Or should I say, baseball copout/mail-it-in post. I'm having a little trouble finding full, intact awful articles right now. That doesn't mean there aren't snippets of dumbassery and wrongness floating around though.
Tuesday on Baseball Tonight, after the cast finishes watching highlights of the Royals' 9-3 dismantling of the Indians-
John Kruk: Can I change my pick to win the AL Cental?
Karl Ravech: Did... did you have the Indians?
Kruk: Yeah. I need to change that.
Karl: Wow, John, that was pretty ballsy of you. (See what he did there?)
OK, Karl didn't really say that last one. That would just be mean. But the first three lines are legit. Really, Kruk? The Indians? I mean, I understand the division doesn't have a clear favorite. But you might not want to go with the team that limped to a .500 finish last year even after getting an unbelievable, certainly unrepeatable performance out of a random usually-crappy pitcher. You might also want to pick a team which can actually play defense, and which has a decent bullpen. Just my thoughts.
Earlier tonight, during a discussion about Jackie Robinson's career and accomplishments, the usually-reliable Ravech talked about how Robinson died tragically in a plane crash. No, Karl, pretty much any decent baseball fan knows that was Roberto Clemente. Close, though. (He corrected himself after a commercial break just a few minutes later.)
This is extremely old, but since this is a lazy post, I might as well reach all the way back to the weekend. During Sunday Night Baseball everyone's favorite quasi-racist analyst, Joe Morgan (has he mentioned what an undeserved raw deal Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield get from the media recently?) was praising Alfonso Soriano for Soriano's ability to hit home runs. At some point the following tumbled out of his confused mouth:
I mean, even though he's in the leadoff spot, I like his power. He led off the game with a solo home run tonight. That's a run, right there!
That is correct. Good.
I mean, I would rather have that than a run-scoring single when a guy is on second base.
Well, in one case you get a run and the bases are empty. In the other you get a run AND you get another guy on base. So I can totally see why you'd prefer the former. Obviously, Joe's brain is too small to think through and compare those two scenarios. I guess what he was trying to say is that he likes home runs. Can't disagree there! Someone give Joe an ice cream or a box of popcorn or a shiny thing to keep him busy for a while.
Our favorite ESPN grit-loving analyst, one Jerry E. Crasnick (the "E" stands for Eckstein, his favorite player of all time) has a new article out about guys you've never heard of who had to scrimp and scrap and grit their way onto major league rosters. Jerry has a little bit of TMQ in him in that regard. Who gives a shit about good players? I want to hear more about shitty players who are just barely teetering on the brink of being employed as professional athletes. Here is a collection of choice snippets from that article.
-According to the Seattle Times, Jakubauskas sold Christmas gifts at Nordstrom and worked for a cement company to pay the bills while playing independent ball. Judging from his performance in the Cactus League, his department store clerking days are history.
Someone get Rick Reilly on this story. This guy doesn't know the meaning of the word "quit!" Except when it comes to quitting his cement company job. Or maybe he's still holding that down to make a couple bucks on the side, who knows?
-"My legs were shaking a little bit," he told Tom Krasovic of The San Diego Union Tribune.
That's what Albert Pujols said, referring to when he- oh wait, no, Albert Pujols has never said that. Only guys who know full well that they shouldn't be in the bigs say this kind of stuff.
-He violated minor league baseball's drug policy with Triple-A Buffalo, and achieved a degree of notoriety as a Rochester Red Wing when he lost a 50-yard match race with that lovable thoroughbred loser, Zippy Chippy.
More fodder for Reilly.
-"He called his dad and his wife, and I had to get away from him because it looked like he was close to tears," manager Dusty Baker told the Dayton Daily News.
How'd this get into the article? Crying isn't gritty.
-He struggled with the elements and had a rough outing defensively in center field. But he went 3-for-9 at the plate in his first five games in Cincinnati, and he's still hanging around.
Not for much longer, because he (I don't care who it is, if he's featured in a Crasnick article he probably sucks) probably sucks.
-It appeared his playing days were over in October 2007 when he severed the thumb and three fingers on his throwing hand in a table saw accident while making a window frame in his garage. A hand specialist reattached the four digits, but not without complications: There was a difference of opinion when Hill insisted he would be ready to play by spring training of 2008, and the doctor tempered his euphoria with some distressing news. "Right before surgery, the doctor told him the tendons near his pinkie finger might be a problem and delay his return," said Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. "So Koyie told him, 'If you get in there and that's an issue, just cut the pinkie off. I can play without it.' True story."
His pain threshold is also off the charts.
He should be well suited for MMA fighting then. Oh, what's that? He's a baseball player? Hmm, that probably won't do much for him.
-In eight big league seasons, Miller has established himself as a walking Jayson Stark blog item for his ineptitude with a bat. The nadir came from 2004 through 2006, when he endured a 1-for-55 funk with Cincinnati, Minnesota and Boston. For those keeping score at home, that's a batting average of .018.
For those keeping score at home, here's a guy who almost definitely has no place playing major league baseball.
-But all the starters are right-handed and he's a lefty, so manager Ken Macha should find a way to work him in here and there.
Ah, the essence of the subjects of this article- their ceiling is to play occasionally, possibly because of a lineup idosyncracy.
Finally, I thought this was pretty hilarious. Jayson Stark writes a somewhat entertaining column throughout the baseball season called "Useless Information." It's a collection of just that, all kinds of weird stats and factoids (based on events that happened in games during the previous week or so) you'd never know how to find on your own. So naturally this week, re: the Dodgers' Orlando Hudson, and the cycle he recently hit for by the 6th inning:
But the only cyclist we know of who completed his cycle any faster than that was Gregg Jefferies, who went cycling by the fifth inning on Aug. 25, 1995. (Andy Van Slyke's great quip after that game: "He could have done it twice. He could have had the bi-cycle.")
But here's our question: Was Jefferies the quickest cyclist in history? If you can help, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.Dude. You're the one writing the column, who presumably has access to a stats department and at least a couple of interns. I'm going to leave this one to you.
And of course, watch me look like an ass when next week's column features twelve diligent readers who did the research and wrote in to help Jayson out with his question.
OK, that's all for now, I'll be less lazy next time! Maybe! I hate to beg for tips, but if you've got 'em, send 'em. Also, if anyone knows where the other guys who write for this blog are, let them know that I could use a hand around here every fucking other week or so.