Friday, May 20, 2011

THE FRIDAY PICK SIX! Volume Four, Week Two

Life is starting to get back to normal. My little mini-vacation is over, the Yankees are winning baseball games, and the comments section is full of angry people. If the world ends tomorrow, I'll go out with a nice sense of stability. (Side note: what I really love about apocalypse predictions is that the predictor always puts themselves squarely on the line; according to Harold Camping, armageddon starts tomorrow with 207 million people dying. That's a bold-as-hell call, and there's no half measures. When tomorrow ends normally with about 155,000 people dying, as usual, he will be flat-fuck wrong, and all his followers will abandon him and he'll be a laughingstock. There can be no equivocating. Which, in a way, you have to admire.)

Stability aside, holy shit dudes...holy shit. This week of Pick Six is by far the most contentious, bitter installment to date. Some folks (two, actually) have serious gripes, all joking aside, and they're letting it spill forth in the rant. I think we've embarked upon the angriest volume yet.

I'll let the internet warriors speak for themselves. Vamos.



The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six sports predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle finishers go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read below:


Here's how it looks:

The Last Chance Gals (3rd attempt, win or bust): Swetha & Sabreena
Purgatory Part 1: Marc, Monty
Newcomers: Craig & Tim, Tim B., John

-Volume Four Intros
-Week One


1. Tom.
2. Mike
3. Patrick and Dylan

Current Standings

1. Swetha & Sabreena - 2
2. Monty - 2
3. Tim B. - 2
4. John - 1
5. Marc - 0
6. Craig & Tim - 0

The gents who ended with straight zeros got roped in by the Boston Temptation. The Tampa Bay Lightning ruined their day, and they ended the weekend where they began it, with zero points. S&S, Monty, and Tim B. hacked their way to 2 points apiece, but it was a low-scoring affair all around.

Time for this week's docket:

1. The Mavs and Thunder play Saturday afternoon. It's game 3, so it's in OKC. Who scores more points: Westbrook, Durant, or Nowitzki?

2. Interleague fun! There are 14 interleague series' this weekend played between Friday and Sunday. That makes 42 games total. Who wins the most, AL or NL?

3. It must be lonely being the two NL teams during interleague weekend who suffer from the league imbalance and don't get to play an AL team. This weekend, it's the Rockies and Brewers. Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez pitches Sunday, and Zack Greinke pitches for the Brew Crew on Friday. Both have ERAs above 6. Which formerly great pitcher goes deeper into his game?

4. Yanks-Mets. Who will get more hits over the 3-game series between Curtis Granderson and Jose Reyes?

5. Sunday is game 3 between the Bulls and Heat in Miami. Will any individual player score more than 30 points?

6. TEMPTATION PARLAY: For 5 HUGE points, enough to catapult anyone into the lead, pick the outcome of any 5 of the following: NHL game, NBA game, or MLB series. If you attempt this and fail, you lose 3 points. Anyone who refuses to attempt the parlay loses 1 point for cowardice.

We begin, like last week, with the recent grads:

Swetha & Sabreena

First off, damn you James Harden and your refusal to see a dentist. Secondly, this is easily the most uneasy we've ever felt about our picks. With that out of the way...

1. Dallas really has to win this game, not because of that must-win garbage that analysts spew around this early in the series, but because (spoiler alert!) we have picked them in the temptation. But based on game 2, the Mavs will likely win if Durant is quiet AND the Dallas bench has a killer effort, meaning Dirk won’t have to score a whole lot of points. Also, we figure Russell Wes is going to be a little pissed at his benching and is due for a trigger-happy game. So we’re taking the dark horse. RUSSELL WESTBROOK.

2. We thought about actually looking at all of the matchups and seeing if there was some sort of imbalance between both leagues, but that proved to be kind of tedious. So because the majority of our MLB allegiances tend towards the Dodgers (who will likely get swept in their set against the White Sox, but let’s ignore that for now), we’re picking the NL. If only this actually determined home-field in the World Series instead of the damn All-Star Game. NATIONAL LEAGUE.

3. Greinke is still coming back from injury, so he’ll probably be on some sort of pitch count. And Ubaldo did make it seven innings in his last start, so here’s hoping he’s on the upswing. UBALDO JIMENEZ.

4. For how long Shane has gone on about Curtis Granderson, we were pretty shocked to learn that his batting average is only .266 this season, whereas Reyes is sitting at .322 (yes, we actually did research this time!) Smart money says Reyes, even though the Mets pitching is god awful (sorry, Tim B.) JOSE REYES.

5. Only one player has hit the 30-point mark in this series and it was, you guessed it …. Chris Bosh! But we have a good feeling that Derrick Rose will be taking his talents to South Beach and come up with 30 plus. YES.

6. We were thinking about not participating, but then figured we were probably being too conservative this early in the game. Plus, in the chance that we lose the three points, it’s not like we can’t just make them up later when Shane starts inventing new rules.

1. OKC has been awesome at the Ford Center this postseason, and we think they should win, but the Mavs seem to do better as the underdog. DALLAS in GAME 3
2. The Cubs suck. Period. RED SOX.
3. It’s about time the Yanks started winning. Right? YANKEES.
4. The record disparity between Houston and Toronto is the best of the bunch. BLUE JAYS.
5. Philly’s got the dream team of Halladay, Lee and Oswalt going. And nothing like facing a former team to get Cliff Lee back in the winning column. PHILLIES.


First of all - let me say: fuck both Ryan Palmer and Graeme McDowell.

1. He's a monster, and he's at home - and also I'm pissed off at Durant for not finishing out the last series in six, which cost me a point. So I'm gonna have to say Nowitzki. No one has an answer for him. Anywhere.

2. Well, the NL has the best team in baseball, but I'm pretty sure the AL is stronger across the board. AL.

3. Definitely Greinke. I have no idea why - other than that I don't know anyone named Ubaldo.

4. I just went on a date the other night with a girl who's a Mets fan. She was pretty cool - but I'm picking Granderson anyway.

5. Hell no. Both teams are spreading things around.

6. I'm WAY too hung over right now to pick the outcome of 5 anythings - so call me a coward.

Tim B.

What I’m picking while thankful I don’t have the same relationship with my older brothers that Craig/Tim apparently has with his/theirs:

1. Well first of all, I don’t expect Russell Westbrook to ever play the game of basketball again. He’s gonna join Greg Paulus and that dude from George Mason in the official “Eric Maynor Owned Me” Facebook group. To be fair, Paulus is in several “[Insert college basketball player] Owned Me” Facebook groups, as John can attest.

Dirk has been absurd — I’m not gonna be the one to call him “ridirkulous” — to the point where Around the Horn asked the question “How can Thunder stop Dirk?” and I thought to myself, “What would an NBA fan from the 1980s think about that hilarious, when you think about it, question?” But, Dirk has averaged 26 on the road this postseason, Durant nearly 32 at home, and the fans in OKC are gonna be rocking. Durant goes for 34+ to win this one. The game is probably a different story.

Side question: At what point in this postseason do we forgive any and all of Dirk Nowitzki’s purported clutch failings? In other words, are we still having the “Dirk is one of the 10 best ever” conversation three weeks from now if he gets to the Finals and loses to a better Heat team?

2. The American League, as always. (The NL will have a far better playoff bracket this season, though.)

3. Both these guys are gonna be fine. The Rockies have barely ever seen Greinke, and the Brewers individually have great numbers against Ubaldo, but Jimenez has had his better starts on the road, and the Milwaukee offense, while good, isn't Colorado’s. Ubaldo lasts a touch longer.

4. Jose Reyes is 0-for-17 in his career against Saturday starter A.J. Burnett, which is far and away his worst career mark against anybody in baseball. But he’s also like the coolest player ever, and I’m sick of having to defend him to people who don’t understand how awesome it is to watch Jose Reyes play baseball, and so if this question were “Who will get more hits: Jose Reyes or the entire Yankees team” I’d still be picking Jose Reyes.

Curtis Granderson is a gentleman, by the way.

5. Yes. Juwan Howard. Good thing who we pick to score 30 doesn’t matter.

6. I wouldn’t be willing to do a five-team parlay on opening weekend in the SEC this September. But like O.J., if I did do it, here’s how I would have: Heat and Mavs in their Game 3s and the Yankees, Phillies, and Blue Jays. This is just me having my cake and eating it, too. No thanks.


First of all, I have to give props where they are due: Novak Djokavic has received no love from me over the years, but he made Nadal look like a commoner out there. Nadal was usually 10 feet behind the baseline getting yanked back and forth like he was a marionette of a master puppeteer. Rafa had little answers for the Djoker. I'm pumped for the French (which I hear is being played in France this year! Quelle merveille!)

I wish I had more time to address the snobbish comments of fellow contestant “Tim B”. I think his disrespectful statements like hilarious “university” down the road in reference to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill speak for themselves and sound eerily like the tongue-in-cheek characters that our host oft parodies. Yes, that’s right, UNC is a self proclaimed "university" on par with say Phoenix University or ITT Tech, maybe? I'm glad you find it hilarious and cute that us little public schoolers dare say we went to a "university".

I used to fall for these little games and refer to Dookies and such, but have since decided that such childish games serve little purpose and end up making the writer appear immature and foolish...Now if my avatar bugs you, well, all’s fair in the sports world…I hope you like teabags! And Megan from the comments...I’m glad you find NHL hockey to have the best/most exciting playoff systems in sports, professional or collegiate. Bold statement. Yes, I’m glad you enjoy staring at a sheet of ice while trying to find a small dot artistically flung this way and that until icing is called. You are a better and more knowledgeable and discerning sports fan than I. I hope that by refraining from going to any more NHL games in my life that I free up a ticket for you at just the right moment.

You just couldn’t resist another jape at my institution of higher learning ( “I guess I shouldn't be surprised that John was not willing to put in the leg work; after all, he did go to UNC. “ ). Yes you and your fellow highborn are better than me all around...please sleep well knowing that and lower your expectations of me in the future.

1. Well the trendy pick must be Nowitzki with all the press he’s getting. Also, Durant let me down last week...hmmm...He couldn’t let me down again could he? I’m pulling a last minute switch back to the German...I say he pulls out a well sharpened dirk and slices his way to a big night.

2. I don’t know...according to Wikipedia the AL has won 1808 games versus 1652 to the NL. This 52% percentage is statistically significant (95% CI: 50.6-53.9). Additionally the AL has won for the last 7 years. So I guess I’ll go AL.

3. Tough one...pretty equal as far as the numbers are looks like greinke has only pitched a few times this year and so may still be warming up a bit...I say Greinke surges to the innings victory

4. Reyes looks to be playing well...gotta go with him (I admit I don’t know either of these players as a very poor pro sports fan these days).

5. Tough call...obviously ‘Bron DWade and Rose could pull this off, even in a relatively close affair...however, I just think this game turns physical and ugly with points hard fought for. I say NO.

6. TEMPTATION PARLAY: I gave this one due consideration. I ended up working backwards here in order to determine a break-even point of expectation. As long as I am interpreting everything correctly, I would have to get all 5 correct in order to get 5 points, otherwise it is -3 (with -1 for a Pass on the Parlay).

I would need to be at least 25% confident that I could get all 5 correct in order for this to seem like an even bet: E(points|p=0.25)=0.25(5)+(-3)(0.75)=-1

In order to have a 25% chance of getting all 5 correct, I would need to have a 76% chance for each of the 5 picks (0.76^5=0.25)

For baseball, in order to be 76% sure of a given series, I would need to believe that my team has a 68% chance of winning each game...this is more than a 2:1 odds.
In short, this is not a temptation, but a death trap. I hope that my Duke educated brethren have the confidence it takes to take up this bet so I can (likely) gain 2 points on those that enter. I EASILY RESIST THE TEMPTATION.

Marc, aka Mr. Intrigue

My first week can be characterized as a complete victory. The trap is set, and when I come surging from behind to crush the competition everyone will be flabbergasted at my impeccable Pick Six abilities. After this week I can wholeheartedly contend that Boston is the worst place in the universe and I'm ashamed at how far it has fallen since the days of revolution.

To celebrate my time off between normal school and summer school I ate a lot of shitty food, went to bed extremely early (8 o'clock at one night) and passed out on the floor in a drunken stupor at my girlfriends apartment, in front of her parents, who I had just met for the first time earlier in the week. In the morning the father told me to take care of his daughter, but then he changed his mind and said "Actually she'll probably be taking care of you." My finest hour.

On to the sports!

1. Dirk went absolutely bonkers in the first game and Durant also had a great game. This one is hard to choose because Westbrook is such a wild card. Some days he's amazing, and other days he pulls his best Bosh impression and attempts to shoot 1-18. Furthermore Westbrook has the wonderful ability of ignoring Kevin Durant. I'm going to have to go with Durant to impress the home crowd with the most points!

2. Fuck the AL, the DH is bullshit. NL 4 lyfe homies

3. More baseball, shit. Summer sports are the worst. Yahoo says Greinke is better so I'm going with him.

4. Joses Reyes is a beast. Going with him. Plus he's just soooooooooooooo cute.

5. Yes.

6. Here it is, the temptation. I can't resist it. I have to take it. Using my advanced quantum rocketry degree I've figured out that it's mathematically in our favor to take the temptation. There's no debate to this claim. Stephen Hawkings stopped by last night for a beer and he was blown away by my analysis. In fact he even patted me on the back. In reality he ran over me with his wheelchair while laughing in that chilling autotuned voice.

Red Sox over Cubs!
OKC over Dallas on Saturday!
Vancouver over San Jose on Friday!
Braves over Angels!
Indians over Reds!

Craig & Tim

Why did I eat Hot Fries immediately before bed? Maybe I'll luck out and have a dream about picking at my teeth with my tongue. Oh....hello. Tim here (not to be confused with Tim-2, / Tim-B, / Tim-Danny-Devito-From-The-Movie-Twins). I'm going to skip the BS and re-emphasize the fact that despite the rough start, we sneeze God particles. I'd also like to make it known that your iPhone sucks, and your lack of knowledge pertaining to the United States Constitution sickens me (that about covers 95% of America, sorry if you were wrongly offended).

1. Gotta go with Durant at home here. Look for OKC to play better defense at home. 24 of Dirk's deceivingly sexy 48 points the other night were at the line and we don't see that happening again. Durant is a versatile, pure scorer. Dirk is more reliant on the jump shot. If he goes cold on the road, it could be a long night for the rabbit-toothed German. Then again, he could walk right in and fart in the Unitarian church known as the OKC Arena. Tough call, but the fact that "Kevin Durant" is an anagram for "Native Drunk" means that he's the winner this week (and yes I refer to Native using the fire-water drinking version of the term).

2. The National League is just...there. I mean I'm a big baseball guy so I appreciate the National League; I respect their devotion to the hitting pitcher, I like the small market club as much as the next guy, but the whole league just kinda sucks. The AL has a record of 1806 and 1652 vs the NL in interleague play, and I don't expect anything different this weekend. AL takes it.

3. On the one hand you have Greinke, who hasn't gotten past 6 innings yet this season...but has yet to walk more than 1 batter in a start. On the other hand, you have Ubaldo who while giving up a ton of runs/walks this year and exiting games early on a consistent basis - is coming off a 7 inning outing in which he only gave up 3 runs. We're going with Ubaldo here. I call him Jimmy, because I don't like using foreign accents.

4. Jose Reyes. And that's all Forest Gump has to say about that.

5. Yes, there will be a 30 point scorer. Too many scorers here to short change. Still disgusted with the Celtics, so I'll admit we're going through the motions on this one.

6. We refuse to attempt this parlay and will take the 1 point reduction - for intelligence, not cowardice. I've done enough sports betting (and winning) in my life to know that a 5 team parlay is the last ditch bet of a desperate loser. We will not jeopardize our Pick Six chances on a suckers bet. This next statement may come off as misogynistic (and I don't care), but I bet S&S had to jump on them interwebs and fire up Ask Jeeves to find out what a parlay was. Hopefully they get suckered in and blow it; it would serve them right for their anti-Boston rhetoric. S&S, it would not surprise me if your ignorance led you astray here and you cost yourselves 3 points. At the same time, it would be equally unsurprising if you did not take the chance....after all you have no balls. It's science.

Is that it? There's no more questions we can weave demographic-based insults into? Oh well, taking charge in the Pick Six standings will have to do.


The gauntlet done been laid. Enjoy the NBA games this weekend, and if you're bored on Sunday afternoon, check out Duke lacrosse in the quarters against Notre Dame at 2:30 on ESPN2. See you Monday.


  1. HAHAHAHA! As a Pick Six veteran, this is my favorite reasoning behind any pick ever: "Plus, in the chance that we lose the three points, it’s not like we can’t just make them up later when Shane starts inventing new rules." So true, S&S, so true.

  2. After reading this weeks Pick Six, it is clear that we are at a crossroads, folks. There is tension in the blogosphere. Thankfully I have seen the future, and the Pick Six can make it, it can! But we must return to our guiding principles as outlined by Commissioner Curry. If not, I will end up telling my children about this troubled time for years to come.

    It would go something like this...

    Sit on my lap junior, let me tell you a tale of America's game. You see, back before the Great Lockout of 2011, the Pick Six was a simpler game. We were in it for the fun, and for Donald, the Pick Six trophy. It wasn't all about the money like it is today. These players these days are out for blood, it's not for the love of the game like it used to be.

    These newcomers, John, Tim, Craig and Tim, they don't know what it was like to play back in my day. I grew up playing Pick Six in the street, and when a car came, you god damned finished that play. I still remember to this day when good ole Jimmy from PS 129 came into our neighborhood, didn't know the rules and stopped to let the garbage truck through. Poor kid lost his sight after getting hit in the face with a line drive. But did he give up the Pick Six? NOPE. Even blind Jimmy kept on picking, right up until the strike of 2011.

    You see son, all that time off in 2011 bothered some folks. Most of the regulars grew too old and tired to compete. Only S&S, Marc and Monty stuck it out. Guys like Harold Reynolds, and Me and your Grandpa, we got right out of the game. It was an easier decision for us though, coming off that championship. Yup, you heard right kiddo. Your grandfather is a great guy, and an even better 'picker. He won us that trophy fair and square. Even if it did take Mike a month to send it out. Next time we are over at the park we'll have to take his bread away so the ducks leave him alone. Then maybe he'll tell you about it.

    What's that? Is there any hope for America's game? Well, I sure hope so. As long as the new class of talent can see why we Pick, and get back on track - I think we'll be okay. Otherwise it could be a long time before we see another team like me and your Grandpa's. Not that there's a problem with that of course.

    (I'm gonna be an AWESOME dad)

  3. A different perspective...

    When Shane posted the first weeks games for the New Pick Six (Like the New Match Game, New Hollywood Squares or New Dating Game, not as good as the goddam original!) I had one thought and one thought only - Are the SCSD veterans going to think that the Tim and Jim team are really Dylan and Dad in disguise? I mean really, the "other" team from Massachusetts. Would any of you be surprised if Tim and Jim are really just Dylan and Dad, using pseudonyms to get another thrill in the Pick Six. Really, the clues are there...First line of their first Pick Six rant - "emotional rollercoaster" same metaphor Dad used in the Victor's rant...COINCIDENCE??? I think not. However upon reading their convoluted picks, it was easy to realize that it can't be us. Tim and Jim are just not that smart. I mean look at their first pick - Exactly what professional sport is played on only one surface - surely not baseball, football or soccer right with grass and turf. Heck even horse racing has two. On #2 they forgot 2009 when the big brother kicked his little brother's ass all the way back by 8 games and was the BMOC. Then in the karma on top of karma flash of the Apocalype, Tim and Jim got the donut, zilch, nada, no points whatsoever. Even Dad, in his most distracted moments, visions of ducks sprinting down the road, psychotic break could not have allowed the team to get zero - ZERO. Is this a first in Pick Six Lore? NADA! What an embarassment. Jimmy and Timmy, you are disappoint!

  4. "you are disappoint!" not to get all technical, but if you want to insult us, at least show a rudimentary grasp of the english language.

    T Fab, any regular reader would know that "Jimmy and Timmy" are not the Dylan/Patrick combo from the days of yore, as we have yet to include a barely comprehensible conversation about ducks or screensavers or staring at a blank computer screen for hours. Additionally, is it really that big of a coincidence that we hail from massachusetts, as do you? You are aware that there are more than 5 people in the commonwealth, correct? I am forced to conclude that live somewhere west of worcester and simply resent the fact that your part of the state is an afterthought in the grand scheme of things.

    I don't feel compelled to defend last week's picks. There is a two-point differential between first place and last place. I'm not panicking. But I will say that we did consider the difference between grass and turf. But new turf is designed to resemble and act like natural sod. And turf is designed to replace grass in those sports. Plus, baseball, football and soccer don't use a different kind of ball for different surfaces like tennis does. And to specifically answer your question, professional basketball and hockey are played only on one surface.

    I look forward to inviting you and Dylan to the Cape to personally deliver the trophy after week 6. Summer on the cape is much nicer than summer in the middle of nowhere. Plus we have lots of ducks!

  5. Whoa, a girl turns her back on the comments section for a few hours and things go and get all feisty!

    For a second, I thought I had stumbled upon one of the angry comments sections from the controversial SCSD! Duke/UNC/Kyrie posts, not lil' ol' happy Pick Six Land.

  6. Dad! They're on to us! Lets get out of here!


  7. It took me a month to send the trophy because I was having an exact replica constructed. Guess which one I sent you?


  8. Craigy...oh craigy..."you are disappoint!" not to get all technical, but if you want to insult us, at least show a rudimentary grasp of the internet meme...

    They have ducks on the cape? Who knew...

  9. Y'all are some trifling mahfuckas.

    -Dirty Cash

  10. John's statistical analysis was brilliant, so the rest of you folks cut out the digs at his school. I hire smart guys like him from places like UNC all the time! [NOTE: John, that is completely untrue, and should be classified under the category "mandatory dig" or "gotcha" - and btw, if one of my kids is fortunate enough to get accepted to UNC one day, I'll be one proud Papa]

  11. No Dylan, don't get out of here, the blogosphere is much better off with comments from you and your dad, even if it leads to shit-talking on my part.

  12. I'm just so glad that we have a place here where we can all be adults and have frank and honest discussions about our sports passions and enjoy the comraderie with our brothers and sisters....wait, this is Shane's blog? Sorry, posted this in the wrong place, carry on!

  13. So far as I can tell, the Al vs NL pick comes down to the last game of the weekend...Sox need a win for a push.

  14. Assuming Boston finishes this game, s&s came oh so close to the parlay! That Houston game came to the last pitch. Canadians didn't come thru!

  15. brilliant? Try an introductory statistics class...

  16. I appreciate SanFran's complement and honesty about UNC...if my kid got into Duke I'd be happy for him also (and would get to make frequent trips back to chapel hill!) Anon. above is correct that the statistical logic in #6 is fairly elementary, with a simple binomial parameter determination being the most advanced thing...that might slip into a 2nd class depending on a program. I never claimed it was any sort of brilliant calculations and certainly is not a measure of my abilities or of unc's education. The logic is sound, however, and those who took the parlay each lost 2 more points than those who didn't. -John

  17. kids, by this blog's standards, the stats were effing brilliant! And you better have appreciated the dig. It was a play on my buddy the commercial developer, when the subject of a Harvard alum comes up: "Harvard? What a coincidence. I have tenants who went to Harvard."