Recent Comments by hincandenza

What if Barry Bonds had played without a bat?

Saw this on Reddit yesterday; 2001-2004 Barry Bonds freaky stats are among the most fun stats in all of baseball history. There was a follow-up tweet that suggests some of his math was a little off in estimating balls and strikes, and that his batless OBP would more likely be around .590... so still the #1 highest single-season OBP.

That chart of all players/seasons by OPS was pretty awesome as well, and really drives home how- regardless of PED allegations- the three ultragreats of hitting are pretty much Ruth-Williams-Bonds. Everyone else is just not quite the same. There were two little stat trivia things in that reddit thread that really jumped out at me:

  • From 2001 until his "retirement" (thanks again, you colluding GM assholes!), Barry Bonds had 1011 walks... and 684 swings-and-misses
  • If you played 162 games and went 2-for-5 with a HR and a single every game, you would bat .400, break the single season record for both hits and home runs... and still have a lower OPS than Barry Bonds did in 2004

The Breaking Madden series was worth it if even just for the legend that was BEEFTANK.

posted by hincandenza at 01:36 AM on April 13, 2017

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

This was posted on the r/baseball subreddit. I echo the question: how the living hell is this not a balk?!?

3b camera:

Slo-mo shot from 1b camera:

posted by hincandenza at 08:15 PM on April 09, 2017

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Just curious: I may have missed it (and was neither in the running for the win nor the Costanza) but were the final results of the NFL Playoff Pick 'Em ever posted?

posted by hincandenza at 10:06 PM on February 23, 2017

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The_Black_Hand: Greg Maddux steps away from serial murder to prank Kris Bryant

I hope I'm doing this right. It's been a long time.

Ha! That was fantastic. You could see the point where Bryant was thinking "The fuck, I can't hit a goddamn curveball thrown by the sound guy?!?". Well sure, if the sound guy is one of the top 5 right-hand pitchers of literally all time.

And of course, it was... very important that Bryant took it all in good humor. :)

posted by hincandenza at 02:51 AM on February 17, 2017

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

Lol... I'm enjoying the post-apocalyptic ESPN reporting style you got going there...

posted by hincandenza at 04:29 PM on February 06, 2017

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

That Edelman catch looks like something done in CGI; the ball just floats.

As for the OT rules, yeah... I texted a buddy (die-hard Seattle fan, rooting against the Pats on principle) just as OT started and reiterated that regardless of the outcome, I think NFL OT rules are stupid- especially in the Superbowl- and the teams should have a chance to play it out.

posted by hincandenza at 11:20 PM on February 05, 2017

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

I am hoarse, hyperventilating, and my heart is pounding a mile a minute. The last hour has been... surreal, to say the least.

There can't possibly be anyone who doesn't say GOAT now, unless they're being pointlessly contrary.

posted by hincandenza at 10:28 PM on February 05, 2017

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History

I'm very very sad at this turn of events. :'(

posted by hincandenza at 08:18 PM on February 05, 2017

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x33 Edition

We can lock the prop bets here too? Shoot... then I'd like to add a last-minute Lock on the "Brady as MVP" pick.

posted by hincandenza at 05:18 PM on February 05, 2017

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x33 Edition

Well, I did too well last week to likely still contend for a Costanza, but can't pull off a win, so might as well double down and pick a NE-heavy set. If NE loses, I'll be too sad to care about the Costanza. :)

New England by 13, LOCK +10

Pick the kicker who scores the first field goal: Gostkowski, NE +5
Pick the player who scores the first touchdown: Hogan, NE
Pick the quarterback with the most passing yards: Brady, NE +5
Pick the player with the most rushing yards: Blount, NE
Pick the player with the most receiving yards: Edelman, NE
Pick a player who will get a sack or partial sack: Beasley, ATL
Pick a player who will get an interception: Butler, NE
Pick the player who commits the first turnover: Freeman, ATL
Pick the game's MVP: Brady, NE +5
Pick the SportsFilter user who will win this contest: Rumple, SPOFI

Pick the total score of the game: 57

posted by hincandenza at 05:45 PM on February 04, 2017

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Thanks for sharing, man! I've been comfortable settled in Seattle for about 22 years, but still root for the Boston teams and have fond memories of small town minor league ball.

posted by hincandenza at 09:26 PM on January 29, 2017

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Huh, I didn't know you lived in Nashua, Howard! This isn't related to hockey but I felt like sharing with a fellow Granite Stater: I grew up nearby in Merrimack, and have fond memories as a child of going to Nashua's Coleman stadium in the 1980s when they had a couple of minor league affiliates (the Nashua Angels and Nashua Pirates, I believe). My dad used to do the radio broadcast for those teams when they had home games, before Clear Channel basically killed local radio. It's why I've been a lifelong fan of baseball; when I'd go to the games with him I got to sit in the press box and keep score while watching from one of the best seats in the house, get to meet the players. I even vaguely recall watching minor league legend Sam Horn (who became the mascot of the most rabid Red Sox site on the internet) take batting practice when he was on the AA Sox affiliate, and little me was in awe of those tape measure shots.

posted by hincandenza at 05:05 AM on January 28, 2017

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

There's a somewhat substantiated rumor that Belichick made Dion Lewis (who had 3TDs against the Texans, but a couple of bad fumbles) carry a football all week before the Steelers game, and teammates were told to try to slap it out of his hands. I wonder what he'll make Gostkowski do; the Patriots have a habit of winning or losing by a FG margin. I'd forgotten how in 2007 Bill passed up on FG attempts that in retrospect could have won that game. 14-17. Dammit. :'(

Honestly, I just need this to be a blowout, one way or another: I couldn't take another last minute lost/circus catch/fluke play. I like the Patriots' chances, since they do have a better defense than Atlanta and if anyone can come up with a shut-down defensive plan that will give Brady room to outscore the Ryan and the Falcons, it's Belichick.

posted by hincandenza at 06:54 PM on January 23, 2017

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Edition

holden has unintentionally shamed me in my lack of homerism; I'd like to update my prop picks. New picks:

Atlanta over Green Bay by 7 LOCK
New England over Pittsburgh by 13 LOCK

1. Quarterback with most passing yards: Matt Ryan, Atlanta
2. Player with most rushing yards: LeVeon Bell, Pittsburgh
3. Player with most receiving yards: Julian Edelman, New England
4. Player with an interception: Malcolm Butler, New England

posted by hincandenza at 12:36 AM on January 22, 2017

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Edition

I appear to be waltzing my way into the Costanza, but just in case there's a chance, I'm going to basically copy tron7's picks but put a lock on them. Not proud, but hey it's a strategy...

Atlanta over Green Bay by 7 LOCK
New England over Pittsburgh by 13 LOCK

1. Rodgers
2. Bell
3. Julio Jones
4. Micah Hyde

posted by hincandenza at 06:00 PM on January 21, 2017

Baggy, The Rock, and Pudge make the cut.

Eh. A couple of years ago I made my peace: the Hall of Fame has been rendered meaningless. Until and unless people such as Bonds and Clemens are in, why do I care what a bunch of out-of-touch old men with alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine addictions think about actual athletes?

posted by hincandenza at 08:37 PM on January 19, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

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

posted by hincandenza at 09:10 PM on January 14, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2017

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension Reinstated for DeflateGate

As I understand it, there is supposed to be labor law that governs fairness- the arbitrator must be fair, and there is a "law of the shop" such that past penalties/allowed behavior bears weight on future punishments, etc. For example, if player X, Y, and Z all got a $25K fine for excess stickum, you can't suddenly give someone 3 games for the same infraction without due warning.

Consider that in recent years other incidences of ball tampering/pressure adjustment got a modest fine, that that penalty for such behavior is explicitly stated in the CBA. Yet Goodell is now acting as his own arbitrator, and made up a new penalty in contrast with an explicitly stated one, just for shits and giggles. With this successful appeal, so long as he doesn't violate the law/constitutional rights- Goodell can't now murder someone under the CBA, as an extreme example- there are no more limits on Goodell's rights to punishment. You're just hoping he won't go nuts on your team/favorite player with some "conduct detrimental" nonsense. Since he is his own appeals process, there is no chance he'll overrule his own initial ruling. If he nails a player on your favorite team, that player is toast: "extremely broad" means untouchable in this case.

And let's be clear: the CBA didn't give him this power, he took it. By pushing the envelope on what he could get away with, including becoming his own "impartial arbitrator", he eventually clawed out this new authority. I believe in 2020, the NFLPA sure as heck will die on that hill. They negotiated the last CBA without caring too much about this, because past and present commissioners didn't abuse their power like Goodell has done. Now, they know that not only will Goodell just make shit up- the science is unambiguous that no deflation occurred beyond exactly that defined by the ideal gas law- he will then be his own arbitrator where he can say to a player "I will be fair and impartial, provided you admit your guilt in everything I've accused you of, and accept your punishment", but that the circuit courts will uphold this based on the current CBA language. The union members can't be walking around with arbitrary punishments dangling over their head every time Goodell feels people need to respect his authori-tay.

In a tangential matter, I saw this amusing comment in the Reddit thread on this story:

strongscience62 Brady should get to serve his suspension in the preseason since, according to NFL ticket prices, those are real games too.
Well played, sir. :)

posted by hincandenza at 03:56 PM on April 25, 2016

Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension Reinstated for DeflateGate

I thought the team already lost draft picks from this? In any case, that was never on the table regarding the suspension. This stopped being about Tom Brady, or those footballs, ages ago; the NFLPA can't be happy with this, which means either they keep fighting it, or maybe we have a strike at the next negotiation.

This seems like a pants-on-head retarded ruling (to me, the most pre-eminent labor law expert in all the land! :) ), since the presumption here seems to be that unless a CBA covers in chapter and verse every possible permutation of words and language and explicitly limits the commissioner in extreme detail in all possible ways, that the NFLPA and its members are basically exposed to any action on the part of the commissioner he may dream up. So basically, if Goodell wakes up tomorrow with a bad hair day, he can choose to suspend Tony Romo of the Cowboys for an entire year, and fine him 3x his annual salary, just because. And it will stand, because per the 2nd court, the CBA gives the commissioner "especially broad" powers.

The original appeal that overturned the suspension made a compelling case that the commissioner can't just invent new rules from whole cloth- 4 games for something that's explicitly in the rules as a $25K fine!- or based on rules that aren't part of the players agreement/rulebook. This new ruling seems to say "Even if you thought you'd agreed that the punishment for violation 'x' is detailed, you're fucked". That makes for shitty precedent, and to me means a strike/lockout at the next negotiation. The NFLPA will be forced to go hardcore next time, and basically say "We will not agree to any CBA that doesn't limit the commissioner to only fines, never to exceed $50K per player per game, and reviewable by an arbitrator hired by the NFLPA". The 2nd Circuit has just made it clear that the NFLPA would be crazy to not hold the line; if they do anything less, they have failed as a union.

Also, this from the article really pisses me off:

It is also likely to fuel a fresh round of debate over what role, if any, the quarterback and top NFL star played in using underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game in January 2015
Sorry, no. The case has never been made that there was any underinflation, intentional or otherwise; in fact, all the science has pointed at the opposite, that all measured 'deflation' was a result of the ideal gas law and nothing more. Granted, this is in a country where a significant percentage of the population denies evolution, climate change, and science in general, so I'm not that surprised. Still, that some deflation occurred continues to just be presumed in the face of all evidence is distressing in a "we've always been at war with Eastasia" kind of way. All I can hope is that Goodell goes completely nuts and starts over-penalizing players from many teams, so NFL fans can realize what was lost by the NFLPA in this ruling.

posted by hincandenza at 03:18 PM on April 25, 2016

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading that little trip down nostalgia lane. However, it seems the list actually came out in 2014, and that archive posting didn't have links to the rest of the series. So I've dug up the links, for anyone who wants them:

posted by hincandenza at 05:45 AM on April 23, 2016

Texans Owner Robert McNair: Cherokees Can't Hold Their Whiskey

I feel like Bill Burr's take on these incidents is a relevant one (and hilarious).

posted by hincandenza at 02:27 PM on February 10, 2016

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

beaverboard: There was a point in the game at which I would have touted Kony Ealy for MVP.
So in other words... KONY 2016?

posted by hincandenza at 05:53 AM on February 08, 2016

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Damn, maybe it's because my formative years were in the 80's, but Ann Wilson was a *fox*.

posted by hincandenza at 08:23 PM on January 21, 2016

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

yerfatma: ESPN ran a stat saying this weekend will be Tom Brady's 10th Conference Championship, which is more than 27 teams. It's also the 11th in 22 years for the Pats under Kraft after 1 in the first 40 or so.
There are a lot of crazy stats about Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots at this point, such as some of his post-season records besting that of most teams. For example, if they do make the Super Bowl, the Patriots will take over the slot of most SB appearances with 9; Brady/Belichick would account for 7 of those, meaning each would have more Superbowl appearances than all franchises except the Cowboys and Steelers with 8 each.

However, this is my personal favorite:

  • The single-season record for pass completion is held by Drew Brees, when he completed 71.2% of passes in 2011
  • With 10 AFCCG appearances in 14 seasons (ignoring 2008 when he was out all year with an injury), Tom Brady has appeared in 71.4% of the AFCCGs during his career as a starting QB
It is therefore statistically more likely at the start of a given season that Tom Brady will end up playing in the AFCCG, than it is that any quarterback, cherry-picked from any point in history, will complete a given pass.

I sent that to a Seahawks fan friend of mine in a text the other day, and his only reply was "You are now dead to me". I suppose my timing could have been better...

posted by hincandenza at 03:52 PM on January 21, 2016

Steelers Coach Should've Been Flagged for Being on Field

I'm not saying Porter is a saint, nor that he shouldn't be fined, nor even that the refs didn't let this one get out of control long before this play. But a penalty flag would be undeserved, and is just irrational sour grapes. Also, it'd be nice to have someone other than Bengals players or coaches telling us what he allegedly did or said. There is also this reddit comment, and subsequent replies, that seem to paint out what happened on the field.

Putting it bluntly, there is something ethically bankrupt about trying to equate teammates/personnel improperly being on the field while an injured player is being tended to- a technical rule violation that is never really enforced even though maybe it should be- and attempting to hit/strike an opponent like Jones did, regardless of what was said. Is there a rule in the NFL that allows for alleged trash-talking to be met directly with violence? I wasn't aware of that rule. Burfict really missed the boat in that case; he should have told a ref that Brown was a-lookin' at him all funny-like, then the ref would have no choice but to rescind the penalty flag on the personal foul. Real men gotta stand up and demand respect, by whatever means necessary.

Le sigh. In any case, this image also showed up on reddit; by my count of the green circles, that's like 1, 2, 3... 9 penalties on the Bengals right there. Nine! Boy howdy, it's a good thing the NFL officials routinely call out players and personnel on the field during an injury timeout, which as we all remember is why the Bengals were then assessed 135 yards in penalties.

posted by hincandenza at 12:05 AM on January 12, 2016

Steelers Coach Should've Been Flagged for Being on Field

Regardless of his team role, when have NFL refs ever thrown a flag at any players/personnel on the field during an injury timeout, especially one where the player was knocked unconscious? The 15yd for the dirty hit was unquestionable, but as grum points out, Porter didn't actually do anything or make contact- unlike 95 who bumped him into a group of Bengals, or Pacman's I-don't-know-what attempt that resulted in him hitting a ref. That second and game-defining penalty came when the hotheaded Bengals initiated further contact in the form of Jones taking a swing at Porter and hitting a ref, which was the only other egregious contact after play stopped.

posted by hincandenza at 06:28 PM on January 10, 2016

Play SportsFilter's NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest

Kansas City over Houston by 10
Cincinnati over Pittsburgh by 7
Seattle over Minnesota by 14 *LOCK*
Washington over Green Bay by 10

Russell Wilson will be the quarterback with the most passing yards.
Jeremy Hill will be the running back with the most rushing yards.
Antonion Brown will be the player with the most receiving yards.
JJ Watt will be a player who will record a sack or partial sack.

Seattle better win on Sunday or this first round is going to be a bloodbath for a lot of us. :)

posted by hincandenza at 01:12 AM on January 09, 2016

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

holden: I do find the lack of follow up on the story interesting/curious, but does anyone give a shit whether an aging QB coming off of a major surgery potentially used something to aid/speed his recovery?
I have for years on this site made clear that my feelings about PEDs in general are that they should be a) no less legal than they would for non-athletes, and b) should be allowed provided a reputable doctor (one who is in some way insulated from the pressure of overprescribing, i.e., not one working for the team/league, nor being paid directly by the athlete) is prescribing them and monitoring the patient. This would help the people who are in the .001% of fitness and extremes of human physical activity to have access to medicines that spur healing and bodily repair that they may benefit from in their line of work, while balancing the competitive drive and greed that would lead someone to take unnecessary risks.

That said, the CBA rules agreed upon mandate that PED abuses warrant a 4-game suspension, in much the same way a minor equipment violation maxes out at $25K fine. Ha ha. There should be much more discussion about whether Manning should even be allowed into the playoffs, since the key element- that HGH was sent to his home- is apparently not denied even by Manning himself (if I recall the facts correctly). Players have gotten suspended for less proof, and this has the interesting "water cooler discussion" wrinkle that the violation occurred while he was with another team. If Commissioner Tommy Boy wasn't ethically challenged, would he be fair in penalizing the "wrong" team if he suspended Manning when this story broke? And unlike football PSI changing in inclement weather, this is a clearly delineated rule, that has been applied repeatedly in the past.

So why is it different for the legacy golden boy? Why is Manning not getting the Bonds or Clemens treatment- or even the Ricky Williams treatment? It's a telling thing watching the NFL and its paid-for media representatives in ESPN and elsewhere successfully dance around this. I have yet to see a former QB crying on TV about Manning's "betrayal" of the sport and his team. It's a healthy reminder that the sports media, like the larger media, is fundamentally useless at exposing any truth that is not desired by the powers-that-be; a healthy reminder that people in general are often terrible judges of the merit of ther own logical conclusions.

And yes, I'm still salty at how even here on SpoFi, I had to sit through months of nonsense by so many otherwise intelligent people over the Deflategate idiocy. Where are the outraged pearl-clutching dearies who swore up and down that their own misunderstanding of the ideal gas law should lead to lost championships, lifetime bans, and other absurdly harsh punishments?

Seriously, where are they? Why is no one here commenting on this Manning story like they did the Brady one, when there's both more proof of wrongdoing and a clearer punishment that is not being applied?

posted by hincandenza at 12:54 AM on January 09, 2016

Baseball Hall of Fame adds "The Kid" and the catcher in 2016.

Not that it isn't deserved- like his fellow Mariner Johnson, he should have been 100%- but I'm actually surprised it was only three ballots that didn't include Griffey. Does this mean the curmudgeonly "No one should be unanimous" crowd is finally dying off, or is it some kind of subtle statement about Griffey being untainted by even a whiff of PEDs? Although I think Bonds and Clemens both improved their vote total this year, so maybe this is an overall recalibration from the era of PED witch hunt hysteria.

posted by hincandenza at 06:46 PM on January 06, 2016

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

That's awesome. I guess it makes me see a little of the virtue in a sport like golf's obsession with an honor system (even though it still seems nitpicky about inconsequential things); good sportsmanship elevates the spirit of the game.

posted by hincandenza at 06:38 PM on January 06, 2016

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

So... are any of the "CHEATRIOTS!!!!!11111" brigade going to even acknowledge the Manning PED allegations? Are we going to see former QBs break down in tears on ESPN, or the same rage-over-facts self-righteous indignation in the comments sections of sports related websites?

Just kidding, that was a rhetorical question...

posted by hincandenza at 05:09 PM on December 29, 2015

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

From 2010-2014, Gronkowski had 7 total OPI calls in his career. So far this season he's gotten 6, which is why NE leads the NFL in OPI. The next highest team is the Redskins at 5.

That suggest either he's suddenly altered his style of play, or the refs are now calling OPI for reasons they never did before. The OPI in yesterday's game is the kind of casual contact made all the time, but it seems Gronk is now treated like young Shaq, getting dinged for fouls simply because he's bigger and stronger than everyone else.

Here's hoping the Patriots still finish 18-1... :)

posted by hincandenza at 11:29 PM on November 30, 2015

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

That NE-Broncos game had some of the sketchiest officiating I've seen in years. Congrats to Roger Goodell on his victory.

posted by hincandenza at 01:09 AM on November 30, 2015

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Ah, I just read that quote from somewhere, but can't recall where... sbnation maybe? Yep, from this recap of all the zany hijinks just in one inning.

Didn't watch the game live, but just watched the craziness on I'm reminded why baseball is the best sport: weird, wild, wacky things can happen in any game.

posted by hincandenza at 11:51 PM on October 14, 2015

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

What tron7 said; I'm reminded often when browsing the web (in particular, the comments section of most any site where people debate law, politics, or sports) of Kohlberg's three general stages of moral development: pure obedience, law and order, and principled conscience. Most sports commentary- unsurprisingly, given how sports media doesn't exactly select for insight or intellect- is stuck in stage 2, with an obsession of rules for rule's sake.

Sure, the obscure rule says you can't do that, but if we ponder why such a rule exists, I think it's because everywhere else on the field, you have dozens of yards to recover a fumbled ball and retain possession, but in the end zone there is no such leeway because there is an invisible back wall. However, watching the replay... that ball was going out of bounds. Maybe an incredible play by Riddick who I saw come in from the bottom of the frame at the end of the clip, might have dived and stopped it, but he wasn't diving when the ball was touched a foot or so from the back of the end zone. For all intents and purposes, that was a fumble that went out of the back of the end zone, namely a touchback. And for me, it looked like Wright had a very brief hesitation between grabbing it, slapping it, or letting it go- aren't defensive players taught to slap the ball out of bounds most anywhere else on the field?- but in any case it's not like a Lion was going to get the ball. I prefer refs that consider the context and nature of this specific play to decide if an obscure rule should even be invoked.

posted by hincandenza at 01:33 AM on October 07, 2015

NFL Source: 'No Doubt' Brady Will Sit 4 Games This Season

Sheesh... if you didn't already think this was a witch hunt with no goal but for the league to blatantly attempt to sabotage one specific team's entire season...

Now the question you should ask yourself is: why would any self-respecting journalists keep using these NFL sources that are either obvious NFL propaganda or outright false, or both?

posted by hincandenza at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2015

Super Bowl Ditches Roman Numerals

Okay Howard, that was gold. :)

posted by hincandenza at 05:21 PM on September 10, 2015

2 High School Players Intentionally Hit Referee

Well... I care, I literally wrote that right above. It doesn't matter, but it would be interesting to see if these kids were teed off about a total miscall, or some thing questionable at worst. Plus, the preceding play might show clues of the planning, and whether the coach or other players were involved. On reddit, someone linked a fast-pitch softball clip in which not only does the pitcher throw it right at the umps mask, the catcher intentionally leaps out of the way, and the entire infield- as well as the manager- met on the mound right beforehand. It was so obviously intentional, and orchestrated by the manager, they called the game then and there.

posted by hincandenza at 10:06 PM on September 06, 2015

2 High School Players Intentionally Hit Referee

I saw this when it was going around reddit yesterday, it's pretty appaling. Happily at least, it sounds like the schools and related organizations are reacting quickly and appropriately.

One question I've had, just out of curiousity: I can't find a clear description in an article, much less video, of the preceding play. Not that it would justify the action, but I'd be interested in seeing what these players were so incensed about.

posted by hincandenza at 03:40 PM on September 06, 2015

Federal Judge Tosses Brady's 4-Game NFL Suspension

Man ESPN is the worst.

So when can the SpoFi community admit there was no "there" there? The NFL actively tried to catch the Patriots in a sting operation, ineptly tried to collect damning data, and yet even the biased Wells report admitted there wasn't even convincing evidence of any tampering actually happening- much less involvement from Brady et al? For 80 years the NFL didn't care, didn't even know there was a natural gas law, and Brady just wanted a low end but legal 12.5 PSI football.

Shouldn't this all have been a simple off-season scientific investigation and possible rules tweak of ball pressure setting and management? Because a fair number of posters here were looking for blood, demanding Brady impale himself on a non-existent violation that at most would warrant a small fine if it even happened- of which there's never been evidence it even happened?

Don't be like Lester Munson... admit you were wrong about the alleged "Cheatriots".

posted by hincandenza at 02:13 AM on September 05, 2015

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

On the one hand, I hate the public shaming culture/stockades... but on the other hand, fuck Schilling.

Although I still revere him for 2004, that doesn't conflict withat thinking he's also a putz.

posted by hincandenza at 11:55 PM on August 25, 2015

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

What... why...

posted by hincandenza at 10:33 AM on August 25, 2015

ESPN Accidentally Fires Adam Schefter

What you did there; I see it. :)

posted by hincandenza at 12:55 AM on August 22, 2015

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

This Daniel Norris sounds like an interesting cat. The link is to a discussion on the front page of Reddit right now; apparently he lives on $800/mo, and during spring training lived in a van behind a WalMart*. What is it with pitchers and their seemingly greater-than-normal penchant for quirky personalities?

* Then again, if you watch that video when he's showing off the machete he keeps in the van for protection... I'm not sure how I feel about another pitcher with a fondness for sharp weapons...

posted by hincandenza at 04:15 AM on August 21, 2015

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

That Norris at-bat was insane; the stroke was so sweet, he looked like he was barely swinging, and it goes right over the dead-center wall. And first ever professional at-bat? That's remarkable.

The Denard Span one cracked me up; where did they get all that video of him asking people about it...? It's like when someone learns some amazing new fact on the front page of Reddit, and they keep telling people.

Eventually, ESPN is going to have to run a retraction; there is no doubt they were getting blatantly false info from the NFL front office- including the bullshit "2 pounds" number- that grossly colored the entire DeflateGate story. Ah, who am I kidding- they'll never apologize. Fuck 'em, I canceled my cable months ago, they aren't getting anything from me anymore.

posted by hincandenza at 11:16 PM on August 20, 2015