Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wednesday 05/02 A.M. Quickie:
Warriors-Mavs, Phil Hughes, Keyshawn, More

Before I get into the thrilling Mavs-Warriors series and everything else, here's a fascinating report that might be on the minds of NBA fans today:

Do NBA refs exhibit racial bias?

(Yikes. And this isn't some yammering columnist, typically avoiding real evidence. This is the result of a legitimate academic study.)

Now, on to the stories...

Mavs survive Game 5, edge Warriors: It's strange. Golden State lost the game last night, but I'm more convinced than ever that they will win the series.

I think it'll happen in Oakland on Thursday, but if it happens to come down to a Game 7 in Dallas, I think they can win that one, too.

It's about competitive spark: Golden State is bringing it. The Mavs turn it off and on (see that 15-0 run to end the game). Once again – for the second time in the series, mind you -- the Warriors lost a game in Dallas they easily could have won.

I cannot wait for Thursday night's Game 6, because I think the Warriors are going to close it out. Wait, let me clarify:

Close out the greatest upset in the history of the NBA.

More NBA: Is the Raptors' "global" style a success? See Calderon's career-high 25 and Bargnani's 18 leading the Raps to a home win over the Nets, taking the series back to New Jersey for a must-win Game 6.

MLB Stud: Phil Hughes, who took a no-hitter into the 7th inning.

MLB Dud: Phil Hughes, who had to leave the game with a hamstring injury that will keep him out for at least a month.

(I loathe to use "hard-luck" and "Yankees" in the same sentence, but their pitching injury issues this season have been insane.)

More MLB Duds: Jason Schmidt, who might not pitch again this season. Is he the West Coast's Carl Pavano? (h/t Ben Maller via Fanhouse)

More MLB Duds: The April stats are complete, and the results aren't pretty – the lowest total of home runs and runs since 1993.

(That could mean the weather was particularly harsh or that pitching has improved, but it could also finally be the residual effect of the get-tough PED policy. Enjoy.)

Panthers cut Keyshawn Johnson: Hardly a biting loss, particularly after drafting Dwayne Jarrett. Keyshawn will make a mint in his new career as a full-time TV analyst.

Dolphins cut Marcus Vick: I always felt like Vick making the NFL after going undrafted (and, um, the off-field stuff) was one of the most intriguing rookie stories of the year. He'll stick somewhere. That "QB-slash-WR-slash-Special Teams" position is a new reality in the NFL.

NCAA approves rule to eliminate "diploma mills": No more "post-grad" year of high school (or "reclassifying," which is just spinning "post-grad" as "repeating a grade.").

I think this will absolutely shake up the high school hoops industry, given the number of players who have taken advantage of this system. In some cases, they had sincere need; in others, they were simply working a system with too many holes (and being taken advantage of by profiteering adults).

There's got to be more going on today, doesn't there?

-- D.S.

121 comments:

Matt T said...

After everyone hammering Dirk, he stepped it up last night.

I wonder if it was due to his beard....

CMFost said...

MLB DUD - Papelbon - blows his first save of the year. Hopefully this will be a rare occurance seeing him on the dud list.

CycleDan said...

I will automatically change the channel if Keyshawn is ever on. I probably hate him more than any other pro player in any sport.

The NJ-Toronto game was an amazing comeback. After being down by 20 and run out of the gym at 30-10, the Nets closed it to 1 pt twice and missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have given them the win and the series.

Rangers staying alive and tied the series. Can they do it against #1 seed Buffalo? I think they can. All of a sudden it is exciting again.

If Mavs win the next one, they will win the series. No way GS wins game 7 in Dallas.

What a shame about Hughes pulling a hamstring while pitching a no-hitter for his first ML win. No way the Yanks pen was going to hold a no-hitter but even they couldn't blow a 9 run lead in the 7th.

When the Yanks get healthy, watch out!

DrDoom said...

i have 5 problems with the refs from the mavs warriors game

1. how is terry not ejected?
2. baron davis last 2 fouls were anticipationcalls, meaning that the refs were anticipating the call before it happened.
3. dirk fould h rich
4. barnes was fouled
5. harris hand checked on davis the whole game

hansenm said...

I watched some of the first round of the NFL Draft, and it seemed like Keyshawn thought every team should draft a wide receiver. Go figure. But he is 5000% less irritating than Michael Irvin.

CMFost said...

cycledan the question is can the yankees stay close enough in the race for it to matter if or when they get healthy.

The Ketshawn thing is pretty ironic. If you saw the ESPN draft coverage he was so excited that the panthers picked jarrett and was looking forward to mentoring him and then what happens he gets cut.

shpiders said...

How about a shout out to Liverpool? They made the Champions League final for the second straight year ...

They play the winner of ManU and AC Milan ...

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

rafael...we need to talk up Ryne Robinson of Miami replacing Keyshawn!

Todd said...

MLB Studs and Duds:

Studs:
1. Phil Hughes
2. Chris Young
3. Josh Willingham
4. Jhonny Peralta
5. Travis Buck

Duds:
1. Jonathan Papelbon
2. Russ Ortiz
3. AJ Burnett
4. Danys Baez
5. Kameron Loe

Why hasn't anyone called for the Yankees' head trainer's head? That's way, way too many hamstring injuries it seems like. There comes a point at which it's not fluke, right?

Patriots64 said...

The Yankees will be healthy by 2008 maybe...

Buffalo will win the series, they are too talented and deep. Ducks look good and will win the Cup this season!!!

Matt said...

I'm glad the injury isn't serious and that Hughes will recover but I had to chuckle when I read about that in the paper. Seriously I can't imagine anything more amazing for fans of MLB's 31 other teams then seeing the Yankees payroll fail to produce and hoping their owner is dumb enough to fire Torre. This might be the best Yankees season since he bought the team. I'm giddy (but again, glad it isn't serious, hate the team not the players).

Matt said...

Sure there's a lot more out there....


But since you don't care about the NHL, guess there's nothing.

Troy said...

The "get tough on PED" stance working? There is such a stance? I thought we were supposed to be working under the assumption that half of the majors are using HGH. Weren't homers going back up last season to the point Kruk was saying things like "it's the weather! that's it. yeah, good home run weather!"

I think this year it actually was the weather--the cold weather keeping the homer total down. Now that the weather's improving, I think we'll see the homers back up again for the rest of the year.

rafael said...

If it wasn't for media complaints, I would never have known that offense was down in April.

Now that I know? I still don't care.

Todd said...

Also (and I don't have the data on this), but it seems like there were more rain/snow outs this April than usual. So logically, wouldn't less games actually played lead to less home runs hit? Again, I don't have the data on this, but it seems like there could be a logical correlation there, doesn't it?

rafael said...

Ryne replacing Keyshawn?
Naw..that's small time. Jarrett can do that.
Ryne will be replacing Smith.

Eric said...

1. Buffalo looks shaken right now. The Rangers have outplayed them the last 3 games. I agree they have the talent to win the cup, can they?

2. Hughes a dud? Come on. The injury wasn't his fault. What a rough start

3. Todd - I would assume the data would be HRs and Runs per game, not just a total number. However, I would agree that it had more to do with weather than anything else.

I said it the other day, but Keyshawn spoke very well at the draft, no question he's got a teleivsion career waiting for him. But I'm sure many teams would sign him up. He's big receiver unafraid to go over the middle and had 70 Catches last yr, before the offseason I would have said he could fit in New England, but it's clear they don't need any more receivers. Maybe the Jets?

Todd said...

Eric, Dan wrote "lowest total of home runs and runs since 1993."

But yeah, I think regardless if there were less games, the cold weather must've had something to do with it.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@rafael...

i seriously almost choked on my drink when i saw ryne was drafted that high. but it's awesome...i'm not a panther fan to go along with my bengal fandom. since you know, they'll all be in jail come october.

B. Viddy said...

Ugh, it would be the biggest upset in Mavs history, but not NBA history. Like Hollinger pointed out, this Warriors team is better than their record. They got injured players back, created a system that fits everyone, and ran with it for the second half of the season. This team is not a regular 8th seed. If they had been together all season long, they might be a top-3 seed. Don't those GS writers remember anything about the regular season, like trades? And injuries? They're just trying a preemptive counter to any criticism they receive if they lose in the 2nd round. "Oh, we lost in the 2nd round? Doesn't matter, we beat the Mavs. Biggest. Upset. Blah blah blah."

Matt T said...

Dud - Mark Redman, couldn't make it out of the second inning. HE was staked a 3 run lead and spit it back the next inning.

Did the same thing last week.

He needs to be cut and soon

Natsfan74 said...

Federer and Nadal are going to play on a tennis (I swear, that is an English word and a real sport) court that is 1/2 grass and 1/2 clay. The absolute novelty of this is awesome. The world's best player on grass meets the world's best player on clay. And, the fact that tennis is having fun with their greatest athletes/ rivalry makes this exciting and newsworthy. Could you imagine the '98 Rams against the '85 Bears on a field that was 1/2 turf and 1/2 grass/mud/snow? The greatest show on turf against the monsters of the midway?

Dan Mega said...

MLB Dud- White Sox hitting. The Sox have already wasted 7 quality starts from their pitchers for losses. With all those bats you'd think they could be hitting better than the paltry .220 that they have been doing right now.

I am very excited that game 1 between Chicago and Detroit is on a Saturday. Go Bulls!

Jason said...

keyshawn did alright in the draft coverage.

also, it doesn't bother me in the least that HRs and Rs are down.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Rangers have been dominating the sabres and if not for miller i think they would have cruised through those games. They are completely dictating the style of hockey and its not in favor of buffalo. They are making them have to dump and chase and then simplying overpowering them behind the net. The only scary thing for ranger fans is that towards the end of game four the sabres finally hit a groove where they were able to a)cross the blue line without having to dump and b)winning the battles down low and getting the puck to the front of the net. I am hoping that this assertiveness of their style of play was due to the rangers going to a prevent defense, trying to hold the lead late in the game, and is not a sign of things to come.

One of the most exciting hockey games (or any sporting event's game) your going to see was last nights ranger games...and zero mention by dan (obviously no surpries)...but also no mention of palpebon blowing it...thats some lame ass blogging.

Eric said...

More clearification on HRs and Runs:

Home runs fell 20 percent, from an average of 2.31 to 1.84 per game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The average had not been that low at the end of April since 1993's 1.58.

A huge cold front left hitters feeling frozen.

"Being cold, it's tough to get warmed up. Sometimes, it's the windy days, the wind blowing in your eyes, and different kind of stuff," Howard said. "I've never been a quick starter."

Scoring dropped 8 percent, from 9.86 to 9.08 runs per game. The batting average fell from .265 to .256 and the ERA fell from 4.62 to 4.12.


http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2857242

As for the Rangers. I've never seen a video replay like that one before. I think it was pretty clear that it had to have been a goal. HOWEVER, based on the timing of the freezeframes you could only see the puck partially on the line, then Lundvquist's Pad over the puck behind the line. However, we never actually see the puck behind the line.

I think the only logically conclusion would be that the puck was behind the line also, but since it's not seeable - no goal. Tough break Sabres.

Good for me, though, since I have tickets to game 6 at MSG

Brian in Oxford said...

natsfan, I read about that tennis thing with Federer/Nadal. I guess it cost 1.5 million to make the court?! That's awesome though. It'd be like a baseball stadium with adjustable fence lengths, and the option to lay down old-style Astroturf.

Actually, that provides an interesting tip of the hat to golf -- every hole is essentially different, with the capability of playing to some's strengths over others'.

Well now there's more than 1 series going 6 games at least in the NBA. yawn...home teams staving off elimination is neat, though, because I think it does transfer the pressure back to the home team in game 6...."you don't want to go back for game 7"-type cliches.

Has Papelbon ever given up a run that DIDN'T blow a save? It's shutout or blown save when he pitches, no in-between.

Verrrrry intriguing Sabres series, now. Will the city have a panic mindset for game 5?

ndyanksfan05 said...

Very tough call for the refs there - i was screaming at the tv for the no goal and thankfully my prayers were answered. I think they made the right call given the replay...the puck definitely never gets over the line when it was in the view of the camera. Once it gets under lunquists pad, it might have slid in but you just can't tell. if it had initially been a goal, i don't think they would have overturned that call either based on that replay. You just can't tell.

Vincent said...

What a night for sports! My fingers were tired from flipping between the rangers, nets, Yankees....

Can we talk about the utter collapse of the Warriors last night? they took 3 consecutive 3 pointers in the final 2 minutes. All of which were flat footed. Shall we say they looked like a true 8 seed at that point? Damn that team is fun to watch.. but if they were more disciplined? They were doing great swinging the ball, yet somehow they got away from that. then Davis fouled out..and that's all she wrote.

Can't wait for Game 6. Can they start this game a little earlier for the east coasters?

GuyInTheCorner said...

Dan-

I can't believe you missed the Federer/Nadal Grass/Clay court match

This is inexcuseable. When I read that article I was blown away. The headline was so damn confusing you just had to read it too. So wait a sec, Federer is on grass and Nadal is on clay and they are playing eachother... at the same time? Whoever had this idea should get the first ever Nobel Sports Prize.

stacker said...

Was at Rangers game last night...

Puck definitely went in, but there was no real good hard evidence that supported it. I also think if it was originally called a goal, it probably would've stood as well. There as just no definitive view of what happened. And Lindy Ruff screaming about would be like the Yankees complaining about the Red Sox payroll. Buffalo had gotten every call and replay through the first 8 games of the playoffs.

By the way, it's 2007, could the NHL invest in some high definition cameras to show these goal line replays? The replay was like watching video on someone's cell phone. Disgraceful.

CMFost said...

brian I just quickly looked it up Papelbon has never given up a run in a game that he has recorded a save.

In the 69 Apprearrances over the last 2 years(10 in 07/59 in 06) he has given up a run 8 times with 6 Blown Saves, 1 Lose and 1 Hold in those 8 games.

Eric said...

I just realized the two biggest sporting events of the weekend are events that mattered 50 years ago.

Kentucky Derby and the De La Hoya Vs. Merriweather fight. Anyone havev opinions or know anything about any of the horses for the Derby?

thistlewarrior said...

I just don't buy the cold=less offense bs. The defense and pitchers are immune to cold? Anyone who has pitched in cold, esp. very cold, weather knows that it can make it very difficult to pitch when you can't feel your fingers.

Patriots64 said...

They only use HD cameras for the Conference finals and Stanley Cup final! Maybe next season it will be used for all the playoffs.

Richard K. said...

I didnt think Keyshawn was that bad for the draft coverage. Especially considering it was his first time.

Anyways there are a number of teams that could use his services:

1. Minnessota - Currently banking on a rookie.

2. San Francisco - Currently banking on....noone.

3. Green Bay - Favre needs a target other than Driver.

4. Denver - Why not as a #3?

5. Kansas City - They've needed a receiver for 10 years.

6. Buffalo - Opposite Evans.

7. Houston - Maybe they can throw Schaub a bone.

8. San Diego - DING DING DING! He could be the missing piece on this team.

Lots of possibilities for him. He may not be elite and he's not Canton bound, but he gives steady production. He could catch 50 balls for someone this year.

Danielle said...

Eric

Post position draw is tonight, I will have a better handle on it after that. As of right now I like Skat Daddy and Curlin is the favorite at 7-2 (last I looked.)

CycleDan said...

I didn't watch the NFL draft but read Keyshawn's quote in an AP article this morning. He was talking about it being a great pick and gushing about how he was going to mentor him and take him under his wing. HAHAHAHAAHA. Then he gets cut. Couldn't happen to a bigger asshole.

verbal97 said...

shpiders:

It's two CL finals in three years, but it's nice someone noticed that a semifinal in the most lucrative team sporting event in the world took place last night, with the other semifinal concluding today (AC Milan vs. Man. United).

The buzz I got from Liverpool winning couldn't be ruined by Hughes getting hurt last night (though it sucks he didn't get a chance to close out a no-hitter). I second the notion that there is something about the conditioning on the Yankees...way too many muscular injuries, even if it has been colder than usual weather.

And how the hell are they going to work out the half clay/half grass court. It doesn't seem possible.

jhawkjjm said...

Am I the only person who hopes Dallas wins the series in a controversial fashion just to hear all the "NBA is fixed" talk? Or maybe because I just hate the NBA and could care less who wins.

Brian in Oxford said...

there's a picture of the court on the yahoo homepage. Should I assume they'll still alternate sides during the match? Like, sometimes you WANT the clay to slow down shots, no?

Mikepcfl said...

@ Thistlewarrior

I'm not a scientist, but I believe one reason that cold weather depresses offensive stats is because cold air is heavier than warm air. So balls do not travel as far, therefore less home runs. Can anyone confirm this or call me an idiot if I am wrong?

verbal97 said...

mikepfcl,

you're actually right...cold air is denser than warmer air, or else life wouldn't be possible. I'd elaborate, but it would bore everyone into a coma.

Brian,

I didn't find the pics of the court, but after reading an article, it sounds preposterous.

ndyanksfan05 said...

a colder ball also does not travel as far - it becomes less flexible and doesn't come off the bat as well. (Nobody else saw Major League 3?!?)...

verbal97 said...

wait! there was a major league 3. I knew there was a 2, but since that sucked major ass, I never would have thought there was a 3.

rafael said...

Geez cycledan, why such hate for Keyshawn? His days with the Jets are long past, bro.

In an NHL game during the season, Columbus lost a game after the opposing team was awarded a goal despite noone seeing it go into the net. The puck was under the goalie, who was pushed into the net, so the officials assumed the puck was there as well.

So no, the puck does not have to be seen crossing the line to be called a goal. However, I didn't see the game last night, so I don't know the context of that call.

Chaddogg said...

Keyshawn - I'm personally hoping the Bears pick him up as another safety blanket for the Sex Cannon (plus he's one of the NFL's best blockers as a WR, so throwing him into the Bears power running game would be a natural fit). Muhammed, Keyshawn, Berrian and Olsen? I'm liking that receiving corps....now if only the Bears would wisen up and just pay Briggs (it's not like we can't afford it).

That being said, if he goes to TV, he'll be fantastic - he was one of the best commentators during the NFL draft, and certainly better than Irvin.

Game 1 on Saturday. Bulls at Pistons. The return to prominence of arguably the second greatest NBA rivalry of the past 30 years (behind Lakers-Celtics, ahead of Bulls-Knicks). I'm expecting this to be one of the greatest series in NBA history, in all seriousness. We have the young hungry team that has started to peak and is playing exciting basketball (Bulls) playing the experienced talented veteran team gunning towards another title chance (Pistons) with the background of the great series between these teams in 1989-1991.

Go Bulls. In 7.

(Oh, and please win the lottery, too....adding Oden/Durant to this team? D.Y.N.A.S.T.Y. With emphasis on the NASTY.

TBender said...

Richard:

Keyshawn doesn't block, ergo he's no help to Schaub.

Which is why I expect him to sign with the Texans.

CMFost said...

yes Verbal there was a Major League 3 and it was probably one of the worst movies ever made.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Major League: Back to the Minors with Scott Bacula (sp?) and the guy who plays Shane on The Shield (another awesome episode last night setting up what should be a stellar second half of the season, by the way)...they use a frozen basbeall to pitch to a power hitter he appears to knock the snot out of the ball but it goes for a pop up to the pitcher.

Todd said...

In a weird but odd coincidence, the Red Sox top pitching prospect, Clay Buchholz, took a perfect game in AA into the 7th inning. Obviously not on the level of what Phil Hughes did, but interesting nonetheless.

What is the name of the Yankees' head trainer anyway?

ndyanksfan05 said...

and the guy who played Lem on the shield plays a ballet dancing catcher - classic comedy gold people!

Kurt said...

here is a picture of the half-clay, half-grass tennis court.

And Todd, Yankees trainer is Gene Monahan and he's been the head trainer of the Yankees for 34 years.

Kurt said...

No talk about Floyd Mayweather/Oscar De La Hoya fight on May 5th?

Keith said...

At the risk of ruining what little there is of my credibility, I'm going to quote Barry Melrose:

Will beats skill.

I won't go so far as to say the Rangers have broken the Sabres, but Buffalo is getting way more than they were expecting from the Blueshirts.

And yes, I do think this game will be used to push for HD above-goal cameras, cost be damned.

However, I think the frame rate had more to do with the "inconclusive" ruling than the resolution. The puck bounced off of Lundqvist's pad too quickly for the camera. Versus was giving the replay the frame-by-frame Zapruder Film treatment, and you can see, in one frame, the puck still on its way in, then in the next frame, it's already bounced off the pad and was barely on the goal line. At 60 frames per second, the camera may have caught the puck entirely behind the goal line.

Vancouver, on the other hand, is broken. Blowing a 2-goal lead in the third, then losing early in OT? At home?! Anaheim has this in the bag.

Todd said...

Thanks Kurt, so Gene's head probably won't roll on this one then. Then again, no one is really safe, right?

But still, it is odd that most of their injuries have involved hamstrings, or just being Carl Pavano (I'll take this cheap shot everytime, and you all can laugh too when JD Drew inevitably goes on the DL too).

ndyanksfan05 said...

will beats skill especially when you have the skills of jagr, avery and lundquist to back up your will...

Todd said...

... and a call on a goal that probably should've counted goes your way. You know, that doesn't hurt too, eh?

CycleDan said...

Rafael,
The reason that I hate Keyshawn is after the Jets drafted him, he destroyed any chance for good chemistry on the team with that moronic book. Calling Wayne Chrebet "a mascot" in his book is beyond classless.

What reinforced my antipathy was one game when he was wearing a mic and he was just eaten up by jealousy when watching Marvin Harrison catch one after the other. He was saying things like he always excels when going against people from the same draft class. Well Marvin Harrison is going to the Hall of Fame and is one of my favorite players and one of the classiest in the league. Keyshawn just got cut by his 3rd team.

Michael Irvin at least backed it up on the field by being a premier receiver. I doubt Keyshawn was ever a top 10 receiver in the NFL at any point in his career.

hansenm said...

No-goals. I was at a Wings vs. Avs game this year and there was a no-goal where everyone KNEW it had gone in and the Avs goalie had it covered and scooted it out so it was never visible to camera. Also some that went in Detroit's favor over the year that I thought were incorrect. I'm NOT looking for the return of the FOX glowing puck, but you'd think they could have some sort of GPS technology in place....

GuyInTheCorner said...

I'm going to guess that they don't switch sides.

As someonne who played tennis in high school, although I never played on grass I know how it works; it's the opposite of clay.

For those who don't know tennis it's quite simple....

On a concrete court if the ball is hit at a 45 degree angle it comes off the bounce on that angle. On Clay it is about 55 and on grass about 35.

Therefore, it would be close to impossible to switch between the two midmatch. Your brain would have to keep adjusting to a different bounce and that would lead to a lot of unforced errors.

CycleDan said...

Just throwing a question out to this group of people who follow sports - does anyone under 40 really care or follow horse racing anymore? I would find it sad if there was no horse racing one day in a nostalgic sort of way but I really could care less.

The way I see it is that the only legal place to bet for years was at the track. Now there are so many casinos all over that gamblers choose to go to a casino rather than a horse track. As far as racing goes, NASCAR meets that need. Also for a growing number of fans in the US (including me), bicycle racing also draws some interest.

CMFost said...

dan the only time I follow horse racing is 3 times a year for the tirple crown races.

GuyInTheCorner said...

ditto cm

hansenm said...

@cycledan. Horse racing: I used to go to the Detroit Race Course as a kid (I'm under 40) but that was because it was a place to sneak off and drink / get high. I live in Lexington, KY now and they have horse racing on TVs in bars like the South has NASCAR. But I don't get the impression that individuals over 40 here are into it. And, if it isn't big here, I doubt that people around the country really care....

hansenm said...

umm "individuals UNDER 40". sorry.

Brian in Oxford said...

Bike racing doesn't have any of the speed element that horses, let alone cars, have. The Tour de France is a great spectacle because it combines the racing with the great views, but it's a slower way to watch the countryside of France on TV. The most insidious "race" is the Olympic velodrome stuff, where two racers deliberately dog it the first 9 laps and then sprint the last one.

But even where one can appreciate the competition in a bike race (why not on marathon courses, for instance?)....it's not anything I'd pay $10 to watch live...I don't know if it could catch on very well as a professional endeavor here.

Brian in Oxford said...

Bike races end up being like road races....you plant out a spot along the route and party for a couple of hours while everyone goes by. But that doesn't lend itself to prize money....

Jen said...

My brothers and their friends used to go to the track all the time (they are now 34) to gamble and drink. One of my brothers and his friends still go once in a while. (One of the local tracks has harness racing and simulcast stuff though)

Personally, I only pay attention to Triple Crown races.

Jen said...

Did I miss Dan responding to our responses about his Brady Quinn lashing?

Eric said...

I follow the triple crown. I also go to Belmont once or twice a year (but not for the Belmont Stakes, I did that once... never again).

Going to the track is a lot of fun, especially Belmont because you can bring in food and beer/drinks and just relax all day. I'm not sure why it isn't as popular though. Maybe it has to do with how people see horses?

Keyshawn was a dick in the beginning of his career. But he was a top 10 receiver for a few years. Check out his 1998 season with the Jets. I'm a big Jet fan and I kind of like the guy.

And you want to talk about a sport that has fallen, man did Don King kill boxing. Has any one person been more responsible for taking all the life out of a sport than Don King in Boxing? Anyone?

CMFost said...

some stats Yankees fans might not like:

• Of the 144 teams that made it to the postseason in that span, only eight (or 5.6 percent) came out of April more than three games under .500. Clubs that need to worry most about that history lesson: the Yankees (9-14), Astros (10-14), Cardinals (10-14), Cubs (10-14) and Rangers (10-15).

Just six of those 144 playoff teams (or 4.2 percent) found themselves more than 4½ games out of a playoff spot after April. Clubs that ought to get nervous about that trend: the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros (all five games out).

• And you wouldn't think the standings would mean much this time of year. But more than half of the 120 teams that found themselves in first place after April (66 of 120) wound up finishing first. And 98 of the 120 (81.7 percent) of the teams that finished the season in first place either led their division or were within 2½ games of the lead at the end of April.

So if you're a team such as the Yankees, all those facts and figures are about as uplifting as a Carl Pavano tendinitis attack. At five games under .500 and 6½ games out of first, this is up there with the most dire April predicaments the Yankees have faced in the last quarter-century. Take a look:

• No Yankees team has finished April this many games under .500 since 1984. That '84 team had an 8-13 April, which meant that even a 79-62 finish didn't help it climb higher than third place, 17 games behind the Tigers.

• Only one Yankees team in history has ever entered May this many games out and then come back to finish first. And while it may seem encouraging to know that happened just two years ago -- when they emerged from April at 10-14, 6½ out -- the bad news is, the team they trailed then was the Orioles, not the Red Sox.

• So when was the last time the Yankees were this far behind Boston after April? How about 1912, when they started out 2-10 (while the Red Sox went 9-4). And how did that season turn out? The Red Sox won 105 games and won the World Series. The Yankees lost 102 -- and finished 55 games out of first.

• Finally, George Steinbrenner will really be ecstatic to learn that the 1979 Pirates are still the only team since 1935 to lurch out of April more than three games under .500 and survive to win a World Series.

Courtesy of Jason Stark

verbal97 said...

you could have just put the link to Stark's article. He spouts off these stats after every April and it seems that teams are providing an exception to the historical stats Stark provides every season recently (like the 2005 Yankees).

gofisturself said...

CMFost:

Stats are nice... how about back in 04 when no team in baseball history ever came back from being down 0-3?? How did that end up working out? Stats are nice but are not the end all be all...

Todd said...

I really can't see the '05 model working out well for the Yankees, considering that they can't get as lucky as they did with the Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small acquisitions. Those guys pitched so far over their heads it was insane.

It'd be different if Humberto Sanchez were healthy, but he's not, and Tyler Clippard and Ross Ohlendorf are off to tough starts in AAA. Igawa too hasn't looked good other than the Red Sox start, but I'm not sure how much of that was just the fact that the Red Sox hitters didn't prepare/scout/watch video at all of him.

The Yankees won't win unless they can get some quality starts from their rotation. That means getting the guys back healthy, which right now just seems like it's flukishly not going to happen, doesn't it?

verbal97 said...

todd, I agree that the 2005 model won't be repeated. But who's to say that the Yankees can't do it a different way. For instance, getting there planned starting rotation healthier. You never know what can happen.

Todd said...

Verbal, I assume you're not including Carl Pavano in that, right?

Other than that, I suppose a rotation of Wang, Mussina, Pettite, + Igawa/Hughes/etc. could be decent. Wang would be the only guy in his prime, but Mussina and Pettite should get enough quality starts given their offense I suppose.

On a similar note, a buddy of mine pointed out to me that Matt Clement is still technically a member of the Red Sox... who knew?

Mikepcfl said...

If Clement and Pavano ever pitched against each other in a ML game, would that signal the end of the world?

CycleDan said...

Eric, interesting point about boxing. Heavyweight championship fights used to be a big thing. Now they are almost irrelevant in the sports world. Sure, Don King was part of the problem but also have three different boxing associations, each with their own champion really hurt things.

Also kids in the ghetto often saw boxing as their way out. Now there are less gyms than there used to be along with kids being attracted by basketball, football and music as a "way out".

verbal97 said...

todd:

Carl who?

CycleDan said...

Of course there is a strong correlation between a team's April record and the rest of the season. It is basically what pollsters do - use a smaller sample to predict the larger one. However that sample has to be a representative sample.

What can skew that sample is injuries. It may not be the same team that is losing games in April that is winning games in September. In 1978, the real reason for the Yankees coming back from 14.5 back of the Red Sox were injuries. The Yankees played poorly and were fighting injuries the first half. Roles were reversed in the 2nd half with several key Sox players getting hurt and the Yanks getting healthy.

Richard K. said...

Back up a second...horse racing is a sport? I thought the athletes had to be human to qualify. If horse racing is actually a sport then the dog fighting at Michael Vick's house should be athletic events. Honestly, does anyone without money invested actually care about it? I had no idea the derby was this weekend until I saw it on this blog.

Brian in Oxford said...

What if they ran the mile and a quarter with larger humans carrying jockeys on their backs, instead of horses? Would that count?

Horse racing's like tennis, almost. Sure it happens all year long, but only the major events really count in the public consciousness. And the Belmont only matters if the same horse wins at Churchill and Pimlico.

Todd said...

Touché Verbal, touché...

As for boxing, the whole 3 belts thing is confusing, but I think the real problem is that you can't ever watch any of the fights unless you do PPV, and then they're only once every 18 months it seems like. Also, the pre-fight shenanigans seriously suck right now, all part of the lesser credibility of boxing now.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Just to be clear...

The Yankees rotation currently looks like this...

Chien Ming Wang - already missed the forst 3 weeks
Mike Mussina - coming off the DL to make his next start, old in general
Kei Igawa - who isn't really a starter except that the Yankees needed one, recently banished to the pen and brought back
Andy Pettite - Already missed a start this year, old in general
Some random minor leaguer - 'nuff said

Wow.

- b said...

Re: that study on racism with refs. It's hard to say there's anything concrete there. According to the statistics cited in the article, an all-black team would be called for a total of 0.6 to 1.0 additional personal fouls per game over an all-white team when the officiating crew is also all-white.

1.) When is the last time you saw an all-white team in the NBA for forty-eight minutes?

2.) How big of a difference on the outcome of a game does one foul make? The study claims that the "probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by" this.

3.) Just as MLB umpires do not call a uniform strike zone, NBA refs will not always consider the same thing to be a foul. I believe some of the discrepancy may be an underlying difference in how refs of different races (or backgrounds) interpret certain actions.

4.) No assessment is made on the actual validity of any foul called. Perhaps black refs are being more lenient with black players.

My opinion is that the authors have an underlying agenda and are using the numbers to justify themselves, rather than to look for something hard and real.

Todd said...

Also, I think Barbaro last year showed that people still have an interest in horse racing, at least for the Triple Crown races.

People carrying jockeys on their back just seems like a terrible/great Fox special to me.

verbal97 said...

I still can't get over the fact that Secratariat was one of the 10 best athletes of the 20th century according to ESPN and Pele and Mario Lemieux weren't in the top 50.

Dan Patrick addressed the Pele snub by saying that ESPN only involved athletes that had played in America. I guess he and ESPN conveniently forgot about the NY Cosmos and the NASL.

GuyInTheCorner said...

verbal-

Normally you kind of have a point and beat it to death. I like that. I do it myself sometimes. But Pele wasn't counted cause he wasn't in the US for his prime. His Cosmos days were not the days of his World Cup dominance.

Note: I also don't agree with horses as athletes and think that if you included everyone Pele would be top 5 (at the time) with Ruth, Ali, Gretzky, and Jordan.

We would have more trouble than we did thenadays because of the Woods, Bonds, Federer group that would need recognition.

Paul said...

About that NBA ref bias study, it's hard to make too many conclusions regarding the study without actually seeing the details. However, based on what is available at this point in time, I thought one thing was noteworthy: if it is indeed true that white refs do call a higher rate of fouls on black players than black refs call on black players, I don’t have any problem with the conclusion that that racial bias plays a large role in that (if they're methods for excluding all of the other variables are sound). However, claiming that it is white bias and white bias alone is completely unfounded. That doesn't make it untrue, but it is certainly unfounded without an additional study.

Why is that, you might ask. Well, who's to say that black bias (aka favoritism) doesn't have some role in the numbers (as opposed to white discrimination). My guess would be that both white ref discrimination and black ref favoritism (realistically, is either possibility really less feasible than the other) are both likely causes in the numbers. Once again, if the study claims definitively that white bias is the sole problem, I would have a problem accepting any of their study if they are so careless in their methods, logic, and findings.

Just a thought.

Bill B said...

Don't point fingers at the Yankees trainer unless and until they don't return from the injuries fast enough... Look at the Strength & Conditioning coaches and Brian Cashman.
The NY Daily News had a decent article a few weeks back about how Cashman fired the old S&C and hired a new one.
see story here

CycleDan said...

NBA bias study:

One thing to note is that the number of fouls called in a game wasn't correlated to each individual referee but to the racial makeup of the group, i.e., 0, 1, 2 or 3 black/white referees.

Maybe there is a bias but is the bias due to just two or 3 referees or to every referee. While they say the number of fouls called is statistically significant, that doesn't mean the discrepency is large. If an individual referee is more likely to call 0.2 fouls on a team per game based upon racial prejudice, that is one foul every five games.

One thing I have always hated about basketball is that the game is totally controlled by continuous arbitrary calls by referees. This is far more than any other sport - yes even ball and strike calls in baseball. I have no idea what is a charge or block anymore. Anytime an offensive player dives into a defender and throws the ball up in the air, they seem to call a block. I am not even sure how a player is supposed to play defense. Sure you can stand there with your hands in the air but since the offensive player is moving, you probably have to move as well. Once you do and there is contact, there is a foul.

I would really like to see basketball revamp its rules and interpretations so that the game won't stop every second posession on foul calls. That is the reason I can never really call myself a basketball fan. It seems there is a fundamental problem with the rules.

Brian in Oxford said...

It's also why baseball is the perfect game. When was the last time they really changed a rule? Except for the bleepin' DH, the rules are pretty much the same as 100 years ago.

Football, basketball, and hockey are always changing themselves.

Todd said...

That's a great article. Thanks Bill B!

It does seem like the new strength and conditioning coaches could have something to do with the injuries then.

stooncer said...

The Mavs/Warriors game was amazing. The third period was a toe-to-toe heavyweight slugfest with each team raining 3's. Some observations:

1. Dirk was entering Chris Webber's "Invisible Man" territory before the final 3 minutes of the game. How is a league MVP candidate held to only 2 shots in the second half before blowing up for 10 as part of a 15-0 run to end the game?

2. The Warriors had the momentum to win the game but could not get one basket to fall at the end. They lost that game more than the Mavs won.

3. If I clap after a bad call, would I be asked to leave. The refs have no place trying to take over the game. Unless Puppet Master Stern had something to say about it.

As for the power outage in the MLB, anybody see Big Daddy Vladdy's 435 ft. salami off the end of his bat? He's just plain sick!

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey does anyone here think the Orioles will sit Tejada toward the end of the last year of his contract with them, so that he has no chance to come too close to Ripken's record? I realize he's still 8 years away or something like that....but we were told forever in the 80s that Gehrig's record would never be touched, either, and how Ripken had a zillion years left to go.

Todd said...

Tejada has a long, long way to go before getting to Ripken. And there's no way the Orioles would intentionally sabotage one of their own players like that. It'd be an absolute PR disaster.

I was thinking, and as crazy at it sounds, could Hideki Okajima possibly win AL Rookie of the Year? (Assuming it ended now, would he win?)

Brian in Oxford said...

I don't know....Ripken's a god, while Tejada might be more of a hired gun. He signed a 6-year deal, right? I could see him at around 1550 late in 2009....if extension talks break down early in the season and he's pissed at Angelos? He'd be about 6 years away at that point.

CycleDan said...

Brian, other than the DH, baseball really hasn't changed any fundamental rules. However subtle things have changed. The pitching mound was raised and lowered. There have been live ball and dead ball eras (although MLB claims there haven't been). There used to be a significant difference between the AL and NL in what was a strike and a ball. The AL used balloon shields while the NL umps wore their chest protector under their clothes. The shield provided more protection and allowed more accurate calls but they settled on the inside protector because it looked better.

I have never seen balls and strikes be called more consistently and accurately than in the last few years. It has really increased my enjoyment. They apparently review umpires based upon overhead camera angles now and I think that has really helped.

I agree that baseball is a sport where there have been very few changes over the years and that does add to the game.

I kind of like the way it is now with the DH only in the AL. I guess I have grown up with it so I am used to the way things are.

Patriots64 said...

TORONTO (CP) - Oshawa Generals forward John Tavares has been named the Ontario Hockey League's player of the year.

The 16-year-old from Oakville, Ont., earned the Red Tilson Trophy that goes to the league's outstanding player.

Tavares led the OHL in goals scored with 72, making him just the second 16-year-old to score more than 70 goals in a season after Wayne Gretzky did it with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1977-78.

Tavares also had 62 assists and finished second in overall points behind London Knights rookie Patrick Kane.

Tavares was both the OHL and Canadian Hockey League rookie of the year last year at the age of 15.
The six-foot, 183-pound forward isn't eligible for the NHL draft until 2009.\

The Next One???

Todd said...

I agree, I like the DH. But then again, all Red Sox and Indians fans love the DH, right?

Brian, I think Ripken would be openly furious with O's management if they did that. That'd create a PR disaster if Ripken were out there criticizing the O's.

I don't think they'll have to worry about that though. Fluke injuries happen, look at Matsui last season. He had gone longer without missing a game (combining his Japanese time), and a fluke injury cost him half the year last year.

It's extremely improbable that Tejada will be able to stay healthy enough to come within 500 games of Ripken.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Todd, Brain-

The O's won't sit him down. By the time he gets there, and I think he actually might, Cal will own the team.

Try to imagine this headline...
Tejada Benched by Ripken for Personal Reasons

I don't think so. Who knows how far he goes with this streak? By next year's All-Star break he will be 3rd behind Ripken and Gherig.

Everyone said Cal couldn't do it...

Brian in Oxford said...

How about a rule where the DH is allowed, but NOT for the pitcher.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Weird question:

Has something like that ever happend?

A guy chasing a record of someone else on his team? The owner's record? Manager? Coach?

I need an answer.

Just imagine if Hank had bought the Giants and Bonds was chasing the record.

What if Pete Rose comes back in to baseball and Ichiro makes a run at the hit record?

Forget baseball. Give me any sport.

Brian in Oxford said...

I agree Ripken wouldn't bench Tejada if he got close. But I don't imagine Tejada actually being WITH the Orioles at that point. I was thinking more as a "having the door hit you on the way out" at the end of his contract.

GuyInTheCorner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CycleDan said...

I think consecutive games played in baseball is a lame record to begin with. Physically baseball is no where near as demanding as most other sports. Brett Favre's record is amazing because most QBs can't make it through a season.

The last few years, it was almost embarassing watching Ripken try to bend down and pick up a grounder but they were never going to sit him as long as he had his streak.

A D-linemen scared to hit Favre and end his streak? Just curious but I think that is true. Look at how Favre let Strahan break the sack record.

chitown italian said...

Milan up 2 nil.

Since Man U destroyed my team like Cris Carter destroying a bag of coke I am pulling for Italy to beat the damn English.

Todd said...

Here's a question, if Tejada becomes a DH (which he likely will sooner rather than later), how does that fit into the consecutive games streak? How'd that be for controversy?

GuyInTheCorner said...

Interesting Discovery...

I checked up the DH rule. By the way, here it is...
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/
official_rules/batter_6.jsp

Look at Rule 6.10.a.2 which says...
"In All-Star games, the rule will only be used if both teams and both Leagues so agree."

Maybe you could call it dirty because the policy is that if it's in an AL park you go DH if it's in the NL you don't, but if you were the manager of the NL All-Star team and you know that...
1. this could potentially decide where the World Series game 7 is played
2. the AL has a clear advantage in the DH department (see Giambi, Jason or Ortiz, David or Thome, Jim or Hafner, Travis or Thomas, Frank or Sheffield, Gary)
3. you have a rule that could take away that advantage
4. the NL has been crushed in this game every year for a decade
WHY WOULDN'T YOU INFORCE THE RULE?

Maybe they should change it so that it is identical to the rule for DH in a World Series (Rule 6.10.a.1) but since they havn't are you negligent for not using the rule?

Brian in Oxford said...

Tejada's already played some games at DH, I think. His fielding stats last year only showed 150 games at shortstop.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Todd-

It would count as long as he played a position at an NL park during interleague.

When they changed the rule about what constitutes continuing the streak it is now 1 of these 2.

Did you come to bat (a plate appearence) or did you play 1 full inning in the field.

Interesting tidbit of the day:
Gherig's streak was protected from this rule and nobody knows why. The Yankees brought him in to pinch run a ton of times to keep the streak alive. Obviously he wasn't running because he was old and slow. According to something I read one time Gherig failed to meet the modern requirements more than 20 times.

Most of the time when they change the criteria they change the records. Like in 1991 when they took away Ernie Shore's perfect game. He was the guy who took over for Babe Ruth when he was tossed after walking the first batter. Shore came in and pitched a perfect game. It was considered one for 64 years until they changed the criteria to say you had to start the game and it was wiped from the record books.

Andy R said...

I've got a wacky theory...more white players are guards than forwards or centers, and guards commit less fouls. Maybe that's why??

I cannot. fucking. stand. the stupid-ass racial issue that everyone has to read into everything.

GuyInTheCorner said...

andy r-

That doesn't fly because it is in comparison to the amount called by the black refs. It's the same as the arguement that there are more black players. It's all based on averages not actual number of fouls.

ndyanksfan05 said...

maybe its due to everyone’s inherent racism - its a proven fact that all people are subconsciously bigoted towards those different than them (although to a very, very, very small degree, there are some very interesting anthropological studies done on this subject that are kinda freaky) so maybe that’s why...or maybe its a bulls**t study that doesn't look at what fouls are called and whether they were warranted or not...

Todd said...

Ha, apparently today the Yankees did end up firing their strength coach, Marty Miller.

Link

I'd like to say I called that one.

Natsfan74 said...

Brandon Roy wins NBA R.O.Y, first on 127 of 128 ballots.

Impossible! He played all 4 years in college. No way that a guy who actually went to college can make it in the NBA -- a league for the kids that should not have age limits.

Roy was the first guard taken in the draft last year, and his first year salary is $1M more than Monta Ellis's 3 year contract. Roy has 2 guaranteed years, worth $5.5M, and 2 option years for $7M more.

But we'll see how Dan treats this, as we know that he thinks Roy should have gone pro 4 years ago or so.

GuyInTheCorner said...

natsfan-

I'm dissapointed. Roy only won the ROY because he played in a year with no high school guys in the worst draft in 25 years. You think he wins it over Durant or Oden? I don't.

Side note:

This is the second year in a row where a guy has won the ROY with all but one first place vote. Last year Chris Paul won except for Deron Williams getting the vote from the Jazz anouncer. You ask who got the other 1st place vote this year? It was Andrea Bargnani. Who voted for him? You guessed right, the Raptors play-by-play guy.

This needs to stop right now. I don't care how. That's the third straight year that I've had a problem with the voting for this award.

3 years ago it was a bigger problem when Emeka Okafor won instead of Dwight Howard, wihich besides being ludicrous if you watched both of them play that year was motivated by not wanted to give it to 3 straight Prep-to-Pro guys (LeBron, Amare) the year that they were passing the age rule.

rafael said...

I'm not into horse racing, but when i watch the Derby, i'm never more excited as a sports fan as when i hear that announcer during a close race down the stretch.

It's an experience thing that puts it over the top. Like watching hockey live or listening to a Spanish soccer announcer or Marty Brenneman doing a baseball game.

Kevin said...

I'm not saying that there is no racial bias, but you have to admit it's true that black players are generally better at attacking the rim, which could cause them to get into more foul trouble...most of the white guys are shooters, or *finesse* players...

And if you want to consider the best 8-seed in the history of the NBA beating a fairly overrated 1-seed the greatest upset in the history of the game, that's fine...but the Warriors were so hot entering this series, I have to disagree with you.

Will (Minny via AZ) said...

Sad to say, but Sir Charles was probably the best at summing up the racial bias situation. 80% of the fouls are called on black players right? Well 80% of the players in the league are black. Assinine subject and report.