Who am I?

I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports

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LHD_PotW (271) NFL (109) MLB (107) NCAA (96) NBA (49) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/26/2013

Once again, this blog is about the wide world of sports and this week's Sportsman fits the bill.  Brazilian Tony Kanaan has been the bridesmaid (so to speak) at the Indianapolis 500 so many times, his closet overfloweth with dresses.  A popular driver with fans and drivers alike on the open wheel circuit, he finally ended the drought with a victory at the Brickyard on hits 12th try on Sunday.  He's been a hard luck loser in that he's led the Indy 500 in every year he competed and has always been in the Top 10 in qualifying.  It was always something during the race that dealt him off the top step of the podium.  Not this week, congratulations to 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner for being honored as the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Phil Naessens Weekly Podcast 5/20/2013

In partnership with Sports-Kings.com - Reading Between the Seams, Check out my weekly guest spot on Phil Naessens show covering baseball news coast to coast:

This week, David and Phil introduce you to Jurickson Profar, discuss injuries to Andy Pettite, Ian Kinsler, Jaime Garcia and David Price, Instant Replay, Reuben's Rockies and the guys begin to look at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the legacy he will leave behind when he retires in January 2015.

To download this program to your portable device please right click the link below and select "save as".
Download

The Phil Naessens Show can be heard Monday thru Friday at Max Sports ChannelsOhio Sports Radio NetworkIndependent Radio LA and Talk Superstation .

Sports statistics provided courtesy of RotoWire.

The Phil Naessens Show Facebook Page can be found here

Intro and Closing Music by Mr. Michael Guerette

The Phil Naessens Show can also be downloaded on Zunes here and Stitcher here. The program is also available at Miro Guide here

Please visit the Phil Naessens Media site here

The Phil Naessens Show is now on itunes. You can subscribe here





Phil is now on twitter and can be found @flashtennis31

Follow Reading Between the Seams on Twitter @rbts_baseball

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/19/2013

This blog loves underdogs and those not expected to succeed, and this week's Sportsman of the Week has both.  50 year-old jockey Gary Stevens pulled off what nobody (or at least bettors and fans) thought possible, ran a race that Preakness Stakes favorite Orb could not match.  Stevens rode 15:1 underdog Oxbow to an easy win at Pimlico Race Course, leading essentially wire-to-wire.  Stevens came out of a 7+ year retirement this year to see if he still had it.  Spoiler, he does.  He is everything great about Sportsmen, and this week's Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Phil Naessens Weekly Podcast 5/13/2013

In partnership with Sports-Kings.com - Reading Between the Seams, Check out my weekly guest spot on Phil Naessens show covering baseball news coast to coast:

Weekly on Mondays Phil Naessens Show Sports-Kings/Reading Between the Seams Managing editor David Whitlock joins Phil to cover major league baseball coast to coast.  This week, David and Phil discuss horrible umpiring, Mickey Mantle and corked bats and MLB icons are the topics of todays Phil Naessens Show. Plus Reuben's Rockies, WFAN Radio Personality Mike Francesa's reaction to Mantle's corked bats plus much more.....

Download this program to your computer or portable device by right clicking the link below and select "save as".
Download

The Phil Naessens Show can be heard Monday thru Friday at Max Sports ChannelsOhio Sports Radio NetworkIndependent Radio La and Talk Superstation .

Sports statistics provided courtesy of RotoWire.

The Phil Naessens Show Facebook Page can be found here

Intro and Closing Music by Mr. Michael Guerette

The Phil Naessens Show can also be downloaded on Zunes here and Stitcher here. The program is also available at Miro Guide here

Please visit the Phil Naessens Media site here

The Phil Naessens Show is now on itunes. You can subscribe here

Phil is now on twitter and can be found @flashtennis31

Follow Reading Between the Seams on Twitter @rbts_baseball

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/12/2013

This week's Sportsman of the Week goes to a somewhat unlikely candidate.  For team that won two games this week, not in hockey or hoops.  But rather baseball.  Colorado Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa was nothing short of brilliant in two starts, earning the Rockies their only 2 wins of the week.  But not just two wins over any teams, but defeated the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, the two teams with the most wins in their respective leagues.  He shut down those teams in 13 innings, with only 5 hits and no (0) earned runs.  And it's a good thing, because the Rockies needed those games to avoid sweeps.  De La Rosa takes this week's honors as Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Umpires make mistakes, we just need to learn to live with it

Umpires like Mike Winters get more calls right than wrong
Fact: Umpires have been blowing calls for decades, just ask Earl Weaver, Leo Durocher, and Ty Cobb.

Fact: Umpires will continue to miss calls, probably several over the course of every game in baseball

Fact: Fans, players, owners deserve the best system in place to treat all fairly and honestly each and every game.

Based upon these three facts, I build the case why expanded instant replay is wrong for Major League Baseball.  I build this argument on these six tenets:

1) Even with instant replay reviews, humans have to interpret the video and still get it wrong.  Case in point, the Cleveland Indians controversial win against the Oakland A's this past week.  One would think that a slowed down video replay of the ball clearly hitting the railing above the yellow line would have led to an overturn, and one would be wrong.  I'd like to think this is a one-in-a-million scenario.  But how many NFL replays have you seen where it sure seemed like the fumble happened before the knee was down, but the ref comes out from under the hood and utters those magical words "the play stands as called"?  Or inconclusive evidence on a ball breaking the plane to the endzone? 

Fact: Instant replay reviews are still subject to human error

2) There is no "right size" for what plays fall under review or not.  As of now, it's home run only.  So by default a scoring play is in question.  However, there are more scoring plays such as tags at home plate, or even a force play at first on a double play in which a run scores.  So currently we only have a subset of scoring plays under review.  But the bigger picture is, every play in baseball could lead to a run.  Each ball/strike call changes the complexion of the at bat.  Every play that leads to a runner on base (or not) could be the difference between a no run inning, or a 4 or 5 run inning.

Fact: To fairly implement instant replay, every single call would have to be subject to a review

3) Umpires actually do get the calls right about 98% - 99% of the time.  It's the 1% they don't get right that make headlines.  The Jim Joyce call to derail Armando Galarraga's perfect game bid, the Don Denkinger call in the 1985 World Series, the missed call by outfield umpire Rich Garcia when Jeffrey Maier interfered with a fly ball over Tony Tarasco's head in a playoff game.  These exceptions are fun to talk about, and will literally go down in baseball lore.  But to implement an expanded replay review system for these exceptions will erode the ebb and flow of the game.  Umpires get right the majority of  about 200 pitches that aren't in play, 51-54 "out" calls per game, another few dozen safe calls per game, even foul balls, etc.

Fact: Umpires get almost all the calls right, and for the most part, act in the best interest of fairness.

4) Judgment calls would be no more clear with replay review than otherwise.  I'm talking about infield fly rule (which played a major factor in the 2012 Wild Card game), fan interference on a ball near the wall (think about Steve Bartman), or the lefty balk move (exactly where is that mythical 45 degree line).

Fact: Some calls just aren't reviewable no matter how many camera angles you have.

5) Some unwritten rules are applied (and accepted) and we don't want those reviewed.  For instance, the middle infielder leaping off the bag a split second early at second base to turn two (on a throw that didn't pull him off).  A middle infielder muffing the ball on the same turn which is ruled an out and drop on the next throw.  The 3-0 fastball that's kind of close to the plate but given to the pitcher to continue the at bat.  These are things that are accepted and generally good for the game.

Fact: Expanded instant replay reviews could have an unintended consequence of forcing accepted calls into a review state

6) Replay reviews take time.  In a game that struggles to keep a 3 hour pace (to the point that umpires are timed for their games, pitchers are told to hurry it up, etc.), more replays could really bog down the fan experience.  Any fan who attends a game in which a review takes place has been annoyed at the minute or three delay for sometimes a meaningless call, or one that should have been done right the first time.  Then sometimes isn't overturned anyway.

Fact: Expanded instant replay reviews would add ~5 minutes per game on average

Baseball has made it through 107 seasons ending in World Series, there is no reason to start now.  Especially for the 1% of calls that are actually missed, a fraction of that egregiously.  Only a rare few actually affect the outcome of the game.  And for those, there was always room for the team to overcome it.  We don't even know if the Oakland A's home run, which would have tied it up, would have changed the outcome.  Nor the Tarasco catch, nor the Denkinger call.  But they happened, become stuff of legend, and we move on.  If anything, the game could benefit by a more thorough review of the humans who are in the umpiring uniforms, not augmenting them with machines to make up for their shortcomings.

Follow me on Twitter @lhd_on_sports

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/5/2013

An amazing effort in the biggest horse race in the United States earns this weeks Sportsman of the Week due honors.  Dominican Republic native Joel Rosario guided post-time-co-favorite Orb around 14 other horses in the last half mile to give Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first Kentucky Derby win.  Rosario's patience to keep his horse off an impossible pace in the slop led to a fresh colt who surged past the other horses as if they were standing in mud.  Rosario is the hottest jockey in racing now, having also won the $10M Dubai Cup a mere weeks ago, and is a worthy Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Phil Naessens Weekly Podcast 5/6/2013

In partnership with Sports-Kings.com - Reading Between the Seams, Check out my weekly guest spot on Phil Naessens show covering baseball news coast to coast:

Weekly on Mondays Phil Naessens Show Sports-Kings/Reading Between the Seams Managing editor David Whitlock joins Phil to cover major league baseball coast to coast.  This week, David and Phil discuss Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann coming off the disabled list, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay possibly heading to the disabled list, allegations that Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is throwing a spitball, Reuben's Colorado Rockies and what is happening with the Washington Nationals.


To download this program to your portable device please right click the link below and select "save as".

Download

The Phil Naessens Show can be heard Monday thru Friday at Max Sports ChannelsOhio Sports Radio NetworkIndependent Radio La and Talk Superstation .

Sports statistics provided courtesy of RotoWire.

The Phil Naessens Show Facebook Page can be found here

Intro and Closing Music by Mr. Michael Guerette

The Phil Naessens Show can also be downloaded on Zunes here and Stitcher here. The program is also available at Miro Guide here

Please visit the Phil Naessens Media site here

The Phil Naessens Show is now on itunes. You can subscribe here

Phil is now on twitter and can be found @flashtennis31

Follow Reading Between the Seams on Twitter @rbts_baseball