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11 Jan

Tebowmania is sweeping the nation, with some going as far as wondering if he’s the second coming. A more reasonable question is if he’s a legitimate NFL quarterback? By looking into each component of what makes a good quarterback, I hope to help answer the latter question, while ignoring former one.

Let’s start with winning-percentage. Continue reading

Is GSP Still the Best?

4 Jan

There is no discrediting Georges St-Pierre’s accomplishments in MMA and the victories that have secured his place as an all-time great and current top three pound-for-pound fighter. But with that said, there is also no denying his biggest victories are no longer over the top fighters in the welterweight division. There is now, finally a new group of welterweights ready to take a shot at his throne.

John Hendricks was able to take the luster off St-Pierre’s biggest victory on Friday night by accomplishing two equally impressive feats in one punch: knocking out Jon Fitch and making a Fitch fight exciting. Continue reading

Edwin Jackson’s Value

4 Jan

There are 3 reasons why Edwin Jackson is about to make a bunch of money: he’s an above-average pitcher; he’s in his prime; Scott Boras is his agent. Boras, according to an a study by, earns his clients an extra 14 percent over market value, and in-prime above-average pitchers never sign for less than 10 million a year for fewer than 3 years. Making 3 years 34 million a minimum after the Boras factor. But the market for starting pitching may be collapsing after the signings of CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, and many of the bargain options. Jackson is at risk of becoming the next Johnny Damon Continue reading

Clubhouse Confidential

1 Jan

Clubhouse Confidential, weeknights at5:30 pm on the MLB network, accomplishes something I thought was as unlikely to happen on a baseball show as another player hitting .400 is on the baseball field. It provides insightful, easily understandable analysis  and all the while remains entertaining without lowering itself to pitting two polarizing figures arguing a’ la everything on ESPN.

Brian Kenny compliments the show’s SABR slant because he is not some baseball outsider trying to be Billy Beane’s character in the Moneyball movie. The show is for Continue reading

Happy Retirement, Brock

1 Jan

Brock Lesnar was never shy about his motivation for becoming mixed martial artist; he wanted to make money and feed his competitive urge. He was able to accomplish those goals and claim a UFC Heavyweight title along the way.

Lesnar’s relationship with the UFC was a mutually beneficial one. They made him one of the sport’s highest paid fighters and he provided them with some of their best Pay-Per-View numbers. Maybe he was pushed into the title picture before he was ready or deserving, but Continue reading

2011 in MMA

29 Dec

Fighter of the Year: Jon Jones

Whether you love him for his in-cage brilliance, or hate him for his incessant arrogance, Jones is the definitive choice for the award. He finished his four fights in 2011, three of them against legends (“Rampage” Jackson, “Lyoto” Machida, and “Shogun” Rua), and the other against the then undefeated Ryan Bader.  Like his freakish reach, Jones’ Continue reading

Baseball’s Free Agency

27 Dec

Baseball free-agent classes are determined to be strong or weak based on the quality of the players available in a given off-season. What is sometimes lost in this assessment is that there is not a direct correlation between the quality of players available and the marginal return that player provides. For example Albert Pujols is sure prove a more productive signing this off-season than Casey Kotchman, but at 26 million a season versus an estimated 5 million, not more valuable.

To relate this to a different market, stock-brokers have proven no more effective at picking stocks than random selection; what this proves is Continue reading

Joe Saunders

24 Dec

Baseball Prospectus may rescind my membership for this statement, but I’m going to say it anyways: I don’t think Joe Saunders is a bad pitcher. In fact, I think his career 69-52 record, and 4.16 ERA prove he’s a pretty good pitcher. Sure Saunders doesn’t have swing and miss stuff, and his career FIP is half a run higher than his ERA; however, did he deserve to be derided as worthless when he was traded to the Diamondbacks or non-tendered by the same team after a season with an ERA of 3.69 in 2011?
As much as I love statistical analysis, I’m not in love with Continue reading

UFC 136

10 Oct

Anthony Pettis was given a lay up of a fight, and after a lucky bounce, it went in. He was supposed to outclass the slower and less technical Jeremy Stephens; instead he outwrestled him, kinda. Pettis certainly has potential, but he’s a long way from getting back that title shot he lost in the Clay Guida fight.

Jorge Santiago cannot compete against top UFC middle weights. He was outstruck by Brian Stann and outgrappled saturday night against Demian Maia. Maia’s takedowns were impressive, but his striking defense is going to leave him looking like…

Melvin Guillard was sloppy against Shane Roller, but his athleticism saved him, he was sloppy against Joe Lauzon and he was tapped out for his troubles. I don’t think this fight says anything we didn’t suspect: Lauzon is dangerous and Guillard needs to focus more. It’s a shame too, because he still might be the best 155er in the world.

I didn’t care much for the Leonard Garcia v. Nam Pham fight as much as some others. Typical Garcia fare; it was entertaining for sure, but this is starting to feel like another sequel to an bad action movie: excitement, but not much substance. Pham looked polished, I’d like to see if he’s improved his takedown defense.

Chael Sonnen looked as expected. Have to give credit to Brian Stann for avoiding a takedown attempt, and getting back to his feet. He also landed a good blow, but just couldn’t keep the fight standing. Sonnen is working his ground game. Watch out Anderson Silva, and also your wife.

Kenny Florian took Jose Aldo into deep water thinking Aldo would break…he didn’t. Aldo outstruck and outgrappled Florian en route to a lackluster decision. Florian didn’t choke, he just lacked the skill set to hurt Aldo whose obvious weakness is takedown defense and cardio. Aldo will lose to Chad Mendes if  the same fighter who has shown up the last couple fights shows up agaisnt him.

Gray Maynard couldn’t do what Joe Lauzon could: finish a hurt opponent with a submission. This has failed him twice now against Frankie Edgar. Why has Maynard been able to tag Edgar twice in the first round? No idea. It became even more evident this fight, after Maynard wisely did not punch himself out in the first, that Edgar is the superior striker and all-around fighter. He has top level wrestling and striking combined with a great scrambling and cardio.

So Aldo is too big for 145 and Edgar is too small for 155? Superfight at 150.

Eliminate Unwritten Rules

19 Sep

After Victor Ortiz hit Floyd Mayweather with his best shot of the night, a seemingly intentional head butt, Mayweather decided to ignore the unwritten rule in boxing that you don’t strike your opponent when he’s trying to touch gloves. Instead, Mayweather clocked Ortiz twice, and hastened his inevitable victory. It was a brazen blow against sportsmanship, and unwritten rules in general. Sports is filled with unwritten rules, but maybe it’s time they’re written into the rule book, or eliminated entirely.

Baseball may have more unwritten rules than written ones; one being you’re not supposed to steal bases on a team when you’re blowing out. This rule never made sense to me. Homerun hitters feast on the opposing teams mop-up pitchers, so why not the speedsters? In a 162 game war of attrition, the more runs you score, the less you have to use your good relief pitchers, and the better chance you have to win tomorrow. If your catcher can’t throw them out, maybe you need a new catcher.

Airing the ball out when you’re up big in football is considered to be unsportsmanlike. This can be subjective, but think up by more than 3 touchdowns. Breaking a division rivals will with a 60 yard bomb is one thing, but padding your stats on a cellar dweller is quite another. There’s too much risk for injuring in the NFL, and besides being unsportsmanlike, risking your player’s health for some guys fantasy team is plain stupid.

Soccer is particularly confusing. Players routinely fake injuries in order to get penalty picks, so much so that you can actually get a yellow card for doing it. However, if a player goes down with a real injury on the field, the other team is expected to kick the ball out of bounds rather than take advantage of the opportunity. This is a great system of self policing but it only works when…

What Mayweather did was the equivalent of the kid in touch football who fakes a touchback and then runs the ball back for a touchdown when the other team isn’t paying attention. Only what Mayweather did is worse. Imagine Reggie Bush pulling that shit on a group of Pop Warner kids, with the crowd paying 55 bucks a pop to see it.

Regardless of the logic behind them, unwritten rules are supposed to help enforce the integrity of the sport; this is not the era of integrity. Hell, everyone’s favorite sportsman, Derek Jeter, faked getting hit by a pitch last season so he could get a walk, and he was mostly lauded for his “veteran guile.” It’s time to make any unwritten rule that is integral to the sport a written rule, and respect athletes decision to ignore the rest. So I say steal that extra base, throw that extra touchdown, and as Mayweather said after the fight: “Keep yourself protected at all times.”