It’s easy to get lost in the hype of MLB spring training this time of year, but far too many times we’ve seen February and March’s studs turn into regular season duds. Why exactly, should baseball fans tread cautiously and temper their enthusiasm when it comes to basing future success off of the small sample size that is spring training?
Quick, name the player: He’s won two Gold Gloves, three Most Valuable Player Awards, 10 Silver Sluggers and has been named to 14 All-Star Games. He led the league in batting average, runs scored, and total bases when he was just 21 years old, and has topped the circuit in home runs five times since then. He scored at least 100 runs in 13 straight seasons and collected at least 100 RBIs in a span of 14 out of 15 seasons. Are we taking media punching bag Alex Rodriguez for granted?
It’s become an NBA tradition as time-honored as questionable draft night fashion choices or coach Gregg Popovich stonewalling sideline interviewers. Every year since that memorable championship season in 2008, the Boston Celtics have swayed and swooned their way through the regular season in relatively unimpressive fashion, and every year injuries or other controversies have seemed to spell the end for this latest era of success. Haven’t we learned our lesson by now?
Never mind the fact that we spent 45 unsuccessful minutes trying to accurately describe his jump shot, or that he hails from a Canadian suburb known more for being misinterpreted as the birthplace of Wayne Gretzky than anything significant, Tristan Thompson has spent the past two months emerging as an NBA star. That’s right, star.
In a follow up to his preview of the goaltenders and defenseman in line to suit up for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic games, Ryan Fulford takes the time to weigh in on the forward contingent. Will the sheer depth of offensive talent be enough to help the nation repeat a historical 2010 performance when they take the ice in Sochi?
Anything can happen in a shortened season. Sure, Jaromir Jagr and Eric Lindros leading the league in points during the lockout-shortened 1995 season wasn’t surprising, but Boston’s Blaine Lacher coming within one shutout of leading the league wasn’t a popular preseason bet. The possibility of unpredictability, plus the increasing importance of every game due to a sprint to the playoffs, means early season stats are becoming overblown, regardless of the small sample size.
Nobody’s saying that dealing with an impromptu brownout during the largest television event of the year isn’t a difficult hurdle to overcome, but did CBS’ failure to navigate the Super Bowl XLVII hiccup smoothly reveal something about the state of sports broadcasting? Is the influx of former athletes in the media to blame? The demise of the sideline reporter?
Nobody ever said cracking down on the injury epidemic in the NHL would be an easy task. That’s why, when refs get calls wrong – which they inevitably do – it can be beneficial to take a step back and evaluate how the big picture is unfolding. Rest assured though hockey fans, gradual progress toward a cleaner game has already begun.
With the recent announcement that the construction of a professional hockey-worthy arena will proceed just north of Toronto, hockey fans and analysts are salivating over the idea of a franchise following suit. What would have to happen for a Markham NHL team to arise and is it even a possibility worth getting excited for?
Admitting you have a problem is tough, but I feel that I need to come clean. My name is Doug, and I am a Joe Dumars apologist. Typically, loving one of the greatest NBA players of all-time wouldn’t classify as a problem; but as the Detroit Pistons continue to fade into obscurity, I’m moving closer to the realization that maybe it isn’t exactly the best fit for the team.