The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for September, 2007

MLB is the new NFL!

Posted by disappointmentzone on 30 September 2007

One of the selling points of the NFL that gets talked up by everyone who advocates for its awesomeness is that it is a league of extreme parity. Each training camp is a site of new hope because you never really know how well a team is going to do, then suddenly the Browns are 2-2 and the Chargers are 1-3 and it’s a whole new season.

A lot goes into achieving competitive balance in the NFL and the reasons usually cited are the same reasons usually cited for why there will never be competitive balance in baseball. But wait!

As of Sunday morning there had only been one season in modern baseball history when no club finished above a .600 winning percentage and no club finished below .400. That was in 2000, when the Giants finished at .599 and the Cubs and Phillies finished at .401.

As of Sunday evening there have now been two such seasons, with the Indians and Red Sox finishing at .593 and the Devil Rays at .407. Notice that the gap between the best and worse records shrunk .12 points between 2000 and 2007, indicating…well, probably not much. But for the moment at least it is the Major Leagues where the sophisticated sportsmen will find his parity and not, as it has been said by cruder men, in the NFL.

Perhaps MLB needs to adopt the slogan, “Any given Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with an off day on Monday followed by another four game series on Tuesday!”

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Cleveland Indians 2007 ALDS schedule

Posted by disappointmentzone on 30 September 2007

The Cleveland Indians will be hosting the New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series beginning on Thursday, October 4th. Here is the schedule for the five game series (home games in red):

GAME 1: Thursday, October 4th: TBS, 6:30 pm

  • CC Sabathia (19-7, 3.21 ERA) vs Chien-Ming Wang (19-7, 3.70)

GAME 2: Friday, October 5th: TBS, 5:00 pm

  • Fausto Carmona (19-8, 3.06) vs Andy Pettitte (15-9, 4.05)

GAME 3: Sunday, October 7th: TBS or TNT, 6:30 pm

  • Jake Westbrook (6-9, 4.32) vs Roger Clemens (6-6, 4.18)

GAME 4: Monday October 8th: TBS, 6:00 pm (if necessary)

  • Paul Byrd (15-8, 4.59) vs TBD

GAME 5: Wednesday, October 10th: TBS, 5:00 pm (if necessary)

  • CC Sabathia (19-7, 3.21 ERA) vs TBD

———————–

These are the tentative starters as were announced Sunday night. The Indians’ starter for Game 4 will likely be determined by how the first three games of the series go. The rationale for starting Byrd in Game 4 is that it would allow Carmona to start Game 1 of the ALCS on complete rest. But there will be no Game 1 of the ALCS for the Indians if they can’t put away the Yankees, so if the team is in trouble I imagine Wedge would use Sabathia on short rest and slot Carmona in for Game 5 and then figure it out from there.

RELATED POST:

Indians postseason TV schedule [UPDATE 3x]

Posted in Cleveland Indians, media | 5 Comments »

Grading LBJ on SNL

Posted by disappointmentzone on 29 September 2007

LeBron James hosted the season premier of Saturday Night Live. Here’s how he did.

Opening monologue: LeBron comes out looking very tall and very velvety and also a little nervous. Fortunately his monologue is mostly a pre-recorded commercial for Nike. That’s one way of dealing with stage fright. And now we’re back to LeBron. The joke is that he solved the universal health care crisis while the Nike commercial pre-recorded bit was running, only we missed it. Seriously, do you think LBJ has ever thought about universal health care in his life? I say no. Does that make the monologue funnier or sadder? I say both. LBJ Grade: C

Sketch 1: Charity Speech Hey, it’s LeBron playing a professional basketball player named LeBron James! Interestingly the character LeBron James is playing holds many of the same records as the real LeBron James, like youngest player to score 1000 points. I wonder how many SNL writers it took to come up with this character. Four? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers, flotsam and Jetsam, media | 2 Comments »

If historical data matter…

Posted by disappointmentzone on 29 September 2007

Though CC Sabathia has been in the Majors since 2001 he has only pitched against the Yankees eight times in his career and the last time he faced them was 2004. Sabathia is the expected ALDS Game 1 starter, so let’s take a look at his careers numbers against the LeBrons Yankees. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cleveland Indians, statistics | 1 Comment »

ALDS set: CLE-NY, BOS-LA

Posted by disappointmentzone on 28 September 2007

The Cleveland Indians will be hosting the New York Yankees in the ALDS, which means at least two home games this October. The Indians remained tied with Boston for the best record in the AL. All that is left to be determined is the schedule.

Bring it, LeBron New York.

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Playoff thought

Posted by disappointmentzone on 28 September 2007

While listening to Bill Simmons’s podcast this morning — he is certain that Boston will sweep the Angels (surprise!) and that the Yankees will win three of four against the Indians (of course!) — I had this one recurring thought: the Indians need to face the Angles in the ALCS, and not just because the Tribe is 5-5 against the Angles without playing a single game in Cleveland.

You know what another Boston-New York ALCS means: countless mini features on ESPN and FOX about reversing curses and best all time rivalries and evil empires and fan nations and so on and so forth.

For the love of all things decent and original there cannot be another Red Sox vs Yankees ALCS. It is tired and I have no faith whatsoever in any mainstream media outlet to do a good job in covering the series. Also, it would mean the Yankees winning the series (they are deep inside Boston’s head) and representing the AL in the World Series, which is a deeply depressing thought.

Go Tribe!

Posted in Cleveland Indians | 1 Comment »

TV Highlights: Sept 28-30

Posted by disappointmentzone on 28 September 2007

Here’s a quick guide to maximizing your weekend sports viewing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Sports, media, Ohio State Buckeyes | Leave a Comment »

If LeBron weren’t a Cav

Posted by disappointmentzone on 28 September 2007

If LeBron weren’t a Cav I do not think I’d like him that much. In fact, I think I’d be one of his biggest detractors. Sure, he’s an outstanding player on the court (though he can’t make free throws or an open jumper with any consistency). But off the court he’s something less than spectacular. First there was the whole Darfur silence/pleading ignorance, which is pretty crummy, and now there is this:

Q: You congratulated the Indians for making the playoffs during the NBC conference call, but who wins a playoff between Indians and Yankees?

A: The Yankees. I know a lot of people might not like hearing me say that, but I think everyone knows I’ve been a Yankee fan my whole life. They have to deal with it.

I know that LeBron has been professing to be a Yankees fan for a few years now and I know that he has never lived in New York City. What you’ve got when you put these facts together is the worst kind of sports fan. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cleveland Cavaliers | 4 Comments »

Quarterbacks worse than DA this season

Posted by disappointmentzone on 27 September 2007

Dave Berri is the co-author of The Wages of Wins, main blogger at the WoW Journal, and the mind behind the quarterback rating metric QB Score, which I use each week when discussing Derek Anderson. Yesterday Berri published the list of accumulative QB Scores through the first three weeks of the season and Derek Anderson placed a solid 13 (out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks). Here is a partial list of quarterback who in the first three games have not played as well at Anderson:

Bret Favre (17)
Eli Manning (19)
Vince Young (20)
Philip Rivers (26)
Alex Smith (28)
Drew Brees (33)
Rex Grossman (34)

Now for a quick note on QB Score, NFL passer rating, and why Anderson fares well in QB Score (he’s 18th in passer rating).

QB Score is superior to the NFL’s passer rating (in my opinion at least) in part because it’s far easier to calculate and in part because it takes into account what a quarterback does with his legs. The “running game” of a quarterback is important to consider not only for what it means to a quarterback like McNabb but also for what it means to someone like Derek Anderson. To keep a high passer rating you are better off taking a -20 yard sack than throwing the ball out of bounds for a 0 yard gain. These incredibly costly plays are the plays Anderson does a great job avoiding, which is going a long way in keeping his QB score inflated above others who are historically better quarterbacks. Not taking sacks is a very big deal. Anderson is good at that.

Posted in Cleveland Browns, statistics | 1 Comment »

Cleveland and The Power 100 List

Posted by disappointmentzone on 27 September 2007

Anyone around here tired of blog posts that involve Cleveland and power rankings? Well you might want to skip over this post because Business Week just dropped its list of the 100 most powerful people in sports and Cleveland is well represented. (1)

LeBron James is the only Cleveland athlete to make the list. He comes in at #19. That might seem a little low until you realize that he’s the fourth highest ranked professional athlete. Only Tiger Woods (2), Peyton Manning (13), and David Beckham (17) are more powerful than LeBron James, but that could all change this Saturday when he hosts SNL. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in flotsam and Jetsam, media | 2 Comments »