Tagged: sports

El Mundial with an Antenna

Every cord cutter could resort to watching the World Cup games, en español, on Univision’s website. But starting after July 4, after the Round of 16, cord cutters had to find another way because Univision now requires viewers to authenticate with a cable TV subscription.

However, if you live in a major metropolitan area, you can watch the games the old fashioned way, over the air using an antenna.

ABC aired today’s Belgium–Argentina game, over the air, and in New York, I found the game on channel 7.1. Today’s late game, between Netherlands and Costa Rica, was on ESPN only so I had to find it on Univision’s broadcast channel. In New York, I had remembered that the channel was on 41 in the old analog days. I expected to find the digital channel on 41.1, but that’s not what you get in New York City. The Wikipedia article on WXTV had some information about the digital channel, but I had to get creative and search the proverbial dial. I found there were two feeds, one in 480-line SD and one in 1080-line HD.

Signal Channel
Standard Definition, 480 lines 68.2
High Definition, 1080 lines 40.1

As I’ve said before, we cord cutters need to stick together.

Better Than Perfect

Last night, while I was watching my friend premiere his first feature film at the Lower East Side Film Festival (yes, there is such a thing), Clayton Kershaw pitched what LAist’s Carman Tse called “the most dominant no-hitter ever.”

It’s easy to get carried away rooting for the home team, but Tse is basically right. Using Game Score, the Bill James–designed formula that every novice sabremetrician likes to use for comparing pitching performances, Kershaw pitched the second best nine-inning game of the last 100 years. Only Kerry Wood, who as a rookie struck out twenty Houston Astros and inspired a generation of Cubs fans to proudly don t-shirts bearing the phrase “We Got Wood”, did better with a Game Score of 105.

Pitcher Date Pitches Hits Strikeouts Walks Game Score
Wood May 6, 1998 122 1 20 0 105
Kershaw June 18, 2014 107 0 15 0 102

Kershaw’s no-hitter is also one point better than Matt Cain’s perfect game from 2012, where he tied Sandy Koufax for the most dominant perfect game ever. Cain and Koufax each earned Game Scores of 101 in retiring twenty-seven consecutive batters.

Pitcher Date Pitches Hits Strikeouts Walks Game Score
Cain June 13, 2012 125 0 14 0 101
Koufax September 9, 1965 0 14 0 101

But by notching one more strikeout than Cain or Koufax, Kershaw bested them by one point. However, reading the description of each game, Kershaw seemed to dominate in more ways than Game Score can measure. Let’s see, here. Kershaw faced 28 batters, and one reached due to a Hanley Ramirez error.[1] Kershaw punched-out fifteen of the remaining twenty-seven batters, which leaves twelve batters. Eight of those put the ball in play but failed to get the ball out of the infield. That leaves four batters who, according to the accounts I read, made soft contact, managing to only lift some lazy fly balls to the outfield. Let that sink in: there were only four lazy fly balls hit to the outfield! By comparison, in Matt Cain’s perfect game from 2012, there were seven balls hit to the outfield, and that seemed freakishly low at the time. In either case, it shows how dominating Cain and Kershaw were in these historic games, turning big league hitters into beer league players.

One was perfect, but one was better than perfect.

  1. Hanley Ramirez seriously owes Kershaw a nice gift for blowing that play, like a sports car or a year of college tuition.  ↩

Greatest Sports Month

Since I stopped paying for a multichannel television subscription, it’s been really hard to follow sports. This month, I’ve really noticed the absence of professional, spectator sports because it looks like this could be the greatest sports month ever.

Usually, October is every American sports fan’s favorite month. NHL hockey is just getting started. The NBA is about to start in a matter of weeks, and there are preseason games to watch. The NFL and college football seasons are each in their second month and are just getting interesting. And, my personal favorite, baseball is in full-blown postseason mode.

But this month, there’s even more sports to watch. Last week, a ton of people watched a horse finish fourth. The Stanley Cup Finals finished hours ago with a Los Angeles team defeating a New York team for the NHL title. The NBA Finals feature two of the winningest teams of the last decade, the Heat and the Spurs. Tennis fans have not one, but two, two, two grand-slam tournaments to watch: the French Open and Wimbledon. Baseball is winding down its first half, setting up the races that will remain with us throughout the summer. And if that wasn’t enough, then there’s the FIFA Men’s World Cup!

Best of all, with all these great sports to follow, none of them are college or NFL football games. This really is the greatest sports month!

  1. Brad Adgate agrees that June is the best month for sports, especially for attracting television audiences and said as much last month.