FanDuel - WFBC

July 02, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday 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

Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux arrested in Ottawa, seems he got a little cheeky toward the local constabulary.

posted by tommytrump at 10:37 AM on July 02

Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux arrested in Ottawa, seems he got a little cheeky toward the local constabulary.

[checks story for expected phrase...]

Alcohol is believed to have been involved.

[nods understandingly]

posted by grum@work at 11:12 AM on July 02

Arbitrator rules Jimmy Graham is a tight end. Feels like a screw job; if it were fair (as opposed to the NFL) I'd think the distinction would go away as any tight end you care to franchise is probably as valuable offensive piece as a wide receiver.

posted by yerfatma at 01:02 PM on July 02

Stupid baseball trivia time!
(that I got an idea about from somewhere else)

1) There is one team in MLB that has NEVER had an MLB Hall of Famer play for (or manage) them at least one game in their franchise history. Name the franchise.

2) The the longest active MLB HOF playing drought for any franchise that has had at least one player reach the MLB HOF is now 40 years. The last player who became a MLB HOF who also played for this franchise, did so in 1974. Name the franchise and the player.

posted by grum@work at 02:33 PM on July 02

1) I'm guessing the Rockies. It was between them and the DBacks, and the Rockies won the toss...

2) I know this, because I have my grandfather's ticket stub from his last game...Al Kaline and the Tigers...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:04 PM on July 02

ASCII numbers answer to trivia above:

1) 067 111 108 111 114 097 100 111 032 082 111 099 107 105 101 115

2) 068 101 116 114 111 105 116 032 084 105 103 101 114 115 032 097 110 100 032 065 108 032 075 097 108 105 110 101

(Translate here to read the answers.)

posted by grum@work at 03:05 PM on July 02

DBacks

You don't remember this HOFer's illustrious Arizona career?

posted by grum@work at 03:09 PM on July 02

No, no I didn't. I was working strictly off of my wonky memory, and I wasn't sure if Big Unit was in the Hall...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:14 PM on July 02

Randy Johnson's ballot time is this year, and it's a fucking crowded one.

With the hold overs that aren't in the BBWAA dog house (Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Schilling, ), there is also Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz joining the ballot.

Remember, even the dog-house players (McGwire, Clemens, Sosa, Bonds) and "lesser lights" (Edgar Martinez, Walker, Trammel, Kent) will pull some votes.
(Lesser in the sense that the BBWAA have decided they don't get the votes, not that they don't deserve them.)

Plus, newcomers like Sheffield, Garciaparra, and Delgado will garner a non-negligible percentage of votes.

posted by grum@work at 03:33 PM on July 02

Keith Olbermann has lots of advice for soccer fans about winning over America.

He's not a fan of the terms pitch, match, fixture, table and kit.

posted by rcade at 06:48 PM on July 02

Link's already broken (ESPN's video stinks like that). Try this if you want to subject yourself to the same stupid shit. I made it through about 40 seconds. To me, one of the great joys of learning a new sport is learning a new language. I suppose Keith's suggestion to the MLB about gaining new fans would be to get rid of the great language of baseball. For a jackass who turned the ability to come up with six zillion synonyms for hitting a ball over a fence into a role as cultural commentator, he sure seems opposed to anyone else doing it. Your quality of thought is only as good as the language you know; why would anyone actively refuse to learn language?

Even more than the new words, the thing I've liked best about learning the sport is learning about other cultures (it's much harder to imagine all of Iran as movie baddies when you watch them dressed like fools cheering for their team just like us). I cannot stand the strain of jingoistic, insular ranting that crops up every World Cup in this country like there's a limited pool of sports interest for all sports to draw from and people watching soccer will sap our previous bodily fluids and help the Ruskies win the war. Kipling would ask, "What do they know of England who only England know?" and then quickly follow it with "Other than that we implode on the international stage in football, obvs."

All of which is to say, I need to dive headfirst into cricket someday for another pleasure to distract from crap on TV like this.

posted by yerfatma at 08:21 AM on July 03

Match, fixture, and table are all phrases I have no problem with.
Pitch I don't mind using, but I'm probably going to say "field" by default.
I never get used to "kit", it's always "uniform" or "jersey" for me.

I need to dive headfirst into cricket someday for another pleasure to distract from crap on TV like this.

I've done that, and it's fascinating (T20 IPL). I finally understood the complete disorientation that non-baseball-fans have when they watch a baseball game on TV. It's taken some time, but I've got about 90% of the fundamentals (order of play, scoring, rules, required skills) down pat, and I can even follow the strategy a bit. The statistical side of things is still tough for me to grasp at times (I understand the stat "run rate", and that "higher is better", but I can't tell you if a number is bad/average/good/great by looking at it), but I try to sponge up as much as I can.

I get the feeling that while they display a crap load of stats on the screen (hit spray graphs, run rates, ball bounce locations, bowling speeds), the foundation of a strong sabremetric base for the sport is still being built.

posted by grum@work at 09:38 AM on July 03

The statistical side of things is still tough for me to grasp at times (I understand the stat "run rate", and that "higher is better", but I can't tell you if a number is bad/average/good/great by looking at it)

Warning: Thread Hijack

That's OK, grum, no-one in cricket knows either. Run rates only came in since the advent of limited over games, as a way of trying to determine how good individual batsmen are and a way of splitting teams in tournament play (like goal difference at the World Cup).

However, a batsman may have a run rate over 100, but if he hits the first ball for 2 than gets out on the second, he's not making much of a contribution to the team. Overall batting average (over a season or career) has to be taken into account as well.

In cricket, so much depends on the state of the pitch, so you can't compare team run rates across games either. In a 50 over match, a winning score might be 200 on a slow, spinning wicket or a greentop. Then you get the "roads", or pitches where 350 won't even win it for you.

Back to WC:

In Australia, we have to put up with non-football sports commentators saying pretty much the same sorts of things every four years. They usually start with something like "I'm not a soccer fan, but if soccer really wants to make it in then..."

I am one of millions of people from my country, and countries around the world, that get great pleasure and even transcendent joy out of watching my country at the greatest tournament in the world. I watch games, I go to fan sites, I talk to my fellow workers and friends. I wear my shirt, I cheer, I drink beer, I hug strangers. We stay up all night, joined together in some special way, sharing something uniquely human.

I don't give a shit what you think.

posted by owlhouse at 09:38 PM on July 03

While I have heard more than I care to from sports guys feeling obligated to say something about soccer even though they don't know or care about it, I do agree with Olbermann (at least somewhat) on the terminology. Soccer fans who insist on using "pitch" and "kit" do sound obnoxious, because we have words for those things, and we don't need their British translations to sound legit. Other words like "table" and "match" and "nil" aren't so unusual in American English, so I think there's no problem there. "Football" vs. "soccer" is a little trickier when on the one hand, we have a different game called football, but on the other, of the two, soccer is much more deserving of the name football.

posted by bender at 10:46 PM on July 03

In Australia, we have to put up with non-football sports commentators saying pretty much the same sorts of things every four years.

I give Olbermann's rant style points, but when I see some sports pundit saying things like that it marginalizes them in my eyes. They look like old men ranting at kids on their lawn. This isn't 1994 any more. Soccer isn't coming; it's here. If you're a sports fan and you didn't enjoy the U.S. run in the World Cup, you're missing out on a hell of a good time.

I like the British terms and team names that are more like the rest of the world. FC Dallas and Sporting KC are enormous improvement over Dallas Burn and Kansas City Wiz. The only one that seems silly is Real Salt Lake.

It will be a sad day if Olbermann gets his wish and we send all the British announcers back home.

posted by rcade at 09:28 AM on July 04

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