American Sports Questions

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by batz, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Hi Sports fans :)

    I have some dumb questions from the other side of the pond - all answers gratefully received.


    1. Why don't I like baseball? :confused: I love NFL and I quite like NBA and NHL - but I just cannot get into baseball - any tips on liking it as I feel I'm missing out.

    2. College football - it's MASSIVE! Been watching it on ESPN America and some of the crowds are just huge!:shock: How come son many people go to watch amateur sport? Do people tend to support their local college teams so colleges in dense population areas have big crowds?

    3. The Draft. What is that all about?:confused: How do you get in the pool of people who get drafted? Do all major sports have one?


    4. Transfers - do you have them? What is the record for a player in US sport?


    Thanks again!
     
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  2. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Answered in the other thread, but I'll post it here as well:

    1. I used to be a big baseball fan, but the steroid scandal, massive contracts, and competitive disadvantage that some teams inherently have, soured me on it. Get sick of seeing the Yankees and Red Sox win pretty much every year, or whatever team spends the most $$$ (Phillies), while teams like Baltimore and Kansas City toil in obscurity.

    The game itself is also extremely outdated and needs to catch up w/ the times. Traditionalists are screwing the game over by not letting things like instant replay in. Look no further than last yr w/ Armando Galaraga if you want to see how bass ackwards MLB still is.

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/37479309/ns/sports-baseball/

    Games take at least 3+ hours, sometimes 4 hours. I know other sports take long as well, but baseball is a lot more tedious for some reason. In short - don't feel bad about not getting into baseball.

    2. College football is huge on college campuses here, of course. Pretty much people support their alma mater (the school they go to), their parent's alma mater, or whatever school they live closest to. Go out, get drunk before the game, go to game, get drunk after game. Good times, or so I've heard. ;)

    3. The draft is how college guys go to the pro leagues. In the NFL I think the rule is you have to be in college for 3 yrs to get drafted, NBA recently added a age requirement that you be 1 year out of HS to get drafted, but used to allow high school guys to get drafted like Lebron, Kobe, Kevin Garnett, among others. MLB you can get drafted out of high school and go to the minor leagues right off the bat, or go to college if you choose to do so.

    4. Transfers - here it's called free agency, basically if your contract runs out you can go to other teams and get paid. We don't do a lot of the transfers for money like in European soccer, here usually if a star player gets traded it's for future draft picks or other players.

    Now the big deal in the NBA is Carmelo Anthony possibly getting 'traded' from Denver to New York or LA b/c his contract is up after this season and he's said he won't re-sign w/ Denver. So Denver is trying to get compensation instead of losing him for nothing.

    I kinda just explained two things in one, hopefully you followed along there as it can be confusing even for regular sports fans.

    As for the largest free agent contracts: http://www.businesspundit.com/25-biggest-and-most-expensive-sports-contracts-ever-signed/

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
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  3. angharad

    angharad Semi-Pro

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    For the NFL, you have to be out of high school for 2.5 years. You don't have to enter a college program to be drafted, although that's what most guys do.

    Also...the draft isn't the be-all end-all in getting into the NFL. It makes things easier, but there are guys that have been undrafted free agents that sign with a team and do well.
     
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  4. tennisnoob3

    tennisnoob3 Professional

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    play fantasy baseball, if you know who some players are.
     
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  5. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    True. Just trying to simplify things a bit.
     
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  6. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    The draft is pretty interesting, getting a top 5 pick gives you a huge chance of landing a player who could be the face of your franchise for the next 10-15 years. It's interesting to look back at the drafts and see where superstars were picked up and how other great prospects who were chosen early turned out to be duds.

    I'm a New York Islanders fan and in the famous draft of 2003 we picked a player called Robert Nilsson who flopped, when we could of gone for Parise, Mike Richards, Kesler, Perry, Getzlaf etc..

    Then you have special cases like Zetterberg who won the Conn Smyth after being drafted in the 7th round, and Ryan Miller who pretty much single handedly won America a silver medal at the Olympics last year after being taken in the 5th round.
     
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  7. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks JBF - intertesting stuff - much appreciated.
     
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  8. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Baseball is very hard game to understand if you have never played it.

    It is not a very good TV product and that is the biggest problem with the game. In the NFL for the most part you see al the action right on the screen. In baseball you have the pitcher battling the hitter, but you dont see how the infiledrers may shift there position depending on what pitchees are being thrown, or how the outfilders will adjust where they stand in certain conditions.

    Realy the only way to get a feel for it is to go the the ballpark and watch some games with a guy who knows the game. Not just some guy who can rattle stats off and name the players but knows about strategy and players tendancies.

    I love talking baseball so if there are any questions I can answer let me know.
     
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  9. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    And just FYI Alex Rodriguez sigend a contract with the Yankees that will pay him 275million for 10 years and is to date the richest contract given out in american sports and the highest total value given out in any sport to my knoweldge in the world.

    Ferrari is paying Kimi Räikkönen 51 million a year for 3 years which makes him the highest paid per year in the world.
     
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  10. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    ..............................
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
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  11. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    #11
  12. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    I think the closest thing to a transfer in American sports is the situation with Pro Japanese baseball and MLB.

    In Japan the players are signed to a team and that team has the option of posting them before they have played 9 years in the Japan pro league to be transferred to MLB. A 4 day silent auction is held at whichtime the Japan team takes the highest offer and that player is then free to negiate a contract. If after 30 days the players does not agree to the contract from the MLB team then the posting bid is not paid and the player has to return to Japan.

    The bids are taken by the MLB General Manger and the dollar total is presented to the Japanese team, but with no knowledge of which MLB team is the highest bidder.

    Dice K posted to the Red Sox for over 50 million dollars, and then signed a 6 year contract for 52-60 million depending on incentives.
     
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  13. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Before the Posting system was started players in Japan would just retire, and the upon Un-retiring were free to go to whichever team they wanted to regardless of league and how many years. Hideo Nomo was the first to pull this then Hideki Irabu, and Alfonso Soriano followed. So MLB and Japan league created the posting system.

    Its not common, only 15 players since 1998 have come over to MLB through the posting system.
     
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  14. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Also sometimes it happens in the NBA where an international player is drafted but chooses to stay w/ his international squad instead of coming to the NBA immediately. A recent example of that would be Ricky Rubio, who was drafted 5th in the 2009 draft by Minnesota. But instead of coming to the NBA and the T'Wolves Rubio chose to stay in Europe to play for a couple of years. However the Wolves still own his rights if and when he decides to come to the NBA.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4435861

    Tiago Splitter did something similar; was drafted in 2007, but stayed in Europe and only came to the NBA just this season.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiago_Splitter#NBA
     
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  15. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I think for a lot of baseball fans it's a life experience/familiarity kind of thing. Your dad took you to some games, taught you how to play and played with you, you did your youth league stuff (Little League, we'd say,) and even in later years you talk to your dad about what's hapenning in baseball, conversation fillers with guy friends, etc.

    I'll turn on the TV to baseball kind of for a comfortable background, not exactly glued to it, but you've got the background crowd noise, a good broadcaster (hopefully) to listen to--even with the Arizona Diamondbacks stinking things up the last few years.
     
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  16. retlod

    retlod Professional

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    Baseball is referred to by many Americans as "the national pastime." As such, it enjoys a self-granted exception from change and modernization.

    It is the last major US sport to incorporate instant replay on close calls, even though the vast majority are simple yes/no decisions (did the ball hit the ground before the catch, did the player get tagged, did he beat the throw to first, etc.) not open to complicated rule interpretation as in the NFL. It also relies on umpires to officiate the strike zone. No one calls balls and strikes the same way and even umpires are inconsistent within games. If tennis can have computers and cameras that map ball flight, why can't baseball do it? It should be easy to eliminate the human factor and get the calls 100% right here.

    Games are also tediously long. They involve stretches of a minute or more interrupted by a few seconds of limited action confined to a couple of people. You could argue that American football is the same way, but the action is far more complex and involves 22 people on every play. There's always plenty to review between plays when it's viewed on TV. Americans are the first to balk at a footballer faking an injury to get an opponent booked or a substitution for the farthest player from the bench to kill time at the end of a football match, yet they seem to have no problem with pitchers shaking off signs, stepping off the rubber, throwing to first to hold a runner, batters stepping out of the box and calling timeout to adjust their batting gloves or just grab their crotch, and managers coming to the mound for a 20 second conference to do some coaching or ask what everyone's doing after the game.

    There are so many more things that annoy me about baseball, too: disparate team budgets, lack of a salary cap, a 162 game season, the Yankees, managers that wear uniforms as though they might enter the game later, players that get hurt running 90 feet because they're 50 pounds overweight, steroids, the home run obsession, and the lack of a pitch clock.

    So no, you're not alone. I grew up in the USA playing baseball every day in the summer, and I can't stand the game anymore.
     
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  17. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Guys - many thanks for all your responses - I'm glad the baseball thing is not just me! I love America and its sports and I really felt I was missing out.

    My mind is suitably blown at Alex Rodrguez getting 27.5 million dollars per annum - I guess he's pretty good at what he does?

    Transfers in football happen in 2 ways:

    1. A player comes to the end of his contract and is free to sign for any other team.

    2. A player under contract is 'transferred' to another team. The other team pay a transfer fee. The level of the fee is a factor of how good the player is perceived to be and how long he has left on his contract. Chelsea just paid Liverpool £50M for Fernando Torres. The record is £80M - paid by Real Madrid to Manchester United for Ronaldo.

    There is no draft - clubs develop their own players.
     
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  18. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    In baseball (unlike the NFL, NBA and NHL), IMO the real strategy is from the manager. The players are more like chess pieces, but games are won and lost from the dugout, not the field. It takes a bit of getting used to. That is why it is popular, yet the gameplay is quite boring.

    I like college football much more than the NFL. Since free agency, the difference between the pro teams is their payroll. There is no loyalty to the home city, nor a team "ethic". College players routinely play their entire careers at the same school and the better programs have a particular style (as distated by the coach, often a long time coach). Plus who wants to cheer for overpaid criminals?
     
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  19. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    This is a real nugget of information - thanks for taking the time to respond.


    I like watching college football too - although I don't support anyone - I've only this year decided which NFL team is 'mine'.:)


    There seems to be lots and lots of college teams!
     
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  20. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    I think college football is the only sport where some poeple would actually prefer to watch it over a pro league. No college team would have any chance to even compete with an NFL team much less beat them. Yet there are tons of people who pay no attention to NFL at all and are die hard college.

    The same argument can be made for college basketball but in my opinion college basketball is all about March Madness.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
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  21. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    there are over 130 college teams playing in Div1 A football. You still have 3 other diviions in the NCAA alone.

    More in Basketball.
     
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  22. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Even as a pretty ignorant armchair fan, I can see the difference in level between college football and NFL - it's like waatching Scottish football then turning over and watching the English Premiership :). Those college guys give their all though - and the atmosphere seems to be terrific.

    Is there a college version of the Superbowl? :confused:
     
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  23. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Wow:shock: Just wow.

    I keep forgetting how big your country is.

    So who are the big dogs in college football (I have a soft spot for Navy - I served in the RN and worked alongside some good USN guys).
     
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  24. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    They play the BCS national championship which is supposed to place the 2 best teams in the nation together.

    But for example this year there were thrre teams who were unbeaten. TCU, Oregon, and Auburn. Oregon played Auburn for the title. While TCU had no chance to win it because there is no playoff.

    Playoff in college football is pretty heated discussion and in the mainstream.

    In fact President Obama even mentioned while he was campaigning that he was going to do what was in his power to get a playoff system approved for College fotball.

    Im talking stricly Division 1A cram of the crop teams. The smaller divions have playoffs.
     
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  25. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    I'm quite surprised there are no playoffs - it would seem like such a logical thing to do. Do you think they will happen - what are the obstacles?

    Thanks.
     
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  26. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    The obstacles are the Bowl games generate millions in revenue for the NCAA and they will not budge on it. Bowl games especially the big ones are such huge money and media hogs it is unbelievable.

    The problem is if your school doesnt play in one of the big conferences you can not play for the number one spot. It makes sense as the schedule for a TCU is a joke compared to that of an Alabama or Texas but at the same time you are punishing a team because its conference sucks. Its a mess that wont be settled any time soon.
     
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  27. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Sorry, but what are the Bowl games and why couldn't they form part of the playoffs with the winners going through to college Superbowl?

    Thanks.
     
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  28. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    Bowl games are the year end games that you qualify for. Most of them are just nonsense games with very little meaning for anyone that isnt involved with the two teams playing. There are the big four games which traditionally are the 8 big conference winners play each other and one is always the 1 and 2 ranked teams.

    The problem with making a playoff is that the teams are ranked based on votes. That cant change because it now punishes big conference teams for having a hard schedule. Teams like Boise St only play 1 or 2 tough teams and than blow out everyone else. You have to take into fact who they play when ranking schools.

    People always say look at how exciting college basketball is with march madness and you cant compare the two. In basketball you can play 2-3 times a week and be ok. Also you only need 5 players and a bench to play. So with good recruiting the smaller d-1 schools can compete every once in awhile. You cant do that in football as you need 22 starters and a really good bench to compete with the top schools. If Texas played the teams from small conferences all the time you would see alot of blow outs and a close game here and there. People seem to be obsessed with that 1 game out of 20 where the small team keeps it close.
     
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  29. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The point made that college football is very popular is well taken for many reasons. In fact there are areas where high school football is King for the same reasons. It isn't about pure skill it is about watching kids play their hearts out against their crosstown rivals (sound familiar?).
     
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  31. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    The NCAA has three Division I, IA, II and III. The big one is Div 1 and there are seemingly billions of Bowl games at the end of the year starting from Thanksgiving. There Bowl game helping the BCS computer deterimine who is number one. This system is controversial but there are lots of Bow game to watch during the holiday season. All the division have them

    Now for Basketball, The NCAA has and actualy single elimination tournament during March and is called March Madness and it probably the best yearly sporting event in the US.

    There is a similar tournament for the the other sports and keep in mind that they US has three Divisions and then there is 2 year colleges.

    If you want more info look up ncaasports.com

    I personally love to watch live collegiate sports. You forget that they are mainly young adults.
     
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  32. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Baseball's great. Like it better than basketball and football. It's definitely not a 2011-style Instant Gratification deal. . . which means it's a good thing.
     
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  33. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    God, it would be interesting to learn how many thousand Div. 3 schools are out there!

    Anyone know?
     
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  34. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    According to Wikipedia, 1,281 schools are a part of the NCAA in at least one sport. Note that not all schools have football. My school for example (ODU) didn't have a football team my freshman year, but got one my sophomore year (last year) and plays DI-AA/FBS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Collegiate_Athletic_Association
     
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  35. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Right now the NCAA has 449 member schools in DIV III

    Also don't forget about NAIA. It is not affiliated with NCAA and has 290 members in it.
     
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  36. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

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    Hope this helps you out.
     
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