- My friend Jono (no relation to Bill Simmon’s friend Jacko) is the only true boxing fan I know. I personally like boxing and I will always watch a fight on ESPN Classic if it is on, but Jono is the one who actually stays on top of the whole thing. Anyway, we were discussing the upcoming Pacquiao/Hatton fight when the discussion came to ticket prices. Front seats cost 10,700 dollars. On the flip side, the worst seats in the back, they still cost 268 dollars. So which one is more ridiculous, especially in this economy? On one hand 10,700 dollars is just ridiculous. Who the hell has that kind of money? 268 dollars on the other hand gets you crappy seats with obstructed views, but at least you’re not out almost 11 thousand dollars plus you can still tell people you saw a fight live. Anyway, my pick? I think I’m going to wait for it to come on ESPN Classic. Kind of a cop out, but who the hell still has that kind of money to blow anyway?
- I just spent a few hours (or it felt like hours) arguing over fantasy baseball stat categories with my friends. Anyway, that led to a discussion about the importance of wins as a stat category. It is, after all, the most celebrated stat for pitchers with 300 wins being the equivalent of 500 homeruns for hitters. Anyway, this isn’t news for those of you who love the stats, but wins are actually a terrible metric for how good a pitcher was or is. That’s because it has so little to do with a pitcher’s actual performance. Listen, last year Matt Cain had an era of 3.76. He ended the year with 8 wins. Meanwhile, Ted Lilly had an era of 4.09 and had…17 wins. Cain had more strikeouts while Lilly had a much better whip. Ultimately, those two guys both had very good seasons. However, many people would tell you that Lilly was the better pitcher because he had more than double the wins of Cain. However, all the other stats as I’ve posted, show them to be about equal if not the slight edge going to Cain. The only reason the wins are higher is because Ted Lilly plays for the Cubs who score runs like crazy while Matt Cain plays for the Giants who only score enough runs to avoid being sent down to Triple A. So having wins is really just a way to penalize a player whose teammates are not so good and to reward guys who play for winning teams. Anyway, I argued that as a result, wins should not be used as a category, because to me fantasy sports is all about creating a team of players that you think can beat your friend’s collection of players. Thus, all that matters are the players you choose, not so much their situations, because after all, this is a fantasy team. So what happened after giving my impassioned speech? It was a success! Ok actually…it was shouted down and we’re still having wins as a category. It is what it is.
- My best friend is a huge Portland Trailblazer fan so I had to make sure I was there to watch his Blazers play my Lakers. Of course rather than have a nice, clean, close game we had the Blazer blow out LA and have the whole game marred by Ariza sending Rudy Fernandez to a hospital and a fight breaking out that included Lamar Odom leaving the bench and ultimately being suspended for doing so. First of all, I saw the play where Ariza knocked Rudy down. Its one of those plays where if the timing was better it is an amazing block. Instead Ariza was late and Rudy was taken off a stretcher. It wasn’t a dirty play, but since Ariza was so far behind Rudy, it was a reckless one. So what it comes down to was that Ariza wasn’t thinking and ended up with that reckless act of knocking him down. This isn’t a defense of Ariza by the way. My point is that he should have been suspended for not thinking. This is the NBA, which is the best league in the world. If you forget to think and you injure a player, you should be penalized for having been caught not thinking. If he is penalized, then he’ll think twice before doing something like that. If he’s not, then he probably won’t. Sometimes it is that simple.
- Man, the Raiders decided not to sign Khalif Barnes or Terrell Owens leading to a variety of speculation about what they will do with their first round draft pick. It is kind of understandable that they didn’t want to do anything that would decide their draft pick just yet, but they effectively lost out on two decent players to take a huge risk on some college player who by the way would only be able to fill one of those two holes on their team. I guess I cannot stress how fun it is to be a Raiders fan, because they just keep you wondering day after day…
- Shaquille O’Neal needs to come out and say something random that’s good about the NBA. We need this guy spending more time talking about what he’s done or what is good about the league and less about how much he doesn’t respect Stan Van Gundy or Dwight Howard. This guy has the potential to be great ambassador for the game when he retires, and I really hope he doesn’t burn all his bridges before he gets the chance.
- That’s all for the Tuesday Ramblings. I’m sorry the number of posts has gone down in the last few weeks, but I have finals coming up next week so it is what it is. Some of you have been clamoring for a return from my co-writer Ankur. Let me just say, he is busy scouting a really great prospect in Tibet right now. I can’t wait to see what he says about that guy. Apparently, it is quite the journey, which will make for quite the story. Good times.