Monday, May 14, 2007

Espn goes 2 for 2 tonight

There were 2 potential no-hitters tonight in Major League Baseball. As many of you already know, I am not a fan of ESPN and have not listened to ESPN radio since the infamous Shrutebag incident, and rarely watch ESPN unless I have absolutly have to. With the Mets playing the Cubs, tonight was one of those nights. I had heard about the no-no Jason Bergmann of the Washington Nationals had going on during my drive home. When I got home, I pulled up the gameday screen found at because I wanted to keep my eye on the potential history taking place tonight at our Nation's capital. Sure enough as the Mets game went to commercial between the 7th and 8th inning, ESPN decided to head back to the studio for an update. Studio host Matt something or other told us about the no-no and said we're gonna head over there to bonus coverage. 2 pitches later.... HOME RUN Brian McCann. 1 down.

Later in the night, I'm checking scores on and as the screen flips to show me what's happening in the Padres/Reds game, I noticed that thru 4, Greg Maddux is pitching a no-no. Me being one of those guys that likes seeing things that rarely happen, I log on to and start watching. Again, ESPN is on in the background (commercial in the NBA game), and I catch Sportscenter doing a bit on Glavine, Smoltz and Maddux. They mention how all 3 are pitching tonight and proceed to show highlights of the Braves game and the Mets game. After the Mets hightlights, Stu Scott says the following: (paraphrased)

"Speaking of Greg Maddux, (as the box score pops up) He has a perfect game going through 5. Maddux has twice had a perfect game going through 5 in his career... both times he lost them in the 6th"

No more than 5 minutes later, with 2 outs in the 6th, Javier Valentine ripped a double over Brian Giles head in right field to break up the no-no and the perfect game all with one swing.

The Worldwide Leader my friends... goes 2 for 2 tonight in the jinx department. I'm guessing they had something to do with the 2 no hitters that almost happened yesterday also.

editors note: I really don't believe in jinx's, I just think it's fun to hate ESPN.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Instant Replay on Questionable Home Run Calls

I'm watching the Mets game tonight - they are playing the San Francisco Giants. Benji Molina just hit a ball that bounced off the top of the wall, and back into the playing field. Carlos Beltran managed to chase the ball down and hold Molina and the runner in front of him to 2nd and 3rd, that is... until the 3rd base umpire waved his little finger around in a circle to signal a home run. Willie Randolf immediately jogged slowly out on to the field - went to Bruce Froemming, the crew chief, who was the 2nd base umpire to state his case. Froemming didn't waste anytime and did the right thing by getting the crew together. After about 10 seconds of asking each other what they had for dinner tonight, Froemming turned and wagged the little finger again. How could any of them from the infield tell if it really hit the top of the fence or hit off the chest of the gentleman in the front row? The umps clearly made the wrong call, but it would have been hard for them to make the right call. This is the 2nd "non home run ball" that the Mets have had called against them in the last 3 games. On Saturday night Endy Chavez had a ball go in and out of his glove and fall back onto the field. Replays showed that Endy clearly robbed the D-Backs of a home run, but umpires in that game decided that a fan knocked it out of his glove and ruled it a home run. Mets radio announcers compared it to a Jeffrey Maier moment. Earlier tonight in the Cardinals / Rockies game with the score tied 2 - 2 and one out in the bottom the 9th, The following took place:

Troy Tulowitzki unloaded a shot to left field that hit off the metal fence atop the wall, but second base umpire Bob Davidson call the ball in play, leaving Tulowitzki with a double and manager Clint Hurdle so frustrated that he was given his first ejection of the season.

To the relief of fans in Denver, the Rockies ended up winning the game later in the inning anyway. Imagine, however, if these close calls were in the playoffs, or worse yet - the World Series. All 3 calls appeared to be the wrong calls, but in all honesty can you blame the umps? I realize that in the playoffs there are extra umps on hand up and down the left and right field lines, but only with a replay system in place do you ensure complete accuracy. I think baseball and its "old school" mentality could perhaps create more ugly moments in the postseason that replay could prevent.

Rockies beat Cards despite questionable call [Rocky Mtn. News]

Jeffrey Maier Wikipedia Page [Wikipedia]

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Warriors/Mavs 4th Quarter Live Blog

Maybe this is who Baron Davis is trying to look like?

Both teams trade two baskets and a minute and a half in and the Warriors still lead by 23. Offensive foul by Stackhouse.

Jackson has 7 threes - 28 points.

Kerr mentions that this crowd has been standing since halftime. If more NBA crowds were like this, I think the NBA would be much more entertaining. 92-69 Golden State and Davis misses a 3 which would have pretty much sealed it.

Warriors turn it over... the Warriors need to play like it's not a blowout and keep playing to score and score quickly.

Dallas pays them a favor and turns it over themselves.

GS gets 2 straight offensive rebounds and then Jackson takes it strong to the whole, draws the foul and gets the "YES!" out of Marv! What a night to be a Warriors fan. Clippers, Royals, Pirates, Arizona Cardinals fans - just hang in there - this could be you some day.

Think Don Nelson will smoke the cigar if he wins tonight? They might as well celebrate and pretend as if they won the championship... why not?

I guess the question on the table: How will the Warriors match up against the Rockets or the Jazz? I'm not all that excited about either - but I guess I'd continue rooting for Golden State. Honestly - I'm not a real big basketball fan - I probably won't watch much of the rest of the playoffs - unless the Suns/Warriors meet in the Western Conference Finals - That'd be like an All-Star game with all the up and down scoring.

I admit - I'm totally on the Warrior bandwagon - I'm a Laker fan, but I do think it's pretty hilarious to see Dallas and more importantly Mark Cuban go down, and go down miserably. Unlike Steve Kerr - I really don't feel bad for these Mavs.

After 2 flagrant foul free throws, Dallas cuts the lead back to 19. But this game has been over since mid way through the 3rd quarter.

WOW! Inside pass to Richardson who throws it down - turnover Dallas and Richardson hits a 3 and it's a 24 point lead!

WOW! WOW!! WOW!!! Think the fans believe now? I'd say so! They might just have enough momentum to ride all the way to the finals! This is unbelievable!

Well... it's pretty obvious this game is over. It's 1 A.M. my time. We have just witnessed a monumental upset and honestly - as much as I wanted to see a Mavs/Suns western conference final matchup - I couldn't be more happier to see this upset happen.

It's been fun live-blogging. Please give me any ideas/suggestions/hints/complaints/compliments... all feedback and/or comments are appreciated. I'm tired - 8 am is going to be here fast.


Warriors/Mavs 3rd Quarter

There is not a better pre-game, halftime, postgame crew then Ernie, Kenny, and Charles. These guys never fail to crack me up.

Warriors up 2 as we start the 3rd. Dirk 1-10 from the floor. I'm expecting a big second half from him and also Baron Davis. This is like a boxing match - expect the big guys to come out swinging especially as we get into the 4th quarter. Either way, this is setting itself up to be an exciting 2nd half.

Pam Oliver on the sidelines tonight reporting. Has anyone seen Joe Buck?

Teams trading baskets here to start the 2nd half. Warriors up 4.

Josh Howard steps up and puts in another bucket. Baron Davis feeds the surfer looking white guy for 2. Don't know his name, but he looks like he belongs on a surf board.

Jackson drains a wide open 3. Go up by 5. Crowd is back into it!

Dirk misses another 3, A Warrior saves it out of bounds, Davis is fouled - Warriors ball and Jackson hits another wide open 3!!! Crowd erupts as Dallas calls a timeout! Pandemonium in Oakland! These folks haven't had this much to cheer about since the Bash Brothers were sticking needles in each other back in the late 80's. Yes... I'm talking about Walt Weiss and Carney Lansford.

Uh oh.. I can't watch. Sublyminal advertising! AH... Eyes closed... I can't not watch - ok I need a Sprite. They got me! Darnit!

I'm sick of these Closer promotions during the TNT broadcasts.

Josh Howard misses an open 3, and I'm sure Mark Cuban needs an exta stick of Right Guard about right now.

Howard misses another - Dirk with the offensive board and Howard gets a second chance and puts in the 3 pointer.

Whistle on the other end... defensive 3 seconds. Techical foul and action Jackson puts in the free throw. 63-57 Warriors

Jackson puts in another 3!

Mavs miss and on the other end Jackson hits yet ANOTHER 3!!! The place is going crazy again! How amazing it must be to really be a Warriors fan! Stephen Jackson has scored 13 straight points. Unbelievable.

Marv tells us that this is the largest crowd ever to witness a basketball game in the state of California. Wow... Wouldn't have guessed that with the Clippers also playing in California.

Davis again dishes to surfer man, and he's fouled and almost makes it - crowd loves this - his free throws are an adventure - he almost air balled that one. Misses both.

Warriors defense his swarming as the crowd chants D-Fence! Stackhouse 3 goes in and out... teams exchange misses on both ends. Davis drives leans puts it up and in and the Warriors are up by 14 and the crowd is going nuts! Another turnover by the Mavs and the Warriors are slowing it down - the crowd hasn't sat in minutes.

OHH Davis is fouled hard by Crosere, and Davis almost retaliated and threw a punch but he held back. What emotion! Davis is smiling now as he talks to the ref even though double technicals were called.

Avery Johnson is looking at some paper - probably looking for answers - his team is completely lost. Cuban doesn't look happy as he looks on - he basically looks stunned. Davis knocks down both shots and the Warriors are on an 11-0 run to go up by 16. Another turnover by the Mavs and another foul by the Mavs and the Mavs look finished.

Jackson makes 2 free throws. 18 point lead for Golden State and I imagine they are going to be partying pretty hard tonight in Oakland. Here on the east coast it is 12:30 and this part time blogger is starting to feel the effects of 5 hours of sleep the last couple nights.

By the way - is anyone frustrated with the fact that the guys over at have been gone for almost 2 weeks now? Their substitutes have been horrible, not that I would do any better, but seriously I don't see how or why all 4 of them would go on vacation at the same time... and for 2 weeks? Ridiculous. I miss those guys!

Back to the action... crowd chanting "Let's go Warriors" as we come back from commercial.

25-9 3rd quarter scoring in favor of Golden State, still no sign of Dirk. I'm waiting for the crowd to start mock chanting "MVP" at Dirk!

Another Dallas foul and Davis goes back to the line to shoot 2. The crowd is legitimately chanting MVP now as Davis knocks down the first. 2nd one in and out, and the crowd hates it - 20,000 go AWE!

Stackhouse steps out of bounds - another turnover. Surfer guy makes a free throw and the crowd goes crazy! Makes the 2nd! Line drive shots nothing but back rim down through the net. Another Dallas miss and Golden State up by 21 with 3 minutes to go. WOW!

OOHHH! Barnes just POSTERIZED Dirk! One handed tomahawk dunk on Dirk!!!

Dirk can only save his image here by scoring 30 points in the 4th quarter and leading his team to the greatest comeback in history. Anything less - and he's another A-Rod.

This isn't even really a game. Mavs are being out played on both ends of the court. Warriors are just sticking it to them. 23 point lead, 32-11 3rd quarter score. Harris to shoot 2 for Dallas. Misses the first. Makes the 2nd - 22 point lead for the Warriors.

Davis misses a 3 and Harris hits a 3 to bring it back to teenage digits.

Just like that - Davis drives and throws it up over Dirk off the glass and in. Still no Dirk - I don't even remember the last shot he took. It's tough live-bloggin Warrior games - they are up and down so fast. If I look up at the TV - 3 possessions happen before I can even think about what to type about. They are so entertaining, and the fact they are such underdogs makes them so much more intriguing. Marv and Kerr just announce that Dirk took 1 shot in the 3rd quarter and Golden State is up by 23 and are 12 minutes from pulling off perhaps the greatest upset in NBA history. Unbelievable... to the 4th quarter we head.

Mavs/Warriors Live Blog - 2nd Quarter

28-25 Warriors. Stackhouse with 14 points to keep the Mavs alive through 1. It seems like every fan in the stands is wearing a yellow shirt that says we believe. I guess this would be called a yellow-out?

Dirk 0-4 in the 1st. There's the MVP candidate we know and love.

Baron Davis hamstring injury update: Taped him up. If they lose him - they're done. Simple as that.

Things have gotten pretty ungly starting the 2nd quarter. Baron Davis back on the bench and the crowd breaths a sigh of relief as Davis walks over to the scorers table. 29-29 9:46 to go 2nd quarter and now Stephen Jackson is down.

Davis clearly hobbling, and both teams are sloppy here early on. Drik still on the bench for the Mavs and Jason Terry gives the Warriors their first lead since 3-0.

Baron Davis shoots, the officials talk - basket is good and an inadvertant whistle. Tie game

With Davis' hamstring injury - could he be in store for one of those big games by a hurt player. Much like Jordan in the game where he was throwing up, and Willis Reed back in the 70's

What the heck? Brian Urlacher & David Ortiz were just in a commercial playing badmitten - endorsing a product called vitamin water. And Ortiz spiked the "birdie" and lodged it into his opponents knee! Hey look... here it is:

Celebrities in the house tonight: Snoop Dogg, Woody Harrelson, Kate Hudson, Owen Wilson all courtside for tonights game? Where's Jessica???

Refs just made a call the fans didn't like - and they started chanting Bull-S**t. Why do I get the feeling that Snoop and Woody got that chant started?

Another questionable call... and another mass cursing chant by the entire crowd.

Warriors up 1 as we head to commercial. 36-35 wich about 6 minutes to go 2nd quarter

Turnover Mavs and Davis misses a 3. Foul on Jackson on the other end, Josh Howard shooting free throws and the fans are booing again.

Tie game. Dirk still 0-5 from the field. Now no body is making threes, except of course Jerry Stackhouse who just drains an outside jumper

Davis drains a 3, and Kerr has to take back his statements about Baron Davis finally cooling off. Dirk goes over the back and then travels but somehow gets it back on top. Then Josh Howard drives... loses the ball, travels, gains full control of the ball shoots and drains it and the Mavs are up 1.

Davis again... for 3!! I'm waiting for the Marv Albert YES! Turnover Mavs

Jason Terry with an open layup after the Baron Davis turnover, and we're tied again. 44-44

Both teams look tense as we head to another time-out. Warriors need to relax and play their normal up and down quick shot basketball. Baron Davis being slowed up by his hamstring injury has not helped the pace of the Warriors. Time to get a snack during the timeout.

Dirk misses two straight 3's and is now 0-8 on the night. If the Mavs lose this game and Dirk doesn't turn it around in the 2nd half. Those are the headlines tomorrow no doubt.

And just like that Dirk keeps firing and hits a 15 footer, and Davis comes down on the other end and hits a leaner from beyond the 3 point line. 11 straight for Baron and with 7 seconds left Stackhouse drives the line and gets the roll. The Warriors take it down the other end and get the foul with 3.7 seconds. Warrios up 1 shooting 2.

Barnes makes the 1st.... misses the second. Dirk shoots a one shoe'd full court shot that misses wide left, and as Steve Kerr mentions - that didn't help out his shooting percentage any. Enjoy Halftime - I'm going to eat my pop-tarts.

Warriors/Mavs Live Blog

Starting a little late with this post - but with 7 minutes to go in the first half, I can tell this is going to be a classic - so I'm gonna try the live blog for the first time in the history of Awful Officiating. Here we go:

Golden State currently up 17-12 and after being down 3-0 went on a 12-0 run capped by an over the head dunk that erupted the crowd.

Stackhouse just hits his 3rd straight 3... he's on fire. Timeout Warriors. 19-15

Crowd is a little quieter as Josh Howard just drains a 3. Dallas has 18 points on 6 3-pointers

This crowd is so into it - this reminds me of a college game and the Warriors are a very exciting, very like-able Cinderella.

Dirk hits 2 free throws, their first non-3 pointer points - 21-20 with 4 minutes to go 1st quarter

Marv and Steve Kerr calling this game. I believe they were in Toronto last night - TNT is bringing the big guns tonight

This is worth mentioning... totally unrelated to this game. Before the game started on the pregame show. Charles Barkley was obviously upset that the Jazz beat the Rockets because now he can't go to the Boxing match on Saturday night. Kenny and Ernie were confused by this, and a bummed out Chuckster said this to his fellow studio mates: "I got a life... I'm not like you guys"

These two teams don't waste a lot of times. As we close out the first quarter - Monte Ellis drains a half court shot but it was after the buzzer went off. 28-25 after 1. 3 pointers going up from all over the place. Stackhouse is keeping the Mavs in this game.

Is the Geico caveman still funny?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Study Also Notes Female Refs Call More Fouls on Men than Women

In an unpublished study by Wharton School of UPenn assistant professor Justin Wolfers and Cornell University graduate student Joseph Price, the authors claim that white officials in the NBA call more fouls on black players than white players, and vice versa for black officials and white players.

The study was performed over thirteen seasons of box score data from the NBA, using the officials' names and race to determine whether zero, one, two or three of the three officials in a game were black or white. This was combined with the foul totals and minutes played for each player, to determine the number of fouls per forty-eight minutes assigned by an officiating crew. The study found that "black players receive around 0.12-0.20 more fouls per 48 minutes played (an increase of 2 1/2-4 1/2 percent) when the number of white referees officiating a game increases from zero to three."

While the statistic are certainly there, I cannot agree with the authors' assessment that the difference in calls "is large enough that the probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by the racial composition of the refereeing crew." Let's look at the extreme case. Team A plays five white players for forty-eight minutes. Team B plays five black players for forty-eight minutes. The game is officiated by a crew of three white referees. Ignore the fact that no one has played five white guys for forty-eight minutes in the NBA in a long time. At the end of the game, holding all else equal, we expect Team B to have somewhere between 0.60 and 1.00 more personal fouls than Team A. If Mark Cuban could get that kind of equality, he'd have to find something else to complain about.

Also of note - in the abstract of the study, the authors use the wording "opposite-race" and "own-race" to describe the two races being examined. Given that over one third of the world's population is of Asian descent, I find it quite conspicuous that they choose to place whites and blacks at opposite ends of the spectrum in a paper where they are attempting to raise an issue of equality. We're sorry you got left out Yao.

Study: White refs call more fouls on blacks [Fox Sports]
Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees [Wharton School of UPenn]