testing is a good thing. It eliminates temptation and means we have obvious penalties if we're caught. It can help to keep kids safe, because kids are not educated or mature enough to use steroids safely, nor do they need them at that age with all that natural testosterone floating around. They're not necessary for anyone, as I myself have seen in my training and play since stopping - hard work trumps everything - but if there is no punishment or discouragement people will still use anything to get an edge. It's human nature. Baseball has done the right thing by implementing the testing measures they have now, and going forward there shouldn't be any problems. What happened happened, it was part of the game, and while it sucks that I got caught, I guess it's good to have a chance to provide some information about it in the hopes that maybe others who used will not be judged so negatively. - (stays until there are no more questions to be asked)

Obviously that's an unrealistic expectation. But I'll continue to hope for it. How refreshing would that kind of honesty be? It'd be awesome. Maybe it'd even change the minds of a few of the voters who are selectively blackballing users from the Hall. I know I for one would love to get those kinds of details and a legitimate account of what kind of benefits were seen from it.

I just don't think it is realistic to think anyone would give that kind of info up. If Giambi didn't, and players under oath didn't, it's hard for me to believe that ARod should have. But that's what everyone wanted, and I think even then we'd still be getting columns today about how it wasn't good enough.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:52 PM on February 18

A-Rod from a Yankee view

Stark, Heyman, Keown, and all the other guys getting front page billing with their criticisms all make me laugh. Nothing is ever good enough for these guys. I won't pretend to say that I believe ARod is being 100% truthful, but it seems like all the articles so far are just reaching for ways to go after him.

I guess he brings it on himself. He and Jeter are about as scripted as they come, but are a great example of the right and wrong ways to do it. Jeter gives canned answers and is often evasive, but he's good at it, acts appropriately, and says the right thing. ARod reads from an actual typed script (and poorly), hires consultants, tries twice as hard, but still looks like an idiot. So it's natural that people are going to continue to mock and attack him even though he really has gone and given us more information about steroids than anyone other than Canseco.

What's funny to me is that people are comparing him unfavorably to Pettitte even though I believe that ARod has been far more truthful than Andy ever was in his lame admission of guilt. It's just that he has worked so hard to craft this image that he feels the need to save, yet that image is what is working against him. He ought to have just used this as an excuse to make a clean break, act natural, and be himself, even if it meant becoming a WWF-style heel. He'd be better off. People hate him either way. I'd rather be hated for being an asshole than hated for being pathetic. Something tells me he'd screw that up too though.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:01 AM on February 18

New Stadiums: Prices, and Outrage, Escalate

Funny you should mention Lucas Oil Stadium, IDK. While it is, for the moment, the nicest facility, it also highlights a lot of things about new stadiums that aren't as nice for the long-time season ticket holders. You get a bit more leg and shoulder room, yes, but you end up paying a lot more and are farther from the field, even in the best seats. Also, even with the roof closed that place is as quiet as a tomb. No more RCA dome home field advantage on third down and 12th Man induced false starts. They'd have to actually pipe in the noise (as they were falsely accused of doing) to get it anywhere near as loud as it was before.

Of course, it was a preseason game. We'll have to see how it is next sunday. Other than the seats being much farther away and some correctable traffic flow issues though, it's really nice. I especially like the village-like atmosphere in the northern corners of the concourse.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:31 PM on August 26

Danica Patrick Wins IndyCar Race in Japan

Does ESPN have something against Patrick, or maybe her new team? There is no mention of her win whatsoever on their front page, not in the list of headlines or even the Auto Racing feature in that rotating feature panel below the main headline. CNNSI had it in their list of links, but it's nowhere to be found on the Worldwide leader. Sort of odd, given that she's always seemed to be something of an ESPN favorite.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:47 AM on April 21

What Part Of "Spring Training" Don't You Guys Get?

I think he just had to slow down a bit to ensure that he got lower and could control himself. He may have pulled the "hold me back" tough guy act afterwards but I don't think his shove was completely weak. It wasn't perfect, but I've seen a lot worse.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:41 AM on March 14


Interesting to see Baltimore and Billick ranked so highly, considering how painful it was to watch Baltimore games this year. Then again, this computer isn't really accounting for play-calling; it's more about aggressiveness vs. passiveness (punting, field goals). I have long agreed that just about every coach is too conservative in these 4th down situations, but I am still not totally sold on this method. I guess this is partly because I don't entirely believe in the simulations and the GWC numbers. I would like to also see numbers about the expected returns in yards and points in these situations, for both alternatives. (For example, it's hard to wrap my head around a -1.4 GWC if a guy kicks a field goal on 4th and 3 from the 10, but it's a lot easier for me to analyze and agree with it if I see figures like a 2.7 point expected return on a field goal vs a 4 point ER by going for it, plus the 10 yard field position (which is worth roughly a point) advantage gained even if they fail. (And yes, those numbers are made up.)) I guess to me, that kind of result just makes more sense. Especially since I don't fully trust the simulation of the rest of the game, which is obviously important to the GWC number. Still, very interesting, and the more people like this that can publicly call NFL coaches chickens, the better.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:58 AM on February 17

1988, Year of the Card

Wow, I opened that link and could immediately smell the cards. Every year and every brand had a unique scent, and for some reason stuff like that can take me back instantly, as far back as kindergarten. My card collecting heyday was 86 through 92. After that they started costing more and being all glossy and special, and I lost interest and outgrew it all. I still have all my cards though, in my closet at my mom's house. Not quite the treasure trove we hoped it'd be based on the previous generation's stories. I believe the 87 Topps set was the first one I collected on my own just from buying individual packs. I bought the 86 Fleer set for 45 dollars, which I paid in installments to a guy who kept the price at that for a ten dollar deposit. Took me a while to pay it off, and by the time I was done it was worth 85. I was very proud of that investment. Of course, it's probably not worth anything now, since Canseco flamed out (The Canseco/Plunk rookie card was my main target), and also because a kid whose name I forgot but face I remember stole several of the cards in the set, including Rickey Henderson and that ridiculous Mickey Hatcher card where he's got a gigantic fake glove. I can't remember now if I ended up with the entire 88 Topps set too, but I believe I did. I wonder what all of this stuff is worth now. I also have two 1956 cards that I was given as a gift around 88 from a family friend. Of course, they're sitting inside a simple binder, while my mom foolishly stole my two signed McGwire cards to put in the damn safe deposit box at the bank. Like those were worth protecting.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:24 PM on January 16

Patriots to Honor Booed Teenager

Oh, good, the smart fans have arrived. I love that throwing for 402 yards and having your defense get shredded is considered "choking."

posted by Bernreuther at 06:25 PM on January 16

Patriots to Honor Booed Teenager

You're assuming SHE chose the jersey. Each contestant was "representing" a team; was it the sponsors, or the teams themselves, or her that made the jersey choice? I wondered the same thing as I watched the actual PPK event (which they held before the gates even opened instead of at halftime, because they had to have some stupid wuss singer perform). I was sure I'd see at least one kid who bucked the pattern of rooting for the hometown team. The Hawaiian girl (who outthrew all the girls in the age group above her, btw) wore SD, I believe. Every single kid matched up to their local team, although of course a kid from LA was free to choose Oakland for himself and a kid from southern PA took the Ravens. But I can't imagine that they'd force a 12 year old from Cleveland to wear a Browns jersey if he for some reason grew up a Bengals or Steelers fan. Interesting though, that in that scenario if it was held in his home stadium he'd probably end up getting booed for that too. Anyway, as I mentioned in the other thread that brought this up (is it just me or are we getting a lot of duplicate conversations lately, usually Patriot-related), I believe it was all in good fun and that anyone who thinks that it wouldn't have happened in every other stadium, especially in Boston, is kidding themselves and just looking for a reason to complain about a team they don't like. If it the opposite happened, and it would, I would expect to see Colts fans saying the same things. But setting rivalries aside, I would understand that it's part of the game and the rivalry. And the girl handled it very well. And yeah, I think Kraft is hamming it up just a bit in the spirit of the rivalry. And I can't really blame him for it. That's just how it is with those two teams. Yeah, the halftime show is Tom Petty. They've been running a bunch of commercials about it, under the assumption that people care. There was a rumor that Abdul would be part of it, kind of like an uninteresting opening act.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:19 PM on January 16

Chargers Beat Colts, 28-24,

Only a small percentage of people booed the girl, and those around me that were doing it were doing it with smiles on their faces, as a joke. Some were clapping at the same time. And please, tell me that Gilette wouldn't have a 90% boo rate if the situation was reversed. These are fans that start Yankees suck chants at FOOTBALL GAMES. If it was the baseball equivalent of that and a kid wore pinstripes in Fenway he'd probably get hit by a battery. Any of the major rivalries would have a reaction like that. To be honest, I was surprised the booing wasn't louder.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:06 AM on January 15

Chargers Beat Colts, 28-24,

LT is awesome but the O Line does well and Turner would start for 20 other teams, so his loss really isn't as big a deal as losing someone of his talent would ordinarily be. And if they keep blocking their screens the way they did in the 2nd half, they could put a backup lineman back there and still do well. Man, that Sproles TD was impressive. (I hated it, of course, but credit where credit is due.)

posted by Bernreuther at 06:25 PM on January 13

Report: Jets caught spying

Fatty, I believe we've discussed this before, but in Peyton's record-setting season he was throwing late in games often because the game was not decided. Their D wasn't stopping anyone. One of his two five TD games was actually a loss to Kansas City. The worst blowout was the Detroit game, and he was out with 11 minutes to go in the third quarter. It's not the same. The only time he threw a questionable late TD was in that Tennessee game where the Titans were onsides kicking every time and scored a bunch of points quickly in the first (but then went to sleep after that). I believe the final in that one was 51-24.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:12 PM on December 12

BBWAA Admits Online Writers.

Jim Caple spends as much time openly (and uncreatively) making fun of the Yankees as he does writing legitimate articles about baseball. That he could get in while Neyer and Law are left out is an absolute joke.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:06 PM on December 08

Tampa Bay Rays Cast Out the Devil

Tampa has changed their uniforms a whole bunch of times. They finally hit on one that worked, the dark green, which looked great, and now they change it to this boring crap. Dropping the Devil is fine, but they should've just kept the rest how it was.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:05 PM on November 08

How the Colts Fund Their Defense

I think they'll have to try to sign him because it's so obvious what a difference he makes. I should've been clearer above and said that they'll have to open the wallet for Sanders. The tough one to swallow this year is going to be Clark, because he's making himself a lot of money and they probably won't be able to afford both. I don't really care if it is or isn't a departure from the philosophy... if they can fit it under the cap it really just means they'll have to stick to that philosophy even more for the rest of the positions. The decisions they've made and the kids they've taken in the past 5 drafts tells me that they are planning many years in advance and have a plan in place. Their track record makes me trust that it's the right plan. (The past several drafts does make me more optimistic about keeping Clark though, now that I mention it.) They seem to know what they're doing and their knowledge of the payroll expenses for the next several years is far greater than ours so only they know what is and isn't possible under the cap.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:38 PM on November 02

How the Colts Fund Their Defense

Love the Football Outsiders stuff. It's nice to see Polian's drafting get a bit of recognition. Noone ever talks about anything other than their #1 picks during and after the draft, and then 2-3 years later a bunch of 2nd day picks or UFAs are starting and doing a better job than the big names they replaced. They did draft a safety this year, though. Brannon Condren. While he looks like a bit of a punk, he's a big, strong ballhawking hitter like the others, though I don't think he's expected to be a replacement for Sanders. I think that he's enough of a difference maker that they're going to have to break tradition and open up the wallet for him. Unlike last year, which was plagued by injuries, they have excellent depth in the defensive backfield. I do wonder if they've got guys that can make the same impact (double entendre fully intended) as Hayden and Jackson after their contracts expire. It sucks that they had to sit around for two years instead of one before getting their starting nods. If they stay true to form they won't get as many years of use out of them now.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:29 PM on November 01

But Will It Be a Good Use of a Timeout

And where were all these "running-up-the-score" complainers when Peyton Manning was going on his record-breaking score-running-up single-season touchdown run back in the day? Most of those games weren't blowouts. Their defense gave up a ton of points, which made for more opportunity for TD passes. One 5 TD game was a 45-31 game against the Pack, the other a 45-35 loss. The 6td game against Detroit was a bit bad, but he was out in the 3rd. Sorgi also saw action in the Houston, Chicago, and Tennessee blowouts. There were some questionable ones that year, but nothing downright nasty like throwing for the end zone on 4th down in a blowout with under a minute remaining (which the Pats have done this year). People are entitled to their opinion regarding how big a deal it is to run up the score, but it's pretty obvious that the Pats are doing it. Hell, even the biggest Pats homer you'll ever see acknowledges it. That said, Easterbrook's piece was ridiculous. I've always looked forward to his columns but he has really been a disappointment this year. You can call Colts-Pats good vs. evil and make a bit of sense, but his arguments were so outrageous that it even made Colts fans cringe.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:23 AM on October 24

Jimmy Kimmel Banned From Monday Night Football

I have no strong feelings about Kimmel one way or the other but I can't be the only person who thinks that it's in MNF's best interest to ban him, along with everybody else, from the booth. How about we just have announcers who talk about football and the game going on in front of us? I like Jaworski but he's turning into Theisman, getting sucked in by that blithering idiot Kornheiser, and while Tirico occasionally tries to refocus their attention on the game, he's rarely effective. Last year, Jaws was excellent in limited duty as a color guy, but now in this team, he's just as useless as Theisman was. They waste entire quarters talking to hollywood stars and other games (plenty of talk about the Patriots... during the Falcons-Giants game). It's ridiculous.

posted by Bernreuther at 06:12 PM on October 18

Last place White Sox extend manager Ozzie Guillen's contract through the 2012 season.

Ozzie was the right man for that team in 2005 given how the team was put together, but he's not the right man now, and it's painfully obvious. Kenny Williams has gotten a lot of credit for his decisions in the past 5 years but lately he's been making some odd ones. (Publicly courting Eckstein comes to mind.) I was actually at the game tonight, without having seen this news, and was having a conversation with my friend about how he was a lame duck manager. I sure was wrong about that.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:06 AM on September 12

"Your all-star game logo, for the final, wonderful year of Yankee Stadium, sucks."

I think it looks nice. Simple and classy. The only thing I don't like is that it says N.Y.C. instead of New York. That would've fit just fine. Why abbreviate?

posted by Bernreuther at 12:05 AM on September 07

Texas 30 - Baltimore 3

Ah, didn't know it was a DH. Thanks guys. TCS, I'm with you. What the hell? Cabrera dominates the Yankees... then shows up with this?

posted by Bernreuther at 11:42 PM on August 22

Texas 30 - Baltimore 3

Good to see Texas still pouring it on with 8 of their 9 starters playing in the 9th inning. That's classy and sure to be rewarded by the baseball gods.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:18 PM on August 22


The nicest part about this is that now after tomorrow's lovefest we can actually start seeing highlights of Giants games on Sportscenter again. I don't think they've shown anything other than Barry's at-bats for 3 weeks.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:36 PM on August 07

Colts 72 million dollar man

Holden, that is correct. Obviously they don't make as much as the Cowboys, but even the worst run teams and those in the smallest cities do quite well for themselves. The NFL is the most powerful league, business-wise, of all the major sports. Coach, you do realize that June was HORRIBLE last year, one of the worst every down defensive players in football, right? The only reason he had so many tackles is because when they run it directly at you you're bound to make a few here and there in between all the misses. David and Harper were capable CBs but not worth the money they were sure to get elsewhere, as the Tampa 2 makes that position fairly easy to fill. Jackson and Hayden were drafted 2 years ago exactly for this purpose. Doss lost his job to Bethea and while he performed admirably when given the chance before the injury, he wasn't going to stick around to be a backup. So really, whether Freeney signed for a dollar or 30 million, the rest of the D would look the same. In the very same post you say that they have the best GM. If you believe that, then you should give him some credit for his decisions, his track record of repeatedly drafting solid starters in the 2nd day of the draft, and trust his actions this past winter. I am happy with the signing but it does seem a little bit spendy, given that I doubt that he could have fetched the same amount on the open market. But I don't know that. It also seems like the cap hit could be prohibitive, but as I advised Coach, I trust that the GM and the staff are thinking years ahead and know what they're doing. They usually do.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:53 PM on July 16

Charter member of the 2000/2000 club

He hasn't been the right man for this Yankee team for several years now, but he's still a class act, great guy, and special talent for being able to reach both of these milestones. Congrats to him. And how bout those Yankees? Five wins in a row. About time they got on a roll.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:48 PM on June 09

Asante to Pats: See you midseason

Dwight Freeney is gruntled. He even showed up at mini camp, even though he wasn't practicing (which is something that the teams seem to understand and are OK with).

posted by Bernreuther at 05:58 PM on June 05

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

And yerfatma gave you more than just "I think they're full of shit." The rest of what you said wasn't relevant to what I was saying. I was mostly conceding the point anyway.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:19 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

We're not allowed to be skeptical of Blue Jays and talking heads now? Neither one of us is trying to claim anything as a fact. You could be wrong, and we could be wrong too. It's likely the latter. I'm just not going to automatically take the word of the guy who was duped or his teammates.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:09 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

I'm kind of amazed that Jim Caple doesn't have an anti-ARod/Yankee "article" up on ESPN yet. Very unlike him.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:39 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

I'd take what Bowa says with a grain of salt, but from the Times: Rodriguez singled in the ninth to make it 7-5, and his verbal interference with Clark allowed the Yankees to pile on. The third base coach, Larry Bowa, said that Rodriguez did not cross a line of good sportsmanship. “If you say, ‘I got it,’ I think that’s very unacceptable,” Bowa said. “He didn’t say, ‘I got it.’ He said, ‘Hey, hey.’ They parted like the Red Sea.” Gibbons said he told Rodriguez he thought it was a bush league play, which Bowa also heard. But Rodriguez claimed not to hear anything that Gibbons or McDonald said, and not to care, either." It's not that hard to find someone who can read lips to refute that. It looked an awful lot like "mine" to me. Still, the Jays shouldn't have been parting like the red sea.

posted by Bernreuther at 10:34 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

Gary, I for one don't really believe the opposing manager or an announcer with an axe to grind when he says he has never seen anything like this. And as a former athlete, I did see stuff like that. This is not noteworthy because it was the first time someone has yelled something, it's noteworthy because it's the first time anyone can remember someone yelling something and actually having it work. And because it's ARod. While we're on the subject, what would Jackie Chiles say? "That's deplorable, unfathomable, improbable!" "It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!"

posted by Bernreuther at 10:25 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

ARod is who he is? It is what it is? Oh come on people, we're supposed to be able to converse without resorting to the cliches so popular with the athletes.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:49 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

I think it's acceptable gamesmanship but that one quote about him seeming uncomfortable seems right on. I said this back when the slap happened too - any player who says he doesn't make an attempt to dislodge the ball there is a liar, but most do it in a way that isn't so obvious (and wuss-like). You shoulder him, or just make it seem like a part of the motion of running. When you slide hard into second, you shade your whole body to the side of the bag to take the guy out, you don't just wave an elbow. Do it properly and it's good hard-nosed baseball that gets you praise. Do it like an idiot and you get called out on it. Lie about it later and you get attacked even more. I swear, sometimes I think that parts of his mental development stalled in 3rd grade. edit: grum, you could probably include just about everyone in the media in your list too. They're going to take a side because they want to make a story of it and pretend to take the high road and criticize him.

posted by Bernreuther at 09:04 AM on May 31

A-Rod calls for the pop-up... as he's running to third.

People pull moves like this in every sport all the time. I played hockey, and players will always tap their stick or call for passes from the opposing team if the guy isn't looking or if they're trailing the play into the zone. It works once in a blue moon, which is why people still do it. In baseball, something like this is a lot less likely to work for many reasons, which is why we don't really see it that often. But in this case, a rookie who doesn't know his teammate's voice well, a shortstop not doing his job properly, and a baserunner who has played both positions in a 10+ year career all came together to make a really silly play. I'd be willing to bet that if someone spent time reviewing tape of baserunners (a fun task to be sure) they'd find several instances of runners doing the same thing. It just doesn't work because the infielders don't usually fall for it. Sure, it's a little bit on the side of bush league, but it was also a pretty heads-up play to process the situation and time it right like that. He'll get drilled in July, and he'll deserve it, and that'll be the end of it. Just like when Phelps bowled over Johjima earlier this month. What I thought was BS wasn't the actual play, but his lame ass explanation afterwards about saying "ha!" Look, it's obvious what he did, why not just own up to it? Most people already hate him, he might as well just be honest and embrace it.

posted by Bernreuther at 07:42 AM on May 31