Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jemele Hill Somehow Writes Column Without Accusing Anyone of Being Racist or Being Racist Herself; It Still Blows

How the hell is she still getting published by ESPN? I thought her contract expired last fall and was not renewed by the suits at the World Wide Leader. Yet here she is, bumblefucking her way through an NBA column. The shocking thing about her is that when she appears on 1st and 10, she actually sounds mildly competent. But that's probably just because she's usually matched up with characters like Skip Bayless and that other dude with the square-shaped head. Anyways, like the title says, I'm completely blown away that this column contains neither ridiculous and baseless accusations of racism, nor obvious racism on the part of Jemele herself. What I'm not blown away by is the fact that this is undeniably atrocious and self-contradictory writing about a lame subject. Which subject? Well, I'll let Jemele set the scene for you herself.

I wish the current NBA looked more like this NBA.

And this NBA.

Hey, let's go all the way and make it look like this. That incident was totally awesome and good for the league, no?

I miss seeing players getting thrown under tables (Wes Unseld versus Bill Laimbeer). I miss seeing players putting other players in choke holds (Manute Bol versus Sedale Threatt). I miss left hooks (Xavier McDaniel versus Charles Oakley).

So what you're saying is that you miss fighting.

I love today's NBA, and I do appreciate today's players. The game has never been more athletic, with 6-foot-11 guys who can dribble as though they're 6-1 and LeBron James, who must have been a defensive end in a former life.

What? Worst compliment for a great player I've ever read. That Albert Pujols is really something- he must have been a guy who was really strong and good at sports in a former life.

Playoff ratings are up, and the Lakers and Celtics are strong.

Thank God! What would we do without them? I mean, can you imagine an NBA in which neither of those teams competes for a title? When's the last time that happened, like three seasons ago? Those were dark, dark days for the league.

Fucking kill me if the Celtics and Lakers meet in the finals again next year. I hope both those metaphorical bandwagons catch fire and collide with each other head-on, killing the millions of clueless assholes riding each.

It's a shame Dwight Howard received a one-game suspension for throwing an elbow during the Magic's first-round series with Philadelphia, when all Howard did was just create a little more air near Samuel Dalembert's ear. Predictably, the NBA acted as if Howard had hit Dalembert with a tire iron.

If this were the 1980s, NBA commissioner David Stern probably would have called Howard and chastised him for a weak elbow. Consider that in 1987, Robert Parish was suspended one game for triple-slapping Laimbeer in Game 5 of the Pistons-Celtics Eastern Conference finals. When Laimbeer and Larry Bird got into a fight in Game 4, they only received ejections.

Great point! So, that said, here's what you need to know about the Howard/Dalembert thing: if the refs actually see the elbow, Howard gets tossed from that game and then in all reasonable likelihood does not get suspended because he would have already missed time for it. But since the refs missed the call, Howard got suspended instead. He was going to miss a game (or most of a game) either way, just like Laimbeer and Bird did. He just ended up missing one down the road instead of the rest of the game in which he threw the elbow. So in other words: not much has changed.

There are a lot of people to blame for the new, wussy NBA, but mostly I blame Michael Jordan and Ron Artest.

If Jordan and Phil Jackson had not incessantly whined about the "Jordan Rules" -- which ushered in the superstar officiating system that put great defenses at a disadvantage -- maybe a player in the current era could execute a playoff foul without fear of a firing squad.

I don't know, ask Kenyon Martin or Rajon Rondo about that one.

Of course, the Knicks and Heat teams of the 1990s didn't help. The hysteria from Artest and Stephen Jackson's brawl with Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills only encouraged the NBA to catapult its product further into softness.

What they should have done was keep everything the same, deny that there were any problems, and watch attendance and interest dwindle away.

Now don't get me wrong- I think the reaction to that fight (as well as the Nuggets/Knicks "brawl" in 2006) is ridiculous when viewed in light of the fact that hockey and baseball players fight constantly. Hell, in both those sports, there are confrontations between players and fans (usually verbal, although occasionally physical) a couple times a season. Good grief, a player/fan confrontation which allegedly got physical went down at a baseball game less than 48 hours ago. The brawl at Auburn Hills was awful, but still received disproportionate scorn from the media and public. In fact, I don't know how Jemele missed this golden opportunity, but I think it's worth considering the possibility that the race of the players involved is what led to that scorn.

But all that aside, let's focus on the real issue here: Jemele is upset that the league's reaction to that brawl involved cracking down on fighting. When, if they didn't react, the league was probably going to take a sizable financial hit.

I'm not condoning fighting or lawlessness.

Yes. Yes you are. Earlier you said you missed players putting other players in choke holds and throwing left hooks. And if the Rambis clothesline play is not lawlessness, and what ensues afterwards is not fighting, then what the fuck is? Look at Howard's elbow on Dalembert. FUCKING LOOK AT IT. That's not "physical play," or "hand checking." That's essentially throwing a punch. That's lawless, and an invitation for a fight. Period. I'm all for the NBA loosening up on things that actually fall into the "physical play" category, like hard fouls on guys who are trying to dunk (While challenging for the ball. This means no clotheslines or head slaps, I'm looking at you, Rondo), or big guys beating each other up a little bit in the post while getting position. I'm not, however, all for guys being allowed to throw punches.

I just wish the NBA had the attitude and edginess it used to have. It gave us real rivalries and genuine hatred instead of weak battle raps.

I would gladly pay Shaq to say something awful about Jemele in a freestyle.

We saw Magic and Isiah's friendship disintegrate because the Pistons and Lakers continued to challenge each other for the NBA title. Today, the two best players in the NBA are having a bromance in a puppet commercial.

You... you... you got that that was fictional, right? That's not actually Kobe and LeBron. They don't actually live in the same apartment. So I know it's hard to fully comprehend, but just because a shoe company portrays them as doing so in order to sell more shoes doesn't actually mean they're friends. Got it? Ah, shit, nevermind. Just play with this piece of aluminum foil for a while.

Players in previous decades had to earn their reputations at the offensive and defensive ends, but today marginal players have inflated reputations because the NBA is where coddling happens.

See what she did there? With the whole twist on the NBA's slogan thing? Also, if you think mediocre players are overrated in today's game because they don't get fouled hard enough (or deliver enough hard fouls), you're a fucking numbskull.

On to the conclusion of the column, which is really more bizarre than dumb:

Other wishes I want @Kazaam to grant:
• An Anna Kournikova-Sergei Fedorov makeup. These two were far more intriguing and interesting when they were together than apart. Kournikova's hottest years -- no pun intended -- were from 1998 to 2004, both on the court and off. The bulk of that time she was with Fedorov, who was never the same player post-Kournikova. When they first hooked up, there was the drama that Fedorov might have pulled an R. Kelly. This time around, it would be a sweet reunion of star-crossed lovers.

Who. Gives. A. Shit. Where is this coming from? Why are we reading about the failed relationship of a washed-up has been and a washed-up never was, neither of whom (aside from a brief blip of success for Federov for the Capitals during their playoff run a couple months ago) have done anything relevant in years? So confusing. Is Jemele trying to reach out to her Russian readers? I guess that's a pretty big demographic, but this still makes zero sense. I also like how she notes that Federov was never the same on the ice after this breakup... which coincidentally happened during his mid-30s. Hmmm. I'm not a scienticianologist, but I have a funny feeling that there might be another reason Federov's athletic skills were declining right around that time period. Just a hunch.

• That players' girlfriends, at the professional or college level, should never be interviewed during live broadcasts. I don't care whether a player is dating a woman who looks like Megan Fox, is a nuclear physicist by day, a police officer at night and can kick a 48-yard field goal. She's a girlfriend, which means she likely has an expiration date.

But it's absolutely critical that a random medium-profile athlete couple gets back together. No expiration date on that kind of romance!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hey, I've Got a Great Solution to the Problem, Let's Yell at It!

I don't know who of you out there has been following the Chicago Cubs lately, but if you haven't, let me bring you up to speed. Their record is 18-1932, their batting average is -.432, and their team ERA is 3.87. Yup. Pretty good pitching. But anyway, who cares about the logistics. We need a solution! Dan McNeil just got promoted to having his own 4-hour long talk show on the radio in Chicago, and he has the answer: yelling! Take it away, Danny Mac!

We need a new Lou. This one won't do. Lou Piniella just isn't selling the Zen thing. Not to me or to anybody else. Most important, the 25 athletes under his stewardship don't appear to be processing his messages.

Lou Piniella: Hey Soriano, quit swinging at pitches in the dirt!

Alfonso Soriano: ::strikes out by swinging at ball four low::

Lou Piniella: Hey Theriot, quit swinging for the fences and slap it to right, like the good ol' days!

Ryan Theriot: ::swings as hard as he can and pops it up to the pitcher::

Derrek Lee: ::takes strike one::

Lou Piniella: ::Runs out of the dugout screaming to argue the call, now is kicking dirt and peeing on home plate simultaneously:: YOU PIECE OF $#@( what kind of #(@#ing #!#$ $#@! #$@* #$*( #$*$ing (percent sign) #@$! Barbara Streissand's #$@$@!!!!

Jake Fox: Hey, Lou's getting pissed off! I'm energized!

Geovany Soto: Hey boys, we've got this shit!

Cubs Players in unison: HUZZAH!

::Cubs win game 131-4::

And that's how it all went down.

I'm pleased when anybody reads anything, even a cocktail napkin,

You have very low standards.

but those books Piniella said he read last offseason should have been saved for Phil Jackson. He wears a satin robe better.

Joe Torre didn't singlehandedly win all those AL East titles by acting all calm, that's for damn sure.

Try as Piniella might to convince the world he's walking on rice paper without leaving a trace, he always has been most comfortable near the edge. Or completely over it. That's who he is.

Factors in winning a Major League Baseball division, in order of importance.

1) Manager comfortability
2) Yelling
3) Being in the four-teamed AL West
4) Removing bases from their proper locations
5) Runs scored

Unearthing bases. Kicking dirt. Spitting. Scratching. Fighting one of his own players, as he did in Cincinnati with the behemoth-sized Rob Dibble.

6) Fighting Rob Dibble

None of those outlandish behaviors will solve the Cubs' most urgent problems,

At least you admit this.

but when a historically fiery manager ceases to breathe fire, then you have a brand new problem to tack onto the list: resignation.

Or worse: a manager that doesn't instantly verbalize everything he thinks in a hyperpassionate matter. That fucks over the media hardcore.

We want to know you're still in there, Lou. C'mon, Lou.

You know Soto the Pothead is starting to turn things around......maybe you should cheer for him? He actually plays baseb-....ah hell. C'mon Lou.

Time for Piniella to take one of his struggling bullpen arms over the fence, the way the Tigers' Ryan Raburn did Tuesday night, to beat Kevin Gregg in the bottom of the ninth.

The play on words here was just simply effortless.

As Piniella awakens to a call to action, perhaps it also alerts general manager Jim Hendry to a problem on which he may want to act. Who's this team's closer if it's not going to be Gregg, who has blown three saves and is averaging more than 20 pitches per inning?

Good Danny. This is baseball. This is definitely something worth talking about. Maybe we should elaborate on this. Maybe talk about some possible solutions to the problem.

The more cerebral Lou can spare embarrassing Gregg with critical words. Just give him the ball in garbage time at the next opportunity. Actions speak louder than words.

Danny Mac's solution: Embarrass Kevin Gregg.

The original ''Plan B'' was Carlos Marmol, but he also has underwhelmed. I'm all for seeing Piniella wave Marmol in for mop-up duty, too, if there aren't more performances like Tuesday's, when he whiffed three of the four Detroit hitters he faced.

Alright so the nominal two best relievers on the Cubs are pitching with the team 5 runs down in the 4th inning. Danny Mac, you deserved every bit of that promotion.

We need more actions, those like Monday night when Piniella benched Alfonso Soriano for the Cubs' one-night stand in Atlanta. Good. Soriano needed it.

If this was a routine rest day (I don't know for sure), this is very funny.

Next move is to hit him fifth or sixth in the order.

Agreed. Every Cub fan in the universe knows this should have happened 2 years ago.

Of Piniella's regulars, only veterans Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot have proven reliable. They are the only Cubs position players who should be an automatic when Piniella pencils in his daily lineup.

Kosuke Fukudome: .279 EqA
Milton Bradley: .263 EqA
Ryan Theriot: .263 EqA
Reed Johhhhnson: .269 EqA
Micah Hoffpauir: .262 EqA

You heard the man. Theriot's your lock to play every day. None of those other guys quite stack up.

Without acting, Piniella is running the dangerous risk of creating the impression he's losing interest. I couldn't believe it when he didn't want to talk about his team's habitual struggle to not capitalize on scoring opportunities the other night.

I can't believe that either, man! When your team is hitting .011 on the season with RISP and this is happening pretty much every other game, I can't imagine why Lou wouldn't want to talk to the media about it!

Maybe it's time for the guy to talk about going fishing.


Maybe he should go fishing.


I'm not encouraging Piniella to barbeque his players publicly. It won't mean squat if he rips one of his guys, unloads on an umpire or kicks Roger Bossard's majestic granules of sand all over Bridgeport this weekend.

This pretty much is the opposite of everything you've said thus far.

Nobody is asking for the postgame spread to be hurled against the wall of the clubhouse. Nothing contrived or falsely manufactured is necessary.

It's gotta come from the HEART!!!

Just show us you're not going to lie down and take it. Use the pencil like a carving knife. Messages are delivered when they land right in the gut.

Send a message! Instead of those losers, start Andres Blanco and Aaron Miles every day! That'll show 'em you care about winning!

Find new roles for those not handling their current ones. Keep shakin' up that lineup card and that bullpen. An untrustworthy pen has cost many managers their jobs.

Neal Cotts, you are now the closer for the Chicago Cubs.

So has indifference.

Alright Danny Mac, I've been pretty sarcastic this entire time, so let me level with you. It isn't that Lou doesn't give a shit. It's that unlike you, he understands that throwing an angry hissy fit isn't going to make professional baseball players play better. And if he doesn't otherwise feel like it, he won't do it. You stink.

I'm off to Hawaii, bitches!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dear Bill Simmons, Shut the fuck up

Sorry I'm doing another Bill Simmons twitter post. I promise that once I steal my parents' Net-Nanny password, I'll do a post that's a little more meaty (NO HOMO! j/k, but not really).

I'm fired up that we beat Spain

Let's trot this out again. From Bill Simmons rules for being a fan:

Be very careful when using the word "We" with your favorite team. Use it judiciously. Just remember, you don't wear a uniform, you don't play any minutes, and you're not on the team."

Perhaps it's justifiable to use "we" because it's the United States team, and it's his country blah blah. However, the fact that he didn't at all mention the amazing 6-goal swing that propelled the US into the semi-final denies him any right to claim US Soccer as his team. To put this in Bill's perspective, the 6-goal swing was the Dave Roberts steal of 2nd base, and the defeat of Spain was the Sawx beating The Yankees in that same ALCS. You're a front running, fair weather asshole, Bill.

but what the hell is the Confederation Cup? Is this better or worse than winning an ESPY?

Short Answer: Better.
Long Answer: Better, you fucking retard.

Seriously though, Bill is either too fucking stupid/lazy to go on Wikipedia/Soccernet and find out the following things:

1. Brazil and France (both top of the line soccer countries) have won 4 of the 5 Confederations Cups.
2. Regardless of what country/continent your team is from, it's very difficult to qualify for the Confederations Cup (unless your country is hosting the next World Cup).
3. Someone with even the most cursory knowledge of soccer would know that Spain, Brazil, and Italy all sent their teams filled to the brim with world class players. If it didn't mean shit, those players would be on a beach fucking multiple women who make Gisele Bundchen look homely and trivial by comparison.
4. The Confederations Cup has a definitive winner. Whereas the ESPY's are based on arbitrary opinion. Hence why they're stupid.

Or, more likely, Bill just had to take a shot at the ESPY's because it'd been a week since he'd last done so. Sure it belittles Team USA's accomplishment that he's so fired up about, but he had to rage against the machine a little bit. Lord knows that the ESPY's being shitty is such a well kept secret and all. Thanks for blowing the lid off that one, Cronkite.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

John Kruk's Tiny Brain Tries to Analyze Baseball

I try to avoid writing posts about my favorite teams. I really do. Even my favorite sports blog, the dick joke-tacular Kissing Suzy Kolber, suffers from occasional unfunniness as its writers spend too much time on lame jokes and irrelevant news stories about their favorite teams (OMG apparently the Redskins are going to sign a new long snapper!). But sometimes a dick-for-brains fatso like John Kruk takes a horrifically analyzed shot at the squad you live and die for. And that's when you're allowed to break your own rules.

So I'm sitting there in my mom's basement last night, watching Lord of the Rings, eating Funyuns, and playing Stratego against my stuffed animals like usual, when I realize that Baseball Tonight is on. The Rockies have just finished off an 11-1 drubbing of the Angels. Since there were only a handful of games because it was a Monday, and because the Rox have now won 17 out of 18, I realize that there's actually a good chance they're going to get some airtime! It only happens about once a month (usually in the context of "How can the Cubs/Dodgers/Mets/Phillies lose to a team like the Rockies? Impossible") so if you're a Rockies fan you don't want to miss it. As soon as I flip the channel to ESPN, I see a screen displaying the following graphic:

Dexter Fowler 77
Chris Iannetta 233
Troy Tulowitzki 345

And who is talking about this mysterious set of numbers but everyone's favorite unitesticle, Mr. Kruk. I quickly realize the numbers indicate each Rockie's career games played. What's John's angle? Unfortunately I don't have the exact quotes, but what follows are reasonably accurate representations of what he had to say.

I mean, as you get going deep into the season, you don't know how these guys are going to play. They're inexperienced. These guys just aren't known quantities.

It quickly becomes apparent that Krukie's mission for this segment is to tell the nice people at home why the Rockies suck and have absolutely no chance at getting to the playoffs this year. Now, here's the thing. Any analyst can hold that opinion if they want to and it won't bother me. Go right ahead. I'm not some kind of zealot, sitting here saying "If you don't think the Rockies are going to win the World Series then you can just shut the fuck up right now." It's not like that, I promise.

But if you're going to say that they're not a playoff contender, try to pick a reason for doing so that makes some vague semblance of sense. Seriously. Go way, way, way out on a limb and find something better than this. The back of their rotation is shaky. Their pen is leaning on castoffs from other teams like Joel Peralta and Josh Fogg. Even with Brad Hawpe's monster season, they're not getting much offensive production from their outfield. Fine! Great! Go ahead and say those things. But this? So Fowler is young and inexperienced, true. I'll give you that. He may crumble down the stretch. But Iannetta and Tulowitzki are in their fourth fucking years in the bigs. They've both missed time due to injury, which is why their games played totals are relatively low, but it's not like they're a couple of unseasoned 21 year olds who were in AA last year. THEY WENT TO THE FUCKING WORLD SERIES TWO YEARS AGO. They're not experienced enough for you, Kruk? Go fuck yourself with a fucking soup ladle. Asshole. Oh, and here's another great point from Sir Tubsalot:

They won't be able to win the wild card because they have too many teams to pass in the standings.

Here's your current NL wild card standings, which John apparently hasn't checked since Memorial Day. Two teams, leading them by a half game, with only three months left in the season? No way can they climb that mountain!

His latest entry in the "Baseball Tonight Clubhouse" print article series is dedicated to finding other nonsensical reasons as to why the Rockies are doomed. I can only imagine how long it would take him to type all this up. He must have dictated it to an ESPN intern, and then eaten said intern.

I've been in the middle of a couple of firings, and it always seems as if you play better immediately after. When you're a player and your manager gets fired, most players feel responsible. I've been a part of a couple of similar situations,

Wait, have you ever been in that situation before? You only said so twice in the last three sentences. He then goes on to say that their recent hot streak is attributable to the firing of Clint Hurdle and the arrival of new manager Jim Tracy, and that the bump they're experiencing as a result of a change in leadership won't last. That's all well and good, but let me just apply a classic FireJay label to this post: managers don't do that much. This is (almost) the exact same team of 25 players Hurdle was managing. Clearly they have a lot of talent, having beaten up on legitimate teams like the Cardinals, Brewers, and Rays during this stretch. The fact that Hurdle wasn't getting much mileage out of them and Tracy is doesn't mean they're only playing better because of Tracy. It's obviously a number of things, Tracy's arrival being one of them. A manager can't make a team that started the year 20-32 go on a 17-1 streak. He can help, but the players have to play the games. And it's pretty obvious at this point that the Rockies have a collection of players who are at the very least capable of winning the wild card.

Colorado's run is just that, a run. In my mind, this team is not a threat to win the wild card. Even though the Mets and Phillies have played terribly lately, the wild card is still going to come out of the NL East.

There you have it, folks. Why can't the Rockies do it? Because the WC is going to come out of the NL East, that's why. Duhhhhh. No analysis. No explanation. John Kruk is a fucking simpleton among simpletons. And again, if you want to say Colorado won't win the WC, that's fine. But to say they're not even "a threat?" With the second best run differential in the NL (trailing only the Dodgers, thus obviously ahead of the Mets and Phillies), they're not even a threat? What are you, fucking nuts? Why won't Florida repeat as NCAA football champions this year? Because Alabama is going to win it all. How's that for an airtight explanation?

Both teams are almost unwatchable at the moment, but I'm still certain the Phillies will win the division and the Mets will take the wild card. [no further explanation given; end of article; beginning of John's nightly run to 7-11 for as many hot dogs as they happen to have on the rollers when he gets there]

Possible reasons Kruk feels this way:
1) He played most of his career with the Phillies, so he'll naturally favor any playoff scenario which ensures they'll get in
2) He's felt this way since the beginning of the season (and felt that the Rockies were no good), and simply refuses to change his opinion out of stubbornness. Of course, as we learned from the Cleveland "2009 AL Central Champs in Waiting" Indians, early season groupthink can be a dangerous thing
3) Standard east coast bias- Kruk (and the other the media members with whom he associates) can name more players on the Phillies and Mets than on the Rockies, and they play in cities with which he is very familiar while the Rockies play in one of those flyover states, so there's no way the Rockies can contend
4) He genuinely believes that because Chris Iannetta and Troy Tulowitzki have only played about 250 and 350 MLB games respectively (and because they trail two teams by a half game each in the current wild card standings, surely an insurmountable lead) Colorado will not make the playoffs. Nevermind the fact that the Mets are depending heavily on Daniel Murphy and Fernando Martinez, who have combined for fewer than 150 career games played. The Phillies, to John's credit, are indeed a team chock full of seasoned veterans. Their rotation is a complete and total fucking joke, but hey, at least they don't have any inexperienced players

It doesn't really matter which answer is correct. All I know is this: John Kruk is a card carrying horse's ass. There isn't a lobotomy complete enough to save ESPN viewers from his retardery. The next time I have reason to believe the Rockies will be on Baseball Tonight (which might be some time after the All Star break, assuming they don't lose any games between now and then) I'm not going to bother watching.

Before I go, here's some bonus moron-speak from Baseball Tonight's Chris Singleton about the Rockies:

I think they're making their run too early.

Yeah, you know, he's got a point. Wins are worth double in September as compared to June. The Rockies would be much better holding back, staying a good 5 or 6 games out of the WC, and then hoping they can put together another 11 game winning streak during the last two weeks of the season. It's not a fucking bike race, Singleton. You don't choose when to make your fucking push. If you win your first 100 games and lose your last 62, you'll make the playoffs. If you lose your first 62 and win your last 100, you'll make the playoffs. Good thing you share a set with John Kruk- otherwise I would have wasted a lot more of the time spent on this post ripping you apart as opposed to him.

I never thought I'd say this, but relative to some of his coworkers, that Steve Phillips is kind of an OK dude.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Detective Jay Knew the Whole Time

You'll just have to take my word for it that Jay wrote this. It's a well-known FireJay policy that we don't link his articles.

At least three times, maybe more, I've asked Sammy Sosa if he ever has used steroids. Each time, he testily answered no, once stating that the only performance-enhancing substance he took was a "Flintstone vitamin." He had this goofy, cartoonish way about him that made you want to believe him, even though deep down, as someone who noticed that his head and upper body were swelled disproportionately to human reality, I knew he was as stone-cold guilty as any of them.

You. Fucking. Genius.

That's what I said, the biggest scandal in sports history. Think about it. Nearly every baseball superstar we've tried to embrace the last dozen years because of his magnitude and numbers -- Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez being the foremost -- has come up dirty.

Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr, David Eckstein. Your move, Jay.

And all it does is make me ill for gushing over each of them at one time or another, starting with the Summer of Love in 1998, when Sosa and McGwire waged a muscle duel and blew past the single-season home run numbers of Roger Maris and Babe Ruth.

Gushing over them...but earlier you said.....knew entire time? pnoles confoozled.

The surge rejuvenated a game that lost some measure of popularity earlier that decade, when a labor impasse led to the cancellation of a World Series and widespread fan apathy. Alas, it turned out to be nothing but a hoax, just like almost everything else we've applauded in the Steroid Era.

Anyone else need this history lesson as badly as I did? Whew, thanks Jay. I'm up to speed now.

I'm ashamed to have admired their accomplishments, even while I was openly suspicious in some of my columns back then.

I'm ashamed, because I'm just like all of you, but suspicious, because I'm way smarter and better than you. I knew the entire time, cheered anyway, but documentation exists, Jay smart. I cheered, but I knew, I ashamed. Jay Good. All Else Bad.

Nah. It just was a matter of time and circumstance before the heat finally caught up to Sosa and he officially joined the Liar's Club. That's what angers me most about these villains, the deceit and the lies,

It hasn't even been a month since you wrote that it was impossible for the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series. Ever.

Like the Rocket and the Home Run King*, Slammin' Sammy conceivably could be headed to jail after standing before Congress under oath and testifying that "everything" he knew "about steroids and human growth hormones is that they are bad for you, even lethal" and that he "would never put anything dangerous like that" in his body. "To be clear," he said that day, "I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything." He was accompanied by a lawyer who said Sosa had difficulty speaking English, which struck me as odd considering Sosa knows English very well, including every choice curse word he has used when scolding media people. Sosa actually does speak English very well, even though a lawyer said he did not? Detective Jay is on the case! I bet no one else ever noticed this!

Problem was, his testimony came in 2005, two years after the alleged positive test was included among the Dirty 104.

Which means Sosa may have been lying under oath. Perhaps we'll be calling him Slammer Sammy.

Throw the book at him boys! Another case cracked by Mariotti! His pure intellect is perhaps only surpassed by his one-liners!

So, no, he doesn't belong in the Hall any more than McGwire, who has been rejected overwhelmingly in his first three years of eligibility by the voting baseball writers -- myself included.

Did anyone know that Jay has a Hall of Fame vote (seriously)?

Well I don't have much to say about that, so enjoy this Chone Figgins quote that Jay plugged into this article.

"It's just like gambling on baseball. If you're not supposed to do it, you shouldn't be able to get in," Los Angeles Angels infielder Chone Figgins said. "It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Cheatin'. It's like not paying your taxes. They eventually catch up to you."

I hope Chone Figgins makes the Hall of Fame in 2020 or whatever just on the basis of this quote. Taking steroids is like not paying your taxes. Love it.

But wait, we haven't heard an Ozzie Guillen reference yet! Enjoy this quick, easy, and seamless transition that gives Jay an excuse to talk about Ozzie.

The infamous 2003 list was supposed to remain anonymous under terms established between Major League Baseball and the Players Association. For some reason, either the union didn't destroy the test results or someone in management is involved in hanky-panky. How interesting that Sosa's name was leaked in a Times story published on the day the Cubs were scheduled to play the crosstown White Sox -- owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, Selig's right-hand man forever -- in the opener of their interleague series. Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Sox, said before the game was rained out that all the names of the Dirty 104 should be released publicly.

Whew. See? Ozzie's relevant to this article too!

The Blizzard of Oz is a flaming hypocrite, of course, having said three years ago that former major-league pitcher Jason Grimsley was a snitch for serving as a steroids informant in a federal investigation. "Shoot the [bleep]," Guillen said then. "The only thing I can say is that a former player should shut up and go. Shut up and move on. We don't need these guys. Baseball is better without him." Now, Ozzie thinks all names should be revealed.

Now that he ::sniff:: doesn't write for the Sun-Times anymore, look how hard it is to squeeze in these Guillen insults! You can tell, this is absolutely killing him. Also, I love when Jay calls other people hypocrites. It gives me just the world's biggest joygasm.

I sensed Sosa was up to no good several years ago, when he claimed to have been "robbed" of $20,000 in the lobby of the Caracas Hilton. He had placed the money in a plastic bag, wrapped it inside a towel and supposedly left it in the lobby while he and his brother ate in a hotel restaurant.\

There's Jay's sharp eye for suspicious activity! Gee, I bet you could read that story to 25,000 of us normies and not a single person would have caught onto a whiff of shadiness.

Uh, what was Sosa doing in Venezuela with $20,000 in cash stuffed in a bag?

This logic is superhuman!

I was able to ask my questions to Sosa. Each time, he denied ever using steroids. I wanted to call him a liar but couldn't.

Today, I can.

...said Jay Mariotti, triumphantly, out of breath, planting a flag atop the highest mountain in Iowa, as onlookers in the distance gasp in awe upon seeing his rotund silhouette standing bravely in the orange, setting sun.

That shit's POETRY.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jerry Crasnick's "Sources" are Usually Idiots

Does he choose these miserable quotes intentionally? His "Starting 9" columns in and of themselves have been getting better over the last couple of years (probably because he stopped choosing topics like "best bunters" and "best players under 5'6"), but man, the people he quotes to reinforce his choices continue to sound like a bunch of tards. This installment of the column is about guys who are having underappreciatedly awesome seasons. I agree with most of the picks, but check out what some knowledgeable "baseball people" had to say about them.

Re: Ben Zobrist

Some people in Tampa have noticed that when Zobrist completes his swing from the left side, he has a follow-through similar to Ted Williams'. We kid you not.

Wow. First of all, why is Jerry channeling the first person plural douchebaggery of Will Leitch? Second of all- comparing the swing of a Hall of Famer to that of [player X] is just about the most useless, subjective, anecdotal way to hype up [player X]. Don't do it. Ever.

Re: Russell Branyan

"After Russell was out there for seven to 10 days this spring, Don told me, 'This guy has a good swing. How the heck does he strike out so much?'" Zduriencik said.

The "Don" quoted there is Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. As in, a guy who gets paid good money to make decisions about baseball players. And somehow he can't seem to figure out (or allegedly can't seem to figure out) why this player has struck out in more than 40% of his career at bats. Hmmm. Here are a couple suggestions: 1) He's a big guy so he probably has a very long swing, and 2) he probably swings at a lot of terrible pitches, and 3) he might not have a very good eye. But don't mind me, I'm just camped down here in my mother's basement, avoiding girls and sunlight and lobbing steroid accusations at Raul Ibanez.

"He's sustained it for this length of time, and I believe it's going to continue. I don't see anything fluke-ish about it."

Referring to his great season so far? You don't see anything fluke-ish about a guy with a career .237 BA in more than 2500 PAs hitting .308 over the course of a couple months, at age 33? Interesting. Enjoy the ride, M's fans.

Re: Jason Bartlett

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers Association named Bartlett the team's MVP last season after he posted a .690 OPS, so that gives you an idea what he means defensively to the Rays.

What. A. Bunch. Of. Dickheads.

"He's my favorite player on that club because he does something different every day to beat you," an NL scout said.

Interesting. If I were a scout, my favorite Ray would be Evan Longoria, because he's fucking awesome at everything. But I guess Bartlett is OK too.

Re: Marco Scutaro

"He's another example of how the real baseball players have caught up with the cheaters as they've detoxified," an NL scout said, only half in jest.

I hope he was saying it fully in jest, because if he was saying it even 1% seriously, he should be stripped of his job and shot into deep space. Scutaro is slugging .429 this year- and he's never cleared .400 for a full season in his career before.

Ryan Madson, speaking re: Ryan Madson

"When you have success like that, you come to believe in yourself," Madson said. "I can't give enough credit to pitching in the playoffs and World Series and the confidence it gave me. I feel more in control, more calm and focused out there now."

Kind of sounds like he's making a sales pitch for an anti-depressant.

Re: Mark Reynolds

"I give him a lot of credit," Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said. "Everybody focuses on the strikeouts, but he plays good defense,

By any measure, from ones as simple as errors (34 last year) or fielding percentage (just a hair over .900) to ones as complex as total fielding runs above average (-7.0), Reynolds is a complete butcher in the field.

he runs the bases

You cannot play a non-pitching position for a baseball team without doing this.

and he's one of our toughest players.

Watch out, Eckstein. It's great that you're playing for the Padres now, but there's a new gritty grinder in the NL West.

He does a lot of things to help us win."

Please don't include his defense or his ability to run the bases amongst those things.

Bill Simmons: Blissfully Unaware

More from Joe Buck's diary: "Still disappointed the audience didn't eat up that Pauly Shore joke. My 1997 comedy jokebook said that would kill!"

Joe Buck is a sanctimonious douche nozzle who has
unsuccessfully tried to parlay his kush nepotistic job in sportscasting into a comedy personality career. No argument here.

But look what Bill posted just one hour before that.

I enjoy McDonald's southern chicken sandwich even if its the Ja Rule to Chik Fil-A's Tupac.

Jeebus H. Crust.

1. Ja Rule hasn't been relevant since sometime between 2002 and 2004 depending on your level of interest in rap/r&b duets.
2. Referencing Ja Rule to Tupac was a tired and easy joke back in 2004, which was 5 fucking years ago.
3. Using the McDonald's southern chicken sandwich as an excuse to trot out that reference is terrible.
4. I can't prove this, but Chik-Fil-A is wildly overated. The best thing they do is the waffle fries.
Their chicken sanwich is the Dr. Dre of sandwiches at best.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'll Bet Bill Simmons Secretly Likes the Lakers

I hate Bill Simmons, the Celtics, the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant. (I also hate Nebraska, the hipster music scene, and grapefruits, but I have separate blogs which address those topics more directly.) So it sometimes feels counterproductive to rip on one of those things because it might make it seem to some that I support the others. Hate on a Simmons anti-Laker article, now it looks like I'm a Laker fan. Write about what a piece of shit Bryant is, now I'm agreeing with Simmons. But sometimes you've just got to tuck your nuts back, damn the torpedoes, and do something that scares you. This is one of those times.

The way Simmons writes about the Lakers is infuriating. You'll never see a better collection of backhanded compliments, inconsistent analysis, absolute and total hypocrisy, and flat-out atrocious writing that is so rife with favoritism and bias that it makes you want to write an anti sports media blog just so you can tell the world how you feel about it. The thing is, Simmons writes about the Lakers like this all time time. Constantly. Presumably because they're his favorite team's rival- but I have a different theory. You know those Congressmen who are constantly pushing anti-gay legislation, but are allegedly gay themselves? So it's like they're doing a self-loathing kind of thing (if it turns out that they actually are gay)? Yeah, I'm going to guess that Bill is the same way with the Lakers.

Don't get me wrong, the Celtics are still his favorite team- but he doesn't mind kicking back and watching the gold and purple every once in a while either. After all, he is a huge fucking front runner. No way (especially considering he lives in LA) he isn't intrigued by the idea of cheering for a championship team. I mean, what do you want him to do, suffer through a whole calendar year without a Boston championship to soothe his insecurities? If you're about my age (24), this comparison should work: Bill is the kid who was a Cowboys fan in elementary school, a Packers fan in middle school, a Patriots fan in high school and college, and has since discovered that his great aunt used to live in Pennsylvania so naturally he's become a huge Steelers fan. You know the type. Anyways that's my Simmons/Lakers theory. I'll bet the motherfucker even has a Lakers car window flag thingy. And that brings us to his latest turdclump of an article, currently on the front page of ESPN. I don't have time to address the whole thing, so I'll just pick out some lowlights. The thesis is: sure, the Lakers deserved to win their title. BUT JUST SO YOU KNOW THEY REALLY AREN'T THAT GOOD. AND NEITHER IS KOBE. I MEAN, HE KIND OF IS REALLY GOOD BUT I JUST DON'T LIKE HIM.

In Kobe's case, we already knew we were following one of the better basketball careers of all time.

And we're off to the races with the backhanded compliments. Yeah, Kobe is having one of the "better" careers of all time. If you want to compare across different sports, he's probably in the same league as your John Elways, your Mickey Mantles. You know- guys that definitely stood out as being better than most. Bill's thoughts on Paul Pierce's career: easily the greatest of all time in any sport or other profession.

Jon Barry told us after Sunday night's game that Kobe is the closest thing to Michael Jordan that any of us will ever see.


I haven't even turned 40 years old. I have half my life left, if not more. You're telling me I won't see another hyper-competitive, super-athletic 2-guard average 30-plus a game and win an NBA title? (Hell, I just saw it three years ago with Dwyane Wade -- a performance that, by the way, surpassed Kobe's effort this month.)

It's pretty fucking obvious that Barry was talking about Kobe's entire career, not just this season. So one title from Wade doesn't really qualify as the same thing. That's a quick insult to Kobe that, by the way, really shows the reader that Bill is a mental midget.

I found the constant stream of Kobe-related hyperbole to be a little off-putting; it was like hearing a buddy self-consciously mention how cool his girlfriend was so many times that it made you wonder, "Wait, is something going on here? It's almost like he's trying to convince himself every time he brings it up."

When a Boston fan and MSM member who can't go three weeks without writing something about how Larry Bird cured cancer while saving the NBA and juggling chainsaws writes something like this, all you can really do is chuckle. Chuckle and start hoping the Red Sox start losing more games, lest we hear more about how Dave Roberts altered the history of humankind when he stole a fucking base. That's really the only possible way to avoid Bill's dumbfuckery- hope Boston's teams don't play well. He often then starts ignoring them pretty quickly.

The complicated answer is that you can't explain all the reasons why the 2009 Lakers were better than the 2008 Lakers in one sentence. Fortunately, that's why I'm here.They had the second-best player in the league (Kobe), the second-best center (Pau Gasol), a talented forward with a unique set of skills (Lamar Odom), a breakout swingman (Trevor Ariza), a terrific leader and character guy at point (Derek Fisher), and that's about it. They caught three breaks from February on -- Kevin Garnett's knee injury killing Boston's season,


Cleveland stupidly opting not to move Wally Szczerbiak's expiring contract for one more piece, and Yao Ming breaking his foot in Round 2 -- and cruised from there.

Bill's analysis as to how the 2007-2008 Celtics won it all- The legendary Boston crowd willed them to victory.

You would not call them great, just very good.

This is a critical distinction which everyone understands and cares about.

I would compare them to the 2003 Spurs, 2005 Spurs or 2006 Heat -- the cream of a flawed crop of contenders.


But wait, you say. Kobe played so much better in the 2009 Finals than the 2008 Finals. Everyone kept saying it so it must be true! Actually, not really.

2008 Kobe (six games): 25.7 pts, 4.7 rebs, 5.0 ast, 3.8 TO, 21.8 FGA, 8.2 FTA, 40.5 FG%, 80 FT%, 32 3FG%, 42.8 MPG.

2009 Kobe: (five games): 32.4 pts, 5.6 reb, 7.4 ast, 3.2 TO, 27.0 FGA, 8.8 FTA, 43.0 FG%, 84 FT%, 36 3FG%, 43.8 MPG.

This is great stuff. "Everyone keeps saying that Sammy Sosa was a much better home run hitter than Tony Gwynn, so it must be true! Actually, not really. And here are the numbers which show that what everyone is saying actually is true, and that I'm a dolt." Only in Bill's world can you score seven more points per game, grab an extra rebound (as a guard), dish out two and a half more assists, cut more than half a turnover, and shoot better from the floor, the line, and from downtown- and not be playing much better.

But if you're selling the "Kobe finally gets it" angle, then why was he gunning for 40 points at the tail end of a Game 1 blowout when he had already taken 30-plus shots?

Because it was a blowout and nobody cared.

In Game 2, why did he go one-on-four for the winning basket (and miss) and ignore three wide-open teammates?

Paul Pierce never does this. Nor do any other players Bill actually looks up to and respects, either.

Why did everyone so willingly gloss over the fact that, from the second quarter of Game 3 through overtime of Game 4, he missed 31 of 46 shots and kept shooting, anyway?

Oh my God, he was in a shooting slump for a whole game and a half? WHY DIDN'T THE MEDIA REPORT THIS? WHERE WAS CNN? WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

Or that, near the tail end of Game 5, Kobe was so desperate to drain the clinching dagger that he clanged two 27-footers and allowed Orlando to climb within 12?

Boy, how lucky were they to escape with that win after the Magic had made it a four possession game?

Or that he didn't have a single clutch moment in the Finals other than his sweet dish to Gasol during their frantic Game 4 comeback?

You know who had a real clutch moment? Dave Roberts, that's who.

And so on and so forth- this is a very long column and the bullshit I covered here barely spans a third of it. I'm sure you can see why it bothers me to "support" the Lakers like this, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. And what I've got to do hate on Bill. And hope he gets crushed by a meteor. Oh, before I go two last things-

Did the '09 Lakers really like each other, or was it like a Bill-Hillary thing? I don't know. I couldn't tell.


As I watched the Lakers celebrating Sunday, I thought it looked like a bunch of actors celebrating the game-winning scene in a sports movie.

Bill knows all about acting and Hollywood- did you know he used to write for Jimmy Kimmel?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Geoff Baker Condescends To Us, Misses The Point

In light of the Raul Ibanez blow-up where the red-hot Phillies LFer lashed out (rightly) against more or less baseless steroids accusations and more saliently (and less rightly) against "people who live in their parents' basements" or whatever, Geoff Baker, a Mariners "legitimate-blogger" has submitted this overly facile, self-aggrandizing and utterly beside the point "explanation" of the blogger-vs-journalist scrum.

Take a few seconds to read it, because I'm not going to quote extensively from it.

Let's skip to the part after Baker spends half his word-count waxing grandiloquent about the myriad "consequences" that his stories held for their subjects (Particularly re: former Blue Jays manager cum Vietnam war liar Tim Johnson) and get right to this quotation re: the Ibanez blogger:

In the end, [Johnson] suffered far greater than I did. Why? Because I was right.

Now, can the blogger who wrote about Ibanez say the same thing? No, he cannot. Because he never really takes a position.

He throws some innuendo out there, under a provocative headline, then couches it with a bunch of well-researched statistics on park factors, and the like. Makes it all look like a fact-finding mission.

Do you see the obvious, stupefying disjunct on Baker's part? He's confusing investigative journalism with editorial journalism. What on earth does some blogger saying "Hmmm...Ibanez is putting up record numbers. Let me crunch some statistical models and see if I can find a logical reason why this could be" have to do with Baker interviewing sources in order to write a standard lead story?

A: Nothing.

Why are people are so incapable of recognizing the internet's various outlets for sports writing for what they are?

Blogs are generally opinion. They are that by nature. On the other hand, journalism like that which Geoff Baker is thumping his chest about by nature aspires to be objective fact. There is little to no relation between the two. Just because bloggers add statistics to their posts doesn't mean they're trying to make a factual, investigative claim.

If you want to compare them to journalists (which seems a foolish venture to begin with, since they're independent in their operations for the most part whereas journalists are part of a for-profit conglom.) compare them to the Dan Shaughnessy's and Jay Mariotti's of the world--people who have almost no access beyond that of the average fan and yet who expound from a position of authority (whatever that position of authority might be).

Don't hold Deadspin to the standards of Sportscenter or Sports Illustrated. From the snarky nature of the posts to the ultra-snarky nature of the comments, it's clear that Deadspin was always built to model radio call-in shows like Jim Rome's The Jungle.

Are sports opinion columnists an inherently bad thing? The title of this blog suggests they might be--but only when they're completely uninformed. Why on earth should anyone be pitching a fit because a blogger suggested--however foolishly--that he would like to examine statistically whether it was possible that Raul Ibanez might be exploiting PED's. Why is this a bigger deal than when Jay Mariotti says "Jerry Reinsdorf is only doing __________ because he is cheap."

At least the former wasn't selling sensationalism and tabloid journalism.

Why on earth would you hold either to the standards of investigative journalism? Unless, of course, you just plain missed the point.

Baker spends the rest of the article grandstanding about what a tough guy he has to be to hobnob with "Killers, or Hell's Angels, or major leaguers and steroids" as if that's at all relevant to the topic at hand, thumping his chest about how "he has to look the players in the eye, and bloggers aren't ready to do that." Snooze.

Look--If you want to make some sweeping judgments on how sports bloggers relate to "legitimate journalists," don't compare them to investigative journalists. It's clear from their inherent lack of access that they simply can not be nor aspire to be that. Compare them to editorial journalists. And you know what? For the most part, sports bloggers compare pretty fucking favorably to those. I'll take the bloggers at Hardball Times, Baseball Daily Digest, and Ump Bump (flawed as they all are--hell, opinions are like assholes, etc) over the Mike Celizic's of the world any old day.

Too bad Baker--and everyone else, it seems--wants to compare them to Tom Verducci. Ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FJM Hall of Shame: Rick Reilly

Ladies and gentlemen, the first inductees for the Fire Jay Mariotti Hall of Shame will be inducted over the course of this summer. The first few will be awarded the title of "Inaugural Inductee" since their candidacy is so obvious, they will go down in history. Without further ado:

This is the man whose columns relate the human side of sports - which is certainly not the worst of goals. This is the man whose stories graced SI for 23 years and has been at ESPN since 2007. If you want to read a sample of what one of his columns usually looks like, read this FJM post, also from 2007. Apparently he has won the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters' Association's Sportswriter of the Year award eleven times.

He might be a good guy who helps charities, but his articles are still mindless tripe. In general, he is inducted for his crimes against decent writing, for his throwaway pop culture references, for his overly sentimental attitude and for his lack of logical thought while writing. We here at FJM are not here to indict Mr. Reilly's charity work or his attitudes on life, but rather to indict his awful sportswriting on a national level.

Here are some of his lowlights, as chronicled here at FJM:

  • Rick goes out on a limb to castigate the Georgia HS pitcher who beaned the umpire.
  • Rick humorously breaks down the national anthems at the Beijing Olympics.
  • Rick, after exhausting research, declares which franchises rule which cities.
  • Rick, in his position of power and authority, declares that Utah is the undisputable national champion of the 2008 season.
  • Rick gives us fans the lighter side of Super Bowl preparations.
  • Rick has something to say about Magic Johnson's AIDS. (!!!)
  • Rick wants to retroactively take suspected steroid users' MVP awards and give them to other suspected steroid users. (!!!)
  • Rick thinks that Rachel Alexandra is a victory for gender equality, democracy and world peace. In case you forgot, Rachel Alexandra is a horse.
  • Rick has a few ideas about how to improve baseball.
One note about the last link. In it, Rick wants to call out baseball for its tolerance of steroids. He writes:

In the Small-Balls era, nobody -- not the players, not the owners, not the writers -- tried to stop it. Where were all these books when we needed them?

In the comments section, FJM reader Fred Trigger provides perhaps the best comment in FJM history:
Writers didn't try to stop the steroids because they were busy writing things like this:

For his lack of historical awareness alone, he merits first-ballot status. For everything else, Mr. Reilly's resume clearly welcomes him into the hallowed ranks of this previously-empty hall. Don't worry, Rick: you'll have company soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Feature: the FJM Hall of Shame

We here at FJM have had quite a few HOF debates over the years - focusing around a few core players like Robert Horry, Craig Biggio (twice!), Tim Raines, LeBron James and other NBA stars, a host of NFL players and Curt Schilling. Articles about Hall of Fame-eligible players are easy pickins', since there's no clear definition for what constitutes Hall of Fameness in any sport, and it's usually not hard to find some way to argue against what any writer is saying.

Anyways, since this blog sees so many names repeated over and over again headlining and tagging on these hallowed pixels, we thought it only makes sense to honor the writers out there who've managed to achieve truly pathetic status. These writers have consistently (consistently) committed some of the most egregious fouls sportswriters can commit:

  • lacking basic research skills
  • poor syntax or grammar
  • misusing or abusing statistics
  • a naive lack of any critical powers
  • oversentimentalizing sports or life
  • heavy and wanton use of anecdotal evidence
  • disparaging things they don't understand or
  • anything else we like to complain about.
Since we're already hypocritical enough as it is, we're going to do the same thing that every sportswriters' association does to their respective sport - induct writers based on no set metric other than that we think their writing is not just bad, not just extra bad, but truly worthy of the Hall of Shame.

Certain obvious candidates will be inducted quickly and easily - there's nobody out there arguing that Babe Ruth wasn't a Hall of Famer and I'm pretty sure inductee #1 (who will arrive later today) will be voted in with 100% of the ballot. But you're welcome to start the debate about which writers truly belong in the next class, which be inducted approximately whenever I get to working on the next one.

Bill Simmons now condensing anecdotal bullshit to 140 characters or less

From the Sports Guy's Twitter:

Just parked next to a Lexus with a Lakers flag sticking out of it. The city of LA with a 2-0 Finals lead redefines the word "bandwagon"

ZOMG, someone who can afford to buy or lease a Lexus decided to show their affection for the Lakers with an annoying car flag. That completely redefines the the word "bandwagon!"

(Note: I live in LA and have seen car flags for fucking weeks now. You seeing one on a Lexus now proves less than nothing. Eat shit.)

I'd like to apologize for saying the city of LA defined "bandwagon" with a 2-0 Finals lead. I meant "frontrunner." Please adjust your sc...*

Yeah, everyone knows that Red Sox Nation defines "bandwagon."
For the true definition of a "frontrunner," peep this and this.

*Simmons went over the 140 character limit. The cutoff word was "scorecard." Now cackle with the laughter that can only be summoned by a man who once wrote for Jimmy Kimmel.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Throwaway Post Because It's Been Almost a Week

It's not exactly summer/fall 2007 around here anymore in terms of the frequency of our posts. Everyone knows that. I'm OK with it- a lot of our rage (OK, well, maybe not my rage, but most of my co-bloggers' rage) about bad sportswriting has subsided over the years. And hey, Jay Mariotti fired himself last summer, undoubtedly as a result of our work here, so you could argue we've already reached the top of the anti sports media blogging world. I'm sure all fifteen of you readers will agree. That's right, I said it, the top. Who the fuck is Fire Jon Margun? No, but seriously, I think a week between posts is excessive. So while I don't have time right now to write a real post, here are a list of topics that are chafing my taint right now. Feel free to join in the bitching in the comments.

-I understand that the AP is going to report on the results of David Ortiz's eye exams, and other useless stories relating to his slump, and that those newsy-type stories will be prominently displayed on most sports new sites. That's OK with me- if the fine and upstanding racists who inhabit Red Sox Nation want their Big Papi news, give it to them. But I just toured around several such sites- MSNBC's sports section, ESPN, CBSSportsline, and Fox Sports. Every last one of them had one of their columnists breaking down and providing analysis for this fascinating story. WHAT IS IT? IS IT HIS MINDSET? DOES HE NEED A SECOND OPINION ABOUT THE EYE THING? IS HE ON STEROIDS? IS HE ACTUALLY 71 YEARS OLD? OH MY GOD PANIC PANIC PANIC

Shut the fuck up, please. Just shut up and leave this barely-a-story alone for a few weeks. I'm begging you. Factual news about it I'll have to tolerate. But the analysis needs to stop. Please. Kthxbye.

-Mark Schlereth has tapioca inside his head. The guy is a total boob. But he puts tons of emphasis on the word football when he talks about football players and football teams playing football games on football fields. So if you're not actually paying attention to what he's saying, as is the case with 84% of ESPN viewers, his idiocy kind of sneaks past you because of how self-assured he sounds. He's sneaky like that.

-Orel Hershiser is a reasonably tolerable color guy when ESPN sticks him in the booth, which is not nearly often enough. Too bad that when they do so they often pair him with Chris Berman. Do you hate Chris Berman? No? You think he's not that bad and kind of clever? Get the fuck off this blog.

-The NBA's decision to have four days of down time before starting the Finals on a Thursday night and then not playing game 2 until Sunday night really smacks of insecurity. Apparently they were terrified of not getting favorable ratings if they scheduled those games on, you know, Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday like they should have. What's the matter, NBA? Why so worried about public perception? Do you have a tiny penis?

Yeah that's all I've got. Real post from Dan-Bob coming sometime soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate (chanted)

I think Chris W said it best when he linked me to this story: you... you have to root against this kid. Hard to say it but it's true. Don't get me wrong, it's very inspiring and all that. But if he does anything notable WE WILL NEVER HEAR THE FUCKING END OF IT. It'd be like if David Eckstein took a bullet for the president while laying down a World Series-winning inside the park home run bunt. No offense to you, Kevin Laue, but I hope you quietly complete your college career without achieving any level of significant success. And without ever playing in the NCAA tournament. Or on national TV. Ever.

Laue's story has already inspired many, and he knows that coming to New York will provide him with an even bigger stage. But he's confident his impact will be felt on the court, too.

"I'm a risk. Coach Rohrssen was willing to take it," Laue said. "He has no reason to worry."

I, for one, am terrified.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jose Canseco Update

Just so you know: Jose Canseco got his ass beat in his MMA debut, lasting a mere 1 minute 17 seconds. Well, at least he made some money. Which was the point.

Here's the full YouTube video of the fight, which includes all the silly pre-hype and the entire fight, in which the 6-4 Jose Canseco looks like a toy poodle getting kicked around by his owner, the 7-2 Hong Man-Choi.

Here's a quote I never thought I would ever hear, spoken by the announcer of the fight [if you don't believe this, watch the video]:

"I've got to say, cerebral fight so far from Jose Canseco!"

Too bad he wasn't cerebral enough to last a minute and a half.

From the news article:

“That’s a big man,” Canseco said after the fight. “I ran into one of his left jabs and that almost knocked me out. You have no idea how scary it was facing a man that big.”

"But I'd gladly do it for a few thousand bucks," continued Canseco, " Really anything to keep me in the spotlight."

"Why did you run into one of his left jabs?" asked dan-bob. "Really, why did you even schedule this fight in the first place? Is money really worth getting ass-whipped in public, you has-been retreat?".