hincandenza's profile

Name: Hal Incandenza
Gender: Manly-man
Member since: January 29, 2002
Last visit: January 18, 2017

hincandenza has posted 49 links and 1787 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

Alex Rodriguez to retire from baseball: Inarguably the greatest shortstop to ever play the game, and certainly one of the greatest hitters in history, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees has formally announced the intention to retire next Friday, and move into a position as special advisor and instructor for New York.

While the terms of the agreement with the Yankees does allow him to pursue a position on other major league teams, his dramatic loss of skill this year makes it likely he'll have played his last game some time this week, ending an often contentious, rarely popular (with fans or media), but undeniably successful on-field career. Barring an unexpected homerun barrage in the next few days, or a stint with another team next season, he'll finish just shy of the 700 HR mark and the fourth highest total of all time.

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 10:37 PM on August 07 - 2 comments

Ichiro finally reaches 3,000 major league hits: Fittingly for one of the game's most unique hitters, the slap-hitting wizard got his 3,000th hit as a triple (video) off the right field wall in the 7th inning of the Miami-Colorado game, capping an illustrious major league career.

Or possibly not "capping": while not the same electric All-Star hitter he was in those first 10 years after breaking in as a much-hyped 27-year-old rookie for Seattle in 2001- when he racked up 10 straight 200-hit seasons including the single-season record of 262- he is still a productive player this year, hitting .318 (110 OPS+) in limited playing time with Miami. Seemingly ageless, he has even said he'd like to play until he is 50, which for a player of his style and rigorous fitness regimen isn't beyond the realm of possibility, potentially adding to his already gaudy career statistics and delaying what is almost certain to be a first-ballot HoF induction.

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 10:15 PM on August 07 - 3 comments

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

Recent Comments

Packers Hold Off Cowboys in Thriller, Advance to NFC Championship

Yeah, after 3 days and 6 games of boring blowout playoffs, Sunday delivered two tight, closely fought games.

posted by hincandenza at 05:11 AM on January 16

Patriots Set Record with 6th Straight AFC Championship Trip

Six straight CG appearances, and 11 in 15 years as starting QB (from 2001-2016, minus 2008 when he was injured in the first half of game 1). That's... that's insane.

This was as ugly a game as I've seen Brady play in recent memory, although his interceptions were more of the bad luck deflection type, and he was throwing up some long bombs all night. Thank god for Dion Lewis! Still, I was genuinely worried Houston would get some momentum and come out in the second half to surge ahead, so am a little shocked New England still managed to cover an almost historically large point spread. Hopefully that's our one "bad" game, as opposed to the usual Superbowl nailbiter (if they get there).

Is there any possibility Osweiler gets any starts next season? I know he's guaranteed through next year- and presumably cut immediately after unless by some eldritch miracle he turns into Peyton Manning next season- but why even bother playing the guy at this point? From what I saw today, it's clear Houston has an incredible defense and even a decent QB would have cruised to 12-4 or better this season; seems that would make them real attractive to an established QB looking to be the final piece in a strong playoff contender. How an NFL quarterback can have such a terrible throwing motion is beyond me.

posted by hincandenza at 12:09 AM on January 15

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

... and now I'm feeling sick. :(

posted by hincandenza at 09:10 PM on January 14

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

I'm going to be the first player to finish with a negative pick 'em score, aren't I? I just hope I haven't cursed the Patriots in their matchup with the Texans.

posted by hincandenza at 08:23 PM on January 14

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

Just getting in under the wire, kickoff in 3 minutes! :)

Seattle at Atlanta - SEA by 7 LOCK
Houston at New England - NEP by 16 LOCK
Pittsburgh at Kansas City - PIT by 7
Green Bay at Dallas - GBP by 7 LOCK

Golden Arm: Tom Brady, NEP
Golden Legs: Ezekiel Elliot, DAL
Golden Hands: Antonio Brown, PIT
Golden Defender: Vic Beasley, ATL

posted by hincandenza at 04:33 PM on January 14

Packers, Steelers, Seahawks, Texans Advance

A clean sweep of the wild card teams has my Pick 'Em chances looking pretty slim already! Three playoff games next weekend ought to be interesting matchups, but with all due respect to Houston, if the Patriots don't win then something has gone almost cosmically wrong.

The last time they played, the NE third-string, rookie quarterback led the Pats to an embarrassing rout of the Texans by 27-0 on Thursday Night Football. NE now has Brady back, sports a 14-2 record, and has the fewest injuries of any Belichick-era playoff team... going against the consensus worst QB in the league right now, while at home where they are something crazy in the Brady era like 98-16.

Not to mention, the last 4 times the Texans have gone to Foxborough, they've lost by at least 27 points:

DateHoustonNew England

posted by hincandenza at 06:25 PM on January 09

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition

Sorry, I'm a little confused by the lock rule (as I didn't play the regularly season pick 'em). It doubles your scored points for that matchup when you pick it and are right, but do you have to have the team and spread exactly or lose 3 points, or just get at least the team right to get the doubled score? E.g., if I had picked the Texans by 3 as a lock, I'd have gotten the team right but completely missed the spread; do I then get 2 points (1 point x 2) or do I lose 3 points?

posted by hincandenza at 10:43 PM on January 07

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition

I didn't do the pick 'em during the regular season, but I'm noticing some bolded lines/"lock" picks; are we doing the "lock" thing in the playoffs? Just in case, the bolding below is solely for readability, and not a lock on any pick.

Oakland at Houston - Oakland by 3
Detroit at Seattle - Seattle by 10
Miami at Pittsburgh - Miami by 7
New York Giants at Green Bay- Green Bay by 10

1. Quarterback with most passing yards: Aaron Rodgers (GBP)
2. Player with most rushing yards: Jay Ajayi (MIA)
3. Player with most receiving yards: Odell Beckham (NYG)
4. Player with an interception: Richard Sherman (SEA)

posted by hincandenza at 10:17 PM on January 06

Ichiro finally reaches 3,000 major league hits

Tangentially related, I was surprised to find that Adrian Beltre is next up on the active players list with 2,876 hits. He's currently 37 and has a contract through 2018 with the Rangers, and is still an everyday player, so barring injury or cataclysmic drop-off he should get his 3,000th hit sometime after the All-Star break next season. Even if he just finishes out his Texas contract, he'll likely be well over 3,000 hits, around ~460HR, while being one of the very, very best players to ever wield a glove on the hot corner (although he has fewer Gold Gloves than Derek Jeter, so it's questionable that anyone voting for the HoF remotely understands how to evaluate defensive play).

I used to love watching Beltre play in Seattle (and in his one season with the Red Sox), but as good as he is defensively I've never really thought of him as a premiere offensive threat, and I wonder if that lack of being a "water cooler name" will hurt him in the HoF voting.

posted by hincandenza at 12:24 AM on August 08

Alex Rodriguez to retire from baseball

The timing seems odd to me, setting a mid-August date as opposed to end of the season. I am kind of curious if the Yankees will even play him at all over the next few days, and what they'll do if he actually hits a couple of homeruns before 8/17 (lord knows, if he gets playing time, he might as well swing for the fences in every single at-bat). Do they extend the agreement to the end of the season or at least until he reaches the milestone?

With the Yankees effectively out of contention this year, it seems almost spiteful to pull the plug with 51 games left in the season. The reasons wouldn't be financial; after settling a dispute on his bonus for tying Willie Mays with 660 last year, his next contractual homerun bonus wouldn't have come until 714.

posted by hincandenza at 10:44 PM on August 07

Ichiro finally reaches 3,000 major league hits

Interestingly, in this longer streamable vid that contains more of the players congratulating Ichiro, you can see none other than Barry Bonds- the current Miami hitting coach who was blacklisted from the game only 14 hits shy of the same milestone- congratulating Ichiro on his accomplishment. Who could have predicted that in 2016, both players would be wearing Marlins jerseys when hit number 3,000 came. :)

posted by hincandenza at 10:30 PM on August 07

Chris Christie: Hot Female Tennis Players Are Hot

rcade: Are women's tennis players good looking? Often. Should a discussion of any women's sport by men be entirely about good looks? Not if they are genuine fans.

Where was the host going with this comment? "You need attractive European tennis players so that you have something to do other than watch the Listen, I love the Williams sisters; they're American and they win all the time. But for the sport, you need some of --"

Why do we need Europeans? What's he suggesting is deficient in the Williams's?

Calling something "virtue signaling" or "moral purity posturing" suggests I'm fishing for outrage in calling attention to this. Consider the possibility that I'm interested in the topic of how we talk about a women's sport -- and I have some faith in this site to be elevated over the average flamewar.

For the first bolded part, this is what irked me. It is deeply, profoundly disturbing to me in general how the web has become Orwell's nightmare: people policing each other, constantly, pouncing on every little statement or misstep. God help you if you ever, in your life, utter the wrong thing, or get the bitter social gestapo on your ass determined to ruin your life and throw you in the Internet Stockades. If all coverage, news, and discussion about women's tennis was just lads talking about chicks, then sure that's a discussion worth having. But that it happened in this one case? That seems like a complete non-issue, as both men and women will on occasion turn their thoughts and conversations to issues of sex, sexuality, and attractiveness- especially whenever discussing famous and fit people.

As for the second bolded part, yeah when I was reading the article/listened to the soundcloud clips, I was more struck by that phrasing than anything Christie said, and thinking "Uh...?". But I still don't care. It's a radio guy I've never listened to before and won't listen to again, so if his genital-driven sports fandom is a tad racist that's too bad... but also isn't a big deal unless he's actively out campaigning for a return of Jim Crow laws. I once knew a guy I worked with at Microsoft who happened to genuinely, sincerely believe in that David Icke world-leaders-as-lizard-shapeshifters stuff; still, he hardly ever mentioned it except the couple of times it came up in cafeteria conversation, and otherwise he was a nice guy. Life's too short to worry if someone has a bad opinion I don't agree with, unless they're forcing their standards on me or other people.

Which leaves me still not sure what there is to discuss about it, as one guy on the radio does not equal "how we talk about a women's sport". People say things, and talk about different things, that's one of the great things about a free country. But if I look at Hugh Janus' comments, I see a lot of name-calling, a lot of cheap implications about genitals and erections, and some sort of dismissive manbaby concept; all because someone dared only to suggest this was a non-issue.

Given how quick and angry his own reaction, am I really off-base then, in talking about struggle sessions and moral purity? And what was that you were saying about flamewars?

posted by hincandenza at 08:21 PM on June 09

Chris Christie: Hot Female Tennis Players Are Hot

Okay. So?

First, I still hold out hope that this site doesn't turn into the other *filter site.

Second, the "quotes" you put in this post imply these were things said by Christie... but were in fact said by the show's host, which is born out by the article and attached clips. Christie seems to have contributed little to those particular comments, simply added that he liked "Martina" when the host was mentioning top female players.

Third, so what?!? Even if Christie said all the things you quote, am I supposed to care, much less "do something"? For chrissakes, can't even this tiny little site off the beaten path be free from this childish culture of virtue signaling and moral purity posturing that's taken over everywhere else on the web?

So a radio host thinks athletic people can be attractive, and we were able to determine that another person will, over the course of four hours, also say something similar. Shocking. Amazingly, human beings find each other attractive, and frequently talk about it and think about it. It's not a sin, it's not opression, it's not a campaign against womenfolk... it's human beings, being human.

posted by hincandenza at 06:27 PM on June 09

Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension Reinstated for DeflateGate

The Patriots were punished for SpyGate. The Saints were punished for BountyGate. The Falcons were punished for CrowdNoiseGate. The Patriots were punished for DeflateGate.

Goodell is a hack, but there's nothing unprecedented about a team being punished with the NFL Commissioner acting as the ultimate authority. That is how a sports league is supposed to work, not endless court cases.

A sports league is still governed by labor law, and labor law does lay out some rules as to what can be considered acceptable elements or interpretations of a CBA. Hence the court cases, whether you like them or not; that is how the system is supposed to work. If Goodell didn't want to be in court, he shouldn't craft new punishments out of whole cloth that test the limits of the existing CBA.

As to your examples of precedent: The Patriot team- not players- were punished for SpyGate; likewise with the lost draft picks for DeflateGate. Same as with the Falcons; the penalty was financial, against the team. League to team penalties are not governed by the CBA, so that's irrelevant.

And when it came to BountyGate, all four affected players successfully appealed their suspensions. Same for Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. In every single one of those cases, the appeal was either heard by a different party, such as former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, or an external judge.

So, "nothing unprecedented" isn't exactly true, when most every high-profile Goodell punishment going beyond the letter of the CBA has been later vacated by the league's own appeal process or a court. The difference here? In the Brady case Goodell acted as his own arbitrator in the appeal. This current ruling isn't about the facts of deflation, but whether Goodell, as the acting arbitrator, implicitly has that broad authority per the current CBA. The decision was 2-1 that the NFLPA didn't prove some overwhelming/extreme unfairness in Goodell's handling of the arbitration.

So if we're going to talk precedent, it's worth noting that those previous cases in which Goodell ruled for some extended suspension regarding "conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game" were later overturned as him having overstepped the bounds of his authority. In addition, of the four competent, experienced judges that have heard the Brady case- Berman back in September, and this 2-1 ruling- we've got half believing Goodell overstepped his bounds, and half believing that Goodell, per the CBA, does implicitly possess this kind of extremely broad authority as commissioner and/or self-appointed arbitrator.

That's hardly a ringing endorsement for how the league should be run, or whether Goodell was fair and just in his penalty in this case. The decision may stand for a number of reasons- not the least of which is the idea that the courts do not wish to be in the business of renegotiating CBAs, or hamstringing arbitrators decision-making powers, and thus punt this question back to the NFLPA/NFL to resolve in their next CBA. But let's not kid ourselves that this is just, or fair, or desirable, or even "precedented", when it's none of these things.

posted by hincandenza at 09:49 PM on April 25

Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension Reinstated for DeflateGate

cixelsyd: Not true.

If you had stated "The Patriot's presentation of their interpretation of science convinced some of us the opposite was true", then yes.

Yeah, no... I'm not going to rehash this argument in depth yet again, anymore than I'm going to argue with someone who denies evolution as science instead of simply a personal interpretation of faith. The impartial evidence and arguments are out there a mere google search away, and the Wells Report itself shows the numbers, which match the exact prediction of the ideal gas law to within a tenth of a PSI. That's not the Patriots, that's the NFL's own personalized, paid for report!

The point is, per this ruling, Goodell could unilaterally declare that throwing 50+TDs, going 19-0, or going to the conference finals too many times in a decade is "conduct detrimental" to the league. And he'd be within his rights to do so in the CBA, as well as issue any punishment he deems fit. He'd also be within his rights to run his own appeals process, as his own arbitrator, and declare his punishment fair and just.

Even if legally supported under the premise "Well, you should have negotiated a better CBA, it's not our job to fix that as an appeals court", as a practice that's fucking insane and tyrannical. Fans are simply hoping he won't do that to your team- which is what the NFLPA did, because they incorrectly assumed Goodell wouldn't overreach this grossly, in a way no past commissioner did. The Patriots and Saints are among the teams whose fanbase have woken up to the horrible flaw in that assumption.

posted by hincandenza at 04:38 PM on April 25