FanDuel - WFBC

December 19, 2013

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 15 comments

Richard Deitsch's annual media awards, which made me aware of a couple of good stories I missed. Especially amusing: Mark May calling for the firing of a talking head for saying something stupid. If there were penalties for that on sports shows, May and Holtz would be arguing about whether it's day or night in the lockdown wing of Danbury Correctional Facility while the Connecticut state legislature rushed through a bill to bring back capital punishment.

posted by yerfatma at 08:33 AM on December 19

When people talk about hockey players putting themselves into dangerous positions which lead to injury, I think this is the best example I could find.

Braden Schenn was injured when Tom Wilson hit him.
Wilson was given a 5-minute major for charging, which is explained quite well by Kerry Fraser (aach-ptui!).

The issue I have is that Schenn noticeably looks to his right, sees the player coming, and then starts to turn his back to the hit. If he doesn't do that, he probably isn't injured (or, at least, as badly as he was).

posted by grum@work at 08:45 AM on December 19

I agree, if he hadn't done that, he wouldn't have been as badly injured. That said, it looks like a pretty natural reaction, to flinch when you see a freight train bearing down on you.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:28 AM on December 19

Wilson also doesn't need to wind up for that hit. Schenn is going two directions and isn't going to take too much to knock down. Though like Schenn's reaction, Wilson's is going to be to take the man off the puck.

Maybe a layer of padding to the boards is the answer, though that's going change the way the puck plays, but better that than these kinds of injuries.

posted by kokaku at 09:56 AM on December 19

At some point the NHL has to come down harder on goon acts and hopefully before a player gets paralyzed or dies.

They really dropped the ball on Thornton with the slap on the wrist suspension he received.

Players that show no respect for their opponents or the game need to be taught a lesson. One and two week suspensions have proven they do not accomplish anything.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:15 AM on December 19

Perhaps the players could be stripped to the waist and whipped in the town circle?

posted by yerfatma at 10:28 AM on December 19

So many things wrong with that play.

Perhaps the players could be stripped to the waist and whipped in the town circle?

If the shovel girls are doing the whipping, call me a goon and strip me down.

posted by tahoemoj at 10:59 AM on December 19

Year-by-Year : Greatest Batting Seasons by Age

I put together this spreadsheet when someone in another forum asked about the greatest combined careers (age 20-29 for one guy, age 30-39 for another).

I wanted to know the greatest batting seasons by age, with the following qualifications:

Measured by OPS+: It helps smooth out the variances between eras (deadball vs sillyball, for example).
1901-present: That's "modern" baseball to me. Anything before that is sketchy.
Qualified for the batting title: I wanted full seasons, so if the player qualified for the batting title (at the time), it counted.
Age as of June 30 of that season: That's how baseball-reference.com measures "age".

I'll answer some obvious questions before they are asked:

Q: What about before 18 and after 42?
A: No players had enough PA to qualify for a batting title in those age ranges. Lots of players may have played before/after those ages, but they didn't play enough.

Q: Why not WAR?
A: Because the defensive aspect of WAR is a little fishy to me, especially over different eras. Using oWAR (offensive component of WAR) isn't as easy to understand at a glance like OPS+ can be.

Q: Has anyone even played that long (25 seasons, 3615 games, 15675 PA)?
A: No one has done all three. Pete Rose is the only player over the PA mark (15890), nobody has played 3615 games (Pete Rose with 3562 is closest), and there are are only two non-pitchers in that time period (1901-present)* that have played 25 seasons (Eddie Collins and Rickey Henderson).

*Cap Anson (27 seasons, all before 1901), Bobby Wallace (25 seasons, 7 before 1901), and Deacon McGuire (26 seasons, only 10 of them 1901 and beyond, and the last 4 "seasons" averaging less than 3 games per season) were also batters with 25 or more seasons.

posted by grum@work at 11:18 AM on December 19

I'll point out that the 1927 had the greatest age 24 season (Lou Gehrig) and greatest age 32 season (Babe Ruth), and then 1928 had the greatest age 19 season (Mel Ott) and greatest age 33 season (Babe Ruth, again).

Those are the only duplicating seasons in the list.

posted by grum@work at 11:25 AM on December 19

From a distance you might think getting Cardiff City promoted to the Premiership in 7 months and the team holding their own in the league would be evidence of a competent manager. You'd be wrong, at least according to Cardiff City's nutjob owner.

posted by yerfatma at 03:21 PM on December 19

It's funny how unsurprising it is that even after all this time, and with all the tools to normalize comparisons across generations... whenever someone- like grum here- does those "best of all time" lists, the stats always come back to the same three names of Ruth, Williams, and Bonds. Although the name Trout could be pretty prevalent by the time he's done playing, seing how similar his age 20 and 21 seasons were to Williams (and if he hits .400 next year, I'll take back everything negative I ever said about Trout re: the mismeasure of WAR).

posted by hincandenza at 04:34 PM on December 19

From an article about "fixing" RGIII:

And it's only rubbing salt in the wound for Ravens and Giants fans to note that, at least statistically, Griffin's 2013 season rates out better than all but two of Joe Flacco's six seasons, and that it took Eli Manning until his fifth season to have a better passer rating than the one Griffin managed this year a year pretty much everyone declared "awful."

posted by yerfatma at 06:25 PM on December 19

And it's only rubbing salt in the wound for Ravens and Giants fans to note that, at least statistically, Griffin's 2013 season rates out better than all but two of Joe Flacco's six seasons, and that it took Eli Manning until his fifth season to have a better passer rating than the one Griffin managed this year a year pretty much everyone declared "awful."

Bingo. I think people often exaggerate how bad QBs like Cam Newton and RGIII are playing at times because their physical ceiling is so high. You look at a guy who can take off for a 40 yard run and throw a jaw-dropping deep ball on any play and forget that most QB's are lucky to be able to achieve either of those things semi-regularly in their careers.

Very few QB's drafted this high are in a high-skill, winning environment right out of school where they don't have to be "the guy" right away and can avoid having to press game in, game out, to win. Aaron Rodgers got to avoid that and I think it was pivotal to how game-ready he was as a starter.

posted by dfleming at 08:23 AM on December 20

Braden Schenn was injured when Tom Wilson hit him.

Caps' Wilson escapes discipline for hit on Flyers' Schenn

posted by tommytrump at 12:30 PM on December 20

Shanahan said Wilson was not punished for boarding because Schenn began to turn his back to try to avoid contact after looking back at the Washington winger. It was the NHL department of player safety's determination that Schenn turning "actually contributes to making this hit worse."

It seems like the right call.

posted by grum@work at 02:19 PM on December 20

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