Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't Judge this Post Yet- It's Just a Seed I'm Planting

It's time for some more well-earned attention for FireJay's favorite sure-he's-bad-but-not-THAT-bad punching bag Jeff Pearlman. Now, a brief review of Jeff's tag shows that we haven't made fun of the fact that he's a card-carrying dingbat on the blog for almost six months. But Chris W and I have been doing just that over the internets pretty consistently for the last year, via gchat and email. We just haven't bothered to post that stuff because... well, fuck if I know. But that changes tonight. The thing is, as obnoxious as Jeff can be with his general viewpoints ("Don't professional athletes just make you MAD when they don't act like you want them to????"), he consistently does two very annoying things, over and over.

First, he needlessly references players, often obscure players, from the 1980s Mets. And I don't mean that he does it in articles about baseball (although he does do that)- I mean he does it at the drop of a hat, whenever the hell he can, because who doesn't love the 1980s Mets as much as he does? From an article about how much he wants LeBron to come to the Knicks or Nets:

Back in the late 1970s and '80s, the St. Louis Cardinals had a first baseman named Keith Hernandez. When the team came to New York, he would hide out in his hotel, petrified of the craziness below. Upon being traded to the Mets in 1983, Hernandez was urged by a teammate to give the city a chance. So he did. He hit the bars and restaurant and began attending shows and concerts. Twenty-seven years later, Hernandez is still here. The Big Apple is his Big Apple.

Don't worry- taken in context, the anecdote is not any more relevant to an article about why LBJ belongs in NYC than it appears here. Also, Keith Hernandez did tons of coke. That's why he enjoyed the Big Apple. Second, Jeff consistently makes lame analogies that were obviously formulated in about two seconds. Like, Jeff just looks around his house and decides to use the first object he sees as a reference point for something the object could never be compared to in any meaningful way. To wit:

No longer does [former Cavaliers coach Mike] Brown -- an intelligent and worldly man -- have to swallow his pride in order to woo a 25-year-old kid with the apparent curiosity of a coffee table;

A coffee table has nothing to do with a disinterested or ambivalent basketball player. Nothing. So anyways, I'm happy to say that in this article about Tiki Barber (who, naturally, Jeff rakes over the coals for being a bad person) he crams both of these annoying tics into one paragraph.

Much like a bottle of cherry Mad Dog 20/20, professional athletics will always be there for its own.

Awful. Just awful.

No transgression is too horrid, no handcuffs too thick, no infidelity too graphic. Think about it. How many dogs did Michael Vick torture and kill? How many times did Steve Howe fail a drug test? How often did we hear of the trials, tribulations and, inevitably, comebacks of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry?

Now, I'll say this- Doc and Straw were stars. So much so that they got sweet nicknames. Usually, Jeff is talking about shit-ass utility infielders and long relievers from the '87 Mets as if every one of his readers knows exactly who he's referring to. I looked for some examples of this for about 30 seconds and couldn't find any. But trust me- he does it. All. The fucking. Time. In any case, it's still not a very good reference here. That was more than two decades ago. Can't we be more topical? In fact we can, because the next sentence is about baseball's recent admitted/discovered steroid users. But at that point it's too late. We've already been asked to recall players who anyone under the age of 30 probably has little to no memory of. Barf.

So, where does this post leave us? I'm sure you're shrugging at it. I saw you shrug, in fact. But that's OK. This is just the beginning. Two days from now when Jeff blogs about how the MLB All Star game is like a roll of paper towels that only has a few squares left, I'll be right back here telling you about it. And you'll nod. You won't laugh- but you'll nod. And we'll just take it from there.


Chris W said...

sweeeeeeeeeet post larry

Imo said...

I have just read every post in this blog.

Love you guys!

pedros rooster said...

Love your stuff, but I think this was kinda lazy. If you're going to take Pearlman to task for obscure '80s Mets references, at least go to the trouble of finding one, no?

I'm not a huge fan of Pearlman or anything, but if he grew up a Mets fan, and wrote a book about the era, I can understand why he might reference a Keith Hernandez or a Darryl Strawberry. Heck, as long as he can make Ed Hearn or Danny Heep seem interesting or relevant or funny through his writing, not sure why he should be taken to task.

Maybe he doesn't do this, but without any examples, I'm not really seeing your point.