The Weekly Tendown Oct 23-29, 2011: Tendown #100 Every Tendown Linked

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dear Internet:

For the past two years, I've been writing Tendown, my weekly recap of the week that was.  I think it's good; or rather, it's sometimes good, most weeks I don't have time to do much more than take a snapshot, but I think it's a valuable exercise, it gives me a bucket in which to dump thoughts that might otherwise go unexpressed.  If there are weeks when you enjoy that expression, then, you know, bonus.

A year ago, I posted this recap of the first year of Tendown, providing links to each post.

Today, I do the same for year two.

This is Tendown 100.

Tendown 51: I compare Barry Bonds to Oprah; the Republicans sweep the midterm elections, I talk about inequality, and the World Champion Giants have a parade.

Tendown 52: I talk about inequality, rip Hulk Hogan, coin the phrase "Moving to Hollywood" (a TV series hitting the reset button; like Laverne and Shirley when they moved to Hollywood; were Obama to go progressive in his second term, one might say he Moved to Hollywood.);

Tendown 53: Almost entirely about inequality.

Tendown 54:  I fix social security, talk about plutocracy, support Wikileaks, and Stevie Johnson's tweet.

Tendown 55:  I rip Obama, coin "The Jannetty" (the loser in any type of breakup), and link to my 2010 wrestling match of the year post.

Tendown 56: I fire Mike Singletary, discuss the 2010 midterms, and an all women's team won the Amazing Race.

Tendown 57:  Rex Ryan's feet pictures come out, the normalization of right wing racism, inequality, the War on Christmas, and began my 11 week long look back at each Giants winning playoff game.

Tendown 58:  It's 2011, talk about race in sports, talk about Reagan's role in the current state of the economy, the Germans discuss our inequality, and linked to Barry Bonds's congratulating the Giants for the title win.

Tendown 59:  I replace the "n" word in Huck Finn with "ninja" and talk about the Republicans selective reading of the Constitution on the House floor.  How I Met Your Mother kills off Dauber, we hire Harbaugh, Bill O'Reilly thinks magic causes the tides.

Tendown 60:  Why does Tendown 60 start with a picture I take of my television during an episode of Match Game '74?, Bravo tells lies about sports (lies that would continue, incidentally, during Most Eligible Dallas which featured an Oakland Raiders punter curiously not named Shane Lechler, the Giants get a reality show, and I discussed right wing eliminationist rhetoric.

Tendown 61: My most viewed blog post, I hit Lance Armstrong, Olbermann lost his MSNBC show, the Republicans want to repeal the 20th century, Ricky Gervais whips ass at the Golden Globes.

Tendown 62:  I make my SB45 pick (got winning team right, got the spread pick wrong),  I hate the state of the Union speech, talk about inequality, childbirth is less healthy than abortion, and better looking people are apparently also smarter.

Tendown 63: I pitch a movie called "My Ex's Parents", link to pieces about cracking the code for the lottery, and the right wing attempt to redefine rape.

Tendown 64:  I make you some money picking the Grammy Awards; I discuss right wing US history, Florida's post 2010 election demise is tracked, a great piece on the Price is Right, a local bar not called the Brass Monkey.

Tendown 65: I root for Watson to beat the Jeopardy champs, discuss why we should tax millionaires, talk about Occupy: Wisconsin, discuss the dunk contest and begin watching 2011 wrestling matches.

Tendown 66: this is the week Charlie Sheen went nuts, I coin the phrase "feeding the shark" to describe a project that would catalog ways in which fictional characters died following the end of those characters active existence (like, how do you suppose Hawkeye Pierce died, for example?).  There's a computerized rock/paper/scissors game, I start the "don't turn 41, turn 500 months old instead" movement, and discuss inequality.

Tendown 67:  I talk about documentaries I've seen, wrestling matches I've watched, my tax millionaires plan, how abortion doesn't cause emotional trauma, and the dude with 82 Julia Roberts tattoos.

Tendown 68:  the right wing attempt to marry the Jesus half of their electorate to the give rich guys all your money half, discussion of the Florida demise since the 2010 election, hit a Tendown meme "the right wing doesn't believe in small government", and we go to war in Libya.

Tendown 69: I eat pancakes, which we now call flapjacks in my house; you should see All the Real Girls, I plug a free video game I received but am not smart enough to play, hit some charts about inequality, and finish my look at each Giants playoff victory with Game 5 of the 2010 World Series.

Tendown 70:  I go see Kathy Griffin, watch wrestling, discuss the Bonds trial, and post the picture of Vin Scully's autographed photo of the Honky Tonk Man.

Tendown 71:  The Giants get World Series rings, I won't vote for Obama again, we should tax millionaires, John Kyl makes a remark "not intended to be a factual statement", and we raise the World Series flag.

Tendown 72:  I break down the one conviction the government was able to get against Bonds, every slam dunk contest competitor on a poster, we should tax millionaires, we save 80 bucks on a Publix trip, Ed the cat tries to escape, Ginnifer Goodwin has a website, we're running out of drinking water.

Tendown 73:  It's Easter, I go through a week in the life of right wing Christians in 2011 America. You know, Jesus hates the minimum wage and gay kids are bullying straight kids in schools.  I also take a picture of a plate of bacon on Happy Endings.

Tendown 74:  I tell a Kristin Cavallari/Art Schlichter joke, Obama releases his birth certificate.  Again.  I dislike the book recapping the Giants world championship season, Peyton Hillis is voted by fans to be the new Madden cover boy, and hasn't that turned out well, I play Moratorium, there's a War on Easter.

Tendown 75:  We killed bin Laden, Florida cut unemployment benefits even though we have double digit unemployment,  I pick Boston Rob to win Survivor, Willie Mays turns 80.

Tendown 76: I change my PC wallpaper, I pimp the Heat, link to a must read Greenwald piece, the Cubs apparently threw the 1918 Series, I pick Boston Rob to win Survivor.

Tendown 77:  The world was supposed to end, more Lance Armstrong, Jane Mayer takes on Obama, the right wing doesn't believe in small government, Shake Shack has the best hamburger, Boston
Rob finally won Survivor and Randy Savage died.

Tendown 78:  The Marlins killed Buster Posey, the only upset is I wasn't there to see it. A kid in Louisiana got kicked out of his house for understanding what the establishment clause means. Stephen Hawking says there's no god. Florida gets worse.  Community airs its best episode.  A letter to the NY Times from 1983.

Tendown 79:  Sports Illustrated finally goes after Lance Armstrong, I talk about the top 1%, the Giants shoot an It Gets Better video, I go see Bridesmaids and discuss its politics.

Tendown 80:  I root for LeBron.  The right wing talks more US history. Tax cuts for the wealthy still don't trickle down. the opportunity costs of the Bush tax cuts, I watch the best wrestling match of 2011, Blackwater gets a video game, I play Moratorium.

Tendown 81:  I discuss Oprah's "making of" documentary series and John Kasich's proclamation thanking that Mavericks.  It's a bit of a complex essay but good, I think, at least the underlying ideas are good. Rick Perry plans a day of Christian prayer, its our worst weather year in half a century, the scariest states to be an atheist, David Vitter gets to keep his job, and I don't like it when actors play multiple characters.

Tendown 82: the great Speedup, Miss USA believes in science, Olbermann returns, I consider changing the name of the blog to basically gherkins, Florida should be run just like Wal Mart and Clarence Thomas needs to resign.

Tendown 83:  Glenn Beck's show died, you have to watch the documentary Hot Coffee, I talk about the conservative assault on the constitution, Bobby Bonilla's still rich, Michele Bachmann thinks John Quincy Adams was a founding father, I do a quiz on the week in news, CM Punk cut that promo, and the Dodgers went bankrupt.

Tendown 84: I take a picture of ducks, Barry Halper was a con artist, my all time 49ers+Raiders roster

Tendown 85:  Friday Night Lights ends, I get linked in Deadspin, Netflix makes a mistake, I play Moratorium, and Brian Wilson goes to the ESPYS.

Tendown 86: It's still easy to fix Social Security, ALEC rules the world, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks

Tendown 87:  I dislike the 13 year old movie reviewer, the Giants trade for Beltran, Christian terrorism in Norway, Jay Cutler dumps Kristin Cavallari, the awful debt ceiling deal

Tendown 88:  The Giants are bleeding, all this debt talk is bananas, Moratorium, Newt Gingrich's fake twitter followers, my pre season college football rankings, tax millionaires, the Glee Project, the American Family Association is the embodiment of evil.  And so is Orlando Cabrera.

Tendown 89: I go to the Giants game.  How do you suppose it turns out?  Chris Mullin makes the Hall of Fame, Florida's multimillionaire "I hate government" governor pays hundreds of dollars less for his health insurance per month than I do.

Tendown 90:  I'm mad at the Giants, I join an atheist fantasy football league, Republicans hate social security, Bravo pimps the HCG starvation diet, I rank every Coen brothers movie and more inequality talk.

Tendown 91:  Bernie Sanders agrees with me on Social Security, the right wing thinks corporations pay too many taxes, 347 people go to a marlins game, abstinence only sex ed doesn't work, Grantland's Ric Flair piece, I talk some Breaking Bad.

Tendown 92:  I go to the art museum, Brian Sabean is bad at his job, I dislike the Wild Card, the right wing calls Obama socialist, I coin a phrase "Carlos's Fault" to refer to a reality competition show challenge in which the contestants are placed on teams knowing that if their team loses they have to turn on each other to avoid elimination, Toobin's Clarence Thomas piece, the documentaries to see before you die, and I Pay it Backward.

Tendown 93:  Job Creator Day, the 10th anniversary of 9-11, war's opportunity costs, Social Security's not a ponzi scheme, I give Adam Big Brother advice.

Tendown 94:  inequality, Obama says we should tax millionaires, I live on Tea Party Drive, the right wing is trying to suppress the vote, Joe Barry Carroll's civil rights stand, Moratorium.

Tendown 95:  awkward handshakes with black men, I turn 41, young Abe Lincoln looks like Cris Collinsworth, no pun intended, I coin a term - the Goldilocks Fallacy, to refer to uncritically viewing the right answer as the one in the middle, the Emmy Awards, Bill O Reilly will quit if you raise his taxes, the Giants get eliminated.

Tendown 96:  Lindsay Lohan makes out with her mother, jail or church?, the 360 minute oil change, the last day of the 2011 baseball season, I coin a term: Food Bang, to refer to people blatantly staring at your food, the Steve Bartman movie, law school graduates without jobs.

Tendown 97:  The 99% movement.

Tendown 98:  The Niners are playing really well, the Mullets will cut off your hair, the worst episode of RAW ever, Big Brother UK, flapjacks.

Tendown 99:  The 99% movement.

And here we are at 100.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


Athlete of the Month, October 2011

September and all of the prior Athletes of the Month for 2011, can be found here.

David Freese.

Runners-up: Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Albert Pujols

10 months down.  2 to go.

2011 College Football Picks, Week 9

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm 46-52-3.

Syracuse +3 Louisville(loss)
Mich St. +4 Nebraska(loss)
Rutgers +7 WVA(loss)
SMU+3 Tulsa(loss)
LA Tech -7.5 SJ St.(win)
NMex St. +15 Nevada(win)


I Pick Every NFL Game in 2011 - Week 8

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last week's ugly picks are here. I'm 51-47-5 against the spread, 71-32 straight up.  I'll make changes Friday.

Colts +9 Tenn (Titans win game)(loss/win)
Texans -9.5 Jags(win/win)
Panthers -3.5 Vikes(loss/loss)
StL +13 NO (Saints win game)(win/loss)
Ravens-13 Cards(loss/win)
NYG-10 Dolphins(loss/win)
Skins +6 Bills (Bills win game)(loss/win)
Steelers +3 Patriots(win/win)
Niners -9.5 Browns(win/win)
Bengals -3 Seattle(win/win)
Den +3.5 Det (Lions win game)(loss/win)
Cowboys +3.5 Eagles (Eagles win game)(win/loss)
SD-3.5 KC(loss/loss)

6-7, 57-54-5
9-4, 80-36

(this is more of an exercise than advice, as I pick every game every week, but if you wanted a good play this week, go under on Eagles/Cowboys)You're welcome.

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players of All Time, 2012 Ed. 151-160

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The previous ten is here.

151. Bobby Abreu RF 1996-  Phillies 

152. Andre Dawson 1976-96 RF/CF Expos/Cubs

153. Early Wynn RHP 1939-63 RHP Indians/Senators

154. Billy Herman 2B Cubs 1931-47 

155. Chuck Finley LHP 1986-02 Angels

156. Dick Allen 1963-77 1B/3B Phillies
         MVPQ=1964, 1972

157. Luis Tiant 1964-82 RHP Red Sox/Indians
158. Will Clark 1B 1986-00 Giants/Rangers 

159. Darrell Evans 1969-89 3B/1B Braves/Giants/Tigers

160. Whitey Ford LHP 1950-67 Yankees

The stars here are Allen and Ford; Allen's got an OPS+ of over 150 and two MVPQ seasons - plus, you can put him at third base, making him easily the best from the hot corner in the first quarter of this list.  Ford's the first pitcher with an ERA+ over 130, and he's a lefty.  Both join the current all time team.

C King Kelly
-clearly the best catcher with his .500 career adjusted slugging percentage

1B Hank Greenberg
     Jason Giambi
-no change at first base; Olerud had two MVPQ seasons, but runs smack into Giambi having a better top end, a better overall bat, and almost as much value in a thousand fewer plate appearances.  They both sit behind Greenberg, as he had a better bat than both and a couple thousand fewer plate appearances than Giambi.

2B Joe Gordon
-putting Gordon in direct comparison with Doerr gets the former on the team; Gordon had a better top end, a better bat (.513 career adjusted slugging from second base) and almost identical career value in 1500 fewer plate appearances.

3B Dick Allen

LF Ducky Medwick
-2 MVPQ seasons and a career adjusted slugging of .555.

RF Joe Jackson
      RF Elmer Flick
-Jackson's the best player in this first 40.  He's got 2 MVPQ seasons, a career slashline of 3/4/5, and accumulated his value in fewer than 6000 plate appearances.  Flick's also got a 3/4/5 slash but loses to Jackson on every count.

RHP Amos Rusie
        Dazzy Vance
        Jim Bunning
        Bret Saberhagen

LHP Whitey Ford

Bunning's the first guy with 3 MVPQ seasons, but his adjusted career ERA isn't special, so that's where I'll slot him. 

The 10 Best Game 7's in World Series History

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Since the World Series permanently moved to a best of 7, there have been 33 Game Sevens (there were two determinative game sevens prior; edit, now it's 34 game sevens plus the two prior) which I'd argue is the height of human endeavor.  If it seems like its been awhile since we've had one (2002, although I can't recall how that turned out) you're right.  The last 8 game World Series was 1921, so since the permanent switch to a best 4 of 7 in 1922, this current 9 year span since we've had a Game 7 is the longest ever.

I don't know if that's Wild Card related, but if you broaden our look, it might be.  In the 17 years since the Wild Card, there have been 3 Game 7s (02, 01, 97).  In the 17 years previous, there were 6.

The Cardinals have been in 10 of those Game 7s, almost a third.  At 7-3, they've got the most Game 7 wins of any team in baseball history.

Here are the Top 10 Game Sevens in World Series History.

10. 1955 Dodgers 2 Yankees 0

-This is the first title for the Dodgers; Brooklyn had lost the Series in '16, '20, '41, '47, '49, '52, and '53.

The Dodgers were up 2-0 through 6, then withstood the Yanks getting 2 on with one out and Berra/Sauer at the plate; defensive replacement Sandy Amoros robbing Berra's seemingly game tying line drive to the left field corner (at 5:29)

9. 1975 Reds 4 Red Sox 3

-The famous game is Fisk's the night before, but the Sox took a 3-0 lead into the 6th in Game 7 giving them a win expectancy of 85%.  Perez hit a two run homer in the 6th, then the Reds tied it in the 7th and had the bases loaded for Bench who fouled out.  Morgan singled home Griffey in the 9th (at 14:15)to give the Reds the lead, and the Sox went down in order in the bottom half.  Boston didn't get a hit after the fifth.

8. 1925 Pirates 9 Senators 7

-The greatest pitcher who ever lived was staked to a 4-0 lead and threw a complete game.  But it was a complete game loss in which he (he is the Train, Walter Johnson, then 37 years old) gave up 15 hits.  Still, Johnson was 4 outs away from the title, with no one on, 2 out, and a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the 8th when three doubles beat him.

7. 1946 Cardinals 4 Red Sox 3

-This is Slaughter's mad dash; Enos Slaughter scoring from first on Harry Walker's line drive base hit to center with two outs to break the 3-3 8th inning tie.  The Sox had just tied it with two in the top on a Dom Dimaggio two run double.  Boston put the first two on in the bottom of the 9th but couldn't plate the tie.

6. 1962 Yankees 1 Giants 0

-Richardson catches McCovey's liner at 7:45.  It's the best San Francisco Giants team of all time; we didn't get a hit until the 6th, with Mays and Alou both in scoring position with two out in the bottom of the 9th, McCovey's lineout ended it.  40 years later, we lost another game 7.  It wasn't until 2010 that San Francisco won its first World Series.  I've written about this game, and the entire history of the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, more extensively here.

5. 1991 Twins d. Braves
-The first extra innings game on the list; the Twins breaking a scoreless tie in the 10th with a Gene Larkin single (you can see it at 6:50). How many chances did both teams have to get on the board?  The Braves had a runner in scoring position with one out in the second.  The Twins had two on and one out in the second.  The Braves had two on, one out in the third.  The Twins had a runner at third with two out and Puckett at the plate in the third.  The Braves had a runner in scoring position in the 4th.  The Braves had them on the corners with one out and Pendleton/Gant coming up in the 5th.  The Braves opened the 8th with a Lonnie Smith single/Pendleton double, and then had the bases loaded with one out, but Jack Morris got a Sid Bream double play to end the threat.  The reverse in the bottom - John Smoltz gave up two singles and got pulled for Mike Stanton, who got a bases loaded double play from Hrbek to end the inning.  The Twins had them again an inning later, back to back singles to open the inning took a double play and then a Paul Sorrento strikeout with the winning run at third to get into extras.

And none of those runs scored.

In the tenth - Gladden opened with a double, took third on a groundout, and a couple of intentional walks later was the Larkin game winner.

4. 1997 Marlins 3 Indians 2

Another extra innings game; up 2-1 in the top of the 9th, with 1st and 3rd and just one out, the Indians had an 89% win expectancy.  Sandy Alomar got thrown out at the plate on a Marquis Grissom ground ball to short, and a Brian Giles flyout ended the inning.    Singles by Alou/Johnson and a Craig Counsell sac fly tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.  The Marlins had the winning run at second in the 10th with one out but didn't score; that waited for the following inning.  In the bottom of the 11th the Marlins loaded the bases (Bonilla single, an error, an intentional walk) with one out, Charles Nagy, who got out of the jam the previous inning, got a groundball that forced Bonilla at home for a second out.  Edgar Renteria, who 13 years later would be a World Series MVP for the Giants, won the game with a base hit that you can see at 3:33.

3. 1924 Senators 4 Giants 3

The greatest pitcher who ever lived, Walter Johnson, in the twilight of his career and playing in his first World Series, pitched the last 4 innings of a 12 inning game 7; the Senators scoring 3 runs, including the game winner, on two separate bad bounce ground balls.  There were 7 combined errors; my guess (I don't know the answer) is that's a game 7 record.  The Giants had a two run lead with 4 outs to go, reaching an 89% win expectancy, when the first of those bad hops scored two in the 8th.  Frankie Frisch tripled off the entering Johnson in the 9th, but the Giants left them on the corners.  The Senators had them on the corners with one out in the bottom, but a Ralph Miller double play ended the inning.  Frisch faced Johnson again with the potential winning run at second and one out in the 11th, but struckout, and a second strikeout got the Senators out of the inning.  Washington had the winning run in scoring position themselves in the bottom, but didn't score.  In the bottom of the 12th a botched foul popup to catcher led to a Muddy Ruel double and with two on and one out, what appeared to be an inning ending Earl McNeely double play ball bad hopped into the game winning hit.

2. 2001 Diamondbacks d. Yankees

Only once has a team entered the bottom of the 9th losing and exited it with a World Championship.

It was 2001.  It was November.  And it Mariano Rivera was on the mound.

You can see the entire bottom of the 9th here. The two starting pitchers, Clemens and Schilling, combined for 19 strikeouts and only one walk.  Soriano homered in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and when Rivera struck out the side in the bottom, the Yankees were at 80% win expectancy, but presumably felt more likely than that given the context.  Mark Grace led off the bottom of the 9th with a single, a Rivera error put two on, but an unsuccessful bunt attempt forced the lead runner. Tony Womack doubled home the tying run, and after a hit batsman, Luis Gonzalez singled home the win.  Had the Yankees held on, the connection between this game and 9-11 would probably have marked it as the ultimate American sporting event, with only perhaps the 1980 hockey win over the Soviets to contend in our national consciousness.

1. 1960 Pirates d. Yankees

The game highlights are here.

The Pirates scored two in each of the first two innings giving them an 89% win expectancy.

The Yankees scored the next 7 runs.  They ended their half of the 8th with a 7-4 lead, 6 outs away from a title, and a 94% win expectancy.

The Pirates scored 5 in the bottom of the 8th after what looked to be an easy double play ground ball bad hopped into Tony Kubek's throat.  When Hal Smith hit a three run homer to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead, the win expectancy swung all the way back to 93% for Pittsburgh.

But New York came back again.  Singles by Richardson/Long/Mantle cut the lead to one run and a Berra groundout tied the game at 9.

Two years later, Ralph Terry shut out the Giants in a Game 7, but in 1960, he gave up a leadoff homer to Bill Mazeroski for the only Game 7 walkoff home run in World Series history.

The 20 Best WWE/WWF Tag Team Title Switches

Monday, October 24, 2011

There have been, honestly too many tag team title switches in WWF/WWE to count without getting angry at about 175.  I've seen many of them.  Here's my top 20.

1.       Apr ’00 Edge/Christian d. Dudleys/Hardys
2.             Apr ’01 Edge/Christian d. Dudleys/Hardys 
3.       May ’01 Chris Benoit/ Chris Jericho d. Steve Austin/HHH 
4.       Sept ’00 Hardys d. Edge/Christian 
5.       Apr ’04 Chris Benoit/Edge d. Ric Flair/Batista 
6.       Aug ’90 Hart Foundation d. Demolition
7.       July ’98 Steve Austin/Undertaker d. Mick Foley/Kane 
8.       Mar ’98 Mick Foley/Terry Funk d. New Age Outlaws 
9.       Jan ’94 Quebecers d. Marty Jannetty /Sean Waltman 
10.   Jan ’94 Sean Waltman/Marty Jannetty d. Quebecers
11.   March ’91 Nasty Boys d. Hart Foundation 
12.   May ’97 Steve Austin/ Shawn Michaels d. Owen Hart /Davey Boy Smith
13.   July ’99 Acolytes d. Hardys/Michael Hayes 
14.   Apr ’86 British Bulldogs d. Greg Valentine/Brutus Beefcake
15.   Sept ’96 Davey Boy Smith /Owen Hart d. Smoking Gunns
16.   Dec ’02 Booker T/Goldust win 4 way.
17.   May ’04 La Resistance d. Chris Benoit/Edge
18.   June ’07 Lance Cade/ Trevor Murdoch d. Hardys
19.   Dec ’09 DX d. Chris Jericho/Big Show
20.   Jan ’07  Shawn Michaels/ John Cena d. Edge/ Randy Orton

The Weekly Ten(+8)down October 16-22 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dear Internet:

The Niners are 5-1 and the talk of the National Football League.

SC went into South Bend outmanned for the first time in easily a decade and just whipped the Irish.

And the Giants have one more week as World Champions.

But it's my Ladygal's birthday (actually, it was yesterday, but that meant the day of work I need to do each Saturday got bumped to Sunday) so I won't be talking about any of that.  Instead, what you get are links, graphs, and photos about the 99% movement.

All I have, actually - I don't know how many, I want to clear the backlog as (1) I won't be writing for the next two weeks, next week is the two year anniversary of this column so what you get are links to each piece, then I go dark for a week and (2) this is Tendown 99, and putting the balance of my 99% related material up this week will make that connection easy to reference later.

So - if you have no interest in Occupation effluvia, I've got nothing for you this week.  I have been doing a daily sports post however, so if you're interested in that sort of thing, come back tomorrow.

Here's Tendown 99.









9. CEO Pay vs. Your Pay
In England: 25:1
In Sweden: 13:1
In Germany: 11:1
In Japan: 10:1
In 1970 United States: 28:1
In 2005 United States: 158:1
In 2010 United States: 400:1

10. It's Already Working.
You change policy by first changing the discussion.

From July:

From October

11. How Much Have the Bush Tax Cuts Cost?

12. Real World: Occupy MTV

13. How Much Would Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Tax Plan Cut Taxes for the Rich?
210,000 for the top 1%
1,400,000 for the top .1%

14. Occupy Writers.

15. Occupy the Boardroom

16. They're lying to you about the post office.

17. No, they're really lying to you about the post office.

18. Target fired Norma Rae.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,


I Pick Every NFL Game in 2011 - Week 7

Friday, October 21, 2011

I went .500 ATS last week; my current overall record is 47-39-4 and I'm 63-27 straight up.

Bucs +1 Bears(loss/loss)
Redskins +2.5 Panthers(panthers win game)(loss/win)
Jets +2 Chargers(win/win)
Browns -3 Seattle(push/win)
Houston +3 Tennessee (win/win)
Denver +1.5 Miami (dolphins win game)(win/loss)
Lions -3.5 Falcons(loss/loss)
Steelers -3.5 Arizona(win/win)
GB -9 Minn (loss/win)
Oakland -6 KC(loss/loss)
StL +13 Dall(Cowboys win game)(loss/win)
Colts+14 Saints (NO wins game)(loss/win)
Ravens -7.5 Jags(loss/loss)

4-8-1 (51-47-5)
8-5 (71-32)

2011 College Football Picks, Week 8

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm 39-43-1 for the season.

UCLA v. Arizona over 62(loss)
Rutgers +2 Louisville(push)
SFlorida -3 Cincinnati(loss)
Illinois -4 Purdue(loss)
Oklahoma St. v. Missouri under 69(push)
Temple -13.5 BGSU(loss)
Virginia -5.5 NC St.(loss)
Miami -2.5 GTech(win)
Texas A&M -20.5 Iowa St.(loss)
Boise St. -31 Air Force(loss)
Fresno St. +10.5 Nevada(win)
WKy +3.5 LaLa(win)
Utah +3 Cal(loss)
Toledo -17.5 Miami(win)
Rice +10.5 Tulsa(loss)
Vandy -10.5 Army(win)
UTEP -7 Colorado St.(win)
Mich St. +8 Wisc (win)


Rangers in Six/What the hell are the Raiders doing?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Before the season, I picked Sox/Braves.  That did not work out.

Before the playoffs, I picked Phils/Yanks.  That did not work out.

But I thought the third best team in the playoffs was Texas, and regardless of how the deciding Tigers/Yanks game turned out, I was going to move to Texas winning the ALCS.  They were a good team in the regular season, and are now a good team playing well; power bats and bullpen is a good formula for post season success, and that's Texas.  They're better at every phase than St Louis - better bats, better gloves, better arms.  You have to take Texas.

Which doesn't mean they'll win; the Cards have the best bat (Pujols, obviously) and the best arm (Carpenter, whose matchup advantage against Wilson is healthy) and each of the Rangers advantages previously named is slight (except for defense, the Rangers are solidly better with the glove).  I haven't looked at the odds, but were the Rangers' price excessive given the relative closeness of the squads that wouldn't surprise.

If you were looking at each game, saying Carpenter's two games are the only ones in which you'd favor St Louis makes sense, and therefore Rangers in 6 makes sense.  Texas had a 10 game regular season pythag advantage and the Cards are sub 90; if you're picking, you're picking Texas.  I can't think of a rooting side here; I dislike the Rangers BushFamily/Nolan Ryan/Texas sensibility, and like all right thinking baseball fans, I find LaRussa an irritant and generally look to root against the less deserving World Series entrants.  As a Giants fan, perhaps a Rangers win adds to our success from last year, given that we would have beaten the team good enough to return and win the following year.  That's enough of an argument for me to say I'm for the Rangers.

A Rangers win would rank them as the 56th best World Champion ever, between the Reds team that beat the Black Sox and the Dodgers team that won in the strike shortened year.

Unrelated.  I like Carson Palmer; he's the best USC quarterback I've ever seen.  But two number ones is absolute madness for a guy on the wrong side of the hill.  Matt Hasselbeck was free talent in the offseason; you can't give up two ones for Palmer.

What's the price for Andrew Luck?  Let's say its the Colts picking first with a returning Peyton Manning.  How many number ones do you need to get that pick?

3?  Would three do it?  How about two ones and two twos?

Would you rather pay 2 ones for Palmer or 3 ones for Luck?  How about 4?  Your initial thought is "no one is trading that top pick next year" - and your next thought it "no one is trading four number one draft picks for anyone".

But if you're the Raiders, willing to trade 2 ones for Palmer, you have to be willing to trade 3 ones (and maybe more) for Luck.

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players of All Time, 2012 Ed. 161-170

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The previous ten is here.

161. Wee Willie Keeler 1892-10 RF Orioles/Superbas/Highlanders
         OPS+ 126

162. Jake Beckley 1B 1888-07 Pirates/Reds
        OPS+ 125

163. Vladimir Guerrero RF 1996-  Expos/Angels

164. Bobby Doerr 2B 1937-51 Red Sox

165. John Olerud 1B 1989-05 Blue Jays/Mariners
        OPS+ 128
        MVPQ=1993, 1998

166. Joe Gordon 2B Yankees 1938-50 Yankees

167. Ducky Medwick  1932-48 LF Cardinals
        MVPQ=1936, 1937

168. Jim Bunning RHP 1955-71 Tigers/Phillies
        MVPQ=1965, 1966, 1967

169. Richie Ashburn CF 1948-62 Phillies
        OPS+ 111

170. Joe Jackson LF 1908-20 Indians/White Sox
        MVPQ=1911, 1912

In this section, we have Bunning, the first player of the 40 on the list so far with 3 MVPQ seasons; Jackson/Medwick/Olerud join the group who have two.  Jackson adds to that the best bat we've seen so far, a 169 OPS+ and my favorite pet adjusted slash, a 3/4/5 (joining Berkman and Flick in that group).  Jackson also has fewer than 6000 plate appearances, the fewest on the board so far - making him the best per game player on the list to date.  No Elite seasons (10 wins above replacement) in this group, Rusie/Giambi are still the only members of that club.

So, where do we stand a fifth of the way through the list?

C King Kelly
-clearly the best catcher with his .500 career adjusted slugging percentage

1B Hank Greenberg
     Jason Giambi
-no change at first base; Olerud had two MVPQ seasons, but runs smack into Giambi having a better top end, a better overall bat, and almost as much value in a thousand fewer plate appearances.  They both sit behind Greenberg, as he had a better bat than both and a couple thousand fewer plate appearances than Giambi.

2B Joe Gordon
-putting Gordon in direct comparison with Doerr gets the former on the team; Gordon had a better top end, a better bat (.513 career adjusted slugging from second base) and almost identical career value in 1500 fewer plate appearances.

No one at either short or third is in this conversation yet.

LF Ducky Medwick
-2 MVPQ seasons and a career adjusted slugging of .555.

RF Joe Jackson
      RF Elmer Flick
-Jackson's the best player in this first 40.  He's got 2 MVPQ seasons, a career slashline of 3/4/5, and accumulated his value in fewer than 6000 plate appearances.  Flick's also got a 3/4/5 slash but loses to Jackson on every count.

RHP Amos Rusie
        Dazzy Vance
        Jim Bunning
        Bret Saberhagen

Bunning's the first guy with 3 MVPQ seasons, but his adjusted career ERA isn't special, so that's where I'll slot him.

The 20 Best WWE/WWF IC Switches

Monday, October 17, 2011

There have been 131 Intercontinental Title switches in WWF/WWE history. I've seen well over a hundred of them; my record keeping is not as good as is it with the WWF Championship matches, but this should be close. Once we get to the end of the list, it would be easy to slip other matches in those spots. Here are the 20 best matches.

1. Aug '92 Bret Hart d. Davey Boy Smith
2. Mar '87 Ricky Steamboat d. Randy Savage
3. Jan '01  Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit
4. Aug '91 Bret Hart d. Mr. Perfect
5. July '95 Shawn Michaels d. Jeff Jarrett
6. Aug '92 Bret Hart d. Roddy Piper
7. May '00 Chris Benoit d. Chris Jericho
8. Sept '03 RVD d. Christian
9. June '09 Chris Jericho d. Rey Mysterio
10. Sept '09 John Morrison d. Rey Mysterio
11. Aug '98 HHH d. Rock
12. June '09 Rey Mysterio d. Chris Jericho
13. May '02 RVD d. Eddy Guerrero
14. Apr '02 Eddy Guerrero d. RVD
15. Apr '06 RVD d. Shelton Benjamin
16. Apr' 00 Chris Benoit d. Chris Jericho/Kurt Angle
17. Nov '06 Jeff Hardy d. Johnny Nitro
18. Sept '04 Chris Jericho d. Christian
19. Aug '97 Steve Austin d. Owen Hart
20. July '04 Edge d. Randy Orton

The Weekly Tendown October 9-15 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dear Internet:

The thing most on my mind, as evidenced by last week's Tendown, is the 99% movement; yesterday it went global, with occupations in over 80 countries.

I'm not going to talk about it this week; in fact, this week is politics free, a safe zone for whatever conservative readers of my sports posts drop by.

Next week is my 99th Tendown, and also my Ladygal's birthday.  My priorities are in the right position, and I'll make next week's issue almost laborless, entirely one of pictures and graphs related to the 99% movement.

A week later - the two year anniversary of Tendown; if you were around a year ago, you may recall that Tendown 50 was links and brief content descriptions of the previous 49, and I'll do that again with Tendown 100.  You may also recall I took a week off after Tendown 50 and will do the same after 100.

But that's not today.  Today is a Politics Free Tendown 98.

1. Who's Got It Better Than Us?

Have you ever wondered, "Where does Jividen write Tendown; what is to his immediate right in his workspace?  At what was he looking when he announced "tax millionaires" as the crux of his economic policy?" (Not that I'm advocating that today, in this politics free issue of Tendown; for today, I'm not even recognizing that millionaires exist - it's divisive after all; dirty talk of our exploding wealth gap over the past three decades.  I won't have it!).

I have pennants in my office.  These are they.  One for each Super Bowl, plus extras for SB23 and 29. Memorabilia isnt in my budget anymore; I still don't have nearly as much World Series effluvia as would I ideally; so it's helpful that the last pennant was purchased in Clinton's first term.

The 49ers have largely been irrelevant for a decade.  I haven't seen a single game this year, not out of lack of interest but because there hasn't been one televised in my market.

Until today - when, even as I write this, Niners/Lions (we're down early) is on in south Florida.

4-1 gets you some chatter.  Here's a NY Times blog piece about how the roster came to be and here is the current playoff projections by Football Outsiders.

The team in the entire NFL most likely to make the postseason?

The Niners.

I took Detroit today in my weekly picks, and one may recall in my preseason forecast my saying I'd rather go 0-16 than lose in the NFL Championship.

That remains true.  But at 4-1 we're clearly not playing low ball this year.  So, time to root for good cards.

Go Niners.

2. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Pill
Is here.  If you wake up one morning sliding out of John Malkovich's amygdala into a ditch just off the New Jersey Turnpike, you'll know the entire Charlie Kauffman catalog is becoming reality.

3. Meet the Mullets

The best part of the arrests this week of five Amish men in Ohio for cutting off the hair of other Amish men is that the last name of the suspects is Mullet.

That means the Mullets were arrested for Crimes Against Hair.

4. I Need You to Trust Me on This.
If you eat this:
And then you immediately brush your teeth with this

Your mouth will foam like a rabid woodchuck.  Maybe this can be a new urban legend, like when the kid Mikey from the Life cereal commercials back in the 70s died from eating too many Razzles.  "Remember the guy from Hanging with Mr. Cooper?  That dude ate a bunch of salt and vinegar chips and then brushed his teeth right after and swallowed his tongue."

5. The Worst Monday Night RAW....ever.

Somehow, WWE managed to turn an angle that was referenced on Jim Rome's radio show as possibly being real and got CM Punk an hour on Bill Simmons's podcast into an absolute pile of gloop that saw Hunter bury virtually the entire roster this week.

The visceral dislike fans have for this type of corporate indulgence (shoot firing JR, having the Punk character stand with authority against the walked out wrestlers, treating matches as if they an impediment to the product) is exactly the nerve that the original Punk promo touched.  WWE is a corporate criminal, which isn't an estimation of the booking; their classification of wrestlers as independent contractors is without even a colorable argument.  It goes without challenge because the McMahons control the wrestling marketplace and its labor force essentially has no voice or protection.  I assume its coincidence that WWE has decided to run an anti-union, anti-labor angle at the same moment that 99% movement begins to gain some traction.  But were one to write a book (or a doctoral dissertation; I totally should have gone on to get my PhD in 2004; I was shortsighted thinking it was a mistake to sell my house to spend the next few years in grad school when I had a teaching job lined up - as 8 years later, I lost my house anyway and am still at that same job, still just scratching out a living) on professional wrestling as ratifying the messages of the corporate class to its largely working class fan base - this current angle would be a good place to start.  Hey workers, WWE is saying, don't complain about workplace conditions, just do what the boss says.  Successful people don't complain, they work.  Only jobbers align together and try to force the hand of management.  Get back in your goddamn cubicle.  And the "actors" who have to present that morality play, the WWE wrestlers, have no employer provided health insurance, pay for their own travel expenses, are subject to random drug testing, and have to sign over intellectual property rights to their ring personas.  It's as if the characters at Disney theme marks (also a non union shop) had to sing a little song about how Norma Rae was a commie and Joe Hill got what he deserved.

Yes, that was politics.  I'm sorry.

I saw some four star wrestling this week.  Richards/Strong from last week's ROH TV (ROH is now owned by Sinclair Media; if you've forgotten its attempts to smear John Kerry in 2004, something that I don't think the wrestling press has taken note of since the purchase, here's a reminder). Another Richards match, he and Romero winning the tag titles this month from Devitt/Taguchi in NJ was 4 stars.  And Go's NOAH title defense over Takayama in September was 4 1/2, meaning it goes in my Match of the Year post.  I'm at 40 4 1/2 star+ matches for the year thusfar.

6. I Write the Stories
I've been doing a post a day for awhile; which is a good pace to keep up as long as I'm making picks.

I did a list of the best WWF/E title switches.
I'm down to 171 in my revision of the 200 greatest baseball players of all time.
I went 6-7 against the spread in yesterday's college football picks.
And today's NFL picks are here.

7. Flapjacks

As requested by my Ladygal - we're now calling all pancakes "flapjacks."  Adjust your lexicon accordingly.

Also, given the amount of British television we've been watching, I think we're probably going to replace the word "bacon" with "streaky bacon" but I'd assume that's a step too far for most.

8. What British Television?

Big Brother UK.  We've seen every episode of the current season.  I am uncertain how I survived without it in my life until now.  I'm Team Aaron in a near violent fashion. Seriously, the amount of my day spent thinking about Big Brother UK is unsettling.

9. Hey, Beavis and Butt-head is Back.
The NY Times did a profile of Mike Judge.

10. And Just Because I like It.
That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,


2011 College Football Picks, Week 7

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm 33-36-1.

Toledo -8 Bowling Green(loss)
Penn St -12 Purdue(loss)
Texas A&M -8.5 Baylor(win)
N Carolina -3 Miami(loss)
Rutgers -3.5 Navy(loss)
WMich -1.5 NIU(loss)
UTEP +1.5 Tulane(win)
G Tech -7 Virginia(loss)
BYU +3 Ore St.(win)
Florida -2 Auburn(loss)
K St. +3.5 TTech(win)
Stanford v. Wash St. under 65.5(win)
Oklahoma v. Kansas under 75(win)


The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players of All Time, 2012 Ed. 171-180

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The previous 10 is here.

171. Elmer Flick RF 1898-10 Phillies/Indians
        OPS+ 149

172. Duke Snider CF 1947-64 Dodgers
        OPS+ 140

173. King Kelly OF/C 1878-93 White Sox/Beaneaters
        OPS+ 138

174. Bid McPhee 2B 1882-99 Reds
        OPS+ 106
        MVPQ= none

175. Jason Giambi 1B 1995- Athletics/Yankees 
        OPS+ 142
        Elite Season=2001 (10.4 Wins above replacement)

176. Jimmy Wynn CF 1963-77 Astros
        OPS+ 128

177. Andruw Jones CF Braves 1996-
        OPS+ 111

178. Amos Rusie RHP Giants 1889-01
       Elite Season=1894 (10.1)

179. Al Simmons LF/CF Athletics 1924-44

180. Tim Hudson RHP Athletics/Braves 1999-

In this section, we have our two best seasons yet, Giambi's 2011 and Rusie's 1893; the first two seasons to hit "Elite" status (MVP Quality is 8 wins above replacement, Elite is 10, an Inner Circle season would be 12).  Rusie's the new best pitcher so far, just slipping by Vance.  Giambi's got a couple thousand more plate appearances than Greenberg, and Hank's adjusted slugging of .616 remains the most impressive number on the board, so Greenberg stays the starting first baseman, but Giambi's Elite season puts him on the current version of the all time team.

Additionally, note Flick's 3/4/5 adjusted slashline, he joins Berkman in that membership.  Flick's career value with limited number of plate appearances is also extra impressive, and that's the data point that gets he and Kelly named to the all time team at this point in the list.

C Kelly
1B Greenberg
     1B Giambi
RF Flick
RHP Rusie

I Pick Every NFL Game in 2011 - Week 6

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm slumping.  Season record is down to 41-33-3 against the spread and 54-23 straight up.  As is the case each week, I put this up on Wednesday given my schedule, but will revisit on Friday.  If you're relying on my thoughts, come back sometime before Saturday for the final result. Edit - I'm done as of Thursday midday.  I flipped two ATS, I think I'd good for the weekend.

StL +14.5 GB (Pack wins game)(loss/win)
Jags +12.5 Steelers (Steelers win game)(win/win)
Redskins +1 Philly(loss/loss)
Detroit -5 Niners(loss/loss)
Panthers +4 Atlanta(loss/loss)
Bengals -7 Colts(win/win)
Bills +3 NYG (Giants win game)(push/win)
Texans +7.5 Ravens (Balt wins game)(loss/win)
Raiders -5.5 Browns(win/win)
Cowboys +7 NE (Patriots win game)(win/win)
Saints -4.5 Bucs(loss/loss)
Bears -3 Vikes(win/win)
Jets -7 Dolphins(win/win)

6-6-1, 47-39-4
9-4, 63-27

The 200 Greatest Major League Baseball Players of All Time, 2012 Ed. 181-190

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

200-191 is here.

181. Dazzy Vance 1915-35 RHP Dodgers
        MVPQ=1924, 1928

182. Harmon Killebrew 1B/3B/LF Twins 1954-75

183. Kenny Lofton CF Indians 1991-07

184. Lance Berkman LF/1B Astros 1999-

185. Stan Hack 3B Cubs 1932-47

186. Graig Nettles 3B Yankees 1967-88

187. Joe Torre C Cardinals 1960-77

188. Ken Boyer 3B Cardinals 1955-69

189. Jim O’Rourke Giants LF 1872-04
190.   Willie Stargell Pirates LF/1B 1962-82
          OPS+ 147
          PA: 9000

Who you start with is Vance; he's the first player on the list (working backward from #200) to have two MVPQ seasons, and his '24 is the best year anyone's had thusfar.  When we hit a 10 wins above replacement season, I'm going to call that an inner circle season.  Vance didn't get there, but he's closest thusfar.  His ERA+ matches the other top arms, he obviously has the most career value (although Sabathia goes by him in 2012) but he's got the two MVPQ seasons.

We also have our first 3/4/5 translated slash.  It's Berkman.  If he had an MVPQ I'd slot him right now into the all time team.

Instead, we add Vance.  The best arm so far.

1B Greenberg
RHP Vance
RHP Saberhagen

The 20 Best WWE/WWF Championship Switches

Monday, October 10, 2011

The WWF/E Championship has changed hands in 110 different matches.  I've probably seen a hundred of those matches.  Here are the 20 best of those matches.  These aren't the 20 best WWF matches, not the 20 best WWF title matches, these are the 20 best WWF title matches in which the belt changed hands.

List now updated through 4-2014

1. March 1996 - Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart
2. July 2011 - CM Punk d. John Cena
3. April 1992 -Randy Savage d. Ric Flair
4. February 2004 - Eddy Guerrero d. Brock Lesnar
5. September 2003 - Brock Lesnar d. Kurt Angle
6. February 1997 - Bret Hart wins Fatal Four Way
7. August, 2013 - Daniel Bryan d. John Cena
8. March 2003 - Brock Lesnar d. Kurt Angle
9. May 2000 - HHH d. Rock
10. January 1992 - Ric Flair Wins Royal Rumble
11. November 1995 - Bret Hart d. Diesel
12. March 1999 - Steve Austin d. Rock
13. September 2001 - Kurt Angle d. Steve Austin
14. September 2006 - John Cena d. Edge
15. August 2011 - CM Punk d. John Cena
16. November 1997 - Shawn Michaels d. Bret Hart
17. December 1998 - Mick Foley d. Rock
18. April 1989 - Hulk Hogan d. Randy Savage
19. April 2001 - Steve Austin d. Rock
20. March 1998 - Steve Austin d. Shawn Michaels

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