Content about sports

Legendary center fielder Mays dies at age 93 (espn.com)

In his 22-year career, Mays was selected to 24 All-Star games.

Read that closely. It may be the most Willie Mays stat of all time.

R.I.P. to the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays.

tags: sports baseball mlb obituary

posted by matt in Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Man pleads guilty in Bama baseball betting case (espn.com)

This is sad to see, but not surprising in the least. I suspect we’ll see many more stories like this as gambling on college sports continues to grow.

The cynic in me wonders what odds FanDuel will give on whether or not the disgraced and fired former coach is “Individual 1.”

Seems like a sure thing to me.

tags: sports gambling

posted by matt in Thursday, February 1, 2024

Hockey players are just built different. We’re watching the Bruins play the Blue Jackets, and a Bruins player just left the ice with a busted (literally!) lip. He returned to play rather quickly, after some stitch work. The broadcast showed a segment from the on-ice reporter a few minutes later, showing a gloved hand holding a chipped tooth that they had located on the ice. Apparently it was more than a busted lip!

tags: sports hockey nhl

postposted by matt in Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Sources: Padres' Marcano faces ban for betting (espn.com)

The potential ban of Marcano comes in the wake of the NBA handing down a ban to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for disclosing confidential information to bettors, limiting his participation in at least one game and betting on NBA games while playing in the G League.

Lifetime Ban.

It was only a matter of time, in this current environment where in-game announcers report on current odds for games, until we heard those words again.

Lifetime Ban for betting on baseball.

This story is both shocking and unsurprising.

It will be important to keep track of this and other stories relating to athletes gambling on their sports because I think MLB and the sports media industry will do everything in their power to downplay them. Indeed, ESPN kind of checked its swing in its reporting, so far, on the story about Tucupita Marcano – the linked article doesn't link to the original report from the Wall Street Journal about Marcano and, perhaps more interestingly, links to the ESPN team page for the Toronto Raptors in the text above about the NBA ban for Jontay Porter instead of linking to an ESPN story about that ban. At least it doesn't link to a page showing the current odds on Thursday's opening game in the NBA Finals.

Despite their efforts to downplay it, fans – and gamblers – can't ignore it.

I think we can at least rely on ESPN to announce the presence of sports betting every time it takes the field. Completely ignoring a story like this would destory any bit of news credibility the network has left. It still fashions itself as a news outlet on some level. Make no mistake, though, ESPN will not give us detailed, in-depth reporting as individual gambling stories appear in the coming years. That would be actual journalism, something the entertainment network abandoned a long time ago.

And if there's any doubt about that, consider this – SportsCenter ran a segment on the Marcano story below the fold this morning. Think about that. SportsCenter, the flagship current news program on the leading sports media network made a programming decision to push a report on a potential lifetime ban in Major League Baseball, something that hasn't been an issue in decades, to the back half of the show the day after the story broke. And this when the NBA and NHL playoffs, the two major sports events in the United States right now, are paused for a few days before the respective finals get underway later this week. There's literally nothing happening in either playoffs right now.

Journalists would pursue the Marcano story vigorously and give it the proper spotlight on the front page and as a lead story on SportsCenter. ESPN, of course, views it differently. After all, it operates ESPN Bet, its "official sportsbook." The network clearly stands to benefit from starving this story, and any story about problems arising from sports gambling, of oxygen. The problem for us, as news-hungry sports fans, is that the network, as the 800-pound gorilla of sports news, has its hand tightly gripped on the valve controlling flow.

Maybe we'll get a 30 for 30 documentary on the whole thing in a few years.

Surely that will save face.

tags: sports journalism espn mlb nba gambling

posted by matt in Tuesday, June 4, 2024

MLB adds Negro Leagues stats, stirs record books (espn.com)

"The condensed 60-game season for the 2020 calendar year for the National League and American League prompted us to think that maybe the shortened Negro League seasons could come under the MLB umbrella, after all," Thorn said.

More good that came from the pandemic. This had to be an incredibly complex and fascinating research effort. Nice work, MLB!

tags: sports baseball mlb

posted by matt in Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bronny James, son of NBA superstar LeBron James, commits to the University of Southern California | CNN (cnn.com)

The guard, who played high school basketball at Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles, chose USC over Oregon and Ohio State.

My Buckeyes lost out. Or avoided the circus. Or both.

tags: sports basketball ohiostate

posted by matt in Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ah, the Detroit Lions did it again. Victory was seemingly in hand...until it wasn't. In the last minute I mentally prepared for overtime, assuming they would hold the Vikings to a game-tying field goal.

Nope. A defensive breakdown left a recover wide open in end zone to give Minnesota, with the extra point, a four point lead with forty-five seconds left.

So there's a chance, right? Yes, there was, indeed, a chance. The Lions even seemed to start a March down the field, but then it sputtered. And then it died when quarterback Jared Goff inexplicably pulled the trigger on the Hail Mary on third down, with time left on the clock for another play. Needless to say his pass was intercepted at the goal line, killing any chance the Lions had at winning.

Ah, yes, the Lions did it again.

tags: sports football nfl lions detroit

postposted by matt in Sunday, September 25, 2022

Aaron Judge, rightfully so, is all the talk on sports radio. Standing at 60 home runs for the season, it's only a matter of time until he catches and passes Roger Maris's single season home run record of 61.

There's another layer to the story, though, that most people aren't talking about. Yet.

Remember that Judge "bet on himself" before the season started, turning down a truckload of money from the Yankees and, in effect, choosing to use this season as a demonstration of his abilities before entering free agency after the season ends.

He's certainly made the best of it, too. The Yankees are now going to need a second truckload of money to keep him in pinstripes. Don't feel too bad for the Bombers, though. The team, no doubt, has loaded several trucks full of cash as Judge put butts in the seats, turned on televisions (and phones and tablets), and sold jerseys, hats, and all the other things.

I don't think Judge is going anywhere. He's a Yankee and will remain a Yankee. It's just a question of how many trucks the team brings to the table.

As a side note, I suspect Lamar Jackson, another superstar athlete who bet on himself by turning down a truckload of money, is watching intently as Judge makes the mold.

tags: sports baseball mlb yankees aaronjudge lamarjackson

postposted by matt in Thursday, September 22, 2022

Boy the Guardians are playing great baseball. They all but knocked the Twins out of the division race in the last series, taking four out of five. Tonight they kicked off a road series against the White Sox that stands to be the definitive set as the American League Central race winds down.

It took extra innings tonight, but the Guardians settled it in the 11th with an emphatic five run effort, ultimately winning 10-7.

It feels appropriate to say it while they're playing in the south side of Chicago — the kids can play.

Go Guardians!

tags: sports baseball mlb guardians cleveland cleguardians

postposted by matt in Wednesday, September 21, 2022

I broke a long-standing vow of mine yesterday.

Well, kind of.

Long ago, as a freshman at Ohio State, I left a football game in the fourth quarter as my beloved Buckeyes trailed LSU by 13 points. The game looked hopeless to me and my mates, so we decided to pack it in and head home early. When I eventually made it to my dorm room, I noticed my roommate glued to the tiny television in our common room. He glanced at me and my friends and gave us a simple "you're not going to believe this." We knew right away that the Buckeyes had somehow made a game of it, and then sat and watched—on television—the last few seconds of what is considered one of the greatest games ever played in Ohio Stadium.

I missed it. And I vowed right then and there to never again leave a game early.

And I haven't. Whenever we go to a sporting event, we stay to the end, no matter what. Usually we even stay a bit longer, especially for hockey games—you've got to see the three stars, after all.

Well, I broke that vow last night. Sort of.

Our beloved Toledo Walleye are playing in the ECHL Western Conference Finals. I watched the first period at Renee's parents' house, and it was awful. It's probably the worst twenty minutes of hockey I've ever seen a Walleye team play. They were down 0-4 at the end of the first, and I packed it in. Hopeless, I said, and left.

I couldn't watch the game at home (it's minor league hockey…streaming is a bit of a challenge), but checked the score later as I was headed to bed (they're playing in Utah, so the game was on relatively late). 2-4 half way through the third period.

Interesting.

I checked again with five minutes to go.

Tied.

Again.

Overtime.

Again.

Still tied.

Again.

Walleye win 5-4, about five minutes into the overtime period.

Damn! Probably one of the greatest comebacks in Toledo hockey history, in a playoff game no less, and I missed it!

But, technically, I wasn't at the game, so I didn't break my vow to never again leave a game early.

Right?

Anyways, the Walleye play again tonight and could win the series on the road. I'll be at Renee's parents' house again, and there's no way I'm leaving early.

No matter what.

tags: toledowalleye hockey echl sports ohiostatebuckeyes

postposted by matt in Saturday, May 28, 2022

Just watched the Lions and Steelers play to a tie, 16-16. The ten minutes of overtime had to be the worst ten minutes of pro football I've ever watched. Turnovers, penalties, a horribly missed field goal, and just plain sloppy play. It was an embarrassment for the league. It was hysterical, though.

And the the Lions didn't lose, so at least there's that.

tags: football nfl sports

postposted by matt in Sunday, November 14, 2021

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There's so much I love about hockey, but the post-game handshake line has to be near the top. While the NHL only does it at the end of a series, college players still line up at the end of every game and shake hands, just like the little kids playing pee wee. After beating the living daylights out of each other, each of these guys congratulated every opposing player and coach. It's such a hockey thing, and I love it.

tags: hockey sports tradition

photo posted by matt in Friday, November 5, 2021

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It's been awhile since we've been able to watch a game with the boys, so the Harvard game was great just from that perspective. But what a game! Harvard is ranked 8th, Cornell 14th, and it's an intense rivalry. Both teams have some incredible talent, and the small, nay, intimate, arena intensified everything. This was one of the best hockey games I've seen in years.

tags: harvard hockey sports

photo posted by matt in Friday, November 5, 2021

MLB in talks to launch nationwide streaming service for home games without cable TV (nypost.com)

MLB and NHL have made it nearly impossible to be a fan of your local teams in the streaming era. Since Hulu (our streaming provider) dropped the Sinclair (formerly Fox) regional sports networks, we've essentially been shut out of watching local broadcasts of the Indians (are they officially the Guardians yet?) and Red Wings. It's miserable. And while this article brings welcome news, it doesn't sound like a solution will be available anytime soon. We might have to re-up with cable for now. Ugh.

tags: sports mlb nhl

posted by matt in Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The NBA arena that plans to end single-use plastic starting this season (cnbc.com)

This seems like a great way to get environmental issues in front of American consumers. It's not without risk, though, and could backfire. Plastic products are essentially invisible to the experience now. If the substitutes are somehow inferior (warm beer, anyone?), they may negatively impact the experience of going to a game, and fans will notice. Here's hoping all goes well.

tags: sports nba environment

posted by matt in Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Super Bowl is losing viewers under 50, reflecting how American media has fragmented (cnbc.com)

This is consistent with my observations. All major sports leagues need to innovate to attract younger viewers. Weird halftime shows aren't going to cut it. And I'm not sure in game betting is the answer, either.

tags: sports football nfl

posted by matt in Monday, February 15, 2021