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Jumping on the Bandwagon

In Basketball on March 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm

The NBA playoffs are just around the corner. CDH’s Sam Sutton helps you pick your new favorite team to follow for the next six or so weeks.

You have a problem. You love basketball, but your favorite team probably won’t make it to the playoffs.

You're probably making this face right now.

You’re probably making this face right now.

If you’re a fan of the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Hornets or Cleveland Cavaliers, you knew this moment would come. That’s good, people tend to underestimate the importance of acceptance at times like these. And given your team’s history of mismanaging personnel/acquiring post-prime talent, a lifetime of grief has enabled you to reach this stage with relative ease. It probably led to less stress in your life as a sports fan. Maybe you took up cooking or yoga in the time you didn’t spend  watching your defense blow double-digit leads. That’s great, really. You look healthier. Read the rest of this entry »

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Super Bowl Recovery

In Football on February 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

CDH’s Sam Sutton’s San Francisco 49ers lost on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.

Dear Jack,

Things got pretty emo on Sunday night.

Not Dashboard Confessional emo, but definitely Neil Young circa “After the Gold Rush” emo. You may not realize this about me, but behind the obnoxious 49er snapback and super sick red Adidas hoodie, there beats the heart of a deeply sensitive young man [VOMIT].

That heart was broken Sunday night. As were the hearts of thousands — nay, millions — of Bay Area sports fans. Our hearts were broken by the cold realization that, although the San Francisco 49ers had a better team on paper, the Baltimore Ravens were in fact the better team on the field [more VOMIT]. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Bowl Smack-Talk: Part 2

In Football on January 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Like modern day Romans and Carthaginians, CDH’s  Jack Lambert and Sam Sutton love their football teams — and for the next two weeks or so, hate each other.

Sam Sutton: Hey Jack,

It’s Thursday, and I haven’t heard a response from you.

So I just wanted to throw a few numbers at you, lest you’d forgotten just how doomed your little football team is on Sunday.

The 49ers ranked 2nd (behind the Seattle Seahawks) in overall defense this year. They had the fourth most effective pass defense —  compared to 21st for Indianapolis and 29th for New England). They also finished the season with the fourth best rushing defense, compared to 9th for New England and 29th for Indianapolis.

I can’t imagine how Baltimore managed to clobber such powerhouses. Read the rest of this entry »

A (not at all conflicted) rebirth – The Golden State Warriors

In Basketball on January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

“I’ve got a feeling, this year’s for me and you/So Happy Christmas/I love you baby/I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true” – The Pogues, Fairytale of New York

If the hopeful romanticism of that line sweeps you off your feet, it’s important to remember that the song’s setting is a New York City drunk tank, and that the protagonist also directs the phrase “You’re an old slut on junk” to his love interest shortly thereafter.

In that spirit of tempered optimism — WARRIORS!

It’s a new year, and the Golden State Warriors have a legitimate shot at reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

That was the year, as you may or may not know, that a Jason Richardson/Baron Davis-led”We Believe” team stunned the first seed Mavericks in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. It was also the year Davis posterized Andrei Kirilenko in the second round — perhaps the greatest single moment in Warriors history since Rick Barry rocked a neckerchief* and won a championship.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 2012 A’s: Stop Calling it Moneyball

In Baseball, Long form on October 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Despite their first-round loss to the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland Athletics surprised the baseball world with a new take on old-school baseball

Even broken clocks are right twice a day.

The Oakland Athletics, a team many considered broken after the Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill trades, were right exactly 94 times this season, just enough to steal an American League West title from the Texas Rangers.

Unfortunately, it all came to an end last week when Oakland fell victim to a complete game shutout at the hands Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. The team’s many weaknesses finally overtook its contagious enthusiasm. Inexperienced pitchers gave up six runs to one of the American League’s most feared lineups, and their own bats failed against a generous strike zone and Verlander’s own vicious efficiency.

If you watched the A’s at any point this season, you know that Oakland was playing with house money in the playoffs. The 2012 squad was, for lack of a better phrase, really stupid. Their batters set a single-season record for strikeouts. They stole bases constantly. They reinvigorated a gloriously terrible dance song from 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick update on Vogelsong

In Baseball on September 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Heckuva’ job, Vogie.

Because nothing is worse than watching Joe Flacco succeed, I switched off Monday Night Football for the Giants game last night to see if I’d been right in my post about Ryan Vogelsong last week. He once again struggled, giving up three doubles and a home run en route to a five inning, four earned run game.

His change-up, which he used sparingly, continued to creep closer to the velocity of his fastball (which I should say looked very good, reaching as high as 94 on Comcast’s radar at least once). This resulted in more curveballs, and he wasn’t getting a lot of movement on those as you can see from a FanGraph of last night’s game.

Pitch movement 9/10

So yeah, not good. Here’s what he had to say to The San Francisco Chronicle following the game:

“Vogelsong was not at a loss. He said he is not hitting spots, and mechanics are part of the problem. In one start, his left side is askew. In the next, it’s his right.”

Is This the End of Ryan Vogelsong?

In Baseball, Long form on September 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

He’s a 35-year-old fan favorite with an inferiority complex and a well-established history of performing in stomach-churning situations. He’s been the most consistent member of the San Francisco Giants’ starting rotation this year. He’s the best value on the team, and he’s saved an injury-plagued bullpen on dozens of occasions.

Don’t forget, though, he’s 35 years old.

Ryan Vogelsong is Jim Morris with an All-Star pedigree. After a lackluster start to his Major League career, he spent years toiling in Nippon Professional League obscurity before being reacquired by San Francisco in 2011. That season earned him a place on the National League All-Star team, and his first half numbers in 2012 placed him squarely among those snubbed from this year’s Midsummer Classic.

But even Cinderella stories come to an end; and Vogelsong’s latest series of outings suggest that his carriage may actually be a pumpkin. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cabrera Conundrum

In Baseball on August 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Major League Baseball suspended San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera for 50 games for violating baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy. How will Cabrera’s actions affect the Giants? More importantly, how will this affect the race for the NL West?

Melky, Melky, Melky.

Last week, a million San Francisco Giants fans sighed deeply, tugged at the collars of their Buster Posey jerseys, and took a deep pull from the 2007 Chardonnay that had been buried behind the kale in their refrigerators. After allowing the dry-yet-smooth vintage to take its desired effect, they peered out from behind burgundy Williams-Sonoma drapes to face a world in which the baseball gods no longer smiled upon them. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA Finals Game 1 Diary

In Basketball on June 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm

We made CDH’s Sam Sutton sit through Game 1 of the NBA Finals and record his observations in real time as the Miami Heat took on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Pre-game

Miami was introduced to the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, which is pretty lame. Shouldn’t the Evil Empire have an empire before it’s given that kind of treatment? No music would have been more insulting. Could you imagine the ego-check Wade would take walking out to silence? The man thrives on hate.

Kevin Durant is receiving the loudest applause (no surprise) as a choice cut from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” plays over the loudspeakers. It’s a fitting pick — Durant and Westbrook have a Jay-Z/Kanye dynamic that makes their team both volatile and very fun to watch. Read the rest of this entry »

Adios, Celtics

In Basketball on May 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

The Boston Celtics’s unlikely run to the Eastern Conference Finals will likely come to an end at the hands of the Miami Heat.

The church bells in Boston must be ringing a slow, mournful dirge.

The sticky heat that hung over the East Coast this weekend spread north from Miami to Philadelphia, carrying rot like Paul Revere’s ride up from the tank-topped causeways of South Beach and onto the streets of Boston Common.

In Philadelphia, the lumbering bodies of the Boston Celtics moved like dysplasia-afflicted Labradors at a summer barbecue. They heaved themselves up in the air for jump shots or layups without any semblance of ease. Unbelievably, Lavoy Allen played a key role in their almost-demise.

The reign of Boston’s big three is coming to a close. Fitfully, violently, and despite the moody protestations of Rajon Rondo, they too must pass. Read the rest of this entry »

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