Archive | July 2013

Football, Boxing, and Preordained Popularity

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 29, 2013

It’s over. Yes, our national nightmare is over.

NFL training camps have opened across the country, meaning football is now fully back in our lives for the next six months. It seems like eons ago that Ray Lewis and company out-gritted the 49ers to capture the Super Bowl title, and now that it’s August, players and fans alike can entertain thoughts of Super Bowl grandeur.

That is, unless you’re Jeremy Maclin. Or Dennis Pitta. Or Dan Koppen. The opening of training camps across the country also signals the last time any NFL players are completely healthy. Read More…

Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, and the Expectations of Young Quarterbacks

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 26, 2013

The NFL currently has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to young quarterbacks. The two drafts prior to 2013 saw the league add Andrew Luck, RGIII, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden, Nick Foles, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, and Blaine Gabbert to the list of starting NFL quarterbacks, all with varying degrees of success (or, in Gabbert’s case, no success). This influx of young quarterbacks is special in how many of them have experienced immediate success at the NFL level. Luck, Kaepernick, Wilson, RGIII, Dalton, and Ponder have all either won playoff games or at least led their respective teams to the playoffs. (Although it’s tough to say Ponder “led” the Vikings to the post season. Adrian Peterson mostly dragged him there.) Read More…

Trout, Pujols, Hamilton: The Cost of Salary Dumping

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 24, 2013.

Some fun with numbers:

2014: $23M

2015: $24M

2016: $25M

2017: $26M

2018: $27M

2019: $28M

2020: $29M

2021: $30M

Those are the yearly salaries left for Albert Pujols during the duration of his mammoth 10 year $240 million contract he signed with the LA Angels a little over a year and a half ago. For those of you that left your TI-84 in your other pants, that comes out to a startling $212 million to be paid to Pujols over the next eight years. That’s a number that would make Merle Gorden blush. Read More…

Brian Kenny, Max Scherzer, and #KilltheWin

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 22, 2013

If you follow Brian Kenny on twitter, then you too have been inundated over the past few weeks with tweets about killing the win or the save or the RBI or whatever other “traditional” stat is on Kenny’s mind that day. Kenny has become somewhat of a spokesman for the sabermetric community since moving from ESPN to MLB Network. Lately, he has become one of the leading voices arguing that the traditional stats like wins, saves, and RBI have no place in baseball discourse and should be stricken from the backs of baseball cards (they still make those right?), in-game television graphics and box scores. Read More…

Chris Davis: Why MLB Players Should Be Considered Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 18, 2013

America loves a comeback story, and this year the big comeback story in baseball is Chris Davis, he of the 37 home runs before the all-star break. In truth, the comeback began last season, when Davis emerged from the Quad-A doldrums to post a .270/.326/.501 slash line with 33 long balls. But it wasn’t until this season that baseball fans really began to take notice, and with good reason. Davis has been the most valuable hitter this side of Miguel Cabrera, upping his slash line to .315/.392/.717 (a 1.109 OPS!) to go with the 37 homers before the break. It’s a fantastic story; a once ballyhooed prospect finally makes good on his immense potential to become one of the most feared sluggers in the game. Read More…

Wayne Rooney the Right Move at the Right Time for Chelsea

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on July 17, 2013

There are a lot of words that can describe the Roman Abromovich era at Chelsea, but patience has not typically been one of them. But patience is exactly what the newly reunited Abromovich-Jose Mourinho pairing has shown during this transfer window. Aside from the under-the-radar additions of Andre Schurrle and youngster Marco van Ginkel to the plethora of midfield options already on the squad, Chelsea has been relatively quiet during the close season. Despite the need for a top class forward to go along with all that midfield talent, Chelsea has sat back as prized forwards Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani signed for exorbitant fees with French adversaries Monaco and PSG respectively. Even dropping to the next tier of potentially available strikers, Chelsea has not been seriously connected to a move for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, or Christian Benteke. Read More…

Dwight Howard and True Silliness

It’s now July, which means the NBA’s silly season is now upon us. As with any good silly season, most of the media attention has been focused around the thoughts and decisions of one man. In 2010, LeBron James started the trend of having all potential suitors come to him to ask him to prom make their pitch as to why their team is the best destination for the player. The 2011 class didn’t feature any free agents with enough star power to draw this kind of attention. In 2012, it was Deron Williams who commanded the attention of the sports world en route to signing with the Brooklyn Nets. This year, it’s everyone’s favorite whipping boy Dwight Howard garnering all the attention. Read More…