Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This Just In: All Current Baseball Players Suck

Hattigan's up to his old tricks again. The Yankees are in 4th place, so we have to hear about how there aren't any interesting players in baseball.

Baseball is missing must-see players
Pujols, Ortiz are good but not memorable like Bonds, Clemens, McGwire

Oh man, you didn't even make it past the tagline this time without saying something outrageously stupid. Do you know WHY Pujols and others are not consider-....

Hold on....Alfonso Soriano just hit a solo homer to lead off the game, much like other selfish assholes would. I just wanted to absorb that and spend a couple moments hoping Jay Mariotti was watching and thinking about the fact that Jay thinks Soriano should have done something better to help the team....-

ed as memorable as these players??? Albert Pujols is fucking 28 years old. We're not "remembering" him, we're watching him make memories. The dude's averaging over 10 WARP per season for crissake. And what about A-Rod? A-Rod might turn out to be the greatest player ever. Is that not worth watching?

Maybe baseball has spoiled us over the past 10 years. It’s given us too many moments, too many heroes — even if they were flawed heroes — doing too many once-in-a-lifetime things.

Mark McGwire broke the home run record in 1998. Sammy Sosa broke it in the same season. Three years later, Barry Bonds broke that record. Once-in-a-lifetime things.

Remember when ESPN used to interrupt whatever it was broadcasting to show Barry Bonds’ latest at-bat? Remember when we logged into to track each pitch that Roger Clemens threw? Remember the home run chase?

Yes, because Barry Bonds was chasing one of the most sacred records in sports. Forgive 25-year-old David Wright if he's not doing that right now.

That stuff about Roger Clemens is absolutely bogus. You just needed more examples. I do the same thing with Carlos Quentin (man, talk about someone playing amazing that no one has said anything about...seriously, I looked at every major sports site's "suprise players" list and never saw his name because they're gushing over Cliff Lee and his megafluke season thus far).

OK, I know that there’s a likelihood that some, if not all, of these guys were getting illicit help. Just the same, from 1998, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire where chasing down Roger Maris, until last year, when the BALCO Bomber was adding to his all-time home-run total, we’ve had people whose moments on the diamond and in the batter’s box we didn’t want to miss.

Are you saying that there are no superexciting individual players just because there aren't any home run records in danger of falling anytime soon? I shouldn't be excited about A-Rod and Pujols? Quentin? Edinson Volquez (guy has been freakin' awesome!)? The Hammerin' Hebrew Ryan Braun?

When we found out what was going on, we got all over them like green on grass. We were glad when McGwire slunk off into a retirement in which he doesn’t want to talk about the past. We delighted when Sammy disappeared, then came back and couldn’t hit the ball nearly as far or nearly as often.

You wrote an entire column celebrating how impressive his comeback was. Remember?

It’s not as if it’s a bad baseball season. There are plenty of stories to follow, few as remarkable as Chipper Jones’ sustained run of .400-plus hitting and Cliff Lee’s — Cliff Lee? — 6-0 start to the season for Cleveland with an ERA you need an electron scanning microscope to find, and Brandon Webb’s 8-0 start with Arizona.

Okay, take Webb. Why isn't he a "can't miss" pitcher? He's won 8 fucking games in 8 tries. Don't you think that if this continues that Brandon Webb will be a "can't miss" player come August and September? If Chipper Jones is hitting .400 in August, he'll be the type of player that people will schedule bathroom breaks around. This is May. May 14th. Suprisingly few single-season records are in jeopardy on May 14th.

Chase Utley with the Phillies is having an MVP season. The Cubs are in first place and some guy named Fukudome is one of the reasons why. St. Louis is right there with them, thanks to the incomparable Albert Pujols and the surprising Ryan Ludwick.

Incomparable? You just said that those other guys from the past 10 years were way more awesome and memorable than he was!

Greg Maddux has 250 wins and with four more will pass Clemens.

Because this is Celizic, I'm only 85% sure that was a typo.

You should have never pissed off Jeffrey Conway and made him leave to edit Mariotti's garbage.

Manny is closing in on 500 home runs and Junior Griffey is about to hit 600. Florida is the best team in baseball and the team formerly known as the Devil Rays have the AL's third-best record.

Totally uninteresting stuff, right?

So it’s not as if there aren’t a superfluity of reason to watch baseball. But it’s teams we’re watching more than individuals.

Huh? You just mentioned Webb, Lee, Maddux, Jones, Ramirez, Griffey, Pujols, Ludwick, and Utley.......

The individuals are either not compelling personalities or overpowering at what they do. It’s not their fault. I love watching guys like Justin Mourneau and Pujols and Manny and Big Papi hit, but I don’t think most fans plan their evenings around those at-bats.

You are the first person in history to say that David Ortiz is neither a compelling personality nor overpowering at hitting.

Does anyone want to watch Maddux pitch six cagey innings for the pathetic Padres? Maybe Pujols is great, but we don't watch his every at-bat. Same goes for Manny.

This is valid, because at this specific time, these players are not shattering records. But you can't fucking tell me that Pujols isn't exciting because he hasn't done anything like that yet.

After all, 500 homers, like the dollar, aren’t what they used to be. The same goes for Griffey. He’s worth watching, but he’s playing for Cincinnati, and nobody’s showing their games.

ZOMG! ESPN isn't putting the Cincinnati Reds on TV! Griffey isn't interesting!

Besides, 600 homers is also a devalued currency. He may have done it the right way — that’s the perception, at least — but there are five guys with that many ahead of him. When Aaron got to 600, just two had been there before him.

Fuck you Griffey! You should have played baseball in an earlier time!

In another four years, we’ll be watching A-Rod start to chase down Bonds.

But the home runs he's hitting today don't count as much towards that.

We’ll watch Jeter beat him to 3,000 hits

Jeter is at 2398. A-Rod is at 2276. I'm thinking A-Rod gets more hits over the next 4-5 years than Jeter, so this could actually get pretty interesting.

and eventually Pujols will start to reach historic numbers. Maybe someone will one day make a run at the triple crown, and grab out interest that way.

You know, most triple crown frontrunners are typically determined on May 14th. I wonder why one hasn't emerged yet this year.

Bu there aren’t any superhumans out there — at least not yet. The great pitchers don’t strike out 20 a game, or even 15.

Who the fuck in the last 10 years struck out this many guys per game?

And even if someone hits 50 home runs, it’s no longer special. If Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder wants to try a run at 61, we’ll watch the chase, but that’s months — or years — away.


For the moment, it’s the teams, not the players. The biggest draw in baseball is not Bonds or Clemens; it’s the Boston Red Sox. After them are the Yankees. The Cubs cause a stir wherever they go.

Or, for people who give a shit about things besides how big of a city a team plays in, the Diamondbacks and Rays are pretty damn exciting too.

The game is still great, but it’s games we watch now, not moments. That’s not necessarily bad, but it sure is different.

This is a totally false and stupid generalization that assumes the way you think is the way the world thinks about baseball.

There’s still time to sign Barry.

Yeah. Have the Tampa Bay Rays sign Barry Bonds. Then I bet that baseball fans everywhere will need to see Barry's every at-bat and ESPN will start showing tons of Rays games, because Bonds has this superhuman presence that no players today have that makes people give a shit about his every move when he's NOT chasing a record. False, sir. Fucking FALSE. When Bonds isn't on the verge of breaking records, people care about how he's hitting just as much as they do any other of the game's great hitters.

I'm getting tired of your stupid "here's what people care about right now in sports" columns. Stop it. Just stop.


Chris W said...

All current White Sox position players suck!

Except for THE Carlos Quentin, of course

Bengoodfella said...

What he forgot to mention is that those "interesting" players like McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens were all on steroids or accused of taking steroids, so in retrospect they were not that interesting because they were cheating.

Honestly, anyone who does not want to watch Pujols bat or Maddux pitch every once in a while is not a real baseball fan. The only thing baseball is missing right now is controversy over the legitimacy of the records that could potentially be set. I don't think anyone is really missing this.

This is so typical, "my team is not doing well, so there is nothing that interests me this year, so there is nothing interesting going on." Personally in the National League East only I would like to watch the Marlins continue to play well, John Smoltz become a closer again, and Pedro try to pitch well again.

I would rather nothing "interesting" go on rather than have baseball's records be broken by players who are using illegal supplements. That may just be me.

CitizenX said...

Arod will have more hits than Jeter? Since 2002, he's had more hits in a season exactly once, and that was when in 2003. A season when Jeter played in 42 less games and only had 25 less hits.

Look, this is all a Jeter fan can cling to. Just let me have this.

pnoles said...

You can have it. Yeah, you're right about that, and it was pretty lazy of me to not look it up. I said that on a prediction that Jeter as an overall player is probably going to hit a steeper decline than A-Rod over the next few seasons, and perhaps Jeter's playing time will be adversely affected at points. Definitely don't feel that good about saying it anymore.

Martin said...

Well, I still liked the column, even if you didn't give The Living Symbol of All That is Good in Baseball his proper respect.

Do these writers jsut pay off their editors with 6 packs to ignore all the inconsistencies in their columns?

Tonus said...

I have to agree with Hatguy on this one. The only time it's worth watching guys like A-Rod or Pujols or any other of the young players who are tearing it up, is when they're fucking 44 years old and chasing records or milestones.

That's just brilliant, honest. Who cares how exciting Griffey was when he was young and pounding the daylights out of the ball? Give me 36 year old Junior, bay-beee! Limping along and slowly grinding his way to 600 homers. Mmmmmm!

Don't just fire these idiots. Take away their typewriters, computers, note pads, and pencils. Please.

Andrew said...

PNoles, you're a lot closer to the truth that citizenx on this one. It is extremely rare to find a player, even Hall of Famers, who played the majority of their career at SS that didn't begin a severe decline phase around 34 years old.

In fact, in baseball history, there have been THREE times ever that a SS over 35 years old (as Jeter will be next year) had 180 or more hits.

To assume Jeter will do something that has only been done three times ever on an annual basis for the next three years? You do the math.

CitizenX said...

Shortstop didn't become an offensive position until relatively recently. Also, Alex Rodriguez has played a lot of games at shortstop, walks a lot more than Jeter and hits for a lower average.

Think of it this way; who is Jeter more comparable to? The shortstops who declined (and probably didn't have many 180 hit seasons to begin with) or those that didn't?

CitizenX said...

I just don't see a reason to assume he's going to decline just because the clock strikes 35. He's had some of his best years recently.

Jeff said...

"Remember when we logged into to track each pitch that Roger Clemens threw?"


CitizenX said...

There's a valid point in here. We just don't care anymore. It's not like there's some young hard-throwing set-up man who makes the front page of just for pumping his fist or anything, regardless of the fact that he's been relatively mediocre.

Oh, oh wait.

Andrew said...

Citizen, whatever you have to tell yourself to feel better.

The offense of the position has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. It's the 2nd most physically demanding position on the field and the players that play it break down earlier. This isn't just some half assed theory - this is 120 years of baseball history showing that SS' tend to break down earlier than OF's and corner IF's. It doesn't matter than Jeter's had some good years the past few - Robin Yount won the MVP at 33 and never hit better than .264 again, and he finished with almost 3200 hits. Look on baseball-reference at Jeter's most comparable, good ol Robby Alomar - let me know how Robby's career turned out in his mid 30's.

I understand that since Jeter's a Yankee and everybody loves him it won't happen to him. My bad.

CitizenX said...

Fine, you might be right.

For the record, I fucking hate Derek Jeter. He's the most useless favorite player ever.

What's that??? A bloop single to right????

Break out the vaseline!!

Bengoodfella said...

I feel like I have to take a side on this ARod/Jeter issue. I personally think A Rod will end up with more hits but not by much, but only because A Rod will play longer than Jeter does. There you go! A complete answer that is also a cop out!

cs said...

What issue? Just use the time-tested formula:

Jeter = 4 Rings > A-Rod = 0 Rings


pnoles said...

Point: cs

Andy said...

I remember yelling at my television every time they broke in on a game I was enjoying to show Barry fucking Bonds walk (again). It really pissed me off...I still have yet to see his record breaking homer. It got to the point where I would change the channel during his "break-ins."

Bengoodfella said...

Good point actually cs and don't forget how that formula also works out:

A Rod = 0 rings < Brosius = 3 rings

A Rod sucks.