But Can He Pitch?


A crazy-improbable, out-of-nowhere, last-second comeback? Yanks are gonna need one of those if they’re going to make the postseason this year. Olympics are over in two weeks. Memo to Cash: Get us Lezak!

43 comments… add one
  • The New York times interactive analysis of this race actually called Lezak the Mariano Rivera of the USA team. He was the unbeatable closer!

    Sam-YF August 11, 2008, 2:24 pm
  • Exhibit 12,884d: Why trash-talking before a major competition is dumb.

    FenSheaParkway August 11, 2008, 2:32 pm
  • He was the unbeatable closer!
    Strange analogy, considering Rivera was on the mound as the Yankees lost yesterday.

    Paul SF August 11, 2008, 2:48 pm
  • “Rivera was on the mound as the Yankees lost yesterday” Hey – he wasn’t closing…a role in which he is perfect this year.
    Please tell me someone else here watched this race last night. Every couple years that Olympics gives me multiple occasions to get incredibly into a sport I normally couldn’t care less about or an athlete whose name I had never heard before and likely won’t remember a couple months later. The first such moment of these Olympics was last night’s race, which I tuned into purposefully both to watch Phelps go for #2 of a possible 8 golds but also after I had heard about the French smack-talk earlier in the day. Rowdy Gaines (who calls their child “Rowdy”?) called it the best relay he has ever seen, which means something I guess since the only thing I know about swimming is that some guy named Rowdy Gaines is always doing the commentary every X years that I watch a swim-meet, and it was just an unbelievable come-back. Even my wife and sister-in-law – not the biggest sports-fans – were flipping out as the race progressed.
    Then I rememered the result of the Yankee game and cried myself to sleep.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:01 pm
  • Those dirty Frenchmen got what they deserved for trash talking… though even after the race they continued. Go USA!

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:03 pm
  • I watched it too IH. Great stuff.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:04 pm
  • I was watching IH. I actually stood up and yelled when they won. My girlfriend was actually more excited than me. It was all pretty awesome…

    Sam-YF August 11, 2008, 3:08 pm
  • I watched it live last night. I thought the third guy (Jones) was awful, and that Lezak better make it up quick – which he didn’t the first 50. I thought he was done, and then the improbable finish got a scream from me, from a sport that never really excited me in the past. It was easily the highlight (thus far) of the Olympics for me.
    One of my co-workers, who did swim-meets so presumably follows these things more than I have said, “No exaggeration – the greatest relay I’ve ever seen”.
    Of course, even to us “commoners” it was quite exciting, but I was somewhat jaded by years of rubber-band Sports games with close finishes, so I didn’t know what context to place it in..

    Lar August 11, 2008, 3:11 pm
  • That was amazing…seriously awesome. Being that the Yankees season is over, I’ve enjoyed watching Team USA kick ass…nice change of pace from watching the Yanks throw this season down the toilet. We are behind the Chinese in the medal count though, they need to pick it up!!! Of course, track and field hasn’t started yet…

    krueg August 11, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • p.s. the Olympics are great because we are all on the same team for once! All of my friends and I are fans of different teams so we never get to root together…Team USA is everyones favorite team.

    krueg August 11, 2008, 3:15 pm
  • The US is totally sucking in gymnastics, where we were supposed to be the heavy favorite. One of the top-rated girls apparently was injured yesterday during warm-ups, and couldn’t compete. Lame.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:18 pm
  • My wife and I screamed too Sam – and I’m not even one of those uber-patriotic “the US must win everything” guys, but I couldn’ help it.
    I remember one of the greatest sporting events I ever saw was during the winter Olympics in ’94 – the gold medal hockey match between Sweden in Canada that featured some of the fastest-skating, hardest-hitting, gutsiest performances (lots of guys with blood going and facial stitches being administered) I’ve ever seen and only ended with a Swedish gold medal – after an inconclusive overtime – in the 7th round of the shootout. I love the Olympics – esp with DVR where you can skip past things like the qualifying rounds of synchronized swimming.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:22 pm
  • I saw the race too. Exactly what I tune into the Olympics to see – exciting, top-notch competition. The first five teams all broke the previous world record – I mean, like, HFS, right? That can’t happen often.

    FenSheaParkway August 11, 2008, 3:23 pm
  • What’s the deal with record-breaking in foot-races, swimming races, etc.??? It’s not like technology is playing a huge role in these events and when records get broken by more than a second you’ve got to expect that at SOME point we will just have reached the point where people simiply can not run/swim/jump/etc. and faster/higher/farther, right? I love watching the records fall but it happens at every Olympics and seemingly on multiple multiple events it just amazes me they are still top-able sometimes.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:31 pm
  • Actually IH, technology IS playing a huge role: the US developed a new full-body swimsuit that was highly touted before the games, and apparently is performing up to the hype. It was so good they developed a similar design for the track-and-field performers.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:33 pm
  • IH – err, you obviously haven’t followed swimming.. =P actually, technology has improved quite a bit – that’s why *everyone* wears Speedos, regardless of what company sponsors them. And supposedly, the “Water Cube” in China is “optimized” for racing – Link Here

    Lar August 11, 2008, 3:34 pm
  • Damn, Ath beat me. =) But ya, for sprints/running I have no idea, though they measure things like tailwind, and stuff like that, so technology has caught up a bit, if nothing else..

    Lar August 11, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • But their fastest swimmer – Phelps – isn’t even wearing a full body-suit – only bottom half, at least in yesterday’s races and the day before.
    I’m sure you’re right though that tech (including in trainng before the event ever takes place) is playing a bigger role than I acknowledge. I just feel like at some point we’ll get to the stage where people just can’t swim (or run or whatever) from here to there any faster without a freaking motor on them. I wonder when we will ever get there.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • To copy&paste:
    To promote the breaking of swimming world records, the Chinese have optimized their Water Cube pool for speed by: (1) Keeping the water at 80.6 degrees, the temperature considered optimal for swimmers; (2) pumping ‘microbubbles’ into the pool to break the water’s surface tension; (3) building the pool to a depth of 4.27 feet, which prevents water-temperature interference; and (4) introducing a ventilation system that whisks chlorine fumes off the surface of the water, allowing the athletes to breathe clean air.

    Lar August 11, 2008, 3:36 pm
  • Here’s an article about the new suits:

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:37 pm
  • The 4.27 feet figure is probably a typo/calculator error though. But all the other stuff makes sense for me..

    Lar August 11, 2008, 3:37 pm
  • Thanks Lar – that is interesting stuff. I always wondered why I was so slow in the pool. Now I know that it was because I left my microbubble-blower at home. The bubbles I produced were of a significantly different kind. Though they did still “break the water’s surface tension”.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:40 pm
  • the new aerodynamic suits remind me of the simpsons episode where homer goes sking with flanders. homer goes into a fit of rage after being stuck in a memory of ned saying “feels like i’m wearing nothing at all”. damn you sexy flanders.
    this china vs. us womens waterpolo game is getting pretty intense.

    sf rod August 11, 2008, 3:41 pm
  • I jumped off the couch and fist pumped when Lezak got the touch in. Best Olympic moment I’ve seen live since Keri Strug in 1996, which will probably never be topped.

    Paul SF August 11, 2008, 3:47 pm
  • I don’t think so Lar, 4.27 sounds about right just for swimming laps.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:50 pm
  • “I jumped off the couch and fist pumped”

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 3:51 pm
  • feels like i’m wearing nothing at all”. damn you sexy flanders.
    I remember that, where flanders was sticking his ass out like J-Lo? Ahhh I miss when the Simpsons was still funny. Good times.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 3:52 pm
  • Speaking of the Olympics, apparently some of the fireworks from the Opening Ceremony were faked.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • Jobalicious
    lol, This is why I don’t mind Papelbon fist-pumping. I admit: I’m a pumper. (Too weird?)

    Paul SF August 11, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • and the d-backs worked out a deal with the reds after claiming dunn off waivers. all the sudden that team looks damn good.

    sf rod August 11, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • Woah woah what what WHAT? Dunn was released on waivers? He’s a D-Back now?

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 4:03 pm
  • Wow, the Diamondbacks just ensured that they’ll stay in contention. This will also help Webb guarantee another Cy Young Award.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 4:06 pm
  • irrevocable waivers, not released. but, yup and yup.

    sf rod August 11, 2008, 4:08 pm
  • How do you figure Dunn helps Webb, Ath? I’m not sure how they’re doing to fit Dunn into their outfield, but almost any move they make will hurt their defense, which would hurt Webb more than his bat would help (since they hardly need any offense at all on the days Webb pitches).

    stuck working August 11, 2008, 4:17 pm
  • Also: the Reds are run by idiots. Who puts a great hitter like Dunn on irrevocable waivers?
    Heh, just kidding.

    stuck working August 11, 2008, 4:18 pm
  • kind of a weird move for the d-backs. with the o-dog out for the season you’d figure they’d look for help at 2nd, not the already stocked OF. augie ojeda and his career .237 BA obviously provides very little as an everyday guy. this looks to be a move to answer the dodgers trade deadline acquisitions.
    any word on if manny has cut his hair yet? memo to torre and the dodgers….manny doesn’t respect you. memo to the team that’s picking manny up for the next 4 years (looking at you yanks)….manny has no intention on respecting you.

    sf rod August 11, 2008, 4:51 pm
  • Ath – ya you’re right. Seems odd, since I can stand in that!

    Lar August 11, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • “How do you figure Dunn helps Webb”
    He provides solidarity for guys whose names go consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • “manny has no intention on respecting you”
    sf rod, why should this worry to any team when it didn’t matter to the Sox until the last 2 months of his career?
    I don’t want Manny on the Yanks personally for reasons that are not so far off from this, but it is strange to be warned off of Manny by a member of a fanbase that (for the most part) made every excuse in the book for the guy for 9.9 years of his 10-year contract with them. Unless you aren’t one of those fans of course, which is fair enough.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 5:44 pm
  • ih- manny was on an 8 year deal with two option years. manny’s deviciveness reached an entirely new level this year (bat on shoulder vs. mo / assault). but you’re right, i made excuses in the past. i retract my warning for other teams. manny’s just misunderstood and will surely respect the next team that gives him a 100 million. just no respect for torre and the yodgers as they are paying him nothing.

    sf rod August 11, 2008, 6:49 pm
  • Awesome finish to a great race. Phelps was pumped, seemed like this was the only result he was concerned about on the way to 8. Would be awesoem if he can get them all.
    I seem to recall the USA were on the wrong side of the “trash talk and go on to lose” in the 4×100 in 2000.

    Dan August 11, 2008, 6:57 pm
  • Sorry sf rod – I should have said 7.9 of 8; not 9.9 of 10. And yes, I am sure your prediction of Manny’s behavior is spot on.

    IronHorse (yf) August 11, 2008, 7:01 pm
  • He provides solidarity for guys whose names go consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant.

    Atheose August 11, 2008, 8:40 pm

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