dfleming's profile

Member since: January 12, 2004
Last visit: July 21, 2014

dfleming has posted 19 links and 1563 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

Germany Wins World Cup

I was ranting to my wife about the same thing: sometimes soccer players fall to the ground without bracing themselves, but that's because they threw their arms up to indicate sniper fire. Arms down, no brace = unconscious. FIFA needs to offer either a stoppage or some kind of substitution rule for concussions. This World Cup had too many of them to ignore.

I agree. I've thought a third-party doctor running concussion protocol on any player who hits the deck claiming a head injury would do two good things - one, it would get players out of the game who need to be, but two, it might curb the dangerous embellishments to get a foul that lead to these kinds of injuries if they need to sit out 5+ minutes for an assessment.

posted by dfleming at 11:00 AM on July 14

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

LeBron was well liked until the Decision. His letter admits his mistakes in how that was handled and in his boastful predictions of championships, but it's not like he was breaking a promise by leaving. He didn't owe Cleveland his entire career.

Well, the the thing about words like you are using - loyalty - is that it's about sticking it out through the tough times. It's about promises. Nobody owes anybody anything in the sports business, but if you're going to use hero and loyalty and all these big words - they mean transcending the ego and the business of sport. Otherwise they're meaningless fluff words.

I liked LeBron before the decision, and I think I can go back to liking him, but I and am further away than a one-year with a player option from talking about loyalty and forgetting the last four years. A week ago he was in Vegas with Pat Riley and talking to other teams. If it was such a no-brainer, loyalty-based decision, those meetings were completely pointless and wouldn't have happened.

He's owned up to his mistakes, and I'll give him credit for that, but let's see what happens if Cleveland goes 41-41 this year.

posted by dfleming at 11:27 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Some people don't want to take LeBron at his word, but why would he go to Cleveland if it wasn't primarily about loyalty to the area?

It's about his tarnished image. LeBron is tired of being the villain and wants to be the hero again. He got his championships, so now people can't criticize him for not being a winner, which weighed on him before he left.

He certainly has the right to use the leverage of being Cleveland's only shot at a championship to get more say over the team and to maximize his capacity to earn revenue over the next five years, but I retain the right to think the same guy who orchestrated "The Decision" four years ago is still out for his ego first, finance second, and Cleveland a distant third.

posted by dfleming at 09:40 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Why do you fault him for trying to maximize his salary when the new TV deal arrives in two years?

posted by rcade at 09:44 PM on July 12

Here's more on LeBron's salary strategy.

It's not faulting him about his strategy, it's that he's got this strategy while simultaneously writing letters about how he is going to finish his career somewhere and how much he loves Cleveland and blah blah. He's making this out to be about Cleveland above anything else, which it isn't.

posted by dfleming at 01:29 AM on July 13

LeBron James Returning to Cleveland

Let's see if Northeast Ohio truly is bigger than basketball a couple of years down the road if the nucleus around him doesn't result in a championship. LeBron left to play for a dream team, and now plays on a team who've drafted first overall three years in a row.

LeBron isn't a romantic, he's a pragmatist - he sees star level talent in Irving and Wiggins (or Love) and a shot to repair his tarnished legacy. And I've no problem with him being pragmatic, but the Stephen A. Smith's of the world who make this seem like a benevolent act make me ill.

posted by dfleming at 04:36 PM on July 12

Michael Bradley Covered Most Ground in World Cup

He seemed to turn the ball over a lot (particularly in the Belgium game), but I suspect in proportion to his time of possession it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

He didn't seem to get a lot of help, in terms of his teammates' positioning and getting opportunities to feed productive passes, so occasionally he'd end up carrying the ball 2/3 of the pitch before running into a wall of defenders.

posted by dfleming at 08:06 PM on July 02

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

During one of his runs yesterday, with the ball still moving in front of him, he blazed ahead and flew over a leg tackle as though he were in an equestrian event because he knew he might be able to finish.

To be fair, Robben had pace and room to make that jump. He can't jump with forward momentum on a lot of his challenges where he's speedily dribbling but moving laterally or slowly forward. The foul was a cutback from the goal line with next to no pace. You could jump up, but not forward with the ball intact.

Robben certainly flourishes every contact made with him, but on the Marquez foul he'd have had to contort himself and would've landed into three other Mexican players to avoid it. It was a certain turnover otherwise and Marquez really didn't need to make that challenge.

posted by dfleming at 10:10 AM on June 30

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

Why do Liverpool pay the big price for a bit of idiocy done in an Uruguay shirt? And why is this punished more harshly than headbutting? FIFA BS, that's why.

Agreed on the former - Liverpool doesn't stand to gain anything via international play, so why should teams take on the risk of injury AND suspension if there's no reward?

The latter - attempts to penetrate (quit it) the body are always treated more severe than to hit it. Think of the penalties for eye gouging vs. punching in most sports. There's something particularly barbaric about it that garners a worse fan response. That and the serial nature of this seems to make it a lot more appropriate.

posted by dfleming at 12:17 PM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Dascenzo, for the record, was so unremarkable as a position player than his 1991 Score card position/photo ended up pretty confusing.

posted by dfleming at 10:02 AM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

Lince gets a few Smoltz points for doing well out of the bullpen.

Well, Lince's RP resume is only 9 innings more than former utility infielder Doug Dascenzo's sparkling 0.00 ERA resume. Sample sizes and such.

posted by dfleming at 09:57 AM on June 26

LeBron Taking His Talents Out of South Beach

I love this - the dream team that has won 2 of the last 3 championships and has been to the finals each year is obsolete and LBJ now needs to be "pitched" on a new plan to win him some championships.

Wade and Bosh now look like the bad guys if they don't opt out, because LeBron leaves and takes all their championship hopes with him if they don't have the flexible cap space to add another star. Great set of coattails to have ridden.

Meanwhile, Duncan gets championship #5 and has nurtured a sustainable core that will survive past him. The mark of a true leader isn't just how many championships you've won, but leaving teams better off than you found them. Cleveland gutted. Miami, on the verge of gutted.

Legacies are earned, not crafted, and the subtlety seems totally lost on LeBron.

posted by dfleming at 09:36 AM on June 25

Luis Suarez Bites Opponent at World Cup

Oh, by the way, if there are bite marks on the Italian, check them against Suarez's dental records. It would not surprise me if there might have been a nip or two taken in the locker room in order to prove the case.

So you're purporting that every player on the Italian team bit each other in the locker room on the off-chance that Suarez might bite them? Did they do it before the game, and then again at halftime, to ensure they have fresh marks?

I just want to be clear how far the lunacy of this statement goes.

posted by dfleming at 09:10 PM on June 24

Alex Torres First Pitcher to Wear Protective Cap

Style-wise, it's a big of a step back from John Olerud's field helmet. I'd think convincing people to wear a low-profile helmet vs. what effectively looks like an overstuffed couch would be easier.

posted by dfleming at 12:15 PM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The Iranian defender crumpling is a little heartbreaking.

posted by dfleming at 10:31 AM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Seriously. The players need to be hounding the NHLPA to be putting pressure on the league. Cooke's setting a precedence that you can be as dirty as you want and still have a long and prosperous NHL career.

posted by dfleming at 09:24 AM on May 14