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April 12, 2012

Introducing My App for CBSSports.com

Filed under: Baseball,Site News — Tags: , , , , — Willis @ 8:15 am

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:).

April 11, 2012

Nerds Around The Net

Filed under: Baseball,Football,Video Games — Tags: , , , , — Willis @ 4:00 pm
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.

April 4, 2012

Opening Day 2012

Filed under: Baseball — Tags: , , , — Willis @ 9:30 am

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.

March 15, 2012

Varitekian Sonnets

Recently, a collection of sonnets in the Shakespearean form were submitted to this site for review. They were not solicited, and despite our multiple entreaties for him to stop, the submitter sent multiple versions multiple times, both electronically and via post, and often with poorly Photoshopped images suggesting poor moral character. The submitter left it unclear as to whether he wrote the sonnets himself, was submitting them on someone’s behalf, or had taken these sonnets without the author’s permission.

We here at Nerds On Sports have decided to make the most of these submissions and taken a critical eye toward them. This is the first of the whole collection, as well as the start of an introductory subset which the submitter referred to as the “recreation sonnets.”

Sonnet 1

No longer will the captain make his trek,
A walk of solace from home plate to mound:
To meditate on throws did Varitek –
Whence pitcher’s victims whiffed or cursed  aloud.

Four times opponents did score zeros twice1,
And Captain’s ‘rouse with applied glove to face2
The shame of  A-Rod! And new rings! – Quite nice,
Yet how I’ll miss your crouch behind home base.

O  Captain, hitting switch is but a tease.
Must you tell me how better it will get?3
There’s need to learn to catch, if you would please,
A happy player if we ever met.

No4 single, only a grand slam will do.
A  highly scoring game with love so true.

1 ie A no-hitter
2 An obvious reference to the July 24, 2004 game
3 http://youtu.be/TGcY_ip3w7g
4 A few versions of this sonnet had this as “Now” instead of “No,” possibly suggesting that part of it was written following Varitek’s divorce. However, the majority and most recent sonnet had it as is.

The sonnet follows the traditional form, with the first two quatrains establishing Jason Varitek as the hero, the “Captain,” the leader of the Red Sox who ultimately achieved their long-sought goal of winning the World Series. But by the end of the second quatrain, the sonnet moves away from the establishment of Varitek’s pietas and toward the author’s view of him.

The thematic turn, or volta, comes into full force at the beginning of the third quatrain, when the author entreats the hero for a closer relationship. While spelled out clearly in this quatrain and the couplet, this is hinted at throughout the poem, especially with the use of “rouse” in line six. Ostensibly, this is referring to Varitek rallying his teammates to overcome the Yankees and to evenutally lead the former into what would be an epic post-season. But this could also refer to getting the crowd excited for the game. Or for one fan in particular and in a very specific fashion, spelled out in the final couplet. Indeed, the remainder of the sonnets get exceedingly more graphic and are unpublishable for a family-oriented blog such as this.

March 9, 2012

Let’s get it (kick) started in here!

I have a bit of a Kickstarter problem, to the tune of 14 backed projects in the last 7 months. But don’t worry — I can handle it. I can quit any time I want. Until that time comes though, let me tell you of a few interesting finds.

162pixels 2012 Baseball Statographic eBook – These guys are putting together a small ebook full of preseason baseball pretty statistical goodness. In less than a week, we’ll know if they made their tiny $1500 goal. And no, I didn’t go for the level that includes a link to my blog in the book.  🙂 And if you think that $5 for a silly baseball book isn’t worth it, give them the money for the fun Moneyball-style promotion video:

Gridiron Heroes – This one actually just finished funding. But don’t fret, you can still get in line to play some Gridiron heroes by checking out their Facebook page. What are you getting in line to play? A Tecmo Bowl style football simulation MMO game on the Facebook. If you are into MMOG then you should try playing destiny, if you want to level up your character faster then check out this awesome destiny 2 boosting. I’m tired of all the Facebook games being puzzlers or boring farming simulations, so I can’t wait for some footballs up in there. Here’s their gameplay trailer:

BALLCRAPS – Also recently successful in getting their project kickstarted, BALLCRAPS is a mix of craps and football. Basically it’s a felt craps-style board where the betting that happens is about predicting the future plays of the game. I’ve put myself on their mailing list to be the first to know about Baseballcraps when the get around to making that.

That’s kind of all I found for decent sports-related KickStarters, but instead of ending this post now, I’m going to point out a few interesting board gaming ones for the nerds who are into that.

Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack – This is strategy and tactics LEGO-based miniatures game. The designers are Vincent Baker (of Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, The Abductinators, etc.) and Joshua A.C. Newman (of Shock:Social Science Fiction, Shock:Human Contact, and Under the Bed). So it has some decent pedigrees and it’s about fighting LEGO robots — What more do you want?

Bazooka Bot

Bazooka Bot has bazooka that is as tall as himself

Dog Face Robot

Don’t You think this Robot has a Dog Face?

Leaf-bot

Watch out for this bot, it has 5 penises!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Velociraptor! Cannibalism! – “Velociraptor! Cannibalism! is a card game of survival, mutation, and the occasional volcano. Based on a crude understanding of natural selection,Velocipator! Cannibalism! puts you in the role of a young, eager and bright eyed Raptor as they must eat delicious, adorable prey, survive environmental disaster, mutate and steal the body parts of other Raptors.” And if that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps this fancy kitten-eating raptor can change your mind:

March 5, 2012

[Business Day One] Faux Serpico

Filed under: Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , , , — Willis @ 9:41 am

One random thing from the major sports:

1) Football – The NFL Combine was last week and QB mega-prospect Robert Griffin III (RG3) was in Indy tearing up the competition. He was the fastest QB in the pack (at 4.41 seconds) in the 40-yard dash. I was timed a few years ago running the 40. That year my time of 5.60 would have been the slowest at the combine, but this year there are three 325+ pound offensive linemen that had a slightly slower time. I’ll consider that a win in my book.

2) Boston College – I’d be remiss in discussing the combine and not bringing up the top tackler in the nation and only BC invitee, Luke Kuechly. He out-performed expectations and looks to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round — Probably to Arizona or Philadelphia, but there’s a chance he could end up in my home state on the New Jersey Jets.

3) Baseball – Mets first baseman, Ike Davis, is rumored to have Valley Fever.

Valley Fever is a fungal disease that affects the lungs and has similar symptoms as the flu or a cold. It can sometimes cause a rash. It can also sometimes be deadly to someone with a weak or compromised immune system, spreading from the lungs to other parts of the body. It is most common in “dry desert areas of the southwestern United States, central California, and Mexico.”

What Ike probably needs is just some rest and to eat his green vegetables. My I suggest a delicious green bean infused sandwich called the Chacarero: A Chacarero is a traditional Chilean sandwich. It begins with homemade bread. The main ingredient is either tender grilled steak or chicken (or both). Then with your main ingredient, add steamed green beans, which gives it that authentic Chilean touch, Muenster cheese and fresh tomatoes. After that, add an avocado spread, salt, pepper & a secret hot sauce recipe to complete the sandwich.

Chacarero Sandwich

The perfect cure to whatever ails you

4) Basketball – Linsplotation of the linsanity craze is still going strong. Check out this bar poster for Ginasanity:

Jeremy Collins Ginsanity Poster

5) Hockey – The Bruins are having some terrible luck at the moment with missed calls by the refs and what seems like half the team out with an injury. It’s mostly just sad watching these games, so make sure you have a nice pint of Ben & Jerry’s if you plan to watch any of their upcoming games.

6) Faux Serpico – If you hadn’t noticed, this post wasn’t by the world renown Serpico. It was done to show how nice it would be to have him sharing his Boston, Boston College, and sandwich love with the world again.

April 13, 2009

[Business Day One] A Week Into Fantasy Baseball And…

Filed under: Baseball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 1:10 pm

… I’ve already had to use my cell phone to make a last minute roster change.

… I’ve already had a baseball-related bad dream.

… I’ve already lamented (only half-jokingly) that my season is over.

… I’ve already begun to think about this year’s keepers.

… I’ve already said out loud “thank god baseball’s back.”

April 6, 2009

[Business Day One] Opening Day, Same As It Ever Was

Filed under: Baseball,Business Day One — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 9:53 am

Good morning, everyone. You’re waking up to baseball today.

I love Opening Day more than any other day in sports for one very simple reason – ridiculous full-season projections. For me, there is no greater joy in sports fandom than extrapolating an entire season’s worth of events based only on one game. It is the height of comedy, and let no one tell you otherwise.

For instance, as of right now, the Red Sox are on pace for 162 consecutive rain-outs. Amazing, right? And Derek Lowe, after his impressive performance last night, is right on track for a stunning 33-0 season with a 0.00 ERA. Give that man an award! See how fun it is? And it’s not even noon!

I downloaded an old game for the PC last night called Escape Velocity. You play a pilot that travels the galaxy running cargo and passengers between various ports of call. You upgrade your ship from time to time, or save up and buy a new one. Mostly, the game is a long slog that consists of resource and energy management, maximizing profits on good trade routes, and enjoying the vastness of space. There are more exciting PC games out there to be sure, but for me, I love the comfort of knowing there’s a nice, comfortable game that you can casually play for a couple hours on a quiet weeknight. I feel the same way about baseball. Welcome back.

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