holden's profile

Name: Holden O.
Location: Chicago
Member since: February 11, 2002
Last visit: September 17, 2014

holden has posted 51 links and 2166 comments to SportsFilter and 8 links and 268 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

My Teams:

MLB -- Cardinals
NFL -- Saints
Football -- Spurs, Barca
Hockey -- Red Wings
Basketball -- Ambivalent

Sports Lowlights:

In my first real year of Wings fandom (I was a transplant to the North and was a latecomer to hockey), I saw the Leafs beat the Wings because Nicklas Lidstrom (of all people) allowed Nikolai Borschevsky to get his stick on the puck for the Game 7 overtime winner. I have attended my share of heartbreaking sporting events, including Game 7 of the 1994 Western Conference Quarterfinals (top-seeded Wings lose to eighth seeded Sharks, margin of victory is a goal by the Sharks due to Chris Osgood not getting back in position after playing the puck away from the net) and Game 4 of the 2004 World Series (Cardinals are ignominiously swept by the Red Sox in St. Louis).

Sports Highlights:

I have also attended a few fantastic (from my perspective) sporting events, including Games 3-5 of the 2006 World Series, Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS (Oakland v. Boston -- no rooting interest, just a great game, with Derek Lowe striking out Terrence Long looking with the tying run on third to end the game and then classily grabbing his crotch), and the 1998 ACC men's basketball tournament (with Vince Carter and Antwan Jamison-led UNC taking out Duke in the final).

Recent Links

The Premier League Season Kicks Off Tomorrow: After a short post-WC break, the season in England's top flight begins tomorrow. The first manager to quit or get fired has already left the building, in the form of a man who seems almost unrecognizable minus the hat. Don't forget to join the SpoFi Fantasy Premier League mini-league (anyone know the SpoFi league code?). Post your season predictions inside.

posted by holden to soccer at 11:30 AM on August 15 - 9 comments

Euro 2012 Confidence Pool (Final Standings): Congrats to our winner, goddam, who narrowly pipped second-place finisher owlhouse (and apologies to those of you whose entries the software ate). Full standings inside.

posted by holden to fantasy at 11:43 AM on July 05 - 1 comment

Euro 2012 Confidence Pool (Standings Post-Group Round): Standings after the group round inside.

posted by holden to fantasy at 02:59 PM on June 22 - 1 comment

Euro 2012 Confidence Pool: For those not interested in playing a full-blown Euro fantasy league or (like me) interested in both, click the link for the SpoFi Euro 2012 confidence pool. Additional details inside.

posted by holden to fantasy at 01:19 PM on June 07 - 22 comments

SportsFilter Euro 2012 Fantasy League: If you are interested in joining a fantasy league for the European Championships, see details inside.

posted by holden to fantasy at 02:41 PM on June 05 - 5 comments

Recent Comments

Gus Johnson Booted as Fox Soccer Announcer

Glad to see the change. No ill feelings personally towards Johnson, but a bit of hubris on the part of Fox (and perhaps him as well) in seemingly thinking that you can just plug talent from one sport into another and it will work fine (and that's putting aside that he's not actually a particularly good announcer in other sports, at least to my tastes).

Good take on this in The Guardian, from someone who understands sports television on both sides of the Atlantic.

posted by holden at 09:20 AM on September 16

NCAA College Football Week 1 Recap

This is a precap not a recap and no self linking.

posted by holden at 12:26 PM on September 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I am in the current league (el tigre negro de holden). Happy to join the new league. Some of the other participants no longer actively participate on SpoFi, so while I am sure we will add some folks, we will lose some as well. Would help to have rcade or someone who will be around in future years as the manager for the new league though, as those things just get renewed year-over-year.

posted by holden at 02:41 PM on August 26

The Premier League Season Kicks Off Tomorrow

I don't think Man Utd will finish top 4, but if one were to make the case (other than new manager), it would be the Liverpool phenomenon from last year -- only needing to battle on one front (other than domestic cups).

posted by holden at 10:29 PM on August 15

The Premier League Season Kicks Off Tomorrow

My predictions:

Title: Arsenal
Top Four: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool
Best Champions League Showing for an English Team: Chelsea
Relegated: Burnley, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace
Top scorer: Daniel Sturridge
Most Assists: David Silva
Most clean sheets (team): Chelsea

posted by holden at 11:42 AM on August 15

Red Sox owner Tom Werner has become a dark horse candidate to be baseball's next commissioner

When I was in law school, Peter Gammons came in and spoke for some Sports and Entertainment Law-type organization and he brought (or the organization brought) Rob Manfred with him, together with Donald Fehr. There was some good "inside baseball" stuff from Gammons -- two I remember: (1) GWB, who was President at the time, might have never "owned" the Rangers but for Reinsdorf, which obviously burnished GWB's resume on his way to the Texas governorship and then the White House (talk about an OMFG game of "what if"); and (2) Billy Koch, then a closer for the White Sox, when in college as a drafted Junior (still eligible to hold out for more and come back to be redrafted as a Senior if he did not sign) allegedly found out from his agent he got what he wanted from the Blue Jays while taking a test at Clemson and promptly got up, went up to the proctor, handed in an unfinished exam and said "See you in the Big Leagues, man" and walked out. People were there to see Gammons, but Manfred provided some good color on labor relations, the business of baseball, etc. He struck me as a good lawyer, but largely a bureaucrat.

That view of Manfred (as an MLB guy, but not necessarily an "owners' guy") ties into one subtext here that I'm not sure has really been fleshed out in what I've read -- and that is what the commissioner of baseball is meant to be. In the past, commissioners were largely "independent" individuals who came from outside of baseball (or outside of baseball prior to being a league president, like Bart Giamatti) and were viewed as "honest brokers" who could help find peace and a middle ground between owners and players. Selig changed all that, and this succession battle, to me, is a now a battle over whether the owners feel they have a right to effectively assign someone from "ownership" to the commissioner's office vs. someone whose interests are more neutral or ambiguous (although, as has been noted in various analysis of this situation, Manfred has done a pretty good job of fighting the owners' fights). Should be an interesting process.

posted by holden at 11:00 PM on August 11

"Kyle Korver: An Offense Unto Himself"

Really enjoyed this read. Gave me more of an appreciation for what Kyle Korver does and, in particular, how disruptive he is. I had viewed him as much more one-dimensional.

As an aside, Zach Lowe is probably the best thing going on Grantland. I find his articles really informative and his volume is bewildering.

posted by holden at 06:30 PM on July 29

Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings

uc -- to spare you a grumming, Johan Santana threw the Mets' first (and only) no hitter just over two years ago.

posted by holden at 11:03 PM on July 23

Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings

posted by holden at 11:00 PM on July 23

Germany Wins World Cup

I think concussions get a big look before the next World Cup, and likely before the next European Championships. ESPN's coverage of the issue was actually pretty good (both in the booth and back in the studio), primarily because Taylor Twellman is such an advocate for better concussion protocols in part due to having his own career cut short as a result of suffering multiple concussions. No way Kramer, Mascherano, Pereira and probably others should have played on in the games in which they were concussed.

I appreciate the fact that soccer does not really afford the luxury of pulling a player to the sideline and putting someone else in for him so doctors can assess whether a player has suffered a concussion, but something needs to be done. I think there needs to be an independent doctor (hired by FIFA, the applicable Confederation, or the applicable FA or whatever) who determines whether a player has suffered a concussion and/or should not play on. I know FIFA hates implementing things at one level that cannot theoretically be replicated all the way down to the lowest leagues, but too much is at stake. Maybe even change the rules so that if the independent doctor determines a player has suffered a concussion, he/she can be subbed out and it does not count against the 3 substitutions, so as to mitigate the effect of taking a player off against his or the coach's will. I guess that could lead to some measure of gamesmanship (in terms of players trying to "fake" concussions), but FIFA needs to think outside of the box here to protect players from themselves.

posted by holden at 02:52 AM on July 14

Brazil Faces Germany for Spot in World Cup Final

Not the only thing one has been stunned by today, presumably.

posted by holden at 04:31 PM on July 08

The Netherlands Faces Underdog Costa Rica in World Cup

In regards to Robben, my two older sons (ages 6 and 8) kept asking how that "really old guy" could be competing (and so well) at the highest level. I told them that he has looked like that since he was 20.

Another burning question has been how a guy named Fred (who they have branded as a cheat since game 1) could be allowed to play, when he clearly has the name and face of a guy "that works at Target" (their words, not mine).

posted by holden at 10:57 PM on July 06

Colombia Faces Suarez-Less Uruguay in World Cup Knockout

Unless it's Madrid or Barcelona on a Bale-type deal, would be surprised if Rodriguez moves again this summer. He just was sold from Porto to Monaco last summer for 47M. I would also imagine that with that club's wealth and tax status, he might be hard pressed to find a situation with potential for greater net wages.

posted by holden at 09:34 PM on June 28

Luis Suarez Banned 9 Games for Biting Opponent

In addition to the Uruguay games, I count 9 Liverpool premier league matches this will cover (roughly 1/4 of the season) and adding in league cup matches and Champions League matches, looks like this will be a 20+ game ban in reality.

posted by holden at 10:38 AM on June 26

Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres

HOF bonus points for wearing U.S. jersey in locker room after game.

posted by holden at 12:09 AM on June 26