Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bench Clearing Brawl at HS Hockey Game- TPC Advises on the Issue

MoChassid recently wrote an article on a local High School Semi Final Hockey game between HAFTR and Maagen David, where with 90 seconds left, trailing 2-0, one of the players on Maagen David made an aggressive hit on one of the HAFTR players and a bench clearing brawl, including SOME PARENTS, took place.
Keep in mind, this is a no hitting league and a player that is involved in a fight in any shape or form is automatically suspended for at least the next game.

Here's the problem. The next game in this case is the Championship Game. It is also the last game of many of the players, the High School Seniors. The question is what does the league do and more importantly what do the respective schools do.

In my response to MoC, I wrote:
The problem here is HAFTR was not the instigator, so no matter how wrong it was to retaliate, they are basically being penalized for being the victim of a team taking a cheap shot when the game was decided.
The bigger issue here is the fact that parents were involved. I don't know about the situation, but if your facts are correct, the bigger chinuch issue is what do we do with the parents. It's one thing for kids to get out of control in an emotional, physical game such as hockey (being a former HS player nothing is more important in a kids life than winning that Championship and emotions do take over-rightfully or wrongfully).
What is the parents excuse and what price do they pay? What lessons are they teaching their kids?
There is more to the question and comment.

First off, assuming the league takes a hard line and suspends the players involved and basically giving the Championship to DRS (they won their other Semi Final Game). DRS gets screwed by not being given the chance to win it on the "ice". HAFTR gets screwed because they were just retaliating (albeit wrongfully) to a cheap shot to one of their players (no matter how wrong it is, there is still some good here in the standing up for your teammate). Maagen David gets off scott free because being on the losing end they have no game to be suspended for. This leads to my main point and because I was personally involved in a similar situation 20 somewhat years ago, I know exactly the psyche of Maagen David (no lose situation, frustration, etc). In my opinion, First thinsg first. I would let HAFTR play DRS at full strength. I would then have the school meet out a punishment for each of the players involved. The punishment would coincide with the more important problem here, the parents who actually got involved. We'll get back to the punishment in a minute.

Watching my son and nephew in various Little League and other competitive sporting events, I noticed a major trend that needs to be dealt with in a major way. This is nothing new to most who watch the news, but I can tell you the source. I see parents getting way to involved in the kids events, to the point where parents on opposing squads are viciously arguing with each other (sometimes these guys are good friends, neighbors and sit next to each other in shul on Shabbos). You get a lot of language from the parents that would in no way, shape or form be tolerated from their kids. These parents, most of whom I know from High School and College were generally NOT the guys that were "players" but rather mediocre athletes at best and are now living their "fantasies" through their kids. The guys I competed against (and sometimes still do) generally want their kids to learn the game, play to the best of their abilities and just enjoy the sport. They don't need to have their kids being pressured to win at all costs for them. I see this as a huge problem amongst the kids being put in pressure situations where they might be just 6-8 years old and the main objective is for them to learn a sport and it's virtues rather than complete some dream a father wasn't able to achieve on his own. This usually leads to the kid hating the sport, the father, etc. This also leads to what happened between HAFTR and Maagen David.

The parents involved in this brawl must pay a lot more than the kids, who are basically, as I wrote earlier, acting out on emotion in possibly their last ever High School game in a very emotional and physical game. While I agree it is wrong, it is to an extent understandable. The parents have no excuses.

Back to the punishment. I would suspend the players involved for the first 3 games of next season for HAFTR and 5 for Maagen David for being the instigator.
For the remainder of the school year, ALL the Seniors, their parents and the parents and kids of all the remainder involved (i.e. if a sophomore was involved in the brawl, he and his parents or if some parent was involved and his kid wasn't or wasn't even on the team, he and his kid) would enter into an after school counseling/ learning program twice a week for the remainder of the school year. There would be no excuse of "I have to work and I can't make it" or "I have no one to watch the kids" etc. If this is the case the school would provide the babysitter. The program could start at an hour late enough to give the parents ample time to get home, or even do it on a Sunday night. This way all three will make a major sacrifice and need to be held accountable for their actions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Greatest Defensive Players- By Position in Baseball History

TPC is currently competing in Sports2Debate's first ever Blog Madness Tournament, and has been matched up against My Sports Rumors in the opening round of the North Region.

Here is the first question. TPC urges his fans to vote early and often!

-Name your All-Defense Team, using every player in the history of MLB.

-One player at every position listed below.

-Back up your statements with facts. Refute your opponents points.

-C: 1B: 2B: SS: 3B: OF(3): P(3):

The Peoples Champ has been known to be offensive at time (or if I was Canadian Oh-fensive), so we now we go the way of defense, and as TPC will tell you- Defense Wins Championships- and therefore, the Greatest Defensive Team in History will have it's share of rings.

First and foremost, if you want a great defensive team, you need to limit the amount of hard hit balls at you, so on the mound we will have the Greatest Pitcher of the Modern Era- the one with the lowest career WHIP (1.0512), which is Pedro Martinez. When he was in his prime his WHIP was always an unearthly Sub 1.00, which means he doesn't get hit. It's a lot easier to play D when the ball isn't getting hit hard at you. I'm a Yankee fan, and nothing makes me hurt more than putting a Red Sox on this list, but Pedro was the best I ever saw.

In dealing with the rest of the squad, we will take into account a few things:
The players range (as defined by his range versus his peers, gold gloves (although subjective), using The People's Eye- you don't need to have statistical proof that Ozzie Smith was a genius, and general stuff I like to throw in). We also take into account the player must have played 1000 games minimum to define a decent work.

Anyone who has watched baseball knows Keith Hernandez with his two World Series rings and record 12 Gold Glove Awards at 1b is the best player at that position. When you take into account putouts per game (a very telling stat for 1b) Hernandez is one of the tops in the modern era and factoring in range and fielding percentage he has no peers.

At 2b we have Bill Mazeroski and Ryne Sandberg. Statistically, no one else is in the game. Mazeroski had a range factor of 123 to Sandberg's 122. Joe Morgan, Frank White and Roberto Alomar, all of whom are generally considered as some of the best defensive 2b in history have range factor between 105-110. (Range Factor - the number of (Putouts + Assists) per game (or 9 innings played). Sandberg gets the nod because he has the highest fielding percentage in history at the position at .989 (Mazeroski is at .983). He gets to the most balls and he catches the most by percentage? Uh-huh, that's the guy I want. Sandberg also has 9 Gold Gloves to Mazeroski's 8.

At SS I will not insult any one's intelligence with statistical proof that Ozzie Smith is the greatest of all time at his position. Anyone who has ever seen him play knows this 100%. Bill James once told Peter Gammons Ozzie saved his team over 100 runs per season. That's the difference between a 3.50 and a 4.30 ERA for a pitcher. WOW.

I love Greg Nettles. I loved how he single handedly saved the 1978 World Series with his glove. I also loved the way Buddy Bell and Mike Schmidt played the position. All great 3b. However, Brooks Robinson, who not coincidentally has the All time Fielding percentage mark at 3b (.971 compared to Bells .964, Nettles .961 and Schmidt's .965) with good range, great arm, etc etc. Brooks is your man. Brooks also owns 13 Gold Gloves, the most by any 3b.

To round up the infield, our Catcher is the hardest position to "prove" who was the best defensively. Some think it was Pudge- no one threw out runners at a higher clip, some say it was Bench who had good throwing percentages and better passed ball and wild pitch numbers than Pudge, and some say it was a guy like Brad Ausmus, who statistically is as good all around as anyone who ever played the game. However, Catcher is also a position of Generalship (did i just make that word up) and I'll go with Yogi Berra who was one of the all time greats in preventing wild pitches and passed balls, and he also has 14 pennant winning flags to prove it.

In Center Field, as much as I would like to put Joe D or The Mick or even Willie Mays on this list, Richie Ashburn was the statistically best CF'er of them. First off, the most important stat for a CF'er is the range factor, in other words, how many extra balls do they get to than the average guy at that position. Ashburn has the top Range Factor in Major League history of any outfielder at 147. To put that in perspective, Gary Maddox was 2nd on the list at 140 and Mays was at 136, while Ashburn had a better Fielding Percentage than Mays and was even with Maddox at .983. No one else is even in the statistical discussion. Ashburn also had the best "arm" amongst the group throwing out an average of 16% more players than the average OF'er while Mays was at 5%. Kirby Puckett had an astonishing 48% better mark, but he got to 20% less balls with a worse fielding percentage, so he isn't in the discussion.

The corner OF'ers we have to adjust the stats for, being range is important but an arm is more important because of the amount of run prevention a good arm accounts for. It's why I would take Jesse Barfield and Roberto Clemente (moving Robbie over to left) as my two corner Of'ers. First Barfield. He had the best arm in Major League Baseball history, throwing out more than twice the amount of runners than the average ML Of'er (his number is actually 202). He had a good fielding percentage and decent range to boot. Clemente had slightly better range and the second best arm of all time, throwing out 78% more runners than average. To put these numbers in perspective, Bonds, some considered an all time great fielding Left Fielder prior to his "alleged" steroid issue, had slightly better range and Fielding Percentage numbers, but through 2005 (his numbers since have decreased dramatically) he threw out 35% more runners on average. Basically, Barfield and Clemente prevented a ton of singles turning into doubles, guys going first to third or scoring from 2B on a single, and they have done it while playing RF, the most taxing in terms of throwing runners out..

Well, there you have the greatest fielding team in history according to The People's Champ.

(statistics were mostly taken from a truly great site).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tapout founder "Mask" killed in early morning auto accident (Updated)

Tapout founder "Mask" killed in early morning auto accident (Updated)

In shocking news, Tapout's leader and Co-Founder, "Mask"- Charles Lewis Jr. was killed this morning in a vehicular manslaughter in Newport Beach California.
Tapout is the #1 clothing line amongst MMA hardcore fighters and fans alike and the creator of the popular reality show on Versus.

Click on the above link for the whole story.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

TPC Sport Thoughts- Cassel, Cutler, Wade and more

Over the weekend we saw the Chiefs trade a 2nd round draft pick and a guaranteed $14M for Matt Cassel. As my millions and millions of loyal readers know, TPC is not a big fan of Cassel and thinks it was very apropo for the poor K.C. Chiefs to trade for the overpriced system QB. When you let Herm Edwards ruin your franchise and all time great Fantasy Football systems, why stop there?
Cassel is a very good QB in terms of mobility, but as I pointed out many times Cassel came into the perfect situation. He had a very good offensive line. Two Pro Bowl Wide Receivers (Moss and Welker) and basically the same team that broke almost every passing record in NFL history the year before. With all that he had modest success, 21 TD's and 11 INT's with a QB rating of 89.4 and a 7.2 Yards Per Attempt. Keep in mind this was also against one of the worst NFL schedules in recent years. Compare that to Tom Brady's 2007 stats and you wonder what all the fuss is about with Cassel (50TD's 8Int's a 117 passing rating a YPA of 8.3).

Now, while all this was going on, seemingly the Denver Broncos were willing to throw Jay Cutler into the mix in order to have a shot at Cassel. Why would a team with a 26 year old up and coming Pro Bowl QB stud in Cutler go after a guy like Cassel is really mind boggling. Now granted, I have said many times prior that Cutler hasn't been as good as his statistics would lead you to believe and the fact is, he makes big mistakes at bad times. However, he is also only 26 and is the most physically gifted QB in the NFL bar none. When he's on his game, no one can do what he can do, with his arm strength and mobility. Yes, he has a big mouth and yes he's prone to the big mistake, but he's freakin only 26- a puppy in NFL QB years. You can make a very good case that if the NFL put all their players in a big pool and started a draft tomorrow, Cutler would be a top 10 pick at worst and possibly top 3, while Cassel wouldn't go in the top 50. So why does Josh McDaniels and new Denver Management do this? Who knows. Maybe they are just showing their inexperience. Maybe there's more to Cutler being a pain in the toochas than we all know.

The Bucs signed former Giant Derrick Ward for a 4 year $17M deal which will not make the Buc fans happy. Yes, he's a decent back but Ward made a living facing a defensive front that just got it's teeth smashed in by Brandon "The Real Deal" Jacobs. You can put any decent back in behind Jacobs and that offensive line and he will be successful. Ward was a product of that system.

Between the Cassel-Cutler fiasco and the Ward deal, you wonder what you need to do to become a GM in the National Football League.

At least the Jets got it right by signing the right LB from Baltimore and not paying for the overpriced and overaged Ray Lewis. Bart Scott was the right man for the Jets and will help shore up that defense.

Dwayne Wade had an incredible week, scoring 24 points in the 4th Quarter to lead a 16 point comeback againts the Knicks and then fell just short in his Mano a Mano game vs. Lebron last night scoring 41 points, 7 rebounds 9 assists and 7 steals. WOW. You can take Kobe all day, for my money D-Wade is the second dog to King James.

We're about a month away from opening day and the most dangerous hitter we have ever seen (Manny Ramirez) is still waiting for a call. This after he posted a monster second half- averaging about an RBI a game and hitting .400 leading the Dodgers to the postseason. Amazing times we live in.

Some Commercial- NON PAID- Plugs from TPC

Every once in a while The People's Champ likes to share things he likes and enjoys in this world of ours, with his millions and millions of fans, both in the good ole US of A and abroad.

Here's today's sampling:

A new line (I think it's new even though it says established in 1918) of Middle Eastern Salads and Pickles by Sonny and Joe's that are amazing. TPC especially recommends the Grilled Eggplant, Matbucha and Sour Pickles.

If you loved RISK, the Game of International Conquest, you will love The Conquer Club an online multiplayer world domination game (much like RISK, but obvious Trademark issues does not allow them to advertise as such).

A new entrant into the Chip Market, the world's first Gluten Free Falafel Chip. Not just a Doritos type (or the Herr's kosher version) stoner chip replacement, the Falafel Chip taste great, is wildly addictive and goes great with Sonny and Joe's salads!

No food list would be complete without TPC's favorite local restaurant, Carlo's and Gabby's. TPC recommends the The Pollo Del Sol Wrap, anyof the Taco's and Enchilada's and the burgers. And for less than $10 (hey, we're in a recession!), you get a great lunch.