Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 9

Buzzer beaters exist at every level of basketball. They combine all the elements needed to create the most dramatic second in sports. The feeling of certain victory on 1 end, on the other the feeling of hope coupled with a desperate attempt at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Never before have I seen this scene played out more dramatically, than it was in a high school game between New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon. Watch this video and try to argue against me.

david-ortiz-getty-t1The trials and tribulations of David Ortiz and his achilles continue in Fort Myers, Florida this week. The Red Sox lineup isn’t much to talk about with Ortiz, and without him it gets even less exciting. So for this achilles injury, first suffered in July, to threaten Ortiz being the DH on opening day hurts the Red Sox chances of being competitive for an AL East title or Wild Card. Say Ortiz misses the first 13 games. They are all against the AL East compadres, who were all better than the Sox last year and all would seem to be better than the Sox on paper this year. If the Sox start those 1st with 4 or 5 wins and 8 or 9 losses all the AL East teams it is going to be a long uphill battle to overcome that early deficit. Ortiz being hurt increases the likelihood of the Sox being left out of the postseason for a 4th consecutive year.

The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was held at MIT this weekend. From what I’ve read so far the NBA has taken it over. They are developing analytics for basketball that seem preposterous to me having watched the game since the 80s, but are in reality quite impressive. They have developed in many ways from some crazy camera locations and from diagnosing the game and developing statistics based on the locations on the floor where shots were taken from. In many ways it reminds me of the cover of Ted Williams’s book, The Science of Hitting where he had a chart up diagnosing the strike zone and listing the batting average of a ball hit from each spot of the strike zone. Took a long time, but the other major sports are starting to utilize things that baseball has slowly developed and begun using in earnest in the last decade.

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Bill BelichickThe Patriots didn’t use the franchise tag on any of their eligible free agents. This isn’t completely surprising and the theory being espoused by those with ties to the Patriots is that the NFL is going through a financial corrective state and many teams will have to cut or part ways with good players they would much prefer to keep. There has been some evidence of this as Atlanta has cut ties with numerous veterans in order to sign many of their younger players. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have cap room available and will be sure to capitalize as they see fit.

The Hooking Foul 2013 Baseball Preview begins tomorrow and this is how the schedule shapes up.

February 16 – Sully’s 7: AL Prospects that will help in 2013
March 6 – Jay’s Confessional
March 7 – Off the Wall: Jon Lester
March 13 – Sully’s 7: 2005 Red Sox Draft Review
March 14 – Off the Wall: Larry Lucchino
March 15 – Movie Review: The Bad News Bears
March 20 – AL Only Fantasy Rankings
March 21 – Book Review: Francona: The Red Sox
March 22 – NL West Preview
March 24 – NL Central Preview
March 25 – NL East Preview
March 26 – AL West Preview
March 27 – AL Central Preview
March 28 – Baltimore Orioles Preview
March 29 – Tampa Bay Rays Preview
March 30 – Toronto Blue Jays Preview
March 31 – New York Yankees Preview
April 1 – Boston Red Sox Preview
April 3 – Regular Season Awards and Playoff Predictions


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