In reading the account of the comedy of errors that ending the Tennessee-LSU game, I was struck by this:
LSU coach Les Miles had already tossed his headset aside, cutting him off from communication with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, while he sought out an official on the field to see what the flag was for.
“I had to call a play because I had nobody to talk to,” Miles said.
Have we gotten to the point where it’s unusual for a head coach to call a play?
A few years ago, I developed a very simple system for measuring how exciting a baseball post-season is.
I wanted to check just how boring 2007 was turning out so I devised a quick and dirty way to rank the post-seasons. It works like this:
Every game played gets 1 point.
Each game get 0.2 extra points for a lead change or tie. So tonight the Sox led 1-0. The Tribe tied it. Then the Sox took the lead for good. 0.4 points. Now if the Tribe had scored a run in the 1st and another in the second, that would have been 0.4 points; but had they taken the lead with two in the 1st, that would have only been 0.2 points. The system rewards a little drawing out of the game.
Extra innings or a last at-bat victory is worth an extra 0.5 points.
Finally, the game is credited with 1/(margin of victory). So a 1-run game gets an extra point. A five-run game only gets 0.2 points.
It’s arbitary, I know. It gives the same weight to an 18-inning game as a 10-inning game. It weights early rallies as much as late ones. It doesn’t account for runners left on base, which is why Game 7 of the 1991 World Series comes in at only 2.50. It weights an exciting game one as much as an exciting game seven. It doesn’t care if a team has come back from being down 3-0.
In other words, it’s quick and dirty.
I’m not really looking to rank the greatest game in baseball history. What I’m looking for are series — and post-seasons full of series — that go the distance with lots of exciting close games. And I don’t have the computer resources to do a more thorough job. This one can be calculated just by looking at the line score.
After tonight, I would add that it doesn’t take into account no-hitters.
I’ve now expanded the database to go all the way back to 1976. A few highlights:
We’ll see how this season shapes up.
The judges who allowed same sex marriage in Iowa may lose their offices. But you know what? I still think they did the right thing. And I think doing the right thing is worth losing office for. The purpose of getting elected is not to get re-elected.
I’ve seen the claim that we have troops in 156 countries in numerous places, most recently Radley Balko’s awesome blog. But I have to take some issue with it. From my comments:
Not to [get] too deep into this, but that map of 156 countries with US troops looks very suspicious to me, and not just because their color coding is garbage — Europe is white while other countries are two tones.
I’ve looked over the CDI website and found the map source (http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/history/hst0609.pdf). Many of those 156 countries have single-digit or double-digit US personnel in them. For example, they list almost all countries in Africa, but only Djibouti has a significant presence. If you’re talking 10,000 or more, the list is Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq.
What’s the comparison? Do the UK or China have similar “deployments”? Are these military personnel assigned to embassies? Maybe it’s just me, but having two military personnel stationed in Antigua does not seems like an extension of our Empire.
I don’t disagree that we should pare down our foreign involvements. But let’s have an honest debate. The US is not occupying 3/4 of the world.