FanDuel - WFBC

April 15, 2014

SportsFilter: The Tuesday 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 - 16 comments

posted by Hugh Janus at 07:29 AM on April 15

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America. Faking injuries is so antithetical to people who cheer for hockey players who play after losing 6 teeth, or football players who finish a game with a separated shoulder.

posted by grum@work at 09:02 AM on April 15

The Pirates and Reds hit 10 homers yesterday in only six innings. The game was suspended and resumes today.

posted by rcade at 09:53 AM on April 15

Atlanta Braves pitcher Luis Avilan's line yesterday:

IPHRERERA
1.045513.50

"He became the first pitcher to be credited with a win despite allowing at least five earned runs while pitching an inning or fewer since Jack Knott of the 1934 St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics." -- ESPN

posted by rcade at 10:38 AM on April 15

The agent for Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley is pushing hard for him to be called up -- the team has a league worst 5.96 ERA -- and said he's being kept down in Triple A to delay his future timetable for free agency and arbitration.

posted by rcade at 10:48 AM on April 15

"He became the first pitcher to be credited with a win despite allowing at least five earned runs while pitching an inning or fewer since Jack Knott of the 1934 St. Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics." -- ESPN

Can we finally all agree that "wins" are a completely useless statistic for evaluating the ability of a pitcher? As in, never reference it again for things like Cy Young awards, HOF nominations, or contract negotiations...

Please?

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on April 15

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America.

It's the #1 thing that's mocked but I don't think it's that big of a reason why North Americans aren't into soccer. The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

posted by tron7 at 02:35 PM on April 15

Atlanta Braves pitcher Luis Avilan's line yesterday:

IP H R ER ERA
1.0 4 5 5 13.50

I don't profess to be a baseball stats expert, but doesn't 5 ER in 1.0 IP equal an ERA of 45.0?

posted by bender at 03:06 PM on April 15

Hmm. I guess the ERA in box scores is season ERA, not game ERA. Anthony Varvaro had no earned runs the same game and the box score reports an ERA of 2.70.

posted by rcade at 03:20 PM on April 15

The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

There is a difference between flopping (implying contact when there isn't any) and faking an injury (when there couldn't possibly be any).

(Besides, the NBA at least hands out fines to floppers, and they get roundly mocked on the broadcasts for doing so.)

I have to admit that watching this weekend's Liverpool match and seeing Suarez hit the ground no less than five times in a three minute span (and each time implying an injury to the leg) does tend to drain my enthusiasm for the sport.

If I had my druthers, I would be telling the EPL/FIFA refs to call simulation at a far higher rate than they currently do. Basically, if an attacking player hits the ground in a dramatic fashion (and fakes injury), and you don't feel the need to call for a foul on the defender (because it was (co)incidental contact or fair play), then you should be issuing a yellow card to the attacker.

posted by grum@work at 04:08 PM on April 15

"You have to attend the World Cup to [understand] what it means. It's the most unusual sporting event I've ever attended, and I've attended thousands. It's in the air, it's a palpable sense of energy that I've never quite experienced. It's the most consequential sporting event in the world. We have our Super Bowl, we have our World Series, the NBA Finals, March Madness, but my Lord, there is nothing quite like the World Cup." -- Vice President Joe Biden, a former soccer player at Yale

posted by rcade at 04:32 PM on April 15

seeing Suarez hit the ground no less than five times in a three minute span does tend to drain my enthusiasm for the sport

It's all in what you're looking for; I'd say Luis Suarez is the most interesting figure in sport right now (of the sports I know about; I'll defer to NoMich and the rest of the world about cricket): what to say when one of the transcendent talents in the sport is (taking the worst possible spin on everything) a racist, cheating cannibal? Alexi Lalas drives me a little nuts on ESPN FC with his constant claims that diving is an art and a fun part of the game, but I don't think anyone is so annoyed by it to stop watching the sport. It's only a barrier to entry; think of all the people who won't give hockey a chance because of the fights.

posted by yerfatma at 05:35 PM on April 15

I don't think anyone is so annoyed by it to stop watching the sport

Guess my vote was a spoiled ballot.

Seriously, I'll watch World Cup playoff matches, but nothing else. For me the whole pace and feel of the game gets destroyed at every flop.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:21 PM on April 15

I don't see much flopping in the Premiership. When it is flagrant the announcers make a big deal out of it and it seems like the refs are more likely to ignore it or book the flopper for simulation than to reward it.

As for the World Cup, how can you not watch the group stage? I'm going to watch as much as I can, work and family permitting.

posted by rcade at 06:36 PM on April 15

This is probably #2 on the top 5 list of reasons why soccer/football isn't bigger in North America.

It's the #1 thing that's mocked but I don't think it's that big of a reason why North Americans aren't into soccer. The NBA has plenty of flopping and they're doing all right.

I'd say that it's a big reason because of the perception of the difference that it makes. (Note that I say perception; all of this is based on how people think things work rather than actual statistics.) In soccer, a single goal is incredibly important, so a single flop can make the difference. In basketball, teams are expected to score 100 points a game, so a single flop has a much smaller effect on the game.

posted by Etrigan at 07:21 PM on April 15

Flopping and the stretcher bearer and aerosol interludes that sometimes follow are the evil offspring of the continuous game clock. Everyone needs a breather now and then regardless of fitness level, so the players manufacture them. The episodes of phantom injury field theater then help create the evil grandchild, added stoppage time, which to a US viewer is disturbingly discretionary and opaque.

Often, it isn't clear that stoppage time will be added until near or even after the expiration of regulation time. Then, it is often not known at first how much stoppage time will be added. To top it off, there is often a time offset between when everyone expects the final whistle to be blown at the end of stoppage time and when it actually is blown. It's all rather casually scripted and apparently of secondary importance based on the way it's handled. And it's entirely out of the hands of the team managers trying to win the match.

We're accustomed to crisp, precise, accountable timekeeping that has a bearing on how the competition is conducted. We expect to see teams use the clock strategically and to treat the last few seconds of a close game as though they were pints of blood. I would far prefer clock stoppages in regulation instead of added stoppage time as it is currently administered.

As for the flopping men themselves, they should all be forced to stand in a cold windowless room and watch the USA - Brazil match from the 2011 Women's World Cup. I'll take the resilient, determined Xenas over the writhing Ken dolls any day.

posted by beaverboard at 08:19 PM on April 15

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