Venicemenace's profile

Member since: October 12, 2005
Last visit: June 03, 2013

Venicemenace has posted 8 links and 546 comments to SportsFilter and 1 link and 52 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

Most memorable sporting event seen in person: Hideo Nomo throwing a no-no for Boston at picturesque Camden Yards
Close second: 2007 ALCS Game 7 -- Red Sox 4, Indians 3
Note to self -- go to more baseball games with Japanese starting pitchers.

Admitted biases:
Boston Red Sox
New England Patriots
Georgetown Hoyas
Boston Celtics
Big East basketball
Pac-10 football

Recent Links

Mayo: The Heir Apparent: After watching Mayo leap over a guard to tackle a running back a yard from scrimmage, Vrabel drew his own conclusions. "It's almost not normal to move like he does," Vrabel said. "Nobody runs like that. He looks like a free safety out there." An awesome piece of sportswriting by Jackie McMullan.

posted by Venicemenace to football at 09:45 PM on September 13, 2009 - 10 comments

Why don't you (bleeping) block somebody, Gonzalez.: A superb Joe Posnanski column from the Kansas City Star. As Bill Simmons writes, "It's incredibly hard to make a column work this well, with this much detail, when you only have 850 words."

posted by Venicemenace to football at 06:55 AM on December 28, 2007 - 10 comments

24-Hour-A-Day Drama With #24: As Kobe Bryant sits out his third straight practice with allegedly tired legs, the trade speculation is off the charts in LA. Ironically, the holder of the league's only full no-trade clause asked for a trade a few months back; recently, owner Jerry Buss suggested he'd be amenable to trading Kobe. Is there any chance that the Lakers will actually trade their most popular player since Magic? Moreover, is there an end in sight for the staggering variety of Kobe melodramas that seem to consume every Laker season?

posted by Venicemenace to basketball at 02:53 PM on October 17, 2007 - 10 comments

Patriots Caught Taping Jets Defensive Signals, May Lose Draft Picks: ESPN is reporting with some confidence that the Patriots have been found guilty of videotaping the Jets' defensive signals during Sunday's game. Commissioner Goodell, who never misses an opportunity to make an example of a transgressor, is said to be ready to strip the Patriots of draft picks as punishment, although the team will first be allowed to present a defense at a closed hearing. What repercussions might this cheating incident have on the Patriots and the league as a whole?

posted by Venicemenace to football at 07:19 AM on September 12, 2007 - 136 comments

Billy Donovan's Magical Payday: On the heels of back-to-back NCAA titles, he turned down the Kentucky job and apparently decided to sign a long-term extension with Florida. But now, for upwards of $36 million over 6 years, Billy Donovan is headed for the NBA's Orlando Magic, according to the Orlando Sentinel and ESPN.

posted by Venicemenace to basketball at 06:48 PM on May 31, 2007 - 27 comments

Recent Comments

NCAA Conference Death Watch - Big East gains on Big 12

"If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States," Boeheim said. "This audience knows why we are doing this. There's two reasons: Money and football.

"We're going to end up with mega conferences and 10 years from now either I'm going to be dead wrong -- and I'll be the first to admit it -- or everybody is going to be like...why is Syracuse going to Miami in basketball this week and next week they're going to play Florida State?"

From an interview with Jim Boeheim. The article adds,

During an interview prior to his speech, Boeheim was skeptical that conference realignment will actually result in more money for most schools once costs are considered.

posted by Venicemenace at 06:02 PM on September 19, 2011

NCAA Conference Death Watch - Big East gains on Big 12

This seems like a step back for football and a giant leap forward for basketball.

Strictly speaking of the ACC, I guess so. But overall, the best basketball conference ever just got shredded because of football-driven concerns.

RIP, Big East. Now I get to watch my Georgetown Hoyas program slowly disintegrate along with the rest of the Northeastern Catholic schools that don't have big-time, state-funded football programs.

posted by Venicemenace at 05:47 PM on September 19, 2011

Gladwell on Grantland

I'm no Tom Yawkey fan, but Gladwell heavily embellished the anecdote about the Robinson/Mays tryout. I have never seen it written that Yawkey ran onto the field yelling epithets. I'm not even sure that it was said to have been Yawkey that cursed at the players (from the stands).

I'm not defending Yawkey against the overall charges of racism, he was basically the human embodiment of the "curse," but Gladwell is playing pretty fast and loose with the facts in this article as per usual.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:11 AM on August 23, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Yes, let's suspend one of the best players on one of the two or three best teams in the league in the heat of the pennant race because he isn't following our orders in matters almost completely irrelevant to the game itself.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:54 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Just read this and my jaw dropped.

"This is classic Alex Rodriguez," one high-ranking baseball official said Wednesday night, after the commissioner's office announced it will interview A-Rod as part of its investigation into his alleged involvement in illegal high-stakes poker games. "In a lot of ways Alex is no different than Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. He's a thrill seeker, and he does everything he can to be overt. He's a classic example of where we are in society, the age of celebrity, where everyone loves triumphs and tragedies."

That's one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. The guy played some poker games with his friends, with stakes commensurate with the disposable income afforded by their vast earnings. Some guy that was there did drugs. How that makes him a starlet with substance abuse problems is beyond me. This official should be ashamed of himself for being so petty with regard to one of baseball's biggest stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:49 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

Some here seem to take the view that wealth is an excuse to violate the law or a defense to illegal activity?

Of course not, but Major League Baseball is not an arm of the legal/judicial system and until such time as A-Rod has been apprehended for his participation in "underground" poker games, this really isn't any of their concern.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:59 PM on August 04, 2011

You gotta know when to fold 'em, ARod

If we were to assume that he gets himself in debt, he might be indebted to the wrong kind of people.

Like Tobey Maguire is going to threaten to break A-Rod's kneecaps or make him throw games.

The amounts of money here are paltry by the standards of A-Rod's income.

Total non-issue in my opinion, and I really hope this doesn't turn into a suspension that would affect the outcome of this season or the next. That would be a way bigger crime than A-Rod playing poker with movie stars.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:08 AM on August 04, 2011

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

A stat called Pitches Saved measures the efficiency of MLB pitchers; it calls Greg Maddux the most efficient pitcher of our time. "During his career, the league average was 144.1 pitches per 9 innings, yet Maddux himself averaged only 120.6. For reference, no other pitcher with at least 2000 IP since 1988 has averaged fewer than 130 pitches per 9 innings." The ace's side career as a mass murderer goes curiously unremarked upon.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:50 AM on May 08, 2011

Fans Choose Next Recipient of Madden Curse

I have been voting for Vick all along. Just to see heads explode if he actually wins.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:28 AM on April 19, 2011

Red Sox To Sign Crawford

Worth noting that the Red Sox play 81 games at Fenway Park, not 162.

My feeling is that Crawford was signed for his all-around skills, his competitiveness and the visceral appeal of his game. The team, while scrappy, was deadly dull last year and the owners knew they needed to rejuvenate the roster. As a Sox fan, I am more excited about the Gonzalez acquisition, but adding Crawford to the lineup -- and taking him away from the Rays, and keeping him away from AL rivals -- is a huge bonus. Is it April yet?

(Rcade...did you check the date on that article?)

posted by Venicemenace at 01:03 PM on December 09, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

@rcade: golfers and NASCAR drivers are poor examples because they don't play team sports tied to a specific city

I disagree -- if there's so much money to be made in local endorsements, why do these sports figures make more in total endorsements than many team-based athletes that can take advantage of local income? If being marketed as a local star in NY/LA is such a gold mine, why don't NY/LA athletes routinely top the lists of top endorsement earners? I think the fact that golfers and NASCAR drivers, not to mention players in random cities like Orlando (Howard) and OK City (Durant), make as much or more in endorsements than the stars of big-city teams demonstrates that local endorsements are not going to be a major factor here. LeBron already outearns Kobe and Jeter combined in endorsement income.

@athiest: when Luke Walton has a championship and Lebron James does not, it is hardly a measuring stick of how great a player either is

Yes, there are plenty of mediocre role players with rings. The point is that LeBron has been constantly compared to Jordan and the rest of the NBA's all-time greats. If he wants to earn his place in that pantheon, he has to carry his team to a ring. End of discussion.

I pretty much agree with Bill Simmons' take on the Knicks vs. Bulls decision:

If he cares about winning titles (multiple) and reaching his full potential as a player, he only has one move: the Chicago Bulls. That's always been the play...Deep down, I think LeBron (and just as important, the people around him) realizes that he needs one more kick-ass player to make his life easier...

Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah proved that they were warriors these past two springs. They could be his Pippen/Grant or McHale/DJ. Easily. Rose could take the creative load off LeBron on nights that he doesn't have it. Rose could come through a few times in the clutch. Rose could hide some of LeBron's faults. It's the single smartest basketball move for LeBron James. It's the Michael Corleone move.

Of course, it doesn't have the same upside as New York: Biggest market, great fans, most meaning. If LeBron saved professional basketball in New York and brought Knicks fans their first title since 1973? That's the best available accomplishment in team sports right now. Name me a better one. You can't. Biggest star, biggest city. But it wouldn't be a smart basketball move. He could only bring one good free agent with him, and from what we've seen, would LeBron + (Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson or Amar'e Stoudemire) combined with what the Knicks already have (not much) translate to anything more than what just happened in Cleveland? Please. That's the Sonny Corleone Move.

posted by Venicemenace at 04:15 PM on May 14, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

I guess I'm skeptical that LeBron James is being robbed of opportunities right now to do whatever it is he might want to do. How hard is it to get on a plane to NY or LA? Hell, with a max contract or an indulgent owner he can take a private jet.

LeBron is going to make max money and rack up massive endorsements no matter where he plays -- and I would hasten to mention that the most highly endorsed athletes do not necessarily play in NY/LA. Tiger, Peyton, LeBron, Dale Earnhardt all make tons of endorsement cash and none are based in the center of the media universe. (Tiger isn't the moneymaker he once was, so you can sub the surprisingly lucrative endorsement deals of Phil Mickelson in there if you want.)

It doesn't matter what uniform he is wearing, LeBron ALREADY plays in Jordan's shadow. His best chance to carve out a legacy of success is to get himself on a team with a great point guard and a great big man. I don't think the Knicks are able to offer that.

posted by Venicemenace at 03:15 PM on May 14, 2010

Final: Celtics 94, Cavaliers 85

Can someone explain to me exactly how New York is going to make LeBron that much more money from a merchandising standpoint? What, is he going to do local commercials that will dwarf his existing national endorsements? Will his jersey inching up from #2 to #1 in leaguewide sales create that much of a windfall? Will his contract include ownership of the MSG Network? I feel as though this concept is taken for granted but rarely explored with any specificity.

If LeBron is going to flee Cleveland, he'd find a much better supporting cast waiting in Chitown.

Celtics have looked awesome lately, thanks to the evolution of Rondo and the the healthy return of Garnett. Bring on the Magic.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:57 PM on May 14, 2010

Fantasy Baseball?

Yo, can I get in on this? I played a few years ago in a SpoFi league and didn't do very well. I need to redeem myself.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:20 PM on March 16, 2010

Torii Hunter: Latino Players are Black 'Imposters'

No, Hunter's point is that the US based agents, like Boras, have made ML teams look to other ports for talent so they don't have to deal with negotiating with hardened sports agents, but rather bass-akwards Dominican families with 16 year old (or so they say) talented kids. That might be true. If the talent is available somewhere else at a cheaper rate, most businesses would go that way.

Despite the obvious offensiveness of calling black Latino athletes "impostors," I'm not sure that Hunter's thesis that teams would rather get a cheap Latin player than deal with a hard-nosed American sports agent working on behalf of an African-American player holds water at all.

Let's look at this year's crop of prospects. The highest-rated African-American player, Jason Heyward, was drafted and signed with the Braves for a $1.7m bonus out of high school. The highest-rated white player, Stephen Strasburg, was drafted and signed with the Nationals (repped by Scott Boras) for a $7.5m bonus and a $15m contract out of San Diego State. The highest-rated black Latino player, Aroldis Chapman, was signed as a free agent by the Reds with a $16.25m signing bonus and a contract worth at least $30m after defecting from Cuba.

Now, you could frame the argument as "the average black Latino signee gets less than the average African-American draftee," but I'm not sure that this is true, either, though I don't have the data to back it up. I seriously doubt Torii Hunter does, either.

At the very least, we know that Latino players are not subject to the draft system; thus, teams will have LESS leverage in negotiating with a Latino player that can sign with any other franchise than they would in negotiating with an African-American player that they have drafted and obtained exclusive rights to.

Once players are established in the major leagues and become free agents, they all have access to the same representation and thus it doesn't make sense to say that one ethnic group would have an advantage at that stage.

My point is this - not only are Hunter's comments about the "not-black-ness" of black Latino athletes incredibly uncalled for, his economic arguments also lack soundness.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:50 AM on March 12, 2010