Ferdinand Cesarano

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Ferdinand Cesarano last won the day on November 29 2015

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About Ferdinand Cesarano

  • Birthday 10/10/1965

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    New York
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    Esperanto, communism, bicycling

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  1. This is correct. Helmets can protect against skull fractures, but not against concussions or sub-concussive brain injury. And that last bit is important because the research has shown that there is long-term harm resulting from the cumulative effects of brain injuries, even if no single one of these injuries rose to the level of a concussion. The bottom line is that football by its nature produces these injuries; therefore, the appropriate remedy is to change football's nature. It is only rule changes, and not equipment, that can improve the rate and severity of football players' brain injuries.
  2. I hope that you are not claiming to have heard people saying "em el bee" in the 1970s and 1980s. It just wasn't done that way back then. Don't take my word for it. Watch the many games from that period that are on YouTube. I doubt that you will find instances of someone saying "em el bee". Notably, this even includes moments when the announcer was reading a graphic that actually contained the written element "MLB". For instance, if the graphic said something like "MLB Record for Errorless Games", the announcer would say "Major League record..."; if it said something along the lines of "Leads MLB in Complete Games", the announcer would say "leads the Majors...". The locution "em el bee" was exceedingly rare if not nonexistent before the mid-1990s.
  3. First, let me thank @Silent Wind of Doom for that superb long, omnibus-style post. We need more like that. (The rest of you are on notice.) Huh. I thought it was an "ATM Machine" thing, where it doesn't work when you spell it out. I'm curious what your stance on RBIs vs. RBI is, since it's the same matter. I have always said "RBIs". As far as I can recall, the argument for saying "RBI" as a plural was not made until very recently; I remember no such discussion during the time that I watched baseball (1972-1996). My perception is that the announcers for the local teams (the Yankees' Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, and Frank Messer; the Mets' Bob Murphy, Lindsay Nelson, and Ralph Kiner) all said "RBIs". I suppose that the analysis is that the abbreviation makes a new word. Similarly, we refer to multiple holders of a state's or the country's highest legal office as "AGs", even though the full term is pluralised as "Attorneys General". Another example is "RFP", meaning "request for proposals". We have no trouble speaking of multiple "RFPs", even though the plural of the full term is "requests for proposals". But I confess that I don't see any direct parallel to the issue of saying "the MLB". I want to be clear that I wasn't focussing on the argument that the article in "the MLB" is wrong on the grounds that we don't say "the Major League Baseball". What I was doing, in my cranky but lovable way, was saying that no one spoke the letters out at all in my day. We'd say "A.L." and "N.L."; but we had no call to say "MLB". People would say "the baseball commissioner" (not "the MLB commissioner"), "the baseball All-Star Game" (not "the MLB All-Star Game"), and so forth. If it was necessary to refer to the umbrella organisation under which the two leagues operated, people would say, in full, "Major League Baseball". And this was true even if the letters "MLB" were written out: if someone were reading a text written as "A meeting took place at MLB offices in New York", that person would invariably say "A meeting took place at Major League Baseball offices in New York". (A similar practice is found with respect to the abbreviations "PF" and "PA" that we see in football standings. We say these always as "points for" and "points against; we never read off the letters. Further proof that we don't read off the sequence of letters is that we don't have any need to pluralise the letter sequences. In other words: if we said "pee eff" for "PF", then we'd actually use the form "PFs". But this is not done, because "PF" is prounounced as "points for". The abbreviation "MLB" was one of this type.) The practice of saying "MLB" as "em el bee" instead of as "Major League Baseball" began at about the time when the internet became popular in the mid-1990s. (It is worth noting the irony that Major League Baseball did not have the domain name "mlb.com" until about 2000, and so was forced to use the domain name "majorleaguebaseball.com" during the period when use of the term "MLB" was becoming common in the language and was supplanting the use of the full term "Major League Baseball".) The practice of adding the article arose somewhat later, as people (chiefly non-baseball fans, I strongly suspect) analogised the now-established term "MLB" to the names of other leagues, and reasoned that "the NBA" and "the NFL" meant that we should say "the MLB". So I was saying that I can sort of understand people saying "MLB" as "em el bee" even though I don't like it, but that "the MLB" is a total abomination. It is an abomination because it marks the sayer as someone who is ignorant of baseball history moreso than because the article is not used before the full term "Major League Baseball". It's definitely both things. Growing up in the 1970s, we argued over whether Palmer and Catfish could hold Schmidt and Parker, or whether Carew and Brett could hit Seaver and Carlton. Seeing these matchups was like seeing seeing crossovers between supehero groups. When Dave Winfield doubled off of Dwight Gooden in the 1986 All-Star Game, that was a huge moment whose meaning as a New York battle was greatly increased because it was between players who had never met. And when John Kruk faced Randy Johnson in the 1993 game, the main part of the fun was that Kruk was seeing a guy whom he had never seen before (and, clearly, never wanted to see again). The separation of the leagues gave baseball's All-Star Game a lustre that it cannot possibly have today, and that no other sport's ever had. There is nothing arbitrary in the title of "champion". In the plan that I laid out (four 4-team divisions per league; no interleague play), each team in a given division plays the same schedule. The team that does best amongst the four who are playing that schedule has won something significant. What's more, the division champion's record in relation to the records of teams in another division is completely irrelevant, for the reason that you alluded to when you said: In an earlier response in this thread I mentioned that the regular season should be thought of as the "first round" of the entire championship competition. The division champs are the winners of that round, and so are the only ones who have earned the right to advance to the subsequent rounds (that which we call "the playoffs"). This is true. You said "In the 70's and 80's, the Yankees and Royals faced off a number of times, and while I wasn't around yet, I'm sure the two fanbases hated each other." You got that right! The Royals were Yankee rivals second only to the Red Sox. (George Brett was the player whom I feared most.) Every regular-season meeting between the teams carried the tension of the playoff history and the anticipation of more of the same. But let's realise that these teams were not in the same division. I strongly object to facing a team from one's own division in the playoffs (except in a split-season format such as in 1981, wherein each participant is itself a champion of something). The 1996 f̶i̶r̶s̶t̶-̶r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶e̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ ALCS series [thanks to @leopard88 for the correction] against Baltimore felt all kinds of wrong: we had already bested these guys; what were we doing playing them again? By that point I had already made up my mind to retire after the season due to the coming interleague play; but I knew I was deeply uncomfortable with this format. So, in a way, interleague play did me a favour by pushing me out right then; I am glad that I was no longer a Yankee fan for the absurd spectacle of a playoff series between the Yanks and the Red Sox. As big a Yankee fan as I was, and as much as I was emotionally moved by the 1996 World Championship that marked my final moments as a follower of Major League Baseball, I have to say that I value the integrity of the competition more than the idea of my favourite team winning. I previously mentioned my lack of sadness (and even my feeling of relief) when the Yankees lost to Seattle in the first round in 1995. On account of my position that a wild card doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs in the first place, I would hope that such a team would never beat a division champion. While I commend you on your research and your act of compliation, I have to say that presenting a list of things that wouldn't have happened if baseball didn't have its current format is pointless, because (as you seem to grasp) it is counterbalanced by the list of things that would have happened if the 1969-1993 format had been retained. Unfortunately, those events are unknowable, except to the residents of the alternate universe in which sanity prevailed and baseball never brought in the wild card or interleague play. They wouldn't have "nothing". They'd have the thrill of competing in real pennant races. I'll mention again that 1985, a year in which the Yankees finished second, is one of my most cherished memories. Giant fans have three recent World Championships to feel proud of. But I am sure that many of them still thrill at the 1993 season, in which they didn't win the division but battled the Braves to the final day of the season, or the 1982 race, when they were in a three-way battle with the Braves and Dodgers up until the final weekend. The wonderful 1993 N.L. West race was bittersweet because it occurred after baseball had already committed to scrapping the format that made such an exciting finish possible, even though it showed conclusively the inappropriateness of the wild card. And the fans of teams that would have won divisions in a 1969-1993 format carried forward would possess the pride in an accomplishment that is much more meaningful than that which is available to division winners in the current system. It is doubtful that any current-period division winner will be as fondly remembered as the 1983 White Sox or the 1985 Blue Jays are. Today's division winners be remembered merely as one of the teams that made the playoffs and lost (and as no different from wild card teams), rather than true champions in their own right. I call this a loss for fans everywhere.
  4. It's supposed to be so that you can get name+numbering done on any shirt at any shop in the world, since there's only 5 number colors for the whole league and pretty much any shop that customizes will carry the font. Plus it identifies the league, which is why the little logo is there, on top of making it harder for counterfeiters. personally I'm not a huge fan of it, especially limiting the colors available like the EPL does, which leads to disasters like gold numbers on shirts with volt trim or black numbers for teams that don't use black I don't like this either, because it seems to me that the choice of number font should be part of a team's look. This is why it is so comforting to see Champions League matches in which the teams' numbers contrast just as much as their colours do.
  5. Unfortunately, it might be too close to the Van Halen logo for it to be used in any commercial application.
  6. A team in the ABA 2000 is already using that (awful) name.
  7. It was an overreaching attempt to contort their brand into something they could copyright (since Sci Fi was deemed public domain)... the coinciding shift in programming didn't help It's a pity that they chose to resort to a weird spelling. They could have attained a trademarkable name [note: I believe that the issue was trademark and not copyright] by going with the full name "the Sci-Fi Channel", always including the word "channel" -- just as we always say "the Weather Channel", and never just "Weather". Or else they could have leaned on the initialism "SFC".
  8. They should have used the script that appeared on their jerseys at two different times in their history.
  9. I just want to mention that the white jersey is the Rams' home jersey.
  10. I dunno, let's ask the ghost of Calvin Griffith If he's not available, try the ghost of Horace Stoneham.
  11. I think the real New York one is designed pretty well; whereas the Pennsylvania one is not "designed" as such, but is just a thrown-together mess. Though the prevalence of red on the New York manual's cover doesn't seem right; I would prefer blue. Apart from that quibble, the main critique that I could make of that drawing is that it does not depict crosswalks or bike lanes. This is a serious flaw in light of the bad behaviour with respect to these street markings that drivers typically engage in. A driver's first responsibility is towards the other more vulnerable road users.
  12. Right. It's tragic that New York City doesn't have unilateral control over its greatest and most essential feature.
  13. There's another problem right there: too many teams in the playoffs, more than twice as many as there should be. Essentially, the regular season should be thought of as the "first round" of the championship competition; and the division champs are the winners of that round who have earned the right to advance. In other words, there should be only as many playoff teams as there are divisions. In each conference, you could give the top division winner a bye while the other two division champs play one another for the right to play the top division winner for the conference championship. This would be a much better format that the current system. The fact that the NBA's playoffs are often regarded as the "second season" shows how terribly undervalued the regular season is. The whole competition would be much more interesting if the regular season had higher stakes, and if the playoffs were less of an interminable slog.
  14. Eek, no. In fact, the NBA made a big mistake when it stopped awarding division winners the top seeds. I cannot fathom the fixation that some people have with undermining the regular season.
  15. If you had four four-team divisions per league, then a case of a sub-.500 divisional champ, while very unlikely, could conceivably happen. This is not a big deal. Whereas, if you had two seven-team or eight-team divisions per league with the first-place and second-place teams both making the playoffs, you guarantee that there are no pennant races ever. This, by contrast, is a huge deal. So, congratulations; you have managed to find a solution that is even worse than the current system. With four four-team divisions per league there would be pennant races in each division every year. The slight chance of a sub-.500 divisional champ is more than made up for by the increase in meaning of the regular season.