Friday, February 28, 2014

"Impressive and Unnecessary" - What ha... happened?

This week we ask "What ha... happened?" The internet was scoured for a crazy sports photo or GIF and someone must try to explain it. Seesaw Sports asks what ha... happened? Monday: Opening statement. Friday: Rebuttal.

Real photos. Real results. But what in the heck happened?

Read the full post on BuzzChomp HERE.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Do you like turtles?" - What ha... happened?

This week we ask "What ha... happened?" The internet was scoured for a crazy sports photo or GIF and someone must try to explain it. Seesaw Sports asks what ha... happened? Monday: Opening statement. Friday: Rebuttal.

Real photos. Real results. But what in the heck happened?

Read the full post on BuzzChomp HERE.

Friday, February 21, 2014

All-Star Shakeup in the NBA

NBA All-Star weekend is fun, but w/ so many great ideas for improvement, where to begin? New Dunks, new events; we rank all the crazy options in our ‪#‎NBA‬ ‪#‎Sports‬ ‪#‎Debate‬ ‪#‎TGIF‬

Read the full post on Buzzchomp HERE

Monday, February 17, 2014

NBA All-Star weekend Unraveled

NBA All-Star weekend saw changes to the dunk contest and other events. It wasn't enough! We need the high-dunk, 2on2, and more. Sports debate.

Read the full post on Buzzchomp HERE.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sochi Olympics get Red Hot

The Sochi Olympics get Red Hot
by Dan Salem and Todd Salem (2-14-14)

Seesaw Sports is now on Buzzchomp. Find the post HERE. Go subscribe to keep up in future weeks as we transition away from blogger. Thanks.

[Part one - Sochi Olympics Fever 2014]


What excites me most about the Olympics? I already do moguls well, so scratch that one off the list.

I think I could ski the 2 mile downhill course, although my time might be around 15 minutes rather than 2 minutes. I would want to try ski jumping though. Just the thought of soaring through the air for such a great distance seems majestic and awesome. It's also better than the halfpipe or slopestyle courses too because I wouldn't have to worry about spinning and flipping for a score; just float to victory.

And land. Landing is important.

I've watched a bit of the speed skating and figure skating. It seems like it would be cool to be able to skate so well, but I would have no interest in putting that skill to those ends.

When it comes down to it, isn't watching the Olympics (either winter or summer) more fun when you just get a taste of something? No one likes to sit down and watch an entire event, qualifying rounds through the finals. Even snowboarding and skiing which, as you pointed out, are the best to watch, are not fun all the way through, especially women's.

Poor scheduling job by NBC this year. There's no way they should ever air a men's slopestyle event before a women's event. The men go down, pulling off triple corks and 1440's. Then we see the women do a shaky 540 and swing their arms all the way to the landing and she qualifies for the finals immediately.

For events still to come, really the only thing on my agenda is to catch some of the hockey but, again, I don't plan on watching an entire game at any point, let alone the entire tournament. That's just the nature of the beast with Olympic sports. If the sport itself was good enough, it would be popular outside of the 4-year environment. It also isn't helping that all of the results are shared online throughout the day, before the event in question is even shown on television. No wonder The Walking Dead crushed the Olympics in TV ratings the other night.


The Walking Dead crushed the Olympics because it is amazing. That had nothing to do with the Olympic TV product, nor NBC's manner in airing the festivities and events.

I can't take credit for my view point, as I heard Colin Cowherd wax poetic on the subject earlier this week, but I wholeheartedly agree that there is nothing wrong with the tape delay. You just said yourself that its not fun to sit and watch an entire Olympic event unfold. Its best served in bits and pieces, multiple servings from a sports buffet. Well NBC is attempting to provide just this to its viewing audience, editing down the long events, the boring parts, into a watchable show that could in fact be tolerated for the entire time. What you want is the Red Zone Channel equivalent of the Olympics. This would be the perfect thing to air on the NBC Sports network, boosting its ratings in the process, but NBC knows you will watch no matter how they air it or when.

Am I in the minority in wanting something different from the Olympics? I know they add new events every time and the whole thing is very serious for the athletes, but as you pointed out, none of these events are interesting outside of the Olympic games. Taking that as more or less a fact, the Olympics should really take a page from the X-games book and hype up the coolness factor by one hundred. One of the coolest X-game events is the snowmobile jumps. Why is that not an Olympic event? And they have the shooting event on cross country skiis, but why not let the snowboarders shoot things while going off jumps?

Its time to think outside the box and create some events that show new, unique skill sets. Its hard enough for all the countries around the equator to compete in the winter games, having no snow and all, so why not branch out and really make things interesting. Tubing? Snow ball fights? Tug of war? All of these things are fair game. A skill is a skill and I want to add a splash of color to the current black and white version of the games.


Of course the edited version is preferable, but the Red Zone comparison is only apt if, on the actual Red Zone station, they showed you all the touchdowns that you had already seen written about that morning.

I'm not sure about many things in life, but I can be sure that Finland would crush it in Olympic snowball fighting.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sochi Olympics Fever 2014

Sochi Olympics Fever 2014
by Dan Salem and Todd Salem (2-10-14)

Seesaw Sports is now on Buzzchomp. Find the post HERE. Go subscribe to keep up in future weeks as we transition away from blogger. Thanks.

The 2014 Winter Olympic games began last week in Sochi, Russia.

The opening ceremony was an elaborate, extravagant and over-the-top spectacle of...something. It was expensive and unnecessary, but really the entire Olympic games is that as well.

Every two years, the winter and summer Olympics are supposed to build the feeling of patriotism and joy for amateur athletics. It is a reason to watch athletes and sports you would never ordinarily care about or pay attention to. It does all of those things very well. There are very few things more exciting than watching a young athlete competing at the highest level for their country.

However, it seems to me that the Olympics does something more than build patriotism. It also destroys race relations. It encourages, nah Demands that you root against someone strictly based on their nationality. How is this a good thing?

How soon until the build-up of xenophobic feelings overwhelm us all and Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders are team captains, picking sides for the bipartisan Olympics?

Wow, you just took the Olympics to a very dark and despondent place. I'd like to first acknowledge that yes, the Olympics are an awesome thing for the world. It brings sports to the masses, universalizes people and is a great show of hard work, dedication, and competition. I love the snowboarding and skiing events personally.

As for your ridiculous accusation that the Olympics is ruining race relations, you are obviously confusing race with nationality. This is the root of the very problem you brought up, that people use race so arbitrarily that it has become a catch all for prejudice in general. There are lots of different types of people in the world and the Olympics strive to do just the opposite of what you said. Sure, we are rooting for America. But we root for America no matter the race of the athlete wearing our flag. And all athletes from all the countries involved are placed on an even playing field, to compete as equals for the world to watch. The entire world unites and you want to spin it as encouraging hate? Who are you? Haha.

I understand the point you're making; we are growing as a society towards universal acceptance. Its unlikely we will ever get 100% there, but each step we make is important. And the Olympics only bolsters this. Every two years we are exposed to the greatness of other countries and their people. We may root against them, but its only a select few fans who wish harm upon the opponent. And those fans are not huge Olympics fans anyhow.

I'd also like to put to bed the idea of former star athletes drafting teams. This is great bar stool chatter, but the actual draft falls way short of expectation. Let's get Shaun White and Bode Miller to draft Olympic squads. Woo! Now tell me who should be first pick? Do you have any idea? And should you draft a Curler over a Ski Jumper, or go all crazy and pick the Ice Dancer instead? This is a ridiculous conversation.

What excites you most about the Olympics? I know there is at least one event you wish you could do well.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka and Fantasy Baseball 2014 - part two

Masahiro Tanaka and Fantasy Baseball 2014 - part two
by Dan Salem and Todd Salem (2-7-14)

[Starting next week Seesaw Sports will be moving to Buzzchomp - You'll find posts both here and there for a week or two as we transition our readers. Thanks!]

There is certainly no arguing that Andrew McCutchen or Freddie Freeman feel like safer picks than elite starters from last year like Scherzer and Sanchez. That is always a given; batters are safer. However, the point of the theory was that if you were able to grab the top starting pitchers, you'd be okay if one or two missed because your lineup would still be in fine shape. The overall dominance of Mike Trout across all scoring categories would allow for "fill-in" batters later on.

It would be a less comfortable way of drafting. There is no doubt about that. I guess it would be hard to pull the trigger on the likes of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee and Stephen Strasburg when so many other players seem much safer and reliable in those early rounds.

Speaking of questionable pitchers, where are you taking Masahiro Tanaka this season in fantasy? He will not technically be the New York Yankees' ace, but he will be in spirit. Or they at least need him to be. So is he an ace fantasy pitcher? He doesn't appear to be the strikeout maven that Yu Darvish is. And the possibility exists that he will bomb completely in the major leagues. So where would you take him and at what point is he too rich for your blood and you know he won't be appearing on any of your fantasy teams?

I'm all for drafting uncomfortably, but pinning down a draft strategy that requires you to practically dislike your first four or five picks because of uncertainty alone feels wrong. I forced myself last season to not draft any pitching early. The jury is out on whether it was a successful strategy or not, but it was really hard. Doing the opposite feels nearly impossible, but with a player like Mike freaking Trout, its not completely in left field. (Did you enjoy my corny baseball pun? Did asking you about it and pointing it out completely ruin the joke? Was it already ruined from the start?)

I love that you brought up Mr. Tanaka. The newest addition to the Yankees' starting rotation is a much safer pick in my opinion than Yu Darvish was. The main reason here, when Darvish came up the Rangers were good, but not a team that won in spite of its pitching. The Yankees have been a team, for the last few seasons, that wins games in spite of its pitching. Last year was a bit more balanced, but overall their lineup has compensated for off nights by the pitching staff. Hence the consistent high win totals. So even if he is an average pitcher, a la Ivan Nova, he will get victories and do well in several statistical categories.

For some perspective, in an auction league I paid $17 for Yu Darvish in his rookie season. I thought he would be damn good and was right on the money. I wasn't going to pay higher than $22 for him, he was unproven, but he definitely warranted a solid bid with all his upside. So where does that leave Masahiro Tanaka? He has the potential to be a great number two for the Yankees and an ace on many other teams. I don't see him surpassing CC Sabathia or even Pineda's ceiling with New York, but that only improves his fantasy value. If he's the number two or three pitcher, he'll be facing other team's two and three guys. That's great news for your fantasy wins total. I think I've finally gotten around to a real answer for your question.

In a snake draft (obligatory Booo from a big fan of auctions) I would take Tanaka anywhere in round seven and below. He is not a top five pick, but snatching him in the seventh round before anyone else does seems warranted. I love the consistency and upside of Japanese pitchers and its a risk well worth taking. In an auction draft (obligatory cheers) I'd pay up to $15 bucks for him, maybe a little higher. I don't love him like I did Yu Darvish, but he is a Yankee. The mid level pitchers go in the twenty dollar range, so reaching for a rookie at fifteen bucks seems solid to me. I'd be shocked if I had to pay that much, but he's a big name and they come at a price.

Chasing wins in fantasy baseball is a flawed and dangerous tactic. There is little correlation between a team a pitcher plays for and his ability to grab a win. There is also an even lower connection between a pitcher being great and his ability to be elite in the wins category. There is just too much out of his control.

The stat that is easily predictable is strikeouts. And with Tanaka, his strikeout potential seems to be considerably lower than Darvish. With that said, I believe your estimate is still low!

Being a big-time news story, playing for the Yankees and all the rest, Tanaka is incredibly hyped up. Although he is coming over as a worse prospect than Darvish was according to scouts, he may be a bigger deal. I can see him going earlier in snake drafts than you mentioned and for more dough in auctions. Of course, I'm with you. I'll stay away from Tanaka in all leagues unless he becomes a bargain...which won't happen. I would much rather get my hands on a known commodity at that price and take a chance on someone cheaper later in the draft.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mike freaking Trout and Fantasy Baseball 2014 - part one

Mike Freaking Trout and Fantasy Baseball 2014 - part one
by Dan Salem and Todd Salem (2-3-14)

[Seesaw Sports will soon be moving to Buzzchomp - stay tuned - you won't miss a beat]

Some reputable sites around the web have begun to open up their fantasy baseball leagues for the 2014 season this week.

First of all... Yeah!!!!!!!!!!

Secondly, a small piece of information has come to my attention in regards to this news. The information is specifically the projections for Angels outfielder Mike Trout during the 2014 season.

In normal fantasy baseball leagues, there are five scoring categories: runs, home runs, RBI, steals and batting average. More advanced leagues often include on-base percentage as well. In reference to those six categories, an elite hitter usually excels in three or four.

A player like Miguel Cabrera (the nearly unanimous number two player in fantasy this season) is a great performer in five of the six. He will put up elite numbers in runs, HRs, RBI, BA and OBP. The only category in which he offers little to no production is steals. This is fine considering his other skills.

However, in terms of six-category production, there are very few men who reach that point. Some guys will give a little production in all six. Others will be serviceable in four and average in two, or some combination therein. Only one man though is a legit threat to lead the league in any or all six of those categories: Mike Trout, the clear number one player in fantasy baseball.

Forgetting even 2014 projections, Trout's career numbers in each category look something like this rounded for one season: 115 runs, 28 HRs, 90 RBI, 40 steals, .325 BA and .410 OBP. In other words, Trout is amazing in EVERYTHING. And those figures are just a rough estimate based off his two full seasons in the majors. Imagine if he continues to get better...

This is, eventually, bringing me to my point. Most fantasy baseball owners draft hitters early and often. Pitching is less predictable and vacillates more. Thus, it makes logical sense to grab the sure things at the plate in the early rounds and load up on pitchers later on, hoping that a few have good seasons.

If, however, you have the first pick and draft Mike Trout, should this theory change?

Rather than load up on hitters early, if you are able to take Trout first and then grab four or five of the top dozen starting pitchers in baseball, can't you fill out a lineup of hitters afterwards? There won't be many multi-category performers left in the middle rounds, but there will be one and two-skill guys available. Guys like Everth Cabrera (runs and steals) or Mark Trumbo (HRs and RBI) don't produce across the board, but they excel in certain aspects of the game.

Is Trout enough to swing an entire draft process? If I get the first pick, I may be enticed enough to find out.

I have to first mention that it's wonderful to immediately look towards the baseball season the second after the NFL season so abruptly ends. Bring on baseball!

Please oh please waffle over this decision just a bit longer. It will only put me in a better position to finally defeat you and your fantasy baseball genius brain, or Geno as like to call it. If you are lucky enough to get the first pick in the fantasy baseball draft then you better select Mike freaking Trout. On a side note, its kind of disrespectful of you to not use his full name. Its Mike freaking Trout, who you better pick first or be doomed to lose.

Any who, I'm in the camp of people who have learned the hard way, through experience, that no matter how great you think you've done at drafting pitching, you didn't do a good job. Go right ahead, draft Mike freaking Trout and then load up on four or five of the top dozen pitchers with your next five picks. You know what will inevitably happen? Two or three of those five "top" pitchers will be completely mediocre. Sure, you'll get two who are very strong, maybe even dominant. And if you're very lucky, one will even be a top three pitcher. But most likely those "top" five pitchers will be slightly above average. Is that how we win in fantasy baseball? By drafting a team of slightly above average players to accompany the best player in the league?

Well we both know that the answer there is NO. You're playing mind games aren't you? Trying to warp my thinking, make me go against the cardinal knowledge of the game and rely on last season's pitching statistics to skew my hardened draft knowledge. Well sir, I'm calling you out. For shame.

I'd honestly like to believe that last season's top pitchers will once again perform at a high level. But there is too much history over the last five MLB seasons to ignore; it's simply not the truth. Pitchers rarely dominate year to year. They can still win games, but they don't dominate fantasy statistical categories. There are a few exceptions, a la Clayton Kershaw, but sit there and tell me with a straight face that you know Max Scherzer or Anibal Sanchez are going to have great seasons once again. I'm putting my money on Andrew McCutchen and Freddie Freeman thank you very much.