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.


Jarrett said...

You only get double win points if you play in the top 15 media markets in the US. Do some fucking research before you post, simpleton.

Larry said...

"the wild card is still going to come out of the NL East"

Does that mean my Nats still have a chance?

Elliot said...

First of all:

It's not a fucking bike race, Singleton.

So, so priceless. I actually LOL'd.

Second: The Phillies are freaking 9 games below .500 at home. I may not be an ESPN baseball analyst, but you don't have to be one of those illustrious geniuses to know that teams don't make the playoffs with such a horrendous home record. The only reason the Phillies are in first place is because they've managed to lose only nine road games. If I had to choose the which is the likeliest scenario between the Rockies being able to stay consistent, and the Phillies being able to stay 14 games over .500 on the road for the rest of the season, I'd pick... well... you know which one I'd pick.

Finally: One thing that hardly anybody mentions (so it's no surprise Jon Kruk neglected to mention it) is that the Rockies started off the season playing more road games than any other team. It's an explanation of why they were so crappy out of the box--along with their inconsistency at home which they've managed to overcome. It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise though, because they also get to play more home games down the stretch than any other team.


Facebones said...

You think you got it rough, try being a Blue Jays fan.

Martin said...

I'm still not convinced that Clint Hurdle was the reason the bullpen couldn't hold a lead for about a 6 week period. It seemed everytime I saw them (and thank god for the Fox Sports West guys after Dodger games, they cover every team in the NL West that plays that night too) there was some middle reliever giving up two runs in the 7th, coughing up the 4-3 lead.

Jeff said...

Including the Playoffs - Evan Longoria has played only 205 games of major league baseball. Omar Vizquel has played almost 2800.

The Rays should swing a trade to increase their chances of a title.

Bengoodfella said...

I want to know how you get to be on an ESPN baseball show. Do you have to try and show a thorough ability to do shitty analysis? If you say something that is fact based and logical, do they immediately call in the next person?

Under Singleton's line of thought, any team that gets off to a hot start is making their push too early, they should perhaps pitch underhand for a few games so they don't peak too early.

cs said...

Ben - ultimately, to get on an ESPN baseball show, the decision is up to Joe Morgan. If you confuse him in the interview process, you're out.

Bengoodfella said...

I see...that explains why my paper discussing the benefit of walks and OBP as it relates to a team's success offensively I sent to ESPN as a job application was immediately rejected with a red stamp that said, "I personally haven't seen a walk or any type of OBP, so I can't comment on it."

I think Jeff posted something great about a Joe Morgan chat. Does that mean we can now make fun of Joe Chats? I thought it may be off limits but I have been wanting to do one for a while now.

Chris W said...

btw Larry: Steve Phillips is not an OK dude, even relative to old monosac or Slow Swingleton

Jeff said...

Ben - I figured Joe chats were ripping off firejoemorgan ...um ...even more than usual.

But that guy says some dumb things, and it's worth noting. Also, inpiration to post doesn't strike me often, so I'm just going to go with it when it does.

Bengoodfella said...

I have read a couple of Joe Chats and I have wanted to cover a couple. I may do so now, but only because I rip off FJMorgan in other ways, I may as well just make it official and steal one of their staples...or I may not.

I understand the inspiration to post thing though.

Larry B said...

What the hell is Fire Joe Morgan?

Alex said...

Fuck Kruk and his mullett.

You hear this same shit all the time in hockey. The recent favorite whipping boy for the media is O. Jokinen. Apparently, prior to this year, it wasn't worth picking up a big, high scoring center who rarely gets hurt like him because he "had no playoff experience" or that he couldn't take a team to the playoffs.

Even dipshit teams like Montreal who are literally dying in the streets for a centerman had no interest in him.

They talk as if hockey is a fucking tennis match determined by one guy. That he played for the fucking terrible Florida bloody Panthers had NOTHING to do with the fact they could make the playoffs. Worse, that genius Keenan trades Roberto Luongo and the "experts" still dump on Jokinen.

Of course, now he's a "cancer" in the dressing room.

Fuck I'm angry now. And it's bedtime.

pnoles said...

What's amazing is that the Rockies went 17-1 DESPITE the fact that Jim Tracy totally sucks and is an absolutely awful manager (as much as one can absolutely be awful, anyway).

I have a feeling I am going to owe Larry $20 at some point in September.

pnoles said...

But CW, he has such charisma and confident, beautiful eyes!