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Posts tagged sports

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San Francisco Giants win protest over rain-shortened loss in Chicago

Chris Haft,

San Francisco’s protest of its loss to Chicago on Tuesday was upheld on Wednesday by Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations. Torre agreed with the Giants’ stance that the flawed deployment of Wrigley Field’s tarp meant that the game should have been suspended instead of awarded to the Cubs, who led, 2-0, when rain halted activity after the regulation 4 1/2 innings had been played.

"Were we surprised? Sure," pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "How many of these have been upheld? Nine? 10?"

The precise number is unknown, but winning such an appeal is definitely rare. It last occurred in 1986, when a protest by Pittsburgh — that a game against St. Louis had been called too soon — was upheld.

Yes it’s the first successful protest lodged in twenty-eight years, and it’s over fuckin’ rain.

Incidentally, the last one was also over fuckin’ rain.

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Michele Roberts, N.B.A. Union’s New Leader, Confronts Gender Barriers

Andrew Keh writing for The New York Times about Michele Roberts, who was recently elected executive director of the NBA players’ union, the National Basketball Players Association:

She said she was all too aware that if she was selected, she would represent several hundred male athletes in the N.B.A.; she would deal with league officials and agents who were nearly all men; she would negotiate with team owners who were almost all men; and she would stand before reporters who were predominantly men.

She did not flinch. “My past,” she told the room, “is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”

Holy shit.

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The NFL Passes Out Crippled Surface Tablets to Quarterbacks

Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg Businessweek:

The digital revolution is finally coming to the NFL—sort of. The league’s preseason kicks off Sunday, and the Hall of Fame Game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants will be the first game in which tablet computers are allowed on the sidelines. Thirteen Microsoft Surface tablets will be present on each sideline, and the coaches in each box will have access to another dozen.

But just as the NFL preseason is football in name only, the devices that the players will be using aren’t tablets in any normal sense of the word. The league reached a $400 million deal with Microsoft last spring to make its Surface tablets the exclusive computer of the NFL sideline, albeit with several conspicuous alterations made to the company’s standard tablets. The NFL’s Surface tablets have had their cameras disabled and can connect only to a private in-stadium wireless network. The devices can only run a single program, which allows people to browse through digital game photographs.

It’s not exactly a groundbreaking moment of innovation in football.

The NFL is comically serious about this sort of thing.

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Baseball’s craziest game?

Shane Tourtellotte writing for The Hardball Times about the July 22, 1986, baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets:

What did this game have that was so bonkers? All will be revealed in good time, but I can offer a few teasers. It had one of the most serious brawls baseball has seen in the last half-century, one that spelled the beginning of the end of the career of a well-known player … who wasn’t even in it! It had two ejections in two separate incidents even before the brawl. It boasted protests lodged by both managers. And most notably, it had a lineup manipulation so astonishing, it got several paragraphs of analysis in The Book.

This is incredibly long, but it’s also one of the best baseball stories I’ve ever read in my life.

Here are Colin’s live reactions as he was reading it:

Colin: what


Colin: what


Colin: oh boy


Colin: Oh god putting pitcher in the outfield


Colin: LMAO

Colin: OMG


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Alice Coachman, 90, Dies; First Black Woman to Win Olympic Gold

Richard Goldstein reporting for The New York Times:

Alice Coachman, who became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she captured the high jump for the United States at the 1948 London Games, died on Monday in Albany, Ga. She was 90.

Her daughter, Evelyn Jones, said she had been treated at a nursing home for a stroke in recent months and went into cardiac arrest after being transferred to a hospital on Monday with breathing difficulties.

Wonder if I should make an “I’m sad because I never heard of this person until they died” tag.

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National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of Northwestern football players attempting to unionize

It’s been a couple of months since I checked in on the football players at Northwestern University who are trying to unionize, so let’s see if has anything new to report:

In what could be a potentially landmark moment for collegiate athletics, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the Northwestern football players who are attempting to form a union on Wednesday. In its ruling, the NLRB said that the players had the right to form the first labor union in the history of college sports.


This was only a ruling by a regional director, so it’s going to be immediately appealed, but this is a tremendous and novel victory.

This piece I’m linking has some commentary by Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann, who weighs in on the scope of the ruling and the future.

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"I wanted to wash that game away"

Mike DiGiovanna on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball beat for the Los Angeles Times:

Left-hander Hector Santiago came up with a new and peculiar way to cope with a rough outing Saturday.

After giving up six runs and five hits in five-plus innings of a triple-A game against Arizona in which his teammates made four errors behind him, Santiago drove straight from the Diamondbacks’ field in Scottsdale, Ariz., to his home in Goodyear, Ariz., bypassing the Angels’ complex in Tempe.

Santiago, whose next start will come in Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, pulled into his driveway, went to his backyard and “jumped into my swimming pool with my uniform on,” he said. “I wanted to wash that game away.”

Sports players are weird.

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NBA's Silver on openly gay pro athletes: "We fell behind"

If you haven’t heard, the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA signed veteran player Jason Collins to a 10-day contract in order to fill a hole in their roster. This is notable because in 2013, Collins publicly came out as gay. This makes him the first openly gay person to play in one of the United States’s four major professional sports leagues (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey).

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who took over the league from David Stern on February 1, had some strong words about this, as reported by Tim Bontemps for the New York Post:

"I have mixed feelings, because I’m enormously proud that the first openly gay player is playing in the NBA," Silver told The Post in a phone interview prior to Sunday’s game. "On the other hand, this is so long overdue that I don’t think this should necessarily be on the list of the greatest accomplishments of the NBA.

"This is an area where no one in sports should be too proud. Sports has led society in so many critical areas … this is one where we fell behind."

Colin: As he would agree, it’s sad that that that attitude is so surprising

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Northwestern University football players seek to join labor union

Tom Farrey on an amazing story for ESPN:

For the first time in the history of college sports, athletes are asking to be represented by a labor union, taking formal steps on Tuesday to begin the process of being recognized as employees.

Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern University, submitting the form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.

Backed by the United Steelworkers union, Huma also filed union cards signed by an undisclosed number of Northwestern players with the NLRB — the federal statutory body that recognizes groups that seek collective bargaining rights.

Farrey’s piece is long and worth reading. John Infante has a short legal analysis on the Bylaw Blog, and Lester Munson of ESPN is somewhat pessimistic that the students will be ruled employees based on past precedent.

I have an exceedingly hostile opinion of the NCAA and the economics of college sports (which I’ll spare you from because it’ll quickly devolve into a stream of curse words punctuated with phrases like “robber barons”), so when I first heard this story on TV, my immediate reaction was a boisterous cackling. And I haven’t really stopped.

I wish these kids the best. It sounds like they’re probably going to need it.