Category Archives: sports

Carson Palmer . . . Done?

Now that Carson Palmer is the future in Oakland, it’s worth wondering what his long term prospects look like. Despite some strange draft decisions, the Raiders have done a tremendous job recently in acquiring talent. Presumed draft busts like Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey suddenly look like they might fulfill their prodigious potential. With Oakland surrendering a king’s ransom to get him, Carson Palmer is now the lynchpin of the whole project.

Palmer didn’t look good in his Raiders debut, but that can be explained away by his lack of familiarity with the offense. If we want to get a feel for his likely range of outcomes, we need to look at his historical comparisons. For this study I focused on QBs who played extensively during their age 28-31 seasons and were similar in terms of completion percentage, yards per attempt, and QB rating.

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The Case Against Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez is the anti-Tony Romo. He leads game-winning comebacks against poorly conceived prevent defenses. He has a great playoff record. (Matthew Berry once even described and/or passed along someone else describing him as ‘sex on a stick‘ which is offensive to sex, sticks, and the concept of language in general.)

If you believe that a quarterback is responsible for his team’s performance on defense and special teams, if you believe that a quarterback is responsible for the quality of coaching he receives and not the other way around, in short, if you believe that a team’s ability to win in spite of his play is in fact an intangible quality of desire and clutchness that somehow originates within the mind of that quarterback, then Mark Sanchez is a great quarterback and Tony Romo sucks.

If, on the other hand, you believe effects transpire after their causes and as a result of them (which does appear to be the empirically verified state of reality, at least on non-quantum scales), then you have no other choice but to see Mark Sanchez for what he is: a terrible NFL quarterback.

Everyone knows Mark Sanchez was awful last year when the Jets made the AFC Championship game. If you don’t, you’ve either been living under a rock or spending too much time reading Monday Morning Quarterback. Sanchez finished 28th in accuracy percentage according to Pro Football Focus. He finished 25th in Advanced NFL Stats’ excellent Expected Points Added Per Play metric (a number which included his playoff run), and 28th in DVOA by FO.

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The Case for Torrey Smith

Going into last week, the official Money in the Banana Stand entries were 42-4 in the NFFC. And then the unthinkable happened. Kenny Britt … done for the year.

How do you replace a player like Kenny Britt?

I took the first step a week ago by bidding aggressively on David Nelson and Denarius Moore in any leagues where they were available. It’s always important to address injuries preemptively. If you wait until you actually need a player, the odds you’ll find the right fit on the wire that week are slim.

This week I employed the same strategy for Torrey Smith. Most of the websites I perused suggested Torrey Smith would be the No. 1 waiver pickup, but there was a secondary implication. He would be the No. 1 pickup only because every league would feature at least one rube who didn’t understand Smith’s performance was a fluke.

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The Shape of Dreams Half-Remembered

“Look, you want to know the truth? I don’t really care about the status, or the Cup or the trophy or anything like that. . . In fact, even the games aren’t that important to me. Not really. What matters to me is the perfect throw, okay, making the perfect catch. . .When you can feel the perfection of creation. The beauty of physics. The wonder of mathematics, you know, the… Elation, of action and reaction. And that is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to.” Samuel Anders, Battlestar Galatica

This ode to the purity of sport is the only way to explain what happened in the bottom of the tenth inning Tuesday night in Arizona.