Go for the Pole!
You know baseball and softball, karate and squash, bowling and snooker, climbing and wushu. But do you recaaaaall, the most ridiculous proposed Olympic sport of aaaaaaall? Spoiler alert, it’s pole dancing! It’s not official, only a request from the “sport’s” international governing body, the International Pole Sports Federation, (this is the part where you say, “wait, there’s an International Pole Sports Federation?”) but there is now a possibility that the choice dance form of strippers becomes a medal event down the line. And lest you say to yourself, “Justin, there’s no way this motion passes, we’re not going to have pole dancers representing our country,” remember that the bigwigs in the IOC cares a whole lot about making money and pole dancing could be…rather lucrative. You thought a lot of people were tuning into beach volleyball, just wait until NBC’s morning show coverage of pole dancing, when Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb take you live over to the “Legs and Eggs” portion of the show. I’m shuddering just thinking about it.
Kill the Save
I grew up worshipping at the altar of Mariano Rivera so this isn’t easy for me to say, but we really need to do away with the save stat in baseball. I mean, we can keep recording them to make my dad and grandpa happy, but as far as measuring performance goes let’s just pretend they never existed. Just like that other antiquated pitching figure, the win, saves don’t actually do very much to illustrate the effectiveness of the pitcher. And worse, they tend to actually dictate when certain players are used, even if this selective usage is to the detriment of the team. Though analytics-minded managers are finally moving away from the practice (see Terry Francona using Andrew Miller as a versatile, multi-inning buzzsaw to cut through the best parts of the opposing lineup in these playoffs), too often managers are still stuck using their best relief pitcher only in the ninth inning, even if there is a higher leverage situation earlier in the game. In the AL Wildcard game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter left Zach Britton, owner of the lowest season ERA in MLB history on his bench while trotting out abysmal starter Ubaldo Jimenez in the bottom of the 11th. There was probably a multitude of things running through Showalter’s mind at the time but it just feels like if he wasn’t so fixated on Britton — the closer — being reserved for the save, then perhaps he would have brought him in to save the O’s season.
*Insert Wentz pun here*
With the Cavaliers winning their first NBA title and the Indians in excellent position to break a 70 year World Series drought, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that God hates Cleveland. So in case you need your daily reminder, just remember that the Browns had the choice to pick Carson Wentz with the second pick in the draft. Instead they traded down to 15 and signed Robert Griffin III, who managed to last all of one game before landing on the IR. Now, just five games into the season (they’re 0-5 of course), the Browns have gone through four different quarterbacks while Wentz has looked every bit the franchise quarterback for the Eagles, throwing for over 1,000 yards and compiling a 7:1 TD:INT ratio through the first four games of his career. Never get too cocky Cleveland, the man upstairs is watching.