Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wait Til Next Year

I'm going to paraphrase here.

Last night, I walked into our living room, where Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy was on the couch playing Threes on her iPad. The television was on in the background; it was set to MLB Network, which meant the late-night game between the Dodgers and the Braves. And Dr. Mrs. The Sportsthodoxy saw me, and said, "Honey, you have to hear this announcer!"
I listened for a minute. It was, of course, Vin Scully. I said, "That's Vin Scully. He's the greatest announcer in the history of baseball."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For Want Of A Shirt

If ever there were an argument that college athletes should get paid, it's this:
Right now, on its front page, has a story about how a Johnny Manziel jersey from Texas A&M is likely to fetch $100K at auction. 

One hundred thousand dollars in value. For one shirt.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ZOMG Selfies!!!!

So a sports talk radio host asks the question - in all seriousness - "Is it beneficial for Johnny Manziel to be taking selfies with Justin Bieber and posting them online?" This is, of course, a rhetorical question. We are meant to answer with a resounding "no", with a side of "how dare he", joining the fuddy-duddy host in stern, serious disapproval.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How To Fix The Home Run Derby, By Me

Here's how you fix the Home Run Derby:

  1. You hire some game designers to fix the rules. Not television guys, not ad execs, not front office guys. Game designers. Because it's a game.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Scenes from the AAA All-Star Game

And to close the book on the All-Star festivities in Durham, some moments from the game:
Pregame Warmups for the International League

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our All-Star Game

Odds are, I will never take my dad to a World Series game. Odds are, we'll never get to spring training, or to a World Series, either. Our lives just don't stack up that way.

But tonight, we went to the AAA All-Star Game, held in the cozy confines of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park because, hey, when an All-Star Game comes along, you ask yourself, "when am I going to get another chance?" (We missed the NHL All-Star Game a couple of years ago because I was on the road for work, and, well, there are a lot of things to love about living the RTP area, but an overabundance of event-level professional sporting events is not one of them.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Scenes From A (Minor League) Home Run Derby

No snark today, just images from last night's AAA All-Star Home Run Derby. I took my Dad, we had a good time, and once the softball players were done parking shots on the roof of the building you see next to the sign in the first pic, we settled in for the main event.

And the dog act that came with it.
The children, unleashed in the outfield to shag flies

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ten Things To Be Thankful For From the LeBron James Media Frenzy

  1. Endless mockery of the post-Decision letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert put up on the team's website and which only got taken down during the wooing of LeBron. It's not the mockery that's so delicious, it's the fact that with all the insanity on display in that letter, the internet chose to focus on the fact that it was in Comic Sans. 
  2. The media frenzy around LeBron James temporarily shut down the media frenzy around Johnny Manziel. To be spared endless moralizing by middle-aged men about what a fabulously rich 22 year old should be doing on his summer vacation is, in a word, priceless.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Today's post was going to be about the media frenzy surrounding the whole "LeBron hasn't told us where he's going" thing. It was very clever and you would have enjoyed it immensely, had King James not completely screwed us by making up his mind. 

Which, of course, I will take as another sign from the universe that I'm supposed to loathe him unreservedly. Or something.

Oh well.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Takeaways: Germany vs Brazil

Here are, in no particular order, the things we learned from Germany's 7-1 shellacking of Brazil in the World Cup semis:

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Great Moments In Sports Talk Radio, Morning LeBron Frenzy Edition

Two bits of LeBron-related brilliance from sports talk radio this morning, because everyone's suddenly A)an expert B)offering financial advice and C)feeding the rumor mill just to keep that log rolling. To wit: 

From the Dan Patrick Show, discussing how disappointing it is that LeBron (the best basketball player on the planet) feels slighted because he's never been the highest paid guy on his own team:

"He was the second-highest paid guy on the team, but that's just because of the way they paid out the money."

Well, yes, that's how hit tends to work.

and from Mike and Mike, discussing the rumors of LeBron returning to Cleveland and how disappointed/angry fans will be if it doesn't happen:

"They should blame you and me. Or the media."

Last I checked, "guys with morning radio show" were, in fact, part of the media. 

Keep the hits coming, people. Keep them coming.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

All Star Time

The nice thing about the MLB All Star Game is that despite all the silliness that has been heaped upon it over the years - wacky selection processes and vague intimations of making it "matter" and a home run derby with rules so borked I could design better ones in my sleep [note: I am a professional game designer. This is not an idle boast. MLB, talk to me] - people still care about it.

The terrible thing about the MBL All Star Game is, of course, that people care so very much about it even when deep down in their bones, they know they shouldn't. Which is why every year, when the rosters are announced, we get the following like clockwork:

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Justice, Soccer Style

Does anyone else think the best possible punishment for the Colombian player who hacksawed Neymar's back in yesterday's game would be to lock him in a room with Luis Suarez, one knife, and one fork?

Or is that just me.


There is a certain rhythm to a baseball season. It starts off in a mad rush, with small hot streaks by bad teams and unknown players exciting all sorts of cloud cuckoo-land extrapolation. (See: This April's Miami Marlins, and everyone who thought they'd win 100 games based on their first week).  Then it settles into the process of shaking itself out, as good teams separate from bad, and injuries knock off contenders without depth. Flashes in the pan fade out until everyone's got a pretty good idea of whether they're contenders or pretenders, and then the trade talk starts. This tends to be a ton of nothing until July, at which point trade talk starts bubbling up ahead of the July 31st deadline. 

It is, as they say, the way things done. Teams will wait until the last minute to be sure to extract the best possible deal for the pieces they're attempting to move, which means that acquiring teams get that much less of their new players, which in turn makes them that much less interested in surrendering quality for them, which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing, and, well, oy.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Baseball Second Half Predictions

While we haven't quite reached the All Star Game, we have hit the midway point on the baseball season in terms of games played. It's the time of year when contenders separate themselves - slightly - from the rest of the pack, when teams decide whether to trade or go for it, and flash-in-the-pan first half phenoms get weeded out as real stars emerge. It's also the part of the season where the guys on Baseball Tonight go completely incoherent, largely because they're still trying to wrap their heads around Tim Kurkjian's performance in the Sausage Race in Milwaukee.

That being said, with a half-season under our belts, we feel confident in posting some predictions for the second half. Gaze into the crystal ball with us and see that:

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

And We're Out

You don't win at the World Cup by being 31st out of 32 teams in time of possession.
You don't win by getting outshot by roughly 20. You don't win by being unable to keep the bal out of your end, and you don't win by scoring 5 goals in 4 games. Even when your keeper stands on his head and does everything but polymorph himself into an Ancient Red Dragon to keep the ball out of the goal, that's just stuff you can't overcome.

And yet.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Kidd, No Play

The thing that you have to understand is that Jason Kidd is very, very good at getting things to go his way.

He's outmaneuvered multiple coaches, both in college and in the pros (see also: Frank, Lawrence). He fell into a head coaching gig with an owner willing to pay luxury tax and a pile of experienced vets gunning for one more ring. He juked past multiple mistakes - Sodagate, anyone - that would have gotten anyone else laughed out of the league, and he's made run-ins with domestic abuse and DUI largely vanish from the conversation.

So when people make fun of Kidd for demanding total control of the Nets, then using the refusal to springboard his way to Milwaukee, I'm disinclined to agree.
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