Saturday, May 10, 2008

Answer Me This

Just a few things I'm wondering about, and can't come up with reasonable answers to.

1. Why do they call the last man taken in the NFL Draft "Mr. Irrelevant?" It's never made any sense to me. There are hundreds of college guys who aren't picked every year who hoped to be selected, so doesn't that make them more irrelevant? At least the last man take in the draft has the satisfaction of telling the grandkids one day that he was selected by an NFL team. They have to come up with a better name for the last guy taken than that.

2. Why do NFL writers and broadcasters insist on grading teams the day after the NFL Draft is completed? Let's face the facts, no one has any idea of how a team does in the draft until after the following season, than you can judge how good it was. Were any Patriots fans jumping for joy when their team selected a future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady? How many Chargers fans thought Ryan Leaf would be leading their team to a Super Bowl some time in the future when they picked him? (Sorry Peggy and Ken.) I find it ridiculous seeing Mel Kiper's "grades" on the bottom of the screen crawl for each team after the draft is over.

3. Why don't teams reschedule rainouts as part of doubleheaders unless they are forced to? I was listening to Chris Russo on the radio today (not against my will, BTW), and he talked about the Mets-Reds game possibly being rained out Friday, and all he talked about was the teams finding a mutual offday to reschedule the game, as the Reds don't return to NY this season. But wait, the Mets and Reds still have two games to play this weekend, so isn't a simple solution just play a doubleheader this weekend? Do they have such a fetish about not playing two games in one day that they would rather take away an offday later in the season rather than get the postponed game in this weekend? Ask most players their choice and they will say play a doubleheader now. Players really enjoy off days during the summer and I know most don't want to give them up and have to travel back to the same city to make up just one game. (The game was rained out, and saner heads prevailed and the teams played a doubleheader on Saturday. But it was that fan-gouging "day/night" one.)

4. Why do pitchers talk through their gloves when talking to catchers during breaks on the mound, but when pitching coaches come out to talk to them, the coach doesn't talk to them through his hands? Have pitchers really become that paranoid that there are lip readers all over place, and if so, how come pitching coaches haven't become just as paranoid?

5. I've never been able to figure this out. When Las Vegas gives odds on things like who will score the first TD in the Super Bowl, the most obvious or likely players to do it are ranked from anywhere from 1-2 to 20-1, but the most obscure or least-likely players (known as "the field") usually have low odds of something like 5-1. Shouldn't their odds be more like 100-1, or even higher? I'd like that explained to me.

6. When are these silly home plate celebrations going to end when a team wins a game in so-called "walkoff" style? Good Lord, these guys act like they've just won the World Series. It's good to be excited about winning in your last turn at-bat at home, but it's getting really idiotic, as well as dangerous. Guys are beating on the hero of the night like he just declared war on them. I remember a few years ago in the minors, a guy hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth, and as his teammates were beating him up, he actually blew out his knee among all the happiness and ended up on the disabled list. When someone gets really hurt in one of these silly scrums, maybe players will finally wise up and save it for the really special times.

7. And finally, I'll end this on a classy, upscale note. In the immortal words of George Carlin, why do we say "take a leak?" You don't take a leak, you leave it!

God bless Mr. Carlin. (Even though he doesn't believe in Him.)


Jere said...

As someone who was taken to Atlantic City twice a year for family vacations growing up, I think I can explain your gambling question:

Each individual player in the field would have really high odds, like 100-1 or higher or whatever. So instead of having so many individual bets going up to astronomical odds (some of which, if they hit, could really hurt the house), they group all the players above a certain level into the field. Juts the fact that you're getting multiple players with your one bet improves the odds that you'll win, so they set the payoff lower.

(Think of it this way: If the star running back scores the first TD nine games out of ten, well, on the tenth time a direct bet on the guy who scores would be more impressive than if you'd bet 20 guys and one of them is that guy. Therefore the "field" doesn't pay you as much as betting that guy would, provided he's pretty shitty.)

And then the odds change depending on the action. The more people bet the field, the lower the payoff will be.

After reading your question again, I'm thinking maybe your confusion came from the fact that you didn't realize that when you bet someone in "the field," you get the whole field, not just the one guy. But I could be wrong.

The Omnipotent Q said...

Thanks for that explanation, Jere. I always thought "the field" meant just one individual, not everybody.

I knew there had to be a logical explanation to that. Guess I was just too blind to see it...