Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday 04/02 A.M. Quickie:
Why Florida Will Beat Ohio State (Hint: Again)

Tonight's NCAA title game is about history. Either Florida repeats as champs or they are denied.

(The Ohio State-winning angle is great, too: OSU winning would be the absolute affirmation of the NBA age limit, at least in terms of proving that NBA-quality 18-year-olds can dominate college hoops. Whee!)

I want to refine a few points inspired by Saturday night's post:

Florida's 26-point beatdown of OSU back in December is important. Yes, the game was in Gainesville, OSU was green and, yes, Greg Oden wasn't nearly the player he is now. Two points: (1) Oden still has to contend with Florida's impossibly deep three-headed post monster, and (2) Oden isn't 26 points better (and neither is moving the game to a neutral court).

Remember how when Oden went out against Georgetown with foul trouble, the Hoyas couldn't figure out how to stop the smaller Buckeyes lineup? Florida has already seen that lineup, back in December. And they dominated it. So don't expect Florida to be befuddled like Georgetown was if/when Oden sits with his inevitable foul trouble against the parade of Gators big men.

In short: The match-ups remain difficult for OSU. But here's one in their favor: Mike Conley is playing out of his mind right now; UF's Taurean Green is playing like ass. So OSU's X-factor is Conley -- at both ends.

Florida's X-factor? Their collective sense of... what do you call it? Destiny? Entitlement? Accomplishment? History? Motivation? This game is why they came back, and they won't be denied. Pick: Florida.

Tournament Challenge: In the uber-competitive, 1,200-player "Daily Quickie Readers" group, it's down to two guys. If Florida wins, "C. Mills" is the winner; if OSU wins, "C. West" is the winner.

If you used the National Bracket to make your picks, you would be beating 91 percent of the other competitors right now. (But you would have had to root for Ohio State to win the title.)

I'm currently running in the 68th percentile, with a chance to move up slightly if Florida wins. Another weak showing.

(Amazingly, my 10-month-old son's entry -- filled out by his mom -- is in the 96th percentile, 49th overall out of more than 1,200. That's not as good as his in utero finish last year, when he came in tied for 30th out of more than 10,000 entries, but this year's finish ain't bad.)

MLB Opening Night: Mets thump Cards, 6-1, reminding everyone that regular-season "rematches" of deciding playoff games are not the same thing.

I'd like to know from Mets fans (or a fan of any team ever in the Mets position): Is there ANY extra meaning to the win? Or does it make the previous season's ending even more bittersweet?

(I will say this: As an indication of what's to come THIS season, it looks like the Mets offense is ready to carry what seems like shaky pitching – though not so shaky last night.)

MLB Opening Day! I'm going to put up a standalone post later this morning beginning my belated MLB preview coverage. Needless to say, if you're in a fantasy league, there's no instant history like the first day, when unclaimed FA's suddenly get snatched up off of great Game 1 performances.

MLB: Cubs to be sold after '07 season. Given the brand value and simply the cachet of owning this team, forget the astronomical number. Who will be the buyer? Mark Cuban? Somone more local? This will be one of the Top 5 biggest intrigues of the season.

Women's Final Four: Rutgers ends the LSU run, meaning that LSU now has to face the mess of its program's situation. Meanwhile, Tennessee vanquishes UNC, in one of the great Tar Heel choke-jobs since... well, since last weekend. Looking ahead: Given the Lady Vols' dominance over the decades, how can you not root for li'l ol' Rutgers?

College Hoops Coaching Carousel: Michigan wants WVU's John Beilein, and I love the hire. He's less about marquee recruits (which Michigan can't land anymore) and more about brilliant Xs and Os scheming. (Meanwhile, Southern Illinois is going to keep Chris Lowery... for now.)

NBA Injury Good: Dwyane Wade will return to practice with the Heat today. Given the Heat's secure playoff position, if I was him I would focus on rehab until Miami faces a playoff elimination game, then come back -- healed enough -- and lead them to a repeat title.

NBA Injury Bad: Well, that's the end of the Wizards. A team that was already faltering down the stretch lost All-Star "Robin" Caron Butler to a broken hand. Longtime Bullets/Wiz fans knew this was bound to happen.

NBA Sunday Wrap: How lame and worthless is the end of the NBA regular season? So lame that a game between the Mavs and Suns was an off-the-radar snoozer.

Is there any sport where the two biggest contenders in the league can play in the final stretch of the regular season and have it be a complete non-event?

(Between this year and last year, the Suns will have a healthy Amare and the Mavs will have an unretired Kevin Willis. Given that, who do YOU give the nod to in the playoffs between them?)

Michael Phelps Watch: The final tally? Seven gold medals. Five world records. Ridiculous. Bring on Beijing.

LPGA: Morgan Pressel is the new Michelle Wie. The 18-year-old Pressel became the youngest winner ever of an LPGA major, and I expect her status to skyrocket.

(A few years ago, I remember watching her as an amateur in the hunt at the 2005 US Women's Open, and I just remember she was so freaking competitive, she made Tiger look tame. Oh, and with this win, she takes over as the greatest active Jewish athlete.)

Speaking of MLB, the blog Rumors and Rants had a thing where they asked people for their favorite all-time MLB player. My answer: Ryne Sandberg.

It was interesting that I immediately filtered the question as my favorite CHILDHOOD player, as if your favorite player back during your formative years of fanhood (ages 10-14 or thereabouts) have greater weight than a player you may develop a love for as an adult.

So, obviously, I want to know who was YOUR favorite MLB player? (Or "is," if that's the case.)

Big Picture's "Would You Do?" Tournament reaches title game: It's 1-seed Erin Andrews vs. 6-seed Stacey Dales. I expect yet another title for the Gators. Vote here. launches! Another great site for Jason Gurney, impresario of the empire. tracks the action on more than 1,600 sports blogs, and I highly recommend as a bookmark and regular stop in your rotation. Congrats on another terrific product, Jason and Co.

Happy Passover to those of you who are celebrating tonight. It goes without saying that we're having a mellifluously nicknamed "Gator Seder."

-- D.S.


futurelegendvinceyoung said...

If Florida wins tonight they are one of the top teams in recent college bball history. I am rooting for tOSU even though I am not a big fan. I just dislike UF bball, but part of me wants to see them win just to read Dan's description of them compared to the other great teams of all time. Everyone knows he will rank them behind a UCLA team with Jabbar or Walton but will say that they are the best team in the last 25 years. It should be a fun day of comments tomorrow.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

John Beilein to Michigan...Rich Rodriguez to Michigan after this year? I think so!

Anonymous said...

why did butler have to get injured why. We are so done now. I personally am rooting for ohio state tonight because i cannot stand noah.

jhawkjjm said...

I'm dreading the game tonight. If Florida wins all we hear about is back to back, greatest ever?, etc... If Ohio State wins, all we'll hear about is Oden. Oden isn't even the best freshman on that team, Conley Jr. is.

Precourt said...

Howard Johnson

Anonymous said...

favorite mlb player ever.

cal ripken jr.

oh and am i the only person who has to tivo the game and watch it later becuase of my seder?

jhawkjjm said...

Dan, I'm surprised that there's no mention that the only reason Phelps doesn't have 8 golds is that the US got disqualified on the relay because one of his teammates false started. Maybe he did it on purpose!?!?! (Ok, that's a stretch but probably the only way to make swimming interesting until the olympics)

The Poobah said...

Sorry Dan, but I have no interest in this game tonight. Good luck to your Gators. Once this game is over, will be able to not hear about Florida men's athletics for a few months? Thanks.

As far as ballplayers go, I am a Yankees fan, but my favorite alltime player is George Brett. No explanation, he was just a great player with a great attitude. Loved him. Second is Mattingly. You really had to see him play offense and defense every day to appreciate him. Great player. Too bad his bad back really cut short his career.

And Michael Phelps is sick.

Big D said...

"Well, that's the end of the Wizards"

Almost inspires compatison's to 2004's "Two Words: It's. Over."

So, should we start booking the flights and NBA finals tickets in Washington now, or maybe wait until after the first round of the playoffs?

I kid, I kid...

Florida by 17 tonight. No way tOSU can stand up to that team and keep it close enough for the refs to hand them the game. Oden declares for the draft by Friday, folowed closely by Durant, Hibbers, Acie Law, and all 5 starters from Florida.

And my fav player was (and still is) Junior Griffey. Sweetest left-handed swing I ever saw (after mine, of course). It's been painful to watch his body break down over the years. He was on an 800-homer pace at one point in his career.

Natsfan74 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Geoff said...

I can't think of a title game I have looked less forward to than this one. Oh wait, the football title game a couple of months ago. Two schools I loathe competing for a championship. Ugh.

It's killing me not being downtown today for Tigers opening day. After last year I vowed to make it a yearly tradition but two days off last week for wisdom teeth removal kind of killed that plan.

Favorite player of all time. Easy, Alan Trammell. I was 10 years old when he won the World Series MVP. 13 years old when he was completely jobbed out on the MVP (effin George Bell). And so yeah, favorite players from your younger years absolutely carry more weight than ones you pick as an adult. As a kid you buy baseball cards and hope to god you get their card, you have their posters up in your room, you pretend to be them when you are playing in the park with friends, you fight to get their number in little league. As an adult if you do those things you are pretty creepy.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Big D I am with you on Junior Griffey. Loved to watch that swing and would stand like him at the plate when I played ball. My favorite all time player in the history of baseball is Ted Williams. Any high school teacher or collge professor could count on a comparative study between Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.

Matt T said...

Keep in mind Suns/Mavs is not a lock to happen, the Suns will likely have the Spurs in the second round and the mavs could have the rockets, neither is a cake walk.

Favorite baseball player: Chipper Jones. I can't wait to see him in action this afternoon.

TJ said...

The Gators' win over OSU in December is misleading for more than just the Oden-was-injured and it-was-in-G'ville reasons. Remember, the game was tied at 40 in the second half when Oden went out of the game, not as much because of foul trouble but because he was horribly out of shape and winded to the point he was hurting the team on the court. With him out, the Gators turned it on and started going on a run. The Buckeyes then folded and seemed to just give up.

Tonite, there is no way that (a) Oden gets winded in the same way (especially if he gets in early foul trouble, which I'd argue would be a good thing for tOSU); (b) with Oden on the bench, the team has been much better recently; and (c) there is no way tOSU folds if the Gators go on a run.

No, I see a competive, down-to-the-wire game between the number one ranked and the number one seeded teams in the country. If I were neutral I think I would pick the Gators, but it would be a tough decision. I'm not neutral, so... Gators pull away in teh final minute or two to win by 7. I hope.

Oh, and Mark Grace. MY favorite Mark Grace moment is when he once tried to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park HR and completely ran out of gas rounding third, to the point he was thrown out by about, I dont know, 20 feet. I'm pretty sure the slowest guy on my brother's high school team in 2002 was faster than Mark Grace.

Natsfan74 said...

If Florida wins tonight, I'd be willing to bet that the number of hits on this blog will go down sharply in the next 2 days.

While I think that Florida is the better team tonight, I think that tOSU has a great chance for an upset. Dan finally got it right today when he said the X-Factor is Connelly. Yes, Oden is playing much better (and with 2 hands) than he was in December, but the real key for the Buckeyes will be the growth and maturity that the rest of the Thad 5 have had since December. The Gators are what we thought they were. They haven't changed or significantly improved since December, or really since last March. But this Buckeye team is significantly better than the one the Gators beat in December (ask Wisconsin about the Buckeyes' growth -- 3 point winners to 17 point losers in 2 months).

I think a Buckeyes win tonight would be the perfect ending to a great sports year for both schools. Florida entered the January BCS game with a lot of doubters and no one (outside Dan Shanoff) giving the Gators a chance to win. Well, I think the Buckeyes enter tonight with the same expectations and the chance to dethrone the most heralded college basketball team in years.

The key match-ups for tonight are Conley Jr. on Green and whoever Lighty is matched up against. Lighty can play 4 positions and defend bigger men with his athleticism. The final stat I will throw out there is that Florida shot 60% from the fied in the first match-up and over 74% in the 2nd half. I don't think it is possible for them to repeat that kind of shooting performance. If they do, they will win by more than 26. If Karma balances, and they shoot 30%, they will lose by 26. Otherwise, I think we will have a very competitive game tonight that will be more fun to watch than Jan 8.

Lastly, Dan -- I think you are right that Noah has the extreme potential to get a very costly Technical tonight. Watching the game on Saturday night, about midway through the first half my wife says to me "who is that jackass and why does he get away with being such a prick?" She went from someone who had not watched a Florida game all year to a Noah hater in about 7 seconds.

Favorite player of all time -- Ryne Sandberg and Jody Davis. I liked Davis' workmanlike ethic and the fact that he was a catcher. Sandberg is the original Chicago 23.

Patriots64 said...

Joe Carter for helping the Jays win back to back World Series!!

Tonight Ohio State wins a close one!

The Chairman said...

Favorite Player as a Kid:

Darrell Evans

Favorite Player now:

Justin Verlander

First, I don't trust people who pick their "favorite player" from anything other than their "favorite team."

Second, picking the All-Star from your favorite team is just too easy. Your "favorite" player has to show some style!

CMFost said...

Ok, So how good is the week going to be. Not only do you have the National Chapionship Games for Basketball(Men's and Women's), but also NCAA Frozen Four, and The opening of the MLB season.

But you also get the season premires of 3 great TV shows. The Shield, The Soprano's and Entourage.

Not A Gunslinger said...

Cecil Fielder

CMFost said...

as for tonight I am going back to a prediction that I made before the NC Football game. That Florida would get the Hat Trick of wins over Ohio State.

NC Football Game
Regular Season BB Game
NC Basketball Game

Also anyone else know when the last time to states had teams playing for a major championship in 2 different sports in the same year?

CMFost said...

My Sedar tonight is going to have to be fit in betweeb the Red Sox Opener and The NC Game. Man what a bad day for the first night of Passover.

Happy Passover to all who celebrate

CMFost said...

Yaz, Dwight Evans and Fred Lynn were my favorite growing up.

Ray Bourque is probably my favorite athlete all time for any sport.

Dan Shanoff said...

While I figured that there would be a lot of national title game talk in the Comments today, I am absolutely fascinated by your answers to the "favorite MLB player" question. Keep them coming!

Conley isn't a better NBA prospect than Oden, but he sure as hell is a more valuable component to this Ohio State team. And Conley is playing amazingly right now.

Patriots64 said...

@ cmfost- and possibly one of the most important NHL games in recent memory, Habs vs Leafs for final playoff spot on Sat. night!!

CMFost said...

pat64 would it be bad to root for both teams to lose and not make the playoffs.

verbal97 said...

Last year I wouldn't care about either team playing tonight. But now I really REALLY want Florida to lose. For no other reason than to have Dan have to eat some crow. There are no "sports gods" if Florida wins tonight.

My favorite player was and will forever be Don Mattingly. I am currently boycotting the HOF until(if) he gets in. I've been about 7-8 times because I'm from that area.

I got to see Morgan Pressel play last year as she was in the same group as my aunt. She seemed a lot less bratty in person, but her "entourage" were giant, giant tools. Speaking of, my aunt finished 19th in a major yesterday and made almost a third of what the T-19th players at the WhoGivesACrap Open yesterday in the PGA. That should have been the topic Martha Burk went after. Really, what's the effing difference between watching men and women hit a small, white ball into a hole 18 times, especially when watching on TV?!?!?!

verbal97 said...

Didn't the Spurs and Astros play for a title in 2005?

CMFost said...

Interesting Boston Radio news if anyone cares. But ESPNradio 890 in Boston has dropped the Jim Rome Show.

Unknown said...

Favorite player growing up was definitely Sweet Lou Pinella. Not the most talented guy but what made me love him was that he was as passionate as the fans. He was so pissed off after striking out he walked down the tunnel to the clubhouse with his bat - and smashed every single lightbulb in the tunnel. His roommate (they had roommates back then?) said Lou woke him up at 2AM. Lou was standing in front of a mirror with a bat and said, "I got it!" He figured out how he was going to hit the opposing pitcher the next day.

CMFost said...

Verbal I was talking about all 4 teams. For example:

if say this where to happen in would be equal:

The Red Sox play the Mets in The World Series


The Patriots play the Giants in the Super Bowl

Jingoist said...

I do not know if I could ever narrow my favorite MLB-er down to one player, but as close as I can get would be Nolan Ryan, with Mark Grace a close second.

Current player, I have to go with "Big Papi" David Ortiz. I've liked him since he was a role player for the Twins and seeing as I am a Red Sox fan, it just makes it better now.

Unknown said...

I might watch a little of the game tonight but it is a big don't care. Now the new miniseries Planet Earth which I know get in High Definition is what HiDef TV is all about.

Unknown said...

I vote Phelps as the greatest athlete in the world right now. 7 Golds, 5 world records. Like someone said, if his teammate didn't false start, it may have been 8. Also this kid is 21 years old.

Josh said...

As a Pirate fan, my favorite player growing up was Sid Bream. He belonged to the same gym as my dad, so I saw him there a couple of times and he always said hi.

Then he went on to crush many young boys' dreams in the 1992 NLCS. I will never forgive him.

DP said...

my favorite player is has and always will be Rickey Henderson

Brian in Oxford said...

Dan, aren't there bitter herbs in the seder meal? Could be a little extra-bitter this year for you!

I've already bitched in the Dan Shan Fan fantasy baseball league, but how the hell do last night's stats not count for the week? I have Eckstein AND LoDuca.

The thing about cheering for Tennessee over Rutgers is that, if you let them win one, they could easily roll off 3 or 4 in a row. (Kinda like when I felt sorry for Yankees fans back in '96)

I voted for Stacey Dales, but it doesn't look good. Who wouldn't enjoy the idea of having her post you up at the gym, and then take you home for dinner-plus? (Oh wait, am I reading too much into these?)

I'd have to say for Beilein, it's easier to win the Big 10 than the Big East. First team to 50 wins every night!

And how about the guy who false-started in the relay and cost Phelps the chance at 8 golds? Hopefully no icy stares....

rukrusher said...

Where does the NCAA Woman's Hoops Title rank among the NCAA Crowns? In terms of publicity for the school I say fourth Nationwide, but third in the Northeast where College Baseball is not that big. You can argue Mens Hoops and Football are 1 and 1A but the Womans Hoops title is probably 3A/4. That being said, as a Rutgers Alum, I always wanted a couple of Mens titles before the Womans Hoop crown. I would brag on a Mens Soccer or Lacrosse title more then the Womans Hoops. I just cannot get into this game. Awful shooting, half court drain the clock offense, post play with poor fundamentals, it is just awful to watch. I am not sure I could go to these games if my daughter was the star and not bring something else to do.

rukrusher said...

Here is another question for the masses. If you haed Ohio State winning the Championship, and the win for your $20 entry would pay $1100 but a loss puts you out of the money, how much would you put on Florida to win to hedge your bet? In other words, how much would you risk on Florida in order to guarantee a return on the game tonight? Money line at -110.

thistlewarrior said...

Happy Opening Day! It's pretty much a holiday in Cincy.

Favorite childhood player: Barry Larkin

Favorite All-time: Roberto Clemente

Favorite Current: Aaron Cook (SP, Rockies; I graduated HS with him & he is one of the best human beings I've ever met)

I almost turned off the UNC-UT game last night thinking the Vols were done. I don't think it was so much NC choking as UT really turning it on. Also, Ivory Latta is almost as annoying as Joakim Noah.

Phelps must be cyborg.

Anonymous said...

how bout least favorite player of all time.

Armando Bernitez, and Jeffrey Maier if he ever makes it.

Andy said...

My favorite player in baseball would be Greg Maddux. Yes, I'm a Cubs fan and he did abandon the Cubs for the Braves, but the man is amazing. To win as many games and Cy Youngs as he did while never hitting 90 MPH is just plain amazing. Personally, I think he's better then Clemens because he's smarter than the hitters and he's more creative. Clemens just has the fastball. Maddux has 4 pitches that can get you out.

Matt T said...

It was you that predicted the 3 wins for that Gators back in January. i knew someone had, but I couldn't remember who. check the post from Saturday.

If they win tonight, you should go play the lotto, since you can predict the future.

BLT said...

I filled out a questionnaire at the dentist when I was growing up (10/11 y.o.), and they bring it up every time I am in for a favorite player (hero)...

Darryl Strawberry!

Sticking to my guns...


Unknown said...

Ron Gant- When I was a kid he had back to back 30-30 years (which I belive put with BB and Willy Mays). It didn't hurt that the only games that we got at that time were TBS and WGN games, but I loved watching him play.

TJ said...

@rukrusher, That's an interesting question about the ranking of the NCAA titles. I would argue that at UF the order of importance is: (1) football, (2) men's basketball, (3) women's volleyball, (4) baseball, (5) gymnastics, (6) soccer (we only have women's), (7) softball, (8) women's basketball, (9) women's tennis, (10) men's golf.

I'm totally guessing there, and baseball might actually be lower on the totem pole than gymnastics, which is not exactly small potatoes here.

Mega said...

Favorite player of all time: Carlton Fisk.

CMFost said...

My Short American League preview is up on my blog.

check it out

C.West said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.West said...

I am now the biggest OSE fan. I knew I should have put money on this.

Dan thanks for putting up another good league

jhawkjjm said...

Dales over Andrews anyday of the week and twice on sundays!

"Favorite" baseball player, Tim Wakefield. Don't know why but I just have liked watching him since he played for the Pirates.

rukrusher said...

@rukrusher, That's an interesting question about the ranking of the NCAA titles. I would argue that at UF the order of importance is: (1) football, (2) men's basketball, (3) women's volleyball, (4) baseball, (5) gymnastics, (6) soccer (we only have women's), (7) softball, (8) women's basketball, (9) women's tennis, (10) men's golf.

I am surprised about the Volleyball ranking, is that big in the SEC? I always thought that was a Pac 10 big sport and no where else, As for Gymnastics I have a hard time believing College Gymnastics is that big, I mean, the best Gymnastic athletes are already in the Olympics before College, and I will not accept Soccer and Softball as being more beneficial to a schools profile as hoops.

ToddTheJackass said...

I grew up with Jose Canseco as my favorite player... no wonder I'm such a cynical, bitter person...

Pedro will always hold a special place in my heart. He was the best pitcher EVER for a few years, all the while being undersized for his position.

The Don Zimmer beatdown only adds to the mystique.

Arroyo gets an honorable mention, since I think he's probably the coolest guy in all of sports right now.

verbal97 said...


Women's basketball is NOT third for Northeastern schools. Men's Hockey for many schools is third, or at schools like UNH and Maine is first (as it also is in many upper Midwest schools like North Dakota). How easily non-Northern people forget about NCAA hockey.


Sorry, I misread that. Also, one (like my father) may argue about your using the Giants as a New York State team.

Without researching I don't know, I'm sure it has to have happened at some point though.

Brian in Oxford said...

Oh, it so obvious that whatever gets played up and wins the most is going to hold the most prestige. Hell, at Trinity in Hartford, the squash team titles are the most important.

I think schools should take it upon themselves to identify, specifically, as a "football", "soccer", "basketball" school....or a squash school.

When a school tries to dominate every sport, they just come off looking like WalMart or something. Hey, we've got a bakery! Hey, buy your tools here! Hey, women's lingerie!

TJ said...

I am surprised about the Volleyball ranking, is that big in the SEC?

I don't think volleyball is all that big in the SEC, but it is pretty big at UF. It easily draws more fans than women's basketball, and I think has a more consistent following than the baseball team (which gets followed by anyone other than the diehards only during times like the (almost) championship run in '05). There was a stretch of almost a decade where our team didn't lose an SEC match, and consistently went far in the national tournament. Our coach also is I believe the only woman coach to take a team to the final match. So when she leaves and the team falls off, volleyball's popularity here will drop I'm sure, but for now I think of all the niche sports at the school, volleyball has the biggest, most consistent following.

Am I spending my day (over)analysing things like the popularity of UF volleyball so I don't have to think about the impending title game (that scares the shit out of me) tonite? ...maybe.

rukrusher said...

Women's basketball is NOT third for Northeastern schools. Men's Hockey for many schools is third, or at schools like UNH and Maine is first (as it also is in many upper Midwest schools like North Dakota). How easily non-Northern people forget about NCAA hockey.

You might be right, I know NCAA Hockey is non-existent in the mid-atlantic states, New York, Jersey, PA, MD, DEL, and VA. I just was going on national publicity, it is clear that ESPN gives more resources to Womans Hoops then anything other then the big 3 for men. I just think if you asked Presidents and AD's at Division 1 schools what programs help the school the most, Womens Hoops would be voted 4.

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

Growing up in Boston, my favorite player of my formative years was the great Oil Can Boyd. Keep in mind, my "formative" years with sports was probably a little earlier than most people.

He has since been trumped by David Ortiz.

Did anyone else see Blades of Glory over the weekend and is now in love with Jenna Fischer? I always enjoy her on The Office, but now I have a full-blown crush on her after that movie.

ToddTheJackass said...

By the way, after I saw an interview with Lee Humphrey this weekend, I'm convinced he's inbred.

I mean, he has to be, right?

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, a small request. If/when Florida wins, can you do a separate entry for that tomorrow, and then do a non-championship game quickie? I know I'll boycott the blog for tomorrow if there's too much more nauseating homerism going on...

I wish I liked Ohio St., but really other than Conley and Lighty, they're just not that likeable otherwise. Still, I'd take Old Lebron over Noah any day.

And Lee Humphrey is still totally inbred.

Chuck Wessell said...

Regarding the Mets game - last year is over. It's not like winning last night is going to send the Mets to the World Series.
That said I HATE the Cardinals, so any win over them is extra special.
It's going to be fun seeing how it all plays out for this team. Right now our rotation is old guy, we-have-no-idea-how-old guy, young guy who could be good, young guy who could be really good, and head case who will probably exceed his pitch count in the third inning. The Mets are examining the rules to see if they can have Beltran play both center and right fields (Shawn Green is just going to get in his way anyway) and thus get to bat twice each time through the lineup.

Dan Shanoff said...

Reasonable request. I'll have a separate post about the CBB title game, then everything else in its usual "Quickie" format.

Meanwhile, here's a concept I've been thinking about: If the name on the jersey was "Duke" or "UNC" or any other traditional basketball power and the circumstances around Florida were exactly the same (win a title, stars all forego NBA to return, on cusp of winning another title), would they be getting more respect as a "Best Ever" contender?

Consider how well USC was treated, however laughably, in this "best ever" historical debate in its run-up to the Rose Bowl vs. Texas. (On second thought, given how it turned out for USC, I'd rather be a fan of a team that is underrated or undervalued but wins the title.)

verbal97 said...

In retrospect, I think I agree with Brian in Oxford. There is no way to form a national consensus on the most important programs for a given school. Each school has a different set-up and different priorities. Most D1 basketball schools don't have a big football program (if they even have one at all). For instance, at BC the order would for most people (not me) be football, men's basketball, men's hockey, then a distant fourth women's basketball, men's soccer, etc. At BU where they don't have a football team, it would most likely be mens basketball, hockey, women's bball...

Also, I see using ESPN to gauge popularity and general consensus to be a failed argument from the start. If ESPN was a barometer, poker would be the number 1 spectator sport. Women's basketball simply isn't as big as ESPN bigs it up to be. It's sad how much ESPN has plummetted (imo) over the past few years. It used to be I had to watch Sportscenter every morning, now I haven't seen 10 minutes in any given morning for a number of years. Even their website is falling off. I guess this would lend itself to a different sort of argument though.

CMFost said...

Verbal I have to disagree with you. For BU and BC i think the #1 sport is MEn's Hockey. If you notice it is the only sport either of those schools are consistently in contention for a National Title. Football and BBall they will never win a nat'l title or do not have a program so I think Hockey for that reason is the top sport for those schools

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, thanks for the request of the separate quickie. I won't need to boycott like I did after Florida won the NC in football.

As for the Best. Ever. conversation here has very little to do with Florida actually being one of the best ever teams. IF they win tonight, certainly they will be one of the two best expansion-era teams in NCAA basketball history. I don't think the fact that it's not a more traditional powerhouse has anything to do with it. It's just that no one here wants to give you the satisfaction of saying that this Florida team is possibly one of the Best. Ever.

I'm sure you're probably surprised/impressed at how many people now hate Florida because of you (and Noah).

CorrND said...

Donny Baseball. And I can't tell you how great it was to see him back on the Yanks bench a couple years ago, this time as a coach.

Geoff said...

I think they don't get more talk about being "best ever" because the state of college basketball since the mid 90s has been pretty horrible. Kind of hard to look at a team and think they are the best ever when they are winning in an era when no good players stay in college for more than a year and most of the great ones skipped college completely.

Patriots64 said...

Pats don't have a China Trip now which is good!!
" The National Football League, which last summer trumpeted so proudly its entry into China with a planned preseason game between Seattle and New England that would take place in August, will announce early this week the game is canceled."

rukrusher said...

Verbal I have to disagree with you. For BU and BC i think the #1 sport is MEn's Hockey. If you notice it is the only sport either of those schools are consistently in contention for a National Title. Football and BBall they will never win a nat'l title or do not have a program so I think Hockey for that reason is the top sport for those schools

If Hockey is the biggest sport at B.C. then the move to the ACC makes even less sense then before. Clearly the Admin at B.C. would disagree otherwise why spend all that money on travel for the lesser sports if Mens Hockey was the marquee program?

Brian in Oxford said...

I think BC just made the move to get 20 easy hockey wins in the ACC...what, oh never mind.

verbal97 said...


I see your point in terms of competition. But most sports fans nationwide don't watch NCAA hockey. That's why I put in parentheses my disagreement. I think rukrusher's bringing up the ACC move illustrates that football and basketball are BC's marquee programs at a national level. Most people my freshman year knew BC because of a couple of high profile football games and an Elite 8 run in the early '90s. Many of them hadn't even heard of the Beanpot before arriving.

rukrusher said...

As for using ESPN to support the position of Woman's Hoops being the 4th biggest title, I think it is relevant to the discussion. The whole point is what Titles benefit the name recognition of the school and peoples perception of the school. Like it or not, ESPN covering this Tournament as much as they do raises the profile of the Championship Title.

Hell, it was ESPN that brought Pat Summit and Geno Auriema into the national spotlight. So yes, in order to rank the importance of the Title on the schools national reputation, Woman's Hoops in my mind is the fourth biggest Title, regardless of whether you are happier to see your school win Hockey, Soccer, Lacrosse, Wrestling, Swimming or Volleyball or any other Olympic Sports. The fact is, if the accomplishment of the Title is relegated to the "Other Notes" of the sports section it is not raising the schools profile.

ToddTheJackass said...


I disagree, I think BC does have a (very outside) chance at winning a national title in basketball at some point. I mean last year (2006), we were a dark-horse Final Four team, and a couple years before that started the year 20-0. And if Sean Williams would've been there this year, who knows... Not saying we're a perrenial powerhouse, but saying we'll never win I don't think is completely fair or accurate either...

Also having gone to BC, football is king, and then depending on the year it's either hockey or basketball. The success of the basketball team is fairly recent, (last 7 years), but in the past few years it's probably bigger than hockey at BC (NC hockey year not included). I know from experience to get a front row in the student section at BC for a hockey game all you had to do was arrive a little more than an hour before the game, and for basketball, it's at least a few hours for each conference game. It's also way more difficult to get basketball tickets than hockey tickets.

BU is a lot different than BC in that it really only is a hockey school. BC is still in the ACC after all...

CMFost said...

ACC move was purely financial. It still has done nothing to improve the Football and Basketball teams. They are always going to be good enough to make a bowl but not the national championship and they will make the NCAA's most year but flame out in the 1st or 2nd round.

Where as the Hockey program consitently is contending for a National title.

Chris said...

I hate saying this but I think Dan's wife's team just has to many weapons and answers for OSU. I hope not, because I will root like crazy for the Buckeyes tonight (much lesser of 2 evils) because no one (except Gator bandwagon jumpers) wants to see that annoying chick Noah dance after the game tonight. In fact, if Dan's wife's team gets control of the game I'm checking out early. The next time I want to see the "most annoying college basketball player in the last 25 years" (i.e. Noah) is when he is getting posterized by Garnett, Howard, Boozer, Stoudemire, Haslem, Jefferson, Randolph, and every other power forward in the NBA. If Dan's wife's team does win, there is no way I'll be checking this blog for a while. If OSU happens to pull the upset, it is safe to say the participation of here will be way up tomorrow. I just don't see it playing out that way.

BTW, Dan, you said during the live game blog that even though you can see why people hate Noah, you have to give a nod to his passion. Uh, no we don't. Most players play with passion, they just don't have like a 5 year old in line at Toys-r-Us when they do it. As I stated before, let any Duke player pound his chest seemingly every other play, scream all the time, and pull his jersey over his head after a foul call and you'd be on here killing him, not giving a nod to his passion.

verbal97 said...

fair point rukrusher...there's no doubt that ESPN gives women's bball a higher profile. I guess I was just arguing that ESPN has lost it's integrety. Like it or not, ESPN has gotten way to big for it's own good.

David Kippe said...


rukrusher said...

Still, it does not matter, the woman's hoops games are unwatchable as a sporting event. I will be watching the Rangers and Mets tomorrow, and checking in on the RU game just to see the score.

verbal97 said...

There seesms to be a lot of Mattingly fans here. It's a shame he gets punished by the baseball writers for being on a crappy Yankee any team with Andy Hawkins or Pascual Perez as their "aces" would be a contender for a title.

ToddTheJackass said...

Also, where does College Baseball fit into the discussion? Now that it seems like more kids are going to college en route to the pros, the level of competition seems to be better.

And I think there's a fair argument to be made that other than the CBB tourney, that the CWS is the best college tourney.

David Kippe said...


rukrusher said...

And I think there's a fair argument to be made that other than the CBB tourney, that the CWS is the best college tourney.

I had it third nationally. I do not get into it, but clearly it matters more then Woman's Hoops in my mind. If Rutgers made it to Omaha, I would be watching.

ToddTheJackass said...

In my experience, you have to be careful about people who say Mattingly is their favorite player. With some people that I know, Mattingly is the standard cop out answer for people who are afraid to be labeled as bandwagon Yankee fans. Not saying that anyone here who put that fits that description, just that I've heard that answer/excuse one too many times to not be a little skeptical.

As for him being in the Hall, is there anyone in the Hall who has similar numbers to him? I don't think so. He was very good, but his numbers weren't great enough nor did he play long enough to warrant being in the Hall. No one would even give him any support had he played for the Expos or the Rangers...

That being said, Mattingly is my favorite Yankee ever. Why? Because he was a loser...

rukrusher said...

The one callers to WFAN have used over the years to argue for Mattingly getting in the hall is Puckett.

Jaygomp33 said...

i disagree, Dan I have been a huge fan of the blog and the daily quickie but the fact is I felt better knowing that it was absurd to believe that when both teams were on an even playing field like they were last night, that the mets were clearly the better team. With the exception of alou that lineup was identical to the cardinals lineup and we did not have mota in the pen nor did we have bradford. If it werent for the pitching on this team being depleted in the playoffs, we would be in the W.S. and maybe we'd be celebrating a championship, so yes as a diehard met fan I needed a big time W to start this season to help begin what could have been last year.

rukrusher said...

Baseball Reference list of similar players.

Cecil Cooper (934)
Garret Anderson (910)
Wally Joyner (907)
Hal McRae (900)
Kirby Puckett (895) *
Will Clark (879)
Tony Oliva (872)
Jeff Conine (868)
Keith Hernandez (862)
Jim Bottomley (860) *

* Hall of Famer

David Kippe said...


verbal97 said...


Mattingly's numbers are almost identical to Puckett's and he got in on the first ballot. In fact, I did some research two years back and as of then the "average" hall of fame offensive statistics were almost identical to his numbers as well. Plus, he was the best defensive first baseman of his generation and one of the best ever. And I don't think I have to tell you, as a Red Sox fan, the importance of having a good defensive first baseman.

rukrusher said...

And DAVID stays true to form.

Jen said...

My favorite MLB players growing up were Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Julio Franco.
Favorite players as an adult are/were Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel and Dave Justice.

My favorite Indian now is Grady Sizemore.


ToddTheJackass said...

I'll concede Puckett is a comparable, but Puckett shouldn't have been a first ballot Hall of Famer, though, right?

But assuming the two are comparable, Puckett still does have an edge in that he played Center Field, a much more demanding position than 1B. Winning six gold gloves in CF counts for more than what Mattingly did at 1B (yes, he was a good first baseman).

Also winning the two rings is a BIG factor over Mattingly, fair or not.

Do comparisons by position though. Compare his numbers to other 1B, (preferably ones that played after the dead ball era).

Look, if there were a Hall of Very Good, Mattingly would be in. If his career had been longer, with more power, he'd be in the Hall of Fame. But his numbers as a first baseman simply aren't impressive enough or long enough that he should be in the Hall.

But please, don't play the "disrespect" card for any Yankee.

chitown italian said...

Being from Chicago and "riding" to Cubs games on my dad's shoulder's I always loved Sandberg. He played hard. He was in the right position. To me he was the ultimate player and standard for 2B.

I guess I was around 12/13 and my dad was on a plane with Danny Cox's father. Danny Cox of the St. Louis Cardinals and WC Blue Jays. My dad got Danny's info and he met us at a few games.

As a kid growing up loving baseball it was so cool meeting him, getting balls from him, and getting balls and cards signed by him. He introduced me to Van Slyke, Andujar, and a few others.

I have to admit that was pretty damn cool getting to say "I know a Major League Pitcher" even though he played for the Cards and I love my Cubbies.

Unknown said...

To answer your question, the key thing is how much more likely is it that you think Florida will win?
You have to assume that there is an even 50-50 chance for now to hedge your bet and insure you will come out with a win. I assume that there is no point spread (currently at Fl -4.5) and you win $1 for ever $1.10 bet if FL wins. Sorry I am not a gambler so I assume that is what it means.
Your originally $20 bet is sunk money so it doesn't factor in - you already lost it.

A bet of $576.19 would let you win
$523.81 (1100-576.19) if Ohio State wins. If Florida wins, you get $523.81 (576.19/1.1).

So you are guaranteed to win $523.81 if you hedge your bet. Of course the more likely you think it is that Florida wins, the more you should bet. My advice is to bet $576.19 and guarantee you winnings.

Hope that helps.

rukrusher said...
Here is another question for the masses. If you haed Ohio State winning the Championship, and the win for your $20 entry would pay $1100 but a loss puts you out of the money, how much would you put on Florida to win to hedge your bet? In other words, how much would you risk on Florida in order to guarantee a return on the game tonight? Money line at -110.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

Personally, the college World Series is the best sporting event that no one knows about. I fully believe that one day, it will be an event that many look foward too (not a Final Four level, but it will be big) with the growth of college sports.

As for the Gators. Best ever? No. But even if you hate the Gators, Noah, or anything associated with Florida this is a team that should be applauded. No concern over the number of shots they get. No concwern about face time. No concern about the NBA.

Everytime someone says something bad about college athletes not caring, I will point to this Gator team.


Joe( ATL)

verbal97 said...


There are many factors you can continue to look into. First, what first basemen whose careers intersect with Mattingly's are better? McGwire? Steroid issue...Murray? Longevity...etc. Second, it's true that Puckett played a more physically demanding position, but on the flip side of that, how much did playing in the offense haven HHH Dome contribute to his offensive numbers? Third, look at their injuries. Puckett lost the last few years of his career. Mattingly was stripped of the same last few years (retired at 35) and was also stripped of power right in the middle of his prime. The injuries took more of a toll on Mattingly's numbers than Puckett's and they still were very much the same.

I literally can sit here for a good 20 minutes but don't want to post something too, too long. To answer your question, no, Puckett should NOT have been a first ballot HOF, but I do believe that both should (have) got in eventually. One good thing about him being a first ballot HOF was that he at least got to enjoy it before he died. I just hope that Mattingly will someday be able to also.

PS: I wasn't playing a "disrespect" card, rather a "sour grapes" card. The "I don't like the fact that the Yanks always win, so I'll neglect voting for their best player in their worst title drought". And if you don't think that doesn't happen see Matsui, Worcester, Rookie of the Year vote.

Andy said...

I have to admit, I don't think Mattingly deserves to be in the Hall and I DO think that Puckett deserves to be in. You say Mattingly was all that was good about baseball? I tell you Puckett was all that was better. Look at the guy for crying out loud. Puckett didn't even look like a ballplayer. He looked like a guy that helps pull out the tarp. And yes, the World Series rings make all the difference. Mattingly and Puckett were both very good, but not great players at their respective positions. But Puckett won two rings, and was a major part of why the Twins won them. That homerun won the Series for the Twins. So as good as Mattingly was, he wasn't great, and couldn't win a championship.

Unknown said...

I'll touch on some points....

Favorite player when I was growing up was Cal by a mile. That guy was the man, errr... iron man.
Favorite player now is Big Papi because there's so much to like and nothing to hate.

Florida should win based on talent but I'm not sure they will. Oden could take over the game and force the three headed monster to the bench with foul trouble. He could also force everyone to collapse on him and be kicking it to Conley/Lewis/Cook and 3's could rain.
You could think that Oden isn't the most important but you'd be wrong, really really wrong. Here's something you might not have considered... compensating for a monster 7 foot center is hard, if he goes to the bench and the team is completely different it's really hard. You are essentially preparing for two teams.
Oden's impact is like Shaq because sometimes you can't see it. Conley is the Wade who does the visible things. Shaq did not appear to be a huge factor to the Heat last year to the untrained eye. But everyone who knows basketball knew that Shaq on the court means the other team doesn't go inside. That's half your offense. Same with Oden. Conley and Wade get more because Oden and Shaq need to be focussed on by the other team or else they will eat you alive.

Did anybody notice that Barry Bonds hit 7 homers in 45 ABs in spring training? That's just crazy.

As a Bullets fan Caron going down stinks. The Arenas/Butler/Jamison monster was so versitile and hard for teams to deal with that it could have turned into a real big run.

Dana Altman-Arkansas, John Beilein-Michigan are both good choices.

Rutgers is pathetic because they are a large university and their last NCAA Championship was 1949 Men's Fencing. This stat courtesy of Trey Wingo.

ESPN Radio online now allows you to get the main stream plus the ones from Chicago, Dallas, New York, LA, and Pittsburgh. That's mighty helpful.

The Jews- you don't know how big of a deal levenned products are until they are gone. Happy Passover to all, esspecially are two great Jews...
Morgan Pressel you go girl. Way to make Michelle Wie feel like more of a loser than she already is, which is pretty big.
and Jordan Farmar who became the first player to play in an NBDL and an NBA game in the same day. Wow. Umm, I'm not sure what that's good for besides trivia.

Speaking of Trivia... there were only 4 "true upsets" (more than a 1 difference in seed number) in this years tourney. VCU/DUKE Winthrop/ND Vandy/Wazzou UNLV/Wisc. That's retarded.

Pavano just gave up a leadoff single followed by a stolen base.

Can't wait for Santana/Bedard tonight...

jhawkjjm said...

I'll second the College World Series being great. I soured on it a little bit when that LSU team racked up like 1000 hrs in the season and the games were all 20-15 scores. But the last few years, pitching seems to have come back to the college game. The championship last year between UNC and Oregon St was a great game.

I wasn't out here in the KC area when Brett played, but he's still basically a god around here. And the Royal's Alex Gordon is drawing comparisons. Lots of Hype but Gordon will be a great player, meaning he'll sign a huge contract with another team when the Royals won't (can't?) pay him. (Like Damon, Dye, Beltran...)

verbal97 said...

alright andy, I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion, even one that's misguided. (coughcough*JackMorris*coughcough)

The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

From the What The Hell Just Happened? department:

The New Jersey Devils have fired head coach Claude Julien. GM Lou Lamoriello will take over for the (tiny) remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.

As a Penguin fan, I can only hope that this distracts the Devils enough that they'll lose the 1-point lead they have on the Pens in the Atlantic Division.

jhawkjjm said...

Did I see this right? A-Dud has an error in the 1st then strikes out with 2 on? That's just absolutely perfect!

CMFost said...

Ketih I heard on my way back from lunch and was surprised about Lou firing his coach this close to the playoffs.

Unknown said...

Jeter and A-Rod love errors.

Love them.

ToddTheJackass said...

No, Jack Morris should not be in the Hall of Fame.

@ Verbal, I'll give you that Mattingly was in an era of not-so-great 1B, (though Eddie Murray is a definite HOFer and McGwire and maybe Palmeiro probably put up better stats off the juice than Mattingly).

The problem with that logic is that you can't just reward someone for being better than other crappy players. You can't say that because Mattingly was better than Will Clark, or that because he wasn't on the juice (that we know of), that he deserves to be in the HOF. In relation to his position historically, he just doesn't rank very high at all. Playing 1B makes a huge difference.

The way I see it, Mattingly had 5 very good seasons (with '85 being his best but also inflated when he hit behind the Rickey and his .419 OBP and 80 steals). He had a few other good seasons, but the lack of longevity kills him, and his "counting" stats, just aren't in line with other 1B. I haven't run the numbers, but I can't imagine there are any Hall of Fame 1B in the post-dead ball era who had less than 350HRs, and Mattingly only had 222.

And lastly, Kirby had a lot more speed than Mattingly... weird to think about, but Kirby had 120 more SB than Mattingly in his career. Between the position (CF vs. 1B, the rings, and the speed), I think there's enough difference to easily separate Kirby from Mattingly. Though I'd contend Kirby is the borderline candidate, not Mattingly.

Oh, and you're totally right about Matsui deserving ROTY. But I think that was more a knock on his age and "rookie" status than a Yankee slight, but they both were probably factors.

@ David, it's called Caps Lock... unpress it... or switch to Decaf.

Brian in Oxford said...

The Devils fired Robbie Ftorek in when 2001? With 8 games left, then won the Cup with Larry Robinson....

This is clear trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice.

So Don Sutton's doing Nats games this year....after doing the Braves for so long, how will *he* adjust to all the losing (3-0 already). Announcers, if they're kinda "for hire", have to get used to that, too. How about Bob Carpenter, leaves the Cardinals and they go on to win the Series last year.

jhawkjjm said...

stooncer- don't forget Kansas will return everyone (except maybe Rush) If Rush returns they return everyone and add 6'11" Cole Aldritch, who supposedly was outplaying Love in the practices leading up to the McD's game.

Unknown said...

Goes the home run bell as Brian McCann hits the first home run this year.

ToddTheJackass said...

Julian Wright could be a top 10 pick if he turns pro. But yeah, Kansas could be filthy next year. Of course, they still have Bill Self until proven otherwise.

verbal97 said...


I wasn't saying Jack Morris is a HOF, I'm saying Jack Morris was a much bigger factor for the '91 WS win than Puckett.

And without starting another discussion, you simply cannot compare eras, you can only compare people within eras. Mattingly came during a "slight dead ball" era where 50 HR seasons were non-existant and high 30s often put you in the running for HR king. This is the same problem with people who say Jim Rice shouldn't be in the HOF. Their numbers are being compared with the "steroid era" numbers and that's incredibly unfair. Also, Mattingly would have greatly benefited from the Palmeiro/McGwire training methods in both the power and longevity factors. I think integrety in this day and age of baseball should be factored in on top of all the other evidence I've presented.

By the way, Palmeiro was a singles hitter before he (allegedly) started on the juice.

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...


I'm not sure what to make of what you're saying here. You're claiming to have Ohio State at 55:1 odds to win the title, which I guess is possible, but doesn't seem particularly reasonable.

And you're claiming Florida's money line tonight is -110, which isn't even close. As a 4.5 point favorite, the lowest money line price you're going to get on Florida is probably -225.

So you're not going to get a very good deal with a hedge right now.

The best possible hedge you have in this situation would be to guarantee yourself about $325 either way (not including your original $20 bet). To do that, you'd have to put about $775 on the Florida money line. That's still a pretty good amount of money to make on a $20 bet, but are you willing to give up a chance at $1100 to settle for $325 guaranteed?

ToddTheJackass said...

Tough to say when Palmeiro started the juice, but he did start off as an average hitter...

I disagree though, when you're talking about the Hall of Fame, you're talking about the best ever at baseball, not just the best for every given era. Not saying era doesn't matter, but

Rice also had better counting stats than Mattingly. But I'm not so sure he really is a true HOFer either. That "most feared hitter" argument doesn't really fly in my book.

As for Puckett, he hit .357 in the '87 World Series, and hit 2 HRs including a game 6 walk-off in the '91 World Series. Morris will be remembered for the most clutch pitching performance ever, but Puckett got them there to a certain extent. So it's not to say Puckett didn't earn his rings.

Patriots64 said...

5-0 Cleveland up on White Sox after half an inning.

Indians are going to score a lot of runs this season I predict!

Jen said...

Grady Sizemore hit the second pitch of the game out in Chicago. Cleveland's up 5-0 after the top of the first....ahhh, let's hold onto the lead!

David Kippe said...

sorry bout the caps lock. we type everything in caps lock here for our order forms, lol. just use to it.

CMFost said...

Not a good day to have conteras on your fantasy team.

David Kippe said...

I have to say that Jack Morris not in the Hall to this day makes me shake my head in bewilderment (sp?)

ToddTheJackass said...

Early Studs:
Hanley Ramirez
Brian McCann
John Smoltz

Early Duds:
Jose Contreras
Yankees defense

jhawkjjm said...

Julian Wright has said he'll be back already (though that could change). He's on schedule to graduate next year (jr year) so it seems unlikely that he'll go.

And for the not so subtle promo, I got a write up of KU's outlook player by player on my blog.

Unknown said...


Are we playing eachother this week?

IkeKrizzule said...

2 quick points:
1. I think you put too much emphasis on the 26 point victory earlier on. Not because it was from an earlier game, but because it was a basketball game. The best team doesn't always win a single basketball game. Is Pheonix now 22 points better than Dallas? They were yesterday, but when/if they meet in the playoffs what happened yesterday doesn't mean jack.
2. If you watched the Suns/Mavs game you would have seen an intense game between 2 very good teams. The Suns were on fire, and pulled away, but there was no question in my mind that both teams were very serious about winning the game. The non-interest is probably because it is just a basketball game, and regardless of the result the only thing that matters is what happens when they play the Conf. Finals.

CMFost said...

Yes Guy, I think we are.

I have a question about Florida, don't they only start 1 senior? Could they not if they win this year decide to come back and do something no team has done in a long time and that is 3 peat

Brian in Oxford said...

Bump Wills once hit the 2nd pitch of the season out. I think Dwight Evans ('86) is the only one to hit the first pitch out on opening day. Off should-be HoF'er Jack Morris, no less.

The reason you can include Morris in the Hall, is that the Hall *should* represent the best of all eras. Otherwise, all the dead-ball pitchers with ERAs below 2.5 would be in, and nobody else would look worthy.

rukrusher said...

I'm not sure what to make of what you're saying here. You're claiming to have Ohio State at 55:1 odds to win the title, which I guess is possible, but doesn't seem particularly reasonable.

Well, if you select the games in your pool correctly and it comes down to you or the guy who picked Florida, you do have OSU at 55:1.

verbal97 said...

I'm not saying Puckett wasn't a major contributor, I was just using a clever way to show that he alone didn't win a championship. Championships shouldn't define a single player in a team sport. To use a different example, do you think that it's fair that Ron Santo is out of the HOF when if you take his career exactly as it played out but put him on a WS winner he'd be certainly in the HOF? The championship argument is a dumb one in my humble opinion.

Also, your era argument is also flawed. By your stance, you're saying that Barry Bonds hitting 715 and 756 makes him a better (HR) hitter than Ruth and Aaron. You have to look at eras because the game ebbs and flows and changes between them. Babe Ruth didn't play against black players, but at the same time the stadiums were a lot larger back then and there was no thinned out pitching due to (over)expansion. You can only compare him to what he played with and against.

Jen said...

Pitching change for the White Sox already...7-2 Tribe.

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm not saying eras don't count, I'm saying that they don't make up for the fact that Mattingly only hit 220 HRs, and only had 5 very good seasons. There's just no way that you can have a 1B in the Hall of Fame in the post-dead ball era with that few. Also it's the same era that Eddie Murray hit 500+, Schmidt 500+, so it's not like it was a true dead-ball era.

Normally the championship argument doesn't matter, but it does separate Kirby from Mattingly. As does Kirby's better speed, and his CF eligibility.

And saddest perhaps of all to say, I think you have to say that Bonds (sleeziness/cheating aside), is better than Aaron, and in the company of Ruth. And your argument is actually flawed about stadiums as well, since Ruth played a lot of games with an extremely shallow RF porch in both the Polo Grounds and the early Yankees Stadium. (Ruth was a dead pull hitter, so the cavernous dimensions of Polo Grounds and Yankees Stadium didn't adversely affect him).

Eras do matter, but they don't overcome for the fact that Mattingly didn't dominate his era, and his counting stats aren't that impressive.

Patriots64 said...

Early stud as well Adam Dunn with 2 homers. Reds up 3-0 on Cubs!

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...


Well, if you select the games in your pool correctly and it comes down to you or the guy who picked Florida, you do have OSU at 55:1.

Ah, ok, I didn't put 2-and-2 together there. I'm so used to talking about gambling with guys who do nothing but straight gamble on sports.

In that case, what I stated above stands. I'm not sure where you got the concept of "Florida -110 money line" from, but realistically you could bet $575 on the Florida money line at -225 and you'd win $325 either way.

By the way, your bracket pool doesn't have a 2nd place prize?

CMFost said...

Wow did anyone see conteras line

1 IP
7 Hits
7 ER
1 BB
1 K
63.00 ERA

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

Sorry, I meant put $775 on Florida tonight, not $575.

verbal97 said...

In your answer you show your bias toward longevity. I am under the opinion that it's better to be one of the best in the game for 5 years than good for a very long time. There's no doubt Schmidt (a 3b) was great. But Eddie Murray was a classic example of a compiler. He was good for a long time, finished his career as a DH, was never better than average defensively and NEVER finished in the top 5 in MVP voting. That's a first ballot HOF?!?!?!?

And stop bringing up CF and speed. It's small potatoes and grasping for straws. You can also say Mattingly was a better leader and was never arrested like a certain rotund CF was (yes, there is an integrety aspect written into the voting instructions), but it's overly irrelevant to the overlying factors. In the end (as it always is), you can have your opinion and back it up all you want, you're not going to change my mind and I'm not going to change yours.

Unknown said...

Most old style ballparks were actually very short near the foul poles and deep to center. As Babe Ruth hit to right field almost all the time ballpark size goes easily in Ruth's favor.
Bonds 1 Ruth 0

Ruth played in an era with some great pitchers. But no black pitchers. Mexican? Dominican? Venezuelan? Hawaian? Japanesse?
Bonds 2 Ruth 0

Let's say Ruth played today. He steps up to the plate against Halladay's Palmball. Whiff. Mussina's knuckle-curve? Zito's weird curve? Saito's Shuuto? Anyone's Splitfinger? Mo's Cutter? Screwball? Circle Change? Slurve? Forkball? Dare I say.... Gyroball????
Bonds 3 Ruth 0

Ruth played in a better lineup. What'd they call it? Murderer's row? Bonds has....
Bonds 4 Ruth 0

It's sad but true. I think we need to realize something; If Bonds went to 1927 and took Ruth's place he'd hit 100 homers in a season. He'd be playing against less talented pitchers in smaller ballparks with more protection behind him hitting pitchers that threw slower and had Charlie Brown's pitchers.

#1 will be the high straight ball.
#2 will be the low straight ball.
Maybe they changed speeds to.
It might curve a little, but that's it.

verbal97 said...

Or really? Has Bonds ever hit more home runs than other teams?

ToddTheJackass said...

Kirby's off the field troubles didn't occur until after he retired. And Mattingly's "leadership" never got them a World Series, so those arguments are really weak, and taking a cheap shot at Kirby is just cold and makes you sound bitter.

Defensive position and speed are tangible. Ignoring them is ridiculous. They are on the field, and measurable.

Longevity completely matters to the Hall of Fame. If all it took were to be very good for a short period of time, then guys like Jay Buhner, Mo Vaughan, Jose Canseco, and Albert Belle should all be in there AHEAD of Mattingly. It's not saying that Mattingly and these guys weren't very good players, just that they're longevity (or generally asshole-ery) limits them from being Hall of Famers, and some of the Best. Ever.

The comp of Schmidt wasn't saying he was a 3B, more just another era comp. Schmidt absolutely dwarfs Mattingly's (and Kirby's) numbers in a similar era.

I'm not trying to influence your opinion Verbal, but anyone else's who might not be as stubbornedly biased on the matter.

Though I'm by all means not a Yankees fan, I have no ill-will toward Mattingly. He's just not a Hall of Famer, and the voters have been totally correct in that.

Brian in Oxford said...

Baseballs in 1927 might as well have been balls of socks with leather coverings. And he didn't play in well-lit stadiums. If it got late, you batted in the gray sky.

Yes, Ruth only faced whites. But whites were a significant majority of the population, and also of the baseball-playing population. I'd venture that he faced at least 2/3 of the best possible competition.

Oh, and if you really want to determine who's better? Have Bonds PITCH to Ruth, and then have Ruth PITCH to Bonds.

Game over.

CMFost said...

Guy what about the factor of no steriods back in Ruth's day?

Unknown said...


That's not what I said.

I wasn't saying Bonds is as dominant now as Ruth was then.

I said that Bonds is so much of a better hitter that he could destroy Ruth's era.

I'm not happy about it. It's just obvious when you look at some of those factors.

verbal97 said...

I can understand people saying Mattingly doesn't deserve to be in the HOF because it's not so clear-cut one way or the other. But when people start with the Barry Bonds is better than Babe Ruth, not only is the argument itself dumb but it calls into question every other opinion you may or may not have. What's next? Mark McGwire is better than Lou Gehrig? Jose Canseco is better than Ted Williams? Mike Modano is better than Wayne Gretzky? Trent Dilfer is better than Fran Tarkenton? Jesus!

Unknown said...


I'm in the camp of that we don't realize how many pitchers were also on steriods. Juan Rincon? Jason Grimsley? Guillermo Mota?

Common. It goes both ways.


I'm not saying Ruth didn't face the best possible talent. I'd say about 2/3 also. But that's not the point. How much more talent is there now? As I pointed out, if you take out black, hispanic, and asian now what do you have left. Not 2/3. And the pool is bigger as well.

rukrusher said...

By the way, your bracket pool doesn't have a 2nd place prize?

Yeah, but it will be claimed by the people with Florida winning it all.

The -110 came from USA Today this morning.

Unknown said...

I'd say there are a few components for baseball.

Pitching, Fielding, Baserunning, Hitting

Even if Ruth is a better pitcher, Bonds is a better baserunner and fielder. That leaves hitting. Even if it's a tie, Bonds still comes out on top. So that arguement doesn't hold much water.

verbal97 said...

I wasn't taking a cheap shot at Puckett, nobody forced him to make the mistakes he did. I was merely bringing into question his character, which if you read the HOF voting instructions is a part of the overall argument and is just as (un)important as speed and position.

Not that it's the same, but Ozzie Smith didn't exactly rake did he! So you can't just look at people like Albert Belle and Jose Canseco's offensive numbers...In fact Canseco literally cost his team a home run with his shit-tastic defense. First-base might be an "easy" position in many eyes, but if it were so unimportant why doesn't David Ortiz play the field. I mean, not everybody can field Mookie Wilson's rocket grounder in Game 6 of the World Series.

ToddTheJackass said...


Yeah, the fact that Ruth was also a very effective pitcher really is incredible. But then again, Bonds wasn't exactly one-dimensional either, as he was a very good defensive LF (I can't imagine Ruth really was), and Bonds also has a nearly 350 SB advantage over Ruth as well.

I think the true answer is that they both were unmatched in their respective eras, with Ruth getting the nod because he revolutionized the game. And because he was possibly less of an asshole.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

CMFost said...
Yes Guy, I think we are.

I have a question about Florida, don't they only start 1 senior? Could they not if they win this year decide to come back and do something no team has done in a long time and that is 3 peat

I don't like message board rumors (see UK fans delsuional belief that Donovan to UK is a done deal).

Taurean Green's father siad his son is definitly coming back to Gainesville next year. This had led speculation as to whether the other guys would. Horford has said he hasn't made his decision and Noah has always said he's happy in college, so you never know.

I will say this. Corey Brewer's dad is very ill and his family is not well off like the other 3 juniors. Recently his had had to have his leg amputated and speculation is he's not going to be around for much longer. I know (assuming he comes back) that Billy will tell him that he needs to go.

Of course everything can change if Billy feels the need to go to UK.

For now I am going to enjoy this team playing, like I'm watching them one last time. Gainesville North in the Georgia Dome tonight!

Go Gators!

Joe (Dayton)

verbal97 said...

I can't believe people are still actually arguing that Bonds is better than Ruth. It's absolutely preposterous. And people coming out with SB and Bonds' fielding as putting him over the top. I'm absolutely amazed and disgusted. My jaw has dropped to my desk.

Patriots64 said...

Too bad Bonds won't ever be in The Hall of Fame cause he took Roids!

Brian in Oxford said...

I'm of the opinion, that's it's goofy to make too much of a "this era's got more athletic players". Because it's basically the same type of individuals, just exposed to advance training regimens.

Barry Bonds, if he'd have been white and growing up in the 1910s, wouldn't have been as sculpted or maybe as fast, because he wouldn't have done the year-round stuff he did growing up in the 1970s. Babe Ruth, on the other hand, would have had all that. So would Bonds have 59-54-60 homer seasons then? Maybe. Would Ruth have 73 in a season now? Not Ruth as we know him from 1927, but Ruth's body allowed to grow up in the 70s-80s.

What's more likely, and what you think probably answers this question: Would a raised-then Bonds have hit 100 homers a year in 1927? Or would a raised-now Ruth now hit 100 homers in 2007? Or would they each have done "just as well"?

ToddTheJackass said...

Sweet, a Buckner reference. You know a Yankees fan is getting desperate when he has to pull out Buckner... what's next Bucky Dent? Aaron Boone?

Totally agreed that defense is a very important part of the game, and that Mattingly was a very good defensive first baseman. Keith Hernandez strikes me as being better in that era though. Actually, Hernandez strikes me as a decent comp to Mattingly, and he's not a HOFer, except for his awesome Seinfeld appearance.

Anyway, winning 8 gold gloves at 1B to me isn't as impressive as winning 6 gold gloves for playing the OF... then again, Gold Gloves are ridiculous anyway (see: Jeter, Derek, excluding '05)... but still, being very good defensively at 1B isn't as difficult as being very good defensively in CF (not saying 1B is easy, just that CF is a lot harder). The wear and tear on your body isn't even close. I'm fairly convinced that almost any CF could play 1B, and the opposite is certainly not true. Playing up the middle is so much more demanding defensively, that it definitely counts toward Puckett's favor.

And Kirby's transgressions did not occur during his playing time, which is a big difference. Albert Belle and Canseco's did. Kirby otherwise had an extremely good reputation.

Unknown said...


I like your thinking, but we can't change the players.

NowBonds then is 100 homers.
ThenRuth now is no where close.

It's hard to say if Bonds was white...
Or if Ruth had a treadmill...

verbal97 said...

Pete Rose's transgressions occurred after his playing career. Are they to be discounted? It doesn't say in the instructions that character only mattered during your playing career.

Buckner reference is valid as it illustrates the overlooked importance of defense at the 1b position. I have never argued that playing 1b is at a par with SS or CF, I argue that it's far more important than people give it credit for.

Hernandez?! Really?! That's where you're going with this. Mattingly is tied for the best fielding pct ever. Granted that only covers part of the story, but growing up watching both (I'm from Central NY), Mattingly saved more errors than Hernandez did (from my experience watching).

ToddTheJackass said...

Verbal, calm down man... I did say that Ruth gets the nod as best ever because he revolutionized the sport.

I was merely pointing out that Bonds' steals and superior defense (in his prime) at the very least offsets Ruth's pitching... that's the point I was trying to make.

@Brian, I think both would actually not be as good in their respective eras given training regimens. Ruth, as a basically two-tool player, would be exposed a lot more in this era. And Bonds wouldn't have had all the training (read: steroids and lifting) back then, so it's not likely he'd have been the five-tool player he was.

But overall, Ruth does get the nod as the better player because of how unbelievably dominant he was, and how he changed the game. And, as we've all pointed out, Bonds' accomplishments are tainted.

But Bonds has played himself into the discussion with Ruth.

verbal97 said...

Hey Guy, April Fools' Day was yesterday, you can give up on the whole Bonds is better discussion. It's not even a question, Ruth is so far superior that Bonds might as well be Dan Pasqua.

ToddTheJackass said...

Okay, "saved more errors"... yeah, have fun proving that one... seriously, I'm actually looking forward to what you'll pull out next.

I've never said Mattingly wasn't a very good defensive first baseman. Just saying the difference between being a very good first baseman and being a very good center fielder is very important to consider.

Isn't it possible that Mattingly, through the nostalgia, has become better in memory than he actually was?

And Rose should be in the Hall for his playing career. I could be wrong, but wasn't he ineligible since he was still in baseball as a manager, or did he get caught within the five years?

ToddTheJackass said...

Hmm... forgot to mention Kevin Brown in that dominant for a short time argument... he was pretty good defensively too, wasn't he?

ToddTheJackass said...

Hey, where's Dan's MLB preview?

verbal97 said...

Rose I believe stopped playing in '85 which would have put him just inside the 5 years, which is why he was ineligible.

I don't discount that Puckett's defensive achievements weren't as good as Mattingly's, I was just saying Mattingly's defense is another aspect in his corner. And there's no way of proving saving errors, I just watched in the vicinity of 150 games a year (100 Yankees/50 Mets) when I was younger, and that's the impression that I had then and now.

Unknown said...

That's some Big Papi for everyone.

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...


I think you may have misinterpreted the -110. -110 is a standard "take" for the casinos/sportsbooks off of a standard bet.

You'll see it listed as Florida -4.5 -110. What this basically means, is you're laying 4.5 points with Florida, and even if you win, you're not getting paid even money, the book is getting a cut. So to win $10, you'd have to risk $11. If you risk $10, you'd only win about $9.09.

Interestingly, a buddy of mine just e-mailed me a little while ago, explaining the exact opposite scenario. Luckily for him, he can put money on Ohio State to win at +200 odds tonight, which gives him much better hedging opportunites. Basically the league is $400 for 1st place and $200 for 2nd place and I figured out a way he can guarantee he wins $333.

ToddTheJackass said...

Alright, I'm heading home for the day, but damnit, Dan's write-up better list something on the Mattingly HOF debate. I think we firmly hijacked this thread with that... sorry to all those who couldn't give a rats ass...

Verbal, it was fun. Enjoy the win today.

Andrea said...

I'd like to go one off season without fear of a coach leaving, Beilein last year...Rich Rod this year...and now Beilein again, this gets old Mountaineer faithful. I love JB, but he'll never stay at WVU forever will he, dammit!
anyways, I love Eric Davis...gosh, everything I owned was Eric Davis, the starting lineups, shirts, cards, his rookie card was 18 bucks at one time, now it's probably worth nothing. The guy was blazing fast and powerful...too bad injuries and cancer hurt things, he'll always be a baseball god to me!

Kurt said...

Todd and Verbal, you guys account for 41 of the 174 comments today...give it up. Verbal, todd's never going to change his mind, he's a red sox fan and would never give a Yankee the benefit of the doubt in any situation. You can be sure that if Ortiz's career ended tomorrow, Todd would be on here arguing he deserves to be in the hall of fame.

ToddTheJackass said...

Actually Kurt, I wouldn't. Ortiz needs to do a lot more before he should get into the hall being a DH, and not having much longevity. He needs to have at least 3 or 4 more great years before he's in consideration.

Honestly, it's not an anti-Yankee thing. Can't it be that Mattingly simply doesn't deserve to be in the Hall.

chipp said...

KC's $55M man is KILLING the Sox!! :)

chipp said...

As an M's fan, Griffey's swing will always be remembered fondly, but it's C Dan Wilson for favorite player. Great behind the plate and a fantastic person the few times I met him and his wife.

chipp said...

F Her's fitch pitch in 35 minutes! No Cy Young for him, but a great season looming!

ToddTheJackass said...

First Basemen in the Hall of Fame (post-dead ball era), done by career .avg/HR/RBI:

1. Lou Gehrig: .340/495/1995
2. Jimmie Foxx: .325/534/1922
3. Harmon Killebrew: .256/573/1584
4. Willie McCovey: .270/521/1555
5. Eddie Murray: .287/504/1917
6. Johnny Mize: .312/359/1337
7. Hank Greenberg: .313/331/1276
8. Orlando Cepeda: .297/379/1365
9. Tony Perez: .279/379/1652
10. Bill Terry: .341/154/1078

Not in the Hall:

1. McGwire: .263/583/1414
2. Palmeiro: .288/569/1835
3. Mattingly: .307/222/1099
4. Mo Vaughn: .293/328/1064
5. Will Clark: .303/284/1205
6. Keith Hernandez: .296/162/1071

Again, this doesn't consider defense, or that Mattingly was a zero bullshit player (dare I say a somewhat likeable Yankee?). But the comparables just aren't good for making the case that Mattingly is a HOFer. At best, he matches up well with contemporaries Will Clark and better than Keith Hernandez. Mo Vaughn could go either way, since he was a better power hitter, but obviously was inferior to Mattingly defensively.

KC... not bad today.