The Oberlin Review

MLB Offseason Spending Highlights Change in Values

Alex McNicoll, Sports Editor

February 23, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The Boston Red Sox signed outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year $110 million mega-deal Monday. On the surface, the deal will help them contend with their American League East rival New York Yankees this season, after they made headlines by acquiring National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. However, with the contract finalization so close to the start of the season — spring training starts today — it highlights an alarming trend of MLB teams choosing not to sign blue-chip free agents, opting instead to pocket extra cash. With four of the top 10 free agents of this offseason still unsigned, MLB teams appear to have adopted the strategy of tanking. Thirty-year-old Martinez comes off a career yea...

Athletic Programs Must Open Dialogue on Eating Disorders

Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief

February 16, 2018

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Editor's Note: This article contains discussion of eating disorders. I told myself that less was more. As a swimmer, you always try to shave off time. Downsizing the time stamp in the pool is the mark of success for a swimmer — looking at the score board after a race and finding that I dropped time certainly made the endless hours and laps and exhaustion well worth it. But living by the doctrine of “less is more” is dangerous. It ruined my student-athlete career. I had been a competitive swimmer since I was 10 years old. I made my way to becoming captain of my high school and club teams before college, and the growth, values, and community I found in swimming are things I still consider integral to who I...

Cool or Drool: Lynch Joins Oakland Raiders

Dan Bisno, Columnist

May 5, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The 2016–2017 season was a tough one for the NFL, as viewership dropped sharply. While many fans, including Donald Trump, attributed the mid-season slump to Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, there is reasonable suspicion that the startling decline in popularity was also impacted by the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, its most popular combatant to controversial commissioner Roger Goodell. Despite delivering five consecutive 1,200-plus rushing yard and double-digit touchdown seasons from 2010–2014, then enduring a season-ending injury in 2015, the Seattle Seahawks’ beloved number 24 hung up his cleats in 2016. After 10 years, four with the Buffalo Bills and six with Seattle, Lynch broke the hearts...

James vs. Jordan Debate Continues

Jack Brewster, Columnist

April 28, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2016–2017 NBA playoffs, capping off the series with a 106–102 victory on Sunday. LeBron James was superb throughout the series. He played his best in Game Three, when he recorded a triple double, scoring 41 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. It is hard to remember that just a few weeks ago, many were talking about the possible decline of LeBron James and the Cavaliers. James was largely left out of the MVP conversation this season. The Cavs, who finished 51–31, were eclipsed by the Boston Celtics with one game left in the season, falling from the No. 1 seed — a spot they’ve held almost all year — to No....

NBA Should Shrink Playoff Field, Cut Lesser Teams to Boost Competition

Jack Brewster, Columnist

April 14, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

This past week, the 2016–2017 NBA regular season came to a close. The playoff seeding is now set and the teams who clinched playoff spots are preparing to make a run. Fans are hopeful the 2017 Finals will be as good as last year’s, when the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied back from a 3–1 deficit to defeat the powerhouse Golden State Warriors in seven games. But while the 2016 NBA Finals were exciting, most NBA playoff series are uncompetitive, lopsided and uninteresting. The playoff format is to blame. The NBA allots 16 playoff spots overall, eight per conference. This means that more than half of the NBA’s 30 teams make the playoffs every year. In contrast, there are only 10 playoff spots in the MLB (the two Wil...

Cool or Drool: NBA’s Newest Basketball Dad on the Block

Dan Bisno, Columnist

April 7, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

For many basketball fans, March Madness and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is an annual rite of passage. While rumor has it that Pisces and Aries fans tend to have more successful brackets, March is generally a bloodbath in a sudden-death style tournament. Media coverage typically focuses on the basketball, but former NFL player LaVar Ball has caused a departure from usual coverage and seized the opportunity to launch a massive campaign to make millions, if not billions, of dollars off of his sons’ success in youth basketball. LaVar and his wife Tina are the parents of three rising stars in high school and college hoops. Their oldest son, Lonzo, just declared for the NBA draft after finishing up his first...

Cubs, Mets Split Focus on Pitchers, Hitters

Jack Brewster, Columnist

March 31, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

With the Major League Baseball season less than a week away, fans and baseball experts are already trying to predict who will raise the World Series trophy in October. Two favorites are the Chicago Cubs, who won the crown last year, and the New York Mets, who went to the World Series two years ago and made a playoff appearance last year. Both teams’ front offices have assembled exciting teams stacked with talent, though they took opposite approaches in assembling their squads. The Mets’ success comes from their plethora of young pitchers, the Cubs from their stockpile of hitting prospects. But while both rebuilding methods have proved fruitful in the past, the Cubs’ method seems more sustainable and less risky. Since...

World Baseball Classic Lacks Tradition As Stands

Jack Brewster, Columnist

March 3, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Worldwide sporting events such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup consistently draw massive crowds and high television ratings. Nations fight tooth and nail to host these events and exhaust significant resources preparing their country’s representatives. These spectacles of sport are exceptional publicity tools for the nations involved and for the sports being contested. Major League Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and his fellow executives had this in mind when they created the World Baseball Classic, seeking to grow baseball and reach more fans around the globe. But the event — set to begin March 6th — does not come close to the popularity and grandeur of the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup. The...

Cool or Drool: Irving’s Flat Earth Nonsense

Dan Bisno, Columnist

February 24, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

On a typical All Star Weekend in the NBA, the buzz surrounds the most exciting innovation from the dunk contest or the rappers and actors balling in the celebrity game. Kyrie Irving, star point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers, had something else in mind this year. Several days prior to losing in the three-point contest in New Orleans, Irving revealed on a podcast hosted by teammates Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson that he believes the Earth is flat. To flat Earthers, the concept of the round Earth is “not even a conspiracy theory,” according to Irving, but rather something we have all been brainwashed to believe as fact. Irving unloaded a slew of these radical ideas during the hour-long podcast. He questioned...

Huskies’ Dominance Hurts Competition, Interest in Women’s Basketball

Jack Brewster, Columnist

February 17, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

The University of Connecticut Huskies cemented the longest winning streak in the history of NCAA women’s basketball Monday night with a landmark 65–55 win over the University of South Carolina. The Huskies have broken the previous win streak record three times. This spring, they will vie for their fifth straight NCAA championship, which would be their 11th title since 2000. The Huskies are as close to a dynasty as it gets. But while their current win streak and dominance in recent years is fantastic for their fan base, the Huskies’ supremacy is damaging NCAA women’s basketball. Dynasties are only healthy for the growth of a sport up to a point. The Huskies are winning so often and by so much that they are ...

Cool or Drool: NBA Takes on Twitter

Dan Bisno, Columnist

February 10, 2017

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Social media reveals unfiltered opinions and the true personalities of our favorite players in a way that interviews and journalistic pieces cannot. Current Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jamaal Crawford once inspiringly took to Twitter to write, “Thinking too much is the gift and the curse.” Filtered or unfiltered? Using the NBA as a case study, we can examine the significant impact of social media on a professional sports league. In 2009, the NBA introduced its notorious social media fine, which coincided with the largest increase in tweets of any year. Twitter is free for the masses, but to NBA stars, it costs at least a $25,000 subscription per year if they expect to get fined. The NBA imposes social...

Cool or Drool: MLB’s New Luxury Tax Levels Playing Field

Dan Bisno, Columnist

December 9, 2016

Filed under SPORTS, Sports Column

Sports fans always want to believe that their team has the same shot at winning as any other. While we all know “fairness” is not clear cut, perhaps no factor influences the outcomes of professional sports leagues more than the politics of player compensation. While most leagues have shifted toward a salary cap or restricted payroll, MLB continues to host massive payroll differentials between teams of varied financial capabilities. The league’s new contract-bargaining agreement was reached on Nov. 30, and while it will not include the long-awaited salary cap when it takes effect in 2017, it includes a stronger luxury tax that should level the financial playing field. In 2016, teams were allowed to pay their...

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