Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who Are These Guys Again? The Colorado Mountains? Is That a Real Team?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Mike Celizic. I'm not sure if he's been made fun of here before or anything, but he sure is a bad journalist. That...thing...on his head is the reason I'm going to call him HatGuy, which is an original nickname that I just now made up for the first time ever, and definitely isn't copied from some really funny website. Ol' Hatty usually dabbles in writing about baseball twice a month. Yesterday was once such day. Let's check out the column.

Rockies would be royalty if on East Coast
Amazing run by no-names is like nothing we've seen in baseball before

Oooh, a Rockies column. That bunch of no-namies that plays is Colorado. 25 men who don't have names (and a manager who may or may not have one). This looks intriguing.

This is a terrific team that’s stormed out of the thin air of Denver and into the even thinner national TV ratings they’re drawing from an audience that has no idea who the Colorado Rockies are.

A play on words making fun of the nationwide popularity of a small market team? Genius! No one has ever done that before!

It’s doubtful that any team has ever arrived at the World Series with less cachet and name recognition than the Rockies.

I'll see your 2007 Rockies (a team that likely contains both the NL MVP and the NL Rookie of the Year, despite both of them lacking a name), and raise you the 2003 Marlins. Granted, they have a lot of players who are famous now, but we're talking about when they arrived at the World Series. And at that time, other than Ivan Rodriguez and ROY Dontrelle Willis, it was 23 guys who weren't given names at birth (some people on the team made up names mid-season, in case you were wondering how they communicated with each other, or why there was a player on this team listed under the alias "Tim Spooneybarger").

Most of the team’s players couldn’t be more anonymous if they were in a witness protection program.

Ah ok, thanks for writing this sentence. I really didn't know where you were going with this before now, especially because the title and first two sentences did not have the same essential meaning as this one.

And it’s not like many fans are bothering to get acquainted. Those TV ratings for their NLCS romp over the equally unknown Arizona Diamondbacks?

Hockeyesque, folks. Hockeyesque.

Who are these guys?

Get to the point, please. That's 4 statements, 2 rhetorical questions, 2 fragments, and one subtitle saying the exact same fucking thing. Maybe if you watched baseball before (minus Yankee games, and I'm still not sure if you even watch those), these players wouldn't be so foreign. You see, that's the important thing about being an "analyst". You learn about the entire league of teams so that if one of the lesser-known ones makes it to the World Series, you have more important and interesting things to say than, "BREAKING NEWS: World Series Team Not As Famous As Country Initially Hoped".

Brad Hawpe? Is that a right fielder or a typo?

Typo. Definitely a typo. (Side note: typo of spelling what word, exactly? Hawke, I guess?)

Tulowitzki — that’s a tropical disease, right?

Yep, death tolls from Tulowitzki virus are reaching the thousands in Hawaii.

Josh Fogg? Is he any relation to Phileas?

No, actually, but we're still trying to figrue out if he's the distant cousin of Kirk Fogg, the host of the ever-popular kids' game show "Legends of the Hidden Temple"

Then there’s Yorvit Torrealba. I know Torrealba — that’s a resort in the Yucatan, or maybe Majorca, right? But Yorvit? Sounds like one of those designer Scandinavian vodkas that comes in a frosted bottle and costs $12 a shot. Even their manager, Clint Hurdle, is named after a piece of track equipment.

Yadda yadda yadda, we get the point. This is so stupid, and can be done to the players on any Major League Baseball team.

It is a shame, because the Rockies are on an amazing winning streak, a roll like nothing baseball has ever seen. And that’s part of their problem: until the last couple of weeks of the season, they weren’t even in the playoff picture.

If I'm reading this right, Celizic thinks that the Rockies aren't getting any attention becuase they've been on a miraculous comeback run. Makes sense to me!

By the time they went on their almighty tear down the stretch, winning 13 of their last 14 games to force a playoff for the NL wild card with the Padres, sports fans around the country had already moved on to football.

What? Football happens every year. Why is this specific to the Rockies?

Besides, it was all taking place in the NL West, the games starting too late and the division too weak to make more than a ripple in the dreaded East Coast media.

Division too weak!?!??!???! The division with the highest winning percentage in the NL and 4/5 teams finishing the season over .500 is too weak???? Really?

They won the playoff and then seven straight playoff games, removing any sense of drama and competition from the NL playoffs, shrinking their audience even more.


They arrived too late and too quickly to pay grasp what they were doing

There is definitely something wrong with the 2nd half of this sentence.

especially since for nearly six months before the middle of September, there wasn’t any reason for the country to pay attention to them. Their line-up was made up of kids — a gang of first- and second-year players too new to the business to know that what they hoped to do is impossible.

Welcome back to

We'll throw out the fact that this last sentence doesn't make any sense. Rather, we're going to count the number of seasons that players in the Rockies' starting lineup have played in the major leagues, removing seasons in which they've played less than 50 games. Sound good?

Taveras - 3 (WS 2005, shoulda known that one, Mikey)
Matsui - 4
Holliday - 4
Helton - 10, a relative dinosaur
Atkins - 3
Hawpe - 3
Tulowitzki - 1 (HE GOT ONE RIGHT!!!!!)
Joetorrejessicaalba - 6 (dude's been bummin around the league since like 2001)

If these kids, who are so fresh and enthusiastic and devoid of braggadocio and bluster, were busting into the game in Boston or New York, they’d have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated by the All-Star break.

Unlikely, seeing as how they were 44-44 at the All-Star break. If they were in Boston or New York, people would be doing nothing at the All-Star break but bitch about how bad they are.

We’d have hailed them as the new faces of a game, the standard-bearers for a new generation of stars who are taking over the game.

Intelligent baseball minds have already done that. Ignoramuses like yourself are still trying to find out how you can suck Joba Chamberlain's proverbial dick.

This year, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Josh Fogg and company were learning their trade and putting up their big numbers in Denver, where the game of choice is football.

It's time to play dan-bob's favorite game! One of these is not like the others.....

Josh Fogg, 2007: 4.90 ERA, 1.46 WHIP.

Hmmmm...well I guess these numbers are technically sort of "big".

And it’s not as if the Colorado franchise is wrapped in a mantle of heroic history and legend. It’s known for its mile-high home park, which is to ERAs what Denny’s Grand Slam breakfasts are to cholesterol levels. It’s not known for its great accomplishments in the regular season, much less the playoffs.

Gotta love it....Hatguy continues to put allusions to unhealthy foods in his columns.

The Rockies have one player with a national reputation — Todd Helton. He’s also the team’s only player making more than the $4.4 million that Holliday, the National League batting champion and the best outfielder most fans don’t know much about, pulls down.

Holliday, to the casually-informed fan, has more of a reputation than Helton. And he still hasn't touched home plate!

The team payroll is around $54 million — one of the bottom five in the game, and if you take away Helton’s $16 million, the other 24 guys are making a combined $38 million, which isn’t enough to pay the left side of the Yankee’s infield.

That’s another reason we don’t know much about them — their salaries. We live in a society that equates income with importance — what other explanation is there for the national obsession with Donald Trump and Britney Spears?

That's just a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit of oversimplification there, Mikey. Is Prince Fielder really less "important" than Jason Kendall because Kendall makes more money?

The average salary in major league baseball this year is $2.7 million. The Rockies have at least 15 players making less than that, 11 players making under a million, and 10 — including starting outfielders Hawpe and Willie Taveras and starting infielders Tulowitzki and Garrett Atkins — making $400,000 or less. That’s not even enough to buy a house in one of Denver’s pricier suburbs.

"Willy". And where is this going?

None of that should diminish what they’ve accomplished or lessen the luster of the terrific crop of kids the team’s management has assembled. In an ideal world, which is one in which people are celebrated for the accomplishments and not their bank accounts, their presence in the playoffs would swell the national television audience instead of shrinking it.

If this is true, then you, Mike Celizic, are one of the chief reasons why we do not have an ideal world.

Go ahead and ignore them if you can’t be bothered to get to know who they are. Then sneer at the ratings they bring to the World Series, if that’s how you get your jollies.

I've made it clear several times that YOU haven't bothered to get to know who they are. And I'm reasonably sure that you think Josh Fogg is the only pitcher on the team. Nice choice, by the way. Fogg. I hear he's the best one!

But don’t turn around and whine about how the game has been ruined by all the spoiled-brat players who are making more money than third-world countries. And don’t ask what happened to innocent kids who play the game for the sheer joy of it.

Ummmm...those "spoiled-brats" were once "innocent kids". Did A-Rod make $20M his first few seasons? A lot of these Rockies players are very good, and will make a lot of money, and will be (mostly unjustly) thrown into the "spoiled-brat" category. Are these Rockies so innocent that they're going to say when they're 30, "No Mister GM, I want to play for less money than I'm worth in the market, because I'm innocent"?

They’re right in front of you. Playing in the World Series. Turn on the television and enjoy the show.

Scene: Celizic's living room, Game 1 of the 2007 World Series.

Celizic: (turns on TV) "Who the fuck is Francis?"

Isn't that some sort of species of fruit fly indigenous to Uruguay?


Chris Hart said...

Hooray for more Rockies coverage!! (Seriously, I want as much as I can get)

Pnoles representing the "casual fan" is like HatGuy representing the "well-informed sports writer." There is no way in hell the average sports fan knows more about Matt Holliday than Todd Helton. I promise you.

And actually he HAS touched the plate... on each of his playoff home runs!

pnoles said...

yeh, mebbe my perception of that is skewed.

eriz said...

what a piece of shit article

larry b said...

Some of your best work, I mean that seriously. Great pickup on the Legends of the Hidden Temple host, too... much as I love that show AND love the Rockies, I never made the connection. How epic. Of course, when he (the player, not the host) signs for $25 million for 4 years with the Rangers this offseason, I can stop liking him.

And thanks for picking up a Rockies article... it works better when one of the non-Rockies fans here does it. Much as eriz and I try, we really can't maintain objectivity. Everything I try to write about them just disintegrates into "But... but... but I like them! You can't say these things!"

larry b said...

Also, I disagree, Chris- after this September, even if he doesn't win the MVP, I think more casual fans know about Holliday than Helton. Helton's been invisible on a national level for like 4 years. One good month of Holliday outweighs Helton's 1998-2003 success. In my perception of "the casual fan."

pnoles said...

My initial intent was to have a picture of Kirk Fogg and Josh Fogg side by side, but blogger's picture upload thing wasn't working.

Chris W said...

one good month of holliday leaves me refreshed and energized

dan-bob said...

1. hawpe = "hop"?

2. spooneybarger label plz

3. thanks for the shout out!

4. i loved ""

5. Agree with lb - maybe my favorite pnoles article yet. Well done, sir!

dan-bob said...

also i could go for a uruguay label

pnoles said...