Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The End of an Era

Well folks, it seems I was the last person in the world to hear this morning that Jay Mariotti quit the Sun-Times. That's what you call irony, eh? Jay, you were a sort of worthy opponent, but FireJay's Jay-bashing finally halted your written word. Sure, you can keep your comfy TV job. But I'm warning you. As soon as I become able to rewind TV, you'll be accountable for every dumbass thing you say on "Around the Horn" as well. So watch yourself.

Anyway, to celebrate 1.25 or so years of hatin' on him, we're going to count down the Top Ten Ridiculous/Stupid Jay Moments in FireJay history. It was a fun list to make indeed. I'm going to try to provide as much context as I can for each.

Here we go!

10) “Lou Piniella Gone By Labor Day”

That's what the man said, despite having watched the Cubs play a brand of ball best characterized as dumb and erratic even by their rock-headed standards. He is asking for your patience, oh great sufferers and masochists, and upon hearing his plea before a 9-4 loss to the Florida Marlins, I promptly adjusted the over-under date on my Lou Flees Wrigleyville Meter.

The new wager: He doesn't last past Labor Day.

Isn't hindsight fun? Jay said this in the first half of the 2007 baseball season. With his team not in any peril and bound to improve, Piniella's was among the safest jobs in the world. In the post regarding this one, I made Jay a bet. If Jay lost, he had to say one nice thing about Ozzie Guillen. Hasn't happened yet. Lesson: Don't make bets with a dishonest blowhard.

9) “Failure to grasp the term “underdog”.

Larry handled this one, and here's his quoted post.

"If you were evaluating two teams about to match up against each other in the playoffs, and you could only use one of the following pieces of data to decide which was more likely to win, which would you choose?

(a) The teams' records this season
(b) The teams' records last season

Only one of these answers is right. And it's not the one Jay Mariotti picked earlier today on "Around the Horn." Never one to let a perfectly good point slip past him without coming up with some outrageous way to try and disagree with it, when a fellow panelist who was talking about the College World Series said he was rooting for Fresno State because they're a good underdog story, Jay countered with:

But Georgia had a losing record in 2007, so they're even more of an underdog!"

I hope Tony Reali dropped you like 7 points for this one. However, apparently Tim Cowlishaw's "cleanup on aisle Woody" joke from yesterday was worth +10. So maybe losing RealiPoints isn't that big a deal. I'll rephrase: I hope someone breaks your legs.

8) “Trade Jason Marquis”

Among them is a starter, Jason Marquis, who somehow won a rotation job after telling management that he, the great Jason Marquis -- who was left off postseason rosters the last two years -- would request a trade if he was moved to the bullpen. I say trade Marquis to Boston for Coco Crisp, center-field insurance for Felix Pie, while his ERA is still under 5.00.

A classic expert from Jay's short handbook, "GM-ing for dummies." In Jay's world, every trade is possible, especially throwing a worthless-ish pitcher to a team with a truckload of pitching depth for one of the three most useful 4th outfielders in the game.

7) “Shot at Harrelson”

Harrelson doesn't bring in audiences as much as he scares them away or makes them cringe, whether it's throwing one of his dead-air fits, blaming every loss on the umps or lowering himself to pick fights with media members far more professional and accomplished than him.

Consider it one more reason, along with the extension given to Ozzie Guillen, that the Sox are locked in as Chicago's second-class ballclub for years to come.

How right you are. When you have a personal feud with someone, you are allowed to blame them for everything that goes wrong with anything. Ken Harrelson is, and probably always has been the main reason that there's more Cubs fans that White Sox fans.

6) “Torii Hunter > Nick Swisher”

Hate to be cynical about Ken Williams' belated offseason attempt to redeem himself, but acquiring Nick Swisher only assures the Sox of one thing: They're a little better than the Kansas City Royals.

As an auxiliary addition, the shaggy-haired outfielder might be a clever idea. But as a centerpiece of a disappointing winter, he's the booby prize after Williams lost big targets Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera to real American League contenders in Anaheim and Detroit.

Okay, so 80% of a sub-par season from Nick Swisher later, this doesn't seem that bad, even though Hunter and Swisher have been roughly equivalent offensively this year by EqA. But when it was written, Swisher was coming off two straight .300+ EqA seasons, while Hunter was still struggling to cross that oh-so-elusive .340 OBP barrier in a season (comically, his OBP this season so far is .339). Later, he wrote that Nick Swisher was a "complimentary cog" while implying "Torii Hunter" was a difference maker. Poppycock. Pure balderdash.

5) “Chicago Tourism”

To show off Chicago, you reject the Kennedy Expy. for Peterson Avenue and take Lake Shore Drive toward the skyline. You visit the museums and stores, do a comedy club, hang out in Bucktown, avoid Trump Tower, ride an elevator to the top of the Hancock, then pick any one of 100 good places for dinner. You hail a cab to a jukebox bar and drink longnecks in the light of the beer signs.

And you go nowhere near U.S. Cellular Field.

Not because you hate the White Sox, but because Ozzie Guillen works there.

If I need to explain to anyone why this deserves a spot on the list, you probably shouldn't read this blog anymore.

4) “Seamless Transition”

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- What a dope, that Ashton Kutcher. Didn't he have better things to do with his life? A lifelong Bears fan from Iowa, he and wife Demi Moore ventured from Hollywood to Cheesewood to see his team play the Packers. They even brought their friends, lovebirds Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake -- the same Timberlake who participated in an infamous wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl.

I would have predicted a franchise malfunction Sunday night.

Hey, we needed to make an "ashton kutcher-related bullshit" label somehow, right? This was probably the worst introduction to a Jay column that I've ever read. How do you go from Ashton Kutcher to Demi Moore, to Jessica Biel, to Justin Timberlake, to Janet Jackson, to the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" to "franchise malfunction" (referring to the Bears) in literally 3 sentences? Here's a thought, Jay. If it doesn't fit in the article, maybe we shouldn't print it, hmmm?

3) “Screw 2008, It’s 2001 That Matters”

But if the good people are true baseball loyalists, they won't focus on 2008 at the session as much as 2001. That was when Williams, in a signing that reeked even before we completely grasped the monumental impact of steroids, purchased Jose Canseco from the Newark Bears of an independent league.

Ahhhh SoxFest. The annual tradition where White Sox fans ask players, coaches, and Kenny Williams about the upcoming season. And after a season leaving many pressing questions, and a half-offseason with a few interesting moves, White Sox fans are supposed to ask questions about why Kenny Williams picked up Jose Canseco for like 8 weeks in 2001. Isn't logic great?

2) “Baseball = Black Magic, Ya Know, Because They Both Start With ‘b’”

The seventh inning Wednesday night brought one such agonizing moment. Not to tap into the dark past, the black cat and the billy goat and the Bartman, but would someone explain why a baseball -- which also starts with a 'b,' as in black magic -- suddenly rolled in from the bullpen to the third-base area just as Milwaukee's Ryan Braun was lining a shot down the line past a diving Aramis Ramirez? I'm not saying this at all affected Ramirez's concentration, because Brooks Robinson wouldn't have caught Braun's laser that went for a break-open two-run double. But to witness two baseballs passing in the night, on the same damning play, is just too creepy.

To which I say, the fact that you even thought of this whole thing is just too creepy. Is Jay aware that "baseball" with a "b" is the name of the sport as well?

And finally.....

1) “Jay Doesn’t Know What ‘facetious’ Means”

I keep thinking back to Wednesday, to a post-practice scene involving Skiles. His forehead tightened like a rack of washboard abs. His frown challenged the cojones and competitive integrity of his players. His facetious tone could have cut through Steve Dahl, Dan McNeil, Mayor Daley or any of the town's smart-alecky blowhards. He was in vintage attack mode, firing a survivalist rally cry to his desperate team.

In many ways, it was the complete and total misuse of this word that started this blog. Just look at that word. Sitting there in the middle of the paragraph. Being used for the exact opposite purpose for which it was created. That bit of careless stupidity motivated me to do a write-up of that article. Larry saw it, and in an uncharacteristic bout of anti-laziness, Fire Jay Mariotti was established less than 3 days later.

Despite all of the success FireJay is feeling upon Jay quitting the Sun-Times, I think we're actually all a little disappointed too, because we won't have his awful articles 6 days a week to laugh at. We'll put it this way. If he gets hired to write for some internet site, it'll be a disaster for the reading community. But at least there'll be an upside. He's going to say something stupid. And when he does, Fire Jay Mariotti will be there, ready and waiting to jump all over it. Be afraid, Jay, be very afraid.


Chris W said...

well done.

I think as a corrolary to this quite excellent post we should mention this:

After all, what Jay Mariotti retrospective would be complete without the Jay Mariotti "Flip-flop 2005" retrospective

Angelo said...

can't believe the record since whatever day in whatever year didn't make the top 10. I know you had a lot to choose from, but still...

Angelo said...

sorry, seems I should have read comments from the last post before writing that. Well played chart

pnoles said...

I couldn't really put that on the list because like you said, it's the fact that there were so many to choose from that makes it funny. I suppose I could have copied and pasted every time he's ever done that....

Iridescence said...

That article with all his flip-flops and jumping on and off the bandwagon in 2005 is well worth reading. It's kind of long but hilariouus. What a total douchebag Mariotti is.