Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Can Chemistry Save the Patriots?



I'm going on record as saying the Patriots are definitely guilty of using footballs that were below the required PSI by the NFL. I'm a little conflicted about how bad that is, as I'm really not sure about the details of the ball-checking process -- or if other teams do this normally -- but suffice to say, the Patriots were outside the rules for reasons that are totally unnecessary, thus tainting their legacy further.

HOWEVER, there's been some talk about how the weather can affect the pressure inside a football. I want to do some sweet calculations and see if there's any credibility to this line of thinking. I'm not a chemist, like some special guests I know, but I'll take a crack at this. Our special guest can feel free to comment if I'm wrong (or right!).

The Entire Media Sucks: Especially on Deflategate

Earlier today, blog favorite and Deadspin hot-take artist Drew Magary wrote a long piece making fun of different sports columnists and their awful Deflategate takes. Like most of his pieces, it was funny, used ALL CAPS successfully, and tried to not be a hot take while really being a hot take.

Here, Magary's take was, of course, that awful sportswriters have over-the-top takes and shitty puns to make about Deflategate. The real take should be, of course, the media -- who has literally two weeks of content to find about one game -- will blow a story out of proportion. This is how media works: every paper and site has to churn out content day after day regardless of the actual news value of that content. This is why eleven days before the Super Bowl, the media has not found anything more interesting to do than pearl clutch about deflated balls and think of the children. That's the domain of hacky sports writers with two weeks of stories to write.

Deadspin and other snarky blogs are no different. There are currently five different posts on Deadspin's main page about Deflategate. Deadspin and places like KissingSuzyKolber aren't as different from traditional media sites as they want you to believe. They are running a business. Their business relies on people clicking on their links and subliminally buying the ads that are hidden on the page. That's why every sports writer has to come up with a take on this story, whether it's making fun of other people for having takes or screaming for some accountability and justice. Each site might have different content and angles they take, but they are all guilty of milking every possible page view out of a story.

Deadspin's biggest fault is that they try and pretend that's not the case. But every time any big story happens, they trot out Magary for his quick "Balls Deep" take. Deadspin is just as guilty as your local columnist -- they are just funnier and more "edgy." Great, yay, in the end it's all the same. As long as  media sites are tied to a business model that demands as many page views as possible, we will see everyone's take, from the pearl clutching to the takenami to the nerds in the basement making fun of everyone else's takes. The twenty-four-hour news cycle is awful. This is not news.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Greatest Players in Franchise History: Baseball



A few weeks ago, the Writers of this Blog were talking about the greatest players in different football franchises' histories. Some franchises who have been around for a very long time have some arguably terrible GOATs, and it got us thinking: we should write this up for the blog. Instead of doing football, however, I'm going to stick to the sport I know best. Baseball is the easiest to determine because a player's contribution is more quantifiable in baseball than in any other sport. So we'll see how it goes with this one and maybe do other sports later.

Also, we're doing entire franchise histories here. Like, the Twins will include the Washington Senators. For funsies, for each team that has changed names, I'll give the greatest player in that team's current iteration as well.

Baltimore Orioles: With all due respect to Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Jr. takes this crown. Much more than the streak, impressive as that is, he belted over 400 home runs and had a career OPS+ of 112, the vast majority of the time playing shortstop.