Ruberry Black Sox
Ruberry in June with man in 1919 White Sox uniform

By John Ruberry

As this decade winds down you can look for many 100th anniversary articles. They’ll be a huge uptick of them next year to mark the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, followed by more on the armistice that concluded “the war to end all wars” in 1918. The execution of the czar and his family, as well as the fall of the Houses of Hohenzollern and Habsburg also occurred that year, events all directly related to World War I.

In 2019 baseball fans will mark 100 years since the Black Sox Scandal, when eight Chicago White Sox players conspired with gamblers to throw, that is, purposely lose the 1919 World Series.

“It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway remarked about the scandal in The Great Gatsby.

That one man, although given a fictionalized name in Gatbsy, was Arnold Rothstein, the mastermind of the scandal, although one of the few things that historians agree upon is that its genesis came from Charles “Chick” Gandil, the first baseman for the 1919 South Siders.

What does the First World War have to do with Major League Baseball’s most notorious scandal. Plenty. In his book The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, Charles Fountain looks back at “the war to end all wars” and goes back much further.

Comiskey statue, US Cellular Field
Comiskey statue, US
Cellular Field

The most famous member of the Black Sox of course was the illiterate–but, as Fountain explains, in no way dumb, left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson. During the Great War Jackson was one of the baseball players who avoided military service by joining a defense industry factory baseball team where he made perhaps the same, if not more money than he did playing for owner Charles Comiskey’s White Sox. In recreating the setting of early 20th-century baseball, Fountain, a Northeastern University journalism professor, shows that there was plenty of money “out there” for players, as a third circuit, the Federal League, proved in 1914 and 1915 by luring players from the established National and American leagues with more lucrative contracts.

Another way to collect extra cash was to throw games, and Fountain spends an entire chapter on the now largely forgotten Hal Chase, a talented first baseman who was the first homegrown star of the New York Yankees, whom he dubs “the Prince of Fixers.”

There was more gambling cash involved in baseball than ever during World War I, as President Woodrow Wilson’s “work or fight” labor policy inadvertently led to the closing of most horse racing tracks for the duration of the conflict. Money for wagering wasn’t just going to idly sit in gamblers’ wallets until the war ended. While some minor baseball leagues suspended play during the war, the big leagues, despite shortened seasons in 1918 and 1919, were still in business. And so were the gamblers. The war, and Wilson, upset the economic balance of the underworld.

After the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, or after the South Siders lost it, and despite an investigation by Comiskey that seemed to suggest some White Sox players weren’t playing, as how it was said back then, on-the-square, it would take an unrelated gambling incident for the scandal to break wide open in the final week of the 1920 season, as the White Sox were in a heated pennant race that they would lose to the Cleveland Indians. The fixers almost got away with it. As the eight Black Sox players were exposed, Fountain details the playing out of a longstanding feud between Comiskey and American League president Ban Johnson, one that nearly put the junior circuit out of business with the creation of a new 12-team National League. Of course the two-league majors survived, ruled by a man seemingly removed from the Old Testament, federal Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

As White Sox left the ranks of baseball’s elite in 1920, modern baseball, the post-dead ball era, began. No one knew it at the time, but the Golden Age of Sports, led by the New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth, had also arrived. Comiskey, who died in 1931, never put another contending team on the field, and the White Sox wouldn’t return to the Fall Classic until 1959–and the South Siders wouldn’t win it all until 2005. But the owner nicknamed “the Old Roman” was still able to cash in on the rollicking Roaring Twenties party; Comiskey Park was expanded in 1927, largely because of Ruth’s transformation of baseball.

Comiskey is treated somewhat sympathetically here, as someone who is more frugal than stingy.

Fountain’s effort succeeds not only as a baseball book but as an historical work. Which means you don’t have to be a fan of the national pastime to enjoy it.

John Ruberry, a lifelong White Sox fan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Intern: Wonderful thing, pain. Without pain, no race could survive.
4th Doctor: I’m well aware of that.
Intern: Autonomic defence mechanism.

Doctor Who, The Hand of Fear 1976

Although the Red Sox have been on a rough patch lately there has been one constant factor this season.  David Ortiz is the reason they are in the race for the pennant.

Ortiz is 40 years old yet his numbers this season have been phenomenal:

He currently leads the league in doubles, slugging percentage, Extra base hits, total bases and intentional walks.

He also leads the league in some less known stats such as: adjusted batting runs, adjusted batting wins, OPS, OPS+slug, base out runs added, situational wins added,

And he is in the top 10 in all of these following categories

Batting avg 3rd
Home Runs 6th
RBI’s 2nd
On base percentage 2nd
Runs Created 2nd
Times on base 7th
At Bats per HR 3rd
Wins above replacement 10th
Offensive wins above replacement 3rd

This would be quite an accomplishment for a player in his prime, for a 40 year old player in what should be his final season, that’s ungodly.

Additionally he is being well compensated for these achievements. This year he is making $16,000,000 and while he has announced his retirement the team has a $10,000,000 option for next year if he was to change his mind.

That being the case an observer might think that postponing retirement for another year or two might be a wise decision after all he continues to be a productive player and baring injury it is highly likely that he will suddenly become a mediocre player in the next year or two.

Furthermore there is that $10,000,000 option. Even if he is hired by the Red Sox as a permanent batting instructor, by MLB in whatever capacity they choose, hired by ESPN or MLB network as an analyst and get endorsements high and low he will likely never see any like that kind of money ever again in his life.

But for all those numbers, including the dollar signs some things are just more important

“Big Papi” arrives at the stadium before any other player to start the long process of preparing for a game, particularly when it comes to his feet. He said he feels pain in his feet every day, and they are the main reason he guarantees he will never change his mind and come back for another season.

“Everything hurts,” he said. “It even hurts to think. Last time I reached second after a double, I almost called for a timeout so they would get me out of the game. I can barely run because my feet hurt so much. I am in severe pain.

“One often tries to live in the moment, and even when your body is saying no, you say yes, even when your body says not to. Only mental strength convinces you that you can continue. Mental strength tells you that you can keep at it. But the body is a machine; it will give out and will send you a bill.”


And David Ortiz is wise enough to know that no amount of cheers, honors or money will pay that bill for him and is acting accordingly.

That’s  an important lesson and I suspect more than one older pro athlete is nodding their head wishing that at the end of their career they were wise enough to do the same.

Because apparently if you have the muscle structure of a boy under 15 you can destroy a woman’s olympic contender with ease:

Australia’s national women’s soccer team have suffered a devastating defeat in the lead up to the Rio Olympics – going down 7-0 to the Newcastle Jets under-15 boys side.
What is particularly concerning for the Matildas is that despite resting some regulars, they were still able to field experienced international stars including former AFC player of the year Katrina Gorry.
Despite the embarrassing defeat on Wednesday night at Valentine Sports Park in Newcastle, the Australian team will travel to Brazil as one of the gold medal favourites.

Consider this wasn’t 2-1 or losing on an own goal,this was a team ranked 5th in the world & they lost 7-0, in SOCCER! There hasn’t been a loss this embarrassing in international soccer since Brazil was Trounced by Germany in the world cup.

Given this fact I think raconteurreport’s advice makes plenty of sense:

And I don’t know the IOOC policy on dudes who “identify” as women, but if you can find a dozen or so gender-bender boys about 14-15 years old, and get them entered in Women’s Soccer at this years’ Olympics, they’ll have a pretty easy shot at the medal round

You may think that suggestion a joke but the money and prestige involved is pretty significant and this is a crisis so I suspect the woman’s team from down under might be a lot less worried about what a “woman” has down under if they can make sure such embarrassment can be avoided in the future.

Closing thought: It’s stories like this that make my assumptions about this ESPN article suggesting Bobby Riggs threw his match against Billie Jean King pretty convincing.

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At Chicks on the Right we have the story of another success story in woman’s sports:

The Alaska Schools Activities Association recently implemented a policy which allows each school to decide if transgender athletes can compete with the gender of their choice. There’s no general rule. The problem is, some schools don’t even require that a transgender student show evidence of transitioning. They simply need to declare he/she is the opposite gender and ideally, their actions, attitude, dress and mannerisms will align.

That’s it. You could literally say, “Hey, I’m a girl” and wear a skirt one day and compete in female sports.

Because of that policy, Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot was able to compete against the girls.

and the result

Nattaphon Wangyot advanced to the state finals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. He won fifth place in the 100-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter. In both events, he competed against girls as young as ninth grade.

One of the girls Wangyot beat out for a slot at the state meet, Hutchison runner Emma Daniels, took issue with allowing a male athlete to compete in girls events.

I find myself feeling very little pity here, there was plenty of chance for people to speak out and be heard when this nonsense and other nonsense like it was being pushed but people either kept silent out of fear or supported it in order to signal virtue.

Alas, many are finding out that choosing not to fight the culture wars didn’t mean you would get peace.

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There once was a time when people who are sick of the deceit and the spin of political TV might turn on sports as an escape.

That time is past, at least when it concerns ESPN:

the evening’s telecast of “Four Days in October,” ESPN’s 2010 documentary about Boston’s stunning comeback from a 3-0 deficit against New York to reach, and eventually win, the World Series, was missing his crucial Game 6 performance.

The bloody sock game was one of the defining moments in the 2004 ALCS which is likely why MLB decided the anniversary of the game was worth marking.

It’s easy to look back now and think that, of course, Boston would win that game with one of the great postseason pitchers of all time on the mound. But think back to Game 1, when Schilling pitched through a torn tendon sheath and was shelled for six hits and six runs over three innings.
It was fair to wonder how things could change. A day before Game 6, the Red Sox’s medical team came up with a radical procedure in which team doctor Bill Morgan would suture Schilling’s loose ankle tendon back into the skin. To be sure, Morgan first tried the somewhat barbaric procedure on a cadaver.
Nobody outside of the Red Sox’s clubhouse knew about the impromptu procedure, so it was easy to think the worst when there was visible blood on Schilling’s sock that surfaced early in Game 6. In actuality, it was just a byproduct of the stitches pressing against the tendon. Not only could Schilling pitch, but he came out pitching well in Game 6, showcasing a nasty splitter.
“And it wasn’t overblown,” remembers outfielder Gabe Kapler. “When there was all that talk about, ‘Was that really blood?’, not only was it really blood, but what he endured and mentally overcame the way he did may never be done again. I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a procedure like that to get a guy ready to pitch again. It was a little bit, like, science fiction-y.”

I hadn’t watch ESPN since the firing of Curt Schilling over this transgender nonsense, but pulling a Stalin and making him an unperson should be over the line even for the most left leaning of sports fans, particularly in Boston.

But ESPN rules sports so apparently this didn’t happen

If ESPN can throw Schilling’s performance in game 6 down the memory hole how does any conservative athlete or potential athlete do anything but presume that ESPN is sending this message.

If you have the “wrong” opinions and choose to express them openly then be aware we will cover your accomplishments differently

…assuming we cover them at all.

I’ll give schilling the last word:

There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

Lt. Sharpe: Care to join the rifles’ Dobbs?
Pvt Dobbs: That I would sir
Lt. Sharpe: It’s a good life, if you can stay alive.

Sharpe’s Eagle 1993

I wrote a bit about the liberalism of the rich, of people so removed from the consequences of life that they are unwilling to oppose anything that might bring those consequences toward them. I should note that there is one field where you will often see an exception to this rule.


This might be at first counterintuitive after all those who excel in sports are lionized and championed, they are looked upon with awe, paid salaries many times what the average worker makes and even after retirement often have all of the access and privileges of the elites.

But unlike a businessman who can sell or cash out his business or a pol who can count on a connection to a job if you play a major league sport your days are numbered.  The average career of an NFL player is 3.3 years for players in the NHL & major league baseball 5.6 years an NBA player 6 years

Furthermore in all the major sports most players will spend years in farm leagues from the minors in baseball and hockey (and even basketball to some degree) to the college ranks or on the bench waiting years just for the chance to play.

Then there is injury.  In all the major sports, football more than any other, you are one play away from the end of your career.  Even if an injury is not career ending or just a headache, it could mean losing your job to a better player hungry for the job. (see Brady Tom or Gehrig Lou).

And once your career is over, it’s over, you are unlikely to demand anything near the pay you once got, after all there are only so many coaching or analyst positions available.

Thus it’s the rare sports player who needed to be mugged by reality to see how life really is, they see it every single time they go on the field trying to concentrate on the game before them without worrying about injury on the one hand or the dozens of people just dying to take their job from them on the other.

Now to be sure sports players are careful about what they say since the PC industry has no problem taking them down if possible, but they have one intrinsic advantage if they’re good enough going for them as explained by a certain Leo the Lip

Mr. Rickey, I thought when I signed the contract I signed for one thing. There is a ‘W’ column, and there is an ‘L’ column. I thought it was my obligation and duty to put as many as I could under that ‘W’ column.

Leo Durocher Nice Guys finish last.

No amount of political correctness can override the ability of a player good enough to add numbers to that W column.


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Ford Field
Ford Field, site of the Quick Lane Bowl

By John Ruberry

One has to wonder if college football is headed to an every-participant-gets-a-ribbon level of competition. Not including the NCAA championship face-off, there will be a record 40 college bowl games this season, which means 63 percent of FBS programs will play in a bowl contest. And despite some of these teams fattening up against next-level-down teams in non-conference games, for instance Illinois clobbered Western Illinois 44-0, there aren’t enough teams with 6-6 records or better to fill all of these bowl slots.

Which means some 5-7 FBS teams–Illinois could be one of those squads–may still be graced with a bowl entry. At least two losers–and as many as five–will be bowl invitation winners. But another 5-7 Big 10 team, Nebraska, may have a leg up. The NCAA has a loser contingency plan–I’m sure they call it something more palatable–which rewards schools with the highest Academic Progress Rate. The Cornkuskers have the highest APR among the 5-7s.

Hey, studying finally counts for something in college sports! That’s an improvement. On the other hand, Nebraska’s fans are intensely loyal and even a Cornhusker team with a losing record makes them an attraction for a low-level bowl. Follow the money.

And what about the games themselves? Let’s take a look at Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl, which will be played at Ford Field on December 28. It has tie-ins with the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference. But because there are not enough B1G or ACC bowl-eligible teams, Campus Insiders projects that another Big 10 loser, Minnesota. will face off against Central Michigan of the Mid American Conference. The Chippewas are 7-5–good for them.

NCAA football: Where you can be a winner and a loser at the same time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Last month I said this about the New England Patriots and deflategate:

it is clear the that patriots have spent the last 15 years living rent free in the heads of practically every time in the league.

Yesterday Ian O’Connor at ESPN seconded that motion:

This game, and the way Pagano coached it, illustrated again that the Patriots aren’t just beating opponents between the tackles, they’re breaking them down psychologically, too.

Remember at this point the Patriots where only up by six, the Colts were at home, with a defense that had already burned the pats for a pic-6 (Interception run back for a touchdown) and a first rate punter. There was plenty of time and no reason at all to be bothering with tricks at this point.

Pagano coached Sunday night as if he were determined to out-trick the master.

The problem is you don’t defeat the defending superbowl champion by “outtricking the master” you win it by playing football for 60 minutes, something the Bill Belechick demonstrated after Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made one of the greatest clutch catches in superbowl history with just over a minute to play and facing one of the best running backs in the game at their own five yard line:

here are the Patriots, seconds after dealing with a dagger in the heart play step up and stop Lynch just before the line keeping the game in play, making it 2nd & goal on the 1 yard line with 26 seconds to go.

This is the first of two telling moments. The play by play announcers are saying openly perhaps Patriots Coach Bill Belichick should simply let Seattle walk into the end zone and take the lead to give Tom Brady the maximum amount of time to possibly come back for a game tying field goal. As far as they are concerned a Seattle touchdown to take the lead is a fait accompli and there is nothing the Patriots can do to stop it…

…Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite. His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back. He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

Belichick isn’t worrying about mind games, his player Malcolm Butler isn’t worrying about mind games, they’re both worrying about football and how to win that game, unlike for example, Pittsburgh in week one. O’connor again

Mike Tomlin’s opening night meltdown over the failed Foxborough headsets was a case in point, and it was answered the next day by a Belichick jab about running a program that isn’t built on excuses. People see ghosts when they play the Patriots. They don’t stay within a country mile of their lane. Go back and give a second read to the report by’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham on the connection between Spygate and Deflategate, and on all the time and energy New England’s opponents have invested in fretting over potential covert ops and dirty tricks.

If you haven’t seen it take a good look at that play

They say the film never lies, and Sunday night’s film shows a Colts team that tried to get way too smart and way too cute at the worst possible time.

In the end, the Patriots don’t just make you miss blocks and tackles. Pagano reminded everyone that they make you lose your mind, too.

This week Patriots Colts game demonstrates the truth of this post Superbowl statement concerning New England

None of this changes the fact that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, that Bill Belichick is a great coach and the Patriots teams were some of the best trained and prepared teams in the league. Without those truths even if every allegation against the pats was true, they simply would not have been able to win as they did.

But given those facts and the obsession the rest of the league had with the pats, the question isn’t how the NE Patriots managed to win 4 Superbowls and play in six over the last 15 years. The wonder is how they ever failed to make it.

The way you beat New England is you play better football for 60 minutes.  Period.

This week will be full of debate on who has the advantage in this week’s Superbowl.  The relative strengths and weakness of the teams involved.  The defensive and offensive matchups, the coaching styles, the various player comments etc etc etc.

While all of these things are very debatable matters there is a question that I want answered.

Why Superbowl XLIX?  Why not Superbowl IL?

The Roman numeral standard is pretty straightforward  I = 1  V=5 X=10 L=50 C=100 D=500 and M= 1000  Thus 8 – XIII  (5 + 1 + 1 + 1)  When the values are in descending order the number are all added.

When you have a letter that is of a lower value preceding a higher one that number is subtracted, Thus XLIX = Ten (X) subtracted from fifty (L) =  40  plus 1 (I) subtracted from Ten (X)9 for Forty Nine.

But hold on if you can subtract the first letter from the second why not use the following system IL instead since IL = one (I) subtracted from fifty (L) thus…49.

You save two whole letters considering that the Roman system can get kind of messy for example 1988 is MCMLXXXVIII why not use that method to save some carving in your marble when you can?  Why wasn’t the year 1999 MIM (1000+ 1 subtracted from 1000) instead of MCMIX  (1000 + 100 subtracted from 1000 plus 1 subtracted from ten)?

Yea this is slightly less important that the scourge of “manspreading” but if the City of New York can invest actual tax dollars into combating that dreaded scourge someone can tell me why I can’t get a Superbowl IL shirt if I wanted one.

Not that I actually want one, after all, it’s not like it’s something actually important…

…like baseball.

Dateline:  Seattle Washington

The Green Bay Packers wasted no time after their overtime defeat by Seattle in firing conditioning coaches Hans and Franz after only a single season.

The Austrian Conditioning Team,  known for their occasionally abusive motivational speeches,  were brought in for their reputation but fell out of favor after injuries to Aaron Rogers which reduced his flexibility and ability to scramble.  Whispers within the organization that these injuries were was due to the esoteric training methods involving heavy armor, kayaks and blond women with excessively long locks.

Asked to comment on the quick front office decision in a season where the team made it to the NFC Championship game against the defending Superbowl Champions they referred to the Packers front office as “Losers” & “Girley men”.

They are not expected to be out of work long.  New Bills coach Rex Ryan looking to implement his famous “Ground and Pound” game is, according to sources, already in talks with their agent about the possibility of joining him in Buffalo to work on their offensive line in the off-season.

Asked about that possibility they said it’s too soon to commit to their first offer but stated unequivocally:  “If we go to Buffalo we will Pump them up!”


One of the most interesting episodes of the favorite TV show of my youth the Adventures of Robin Hood was “The Truce”.

The episode starts with Robin Hood stopping someone in the forest to rob him, the target challenges Robin to an archery contest. Robin wins and the man throws down his purse in disgust accidentally dropping a medal showing he Mark Crispin Champion Bowman of England.

Meanwhile the Deputy Sheriff is tricked into a 500 mark wager against Lord Redford who has stated his archer can beat the Deputy Sheriff’s man who too his shock discovers Redford has hired Crispin as a ringer before he could. Desperate to avoid the loss he offers Robin Hood a one day truce, half the prize money and a & safe-conduct in writing (threatening to tax the poor for every penny he loses if he declines).

Feeling confident the Sheriff offers to increase the wager by 100 marks, Redford agrees and proposes doubling the wager so now the bet is 1200 silver marks.

At the shooting field when Robin wins round one Crispin recognizes him and Lord Redford hints to the Sheriff that he should admit and denounce him. When Crispin makes an excellent shot on a spinning moving target the Deputy Sheriff, in a panic approaches Robin and says the following:

Deputy Sheriff: I forbid you to win.

Robin turns to him and answers:

Robin Hood: My Lord you seem to think I can win or lose as I please. That is a very difficult target.

Deputy Sheriff: I see

Robin Hood: A man could be excused for missing it entirely.

And that exchange is a perfect example of the situation that the New England Patriots and Tom Brady find themselves in every single time they make it to the NFL Playoffs.

Tom Brady a sixth round draft pick in 2000 went from backing up arguably the best quarterback in NE Patriots history at the time (Remember Drew Bledsoe?) to becoming not only the best Quarterback in the teams history but one of the best of all time. As Wikipedia puts it:

In Brady’s fourteen seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, two league MVP awards (2007, 2010), has been selected to ten Pro Bowls, and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history, with twelve. He is currently fifth on the all time list for career passing yards and fifth for career touchdown passes. His career postseason record is 18–8; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–2004). He also set the record for most consecutive playoff wins with 10, and in 2007 led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. He has thrown for more passing yards than any quarterback in NFL postseason history and is third for career postseason touchdown passes, and has the sixth highest career passer rating of all time (95.9) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times. Brady and John Elway are the only two quarterbacks to lead their teams to five Super Bowls. He was also named the NFL MVP in 2007 and 2010 (becoming the first player to be unanimously chosen as MVP in the 2010 season) as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been so honored since Joe Montana won the award in 1990. After the 2010 season, Brady was ranked as the best player in the NFL. He was also the first quarterback to throw for 50 or more touchdowns in a season. In 2010, he set the all time record for consecutive passes without an interception (335), and broke his own record for season TD:INT ratio at 9:1 (which has since been broken by Nick Foles).

And if Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks ever what about Bill Belichick?

In his fifteen years as coach of the Patriots his team has made the playoffs 12 times winning their division each of those years. He has gone to 5 Super Bowls winning three.

To put that in perspective in the first 40 years of the Patriots history the pats made the playoffs 10 times going to the Superbowl twice and losing both of them.

In other words over the last fifteen years this has been one of the best teams of all time.

This comes at an odd price, the price of expectations.

Every single time the Patriots take the field they are expected to win, it has reached the point that when New England dropped two games early articles began to be written asking if he was finished.

Of course As I type this Brady’s Patriots have just taken a 4 point lead over Baltimore in the 4th quarter of an exciting game that can go either way so he’s without a question not done, but consider, if Baltimore comes back to win the only topic in New england will be what’s wrong with the Patriots.

The newspapers will not talk about the excellent Baltimore team that is only 3 years removed from a Superbowl. They won’t consider the excellent coaching on the other side or the fine effort, it will be what’s wrong with the Pats.

And even if the Patriots beat the Ravens if next week they lose to Andrew Luck’s Colts or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos the same questions will be asked despite the skill of either team (particularly the Broncos).

And lets say they manage to win again and get to the Superbowl, no matter who they face if they don’t manage to win, the only thing that will be talked about in New England is their failure.

Those are the wages of the Patriots success and in many ways it’s unfair.

Then again I suspect there are a lot of teams who have been on the outside looking in that would love to have that expectations problem.

FYI if you want to know how that Robin Hood story ends, here is the episode in question.

As I type this the Pats have just intercepted the ball in the end zone with under two minutes to go. Barring a huge mistake they now only have two more obstacles to overcome to meet those oversized expectations.


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I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again

Casey Stengel

Birds gotta play, fish gotta swim and women who are over fifty gotta be replaced by younger hotter women if you are covering football.

Pam Oliver is no longer Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter. And after this coming football season, she will no longer be a sideline reporter at all.

Oliver confirmed the news to Sports Illustrated on Sunday night that she will move to the network’s No. 2 team for her 20th NFL broadcasting season. Erin Andrews has been elevated to the No. 1 sideline spot, joining the team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Oliver’s last season working as a reporter on the NFL will be spent with the No. 2 Fox team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch.

Now I’m not a big football guy and I can’t honestly comment on the skill or knowledge of Pam Oliver when it comes to the NFL but I’m going to make the rash assumption that if she’s been doing it for two decades she’s likely rather knowledgeable about it.  And as I have absolutely no interest in college football (Zip Zero Nada) which has been the purview of Erin Andrews I can’t intelligently comment if she does the job better now or might do the job better in the future.

That being said SI insults our intelligence with these paragraph in their story

Removing the well-regarded and well-connected Oliver from the No. 1 team, not to mention initially wanting her out of sideline reporting altogether, seems counter to what a sports network should want in an NFL reporter. Why the decision to make the switch? contacted Shanks on Sunday night in Minneapolis, where he was preparing for Fox’s coverage of the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday at Target Field.

“I think in the last five years we have made a lot of changes with the NFL crews,” Shanks said. “We have made changes to keep our coverage across the board fresh, including the addition of Burkhardt and Lynch -– which has been one of the more exciting pairings we have put together. This is kind of the next move in that evolution.”

“Counter to what they want”?  “Wanting to keep coverage across the board fresh”?  please.  Let’s talk some neutral objective facts.

The primary job of a network is to get eyeballs.  The audience for Football is primarily male and  the unspoken job of women in ads, games or broadcast involving Football or any sport is to provide a proximate occasion of sin by causing men to “look at them with lust “.

Exhibit a:

Therefore while it’s a neutral objective fact that Pam Oliver is a beautiful women and has I suspect has put a great deal of effort to maintain that beauty (succeeding admirably) it  is also a neutral objective fact that Erin Andrews is at least as beautiful if not more so than Ms Oliver and as a woman considerably younger (36 vs 53)  is likely to maintain said beauty over the next several years with a lot less effort and Ms. Oliver knows it:

Oliver shied away from saying anything negative about Andrews, though she told Deitsch: “I live in the real world and I know that television tends to get younger where women are concerned.

“Just turn on your TV. It’s everywhere,” she added. “And I’m not saying these younger girls don’t deserve a chance. I know I’ve had my turn.”

Of course Ms. Oliver could take her story to feminists but as Stacy McCain could tell you they would likely not only critique her choice of employment but consider her and her replacement as accessories after the fact in the case of any woman who has had an unfortunate encounter with a jock.

On the bright side for Oliver as the network is FOX I suspect it might be a popular club to wield over at them by their competitors.

There have been plenty of words already written about yesterday’s World Cup match between Germany & Brazil and there have already been plenty of jokes at Brazil’s expense (Fence put up a better fight in ’41 etc etc etc…)

But watching the replay of the match which I didn’t see. I noticed something that has not been mentioned a lot.

If you listen to the play by play commentators on ESPN you will notice that long before the onslaught began they noted that it was coming.

Just before the corner kick that produced the first goal commentator Steve McManaman said this at 9:57:

There’s a lot of space already on the field. Brazil will have to come a little tighter here they can’t be so expansive back to front otherwise the Germans will cut them to shreds

Less that 30 seconds later Germany scored their first goal.

after they goal he commented

That’s certainly sunday morning goal it’s certainly sunday morning defending

In the 13th minute Drake & McManaman had this exchange

Ian Drake: Brazil’s defence Maca must be a bit of a worry to them, they’ve now conceded in five of six games in the tournament.

Steve McManaman: Yeah and they’ll concede more today Ian…

A few seconds later Drake said this

The Germans finding an ominous amount of space when they do brake forward and Brazil might look to counter and tighten up a little…

Less than ten minutes later Germany scored again.

After that second goal McManaman said this at 23:05:

Brazil have to watch out they’ve already been warned they’re going to be down by a lot more if they continue like this

and at 23:53 as Germany drove down again McManaman was marveling:

Look at the space Ian, look at the space!/em>

Five seconds later Germany had their third goal, and less that two minutes later their fourth.

finally in the 26th minute they said again

Steve McManaman: Brazil all over the place so open

Ian Drake: …and this could get a lot worse…

Steve McManaman:yes yes

Ian Drake: …unless this team tightens up somehow.

Two minutes later git got a lot worse as Germany made it 5-0 and it did get a lot worse as their total reached seven before Brazil managed a final goal in the final minute of the game.

These guys saw what was coming and saw it can called it perfectly.

I’m not a Soccer guy but I’ve got to say as good as the Germans were (and they were spectacular) lets give a hat tip to Mr. Drake & Mr. McManaman who proved without a shadow of a doubt that they know what they’re talking about.

Well done.

If you want to understand what the difference between the ends justifies the means culture of today & what we once had, this bit from Jay Nordlinger’s latest nails it:

At the U.S. Open, Matthew Fitzpatrick, the U.S. amateur champion, called a penalty on himself. This occasioned some praise in the press, as it should, really. But I couldn’t help thinking of Bobby Jones — who in the 1925 Open called a penalty on himself. He wound up losing the tournament by a stroke. Praised for his honesty and sportsmanship, he bridled, saying, “You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”
In other words, “I am not a cheater.”

If you aren’t reading Jay Nordlinger you should be.

If this report is accurate a lot of owners of sports franchises are wishing they had young mistresses recording them spouting off racist twaddle.

Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft chief executive worth close to $20 billion, will buy the Clippers for a reported figure worth close to $2 billion according to a report in the Los Angeles TimesThursday evening. Ballmer beat out bids from headed by David Geffen and Tony Ressler which checked in at $1.6 billion and $1.2 billion.

According to Forbes the average NBA franchise is worth around $634 million

Early reports had the Clippers pegged at a value of about $500 mil and of course the purchase price of the franchise back when Sterling first bought it was 12.5 million. (inflation adjusted $32, 600,660.13).

That means adjusted for inflation he will make a profit of over 3000% or 61.348 times his inflation adjusted purchase price.

Furthermore as this is a “forced” sale he may be exempt from part of the taxes one might normally pay on capital gains.

That’s quite a reward for his actions but on the other hand given the boost he’s given to the race baiting industry that will be paying decades it’s a small price to pay, particularly since none of the people who make their profits off race hustling are paying it.


Olimometer 2.52

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Something has to be done about this:

Every year, the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York get together for a friendly ice hockey game, all in the name of charity.
However, this year’s match was overshadowed by a huge fight between the two teams during the second period in Long Island.

I’m shocked SHOCKED that a bunch of manly men playing hockey might end up in a fight!

I think direct action is needed. Perhaps the sport should introduce something kind of penalty for this behavior. maybe publicly humiliate such players by putting them in a box or something.

Last year when NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay I said the following.

I don’t doubt for one second Jason Collins work ethic nor his skill. Very view people manage to make the NBA compared to the number who try let alone last for 13 seasons, and it can’t be easy to compete against people a dozen years your junior for one of those coveted roster spots …

…But at this moment in his career & at this time this is one of the shrewdest moves he could have made

In terms of the game, who Collins sleeps with or wants to sleep with is not important, if he provides more value than a possible replacement, he is worth having on a squad, period but now there is an X-Factor to consider.

Can you imagine the pressure that’s going to be put on Washington Wizard to re-sign the first openly gay NBA player? If they don’t can you imagine the pressure on the rest of the NBA to make sure he is on a team ANY team next year?

It was a smart move by Collins but it was to no avail.  When the NBA season began in October of 2013 neither  the Washington Wizards nor any other  NBA team signed him.

Collins and gay activists might be disappointed but  all things considered I think not starting the season on a NBA roster was a lucky break.

A NBA season is long hard and physical.  Over the course of a year people get hurt, get traded or get cold and if you are a big man at the downside of a career it would be no surprise if a Collins broke down or slowed causing a lot of 2nd guessing from fans and sports writers.  People would be asking how he made a roster with plenty of younger more qualified players available.

In short he would have been a token.

However that same long hard physical season applies to every player who DID start the year on a roster and they are subject to those same injury and performance issues.

That means if you are a 7′ Center with 10+ years of experience,  a team that runs into those problems, say one clinging to the 8th playoff spot with less than two months left in the season, might find you a useful addition.

Such was the case for the Brooklyn Nets who signed Collins to a ten day contract making him the first openly gay player in a major American sports.

While the MSM as expected in this homo-fadic era jumped at this story a better measure of what it means is to consider these entries on the CBS page concerning the Brooklyn Nets from Igor Mello: (all emphasis mine)

February 20, 2014

In search of some frontcourt depth, Nets general manager Billy King told reporters that the team recently worked out free agent center Jason Collins and are considering signing him to a 10-day contract, ESPN reports on Thursday.

“He’s in shape,” King said.

Collins played 32 games for the Celtics and six for the Wizards last season. He averaged less than a point and less than two rebounds per game in 2013. The 35-year-old spent his first six seasons in the league with the Nets.

February 23, 2014

The Nets and center Jason Collins have agreed to terms on a 10-day contract on Sunday, the team announced. Collins hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 2013 with the Wizards.

The 35-year-old played 32 games for the Celtics and six for the Wizards last season, averaging less than a point and less than two rebounds per game over that span.

February 23, 2014

Nets center Jason Collins made his season debut Sunday night against the Lakers. In his first game since April of 2013, Collins came off the bench and did little during his time on the floor.

Collins finished with two rebounds and one steal. He played meaningful fourth-quarter minutes and missed a 21-foot jumper with 5:13 remaining in the game — his only shot attempt of the night. He was held scoreless in 11 minutes of game action in a 108-102 victory.

Do you notice the most important thing about those three stories?

Unlike most MSM stories on the subject every single word of these stories concern basketball:  Why the team signed him, was he in shape? Did he contribute meaningful floor time in the win?

That’ is the difference between a basketball player who is an asset to a team and an affirmative action hire.

Collins didn’t put up much numbers but that’s OK.  His job is to be a big man on defense and rebound on offense.  How he fills that role will determine if the Net have to make a final decision on keeping him for the playoff run or no.

Collins is fortunate.  If he had started the season in a position he was not qualified thanks to the efforts of an adoring media it would be a sure formula for disappointment & failure.

There is no surer way to destroy a legacy in the long run than to have a sycophantic press hiding or denying your shortcomings when you are failing.

Collins avoided that trap, would that others had done so as well.

Update: Michael Sam won’t be so lucky:

“I wish you guys would ask me how’s football going? How’s training going?” Sam said Saturday. “I would love you to ask me those questions.

particularly when he does this:

Sam, who will be the NFL’s first openly gay player if he makes it to the league, turned in a disappointing 40-yard dash on Monday after turning in a disappointing bench press on Sunday.

NFL Network timed Sam at 4.79 seconds and 4.84 seconds in his two 40-yard dash attempts. That’s not a good showing for a 261-pound defensive end. Several bigger defensive ends have run faster, and some defensive tackles are faster, too.

And that comes on the heels of yesterday’s performance in the bench press in which Sam managed just 17 repetitions of 225 pounds. That was the second-worst showing among defensive linemen, and plenty of non-linemen (including seven wide receivers) did better than that as well. If you’re not strong and you’re not fast, that’s not a good combination.

But the media will not see it that way.


Olimometer 2.52

Monday has come and with five days to go I’m under $700 away from paying the mortgage. That sounds a lot nicer than “we’re still $700 away and time’s almost up.”

It’s a bad time to be in a hole with CPAC about to start and with the lack of movement yesterday it’s going to take $140 a day to make the goal.

Please consider helping me make up that ground by hitting DaTipJar below.

Max Bialystock: Max Bialystock is launching himself into little old lady land.

The Producers 1967

One of the strangest things about the spectacle we call the Superbowl is the fuss about the ads.

It’s become a reason to watch a football game that more often than not isn’t that close and for people looking for a novelty to check it out.   (In fairness we’ve had in my opinion the best run of games in the history of the Superbowl the last this last decade).

Because of what the Superbowl draws companies spend a small fortune to have on in the hopes that their “Superbowl” ad will be the one that catapults their product to success. But are those 4 million dollar ads really worth it? A university decided to check it out:

A pair of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professors did a study of all 538 Super Bowl ads that aired between 2000 and 2009 and found that most of these Super Bowl ads don’t work.

But Forbes maintains they are still worthwhile, why, because of how they effect the stock price.

The real reason that companies are willing to invest in Super Bowl advertising is that despite the dubious results on sales, the announcement of buying airtime on the Super Bowl can bump up their stock price, at least in the short term. That surprising finding was gleaned in a study of publicly traded Super Bowl advertisers by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which found that the stock price of these companies rose shortly after the media began to hype the ads’ upcoming appearance. They also found that any impact on stock prices occurs at the time of the announcement of the ad buy, rather than the day after the ad ran during the Super Bowl. This is partially the reason that companies announce their intentions to run ads weeks before the game, and run teasers on YouTube to hype their spots.

It sounds like the ultimate insider trading deal. Shareholders can make a profit selling shares the day a company hold announces a Superbowl ad deal because apparently there are plenty of idiots that think spending of millions of dollars in a single thirty second ad that is unlikely to work is a sign that a company is a good investment.

And here I had the quaint idea that you might buy stock in a company because they make a good product or provide that either has or should produce a profit for me as a shareholder.

If I was a con artist I’d pay good money for the list of those idiots.

Closing thought:  For the price of a 30 second Superbowl ad a company can have the top spot on DaTechGuy on DaRadio site and 4 minutes of ads every edition of DaTechGuy on DaRadio … for 363 years.

As I’m unlikely to live to 413 might I suggest a purchase 1/10 that size, I have an outside chance at least of making it to 86 or 87.


By baldilocks

Over at American Thinker, Rick Moran comments upon the latest acts of devotion in the bromance between former NBA player/infamous weirdo Dennis Rodman and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. This time, Rodman has enlisted other former NBA players to join him for an All-sort-of-Star game in a place chock full of prison and labor camps; a place where electricity and food are reserved for the nomenklatura, or whatever the Korean-language designation is for the elite of the Hermit Kingdom.

Hall of Fame basketball player Dennis Rodman didn’t much like the questions about his “basketball diplomacy” with North Korea coming from CNN host Chris Cuomo. So the former Detroit Pistons “bad boy” lit up the screen with a screaming tirade directed at Cuomo who only wanted to know if Rodman would bring up the case of American Kenneth Bae held for more than a year by the North Koreans for his missionary work.

From Mediate:

Let us know why this man is being held?’ If you can help them, will you take the opportunity?” Cuomo asked.

“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” Rodman said with a pause, then added “Do you understand what he did? In this country?”

“What did he do?” Cuomo said. “You tell me.”

“You tell me,” Rodman shouted. “You tell me. Why is he held captive?”

“They haven’t released any charges,” Cuomo said. “They haven’t released any reason.”

“I would love to speak on this,” Rodman said, again waving Smith off.

“Go ahead,” Cuomo urged.

Instead, Rodman went off on Cuomo for the remainder of the interview, screaming at him to recognize the sacrifice being made by his fellow players.

The video is available at both links.

Here’s the thing: why would anyone expect a guy with demonstrable mental issues to care about political prisoners or tyrannies? And like all too many professional athletes–like the other sheep he’s leading–he cares only about being kowtowed to–since retirement, not much of that anymore for any of these guys. Enter the basketball fan, Kim Jong Un.

So now, in Rodman’s warped mind, Kim is his friend and anyone who has angered his friend is an enemy and must be wrong, morality be damned. It’s gangster logic and lunatic reasoning, the two not necessarily being mutually exclusive.

Rick says that Rodman’s mental stability is questionable. No it isn’t. He’s nuts and has been for a long time.

Rodman’s first team was the Detroit Pistons, whose coach, the late Chuck Daly, was a surrogate father to him. Rumor has it that Coach Daly would make sure that his All-Star defense-man took his medication. But after Daly retired and Rodman was traded, the latter seemed to come off the spool and, if the rumors about the medication are true, there remained no one to keep him accountable in that area. In the years following came the tattoos, the piercings, the dyed hair, the off-the-wall behavior…and the wedding dress. (Warning: have eye bleach handy, though he looks strangely…pretty. Strangely, being the operative word.)

So we have a former athlete with a suspected personality disorder leading several other former athletes of equal political ignorance and arrogance to a charity benefit in North Korea–probably the worst country to ever be caught in either accidentally or on purpose. One wonders if these scarily uninformed and uncaring men are being lulled into becoming prisoners themselves. Wouldn’t that be a great propaganda coup for the ever more unhinged Kim Jong Un? Or maybe they are being groomed for something even more sinister…

They are pretty hungry over there.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

GoFundMe: Arlen’s Harem
GoFundMe: The Kenya Project

Marathon Pundit New Year
Author on the North Branch Trail

By John Ruberry

It’s time, at least for me, for a break from politics.

My blog is Marathon Pundit, I called it such because at the time I  founded it in 2005 had run about two dozen marathons. I’ve run some since then–and I hope to run a few more.

For most of December, snow has covered the Chicago area and the trails where I run–alongside the North Branch of the Chicago River.

While many runners hang up their shoes during the cold weather months–or work out on NordicTracks, I head outdoors.

The winds are stronger during winter, so my upper body becomes more toned. The uneven surface of snowy paths bolsters muscles that I would not ordinarily use. When spring comes around I am a better runner than the previous fall.

Do you want evidence? My personal records for the 5K, half-marathon, and the marathon were all achieved in spring races.

North Branch of the Chicago River
North Branch of the Chicago River

The solitude–there are far fewer runners on the paths in the winter and almost never a bicyclist–relaxes me. And nature doesn’t hibernate when snow falls–it’s just a beautiful, only in a different way.

And I achieve, for lack of a better word, a sense of power after a winter run. When someone tells me it’s too cold or too snowy to do anything outside, I smile and think of how I ran ten miles outdoors earlier that day.

But I’m still glad when spring arrives.  I can welcome long-lost friends such as leaves on the trees and the wildflowers.

There is a huge debate about baseball, as mentioned on live at five,  banning home plate collisions.

Baseball Icon Pete Rose is upset

“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play?” Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after MLB announced its plan Wednesday. “You’re not allowed to pitch inside. The hitters wear more armor than the Humvees in Afghanistan. Now you’re not allowed to try to be safe at home plate?” Rose said. “What’s the game coming to? Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.”

And fans on twitter are outraged:




Apparently this decision is not final:

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement at the winter meetings, saying the change would go into effect for next season if the players’ association approved.

But the fans continue to scoff:


Regular readers of this blog know I’m a baseball fan and I’m sure you’re wondering what my thoughts are they can be expressed in one simple exclamation!

Hasn’t anyone read the rules?

Blocking the Plate is illegal and always has been.

The rules of baseball ALREADY forbid a defensive player to obstruct an offensive player as Red Sox fans learned in gave three of the World Series at St. Louis even if it is accidental as one ESPN analyst put it at the time:


Well that doesn’t apply to the Catcher does it? Not only does it, the rules explicitly say so.

Rule 7.06

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

OK so the Catcher can’t block the plate without the ball, but what about WITH the ball? You can still have collisions when the runner barrels into him to jar the ball loose. Surely they need change the rules to account for that?

Actually, they don’t.


(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. (emphasis mine) If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.

This has always been the rule as Red Sox fans, and Yankee Fans will doubtless remember A-Rod during game six in 2004.

Fan anger not withstanding the rules of baseball already forbid a catcher from blocking the plate without the ball and the rules also forbid the runner from interference of the Catcher, ball in hand, trying to make the play. The reason fans think otherwise is because the rules were never enforced.

So the question becomes: Why haven’t the rules been enforced all these years?

The answer is simple: Spectacular plays at the plate play well on ESPN and sell DVD’s and tickets so everyone from owners to players were willing to pretend the rules didn’t say what they did.

Sounds a lot like our current immigration laws, ignored for the profit of others and the solution is to the problem is exactly the same.

Start enforcing the laws/rules as they written!


Olimometer 2.52

December has been mixed.  The first week we were several hundred off the pace for the Mortgage & paying the seven, last week we made our goal with some to spare.

As always a new week begins clean with $340 needed to make the week’s expenses.  14 tip jar hitters at $25 will make the goal (19 will get us caught up).

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Help us Retire DaTipJar for special trips and occasions by being one of them.

Doctor Who: All elephants are pink, Nellie is an elephant, therefore Nellie is pink. Logical?

Davros: Perfectly.

Doctor Who: You know what a human would say to that?

Davros: What?

Tyssan: Elephants aren’t pink.

Davros: Humans do not understand logic.

Doctor Who Destiny of the Daleks pt 4 1979


Last week I referenced Earl Anthony quoting Glenn Reynolds quip about a “famous blogger” being like a champion bowler and challenged the readers to tell me to who Earl Anthony was without googling his name.

As a person who used to watch the pro bowling on ABC as a kid (even though it wasn’t candlepin although I watched that too) Earl Anthony was THE man.  The left-handed bowler was one of the most successful men in the history of the pro-bowlers tour making over a million dollars during his career.

So imagine my surprise when I googled him and saw this result in the right hand section of the search:

earl anthonyThat book caught me by surprise, for a second I figured he might have been interested in history until I clicked the link and saw the result at and the write ups therein :

This poorly edited, disorganized autobiography is an unsatisfying amalgam of significant revelations about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party in the San Francisco Bay Area of the late 1960s and early ’70s and trivial information about the author’s troubles with women and drugs. A graduate of the University of Southern California and a one-time law student, Anthony was the first black middle-class convert to the Panthers’ cause, and was an intimate of Bobby Seale, Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

I’ve heard of sex change operations but I never heard of a race change operation.

One must conclude that either Mr. Anthony’s transformation from black nationalist radical to white champion bowler is the greatest example of the skill of the FBI’s witness protection program or that Earl Anthony the former Black Panther and Earl Anthony the Bowler are two different people.

This is why I’ll always take the Encyclopedia Britannica over a computer generated or crowd edited encyclopedia. A person can pick up things that a machine can’t.

Final thought. There is a feedback link at the bottom of that photo. I don’t remember when Google started putting those photos up but I must conclude there haven’t been a lot of Pro-Bowling fans searching for Mr. Anthony since they started, or at the very least they aren’t very curious.

One of the best baseball simulation games out there is Dynasty Baseball. It’s a face to face simulation where unlike most fantasy game you serve as manager doing everything from warming relievers in the bullpen to deciding if you are bringing in that infield with the tying run on third.

In league play you are also a general manager drafting players and building your team based all the factors a real GM has, is that fly ball pitcher a good fit for your park with the short left field porch and winds that tend to blow out? Do you draft that starting shortstop that gobbles up everything in reach for the double play who can’t hit his weight or the fellow who will let those balls get through the infield but send some balls over the fence when batting. Do you carry that 3rd catcher, that pinch-hitting specialist or and extra left-handed reliever for that 25th roster spot.

The most interesting factor to judge in the game is morale.

Each player in the game has a morale rating from A-F (C being average) A & B morale players add to your teams morale score while D & F players subtract it.

It doesn’t happen often but once in a while a result will come up based on team morale. The difference between positive & negative morale can be penalties for multiple series or a bonus for the same length of time.

If you’ve built your team and you find yourself in negative ground or neutral ground with one more spot to fill getting a person with just enough positive morale to move you up from negative to neutral or neutral to positive and make all the difference to your season.

And that dear friends takes us to Tim Tebow and the New England Patriots decision to release him.


Forget the team’s 3-0 record in games that he appeared in. Forget that he not only has a record of winning but the one time when he delivered under center was in the 4th quarter when the pats where down. forget even that he is a big guy that could be used on 3rd down or even 4th down plays slotted at RB. who does the defense cover?

What Tim Tebow did this preseason was give the press something to talk and obsess about that had nothing to do with the Aaron Hernandez trial. He gave everyone quotable quotes and as always carried himself as an excellent example in a clubhouse at a time when it was most valuable.

The Hernandez Trial is going to continue rolling on as the season progresses and while there is 0% chance that Tim Tebow would replace Tom Brady at QB in any situation with the game on the line consider this….

Imagine a week when the case is moving forward, every single player would be pestered with questions, particularly if the previous week the patriots receivers didn’t have so good a game. The radio talk will be all Hernandez and story after story in the press.

Now imagine the same week if on one or two third down play Tebow goes into the backfield. Maybe he takes a direct snap, maybe he doesn’t but suddenly every question is going to be all about Tebow, the press will be all around and every sports talk network will start the week asking about Tebow on 3rd downs and will end the week with them speculating if it will happen the next week.

The papers will still cover the Hernandez trail. There will still be stories in the papers…and nobody will notice.

With the season about to start the relative value of such a distraction is fairly small, once things are rolling it might be incalcuable.

Of course there is nothing stopping the Pats from signing Tebow back during the season if the Hernandez stuff heats up. Now THAT would be a story stopper.

And it certainly would generate a bunch of comments at the Huffington Post

I just finished reading the ESPN article (via Glenn) about the Bobby Riggs vs Billie Jean King match claiming the fix was in I, As a Sicilian have to say this:

If a Sicilian tells you that, after reading the ESPN piece in full, they’re still convinced the match between Riggs & King was on the up and up. You know they are lying through their teeth…

…about being Sicilian, reading the article, or both.

Update: I had to update an old post comparing the 50 year old transgender Gabrielle Ludwig to Riggs. To my knowledge Ludwig is not throwing games.

Oh and Neal Rauhauser updates not withstanding I can’t believe I posted on this subject before Stacy McCain.

I can’t think of a post I’m more looking forward to reading than whatever Robert Stacy McCain writes on this subject, the feminist anger in anticipation of his piece alone must be incredible, when he actually writes it heads will explore in feminist studies departments in colleges all over the world.

Update 2: For some reason these lines from the ending of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance comes to mind.

Update 3: Ed Morrissey is not Sicilian:

I’m pretty skeptical about this, and not just because the intense media spotlight on the game would have made it more difficult to pull off. Riggs was almost twice the age of King at the time of this match, 55 years old to her 29, and both were world-class athletes. Even today, when 55 is a lot younger than it used to be, a 29-year-old woman on a tennis court will have fresher legs and more stamina than a 55-year-old man, especially one who threw himself more into promotion than practice in the weeks leading up to the match.

That argument would hold more water if he hadn’t absolutely demolished Margaret Court in straight sets just four months before.

Update 4: Ed Answers on Twitter

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that everyone was talking about Tim Tebow finished as an NFL quarterback.

Time for them to cry:

The New England Patriots will sign Tim Tebow, league sources told ESPN.

The Patriots are signing Tebow, who is expected to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, as a quarterback, according to sources.

Why sign Tebow?

The move reunites Tebow with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the Broncos‘ head coach when Denver traded into the first round to draft the Heisman Trophy winner in 2010.

Many sportswriters have said Tim Tebow is no NFL quarterback. I submit if you want to develop into one being in practice every day with one of the best coaches in the league and one of the finest quarterbacks in the history of the game certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Mike Reiss:

Sometimes Bill Belichick sees something in a player — both on and off the field — that makes him want to have him around the team. In Flutie’s case, there was great respect for his competitiveness and history in the game, and how he’d fit in the quarterbacks room with Tom Brady and rookie Matt Cassel.

In Tebow’s case, he’ll join a quarterback room with Brady and third-year player Ryan Mallett. Similar to how he viewed Flutie, Belichick has great respect for Tebow’s approach to the game and his team-first approach, and it makes sense to think he’d view that as a positive addition to the locker room. Just as Flutie was the No. 3 quarterback in 2005, Tebow is currently in line to compete for the same type of role after the club released No. 3 man Mike Kafka on Monday (note: the Patriots kept just 2 QBs on the 53-man roster last year, so Tebow is no roster lock).

The difference, of course, is that Tebow potentially brings a media circus that Flutie never did.

I don’t think the circus. In both Denver and NY there was a question of who might start at QB. There s absolutely no chance of there being such a thing without a serious injury to Tom Brady. Combine that with a person of Tebow’s character there is no danger of this getting anywhere near out of control.

Bottom line Tebow is a winner and he’s joining a winning team with a winning tradition and a system that rewards players who celebrate team first. That’s Tebow all over, he’ll thrive here.

Granted the Tebow haters will laugh at him being on the bench but I doubt that Belichick if he can find a use for Tebow will certainly do so.

I was sure the Dominican Republic wasn’t going to win the World Baseball Classic, not because of their team, their team had talent to spare, and not because they had an easy schedule, (their opponents went a combined 15-20 in the tournament).

My conclusion was based on one simple fact, it is very hard, even for a great team to win 8 straight against even mediocre competition and even harder to win three straight against a good team (Puerto Rico lost only one game in the entire WBC to a team other than the DR (a 7-1 round 2 loss to the US).

but when it comes down to it there is one rule of Baseball that overrides all others, Pitching Pitching Pitching

Rays closer Fernando Rodney recorded a Classic-record seventh save by pitching the ninth inning on Tuesday. Previously unheralded starter Samuel Deduno of the Twins finished 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA after firing five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball and whiffing five against the Puerto Ricans.

The Dominican Republic’s bullpen was lights-out for the tournament, which can be illustrated by the fact that the Dominicans won their last five games by a total of 10 runs, including a 4-1 victory over the feisty Kingdom of the Netherlands in a semifinal game here on Monday.

That doesn’t even tell the story adequately. In the eight games of the tourney the DR gave up a grand total of 14 RUNS. 14 runs in 71 innings 8 games is an ERA a 1.77 ERA for the SERIES.

And even THAT is deceiving because four of their pitchers who threw a combined 14 innings (19.7%) were responsible for 10 of those 14 runs (71.4%). Meaning the rest of the staff gave up 4 runs in 57 innings for an ERA of 0.63.

This is Gibson Koufax kind of stuff spread out among the entire staff and this is in a tournament with pick count limits.

Bottom line, the odds of going perfect for the series were slim but the DR came up with pitching that defied the odds and delivered a victory that the island can justly celebrate.

Just don’t expect these kinds of numbers in four years.

The World Baseball Classic has begun and we’ve had our first upset as the Netherlands shut out South Korea 5-0 today, however the more interesting game was Uber Underdog Brazil facing two time champion Japan.

Brazil was not expected to even make the tournament. It took two upset wins against Panama in Panama to get that slot.

Manager Barry Larkin’s team managed to take a lead at 3-2 lead against Champion Japan in Japan and was only 5 out away from an incredible upset when they came back with three in the 8th to win the game 5-3.

It highlights the fact you have to get those 27 outs to win in baseball, but it also emphasises that if you are going to beat a Champion, you can’t make basic mistakes.

And that brings us to the Mass GOP straw poll.

Today the Massachusetts GOP had a straw poll in Danvers won by State Rep. Daniel Winslow.

Any GOP candidate facing any democrat in a statewide election is a serious underdog in Massachusetts, considering said candidate is going to face a sitting congressman either Ed Markey or Stephen Lynch that is doubly so.

That means you can’t make stupid or rookie mistakes if you want to win such a race.

So can someone tell me why the GOP is holding their straw poll at a YACHT CLUB?

“America sent a message to the Republican party in November of 2012. And the message is we have to be inclusive, we have to be relevant to women, we have to be relevant to millennials, we have to be relevant to new Americans,” Winslow said. “So I think that the symbolism of being in a country club and requiring people to pay to vote is absolutely the wrong message to send.”

Now Straw Polls are usually fundraising devices so that’s not all that unusual but the following line from the GOP simply floored me.

“Well if they want to pay to host the event, they’re more than welcome to,” said Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Kirsten Hughes. She said the event was not a fundraiser and said the $10 per ballot was to cover the cost of the event — such as staffing and refreshments.

Basic math says that the 193 voters paid $1930 for the event. It what does it say that the Mass GOP found it necessary to charge admission to cover a $2000 bill? Both candidates for GOP Chairman in January boasted of their fundraising skills and reaching out to voters. Nothing says I’m a killer fundraiser like having to grab $10 a head to hold a straw poll (apparently they decided against a meat raffle because my local Knights of Columbus council had one yesterday). When you are facing connected insiders like Lynch & Markey, you want your candidate to run as a regular guy.

I don’t know who told the mass GOP “Nothing says regular guy to the voters like the words ‘Yacht Club'” but whoever did should stuffing envelopes from now on.

It’s only the top of the first so there is plenty of time, but you are an underdog playing the champs, you don’t have a margin of error for more of this.


Olimometer 2.52

This pay week has 5 hours to go and I am just under $200 shy.

10 people @ $20 gives me that gigantic $300 paycheck. Personally I think if the mass GOP invested $300 a week in the site they would have gotten better advice. Hold the event elsewhere, Find a donor to cover the cost and if you want to charge admission to make sure nobody stuffs the ballot box donate the money to the Jimmy Fund.

If that advice wasn’t worth $200 I’d like to know what is?

One upon a time there was a team that hadn’t won a championship in a long time.

That team acquired a quarterback, a quarterback who had led his previous team to a National title.

The quarterback led team to win after win, he was much beloved by the fans of the team.

But all was not well, Despite his success the quarterback on the field, he was derided by members of the media and the elites who downplayed his skills considered his victory’s flukes and mocked his behavior on and off the field and confidently predicted his failure.

The cries did not lesson when his team won the division. The critiques screamed all the louder and hoped for his failure. Even as the team won the wild card game they confidently predicted his failure as he headed to the 2nd round of the playoffs

They were rewarded his team was unable to win the divisional game. They urged his team to cut loose the quarterback and replace him. Despite his success management didn’t think highly of the quarterback sought a new one trading the first quarterback to another team.

The team signed a different quarterback who had a team to a National title for 18 million dollars.

The different quarterback lead his new team to win after win, he was much beloved by the fans of the team.

Unlike the first quarterback the second quarterback was treated differently. His success on the field and behavior off it, was celebrated by the members of the media. The elites praised his considerable sills, attributed the victory’s to him and confidently predicted his continued success

Meanwhile the elite’s hatred of the first quarterback still burned. That laughed as his new team refused to start him. When their starting QB replaced due to failure they promoted the 3rd string QB over him. When the 3rd string QB went down with an injury before the last day game of the season his new team refused to start him and finished the season tied for last place with the first quarterback on the bench without starting a single game.

But as far as his old franchise was concerned the first quarterback was old news. The new quarterback continued to win and the praise of all only continued when his team won the division and the accolades came all the louder as the team secured a first round bye. They anticipated his success as his team headed into the 2nd round of the playoffs with a bye.

And then with the game on the line, the quarterback that was considered a candidate for MVP. The quarterback that they paid more than 11 times more than the first quarterback threw a key interception and lost in the playoffs.

The extra 16.89 million dollars the team paid bought them one less playoff victory than the year before.

The two quarterbacks if you haven’t figured it out by now are Tim Tebow & Peyton Manning the team is the Denver Broncos.

Both Quarterbacks played hard, they conducted themselves professionally and honorably on and off the field but one was loved by the elites and one was not. Why?

The elite culture can abide almost anything, even belief and faith in Christ as long as it is not public and unafraid. Tim Tebow not only loves Jesus Christ and tries his best to walk in his ways but he loves Christ instead of the culture that the media and the elites rule and feed off and does so publicly and unafraid.

That’s a crime they will never forgive.

I’ll give the last word to Denver fans via twitter:

Today we are hearing a lot about the baseball sports writers sending a “strong message” concerning steroids with the HOF votes today.

Roger Clemens & Barry Bonds who might have been expected to breeze into the Hall of fame both failed to manage even 40% falling behind Tim Raines at 52% in his 6th year on the ballot clearly proving that as far as the BBWA voters are concerned steroids are a whole lot worse than cocaine. This should be no surprise as Mark McGuire in his 7th year on the ballot finished with only 16.9%

I think I’ll wait till next year to make a HOF judgement as it’s not unusual for people to withhold a 1st ballot vote based on any kind of scandal but to those who are talking about how it sends a “strong signal” I laugh at you.

Bonds and Clemens and all the other players who took performance did so to enhance or extend their careers. According to Baseball during his last 10 years in baseball Clemens made over 100 Million dollars. Barry Bonds over his last 10 years made over $140 Million dollars.

And how many other players who you’ll never see on a HOF ballot walked away from the game with millions of dollars they otherwise would never have seen because of steroid use?

Meanwhile I suspect very few of the writers who voted have ever made seven figures during any year of their lives.

I think that marginal players given the choice of making millions for a few years with the drugs or not will take the dough every time. I suspect Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro et/al given the choice of being filthy rich for life and having the baseball writers of America vote against them vs being moderately well off and getting the writers votes, will take the money and laugh.

As for my ballot if I had one; I would have voted for Biggio, Lee Smith, Schilling, Edgar Martinez and Bernie Williams. Trammel & Morris would have been close calls for me and I’m curious how the financial business affected Schilling’s numbers.

On a side note I can’t believe Bernie Williams, Yankee though he is, didn’t even manage the 5% to stay on the ballot. As a Red Sox fan I would be afraid any time he came to the plate.

Update: Ed Morrissey has some thoughts

I don’t follow college sports so I don’t care one jot that Notre Dame was crushed and humiliated by Alabama last night, but if you are I have one bit of advice.

If you are a Catholic who is more troubled by Notre Dame’s loss to Alabama than you were by the scandals involving the Pro Abortion President as commencement speaker and supporters of Emily’s (Abortion) List on the board then might a suggest an hour before the blessed sacrament to pray for decrement

Somehow When I saw this scene from On the Waterfront

I never thought of Women’s Olympic Badminton

Badminton pairs expelled from London 2012 Olympics after ‘match-fixing’ scandal

apparently money was not involved

The International Olympic Committee has taken unprecedented steps to tackle match-fixing in the London Games, with president Jacques Rogge describing it as the biggest threat to the integrity of the Games.

There is no suggestion of any betting associated with the matches, but the fact players appeared willing to manipulate results is arguably more corrosive to the reputation of the Games.

Who knew that badminton had a seedy underside to it?


The DaTechGuy Fundraiser is winding down.

Any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.

Blogcon ended with a combination of Pizza and Bowling or what people outside of Massachusetts call bowling anyway.

I regret to say that I did not acquit myself well with the big balls but it was a fun time nonetheless. It’s the company that makes the night and I have very good company.

Update: Video, we’ve got VIDEO!

As the latest edition of the Superbowl gets ready to begin I marvel at the marketing wisdom of the NFL.

When it comes down to it football has a lot going against it.

1. Unlike Baseball, Basketball or Hockey It is a “team” sport with two separate components (offense, defense) and even special teams an independent unit from these. They are distinct and tends to direct credit or blame away from “team” and toward that unit.

2. It doesn’t have the flow of Hockey or Basketball where play only stops for a foul, infraction or a time out. By its nature it is interrupted.

3. It has a short season, compared to other sports, only 16 games.

4. It is extremely violent and dangerous sport, yet with rules to protect some players while leaving others vulnerable. It doesn’t even have the interesting twist of Hockey that actually allows fights to go on.

5. And worst of all, the players most key to victory get very little credit. The one thing you can’t do without in a football team is a solid offensive line. You win or lose based on them, but because they don’t tackle, don’t catch and don’t run they get none of the credit while taking heavy punishment on every single play.

However Football for all it’s failings (it can’t hold a candle to Baseball but then again what can?) has the single biggest annual sporting event in the world, a game that captivates tens of millions. Why?

One very simple thing: A single winner take all game.

Baseball, Hockey and Basketball all have best of seven series for their titles. This allows for a lot more games. in the days before TV it meant a minimum of two home games for winner and loser to profit from and perhaps as many as 4. A best of seven tends to reward the best team and makes it less likely for a Cinderella to arise.

The Superbowl however as a single game, is different. Every great play and every mistake is magnified astronomically. While the best team will usually win because a single twist can change everything it gives the game more mystique.

Add to that excellent marketing, a Sunday game that most people have off and you have the ingredients for one of the greatest sports spectacles there is.

Update: Two superbowl comments.

1. The Patriots would not have had the chance for that final drive if Eli Manning took a knee twice and used up most of the clock.

2. There is something fundamentally wrong with a sport where there is a disincentive for a team to attempt to score. This is why football will always be inferior to any other major sport.

A lot has been written about today’s scheduled game between the Pats and Broncos, most of it along the lines of “Will God give Tebow” the win this Sunday.”

Tebow’s pronouncements on God’s indifference to football and the decimated secondary and poor defense of the Pats not withstanding this has been the topic of note in the area all week.

We’ve reached the point where it no longer matters what God is doing here, people believe God is doing something here and it’s gotten in their heads. The issue is now psychological.

If you are Bill Belichick no matter how disciplined your team is, this is a hard thing to counter, but I have a simple solution, fight psychology with more psychology.

If I’m Belichick I tell my players that President Obama has commented favorably on the Tim Tebow phenomenon.

You do is shortly before game time so the tweets can get out and spread, but not far enough away so the players can hear any White House denial and there is always the chance Obama might choose to say something along those lines rather than denying.

As the US women’s soccer team discovered and as Democratic campaigns around the nation have concluded there is nothing more poisonous than the support of Barack Obama.

If the word gets out to both teams in time then you will have the perfect counter psychologically speaking.

…now if we can just get that secondary to step up.

Update: Of course it helps if your opponents can’t hold on to the football and makes stupid penalties.

Let’s use our brains shall we?

The NBA is a multi-billion dollar industry.

The latest deal the owners have offered has been 47% of that multi-billion dollar industry.

That means that the players would have $470,000,000 of every billion dollars the league.

They want instead 53% $530,000,000.

There are 30 teams with 12-15 signed players (3 on practice squad) that’s 450 players splitting $470,000,000.

Forgetting who is right or wrong for a moment, as John Sable one said when told his finder’s fee of 30% was kind of high he answered as follows:

Depends on how you look at it. I’ve always thought 70% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

I think this is really driven by the agents and the superstars because a lot of average and marginal players are losing the best earning days of their lives for nothing.

stupid Stupid STUPID!

Author Terry Tibbetts spoke to me at the Herman Cain event in Manchester on the 19th

He also joined me for our salon at the Border, his book on College Football great and soldier Don HollederA Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder is available in paperback, hardcover and for the Kindle.

At baseball crank, (who I really need to link to more) they are asking what is the one sports event that you would want to go back and see.

His choice of game 7 (actually game 8) of the 1912 world series is a pretty good one (Giants Red Sox) the final game of one of the greatest world series ever played, but my choice is a less significant pair of games in the standing but more incredible in terms of drama.

In 1941 Ted Williams going into the final two games batting .3995 His manager offered to sit him since Major league Baseball rounds up, Williams was having none of it.

When he came to the plate the Catcher for the A’s (then in Philadelphia) informed him that Connie Mack (the manager/owner of the A’s) told the pitchers to “pitch to him” and not around him. Williams in the hottest spot he would be in outside of an airplane at war managed to go 6-8 in the double-header and get his average up to .406. Nobody has come within 15 points of him since, not Gwynn, not Boggs, not Brett, not Yaz, not Bonds, not Ichrio. not Carew not nobody.

And he did this in an 8 team league without expansion pitching.

Being that football isn’t baseball I have very little interest or coinage involved if they bother to play a season or not next year, but I was rather surprised to read this story:

The NFL and its players’ union agreed to federal mediation Thursday in an effort to help settle the labor dispute that is threatening to lead to a lockout of players in as little as two weeks.

This is such a wise and sensible move that I’m totally shocked that the players and owners managed to do it. The amount of revenue generated by football is incredible and there is no reason why these two sides can agree to an acceptable split that keeps them both rich.

I assumed the NFL would do something stupid to threaten the money pot, it might still happen but for now they just might have figured out that quibbling over millions while people are hurting is bad PR.