For want of a Face of a Franchise

By now all Yanks fans have had to welcome some new faces to the club and watch the man we thought would take the mantle of Captain from Jeter walk away for a butt ton more money.

There’s bigger implications here than losing one of the best second basemen in the game: the Yanks lost what they thought was the future face of their franchise. This seems like a meaningless thing to an outsider of this great game, but it’s something that affects all facets of a franchise from the win-loss column to the fans to the stands.

Let’s take a quick look at our eternal rivals to see what kid of difference this makes:

Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Granted there are a great many young and energetic players on this team, and Ortiz could be argued to be a co-captain, but Pedroia is the soul of the Sox. He plays hard both on defense and on offense, is great with the fans, and most importantly he grows a damn good beard for a small guy. He brings an energy to the team that can’t be calculated but is impossible to be without. This team didn’t go from worst to first for no reason. They had a good team with good players and more importantly a face to rally around. This keeps the fans in coming to the park, enduring extremes of weather any sensible person would avoid, to cheer and root for their team and their man and bring the home field advantage to full steam. It gave them a name they could be proud for years to come to put on their kid’s jersey. It gives the players a reason other than making literal boat loads of money to go out on the field to play with energy, to play to win, to play for fun, and play to make us forget about the asshats at work or the food that has to be put on the table.
…And of course it brings revenue in for the team to spend on players to surround their face with. Which never hurts.

The Red Sox and Pedroia show us what can happen with a talented kid swinging a piece of lumber with the fortitude to carry a team not just statistically, but spiritually. And he can do this every game. Tanaka, who has the potential to be great, can only go out there once a week. CC was a great addition years ago, but the load he had to shoulder through the playoffs was enormous and obviously can’t happen every day. Yes, his spirit helped rally the team around him, but only for a short bit. 162 games is a loooooong season, and having a guy out there 155 of them that everyone can get behind makes a big difference. The team needs a position player captain, and I’m scared to say I don’t know who that will be and is likely no one currently on the team.

Yankees, we need a Pedroia. We need a face of the franchise. Not just so we can win, but so I can love going to the game more than I already do.

Olympic Curling. Four More Years!

Well, curling (the kind the majority of humanity will keep up with) ended today with domination by Canada over the Scotsmen. Gorram Canadians. Here’s how fantasy curling ended, with a surprise result!

Team Name Total Score Avg Shot % Score Rank Shot Rank Score/Game
Sweep Sweep Beer
184 80.3 4 6 10.2
         
         
Bitches Love Brooms
187 82.6 2 3 10.4
         
         
Lo Mein and Meatballs
171 83.2 5 2 9.5
         
         
She’s a Biter
188 78.8 1 8 10.4
         
         
Curly Broom Hair
186 84.4 3 1 10.3
         
         
Got Stoned and Swept Like a Baby
140 82.6 9 3 7.8
         
         
I’m Sweeping with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team
152 76.5 6 10 8.4
         
         
The Aptly Named, Sir Not Appearing in This League
152 79.8 6 7 8.4
         
         
Getting My Rocks Off
149 81.3 8 5 8.3
         
         
Team ‘Merica
111 77.9 10 9 6.2
         
         

Top 3 teams were a point away from one another! Lessons learned:

1) Don’t let anyone pick the US next time, cause I think all teams should root for the super-underdog. 2) Top 5 teams put up the top 5 scores. Maybe cutting down on teams to 6-8 would let more in on the good teams. With 6 teams, maybe 3 countries a piece. Maths may happen.

Overall, curling was pretty entertaining as it usually is. Gold medal game left a lot to be desired from both sexes, but watching pros at their sport go to town (ex. Canadians on ice with disc objects) is something to behold. Here’s hoping the next olympics are just as entertaining for those of us who like watching ice rock bocci.

Fantasy/Olympic Curling: Day Before the Last One

Man have I been lazy. Or maybe in a drunken stooper after the US mens loss to Russia by about an inch. But here are the standings before tomorrow morning’s god-awfully early finale to the Round Robin of curling. Also known as the last day of fantasy olympic curling for about 4 years.

Team Name Total Score Avg Shot % Score Rank Shot Rank Score/Game
Sweep Sweep Beer
167 80.5 1 6 10.4
         
         
Bitches Love Brooms
163 82.5 2 4 10.2
         
         
Lo Mein and Meatballs
152 83.6 5 2 10.1
         
         
She’s a Biter
153 78.5 4 8 10.2
         
         
Curly Broom Hair
158 84.1 3 1 9.9
         
         
Got Stoned and Swept Like a Baby
128 82.7 8 3 8.0
         
         
I’m Sweeping with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team
129 76.6 7 10 8.1
         
         
The Aptly Named, Sir Not Appearing in This League
120 79.4 9 7 8.0
         
         
Getting My Rocks Off
140 80.8 6 5 8.2
         
         
Team ‘Merica
106 78.3 10 9 6.6
         
         

This all gets very interesting as Sweep Sweep Beer’s Canada (M) are finished, but his Japan (W) have two games to help keep him at the top with his fair sized but tenuous hold at the top. Bitches Love Brooms’ Sweden (W) and China (M) each have a game left. Lo Mein and Meatballs’ Sweden (M) has a game while his China (W) have a whole 2 left, making him a favorite. I say he’s a favorite because the most interesting team left vying for the top, She’s a Biter, has 2 games left for GB (W) and one left for Denmark (W)- and they play each other for their last game! In terms of scoring, that can really kill him unless it goes to Extra Ends with a high-scoring affair.

In pure curling commentary, China (M) has come back to earth simultaneously with Canada (M) re-exerting their muscle on the games since their slow start to the games to nab a playoff spot with consistently good Sweden (M). The US (M) are out, but their performance this time around was much better than in ‘Couver (I know it isn’t saying much), and I think US curling overall will benefit from these games- especially once I get my curling legs here in Jersey starting this Saturday! Now all that is left is for GB, China, and Norway to battle for the last 2 spots of the playoffs.

In the womens bracket, Canada is still un-effing-fair. Sweden has also clinched a spot in this gender. Outside the US who blew harder than any team in these games, and the newly-appearing South Korea, it’s a free-for-all for the last two spots.

 

Tomorrow looks like as good a day as any to watch some curling and send off fantasy curling with a bang.

Fantasy/Olympic Curling, Days 2 and 3/9

After a day off from posting about this glorious sport I’m back for some crappy analysis. First, the fantasy scores:

 

Team Name Total Score Avg Shot % Score Rank Shot Rank Score/Game
Sweep Sweep Beer
74 80.8 2 7 10.6
         
         
Bitches Love Brooms
75 82.5 1 3 10.7
         
         
Lo Mein and Meatballs
55 83.8 8 2 9.2
         
         
She’s a Biter
48 77.3 9 9 8.0
         
         
Curly Broom Hair
64 85.7 7 1 9.1
         
         
Got Stoned and Swept Like a Baby
71 82.3 4 4 8.9
         
         
I’m Sweeping with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team
65 74.6 5 10 9.3
         
         
The Aptly Named, Sir Not Appearing in This League
65 81.3 5 6 9.3
         
         
Getting My Rocks Off
72 81.4 3 5 9.0
         
         
Team ‘Merica
45 78.2 10 8 6.4
         
         

Sweep Sweep Beer is being led by the always epic Canada (M) and the surprising strong Japan (W) while Bitches Love Brooms has the fairly decent Sweden (W) but the strong-starting China (M). Which leads me to some analysis on the games.

Team USA (M) won one! Against the team that beat Sweden (M). Leaving me questioning what Mens team is the best. Right now, Norway and China are up there, but Canada and Sweden are still great. Hell, most of that field has the possibility of making the 4 team playoffs for the gold. If Schuster can keep up the good skipping and shooting from today, they have a chance to not only not finish in the basement but make a run for the playoffs.

Womens is the story of how epic the Canadians are and how god awfully terrible the Mericans are, much to the chagrin of Team ‘Merica, the only team of ours that currently looks like it’s got no chance at the [trophy to be named and built eventually].

Be sure to follow along here on our Google Spreadsheet.

Fantasy Curling, Day 1/8

Here are my thoughts on today’s draws and our standings from Day 1 (not yet in order):

Team Name Total Score Avg Shot % Score Rank Shot Rank Score/Game
Sweep Sweep Beer
19 7 9.5
Bitches Love Brooms
23 82 5 11.5
Lo Mein and Meatballs
25 83.5 4 8.3
She’s a Biter
12 73.5 9 6.0
Curly Broom Hair
30 87.75 1 10.0
Got Stoned and Swept Like a Baby
28 82.5 2 9.3
I’m Sweeping with the Swedish Women’s Curling Team
22 70 6 11.0
The Aptly Named, Sir Not Appearing in This League
19 7 9.5
Getting My Rocks Off
28 78 2 9.3
Team ‘Merica
10 74 10 5.0

A few people haven’t had teams play yet, so those standings are pending. I’ve included here points per game to give people an idea of how their teams are performing given the draw set-up of the round robin.

Some of my thoughts on today’s day of curling:

-Elephant in the room: Team America (both) sucked it today. Women got spanked while the Men got outplayed by the crazy pants (and a bit of Shuster still not cutting it). But I have hope yet!

-Sweden (M) took the day by storm, while Canada (M) recorded a loss on their second draw. GB (M) came out firing only to get stomped by Sweden. Is Sweden the dark horse this year? Or just off to a quick start? This week will tell.