Friday, March 28, 2008

Jeff Pearlman Wants Rick Reilly's Job

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the ultimate puff piece. It's by FJayM favorite, Jeff Pearlman. It's pretty much an exact recap of my first post on this blog, where I satirized Rick Reilly columns for being overly sentimental. The problem with any satire is that someone just might take you seriously. You have to wonder if one poor Irish baby actually ended up dinner thanks to that Swift asshole.

Anyways. To the article!

The other day I submitted a column to my editor that was lathered in snark. That's pretty much all I've been shooting off lately -- one snarky piece after another. It's a trap writers fall into from time to time.

"Snark" is a word invented by Lewis Carroll to describe an imaginary animal. Just because "snarky" is an adjective doesn't mean you can say that you lathered your column in snark, unless you've just slain a Jabberwocky.

We start to believe opining on the negatives of sports is more fruitful than opining on the positives. So we unload on steroids and dumb jocks and David Carr and Pittsburgh's middle relief, quite certain that's what you, the customer, covets.

Not only do we at Fire Jay Mariotti covet just that, we actually produce just that when you writers fail to supply it. Actually, even when you opine on the positives, Jeff, some asshole on the internet will probably make a blog post criticizing your word choices.

"There's a fine line between being cynical and coming across as bitter," my editor said. "The readers are turned off by bitter, and I believe it makes them a lot less likely to read future pieces of yours."

I know for a fact that larry b is turned on by bitter, and I suspect chris w is as well. In fact, I suspect that 95% of this blog's readers are turned on by bitter - that's what brings them here.

Although it doesn't always show, I love sports. Love them.

Actually, Jeff, so do we.

I love walking into the Toronto Blue Jays' clubhouse and finding Sal Fasano -- the ultimate baseball survivor -- standing there with a goofy smile and tobacco juice dripping down his chin.

Disagree. Jon Lester is the ultimate baseball survivor.

I love watching the David Tyree catch on YouTube over and over again. I love little guys who have no business being here: Spud Webb, Harry Chappas, Theo Fleury.

What the hell? No Eckstein?

Also: you're wrong, Jeff. Just because they're little doesn't mean they have no business being here! If they really had no business being there, you can bet that the GMs wouldn't have hired them to play sports, because GMs don't really give a shit about advancing the cause of undersized people everywhere, they just care about winning games!

-- at this point, Jeff goes on a weird memory trip about his high school track team. Weird.

I love what this job has allowed me to witness. Tony Gwynn leading his Padres teammates back onto the field to thank the fans after winning the 1998 NLCS. Robin Ventura's walk-off grand slam single. Luis Gonzalez smoking one up the middle.

There's no way that Gonzo "smoked one" up the middle. Here's where being overly sentimental about things actually influences your memory. Here's VIDEO EVIDENCE of my point:

(fast forward to the 3:45 mark if you don't have time for all of it)

See? The announcers describe it as "floated" - it was a little bloop at best. I realize I'm being nitpicky - overanalyzing one of Jeff's verbs - but it's stuff like that that annoys the hell out of me. You know you're being overly sentimental when you describe a texas leaguer as being "smoked".

[Also, if you listen to the whole YouTube thing, Tim McCarver makes the most salient point I've ever heard him make - immediately before Gonzo's at-bat. I hadn't seen this clip since I watched it live six years ago - but I'm actually kind of impressed. Way to go, Tim!]

I love that I once interviewed Lou Piniella while he was simultaneously urinating, smoking a cigarette and eating a hoagie.

Jeff: TMI.

I love sports names. I love Taylor Coppenrath, Orlando Woolridge, Dewon Brazelton and Alge Crumpler. I love Coco Crisp, Flozell Adams, I.M. Hipp and Mike Augustyniak. I love Nuu Faaola even more than I love Mosi Tatupu, but not quite as much as I love Niko Noga.

Everyone likes good sports names, except larry b who just yesterday complained that he doesn't care what anyone is named. Larry b is a cynical asshole.

Just for the heck of it: Snuffy Stirnweiss.

[This guy has a good list of the good ones in baseball. ]

Jeff, everyone loves sports as much as you do. Even the bitter, cynical people who write blogs like this one. But everyone (should) hate overly sentimental sports pieces, just like this one. Don't turn into Rick Reilly.


Archie Micklewhite said...


1. Your label is a contradiction in terms. There is no such thing as "unnecessary literary allusions.

2. That Lou Piniella anecdote really either requires three arms or a disregard for basic hygiene previously unseen in humanity. Either way, it lends credence to my "Lou Piniella is a mutant" theory.

3. We're going to get into great sports names, and this guy goes unreferenced?

4. You have to wonder if one poor Irish baby actually ended up dinner thanks to that Swift asshole.

That...that was satire? Fuck, I'm really getting tired of burning down my house to destroy evidence. You can only pull that so many times before the cops get suspicious.

If you think about it (and who doesn't?), isn't A Modest Proposal just the most sophisticated dead baby joke of all time?

pnoles said...

Tim Spooneybarger is an awesome sports name.

Chris W said...

over/under on number of minutes it takes Pearlman to show up here saying "heh heh you guys sure gave it to me! now let me retort..."

Archie Micklewhite said...

I don't know, between Pearlman and Jonah Keri showing up here, you guys are starting to look awfully legitimate. And only in the world of blogging is "legitimate" a dirty word.

Chris W said...

theo fleury, in his prime, had the hardest shot in the NHL (with the possible exception of Al McInnis).

How is that "a guy who has no business being here"?

Usually you talk about UNTALENTED guys like Eckstein when you're talking about "guys who have no business being here" not ungodly athletic specimens like Fleury or, for example, Billy Wagner who, though short in height, can throw a baseball 100 MPH

Tonus said...

"The readers are turned off by bitter, and I believe it makes them a lot less likely to read future pieces of yours."

So isn't it time that they fired Skip Bayless?

dan-bob said...


2. anyone can pee with no hands.

3. this is a family-oriented blog.

Archie Micklewhite said...


2. And that's why I'm not the world's greatest detective. I always forget the obvious answer.

3. Is it too late to claim I just love the name "Rusty"? It is? OK then, can I substitute in a replacement?

CitizenX said...

Archie, I'd like to think that Lou was eating the sandwich and smoking just sitting in the dugout, as Pearlman appreciatively noted the growing yellow spread framing his theretofore unnoticed groin.

Or who knows? Maybe Pearlman lent a hand and balanced Sweet Lou's vorpal sword.

larry b said...

Don't mock my labels.

Also- how long until the real Jeff Pearlman stops by and offers a half-witted defense of his word choice on the Luis Gonzalez hit? I say... Saturday, 3 PM.

larry b said...

Thanks for the image, Citizen. Hey, if you can wrap your mind around it, let me know what Woody Paige looks like when he's taking a dump.

CitizenX said...

Please, call me X.

And I'd like to think that the Wood-man's dumps are full of senility and poorly executed paranomasia:

"Scatological humor might be corny, but not as corny as this dump I just took. Which is weird, because I NEVER EAT CORN."

Ugh. I probably won't remember this comment in the mornotime.


Jeff Pearlman said...

Y'all are just jealous because I've kissed a girl.

(granted, she was a third cousin. But it still counts in my book)

Prime Mover said...

Golly Jeff, I thought you were into guys. Err..not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Pearlman is into guys- and he I hear he is the champion of cocaine and bondage- no pun intended. Or was it intended. Keep sniffing Jeff. The crystal meth is always there for you- hotel or not. we won't tell espn if you promise to come back. And we won't share the stories.