Recent Comments by drumdance

Can the Yankees Be Stopped?

The point of large payrolls is not that they buy success, it's that they buy off mistakes. A few years ago the Rockies made some major big-money mistakes in free agency, overpaying Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton. It took 4-5 years for them to recover from that financially. If the Yankees or Mets or BoSox make the same mistake, no big whup.

posted by drumdance at 10:50 AM on October 23

Jordan's Night to Remember Turns Petty

My recollection during his career was that MJ was known for being (much like Tiger Woods) too plain-vanilla in his comments and not speaking out enough except for trash talking on the court (and what NBA player doesn't do that)?

The fact that he chose David Thompson to introduce him says a lot to me. Thompson went to NC State.

I lived in Chicago from his rookie year through the second retirement and feel really lucky I got to experience that. That said, on a numbers basis and in terms of impact on the game, I still have to give it to Wilt. Jordan was one of the greatest ever, but part of the reason he is considered as such is the he's The Most Famous Ever, which is a reflection of how far Bird and Magic took NBA from being an also-ran to a platform for greatness.

posted by drumdance at 01:30 PM on September 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Broncos won in a miracle finish after a yawner of a game, and only after Orton practically gave it away. Meanwhile Cutler was just awful in GB. I still would take JC over Orton any day, but sometimes schadenfreude is all you have.

posted by drumdance at 01:18 PM on September 14

Nuggets Take One from Lakers in LA

Exciting game, and especially impressive that they came back from 14 down. In the past the game would've been over by mid-3rd quarter.

As a long-suffering Nuggets fans I still think the Lakers have the edge over seven games. But one very heartening stat to me is that the Nuggets' three playoff losses have been by a total of six points, all on the road. By contrast, all their home wins have been double digits.

posted by drumdance at 06:36 PM on May 22

Broncos Fire Shanahan After 14 Seasons

Howard_T is right - Shanahan's a great game-day coach. The problem is he's a very average GM. His personnel choices have generally been unproductive with a few exceptions like Cutler. Many of his free agent moves in particular have been disasters.

The defense has been flat-out terrible for the last few years. This season's collapse was a disappointment, but everyone here in Denver knew they would get worked in the playoffs anyway. Especially if they played Indy, who's had the Broncos' number for years.

posted by drumdance at 04:16 PM on December 31

Greg Maddux to retire on Monday

I wouldn't say he's been a great pitcher the last few years, but he was a solid contributor at the back end of the rotation. He won (yet another) Gold Glove in '07, which kinda sorta made up for his inability to hold runners on first.

And yeah, he seems like a lifer. Supposedly he once called a game from the dugout for Brad Penny (scroll about halfway down the page).

posted by drumdance at 02:54 AM on December 06

12 Athletes Leaving Brains to Concussion Study

I love football, but every now and then when watching I pretend I'm from another non-football country (that is, pretty much the rest of the world) and wonder what I would think of a sport that requires players to essentially put on armor and pound the hell out of each other. I guess you could argue hockey is the same, but something about the enormity of the players and the size of the pads makes it stand out.

Of course, boxing is even worse, at least wrt to head injuries. So even though I'm a fan of Ali and loved "When We Were Kings," I would have no problem with a ban on the sport.

It would kill me to give up football...

Someone mentioned Earl Campbell - as a Broncos fan I worry that Brandon Marshall will end up that way. He's a receiver, so he doesn't get as many touches, but after the catch he is a beast that takes 4 guys to bring down. He never, ever gives up, even when it's probably better for his long term health. Reminds me of Campbell.

posted by drumdance at 09:27 AM on September 26

Ohio State no match for Southern Cal

At the end of the year the Trojans will be the National Champions again and prove the dynasty has not died

Heh:

3. USC: Trojans have enough talent to direct a box-office smash hit movie and write an Emmy-award winning show; however, are not quite as good at football

posted by drumdance at 05:07 PM on September 16

Questionable Call

One last comment then I'm out. The really strange thing about all this is the discussion in Denver is all about the blown call and the two-point conversion. IMO Cutler should be getting some heat too.

I'm a Cutler fan and think he has all the skills to lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl (though probably not this year), but making two goal line turnovers is inexcusable. His passer rating for the game was 109.6, it surely would've been sub-100 if that call gets made correctly.

posted by drumdance at 02:23 PM on September 15

Questionable Call

Quick follow-up: I listened to the main sports station this morning and the consensus among the hosts and the fans was generally that the Chargers got hosed, though no one is crying about it.

There was a lively discussion as to whether NFL referees should be full time like in other sports. The best argument for it was that FT refs would get to come to practices and see schemes and plays, though I don't know if that would've made a difference in this case. (And it leads to me wonder if it would bias refs even further if they got to know the athletes a little better.)

Here's a cartoon from today's sports section of the Rocky Mountain News.

posted by drumdance at 12:36 PM on September 15

Questionable Call

Broncos fan here. I'm glad of the final score, but that was a terrible call. No doubt the Chargers should've won.

Re: the two-point conversion - I think Shanahan had no faith in the defense today (for good reason) and didn't want to risk a coin flip. The Chargers were moving the ball at will, but so were the Bronco save two three & outs in the 3rd quarter. Also they'd been perfect in red zone touchdowns until Cutler's interception, so he must've had a lot of confidence they would punch it in.

If it failed he would've caught some heat, but I suspect a lot of Broncos fans feel as I do that the final touchdown was a gift. So he was playing with house money anyway.

posted by drumdance at 11:09 PM on September 14

Battle of Powerhouses, Ohio State embarrassed

I don't follow college football super closely, so feel free to take potshots at my opinion. That said, I've long thought that Ohio State and the Big Ten in general are both overrated (and I went to a Big Ten school).

posted by drumdance at 07:48 PM on September 14

Concern for Titans' Young prompts police search

I hope this is not the early stages of another Alonzo Spellman. It was sad to see him struggle in Chicago.

posted by drumdance at 06:58 PM on September 10

Report: Brady's Injury Torn ACL

Silly me, I thought "scrum" referred to software development. Maybe I need to get out more...

posted by drumdance at 11:17 AM on September 08

Take your bags, sir?

BornIcon - I didn't say that. I said I'm inclined believe his side of the story, which is that somebody told him to do it.

Maybe I'm wrong. My point is the he's not a gangster wannabe with a criminal past. Prior to this the worst you could say about him is the he fumbles too much. If the police find him guilty, so be it.

posted by drumdance at 02:23 PM on September 05

Recalling Al Campanis' 'Nightline' nightmare

I hate the word "racism" because, to me at least, it stirs up images of Bull Connor and George Wallace. These people didn't just look down on blacks. They hated them and would go to outrageous lengths to keep them from sitting at the front of the bus.

Campanis IMO was prejudiced, a less-loaded but accurate term. He pre-judged the capabilities of a potential job applicant based on racial characteristics.

That said, it was immensely stupid and he deserved to be fired.

posted by drumdance at 11:59 PM on September 03

Take your bags, sir?

Tatum used to play here in Denver and never did anything to get him in the wrong section of the newspaper. He also was on one of the local talk shows frequently and came across as a pretty plain aw-shucks guy (in a good way). I'm inclined to believe him.

posted by drumdance at 11:51 PM on September 03

When is enough "enough"?

I say press on. China has cheated in the past. Before the 2000 games they cheated at swimming in the 90s.

I speak as someone who generally likes China and the Chinese (my wife is from there).

posted by drumdance at 01:54 PM on August 25

The Decline of the National League.

From 1963 to 1982 The DH started in '73. So for 9 of those years the NL was still dominant. I wonder, though, if the field has permanently tilted to the AL, with better batting overall forcing AL teams to go after better pitchers? Though I guess Sabathia going to Milwaukee and (cough) Zito going to the Giants suggests it's still a two-way market.

posted by drumdance at 02:57 PM on July 14

Sports announcers already know it, and now Elan Fuld has proven it: clutch hitters really do exist.

Ted Williams hit .200 in his post-season, while Billy Hatcher (I believe ) holds the record with something like a .700 post-season mark in one particular year. I'm probably in over my head here, but I think it turns on the size of the data set. So if Ted Williams had gotten as many postseason at-bats as he did regular season, you would simply compare the two averages and know whether he was good, bad or average in the postseason (leaving out for a moment the definition of "clutchiness" and just assuming every postseason AB is clutch). As it happens, he only got 25 postseason AB. ISTR Barry Bonds had very poor numbers with about that many AB until his breakthrough against the Angels a few years back. Derek Jeter has had 495 postseason AB -- or about 75-80% of a typical 162 game season for him -- and has hit .309/.377/.469, not much different than his .316/.387/.459 lifetime regular season averages. I don't know what they breakdown is with RISP or two outs or when trailing vs. leading or late in the game vs. early, but with enough data you can probably make a good guess as to whether he's "clutch." Of course, all this needs to be weighed against the pitching matchup. Presumably Jeter faced better pitchers on average in the playoffs than during the regular season. Like I said, over my head.

posted by drumdance at 04:47 PM on July 08

Upon further review, He's out!!!

As a Rockies fan, I'm all for it. Last year they lost two games because of blown HR calls. They would've avoided the play-in game if not for that. Further, in the play-in game itself, they were robbed of another HR by Garrett Atkins, which would've obviated the need for extra innings and the infamous Holliday home plate call (which itself would probably have been overturned). Of course, this year we're so el-sucko that no amount of overturned calls will make a difference.

posted by drumdance at 01:20 PM on June 14

Game 2

Detroit looks like a machine. As an Avs fan, I can sadly attest to that. They dominated us in the second round on the way to a sweep. Now I feel a little better because we were at least able to score a few goals, though two of the games were blowouts.

posted by drumdance at 05:10 PM on May 27

Harkleroad fulfils naked ambition with Playboy shoot

I'll check it out, but only for the articles.

posted by drumdance at 05:04 PM on May 27

Sidney Crosby = the new Larry Bird?

NHL scheduling is absurd. Out here in Colorado we've only seen the Pens once since Crosby came into the league.

posted by drumdance at 05:28 PM on May 24

Josh Beckett Won't Return My Phone Calls

How many people are paying their hard earned dollars to come to your workplace and watch you earn a living? That's not the point. The point is that athletes are human too. Regardless of how much they get paid, that doesn't mean they're any better at handling criticism than anyone else. I'm not saying it excuses bad behavior, only that I empathize with their situation vis a vis the media... and perhaps that's why Josh Beckett doesn't want to talk to some reporter, yet still makes time to visit kids in the hospital. Think about your statement before you post it. I did. Did you?

posted by drumdance at 02:43 PM on May 24

Josh Beckett Won't Return My Phone Calls

Re: writers feeling resentful about athletes' perceptions of them - I mean, can you blame them? Here in Denver there's been a lot of talk as to whether Carmelo Anthony is enough of a team player or a leader or [insert semi-intangible characteristic here]. That may or may not be the case. But the other day I started wondering how some of the media would respond if essentially the same conversation were happening about them. I.e. "[Local radio host] Sandy Clough has great skill and is very knowledgeable, but he needs to learn to shut up from time to time and be more of a team host. I don't think the Fan can ever be more of a second tier station with him on the morning drive. I would trade him straight up for Terry Frei." I can't imagine how poorly I'd do my boring, humdrum job if there were a running public commentary about whether I'm committed to bringing it 100% every day.

posted by drumdance at 11:46 AM on May 23

It's time to pitch the DH.

The "strategy" involved in a pitcher replacement or even the double switch is, at best, elementary. But the consequences can be huge. Last year in the playoffs against the Phillies, Clint Hurdle pulled the starter in the 4th inning for a pinch hitter when the Rockies were down by 1. The pinch hitter reached safely, and later Kaz Matsui came up and consummated the rally with a two-out grand slam. But then it was up to the Rockies bullpen to hold the lead. There's a lot that could've gone wrong on either side of that decision. The point is that the decision was there to be made, not eliminated by the DH.

posted by drumdance at 04:26 PM on May 14

Buzz Bissinger fucking hates you, blogosphere.

A particularly hilarious account from Fire Joe Morgan is here.

posted by drumdance at 04:19 PM on May 14

Do not run on Rick Ankiel.

I've seen that Ichiro highlight and it is indeed awesome. I don't know the rule about 3rd base, so no comment on that, but it was Willy Taveras, who's as fast as they come. After the game Rockies coach Clint Hurdle was asked whether those should be categorized as baserunning mistakes. He said no, that sometimes the other guy just makes a great play.

posted by drumdance at 02:50 PM on May 08

Transvestite hooker tries to extort money from Ronaldo (the original) in Rio

Heh, during the Elliot Spitzer scandal ISTR one commentator, when trying to explain why men pay hookers for sex, offered this chestnut: "Men don't pay hookers for sex. They pay them to leave afterwards."

posted by drumdance at 03:50 PM on April 29

This is my #1 draft pick...

Broncos should draft him. My kingdom for a left tackle to protect Cutler's blind side.

posted by drumdance at 03:20 PM on April 25

Chiefs trade Jared Allen to Minnesota:

As a Broncos fan I'm glad to see him out of our division and simultaneously sad we couldn't get him. Our D-line has blown for the last several years, and Shanahan has not drafted well.

posted by drumdance at 04:55 PM on April 23

Does speed kill?

This is a great stat. Reinforces the point Maddux made in a previous article about how young pitchers overvalue speed and undervalue movement.

posted by drumdance at 12:45 PM on April 23

The Ten Worst Number One Overall Picks

Vick wasn't able to dominate, but don't forget that he did lead the Falcons to the NFC Championship game a few years back. From Atlanta's perspective, that's their second highest peak behind getting to the Super Bowl in 98-99 ...with Chris Chandler at QB.

posted by drumdance at 12:42 PM on April 23

"Greg Maddux? I bet you could catch him with your eyes closed."

Great, great story. I remember back in the 90s SI did a similar kind of article about him in which they argued he was the greatest every right hander. It talked about how Smoltz & Glavine, themselves likely HOFers, felt that Maddux was far beyond them.

posted by drumdance at 01:25 PM on April 15

Olympic torch put out by protests.

FWIW there are thousands (really) of public protests in China every year, usually around property rights and pollution. They rarely make the media because the government suppresses the news, but they happen and they do sometimes change outcomes. That kind of thing was unthinkable in the Mao era. Tianenmen Square, as awful as it ended, would never even have started.

posted by drumdance at 08:18 AM on April 10

Chasing Perfection

A perfect game sounds like the best way to end a career. Good story. I was not good at Little League and one of my most painful memories is striking out in the bottom of the sixth with the winning run on base (maybe even bases loaded?). I was flat out scared at the plate - the pitcher was a big guy a couple years older than me. Fortunately there was soccer.

posted by drumdance at 10:24 AM on April 09

Olympic torch put out by protests.

I was wrong about the Phillipines. Sorry. I don't care why we have bases in Japan or whether Kazakhstan asked us to come there. In fact, I'm glad we have bases there and elsewhere. My point is that if you're going to get all hot and bothered by Chinese military spending, it might be a good idea to ask why they feel it's necessary. I'm not saying they are threatened, but why should a Chinese military translator (I happen to know one in Shanghai) reading this board feel otherwise? Only because they don't have any... Nor do they have the air bases. Where would they launch those planes from? Don't say Cuba. How quickly would they be shot down? And how quickly would Fox News turn it into World War III?

posted by drumdance at 07:30 PM on April 08

Olympic torch put out by protests.

Every dime we send to China for our cheap shirts goes into one of the most aggressive military buildups in history. What's your source for that? They still spend a small % of GDP on military and anyone who's ever encountered the Chinese military knows that it's not even in the same city, let alone ballpark, as the US. Aside from occasional (admittedly troubling) saber rattling with Taiwan, when is the last time they even threatened to invade a country? (Cue McCain: "Bomb bomb bomb, Bomb bomb Iran.") How many military bases to they have outside of the mainland? (Zero.) If you're a Chinese military strategist, you can't help but notice that 1. The US has a base in S. Korea 2. The US has a base in the Phillipines 3. The US has a base in Japan 4. The US has bases in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (all of which are on or near the Chinese border) 5. The US has supplied Taiwan with advanced weaponry 6. In 2001 a US spy plane was shot down off the coast of Hainan Island. As my cousin pointed out to me, there are no Chinese spy planes patrolling the Florida Keys. From China's perspective, they are surrounded by a military that has demonstrated many times since the founding of the PRC that it is not afraid to invade or otherwise intervene - Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Chile, Vietnam, Korea, Europe etc etc etc. And prior to the founding of the PRC China experienced a lot of foreign aggression on the mainland - from Japan, Great Britain etc. I'm not an apologist for the Chinese government, but I am a realist. They would be foolish not to invest in their military because so much more is at stake than 30 years ago. I would guess that the award for most aggressive military buildup in history goes to the US in the 80s. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

posted by drumdance at 06:37 PM on April 08

Olympic torch put out by protests.

I opposes a boycott because it punishes the athletes, but I support peaceful protests by individuals, not countries. A concerted boycott would only harden attitudes in China. My wife is from there and she, like 95% of Chinese citizens, believes Tibet is and always was a part of China, and that the Reds' occupation was a liberation from feudalism. IMO Chinese citizens would view a boycott by countries as just politics, like everything else in China. But non-violent protests by private citizens might make a few of them think.

posted by drumdance at 11:30 PM on April 07

Jason Taylor's moves not moving the NFL

Re: the tough guy image: Joe Namath wore panty hose. 'Nuff said.

posted by drumdance at 05:22 PM on April 02

The Cubs Own Chicago; The White Sox Just Rent There

Big Corporate Box field on the south side has no soul. Agreed, though some of the fratboy fans in the bleachers at Wrigley can ruin the experience. I went to the new Comiskey in the first year it opened and thought I'd made a wrong turn and was at a shopping mall. Plus, watch your step in that 45 degree angle upper deck.

posted by drumdance at 03:51 PM on April 01

The Cubs Own Chicago; The White Sox Just Rent There

It's a money thing. Not the teams, but the fans. Cubs are north side, Sox are south. I'd bet the per capita income difference between them heavily favors the Cubs. Before anyone accuses me of class warfare, I used to live on the south side and earned an income commensurate with that demographic. I lived in Pilsen, about 20 blocks from Comiskey or whatever they call it these days, and one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. I wasn't a huge fan of either team, but generally preferred the Sox.

posted by drumdance at 05:59 PM on March 31

Union to examine why Bonds has no offers

Hold up, isn't he also just 65 hits of 3,000? Which reminds me. If you took away every one of Hank Aaron's home runs, he still would have over 3000 hits. I'd prefer to remember him as the Home Run King.

posted by drumdance at 07:43 PM on March 20

Flag On The Play!

Someone give me a good definition of [holding] Mine's not canonical by any means, but in the replays I've seen, it usually seems to turn on whether the holder's hands are outside the holdee's chest area and whether the holdee has gotten a step by him toward the ball carrier. For example, grabbing and holding the guy's shoulder as he blows by you on the way to the quarterback.

posted by drumdance at 05:51 PM on January 05

OTHER MOMENTS IN A SOCCER PLAYER'S LIFE.

McSweeney's is always good for a chuckle. My personal favorite: George W. Bush Quotations in Which the Words "God" or "The Almighty" or "The Almighty God" Are Replaced by Famous Names Chosen at Random From the '80s Edition of Trivial Pursuit.

posted by drumdance at 05:47 PM on January 05

Nevermore! Ravens Fire Brian Billick

Billick did win a Super Bowl as a head coach. Surely he should recieve some credit for that. Sure, he deserves some credit, but then so does Trent Dilfer. Then again, last year's 13-3 was nothing to sneeze at. I would've loved to see McNair get one more crack at the Super Bowl.

posted by drumdance at 12:45 PM on January 02

For The Love of Sport: Going Bowling

I grew up in Georgia and my sister went to UGA, so I'm mostly pulling for the Dogs. However, it's ultra cool that former Falcons backup QB June Jones coaches Hawaii, and I generally always support non-power conference teams in the bowls -- Utah a couple years ago, Boise State last year -- so I'd be tickled pink if HI won. Also, I wanna see that dance they do. Is it like the NZ All Blacks?

posted by drumdance at 04:35 PM on December 29

Baseball Doesn't Need Saving

You love baseball, but hate that its popular. I love music but hate Britney Spears. It's possible to love some aspects of the game and detest others. I don't think baseball is dying, but it will be some time before I feel like I did watching the '77 playoffs as a kid and the '91 Series as an adult.

posted by drumdance at 04:28 PM on December 29

Perfect No More

Haven't the Fins surprised New England late before? That would be the ultimate irony, better even than them beating Da Bears in '85.

posted by drumdance at 06:36 PM on December 16

Tim Tebow, happy to be a Gator. Happy to be the Heisman winner.

If Brennan has a great game and leads Hawaii to victory over Georgia, will anyone here have second thoughts? I think Tebow deserved to win, but a big bowl win by Brennan would likely change my opinion.

posted by drumdance at 01:17 PM on December 09

Mr. Clutch

Hmmm... A win in April is technically the same, but what if your team is five games out at the beginning of September and you go on a tear that helps put them over the top. Matt Holliday and Jimmy Rollins basically both did that this year. I don't remember the exact numbers, but ISTR that both of them played above their already-high level down the stretch. Adding to the complexity - what if you were injured or in the minors in April? 60% of the Rockies April starting rotation was out for the season by August. They filled in the gaps with two rookies. (I know pitching isn't part of the article, but I'm just pointing out the April-September difference.)

posted by drumdance at 05:10 PM on December 04

Oklahoma crushes Missouri,

Give Hawaii a shot. Last year Boise State beat a good OU team in a game for the ages. Who says Hawaii couldn't do the same?

posted by drumdance at 11:17 AM on December 03

Oklahoma crushes Missouri,

Hawaii v. Kansas baby!!!!

posted by drumdance at 08:21 AM on December 02

Bo Knows Best

My brush with greatness: in the early 90s my then-girlfriend's rich aunt & uncle lived in Bo's neighborhood (I think they still do). I was there on Halloween one year when Bo and his kids (I assume) came to their door. I didn't know it until he'd already started walking away and the uncle mentioned it.

posted by drumdance at 05:20 PM on November 29

Who would be No. 1 now?

bdaddy - by that argument the Broncos should never have let Jake Plummer and Brian Griese get away. Sure, some quarterbacks bring intangibles that allow them to lead their team to victory even when their stats aren't all that good (Jim Mcmahon comes to mind), but oftentimes the W-L record is more of a sign of the players around him (Trent Dilfer). Dunno if Cutler should be in the top 10, but he's clearly the best right now against Young and Leinart in terms of development.

posted by drumdance at 11:19 AM on November 18

Barry Bonds indicted on perjury, obstruction charges

The prosecutors basically lied to the judge when they said that his testimony was important to their case. His imprisonment was nothing more than punitive. So, you know for certain that no new evidence has arisen and that no other witnesses have come forward? Remember, the whole Balco investigation started several years ago because of an anonymous whistle blower. Maybe that person or someone else has come forward, in which case Anderson's testimony may no longer be critical.

posted by drumdance at 04:41 PM on November 17

Barry Bonds indicted on perjury, obstruction charges

Until a trial and failure of his defemse to impeach witnesses that testify against him proves that he has, he hasn't. Also, Clinton didn't inhale. No one man is responsible for this.......everyone is. You can't put this entire era of abuse on B.B. I don't recally anyone here saying the entire era is Bonds' fault, but that doesn't give him a pass either. Barry was a great athlete, getting paid in the top tier and a lock for the HOF before his head swelled to the size of a pumpkin. No one made him do this except Barry. Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro & Giambi are all similarly disgraced. At least Giambi told the truth. None of those guys will get in the HOF, and now neither will Bonds.

posted by drumdance at 07:14 PM on November 15

Getting Tough with the '72 Dolphins

how many other record holders behave in that manner? ISTR that Calvin Murphy used to go to basketball games where a player was closing in on his consecutive free throw mark and heckle the player when he was at the line. I can't find any evidence of that online, though, so it might just be a myth.

posted by drumdance at 11:56 AM on November 07