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Baseball Analytics: Winning the New-Fangled Old-Fashioned Way (By Cheating)
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The first wave of advanced baseball statistics analytics coincided with the Steroids Era, which the ambitious sabermetricians were curiously unable to detect despite their statistical sophistication.

The second wave of analytics, as exemplified by the Houston Astros, seems to be coinciding with a bunch of old fashioned ways to cheat like stealing signals and using pine tar.

Back before the World Series, I pointed out in a review of the recent baseball book The MVP Machine that the Houston Astro’s superstar pitcher Gerritt Cole had been credibly accused by his arch-enemy, pitcher Trevor Bauer, of being instructed by Houston’s ex-McKinsey Brain Trust to use pine tar to cheat:

With his Asperger-y personality, Bauer makes for an interesting if insufferable hero for The MVP Machine, as if Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory had honed himself into a pitcher who can throw 95 miles per hour through sheer know-it-allness.

The MVP Machine points out that the new ability to measure spin on pitches may be encouraging a novel form of cheating by pitchers to increase their spin rate. Some pitchers long applied spit, Vaseline, or other slippery substances to one side of the ball to make it dip unpredictably. But if you use something sticky on your fingers, such as pine tar, you can put more spin on the ball.

Increasing backspin on your fastball makes it sails higher than the batter expects. Increasing topspin on your curveball makes it dive down out of the strike zone. Do both and you’re Sandy Koufax in 1963.

While umpires try to police spitballs, they don’t care about sticky substances, agreeing with the pitchers that pine tar, while technically illegal, makes hurlers less likely to lose control of a pitch and hit a batter in the face.

Last season Bauer of the Cleveland Indians more or less implied on Twitter that his old teammate from UCLA, Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros, must have been putting stickum on the ball to boost his spin rate. Bauer and Cole had hated each other while on the Bruins, carrying out a classic nerd vs. jock feud.

Statistics on spin rate on every pitch thrown in the big leagues have only been available for the last few years. Bauer argues that there is no known way other than using a pine tar like sticky substance to add about 10% more spin the way Cole did after he arrived in Houston from Pittsburgh. To make his point, in the first inning of one game, Bauer demonstrated that he could achieve Cole like spin rates, presumably using stickum.

So far, nothing new has turned up on this Spingate question, other than free agent Cole signing a $324 million nine year deal with the New York Yankees.

But lots of other allegations have been leaking about Houston, and now other clubs. Houston’s sabermetrician general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch have been fired for a sign-stealing conspiracy during Houston’s world championship year of 2017. Two other clubs, the 2018 champion Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets, have fired their managers, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, respectively, who were with the Astros in 2017.

What is sign-stealing?

The catcher needs to know what pitch the pitcher is going to throw so he knows where to catch it. So the squatting catcher puts his bare hand between his legs where the batter can’t see it and flashes signals with his fingers: e.g. one finger might mean fastball, etc. The pitcher can shake his head no if he disagrees until the catcher calls for the pitch the pitcher wants to throw.

If the batting team gets a baserunner to second base, he is legally entitled to look over the pitcher’s shoulder at the signs the catcher is flashing and relay them to the batter.

Teams have systems to make signs not quite as simple as One Is Fastball, but these aren’t Claude Shannon and Alan Turing out there communicating, so the complications can’t get too complicated.

Presumably, many sabermetricians of the kind Houston employs in great numbers could crack each day’s code pretty quickly.

But what about when there isn’t a runner on second? The batting team could put a staffer out in central field with binoculars and some kind of electronic communication device to signal to the dugout. It has been alleged that Giant Bobby Thomson’s 1951 Shot Heard Round the World off Dodger Ralph Branca to win the 1951 National League pennant was part of a cheating system set up by Giant manager Leo Durocher.

Since the early 1970s, baseball has largely been televised mainly using a telephoto camera in centerfield that allows anybody watching to see the catchers’ signs. Baseball’s rules say that while batting teams can spy on signals by getting a runner on second base, they can’t use technology to spy on signals.

Houston, in 2017 put a staffer in the dugout to clubhouse hallway with a computer to watch the catcher’s signs. He signaled them to the batter by the simple expedient of pounding on a bucket: no bang = fastball, one bang = changeup, two bangs equal breaking ball.

Did Houston have this system in place on the road or just at home.

For example, in the 2017 World Series, the L.A. Dodgers great pitcher Clayton Kershaw gave up one run in 11 innings pitched in Dodger Stadium. But in the famous 5th game Kershaw couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in Houston, with the Astros ultimately winning 13-12 in 10 innings.

Lots more rumors are flying today, such as that Houston’s 5’6″ slugger Jose Altuve was wearing a buzzer under his jersey on a crucial postseason homer.

And somebody is alleging that the California Angels superstar Mike Trout has a secret loophole that allows him to legally take Human Growth Hormone for a thyroid condition. (This would be a little like how Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi was given HGH as a child for extreme shortness.)

 
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  1. I don’t usually get into your baseball posts, Steve, but this was pretty interesting. On this part:

    The catcher needs to know what pitch the pitcher is going to throw so he knows where to catch it.

    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he’s swinging, etc. I know the pitcher has the veto with his head shake.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Achmed E. Newman


    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he’s swinging, etc.

     

    It's both. The catcher is in charge of choosing the tactics to get the batter out by choosing the pitch. In this sense, the catcher is 'calling' the game, a term you'll often hear from commentators.

    But the catcher absolutely needs to know what pitch is coming in order to catch it -- you'll sometimes see a pitcher and catcher 'get their signals crossed' even in an MLB game, and the result is often a passed ball, i.e. the catcher completely missing the pitch and the ball rolling to the backstop.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    , @megabar
    @Achmed E. Newman

    > I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter,

    I assumed it was more practical. The catcher is behind the batter, so the batter can't see what he's doing.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

  2. Claude Shannon and Alan Turing

    I never heard of Claude Shannon before. I must admit I thought you were referring to Claude Raymond, the former Expo.

  3. Steve, you should read about what the Nationals did to combat sign stealing in the World Series. It doesn’t mean they weren’t also cheating…who knows…it just means they were playing the game in front of them.

  4. This is going from bad to worse for major league baseball.

    And there isn’t even much of a need for bright minds to decode signs anymore. There is actually a free app called Steal Predictor which decodes signs.

    Something very similar is being used in many major clubhouses right now.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Mister.Baseball


    There is actually a free app called Steal Predictor which decodes signs.
     
    This Mark Rober guy definitely has had some interesting YouTube videos, but boy, does he get on my nerves. It's partly because I think he juices some of his projects a bit (the porch theft videos seemed like they were partial set-ups). Mostly, it's that he's got the professional YouTuber demeanor and verbal delivery down a little too pat. And the casual political correctness: black AI coder with dreadlocks, boy cucks-in-training and girls playing baseball together with a woman coach ... It's like a Procter & Gamble commercial or a Lands' End catalog.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball

  5. @Achmed E. Newman
    I don't usually get into your baseball posts, Steve, but this was pretty interesting. On this part:

    The catcher needs to know what pitch the pitcher is going to throw so he knows where to catch it.
     
    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I'd always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he's the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he's swinging, etc. I know the pitcher has the veto with his head shake.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @megabar

    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he’s swinging, etc.

    It’s both. The catcher is in charge of choosing the tactics to get the batter out by choosing the pitch. In this sense, the catcher is ‘calling’ the game, a term you’ll often hear from commentators.

    But the catcher absolutely needs to know what pitch is coming in order to catch it — you’ll sometimes see a pitcher and catcher ‘get their signals crossed’ even in an MLB game, and the result is often a passed ball, i.e. the catcher completely missing the pitch and the ball rolling to the backstop.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Pitchers wave off calls they dont like.

  6. Remember the Bounty System?

    NFL investigators found the New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had created a bounty program to reward players when they injured opposing teams’ players.

    The hit that ended Kurt Warner’s career.

  7. @Achmed E. Newman
    I don't usually get into your baseball posts, Steve, but this was pretty interesting. On this part:

    The catcher needs to know what pitch the pitcher is going to throw so he knows where to catch it.
     
    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I'd always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he's the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he's swinging, etc. I know the pitcher has the veto with his head shake.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @megabar

    > I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter,

    I assumed it was more practical. The catcher is behind the batter, so the batter can’t see what he’s doing.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @megabar

    I didn't mean why the catcher makes the sign vs. the pitcher, Megabar. I just meant why he makes the signs period (calling the game, per Calvinist vs. needing to know where the pitch will end up).

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  8. Greg Maddux was “Sheldon with a fastball”, a pitching savant who could tell you three pitches in advance that he would throw his change up away and break so and so’s bat. Even so he was not as dominant in the playoffs as he was during the regular season.

    I saw someone say on twitter that Howie Kendrick may have saved baseball when he hit his go ahead home run in game seven this year. With the stink from this landing on the Astros and Red Sox (so far) it would have been three World Series in a row going to tainted teams if he hadn’t helped pull the Nats through.

    • Replies: @Up2Drew
    @68W58

    Maddux was also granted a strike zone 15% larger than his pitching brethren by major league umpires, too. That helped.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball

  9. So a few months ago, when Steve posted some article lauding how the Astros “team training” had produced the improvement players saw when they joined the Astros over the last few years — and I called B.s. — I was right.

    It was just cheating all along.

    Now, I thought it was just steroids. The Astros front office was getting a new, undetectable steroid to the players, or else they got advance warning of a steroid test coming and could warn the players in time to cycle off.

    But it was even cruder and more old-fashioned: sign stealing.

    “Launch angles” my ass.

    • LOL: JMcG
  10. @megabar
    @Achmed E. Newman

    > I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter,

    I assumed it was more practical. The catcher is behind the batter, so the batter can't see what he's doing.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman

    I didn’t mean why the catcher makes the sign vs. the pitcher, Megabar. I just meant why he makes the signs period (calling the game, per Calvinist vs. needing to know where the pitch will end up).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The catcher is the only player that the pitcher can always see (e.g., righthanded pitchers can see the third baseman and lefthanders the first baseman), but the batter can see the pitcher, so the catcher is it: the only one who the pitcher but not the batter can see.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

  11. “a pitcher who can throw 95 miles per hour through sheer know-it-allness.”

    Oh good, a new career path for Jack D.

    • LOL: JMcG, Autochthon
  12. Anon[174] • Disclaimer says:

    The drug use is icky and really turns me off of sports, but this sign stealing stuff is kind of fun and makes baseball more interesting. I think it should be like the pine tar bats or drilled-out weighted bats: If you’re caught you get nailed for that specific incident; otherwise, have fun. Also, baseball needs the occasional play-acting pile-up fight, “Lemme at ‘im, I’ll knock his head off!”

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    @Anon

    They should embrace it. But it has to be done above board and the signals televised at the bottom of the screen. The audience can play along. If one set of fans crack the code they can call in and inform their front office thereby possibly impacting the game.

    It would be like Jeopardy but for math/pattern nerds who could play along in real time. Maybe some random puzzle nerd at home on his couch could swing a World Series. He’d then be more famous than the nobody couple who cracked the infamous Zodiac killer cypher!

  13. @Achmed E. Newman
    @megabar

    I didn't mean why the catcher makes the sign vs. the pitcher, Megabar. I just meant why he makes the signs period (calling the game, per Calvinist vs. needing to know where the pitch will end up).

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The catcher is the only player that the pitcher can always see (e.g., righthanded pitchers can see the third baseman and lefthanders the first baseman), but the batter can see the pitcher, so the catcher is it: the only one who the pitcher but not the batter can see.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    I’d say that the catcher in general at the MLB level needs to know the where, but he also needs to know the presumed velocity of the coming pitch. Thinking a 73 mph change up is coming but getting a 99 mph fastball instead, would definitely ruin a catcher’s day.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer

    Does MLB give Wonderlic tests? The man sporting the "tools of ignorance" has traditionally been considered the brains on the field.


    https://static.timesofisrael.com/jewishwdev/uploads/2019/05/14b.jpg

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  14. As a Chicago White Sox fan I find it ironic that these revelations are coming a century after the 1919 Black Sox scandal. I suspect we won’t see any lifetime bans for any of the participants.

    Speaking of lifetime bans Steve, any comment on Charlie Hustle’s comments on the whole sign stealing kerfluffle?

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/pete-rose-supports-mlbs-decision-on-astros-cheating-scandal-but-wonders-if-players-should-be-punished/ar-BBYXqVt

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @mmack

    Sounds like LaRussa was doing his part to keep the Black Sox legacy alive. Go Cubs.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28503160/jack-mcdowell-says-tony-la-russa-had-sign-stealing-system-white-sox-80s

  15. Someone should have measured AJ Hinch’s exit velo from Minute Maid Park, I bet it was impressive.

    I do find it interesting how 2 Puerto Ricans seem to have hatched this entire scheme. Hinch should have stopped it, but didn’t. Was he intimidated?

    • Replies: @5371
    @Bragadocious

    [We have the revelation that Kevin Goldstein, an Astros special assistant to GM Jeff Luhnow, sent an email in August 2017 in which he encouraged scouts to use cameras, if necessary, to steal signs sent from the dugout—a separate scheme from the Beltrán-Cora conspiracy, and potentially a less egregious one if the cameras weren’t relaying information midgame, but still an indication that the Astros were willing to flout MLB taboos. (“Go find a major league rulebook and find where sign-stealing—or signs at all—are covered,” Goldstein wrote in 2012. “They’re not.”)]

    , @Manfred Arcane
    @Bragadocious

    On the Puerto Rican angle, some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only "Latino" managers in MLB have been fired in the last week. If they are both replaced with white guys, expect that grumble to grow.

    As to Hinch, I definitely think he was at least partly afraid to escalate his resistance to his players' sign-stealing because of racial optics. Cora and Beltran weren't the only Latinos involved; over half of the Astros' starting lineup is Spanish-speaking, and a couple of the English-speakers are black. I'm sure he was nervous about getting savaged by the ESPN types for being a white guy reporting bad behavior by Players of Color.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @ScarletNumber, @No Jack london

  16. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The catcher is the only player that the pitcher can always see (e.g., righthanded pitchers can see the third baseman and lefthanders the first baseman), but the batter can see the pitcher, so the catcher is it: the only one who the pitcher but not the batter can see.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

    I’d say that the catcher in general at the MLB level needs to know the where, but he also needs to know the presumed velocity of the coming pitch. Thinking a 73 mph change up is coming but getting a 99 mph fastball instead, would definitely ruin a catcher’s day.

  17. Just more nanny-statism. As kids we would just call a do over. More evidence social media is ruining this country.

  18. re 1951 Giants: in 2013 Branca did an interview on SF radio in which he said that in ‘54, players from the ‘51 Giants told him they’d had a cheating system in 6 of the 8 national league parks during the second half of the season. The interview is available online.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Marty

    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Reg Cæsar

  19. @Marty
    re 1951 Giants: in 2013 Branca did an interview on SF radio in which he said that in ‘54, players from the ‘51 Giants told him they’d had a cheating system in 6 of the 8 national league parks during the second half of the season. The interview is available online.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    In his rookie '51 year, Mays played in 121 G, 20 HR, 68 RBI, and .274 BA. Respectable numbers, but not exactly spectacular.

    "We kept stealing the signs while we were winning all those games to catch the Dodgers. Then we stole them during the playoffs. But the reason we stopped stealing signs against the Yankees during those games at the Polo Grounds was simple. Leo [Durocher] wouldn't let us....There were too many reporters around during those games with the Yankees---they were like ants in the clubhouse, on the field, everywhere you turned--and there was a chance one of them might nail us. Could you have imagined what would have happened if they found out we were using buzzers and telescopes to win the World Series? Believe it or not, there were no rules against doing what we did, but you know the commissioner would have had our asses just the same. And the main thing, for the players, with the sign stealing, was just getting to the series. Once we did that, we figured we were on our own."

    -- NY reserve C Sal Yvars on M Leo Durocher's sign stealing system, from Bombers, an Oral History of the New York Yankees by Richard Lally

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.
     
    Thomson's home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

    1951 was the year all three NYC teams finished first. Boston's both did in 1948, but so did Cleveland, who blocked a T-ball Series. The Chicago clubs met in the 1906 Series, the Bay Area teams in 1989. Philadelphia's rarely finished in first, and never in the same year.

    I see the Angels and Dodgers both ended 2014 in first. Have they ever had the best record in their respective leagues in the same year?

    This "division" nonsense cribbed from the NFL (who had it in 1938) ruins the very concept of first place.

    Replies: @anon, @Hibernian

  20. This is cheating: WV special task force police caught on video breaking into a house and planting evidence to include putting drugs in a memorial urn.

  21. Used to be C was the equivalent of a QB or Point Guard, remember Bench and Berra (and Pena?) being well known for calling a good game. Not sure how true that is nowadays with all the analytics.

    When did the steroids era start? I remember hearing about the Baseball Abstract in the early 80s and getting my first one for XMas in ’85?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Desiderius

    Lance Parrish and Brian Downing in early 1980s

  22. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Achmed E. Newman


    I may have always had this wrong (though I played some baseball back in the day), but I’d always thought the reason the catcher makes the signs is because he’s the most knowledgeable about the batter, how he’s swinging, etc.

     

    It's both. The catcher is in charge of choosing the tactics to get the batter out by choosing the pitch. In this sense, the catcher is 'calling' the game, a term you'll often hear from commentators.

    But the catcher absolutely needs to know what pitch is coming in order to catch it -- you'll sometimes see a pitcher and catcher 'get their signals crossed' even in an MLB game, and the result is often a passed ball, i.e. the catcher completely missing the pitch and the ball rolling to the backstop.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Pitchers wave off calls they dont like.

  23. Cheating is as much a part of baseball culture as fair play is in golf culture.

  24. @Desiderius
    Used to be C was the equivalent of a QB or Point Guard, remember Bench and Berra (and Pena?) being well known for calling a good game. Not sure how true that is nowadays with all the analytics.

    When did the steroids era start? I remember hearing about the Baseball Abstract in the early 80s and getting my first one for XMas in '85?

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Lance Parrish and Brian Downing in early 1980s

  25. Anon[174] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mister.Baseball
    This is going from bad to worse for major league baseball.

    And there isn't even much of a need for bright minds to decode signs anymore. There is actually a free app called Steal Predictor which decodes signs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmlRbfSavbI

    Something very similar is being used in many major clubhouses right now.

    Replies: @Anon

    There is actually a free app called Steal Predictor which decodes signs.

    This Mark Rober guy definitely has had some interesting YouTube videos, but boy, does he get on my nerves. It’s partly because I think he juices some of his projects a bit (the porch theft videos seemed like they were partial set-ups). Mostly, it’s that he’s got the professional YouTuber demeanor and verbal delivery down a little too pat. And the casual political correctness: black AI coder with dreadlocks, boy cucks-in-training and girls playing baseball together with a woman coach … It’s like a Procter & Gamble commercial or a Lands’ End catalog.

    • Replies: @Mister.Baseball
    @Anon

    Well, can't argue with that. I've not watched his other videos because the professional youtube shtick is not appealing.

  26. 89DE5C23-C3D7-47B8-A331-C19A1B41BE83

    “Alyssa Nakken became the first female coach on a major league staff in baseball history Thursday (1/17/2020) when she was named an assistant under new San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler.”

  27. “But in the famous 5th game Kershaw couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in Houston, with the Astros ultimately winning 13-12 in 10 innings.”

    Of course this is Clayton Kershaw, who has one of the worst postseason W-L records in recent history.

    “And somebody is alleging that the California Angels superstar Mike Trout has a secret loophole that allows him to legally take Human Growth Hormone for a thyroid condition.”

    Aha! As I said a few yrs back, ‘Test Trout. Test him when he isn’t suspecting it.’

    “It’s not too hard to determine which player is taking steroids. If it looks like he is, he probably is.”–Jose Canseco.

    • Replies: @Mister.Baseball
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Test him for what?

    The son of former MLB player/coach Scott Brosius is gossiping that Mike Trout is exploiting a medical loophole to take HGH.

    For the sake of argument, let's say the kid (coaching on another team) knows all the ins-and-outs of Mike Trout's medical history and what he does and doesn't ingest. So then he'll test positive for what MLB has granted him permission to take.

    If that's the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on.

    If Brosius fils is looking to scandalize, he's going to need harder evidence of malfeasance. Otherwise, the whole thing is a mean girls episode.

    Replies: @Barnard, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  28. @Steve Sailer
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The catcher is the only player that the pitcher can always see (e.g., righthanded pitchers can see the third baseman and lefthanders the first baseman), but the batter can see the pitcher, so the catcher is it: the only one who the pitcher but not the batter can see.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

    Does MLB give Wonderlic tests? The man sporting the “tools of ignorance” has traditionally been considered the brains on the field.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Reg Cæsar

    A higher percentage of catchers become managers than any other position. You don't need footspeed to play catcher and you can play for a long time although you'll get dinged up pretty bad over the years. At the end of "Bull Durham," Kevin Costner's veteran minor league catcher gets hired to manage a minor league team launching the next phase of his baseball lifer career.

    Speaking of IQ tests, there's a legendary minor league pitcher named Steve Dalkowski who might have thrown harder than anybody in history. Tim Robbins character Nuke Laloosh in "Bull Durham" is modeled on him. But he tended to throw it in the dirt or over the catcher's head (not inside, fortunately). He wasn't very effective in the minors because he walked a huge number of batters, such as one season in the minors when he averaged 13.8 strikeouts and 13.8 walks per 9 innings pitched.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski

    Eventually, he was put under the tutelage of a rising baseball genius, Earl Weaver, who gave his ballplayers IQ tests. Dalkowski didn't score well, so Weaver tried to simplify everything for him, telling him to just aim his fastball right down the middle. He greatly improved and looked destined for the majors. But in Spring training with the Baltimore Orioles in 1963 he blew out his arm and was never the same again.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=dalkow001ste

    Replies: @68W58, @G. Poulin

  29. @Steve Sailer
    @Marty

    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Reg Cæsar

    In his rookie ’51 year, Mays played in 121 G, 20 HR, 68 RBI, and .274 BA. Respectable numbers, but not exactly spectacular.

    “We kept stealing the signs while we were winning all those games to catch the Dodgers. Then we stole them during the playoffs. But the reason we stopped stealing signs against the Yankees during those games at the Polo Grounds was simple. Leo [Durocher] wouldn’t let us….There were too many reporters around during those games with the Yankees—they were like ants in the clubhouse, on the field, everywhere you turned–and there was a chance one of them might nail us. Could you have imagined what would have happened if they found out we were using buzzers and telescopes to win the World Series? Believe it or not, there were no rules against doing what we did, but you know the commissioner would have had our asses just the same. And the main thing, for the players, with the sign stealing, was just getting to the series. Once we did that, we figured we were on our own.”

    — NY reserve C Sal Yvars on M Leo Durocher’s sign stealing system, from Bombers, an Oral History of the New York Yankees by Richard Lally

    • Thanks: Morton's toes
  30. @Steve Sailer
    @Marty

    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Reg Cæsar

    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.

    Thomson’s home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

    1951 was the year all three NYC teams finished first. Boston’s both did in 1948, but so did Cleveland, who blocked a T-ball Series. The Chicago clubs met in the 1906 Series, the Bay Area teams in 1989. Philadelphia’s rarely finished in first, and never in the same year.

    I see the Angels and Dodgers both ended 2014 in first. Have they ever had the best record in their respective leagues in the same year?

    This “division” nonsense cribbed from the NFL (who had it in 1938) ruins the very concept of first place.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @anon
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thomson’s home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A4G2G5pH_s

    , @Hibernian
    @Reg Cæsar

    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don't. I'd like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West. They'd play division rivals every year, home in odd numbered years and away in even, or vice versa, depending on the opponent. Four games would be with teams in the other division of the same conference, on a cycle in which they'sd play each of these teams once at home and once at the opponent's house each cycle. Another 4 would be with the 16 teams of the other conference on an 8 year cycle. No wild cards. There's be a four team tourney which would be completed by the middle of January. The regular season would be one game shorter. Injuries would be reduced. Bring back the early 60s Playoff Bowl for third place. (Vince Lombardi hated it. I don't agree. Why not prove you're the 3rd best in the NFL rather than 4th or tied for 3rd?)

    NFC West: Seattle, LA Rams, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, Green Bay.

    NFC East: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, NY Giants.

    AFC West: LA Chargers, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati.

    AFC East: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Jets, Boston.

    The dividing line for the NFC is the Mississippi, with teams in cities on the Mississippi in the West, with the exception that the Packers will be in the West to even things up and to preserve rivalries with Minnesota and Dallas (but not Chicago.)

    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

    Replies: @Hibernian, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  31. @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.
     
    Thomson's home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

    1951 was the year all three NYC teams finished first. Boston's both did in 1948, but so did Cleveland, who blocked a T-ball Series. The Chicago clubs met in the 1906 Series, the Bay Area teams in 1989. Philadelphia's rarely finished in first, and never in the same year.

    I see the Angels and Dodgers both ended 2014 in first. Have they ever had the best record in their respective leagues in the same year?

    This "division" nonsense cribbed from the NFL (who had it in 1938) ruins the very concept of first place.

    Replies: @anon, @Hibernian

    Thomson’s home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

  32. @Bragadocious
    Someone should have measured AJ Hinch's exit velo from Minute Maid Park, I bet it was impressive.

    I do find it interesting how 2 Puerto Ricans seem to have hatched this entire scheme. Hinch should have stopped it, but didn't. Was he intimidated?

    Replies: @5371, @Manfred Arcane

    [We have the revelation that Kevin Goldstein, an Astros special assistant to GM Jeff Luhnow, sent an email in August 2017 in which he encouraged scouts to use cameras, if necessary, to steal signs sent from the dugout—a separate scheme from the Beltrán-Cora conspiracy, and potentially a less egregious one if the cameras weren’t relaying information midgame, but still an indication that the Astros were willing to flout MLB taboos. (“Go find a major league rulebook and find where sign-stealing—or signs at all—are covered,” Goldstein wrote in 2012. “They’re not.”)]

  33. James Francis “Pud” Galvin was baseball’s first 300 game winner. He drank monkey testosterone before at least one game to enhance his performance. He is in the Hall of Fame.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @JimDandy

    As well he should be with that level of dedication to the game.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

  34. The Astros system of signal steeling was so doomed to ultimate public exposure because too many different actors were involved. This was due to the necessity of having batters involved. Players are outside of the coaching staff therefore less controllable and more likely to spill the beans at some point in the future. The more players involved the higher risk of the secret scheme leaking out of the organization.

    People have loose lips and end up telling secrets to seemingly trusted friends that don’t have the same liability at stake. People become angry and want revenge. Players get traded to other teams and change loyalties. It’s only a matter of time before the authorities catch wind of the scheme. With audio/video recordings of every game, the authorities will have the resources to detect the patterns that enable them to crack the scheme.

    Putting the ethics of such a scheme aside, the inside actors need to be limited to as few people as possible. Keeping the batters from knowing about the scheme is essential but would be difficult since they need to know what kind of pitch is coming next. If the 3rd base coach’s signals to the batters not only included traditional information such as: don’t swing, bunt, swing away, etc, but also included information telling the batter what kind of pitch is probably coming without the batter being able to infer with a high degree of certainty that he’s being fed stolen signal information then the number of people involved in the scheme could be as low as 3, the interpreter, the relay person, and the 3rd base coach. However, It might be beneficial to include more than one relay person to increase the complexity of the signalling to the 3rd base coach in order to make the signal code harder to crack.

    • Replies: @anon
    @wildbeard

    Doesn't the catcher signal the pitcher after the batter has already gotten his signal from 3rd base coach and gotten in the batter's box?

    And furthermore, the batter probably more often than not doesn't even look for a 3rd base coach signal, does he? If I can recall way back when when I played, it was only when someone was on (steal or bunt signal) or maybe 3-0 count with nobody on (swing or take).

    So looking for 3rd base coach signal on every pitch would be a give away that something fishy might be going on.

    , @Up2Drew
    @wildbeard

    My father in law was a cop. He told me that they solved about half their crimes because the perp’s woman got mad at them and spilled.

  35. Do both and you’re Sandy Koufax in 1963.

    What if it turned out that Koufax was a cheater?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Drysdale was the black hat on the 1960s Dodgers, Koufax was the white hat. Drysdale was assumed to be doctoring the ball. I've never heard anybody accuse Koufax of that. Drysdale led the league in batters hit four seasons, Koufax barely hit anybody. In his last season of 323 innings pitched, Koufax didn't hit a single batter.

    Koufax had virtually no cunning. He was in the big leagues for six mediocre seasons before he listened to anybody suggest maybe he shouldn't throw as hard as he could on every pitch but instead try to throw strikes.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  36. @Anonymous

    Do both and you’re Sandy Koufax in 1963.
     
    What if it turned out that Koufax was a cheater?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Drysdale was the black hat on the 1960s Dodgers, Koufax was the white hat. Drysdale was assumed to be doctoring the ball. I’ve never heard anybody accuse Koufax of that. Drysdale led the league in batters hit four seasons, Koufax barely hit anybody. In his last season of 323 innings pitched, Koufax didn’t hit a single batter.

    Koufax had virtually no cunning. He was in the big leagues for six mediocre seasons before he listened to anybody suggest maybe he shouldn’t throw as hard as he could on every pitch but instead try to throw strikes.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Steve Sailer

    Koufax had virtually no cunning.

    He's a very "unJewish" Jew in many ways. He seems very uncomfortable with urban life etc, etc. A Jungle Jew not a Fancy Jew if you will.Perhaps more like a Country Jew rather than a City Jew in a more British taxonomy.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  37. @JimDandy
    James Francis "Pud" Galvin was baseball's first 300 game winner. He drank monkey testosterone before at least one game to enhance his performance. He is in the Hall of Fame.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    As well he should be with that level of dedication to the game.

    • Agree: JimDandy
    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    @Steve Sailer

    Well said.

  38. Why not give the pitcher and the catcher and everyone else out in the field earpieces and have the manager call the pitches from the dugout? Of course, the manager would need to be in the clubhouse calling the pitches lest he give away his calls via lip reading or body language or facial expressions. And if God forbid a defensive player lean one way or another based on what pitch that he knows is coming and the batter picks up on it due to his superior peripheral vision and adjusts accordingly and therefore gives his team an unfair advantage, well that would ruin the integrity of the game which only actually exists in the minds of those who make money off of the game.

    • Replies: @Mister.Baseball
    @Johnny789

    Too great a risk for pirating frequencies?

    The catcher and pitcher would need earpieces (which wouldn't constantly fall out or interfere with throwing motions and movement) and would still to communicate with each other; defeating the purpose.

    And the rest of the team may need them, or else they would be in the dark about what's coming. While ballplayers don't want to position themselves too early, they do benefit from being able to imagine the probabilities of the next sequence of events based off the signs given.

    , @Hibernian
    @Johnny789

    Whaat? Make baseball like football? Sacrilege!

  39. @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer

    Does MLB give Wonderlic tests? The man sporting the "tools of ignorance" has traditionally been considered the brains on the field.


    https://static.timesofisrael.com/jewishwdev/uploads/2019/05/14b.jpg

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    A higher percentage of catchers become managers than any other position. You don’t need footspeed to play catcher and you can play for a long time although you’ll get dinged up pretty bad over the years. At the end of “Bull Durham,” Kevin Costner’s veteran minor league catcher gets hired to manage a minor league team launching the next phase of his baseball lifer career.

    Speaking of IQ tests, there’s a legendary minor league pitcher named Steve Dalkowski who might have thrown harder than anybody in history. Tim Robbins character Nuke Laloosh in “Bull Durham” is modeled on him. But he tended to throw it in the dirt or over the catcher’s head (not inside, fortunately). He wasn’t very effective in the minors because he walked a huge number of batters, such as one season in the minors when he averaged 13.8 strikeouts and 13.8 walks per 9 innings pitched.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski

    Eventually, he was put under the tutelage of a rising baseball genius, Earl Weaver, who gave his ballplayers IQ tests. Dalkowski didn’t score well, so Weaver tried to simplify everything for him, telling him to just aim his fastball right down the middle. He greatly improved and looked destined for the majors. But in Spring training with the Baltimore Orioles in 1963 he blew out his arm and was never the same again.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=dalkow001ste

    • Replies: @68W58
    @Steve Sailer

    283 pitches in one game?!? There was a story about Nolan Ryan throwing some ungodly amount last year and google tells me it was 235, but Dalkowski threw 20% more than that, it's no wonder his arm gave out. I think I read someone say about him that he could "throw a ball through a brick wall-if he could hit the wall".

    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood, who also played in the Orioles organization. I remember the Charlotte news talking about him in the early 80s when the O's also had Cal Ripken and Hazewood was always doing something amazing, hitting some tremendous tape measure HR or breaking a bat with his bare hands. Hazewood actually made it to the bigs, but only for a cup of coffee and didn't qualify for the pension. He lived in California after baseball and died in obscurity.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico, @Reg Cæsar

    , @G. Poulin
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve Dalkowski is still around, living in a nursing home in New Britain, Connecticut. Doesn't remember much of his baseball career.

  40. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "But in the famous 5th game Kershaw couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead in Houston, with the Astros ultimately winning 13-12 in 10 innings."

    Of course this is Clayton Kershaw, who has one of the worst postseason W-L records in recent history.

    "And somebody is alleging that the California Angels superstar Mike Trout has a secret loophole that allows him to legally take Human Growth Hormone for a thyroid condition."

    Aha! As I said a few yrs back, 'Test Trout. Test him when he isn't suspecting it.'

    "It's not too hard to determine which player is taking steroids. If it looks like he is, he probably is."--Jose Canseco.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball

    Test him for what?

    The son of former MLB player/coach Scott Brosius is gossiping that Mike Trout is exploiting a medical loophole to take HGH.

    For the sake of argument, let’s say the kid (coaching on another team) knows all the ins-and-outs of Mike Trout’s medical history and what he does and doesn’t ingest. So then he’ll test positive for what MLB has granted him permission to take.

    If that’s the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on.

    If Brosius fils is looking to scandalize, he’s going to need harder evidence of malfeasance. Otherwise, the whole thing is a mean girls episode.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    @Mister.Baseball

    Both the Williams sisters have medical exemptions to use PEDs from the WTA. Venus has one for her Sjogren's Syndrome, I don't know what excuse they are letting Serena use. Simone Biles also got one for the Rio Olympics to take something for ADHD. Considering how important concentration is in a sport like gymnastics, why isn't ADHD considered something the athlete has to overcome just like an injury or being not quite as agile as another competitor. The people who control these sports have been deciding who they want to let cheat and who they punish for a long time.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-hack-serena-venus-williams-simone-biles-exemptions-banned-drugs-2016-9

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball, @Unladen Swallow

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Mister.Baseball

    "If that’s the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on."

    Hey, he's got a doctors note to take it, sure, so its okay now. And medical doctors [Appeal to authority] would never, EVER lie or enable a player to cheat regarding PEDS in this day and age. By this same logic, no one ever conclusively "proved" that Barry Bonds took PEDS.

    PEDS are still PEDS. The rules are the rules. Otherwise, change them so that all may benefit.

    My larger point has consistently been, that with all the Bill James Sabermetrics and elaborate explanations for measuring individual player's performances, the one way that players have used to gain an advantage has constantly been overlooked by the Sabermetricians for the past decades. (e.g. "Nothing to see here, everyone knows that PEDS have no direct effect at all whatsoever on individual performances, etc.) Then when it is shown that PEDS are related to the performance, the tactic becomes "I am shocked, SHOCKED, that PEDS are being used in the sacred hallow halls of the National Pastime! How could that kind of thing be going on in MLB?"

    I called it. Test him. PEDS = cheating, period. For the most part, the NFL tends to look the other way and has for the longest time.

  41. @Anon
    @Mister.Baseball


    There is actually a free app called Steal Predictor which decodes signs.
     
    This Mark Rober guy definitely has had some interesting YouTube videos, but boy, does he get on my nerves. It's partly because I think he juices some of his projects a bit (the porch theft videos seemed like they were partial set-ups). Mostly, it's that he's got the professional YouTuber demeanor and verbal delivery down a little too pat. And the casual political correctness: black AI coder with dreadlocks, boy cucks-in-training and girls playing baseball together with a woman coach ... It's like a Procter & Gamble commercial or a Lands' End catalog.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball

    Well, can’t argue with that. I’ve not watched his other videos because the professional youtube shtick is not appealing.

  42. @Johnny789
    Why not give the pitcher and the catcher and everyone else out in the field earpieces and have the manager call the pitches from the dugout? Of course, the manager would need to be in the clubhouse calling the pitches lest he give away his calls via lip reading or body language or facial expressions. And if God forbid a defensive player lean one way or another based on what pitch that he knows is coming and the batter picks up on it due to his superior peripheral vision and adjusts accordingly and therefore gives his team an unfair advantage, well that would ruin the integrity of the game which only actually exists in the minds of those who make money off of the game.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball, @Hibernian

    Too great a risk for pirating frequencies?

    The catcher and pitcher would need earpieces (which wouldn’t constantly fall out or interfere with throwing motions and movement) and would still to communicate with each other; defeating the purpose.

    And the rest of the team may need them, or else they would be in the dark about what’s coming. While ballplayers don’t want to position themselves too early, they do benefit from being able to imagine the probabilities of the next sequence of events based off the signs given.

  43. Trevor Bauer confirmed hearing about the buzzers from several players too.

    He also agreed that he would rather face a juiced batter than one who knows what pitch is coming.

    He is doing an Ask Me Anything later today with Bleacher Reports. Perfect timing.

  44. Steve Stone is currently the White Sox color announcer and did the same for the Cubs for many decades. He steals signs and says things like “If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.” Pitcher then throws xhange-up away, gets the strikeout and Stone looks a genius. Neat trick and Stone is a great announcer.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Hodag

    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”

    What are the xhange-up's pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  45. @Steve Sailer
    @Reg Cæsar

    A higher percentage of catchers become managers than any other position. You don't need footspeed to play catcher and you can play for a long time although you'll get dinged up pretty bad over the years. At the end of "Bull Durham," Kevin Costner's veteran minor league catcher gets hired to manage a minor league team launching the next phase of his baseball lifer career.

    Speaking of IQ tests, there's a legendary minor league pitcher named Steve Dalkowski who might have thrown harder than anybody in history. Tim Robbins character Nuke Laloosh in "Bull Durham" is modeled on him. But he tended to throw it in the dirt or over the catcher's head (not inside, fortunately). He wasn't very effective in the minors because he walked a huge number of batters, such as one season in the minors when he averaged 13.8 strikeouts and 13.8 walks per 9 innings pitched.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski

    Eventually, he was put under the tutelage of a rising baseball genius, Earl Weaver, who gave his ballplayers IQ tests. Dalkowski didn't score well, so Weaver tried to simplify everything for him, telling him to just aim his fastball right down the middle. He greatly improved and looked destined for the majors. But in Spring training with the Baltimore Orioles in 1963 he blew out his arm and was never the same again.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=dalkow001ste

    Replies: @68W58, @G. Poulin

    283 pitches in one game?!? There was a story about Nolan Ryan throwing some ungodly amount last year and google tells me it was 235, but Dalkowski threw 20% more than that, it’s no wonder his arm gave out. I think I read someone say about him that he could “throw a ball through a brick wall-if he could hit the wall”.

    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood, who also played in the Orioles organization. I remember the Charlotte news talking about him in the early 80s when the O’s also had Cal Ripken and Hazewood was always doing something amazing, hitting some tremendous tape measure HR or breaking a bat with his bare hands. Hazewood actually made it to the bigs, but only for a cup of coffee and didn’t qualify for the pension. He lived in California after baseball and died in obscurity.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    @68W58

    Cup of coffee in the big time! Savage was a minor leaguer, but chose a sport better suited for PEDs and cocaine.
    https://youtu.be/xaE_6rRHmd0

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @68W58


    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood...
     
    In the Mets' post-champion years the press touted a prospect named Scripture (an unforgettable name) with the Tidewater Tides. After three years there, he didn't pan out. But he sure sounds entertaining:

    The most quoted stories about Scripture described his habit of biting the covers off baseballs when frustrated. "Only lost one molar so far," Scripture said in 1975, "and that's a whole lot less expensive than an ulcer operation."

    "He was tough, maybe the toughest I've ever seen," then-Royals athletic trainer Mickey Cobb told Sports Illustrated for a 1987 profile on Scripture. "I remember a time when he had 19 blisters on one hand from hitting. He just came in and poured alcohol on it. No Band-Aids. Other times, he would deliberately have someone hit flies out to the warning track so he could practice running full speed into the chain-link fence."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Scripture


     

    This was about the time Julius Erving played for the Virginia Squires. Raucous fun the year round!

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  46. @Bragadocious
    Someone should have measured AJ Hinch's exit velo from Minute Maid Park, I bet it was impressive.

    I do find it interesting how 2 Puerto Ricans seem to have hatched this entire scheme. Hinch should have stopped it, but didn't. Was he intimidated?

    Replies: @5371, @Manfred Arcane

    On the Puerto Rican angle, some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only “Latino” managers in MLB have been fired in the last week. If they are both replaced with white guys, expect that grumble to grow.

    As to Hinch, I definitely think he was at least partly afraid to escalate his resistance to his players’ sign-stealing because of racial optics. Cora and Beltran weren’t the only Latinos involved; over half of the Astros’ starting lineup is Spanish-speaking, and a couple of the English-speakers are black. I’m sure he was nervous about getting savaged by the ESPN types for being a white guy reporting bad behavior by Players of Color.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
    @Manfred Arcane

    It's especially hilarious for the Mets. They got burned with absimilated Dominican Omar Minaya in the aughts, then brought him back in '17 and are promptly getting burned again. It's obvious he runs things behind the scenes and hired his good buddy Beltran.

    Minaya would hire all Hispanics if he could and fire every single blanquito. And the Jewish owner behind the scenes rubs his hands as this West Bank-style ethnic cleansing unfolds. Minaya even mistreated an African-American manager and the cucked NY press gave him a pass on it.

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Manfred Arcane

    Anyone who teaches in an inner city can appreciate what Hinch has to go through.

    , @No Jack london
    @Manfred Arcane

    I doubt it was the Puerto Rican or black guys who developed the telescopic spy system, broke the codes or perfected state of the art communications that made this scheme effective.

  47. @Anon
    The drug use is icky and really turns me off of sports, but this sign stealing stuff is kind of fun and makes baseball more interesting. I think it should be like the pine tar bats or drilled-out weighted bats: If you're caught you get nailed for that specific incident; otherwise, have fun. Also, baseball needs the occasional play-acting pile-up fight, "Lemme at 'im, I'll knock his head off!"

    Replies: @Polynikes

    They should embrace it. But it has to be done above board and the signals televised at the bottom of the screen. The audience can play along. If one set of fans crack the code they can call in and inform their front office thereby possibly impacting the game.

    It would be like Jeopardy but for math/pattern nerds who could play along in real time. Maybe some random puzzle nerd at home on his couch could swing a World Series. He’d then be more famous than the nobody couple who cracked the infamous Zodiac killer cypher!

  48. @Steve Sailer
    @Reg Cæsar

    A higher percentage of catchers become managers than any other position. You don't need footspeed to play catcher and you can play for a long time although you'll get dinged up pretty bad over the years. At the end of "Bull Durham," Kevin Costner's veteran minor league catcher gets hired to manage a minor league team launching the next phase of his baseball lifer career.

    Speaking of IQ tests, there's a legendary minor league pitcher named Steve Dalkowski who might have thrown harder than anybody in history. Tim Robbins character Nuke Laloosh in "Bull Durham" is modeled on him. But he tended to throw it in the dirt or over the catcher's head (not inside, fortunately). He wasn't very effective in the minors because he walked a huge number of batters, such as one season in the minors when he averaged 13.8 strikeouts and 13.8 walks per 9 innings pitched.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski

    Eventually, he was put under the tutelage of a rising baseball genius, Earl Weaver, who gave his ballplayers IQ tests. Dalkowski didn't score well, so Weaver tried to simplify everything for him, telling him to just aim his fastball right down the middle. He greatly improved and looked destined for the majors. But in Spring training with the Baltimore Orioles in 1963 he blew out his arm and was never the same again.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=dalkow001ste

    Replies: @68W58, @G. Poulin

    Steve Dalkowski is still around, living in a nursing home in New Britain, Connecticut. Doesn’t remember much of his baseball career.

  49. @Mister.Baseball
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Test him for what?

    The son of former MLB player/coach Scott Brosius is gossiping that Mike Trout is exploiting a medical loophole to take HGH.

    For the sake of argument, let's say the kid (coaching on another team) knows all the ins-and-outs of Mike Trout's medical history and what he does and doesn't ingest. So then he'll test positive for what MLB has granted him permission to take.

    If that's the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on.

    If Brosius fils is looking to scandalize, he's going to need harder evidence of malfeasance. Otherwise, the whole thing is a mean girls episode.

    Replies: @Barnard, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Both the Williams sisters have medical exemptions to use PEDs from the WTA. Venus has one for her Sjogren’s Syndrome, I don’t know what excuse they are letting Serena use. Simone Biles also got one for the Rio Olympics to take something for ADHD. Considering how important concentration is in a sport like gymnastics, why isn’t ADHD considered something the athlete has to overcome just like an injury or being not quite as agile as another competitor. The people who control these sports have been deciding who they want to let cheat and who they punish for a long time.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-hack-serena-venus-williams-simone-biles-exemptions-banned-drugs-2016-9

    • Replies: @Mister.Baseball
    @Barnard

    It's hard to argue against that point; the cynicism is well justified.

    In baseball, as memory serves, the medical board which grants exemptions is ostensibly independent of both the the owners and players' union.

    And ADHD exemptions, for example, have fallen to their lowest level since they started issuing public reports in 2008.

    In 2019, there were 91 exemptions issued for ADHD, which accounts for the overwhelming amount of therapeutic exemptions issued. In fact, there were only three other exemptions on record for issues other than ADHD in 2019; one for hypergonadism, one for kidney disease, and one for hypersomnia.

    The ADHD exemption rate ranged between 105-119 from 2008 to 2016 but has been declining since. This in a league where there are 1200 40-man roster spots.

    The days of A-Rod getting an exemption (as he did in at least 2007) because of testosterone problems caused by prior drug use, or shady ADHD diagnoses to replace greenies, seems to be fading into the background.

    It doesn't mean everything is on the up-and-up. There are still people beating the system in all sorts of ways, which could include Trout. But the specific accusation is that Trout is continuing to exploit a loophole with a thyroid problem excuse just doesn't show up in the available information.

    Sometimes, it actually is just sour grapes and jealousy fueling these things.

    , @Unladen Swallow
    @Barnard

    I didn't know Serena got an exemption "officially", that would explain why at an age when most top players are long since retired she was not only competing for, but winning grand slam tournaments.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico

  50. All that is needed is two-way communication between catcher and pitcher that is not detectable by anyone else. Surely this can be done using a modification of the anal-probe technology of our extraterrestrial friends. Alternatively, see
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises-for-men/art-20045074

  51. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Drysdale was the black hat on the 1960s Dodgers, Koufax was the white hat. Drysdale was assumed to be doctoring the ball. I've never heard anybody accuse Koufax of that. Drysdale led the league in batters hit four seasons, Koufax barely hit anybody. In his last season of 323 innings pitched, Koufax didn't hit a single batter.

    Koufax had virtually no cunning. He was in the big leagues for six mediocre seasons before he listened to anybody suggest maybe he shouldn't throw as hard as he could on every pitch but instead try to throw strikes.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Koufax had virtually no cunning.

    He’s a very “unJewish” Jew in many ways. He seems very uncomfortable with urban life etc, etc. A Jungle Jew not a Fancy Jew if you will.Perhaps more like a Country Jew rather than a City Jew in a more British taxonomy.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @kaganovitch

    That's a little No True Scotsmen. He's pretty typical of Cincinnati Jews*, or Cincinnatians in general.

    * - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Cincinnati

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  52. @Hodag
    Steve Stone is currently the White Sox color announcer and did the same for the Cubs for many decades. He steals signs and says things like "If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout." Pitcher then throws xhange-up away, gets the strikeout and Stone looks a genius. Neat trick and Stone is a great announcer.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”

    What are the xhange-up’s pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @kaganovitch



    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”
     
    What are the xhange-up’s pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?
     
    That's the pinyin, for use in the CBPL. I think the Wade-Giles transliteration would be hsange-up.

    Taiwan's first professional game featured the Lions and the Elephants, which sounds positively Romanesque. The Elephants are still around, but are now called the Chinatrust Brothers. Now that sounds mafioso. Or triadic, if you prefer.

    https://alchetron.com/cdn/chinatrust-brothers-7c83a2ff-9850-4e09-b23f-b03d153cbd7-resize-750.jpg


    And, yes, "Brother" derives from those primitive word processors you used thirty years ago.

    http://www.iretron.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/brother2.jpg

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  53. anon[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @wildbeard
    The Astros system of signal steeling was so doomed to ultimate public exposure because too many different actors were involved. This was due to the necessity of having batters involved. Players are outside of the coaching staff therefore less controllable and more likely to spill the beans at some point in the future. The more players involved the higher risk of the secret scheme leaking out of the organization.

    People have loose lips and end up telling secrets to seemingly trusted friends that don't have the same liability at stake. People become angry and want revenge. Players get traded to other teams and change loyalties. It's only a matter of time before the authorities catch wind of the scheme. With audio/video recordings of every game, the authorities will have the resources to detect the patterns that enable them to crack the scheme.

    Putting the ethics of such a scheme aside, the inside actors need to be limited to as few people as possible. Keeping the batters from knowing about the scheme is essential but would be difficult since they need to know what kind of pitch is coming next. If the 3rd base coach's signals to the batters not only included traditional information such as: don't swing, bunt, swing away, etc, but also included information telling the batter what kind of pitch is probably coming without the batter being able to infer with a high degree of certainty that he's being fed stolen signal information then the number of people involved in the scheme could be as low as 3, the interpreter, the relay person, and the 3rd base coach. However, It might be beneficial to include more than one relay person to increase the complexity of the signalling to the 3rd base coach in order to make the signal code harder to crack.

    Replies: @anon, @Up2Drew

    Doesn’t the catcher signal the pitcher after the batter has already gotten his signal from 3rd base coach and gotten in the batter’s box?

    And furthermore, the batter probably more often than not doesn’t even look for a 3rd base coach signal, does he? If I can recall way back when when I played, it was only when someone was on (steal or bunt signal) or maybe 3-0 count with nobody on (swing or take).

    So looking for 3rd base coach signal on every pitch would be a give away that something fishy might be going on.

  54. @kaganovitch
    @Steve Sailer

    Koufax had virtually no cunning.

    He's a very "unJewish" Jew in many ways. He seems very uncomfortable with urban life etc, etc. A Jungle Jew not a Fancy Jew if you will.Perhaps more like a Country Jew rather than a City Jew in a more British taxonomy.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    That’s a little No True Scotsmen. He’s pretty typical of Cincinnati Jews*, or Cincinnatians in general.

    * – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Cincinnati

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Desiderius

    Yeah, but he's my homie. He grew up in Brooklyn.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  55. @Mister.Baseball
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Test him for what?

    The son of former MLB player/coach Scott Brosius is gossiping that Mike Trout is exploiting a medical loophole to take HGH.

    For the sake of argument, let's say the kid (coaching on another team) knows all the ins-and-outs of Mike Trout's medical history and what he does and doesn't ingest. So then he'll test positive for what MLB has granted him permission to take.

    If that's the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on.

    If Brosius fils is looking to scandalize, he's going to need harder evidence of malfeasance. Otherwise, the whole thing is a mean girls episode.

    Replies: @Barnard, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “If that’s the case, then it becomes a medical judgement fight- even if he and his doctors are pulling a fast one over everybody- that has to be proved that chicanery is going on.”

    Hey, he’s got a doctors note to take it, sure, so its okay now. And medical doctors [Appeal to authority] would never, EVER lie or enable a player to cheat regarding PEDS in this day and age. By this same logic, no one ever conclusively “proved” that Barry Bonds took PEDS.

    PEDS are still PEDS. The rules are the rules. Otherwise, change them so that all may benefit.

    My larger point has consistently been, that with all the Bill James Sabermetrics and elaborate explanations for measuring individual player’s performances, the one way that players have used to gain an advantage has constantly been overlooked by the Sabermetricians for the past decades. (e.g. “Nothing to see here, everyone knows that PEDS have no direct effect at all whatsoever on individual performances, etc.) Then when it is shown that PEDS are related to the performance, the tactic becomes “I am shocked, SHOCKED, that PEDS are being used in the sacred hallow halls of the National Pastime! How could that kind of thing be going on in MLB?”

    I called it. Test him. PEDS = cheating, period. For the most part, the NFL tends to look the other way and has for the longest time.

  56. Couple questions.

    Why does the catcher need to know what pitch is coming? Is a major league catcher likely to fail to catch a pitch because he doesn’t know whether it’s a curve ball or a fast ball? Obviously, when no one’s on base, there’s no down side to the catcher missing the ball anyway. Is it really so important to know what’s coming that it trumps the potential for having a sign stolen?

    Does anybody really know how much of an advantage a batter gets by knowing what kind of pitch is coming? How much would it affect batting average? Has it ever been put to a real test?

    I was struck by how much better the Red Sox were in the year they won the Series than in the following year. Might this have been due to sign stealing under Cora, which he stopped after the win?

    • Replies: @ALS
    @candid_observer

    Well, Altuve had a .472 batting average at home in the 2017 postseason compared to a .143 batting average on the road.

    , @Desiderius
    @candid_observer

    Yes

    , @ex-banker
    @candid_observer

    No evidence of that all. They scored just 25 fewer runs in 2019 than 2018. Their issue was that they allowed 181 more runs. Those 25 runs taken away from the 18 would have translated into around 2.5-2.8 wins -- not much for a team that won 108 games.

    That said, it wouldn't shock me at all if they were still cheating in 2019.

    , @FPD72
    @candid_observer

    Even when there is no one on base, it’s important because a passed ball on a third strike could allow the batter to advance to first. But beyond that, it appears to be important because whenever the pitcher “get crossed up on the signals” the catcher hurries out to the mound to get on the same page with his battery mate.

  57. @candid_observer
    Couple questions.

    Why does the catcher need to know what pitch is coming? Is a major league catcher likely to fail to catch a pitch because he doesn't know whether it's a curve ball or a fast ball? Obviously, when no one's on base, there's no down side to the catcher missing the ball anyway. Is it really so important to know what's coming that it trumps the potential for having a sign stolen?

    Does anybody really know how much of an advantage a batter gets by knowing what kind of pitch is coming? How much would it affect batting average? Has it ever been put to a real test?

    I was struck by how much better the Red Sox were in the year they won the Series than in the following year. Might this have been due to sign stealing under Cora, which he stopped after the win?

    Replies: @ALS, @Desiderius, @ex-banker, @FPD72

    Well, Altuve had a .472 batting average at home in the 2017 postseason compared to a .143 batting average on the road.

  58. And somebody is alleging that the California Angels superstar Mike Trout has a secret loophole that allows him to legally take Human Growth Hormone for a thyroid condition. (This would be a little like how Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi was given HGH as a child for extreme shortness.)

    Kim Hunter gives up a GOPHER BALL to Scott Brosius in the 2001 World Series:

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    @Charles Pewitt


    Kim Hunter gives up a GOPHER BALL to Scott Brosius in the 2001 World Series
     
    I couldn't stand Brosius.

    I was so glad that Arizona won that World Series...NYC is insufferable enough about, "The Spring of '94, "

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ORlXbi32DI

    PUKE
  59. @candid_observer
    Couple questions.

    Why does the catcher need to know what pitch is coming? Is a major league catcher likely to fail to catch a pitch because he doesn't know whether it's a curve ball or a fast ball? Obviously, when no one's on base, there's no down side to the catcher missing the ball anyway. Is it really so important to know what's coming that it trumps the potential for having a sign stolen?

    Does anybody really know how much of an advantage a batter gets by knowing what kind of pitch is coming? How much would it affect batting average? Has it ever been put to a real test?

    I was struck by how much better the Red Sox were in the year they won the Series than in the following year. Might this have been due to sign stealing under Cora, which he stopped after the win?

    Replies: @ALS, @Desiderius, @ex-banker, @FPD72

    Yes

  60. Spin rate or velocity or a tight spiral with no wobble on the nose of the flight of the football brings up the mechanics of throwing and why baseball catchers plant their front foot so strongly when they throw that they seem to do a bit of a dance after gunning one down to second base in an attempt to throw out the runner.

    Good throwers gin up velocity and spin rate by a catapult or trebuchet system of throwing whereby they leverage energy from their body and shoulder to provide a platform for their arm and elbow and fingers to torque the shit out of whatever the Hell they are throwing.

    Caveman heroes who could throw a spear like a sonofabitch or some young guy getting a 300 million dollar baseball contract because of their spin rate are all the same.

    The smaller size and less weight of the baseball is the reason why baseball throwers blow out their elbow and shoulder at a higher rate than do quarterback throwers in football. The sheer size of the football prevents a thrower from putting the body and shoulder elbow wrist fingers trebuchet apparatus under too much torque. The baseball pitchers are also doing sneaky things to get their sneaky, curving and sliding and rising and sinking pitches to do the things they do when a football thrower has a more regular release on a constant basis.

    Was it Kim Bokamper who gave up that GOPHER BALL to Scott Brosius in the 2001 World Series?

  61. Cheating is pretty rife in all kinds of professional sports.

    Golf seems to be one of the exceptions, where the code of conduct requires you to report a foul that no one else sees.

    Soccer is ferocious on drug cheats, and players who have tested positive for cocaine have had their contracts terminated and been sued for millions by their employers. However, there is a lot of cheating on the field of play in soccer in terms of faking fouls, shirt pulling, pretending to have been punched, and so on.

    The general rule is that if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

  62. @candid_observer
    Couple questions.

    Why does the catcher need to know what pitch is coming? Is a major league catcher likely to fail to catch a pitch because he doesn't know whether it's a curve ball or a fast ball? Obviously, when no one's on base, there's no down side to the catcher missing the ball anyway. Is it really so important to know what's coming that it trumps the potential for having a sign stolen?

    Does anybody really know how much of an advantage a batter gets by knowing what kind of pitch is coming? How much would it affect batting average? Has it ever been put to a real test?

    I was struck by how much better the Red Sox were in the year they won the Series than in the following year. Might this have been due to sign stealing under Cora, which he stopped after the win?

    Replies: @ALS, @Desiderius, @ex-banker, @FPD72

    No evidence of that all. They scored just 25 fewer runs in 2019 than 2018. Their issue was that they allowed 181 more runs. Those 25 runs taken away from the 18 would have translated into around 2.5-2.8 wins — not much for a team that won 108 games.

    That said, it wouldn’t shock me at all if they were still cheating in 2019.

  63. @candid_observer
    Couple questions.

    Why does the catcher need to know what pitch is coming? Is a major league catcher likely to fail to catch a pitch because he doesn't know whether it's a curve ball or a fast ball? Obviously, when no one's on base, there's no down side to the catcher missing the ball anyway. Is it really so important to know what's coming that it trumps the potential for having a sign stolen?

    Does anybody really know how much of an advantage a batter gets by knowing what kind of pitch is coming? How much would it affect batting average? Has it ever been put to a real test?

    I was struck by how much better the Red Sox were in the year they won the Series than in the following year. Might this have been due to sign stealing under Cora, which he stopped after the win?

    Replies: @ALS, @Desiderius, @ex-banker, @FPD72

    Even when there is no one on base, it’s important because a passed ball on a third strike could allow the batter to advance to first. But beyond that, it appears to be important because whenever the pitcher “get crossed up on the signals” the catcher hurries out to the mound to get on the same page with his battery mate.

  64. @Desiderius
    @kaganovitch

    That's a little No True Scotsmen. He's pretty typical of Cincinnati Jews*, or Cincinnatians in general.

    * - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Cincinnati

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Yeah, but he’s my homie. He grew up in Brooklyn.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @kaganovitch

    Brooklyn then was like Cincinnati now.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  65. @Charles Pewitt

    And somebody is alleging that the California Angels superstar Mike Trout has a secret loophole that allows him to legally take Human Growth Hormone for a thyroid condition. (This would be a little like how Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi was given HGH as a child for extreme shortness.)

     

    Kim Hunter gives up a GOPHER BALL to Scott Brosius in the 2001 World Series:

    https://youtu.be/hpBSvBSpMp0

    Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    Kim Hunter gives up a GOPHER BALL to Scott Brosius in the 2001 World Series

    I couldn’t stand Brosius.

    I was so glad that Arizona won that World Series…NYC is insufferable enough about, “The Spring of ’94, ”

    PUKE

  66. @Manfred Arcane
    @Bragadocious

    On the Puerto Rican angle, some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only "Latino" managers in MLB have been fired in the last week. If they are both replaced with white guys, expect that grumble to grow.

    As to Hinch, I definitely think he was at least partly afraid to escalate his resistance to his players' sign-stealing because of racial optics. Cora and Beltran weren't the only Latinos involved; over half of the Astros' starting lineup is Spanish-speaking, and a couple of the English-speakers are black. I'm sure he was nervous about getting savaged by the ESPN types for being a white guy reporting bad behavior by Players of Color.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @ScarletNumber, @No Jack london

    It’s especially hilarious for the Mets. They got burned with absimilated Dominican Omar Minaya in the aughts, then brought him back in ’17 and are promptly getting burned again. It’s obvious he runs things behind the scenes and hired his good buddy Beltran.

    Minaya would hire all Hispanics if he could and fire every single blanquito. And the Jewish owner behind the scenes rubs his hands as this West Bank-style ethnic cleansing unfolds. Minaya even mistreated an African-American manager and the cucked NY press gave him a pass on it.

  67. @68W58
    Greg Maddux was "Sheldon with a fastball", a pitching savant who could tell you three pitches in advance that he would throw his change up away and break so and so's bat. Even so he was not as dominant in the playoffs as he was during the regular season.

    I saw someone say on twitter that Howie Kendrick may have saved baseball when he hit his go ahead home run in game seven this year. With the stink from this landing on the Astros and Red Sox (so far) it would have been three World Series in a row going to tainted teams if he hadn't helped pull the Nats through.

    Replies: @Up2Drew

    Maddux was also granted a strike zone 15% larger than his pitching brethren by major league umpires, too. That helped.

    • Replies: @Mister.Baseball
    @Up2Drew

    Long been rumored that Maddux was a proper spitballer more in the tradition of Preacher Roe than the Gaylord Perry school of overt slop-and-scuff.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

  68. @Manfred Arcane
    @Bragadocious

    On the Puerto Rican angle, some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only "Latino" managers in MLB have been fired in the last week. If they are both replaced with white guys, expect that grumble to grow.

    As to Hinch, I definitely think he was at least partly afraid to escalate his resistance to his players' sign-stealing because of racial optics. Cora and Beltran weren't the only Latinos involved; over half of the Astros' starting lineup is Spanish-speaking, and a couple of the English-speakers are black. I'm sure he was nervous about getting savaged by the ESPN types for being a white guy reporting bad behavior by Players of Color.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @ScarletNumber, @No Jack london

    Anyone who teaches in an inner city can appreciate what Hinch has to go through.

  69. @wildbeard
    The Astros system of signal steeling was so doomed to ultimate public exposure because too many different actors were involved. This was due to the necessity of having batters involved. Players are outside of the coaching staff therefore less controllable and more likely to spill the beans at some point in the future. The more players involved the higher risk of the secret scheme leaking out of the organization.

    People have loose lips and end up telling secrets to seemingly trusted friends that don't have the same liability at stake. People become angry and want revenge. Players get traded to other teams and change loyalties. It's only a matter of time before the authorities catch wind of the scheme. With audio/video recordings of every game, the authorities will have the resources to detect the patterns that enable them to crack the scheme.

    Putting the ethics of such a scheme aside, the inside actors need to be limited to as few people as possible. Keeping the batters from knowing about the scheme is essential but would be difficult since they need to know what kind of pitch is coming next. If the 3rd base coach's signals to the batters not only included traditional information such as: don't swing, bunt, swing away, etc, but also included information telling the batter what kind of pitch is probably coming without the batter being able to infer with a high degree of certainty that he's being fed stolen signal information then the number of people involved in the scheme could be as low as 3, the interpreter, the relay person, and the 3rd base coach. However, It might be beneficial to include more than one relay person to increase the complexity of the signalling to the 3rd base coach in order to make the signal code harder to crack.

    Replies: @anon, @Up2Drew

    My father in law was a cop. He told me that they solved about half their crimes because the perp’s woman got mad at them and spilled.

  70. @Barnard
    @Mister.Baseball

    Both the Williams sisters have medical exemptions to use PEDs from the WTA. Venus has one for her Sjogren's Syndrome, I don't know what excuse they are letting Serena use. Simone Biles also got one for the Rio Olympics to take something for ADHD. Considering how important concentration is in a sport like gymnastics, why isn't ADHD considered something the athlete has to overcome just like an injury or being not quite as agile as another competitor. The people who control these sports have been deciding who they want to let cheat and who they punish for a long time.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-hack-serena-venus-williams-simone-biles-exemptions-banned-drugs-2016-9

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball, @Unladen Swallow

    It’s hard to argue against that point; the cynicism is well justified.

    In baseball, as memory serves, the medical board which grants exemptions is ostensibly independent of both the the owners and players’ union.

    And ADHD exemptions, for example, have fallen to their lowest level since they started issuing public reports in 2008.

    In 2019, there were 91 exemptions issued for ADHD, which accounts for the overwhelming amount of therapeutic exemptions issued. In fact, there were only three other exemptions on record for issues other than ADHD in 2019; one for hypergonadism, one for kidney disease, and one for hypersomnia.

    The ADHD exemption rate ranged between 105-119 from 2008 to 2016 but has been declining since. This in a league where there are 1200 40-man roster spots.

    The days of A-Rod getting an exemption (as he did in at least 2007) because of testosterone problems caused by prior drug use, or shady ADHD diagnoses to replace greenies, seems to be fading into the background.

    It doesn’t mean everything is on the up-and-up. There are still people beating the system in all sorts of ways, which could include Trout. But the specific accusation is that Trout is continuing to exploit a loophole with a thyroid problem excuse just doesn’t show up in the available information.

    Sometimes, it actually is just sour grapes and jealousy fueling these things.

  71. “some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only “Latino” managers in MLB have been fired in the last week.”

    What are they talking about? Davey Martinez is the Nats’/2019 World Series Champions’ manager.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Fired Astros manager A.J. Hinch was retroactively declared to be Latino because he can speak some Spanish.

    Replies: @Manfred Arcane

  72. @Up2Drew
    @68W58

    Maddux was also granted a strike zone 15% larger than his pitching brethren by major league umpires, too. That helped.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball

    Long been rumored that Maddux was a proper spitballer more in the tradition of Preacher Roe than the Gaylord Perry school of overt slop-and-scuff.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    @Mister.Baseball

    on the off chance someone here has met Greg Maddux in real life - is he is as smart as people say he is?
    I have heard he is sort of at the James Woods level when cameras are off .... statistically if he is the smartest living MLB pitcher he is probably just a one in a thousand smart guy, which is not that big a deal ..... there are millions of guys that smart in this country ...... I always wondered if he was this really really smart guy who figured out how to be a pitcher, or just a pitcher who was smarter than most other pictures, as inexorably a few pitchers will always be in any generation .....

    I have read the twitter feeds of lots of purportedly brilliant athletes and none of them seem to be to be much above the one in a hundred level, based on the way they present themselves on twitter, but maybe they just aren't trying hard --- and with the exception of John Madden, none of the retired athletes who talk or write for a living seem anywhere near being supremely gifted with words...

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  73. @kaganovitch
    @Desiderius

    Yeah, but he's my homie. He grew up in Brooklyn.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Brooklyn then was like Cincinnati now.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Desiderius


    Brooklyn then was like Cincinnati now.
     
    Yes. They had a National League baseball team.
  74. There are two signs for a pitch. The first is the type of pitch and the second is the location. The catcher will throw down his fingers with a 3 followed by a 2, for example. That might be a curve low and inside. There is no sign combination for a fastball down the middle of the plate! Part of the catcher’s job is to help the pitcher aim by moving his glove to the target location before the ball is released.

  75. This is too funny. A white man in Miami decides he’s a black man because of the one drop rule.

    Then the black commissioner scolds him.

  76. @Anon
    "some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only “Latino” managers in MLB have been fired in the last week."

    What are they talking about? Davey Martinez is the Nats'/2019 World Series Champions' manager.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Fired Astros manager A.J. Hinch was retroactively declared to be Latino because he can speak some Spanish.

    • Replies: @Manfred Arcane
    @Steve Sailer

    I didn't hear that about Hinch--the two "Latino" managers whose dismissal I noticed SJW grumbles about were Cora and Beltran.

  77. @Manfred Arcane
    @Bragadocious

    On the Puerto Rican angle, some SJW sports bloggers are already starting to grumble about how the only "Latino" managers in MLB have been fired in the last week. If they are both replaced with white guys, expect that grumble to grow.

    As to Hinch, I definitely think he was at least partly afraid to escalate his resistance to his players' sign-stealing because of racial optics. Cora and Beltran weren't the only Latinos involved; over half of the Astros' starting lineup is Spanish-speaking, and a couple of the English-speakers are black. I'm sure he was nervous about getting savaged by the ESPN types for being a white guy reporting bad behavior by Players of Color.

    Replies: @Bragadocious, @ScarletNumber, @No Jack london

    I doubt it was the Puerto Rican or black guys who developed the telescopic spy system, broke the codes or perfected state of the art communications that made this scheme effective.

  78. @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    The 1951 Giants came from 13.5 games back against the Dodgers by winning 44 of 51 games.

    It also helped that they had a rookie centerfielder named Willie Mays.
     
    Thomson's home run ball was caught by a nun playing hooky in her civvies. That suggests divine intervention was in play.

    1951 was the year all three NYC teams finished first. Boston's both did in 1948, but so did Cleveland, who blocked a T-ball Series. The Chicago clubs met in the 1906 Series, the Bay Area teams in 1989. Philadelphia's rarely finished in first, and never in the same year.

    I see the Angels and Dodgers both ended 2014 in first. Have they ever had the best record in their respective leagues in the same year?

    This "division" nonsense cribbed from the NFL (who had it in 1938) ruins the very concept of first place.

    Replies: @anon, @Hibernian

    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don’t. I’d like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West. They’d play division rivals every year, home in odd numbered years and away in even, or vice versa, depending on the opponent. Four games would be with teams in the other division of the same conference, on a cycle in which they’sd play each of these teams once at home and once at the opponent’s house each cycle. Another 4 would be with the 16 teams of the other conference on an 8 year cycle. No wild cards. There’s be a four team tourney which would be completed by the middle of January. The regular season would be one game shorter. Injuries would be reduced. Bring back the early 60s Playoff Bowl for third place. (Vince Lombardi hated it. I don’t agree. Why not prove you’re the 3rd best in the NFL rather than 4th or tied for 3rd?)

    NFC West: Seattle, LA Rams, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, Green Bay.

    NFC East: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, NY Giants.

    AFC West: LA Chargers, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati.

    AFC East: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Jets, Boston.

    The dividing line for the NFC is the Mississippi, with teams in cities on the Mississippi in the West, with the exception that the Packers will be in the West to even things up and to preserve rivalries with Minnesota and Dallas (but not Chicago.)

    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Hibernian
    @Hibernian

    Substitute San Francisco for Las Vegas in my NFC West list. What was I thinking of? (Probably as a Packer fan I was blocking SF out of my mind!)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Hibernian

    The ancient NFL/AFL conference configuration made sense. With the wildcard, the necessity for a third place is unnecessary. Like, I’m almost hearing you suggest the Super Bowl isn’t necessary, with the emphasis on third place tourney. It’s like, that’s over, not coming back.

    NFL will never agree to shortening the regular season.

    Otherwise not bad. DAL will never agree to being placed in Western Conference even though geographically it makes sense.

    And, to make the Super Bowl more interesting, no inter-conference games during regular season. None. The only time the AFC and NFC face each other should be in the Super Bowl.

    Also, you do agree with keeping the Super Bowl? It’s now been around longer than the second rate NFL championship (1933-65). The NFL didn’t fully surpass MLB in total viewership until the Super Bowl era.

    Also, no one cares about finishing third. They do care about winning the Super Bowl, and the wild card round gives 5/6 seeds a chance. TEN was a wild card this year, and they’re a game away from going to the Super Bowl.

    Replies: @Hibernian

  79. @Johnny789
    Why not give the pitcher and the catcher and everyone else out in the field earpieces and have the manager call the pitches from the dugout? Of course, the manager would need to be in the clubhouse calling the pitches lest he give away his calls via lip reading or body language or facial expressions. And if God forbid a defensive player lean one way or another based on what pitch that he knows is coming and the batter picks up on it due to his superior peripheral vision and adjusts accordingly and therefore gives his team an unfair advantage, well that would ruin the integrity of the game which only actually exists in the minds of those who make money off of the game.

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball, @Hibernian

    Whaat? Make baseball like football? Sacrilege!

  80. @Steve Sailer
    @JimDandy

    As well he should be with that level of dedication to the game.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

    Well said.

  81. @Mister.Baseball
    @Up2Drew

    Long been rumored that Maddux was a proper spitballer more in the tradition of Preacher Roe than the Gaylord Perry school of overt slop-and-scuff.

    Replies: @Stephen Dodge

    on the off chance someone here has met Greg Maddux in real life – is he is as smart as people say he is?
    I have heard he is sort of at the James Woods level when cameras are off …. statistically if he is the smartest living MLB pitcher he is probably just a one in a thousand smart guy, which is not that big a deal ….. there are millions of guys that smart in this country …… I always wondered if he was this really really smart guy who figured out how to be a pitcher, or just a pitcher who was smarter than most other pictures, as inexorably a few pitchers will always be in any generation …..

    I have read the twitter feeds of lots of purportedly brilliant athletes and none of them seem to be to be much above the one in a hundred level, based on the way they present themselves on twitter, but maybe they just aren’t trying hard — and with the exception of John Madden, none of the retired athletes who talk or write for a living seem anywhere near being supremely gifted with words…

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Stephen Dodge

    Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later. Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago. Lots of guys whose sports careers ended with college or after a couple of years in the minor leagues do very well for himself. Like my friend the Mexican-American second basemen at Rice is now a fairly big wheel in the energy industry.

    Replies: @prime noticer, @Anon, @68W58

  82. @Hibernian
    @Reg Cæsar

    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don't. I'd like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West. They'd play division rivals every year, home in odd numbered years and away in even, or vice versa, depending on the opponent. Four games would be with teams in the other division of the same conference, on a cycle in which they'sd play each of these teams once at home and once at the opponent's house each cycle. Another 4 would be with the 16 teams of the other conference on an 8 year cycle. No wild cards. There's be a four team tourney which would be completed by the middle of January. The regular season would be one game shorter. Injuries would be reduced. Bring back the early 60s Playoff Bowl for third place. (Vince Lombardi hated it. I don't agree. Why not prove you're the 3rd best in the NFL rather than 4th or tied for 3rd?)

    NFC West: Seattle, LA Rams, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, Green Bay.

    NFC East: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, NY Giants.

    AFC West: LA Chargers, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati.

    AFC East: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Jets, Boston.

    The dividing line for the NFC is the Mississippi, with teams in cities on the Mississippi in the West, with the exception that the Packers will be in the West to even things up and to preserve rivalries with Minnesota and Dallas (but not Chicago.)

    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

    Replies: @Hibernian, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Substitute San Francisco for Las Vegas in my NFC West list. What was I thinking of? (Probably as a Packer fan I was blocking SF out of my mind!)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Hibernian

    I'm sorry to have opened Pandora's box with my off-hand comment!


    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don’t. I’d like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West.

     

    Blame the NFL for divisions and the NHL for pseudoplayoffs. But with football it's less of an issue because the number of games is necessarily limited, and there's no way a season can be balanced, as in pre-1969 baseball or in association football today.

    Sports Illustrated had a long essay back in the '70s comparing "event" sports like football with serial (I forget their exact words) ones like baseball. (Anyone remember this or, better yet, have a link?) Since all football games are essentially one-offs, it also makes sense to allow interleague (interconference) play, as it's worth seeing how the best individuals perform against one another. There isn't much difference between two or three meetings of division rivals.

    In baseball, it's different. It takes time to learn the intricacies of opposing players. Thus, the 22 meetings with each rival before 1961 is a better set-up than whatever it is today.

    Even the one legitimate interleague contest, the World Series, could go up to seven games.


    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

     

    Some of those teams were imported from earlier "American" leagues, so the AFC was a natural for them.

    Probably as a Packer fan I was blocking SF out of my mind!
     
    I'm not a Packer fan, but I play one at the in-laws'.
  83. @Stephen Dodge
    @Mister.Baseball

    on the off chance someone here has met Greg Maddux in real life - is he is as smart as people say he is?
    I have heard he is sort of at the James Woods level when cameras are off .... statistically if he is the smartest living MLB pitcher he is probably just a one in a thousand smart guy, which is not that big a deal ..... there are millions of guys that smart in this country ...... I always wondered if he was this really really smart guy who figured out how to be a pitcher, or just a pitcher who was smarter than most other pictures, as inexorably a few pitchers will always be in any generation .....

    I have read the twitter feeds of lots of purportedly brilliant athletes and none of them seem to be to be much above the one in a hundred level, based on the way they present themselves on twitter, but maybe they just aren't trying hard --- and with the exception of John Madden, none of the retired athletes who talk or write for a living seem anywhere near being supremely gifted with words...

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later. Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago. Lots of guys whose sports careers ended with college or after a couple of years in the minor leagues do very well for himself. Like my friend the Mexican-American second basemen at Rice is now a fairly big wheel in the energy industry.

    • Replies: @prime noticer
    @Steve Sailer

    "Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later."

    broadcasting is about it. and only recently. because there are 12 full time sports channels now or whatever it is. in the past this was a very limited avenue. now lots of hall of fame or borderline hall of fame guys are looking to go directly into the booth somewhere.

    ESPN is offering Tony Romo 10 million dollars a year to leave CBS and work for them. the most Romo ever made as a player was 8 million a year.

    and, the full time channels for every sports league, which didn't exist 15 years ago, hire directly from the second rate players coming out of the league, sort of creating a patronage industry. guys who blew all their money and are down on their luck can quickly be hired now for $250,000 a year to give worthless commentary for an hour a week on all these sports networks, so the league can play favorites with down and out guys. this happens regularly. even UFC does this.

    in fact, due to this system, lots of successful coaches decide to leave coaching permanently after 45 or 50, and go get a $500,000 a year broadcasting job, which pays less than going back to coaching, but offers 99% less stress to sit there and watch games and talk instead. this system takes a few valuable coaches out of the sports leagues.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

    , @Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    A Mexican American 3rd baseman from Rice, Anthony Rendon, is one of the best players in the Majors right now. He just signed a huge contract with the Angels.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @68W58
    @Steve Sailer

    There was a big man from Georgia who played center in the NBA who went on to become a surgeon-Alec Kessler. But he had a heart attack and died fairly young. Keep an eye on Tyler Shatley who plays line from Jacksonville as he got his degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson and he would be set up to do well in construction after he retires from football.

  84. anon[292] • Disclaimer says:

    Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago.

    A relative of mine used to attend all the Navy football games and watched Staubach as QB. He summarized this way, “No way that guy was ever going out on any boat!”. Very intelligent man, Staubach – he knew when to quit football, for example.

  85. @Steve Sailer
    @Stephen Dodge

    Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later. Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago. Lots of guys whose sports careers ended with college or after a couple of years in the minor leagues do very well for himself. Like my friend the Mexican-American second basemen at Rice is now a fairly big wheel in the energy industry.

    Replies: @prime noticer, @Anon, @68W58

    “Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later.”

    broadcasting is about it. and only recently. because there are 12 full time sports channels now or whatever it is. in the past this was a very limited avenue. now lots of hall of fame or borderline hall of fame guys are looking to go directly into the booth somewhere.

    ESPN is offering Tony Romo 10 million dollars a year to leave CBS and work for them. the most Romo ever made as a player was 8 million a year.

    and, the full time channels for every sports league, which didn’t exist 15 years ago, hire directly from the second rate players coming out of the league, sort of creating a patronage industry. guys who blew all their money and are down on their luck can quickly be hired now for $250,000 a year to give worthless commentary for an hour a week on all these sports networks, so the league can play favorites with down and out guys. this happens regularly. even UFC does this.

    in fact, due to this system, lots of successful coaches decide to leave coaching permanently after 45 or 50, and go get a $500,000 a year broadcasting job, which pays less than going back to coaching, but offers 99% less stress to sit there and watch games and talk instead. this system takes a few valuable coaches out of the sports leagues.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @prime noticer

    Romo is a multi-talented guy: fine NFL quarterback, maybe even better as an announcer, and he really wants to be the U.S. Amateur golf champion except his other opportunities keep getting in the way of practicing.

    Replies: @Unladen Swallow

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @prime noticer

    Romo is very good on TV. I remember during last year's Super Bowl, he predicted what the Patriots would do on their winning touchdown drive. And his enthusiasm is infectious.

    Dan Fouts is good too; he doesn't talk over the game. Chris Collinsworth never shuts up.

  86. Anon[822] • Disclaimer says:

    Rule change suggestion: Give the catcher a microphone inside his mask connected to the pitcher’s earpiece that could be fitted with an “around-the-ear” attatchment. The catcher could cover his mouth with his mitt and whisper what pitch he wanted. No way to steal that signal if the mic and earpiece had a secret communications channel unique to those two devices.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Sounds reasonable.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  87. @Hibernian
    @Reg Cæsar

    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don't. I'd like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West. They'd play division rivals every year, home in odd numbered years and away in even, or vice versa, depending on the opponent. Four games would be with teams in the other division of the same conference, on a cycle in which they'sd play each of these teams once at home and once at the opponent's house each cycle. Another 4 would be with the 16 teams of the other conference on an 8 year cycle. No wild cards. There's be a four team tourney which would be completed by the middle of January. The regular season would be one game shorter. Injuries would be reduced. Bring back the early 60s Playoff Bowl for third place. (Vince Lombardi hated it. I don't agree. Why not prove you're the 3rd best in the NFL rather than 4th or tied for 3rd?)

    NFC West: Seattle, LA Rams, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, Green Bay.

    NFC East: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, NY Giants.

    AFC West: LA Chargers, Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati.

    AFC East: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Jets, Boston.

    The dividing line for the NFC is the Mississippi, with teams in cities on the Mississippi in the West, with the exception that the Packers will be in the West to even things up and to preserve rivalries with Minnesota and Dallas (but not Chicago.)

    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

    Replies: @Hibernian, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The ancient NFL/AFL conference configuration made sense. With the wildcard, the necessity for a third place is unnecessary. Like, I’m almost hearing you suggest the Super Bowl isn’t necessary, with the emphasis on third place tourney. It’s like, that’s over, not coming back.

    NFL will never agree to shortening the regular season.

    Otherwise not bad. DAL will never agree to being placed in Western Conference even though geographically it makes sense.

    And, to make the Super Bowl more interesting, no inter-conference games during regular season. None. The only time the AFC and NFC face each other should be in the Super Bowl.

    Also, you do agree with keeping the Super Bowl? It’s now been around longer than the second rate NFL championship (1933-65). The NFL didn’t fully surpass MLB in total viewership until the Super Bowl era.

    Also, no one cares about finishing third. They do care about winning the Super Bowl, and the wild card round gives 5/6 seeds a chance. TEN was a wild card this year, and they’re a game away from going to the Super Bowl.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    When I said four team tourney, I meant with the Super Bowl as the final; the revived Playoff Bowl would be in addition. Maybe the Playoff Bowl could substitute for the Pro Bowl and the Pro Bowl teams could just be honorary without playing each other. It's not unusual for star players to skip the Pro Bowl, and not just the ones on the Super Bowl teams who are barred from playing even if they get the honor/award. (I'm not sure, but I think the game is between Conference Championship Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday.) Aaron Rogers didn't go for several years when he was named, which he wasn't this year because of his age related decline.

    I'm sure DAL likes being in the weak division they came close to winning this year. Traditionwise, they've been in the NFL or NFC East since they were founded in the early '60s.

    Small points like exactly 15 games or bringing back the Playoff Bowl are not essential. An additional game could be added based on roughly equal previous years records. Alternatively reduction to 15 games could be a bargaining chip to get the NFLPA to agree to more practices, which are needed. The basic idea is going back to reasonable size divisions, which would be less likely to be embarrassingly weak. These would be similar in size to the NL, AL, NFL East, NFL West, and AFL, circa 1960. (I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game.)

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  88. @Anon
    Rule change suggestion: Give the catcher a microphone inside his mask connected to the pitcher's earpiece that could be fitted with an "around-the-ear" attatchment. The catcher could cover his mouth with his mitt and whisper what pitch he wanted. No way to steal that signal if the mic and earpiece had a secret communications channel unique to those two devices.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Sounds reasonable.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Steve Sailer

    Just put some electrodes inside his glove. No need for speech.

  89. @prime noticer
    @Steve Sailer

    "Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later."

    broadcasting is about it. and only recently. because there are 12 full time sports channels now or whatever it is. in the past this was a very limited avenue. now lots of hall of fame or borderline hall of fame guys are looking to go directly into the booth somewhere.

    ESPN is offering Tony Romo 10 million dollars a year to leave CBS and work for them. the most Romo ever made as a player was 8 million a year.

    and, the full time channels for every sports league, which didn't exist 15 years ago, hire directly from the second rate players coming out of the league, sort of creating a patronage industry. guys who blew all their money and are down on their luck can quickly be hired now for $250,000 a year to give worthless commentary for an hour a week on all these sports networks, so the league can play favorites with down and out guys. this happens regularly. even UFC does this.

    in fact, due to this system, lots of successful coaches decide to leave coaching permanently after 45 or 50, and go get a $500,000 a year broadcasting job, which pays less than going back to coaching, but offers 99% less stress to sit there and watch games and talk instead. this system takes a few valuable coaches out of the sports leagues.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

    Romo is a multi-talented guy: fine NFL quarterback, maybe even better as an announcer, and he really wants to be the U.S. Amateur golf champion except his other opportunities keep getting in the way of practicing.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
    @Steve Sailer

    I remember the first interview I ever heard with him, a radio interview on the Jim Rome show, right after he had become the Cowboys starting QB, the guy was incredibly charismatic without any video on him at all, you could sense that just by listening to him, not surprising that he very quickly became his network's top color commentator.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  90. @Barnard
    @Mister.Baseball

    Both the Williams sisters have medical exemptions to use PEDs from the WTA. Venus has one for her Sjogren's Syndrome, I don't know what excuse they are letting Serena use. Simone Biles also got one for the Rio Olympics to take something for ADHD. Considering how important concentration is in a sport like gymnastics, why isn't ADHD considered something the athlete has to overcome just like an injury or being not quite as agile as another competitor. The people who control these sports have been deciding who they want to let cheat and who they punish for a long time.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-hack-serena-venus-williams-simone-biles-exemptions-banned-drugs-2016-9

    Replies: @Mister.Baseball, @Unladen Swallow

    I didn’t know Serena got an exemption “officially”, that would explain why at an age when most top players are long since retired she was not only competing for, but winning grand slam tournaments.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    @Unladen Swallow

    The goal is to patch her up and keep sending her out there until she passes the very un-woke Margaret Court. Same too, with Tiger Woods and passing Jack Nicklaus. Tiger was linked to PEDs but the media and PGA chose to ignore it.

  91. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Sounds reasonable.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Just put some electrodes inside his glove. No need for speech.

  92. @Steve Sailer
    @prime noticer

    Romo is a multi-talented guy: fine NFL quarterback, maybe even better as an announcer, and he really wants to be the U.S. Amateur golf champion except his other opportunities keep getting in the way of practicing.

    Replies: @Unladen Swallow

    I remember the first interview I ever heard with him, a radio interview on the Jim Rome show, right after he had become the Cowboys starting QB, the guy was incredibly charismatic without any video on him at all, you could sense that just by listening to him, not surprising that he very quickly became his network’s top color commentator.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Unladen Swallow

    Rome is bizarro Romo.

  93. @Unladen Swallow
    @Steve Sailer

    I remember the first interview I ever heard with him, a radio interview on the Jim Rome show, right after he had become the Cowboys starting QB, the guy was incredibly charismatic without any video on him at all, you could sense that just by listening to him, not surprising that he very quickly became his network's top color commentator.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Rome is bizarro Romo.

  94. @Steve Sailer
    @Stephen Dodge

    Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later. Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago. Lots of guys whose sports careers ended with college or after a couple of years in the minor leagues do very well for himself. Like my friend the Mexican-American second basemen at Rice is now a fairly big wheel in the energy industry.

    Replies: @prime noticer, @Anon, @68W58

    A Mexican American 3rd baseman from Rice, Anthony Rendon, is one of the best players in the Majors right now. He just signed a huge contract with the Angels.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Rendon sounds like a good guy.

    Replies: @William Badwhite

  95. @Steve Sailer
    @Stephen Dodge

    Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later. Roger Staubach sold his real estate development firm for $100 million when he retired a dozen years ago. Lots of guys whose sports careers ended with college or after a couple of years in the minor leagues do very well for himself. Like my friend the Mexican-American second basemen at Rice is now a fairly big wheel in the energy industry.

    Replies: @prime noticer, @Anon, @68W58

    There was a big man from Georgia who played center in the NBA who went on to become a surgeon-Alec Kessler. But he had a heart attack and died fairly young. Keep an eye on Tyler Shatley who plays line from Jacksonville as he got his degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson and he would be set up to do well in construction after he retires from football.

  96. @Hibernian
    @Hibernian

    Substitute San Francisco for Las Vegas in my NFC West list. What was I thinking of? (Probably as a Packer fan I was blocking SF out of my mind!)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I’m sorry to have opened Pandora’s box with my off-hand comment!

    An 8 team division makes sense; 5, and especially 4, don’t. I’d like to see the NFL go to two 8 team divisions in each conference, East and West.

    Blame the NFL for divisions and the NHL for pseudoplayoffs. But with football it’s less of an issue because the number of games is necessarily limited, and there’s no way a season can be balanced, as in pre-1969 baseball or in association football today.

    Sports Illustrated had a long essay back in the ’70s comparing “event” sports like football with serial (I forget their exact words) ones like baseball. (Anyone remember this or, better yet, have a link?) Since all football games are essentially one-offs, it also makes sense to allow interleague (interconference) play, as it’s worth seeing how the best individuals perform against one another. There isn’t much difference between two or three meetings of division rivals.

    In baseball, it’s different. It takes time to learn the intricacies of opposing players. Thus, the 22 meetings with each rival before 1961 is a better set-up than whatever it is today.

    Even the one legitimate interleague contest, the World Series, could go up to seven games.

    The AFL was Southern and Western oriented but the AFC was more Eastern due to the addition of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Its East/West divide would be a little to the west of the Alleghenys.

    Some of those teams were imported from earlier “American” leagues, so the AFC was a natural for them.

    Probably as a Packer fan I was blocking SF out of my mind!

    I’m not a Packer fan, but I play one at the in-laws’.

  97. @Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    A Mexican American 3rd baseman from Rice, Anthony Rendon, is one of the best players in the Majors right now. He just signed a huge contract with the Angels.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Rendon sounds like a good guy.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    @Steve Sailer

    Rendon is a devout Christian and likely leans i-Steve ish on politics. When he chose Orange County (the Angels) he made a point of saying he didn't agree with "Hollywood values" and that was one reason he never considered the Dodgers.

  98. @prime noticer
    @Steve Sailer

    "Very few top athletes go on to be immensely successful in anything else later."

    broadcasting is about it. and only recently. because there are 12 full time sports channels now or whatever it is. in the past this was a very limited avenue. now lots of hall of fame or borderline hall of fame guys are looking to go directly into the booth somewhere.

    ESPN is offering Tony Romo 10 million dollars a year to leave CBS and work for them. the most Romo ever made as a player was 8 million a year.

    and, the full time channels for every sports league, which didn't exist 15 years ago, hire directly from the second rate players coming out of the league, sort of creating a patronage industry. guys who blew all their money and are down on their luck can quickly be hired now for $250,000 a year to give worthless commentary for an hour a week on all these sports networks, so the league can play favorites with down and out guys. this happens regularly. even UFC does this.

    in fact, due to this system, lots of successful coaches decide to leave coaching permanently after 45 or 50, and go get a $500,000 a year broadcasting job, which pays less than going back to coaching, but offers 99% less stress to sit there and watch games and talk instead. this system takes a few valuable coaches out of the sports leagues.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

    Romo is very good on TV. I remember during last year’s Super Bowl, he predicted what the Patriots would do on their winning touchdown drive. And his enthusiasm is infectious.

    Dan Fouts is good too; he doesn’t talk over the game. Chris Collinsworth never shuts up.

    • Agree: Ron Mexico
  99. I admire Steve’s tenacity in using “California Angels.” Preferred to the current designation, but less preferred than Anaheim Angels, which is what it should be.

  100. @mmack
    As a Chicago White Sox fan I find it ironic that these revelations are coming a century after the 1919 Black Sox scandal. I suspect we won’t see any lifetime bans for any of the participants.

    Speaking of lifetime bans Steve, any comment on Charlie Hustle’s comments on the whole sign stealing kerfluffle?

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/pete-rose-supports-mlbs-decision-on-astros-cheating-scandal-but-wonders-if-players-should-be-punished/ar-BBYXqVt

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Sounds like LaRussa was doing his part to keep the Black Sox legacy alive. Go Cubs.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28503160/jack-mcdowell-says-tony-la-russa-had-sign-stealing-system-white-sox-80s

  101. Leticia olalia Morales of15501 Pasadena ave # H Tustin CA 92780 submitted fake documents and bribed to get tourist and work visas. She now has a green card applying for citizenship and ss benefits

  102. @68W58
    @Steve Sailer

    283 pitches in one game?!? There was a story about Nolan Ryan throwing some ungodly amount last year and google tells me it was 235, but Dalkowski threw 20% more than that, it's no wonder his arm gave out. I think I read someone say about him that he could "throw a ball through a brick wall-if he could hit the wall".

    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood, who also played in the Orioles organization. I remember the Charlotte news talking about him in the early 80s when the O's also had Cal Ripken and Hazewood was always doing something amazing, hitting some tremendous tape measure HR or breaking a bat with his bare hands. Hazewood actually made it to the bigs, but only for a cup of coffee and didn't qualify for the pension. He lived in California after baseball and died in obscurity.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico, @Reg Cæsar

    Cup of coffee in the big time! Savage was a minor leaguer, but chose a sport better suited for PEDs and cocaine.

    • LOL: 68W58
  103. @Desiderius
    @kaganovitch

    Brooklyn then was like Cincinnati now.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Brooklyn then was like Cincinnati now.

    Yes. They had a National League baseball team.

  104. Leticia olalia Morales of15501 Pasadena ave # H Tustin CA 92780 submitted fake documents and bribed to get tourist and work visas. She now has a green card applying for citizenship and ss benefits…….

  105. @Unladen Swallow
    @Barnard

    I didn't know Serena got an exemption "officially", that would explain why at an age when most top players are long since retired she was not only competing for, but winning grand slam tournaments.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico

    The goal is to patch her up and keep sending her out there until she passes the very un-woke Margaret Court. Same too, with Tiger Woods and passing Jack Nicklaus. Tiger was linked to PEDs but the media and PGA chose to ignore it.

  106. @kaganovitch
    @Hodag

    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”

    What are the xhange-up's pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”

    What are the xhange-up’s pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?

    That’s the pinyin, for use in the CBPL. I think the Wade-Giles transliteration would be hsange-up.

    Taiwan’s first professional game featured the Lions and the Elephants, which sounds positively Romanesque. The Elephants are still around, but are now called the Chinatrust Brothers. Now that sounds mafioso. Or triadic, if you prefer.

    And, yes, “Brother” derives from those primitive word processors you used thirty years ago.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @Reg Cæsar

    That psychotic looking elephant makes for a wonderful logo. Need to get a t shirt.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  107. @68W58
    @Steve Sailer

    283 pitches in one game?!? There was a story about Nolan Ryan throwing some ungodly amount last year and google tells me it was 235, but Dalkowski threw 20% more than that, it's no wonder his arm gave out. I think I read someone say about him that he could "throw a ball through a brick wall-if he could hit the wall".

    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood, who also played in the Orioles organization. I remember the Charlotte news talking about him in the early 80s when the O's also had Cal Ripken and Hazewood was always doing something amazing, hitting some tremendous tape measure HR or breaking a bat with his bare hands. Hazewood actually made it to the bigs, but only for a cup of coffee and didn't qualify for the pension. He lived in California after baseball and died in obscurity.

    Replies: @Ron Mexico, @Reg Cæsar

    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood…

    In the Mets’ post-champion years the press touted a prospect named Scripture (an unforgettable name) with the Tidewater Tides. After three years there, he didn’t pan out. But he sure sounds entertaining:

    The most quoted stories about Scripture described his habit of biting the covers off baseballs when frustrated. “Only lost one molar so far,” Scripture said in 1975, “and that’s a whole lot less expensive than an ulcer operation.”

    “He was tough, maybe the toughest I’ve ever seen,” then-Royals athletic trainer Mickey Cobb told Sports Illustrated for a 1987 profile on Scripture. “I remember a time when he had 19 blisters on one hand from hitting. He just came in and poured alcohol on it. No Band-Aids. Other times, he would deliberately have someone hit flies out to the warning track so he could practice running full speed into the chain-link fence.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Scripture

    This was about the time Julius Erving played for the Virginia Squires. Raucous fun the year round!

    • Thanks: 68W58
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Reg Cæsar

    If you think Bill Scripture was exciting, you should look up Sidd Finch.

  108. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Hibernian

    The ancient NFL/AFL conference configuration made sense. With the wildcard, the necessity for a third place is unnecessary. Like, I’m almost hearing you suggest the Super Bowl isn’t necessary, with the emphasis on third place tourney. It’s like, that’s over, not coming back.

    NFL will never agree to shortening the regular season.

    Otherwise not bad. DAL will never agree to being placed in Western Conference even though geographically it makes sense.

    And, to make the Super Bowl more interesting, no inter-conference games during regular season. None. The only time the AFC and NFC face each other should be in the Super Bowl.

    Also, you do agree with keeping the Super Bowl? It’s now been around longer than the second rate NFL championship (1933-65). The NFL didn’t fully surpass MLB in total viewership until the Super Bowl era.

    Also, no one cares about finishing third. They do care about winning the Super Bowl, and the wild card round gives 5/6 seeds a chance. TEN was a wild card this year, and they’re a game away from going to the Super Bowl.

    Replies: @Hibernian

    When I said four team tourney, I meant with the Super Bowl as the final; the revived Playoff Bowl would be in addition. Maybe the Playoff Bowl could substitute for the Pro Bowl and the Pro Bowl teams could just be honorary without playing each other. It’s not unusual for star players to skip the Pro Bowl, and not just the ones on the Super Bowl teams who are barred from playing even if they get the honor/award. (I’m not sure, but I think the game is between Conference Championship Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday.) Aaron Rogers didn’t go for several years when he was named, which he wasn’t this year because of his age related decline.

    I’m sure DAL likes being in the weak division they came close to winning this year. Traditionwise, they’ve been in the NFL or NFC East since they were founded in the early ’60s.

    Small points like exactly 15 games or bringing back the Playoff Bowl are not essential. An additional game could be added based on roughly equal previous years records. Alternatively reduction to 15 games could be a bargaining chip to get the NFLPA to agree to more practices, which are needed. The basic idea is going back to reasonable size divisions, which would be less likely to be embarrassingly weak. These would be similar in size to the NL, AL, NFL East, NFL West, and AFL, circa 1960. (I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game.)

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Hibernian


    I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game
     
    Correct. When the AFL had 8 teams playing 14 games, there was a natural double round robin. Therefore, there was no reason to have divisions or a championship game, except to copy the NFL. Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.

    From 1961-65 the NFL had 14 teams playing 14 games. Therefore, each team played each team in its division home and home, one game against the other division at home, and one game against the other division on the road.

    At least the AFL divided into divisions to have its fake championship game. As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game. In 2017 and 2018 the team with the better record won, while this past year there was a tie, so it was actually fair to have a game.

    Replies: @Mark Roulo, @Reg Cæsar

  109. @Hibernian
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    When I said four team tourney, I meant with the Super Bowl as the final; the revived Playoff Bowl would be in addition. Maybe the Playoff Bowl could substitute for the Pro Bowl and the Pro Bowl teams could just be honorary without playing each other. It's not unusual for star players to skip the Pro Bowl, and not just the ones on the Super Bowl teams who are barred from playing even if they get the honor/award. (I'm not sure, but I think the game is between Conference Championship Sunday and Super Bowl Sunday.) Aaron Rogers didn't go for several years when he was named, which he wasn't this year because of his age related decline.

    I'm sure DAL likes being in the weak division they came close to winning this year. Traditionwise, they've been in the NFL or NFC East since they were founded in the early '60s.

    Small points like exactly 15 games or bringing back the Playoff Bowl are not essential. An additional game could be added based on roughly equal previous years records. Alternatively reduction to 15 games could be a bargaining chip to get the NFLPA to agree to more practices, which are needed. The basic idea is going back to reasonable size divisions, which would be less likely to be embarrassingly weak. These would be similar in size to the NL, AL, NFL East, NFL West, and AFL, circa 1960. (I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game.)

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game

    Correct. When the AFL had 8 teams playing 14 games, there was a natural double round robin. Therefore, there was no reason to have divisions or a championship game, except to copy the NFL. Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.

    From 1961-65 the NFL had 14 teams playing 14 games. Therefore, each team played each team in its division home and home, one game against the other division at home, and one game against the other division on the road.

    At least the AFL divided into divisions to have its fake championship game. As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game. In 2017 and 2018 the team with the better record won, while this past year there was a tie, so it was actually fair to have a game.

    • Replies: @Mark Roulo
    @ScarletNumber


    As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game.
     
    The Big 12 was correct, though.

    In the 2014 season the big 12 had TCU ranked #3 overall and Baylor ranked #6 overall going into the final CFP poll. Both teams won, but when the dust has settled TCU was 6th (after winning its game) and Baylor was 5th (again, after winning). Because Ohio State and Florida State jumped over them with quality wins (vs Wisconsin and GA Tech) in championship games.

    The championship game gives the winner one more quality win.

    If you care about playing for the national title, that is an important win to have. The Big12 would like to play for the championship, so they added a playoff game.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @ScarletNumber


    Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.
     
    If division leaders ' won-lost records are divergent, a "playoff" between them is unwarranted.

    If division leaders' records are exactly the same, then by definition he division system destroyed what would have been the tightest of pennant races. You're screwed either way.

    In on recent baseball season, the three leaders in one of the leagues were each ahead by a healthy margin, but their own records were within a game of each other. You could have had a repeat of the 1967 AL season.

    That was the first season I followed as a kid. Can you tell I've been corrupted for life?
  110. @Reg Cæsar
    @68W58


    Minor league phenoms are fun to read about. My favorite is Drungo Hazewood...
     
    In the Mets' post-champion years the press touted a prospect named Scripture (an unforgettable name) with the Tidewater Tides. After three years there, he didn't pan out. But he sure sounds entertaining:

    The most quoted stories about Scripture described his habit of biting the covers off baseballs when frustrated. "Only lost one molar so far," Scripture said in 1975, "and that's a whole lot less expensive than an ulcer operation."

    "He was tough, maybe the toughest I've ever seen," then-Royals athletic trainer Mickey Cobb told Sports Illustrated for a 1987 profile on Scripture. "I remember a time when he had 19 blisters on one hand from hitting. He just came in and poured alcohol on it. No Band-Aids. Other times, he would deliberately have someone hit flies out to the warning track so he could practice running full speed into the chain-link fence."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Scripture


     

    This was about the time Julius Erving played for the Virginia Squires. Raucous fun the year round!

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    If you think Bill Scripture was exciting, you should look up Sidd Finch.

  111. @Reg Cæsar
    @kaganovitch



    If he throws a xhange-up away that will be a strikeout.”
     
    What are the xhange-up’s pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know?
     
    That's the pinyin, for use in the CBPL. I think the Wade-Giles transliteration would be hsange-up.

    Taiwan's first professional game featured the Lions and the Elephants, which sounds positively Romanesque. The Elephants are still around, but are now called the Chinatrust Brothers. Now that sounds mafioso. Or triadic, if you prefer.

    https://alchetron.com/cdn/chinatrust-brothers-7c83a2ff-9850-4e09-b23f-b03d153cbd7-resize-750.jpg


    And, yes, "Brother" derives from those primitive word processors you used thirty years ago.

    http://www.iretron.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/brother2.jpg

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    That psychotic looking elephant makes for a wonderful logo. Need to get a t shirt.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @kaganovitch


    That psychotic looking elephant makes for a wonderful logo. Need to get a t shirt.
     
    I'd like to have reigning champion Sakhalin's generic jersey from Asia League Ice Hockey:


    http://sakhalin-znak.ru/image/cache/500-500/data/znaki/moi11_2018/IMG_629_11.18.jpg


    Kuwait is becoming a force in Asian ice hockey, competing against the likes of the UAE, Thailand, and Macau (who are surprisingly good in Men's Division I, except in Kuwait).


    Kuwait's ice hockey team wins Hong Kong's int'l amateur tourney

    Kuwaiti presence at children's Asian winter games...


    http://kkxley.ru/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/c261dced-8d72-4c95-8855-349859034dc3.jpg




    Oman, "the Rocks", sadly, sucks:

    Storming to victory in Kuwait
  112. @ScarletNumber
    @Hibernian


    I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game
     
    Correct. When the AFL had 8 teams playing 14 games, there was a natural double round robin. Therefore, there was no reason to have divisions or a championship game, except to copy the NFL. Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.

    From 1961-65 the NFL had 14 teams playing 14 games. Therefore, each team played each team in its division home and home, one game against the other division at home, and one game against the other division on the road.

    At least the AFL divided into divisions to have its fake championship game. As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game. In 2017 and 2018 the team with the better record won, while this past year there was a tie, so it was actually fair to have a game.

    Replies: @Mark Roulo, @Reg Cæsar

    As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game.

    The Big 12 was correct, though.

    In the 2014 season the big 12 had TCU ranked #3 overall and Baylor ranked #6 overall going into the final CFP poll. Both teams won, but when the dust has settled TCU was 6th (after winning its game) and Baylor was 5th (again, after winning). Because Ohio State and Florida State jumped over them with quality wins (vs Wisconsin and GA Tech) in championship games.

    The championship game gives the winner one more quality win.

    If you care about playing for the national title, that is an important win to have. The Big12 would like to play for the championship, so they added a playoff game.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Mark Roulo

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Big XII is historically a lousy football conference. Remember that the Big XII was formed by a merger of the Big 8 and the SWC. Want to guess how many Super Bowl winning quarterbacks were drafted out of the conference?None. The only quarterback the conference can claim is Jeff Hostetler, who was drafted out of West Virginia when they were an independent. Meanwhile, both Alabama and Purdue can claim 3 each.

  113. @ScarletNumber
    @Hibernian


    I understand that the AFL was divided into two small divisions to have a playoff game
     
    Correct. When the AFL had 8 teams playing 14 games, there was a natural double round robin. Therefore, there was no reason to have divisions or a championship game, except to copy the NFL. Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.

    From 1961-65 the NFL had 14 teams playing 14 games. Therefore, each team played each team in its division home and home, one game against the other division at home, and one game against the other division on the road.

    At least the AFL divided into divisions to have its fake championship game. As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game. In 2017 and 2018 the team with the better record won, while this past year there was a tie, so it was actually fair to have a game.

    Replies: @Mark Roulo, @Reg Cæsar

    Although, in two of the six seasons of this format the two division winners had the same record, which would have necessitated a playoff game anyway.

    If division leaders ‘ won-lost records are divergent, a “playoff” between them is unwarranted.

    If division leaders’ records are exactly the same, then by definition he division system destroyed what would have been the tightest of pennant races. You’re screwed either way.

    In on recent baseball season, the three leaders in one of the leagues were each ahead by a healthy margin, but their own records were within a game of each other. You could have had a repeat of the 1967 AL season.

    That was the first season I followed as a kid. Can you tell I’ve been corrupted for life?

  114. @kaganovitch
    @Reg Cæsar

    That psychotic looking elephant makes for a wonderful logo. Need to get a t shirt.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    That psychotic looking elephant makes for a wonderful logo. Need to get a t shirt.

    I’d like to have reigning champion Sakhalin’s generic jersey from Asia League Ice Hockey:

    Kuwait is becoming a force in Asian ice hockey, competing against the likes of the UAE, Thailand, and Macau (who are surprisingly good in Men’s Division I, except in Kuwait).

    Kuwait’s ice hockey team wins Hong Kong’s int’l amateur tourney

    Kuwaiti presence at children’s Asian winter games…

    Oman, “the Rocks”, sadly, sucks:

    Storming to victory in Kuwait

  115. Yup, Kuwait as a hockey powerhouse makes all kinds of sense. I wonder sometimes in dark moments if the Good Lord is trolling us… No more than we deserve I guess.

  116. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Fired Astros manager A.J. Hinch was retroactively declared to be Latino because he can speak some Spanish.

    Replies: @Manfred Arcane

    I didn’t hear that about Hinch–the two “Latino” managers whose dismissal I noticed SJW grumbles about were Cora and Beltran.

  117. @Mark Roulo
    @ScarletNumber


    As it stands the Big XII as has 10 teams and everybody plays each other once. Therefore, the champion should be the team with the best record, right? Wrong. Since 2017, there has been a championship game between the top 2 teams. Why? The Big XII felt it was at a disadvantage since they were the only Power 5 conference without a championship game.
     
    The Big 12 was correct, though.

    In the 2014 season the big 12 had TCU ranked #3 overall and Baylor ranked #6 overall going into the final CFP poll. Both teams won, but when the dust has settled TCU was 6th (after winning its game) and Baylor was 5th (again, after winning). Because Ohio State and Florida State jumped over them with quality wins (vs Wisconsin and GA Tech) in championship games.

    The championship game gives the winner one more quality win.

    If you care about playing for the national title, that is an important win to have. The Big12 would like to play for the championship, so they added a playoff game.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Big XII is historically a lousy football conference. Remember that the Big XII was formed by a merger of the Big 8 and the SWC. Want to guess how many Super Bowl winning quarterbacks were drafted out of the conference?

    [MORE]
    None. The only quarterback the conference can claim is Jeff Hostetler, who was drafted out of West Virginia when they were an independent. Meanwhile, both Alabama and Purdue can claim 3 each.

  118. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon

    Rendon sounds like a good guy.

    Replies: @William Badwhite

    Rendon is a devout Christian and likely leans i-Steve ish on politics. When he chose Orange County (the Angels) he made a point of saying he didn’t agree with “Hollywood values” and that was one reason he never considered the Dodgers.

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