Archive for Category: "MLB"

What To Do With Stephen Strasburg: A Lesson From Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston August 16, 2012 11:05 am

What To Do With Stephen Strasburg: A Lesson From Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston

By Matt Ford

The Nationals need to exercise extreme, borderline insane caution when it comes to Stephen Strasburg’s health.

He might be the most valuable pitcher in baseball — maybe baseball history.

There are lots of ways to explain this situation, but let’s try this one:

Would you rather have Britney Spears in 1999 or Jennifer Aniston from 1995-2010?

Steeling Home: The Pirates Somehow Bring Another Good Team to Pittsburgh July 24, 2012 10:13 am

Steeling Home: The Pirates Somehow Bring Another Good Team to Pittsburgh

By Joe Trezza

The spell seems to have broken in the Steel City. As of July 23, the Pirates are 14 games over .500 at 54-40, half-game back of Cincinnati and 4.5 up on St. Louis in the NL Central. People are excited about their forever-dormant franchise finally rising up from the abyss.

How things have changed: Sportscenter and Baseball Tonight are leading with A.J. Burnett highlights, pitching for the Pirates, not the Yankees. Last week I tried to buy tickets for a Friday night game against the Marlins and could only get standing-room only.

A Pirates-Marlins game in July and I could only get standing-room only tickets?

With a cast not all that different from last year’s 72-90 club’s, on paper, the 2012 Pirates seem to have as much business being a contender as Kalifa’s unimaginative and repetitively asinine “Black and Yellow” had being a mega-hit. In other words, you don’t jump from worst-forever to first because your best player got a little better, or because you traded for a 35-year-old No. 2 starter.

So maybe it’s not that Pittsburgh has gotten better, but everyone else has gotten worse.

Bryce of Greatness: Two Years After Strasburg, A Trip To See Harper in DC June 19, 2012 10:18 am

Bryce of Greatness: Two Years After Strasburg, A Trip To See Harper in DC

By Joe Trezza

“Golf has Tiger Woods, basketball has LeBron James, hockey had Wayne Gretzky and military history had Alexander the Great,” Tom Verducci wrote, leading into a sentence that would place Harper, as he is to baseball, in their company. And the legend was born.

We had to see it ourselves.

After all, I was there for the first Strasmas. Two years later, it’s almost June again, and another biblically-talked about figure has arrived in Washington.

By the time it’s over, we look back down to the field to see our hero run his victory lap. He’s already in the dugout. Happy Bryce-ster to all.

Lessons in Sample Size: The 2012 Baltimore Orioles May 17, 2012 12:31 pm

Lessons in Sample Size: The 2012 Baltimore Orioles

By Matt Jones

The 2012 season is young and possesses examples of sample size errors, which are too often used to prop up premature declarations and flimsy conclusions. For instance, Albert Pujols is hitting .212/.248/.288, Josh Hamilton is on pace for 77 home runs, and the Baltimore Orioles are in first place of the American League East, sitting at 24-14 on May 18th.

The Orioles’ admirable start to the season has been a tough narrative for the media to ignore, because after fourteen straight losing seasons, I think it’s safe to say the Orioles franchise currently resides at rock bottom. The baseball world seems ready for a winning team in Camden Yards.

But the world will likely have to wait a bit longer.

Exactly How Big of a Deal is Bryce Harper? May 15, 2012 5:48 pm

Exactly How Big of a Deal is Bryce Harper?

By Matt Ford

Did you know Bryce Harper has played all three outfield positions this season despite being a full-time catcher two years ago (while he was in high school)? Did you know that through as many games, Harper has put up better rookie numbers than Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey, Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle?

He plays every second of every game like it’s Game Seven of the World Series — if that game happened to be in extra innings. That kind of attitude is as rare as it is contagious, and gives Harper incalculable value as a teammate and lineup linchpin.

Is it possible, then, that — purely as a baseball player — Bryce Harper is actually underrated?

These Cities Suck! The Worst Places to be a Sports Fan May 7, 2012 10:43 pm

These Cities Suck! The Worst Places to be a Sports Fan

By Justin Elliott

To be considered:

Two-team cities must have at least a 40-year title drought,
Three- or four-team cities must have at least a 20-year drought,
All teams must have the name of that city or play in the city. (So, no, Green Bay does not count for Milwaukee.)

We’ve added all the points up, and can tell you scientifically which city truly sucks the most for its fans. There were seven teams that qualified. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the skid marks of American sports!

Other News

  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    Justin, Neal and Matt put the Super Bowl in context: How good are the Ravens compared to other SB winners? Is Joe Flacco a top-5 quarterback? What is the next step with PED testing in the NFL?

    Once again, sports fans were treated to a memorable Super Bowl. The Ravens were thinking blowout until the blackout — did that affect their momentum? — and then the 49ers came all the way back to ultimately fall just short.

    Meanwhile, reverberations of Ray Lewis’ alleged use of PED’s forced sports fans to consider their values — does PED use really matter to us?

    And Joe Flacco emerged from a historic playoff run as an unquestioned franchise quarterback (what?).

    Hear our thoughts below, and enjoy Matt’s three solid minutes of embarrassing technical confusion at the beginning.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    Note: This piece refers to the playoff draft on the last HMGL podcast. If you didn’t listen to it, check it out here.

    Wild Card Weekend Standings:

    (+1 point for advancing to the divisional round)

    Justin (3) — DEN +1, GB +1, BAL+1, IND 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (DEN/BAL, GB)
    Worst-case: 2 points (DEN/BAL) win, GB loses

    Matt (3) — NE +1, ATL+1, Hou+1, Cincy 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (NE/HOU, ATL)
    Worst-case: 2 points (NE/HOU) win, ATL loses

    Neal (2) — SF +1, SEA +1, WAS 0, MIN 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (SF, SEA both win)
    Worst-case: 0 points (SF, SEA both lose)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Power Rankings Sports Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    By Matt Ford

    Better to be lucky than good.

    Or, more like it, better dangerous than solid.

    So who is the most dangerous team entering the 2012 NFL Playoffs?

    Category One: The Psy “Gangnam Style” Award for “Congrats for Making It To The Big Time! But Now That You’re Here, You’re Going Away Quickly.”

    Category Two: The Kwame Brown Award for “Just Look At Them! They Have To Be Better Than They’re Playing”

    Category Three: The Looking At The Google Analytics Of HireMeGrantland.com Award for “Why Is No One Impressed By Us?”

    Category Four: The Mumford and Sons Award for “Everyone Thinks We’re Underrated, But We’re Actually Overrated”

    Category Five: The 2007 LeBron James Award for “We’re playing … him? Uh Oh.”

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  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Without further ado: Matt and Justin’s discussion of the NFL playoff picture leading into the end of the regular season, with special guest Neal Suidan.

    All you have to do is click here and click “Listen” or “Download” once you get to our hosting site.

    Our first post is about the NFC Playoff picture leading into last week’s games. Listen to how wrong we were about San Francisco after last night’s result, Neal’s analysis of his hometown Bears (and Bulls), Matt’s pipe-dream of a Redskins playoff run and more.

    Our next pod is about the AFC, but includes a bonus round of which coaches should get fired (and Matt’s prediction of Chip Kelly to Carolina that he has been patting himself on the back for ever since), and Neal trying to Beautiful Mind his way through the muddy AFC North playoff picture. Justin’s breakdown of the Raiders, fortunately for you all, was omitted due to “microphone problems.”

    Shortly, these episodes will be available on the iTunes store (Apple has to screen them first before they unleash our idiocy on the unwashed masses).

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  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    (Nothing like a winless week to really make you want to show your face on camera.)

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  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott’s Week 14 picks… on our NEW YouTube channel!!!

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  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    By Matt Ford

    Watching RGIII as a rookie is like the first time you heard OK Computer, or saw Louis CK’s standup a few years ago, or watched Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic Convention. “Holy shit!” you think. “Do people know about this yet?”

    You form a special kind of relationship with an entertainer, athlete or politician after an experience like that — you realize: “Hey, this guy could be the real deal, and I think I just saw history.” Often, I find I become invested in people like that, rooting for history just to say in a few years, “I was there…”

    RGIII to the rescue. He is, by many accounts, the most exciting player in the league. He draws friendly fans to FedEx Field. His value to a shrinking fan base is unspeakable. It’s hard to root against him, even if your team is playing against him.

    Robert Griffin III has revitalized one of the most valuable franchises in the world. The value of hope is what Griffin brings to the table, in addition to all those other tangible assets.

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  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    By Justin Elliott

    Overall Record: 32-26-2

    As you can see, until Week 12 it has basically been feast or famine with at least four wins or losses for eight straight weeks.

    If I could only channel those good weeks I would have a chance at winning this thing. But the odds of that have to be like one in a million…

    If my odds are good enough for Lloyd Christmas, they’re good enough for me. So onward with my Week 13 picks.

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