Archive of posts with tag 'sports'

Weekend Reading: NBA Bubble, Digital Homesteads, and Amateurs vs. Professionals

October 10, 2020 • #

🏀 What I Learned Inside the NBA Bubble

A good piece giving an inside look of what life is like for a journalist inside the bubble.

I’ve missed most of the playoffs this year during this strange time for sports. It’s been impressive that the NBA could pull this off and still put together a compelling end to the season when everyone assumed that it’d be an asterisk-ridden result with players and teams lost to COVID. It’s turned out to be incredibly well executed. The finals have nearly the same energy...

Pogačar's Climb

September 20, 2020 • #

You don’t have to be an avid cycling fan to be impressed with Tadej Pogačar’s incredible time trial on stage 20 of this year’s Tour de France. He bested the 2nd and 3rd place riders by a full minute, 1:21 better than 150 other riders. Absolutely unbelievable.

His countryman Primož Roglič (a heavy favorite for the overall weeks before the Tour) had nearly a minute on him in the yellow jersey, going into a long TT ending with a climbing finish on La Planche de Belles Filles.

I just wonder...

The Best of The Blue Train: 2001 L'Alpe d'Huez

July 19, 2020 • #

With this year’s Tour de France delayed (as of now, til late August), the guys from The Move have been going over some of the best stages from the US Postal years. It’s a cool format, sort of like a commentary track over the exciting parts of the climbs and pursuits.

I especially enjoy the commentary from Johan Bruyneel, who was the team director at the time. The insider commentary on strategy is neat — hard to appreciate as a TV viewer of cycling.

Weekend Reading: MiLB, Naming Public Transit, and Soccer Playing Styles

November 30, 2019 • #

Mapping the New MiLB Landscape

Combining baseball and maps? Sign me up. The MLB has a plan to “improve” the MiLB system costs, standards, compensation, and other things through shuttering 42 ball clubs around the country. In this piece for FanGraphs, the authors use some GIS tactics to analyze how this shakes out for baseball fans falling within those markets:

So how many Americans would see their ability to watch affiliated baseball in person disappear under MLB’s proposal? And how many would see their primary point of access shift from the...

Weekend Reading: Strasburg Tipping, RapiD, and TikTok Investigation

November 2, 2019 • #

⚾️ How the Nationals Fixed Stephen Strasburg and Saved Their Season

Strasburg tipping his pitches almost ended the Nats’ run:

He remembered the game Strasburg pitched in Arizona on August 3. The Diamondbacks pounded Strasburg for nine runs in less than five innings. The D-Backs knew what was coming. The Nationals broke down the tape and discovered Strasburg was tipping his pitches by the way he reached into his glove to grip the baseball near his waist, just before he raised his hands to the set position.


Weekend Reading: Baseball Graphics, the Mind Illuminated, and the Crucial Century

October 19, 2019 • #

⚾️ How Many Outs? Baseball Graphics Compared

Some top-notch baseball geekery, with Jason Snell comparing the graphics overlays from Fox, MLB Network, and ESPN’s telecasts. I’ve thought about this, too, but have to give it to the ESPN one, with Fox right up there.

🧘🏽‍♀️ Book Review: The Mind Illuminated

Scott Alexander’s review is an excellent in-depth look at this book on meditation. I’m still making my way through it, but it’s definitely a fantastic soup-to-nuts guide so far.

🇬🇧 The Crucial Century


Weekend Reading: Kipchoge's 2 Hours, Future Ballparks, and the World in Data

October 12, 2019 • #

🏃🏾‍♂️ Eliud Kipchoge Breaks 2-Hour Marathon Barrier

An amazing feat:

On a misty Saturday morning in Vienna, on a course specially chosen for speed, in an athletic spectacle of historic proportions, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran 26.2 miles in a once-inconceivable time of 1 hour 59 minutes 40 seconds.

⚾️ What the Future American Ballpark Should Look Like

An architect’s manifesto on how teams can rethink the design of baseball stadiums:

Fans want to feel that the club has bought into them, and a bolder model of...

Cairo to Cape Town on a Bike

July 30, 2019 • #

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is best known for his “around the world in 80 days” ride starting in Paris and crossing 3 continents in 78 days, putting him in the Guinness Book for the accomplishment.

A few years back he did this ride from Cairo to Cape Town across Africa — 41 days, 6,762 miles, 190K feet of climbing, 160 miles per day. To me it’s as stunning in itself as the around the world ride. Some of the shots in this video of him traversing the Sahara through Sudan...

Tour de France

July 15, 2019 • #

The Tour de France is on right now, reaching the first rest day after a wild first 10 stages of racing. Julian Alaphilippe (a Frenchman) is in the yellow jersey, who’s one of the great opportunists in the field, with a win at Milan-San Remo earlier this year.

The Tour is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. I’ve gotten familiar enough with the UCI Tour over the last 5 or 6 years that I enjoy all of the flavors of races — the big grand tours, the classics, and the world championship events.

But one of the...

Places: Col du Galibier

June 25, 2019 • #

The mountain stages of the Tour de France are some of my favorite events in sports. This edition of Places features a tribute to this year’s 18th stage, and one of my favorite climbs of the Alps: the Col du Galibier, a 2,600m HC beast with an epic descent on the other side.

Col du Galibier

Galibier was last climbed in the 2017 Tour, during an awesome Stage 17 when Primož Roglič won the day on a route that included famous...

Weekend Reading: Rays on a Run, Apple's Pivot, and Mapping Grids

May 18, 2019 • #

⚾️ The Rays are a Surrealist’s Delight

Love to see the Rays getting some deserved attention in the mainstream sports media. They’ve put together a great, diverse lineup of consistent hitters that have performed well all season:

The Rays emphasize power now, but in a different way: Through Monday, their hitters had the highest exit velocity in the majors, at 90.1 miles per hour, and their pitchers — who specialize in curveballs and high fastballs — allowed the lowest, at 86.3. Hard-contact rates enticed them to trade for Pham from St....

Conference Finals

May 14, 2019 • #

The conference finals are set — Golden State and Portland in the west, Milwaukee and Toronto in the east. A great couple of matchups both likely to go deep. At halftime right now in Oakland, Portland’s keeping it close.

The east series will be a fun one, with Giannis and Kawhi going at it, each with spectacular playoffs going so far.

In other basketball news, earlier this evening New Orleans came away with the number 1 overall draft pick. With the Anthony Davis drama of a few months ago, and rumors of some sort of trade deal in the...

Liverpool's Comeback

May 8, 2019 • #

I didn’t get to watch the match live yesterday, but Liverpool’s 4-0 trouncing of Barcelona at Anfield in the second leg of the Champions League semi might be the biggest (most improbable) win I’ve seen. Goals from Origi at 7’ and 79’, Wijnaldum at 54’ and 56’, and a nerve-rattling final 10 minutes put the Reds over the top:

Coincidentally I ran across this piece from Ryan O’Hanlon earlier in the day that broke down Liverpool’s odds of a win thusly:

Liverpool, almost definitely, will...

NBA Playoffs

April 19, 2019 • #

This post is a bit late since the playoffs started last Sunday. This is the best time of year for sports where you’ve got the NBA in the postseason, MLB in full swing, Stanley Cup, PGA majors, and the final stretches of the Premier League and Champions League. So much to watch.

The NBA is especially dense for me, as a fan with no team allegiance. I try to watch as much as I can. But in these first couple rounds there are far too many games to catch all of. Must-watch series for me in round 1:

  • OKC...

Petco Park

April 18, 2019 • #

We had the chance on Monday night to go to the Padres game with a small group. Whenever the home team of a baseball city is in town, it’s a must-do for me to try and catch a game and check out the scene and the stadium.

Petco Park

Petco Park is an amazing facility. We had seats halfway up on the third base side. The stadium is an entire entertainment complex with a ton of activities, shops, food options, and of course beer (a San Diego specialty). Right outside we did a pregame stop...

Adam Silver at the MIT Sloan Conference

March 10, 2019 • #

A fantastic one-on-one conversation between NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Bill Simmons from the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference:

Adam Silver is one of the most thoughtful, enthusiastic, and interesting guys in sports leadership. He clearly cares immensely about promoting the health of the league and players. This conversation ranges through mental health, NBA trade deadlines, G League, tampering, and more.

At least 3 or 4 times he references European soccer features as having potential in the NBA — relegation (a long shot), player academies,...

Weekend Reading: Business Applications, Rays Prospects, and the Florida Panhandle

February 16, 2019 • #

👨🏽‍💻 Okta Businesses @ Work 2019

Interesting data here in Okta’s annual report. It’s clear that the way customer’s buy SaaS is very different than the “single-vendor” purchasing preferences from years past. SaaS allows businesses to buy and integrate the best-fit tools for any jobs:

We also looked at whether companies who invest in the Office 365 suite — the top app in our network — end up committing to a Microsoft-only environment, and the answer was clearly “no.” We found that 76% of Okta’s Office 365 customers have one or more...

Cycling: A Sport for Geographers

January 13, 2019 • #

The UCI World Tour season kicks off this week with the Tour Down Under.

I started following pro cycling closely about 5 years ago, but since it’s fairly hard to get access to on broadcasts, I only get to watch a handful of events each year. With the NBC Cycling Pass you get some big events, like the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, plus some other fun ones in the spring like Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Last season while watching the Criterium du Dauphiné, it dawned on me one of the reasons I got...

NBA Season at the Halfway Point

January 9, 2019 • #

We’re right at the middle of the season, and this one’s been an exciting one so far. A couple teams at the top expected, a few others blew up out of nowhere. The Bucks in the east, Nuggets in the west, PG carrying OKC, Harden’s crazy streak the past month, Giannis’s nightly consistency, Embiid’s dominance. So many fun threads to follow.

I’m thoroughly enjoying League Pass again this year. I probably watch an average of 5-6 games a week, and sometimes more if there are good matchups and I have time. Between YouTube TV for the national broadcasts and League...

The Ice Box

December 3, 2018 • #

I’m not a huge follower of hockey anymore, but it’s one of the most exciting sports you can watch live. I got a chance last week through work to sit in the “Ice Box” at Amalie Arena for the Lightning vs. Sabres game. People always say sitting on the glass is a whole different experience, which it certainly is, but sitting between the benches adds another layer of intensity perhaps only equaled by courtside NBA seats.

Kucherov and Johnson, from my seat Kucherov and Johnson, from my seat

Sitting on the Lightning bench...

Bowling League

November 19, 2018 • #

A few months back we joined a bowling league here in St. Pete. Our four-person crew consists of me, Colette, Zac, and Cookie. We’re now in our second season playing with the same set of teams. It’s fun and as far as other organized recreational sports we’ve played, it’s more relaxing and consistent. Soccer certainly was a lot more intense and sometimes less fun.

We’re now nearing the end of a second season. I’ve been tracking my scores on each game, each week. There are three games per session. I feel like I’m getting a bit more comfortable and consisent,...

Fenway Park

October 22, 2018 • #

A few weeks back I had an opportunity to catch a game at Fenway Park for the first time. That’s definitely a bucket list item checked off.

Fenway Park

Tim got tickets last minute, some great seats down past the bend on the third base side, beneath the Monster. It was a beautiful night, with Chris Sale on the mound against the Blue Jays.

Gary Neville on Mourinho

October 15, 2018 • #

Gary Neville’s thoughts on the rumors of a Jose Mourinho firing:

The Premier League’s fickleness with management is astonishing. It would be unbelievable to see the same level of volatility and shortsightedness in other professional sports that you have in European football clubs. A United legend calling out the leadership of the club directly is incredible, but unfortunately it probably won’t change anything. I’m not a United fan, but I would love to see the club stick it out with Mourinho and to stop perpetuating the impatient...

9 in a Row

October 7, 2018 • #

The Premier League season is now a couple of months in, and the usual suspects are top of the table — City, Liverpool, Chelsea.

What I didn’t expect was Arsenal in the top four, especially after losing the first two weeks. Turns out new guy Unai Emery’s found his footing.

Arsenal have put up 9 wins in a row (all competitions: league, Carabao, Europa League, FA Cup). There have been some skeptics with the new squad and management, but Emery is well on his way to silencing them. The next few weeks look winnable on the schedule. Leicester, Sporting, Palace,...

The Craft of Baseball

July 17, 2015 • #

I’m a baseball fan from way back, and grew up as a Braves fan during the early years of their 1990s NL East dominance. As much as I always enjoyed following the sport as a casual fan, I’d never studied the game much, nor its history beyond the bits that are conventional knowledge to anyone with an interest in the sport (the seminal records, player achievements, and legends of the game). I’ve been on a kick lately of reading about sports I enjoy—baseball and soccer—and have picked up a few books on the subjects to find out what I’ve been...

Robert Earnshaw

August 18, 2011 • #

An unbreakable record:

He is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in the English Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two (or the divisions under their previous names), the League Cup, the FA Cup and for his country at International level.

That’s unlikely to be broken.