hincandenza's profile

Name: Hal Incandenza
Gender: Manly-man
Member since: January 29, 2002
Last visit: October 04, 2015

hincandenza has posted 47 links and 1753 comments to SportsFilter and 4 links and 51 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

My name? Same reasoning as at my Metafilter page... from the book "Infinite Jest".

Grew up as a long time New Hampshire-ite, and thus a New England sports fan: die-hard passion about the Red Sox, enjoy the Celtics and Patriots, but honestly couldn't care less about the Bruins.

I still recall being 11 years old, leaping up and down in the living room with my dad standing up as the Red Sox were one strike away in 1986. I hollered for my mom to come in and witness history, and she called from the other room "Ah, they're just going to blow it." Mere moments later, Schiraldi's passed ball, etc. etc. Forget the Bambino- my mom is the reason the Sox lost that year.

Currently live in Seattle, big into the Mariners. I root for them as much as the Red Sox these days, and would love to see them win the championship. However: while last year, during that magical 116-win season I realized would have actually rooted for the M's over the Sox had they met in the ALCS (only because of the 116 wins, you understand, and because it didn't "feel" like the Sox year that year- fortunately the Sox imploded and that dilemma was avoided for a season), as a general rule I root for the Sox first and foremost. And since the Sox and M's both have exceptionally good chances to make the playoffs, I hope they don't go directly head to head because then I'd have to root against the M's.

This year, with the Sox playing historically well, I'm hoping they can finally make all us long-suffering Red Sox fans complete.

But my mom's right- they'll probably just blow it anyway.

Recent Links

John Oliver tackles the NCAA and student athletes: In an extended segment on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight", John Oliver delved into the issue of unpaid "student-athletes" and the onerous and exploitative NCAA money machine.

posted by hincandenza to basketball at 12:50 AM on March 17 - 2 comments

Ichiro reaches 4,000 hit milestone between Japan (1,278) and MLB (2,722 and counting).: While his production is a shadow of those early Mariners years when he was a 200+ hit machine for more than a decade (just LOOK at that rookie spike of 242 hits, or the record-setting 262 hit season), the 39-year-old Yankee outfielder continues to produce at a decent if unremarkable level.

Questions arise over how long Ichiro will continue to suit up (he's signed with the Yankees through the 2014 season), but even at his reduced performance level, if he can stay an every day player into the 2015 season he'll almost surely eclipse the 3,000 hit mark in MLB.

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 10:08 PM on August 22 - 17 comments

Comment Editing: Wow, I'm not really not cool with the comment editing- chide me if you must, but if you're going to rewrite comments (and without clear indication, to boot), this site just became a whole lot less friendly.

posted by hincandenza to editorial policy at 05:57 PM on September 05 - 33 comments

NFL Pick 'Em, SUPERBOWL and final results: The final standings are in after all four founds of the Sportsfilter 2010-2011 NFL Playoffs Pick 'Em... and we have a winner!

posted by hincandenza to fantasy at 02:33 PM on February 08 - 6 comments

NFL Pick 'em, SUPERBOWL Round: : It's finally here: the last Sportsfilter Pick 'Em of the 2010-2011 NFL Season. A veritable smorgasbord of picks are to be found inside!

posted by hincandenza to fantasy at 12:17 AM on February 03 - 16 comments

Recent Comments

NFL Source: 'No Doubt' Brady Will Sit 4 Games This Season

Sheesh... if you didn't already think this was a witch hunt with no goal but for the league to blatantly attempt to sabotage one specific team's entire season...

Now the question you should ask yourself is: why would any self-respecting journalists keep using these NFL sources that are either obvious NFL propaganda or outright false, or both?

posted by hincandenza at 11:45 PM on September 27

Super Bowl Ditches Roman Numerals

Okay Howard, that was gold. :)

posted by hincandenza at 05:21 PM on September 10

2 High School Players Intentionally Hit Referee

Well... I care, I literally wrote that right above. It doesn't matter, but it would be interesting to see if these kids were teed off about a total miscall, or some thing questionable at worst. Plus, the preceding play might show clues of the planning, and whether the coach or other players were involved. On reddit, someone linked a fast-pitch softball clip in which not only does the pitcher throw it right at the umps mask, the catcher intentionally leaps out of the way, and the entire infield- as well as the manager- met on the mound right beforehand. It was so obviously intentional, and orchestrated by the manager, they called the game then and there.

posted by hincandenza at 10:06 PM on September 06

2 High School Players Intentionally Hit Referee

I saw this when it was going around reddit yesterday, it's pretty appaling. Happily at least, it sounds like the schools and related organizations are reacting quickly and appropriately.

One question I've had, just out of curiousity: I can't find a clear description in an article, much less video, of the preceding play. Not that it would justify the action, but I'd be interested in seeing what these players were so incensed about.

posted by hincandenza at 03:40 PM on September 06

Federal Judge Tosses Brady's 4-Game NFL Suspension

Man ESPN is the worst.

So when can the SpoFi community admit there was no "there" there? The NFL actively tried to catch the Patriots in a sting operation, ineptly tried to collect damning data, and yet even the biased Wells report admitted there wasn't even convincing evidence of any tampering actually happening- much less involvement from Brady et al? For 80 years the NFL didn't care, didn't even know there was a natural gas law, and Brady just wanted a low end but legal 12.5 PSI football.

Shouldn't this all have been a simple off-season scientific investigation and possible rules tweak of ball pressure setting and management? Because a fair number of posters here were looking for blood, demanding Brady impale himself on a non-existent violation that at most would warrant a small fine if it even happened- of which there's never been evidence it even happened?

Don't be like Lester Munson... admit you were wrong about the alleged "Cheatriots".

posted by hincandenza at 02:13 AM on September 05

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

On the one hand, I hate the public shaming culture/stockades... but on the other hand, fuck Schilling.

Although I still revere him for 2004, that doesn't conflict withat thinking he's also a putz.

posted by hincandenza at 11:55 PM on August 25

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

What... why...

posted by hincandenza at 10:33 AM on August 25

ESPN Accidentally Fires Adam Schefter

What you did there; I see it. :)

posted by hincandenza at 12:55 AM on August 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

This Daniel Norris sounds like an interesting cat. The link is to a discussion on the front page of Reddit right now; apparently he lives on $800/mo, and during spring training lived in a van behind a WalMart*. What is it with pitchers and their seemingly greater-than-normal penchant for quirky personalities?

* Then again, if you watch that video when he's showing off the machete he keeps in the van for protection... I'm not sure how I feel about another pitcher with a fondness for sharp weapons...

posted by hincandenza at 04:15 AM on August 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

That Norris at-bat was insane; the stroke was so sweet, he looked like he was barely swinging, and it goes right over the dead-center wall. And first ever professional at-bat? That's remarkable.

The Denard Span one cracked me up; where did they get all that video of him asking people about it...? It's like when someone learns some amazing new fact on the front page of Reddit, and they keep telling people.

Eventually, ESPN is going to have to run a retraction; there is no doubt they were getting blatantly false info from the NFL front office- including the bullshit "2 pounds" number- that grossly colored the entire DeflateGate story. Ah, who am I kidding- they'll never apologize. Fuck 'em, I canceled my cable months ago, they aren't getting anything from me anymore.

posted by hincandenza at 11:16 PM on August 20

Little League Team Throws Game at World Series

Exactly- the issue wasn't losing, that earned them nothing: they specifically were trying to lose by enough runs that NC would win a tiebreaker against Iowa on run differential. Like bender suggests, for these kind of structures where ties are so common, they need more than mathematical rules; let the kids play- and incentivize it, so no one would ever dream of intentionally losing, much less in such obvious fashion.

Haven't we had wild card/division standings races where a team might actually benefit by intentionally losing in the last days of the season (i.e., allowing a different team to surge ahead in the wild card once your own position is assured). I vaguely recall a team- the Rays or Yankees, maybe?- did that to the Red Sox a few years ago in the single-wild-card-team format, where they arguably made some questionable batting order and late-game swaps on the field against a team that was fighting the Sox for a wild card slot in the last days of the season?

Oh of course, yeah, it was the goddamn nightmare 2011 season. Ugh. Along with all the other disasters, it came down the final day, Boston loses 4-3, after a long 7th inning rain delay where they led 3-2, when Papelbon struck out the first two batters quickly and then couldn't close it out. Literally minutes later, having somehow squandered an 7-0 lead with two innings to go, the Yankees end up losing to the Rays mere minutes after the Sox had lost. Not saying the Sox deserved to make the playoffs after their shitshow September, but that Yankee game never did sit right with me... thank god for 2004/2007 at that point, or 2011 would have led to a lot of bridge jumping in the greater New England area...

posted by hincandenza at 01:24 AM on August 19

Little League Team Throws Game at World Series

Ha, I just saw this at /r/Seattle and was coming here to post it, but I guess you beat me by a couple of minutes. :) Here's the Seattle Times story, at least. I'm most surprised they got through an entire 8-0 game without anyone involved slapping the coach upside the head.

The tiebreaker seems like a good and fair decision all around. It wouldn't be fair to outright disqualify them just for losing, when losing still put them in the next round per the rules, and they appeared the strongest team on points. Since the goal of Snohomish was to essentially smooth their own path by pushing NC over Iowa using tiebreaker rules-lawyering, having Snohomish forced into a 1-game playoff to continue was actually kind of Solomonic, honestly. The real shame is that the best team might have been knocked out of the competition by their own coach getting too cute with tournament rules.

Granted, the real flaw is how easily exploitable tournament tiebreaker rules are; as mentioned in the article(s), the coach didn't break the rules, just the spirit of "striving to win". You gotta feel bad for all the players: the Snohomish girls throwing a game can't have felt good, the Iowa girls watching their tournament dreams end... and then the one-game playoff was announced and you realize the emotions on each side probably did a 180 in a heartbeat. I'm surprised the final score was only 3-2, honestly.

posted by hincandenza at 06:37 PM on August 18

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

What a weird... and wonderful... game is baseball. :)

posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on August 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

You explanations did help clarify it, thanks; the reason for the rules is to cover the weird case closer to what I described, when you have fast runner make it to first while a DP is being completed. It answers the question of whether the run scores or not, and whether it's timing based- which happens first- or event based- once these boxes are ticked off without any of these. There's one other thing that would have come into play: being outside the base paths, those runners would have been out for that reason, I believe.

Then again, the runners were celebrating because the CF just ran in, there was zero chance of a play at the plate. Had he instead made a fierce effort to get the ball in (for god knows what reason) the runners would have just advanced normally, stepped on their bases, and stayed there with a safe lead until the winning run crossed the plate and play was basically stopped, like with a playable medium/shallow pop fly.

Interestingly, a nefarious coach could exploit this exactly once in a season: in the same bases-loaded one or two out in the bottom of the 9th situation like this, if a clear untouchable hit goes over an outfielder's head, they always play act as if they give up almost immediately... and if they're lucky enough to entice this kind of premature celebration even one time, the next OF over quietly scurries for the ball, whips it in to the first OF who has suddenly darted over to be the relay man, and boom- instant one or two outs. You'd have to be the baseball equivalent of Belichick to even plan and train for something like that, though. :)

I like the idea that there's a rule of equity, a sort of "Well, this is why they pay you: when it all falls apart, just think it over and try to be fair to the spirit of the game at play". Hopefully, in this case they'd make the spirit-of-the-game decision if things were actually questionable, under that basis, or if a team did the intentional "hidden fielder" trick or whatever we'd call it.

posted by hincandenza at 04:17 AM on August 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

This reminds me of the Robin Ventura grand slam single in the NLCS a few years' back, which ended up similarly being a historical score keeping anomaly.

However thank god for the runners passing, the security guard dead ball, and the poor force play, else I'm still not sure how it should have been ruled.

The runners not having touched the bags at 2nd and 3rd is irrelevant once the runners cross home and first. However... just how long is that? Let's imagine earnest but painfully, comically slow runners on 1st and 2nd. They haven't made it to their next base even as the batter and man on third have rung up the winning run. Meanwhile, with no staff intererence, the ball makes it back to the infield, both runners get caught off base, double play on the force outs at 3rd and 2nd.

We'd all agree that a DP not only doesn't earn an RBI, but in this instance would it still matter? Runners can get in an intentional rundown just to buy more time for a lead runner to score, but if it's a force play and the runners are slow... just how much time is allowed to complete the inning end out after the run scores? And do the runners in a force situation ever have to touch the bag once the run has scored? Contrasted, if I have an Ichiro ground to SS in this situation, and both he and the runner on third reach their bases before the routine DP is completed... did Ichiro's team win, or are we going to extra innings?

posted by hincandenza at 05:01 PM on August 11