dfleming's profile

Member since: January 12, 2004
Last visit: October 24, 2014

dfleming has posted 19 links and 1590 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 159 comments to the Locker Room and 1 column.

Recent Links

Gary Bettman: Players locked out September 15th if no deal is reached: Would a second lockout in a decade be disastrous for hockey or for Bettman?

posted by dfleming to hockey at 03:23 PM on August 09 - 7 comments

According to Forbes' Fab 40: Tiger Woods still has the richest brand among athletes...and still by a very wide margin. The Yankees surpassed Man U as the richest team brand and the most valuable overall brand in sports is the Super Bowl. No word on whether the BAR (brand above replacement) advanced stats were used in this analysis.

posted by dfleming to golf at 06:38 AM on October 05 - 0 comments

'Thank God It Just Popped Back In': Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo gruesomely dislocated his elbow with 7 minutes left in the third quarter Saturday night against the Miami Heat and was taken to the locker room. He returned and one-armed the entire fourth quarter of the crucial 97-81 win, bringing the series to 2-1 Heat.

posted by dfleming to basketball at 01:44 PM on May 08 - 9 comments

Memphis come back from 16 down, win in OT: Zach Randolph's 21pt/21reb performance has the upstart Grizz up 2-1 over the Thunder.

posted by dfleming to basketball at 08:55 PM on May 07 - 3 comments

Mike Kelly: of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was relieved of his duties as coach yesterday. It turns out, he's not very good on or off the field.

posted by dfleming to football at 08:54 AM on December 18 - 4 comments

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Got evacuated out of the downtown core about half an hour ago. Crazy, sad day.

posted by dfleming at 04:09 PM on October 22

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I know the Jets carried a lot of cap space through the off season, but at 1-6, this seems like an odd move. They're not exactly one wide receiver away from anything.

They're maybe one receiver away from finishing on a high enough note that Idzick and Ryan keep their jobs. They need progress to make that happen, and Harvin's a hail mary attempt at that.

The pick doesn't really matter to either of them if they get canned following a 2- or 3-win season. I see this as borrowing from the future to keep yourself alive a little while longer.

posted by dfleming at 04:32 PM on October 18

Royals Advance to First World Series Since 1985

The Royals have a terrible GM, a terrible manager, and terrible plate discipline.

And people are going to go ahead and use them regardless as an example for how the game is changing rather than considering the "weird shit happens sometimes" effect. Like Time, who say the Royals are leading a movement with their one truly successful year in 20 years.

Pitching and defence have been the foundation of the game forever, but a single data point on a quirky team doesn't mean a trend. Go back a couple of years and both San Fran and St. Louis hardly ran at all in 2010/11. Plus - it's not been THAT long since a team that hit a lot of home runs made the World Series.

posted by dfleming at 04:00 PM on October 16

DeMarco Murray Ties Jim Brown Record

It will be interesting to see what happens with Murray the rest of the way - he's on pace to eclipse his previous high in carries in game 9. The Cowboys talked about easing off his workload, but he touched the ball 35 times last night.

He's on pace to just break Larry Johnson's carries record, which for a guy with a questionable track record for health is playing fast and loose. That said, the Cowboys are a pretty devastating team when Romo's able to play off a running game and not do-it-himself, so unless Joseph Randle shows he's able to consistently get yardage on touches, I'm not sure they can stay this good without him.

posted by dfleming at 11:39 AM on October 13

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Jesus - Joe Flacco has 5 touchdown passes at the half against a Bucs team who look utterly hopeless right now.

posted by dfleming at 02:25 PM on October 12

MLB Pace-of-Game Committee Suggests Six New Rules

But remember what it was like when ESPN dropped hockey and a big chunk of its time on SportsCenter disappeared? How would that feel if it happened to baseball?

Again - baseball TV contracts continue to be more valuable than ever. This is nowhere near being a reality. Baseball is still #2 in the major 4 for ratings.

I'm surprised there are so many voices here for baseball doing nothing about game length and speed of play. Do you all really think baseball needs no changes? If so, how do you explain the long drop in World Series ratings, and why is that not a problem?

There's been a huge dip since the 2005 PED congress hearings that has never been recovered. They have a 4-7 game series' held in October - which, since the 1980's, has meant they're competing at night with prime-time shows on an expanding dial of channels.

The Super Bowl, comparatively, is one Sunday night in February, at the same time every year, and has nothing else to compete with on the dial. It also has a shit-ton of people who don't watch the game content who watch the program.

Additionally - MLB.TV and online streaming mean Neilsen ratings aren't necessarily capturing the whole picture anymore. I haven't watched a game on cable TV in years. Multiple time-zones and a 4-7 game series mean people who have to go to work can't necessarily catch San Francisco finals games.

There's also the argument that a successful Toronto team captures an entire Canada market (see: 1992 and 1993's super ratings), and they've been out of it for so long that it barely registers up here.

The point being - concluding the game is too long, in a very changing world, is the reason people don't watch the World Series anymore is ignoring a lot of factors - one huge one being, a lot of people still haven't forgiven baseball for the PED scandal.

posted by dfleming at 05:48 PM on October 04

MLB Pace-of-Game Committee Suggests Six New Rules

I think it can be both. When you sit down to watch a game on TV, baseball asks for more of your time than any other major spectator sport.

Tennis? Auto racing? Wresting/MMA pay-per-view? Golf on a championship Sunday? Football coverage on a regular Sunday? Cycling? Poker? People are willing to invest four hours to watch sports and entertainment.

As for getting out of the hustle and bustle, would any team sport but baseball be described that way for spectators? It's an odd selling point. Hustle and bustle is pretty entertaining in soccer, football, hockey and basketball.

Baseball has always had a different pace than those sports, and yet has somehow survived for over a hundred years. Not to mention, attendance is up and TV contracts are worth more than they have ever been.

Killing the intentional walk obviously won't kill the game, but killing it also won't make baseball more exciting than video games or as fast-paced as football, hockey, or basketball, so I'm not sure why it having a different selling point is a problem. It's a different experience.

posted by dfleming at 01:57 PM on October 03

MLB Pace-of-Game Committee Suggests Six New Rules

But I don't see my sons' generation taking to the game the way I did, and I think slow play is a factor.

Do you honestly think that is about games being 15-30 minutes longer, or due to the fact that kids have way, way more options available to them now than they did when you grew up?

I go to a bunch of games and I don't see kids really falling apart in the 6th inning. Mostly, they have their face in a Nintendo DS or an iPhone from the start. I think baseball is dealing with what every sport is dealing with - that kids have other, sexy options out there and aren't as into sports as they used to be.

Going to a game is an experience. If I can't realistically get a hot dog or have a pee without missing action, it's going to make games less fun to be at. I, personally, would hate to watch a run walked in because a pitcher took 22 seconds to deliver a pitch. The proceduralization of games is not necessarily making them any more entertaining - just more predictable and consistent. Video replay is a bore live but decent TV on key plays.

Again - effective is better than efficient. Baseball is never going to be a high-action thriller. It's not the point. Like golf, the whole romance has been getting out of the hustle-and-bustle and enjoying a few hours of peanuts, cracker jacks, and never going back to real life.

posted by dfleming at 11:01 AM on October 02

MLB Pace-of-Game Committee Suggests Six New Rules

Yeah, add me to the list of people who think shaving 15 minutes off the length of game and adding in a bunch of procedural penalties and rules isn't exactly making the game sexier.

A more efficient game is not necessarily a more entertaining one.

posted by dfleming at 09:43 PM on October 01

Royals Steal 9-8 Win Over A's in Epic 12-Inning AL Wild Card

KC hit the fewest home runs in the league this year (by 10) and had the fewest walks in the league. They're middle of the road in OBP and in the bottom third in slugging, and only San Fran (OBP) and St. Louis (SLG) are teams that are left that are worse in either category.

They stole the most bases in the league, and were tied for 1st in steal percentage in the league. In a game where it is pretty clear they are going to need to score some runs, the Royals have to press on the base paths because they don't really have the skill-sets (based on the previous 162 games' history) to do much else.

The double steal was folly (and way too much complexity to put on players who are mostly playing their first playoff game), but perhaps part of the reason Norris dropped the ball on the pitchout was he was getting torched all night and it was getting to him. Pressure cracks, and they pressed all night.

This strategy is boom or bust, but I don't really see what Yost does with his roster otherwise. 3 guys hit more than 9 home runs, and one regular has an OBP over .350. KC isn't a great team hitting their stride - they'll win because they grind it out and get a little luck.

posted by dfleming at 10:23 AM on October 01

Royals Steal 9-8 Win Over A's in Epic 12-Inning AL Wild Card

An incredible game (and a testament to aggressive base running if there ever was one), but Ned Yost was insane bringing a rookie who got torched on a start on Sunday in as his first reliever out of the bullpen, to inherit two on with nobody out.

I get the Royals have a shaky pen past the big three, but I'd roll the dice on a vet like Frasor a lot earlier than a guy who's hardly ever pitched in relief, is 23, and is in his first playoff action.

posted by dfleming at 07:38 AM on October 01

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Jeter isn't going to be remembered for a walk off single in a season where his presence prevented his team from securing a playoff berth, but a nice ending non the less. He will be remembered for clutch performances when the competition was most intense.

You're wrong. Baseball is arguably the most romantic of the major professional sports. The narrative of one of the most clutch hitters in this generation going out on a walk-off single in his last home game is the kind of story arc that lasts. This will be part of the folklore on Jeter.

The playoff moments will certainly be what people recall first, but going out on a game-winning hit is more or less the plot of most sports fiction for a reason. People love to imagine things ending like this.

posted by dfleming at 02:37 AM on September 26

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The Red Sox would be foolish to trade Betts at this point - he's an undersized, two-position 21 year old whose ML experience hasn't been good enough to nab an elite starter on his own.

Fourth outfielder, spot starter for Pedroia, maybe he even picks up SS or 3B enough to spell there too. A hedge against injury (Victorino in particular) or Castillo not being as ready as everyone thinks he is.

The Sox need pitching, but Betts isn't going to get them far enough down the road to an ace like Hamels to skip another top prospect or two. They can get the rest of the rotation with other prospects and/or FA without having to deal a flexible tookit like he has.

posted by dfleming at 10:55 AM on September 25

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Tulloch pulled the old Vontae Davis.

posted by dfleming at 03:37 PM on September 22

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Robert Griffin III is out for at least a few weeks, but if he needs surgery may be done for the year.

If Kirk Cousins plays as well as he did in relief, it's going to put the Redskins in a real pickle - you don't want your franchise QB to lose his job due to injury, but if he is susceptible to the big injury and he's ineffective for long periods as he works his way back to health, maybe the Redskins will be better off with a steadier hand who can stay on the field.

posted by dfleming at 09:13 AM on September 15