In 2009, an English sports engineer and university professor, Steve Haake, analyzed four men's sports - the 100-meter sprint, pole vault, javelin and cycling - and measured the effects of technology dating from 1894. He found big differences:
100-meter sprint: Athletes' performance improved Kobe Bryant Shoes 2012 24 percent over time, but only 4 percent was attributable to tighter aerodynamic clothing. The other 20 percent was because of improvements in physiology, nutrition, coaching, better running tracks and other factors.
Technology was the biggest factor in improvements; 101 percentage points of the 220 percent in improvement in the one-hour cycling record was because of developments in bike aerodynamics.
Pole vault: Poles went from wood to bamboo and then to metal before switching to carbon or glass fiber; 27 percent of the 86 percent improvement in records was because of changes in materials.
Javelin: The sport's governing body changed the javelin's center of gravity in the mid-1980s because the design made it difficult to identify where the tip landed. The change resulted in shorter throwing distances. Until then, javelin performance had increased 95 percent. Afterward, other changes to the javelin, including drilling holes in the tail and roughing the surface, caused a steep rise in world-record throws. The governing body then mandated the javelin be smooth, and the pace of new Olympic and world records has leveled off.
Apparently, I read him wrong. Beane and his front-office lieutenants procured the right prospects when they dealt Gonzalez, Cahill and Bailey.
Milone (9-6, 3.34) and Derek Norris, the current everyday catcher, arrived from Washington for Gonzalez; Parker (7-4, 3.00) and All-Star closer Ryan Cook (10 saves, 1.70 ERA) were the big names Beane acquired for Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow; and while Bailey has yet to throw a pitch for the Boston Red Sox, right fielder Josh Reddick ranks among the AL's top 15 in OPS.
There has been some head-shaking good fortune, too: Sunday's starting pitcher was none other than journeyman Bartolo Colon - a Yankee at this time last year. Colon has a 2.49 ERA this month, after his latest solid outing. At $2 million, he's one ruheririi gxondla 7/28 of the best bargains in baseball.
Colon, as much as any other player, has come Hyperdunk 2011 For Sale to represent the A's' pitching wealth. Some have suggested Beane might trade him, given the potential returns of injured starters Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden. Oakland has more pitching than it needs. For how many other teams is that an honest assessment?
I know this: The Rangers and Angels can't make the same claim. Both teams are in the market for a starting pitcher. Texas may be without two starters for the foreseeable future, with Roy Oswalt (back) missing Monday's scheduled start and Colby Lewis (forearm) questionable for his next turn. The Angels are about fed up with the inconsistency of Ervin Santana, who failed to complete the second inning Saturday.
The Preds need to do their own part to rebuild the bridges ... and it's going to start with the contract, which isn't yet finalized. In matching the offer sheet, the team now has an agreement with Weber on salary, term, bonuses and payment dates.
Beyond that, there's still room for some negotiation. And it's expected that Weber's people will ask that some kind of no-trade clause be added to the deal.
Poile's reaction to that request should be a peal of maniacal laughter right before he gives Weber's agent a good, old-fashioned bum's rush out of his office.
But the Preds and their long-term stability are better served by playing nice. Maybe they decide to choke down the bile and give it to him.
A little effort from both sides would go a long way right about now.
And the Flyers? A disappointing day, no Foamposites For Sale doubt. But their fans might want to stop congratulating Holmgren for swinging for the fences and instead ask why he stopped running at second base. If he was truly serious about filling that Chris Pronger-sized hole on his blue line, he should have placed a call to Poile right after signing the sheet and covered his bets. He had to know that four first rounders -- all likely to fall in the bottom third of the deck -- would do nothing to help Poile save face for letting Weber walk.
No, if Holmgren wanted to seal the deal, he should have made a deal. Take the CBA-mandated first rounders back and craft a trade offer from a position of strength. A package that included a couple of young forwards like Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, plus a couple of sweeteners wouldn't have hurt their enviable depth up front and just might have convinced the Preds to pass on matching the offer.