On Jonah Hill, Paul DePodesta, and optimism

Cam Charron
July 23 2014 10:52PM

jonah hill peter brand

Remember when Jonah Hill got all skinny for a year or so and didn't look like himself? It was almost like he was anemic or had an eating disorder. Either way, skinny Jonah wasn't funny, and though I had a tough time sitting through all three hours of The Wolf of Wall Street and Hill played a character the audience was meant to despise, he was back to his old self, a bit pudgy, stocky, and recognizable.

Still, while Hill's foray into skinniness didn't do so much for his acting career (he's at a much healthier weight now than when he started out, however) I always thought it was in response to the way a certain Oakland A's assistant general manager responded to the casting of Hill. The characters in the film Moneyball are real people and their stories are mostly real, with the exception of Hill's character Peter Brand. That guy is 100 percent fictional, in name, appearance, and method.

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Leafs shake up front office, hire stats Hound Dubas (seriously)

Cam Charron
July 22 2014 09:28AM

kyle dubas picture

I was wondering when the first NHL team would jump on Kyle Dubas, the young Ontario Hockey League general manager who has turned around the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds program since his arrival. The Greyhounds have redefined the way they look for talent through the draft and how they break down player performance.

I did not think it would ever be the Toronto Maple Leafs, but this is apparently that new world.

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Exploited by Randomness, and the David Clarkson Apology Tour

Cam Charron
July 20 2014 10:30AM

Clarkson goal
Leafs management hard at work carefully considering David Clarkson's abilities

There was a post up at Sportsnet this week that worked partly to defend David Clarkson. In my mind, Clarkson has nothing to apologize for. He worked his ass off to make the NHL, puts in the hours, and got a contract that an NHL franchise was willing to give him. It's not his fault he's not as good as the majority of NHL top six forwards, and it's not his fault that there's an organization that was short-sighted enough to sign a player who had just 97 goals at age 28* to a seven-year deal because he grew up close to home.

It's odd how online hockey discussion has broken off into "pro-stats" and "anti-stats" factions. No, I don't think it's a prerequisite to be an expert in statistics and computer programming to write interesting hockey material, and I certainly skip over many mathy articles when they fail to make a point or promote a practical application of strategy.

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The Leafs made a hire I liked. Crazy, I know!

Cam Charron
July 14 2014 12:32AM

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I wasn't able to get to it on the weekend, but I'd like to expand on a few tweets I made after the Leafs hired Peter Horachek as an assistant coach. I really like the hire. Horachek was a coach who got certain results in Florida (huh? you might ask) that I don't think a lot of coaches would.

Horachek isn't going to be the guy who succeeds Randy Carlyle when the Leafs eventually make the decision to can him, but he probably should be.

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Gardiner, Phaneuf, and quality of competition

Cam Charron
July 08 2014 09:36AM

A reader writes:

You think Gardiner is the Leafs' best defenceman? According to what criteria would that be?

Bolding these four words will draw the eye to those four words since they're starkly different from the rest of the text on the page. The words themselves don't matter, but the presentation is slightly different. It's the departure from familiarity which attracts our attention.

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