What Exactly Does a Pitching Coach Do? More Than You Might Think.
I’m a huge baseball fan. But sometimes I wonder, what exactly does a good pitching coach do? What does it mean to be a good pitching coach? Why do some seem to have such good reputations in the media? Doesn’t the staff’s success have more to do with talent, and the organizations ability to discover it? 123 favorite Jonah Keri explores why the Cardinals staff has been so good for so long, no matter the names: the foundation laid by former pitching coach Dave Duncan is the reason why. -TOB
Story Link: “The Duncan Way”, Jonah Keri, Grantland (05/21/14)
“I’ve been waiting 20 years for someone to knock him on his ass.”
Refs might not decide the outcome of a game, but they sure as hell influence it. Part 5/5 of a series examining NBA officiating and its lack of public accountability includes the story of Tim Donaghy–the ref busted for betting on games back in 2007–knocking out Joey Crawford (the bald ref that everyone hates, especially the Spurs). -PAL
Story Link: “Punching out Joey Crawford, and the issues on NBA officiating”, John Canzano, The Oregonian (05/16/14)
When’s the right time to call up a stud baseball prospect? Follow the money.
I’ll admit it; I’ve never completely understood the facts of team control over their baseball draft picks. This article lays it out nicely and explains the possible routes a team can take to promote (or delay) a stud minor leaguer to the bigs. Are teams putting playoff births at risk in the interest of staving off arbitration for one more year? How many divisions or wildcards have been won by a game? -PAL
Story Link: “The Polanco Problem…” Ben Lindburgh, Grantland (05/19/14)
Ever Wish You Had Grown Up Playing Sports With a Future Star? This Guy Actually Did.
Growing up, everyone probably had one or two people they played sports with, or against, that you were sure would be a future star. Usually, it never happens. This is a fun story about how a guy, about to graduate from Georgetown Law School played on a team with Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. Yes, Beasley was always kind of weird. -TOB
Story Link: “The Lawyer Who Blocked Kevin Durant”, Dave McKenna, Grantland (05/16/14)
Sleeping With the Enemy
When my team is knocked out, I rarely root for a division/conference rival to do well. Did I want Stanford to win the Rose Bowl after my Cal Bears went 1-11 last year? Hell no. Did I cheer when they lost that game to Michigan State? Hell yes. Screw them. But that’s not the case for many Canadian hockey fans, a country that hasn’t seen the Stanley Cup return home to Canada in 21 years. They wrap themselves in the flag and root for their otherwise bitter enemies. -TOB
Story Link: “Canada First: Why I Root for Teams I Hate”, Eva Holland, Grantland (05/22/14)
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