Recent Comments by silverpie

Suspected NBA Referee's Games Hit the Over More Often

First of all, the magic number as far as percentages go is 52.6%--that's what you need to make a profit laying 11-to-10 odds (the standard, at least in the casinos, for even bets). And a question. Do NBA officials work in the same trios all season, as baseball/football crews do (allowing for vacations and such)?

posted by silverpie at 05:36 PM on July 26, 2007


And no such list would be complete without Boris Onischenko, Soviet modern pentathlete with rigged fencing sword (it would register a hit at the push of a button, as opposed to when one actually landed).

posted by silverpie at 11:57 PM on August 10, 2006

Barring an improbable scenario of mass crashes,

I know they didn't try when it was Lance involved, but it wasn't quite that close (within the theoretical maximum of 32", but not by much). Normally, the main point of interest on the final day is the fate of the green jersey, but with the most points possible on the day being 47, even that doesn't matter this year--McEwen just has to finish.

posted by silverpie at 10:30 PM on July 22, 2006

Pens could be bought; moved to Hartford

"Totally offset by the fact they can play their games in a ***** mall. Who else can make that claim, besides the studs at EB?" The Oilers could if they had to--their practice facility is in the West Edmonton Mall.

posted by silverpie at 12:59 PM on April 10, 2006

NCAA deems Chief Illiniwek Hostile

Although the linked article didn't mention it, there is new news--Illinois did get a partial win, with the committee holding that the (Fighting) Illini nickname ties not to the tribe but to the state, and is therefore OK.

posted by silverpie at 01:19 PM on November 14, 2005

The Final Ashes test!

It's over. Two early drops of Pietersen proved to be the deadly moment--if they get him early, the final Australian innings might well have been a thrilling ODI-style run chase, but with him burning off 187 balls, Australia had no chance at making 341 in eighteen overs...

posted by silverpie at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2005


It did use birthplaces and include basketball (along with baseball, golf, and hockey). I would also question what definition of "city" they were using (in other words, is their "city of Atlanta" the 35-county metro area or just the city proper, to take one extreme example)?

posted by silverpie at 10:22 PM on September 07, 2005

Cricket almost derails a wedding.

OK, is it officially time to petition for a cricket category? Anyway, as to what's up with the Ashes, they're on a break, with the women resuming Wednesday and the men Thursday (another of cricket's odd traditions--men's Tests in England always start on a Thursday).

posted by silverpie at 06:25 PM on August 22, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

There are two leagues in Southern California. Unfortunately, one has not updated its website for 2005, and the other seems to be lost in the ether outright. is the URL for the basic data. In the alternative, contact your local Indian, Caribbean, or Australian cultural group.

posted by silverpie at 07:25 PM on August 18, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

With the one exception of the wicket-keeper (who handles duties similar to a baseball catcher), that is pretty much correct.

posted by silverpie at 03:28 PM on August 17, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

For the background information on baseball: A curve is a ball that moves laterally because of its rotation. (Fastballs may rise or drop for the same reason, and it's also why curling stones curl.) A knuckler, on the other hand, is thrown to rotate very little, allowing tiny air effects to cause it to move randomly. The real trick to baseball pitching (for most pitchers--knuckleballers and pure-heat closers are exceptions) is to be able to disguise the delivery so that the batter can't tell whether it's going to be a fastball, a changeup (slower straight ball, designed purely to fool the hitter who's expecting a fastball), a curve, or even a screwball (a curve that breaks the other way: cf. googly). They need this ability because they don't have the advantage of using the bounce.

posted by silverpie at 03:41 PM on August 16, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

Actually, I do the cricket commentary at the Australian Festival in Nashville. Long story as to how I picked up the game... But anyway, the length of a Test is governed basically by time. However, teams are also expected to maintain a reasonable pace (currently defined as 15 overs per hour), and if they don't, the day will be extended. So a day is basically six hours or 90 overs, whichever comes last, minus time lost to rain (which happened on day 3), and a test runs five days (four for the women). And they were in this defensive mode the entire day! While getting 399 in an innings with plenty of time is a reasonable task (by no means an easy one, but doable), getting it in one day was hopeless, so with the draw their best possible result, they went for it. And you used all those terms quite reasonably; although one more usually speaks of guarding the wicket than the stumps, either term is clearly understood.

posted by silverpie at 05:47 PM on August 15, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

Here you go.

posted by silverpie at 03:33 PM on August 15, 2005

Australia hang on for the draw,

tommysands, the server was probably overloaded. OK, here's what happened. The key is that in a Test, each team bats twice. England batted first and scored 444 all out, and in response, Australia scored 302 before losing all of their wickets, the last one early on the 4th day. Thus, England comes up again with a 142-run lead already in hand. They then proceeded to post another 280 before declaring its innings closed, for a grand total of 724 and a target for Australia of 423 (724 less their first-innings total of 302 is 422, plus one because targets are expressed as what's needed to win). The declaration coming just before stumps (end of the day) on day 4, the Aussies (aka the Baggy Green) picked up 24 runs before the end, leaving 399 to score for a win on the final day. Scoring 399 runs in one day's play is a very difficult feat, so Australia instead elected to simply "run out the clock"--regardless of who has the advantage, if a result is not definitively obtained (by the last team to bat reaching its target for a win, or losing all of its wickets for a loss--or, yes, losing its last wicket with the scores level for a tie), the match is drawn. And Australia just barely managed it. (As for run-rate, that's the measure of how fast a team is scoring, runs per over. It's very important in one-days, or in a Test where the last team is actually chasing for the win, but meaningless when the batting side is playing for the draw.)

posted by silverpie at 02:32 PM on August 15, 2005

NCAA bans Indian mascots for postseason

"but I don't recall any owner or GM of the Indians being a Native American" They got the nickname when they hired the first Native player (Sockalexis). As for Atlanta, theirs traces back to the use of "brave" as a rank in Tammany Hall (!)--the rank of an early owner back when they were in Boston. The old "Moccasins" nickname here at Tennessee-Chattanooga was only an indirect Indian reference--Moccasin Bend is a (shoe-shaped) major natural feature of the city.

posted by silverpie at 10:43 AM on August 09, 2005

The 10 greatest sports muggings.

One classic from high school football, Plano East is down by five touchdowns to John Tyler in the fourth quarter of a Texas round-of-16 game. Touchdown, then five onside kicks recovered by East and five touchdown drives to take the lead... then when they kick off deep, Tyler returns it all the way for the game-winning score and goes on to win state.

posted by silverpie at 10:30 AM on August 09, 2005

England win by 2 runs!

gspm: Most of those underhanded tactics occur in one-day matches, where a team's innings is ended either by losing all ten wickets or by the completion of 50 overs (300 balls). In a Test, on the other hand, you have to get the other side out. A tie does indeed only result when the scores are equal, and has happened only twice in the 1,759 Tests played to date--involving Australia both times, the first at home against the West Indies in December 1960, the second in India in Spetember 1986. (A draw, on the other hand, occurs when no result can be obtained in five days, and has occurred 629 times, v. 1,128 decisive results). Ties are (logically enough) most common on one-day internationals, having occurred 21 times in the 2,267 played to date. (Two others would have been tied under current rules, but for a tie-breaking rule no longer in force.) The most recent was between England and Australia during the warm-ups to the Ashes.

posted by silverpie at 10:23 AM on August 09, 2005

Palmeiro took powerful steroid

As far as why the delay, there was an appeal to an arbitrator. The suspension doesn't take effect until he's ruled. One thing I still can't figure out: what do steroids in baseball have to do with government reform??

posted by silverpie at 07:10 AM on August 04, 2005

Knauss sues supplement company over positive test.

The decision of the CAS is available here.

posted by silverpie at 07:51 AM on July 27, 2005

Student sues, left off volleyball team

"which, contrary to your beliefs, is not taxpayer-funded; her lawyer isn't getting paid by 'our taxpayer dollars'" True, but there will be taxpayer dollars used in defending the suit. On another aspect, I'd certainly want to know what other sports at her school have or don't have B-teams. (Remembering my high school days, most of our teams kept enough players on hand to field more than one team, but the only one that actually played B-team games was boys' basketball. Occasionally, other sports would essentially play the B-team as the varsity against hopelessly outgunned opponents, and exhibition matches would be arranged when possible between extra wrestlers or tennis players.)

posted by silverpie at 08:24 AM on May 04, 2005

The Survey Says ... Title IX is in Trouble

I like women's sports myself, but there is wolf being cried here. We're not talking about women's sports being cut under the new rules--the fact that the team is there already establishes interest. But what they're saying is that there are large quantities of women out there who want to play but won't even take the trouble to say so (never mind going the traditioinal routes of setting up a club or petitioning for intramurals). Is it really right to be ordered to take money away from some other sport on nothing more than "if you build it, they will come"?

posted by silverpie at 01:57 PM on April 13, 2005