(1) A statistic that will appeal to any baseball fan’s inner geek: Alex Rodriguez has scored one fewer run than he’s batted in in his career, and he’s consequently 691 RBI short of Hank Aaron’s career record, and 690 runs scored short of Rickey Henderson’s career mark. Bill James’s favorite toy formula gives him a 39% chance of breaking the RBI record and a 36% shot at the runs scored crown. It also projects him to finish with exactly 760 career home runs (somehow I doubt he’ll stop at just that number), which of course means he’s projected at even money to break Bonds’ record.
(2) As a Detroit Lions fan, it gives me a certain grim comfort to know that Oakland Raiders fans are in an even worse position, given that their franchise is being held hostage by a senile madman. Al Davis’ latest stunt is that he’s flatly refusing to pay the millions he owes newly fired coach Lane Kiffin. Davis has a history of doing this (he still owes Mike Shanahan a lot of money). Davis, who is 79, claims that he won’t quit until “he” wins two more Super Bowls.
(3) The NFL replay rule, which gives coaches three challenges per game, plus unlimited replay discretion for the officals in the last two minutes of halves, is vastly superior to the college version, where every play is subject to potential review at the discretion of the officials. This leads to pointless delays as the refs review trivial plays, compounded by their occasional failure to review crucial plays that absolutely should be looked at again. A flaw with both systems is the standard of review, which is far too high — “indisputable visual evidence,” which is supposed to be a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. If you’re going to review the play, it should be done on a de novo basis, or maybe with a clear and convincing standard, which in effect is what a lot of replay officals end up using informally.
(4) This is pretty awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyLCo5AUo0A