Archive | August 2013

Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez, TNSTAAPP, And The Volatile Nature Of Starting Pitchers

Originally posted to isportstimes.com on August 30, 2013

Nobody ever wants to see a pitcher get injured, and the latest injury to Mets ace Matt Harvey puts an unfortunate end to the season for one of the most exciting pitchers in the game. This unfortunate injury comes a season after the controversial early shutdown of another phenom pitcher, Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg. Both instances have stirred up debate on how to best handle young starting pitchers. There’s the old school of thinking that says pitchers should constantly be throwing to build arm strength for a long season. There’s also the new school of thinking that says pitchers need to be brought along slowly, building their innings count season by season, and never throwing to many pitches in a start. There are many examples of both methods working, and there are also tons of examples of both methods failing miserably. So the question remains: what is the best way to handle young pitchers? Read More…

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Brian Kenny, Bill Simmons, And Bridging The Gap: Contextualizing Sabermetrics

Origianally posted to isportstimes.com on August 29, 2013

I recently wrote a column on the coexistence of sabermetrics and traditional statistics. But let’s be honest, my opinions in this tiny little corner of the Internet are barely a drop in the bucket that is the battle of sabermetrics versus traditional statistics. Over the past decade, sabermetrics has had a meteoric rise from being known as the stuff people practice in their moms’ basements to being considered the only lens through which to intelligently understand baseball. Now, everything is coming to a head in the battle of sabermetrics versus traditional statistics. Read More…

Ranking The “Team” In Team Sports

Originally posted to isportstimes.com on August 28, 2013

It’s a team game.

As clichés go, the one above is one of the most common ones you’ll here athletes and coaches say. Win or lose, everyone is always quick to point out that it’s a team game, one single person is not responsible for the win/loss, everyone played an important role, etc. Like any good sports cliché, there is a modicum of truth that gives rise to the cliché. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer; they are all by definition team sports. But not all team sports are created equally. Some team sports are more, um, “team” than others. That is, in some sports, a single player can have much more of an impact while other sports are designed to not allow one player to completely determine the outcome of a game or season. Read More…

The Beautiful Game: How European Soccer Is Staking Its Claim As A Major Sport In America

Originally posted to isportstimes.com on August 23, 2013

Although the NFL season has yet to hit full swing, last week was a big one in the sports world. Over the weekend, NBC Sports rolled out its coverage of the Barclays Premier League, showing matches all over their affiliate networks and through their online viewing app. Also this past weekend, Fox unveiled their overly self-hyped, ESPN-killer channel Fox Sports 1. In their first days as a full-fledged 24-hour sports channel, Fox Sports 1 came out of the gate with its Fox Soccer Daily show receiving a prime place at 4:00pm every weekday. These new soccer-centric cable offerings are the continuation of a process that has been gaining momentum at a glacier’s pace over the past 50 years. Read More…

Blurred Lines: How The NFL Is Beginning To Resemble Video Game Football

Originally posted to isportstimes.com on August 21, 2013

The pace of play is fast. There’s no huddling up; play’s are called and changed at the line of scrimmage. There are always at least three receivers on the field, and the quarterback is usually in the shotgun. Most plays feature a lot of short crossing patters with at least one guy going long to keep the defense honest. Sure, the teams run the ball occasionally, but now teams pass to set up the running game rather than the other way around. Actually, the most important thing for the running back to do is be a receiving threat out of the backfield. Read More…

Stranger in a Strange Land

Originally posted at isportstimes.com on August 16, 2013

I’ve had a very eventful 21 years as a sports fan. My first sports memories are this and this. I had the privilege of watching LeBron James seemingly shrink the court with his patented one-man fast breaks as well as the privilege of watching Brady Quinn check down again and again on third and long.

So they may not all be great memories, but I certainly have a lot of them. But even as football, basketball, and baseball have demanded an unhealthy portion of my time, I can’t help but feel like I haven’t quite experienced sports fandom to the fullest. Read More…

“Sources”: No Funny Business Between Andrei Kirilenko and Mikhail Prokhorov

Originally posted to isportstimes.com on August 14, 2013

The Brooklyn Nets have been the talk of the NBA this offseason after acquiring Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry from the Celtics to pair with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson to form a formidable contender to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.

Perhaps just as important for the Nets was signing forward Andrei Kirilenko to a one year, $3.2 million contract with a player option for next year. Kirilenko’s ability to defend both guards and forwards makes his addition paramount for Brooklyn to keep Pierce and KG healthy for an extended playoff run.

However, the $3.2 million Kirilenko (I hate typing that name out, let’s go with AK47 from here on out) will make is a far cry from the $10.2 million option he declined from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Naturally, with this being the NBA and the Nets being owned by Russian billionaire/demigod Mikhail Prokhorov, the conspiracy theories started flying. Read More…