Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tweet Of Reassurance

posted by IntrinsicBent

According to a tweet from Boston Celtic player Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett may be out "another week or two."
He goes on to say "But have no fear 34 is still here."
Celtic Nation can now relax.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Japan wins the WBC, again

posted by BiCoastal Bias

So, how long until Nippon Professional baseball is considered a third major league?

They are two for two when it comes to World Baseball Classics. The first one seemed like a fluke, but this year they dominated, losing only a couple games to Korea along the way.

I am not so sure that us Americans can hide behind the old "not all our best players played" routine anymore. We had Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and David Wright at third, Ryan Braun and Adam Dunn in the outfield. It woulda been nice if Pedroia and Youkilis would've stayed healthy; and sure, I would've rather had Texeiria at first - but I don't know if those guys make any difference between Daisuke Matsuzaka shutting us down while Roy Oswalt gets shelled. The fact is, that USA roster looked thin to begin with, especially the starting rotation, and I'm not sure there's that many American-born major leaguers out there that would've made a difference.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Picks Better than the Prez.

posted by BiCoastal Bias

One of my favorite things about this year's version of March Madness - competing with President Obama. My wife's bracket might be better than mine - but I can still say I'm two picks up on Mr. Prez.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

BiCoastal Bias NCAA Tournament Picks

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Hello Frappeheads. It is the night before the NCAA tournament kicks off in full force, and I'm sure many of you are preparing schemes to watch the games without missing work tomorrow. Some of you might still be finishing up your brackets.

I love the fact that everyone has their own little habitual method to filling out their brackets. Personally, I go crazy with anticipation leading up to the selection show on Sunday. Then, when the bracket is finally available, I spend an hour or so filling it out. I always tell myself I'll re-evaluate my initial picks, but I almost never change my minds.

So for those of you who are curious about the BiCoastal Bias's advice (which is none of you), or for those of you who love mocking my picks after the fact (which most of you Big Ten fans wish you could do) here are a few gems:

Biggest First Round Upset: (3) Kansas will get knocked off by (14) North Dakota State. This is the first team from the state of N.D. to ever make the NCAA tournament. Multiple North Dakota State players have redshirted just to stay eligible for this season - NDSU's first year of eligibility for March Madness. Kansas is experienced, but the entire state of North Dakota is excited.

Other First Round Upsets: I got (10) USC, (11) VCU, (12) Arizona, (9) Butler.

Final Four: I could fall flat on my face for this, but I have an all Big East Final Four, and it doesn't even include Pittsburgh. My final four: Louisville, Villanova, UConn, and Syracuse. Louisville beats Villanova to win it all.

You read it here first.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rematch Windmill Style

posted by IntrinsicBent

Tonight there was a rematch that rivaled that of the classic Foreman vs. Ali monumental battles.

Tonight in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), the Dominican Republic attempted to revenge a loss from last Saturday to the powerhouse slugger nation of...............the Netherlands.

However the star studded roster listing names like Willy Aybar, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Tejada, and Jose Guillen lost to the dutchmen for the second time in four days.

The Dominican Republic has taken some hits lately, what with the revelation the country is an alleged hotbed of PED's (ala A-Rod) and further evidence of birth certificates being altered to shave years off players' ages (ala most recent case ofVladimir Guerrero).

This loss to the Honkballers (no that is not an Intrinsicism) eliminates the Dominican Republic cast of all stars from the WBC completely, and has brought despair to the small West Indies nation. It has also killed the intrigue of an expected matchup between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic which was anticipated in the next round.

When you read the recap, the clutch players' names involved in the come from behind in the bottom of the 11th victory are the likes of Eugene Kingsale and Sidney De Jong.

No word on how deafening the celebration was in the parking lot after the game when the Dutch fans jumped and danced around en masse in their wooden shoes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sports Frappe Debate Club

posted by Knowledge Droppings

KnowledgeDroppings back again dropping debate bait in front of the resident geniuses. Tip of the cap to reader Julie for the inspiration.

Should college coaches make more than the president of their respective college or university?

BiCoastal Bias: Why don't we start by asking our good friend Jim Calhoun of UConn what he thinks? (Seriously, I understand that that reporter is a moron, but is there any reason for Calhoun to be that close to going off the handle during every press conference?)

Being an academic myself, I'd like to interject a little perspective on this issue. When a sports coach makes more than the university president, what does is say about the values of the institution? And who is really in control when the next cheating or recruiting scandal inevitably arises?

Not only should the university president make more than the coach, I'd say it is imperative to preserving the sanctity of the NCAA game. We are already that close to having big college teams completely disassociated from their actual college in terms of everyday life, and the salaries of the respective presidents and coaches is yet another warning sign.

If we look at this from a strictly sporting-fan angle, I say there is still reason for the presidents to make more. The financial success of a college team does not completely depend on wins and losses. It also depends on the type of venue the team plays in and the facilities to attract recruits, which all depend on the fund raising ability of the actual college. Which is usually one of the bigger responsibilities of the college president.

So sure, Jim Calhoun can sit there arrogantly certain that he is worth every penny. And he can take most of the credit for building up UConn to the basketball dominant school that it now is. But he didn't do it all by himself, and he's not bigger than the institution of which he is part.

IntrinsicBent: This may come as a surprise to most of you, but I ain't no academic.

I really isn't.

It's 2009, so we're like in the 21st or 22nd century by now, right? Let's remove the rosey glasses of yesteryear and realize that money rules the sports world and sadly, society in general.

If a specific sport is a dominant revenue stream, then it drives the marketing and identity of the brand of the institution. This of course trickles down and benefits not only the university's sports program holistically, but also benefits the school's other programs, including academia.

In business, it is conceivable that a top level dealmaker can pull down more than the head of the organization, especially if there is a windfall phenomenon or the dealmaker's compensation package is weighted heavily with commission and sales are large tickets.

We also shouldn't glide over the fact that a modern day coach at a large school is in fact the CEO of that program, responsible for all facets that are required to be successful in an uber competitive industry.

Yes, I did just drop an uber.

When a program gets into any kind of violation trouble, whose head do we call for? It's rarely ever the President of the university.

The last point in this winning side of the debate (even without a picture on my side) is the old question "Just how much is a major sports coach at a university worth?"

The answer is two part:
1) Whatever the market bears

2) Whatever the university pays them.

Don't hate the coach, hate the game.

T.O. Given The Spur

posted by IntrinsicBent

ESPN is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys have cut wide receiver Terrell Owens from the team.

Owens' numbers dropped last season even as he created the brand of Owens divisive chaos within the team as he has done with every NFL team he has been associated with.
If you were to create a T.O. drama timeline it would stretch from Northern California all the way to Pennsylvania and then wind back to Texas again.

BCS Humor

posted by BiCoastal Bias

I love this story. The Mountain West Conference has a proposal for an 8 team college football playoff. Here's the BCS response:

"We have received the Mountain West proposal," BCS coordinator and ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "Some of these ideas or similar ones have been addressed before in BCS meetings. We will make sure that the proposal has a full airing by the commissioners and presidents, and we will respond to the Mountain West at the conclusion of those discussions."

Can't you imagine the meeting where they fully air this proposal? I am with you, MWC, but I have a feeling those BCS jerks will basically be laughing at you.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sometimes, they have it coming

posted by BiCoastal Bias

Every now and again, a story makes it into the national news about a crazed parent (or parents) fighting each other or attacking a referee after a youth game. Always, our reaction is one of disgust - disgust at adults that can't control themselves, disgust at bad role models, disgust at someone who takes a kids' game too seriously.

But the truth is, we don't always know the story behind the story.

I caught the second half of a high school girls basketball game yesterday, a playoff game between two well matched teams. In the packed gym, I took a seat next to a fan of the winning team. We started up a conversation, and he immediately admitted that the officiating had been so lop-sided that he was feeling genuine guilt.

It only took 45 seconds of the 3rd quarter for me to see exactly what he was talking about. When one team had the ball, the game was called extremely tightly; on the other side of the court it appeared that the refs were letting anything go.

The losing team's best player fouled out with two minutes left in the third quarter, on an offensive off-the-ball foul, no less. With that foul-out, and a 17 point difference, the game had definitely been decided. The winning side was already in the double bonus for the half, while the losing side wouldn't even get to the double bonus at any point in the game. But at some point in the fourth quarter, as if to add insult to injury, the referees suddenly seemed to try to make up for the inequality. It was too little and far too late, but it only seemed to prove that they knew they had really screwed up.

I will admit that I was not an unbiased observer. So, for those of you out there in blogosphere-land, you can choose not to believe me when I say that this was one of the most biased officiating I have seen in any sport at any time (strangely, it was in favor of the visiting team). I can only offer up the testimony of the fan next to me in an attempt to prove to you what I'm saying.

I have no idea what was going on with the referees in this game. I can only tell you that something was absolutely not right. I could run through all of the potential reasons that would lead them to commit this wrong - but I have no idea what the truth is.

As for yours truly, I am a cool-tempered individual with a commitment to non-violence. So while I can't claim that I bit my tongue during time-outs, I can tell you that when the final whistle blew, I simply tried to put the disappointment behind me and move on.

I can't say the same for my fellow fans - I saw at least one mother chasing the referees down the locker room hallway. I watched the losing team shed their tears at this terrible conclusion to a season - their facial expressions all seemed to say the same thing, "Why couldn't we get a fair chance at winning this game?" They had a great season, and were a very fun team to watch as they found ways to be even better as a whole than they were individually. The feeling that they had gotten cheated from the opening tip-off left a knot in my stomache.

I watched the local news last night. I'll confess that I almost hoped to hear a story about some altercation following a high school basketball game. Because, to be honest with you, if one of those moms happened to get a swing in - those men had it coming.

Side note: if anyone reading this happens to work for the MIAA, please take a look at the Marshfield vs. Newton-South game tape and take the appropriate actions.