Indians blank Tigers; clinch 3rd straight AL Central title

Indians blank Tigers; clinch 3rd straight AL Central title:

the Cleveland Indians clinched their third straight AL Central title with a 15-0 blowout on Saturday of the Detroit Tigers, who made four errors and managed only two hits.

(Via Japan Today)

Seems about right.

Also on:

Who’s The Favorite And Who’s A Sleeper In The English Premier League?

Who’s The Favorite And Who’s A Sleeper In The English Premier League?:

The Premier League, which kicks off Friday afternoon, is often regarded as the most competitive league in the world, if not the best. In fact, both of those assumptions might be false: While the Premier League boasts four of the top 10 and six of the top 15 teams in the world according to our Soccer Power Index rankings, only one other team cracks the top 50.1

 

This imbalance shouldn’t come as a shock: Aside from Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95 and Leicester City in 2015-16, only four teams have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992-93. And if you look at the table for every Premier League season — especially for the past decade — the top six spots are more likely than not occupied by some or all of the same six teams currently ranked in the world top 15.

 

If you’re hoping that the upcoming season will offer some vicissitude at the top of the table, don’t hold your breath: According to our Premier League predictions, Manchester City is a good bet to repeat as champions. And the five spaces below the Citizens will likely be occupied by — you guessed it! — Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. After we ran 20,000 simulated seasons, the closest any team got to the top six was Crystal Palace — still 16 points off the pace.

… The top six teams in the Premier League are among the richest sports franchises on earth. All that money means they can afford to pay often ludicrous fees to attract the world’s best players. Money turns into results in major competitions, and results in major competitions turn into more money. And that new money turns into the buying of yet more of the world’s best players, and the top six feedback loop endures.

(Via Features – FiveThirtyEight)

I get why the world gets energized by the World Cup, but remind me why anyone cares about the Premier League? It makes football more boring than American football (for the championship contenders).

Also on:

Country Strong Curling?

US Men’s curling team look like a bunch of average Joes who are wearing their company-branded business casual shirts and softball team hats at a backyard barbecue. I keep looking for where they stashed the beer cooler and the gas grill with the hotdogs & burgers. Seriously, someone should get fired for those “uniforms”.
To keep this post from being totally negative, Team Sweden have it going on – cool uniforms and athletically fit with well groomed facial hair. It’s almost as if they, I don’t know, want to win and look good while doing it.

Your Olympics interests me and maybe earns my support?

In case you haven’t paid attention, I live in Tokyo. Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.

Yesterday I briefly railed against the Olympics. I still think they are a waste of money, resources, and time. I specifically referenced the US.

And then there’s Tokyo.

Train stations across the city are being remodeled and improved. The stations not under construction have likely been already renovated. Hotels are shooing up. Transit plans started testing a year ago. Refinements to messaging to include English and other languages are in their late stages. More and more restaurants, shops, and other venues are taking credit cards.

If someone tries to tie specific economic benefits to hosting the Games, they will still be hard pressed.

But this city can and might just be, by 2020, the most globally accessible by language, culture, and disability. The country might be, too.

That will be a huge economic benefit.

According to what I’ve read, disaster planning includes Olympic scenarios.

You better believe that Olympic folk in Tokyo are taking notes about everything that happens in South Korea these next two weeks. They will break down, analyze, and game plan for everything seen.

I wonder how much raw data Japan gets from South Korea to prepare for their games?

I think the Tokyo and Japan governments are exemplifying something we talk about in Security circles – never let an emergency go to waste.

Your Olympics doesn’t constitute my interest nor earn my support

I could catalog the legion problems with the Olympics, an every 2 years International “Sporting” Event (2ISE), but I don’t want to ruin my February into March doing so. Bitterness remains from moving to the offset model (Summer and Winter Olympics used to be held in the same year) and when they let professional athletes officially participate (the “Dream Team” in basketball was awesomely absurd).

As an American, I would love it if no further 2ISE are hosted on our soil. They are expensive, corrupt, problem fraught, and no longer yield an economic benefit.

That municipalities across the United States constantly vote down even bidding on an 2ISE pitch crosses ideological boundaries in our divisive political landscape says something.

I’m still incensed that Los Angeles will host an 2ISE in 2028. That is a rant for another day.

Tune in tomorrow for my counter opinion.

Max Scherzer Named Game 1 Starter For Tigers Against Athletics In ALDS

Max Scherzer will start Detroit’s AL division series opener Friday night at Oakland, with star Justin Verlander following in Game 2.

Scherzer (21-3) was baseball’s lone 20-game winner this year and started for the American League in the All-Star game, but manager Jim Leyland’s choice for the opener had not been clear. Verlander was the 2011 AL MVP and has been one of the top pitchers in the game over the last few seasons.

via Max Scherzer Named Game 1 Starter For Tigers Against Athletics In ALDS.

Of course Scherzer would be the Game 1 starter. He earned it.