Tagged with "of"
Talkin' Baseball
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Pete Rose Joe Jackson MLB Playoffs

It has been 25 years since baseball banned Pete Rose for betting on his Reds.  With a new Commissioner of Baseball due to arrive on the scence, does this offer Charlie Hustle any glimmer of hope that baseball will welcome his back into its fraternity before he heads to the Big Bench in the Sky? (Pete is in his 70's)  The history behind the ban - and really the appropriateness - while not in dispute for the most part, is not fresh in the minds of most fans.  Now what fans remember is that the man with 4,254 hits is banned from the Hall of Fame.  The condensed version of his gambling on baseball is that as manager of the Reds, he bet on his team's games on a routine basis with the size of the bets ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.  While Rose has admantantly claimed he only bet FOR his team, MLB investigator Dowd has said he believed it was likely that Rose did in fact bet AGAINST the Reds.  Periodically a segment of the fan base begins a campaign to reinstate Pete Rose - my view is that perhaps in time, but "Not Yet....Not Yet."  (my Gladiator reference of the day).

  

Which brings me to the other baseball betting "injustice" - the sad plight of Shoeless Joe Jackson.  Joe was associated with the Black Sox as one of the Eight Men Out for taking $5,000, a hefty sum in those days, yet Joe was basically dumber than a sack of rocks and did not appreciate the implications of his deeds.  At that time in baseball, gamblers were prevelant in and around the clubhouse and games were often influenced by this seedy element around the game...think "The Natural" and the pressure that beset Roy Hobbs by bookie Gus Sands.  Joe paid a heavy price for being associated with the Black Sox, who although they were aquitted in court, we still banned for life from Baseball.  Joe Jackson would have possibly been as great as Babe Ruth - or maybe even better - but the world will never know.  As it stands, his career as a White Sox and his body of work was certainly Hall - worthy.  If Rose is to be forgiven, I think Joe Jackson also has to be in the conversation.

Perhaps what Baseball needs is a wing of the Hall for those whose stats are worthy of merit, but for one reason or another, fell into disrepute.  Spots for Rose, Jackson, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGuire and others from the steroid era may need a place to call their own.  It might be a good solution to a thorny problem.

In other news to note...

Will this be the first time since 1994 that the Yankees and the Red Sox will not be in the playoffs?  It is going to take a great run from the Yankees to get in.

How about them O's?  To me the Orioles are the surprise team in baseball - they have a monster lineup that has now been dinged further with the loss of Machado, but I am still amazed they have put themselves at the top of the AL (after the Angels) with an unheralded pitching staff.  I don't know if they are built for the post season, but we shall see.

Speaking of the post season, I ordered by playoff strips from the Nationals...will I finally get to go to a World Series game?  Here is hoping that I don't have to turn those tickets back in for credit on next year's tickets.

A damp Saturday here...nevertheless, the honey-do list will be calling.  Have a good one!

 

Monday Moaning 8-18-14
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NCAA College Football Notre Dame Academics Brian Kelly Maurice Clarett Manti Te'o University of Notre Dame Investigation

 

 

Well, I had to start this week with a good pic...As College Football season nears, my Notre Dame Fighting Irish seem to have a problem...

This past week news broke that Notre Dame had an internal investigation looking into allegations Academic Misconduct...When 4 players were noticeably absent at practice, it was easy to figure at least some of who was involved...LB/DE Ishaq Williams, CB  Keivarae Russell, WR Davaris Daniels,and LB Kendall Moore...Daniels had just come off of suspension for his GPA dropping...Moore, a 5th year senior has slipped on the depth chart during Spring and Summer...Russell is the top CB on the depth chart...And Williams, while not officially being a bust, has not lived up to expectations, and the Irish were hoping to see him reach his full potential this season...

The players have not been dismissed from the team or University...But they are being withheld from practice and games until the investigation complete...And while the Notre Dame haters are licking their chops, dying to blast us Irish fans who hang our hats on the academic standards, this is the same School that threw their starting QB out shortly before the start of last season for academic violations...

It is reported that a faculty member brought the allegations to the University, feeling that work turned in by these players (and possibly other students) was not their own...There is also speculation, but no confirmation that academic advisors could be involved...What makes me happy is the University took it seriously right away...They didn't try and hush it up, or sweep it under the rug, in the name of football...And the Athletic department, and head coach Brian Kelly put up no fight over...It's also reported that none of the coaching staff was aware of any of this until it was brought to their attention...(so far)...They are all in with finding out what happened and who the problem people are...

I really like what Brian Kelly had to say in his press conference Saturday...

 

 

Another sign of how serious Notre Dame is taking this...They brought in Maurice Clarett to speak with the staff, and players Sunday...

 

Shit, if there's a guy that knows about the pitfalls college athletes can fall into, it's him...Seriously, if you haven't seen the ESPN 30 for 30 about him and Jim Tressel, you have to see it...You'll gain a lot of respect for Clarett, and you'll lose even more for Tressel...What a fake, piece of shit that guy is!

I guess, I don't really have much to say about this yet...Mainly because we know very little...I just know that I'm happy with how Notre Dame is handling it so far...As more information comes out, I may change my mind...I mean these are the guys that thought Manti Te'o had a girlfriend they never saw, then gave him a football to bury with her when she died, you know, whenever he got back to Hawaii to bury her pretend body!

That's it for now...Stay tuned...

Have a week...

The Beeze.

Q-o-t-D 8/5/14 Tags: Question of the Day

Today you get to ask Sully a question....SHOOT!

If Playoff System Existed Last Season
Category: NCAA
Tags: ALABAMA AUBURN BAYLOR BCS UCF CLEMSON FLORIDA ST. MICHIGAN ST. MISSOURI OHIO ST. OKLAHOMA OKLAHOMA ST. PLAYOffs Stanford

First off, there needs to be a better way to describe this. The “playoff” is four teams, but there was a championship game under the BCS and you could describe the other major bowls as “BCS bowls” without confusion. CFP (college football playoff) bowls maybe? I guess I’ll call them that.

If you’re not aware, there is a three-year rotation for the semifinals. Year 1: Rose and Sugar. Year 2: Orange and Cotton. Year 3: Fiesta and Peach. So I’m going to go through all three possibilities using last year’s pre-bowl rankings.

The Top Four

Going by the BCS standings, this is how the semifinal would have looked last year:

Rose: Florida St. vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Auburn vs. Alabama

However, I don’t think it would have happened that way. I think given that Alabama did not have a particularly strong non-divisional schedule (Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Colorado St., Georgia St., Chattanooga), did not win the conference, and lost its final game, they would have been seeded no higher than 4th. When the loss takes place isn’t stated as a criteria, but I can’t imagine that wouldn’t influence the results.

I don’t think Stanford, which had the toughest schedule according to many and which won its conference, would have gone ahead of Alabama, but that’s another possibility. I would have picked Stanford myself.

I’ll just go with Alabama though for this exercise. I think making them #4 instead of #3 would have been a significant enough departure from all the major polls.

Year 1: Semifinal

So this is what I think the semifinal actually would have been:
Rose: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Sugar: Florida St. vs. Alabama

Year 1: Other CFP Bowls (those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 1, 4, 7, etc.)

The Orange Bowl is the only one where we have any guidance really since the ACC #1 goes to the Orange Bowl if it’s a year where the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal. In this case, it’s actually the ACC #2 since the ACC #1 obviously would have made the semifinal. I think with a fairly highly-ranked alternate of the same conference, the Orange Bowl still would have picked Clemson. The other Orange Bowl spot is for and SEC or Big Ten #2 or Notre Dame. I don’t think they would have fought the Cotton Bowl over Missouri, and Ohio St. was a very attractive pick, so actually, that’s the one relevant bowl that I don’t think would have changed.

Orange: Clemson vs. Ohio St. (actual match-up)
Cotton: South Carolina vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta: Stanford vs. Baylor
Peach: Central Florida vs. Missouri

Year 2: Semifinal

Cotton: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Orange: Florida St. vs. Alabama

Year 2: Other CFP Bowls (those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 2, 5, 8, etc.)

It’s a little more straightforward not to have the Rose and Sugar as part of the semifinals. My understanding is that in Years 2 and 3, the SEC takes the highest non-semifinal Big XII and SEC teams no matter what, and the Rose Bowl takes the highest Big Ten and Pac-12 teams no matter what.

To editorialize for a moment, I don’t know why the Rose and Sugar would be paired as semifinals. It should be like Sugar Fiesta one year, Rose Peach the next, and Orange Cotton the next. That way you’re only disrupting one major bowl arrangement at a time. In the years that the Pac-12/Big Ten game doesn’t take place, there should still be the SEC/Big XII game and vice versa.

Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida

Year 3: Semifinal

Fiesta: Auburn vs. Michigan St.
Peach: Florida St. vs. Alabama

Year 3: Other “Playoff” Bowls (those bowls in the rotation but not semifinals in Years 3, 6, 9, etc.)

These years will be the most restrictive since there are three bowls with pretty specific formulas.

Sugar: South Carolina vs. Baylor
Rose: Stanford vs. Ohio St.
Orange: Clemson vs. Missouri
Cotton: Oklahoma vs. Central Florida

All years: Other Bowls (rough guess)

I looked at the anticipated bowl lineup and used my best guess as to how it would have worked had next year’s bowls all been in place last year. Keep in mind that there were two more bowl slots among the major bowls since last season, there was a national championship game made up of two separate teams, but this season it will be made up of winners of bowl games. Oklahoma St. would have been bumped in my estimation so it would not have played in the Cotton Bowl. The Peach Bowl will be very different, so neither Duke nor Texas A&M would have been under consideration for the new CFP bowls. In the case of Texas A&M, however, I think their spot in what will be a major bowl would have been taken by another SEC team: in this case South Carolina. So that would leave the Big XII and the ACC with another team for the remaining bowls, pushing the other teams of that conference down the ladder.

I do think some of the bowls would have been the same due to regional interests. It made sense to have two Louisiana teams in the New Orleans Bowl, for instance. It made sense to have Maryland playing in Maryland and North Carolina playing in North Carolina. The bolded teams are those who were bowl-eligible but did not actually play in bowls last season. There were a record number of bowl-eligible teams last year, so I’m not entirely sure there will even be enough bowl-eligible teams next year. I guess the NCAA will cross that bridge when it comes to it.

This is just an informal sort of exercise, so don’t make a big deal out of it. I’m going by what I’m told the rules will be next year as far as the preferred conferences, etc. Most conferences do not fill all their contractual slots though. I wasn’t always sure which bowls would have gotten the #8 team from a given conference and which would have had to find another team.

New Orleans: Tulane vs. ULL
New Mexico: Washington St. vs. Colorado St.
Las Vegas: USC vs. Fresno St.
Idaho Potato: San Diego St. vs. Buffalo
Camelia (new; Montgomery, AL): Ohio vs. Troy
St. Petersburg: Middle Tennessee vs. South Alabama
Boca Raton: Toledo vs. Florida Atlantic
Miami Beach (new): BYU vs. Texas St.
Poinsettia (San Diego): Utah St. vs. Navy
Bahamas (new): Northern Illinois vs. Boston College
Hawaii: Oregon St. vs. Boise St.
Russell Athletic (Orlando): U. Miami vs. Ball St.
Armed Forces (Ft. Worth, TX): East Carolina vs. Louisville
Heart of Dallas: North Texas vs. UNLV
Military (Annapolis, MD): Marshall vs. Maryland
Pinstripe: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Sun (El Paso): UCLA vs. Texas
Holiday (San Diego): Nebraska vs. Arizona St.
Liberty (Memphis): Rice vs. Western Kentucky
Texas: Texas Tech vs. Mississippi St.
Detroit: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota
Independence (Shreveport, LA): Arizona vs. ULM
Music City: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Belk (Charlotte): North Carolina vs. Cincinnati
San Francisco: Washington vs. San Jose St.
Outback (Tampa, FL): Iowa vs. Georgia
CapitalOne (Orlando): LSU vs. Wisconsin*
Tax Slayer (formerly Gator; Jacksonville): Duke vs. Texas A&M
Alamo: Oklahoma St. vs. Oregon
Valley of the Sun (Tucson, AZ): Michigan vs. Kansas St.
Birmingham (formerly BBVA Compass): Vanderbilt vs. Houston
GoDaddy (Mobile, AL): Bowling Green vs. Arkansas St.

*It may have been the case that due to the fact that LSU plays Wisconsin to start this season, this match-up would not have been made. It’s possible that Georgia would have leapfrogged LSU, leaving the Tigers playing Iowa anyway. But as I said at the top of the section, it’s just sort of a rough guess. I left LSU there because they were apparently seen as the more desirable team. Also, some may recall Miami played Florida St. in a bowl game in 2003 only to play them again at the start of the 2004 season.

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World Cup Wrap Up: Facepalm for the Hosts
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: world cup fifa germany argentina diego maradonna hand of god

As an aside. 

I finally made it back to Atlanta this week, but my hopes of connecting with Sully were dashed by corporate executives.  It was a long shot given the schedule while I was there, but I always hope to connect with him.  If you’re ever in the area, be sure to hit up Sully because it’s always worth the time spent.  This is the time of year my job changes from sitting around eating bon bons and giving advice to sitting around eating bon bons and crunching excel spreadsheets, then going around telling people what data I uncovered.  The real problem is that it comes at the expense of vacationing on a beach somewhere.

Futures at Fenway. We went to the 9th "Futures at Fenway" Sunday.  Short season Lowell Spinners played Mahoning Valley (OH) Scrappers at Fenway.  The Red Sox affiliate was 1 out away (sound familiar anyone?) from a 1-0 win when somehow the Scrappers, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, scored 6 runs with 2 out in the 9th.  Um.  Ouch.  When Shane Victorino was introduced, the fam couldn't figure out why everyone was cheering, so I calmly explained this guy happens to have the same name as a current Sox player.  Oops.

I promise this will be the last soccer post for a while.  Really.

This week saw the remarkable exit of host Brazil from the World Cup.  Germany displayed dominance early and never relinquished control.  7-1 final – and you thought there wasn’t enough scoring in soccer.  Not only scoring, but some of the most dominant displays of offense while scoring that I’ve seen.  Just a ridiculous overpowering of the hosts unlike anything I could’ve imagined.

And then to top it off, Brazil was handed what was left of their pride by the Netherlands in the consolation game, 3-0, starting about 2-minutes into the game.  Long a Red Sox fan, I’m familiar with epic collapses and how badly they sting. Losing like that must be like losing a Super Bowl because some unremarkable special teamer catches a ball on his helmet to keep a drive alive. 

I’m hopeful Brazil is a much more forgiving place for soccer failure than, say, Columbia.  In 1994, when the World Cup was hosted by the US, the US and Columbia were in the same grouping.  In group play, Andres Escobar was charged an “own goal” against the US in a game won by the US 2-1, and thus contributing to the exit of Columbia from the tournament – ultimately won by Brazil.  A couple weeks later, he was gunned down in a parking lot in Medellin. 

That’s some hard core stuff. 

Germany/Argentina Final.

Before Sunday, Germany and Argentina had met for the final 2 other times with the record split between them.  Of the 21 championships, only 8 countries have won it.  Consider that.  A quadrennial tournament involving 64-countries and only 8 have ever won.  Kind of reminiscent of 1950’s/60’s NHL dominance by the Habs, or the half century long dominance of Major League Baseball by the Yankees.   Argentina went into the game as the 1986 Champion, there on the back of two of the most unusual goals in soccer history: “The Hand of God” and “The Goal of the Century”  Diego Maradonna was a beast.  Germany last were champions by defeating the reigning champs Argentina – who, as just discussed, won 4 years previously against England.

Those refs should be eternally thankful English fans aren’t quite like Colombian drug dealers when “correcting” for mistakes.

Here’s a video of the “Goal of the Century.”  You should watch this even if you can’t stand soccer, because it shows just such amazing control and skill.  You have to appreciate what Maradonna does here.

Germany reigns.  203 countries enter the competition, 64 countries get in.  800 some games. 4 year journey to this point. And then... After 113 minutes of scoreless action, Mario Gotze drilled a shot home to seal the World Cup deal for the Germans.  Is there a more odd name than Mario Gotze?  How many Germans do you know named Mario?  Do yourself a favor, and click that link, because it's a pretty awesome goal.  Bear in mind, the US lost to this same team 1-0.  If nothing else, you have to believe the US Mens National Team has a ton of potential.  They're ready for the world stage.

In other news, there was some movement in the NBA free agent market.

 

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