hincandenza's profile

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

hincandenza has posted 47 links and 1731 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

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

There's a difference between Cardinals hackin, or the NCAA's bullshit rules, and prohibitions against betting on the sport you play in. Baseball did have a famously corrupt World Series in 1919, it even made the news a bit. :) They've been touchy about gambling ever since.

And that makes good sense! There's a world of difference between cheating as in breaking or at least bending the game rules to gain an edge- PEDs, sign stealing, scuffing the ball, that sort of thing- and doing something that suggests the game itself has a rigged outcome due to one or more participants. At least in the former, you know it's just people trying to get ahead: they're still competing. But if they bet on the games, and thus conceivably might have been "paid" to lose, you no longer know if you're really seeing a competition..

posted by hincandenza at 05:06 AM on June 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Wow. I'd guess he's about 8-9, but whatever his age, Hernandez' kid has some seriously good form.

The MLB woman article didn't load for me, grum. However, it did make me go google that 13-year-old knuckleballer who made headlines a while back. Turns out she's 16 and in high school now, still pitching, and apparently having quite a bit of success.

posted by hincandenza at 05:00 AM on June 23

Max Scherzer Has Perfect Game Through 8 2/3, But Hits Tabata

Oh wow, that's genius, beaverboard!

And yeah, he totally leaned into that: on the initial normal speed view, I didn't even think it hit him; on slo-mo, he unquestionably bent down into the pitch, and that's bullshit. At least Scherzer still got the no-no, and he's not the first pitcher to lose a perfect game or no-no with one out or one strike (insert amazing story about a 9th inning two-out Carl Everett pinch-hit at-bat against a Mike Mussina no-no at Fenway on Sunday Night Baseball many years ago).

Still, I've thought this since people like Bonds (as much as I've been a staunch defender of him on this site) really started popularizing the wearing of battle armor. While I understand and support a hitter protecting vital body parts, I feel like the rule about not making a sincere effort to get out of the way should be enforced much more than it is, especially when batters are wearing protective gear. I'd love to see umpires call that a ball, as the rulebook states, enough times batters stop trying to milk the HBP.

I was somewhat surprised to see this on an MLB.com article about the play:

For his part, Nationals manager Matt Williams noted that, regardless of his perception, the last thing he would have wanted to do was challenge the play -- it is reviewable -- and hence risk warping Scherzer's rhythm.

I didn't know that kind of play would be reviewable- seeing as it would in my mind qualify under the balls-and-strikes part of the game- but given that it apparently is, I'm not sure how I feel about Williams' decision. On the one hand, the review might have overturned the call and potentially preserved the perfect game; on the other hand, the 5 minutes wait time might have cost Scherzer the no-no altogether.

posted by hincandenza at 09:47 PM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Rewatching that, I'd say the fault is almost entirely on the shortstop. Here was my train of thought: 1) I think I'm agreeing with Howard here; the runner on second is unimpeachable, he even ducked so as to minimize interference (or at least, to not get hit by the ball). 2) Wow, that was totally the 2nd baseman's ball, why didn't he get that? 3) The 2B was even calling for it... then stopped? 4) If I recall my baseball rules, players like SS and CF have "right-of-way" on their plays, so if the 2B suddenly backed off then the SS must have called for it 5) The SS, while understandable in not realizing he couldn't reach the ball (since his eyes were in the sky) still called off the fielder who had a better angle and then couldn't make the play.

So no interference, and I'd have ruled that E-6 because it was a routine pop fly. Looking at the box score, eh, they ruled it a single, so I guess that's charitable of them. Amazingly, it was the game-winning run in the top of the 9th, so... ouch. Someone's getting extra fielding practice today....

posted by hincandenza at 05:07 PM on June 08

A bit of history


even though I've grown to loathe everything about Sorkin's TV writing

posted by hincandenza at 04:56 PM on June 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That's the key item you pulled out of that article?

I though they were suspended at the order of the NFL. In any case, suspended != fired, so it's not even impossible those guys come back, should their names be cleared.

posted by hincandenza at 01:21 PM on May 18

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Wait... are you being serious right now? So a 4-game suspension, million dollar fine, and a 1st and 3rd round pick because of an inviolable law of physics?

What, exactly, was Brady supposed to do, control the weather so there wouldn't be a pressure and temperature variance on the field compared to the locker room?

posted by hincandenza at 05:44 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

cixelsyd: This a clear cut case of official league rules being broken
The case of the rules being broken is anything but clear cut; the NFL and the Well's Report do not demonstrate any convincing or even probable evidence the footballs were deflated by anyone- much less the Patriots.

The fabled "TWO POUNDS" and "10.1 PSI!!!" turned out to be non-existent. By the NFL's own report, the actual measurements at halftime were solidly in the range of the ideal gas law. Whether they understood the ideal gas law on Jan 18, the NFL conveniently knew these figures at halftime yet did nothing to stem the tide of false leaks in the media for weeks about "two pounds" and "10.1". Even in the Wells report, the only way they could make a case for a "more probable than not" act of deflation was to claim that Walt Anderson misremembered the gauge he used... even though they considered that same Walt Anderson as unimpeachable when recalling the exact pressure he got the footballs at to start the game. However, if we take him at his word on both items... the balls appeared to be the expected pressure, per science.

I'll admit, that doesn't mean the Patriots didn't tamper with the balls that game, or didn't do so in past game, nor that maybe they tried and simply failed to do so successfully enough. But despite the NFL intentionally measuring the balls for that game there still wasn't any clear scientific evidence of a rule definitely being broken, then how can the "offending parties" actually be "offending parties"?

and the refusal of the offending parties to provide requested information in a league investigation.
What information can they provide, if the investigation is convinced something happened- that maybe didn't even happen? The term here is "proving a negative". If I accused you of speeding on your way home from work yesterday, can you prove you didn't? And when I realize I can't prove you did speed, should I get to throw an even bigger penalty than a speeding ticket at you for not "cooperating" in proving you sped... especially if you didn't actually speed yesterday?

Information that would allow proper penalties being applied to the appropriate parties.
Proper penalties were already outlined in the rulebook at $25K. Hence the outrage in some corners that, by lacking clearcut evidence- like they had with the Vikings and Chargers- the punishment was much harsher for the Patriots.

But you know, I was reprimanded for losing my shit (I can't even say deleting the comment wasn't justified, although in my tiny defense this whole insane and unjust debacle has been as frustrating as watching the first two thirds of the "Shawshank Redemption" on daily loop). So I'm going to stop trying to convince anyone.

Instead, I'm curious. Hypothetically, what is the minimum amount of evidence, facts, explanation, testimony, or other piece of data that could make you change your mind, or at least admit a possibility that the case is not "clear cut"?

For example, if video leaked today of Roger Goodell on hidden camera in January saying "I'm going to get those Patriots, with a frame job about ball pressure, mwuahaha!"... would that sway you? Is that the bare minimum to prove a negative for you? Is the minimum to introduce some doubt higher than that? Lower? Even non-existent; literally nothing you could see or hear after this point would change your mind?

posted by hincandenza at 01:46 PM on May 15

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

It still sounds like hyperbole to say (and I still have issues with positional adjustment for WAR, but whatevs), and yeah a lot can happen in a long career... but wow, we really are watching a generational-level player in Trout.

And as much as people might have complained about it, thank god for challenge reviews; it really doesn't take much time, and as shown here can ensure the right call is made, not just the quickest.

posted by hincandenza at 10:35 PM on May 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Why is it bad that Barry Bonds is pursuing legal action against MLB? On the surface, that sure looks like collusion: when the greatest hitter that ever lived offers to play for league minimum and gets literally zero offers- even from teams in the heat of a pennant race- there's got a be a reason for it besides Hester Prynne syndrome.

posted by hincandenza at 09:40 PM on May 13

John Oliver tackles the NCAA and student athletes

Thought this worthy of SpoFi discussion.

My own take is that it is unconscionable to have these students used as indentured servants for a multi billion dollar organization. They get no actual education- it's a joke to pretend D1 athletes in football/basketball are getting an actual education- and have their lives micromanaged to the point that millionaire coaches can bully and abuse the lives and bodies of young men, discarding them when injury or skill has eroded, yet deny them even a cent in material compensation.

If we care about the "purity" of amateurism, then surely we can't allow huge money for amateur sports. Since the fan intereat- and thus money- is not going away, shouldn't we recognize that the athletes are entitled to compensation for the product they create? It is illegal in the USA to employ some to work without compensation excepting under very limited circumstances (see the DOL rules on "unpaid internships" which are often fluted in the media and entertainment industries ), and there is no reasonable argument these students aren't fulfilling job requirements that cannot be replaced. The only reason we don't just call them minor league athletes is because the schools have engineered a clever scam to exploit young men, with the complicit help of the NFL and NBA who benefit from drafting out of an unpaid talent pool.

posted by hincandenza at 12:58 AM on March 17

Curt Schilling Declares War on Twitter Trolls Abusing His Daughter

Oh I agree on the pursuing harassers legally, but it's the public "Let's shame people/get them fired" that bothers me. If their harassment rises to a criminal/civil level, the potential results- which might include loss of job in extreme cases due to legal sanctions that prevents them from working- can quietly be applied through our justice system, without public stockades and global shaming.

Actually, this article by Jon Ronson in the NYT recently says it better than I, by profiling a couple of high-profile cases of people being shamed, fired, and having their lives turned upside down in a supposed case of "Internet Justice". Yet the punishment doesn't remotely fit the crime of essentially "Saying something other people disagree with" or simply "A private joke that you didn't understand and was not meant to be public".

All this technology seems to just allowing people to delve into very childish forms of bullying and mob mentality- like a Mean Girls "Burn book" on a global scale, pissing away any concept of free speech or being able to live our own lives. Schilling already took advantage of Twitter handling the harassment complaint; why make it public, too, or name names?

posted by hincandenza at 01:23 AM on March 03

Curt Schilling Declares War on Twitter Trolls Abusing His Daughter

Whoever wins, we all lose.

It would be nice to solve the problem of trolling and harassment technologically, rather than just encouraging more people in the muck as Schilling is doing.

This is to me the peril of the Internet: we have the same simian tribalism akin to the opening scene of "2001", but with a global reach and lack of social boundaries that turns people into turf warring gangs of unbounded hate that see no problem with escalating feuds to real-life levels.

posted by hincandenza at 06:56 PM on March 02

NFL Pick 'Em Contest, Final Scoreboard

Oh man, what a finish- I didn't realize it would be so close! One point, that could have been any of several spread picks through the whole playoff run.

Congrats NerfballPro, and thanks for running this rcade!

posted by hincandenza at 06:03 PM on February 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Hey, did the Pick 'em results come out yet? I think NerfballPro had a good set of Superbowl picks and presumably hung on to win, but it'd be great to see the standings.

posted by hincandenza at 07:30 PM on February 09