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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Apr. 1, 2002
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
NOTE:Sorry about no post on Friday. Real life shit got in the way.
WWF finally took the plunge and went through with the long-rumored brand split this week, all while Steve Austin was sitting at home. Austin walked out after Wrestlemania and didn't appear on TV this week for the draft. He was expected to be the #1 pick fro Raw, so they changed the angle and explained that he couldn't be drafted due to a contract situation. Austin still has a year left on his WWF deal, so he can't go anywhere, but he isn't hurting for money so he can sit at home and be just fine. Austin's issues date back a couple of months and he was vocally unhappy about working with Scott Hall and the NWO in general. Morale in the company has sank since those guys came in, got main event spots, and started getting everything they wanted creatively and professionally. Some in the locker room see Austin's walkout as him protesting the state of the company, with an unhappy locker room that no longer has any leverage since all the other companies are dead, and Austin is the one guy with enough "fuck you" clout that he can stand up to Vince. Most of the wrestlers are said to be on his side, though the NWO guys and Triple H and co. obviously don't feel the same. But it goes back further than that. Austin was telling people 6 months ago that he would go home if the job stopped being fun.
Anyway, Dave breaks down the rosters of each show. Triple H and Jazz (men and women's champs) will float between both shows and work about half the house shows for each brand. Raw gets the IC, Euro, and Hardcore champions. Smackdown gets tag titles and cruiserweights. Several notable names were undrafted. Rhyno, Mike Awesome, Steve Blackman, and Chris Kanyon are all injured and weren't placed anywhere. Developmental names like Randy Orton and Ron Waterman are expected to be called up soon, among others. If Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio are brought in, they'll likely be on SD with the cruiserweight division (Dave says Guerrero canceled his NJPW bookings for April which is a pretty solid sign that he'll be returning soon). Many of the lower-card wrestlers had no idea where they were going to end up and had to log on to wwf.com later that night to legitimately find out their futures. Tag teams like the Dudleyz and the APA were split up in the draft. Dave can't see the logic in splitting the Dudleyz and hopes it's the beginning of an angle that eventually reunites them. As for the APA, that's fine. Faarooq's career is winding down anyway and they've been talking about pushing Bradshaw as a single's star for over a year.
Raw is missing its top draw (Austin) and is pretty weak overall. Lumbering giants like Undertaker, Kevin Nash, and Big Show all ended up on Raw so don't expect a lot of great matches coming out of that brand. Plus they drafted Brock Lesnar to that brand, so his impressive size isn't going to stand out as much among those guys. With the cruiserweight division, plus guys like Jericho, Benoit, and Angle, you can bet Smackdown is going to have the better matches. Plus they have The Rock and Hogan for star power. But much like Raw, Smackdown might be in danger of not having its top draw either. Rock is expected to be gone for much of the summer to film another movie and he's continuing to get more and more movie offers, which means more time away from wrestling. And Hogan can't be a long-term weekly top draw anymore, no matter how much nostalgia popularity he has right now. Which means it's vital that they finally commit to pushing Angle, Jericho, and Benoit as real top stars.
Dave reviews the latest UFC show, with Josh Barnett winning the heavyweight title from Randy Couture in an upset. Long detailed recap full of the usual news and stuff, but it's MMA sooooo...
And the next story is about Cael Sanderson of Iowa State becoming, record-wise, the single greatest collegiate wrestler in U.S. history by winning his 4th NCAA championship and ending his college record at 159-0. So MMA and college wrestling. On to the next...
AJPW notes: after long negotiations, AJPW failed to secure a new TV deal. The normal TV season in Japan is starting next week and they were hoping to have a deal signed by now, but no luck. Also, they're interested in bringing in Super Crazy for their junior heavyweight division but it'll likely depend on whether he gets an offer from WWF instead (neither happens right now. He spends the next 2 years bouncing around NJPW, CMLL, and Zero-1 before he finally ends up in WWE in 2005).
Already halfway through the issue and past the major stories. This seems like a slow issue wrestling-wise, but the UFC and Cael Sanderson stories were both big chunks so....sorry this one kinda blows.
NOAH junior champion Naomichi Marufuji dislocated his knee when landing wrong on a moonsault and had to be stretchered out at a recent show. No word on how long he'll be out of action for (must have been a pretty bad injury. Looks like he comes back 2 weeks later, wrestles a match to drop the title, and then is out of action for the next 10 months).
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono won the vacant tag team titles at the latest NJPW show, beating Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi in a tournament final match. The titles were, of course, vacated when Keiji Muto jumped ship to AJPW, leaving his partner Taiyo Kea and the belts behind. Nagata ate the pin here. And in fact, Nagata also recently did several submission jobs to Tadao Yasuda at some shows and Dave jokes that Nagata is getting the Chris Jericho push. You know, beat him to death for months on end until the fans see him as a midcarder, then put the title on him with almost no build-up, and then wonder why he's not over and blame him when business is down (indeed, Nagata wins the IWGP title just a week or two after this and even though he holds it for 13 months, business goes in the toilet. And it's through no fault of Nagata's).
Antonio Inoki announced that he is bringing in Chyna to the NJPW 30th anniversary show at the Tokyo Dome in May. Remember a week or so ago when Inoki talked about how successful WWF's recent show in Japan was and admitted that maybe he has some stuff to learn from it? This is it. Inoki realized the huge popularity WWF has in Japan right now and reached out to one of their biggest stars of the last few years to bring in as a celebrity guest. The idea they teased in the press is that she would come in and work a match and probably defeat one of NJPW's lower card guys, which Dave thinks would be a horrible idea (yeah, that would suck. Better idea: how about she goes over Yuji Nagata and Jushin Liger in her first match, how's that sound Dave? Because that's exactly what we get. Fuckin' Inoki, man...)
NJPW's latest show in Tokyo did a disappointing attendance number and Dave says that's what happens when you make Tadao Yasuda your world champion. No matter how much publicity he got off his upset MMA victory a few months ago, and no matter how nice his underdog comeback story is, he flat out sucks as a pro wrestler and the crowd sees it and don't buy him as champion. Even worse, they had him go over Tenzan by submission. With NJPW's depleted roster, Tenzan is one of the only cool, not-washed-up wrestlers they have left. Anyway, this sets up a Yasuda match with Nagata at the next show in Tokyo and if NJPW has any smarts at all, they'll get that belt off him and onto Nagata ASAP (they do, thankfully).
Bobby Heenan is currently recovering from surgery to remove his lymph nodes. following his recent cancer diagnosis and is said to be in good spirits.
Various notes: Goldberg filmed an episode of the HBO show Arli$$ recently. Ken Patera did an interview and said the strongest men in wrestling from his era were Andre The Giant, Bruno Sammartino, Ivan Putski, Billy Graham, and Tony Atlas, in that order, and praised Bruno for being extra impressive because he never used steroids. Shane Douglas' Time Warner contract is expiring in a few weeks and it's rumored he'll be working with XPW as a wrestlebooker.
Jerry Jarrett's new promotion is expected to start in June and there continue to be rumors that Vince Russo will be ghost-writing the show. Dave says the differences between a Russo show and a Jarrett show should be pretty glaringly obvious within the first few minutes of the first show, so we'll just have to wait and see (I don't know if he was involved in the very first shows or not, but he joins the company within the first month).
Remember the WCW KISS Demon? Well his real name is Dale Torborg and he now works as a coach for the Florida Marlins baseball team (his father Jeff is the manager of the team). Anyway, Torborg recently got into a confrontation with relief pitcher Antonio Alfonseca that is rumored to have gotten physical and resulted in Alfonseca locking himself in a trainer's office to get away. Everyone on the team is being hush-hush about the incident. Alfonseca apparently has a bit of a reputation of being hard to deal with, but since the incident, he's allegedly been on his best behavior because apparently the KISS Demon put the fear of god in him (here's a news article from it at the time. Alfonseca ends up being traded to a new team a few days later, although the Marlins denied this incident had anything to do with it).
Ring of Honor has announced some new rules for its promotion. For starters, they're bringing back tag ropes (yeah, during this era, that was a small thing that sorta just got ignored by everyone for years). They're also not doing any count-outs. ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky said that outside-the-ring counts always go really slow and referees have to stall or find excuses to break the count and no one likes count-out finishes anyway, so why even have them? So now, you can fight on the floor all you want. Dave says AJPW pretty much did the same thing in the 90s. ROH also wants to have very little outside interference or ref bumps and clean finishes.
Apparently, Jake Roberts is being investigated in England by the RSPCA for animal cruelty. After a recent show there, someone complained that he was being cruel to his snake at the show. The next night, the RSPCA sent an agent to another show Jake was working to watch and they weren't happy with what they saw either, so they've opened an investigation (yeah, as a kid, this was of course the coolest thing ever. But as an adult, I hate watching the way animals have been used in wrestling over the years. Jake used to just throw that snake around like it was nothing, fling it across the ring, people would fall on it, land on it, step on it, whatever. Remember the scene where Jake locked Ultimate Warrior in a room full of snakes? Go back and watch it now, Warrior is just kicking the shit out of these poor little snakes. Or another example, I remember watching a British Bulldogs match a few months ago and they had Matilda the bulldog jump off the ring apron to the mat below. That's a 3-4 foot jump. As someone who has owned bulldogs, that is terrible for their spines. As a kid, all this stuff was whatever. But as an animal-loving adult, watching all that old footage now makes me real uncomfortable).
An indie promotion in Pittsburg called IWC had a tournament called the Super Indy Tournament featuring Chris Hero, Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki, Colt Cabana, and some kid named CM Punk.
Early estimates for the WWA PPV in Las Vegas are around 31,000 PPV buys. Keep in mind, early estimates are always about 10-25% higher than what the final number ends up being. WWA needed 35,000 just to break-even on this show so even with the inflated number, they didn't do it. So the show is undoubtedly a money-loser, but no idea just how badly yet (spoiler: pretty badly).
Notes from Raw: it was the WWF Draft show! Dave calls it "the latest Russo-like reset of the promotion." Rock was drafted #1 for Smackdown while Undertaker was drafted #1 for Raw. It was announced that Austin wasn't eligible for being drafted and will be a free agent, so they'll figure that out later. Dave says, if you follow the storylines, it makes no sense why Ric Flair would pick Undertaker as his #1 pick (this being the guy he just had a bloodbath with at Wrestlemania and they didn't even bother to explain why Flair picked him). With his next pick, Flair selected the NWO. Once again, just a few weeks ago, Flair was ready to sign over his share of the company and leave the WWF entirely to keep Vince from bringing in the NWO. And now, with no explanation, he's drafted them to Raw. Billy & Chuck and the NWO got drafted together as a team, but the Dudleyz got split apart. Why?! None of this makes sense and Dave is so frustrated with how little thought they put into this after having a year to plan it. (Rewinderman short rant: everybody talks about all the reasons WWE has declined in popularity over the last 20 years and there's always different theories. Bad booking, not creating new stars, not pushing the right people, etc. etc. But I have my own theory that I never hear anyone say: I think it's the lack of attention to detail. Ever since WCW went out of business, Vince has been painting in broad, dumbed down brush strokes, over-explaining dumb, simple storylines, with none of the attention to detail that makes people get invested in a story. Anyway, enough of my opinions). Brock Lesnar came out and beat up a bunch of people again, which he's been doing on every show since his debut. In this case, he threw Rikishi around like a rag doll and Dave says that's one strong fella. They did an angle where Stephanie lost a match and was forced to "leave the WWF" and she was dragged out by security while the crowd sang the goodbye song to her. But Dave says they did this exact same thing with Stephanie in November and that lasted all of 5 weeks before she was back so don't get too excited (sure enough, she'll be back 3 months after this).
Notes from Smackdown: Rico Constantino debuted as the stylist for Billy & Chuck and Dave says that's a dead-end gimmick if there ever was one. He also got a haircut and looks like a totally different person from his OVW days. Rico is a fantastic wrestler and everyone from OVW to front office guys like Jim Ross have gone to bat for him and said he's ready to be a star. But he's small and he's on the older side, so this is clearly where Vince sees him (yeah, even Bruce Prichard later said that pretty much everyone in the company saw star-potential in Rico.....except Vince). Edge vs. Booker T had a rematch that was much better than their Wrestlemania match. And X-Pac debuted (with "a new physique", wink wink) and joined the NWO and they beat down Hogan and got major heat because Hogan is so over right now.
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall showed up several hours late to the Smackdown tapings in Ottawa and the first thing Nash did upon arrival was complain loudly to anyone who would listen about Rock calling him "Big Daddy Bitch" the night before on Raw, saying Rock double-crossed him and Nash hadn't approved that line. Considering all the times Nash went against the script in WCW, needless to say, there were lots of rolled eyes at that. Especially after showing up late also. To make it up to him, during the tag match on Smackdown, they had a spot where Nash yelled "Who's the bitch now?" at him and Michael Cole made sure to bring attention to it on commentary so nobody missed it, so now they're even and now everything is okay I guess. Dave says Nash and Rock smoothed things over between them later because Nash is smart enough to know that making an enemy of The Rock isn't in his best interest. But he was extremely pissed about the line.
Variety reported the new movie Rock is going to be filming later this year will be called Helldorado. It's an action-adventure movie and Rock plays a bounty hunter who heads to the Amazon jungle to capture someone and ends up joining the guy to trying to retrieve something from a local mine (close enough. The movie ends up being renamed The Rundown).
Paul Heyman has dropped significant weight since he was last on TV back in November. Even if they're not a wrestler, Vince wants everyone on television to be "cosmetically presentable."
Assorted WWF notes: Lita is filming an episode of the FOX show "Dark Angel" soon (spoiler: this turns out very poorly for Lita). Steve Blackman is still out with a neck injury and now he gets crippling migraine headaches when he tries to work out or take bumps and Dave says it's possibly career-threatening (indeed, it forces him to retire). Chris Jericho's band Fozzy will be performing at WWF New York next week. The Rock is about to be featured on every TV show and on the cover of every magazine in existence over the next few weeks as part of the Scorpion King promotion.
Dave talks about the current second season of Tough Enough and how interest is way down from the first season. He also kinda gives it a brief review and just says it's boring and nothing really entertaining happens. In the first season, Tazz was the hard ass tough guy trainer to Al Snow's nice guy routine. When Tazz did it, it felt like he was doing it to teach the students respect and was trying to do it in a positive way. This season, Bob Holly is the "bad cop" and he comes across like a complete asshole who is bullying people without any intention of doing it in a way that makes them work harder or become better wrestlers (yeah, you think it's bad now, just wait until season 3 when he starts beating the shit out of Matt Cappotelli).
WWF is going to be working with the Ozzfest concert tour this summer. WWF wrestlers will sign autographs and introduce bands at many of the tour stops and several of the bands will perform on Raw later this year. "That's what happens when there's no Nitro," Dave deadpans.
Regarding the multiple hardcore title changes at Wrestlemania 18, there was discussions about having some of them happen at the CN Tower in Toronto. With the idea that they would brawl into the elevator and end up fighting out onto the outdoor observation deck (like, 100 floors up). But a few weeks before the show, for whatever reason, WWF changed their mind and decided not to pursue it.
Bret Hart recently agreed to work Jacques Rougeau's next indie event at the Molson Center. If you recall, just a few months ago, Rougeau drew a crowd of more than 10,000 to one of his indie shows there. When Vince McMahon found out Hart was going to work the show, he tried to pull a power move and get the Molson Center to give him an exclusivity deal, which would block Rougeau (and anyone else) from being able to run the building. Didn't work and Rougeau's show will go forward as planned as of now (Vince used to do that shit all the time in the 80s to Jim Crockett).
Rey Mysterio hasn't signed with WWF yet but it's considered just a formality. They gave him a low-ball contract offer, far less than he would make just working indies. Of course, it's just his downside guarantee. When you factor in gate money, merch money, video game money, etc. then he stands to make far more than he would on the indies. But if he gets hurt, he'll be sitting at home making very little money. On the other hand, if he gets hurt on the indies, he'll be making no money so better than nothing. Anyway, sounds like Rey shot down the first low-ball offer but they're expected to agree on a deal soon.
Dave has seen more of the TSN Off The Record interviews they did with several WWF stars last week. Ric Flair talked about how much of a disaster WCW was and put over Vince. Dave says that this isn't just Flair publicly kissing the boss's ass. Privately for years, Flair has only said good things about Vince McMahon, dating back to his first run in the early 90s. Even all the years he was in WCW, Flair only had good things to say about him. During the interview, Flair was asked to name someone who could have been an all-time great but didn't have the work ethic. Flair said he couldn't think of anyone off the top of his head, leading Dave to write, "I was screaming Barry Windham but nobody heard me." Jim Ross was next and blamed the environment in WCW for the backstage problems Hall and Nash caused. Dave points out that Hall and Nash caused all those same problems in WWF before they left in 1996 so that doesn't exactly check out. Undertaker's interview was interesting for the rare experience of seeing him out of character, just being Mark Calaway. When asked about something he hates about how the business has changed, Undertaker talked about the internet spoiling things and how it hurts the product when fans know about things in advance. Dave, of course, disputes this and gives an example using the show Friends. Before this season of the show started, TV Guide reported that Ross was going to wind up being the father of Rachel's baby and it was common knowledge. But the ratings were still through the roof for the "reveal." He also jokes that they could have swerved everybody and made it Gunther instead. Then he says if Russo was writing the show, he would have made himself a character called The Scriptwriter and made himself the father of Rachel's baby. (I've never watched Friends, these references are lost on me)
Latest on WWF pay cuts: aside from the very top guys, the company is trying to get most of the roster down to $125,000-or-less per year downside guarantees. Those who work full schedules will still make a lot more than that with PPV/ticket/merch percentages, plus they're doing more house shows this year and with the split rosters, more guys should be working more dates. Plus they raised the price of PPVs so the PPV pay-offs will be bigger. So these pay cuts won't really hurt the full-time stars. But of course, if you get hurt and you're sitting at home only collecting your downside, that's gonna be a lot less money now. So that sucks. On the flip side, WCW used to do the opposite, where guys were hurt and they still collected their full salary, which led to a lot of guys milking "injuries" so they could stay home and cash big ol' checks. So then WCW decided to start cutting people's pay in half when they were out for too long, and that led to people who were legitimately injured coming back too soon because they had bills to pay. So there's a delicate balance that you have to strike there. Also, as part of the new contracts they're trying to get everyone to sign, they're attempting to lock everyone into 3-to-5 year deals because Vince wants to make sure nobody can jump ship and help one of these new start-up promotions like XWF or WWA or the new Jarrett company get off the ground.
Ric Flair is still working on his autobiography that Mark Madden was helping to ghost-write for him. WWF is now attempting to buy the rights for that book away from the original publisher so they can publish it on their own. No word if Mark Madden will still be included or if they'll re-do it (WWF did eventually get it and released it. It has another author listed but still says "edited by" Mark Madden so who knows how much of his contributions made it into the final product).
After Naoya Ogawa took pictures with several WWF names at Wrestlemania, he went back to Japan and I guess got the media stirred up about possibly working with them. Some media outlets have talked about WWF running a Tokyo Dome event headlined by Ogawa vs. The Rock. Dave says this is pure bullshit.
WEDNESDAY:AJPW Triple Crown champion Toshiaki Kawada injured, more on WWF pay cuts, business analysis, the history of wrestling/shoot fighting, more on Steve Austin walking out, and more...
Basic foundational metrics for measuring your relative sports betting performance
Measuring Returns Understanding how to measure your performance is a crucial element of being a successful sports bettor. With varying odds and bet allocations, it’s not as simple as just counting your wins and losses. You can win 80% of your wagers, but if those bets were made at poor odds or you had poor bankroll management, you could still have disastrous results. What you need to measure is your return on investment (“ROI”). In the finance world, ROI is defined as a measurement of the gain or loss generated on investment, relative to the amount of money invested. For example, if you bought Amazon stock at $1,000 per share and it’s currently trading at $1,900 per share, you would say that investment has an ROI of 90% (($1900 - $1,000) / $1,000). Pretty straightforward calculation. In sports betting, however, there is often confusion regarding how to measure ROI. Wager ROI In the 2019 MLB season, Aaron and I wagered around $1.39 million across approximately 800 games. When it was all said and done, we had made approximately $113 thousand. If you divide $113 thousand by $1.39 million, you get 8.1%. Is this our ROI? If you ask the average sports bettor, they would say yes. If you ask the average finance professional, they would probably ask you “well, how much money did you start with?” We’re going to define that 8.1% (Net Win / Wagered Amount) as our Wager ROI. For every dollar that we wagered, we made around 8.1 cents. Wager ROI = [Net Win / Wagered Amount] Portfolio ROI We didn't start the 2019 season with a bankroll of $1.39 million, however. We started with $130 thousand. And we ended with $243 thousand. Yes, we wagered significantly more than our bankroll. But we started this endeavor with an investment of $130,000. Thus, by the financial definition of ROI, we had an ROI of approximately 87%. To avoid confusion with Wager ROI (and an unnecessary argument from sports bettors), we will define this as our Portfolio ROI. Calculations as follows: Portfolio ROI = [Ending Investment / Starting Investment – 1] Cash Turnover Ratio So how did we wager $1.39 million when we only started with $130,000? Well one of the beauties of sports betting (besides futures) is that the outcome of a wager is determined quickly (~24hrs for MLB, a week for NFL). When you win a game, your sports betting account is credited, and you can then use those proceeds to bet on something else. How efficiently we use our bankroll is something we’re going to call Cash Turnover Ratio. The Cash Turnover Ratio is the amount of wagers placed, divided by the average portfolio balance over the measurement period. For simplicity, it’s best to calculate your average portfolio balance as the average between your starting and ending bankroll. Cash Turnover Ratio = [Wagered Amount / ((Starting Portfolio + Ending Portfolio) / 2)] Our Cash Turnover Ratio for the 2019 baseball season was 7.4x as calculated below: 7.4x = $1.39 million / [($130k + $243k) / 2] The Cash Turnover Ratio is a measurement of how efficiently we are using our capital. If we had an average portfolio balance of $10 million and only wagered $1.39 million, that would be a very inefficient use of our capital. The only way to increase our Cash Turnover Ratio is to 1) increase our wager size or 2) place more wagers. Of course, increasing our wager size increases our risk and methods such as at Kelly Criterion give us the framework to optimize our bet allocation. Performance Objective So what should be our objective? To maximize our Wager ROI? To maximize our Portfolio ROI? Each person is different, but we prioritize Portfolio ROI over Wager ROI. There’s always going to be a tradeoff between Wager ROI and the number of wagers you play (and therefore your Cash Turnover Ratio). Let’s say you only bet the most select wagers and are able to hit 60% against -110 lines. You would be sporting a very impressive 14.5% Wager ROI, but you could likely improve your Portfolio ROI by being less selective and betting the games that you may only win at a 55% clip. Your Wager ROI would decrease, but the increased volume would increase your Portfolio ROI. So maximizing Portfolio ROI is a better strategy than maximizing Wager ROI, but is it our performance objective? Risk Adjusted Returns Simply, no. What we haven’t addressed yet is the riskiness of a betting strategy. For example – Bettor 1 has $10,000 and decides to make five $2,000 wagers at -110 over the course of a week. Bettor 1 wins three and lose two, winning a net $1,455, which is good for a Wager ROI of 14.5% and a Portfolio ROI of 14.5%. Alternatively – Bettor 2 also has $10,000 and makes 50 wagers of $200 instead, winning 30 and losing 20 over the same one-week period. Bettor 2 also has a Wager ROI of 14.5% and a Portfolio ROI of 14.5%. Do Bettor 1 and Bettor 2 do have equally strong betting strategies? Absolutely not. Bettor 2 was able to achieve the same returns as Bettor 1 but assumed a lot less risk in the process. We can borrow another concept from the financial realm to assess risk-adjusted performance. The Sharpe Ratio I’ll save you the boring history and definition of the Sharpe Ratio, but it is essentially a measurement of investment performance compared to a risk-free asset, after adjusting for risk. The Sharpe Ratio represents the additional return generated for an incremental unit of risk. Risk is generally measured as the standard deviation of returns. For our purposes, we will assume the risk-free asset to have a return of 0.0% given that these bets are short-term securities (and Treasuries are yielding next to nothing). We can use the Sharpe Ratio to assess the performance of each Bettor. In the table below, we’ve compared Bettor 1 with Bettor 2. Comparison of Strategies The big difference between the two bettors is that Bettor 1 assumed a lot more risk with 1) larger bets and therefore a higher standard deviation. As a result, Bettor 2 has a much higher Sharpe ratio than Bettor 1. You can download a workbook with the above calculations along with a more realistic example of differing betting strategies. Simply replace the shaded cells with your own data to calculate your own Sharpe Ratio. PM me if you want the workbook, or we can migrate it to a google sheet if enough people are interested.
BANG BANG (No, not that kind): A Toast to the 2019 New York Yankees.
Following a 2018 season in which the Yankees won 100 games, expectations for the 2019 season were sky high. We didn't quite achieve our ultimate goal of a World Series championship, but it sure was a fun season, and boy did we take a strange trip to get there... The team won 103 games, tied for the 7th most in their 117 year history, and most since the historic 1998 team that won 114. They broke their franchise record for home runs that lasted less than 1 year, and finished 1 shy of the MLB record, which the Twins captured in a thrilling, see-saw battle for dong supremacy. They won the division by 7 games over the Rays, and in a development that surprised absolutely no one, swept the 102-win Twins to reach the ALCS. Our exciting season ended with a disappointing loss to the 2019 AL Champion* Houston Astros, but it sure was a fun ride.
DJ LeMahieu: Signed as a super-utility/5th infielder to a 2-year deal, The Machine didn’t even have a spot on the Opening Day starting lineup. Not only did he find his way into the line-up, he became out team MVP. DJ hit .327/.375/.518 with 26 Homers, 102 RBI (out of the leadoff spot, no less), and 6.0 WAR, finishing 4th in the AL MVP voting. He also crieshit what was one of the biggest home run in Yankees history (for about 20 minutes) James Paxton: Traded from the Seattle Mariners for Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson, and Dom-Thompson Williams, the Big Maple quickly entrenched himself in the heart of Yankees fans when he threw 8 scoreless innings with 12 Ks against the Red Sox in his 4th start with the team. He had a bit of an inconsistent, yet solid, season overall, going 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA, 116 ERA+, and 11.1 K/P. He also shut down the Astros and Justin Verlander in a gusty win-or-go home ALCS game 5. Adam Ottavino: Otto made Yankees history upon signing, becoming the first player in Yankees history to wear “0” on the back of his jersey. While he struggled a bit with control (5.4 BB/9) He had a fantastic season out of the pen, posting a 1.90 ERA, 2.2 WAR, and 88 K in 66.1 IP. Edwin Encarnacion: Acquired near the trade deadline for Juan Then, Edwin and his parrot put up a nice couple months of production for us, mashing 13 homers while hitting .249/.325/.531 in 177 ABs. Now these were the guys we added this season that were EXPECTED to produce for us. As for everyone else...
The Next Man Up
You can’t talk about the 2019 Yankees without bringing up the historic and unprecedented injuries the team faced. It began early, when it was announced Didi Gregorius needed Tommy John Surgery shortly after the 2018 ALDS. CC Sabathia as well would not be ready by opening day after recovering from heart surgery. These alone seemed manageable. Once Spring Training began, however, players started to drop like flies. Before the season even began, we lost Aaron Hicks, Dellin Betances, and Luis Severino to injuries. After opening day the injuries continued, Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar were both quickly added to the IL as well. Tulowitzki and Greg Bird were less surprising but both suffered season ending injuries before playing more than ten games. Gary Sanchez suffered a groin strain soon after as well. At this point, we were less than 20 games into the season and had already lost our #1 SP, our best RP, our starting CF, DH, 3B, and catcher, our starting SS and the guy we signed to replace him. This combined gave us a pretty mediocre start, we managed to fight our way back to 0.500 in a series against the Royals, but in the game we did, Aaron Judge suffered an Oblique Strain. Even our TV play by play guy missed significant time after vocal cord surgery. At this point, the season seemed over to many, we entered a West Coast road trip expecting the worst. The first game played against the Angels in LA had a lineup that looked more like Brett Gardner doing a rehab assignment in AAA than an actual Yankees lineup. However, instead of keeling over and dying, or even merely treading water, the Yankees thrived, mainly due to contributions from many unlikely sources: Gio Urshela: Previously known as a glove-only player with a AAA bat, the Yankees acquired Urshela for cash considerations from Toronto at the end of 2018. Gio Urshela had a major breakout year, slashing .314/.355/.534 with 21 HR, 74 RBI, and 34 2B in 476 PA. The breakout came after Urshela made 2 small offseason adjustments to his swing by opening up his stance and shortening his swing path. He began crushing the ball during spring training, and had people around the team raving about him. At the end of August, Urshela was batting .331, neck and neck with teammate DJ LeMahieu for the AL batting title, before missing a couple weeks with an injury and slumping after his return. His spectacular defense was also a breath of fresh air after a year of Miguel Andujar. Mike Tauchman: The Yankees acquired Tauchman in the final days of Spring Training in a trade with the Rockies. Tauchman had been underwhelming in his small amount of time with the Rockies, but after a brief trip to the minors came up and dominated the league before joining the IL himself. Tauchman put up a 128 OPS+, as well as 3.6 rWAR and 16 DRS in only 87 games. The “Sock Man” was a very pleasant surprise this year, and looks to continue to improve on what he showed next year. Cameron Maybin: Starting the season in the Cleveland Indians system, the Yankees acquired him on April 25th following injuries to Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier for about the price of a Toyota Corolla. Maybin also produced in his short tenure with the Yankees, slashing .285/.364/.494 with 11 homers, 9 steals, and 1.5 WAR in a little less than half of a season’s worth of ABs. Unlike Urshela and Tauchman, Maybin is a free agent this offseason, so hopefully for this he can jettison the success he had this past year into a nice payday. Mike Ford: Ford was called up for the first time this season following an injury to Greg Bird (shockedpikachu.jpg) and while he rode the Scranton Shuttle for most of the year, he produced in his time in the Bronx, hitting .259/.350/.559 with 12 homers (including the aforementioned walkoff) in 143 AB, while also winning the award of “THICCest First Baseman in Major League Baseball” (sorry Ji-Man Choi)
Did you ever think that a team with this many injuries would ever win 103 games? A lot of us certainly didn’t. Very much a reason the Yankees success this year was their resilience and determination in the face of adversity. If there was a team this year that you would expect to have this kind of success, it certainly wouldn’t be the team that lost this many key contributors to the IL. Didi, Severino, Hicks, Judge, Andujar, Stanton, the list goes on. One thing that cannot be lost among Yankees fans is just how fun this season was. Rallies, walkoffs, clutch hitting, clutch defense, this team had it all. Two walkoff homers were hit this year, with countless other walkoff and extra inning hits. It really was a treat to watch this team never say die, especially in the late innings when out lockdown bullpen got to do its job. Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Aroldis Chapman, and the rest of the gang really made it seem like the game was over after 6 innings countless times this year. Dellin Betances was sorely missed out of that bullpen, and we wish him well over in Queens next season. I personally wish we added to the bullpen this year, since you can never have too many arms, but I feel pretty good about where we currently stand. Down on the farm, we’ve also got some talent that we expect to contribute soon, if not this year. Scranton and Trenton should have some pretty good talent this year getting ready to debut in the Bronx. Top 100 guys include Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia, and Jasson Dominguez. Even some of the fringe guys like Luis Gil and Luis Medina have promising futures. Ready for this season, you bet we are. One can only imagine what 2020 has in store for this team. In conclusion, with the addition of Gerrit Cole, this team only got better this offseason. December off-season moves aside, this team is sure to be healthier and less injury-prone than last year. So let’s raise a glass and all look forward to an awesome 2020 season!
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) vs Seattle Seahawks(11-5)
For the third season in a row the Eagles are limping into the playoffs with a multitude of injuries at key positions. But for the first time in those 3 seasons, starting QB Carson Wentz is at the helm and playing at his best. Wentz has won 4 straight must win games against division rivals and leading the Eagles offense complied mostly of backups and practice squad players to over 400 yards of total offense in each game. He will need to extend that winning streak to 5 games this week week against the Seattle Seahawks, the same Seahawks Wentz had his worst game of the season against where he turned the ball over 4 times. Wentz will need to stay hot and play much better than he did in the week 12 loss to the Seahawks. Like that game Wentz will be without his top targets at WR, and starting RG Brandon Brooks and RT Lane Johnson. Unlike last time, Wentz seems to have found a way to win without those key players. Key players have stepped up including Greg Ward and Boston Scott in those wins and they will need to again in their first playoff action of their careers. On the other side of the ball the Eagles will need to do something they have struggled with for years, stop Russel Wilson who is currently undefeated against the Eagles. Wilson has had an outstanding season and should be in conversation for MVP if not for Lamar Jackson’s amazing season. The Eagles defense will need to hold him in check if they hope to win, especially since the Seahawks will be without their top running backs. If the Eagles defense can hold, and Wentz can keep up his hotsteak, we may just see another week of postseason football in the Doug Pederson era with a hot team which can always be dangerous. Go Eagles!
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
94.1 FM and 610 AM
Atlantic City/South Jersey
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Atlantic City, NJ
1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Seahawks Radio Network Steve Raible returns for his 37th season in the radio booth, his 15th as the play-by-play announcer and “Voice of the Seahawks” after 22 seasons as the Seahawks analyst. Hall of Fame quarterback, Warren Moon, returns to the Seahawks radio team for his 15th season as an analyst.
Westwood One will broadcast the game to a national audience with Kevin Harlan on play-by-play and Brian Griese providing analysis and Ross Tucker reporting from the sidelines.
December 12th, 1976 at Veteran's Stadium Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia Eagles 27 - Seattle Seahawks 10
Seattle Seahawks lead the Philadelphia Eagles (350-319)
Doug Pederson: 0- against the Seahawks
Pete Carroll: 5-1 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Pete Carroll: Carroll leads 3-0
Carson Wentz: Against Seahawks: 0-3
Russell Wilson: Against Eagles: 4-0
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Russell Wilson: Wilson leads 3-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Seahawks lead the Eagles: 4-0
Record @ CenturyLink Field: Seahawks lead 3-2
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 11 - Seahawks No. 7
Sunday, Nov 24th, 2019
Seahawks 17 – Eagles 9
In a sloppy rainy game with high winds both QBs struggled, but the Wilson made plays when it counted and got help from running back Rashaad Penny who had a career day running for 129 yards including a 58 yard TD run. The Eagles defense was again fooled by a trick play on a flea flicker which saw Wilson hit Malik Turner for a 33 yard TD. The Eagles offense was terrible struggling to get anything going all day and missing key players including Jeffrey, Jackson, Agholor, Howard, Johnson and Brooks didn’t help. It was the worst game of the season for Wentz who turned the ball over 4 times in the Eagles loss. Russel Wilson continued his dominance over the Eagles and remained undefeated against them in his 8 year career.
Eagles HC Doug Pederson was born in Bellingham, WA, and grew up in Ferndale, WA. Pederson recently admitted that he "Grew up a Seahawks Fan" and used to attend Seahawks games at The Kingdome.
Eagles LBs coach Ken Flajole is from Seattle and previously coached the Seahawks’ DBs (1999, 2001-02) and LBs (2000).
Eagles Safeties coach Tim Hauck played for the Seahawks in 1997.
Eagles Defensive Line coach Phillip Daniels was selected by Seattle in the 4th round of the 1996 NFL Draft.
Seahawks Northeast Area Scout Todd Brunner worked for the Eagles for four seasons (1994-97) as an area scout covering the Northeast. He joined the Eagles as a scouting intern in 1992 and worked as a scouting assistant in 1993.
Eagles CB Sidney Jones attended University of Washington.
Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks played 6 seasons for the Eagles from 2012-2017 including winning a Super Bowl with him in Super Bowl LII.
With the division on the line, the Eagles controlled their own destiny as they took on the division rival New York Giants on the road. The Eagles were already short and then they lost running back Miles Sanders and three-time Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks in the first half. But Scott, Josh Perkins, Greg Ward, Deontay Burnett and Robert Davis combined for 16 catches on 25 targets, 225 yards receiving, 54 yards rushing and four TDs. The five players were cut a combined eight times by four teams since Aug. 31. But Carson Wentz got the most out of them as he lead the Eagles to their 4th must win game in a row beating the Giants 34-17.
The Seahawks were playing for the division title against the 49ers in week 17 with a playoff spot already locked in for both teams. In the first half, the 49ers dominated, taking a 13–0 halftime lead aided by a Deebo Samuel 30-yard touchdown run on a pitch and catch. The 49ers also held Seattle to just 79 yards of total offense, including stuffing running back Marshawn Lynch on 4th and inches from the 49ers 31-yard line, causing a turnover on downs. In the second half, the Seahawks proved resilient, scoring multiple times. The Seahawks would never lead in this game however, as the 49ers countered every Seahawks score with one of their own, including a Raheem Mostert 13-yard touchdown run to make it 26–14 with 5:51 left. After Seattle cut the lead to five, a questionable personal foul call against Ben Garland forced a punt, giving them the ball back with 2:27 left. They marched all the way down to the 49ers 1-yard line, but a delay of game penalty pushed them back to the 6-yard line. After three incomplete passes, the Seahawks faced 4th and goal. Russell Wilson hit receiver Jacob Hollister with a pass to the 49ers 1-yard line, but Hollister was stopped inches short of the goal line by linebacker Dre Greenlaw, causing a turnover on downs with nine seconds left that sealed the victory.
Referee: Shawn Smith
Including playoffs, Philadelphia has the 2nd-best home winning percentage (.735, 25-9) in the NFL since 2016, trailing only New England (.838, 31-6).
In Week 17, the Eagles totaled 400+ yards for the 4th consecutive game, which is Eagles the longest stretch of 400+ yards since 2013 (6 games).
The Eagles captured their 2nd division title in the last three seasons and 3rd consecutive postseason berth (2017-19).
Philadelphia owns the No. 4 seed in the NFC Playoffs heading into Wild Card Weekend (Jan. 4-5, 2020).
Doug Pederson is the first Eagles head coach to lead his team to three straight postseason appearances since Andy Reid from 2008-10.
Philadelphia has made the playoffs in three-or-more consecutive seasons for the 6th time in team history.
The Eagles have earned a postseason berth for the 27th time in franchise history (since 1933).
Since 2000, Philadelphia is tied for the 4th-most playoff appearances (13) in the NFL, behind New England (17), Green Bay (14) and Indianapolis (14).
The Eagles are NFC East Champions for the 11th time in franchise history.
Philadelphia’s nine NFC East championships since 2001 are the most in the division, ahead of Dallas (5), N.Y. Giants (3) and Washington (2)
OT Andre Dillard
DE L.J. Collier
RB Miles Sanders
S Marquise Blair
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
WR DK Metcalf
WR Shareff Miller
LB Cody Barton
QB Clayton Thorson
WR Gary Jennings Jr.
G Phil Hayes
CB Ugo Amadi
LB Ben Burr-Kirven
RB Travis Homer
DT Demarcus Christmas
WR John Ursua
Notable Off-season Additions
WR Desean Jackson
DE Jadeveon Clowney
DT Malik Jackson
DE Ziggy Ansah
DE Vinny Curry
DT Al Woods
DT Hassan Ridgeway
WR Josh Gordon
QB Josh McCown
QB Geno Smith
G Mike Iupati
K Jason Myers
FB Nick Bellore
Notable Off-season Departures
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles
FS Earl Thomas
DE Michael Bennett
SS Kam Chancellor
DE Chris Long
WR Doug Baldwin
S Chris Maragos
WR Paul Richardson
RB Jay Ajayi
DE Frank Clark
RB Josh Adams
K Sebastian Janikowski
RB Wendell Smallwood
G J.R. Sweezy
DT Haloti Ngata
CB Justin Coleman
DT Shamar Stephen
SS Maurice Alexander
QB Brett Hundley
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
The Eagles have not been great at defending the deep ball. Russell Wilson is good at the deep ball. I should just leave it at that, but that’s not what you’re here for. In 2019, Wilson’s averaging the 2nd-highest percentage of total throws targeting 20+ yards downfield (16.5%). Over the previous 3 seasons, Wilson has been 3rd, 2nd, and 8th. His Adjusted Completion % (accounting for drops) is 48.2%, good for 8th. His Passer Rating on Deep Balls is 119.2, good for 4th.
Matchups to Watch
Seahawks Pass Defense vs. the Eagles Pass Offense
Well, now the Eagles are in the playoffs after this tumultuous season. Anything can happen with this team, whether it's one and done or a Super Bowl run. Before we can all think about the future of this postseason, the Eagles need to get by a tough opponent in the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll's Seattle teams, with or without Wilson, has owned the Eagles. That extended into this season with the Seahawks winning an ugly game against the then hapless Eagles. A lot has changed for Philly since then, mainly their success through the air. The Nobodies have stepped up to help Carson eLeVaTe the passing offense as he nearly averaged 300 yard passing per game in the final 4 weeks of the season. Carson has played really well and the coaches stepped up big to help get the passing game going. Their game plan can't, and won't, be a repeat of their early "death by one thousand slant/flats" if they want to win. And the offense can't turn the ball over at the rate they did if they expect to win. This is an athletic pass defense with two great LBs that excel in coverage. The Eagles will need to continue to move the pocket for Wentz to extend the time to throw which will allow deeper shots to open up. Due to personnel, this isn't an offense that can rely on its skill position players to consistently win 1v1. They'll need to continue to be creative in their usage of screens to prevent the defense form keying on them again. If Zach Ertz is able to play, that would be a huge win for the Eagles as he is their best natural separator. Seattle is an easy defense to scheme for as there is very little they change on a week to week basis. It's just being able to hit on the plays they scheme up. One injury for the Seahawks that important to watch is the status of safety Quandre Diggs; he was acquired from the Lions on the cheap (for some reason) and is a key player in their coverage schemes. As of now, the Seahawks should be expecting him to go as he was a full participant in their latest practice report. Either way, this is the 15th ranked passing defense by DVOA. They can be beat through the air. It would be wise for them to build off the game plan the Niners used last week to win in Seattle.
Seahawks Run Defense vs Eagles Running Backs
Philly wasn't able to have a lot of success on the ground the last time they played for a number of reasons. One big reason for that was the injuries on the offensive line - which remains the same for the rematch. Lane Johnson's status for Sunday is still unknown and stud Guard Brandon Brooks landed on IR after the week 17 win against the Giants. The backups have played decently well in reliefof the two key linemen but their absence will always loom large. The variety of concepts the Eagles use in the run game is a big factor in its success as it keeps opposing defenses off-balance. Being down Brooks and Lane could hinder what the Eagles like to do if their replacements can't adequately step up. Moreover, Sanders sustained an injury last week (ankle) and should play, but his effectiveness really won't be known until game time. Since the bye, Sanders has stepped up in a big way when Jordan Howard's shoulder died. Sanders proved he is a capable receiver and pass blocker early on but really improved his ability as a runner very quickly when the team needed him the most. If he is able to be effective on Sunday, that would be a huge boost to the undermanned Philly offense. Additionally, Boston Scott has continued to step up for the Eagles when they need him the most. Scott doesn't profile as an every down back but was able to take that role last week when Sanders left the game. His ability to consistently find the open rush lanes has been paramount to his success. Like Sanders, when Scott is able to get the ball in space he is able to create chunk plays to move the sticks. Jordan Howard returned to the line up last week; while he only played one snap, his ability to now play should help the Eagles rushing attack. This Seattle defensive line is a weak unit that is missing key players. Jadeveon Clowney has been banged up for most of the season and his status for Sunday is questionable. His absence would be a huge boost for the Eagles. This Seattle rushing defense is 26th in DVOA; if the Eagles offensive line was 100% heading into Sunday, this would be the single biggest mismatch in this contest. As it stands now, the Eagles should have enough in their reserves to be effective against this front, but that is a risky bet. They weren't effective in their first meeting - they need to change that to win.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks Receivers vs the Eagles Secondary
Russell Wilson has owned the Eagles in his career but will be entering Sunday's contest off his worst performance against this team in his career. He was sacked 6 times and was generally inaccurate for most of the game. He struggled to pick up some of the coverage changes the Eagles implemented in their secondary and lead to below average play. He's still Russell Wilson and this is still the Eagles pass defense: you simply cannot bet on the Eagles secondary anymore. Wilson has been a top 2 QB this year in an MVP caliber year carrying the Seahawks to this point in the season. There are very few instances in his time with the Seahawks where the Seahawks are down by double-digits late in a game. This is an Eagles secondary that struggles to stop the big play and cover outside receivers - the Seahawks have two dangerous weapons outside. The Eagles should have everyones favorite terrible CB back for this contest... Jalen Mills. The starter opposite him will be a mystery. Since his early season benching, Sidney Jones has been absolutely clutch for the Eagles on their current run. While his play hasn't been perfect, he's been less of a disaster than he previously was. Avonte Maddox and Cre'von Leblanc are fresh off really good performances against the Giants. If I had to guess, Maddox will start outside and Leblanc will see the slot; Jones would work into the rotation in more CB heavy looks. As previously mentioned, not only was Russ generally inaccurate in the first meeting, his receivers had a lot of key drops as well. Here is a big gain dropped by DK Metcalf. How about this dropped TD by DK Metcalf? Or this bricked layup TD pass from Wilson? My point is this: I generally think the Eagles pass defense, namely the secondary, has been more lucky than good in the second half of the season en route to an NFCE title. They are still here, which is awesome, but until they actually clean up their games it's hard to bet on them succeeding. Russ is one of the best passers in the league; it doesn't matter if he is scrambling or in the pocket, he'll generally eat you alive. This is a WR group, especially with Lockett and Metcalf, that will make defenses pay. They didn't last time, I don't think the Eagles will be so lucky this time. If I'm the Seahawks, I throw early and often. The Eagles defensive ranks against outside WRs: Yards allowed: 32nd, Explosive receptions: 29th, TDs: 29th, Yards per target: 27th. If Pete Carroll and Brian Schottenheimer maintain status quo, like they do for some inexplicable reason, the Eagles have a real chance.
**Seahawks Decimated Offensive Line vs Eagles Pass Rush
The biggest aid to a struggling secondary is a strong pass rush. This is the foundation of the Eagles defense. While it isn't the stupid good group from the Super Bowl, it is still one of the best units in the league in getting pressure. Seattle has had bad offensive lines for years now and the group that'll start on Sunday fits that mold. Stud LT Duane Brown should miss this contest with a knee issue; this is a bad injury for the Seahawks as he is their best offensive lineman. The rest of their group is a well-below average unit that struggles in pass protection. The Eagles were able to get after Russell Wilson with 6 sacks in the first meeting and will need that kind of pressure again. Wilson can still make plays with his arm and legs while under pressure but it's still a difficult task for him. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham will need to continue to create havoc in the trenches. Derek Barnett must continue to build off his strong outing against the Giants. And if Timmy Jernigan can continue to play well, instead of up and down, then the Eagles should be able to get after Russ like they did Daniel Jones one week ago. The Eagles need to put this Seattle offense in bad situations to help out the secondary and help force some turnovers.
Hello all Wiz fans - I'm Kim, and today I’ll be sharing a story (which I hope to be able to do every weekend) that relates to the team! I’ve some time to spare before the game, so here goes today’s topic - our closest thing to a derby match in our young history - the ‘W Match’! The 'W Match'! Personally, I find myself most riled up in matches against the Dinos, but the Korean media has coined a term for another one of our matchups! Whenever we match up against the SK Wyverns, it’s called the 'W Match'! Taking the first letter of both team names, the matchup is likened to that of a ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ game - a fitting narrative when both teams’ mascots are commonly found in the D&D world - Wyverns and Wizards! Wyverns vs. Wizards! Other names for the series include the 통신사 Series (Mobile Carrier Series) or the 모바일 (Mobile) Match, noting the fierce rivalry both parent companies have as national carrier services. This fierce rivalry has famously extended to E-sports, with SKT1 and KT Rolster boasting rich histories and impressive accomplishments in the gaming scene. Another fun name for the matchup is the 수인선 (Su-in Line) Series - a reference to the subway line that runs from Suwon (Su) to Incheon (In), the home cities of the two teams! It’s nice to see us sort of having an equivalent to the Yankees-Mets Subway Series in the MLB. Su-In Line Train, Serving The Incheon-Suwon Route! Now, how do we actually fair in terms of this matchup? Well, in the first ever official ‘W Match’, a friendly wager was made between the teams, which included 3 specific bets. Firstly, the losing team would have to donate baseball equipment to elementary schools in the opposing team’s home city. Secondly, a ‘cheer bet’ was made which included the losing team’s cheermaster not being able to use a microphone/amplifier while cheering, and cheerleaders having to wear the winning team’s jerseys. Lastly, 50 limited edition t-shirts were made for the historic event, with the losing team having to pay for the production of the shirts. Any guesses as to what happened? (Hint : It was the 2016 Wiz…) Of course, we lost 10-3. SK was a good sport by electing to match our donation to help fund elementary school baseball programs, but our poor cheermaster definitely felt the loss (bless his heart). Besides the inaugural match, we also find ourselves losing as a whole every year, but we've kept it close! The total tally for the Wiz so far is 32 wins and 48 losses. I can't be certain, but I think this was our cheerleaders wearing the SK uniform... how humiliating! >:( Besides these connections, I personally don’t find much in the way of an actual rivalry with SK (not when you consider how intense some other rivalries are - I’m looking at you, Bears-Twins) but it’s a fun story and something you might not have known! I hope you found this interesting, and let’s cheer on our Wiz today as we look to take the series against the Lions! Go Wiz! P.S. I found a link with a video of the ‘cheer bet’ penalties which you can view below! https://m.tv.naver.com/v/1043817 Full Inaugural W Match Poster - It was too pretty not to post!
The following is a list of some of my favorite Black people and why. I thought I would share this given all the racial strife and bullshit today. Michael Jordan: He’s the best player ever, and he played back when the NBA has more talent in its little finger than LeBron James has in his dick. Plus, he was “clean”. The only controversial thing about him I have heard of was an out of wedlock love child. He was the real deal, and he did it with class. Shaquille O’Neil: I hated this guy because Atlanta could never get past him and the Magic in the playoffs back in the day. Our strategy was to alternate 3 guys to defend him and give up 18 fouls to stifle him. But what was surprising is how likable the guy is and what a straight arrow he is (like Michael Jordan). He’s a good guy. Walter Williams: Writer, pundit, scholar. Primarily, thought, he is a conservative intellectual. Great guy, great philosophy. Luther Campbell, a/k/a “Luke Skywalker”, of Tap Group 2 Live Crew. I was at the Atlanta show I’m Duluth back in the day when they were dragged off stage in handcuffs because they were deemed “obscene”. They made history as First Amendment warriors. Believe it or not, Luke is a good guy. But the most important thing is that Luke knows how important big phat ass and big juicy pussy are. “I want some Pussy” is the rap world’s “Stairway To Heaven.” Chuck Berry: I saw him live in Atlanta at Chastain Park 30 years ago. Few people realize how downright nasty this fucker is. One of his songs has a bit about getting jizz on your hand during sex, then taking your jizz hand and wiping it on the wall. Then there were the cameras he kept in the women’s bathroom at his establishment. He based a wildly successful career on a double-stop guitar riff, and it enabled him to fully explore his perversions and labido. Hats off!! Bill Cosby: This motherfucker’s stand-up routine is hilarious, and he does not go blue. The only other person I can think of that can do this well is Bob Newhart. Cosby is a brilliant comedian. I grew up watching Fat Albert on Saturday Morning. He is a great guy who really cares about his fellow black. Plus, he is known for helping out aspiring comedians. He is pure old school. He made it in Comedy before comedians became rock stars. Benji Webbe. He is the frontman for metal group, Skindred. It is an interesting group, to be sure. Benji does reggae style vocals while the band is aggressive metal. Oh, and they come from Wales, UK. Here is a sample: “Bruises”, https://youtu.be/2OgH0Z75uVI Jackie Robinson: Hell of a ball player who stepped up and showed great courage by breaking the MLB color barrier. He did it for a purely no political reason: he wanted to play in the big leagues. He was no race hustler or trying to play angles. Good man! JJ Jimmy Walker: Who didn’t go around in the 1970s saying “DY-NO-MITE!!”? Walker taught me that you can be in the same room with a black dude without having to worry about being robbed. And while we all know and love JJ for Good Times, my favorite role of his is in a black 1970s movie called “Let’s Do It Again” starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier. JJ is a boxer, but he is not very good. Cosby and Poitier hypnotize him into believing his skinny ass is a pure beast, so he can win fights. Bill and Sidney’s characters then win a lot of money betting on him. Next thing you know, the black mafia gets involved and wants to get in on the fight-fixing action. It’s a fucking fantastic film! Check out the trailer: https://youtu.be/Y1-57J8Cfzc Dave Chapelle: Honestly, I don’t know exactly what the fuck happened to this guy. His TV Show was brilliant. But I guess he caught too many bad waves from the blacks about his comedy dissing black culture. So he dropped out of sight for months, went to Africa to become black, them came back. He still makes fun of blacks, but I guess he does it in a more acceptable way? Who the fuck knows. His bit on Rick James and the talking venereal disease puppets elevates his comedy to legend status. Richard Pryor: The first thing I always think of with Richard Pryor is his stand up bit about being fucked in the ear by a monkey. He also transferred over well to the big screen. “Silver Streak” with Pryor and Wilder is a thing of magic. Jimi Hendrix: I don’t know what to say about Hendrix that has not already been said a million times over. He was probably the most influential guitarist to come out of the Hippy era. His influence, his body of work, an international superstar by just doing his own thing, then he died at 29. Jesus Christ! Mr. X: No, not Malcomb X. Mr. X is a private guy I know and I do not want to use his real name. Mr. X hired me to do some professional work for him a few years ago. This guy was a true player. He was the leader of his own black Protestant church. It was not a revolutionary Church or anything weird, just a straight up Protestant church. It was one of those churches that appoint “bishops”, even though they are not Roman Catholic, because it’s a black church. Mr. X owned that church and was the preacher and the reverend. He was married, and he and his woman drove around in a late model Cadillac with clergy tags and a cross decal in the middle of the back window. They were obviously proud of it, as black clergy are held in high regard in the black community. This church was a primary source of income for him. Every week he told his parishioners to give to the lord. What he really meant was “give to me!” We all know how this works. But did you also know that clergy members’ rent and mortgage payments for their residences are tax deductible. This crazy fucker lived in a nice damn house, nicer than mine, and wrote off $30,000 annually for mortgage payments. In other words, he decreased his taxable income by $30k each year. It is all legal and all in the up and up. He and I bonded over motorcycles. We both ride. Of course, I paid for my Harley whereas God paid for his on account of him being such a good preacher man and bringing all his flock to God. Of course, I never visited a church service of his or actually rode with him. That would be over the line for me. Now, you probably know what is coming next. This was actually the root of his problems. This motherfucker practiced “sexual healing”. This allowed him to heal the troubled minds of his female parishioners by having God intimately touch them, with Mr. X’s dick. This guy was fucking each and every bitch at his church. His wife knew about it but just ignored it. He claimed she knew nothing of it, but she did. The real problem was the bitches in the congregation feeling betrayed every time one learned he was fucking another bitch. Things got kind of messed up and he had a very delicate and sensitive matter in his hands. But that wife if his, she never went anywhere. It wasn’t because she loved him THAT much. It was because she did not want to live the gravy train. If she left then she would experience a substantial downgrade in living. Eventually, the guy pulled out of his problems and moved forward, like a real fucking player. I admire him for that. I would personally not try to pull off what he did. But my hats off to the guy. Dennis Rodman: I was a fan of his back when he and Bill Lambier were busting ass with the Detroit Pistons in the 1980s. After that, Rodman got weird. He went to the Bulls and pulled down boards for Jordan and Pippen. He started painting himself and his hair and looking like a queer. But he was also fucking Carmen Electra and crashing boards like a fucking animal! I like him because he is himself, independent of black identity culture. He is an individual, and America was made for individuals, not groups of pussies who cannot stand up and produce on their own.
In honor of Babe Ruth’s 125th birthday, here’s the All-Guys Nicknamed Babe Team. And at last an answer to the question you’ve always wondered: Who had more bWAR, Babe Ruth, or the combined total of the 30 other players called Babe?
Happy birthday, Babe Ruth! The Big Fella would have turned 125 years old today, and if he were somehow with us I bet he could still turn around a fastball. In honor of the Babe, what would the All-Babe Team look like? And who had more Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference (bWAR): Babe Ruth, or the combined total of the 30 other guys who also had the nickname Babe? I'm not including the various players with nicknames derived from Baby, the 1950s player Loren Babe, or Samuel Byrd -- who, as a frequent pinch-runner and defensive replacement for the Bambino, had the nickname "Babe Ruth's Legs." These are just players nicknamed Babe — whether in honor of Ruth or for unrelated or unknown reasons — according to Baseball Reference. Lineup: CF Babe Ganzel: 0.4 bWAR SS Babe Pinelli: 5.7 bWAR RF Babe Herman: 40.3 bWAR LF Babe Ruth: 162.1 bWAR DH Babe Phelps: 14.0 bWAR 1B Babe Young: 11.3 bWAR 3B Babe Dahlgren: 4.2 bWAR 2B Babe Ellison: -0.9 bWAR C Babe Roof: 3.3 bWAR Ganzel had a career .378 OBP so we'll bat him lead-off. Pinelli -- who was more of a third baseman, but did have 71 games at shortstop -- is your old-school bunt/slap hitter in the 2 hole. Herman should see a lot of fastballs hitting in front of the Colossus of Clout. Of course Ruth hit third for the Murderer's Row Yankees — that’s why he wore #3 — but we'll bat him clean-up here. Phelps will start against righties, but we may have to platoon him. Young should flourish as the six hitter. Dahlgren was primarily a first baseman, but we need him at third. Ellison was a terrible hitter but we don't have another second baseman on the roster. Roof is your typical good glove/bad bat catcher so we'll bat him 9th. Bench: 1B Babe Borton: 3.8 bWAR OF Babe Twombly: 0.3 bWAR C Babe Wilber: 0.2 bWAR C Babe Towne: 0.1 bWAR 1B Babe Danzig: 0.0 bWAR OF Babe Klee: 0.0 bWAR OF Babe Bigelow: -0.2 bWAR 1B Babe Butka: -0.4 bWAR OF Babe Martin: -0.6 bWAR OF Babe Barna: -0.7 bWAR OF Babe Nelson: -1.0 bWAR Borton’s really the only Babe on the bench we’d want to use as a pinch hitter. Pitching Staff: P Babe Adams: 52.2 bWAR P Babe Ruth: 20.3 bWAR P Babe Marchildon: 9.5 bWAR P Babe Klieman: 5.1 bWAR P Babe Birrer: 0.9 bWAR P Babe Meers: 0.9 bWAR P Babe Linke: 0.9 bWAR P Babe Doty: 0.5 bWAR P Babe Davis: 0.2 bWAR P Babe Sherman: -0.2 bWAR P Babe Picone: -0.3 bWAR Our top two are formidable, with the right-handed Adams and the lefty Ruth, but it gets ugly quick. Marchildon had 162 starts in the bigs, going 68-75 with a respectable 3.93 ERA, but 5.1 BB/9. Kleiman was 26-28 with 33 saves and a 3.49 ERA. After that... well... maybe we'll go with the "opener" strategy. Now lets take a look at them, Babe by Babe: OF/P Babe Ruth: 182.4 bWAR According to Baseball Reference, The Bambino had 162.1 bWAR as a batter and 20.3 bWAR as a pitcher... which is the second-highest pitching bWAR of any Babe in baseball history. Almost all his value as a pitcher came in just two seasons, 1916 (8.8) and 1917 (6.5) -- ages 21 and 22. In those two seasons, he had a combined 47-25 record with 650.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, and 1.077 WHIP. George Herman Ruth -- who usually was called "Jidge" by his teammates, a funny mispronunciation of George -- picked up the nickname Babe when he was an 18-year-old prospect with the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1913. There are several origin stories for the famous nickname... some say because he had a round baby face, others because he was so naive and rambunctious he was like an overgrown baby, and some because Orioles manager Jack Dunn doted on him like his own child. People usually think of Babe Ruth as a right fielder, but he played almost as many games in left (1,048) as he did in right (1,130)... not to mention 74 games in center field, 32 at first base, and 163 at pitcher. In fact, Ruth almost always played left field except in stadiums that had a big left field -- like Yankee Stadium! Almost all of Ruth's career games in right field were at Yankee Stadium, Cleveland's League Park, and Washington D.C.'s Griffith Stadium. Everywhere else, he almost always played left field. P Babe Adams: 52.2 bWAR The second-best Babe was a star pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the deadball era, going 194-140 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.092 WHIP over a 19-year career. He was renowned for his control, walking just 430 men in 2,995.1 career innings — 1.29 BB/9. To put that in perspective, Greg Maddux had a 1.79 BB/9. Charles Adams was known as Babe several years before George Herman got the nickname. He picked it up in the minors in 1907 or 1908, supposedly because the female fans in Louisville were so enamored with his beautiful baby face. OF/1B Babe Herman: 40.3 bWAR Like Ruth and Adams, Floyd Herman picked up the nickname Babe in the minors. In 1921, the 18-year-old rookie with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Western Canada League introduced himself as Lefty, but his manager didn't like that -- too many players already named Lefty. After seeing Herman’s power in spring training, the giddy manager said: “You’re going to be my Babe,” as in Ruth. Over a 13-year MLB career, Herman hit .324/.383/.532 with 181 HR and 997 RBI. Such great numbers, why only 40.3 bWAR? Herman was a famously inept baserunner, and the source of an epic line from Ring Lardner: "Babe Herman did not triple into a triple play, but he doubled into a double play, which is the next best thing." He was even worse as a fielder -- in 1928, many decades before Jose Canseco, a fly ball bounced off his head. Years later, a sportswriter asked Herman about the play, and he said the story was all wrong: "The ball actually hit me in the shoulder!” I'm... not sure that's better. His defensive WAR was -9.7! C Babe Phelps: 14.0 bWAR The 6'2", 225-pound Ernest Phelps got the nickname Babe because of his resemblance, both in terms of body size and his face, to Ruth. Like Ruth, put on weight as he got older... by the end of his career, he was sometimes called "Blimp." A left-handed hitting catcher, Phelps hit a respectable .310/.362/.472 over an 11-year career. 1B Babe Young: 11.3 bWAR Like several others on this list, Norman Robert Young lost some prime years to World War II. From 1939 to 1942, ages 23 through 26, the first baseman hit .277/.359/.454 in 424 games for a .813 OPS, accounting for 8.9 of his career 11.3 bWAR. He missed the next three seasons as he was in the U.S. Coast Guard, returning in 1946 at the age of 30. I can't find the origin story of his nickname, but as a left-handed slugger who played for Fordham University in the Bronx in the 1930s, I can guess it was in honor of the Bambino. P Babe Marchildon: 9.5 bWAR There are several people on this list who we can't even guess as to how they picked up the nickname Babe. This is definitely one of them. Babe was a most unlikely moniker for Philip Joseph Marchildon, a 5'10", 170-pound right-handed Canadian pitcher who lived a very tough life. Born in Ontario, he didn't play baseball until he was in high school, then got a job working in a nickel mine. At the age of 25, pitching for a semi-pro team, he went to a try-out with the minor league Toronto Maple Leafs; Marchildon struck out seven of the nine batters he faced, then drove back to Sudbury to resume life as a miner. As the story goes, the manager drove all the way to Sudbury to find him, dragged him out of the elevator just before it descended into the depths, and forced him right then and there to sign a baseball contract. Presumably because of his time as a miner, Marchildon had incredible strength in his fingers, enabling him to throw a fastball with remarkable movement... but he also struggled to control it, and often was among the league leaders in walks, wild pitches, and hit batters. In 1942, Marchildon joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a tail gunner on a bomber. Two years later, his bomber was shot down over Denmark. Marchildon and only one other crewmember survived; they were captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag Luft III, the prison camp made famous by the movie The Great Escape. After the war, Marchildon returned to baseball, but those who had known him before and after said the war had changed him, and he was long tormented by nightmares about what he'd endured. Marchildon, who went 68-75 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.456 WHIP in a nine-year career, is a member both the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. IF Babe Pinelli: 5.7 bWAR If only umpires accumulated bWAR! Rinaldo Angelo Paolinelli (he would later change it to the more American-sounding Ralph Pinelli) was born in San Francisco in 1895 -- the same years as Ruth -- to Italian immigrants. (His father was killed by a falling telephone pole in the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.) As a boy, he loved to play baseball, but the older boys wouldn't let him, and taunted him as "Babe" (as in baby) when he cried about it. Eventually they let him play, and he proved to be good enough that he would have an eight-year career in the bigs, hitting .276/.328/.346 in 2,617 ABs primarily as a third baseman for the Reds. After his career ended, Pinelli became an umpire; it's believed he was the first Italian-American umpire in MLB history when he made his debut in 1935. Pinelli was behind the plate for Don Larsen's perfect Game 5 in the 1956 World Series, and retired after Game 7. He wrote the first autobiography by an umpire, Mr. Ump, and was known as "The Lou Gehrig of Umpires" because he claimed he never missed a game in his 22-year career. He wasn't always on time, though: In 1941, Pinelli's umpiring crew was taking a boat from New York to Boston, and got lost in the fog. The first inning was umpired by the players, but the umpires arrived for the 2nd inning. Boston's manager was Casey Stengel, and from then on whenever Pinelli missed a call, Stengel would holler: "You're still fogbound!" P Babe Klieman: 5.1 bWAR We don't know why Edward Frederick Klieman was called Babe, but he also was called Specs and you can see why. Klieman was a swing-man for the Indians in the 1940s, going 26-28 with 33 saves and a 3.49 ERA in eight seasons. 1B Babe Dahlgren: 4.2 bWAR Ellsworth Tenney Dahlgren was born in San Francisco in 1912, two years before Ruth made his MLB debut. His stepfather dubbed him "Babe" after the Sultan of Swat. Dahlgren actually followed in Ruth's footsteps, making his debut for the Red Sox in 1935 and then a few years later joining the rival New York Yankees, and later in his career played for the Boston Braves. Dahlgren famously replaced Lou Gehrig at first base when the Iron Horse ended his consecutive games played streak. He hit .261/.329/.383 over his 12-year career. 1B Babe Borton: 3.8 bWAR A deadball era first baseman, it's unknown how William Baker Borton was dubbed Babe, but he was known by that nickname in 1913, a year before Ruth. A seldom-used reserve for the White Sox and Yankees, Borton jumped to the Federal League in 1915. That season, playing for the St. Louis Terriers, he would hit a respectable .286 with a .395 OBP (leading the league with 92 walks!). After the Federal League folded, Borton returned to MLB and would hit .224/.350/.306 in just 98 ABs, and then like many other former Federal League players was released. He would keep playing professionally in the Pacific Coast League, but in 1920 -- the same year the Black Sox scandal was unveiled -- the 30-year-old Borton was caught in a scheme trying to fix games, and booted from professional baseball. C Babe Roof: 3.3 bWAR The last MLB player with the nickname Babe was Phil Roof, who also had the grand nickname of the Duke of Paducah. Roof was a light-hitting catcher, putting up a .215/.283/.319 line in 2,151 career ABs... and yet he had a good enough glove to have a 15-year MLB career, retiring in 1977 at the age of 36. Babe Roof hit 43 home runs in his 15-year career... which means he averaged less than three a year. P Babe Birrer: 0.9 bWAR A pitcher in the 1950s, Werner Joseph Birrer posted a career 4.36 ERA and 1.387 WHIP in 119.2 career innings over three seasons. I can only imagine the disappointment of a little boy opening a pack of Bowman Cards and finding not a Mantle or a Mays but a Birrer. But for all that, Birrer did have one shining moment, and how he got the nickname Babe. On July 19, 1955, Birrer pitched four shutout innings in relief... and hit not one but two three-run home runs. A pitcher who hits home runs, naturally he was given the nickname Babe! P Babe Meers: 0.9 bWAR Russell Harlan Meers was a left-handed pitcher for the Cubs who pitched in one game in 1941 -- taking the loss despite giving up just one earned run and five hits in 8 innings -- and then of course World War II happened. He would spend 1942-1945 in the U.S. Navy. After the war he'd pitch another two seasons with the Cubs, then bounce around a few more years in the minors. In his MLB career, he went 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.482 WHIP. He threw hard, but had fantastically bad control... as a 20-year-old rookie in the Mountain State League in 1939, he walked 191 batters in 227 innings! P Babe Linke: 0.9 bWAR Edward Karl Linke posted a 5.61 ERA and 1.695 WHIP but somehow lasted six years in the bigs. Maybe he kept getting chances because he threw a no-hitter in the minors as a 20-year-old in 1932. Linke's career very nearly ended in 1935, when he was hit in the face by a line drive; it hit him so hard that it bounced off his forehead and went back to the catcher, who caught it on the fly and threw to second for a double play! Linke was hospitalized for two days, but returned to baseball (and would win eight of his nine decisions after that). Unfortunately we don't know why he was called Babe. P Babe Doty: 0.5 bWAR The original Babe according to baseball-reference.com, Elmer L. Doty was born in 1867. He had just one MLB appearance, but it was a pretty good one -- a complete game win for the Toledo Maumees, allowing just one run and one walk while fanning four against the Brooklyn Bridgerooms. He would continue to pitch semi-pro and minor league ball for a few more years before becoming a woodworker. Alas, he may be the original Babe, but we don't know why they called him that; quite possibly it was because he was just 22 years old when he made his debut. OF Babe Ganzel: 0.4 bWAR He was born Foster Pirie Ganzel, so I understand why he wanted a nickname, but I don't know why it was Babe. He had two brief stints in the majors, hitting .311/.378/.473 in 74 career ABs; but the outfielder had a long minor league career, beginning as a 21-year-old in 1922 and ending as a 41-year-old in 1942. He was later a minor league manager; one time in response to criticism from fans that he never told his players to bunt, he ordered his first nine batters to do so. All nine reached base safely. I guess the fans were right! OF Babe Twombly: 0.3 bWAR Clarence Edward Twombly played two years for the Chicago Cubs, 1920-1921, hitting .304/.357./366 in 358 career ABs. We can speculate he got the nickname Babe because he was the baby brother to another major leaguer, George, who played five seasons between 1914 and 1919 (hitting .211/.289/.247 in 417 ABs). Interestingly enough, big brother George was playing for the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1914 when he was stricken by appendicitis, and he was replaced in the lineup by a baby-faced rookie named... Babe Ruth. Later that year, the Reds were given the opportunity to purchase two players from the Orioles roster; instead of Ruth, they took George Twombly and a former major league infielder named Claud Derrick. Later that year, the Red Sox were given the same deal and they took Ruth and Ernie Shore. C Babe Wilber: 0.2 bWAR If not for World War 2, maybe Delbert Quentin Wilber would have been higher on this list. As an infant, his mother called him "Babe" and it stuck. Wilber made his minor league debut as a 19-year-old catcher in the St. Louis Browns system in 1938, hitting .304 with a .490 SLG in 398 ABs, and he'd follow that up hitting .308 with a .472 SLG in 435 ABs in 1940. But three months after Pearl Harbor, Wilber found himself at the Jefferson Barracks Army Air Force Base in Missouri. He entered the war as a private and left it as a captain, spending most of that time on military bases as a playemanager for baseball teams often loaded with MLB stars. He would finally reach the Show as a 27-year-old in 1946, getting a cup of coffee with the St. Louis Cardinals. Over his eight-year career, Wilber would hit .242/.286/.389 in 720 ABs. P Babe Davis: 0.2 bWAR Born in 1913 -- one month after the inauguration of the 28th president -- Woodrow Wilson Davis pitched in just two MLB games, giving up one run on three hits (but four walks) for the Detroit Tigers in 1938. He did have seven years in the minors, going 50-55 in 190 games across six different leagues, but like many others on this list his professional baseball career was derailed by World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy. I can't find a source for the nickname Babe, but he obviously liked the nickname -- after baseball, he founded "Babe's Mighty Mites," a baseball and softball youth program in Wayne County, Georgia. C Babe Towne: 0.1 bWAR A catcher for 14 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1906, Jay King Towne went 10-for-36 with seven walks (.395 OBP) and had a pinch-hit appearance in the 1906 World Series, but apparently that wasn't good enough to bring him back to the bigs the following season. He had a long minor league career, though, starting as a 22-year-old catcher for the Rock Rapids Browns in the Iowa-South Dakota League in 1902 and ending as a 36-year-old playemanager of the Fort Dodge Dodgers in the Central Association in 1916. In 1911, he hit .366 for the Sioux City Packers of the Western League! Like many others, I can't find the origin of the nickname Babe, but he had it years before Ruth did. 1B Babe Danzig: 0.0 bWAR Harold Paul Danzig went 2-for-13 in his only MLB season, in 1909 with the Boston Red Sox. Danzig would spend a total of nine years in professional baseball, playing in the Pacific Coast League, the New England League (hitting .345 for Lowell Tigers in 232 AB), the Southern Association, and the Empire State League. Danzig -- born eight years before Ruth, and making his MLB debut while Ruth was a 14-year-old boy at St. Mary's School for Boys -- reportedly picked up the nickname Babe because of his large size as a youth, in reference to Paul Bunyan's blue ox! OF Babe Klee: 0.0 bWAR Ollie Chester Klee appeared in just three MLB games, all with the Cincinnati Reds in 1925. On August 10th, he replaced future Hall of Famer Edd Roush in center field in the 7th inning of a 10-6 game against the Brooklyn Robins; he would then lead off against Dazzy Vance in the 9th, and strike out. (Vance would strike out the side, going the distance in the 13-7 victory.) On August 14 and August 26, the 25-year-old got into games as a pinch runner, but didn't get to bat or field... or even advance a base. Klee had been a star halfback at the Ohio State University and later was a high school football coach. Unfortunately, we don't know when or why he picked up the nickname Babe. OF Babe Bigelow: -0.2 bWAR Maybe the Boston Red Sox thought they'd reversed the curse in 1929 when they signed a left-handed power hitter nicknamed Babe. Elliot Allardice Bigelow had been a minor league sensation, tearing up the Florida State League, the South Atlantic League, and the Southern Association. Between 1924 and 1928, his lowest batting average was .349. Supposedly the right-field fence in Chattanooga was so deep that only three balls had ever been hit over it... two of them by Bigelow. Of course if he'd played today, they'd call him Bam-Bam, but in 1926, you call a guy like that Babe. In Boston, the 31-year-old rookie would hit a respectable .284 with a .357 OBP, but only one home run in 211 ABs. In addition to his lack of power, his other problem was, in those pre-DH days, Bigelow was just too slow and awkward to play the field. After one season in the Show, he returned to the minors to terrorize the pitchers of the Southern Association. In 12 seasons in the minors -- 1,473 games -- Bigelow hit .349! P Babe Sherman: -0.2 bWAR Lester Daniel Sherman had twice as many nicknames -- Babe or General -- as he did games played. He pitched in just one game, facing three batters -- getting one out and walking two -- as a 23-year-old pitcher for Chicago in the Federal League in 1914. He would pitch sporadically in the minors after that, going 10-15 in 44 games. Maybe they called him Babe because of his youth, or his size -- he was listed at 5'6" and 145 pounds. P Babe Picone: -0.3 bWAR Another guy who we don't know where the nickname came from. Mario Peter Picone played pro ball for 13 seasons, but had only 40 innings in the bigs, scattered between 1947 and 1954. The righty went 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA and 1.700 WHIP in three starts and 10 relief appearances. 1B Babe Butka: -0.4 bWAR A war-time replacement, Edward Luke Butka hit just .220 in 50 ABs between 1943 and 1944. He got the nickname Babe as a teenager playing semi-pro baseball in Pennsylvania in the 1930s because of his impressive home run power. Butka, the son of Polish immigrants, wanted to fight in World War II but was ruled 4-F because of a punctured ear drum; he tried to enlist more than once, but was always turned away. After the veteran players returned from the war, Butka kicked around the minors for awhile and later became a player-manager. OF Babe Martin: -0.6 bWAR Boris Michael Martinovich was born in 1920, the son of a Montenegro-born professional wrestler known as Iron Mike Martin. The youngest of five children, Boris was called Baby for years, and the nickname stuck; when he grew into a man, it soon became the more baseball-friendly nickname of Babe. He spent most of his professional career in the minors, though he did get 185 at-bats with the St. Louis Browns in 1945, hitting .200/.245/.281. In Double-A in 1944, he hit .350/.418/.580 in 386 AB, and in Triple-A in 1947 he hit .319/.383/.555. OF Babe Barna: -0.7 bWAR Herbert Paul Barna was a three-sport star at West Virginia University in the 1930s, excelling in football, basketball, and baseball; the Philadelphia Eagles wanted him, but instead he signed with the Philadelphia Athletics. West Virginia University also was where he got the nickname Babe, presumably because of his size (6'2", 210 pounds) and because he was a left-handed power hitter. The outfielder may have had a better career in the NFL, as he hit .232/.311/.346 in five MLB seasons. UT Babe Ellison: -0.9 bWAR Herbert Spencer Ellison would hit .216/.282/.284 in 348 AB between 1916 and 1920; despite his poor hitting, he was a useful utility man, seeing time at every position except pitcher and catcher! After a standout freshman year for the University of Arkansas baseball team, at the age of 18 he turned pro, playing for the Clinton Pilots in the Central Association. We can speculate he got the name Babe because he was so very young. A year later he would make his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers, where he'd play his entire five-year MLB career. After that, he would be a star in the Pacific Coast League; he and Babe Pinelli were teammates on the 1927 San Francisco Seals. It's possible he was known as Babe before that other Babe was too widely known; we can speculate he got the nickname because he was so young when he turned pro. OF Babe Nelson: -1.0 bWAR Another big left-handed outfielder, Robert Sidney Nelson hit just .205/.295/.254 in 122 AB with the Baltimore Orioles between 1955 and 1957. He got the nickname Babe because of his prodigious power in high school -- he was known as "The Babe Ruth of Texas." After he joined the Orioles, he was given another nickname -- Tex -- by his roommate, future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. Nelson was pretty much on the bench for three years, then went to the minors where he had some good seasons, but some bad ones too. He was out of baseball in 1961, at the age of 24. He would never hit a home run in the bigs, but he did have 75 of them in the minors. And finally... Who had more bWAR, Babe Ruth, or the 30 other Babes combined? Babe Ruth: 182.4 bWAR 30 Other Babes: 149.5 bWAR The King of Crash also is the King of Babes!
Which sportsbook should I use? Not which book, but how many?
Hey folks, I've been a longtime lurker under the username hemegeah. My background is in economics and technology, but I've had a long history of being a successful-ish degenerate, from playing in the WSOP, placing over $900,000 in wagers so far this year in MLB and NFL (Average bet size is around $1500 for about 12% ROI), and having some success in Daily Fantasy as well (biggest win was $100,000 in NFL 2017, but other smaller first prizes as well in the $10,000-$50,000 range). I'm well aware this probably sounds like BS so I'm happy to verify to mods however they see fit. As a US citizen, I have spent most of my time in the shadows due to regulatory and legal concerns, but with a path to legalization in the US, I would like to share insights/picks/whatever fellow sports bettors find useful for free. With legalization opening the floodgates, I believe the next logical step is democratizing profitable sports betting. I'd like to start with a longform piece I wrote demonstrating the value of price-shopping with books. Please provide feedback on whether this type of stuff is interesting, or if there's other info/insights you guys would be interested in! Which Sportsbook Should I Use? Not Which Book, But How Many Which sportsbook should I use? Ignoring promotions put on by sportsbooks, the simple answer is: the book that charges the lowest vig. This makes sense: all things equal, over the long term, the book with the lowest vig holds the lowest percentage of your money. However, this is the wrong question to ask. The right question is: how many sportsbooks should I use? Having multiple sportsbooks allows a bettor to shop for the best odds, similar to comparing prices across multiple stores when making a big purchase. Shopping for the best odds is one of the most important but least emphasized aspects of sports betting. In this article, we will demonstrate the importance of having multiple sportsbooks and how shopping for odds can have a profound impact on the returns of your sports betting portfolio. Consider an example where a bettor bets $100/game on every MLB game during the period May 16-18, betting the money-line for the home team (the actual betting strategy and outcomes don’t matter but we will get to that). Based on closing odds posted for these games, let’s examine what the returns would look like across six popular sportsbooks: https://imgur.com/a/okLB2Lz Our natural inclination may be to use a sportsbook like BetOnline or 5Dimes, which historically has been known to offer the lowest vig, while avoiding a sportsbook like Bovada, notorious for having a high vig. However, if we were to compare across multiple sportsbooks, choosing the best closing line, we can greatly improve our returns. This is what our returns would look like if we picked the best closing line across multiple books: https://imgur.com/a/jzHkcru Despite using the same betting example above, by shopping for the best closing line across multiple sportsbooks, a money-losing proposition has now turned into a winning one. While there are diminishing returns as you add additional sportsbooks, notice how the returns increase at every level of adding an additional sportsbook, demonstrating that even adding Bovada, the sportsbook with the highest vig, provides value when shopping for lines. What does this all mean? Going back to our original thought experiment and looking at the bet outcomes in absolute terms, making $4,000 worth of bets with $100 bet sizes, the sportsbook with the lowest vig, BetOnline, loses $6.90. Shopping across all six sportsbooks listed generates a profit of $21.28. This is free money, the equivalent of 0.28 betting units generated out of thin air across only 40 betting units wagered. Using multiple sportsbooks to find the best price will always outperform using only one sportsbook, regardless of your betting strategy. Let me know your guys' thoughts!
TL;DR:CLV can be a useful alternative measurement for performance, but is ultimately a flawed metric Purpose of CLV The primary purpose of CLV is an alternative measurement of performance. The theory is that if you’re getting enough CLV to cover the vig, you should be a winner in the long term. Many “pros” claim that it's best to benchmark performance based on CLV rather than actual outcomes. Sportsbooks can also use it as a measurement to assess whether a sports bettor is a “sharp” or a “square”, sometimes limiting or even outright banning bettors who consistently beat CLV. This assertion relies heavily on the efficient market hypothesis. Efficient Market Hypothesis Without giving you a financial theory history lesson, very simply the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) states that the price of an asset reflects all known information and that consistent alpha generation is impossible. Sports betting translation: the only way to bet profitably is to generate CLV and it’s impossible to generate +EV if you only bet right before the game starts. If you bet the Closing Line you should expect to lose an amount equal to the vig in the long-term. Quite simply – this is bullshit. Various forms of EMH may apply to liquid financial markets, but I’m going to make the argument that while CLV is useful, the Closing Line is far from efficient. Is the Market Efficient? Market efficiency is often characterized as having the following attributes: 1.Immediate absorption of new information 2.Important information is freely available to all participants 3.A large number of rational, profit maximizing market participants Let’s review these assertions one-by-one. 1.Immediate Absorption of New Information In an efficient market, the only thing that moves the price of an asset is new information. If this were true, we should be able to identify long periods of static lines, as no new information has been revealed. Let’s check out a recent example of how reactive the markets are to new information: On January 11, 2020 the OKC Thunder hosted the LA Lakers. Around 1:30pm ET, news broke that LeBron would miss the game. Naturally, that injury announcement had a large impact on the odds for both teams. A time series plot of the Thunder’s breakeven win probability is shown below. Time Series of an OKC LAL game win probability The lines almost immediately improved the Thunder’s breakeven win % from ~50% to ~65%. Without giving a chance for the lines to reach a new equilibrium, another bombshell was dropped at 1:54pm ET: Anthony Davis was questionable. The lines continued to move in the Thunder’s direction for the next hour or so before seemingly reaching an equilibrium a little after 3pm ET. When it was finally announced that AD was downgraded to Out around 45 minutes before tip, the line began to further trend toward OKC. So how should we judge these movements? Did the market immediately factor in new information? Although the market reacted fairly well, there was still some opportunity to get a bet in before the market reached a new equilibrium, particularly with regard to the AD news. I would say that the market may not have fully reacted immediately, but this isn’t enough evidence to disprove the EMH. We are 0 for 1. 2.Important Information is Freely Available to All Participants Does everyone have access to the same information? Certainly not everyone would agree with me, but I generally believe that most sports information is freely available these days. The barrier to information is lower than it’s ever been. People use information in different ways, to give them certain edges, but I don’t think that information asymmetry is a reason to disprove EMH. We are now 0 for 2... 3.A Large Number of Rational, Profit Maximizing Market Participants I think we can all agree that the drunk guy parlaying the Gatorade color and coin flip at the Super Bowl might not be rational or profit maximizing. And judging by a few Reddit comments there are plenty of sports bettors who aren’t strictly profit maximizers (please if this is any of you, please don't feel personally attacked): “I'm not going to be dealing with 7 different bookies just to raise my ROI by .1 or .5 or even 1%.” “I tend to gamble more when I’m bored” “I was drunk and wanted to bet so I threw down 5 units on an Australian women's basketball game on a blind tip from the Nitrogen chat room.” The vast majority of sports bettors aren’t profit maximizers, but utility maximizers. Sports betting offers a form of exhilaration and entertainment that can’t be found in other places. A lot of that excitement manifests itself in poor-EV-yet-thrilling wagers (such as parlays, teasers and futures) that sportsbooks happily offer you. Just how much are non-profit maximizing behaviors costing sports bettors? To answer that, let’s take a peak at the Nevada’s annual sports betting report. In 2019, sportsbooks in Nevada took $5.3 billion in wagers and held $329 million, representing a hold of 6.2%. Previously we discussed how standard -110 odds gave sportsbooks a hold of 4.5%, which we could chisel away at pretty easily with some basic line shopping. Thus, if market participants we’re truly profit maximizers, we’d expect a hold significantly less than 6.2%. OK – so finally we have some evidence that the EMH might not hold. Let’s see if we can test it with some data. TestingWeak Form Efficiency The three forms of market efficiency are Strong Form, Semi-Strong Form, and Weak Form. The Strong Form assumes that all information (private and public) is baked into the market. The Semi-Strong Form assumes that all public information is baked into the market price of an asset. The Weak Form states that historical prices cannot be used to predict future prices. If we can prove that the weakest form of the EMH can be disproved, we can disregard the EMH. Straight from Morningstar: “The weak form of EMH assumes that current stock prices fully reflect all currently available security market information. It contends that past price and volume data have no relationship with the future direction of security prices. It concludes that excess returns cannot be achieved using technical analysis.” MLB Moneyline Movements Let’s go ahead and use MLB ML data from the 2015-2018 seasons to see if we can predict the direction of the closing line, and therefore generate theoretical value (CLV) by beating the closing line. We gathered the Closing Line as well as the line 2-hours to close (T-2) to see if we can recognize any patterns. We can then test the statistical significance of those patterns to give us a sense of whether they have any merit. The traditional school of thought is that if you’re betting favorites, it’s best to bet them early. If a dog, wait until close to gametime. Does this hold merit? The first thing we can do is test the average deviation of prices from a 50/50 probability. Closing Lines had an average deviation of 44 cents, while T-2 had an average deviation of 42 cents over 9,813 games in our sample. If we look at the distribution, we see that there are more games with an average deviation greater of 100 or more at close than at T-2. Average Deviation Yes, the curves look similar. But if we focus on the difference between the two, we can identify a more significant pattern. Difference Between Close and T-2 What the above shows is that there are more “close” games at T-2 and more “mismatches” at Close. Huh? How can that be? Answer: lines must move toward the favorite from T-2 to Close. Let’s dive a little further and focus on games that have a significant favorite. We pulled out games that have an underdog of +180 or greater at T-2. In total we had 1,208 games. Of those 1,208 games, 657 (54%) had line movement toward the favorite, 404 (33%) had line movement toward the underdog, and 147(12%) did not have any movement. The average movement of the favorite was -3.4 cents, from -224.0 to -227.2. Visually, we can look at the distributions of movement below. Line Movement Distribution Clearly, the data suggests a movement toward the favorites in the last two hours, suggesting that we can capture positive CLV simply by betting favorites 2 hours prior to first pitch. This “strategy” violates weak form EMH, which states that past prices have no relationship with future price movements. If this isn’t enough evidence to disregard the EMH, I pose you this: are the MLB markets systemically mispricing favorites two hours prior to first pitch, only to correct this mispricing from T-2 to Close? I find it hard to believe. Optimizing for CLV vs Optimizing for Profit The evidence above provided a theoretically argument why the EHM can be largely disregarded and therefore CLV should not be the target that bettors are optimizing for. A more practical reason why CLV should not be the target: because CLV is fairly simple to measure, it is the primary way that sportsbooks designate who is sharp and who is square. With so many sportsbooks practicing the strategy of limiting or banning sharp bettors, it’s probably not ideal to optimize for a strategy that 1) rests heavily on the assumption of an efficient market and 2) firmly puts you on the radar of sportsbooks.  This is the line available two-hours prior to first pitch.
Archived MLB futures odds including Worlds Series odds, regular season win totals, most home runs odds, most wins odds, AL/NL MVP and AL/NL Cy Young odds The database includes the opening and closing lines for both the spread (or moneyline for MLB and NHL) and the over/under. It also includes the date, NSS number, final scores, as well as Sports Insights’ proprietary betting percentages . MLB betting odds are on the board for Opening Day Part II, with 14 games on the Friday slate. Among the highlights is an NL East clash between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, and the 1992 (MLB): 45 year-old Nolan Ryan outduels 23 year-old Mike Mussina in the Texas Rangers 6-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.The Rangers were +120 road underdogs as Ryan went 7 innings and struck out 5 batters including his 100th of the season to become the first major leaguer to accomplish the feat in 23 straight seasons. = Primary Pitcher. This Pitcher is not starting but will pitch multiple innings after the starter.
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