Saturday, July 12, 2014

The World Cup has a third place game?


I debated leaving just that as the entire blog.  I love how they make the "play-off for third place" text tiny and impossible to read.  As if some Brazilians might actually forget the mauling they suffered at the hands of Germany, and tune in to the game today thinking they can still win the Cup.

I honestly didn't even realize this was a thing until I saw it on a TV schedule yesterday.  Somehow I must have missed the Patriots vs. 49ers NFL third-place game last January?  I wonder what the ratings were for that one?

It's not the Olympics.  There's no bronze medal.  Do these two teams even care about this game at all?  Are we sure the Netherlands will actually show up?  I guess most of the Brazilian guys will since they live there, but half of them are probably going to be be drunk or hungover.  I'd say 50/50 the Dutch have already flown back to Europe.

Friday, July 11, 2014

So, what exactly will LeBron's "max contract" be?

LeBron James has said he's going back to Cleveland, but he hasn't actually signed a contract yet with the Cavaliers.  Time and time again you've probably heard the term "max deal" mentioned, but what does that actually mean?

The largest potential contracts available to NBA free agents vary from player to player depending on how much they made previously, and how long they've been in the league.

If you stay with your current club you can always get a little more per year than if you go elsewhere, and you can sign for up to five years.  If you go to a new team you can't sign a deal for longer than four years.  This NBC Sports ProBasketballTalk article breaks down the numbers and explains it pretty well.

In LeBron's case the most Cleveland can pay him is roughly $88 million over four years, significantly less than the five-year $118 million deal he could have had to stay in Miami (which Chris Bosh just took).

It is widely assumed that LeBron will accept the four-year $88 mil offer.  He says he wants to finish his career in his hometown, but don't be surprised if he negotiates opt-out clauses into his contract in case things things don't go well with the Cavs his second time around.  He might give himself the chance to leave in two years, or possibly even after just one.  It's not going to happen, but my dream for LeBron to pick a new team every year for the rest of his career is still possible...


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let's see what a 6-rookie Red Sox lineup can do...

Earlier in the week I started a blog under the working title of "New Red Sox Lineup."  The premise of it was that it's time to give up on the season, get rid of dead weight veterans, and start playing youngsters in preparation for next year.  The idea first began to creep into my head a few weeks ago:

But as bad as they looked, the Sox just weren't far enough out of the race to give up on.  When Boston's deficit in the division standings fell into double digits, I decided it was finally time.

Here's the draft I had saved, a lineup containing six rookies:

1. Holt LF
2. Bogaerts SS
3. Pedroia 2B
4. Ortiz DH
5. Napoli 1B
6. Betts RF
7. Cecchini 3B
8. Vazquez C
9. Bradley Jr. CF

Yesterday the Red Sox took another step down this road, cutting catcher A.J. Pierzynski and promoting Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket.  I sent out this tweet after Boston showed some signs of life in the 8th inning last night:

After the dramatic and improbable win NESN revealed this little nugget of information:

You may not believe this, but I actually remember that game from 1987.  The 10-year-old me was really excited about the crop of "future stars" the Sox had.

John Marzano hit two home runs that day, and Boston pounded the Ruben Sierra-Pete Incaviglia-Oddibe McDowell Rangers 12-2.  Eventual Red Sox Mike Stanley and Greg Harris also played in that game for Texas.  I watched it on the big screen TV in the lodge at Club Sandwich when my family was on vacation on Cape Cod.

And I guess Topps swung and missed on that Dodson pick...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ESPN isn't afraid to make absurd statistical comparisons

When Germany scored 4 goals in a span of 6 minutes against Brazil yesterday, the stat-loving gears in my head immediately started turning.  The first thing I thought of was to try to relate that to the NBA.  Here's what I came up with:

Two goals is about average for the winning team in a World Cup match, and Germany netted double that in only 6.67% of the total game time (6 of 90 minutes).  There are 48 minutes in an NBA contest, and 6.67% of that is three minutes and twelve seconds.  NBA teams put up roughly 100 points per game, so by that logic Germany's outburst in the World Cup semi-finals would be like if the Heat had scored nearly 200 points in a 3 minute span during an Eastern Conference Finals game last spring against the Pacers.

Unfortunately that's obviously impossible.

Soccer and basketball are different sports, and the comparison just isn't feasible with the way scoring works (it does relate to baseball though, where it might be like a team getting 10 runs in a single inning).

Considering all this, I have to admit I was a little surprised to see this graphic on SportsCenter today:

Thanks ESPN, let me know when that 484-point NBA game happens...

Also I first wanted to write about the Celtics' trade today, and then the Red Sox cutting A.J. Pierzynksi, but this took precedence.  More on those in the coming days...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What do you do to keep track of all your passwords?

Anything you do on the interwebs these days needs a password.  I'm sure for "security purposes" it's smarter to use a different one for everything.  But that's impossible, right?  I'm really curious as to what people do about this.

The yellow post it note strategy pictured is probably a common one, but that seems pretty terrible.  I've heard of using the name of the thing you're logging into with a slight alteration as the password, but isn't it really easy to forget what the slight alteration is?  I'm sure people keep lists of all of them, but what if someone gets a hold of your list?  Obviously there are apps and websites that do this for you (google is always asking me, I keep saying no), but I'm not convinced that would actually make things any easier.

My method is going with several passwords repeatedly, each for different levels of importance of whatever the thing is.  It's worked for me so far, but I'm nervous that a few security breaches here and there could cause my whole system to come crashing down.  And now I'm wondering if I'm inviting that to happen just by writing this...

What do you do?  Please leave your thoughts as a comment below, or on the facebook or twitter.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Red Sox broke Xander Bogaerts by switching him to 3rd base (I wish they'd broken Stephen Drew instead)

On the morning of June 1 Xander Bogaerts was hitting .304.  To that point in the season he'd come up to bat 224 times, with an on-base percentage of .397.  For all 224 of those plate appearances (spanning 53 games) Bogaerts was Boston's shortstop.  June 1 was his last day at short.

Starting with Stephen Drew's return on June 2, Bogaerts has played nothing but third base.  In 29 games since he's batting .135 (15-for-111) with a .178 OBP.

Bogaerts' season average now stands at just .239.  I say move him back to shortstop.

Make Drew play third base instead.  If he can't do it, who cares; there's nothing to lose at this point anyway.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "I Wanna Be With U" by Fun Factory

In 1995 Fun Factory's I Wanna Be With U was my jam of the summer.  I had their Close to You CD (also the title of their most popular single), but as you can see it didn't really offer much information about the band.  I think I knew that they were a German pop group, and that's about it.

Just now I watched the video for the first time ever, and it is not at all what I expected.  I'm guessing they handed out random basketball uniforms at the shoot to make it seem more American, but if that guy was actually wearing a Michigan #24 Jimmy King (the 4th best player of the Fab Five) jersey on purpose, I'm impressed.

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