Friday, February 13, 2015

MLB Thinking About ... Shrinking the Strike Zone?

I know there's this new feeling that with Bud Selig gone, baseball will be heading into an exciting new era.  I'm on that bandwagon.  I think some of those traditions Selig was still holding on to could use a jolt (that being said, Selig did have a lot of tradition-breakers come through his tenure).

One of the things I really don't agree with is shrinking the strike zone.  What?  You are going to make it harder to throw strikes?

The theory is this: Since steroids aren't as prevalent and umpires are actually calling the proper strike zone, offense is down and baseball is boring.  Called strikes are up and that part of the strike zone at the knees is hard on hitters to drive.  Pitchers pitch low and either get those strikes or hitters do hit it and can't drive it out.  I don't see it like that.

Sure, the stats may support it but will it really work?  More walks will be better than more strikeouts?  Forcing pitchers to pitch up would mean more batted balls.  I mean, attendance is great for baseball right now ... so is it that dire of a problem?  Also, doesn't think spit right in the face of baseball trying to move games along?  In the Steroid Era, we had some looong games that have gotten down a bit.  Although look at what high offensive numbers have done for fantasy football and how it has made the NFL grow in popularity and maybe baseball has some ideas.


Monday, February 2, 2015


Looking back at my 49 Stops To Super Bowl XLIX, let's see where those trends I included hit on the actual game:

#46-AFC LOVES FEBRUARY: The Super Bowl will be held on February 1st. Since the first February Super Bowl in 2002, the AFC is 7-5 in those games held in the calendar's shortest month ... though the NFC has won four of the last five:

Well, the AFC won again, making them 8-5 in February Super Bowls.  

#45-SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN: The team who scores first in a Super Bowl is 32-16. 
*Teams who score at least 30 points are 25-2.  Only the Cowboys (SB XIII) and the 49ers (SB XLVII) scored at least 30 points and lost.  
*Teams that score the first TD are 35-13.
*Teams leading at the half are 36-10 (there have been two ties)

The Patriots scored first, so that makes the record 33-16 in Super Bowls.  Also, teams that score the first TD are now 36-13.  This was also just the third halftime tie in Super Bowl history.  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Patriots Become Third Team To Win Super Bowl After Being Down Double-Digits

The New England Patriots bucked one of the Super Bowls biggest trends.  They became just the third team in history to win a Super Bowl after being down 10 or more points in the game.

The Patriots were down 24-14 in the fourth quarter.  They would score two touchdowns to pull out the championship with a 28-24 victory.  They join the 1987 Washington Redskins and 2009 New Orleans Saints as teams to do that.

The Washington Redskins went down 10-0 to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.  However, the Skins would go on to score 42 unanswered points, including 35 points in a wild second quarter alone, to win 42-10.  The Saints were also down 10-0 to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV before scoring 13 straight points to take the lead.  The Saints would go on to win 31-17.

That is the big difference and what makes this comeback special.  The Redskins and Saints made their moves in the 2nd quarter ... while New England was down 10 points in the 4th quarter.  Amazing.

The Redskins and Saints not only were down 10 points in that Super Bowl, they also would lead (and win) by more than 10 points.  These Patriots won by just 4.  Still, it is a win.