I'm off to a slow start today, mostly because my mind has been paralyzed by the stupidity of major league baseball commissioner Bud Selig in not acting in "the best interests of baseball" and overturning the blown call at first base on what should have been the last out of Armando Gallaraga's perfect game last night.
With only 20 perfect games in the last 130 years, this was the incredibly rare and unique situation where it was appropriate for Selig to intervene. Of course he didn't, because Bud Selig is a complete hack, and the next time he makes a logical decision, it will be the first time.
Selig is the genius who decided that the outcome of an exhibition game should decide home field advantage in the World Series. So clearly, he lives in Crazytown.
I like to visit Crazytown, but I don't actually live there.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it was hard for me to watch the NBA after watching the NHL playoffs. My perception was that pro basketball had so many stoppages of play that, for me, it was just unwatchable.
Because I'm, um, a bit of a data nut, I decided to gather some data. I counted the stoppages of play in the second and third period of last night's Stanley Cup Finals Game Three.
In those two periods, there were 37 stoppages of play--17 in the second period, and 20 in the third.
I would have done all three periods, but we lost signal for about half of the first period during a fairly vicious rainstorm. However, the announcers did mention that there was a 5:30 section of the first period with no whistles, so I think assuming that the rate was, at most, the same as the other two periods is fair.
Roughly, then, there was one stoppage of play a minute.
I'll be tabulating Game One of the NBA Finals tonight, and I'm very curious to see the number. There are some gray areas, though, in terms of data collection. If a player shoots free throws, is it considered an additional stoppage of play between free throws? To me, it is, because the referee has to get the ball, return it to the player, and then the player stands at the line, does his pre-shot routine, and shoots. It's not cut-and-dried, though.
Because of that, I'll post two numbers--one that counts each free throw as a stoppage, and one that doesn't.