Monday, April 15, 2013

Baseball finally goes legit

I've read that Major League Baseball has decided that, due to the New York Yankees having won more world championships than any other team, and due to them being from New York, which everybody hates, and due to a huge payroll, which is unfair, and due to Derek Jeter's smug mug, which is annoying, from now on in title play the rules shall be as follows:

1. When the Yankees are pitching, the strike zone shall be less than half the size of the opposing team's strike zone, with mandatory replay on every pitch.
2. When the Yankees are at bat the foul lines at the stadium shall be squeezed further towards the baselines, and, in the outfield, closer to the outfield, narrowing the field of play.
3. When the opposing team is pitching, the strike zone shall be double the ordinary strike zone.
4. When the opposing team is at bat there are no foul lines.
5. If a Yankee hitter hits a ball "over the fence" it is foul. Only balls inside the stadium may be considered home runs.
6. The Yankees may not attempt to 'steal' any bases.
7. If an at bat on the opposing team makes contact with the ball and the ball touches the ground on the field of play, it is a home run.
8. Disputed strikes and balls will be determined by the noise of the crowd and the opinion of the fans, except in New York.
9. Disputed tags of baserunners will be determined by the noise of the crowd and the opinion of fans, except in New York,

Since Davis White have been cleaning up in pcs, I just want to look at a couple of examples of the best and cleanest, highest quality technique in the world.

Worlds 2013

For instance when the toe of your skate boot slides into the side of the toe of your partner's skate boot and remains there. This is the stuff they show at judging seminars to illustrate top quality spinning.

Charlie's inside edge move there is smooth.
We see all the qualities that established them as
the best spinners in the sport.

Where Alex has gone wrong is keeping a long spine, open shoulders, open hips and straight legs. He and Maia together erred in entering the element with edges, and as you can see, it's impossible to generate rotational speed.
When he's in a "sit" position he should be yanking his head to the side, like Charlie does, to force as much rotation as he can, while rounding his shoulders.
Also, in the change position, Maia changed her leg position by herself, without Alex hoisting it or getting her started. She's also maintaining that position while spinning without having Alex clutch it or her clutching it herself. This is probably why they're such slow spinners. Also, they skate out of the element, which - lame.
BTW  - this was when Alex and Maia were getting points not equal to, but in the ballpark of DW. Subsequently, they've been lucky if they're only 20 points out. I guess the quality of their skating has been reviewed and discovered its not nearly as good as people thought.
I've got a lot to say about this both generally and particularly, but will get to it later. For now,  I think the best figure skating in the world and highest level pcs doesn't look like this.
This is the curve lift from the US Championships. At least her boot didn't touch the ice when Charlie drops her like a yo yo. Here you can see that she's completely braced by and girdled to Charlie, that he is the one tipping her into her rotation, but most of all, the way he has her arms yanked back going down, and while she's down.
I'm going to be doing the mechanics of Virtue Moir and other teams and asking the question- why doesn't everybody else forget about quality and difficulty and just do simplistic, bullshit moves as fast as they can however they can do them? Cheat the fuck out of the requirements. That's what the judges want. Do it, and they'll award you the points of the requirements.
Meryl and Charlie are "clean" and "fast" in lifts because the lifts are wrong and primitive and require no control. That's what the ISU wants. They don't want something difficult done with good technique and smooth speed. Do roller Derby, do mud wrestling on skates - just do it fast and fuck the edges. Edges don't matter in ice dance except for the "footwork" part where you have to show a couple of turns for a few seconds in between toe skipping, trotting and leaping.
I'm not saying do high level elements roughly. Don't do high level elements at all.
I think Virtue Moir, the Shibs, Paul & Islam and Weaver & Poje need to get with the program.


  1. "I think Virtue Moir, the Shibs, Paul & Islam and Weaver & Poje need to get with the program."

    As do P/B, C/L, B/S and all the other teams besides G/P, who are doing it right like D/W. Blah.

  2. "This probably why they're such slow spinners. Also, they skate out of the element, which - lame."


  3. I think the team who can really show D&W up as frauds, especially in the lifts, are Chock & Bates.

    Much as I love the Shibutanis, their skating, and particularly their lifts, are too different from D&W's for a true side by side comparison.

    Chock & Bates, on the other hand, do a lot of the pulling and pushing that D&W do (not so much the skipping and hopping, though). To be fair they mix it up with some actual skating and transitions. Plus, they're a fairly new team, so they could still evolve.

    During the Worlds FD, I immediately notices similarities between Chock & Bates' lifts and D&W's. I went back and took a closer look after reading your last few posts. Basically, my feeling is that C&B are already one step ahead of D&W. They achieve similar positions, but Madison supports herself more than Meryl does. She gets into position faster than Meryl (she "snaps" into position on most of their lifts). She receives more assistance from her partner than the likes of Tessa or Maia Shibutani do, but in all but one lift she needs assistance only on the mount or the dismount, not on both, and she changes positions mostly of her own volition.

    I also get the feeling, while watching them, that there are improvements coming- give them a year, and there will be less assistance (same feeling as I get from the Shibutanis- "give them a year, she'll have both hands free"). Give them a year or two, and they'll be where D&W should be today, technically (which is still miles behind where V&M are).

    There's also a sort of spin-lift at the end of Chock & Bates' program which seems like it would have fitted perfectly into any (or all) of D&W's programs. I wouldn't be surprised if Shpilband tried to give it to them first. However, there's no way they could have succeeded in the move- she lacks the core control for it, and he lacks the edge control.

    1. Anon 1:12

      Interesting observations.

      I suspect some time ago Shpilband and Marina understood DW's deficiencies and they learned how to be very intentional in their choreography for them. Could this be a reason Igor thought DW might move with him to his new location? He knows (as does Marina) how to create their non-skating, non-technique programs. However, I bet Marina does it better, with better-fitting flourishes. Lol

      I wonder if Igor and Marina are just as surprised as we are how successful their strategy would be for DW.

    2. Well, they're on the list - I've got some more Shibs coming first, trying to work out that massive point differential, particularly on pcs. I mean, clearly DW are far smoother, deeper into the ice, more blade centered and have a higher quality GOE than the Shibs.

      i haven't seen Chock Bates in awhile - not since I saw them do their bastardized quasi goose with Madison climbing Evan like a ladder. I'm most interested in seeing how they use their stroking to cover ice in linking moves, to generate speed, in and out of elements, and between footwork turns.

  4. I love love love the "rules" you wrote for baseball.
    Lol, what a perfect example of the way VM have been treated since the Olympics. And the sad thing is, from what I've seen on sites like fsu or goldenskate, the fans buy into that kind of thinking! Is it any wonder the federations can get away with blatant corruption. It's not about the best skills and a fair competition, it becomes about personalities and "favorites" and "the direction the sport is going" as if it's perfectly okay to change the rules according to the agenda du jour.