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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca talk about the strange endings to Games 3 and 4 of the World Series and parse our fixation with second-guessing managers. They also discuss Calvin Johnson’s 329-yard performance against the Cowboys and whether the Lions receiver is the greatest athlete in sports today. Finally, they’re joined by Grantland contributor Kirk Goldsberry to discuss his visualizations of NBA shooting and the state of pro basketball analytics.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- The Red Sox evened the World Series on Sunday night thanks to a Jonny Gomes home run and the game-ending pick-off of Cardinals pinch runner Kolten Wong.
- The Cardinals won Game 3 when Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks was called for obstructing Allen Craig’s path to home plate.
- Baseball Prospectus’ Sam Miller notes that Major League Baseball’s obstruction rule anticipates the ending of Game 3.
- Deadspin provides the official baseball definition of “obstruction.”
- Baseball Prospectus’ Ben Lindbergh analyzes Game 3’s more problematic managerial decisions.
- Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated says sloppy play was the story of the first two games of the World Series.
- Calvin Johnson tallied 329 receiving yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s 31-30 win over Dallas on Sunday.
- Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today thinks Johnson is on pace to be the best receiver ever.
- Johnson set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season in 2012.
- Even other professionals are blown away by Johnson. Teammate Reggie Bush calls Johnson a “freak of nature.” Michael Irvin calls him a “beast.”
- Johnson and other frequently targeted receivers often have the most drops and the highest drop rates.
- Kirk Goldsberry’s new metric ShotScore reveals the NBA’s best and worst shooters.
- Goldsberry identified the NBA players who shot the best and worst percentages in each region of the court last season.
- Goldsberry on LeBron James’ evolving game, as evidenced by shot charts.
- The NBA will have SportVU tracking cameras in each arena this season, creating a potential deluge of new data and analytics.
- John Schuhmann discusses some of the exciting new analytical insights SportVU is expected to produce.
- Grantland’s Zach Lowe details how Toronto used SportVU tracking systems to model ideal defensive positioning.
- Dean Oliver’s seminal basketball analytics book Basketball on Paper.
- Jason Schwartz wrote a piece for Slate on how the competitive team-by-team dynamic of NBA analytics is slowing our understanding of the sport.
- Goldsberry’s Sloan Sports Conference paper on Dwight Howard, and the value of interior defense.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Myer "Whitey" Skoogs:
Mike’s Skoog: On Lou Reed’s passing, and his connections to sports.
Josh’s Skoog: Some final thoughts on the BCS computers before they leave us forever.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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