Recent Comments by werty

Tony Romo heading into broadcasting with CBS

Why does Romo get to slot into the lead analyst spot without any experience? I'm not a fan of Simms in the booth, but he's a veteran and well regarded presence. Seems like a steep promise for CBS to snare Romo--he may be terrible at the job.

posted by werty at 05:57 PM on April 04

Longtime ESPN Broadcaster John Saunders Dies

Saunders was a great broadcaster, classy and subtle with a great sense of humor. I was a regular watcher of "The Sports Reporters" for years, in part for his steady hand. He will be missed.

posted by werty at 01:25 PM on August 10

Mookie Betts Turns Out into Homer With Tumble Over Fence

The NFL replay officials would have ruled that a catch. Both feet down and forward progress showing possession of the ball.

posted by werty at 12:07 AM on July 29

Federal Judge Orders Cancellation of Redskins Trademarks

No idea what happened to my _(ツ)_/ there. _(ツ)_/

posted by werty at 01:51 PM on July 08

Federal Judge Orders Cancellation of Redskins Trademarks

It is interesting to think that black-market merchandise sales are now incontestable by the team. The ruling actually has no effect on the team's ongoing business, just the ability to defend the valuable product pipeline associated with it.

We won't see a big shift away from existing contracts, but we may see an upstart without NFL licensing rights start to flood the market with unofficial-but-it-doesn't-matter Redskins goods, and when the team sends a C&D, _(ツ)_/ . It starts small but could cost the team millions of dollars over time. The question is whether it convinces Daniel Snyder to update his team identity to one he can legally protect.

posted by werty at 01:51 PM on July 08

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

^^ this.

posted by werty at 11:25 PM on June 22

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

Like dfleming says, the cover-up is often worse than the crime. At the very least, it exacerbates it, and makes one's ability to forgive exceedingly difficult. (Compare Andy Pettitte to Roger Clemens--they probably both used PEDs together, but Pettitte was slowly, then warmly welcomed back to the Yankees, while Clemens still walks around defending himself to skeptics.)

Also, Rose's punishment--which he personally accepted at the time--was a lifetime ban from participation in anything related to Major League Baseball. He's been petitioning in public to change the terms of his deal. Sounds like whoever leaked this notebook to ESPN disagrees.

posted by werty at 05:17 PM on June 22

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

That's interesting, @rcade, even more so given that Kraft typically stands in solidarity with his team, and Brady is still denying and fighting his verdict.

I suppose this may also have been a bit of expectations management on Kraft's part. After Goodell decided to personally hear Brady's appeal (which I still love--"why don't you tell me why I was wrong, Tom"), Kraft realized that going head-to-head with the commissioner on this one would not lead to an ending that the public would embrace.

posted by werty at 02:06 PM on May 19

The Hidden Value of a Knuckleballer

I hope there's always a knuckleballer in the major leagues. R.A. Dickey gave the knucklers and their fans a lot of hope as Tim Wakefield aged. Fingers crossed Wright makes the team.

posted by werty at 11:42 AM on March 24

Semi-regular update: Julio Franco is still playing baseball.

Do what you love.

posted by werty at 04:06 PM on February 09

Martin Brodeur to Announce Retirement.

As a longtime Devils and Brodeur fan, I too would have liked to see him retire in New Jersey. It's a bit unseemly for him to be retiring as an active member of the Blues organization. Of course, this isn't the first time Brodeur made an indecorous decision, so those of us who follow him and his career are less than surprised.

I'm also of the opinion that if a ballplayer wants to play ball, and can get paid to play ball, he shouldn't be denigrated for doing so (cf. Rickey Henderson, minor leaguer). Why not keep doing what you love? Brodeur brought a Hall of Fame career and three Stanley Cups to New Jersey, of all places. All we can say is thanks.

posted by werty at 10:56 PM on January 27

New MLB Commissioner: We May Ban Defensive Shifts

Also, if hitters were less reliant on True Outcome moments, the smarter ones would (could, should) practice opposite-field and spray hitting, and negate the impact of the shifts against them. Think there'd be some way to shift against Tony Gwynn? Wade Boggs?

posted by werty at 02:22 PM on January 27

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Who the heck voted for Aaron Boone?

posted by werty at 03:21 PM on January 06

New York Jets Fire Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik

Howard, what you're describing is a good defensive coordinator. Rex is a great motivator and a fun guy, and his players loved him, particularly his defensemen. But he never put together a strong offense; even in Rex's good initial years, a fair amount of luck drove Sanchez's success. I liked having Rex as HC of the NYJ but his track record left the team with no choice.

posted by werty at 03:33 PM on December 29

Can True Sports Fans Switch to a New Favorite Team?

I can address this firsthand, as I grew up a Washington Redskins fan but let go of my favoritism early in the Daniel Snyder era.

I've been a not-Redskins fan for nearly 15 years now. I can confirm that letting go of a favorite is doable; I had valid reasons for stopping cheering for them (and this was pre-name-kerfuffles), and they resonated long enough that they stayed factual. If I'm hanging out with Jonathan the Skins fan and they're on TV, I'll take their side for a bit, but I don't really care.

What I haven't been able to do, though, is pick up a new favorite. I'm in New York, so logically, I'd root for the Giants or Jets. But it's hard to become a Giants fan after rooting against them for so long, although I do respect them organizationally. That left the Jets, and, well, it's hard for anyone to be a Jets fan, let alone a grown adult who grew up rooting for an NFC team. So I cheer for the Jets but I don't have any real passion for them.

Like grum says, I have a passel of team preferences (the Steelers first and foremost) but no new favorite. My young children even parrot me on Sunday afternoons and say, "I'm just rooting for a good game."

posted by werty at 02:09 PM on December 17

Despite Vehement Public Claims of Innocence, A-Rod Admitted to DEA He Used Steroids

It seems the main reason the Yankees are keeping Rodriguez is fiscal: if he re-injures himself, or retires due to an inability to play because of his hip surgeries, then the club can run his salary through an insurance claim and recoup 75 or 80 cents on the dollar.

As grum says, if they cut him, they'd make a bunch of fans like me happy, but even the Yankees have a hard time throwing away $61,000,000 for PR goodwill. The team looked into cutting him for lying and cheating previously and found no contractual out clauses. Not to mention that he could play well out of spite and club 20-25 homers and actually earn his keep, in which case many fans would probably just shrug and let him keep hitting.

With the negativity surrounding him, though, I'd love to see the Yanks take a hard-line stance and kick him to the curb, or try outrighting him to the minors. The current club lacks likability even without Rodriguez on the team.

posted by werty at 11:27 AM on November 06

Jason Kidd joins Bucks as head coach

The NYT suggested Kidd made this happen after trying and failing to take personnel control of the Nets. The Bucks saw how he turned around the mess in Brooklyn and figured they'd give him a shot. Incredibly pushy, though, no?

posted by werty at 12:15 PM on June 30

Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play

Fun fact from ESPN: the Yanks have turned three triple plays in the last 45 years, and CC Sabathia has been on the mound all three times.

posted by werty at 11:07 PM on April 17

Enter the SportsFilter NCAA Bracket Contest

In. Is there a contest here per se or am I just filling out a bracket for someone else to soundly beat?

posted by werty at 10:01 AM on March 18

Baseball Hall of Fame ballot released.

Grum obviously doesn't believe in punishing PED users. Which is fine, but allowing players who benefited into the HOF means they should be measured by a higher statistical standard. Grum's got at least four players on his macro-level list in this category.

posted by werty at 11:13 AM on November 27

Tigers and Rangers Swap Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler

I love this trade, both for the sensibility on both sides and the sheer chutzpah of trading a front-line star for a fan favorite. I wonder if either player had any sense it was coming.

posted by werty at 10:18 AM on November 21

Girardi Spurns Cubs, Signs 4-Year Deal with Yankees

No one seems to remember that Girardi became a success as an active player while with the Yankees. He steered them to their first modern-dynasty-era title, in 1996, and was present for '97 and '98 while graciously molding Jorge Posada into a star. The 2009 championship he achieved as manager was his fourth World Series title, all with the Yankees.

The Yankees of recent vintage are a loyal bunch; they've had two managers in the past 18 years and the same GM for 15. Girardi and Brian Cashman and Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners have a decades-long relationship now, one that by and large seems respectful and appreciative. The Yankees made no hesitation in privately and publicly asking Girardi to come back.

You're the manager of a successful baseball team that has taken good care of you since your 20s. You make millions and have a happy, stable family life in a home not far from work. Your employer offers you a 50% raise to stay for four more years. Would *you* shrug and move to Chicago?

Welcome back, Joe. Glad you never left.

posted by werty at 04:18 PM on October 10

Pujols Going to Angels for 10 Years, $250 Million

I'm sad as a bit of a baseball purist to see Pujols go to the highest bidder. He traded 50 years of adulation for the guaranteed contract, and I imagined him being the kind of person who would like that lifelong community stability. Of course, if someone waved $50 million under my nose, I might do the same as he just did.

I appreciate @holden's perspective on fandom. I suspect most Mets fans felt the same way about losing Reyes the other day: yes, we wanted the guy, but he got how much to leave? Oh, okay, then.

posted by werty at 01:54 PM on December 08

The Science of Baseball's Magical Necklaces

Grum, NoMich, I can confirm that the pull-down trick works in reverse, and without necklaces. It revolves around qi and balance. I'm no expert but I've been to doctors who practice applied kinesiology and use it to find structural weaknesses that are tied into stresses and emotions. (I'll stop there before I start sounding too New Agey. My experience has to do with tinnitus, tangent yadda etc.)

I found it so fascinating that I've tried it myself on my wife and gotten it to work. You can do it too:

1. Have a person hold out his or her arm parallel to the floor and resist a push. For an added touch tell the person to think about something pleasant.

2. Press down on the forearm. For most people resistance is easy.

3. Now tell the person to think of something troubling or sad. (I think on my wife I said something like "think about our baby's fever from the other night.")

4. Press down again, and watch as the person suddenly has no ability to push back.

Again, I don't get why it works, but it does. Whether or not the sports necklace helps restore balance, who knows--the demo could easily be rigged. But philosophically it's not impossible.

posted by werty at 10:47 AM on October 20

Men's Tennis at Point of No Returns

And while I'm here, Borg-Tanner at Wimbledon, 1979. Look how gentle the game was! (With metal rackets, too.)

posted by werty at 11:33 AM on June 29

Men's Tennis at Point of No Returns

Assessment of Roscoe Tanner's serve force. I wish I had seen this show as a kid.

posted by werty at 11:30 AM on June 29

NHL attendance dips by 2.5 per cent

Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup Finals scored their highest TV ratings since 1974.

posted by werty at 09:26 PM on June 15

Texas Rangers' bankruptcy affects players most of all

Via the Awl, which also noted (right as I was thinking it) that the Mets are paying Bobby Bonilla a million bucks a year until 2035.

posted by werty at 10:57 AM on May 25


The spots were directed by Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, best known for the feature films Babel and 21 Grams.

posted by werty at 04:20 PM on May 23

Are NFL Broadcasts Too Good?

The big issue, to me, is the whole 11-minutes-of-ball-in-play that was widely reported over the winter. There's a lot of downtime at a football game. Baseball has a lot of downtime, of course, but you're often enjoying beautiful weather and whiling away the time, whereas football weather can be much different. (Also, baseball lends itself to extensive debate and contemplation. Football is about the action, which makes the waits much more painful.)

posted by werty at 12:11 PM on March 29

Can the Yankees Be Stopped?

It will be interesting to watch what happens to the Yankees when their mid-90's personnel core finally retires. Jeter has said he wants to play for awhile yet, which ensures the team's top-level identity. But the combination of Jeter, Posada and Rivera is the homegrown soul, not to mention three of its best players. Who are the Yankees when they go?

For all the Joba jabber, none of the new guys has reached top-tier status (and I say this as someone who repeatedly points out Cano's top-10 AL batting average and Melky Cabrera's walk-off knack). At least one of the callups has to be ascendant to get a little organizational continuity.

The Yanks were a half-step from turning into the circa-2001 Orioles the past two years--lots of free agents and few wins. CC and Teixeira have been good enough to hold that off. But for how long?

posted by werty at 04:23 PM on October 21

ESPN's Steve Phillips caught in affair with 22-year-old production assistant

Remember, too, that Steve Phillips had a different, and equally public, consensual affair in 1998 with a Mets employee while employed as the Mets' GM.

posted by werty at 04:17 PM on October 21

Phil Mickelson hits backwards better than you hit forwards

There's a lot more to being an elite athlete than raw talent. Ask Stephon Marbury.

Mickelson has some unbelievable skills that make him a terrific talent and personality. Does he not always focus on the right things? Sure. Does that make a shot like this any less awesome? Definitely not.

JJ: Winged Foot the way you played it is much different than the course the pros play. The greens are far faster and trickier, the rough thicker. Oh, and there's the whole on-the-cusp-of-winning-the-U.S-Open thing. Doesn't take away from his poor decision-making, but don't think your experience matched his in any way.

posted by werty at 10:22 AM on July 02

Doug Glanville

Glanville's been writing for some time. He's a University of Pennsylvania grad and one of the more literate and eloquent baseball players of our time.

See also:

posted by werty at 02:27 PM on March 05

Playing Golf May Damage Your Hearing

As a longtime tinnitus sufferer I've known this for years. A well-hit drive makes quite a crack. I often came home from a round of golf with a louder ringing in my ears than before playing. For awhile I was wearing earplugs to tee off, although I'm not playing enough these days to worry about it.

posted by werty at 11:41 AM on January 05

Olympic Traitor?

Last night NBC profiled a softball player who "defected" to Russia to play in these Olympics, too. She's 31 and didn't make the US team. Other athletes have done it as well.

On the one hand, dyams is right--if he's not good enough to play for Team USA, the US shouldn't care if he plays elsewhere. From a patriotic angle, though, it's quite a contrast from, say, Lopez Lomong or Bernard Legat, who are proudly competing as US citizens after coming to America to pursue their dreams.

posted by werty at 01:47 PM on August 18

Johnny Damon to sign with Yanks.

Signing Damon isn't the most impressive move of the winter, but it is a solid maneuver for the Yanks. In all seriousness, Bubba Crosby--a 29-year-old with a .221 career batting average--is not the kind of player the Yankees put in center field. The team had to find someone more substantial, and a four-year deal (rather than Scott Boras's overreaching seven-year request) is not outrageous. Damon's stats are still solid; his batting average has increased three years in a row. I'm not sure I understand what makes him a great leadoff hitter, though, given that he's trending toward 15 stolen bases next season. Jeter has roughly equal speed and a better OBP, although he tends to hit better in the 2 slot. Still, I like the signing. As a Sox fan I think this sucks. And therein lies the extra money George paid.

posted by werty at 08:46 AM on December 21

WS Ratings suck! Thank you, FOX!

I felt like complaining about the late start times, but the 14-inning game had a peak audience in the ninth, which was midnight Eastern. So that wasn't the culprit. Part of the decline comes from the lack of Red Sox fever this year. The White Sox are a lower draw even in their home town. Had it been the Cubs, we might have seen higher ratings. No doubt marketing and positioning have an impact, but it's hard to gauge. Personally, I wouldn't wait until Saturday for Game 1 of the World Series, but that's a baseball fan's opinion, not a TV planner's.

posted by werty at 10:28 AM on October 28

Palmiero busted?

Does this now make Palmeiro a perjurer in Congress, and if so, what is the punishment?

posted by werty at 12:22 PM on August 01


Ah, I take that back. Games are still listed but the actual seats are unavailable. (Thank goodness.) Interesting that the games were still "scheduled" in the NHL's mind.

posted by werty at 01:21 PM on February 16


Interestingly, you can still buy tickets to this season's NHL games on

posted by werty at 01:19 PM on February 16

A big problem is that hockey has high costs. Much of the USA is warm most of the year, meaning ice hockey must be played indoors at rinks with expensive ice time and 24-hour bookings. Then there's all the equipment. Baseball, football, basketball--all lend themselves to pickup games and back-alley throwarounds, which let kids play and develop and enjoy the sport at an early age. Without committed parents and some disposable income, hockey doesn't become much of a concern to children, which lessens the interest of the nation as a whole. Until Tiger Woods came along, golf suffered from much the same problem. On a macro level, I'm not sure the NHL can solve its most crucial ill, which is kids who don't play ice hockey and as a result don't develop an interest in the sport. It had better fix everything else, though, so the league doesn't fall apart.

posted by werty at 12:53 PM on March 18

Schumachers to race despite tragic personal loss.

the fact that they will race today highlights just how dedicated both brothers are Or: the fact that they will race today highlights just how cold-hearted both brothers are Interpret at your leisure.

posted by werty at 01:50 PM on April 21

Colts player speaks out against teammates, coach.

How bad must your leadership be for the kicker to go public with his complaints?

posted by werty at 12:31 PM on January 29

Boston's new GM is my age...

As my coworker said, "28 is really young to be running anything." Hey, if he screws up, my Yankees benefit.

posted by werty at 11:40 AM on November 25

Baseball to be dropped from the Olympic Games?

Walking isn't universal?

posted by werty at 08:51 AM on August 29

"'So, is it true that if a woman puts K-Y jelly in her vagina, it'll, like, burn up a condom?''

Iconomy, K-Y jelly is a lubricant, not a spermicide. Gee, and I thought this was a sports site. Heh.

posted by werty at 10:07 AM on August 20

Here's the deal:

Except Manuel wasn't "fired"--he was relieved of his duties as manager because he wanted out. According to the announcers during last night's Yankees-Indians game, Manuel demanded to be part of the rebuilding process or to be removed. The Indians are still paying his salary, as per usual.

posted by werty at 08:56 AM on July 12

MLB teams in dire dinero dilemma.

Re Alex's point about baseball stadiums: Sooner or later someone's going to realize even that is a sham. The owners like to say, "We need more money to be a good team, therefore we need a new stadium," but the stadium is worthless if the fans don't go; and they won't go if the teams aren't competitive. In Pittsburgh, attendance at the new ballpark is down 8,000 fans a game from last season. In Milwaukee, attendance at the new ballpark is down 10,000 fans a game from last season. New stadium, old fan news. Why? Because the teams aren't good. Not that the GMs have any relevance in the discussions at hand. How about Cleveland, where the previously sold-out-all-season Jake has had an attendance drop of 7,000 fans a game? How about Baltimore, where the previously sold-out-all-the-time Camden Yards has had an attendance drop of 1,000 fans a game (plus however many they lost the year before)? Oh, yeah--it's because the teams aren't good. All hail the smart local fan who stays away from the field when the team is boring. And don't get me started on Detroit, the "small-market club" owned by the same man whose Detroit hockey club has the NHL's second-highest payroll. I am a huge baseball fan, but the major leagues' incredible myopia extends so far and wide that it's hard to enjoy anymore.

posted by werty at 10:00 AM on July 11