Thursday, November 15, 2007

Above the Fold - Mashup edition

Today's "Above the Fold" is more of a mashup, so to speak. There's a ton going on in Detroit sports, but not one local story is truly standing out to allow for my normal style of link dump. So I'll touch base as to what the Detroit MSM and bloggers are saying about sports talk radio, the Lions and religion, Marinelli's temper, the Wolverines' Mike Hart, shooting down Pistons rumormongering, slumping Czech goaltenders, and a saber's look at baseball run production.

As a follow up to the big changes that went down last week at sports talk radio WDFN, with the unceremonious dumping of their long running morning show, the News' Joanne Gertsner speaks with the parties involved, and notes even more changes in the M-F lineup. Personally, I was sad to hear that the clueless suits at Cheap Channel put the kibosh on the Jamie & Brady Show FOX 2 webcast...

The trio took their show, with Clear Channel's permission, to FOX 2 last Monday, for a Web-cast version. By all accounts, the show translated well, with listeners calling in to the new format.

Clear Channel changed its mind, pulling out its non-compete clause on the still-under-contract Brady and Samuelsen. So no more Web casts.

Their former morning show slot is now occupied by Rob Otto (6-8 a.m.) and Sean Baligian (8 a.m.-noon). WDFN decided over the weekend not to use syndicated programming for its morning show.

Yep, it's drama, drama, drama.

At the Freep, Drew Sharp puts away his knives, and looks into the relationship between the Lions bible-thumping QB, Jon Kitna, and the talented, trash talking wide receiver, Roy Williams. There was usual fluffing, but there was a passage in the article that really bothered me. (Bold is my emphasis)

The Lions were returning home from a trip. Kitna sat beside Williams on the team bus and asked him why he wasn't "walking with God."

"It was like an SAT question," Williams said.

Williams asked Kitna to change the subject, but the question wouldn't leave Williams' mind. He thought about it more. He maintained an open mind because of his respect for Kitna and how the quarterback has found serenity in the midst of a tempestuous life in the NFL.

You guys already know how I feel about Kitna. Prothletizing does not belong in the locker room. Period. If someone came up to me, and said the same thing Kitna said to Williams, I'd be insulted. With all due respect, I have this "Thing" about religion being thrown in my face. As for Kitna's approach to converting Williams, who's to say Williams isn't already God fearing? But it might be a God Kitna doesn't approve of... I give kudos to Williams to how he handled the situation, and his reply to Sharp.

How has Williams changed?

"I don't cuss in front of my mom," he said. "But once I get (to the locker room), I let them fly."

You have to love Roy, he's no hypocrite...

The Little Fella makes an appearance, as Saturday's BIG GAME in A2 has the sappy one interviewing the biggest trash talker this side of Roy Williams, the Wolverines' Mike Hart. No matter the forum, the Little Fella can't keep the overtly sentimental poofery out of his writing...

And that is precisely why he will be so sorely missed. Coach Lloyd Carr gets almost teary-eyed when you ask him what influence Hart has been in Ann Arbor the past four years. His teammates seem to stand up straighter when they talk about him.

Hart rubs off on people. His energy. His positivism. His confidence. There are guys you hate to play against and there are guys you wish were on your team. And I guarantee you almost every opponent Hart has faced has privately fantasized how much better it would be if Hart switched jerseys.

Lloyd Carr does NOT cry. He just has something in his eye...

At Mlive, the Killer answers emails from his acolytes, the cornbread eating loons in the Mlive Lions forum. Here's his answer to a question regarding the Sarge's temper...

Marinelli is absolutely brutal on these guys behind closed doors. It's not uncommon for him to call out players during a team meeting. Marinelli generally accentuates the positive but his criticisms can be biting, harsh and relentless. And it's not just the players who get it. When Marinelli gets his coaches behind closer doors, he's just as hard on them.

At Detroit Bad Boys, Matt takes the "Kobe was traded to the Pistons" rumor head on, saying the 4 letter wasted everyone's time on what was mostly conjecture.

Considering Bucher’s initial report essentially called Joe Dumars a liar, he has a built-in defense for the front office’s current denials. But still, enough red flags exist for both teams (Detroit’s team would be gutted; the Lakers aren’t getting the big name they’re seeking) for the discerning fan to doubt the rumors validity. Sadly, the rumor still grew long enough legs for me to feel compelled to finally comment, as much as I tried to ignore it.

I hope to Hell that's the last we hear of that silly rumor. Kobe will never play in Detroit. He's the prototype of a NY/Chi/LA kind of player.

The Red Wings have been hot, but Hasek has not. Eno ponders if Dom is done...

Coach Mike Babcock omitted Hasek as one of the guilty parties in last night's come-from-ahead loss (the Wings blew a 2-0 lead). My guess is that such free passes are being handed out now, in deference to all Hasek has done in his career. But they can't go on forever, if Dom continues to battle the puck -- and losing on most occasions.

I hope I'm proven wrong, but I fear that we've seen the last of the great goaltending play from Dominik Hasek.

If Eno's hunch is right, the Wings are in deep shit...

At Tiger Tales, Lee, the leading saber of the Tiger blogosphere, takes a very detailed look at "Team run production in 2007."

BA can be subtracted from SLG to give us isolated power (ISO), a purer measure of slugging ability than SLG. Similarly, BA can be “subtracted” from OBP to give us extra on base percentage (EOBP). Because BA and OBP have different denominators (at bats and plate appearances respectively), it is best not to use the equation OBP-BA. Instead, we subtract hits from times reached based in the numerator and use plate appearances as the denominator. That is, EOBP=(BB+HBP)/PA. So we now have BA, ISO and EOBP. The correlations between these three statistics range from .01 to .45 with the highest correlation between ISO and EOBP. These correlations are much lower that those between BA, OBP and SLG. This is because BA, ISO and EOBP are more independent of one another than BA, OBP and SLG.

Uh, is there going to be a test? Should I be taking notes? Will this be on the final? Oh God, oh God, oh God, I'm not ready for a pop quiz!

Uh, I'm sorry. I had a flashback to a very bad day in high school trig. We kid because we love, and I love your stuff, Lee!

That's the mashup edition of "Above the Fold" for Thursday, 11-15-07!


  1. Hasek has struggled and is a notorious slow starter, but Chris Osgood has been very good for the Wings thus far. I'd like to see him continue to get a good share of the starts to see if he can handle being the #1 netminder if Hasek isn't on top of his game.

  2. Well, I came in here to pretty much say what Dave said. Ozzie WAS a very good goaltender in the mid/late 90's, but Detroit could never get over the two bad goals he gave up in the 1998 playoffs en route to a Cup.

    If anything, Hasek's troubles are a GOOD thing for the Wings. The Wings have been grooming Jimmy Howard for a couple years now as the franchise goalie, but you can't take a Cup contending team and just shove it onto a kid's shoulders like that. Hasek's injury-prone presence necessitates the use of a quality backup, forcing Ozzie to stay over Howard on the depth chart. The Wings should give Hasek some time off, and call up Howard to split time with Ozzie. Then, if Hasek still can't get his act together, you can give Ozzie a chance to be "the man", based on his steady performance since returning to the Wings, and you give Howard more NHL caliber practice, and even a chance to prove that he is ready for the job, and seize it.

    I'd rag you about not commenting on the Wings often enough, but considering that I'm an avid hockey fan and have a hard enough time watching/finding/remember Wings games, I guess I don't have much room to talk. :-(