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Random sports stuff

[ 39 ] September 30, 2008 |

(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

Comments (39)

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  1. Erik says:

    “…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.”
    John McCain owns the Raiders?

  2. Erik says:

    “…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.”
    John McCain owns the Raiders?

  3. Erik says:

    “…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.”
    John McCain owns the Raiders?

  4. themann1086 says:

    I prefer the college rule, frankly. And this from home of the Longest Home Games in the country.
    Brought to you by NBC!

  5. themann1086 says:

    I prefer the college rule, frankly. And this from home of the Longest Home Games in the country.
    Brought to you by NBC!

  6. themann1086 says:

    I prefer the college rule, frankly. And this from home of the Longest Home Games in the country.
    Brought to you by NBC!

  7. McKingford says:

    Paul, I’m a Lion fan, and I take *no* comfort thinking Raider fans are in a worse position, because I don’t think they are. The Raiders have only stunk since their last Superbowl appearance (in 2002), whereas the Lions have never even played in a Superbowl. During those years of torment in my youth when the Lions were causing so much grief, the Raiders were going about winning – and winning Superbowls.
    It’s a lot easier to weather some dry spells when you have a record of success to fall back on.

  8. McKingford says:

    Paul, I’m a Lion fan, and I take *no* comfort thinking Raider fans are in a worse position, because I don’t think they are. The Raiders have only stunk since their last Superbowl appearance (in 2002), whereas the Lions have never even played in a Superbowl. During those years of torment in my youth when the Lions were causing so much grief, the Raiders were going about winning – and winning Superbowls.
    It’s a lot easier to weather some dry spells when you have a record of success to fall back on.

  9. McKingford says:

    Paul, I’m a Lion fan, and I take *no* comfort thinking Raider fans are in a worse position, because I don’t think they are. The Raiders have only stunk since their last Superbowl appearance (in 2002), whereas the Lions have never even played in a Superbowl. During those years of torment in my youth when the Lions were causing so much grief, the Raiders were going about winning – and winning Superbowls.
    It’s a lot easier to weather some dry spells when you have a record of success to fall back on.

  10. McKingford says:

    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.
    I think the NFL got this exactly right, even if some referees had difficulty understanding what this meant (I think initially Jeff Triplett botched a number of these, reversing calls that where not only was there an absence of indisputable visual evidence, but where the original call was indisputably correct).
    Having this high standard does two things: it puts a premium on getting the call right in the first place; and by setting the bar so high it makes it easier to standardize among referees the decision to overturn.
    Also, doing it on a “de novo” basis risks getting it wrong, in that the official on the field may have had a better angle or view than that made available through replay. Ultimately, in the absence of “indisputable visual evidence” I tend to doubt the ability of replay to do better than the original call.

  11. McKingford says:

    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.
    I think the NFL got this exactly right, even if some referees had difficulty understanding what this meant (I think initially Jeff Triplett botched a number of these, reversing calls that where not only was there an absence of indisputable visual evidence, but where the original call was indisputably correct).
    Having this high standard does two things: it puts a premium on getting the call right in the first place; and by setting the bar so high it makes it easier to standardize among referees the decision to overturn.
    Also, doing it on a “de novo” basis risks getting it wrong, in that the official on the field may have had a better angle or view than that made available through replay. Ultimately, in the absence of “indisputable visual evidence” I tend to doubt the ability of replay to do better than the original call.

  12. McKingford says:

    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.
    I think the NFL got this exactly right, even if some referees had difficulty understanding what this meant (I think initially Jeff Triplett botched a number of these, reversing calls that where not only was there an absence of indisputable visual evidence, but where the original call was indisputably correct).
    Having this high standard does two things: it puts a premium on getting the call right in the first place; and by setting the bar so high it makes it easier to standardize among referees the decision to overturn.
    Also, doing it on a “de novo” basis risks getting it wrong, in that the official on the field may have had a better angle or view than that made available through replay. Ultimately, in the absence of “indisputable visual evidence” I tend to doubt the ability of replay to do better than the original call.

  13. McKingford says:

    #4. I was watching that game, and I flipped it off in disgust when Wisconsin made their two point conversion at the end to tie it. Imagine my surprise later that night to read the score 27-25, and then learn that the two point conversion I had seen was negated by penalty. I suppose there’s a lesson to be learned here…

  14. McKingford says:

    #4. I was watching that game, and I flipped it off in disgust when Wisconsin made their two point conversion at the end to tie it. Imagine my surprise later that night to read the score 27-25, and then learn that the two point conversion I had seen was negated by penalty. I suppose there’s a lesson to be learned here…

  15. McKingford says:

    #4. I was watching that game, and I flipped it off in disgust when Wisconsin made their two point conversion at the end to tie it. Imagine my surprise later that night to read the score 27-25, and then learn that the two point conversion I had seen was negated by penalty. I suppose there’s a lesson to be learned here…

  16. witless chum says:

    #4, wow, that’s somewhat reminiscient of watching “Cloverfield.”

  17. witless chum says:

    #4, wow, that’s somewhat reminiscient of watching “Cloverfield.”

  18. witless chum says:

    #4, wow, that’s somewhat reminiscient of watching “Cloverfield.”

  19. pharniel says:

    I was watching the game with my wife, who’s a grad of UofM (we also live in a^2) and was glad she was cooking for the first half. genuinely nifty second half that was stunning.
    i too prefer the NFl version.
    also, as a lions fan, it just sucks. but at least someone finnaly got to ford sr. on that.

    i have confidence that the cowboys will once again crush detroit hope.
    oh well, least we have seen stanley a couple times.

  20. pharniel says:

    I was watching the game with my wife, who’s a grad of UofM (we also live in a^2) and was glad she was cooking for the first half. genuinely nifty second half that was stunning.
    i too prefer the NFl version.
    also, as a lions fan, it just sucks. but at least someone finnaly got to ford sr. on that.

    i have confidence that the cowboys will once again crush detroit hope.
    oh well, least we have seen stanley a couple times.

  21. pharniel says:

    I was watching the game with my wife, who’s a grad of UofM (we also live in a^2) and was glad she was cooking for the first half. genuinely nifty second half that was stunning.
    i too prefer the NFl version.
    also, as a lions fan, it just sucks. but at least someone finnaly got to ford sr. on that.

    i have confidence that the cowboys will once again crush detroit hope.
    oh well, least we have seen stanley a couple times.

  22. Cliffy says:

    My recollection is that the high standard of review was specifically an artifact of the controversy of reinstituting replay. It was explained that it would save a lot of time because close cases that had to be looked at again and again from every angle simply didn’t qualify to be overturned, so there was no need to watch them over and over. Only the calls where the addition of better angles and slo-mo enabled the refs to quickly say “Oh, man, we blew that one!” would count.
    Obviously, it has not worked out that way.

  23. Cliffy says:

    My recollection is that the high standard of review was specifically an artifact of the controversy of reinstituting replay. It was explained that it would save a lot of time because close cases that had to be looked at again and again from every angle simply didn’t qualify to be overturned, so there was no need to watch them over and over. Only the calls where the addition of better angles and slo-mo enabled the refs to quickly say “Oh, man, we blew that one!” would count.
    Obviously, it has not worked out that way.

  24. Cliffy says:

    My recollection is that the high standard of review was specifically an artifact of the controversy of reinstituting replay. It was explained that it would save a lot of time because close cases that had to be looked at again and again from every angle simply didn’t qualify to be overturned, so there was no need to watch them over and over. Only the calls where the addition of better angles and slo-mo enabled the refs to quickly say “Oh, man, we blew that one!” would count.
    Obviously, it has not worked out that way.

  25. Being an experienced Lions fan [since 1967] I realized that the unbeaten preseason that we ‘enjoyed’ was very likely the peak of our beloved Leos achievement for 2008. Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    Now that our senile owner has canned the excretable Matt Millen, there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    We are worse than the Raiders, and will battle the hapless Rams for the first pick. A pick that will be wasted on some poor unfortunate college star.

  26. Being an experienced Lions fan [since 1967] I realized that the unbeaten preseason that we ‘enjoyed’ was very likely the peak of our beloved Leos achievement for 2008. Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    Now that our senile owner has canned the excretable Matt Millen, there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    We are worse than the Raiders, and will battle the hapless Rams for the first pick. A pick that will be wasted on some poor unfortunate college star.

  27. Being an experienced Lions fan [since 1967] I realized that the unbeaten preseason that we ‘enjoyed’ was very likely the peak of our beloved Leos achievement for 2008. Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    Now that our senile owner has canned the excretable Matt Millen, there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    We are worse than the Raiders, and will battle the hapless Rams for the first pick. A pick that will be wasted on some poor unfortunate college star.

  28. McKingford says:

    Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    In which case, you are truly not familiar with the history of the Detroit Lions…

  29. McKingford says:

    Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    In which case, you are truly not familiar with the history of the Detroit Lions…

  30. McKingford says:

    Little did I know how bad the regular season would be.
    In which case, you are truly not familiar with the history of the Detroit Lions…

  31. rea says:

    there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    You do realize that the Lions have been rebuilding since 1958?

  32. rea says:

    there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    You do realize that the Lions have been rebuilding since 1958?

  33. rea says:

    there is some hope that this current rebuilding era will be over in a few years.
    You do realize that the Lions have been rebuilding since 1958?

  34. Linnaeus says:

    As a Lions fan, I can take some solace in knowing that a journey of a thousand miles (a winning franchise) must begin with a single step (firing Millen).
    But this season’s in the toilet.
    McKingford: I was ready to turn off the game in disgust after the first half, which to me was not only the worst half of football played in the history of the Michigan program, but quite possibly in the entire history of college football.
    Glad I didn’t. Wow.

  35. Linnaeus says:

    As a Lions fan, I can take some solace in knowing that a journey of a thousand miles (a winning franchise) must begin with a single step (firing Millen).
    But this season’s in the toilet.
    McKingford: I was ready to turn off the game in disgust after the first half, which to me was not only the worst half of football played in the history of the Michigan program, but quite possibly in the entire history of college football.
    Glad I didn’t. Wow.

  36. Linnaeus says:

    As a Lions fan, I can take some solace in knowing that a journey of a thousand miles (a winning franchise) must begin with a single step (firing Millen).
    But this season’s in the toilet.
    McKingford: I was ready to turn off the game in disgust after the first half, which to me was not only the worst half of football played in the history of the Michigan program, but quite possibly in the entire history of college football.
    Glad I didn’t. Wow.

  37. Patrick says:

    Little known fact: Al Davis is actually undead.
    For all the spiky oompa-loompa get ups and paens to biker culture prevalent in the Raiders fan base at home games, I can’t believe those folks have let Al Davis meddle this team into the clown cellar for as long as they have. I mean Christ Almighty, boycott the home games or burn his crypt already!

  38. Patrick says:

    Little known fact: Al Davis is actually undead.
    For all the spiky oompa-loompa get ups and paens to biker culture prevalent in the Raiders fan base at home games, I can’t believe those folks have let Al Davis meddle this team into the clown cellar for as long as they have. I mean Christ Almighty, boycott the home games or burn his crypt already!

  39. Patrick says:

    Little known fact: Al Davis is actually undead.
    For all the spiky oompa-loompa get ups and paens to biker culture prevalent in the Raiders fan base at home games, I can’t believe those folks have let Al Davis meddle this team into the clown cellar for as long as they have. I mean Christ Almighty, boycott the home games or burn his crypt already!

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