WILD, CARDS

WILD
 adj
 uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in pursuit of pleasure.

“The Cardinals are 4.5 games out of the wild card” is a true statement, but it’s not nearly as telling as “the Cardinals are one of 8 teams chasing wild card spots, and only the Nationals (5 GB) are further from the top.”

Buy or sell is a question that is asked second to:

What is the value of a wild card spot?

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GET YOUR SUB .500 CONFERENCE RECORD OFF MY LAWN

The “opening round” of the NCAA Tournament should only be at-large teams–the ones we argue about after the Sunday night announcement of the field.  Is there anyone who would prefer to watch Radford State against Radford Tech as opposed to Texas, Syracuse, Trae Young, et al?  Besides, LIU-Brooklyn deserves to play on Thursday/Friday, in the real tournament.  They *deserve* to get killed by Kansas.  Let the worst eight at-larges –and probably Power 5s– play on prime time.  I can’t believe it’s not the way it’s done.

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How can teams who are sub-.500 in their own conference be eligible to be the National Champion?  I get that Arizona State might be better than St. Mary’s or Nebraska, but are they more deserving? Wouldn’t the last two weeks of conference play have a much needed layer of suspense when decent teams like Louisville (9-9) and Notre Dame (8-10) are playing quasi-elimination games for tournament selection eligibility?

In any given year, an SEC football team that finishes 3-6 is arguably one of the top 30 teams in the country, but I’d hate to see them handed a spot in an expanded playoff.  (Mississippi State was 4-4, and lost to Alabama by a touchdown.)

Think of the differing perceptions of the following unlikely scenarios:

Loyola of Chicago, 1st in The Valley, wins 6 in a row and is crowned champion.

Arizona State, 9th in the Pac-12 at 8-10, wins 6 in a row and is crowned champion.

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The latter would stain the tournament, while the former would tickle your George Mason.  (GMU was 15-3 in the Colonial that year, or put another way:  deserving.)

NOTE:  Can we, at the very least, stop saying that a team “got their ticket punched”? 

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“But Baker Mayfield’s teammates love him.”

Wait, college guys like a guy who’s really skilled, brash, grabs his crotch, and runs from police?

No way.

I bet his keg stands at the Lambba house are legendary too.

Is a 30 year-old lineman with a wife and two kids who plays CTE roulette every Sunday going to find a common bond with Mayfield too?

The guy plays a position that is in such short supply of proficiency competency at the professional level that Kirk Cousins just made $84MM.

The QB wing at the Hall of Fame is occupied by far more saints than sinners.

Tell me, of the top-10 current NFL QBs, which one does Mayfield remind you of?

Just hand me a $16MM signing bonus and the keys to the franchise.
Just hand me a $16MM signing bonus and the keys to the franchise.

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Matt Carpenter in 2017:

Leading off an inning:           253/392/424
All at-bats, regardless:            241/384/451
Runners in scoring postion:  253/433/516

Is that guy you want to hit with the bases empty?

If so:

Step 1:  Have him lead off every 1st inning
Step 2:  Have him bat after the Pitcher