Monday, October 01, 2007

Feats of Strength

All kinds of athletic achievement happening this past weekend. First up, Kirk took 7th overall in the Chesapeakeman Triathlon, an Ironman distance race in Cambridge. It is an incredible achievement, demanding months of training to even finish, let alone place so highly. He even won his age group, one of the most competitive. I am very glad he is done, too, since now he may be free from time to time, instead of training.

Second in our weekend review was Sarah and rest of the Capital Rowing Club at the Head of the Potomac regatta. For those unfamiliar with crew racing, head races are to other regattas as marathons are to a 100m dash. This course ran down the Potomac from Fletcher's boathouse to the Roosevelt Bridge. That's about 2.5-3 miles. In 15 minutes. I managed to see the start of one of their races by riding up the C&O Canal towpath, and caught the finish of the women's 4 from the Kennedy Center. Even though the starts are staggered, coming around the turn in the river at Georgetown, there were 9 boats all bunched together, and Sarah's passed at least one other team. It was pretty exciting, actually. Though a word of advice, if you go to a crew race - save your voice, don't bother cheering. Especially at the finish, or even as they row back to the dock, 'cause they are zombies in the boat at that point.

Lastly, and most dear to my heart, baseball. What an incredible finish to the regular season. My Reds did not do well, but I am a fan of the game as well. You can read elsewhere about the collapse of the Mets, but there is one measure that stands out in my mind. The sabermetricians at Baseball Prospectus do a Postseason Odds Report - the performance of the teams is quantified, and then they simulate the rest of the season 1 million times, measuring how many times each team qualifies for a playoff berth. By this measure, the Mets had the second highest Playoff Probability of any team, ever, that managed to not make the postseason. This was an epic choke, one for the history books, bigger than Philadelphia in 1964. And a the same time, the Rockies and Phillies both played extraordinary baseball for the past few weeks to earn their chances. Look up their stats since early September. Yes, the Mets choked and the Padres stumbled - but Colorado and Philadelphia both deserve to keep playing based on the quality of play they've shown, especially recently.

No comments: