It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize from the PCT that the Rays are a better team than the Orioles. And GB should show that. It doesn’t. Instead, it shows them as even.
There are a couple of ways to calculate GB, but the way I learned back in the early 70’s is to 1) subtract the bottom team’s wins from the top team’s wins, 2) subtract the top team’s losses from the bottom team’s losses, 3) add up those two figures and divide by 2. In this case you’d get 2 as the GB of the Orioles. This is not what USAToday shows.
The point of GB is to measure the minimum number of games for the bottom team to “catch” the top team. In this case, if the teams play 2 games each, and the Rays lose both, and the Orioles win both, they’ll each have the same record of 68-56.
* I really don’t pay much attention to this, but I noticed it on Monday in the local paper’s reprint, and it’s still there on Tuesday in the USAToday website.
I still haven’t seen anyone write it out, but this is the best I could piece together from this great badminton site.
So, there were 16 pairs of women in the doubles tournament. The top 4 were seeded. Two pairs were from China, and they were the number 1 and 2 seeds.
Those 16 pairs get broken down into 4 groups of 4. Within those groups, each pair plays every other one in a round robin. The two best pairs from each group move on to the elimination round.
The Chinese were put in Groups A and D. The elimination round was set up so that the best pairs from groups A and B, and second-best pairs from groups C and D would meet in the top half of the bracket in the quarterfinals.
Then the # 2 seed was upset in the round robin in Group D. They would still make the elimination round. But, they would no longer be the best entrant from Group D (in the bottom half of the quarterfinals) but the second-best entrant from Group D (in the top half of the quarterfinals).
This would mean that if the #1 seed, from China, ended up as the top entrant from Group A, that the two Chinese pairs would meet in the semi-finals, with one of them getting no better than a bronze and possibly 4th place with no medal at all.
So, the Chinese were looking at 1) gold and bronze or 2) gold only instead of 3) gold and silver.
In response, the # 1 seeded Chinese pair threw points in a match in the round-robin so that they would get into the opposite half of the bracket from the other Chinese pair, where they expected to be before the upset.
But, when that pair started to throw points, their opponents did too. This is because if both Chinese pairs ended up in the top half of the bracket, the bottom half would be weaker, and if they lost, they’d get into it.
But, as soon as the top 2 entrants from Group A start to goof around, then it makes sense for the top 2 entrants from Group C (who’ll have to play them first in the elimination round) start to goof around too.
In the end, 4 pairs tried to be on the losing end of 2 matches to get out of the unexpectedly strong top half of the elimination bracket.
The final result: the # 2 seeds that were upset ran the table and won the gold. The # 1 and # 3 seed were disqualified, and the # 4 seed won the silver.
And the lucky bronze medal winner? This is a Russian pair that was initially eliminated after the round-robin. But, after the disqualifications they got matched up against the worst member of Group C, whom they beat. Then they lost in the semi-finals to the ultimate gold medal pair. And who did they have to face in the consolation round: the worst pair from Group A. That Canadian pair only made it because of the disqualification, and was the only pair that the Russians beat in the round-robin.
So, not only did the disqualifications mar the tournament, the poor design of the bracket gave the Russian pair a cakewalk. They lost to the # 1, # 2, and # 3 seeds, and then beat the worst entrant in Group C, and twice beat the worst entrant in Group A, and won the bronze. Talk about dumb luck.
Well … partially explained, anyway. Certainly better than the “some teams were bad guys” explanation in the legacy media.
Here’s how it worked. The women’s pairs badminton tournament is in two rounds.
The first is a round-robin. You do not not have to win every game here to go on to the second round. But, your performance here does determine your seeding in the final round.
The final round is in elimination format.
What happened is that the expected silver medal pair was upset in the round robin. This put a very good pair in a position in the elimination round where no one expected them to be.
Instead of being lined up so that they would presumably play (and beat) the weaker pairs until the finals, they were instead right in the thick of things.
It’s as if in the NCAA’s March Madness opening weekend, a very good team that should have been seeded # 2 was instead seeded in the 4-7 range. This would make their job harder because they’d be playing better teams. But, it wouldn’t make the other teams happy because they’d have to play a tougher opponent earlier.
In this case, those weaker pairs started throwing matches so they would have a better chance of advancing further in the elimination round.
One of my earliest memories is of my dad going to a Bills playoff game – no doubt the January 1, 1967 loss to Kansas City for the right to face the Packers in the Super Bowl.
Reading that article today is an amazing time capsule back to that time, when Buffalo was a top 20 market for spending and television … and that was without counting the Canadians across the border.
It also highlights some bit I didn’t know:
Buffalo expected to get an NHL team in 1966, but instead St. Louis got a team they hadn’t even applied for.
Buffalo expected to get a National League baseball team in 1969, but the franchise was awarded to Montreal instead.
The Bills were considering moving over new stadium issues in 1969 – to Seattle!
The (football) Bisons of the All-America Football Conference, as one of 3 profitable teams, expected to join the NFL with Cleveland and San Francisco, but the third slot went to Baltimore.
The article implies that the St. Louis, Montreal and Baltimore deals were all dirty.
The article also discusses the stadium plans at that point. The choice was between a location downtown, or one about 5 blocks from where I grew up (near what is now ECC North). I was cognizant of enough in the 1970’s to recall the lawsuit and settlement when Rich Stadium was ultimately built in a third location.
The article makes no mention of the Buffalo Sabres, who would be playing 20 months after publication. Only that the ownership group would apply for a franchise the next time the NHL opened the doors.
It also makes no mention of the Buffalo Braves, the NBA team that couldn’t make a go there in the 1970’s (maybe because they stunk). They also started playing 20 months after the article appeared. Eventually they landed as the Los Angeles Clippers (and they still stink).
There’s also no mention that Buffalo did have a National League baseball team in the 19th century, or an NFL team in the 1920’s.
JT forwarded me this article. It’s about how Buffalo built a state-of-the-art stadium, and then filled it with record crowds to show their commitment to getting a major league baseball expansion franchise.
Buffalo still has the stadium, but 4 other cities have the clubs.
Lots of good links in the article, including an obscure video shot at the stadium from when the Goo Goo Dolls were still just a local band. Even better is this local news piece from the night before the stadium’s first game:
At the time, the reporter makes clear that getting the team wasn’t an if but a when.
And, check out that 80's hairstyle and oversized leather jacket on Mindy Rich!
I am going through this with a co-author right now. His vision was to use raw data put out by the NHL. My reality was that this data was over 1,000 observations on over 1,200 games. I went with the script:
Now that it’s done (thanks to Trevor MacDonald) I know I am way out on the right of this chart.
Not a very interesting story: career criminal does 17 years for murder and gets out 10 years early for good behavior.
But the backstory is interesting.
The pitcher was murdered outside of spring training. He would’ve made the team.
Another utility player found his killer because he’d networked with a loser while bombing out of spring training years before, then they went nosing around bad neighborhoods listening for gossip, and they got the tip they needed from a thug.
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