Lighthearted Saturday: Global MLS

Ever wonder how many players in the MLS are actually American born. Or maybe how many foreign players have decided that the MLS is where they can go to make money playing the game they love especially when we all know that the European leagues are where the money and talent is truly at. This weeks graphic is a map of the world highlighting MLS player’s home countries. Check it out (you probably want to click through to the full size PDF version):

Map of MLS Players

Click through for full PDF image

Lighthearted Saturday: Smart Gamers

As a nerd, I’m sure you’ve had people say that video games are ruining young people and that the world is doomed to eternal damnation because people play video games. I’m not saying that you should eschew everything else and focus solely on video gaming, but I do have a nice picture that may help combat some of the hate.

game changers infographic

Nerds on Sports on Books: How to Win at the Sport of Business

How-to-Win-at-the-Sport-of-BusinessI recently came across a “book” by one of my favorite Shark Tank sharks, Mr. Mark Cuban. This collection of previously written blog posts entitled How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It. As the now owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban is definitely able to mix his sports metaphors and business knowledge in this mostly autobiographical selection of stories.

This book is not very long and it’s probably not going to tell you anything new, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. If you want to learn more about the early failures and successes of Cuban, this will give you good insight to that. But if you want to learn how to start your own business or how to become the next owner of your favorite sports team, all you’re going to get out of this book is a “you need to try very hard, and probably fail a couple of times.” Also, you’re going to realize that it takes a giant dose of luck to actually hit it big.

Yes, you can probably get all this stuff for free on the internet as he has just compiled some blog posts. But, the quality posts have been selected and they have been edited – Something us bloggers often fail to do.  And it’s less than $3, so he’s not asking for much.

Lighthearted Saturday: Coffee

I’d like to share this lovely infographic about coffee and caffeine consumption with you, but since this is a “sports” blog I’m going to do some Googling and tie this to sports before showing the graphic…

Caffeine is a performance-enhancing drug so I wonder if caffeine would ever be a banned substance in a sport. Probably not, as, according to Wikipedia, Caffeine has not often been banned:

Historically, coffee and thus caffeine was illegal for some classes in Mecca in parts of the 16th century, in the Ottoman empire, Charles II of England tried to ban it in 1676, Frederic II of Prussia banned it in 1777, and coffee was banned in Sweden in the years 1756-1769, 1794–1796, 1799–1802, and 1817-1823. The bans on coffee have often had religious, economic, or political reasons rather than being based on concerns for the well-being of the population.

There is, however, a medical study that examines the short-term effects of caffeine during “team sports.”

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, commonly ingested in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. Its ability to enhance muscular work has been apparent since the early 1900s. Caffeine typically increases endurance performance; however, efficacy of caffeine ingestion for short-term high-intensity exercise is equivocal, which may be explained by discrepancies in exercise protocols, dosing, and subjects’ training status and habitual caffeine intake found across studies. The primary aim of this review is to critically examine studies that have tested caffeine’s ability to augment performance during exercise dependent on nonoxidative metabolism such as sprinting, team sports, and resistance training. Blah blah boring words that don’t make sense to normal humans. Science!

Now on to the fun picture!

MEDICAL-BENEFITS-OF-BEING-A-COFFEE-ADDICT

Introducing My App for CBSSports.com

So this baseball season the fine folks over at CBSSports.com have released their app development platform, or as they call it “CBSSports.com Development Center” to the masses this year. I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to these kinds of things as I enjoy figuring out how technological things work. I’ve got some half-baked iPhone apps around here somewhere; as well as pile of barely used API keys for just about every service you can think of. Perhaps I should combine them all and make: a Google map with pins of your Fantasy baseball players and pictures of that day’s weather forecast that checks you in to foursquare while tweeting about it. I’m sure everyone will be shelling out the big bucks for that app. Right?

Techno Crap

If all my APIs had a physical form, this would be what my office looked like

Actually, the reason I’m posting this is that I’ve actually completed the process of creating a little app for fantasy baseball. Introducing the Nerds on Sports Nickname App for CBSSports.com. Yup, I made an app that will display players nicknames.  Some of the names are real, many are completely made up. For example the most recently added nickname is for Mark “Mayonnaise” Buehrle: That’s not a name that anyone (other than myself so far) is calling him, but I think it works well for a couple of reasons:

1) It makes fun of him for not being able to make a sandwich without injuring himself.

2) As a pitcher, he can be told to “put some Mayonnaise on it” instead of the usual slang of mustard.

See what interesting name/news tidbits you can learn from just a silly name? This is why I decided to create the app. Of course the list of players in the CBS Sports database is over 4500 players long, so if I really want to have tons of names, I need everyone’s help. That is why I created a suggestion box for new names. Please give me some new names — If you do, you’ll get to see your name in the app! Or perhaps, go spend the $1 to buy the app (You can sign up for a free league and buy just the app if you want to donate a (portion of a) dollar to me, if you do, please give me a good review :smile:).

Nerds Around The Net

ManSquid

I don't know what kind of science went into the creation of this Man-Chicken-Squid-Cub's Fan hybrid, but the Mad Scientists Guild would be proud.

I’ve been reading some nerdy stuff on some other sites that I figure I can share here:

Unbeatable FreeCell – Here’s the story of one guy’s quest to prove that the author of the game was wrong when he wrote in the rules of the game that “It is believed (though not proven) that every game is winnable.” And how he attempted to solve all 32,000 hands.

Science: Sun And Wind Probably Did Not Cause Bobby Petrino’s Motorcycle Crash – The guys over at DeadSpin are compiling some “Science” as to why Coach Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident seems fishy (other than Petrino’s date).

Survey: Cubans disappointed in Ozzie – With the most unsurprising results (and story headline) ESPN take a poll of Cubans and their feeling on Ozzie saying that he is a fan of Fidel Castro.

And finally this little piece of the current suckitude of the RedSox. It is near to my heart as I have tickets to Friday’s Opening Day game.

Tickets anyone? – A sad look at the Sox sellout streak and how it may be coming to an end, and why ticket sales are down nearly 3% from last year.

Opening Day 2012

Today is Baseball’s North American Opening Day — A sure sign that the summer should be here soon enough and that ESPN will no longer commit 80% of their airtime to replays of dunks and half-court shots. (Don’t you sometimes wish that the “world-wide leader in sports” would cover some world-wide sports highlights. I hear European Lawn Diving is in full swing right now.)

Baseball in Japan

It was probably because it was 5am, but I'm pretty sure this is what I saw for MLB's opening series

At the beginning of any sporting event the only thing, really, for one to do, is to predict the outcome of that event. I am not doing anything different, but I shall mix it up by coming up with crazy ways to make these predictions. This year I am going to predict the final standings of MLB based solely on team salary. Using the salary numbers from Baseball Prospectus, I’ve calculated the teams Cost Per Win (CPW) for last year. And based on this years salary (and a 4% inflation due to an overall increase in spending across the league) and that CPW, here is what we have:

American League

AL East Wins Loss
 Tampa Bay Rays 123 39
 Boston Red Sox 89 73
 New York Yankees 89 73
 Toronto Blue Jays 88 74
 Baltimore Orioles 53 109
AL Central
 Detroit Tigers 109 53
 Kansas City Royals 106 56
 Cleveland Indians 81 81
 Chicago White Sox 55 107
 Minnesota Twins 50 112
AL West
 Texas Rangers 116 46
 Los Angeles Angels 85 77
 Seattle Mariners 51 111
 Oakland Athletics 41 121

National League

NL East Wins Loss
 Miami Marlins 115 47
 Philadelphia Phillies 98 64
 Washington Nationals 88 73
 Atlanta Braves 77 85
 New York Mets 45 117
NL Central
 Milwaukee Brewers 101 61
 St. Louis Cardinals 85 77
 Cincinnati Reds 76 86
 Pittsburgh Pirates 67 95
 Chicago Cubs 51 111
 Houston Astros 36 126
NL West
 Arizona Diamondbacks 115 47
 San Francisco Giants 84 78
 San Diego Padres 74 88
 Los Angeles Dodgers 62 99
 Colorado Rockies 61 101

As you can tell by the crazy number of Wins attributed to the Rays, that I do not take into account a variable CPW, where the higher the win total the more it costs for additional wins. But even without that, I wonder how close to this outcome, standings-wise, we will see? Will the Royals be a wildcard team? How many teams will actually have 100+ wins (last year: 1)?

Want to make your own predictions? Go ahead and leave a comment and we can come back here in a few months and see.