Category: Sports

November 15, 2010

Kevin Love’s ridiculous 31 and 31 game, missing Kirk Gibson’s ’88 World Series home run ball

Pardon My French – November 13, 2010

Itunes complaints: taking too long to add new songs, Linking Manhattan and Brooklyn, Koopa Super Mario Bros., Virtual DJ, Rex Ryan spoofs his brother.

Pardon My French: November 11, 2010

Cannot read source file or disk, Seinfeld’s take on Jay Leno, David Letterman’s Hershey bars, MLB extra wildcard, baby foreskin for sale.

Pardon My French: November 10, 2010

Complaining about Google buzz, most popular sneaker brands worn by NBA players, Miami Heat’s point guard problems, Indiana Pacers score 54 in one quarter against Denver Nuggets, Spark Anderson’s real age.

Pardon My French: November 9, 2010

Adventures in google reader, Wally Backman, Derek Jeter, CFL, Gold Glove, Williamsburg Bridge, Beach Brooklyn, Tapi, Wooden NYC phone booths.

Mike Shanahan’s Right to Bench McNabb

Lost in the ongoing diatribe against Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench QB Donovan McNabb at the end of a loss to the Lions, is Shanahan’s right as a Head Football Coach to substitute any player at any time.

NFL Head Coaches, NBA Coaches, MLB Managers typically make decisions that are safe and easy for the public to digest. Shanahan was widely criticized for benching McNabb because the alternative was Rex Grossman, an aging ineffective QB clinging to an NFL roster spot. But what if Rex Grossman, instead of turning it over, threw for a TD and helped the Redskins pull off an unlikely upset?

Sure, its easy to say with 20/20 hindsight that Shanahan’s decision proved futile. With the score 31-25 in Detroit’s favor with 1:45 left in the game, Redskins were headed towards a loss. McNabb has not been a great QB by any measure this entire season. Somehow, Shanahan is taking the entire brunt of the decision, while McNabb’s ineffective QB play is a major reason for the Redskins season long miseries.

There are certain traditions in sports that continue year after year, despite any rules regulating its behavior. In the NBA, a player is immediately yanked out by his Coach after picking up his second foul in the 1st quarter. Every NBA fan knows that a player gets yanked if he commits two fouls in the 1st quarter, three fouls in the 2nd, and four fouls in the 3rd. Of course, there’s no rule that dictates a player must be removed in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd quarters based on the number of fouls at that particular moment in the game. It is just a scenario that plays out in 99% of the basketball games that I’ve seen. In the Hack-Shaq era, it was not uncommon to see a random scrub player pick up four fouls in one quarter. These scrubs were inserted into the game with the sole intention of fouling Shaq because he was utter shit from the line.

Why is it that every single NBA Head Coach adhere to this foul substitution patter year after year, despite any solid evidence that it is really the best way to run a basketball team? Even if there were strong evidence supporting a particular substitution pattern theory, I still would find it really strange that every single game would follow the same pattern on a daily basis without variation.

Another NBA tradition that all Head Coaches like to do is to bring back the exact same opening starting lineup for the start of the 2nd Half. How is it possible that in the thousands of NBA games played in the last thirty years, nearly every single game featured the same Starting Lineup for the 1st Half as in the 2nd Half. Dream Team Head Coach Chuck Daly had a different Starting Lineup for every single Olympics Basketball game in 1992, but it was done out of boredom, I suppose. Because as an NBA Head Coach, Daly pretty much had a set Starting Lineup for the entire season, and played the same Lineups for 1st and 2nd Halves.

I think a big reason that Coaches adhere to such strict though not mandatory guidelines is fear of mockery. Mike Shanahan is being described by many as being dumb or just being Anti-McNabb. I’ve even heard that it was Shanahan’s fault for not teaching McNabb how to play the two minute drill.

We’ve all seen huge upsets happen in sports. Heck, SF Giants Cody Ross was a hero in the postseason and nobody could have ever predicted that. The Seattle Seahawks have dominated at home this season, even though they have mediocre talent. The Bills have been in most of their games this season, but are sitting at 0-7.

If sports was all about making calculated decisions based on the computer, we would have computers coach the players. But the truth of the matter is that no computer could ever accurately predict the outcome of sporting events.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony Larussa was widely ridiculed when he placed the pitcher in the 8th spot of the batting order. In the case of baseball, there are many statheads who would argue that the batting order is a bit overrated. Does it really matter that Teixeira bats 3rd and A-Rod protects him by batting 4th? Yeah, sure you want to maximize at bats, but those are seasonal goals. It seems reasonable to design a specific type of lineup against that day’s opposing starting pitcher. Drudging out the same exact lineup game in game out is just too boneheaded for me.

I mean, I think having the same baseball lineup day in, day out, is like having sex the same way over and over again for six months. I mean, sure you’re getting laid, but do you really want to have the same routine with the same significant other every single day? Sure, you’re getting laid, but after a while, it’s just like taking a hot shower. It feels good, but lacks the proper stimulation.

LeBron James’ BFF is Chris Paul: Why Ask Why

LeBron James admitted that Chris Paul is indeed his greatest BFF in an interview at today’s Heat practice. I find it comical that reporters are asking these kind of questions to NBA players. I can’t imagine a reporter asking Magic Johnson if Isiah Thomas was his BFF back in 1984. Then again, there was no such thing as BFF and for all I know, Magic was probably asked that a lot, especially after the 1988 NBA Finals cheek kiss with then buddy Isiah.

Oh yeah, and LeBron’s right shin really hurts. LeBron James sat out today’s Heat practice and was subjected to questions about his BFF status.

I highly encourage you to listen to this three minute interview and hear juicy details of how LeBron met future best friend Chris Paul at the 2003 McDonald’s game. Their mutual love at first sight eventually evolved into a deep friendship where both men are now committed to being at each other’s kids’ births. Why ask why, says LeBron, yeah, why ask why.

Question: Talk about Chris Paul, and your closest. It seems like you and Chris (Paul) have, it almost sounds like your closest bond among players.

LeBron: I would think so. We’ve grown as, our friendship has grown over the years. We both respect what we do on the court but it goes way beyond that. It’s kinda hard to talk about it because I know how close we are so I support everything he do.

Question: Yet, you’re (from) different draft classes. Not as much time on the national team. How did that evolve? Why him?

LeBron: I met him, we was in the same McDonald’s game, even though we were in different draft classes, we were at the McDonald’s game. I got an opportunity to meet him there and get an opportunity to have a good relationship with him from there on. In 2003 at the McDonald’s game, I guess why ask why at that point? Our friendship has definitely grown . He was present at both my child’s birth, both of them. I was there at his son’s first birthday party, things like that. It’s deep.

Wade, LeBron and Bosh uncut audio from Thursday’s Heat practice | Hot Hot Hoops.

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Possibility of a Yankees Collapse

The Yankees are seven games ahead of Boston, with 17 games left to play. The Yanks are eerily in the exact same situation as Mets were in 2007, when the Mets were up seven with 17 left to play.

The Yanks have a tough road ahead of them. After tonight’s rubber game against the Rays, they got 3 @ O’s, 4 vs. Rays, 3 vs Sox, 3 @ Jays, and 3 @ Bos. Not an easy road.

The O’s will make the old veteran Yankees work hard and stretch their old bones to beat them, and that’s if the Yankees could win two out of three. The seven in a row against the Rays and Sox will be war. Then to finish in TO, and fly to Boston? Wow, it’s going to get ugly.

Every game out will be hotly contested because all of their opponents have the weapons and the motivation. The O’s will be three ugly, hard fought contests either way. I’m betting the O’s take at least two games, if not more.

Their last home stand of the season will make or break them. If the Yanks do something ugly like 1-6, it’s very likely that they won’t even make the post season after such a stellar start.

The Red Sox have six more games with the Yanks and Boston sure could sweep all of them. The three games at the TO Skydome will most definitely be high scoring games. The Blue Jays can bomb and the Yankee staff is comprised mainly of fastball pitchers. Yummy.

Derek Jeter’s Preferential Treatment

Derek Jeter’s future contract with the Yankees has been speculated by some to be 50-60 million around 3-4 years. The Yankees have cash and it sounds like their are going to open up their vaults to Number Two, Derek Jeter.

I’ve seen Jeter’s entire career, starting from 1995, and he has gotten the most preferential treatment of any baseball player in history. Now mind you, Jeter’s career stats are significantly south of truly great Yankees like Ruth, Gehrig, and Mantle, just to name a few. Yet, Jeter’s been treated like he is greater than all three of them combined.

When Alex Rodriguez came to the Yankees, he was the reigning AL MVP, and reigning Gold Glove at SS. Yet, A-Roid was forced to move to 3B to play an entirely new position. This strange arrangement was done to accommodate Jeter, as a sign of respect to the Yankee captain if you want to think of it like that.

Getting the greatest (steroid) player of its generation to change positions is not really the normal thing that happens in pro sports. Usually, merit trumps loyalty. When the NY Mets got Mike Piazza, they didn’t ask him to change positions because they already had a catcher in Todd Hundley. But when it involved the almighty great Jeter, the same merit based standards were not applied to him. Perhaps Jeter is so sensitive, that the Yankees knew it would be a massive ego hit to Jeter if they asked him to move to another position. You would think that if Jeter was such a great leader and cared so much about winning, he would consider moving over to 3B to accommodate A-Roid, who was clearly a much better player than he was.

Jeter’s entire resume is built on the fact that he has multiple championships and that he is a great leader. Yet his offensive numbers are not all that exciting to look at. I’ll give him a ton of credit for consistently putting up .300 BA / 100 R per season. I mean sure he’s consistent, but so was Craig Biggio.

Jeter’s statistical achievements are largely team based. His teams have won a ton of games, but wins are totally a team stat. Jeter has also scored a ton of runs in his career, yet runs are another kind of team stat. The way I look at runs is that I split the credit 50/50. 50% goes to the runner, the other 50% goes to its teammates. It’s that simple. Do you really think Jeter would have scored as many runs on the Mets, playing for a shitty franchise, in a pitcher’s park? Not likely.

Its assumed by many that Jeter deserves a fat new contract just because he is a lifelong Yankee. Bernie Williams was also a lifelong Yankee, yet when his skills were diminishing, Cashman couldn’t wait to get rid of Bernie. All Bernie wanted was a roster spot, the 25th man on the team. All Bernie got was an invitation to the Minor Leagues. Bernie’s impact on the Yankees in the 1990s was significantly more important than Jeter’s, yet Bernie never got any preferential treatment whatsoever.

Last season, Damon was 36 and wanted to stay as a Yankee. Sure, Damon didn’t have Jeter’s seniority, but Damon was an important key cog of the 2009 championship team, especially in the postseason. Yet, Cashman determined that Damon was too old and his offensive production would decline significantly. Cashman dangled a shitty one year deal to Damon, and then soon moved on to his favorite Nick Johnson, an often injured player who again is out for the season.

Now Jeter is also 36 and he is having his worse season at the plate in 2010. Yet with Jeter, nothing is made about his ridiculously overpaid 22.6 million deal with the Yankees in 2010. According to Cashman, Jeter’s crappy offensive production should be blamed on his age (same as Damon). Since Jeter is only seven months younger than Damon, a tidy ten million for one year sounds about right.

LeBron James begins training with the Miami Heat | Hot Hot Hoops

South Florida’s newest resident LeBron James has been busy throughout Miami seemingly attempting to single-handedly revive the local economy as he’s been seen dining in South Beach at Big Pink, visiting Dadeland Mall to purchase iPhone accessories and enjoying Jungle Island with his family. But don’t be fooled thinking he’s been vacationing as many people might be doing this time of the year in South Florida because he began on-site job training with his new place of employment while reports came out yesterday LeBron was hitting the courts at the University of Miami on Thursday and Friday with some new co-workers and friends.

The official Heat website was nice enough to post a quick video showing a few clips from his practice with the Heat. Erik Spoelstra and assistant coaches such as Keith Askins are seen guiding LeBron through a series of light drills that primarily involved jump shots. Fellow teammates Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem can be seen in the background working with other coaches as well.

Spoelstra then works LeBron through one sequence where he is told to keep his upper body “on the same plane” instead of dipping down low while making a cut to the basket and pulling up for a midrange jumper. Despite repeated shoves by Spoelstra on the hips and shoulder, LeBron follows the advice and hits jumper after jumper. The drill repeats on the other side of the basket and Spoelstra guards him as LeBron swings to the side before draining jumpers. This new motion clearly rattles LeBron’s instincts as he repeatedly hesitates to pull the trigger on more than one time as if his brain is telling his body this isn’t the normal way of doing this, though he nails the shots anyway.

The video ends with a single shot of James and Haslem running a fast break against Spoelstra and an assistant as the Heat’s new small forward dunks it while his new coach looks on while smiling broadly.

Interestingly, Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg (Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations) can be seen in the background by the workout machines at the 1:25 mark monitoring the practice.

via LeBron James begins training with the Miami Heat | Hot Hot Hoops.