Saturday, November 30, 2013

Great Moments In Crowds Versus Jerks, Hockey Edition

Not shown: Cam Ward getting heckled
It was the guy yelling on his way out the door that made tonight's game memorable.

The game itself, not so much. Cam Ward had stood on his head for a little over two periods when suddenly the roof caved in, and a 2-1 Hurricanes lead turned into a 5-2 deficit in a hurry. And after that last goal was methodically stuffed in behind a flailing, desperate Ward by Jaromir Jagr, as the crowd started filing out toward the PNC Arena parking lot, one guy stopped as he headed for the exits. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

And I Didn't Even Get A Toaster

So yesterday, Detroit smoked what was left of Green Bay, Dallas relentlessly marched over an undermanned Oakland team whose quarterback clearly had taken lessons from the Donovan McNabb School Of Underthrowing Open Receivers, and Baltimore and Pittsburgh renewed their rivalry in a series of steel cage matches occasionally interrupted by Bernard Pierce rushes of 4 yards or less.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Things In Sports I Am Thankful For, Part A Gazillion

In no particular order, I am thankful that:

Steve Logan, former East Carolina football coach, has a radio show. Imagine, if you will, a devoted blues fan and wine expert who talks like an extra from Walking Tall while expertly dissecting the previous week's football coaching blunders. It's a gift, I tell you. A gift.

Jose Oquendo is still coaching third base for the Cardinals. I mean, I'd rather he were managing (which is another way of saying Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy has boycotted Cardinals fandom until they make him manager) but hey, he's still on the field and wearing a Cards uniform, so that's something right with the universe.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Your Weekly ACC Update: It's Almost Over

And down the stretch they come. UNC woke up, NCSU went back to sleep, and Idaho accidentally embarrassed two teams in the conference. Just another week at the office, really.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your Weekly PED Nonsense Panic, Jhonny Peralta Division

If you are upset that the Cardinals gave Jhonny Peralta a 4 year deal in free agency and thus "rewarded" a known PED user, you're not paying attention.

You're not paying attention to Dave Cameron's work over at FanGraphs, where he points out that a guy like Peralta should maybe have gotten more than he actually signed for, based on comparable players and a thin market for shortstops.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dear Boston Sports Fans

Dear Boston Sports Fans:

Look. We - and by "we", I mean "those of us living in the rest of the country, apart from LA and New York, which have their own particular ridiculousness" - understand. You are in an admirable place right now, and a largely unprecedented one. Your baseball team has won the World Series 3 times in the last decade. Your football team is in the middle of a sustained run of excellence that has brought it multiple Super Bowl wins. Your hockey team won the Cup not that long ago, and is a serious contender to do so again. And while the Celtics are rebuilding this year, the Allen/Garnett/Pierce years were a cornucopia of victories. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Roasting the Cobb

The great thing about being a blogger is that you can't get fired for saying inflammatory stuff because you're not getting paid, even when you write inflammatory stuff. Of course, that's also the downside to being a blogger, but there are times when the inflammatory stuff just has to be said.

(To be fair, some of the fun of the inflammatory stuff is ticking off the right people. Getting knuckle-dragging chest-thumpers into a tizzy is better than everything on basic cable except maybe Finding Bigfoot.)

So here's a thing: The Braves' new stadium, which already has people lined up around the block to defend it because, umm, well, I haven't figured that part out yet, except they've succumbed to a virulent form of self-abnegation whereby they identify so strongly with their fandom that they are willing to advocate against their own interests to show public support for their team.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Official Sportsthodoxy Position On the Alex Rodriguez Arbitration Hearing

Be it resolved that we at Sportsthodoxy feel that:

Alex Rodriguez storming out of his arbitration hearing may have been a product of genuine anger upon hearing that Commissioner Selig would not be compelled to testify, but his filmed radio appearance with Mike Francesca was bad amateur theater of the sort that would get laughed out of most 3-day LARPs;

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Your Weekly ACC Update: Duke Brings The Pain Edition

They are now running commercials on local sports talk radio where they talk about Duke football bringing the pain.

Duke football. 

As in "good seats, still available". As in "this is the first time ever - EVER - Duke has been bowl eligible in two consecutive seasons". 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chooch Redux

Yesterday, the Phillies re-signed catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz, who had been a free agent, to a three year deal.

The details of the deal are unimportant. The money is good (3 years, $26M, with a club option for the 4th), but  not great. There is a decent chance that averaged over the life of the contract, it won't be a ridiculous overpay. There is also a decent chance that Ruiz, as a catcher in his mid-30s, will either fall off a cliff, performance-wise, or get hurt. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Toast to the 1972 Dolphins

One of the more ridiculous things that gets people's knickers in a twist about the NFL - and for a league supposedly founded on "manliness", there is a lot of offensensitivity under them thar pads - is the tradition of the surviving members of the 1972 Dolphins, whereby they get together for a champagne toast every year when the last surviving unbeaten team finally goes down. Last night, it was the Kansas City Chiefs' turn, as a combination of Peyton Manning and Andy Reid mysteriously thinking he was still coaching the Eagles coincided to end their run.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Post MVP Thoughts

There was much less shouting over the AL MVP Award this year than last year, largely since a decisive bloc of voters decided back in May that they were going to be giving it to Miguel Cabrera again. He got off to a hot start, Mike Trout didn't, and that was that. There's lots of fun to be had in picking the bones of the ballots - the one guy who put Trout 7th because his team wasn't a contender gave Chris Davis of the 4th-place Baltimore Orioles his first place vote - and trying to untangle the logic that various voters used, but really, it comes down to this: Everyone votes gut feelings, and then constructs rationales to support it. If those rationales contradict the facts, or how the voter in question has voted in previous years, it doesn't matter, because all of this is just a seven-day wonder and a warmup for the really nasty fights over the Hall of Fame ballot that are coming up.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Your ACC Roundup: Why Even Bother Edition

I'm not even going to bother breaking this one up. There's no point. Any given week in the ACC can be summed up in two sentences: Florida State beat holy hell out of someone, and everyone else might as well have played rock-paper-scissors. (Well, except Virginia. Because they probably lost.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hi, Hi, Byrdie

So here's why Marlon Byrd to the Phillies for 2 years and $16M (plus an option year) is a bad signing.

It's not the money. I mean, sure, to you and me $8M a year is a lot of money, but the going rate for decent outfielders, which Byrd might or might not be (depending on whether you view his 2013 season as an outlier or a harbinger of a new skill set), is a little higher than that. So, assuming you're going to get decent production - say a .270 batting average and 25 homers and solid defense - that money's defensible. And it's not like he's blocking anyone. Darrin Ruf's not an everyday guy and plays defense like an Ent. John Mayberry's out the door. The best outfield prospects in the minors are years away, or are not actual prospects. So, since you've got to stick somebody out there, you might as well pay market rate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Your Handy-Dandy Guide To the Marietta Barves

Today, the Atlanta Braves announced that they've purchased land in suburban Cobb County, upon which they intend to erect a stadium complex they'll move into in time for the 2017 season. This is unusual, in that for the past several decades teams have steadily returned to urban centers from the 'burbs, and because the Braves already have a perfectly serviceable stadium.  Here, then, is our attempt to break down the nuances of the move.

They can do that?
Their lease at Turner Field expires after the 2016 season. They're free to move anywhere they want. Of course, MLB has some fairly strict rules about where they'll allow their teams to play, so realistically their options are A)renew the lease on Turner Field B)build a new place or C)hope the zombified corpse of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium rises from its grave beneath the asphalt of the Turner Field parking lots.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

They Booed Bynum

They booed Andrew Bynum in Philly.
This is not a surprise. It is Philadelphia, after all, and while the legend of pelting Santa with snowballs has been blown out of all proportion, the fans do like to show their displeasure with enthusiasm. And Andrew Bynum is someone the formerly apathetic Sixers fanbase is mightily displeased with.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Weekly ACC Update: Late In The Week Edition

There is Florida State, and there is everybody else. Who the everybody else is doesn't seem to matter much from week to week; right now the biggest drama in the conference is whether all the third-tier teams are going to beat each other up enough to knock a few out of bowl contention. As for FSU, they're clearly the class of the league, but with the rest of the ACC gone all squishy, they're BCS goners unless either Alabama or Oregon loses. In a year when pundits bragged the ACC was as strong as it's ever been, football-wise, the weakness of Florida State's schedule is what's going to let Oregon potentially leapfrog them into the championship game.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Eight Things I Think About Incognito And Martin

1-What Miami Dolphins slab of beef Richie Incognito did to his teammate Jonathan Martin is unconscionable. You do not threaten a coworker. You do not use racial epithets to refer to him or his family. You do not threaten his family. You do not repeatedly do this. You do not demand part of his paycheck on repeated occasions because you are senior to him. Anyone doing this in any rational company would be terminated instantly, and possibly, depending on the threats, arrested.

2-The Dolphins, after initially downplaying the situation and making statements supporting Incognito, were confronted with evidence of the threatening phone calls today. 
Then, they suspended him. 
And if anyone says "they were just protecting their player", well, Martin is their player, too.

Monday, November 04, 2013

On Adrian Cardenas

There are three types of people who show up for online chats with baseball writers. The first kind are genuinely interested in having specific questions answered, usually about players who fly below the radar of the mainstream media. The second kind are guys - and they're always guys - who are there to have a pundit reaffirm their opinion about their team or one of their team's players, and God help the chat host who fails to agree that every local AAAA hero isn't the next coming of Jim Thome.