Just Another Sunday For The Globe

Yesterday’s Sunday Boston Globe was AWESOME.

If you’re into marveling at a lack of self-awareness, I guess.

We’ll start with the top story:

Baseball pitchers want a better grip, not a competitive advantage

Oh, the irony. baseball players would rather not cheat, but they’re FORCED to because of the slickness of the ball. Everyone does it. They joke about it.

The column (by Peter Abraham) ends like this:

Uehara smiled when asked what he uses.

“I do what everybody else does,” he said. “But I’d rather not talk about it.”

Now, when Tom Brady wants a better grip on the footballs, and requests that they are at the bottom end of the legal limit for inflation, he is CHEATING. It’s the end of the world. It’s the biggest scandal since…well, ever.

Abraham admits the contrast:

It’s a speck on the scandal meter compared to the lingering question of whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ordered footballs deflated before the AFC Championship game in January.

The difference apparently is that baseball players are not seeking a competitive advantage when they bring a foreign substance to the mound, or doctor up the ball in some way, they are just innocently trying to grip the ball better. Tom Brady is a cheating fraud whose entire legacy is on the line and he and the Patriots have been tendered the biggest punishment in the history of the NFL for this atrocity.

Moving to Ben Volin’s Sunday Football Notes, Volin proudly shows off his discovery of a Patriots fan statistician who agrees with the Wells Report!

Well, not really. Volin originally tweeted out the email he received from the statistician, who is not agreeing with the Wells Report, but is letting AEI know that he was able to replicate the results of the Wells Report when they could not. He still disagrees with the Wells Report and agrees that the data set used by Wells is flawed and the results were cherry picked.

That’s a far cry from PATRIOTS FAN STATISTICIAN BACKS WELLS REPORT SCIENCE, which is what it seems like Volin was going for. He somehow uses this as a way to wag his finger at Patriots homers:

The Wells Report was attacked viciously and thoroughly in New England, home to some of the most brilliant scientific and legal minds in the world, as well as the most rabid and passionate fans in the country.

It’s millions of Patriots fans vs. one Ted Wells, and Wells has gotten clobbered.

But when anything pro-Patriots is released — such as the AEI report or the Patriots’ Context Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are innocent” story line is ignored.

Awww, poor Teddy got clobbered!

That last bit is just classic. Volin does realize that outside of New England, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It would be written like this – But when anything anti-Patriots is released — such as the PSI report or the Patriots’ Staffer Tried To Introduce Illegal Ball Report — every word is taken as gospel. There’s been very little critical analysis of their work, and anything that doesn’t fit the “Patriots are cheaters” story line is ignored.

(Props to Jerry Thornton for this – Wells Report ‘science’ firm Exponent gets whacked by court order – a judge is ordering Exponent to turn over documents related to their work on another case, saying “Methodologically sound science has nothing to fear from full and open disclosure.” Remember though, that according to Roger Goodell, “Ted Wells’ integrity is impeccable.”)

Let’s head over the Sunday Baseball Notes. Nick Cafardo is an unabashed Jose Iglesias fanboy. He is also Scott Boras’ local mouthpiece. So what is the lead section of the notes yesterday? Iglesias vs Xander Bogaerts – who also happens to be a Boras client! So he gets to compare (and promote) two Boras clients! Nick searches far and wide to get a source that agrees with his take on things:

“With all due respect to Bogaerts, he’ll never be Iglesias,” said a National League GM. “I haven’t seen anyone like that in years. I saw a lot of [Omar] Vizquel, and I think this guy [Iglesias] is better. To do something extraordinary like he does . . . I know that even though you have a good player like Bogaerts, when you trade away a guy like that you’d better have a great reason.”

I hope the GM is only talking defensively, because that is a bunch of nonsense. Bogaerts’ ceiling is much higher offensively than Iglesias, and he’s improved dramatically in the field.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy talking with Larry Lucchino! (Anti-Shaughnessy linking policy prevents us from bringing you this content.) Hey guess what? The Red Sox have marginalized Larry, and the team is struggling! Lucchino gives canned answers and Shaughnessy has an easy, mail-it-in Sunday column. All is good.

Finally, we’ll look at the Sunday Basketball Notes. Gary Washburn grades each team’s draft. OK. Kind of expected, even if the grades mean absolutely nothing. My gripe with this column is not with Washburn, but with Celtics forward Jared Sullinger. The guy has struggled with his weight and conditioning during his time here, even to the point where Danny Ainge publicly called him out on it. Sullinger is reportedly working hard this summer, but this quote doesn’t do him any favors:

“I think I’m going on a personal feel,” Sullinger said. “If I’m able to move the way I want to move and make the moves I want to make, I think the number [weight] doesn’t really matter. It’s all about how long I can stand out there and be able to put the work in that I put in in the first quarter all the way through the 48 minutes of the game.”

Ugh. I’ll paraphrase Shaughnessy on this one. Get. Him. Gone.

Finally, from today, it must be summertime – WEEI suspends morning show host Kirk Minihane

Area GM Criticized For Selecting Player In Draft

I’ll be honest. I didn’t see guard Terry Rozier (Louisville) as the Celtics first pick last night. I didn’t see them staying where they were in the draft. I didn’t see them making all four picks, and none of them being stashable Euros.

Then again, I am not the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. Danny Ainge is, and he made the decisions last night.

The draft felt eerily Patriots-like last night with the Celtics pick coming up, and players available on the board which many of the draft analysts had projected as good fits for the Celtics, and then the team going with someone who many felt would’ve been available much later in the draft.

Their next two picks – shooter R.J. Hunter (Georgia State) and shotblocker Jordan Mickey (LSU) seem to fit team needs, and then the team went back to point guard with Marcus Thornton from William and Mary.

Ainge says that he tried mightily to move up in the draft, but was unable to. So he had to make the picks he had.

Next up is free agency, and the Celtics again face a difficult task in trying to convince teams to deal with them and for star players to come to Boston.

Celtics can’t move up, so they draft three guards, a forward – Adam Himmelsbach looks at the night for Boston.

Celtics fans left to hope projections are correct – Steve Bulpett has Rick Pitino gushing over Rozier.

The Bruins are up tonight with pick #14 in the NHL draft, and there is plenty of trade talk around them as well.

First draft: With limited time on job, Don Sweeney hopes to pull a Jeff Gorton with Bruins – DJ Bean has the new GM looking to hit big in his first draft in charge.

Bruins open to trading No. 14 pick in draft – Amalie Benjamin looks at possible moves for Sweeney.

The Wells Report continues to get smacked around. WellsReportContext.com has another scientific debunking of the methods used by Exponent.

This one found that Exponent incorrectly used a starting temperature of 67 degrees in order to produce a worse result for the Patriots and a better one for the Colts.

Although Wells claimed that Exponent had considered  “all permutations”, the simulations and transients of Figure 30 (and 27) were carried out at 67 deg F – the temperature most adverse to the Patriots – rather than 71 deg F. (Exponent purported to justify this adverse assumption, but their justification does not stand up, particularly to the gauge assumption, as discussed later.)

And

However, the pre-game temperature was set at 67°F because this was the only temperature that allowed the Colts balls to subsequently reach their average pressure during the simulated Locker Room Period. Any pre-game temperature that was higher than 67°F resulted in the Colts balls reaching the Game Day halftime average pressure later than 13.5 minutes into the Locker Room Period.

Yet clowns like Emmanuel Sanders still want to spout off about the Patriots being the cheaters.

Of course, Sanders is just another cheating hypocrite himself.

There were major holes in Fox’s coverage of US Open – Chad Finn looks at the FOX’s Golf Major debut, which could’ve gone better for them.

 

More Corrupt – FIFA or NFL?

It’s hard to imagine a sports organization more corrupt and lacking integrity than FIFA, but Roger Goodell and the NFL seem determined to give the Fédération Internationale de Football Association a run for its money.

When someone like Mike Florio is making statements like Goodell Underling(s) Were Out to Get the Patriots you know things are out of control. (It’d be nice if he said this stuff on his own website.)

BUT – the NFL is getting away with it. Why? Because it’s the Patriots. Everyone hates the Patriots and wants them to be guilty. They want to believe.

Smarmy Boston columnists and talk show hosts like to troll Patriots fans by saying they think everyone is out to get them. Mike Florio is about as far from a Patriots fan as you can get.

Florio said that given the evidence they had, it was incumbent upon Wells and his team of $1,000/hour white shoe lawyers to get Jim McNally and/or John Jastremski to crack, which they failed to do. “If these guys didn’t crack, if they didn’t confess, maybe there’s nothing to confess to,” he said. “Either way it’s incomplete. The science is bad, the non-scientific evidence is incomplete, and it was all cobbled together in a 243-page report that I believe that Ted Wells believed he was expected to reach. Regardless of whether he was expressly told that, or it was implicit, I believe that Ted Wells thought he was expected to find the Patriots were guilty, and he did the best that he could to come to that conclusion, and ultimately I think what he did wasn’t good enough.”

He did this in part, with his wording of the summary at the start of the report, knowing that would be enough for the majority of people to believe that the Patriots cheated.

Another issue continues to be the leaks.

Remember, no matter how much Bob Kravitz loves to say that he broke this story, it really didn’t take off until this:

That report was incorrect. A subsequent letter to the Patriots was also incorrect.

However, when it came to the Colts’ footballs, Mortensen tweeted this:

By one of the gauges at least, this was incorrect also. Also never corrected. So they put it out there that the Patriots footballs were grossly underinflated and that the Colts footballs were perfectly fine. Neither was actually true.

Why was this done?

Florio:

“I think that they deliberately delayed the process of getting the real numbers out because having the false numbers out there kept the Patriots feeling like they were on the ropes when the reality was that they were on ropes that weren’t even there,” Florio said. “We didn’t get the truth until May. That is the one fact that bothers me more than anything in this entire ordeal, and that’s the one fact that causes me to believe that someone was out to get the Patriots. The false information was put out there, or deliberately not corrected.”

In the story that Mortensen filed, the official NFL reaction was this:

“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.

It’s funny. Remember the other day during the Brady appeal when Adam Schefter tweeted the following:

Within 30 minutes, the Aiello refuted that report.

Schefter then called the league’s bluff by producing a letter from the NFL to the Brady side saying there was the four hour limit, but would generously stretch it to five if needed. (the hearing eventually lasted 11 hours)

But you see, the NFL was quick to correct a report that could potentially make itself look draconian, but remained silent for months about the (intentionally?) incorrect Mortensen report. Further, they did – months later – reveal the actual readings to the Patriots, but made them say they would not give them to the media. Why?

They were letting them twist in the wind.

It was a little surprising to me that Schefter went somewhat nuclear on the league by tweeting the letter. But then I remember this:

Adam Schefter

The next day, Goodell was asked about this.

I’m guessing Schefter was not happy with this. and the next time he made a claim in this case, he produced the evidence.

There’s just item after item here that points to the NFL as the corrupt entity here.

  • The clandestine actions of the gameday operations staff after getting the email from Ryan Grigson.
  • “The ineptitude of the officials in measuring, recording and keep track of the footballs.”
  • The actions of Kensil during the game. (“We weighed the balls you’re in big trouble.”)
  • The Colts staffer sticking a needle into the intercepted ball.
  • Troy Vincent overseeing the halftime measurements, being used as a witness by Wells, and giving out the punishment.
  • The leak to Kravitz within hours of the game being over.
  • The leak to Mortensen to stoke the flames. Never corrected or even denied.
  • The letter to the Patriots with the incorrect measurements.
  • Goodell’s denial that he knew anything prior to the game being over.
  • Dean Blandino lying and saying the issue was first raised during the first half of the game, not before the game.
  • Ted Wells, who represents NFL in concussion case, tasked with investigating case.
  • Wells using Exponent for their scientific analysis.
  • Wells Report and its flawed science and shaky circumstantial evidence.
  • Goodell’s denial that the league told Patriots to suspend McNally and Jastremski.
  • Robert Kraft’s complete capitulation.
  • The hints from Wells and the NFL that Brady has not been truthful, but no details in report about what the truth was and what Brady has said other than the McNally name/nickname.

And there’s more, I’m sure. That’s just off the top of my head.

And the Patriots are the ones being punished and branded as corrupt and cheaters – even when it has been proven by science that their footballs were perfectly in line with where they should’ve been?