Coincidence? What now, University of Michigan?

Last winter, I applied for the open University of Michigan football head coaching position. I was rejected. What happened next? “Coach Rich Rodriguez … guided the Michigan football team to its worst season in its 129-year history in his first year.” (Source). The wife claims my rejection and Michigan’s awful season aren’t related, but she’s just a girl and doesn’t know anything about football (except what I taught her). I’m putting all you big football schools on notice – next time I apply for your open head coaching position, you might want to hire me.

And fire him they did

The Orioles finally let Daniel Cabrera go. I have posted at length about his ups and downs. And now he’s a National, so I can hop on the Metro go see him on occasion when we get a babysitter. He’ll probably pull a Schilling and turn into an All-Star. It’s funny how Schilling pitched 44 of his 569 career games as an Oriole, yet I still always considered him an Oriole who happened to pitch for someone else. It is more likely, however, that his control will continue to ruin his gobs of talent, and he’ll always be a 5.00 ERA guy who every once in while throws a two hit shutout and strikes out 10. I hope the Nationals enjoy him.

The name of this blog is now “Tony Romo Sucks”

Wow. 44-6. Two fumbles and an interception. He went 1-3 in December, although the one win was a good one at home against the Giants. Check out his splits at His December stats are completely out of whack with other months, and this happens every year. He’s been in the league long enough that this is statistically significant. He just can’t play in December. It doesn’t look like he’s going to fix this. I’m feeling pretty good about the playoffs. There are only two teams in the playoffs that I loathe (The Giants, led by colossally-overrated-and-much-less-talented-than-his-brother Eli Manning, and the Panthers, picked every year by “experts” to win the Super Bowl despite the fact that they always suck and always will). Then there are the Dolphins and the Cardinals (Best potential Super Bowl matchup ever) to root for. And there’s the potential for a Ravens-Steelers AFC Championship game, which would be a great game. Should be a fun playoff. And I’m sure Tony Romo will enjoy watching from a comfortable recliner.

Ooh, burned!

Messing with the Washington Wizards online saleschatter.

agravitz: Welcome to our real-time support chat. How can I help you today? Jon: When do single game tickets go on sale? agravitz: usually in early october have you ever thought about doing a ticket plan Jon: no, I don’t like the Wizards, I just want tickets to the Celtics game thanks though. agravitz: sure no problem

Nine points has never looked so bad

As promised, I have a few things to say about the Redskins’ opening day loss to the Giants. In some sense I’m still in shock. You know how some teams have a great game plan, but just don’t have the personnel to pull it off? And some teams have all the talent in the world, and just keep banging their collective head into the wall? Last night, the Redskins displayed the worst of both worlds. They had neither the talent nor the plan, and the result was much worse than the score indicated. The two things that top my list of inexcusable faults are the tackling and the punting on fourth and short. The Redskins didn’t tackle. At all. Nearly every guy on the team managed at some point to get bowled over by Brandon Jacobs. Eli Manning made the linebacking crew look silly on his touchdown run. The punting was ridiculous. Not the performance of our rookie punter – he was fine. But the decisions to punt. I’m not a big fan of the punt in general. Sure, it has its place. But with less than three to go, I’d like to see coaches go for it more often than not. So what did Jim Zorn do? I lost track of how many times he punted on fourth and one or two. When the Redskins needed a change in momentum and they had the ball near midfield, did he challenge them to win the game? No, he gave it back to the Giants. Punting on fourth and one from your own 40 while down two scores in the fourth quarter is putting a big sign on your forehead that says, “I’m trying to keep this game close because I’ve given up on winning”. The only thing that saved this game from getting completely out of hand was Eli Manning’s lack of talent and Tom Coughlin’s stubborn refusal to run the ball. When your running back is averaging over five yards a carry and you have a lead, why would you even consider passing the ball? As a team, the Giants averaged 4.8 per carry, and that’s including Eli, credited with -1 yards on two rushes. If your average two rushes result in a first down, you never trail in the game, and you still call 35 passes, you’re a moron. The Redskins’ lesser sins were in abundance, as well. I’m not sure why no one except me has ever noticed that Randle El is a terrible punt returner, but someone should really tell Zorn that. Watch every punt returned for a touchdown in the last 20 years. If more than one in ten involved as many changes in direction as the typical Randle El return, I’ll eat my hat. And it’s not like he doesn’t have a role model – Rock Cartwright is one of the most consistent kick returners I’ve ever seen because he gets the ball, finds a hole, and RUNS FORWARD. I don’t know why we didn’t cover Plaxico in the first half. A miserable throw from Eli when he was wide open probably cost him a touchdown in the first quarter. He consistently had no defenders anywhere near him as he caught pass after pass. I know Shawn Springs is out, and we lost Fred Smoot late in the game, but no one playing for an NFL team should get beaten that badly, every time. Now, the good news – the season has to go up from here! Also, we can look forward to the Giants returning to Earth after their Super Bowl win – if they had played a real team today, they would have lost. Badly. Jacobs will not continue to rush like that. And most offenses are not nearly that ineffective. So there’s still hope. And we still have the Tony Romo December meltdown to look forward to. The NFC East is still wide open.

The walk is unforgivable

I hate walks. I’d rather a pitcher give up a home run than a walk. If a batter hits a home run, he beat the pitcher. It happens. I understand that. But if a batter walks, the pitcher just blew it. There is no excuse for walking a batter. I knew the Orioles were playing above their heads for most of the season. They were expected to be bad, and they were in it for quite a while. But there was always something bothering me about the team. It turns out it’s the walks. They lead the American league with 582 walks allowed coming into this game, an average of 4.2 per game. 4.2! Some highlights from that:

  • “Closer” George Sherrill has 30 walks in 50 1/3 innings (5.4 walks per nine innings)
  • Fernando Cabrera – 16 in 27 innings (5.3 BB/9)
  • Jeremy Guthrie and Jamie Walker are the only players on the team who are below the league average of 3.3 BB/9
  • Dennis Sarfate has walked 60 in 74.3 innings – 7.3 BB/9!
    I mean, seriously. How is a team supposed to win like that? The offense has been pretty good. But none of the starters except Guthrie can make it through the fifth innings with any sort of regularity. As I type this, walk machine Radhames Liz (6 BB/9) has just exited the game in Boston after 3 and two thirds, the Orioles down 7-1. It’s pretty frustrating for the fans. Oh, look, home run by Dustin Pedroia and it’s 10-1, Sweet.

Is this even legal?

I don’t really know much about the law surrounding this, so I have assume that the LPGA is within its legal rights to require all members to speak English. I mean, they have lawyers, and I imagine the lawyers approved this. But it sure doesn’t sound that cool.

“The economy is bad, and we are losing sponsors,” [golfer Seon-Hwa Lee] said, according to the report. “Everybody understands.”

I can understand the LPGA’s motivation. They are in the business of selling women’s golf, and if their players can’t communicate in the target market, it makes their job more difficult. I get that. But surely there’s a way to increase the marketing appeal of the sport that’s a little more tolerant. It would be interesting to see a once-in-a-lifetime golfer come through who doesn’t speak English and refuses to learn. I bet the LPGA would back down before alienating a potential superstar.

Not a meaningful distinction

The [Devil] Rays played the Angels last night. The Rays came into the game 75-48, tied with the Cubs for the second best record in the Majors. They were behind only the Angels at 76-46. This is a 1.5 game differential. So why on earth is the headline on the front page of for this article Rays top MLB-best Angels? If the Rays were their normal selves, sitting 25 games out, then sure, this is significant. But do you know what they call it when the second best team in the league beats the best team in the league? They call that baseball. Or normal. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, but I’m already annoyed with ESPN for their full page splash screen ads that have been popping up recently. Of course, now I’m possibly sending a little bit of traffic their way, so this is probably a pretty stupid response to my annoyance. But never mind.

And then it rained

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Went to the DC United game last night. We didn’t stick around for the three hour rain delay. This was the third time they tried to play this game (Although the first time I had tickets). We had pretty awesome seats thanks to a friend, and access to free food and drinks thanks to VW (through the same friend through another friend), and I managed to get home without getting my foot wet, per doctor’s orders. I’ve been to a couple of DC United games this season, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the team doesn’t much like to play defense. They just don’t seem to have their hearts in it. Which is too bad, because the team doesn’t seem half bad, and the defensive problems really look like they’re due to a lack of effort more than a lack of skill. I won’t claim to be a soccer expert – I played rec league and high school, but never higher than JV, so take my opinions here with a grain of salt. There were delays on the Green Line getting home, too. Everything seemed cool at first, since most of the stadium was still sticking around, waiting to see if they would resume the game, when we left. So the train from RFK wasn’t full, and usually once we transfer to Green it’s smooth sailing. But it took us a half hour to get from Shaw to Columbia Heights. If my foot wasn’t busted up, we could have walked it in that time. Anyway, more pictures here.

That’s TWO doubles this year

Brandon Fahey Originally uploaded by dnkbdotcom

Brandon Fahey got another extra base hit! That gives him two this year, and brings his slugging percentage to a torrid .241. The Orioles almost blew another one to the miserable Royals, allowing two runs in the 9th before closing it out. They’re still outperforming their Pythagorean win expectation, although not nearly to the extent that Toronto is missing theirs. But at least they’re competitive, which is more than I can say for the Nationals, and more than I expected out of the Orioles this year.