The moral implications of StatCast

moralitycastIf your neighborhood baseball nerd is nerding out a little more than usual today, it’s probably because Pluto’s in retrograde right now or something, and it definitely doesn’t have anything to do with tonight’s television broadcast debut of StatCast, which will go far beyond showing balls and strikes by tracking things like player movements and batted-ball data. Ben Lindbergh has a good preview of the technology and its chief implications for expanded baseball analysis here.   Continue reading

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NBA Finals, Game 3: Aptly named?

So far, the NBA Finals has been a tale of two blowouts. The most recent one belongs to the San Antonio Spurs, who routed the Miami Heat 113-77 to take a 2-1 series lead. The big story on offense was the three-point shooting of Danny Green and Gary Neal, who together made 13/19 shots from distance. As a team, the Spurs shot 50% from behind the arc, and they attempted 32 such shots.

Thirty-two three-point attempts seemed like a lot to me. The season average across all teams this year was 19.9, that number representing a record high. Thirty-two attempts is not an all-time record, though. In 1996, Dallas attempted forty-nine three-pointers in a 127-117 win over New Jersey. (Somebody named George McCloud was responsible for twenty of those attempts. The Nets, as a team– a team featuring none other than future Maverick Shawn Bradley– only attempted five. Rick Mahorn also played in that game, so do with that what you will.) In fact, there have been 404 games in NBA/ABA/BAA history in which a team attempted at least 33 three-point shots. It isn’t even the most this season, in which eighty-three games saw a team attempt at least 33 threes, and seven of those performances came in these playoffs. All time, only twenty-three playoff games have seen at least thirty-three attempts, though, which certainly comports with the trend the Sporting News discussed in the above-linked story on the steep increase in three-point shooting.

That the Spurs’ thirty-two attempts on Tuesday seemed like a lot to me only means that I haven’t been watching a lot of NBA basketball in recent years, which is absolutely correct.

Enjoy game 4 tonight if you’re capable of enjoying such things.

From champs to chomped: How Urban Meyer broke Florida football (via Sporting News)

The uproar and controversy of Urban Meyer’s stunning recruiting coup at Ohio State settled in and Stefon Diggs, still on the Buckeyes’ wish list, was debating his future.

Diggs, the second-highest rated wide receiver in the country, had narrowed his list of potential schools to Maryland, Florida and Ohio State. For more than a week following National Signing Day on Feb. 1, and before Diggs eventually signed with Maryland, Meyer relentlessly pursued Diggs.

Multiple sources told Sporting News that Meyer—who won two national championships in six years at Florida and cemented his legacy as one of the game’s greatest coaches—told the Diggs family that he wouldn’t let his son go to Florida because of significant character issues in the locker room.

Character issues that we now know were fueled by a culture Meyer created. Character issues that gutted what was four years earlier the most powerful program in college football. … Read More

(via Sporting News)

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Urban renewal: Once Meyered in the Swamp, a Buckeye nut returns to his roots