There’s been a lot of talk about tanking in the NBA all season thanks to the deep draft class expected this year. That talk has heated up after the trade deadline with a few teams appearing to have given up. The 76ers have lost 15 in a row and show little sign of hope to win again. As someone who follows the 76ers (I don’t pay too much attention to NBA games not involving them), I’m perfectly happy with this strategy. Finishing each season between 6th and 10th in the conference wasn’t going to get us anywhere besides the 2nd round of the playoffs on a rare occasion.
I’ve seem some suggestions on how to fix tanking, if it’s even possible. The wheel is the most common idea referenced. The idea is that the draft order is set and rotates in some way each season. If there are 30 teams in the league, you’ll have the #1 pick once every 30 years, guaranteed. You’d get that pick if you were the worst team in the league or if you just won the championship. I like the idea for its creativity and discussion it has created. I don’t like the idea so much as a complete solution. It’s hard enough to turn a franchise around through drafting and free agency, taking away a draft advantage makes things a whole lot harder.
How do you tell if a team is tanking? There’s no clear way. Is a team just bad or purposely bad? Did a GM make a trade just to make the team worse? You’d have to weigh the long term value of the trade. Is a team faking injuries? You can’t ask that.
Let’s assume that there is no difference between a tanking team and a really really bad team. A tanking team is trying to not win games. They want to lose to everyone. Meaning they will lose to the bad teams and get blown out by the good teams (and maybe some bad teams too). What if we just don’t count games where they get blown out? Make the lottery a ranking of the teams with the most non-blowout losses.
I took the current lottery teams (as of last night) losses, then looked at what the draft order would look like if blowouts were removed. Now, choosing what counts as a blowout is just a guess. I tried 20 points and 15 points. (more…)
I’m very upset about the NHL lockout. With giving up college football and not really wanting to go all in on the NFL, the NHL was all set to get a lot more viewing from me this season. What we have here is a positive link for NHL fans.
Center ice designs for all the NHL arenas. So you can see all of them on the homepage. So cool, right? Oh, it’s not done. Click around for historical center ice designs. Yes. Historical.
One thing that stood out is that most teams have gone with the single giant logo these days. Only the Flyers and Canadians have the two logos on each side of the red line.
Looking at all the Flyers designs they have on the site, the only reason they’ve ever really had to change is for the numerous changes to the name of the arena thanks to all the bank buyouts and mergers over the years.
The Spectrum always had the best designs and that early 90s center ice should be the design for all time.
I’ve never seen the Hershey Bears play but have always liked them. Probably because they’ve been around forever (next year is 75 years). So when I was little (not 75 years ago) the Phantoms (in Philly) were around yet and what kid doesn’t love Hershey. So there you go.
I haven’t thought much of them in a while. The Phantoms moving away hasn’t helped my AHL knowledge. But I spotted their new logo and it’s pretty great.
I didn’t see anything about the jerseys, that will be important to put the jerseys into context and see how the all chocolate works with this solid logo.
One other thing I spotted while on the Hershey Bears site was that they are playing an outdoor game in January at Hersheypark Stadium. Ok, everyone is playing outdoor games these days. But I was excited by the logo.
Actually, I have thought about the Hershey Bears recently. Last month, the Hersheypark Arena roof caught fire. The Bears haven’t played there in 10 years but they still practice there. The arena opened in 1936. Link to a news story about the fire.
Found on Icethetics.
Twins get 2014 All-Star Game
Mets have 2013, in case you forgot.
With all these new stadiums getting All-Star games, I can’t post about visiting the stadium. I went to the Metrodome in 2004, well before Target Field. I was living in Minnesota that year for a co-op. I convinced the co-op/internship program to pick a Twins game when the Phillies were in town. To add to the excitement, Larry Bowa got thrown out during the game. That’s all I remember. That and that it was a football stadium so the seats didn’t face home plate, but straight forward into the outfield (from the 3rd base line).
Target Field looks nice and the Twin Cities in July is a pretty great spot for an All Star Game. Compared to this year in KC, the Twin Cities have a lot more going on and it isn’t nearly as hot.
When will the All-Star game come back to Philly? I expect 2015 and 2017 to be some order of DC and Miami. Meaning 2019 for Philly at the earliest. The Phillies missed out with the new stadium buzz since they last had it in 1996 (I was there!) and then the new stadium opened in 2004. Also, the early 2000s Phillies weren’t a big deal so no one was all that excited about coming back. Now is a different story but we’re caught in a round of new stadiums.
The AP Pre-Season Rankings for the NFL came out about a month ago. They are called the AP Pro 32 (catchy, huh?). I forget how I came across them, but I feel like they should get a lot more attention. They likely haven’t gotten that much press because every sports site does their own Power Rankings.
Who runs the AP? I’d like to know because I’m curious why it took so long to branch out from college football and basketball. There should be weekly rankings for every sport and even things like MVP races. I just thought of the MVP idea and I love it. Pre-season MVP rankings. What happens to a player on a bye week or an injury. Will someone drop if he sits at the end of the year since their playoff position is set. So many questions and I want to see what would happen.
I like it for the purpose of more arguments but also because it would make professional pickem games on Ice Cream Helmet easier to figure out. ‘Which NHL games to pick this week? Here’s a game with two top 10 teams. Done.’
The Packers came out at #1 with the Patriots and Giants each getting some 1st place votes. The Colts are solidly in last.
My biggest problem with this list: so few voters. Just 12. You could easily get sports writers from each NFL city and from each of the major networks. No excuse for less than 40 voters.
AP NFL Voters:
Chris Berman, ESPN
Clifton Brown, Sporting News
Cris Collinsworth, NBC Sports
Rich Gannon, CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio
Bob Glauber, Newsday
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
Clark Judge, CBSSports.com
Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com
John Lynch, Fox Sports
Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
A History of the NHL’s Current Logos
As I do with most items I find that feature the entire league, I look for the Philly team. I had to scroll pretty far to get to the Flyers.
They really got this one perfect on the first try. That or just its design makes it nearly impossible to tweak.
Check out the whole post and the rest of the blog. The RSS feed was already added to my Reader.
An Inner Circle for the Hall of Fame
A look at the Top 50 baseball players of all time. This is long and totally worth reading.
I found this through another blog (I forget which). I went to add this blog to my Google Reader and found the most recent article is called, ‘In Defense of Tim McCarver’. Ut oh. I’ll give it a read though, maybe there is decent point in there.
NY Times: Four-Man Rotation by Committee
Interesting article on the Rockies attempt to use a 4-man rotation. I heard about this during the Phillies-Rockies game yesterday, since I’m not a usual follower of the Rockies. I don’t think you can fault the Rockies at all for trying something different. They’ve never had any luck with pitching. It has a lot to do with their location, but even if it didn’t, trying to work something out with the pitching staff you’ve been given should be applauded. So I have no idea why anyone would read The Denver Post if the criticism mentioned in the NY Times article is their usual baseball coverage. You’d think the Rockies would be in a better position to do these things, from the aspect that they aren’t an old team with lots of ‘old school’ baseball people around who are terrified of doing things differently.
As for the actual proposal: 4 starters, limited to 75 pitches, and 3 relievers for middle relief and some starts. Why so limited? Why not go with 8 pitchers for this project, pair them and limit everyone to 75 pitches. There has to be some benefit of pairing 2 almost starters together if they have some characteristics that make them difficult for a batter to follow. Lefty/Righter, hard throwing/change-up master, any combination that would throw off the batter’s balance.
I’m not sure I can get the pitch data exactly like I want. A simple per team home/away pitch/out report would do.
Looking at yesterday’s game against the Phillies is a decent enough single sample. It was a home game, they only gave up 5 runs (on 6 hits) and 4 walks. Seems about average. The pitchers (and pitches): Pomeranz (80), Torres (31), Ekstrom (11), and Betancourt (4). That’s 126 total pitches. This is just one game, so those numbers are fairly meaningless.
I still think this is worth a shot, just with the actual pairing. They can even market this like tag-team wrestling. Advertise the starter and reliever together. Develop a whole ad campaign of all these odd couples having to do everyday things together. Go all in Rockies.
Grantland WFAN Oral History
I really enjoyed this, I don’t even really know why. I don’t care about New York or WFAN. I listened to WIP (Philly’s sports radio) when I was young, before there was internet and when all I had in my room was a walkman. I’d listen every night before bed. It was decent when compared to the limited other options I had. I haven’t listened in years.
I think this is just fascinating because this was the sports talk radio attempt that stuck and led to all the others.
Just like for College Football, Football Win Prediction has launched on Ice Cream Helmet. It’s pretty similar to College, so I’ll cover it quickly.
- Predict win totals for every team. Since the NFL has a consistent schedule, you should allocate all 256 possible wins across the 32 teams. Sorry, that means no predicting ties.
- Predict the Conference Champions and Super Bowl winner.
Scoring (lower is better)
1pt â€“ Each predicted win off of actual total for each team.
-2pts â€“ Each correctly predicted team Win Total.
-5pts â€“ Each correctly predicted Conference Champion.
-10pts â€“ Predicting the correct Super Bowl Champion.
Make your predictions by September 5th at 8:30pm ET. That’s when the season kicks off in New York with the Cowboys visiting the Giants.
You can also create groups to invite your friends to compare your results. You only have to make one set of predictions. Those will be used for scoring in all groups.