Sunday, July 31, 2011
You know what I mean when I refer to the unwritten rules. What methods you're allowed to use when you're trying to steal signs, when and how you can retaliate if the other team's pitcher throws at your team (answer, if I were in charge of baseball: IT IS MANDATORY. YOU WILL BE EJECTED IF YOU DON'T DO IT), and whether or not spitting on John Hirschbeck is permissible.
I find that most people in the media who like to talk about baseball's unwritten rules are morons. This is probably the case because most of those people are former players, and nearly every pro baseball player has an IQ below 60. Anyways, earlier today former overrated relief pitcher Jeff Nelson raised the stakes in the long-running competition for "stupidest opinion ever held by anyone on Earth at any point in time."
Scene: Nelson is doing a live update-style show with some other co-host dude. The show involves the two of them talking about baseball news (lots to cover during this particular show because of the trade deadline) while mixing in live updates from ongoing games and a little analysis of those games. At the time I was listening, Justin Verlander had a no-hitter through 7 innings against the Angels. For reference the Angels came into the day 2 games back of the Rangers in the AL West- very much in the playoff race.
At the time they came to bat in the top of the 8th they were trailing 3-0. That's trouble when you're facing Verlander to be sure. Erick Aybar led off the inning, and with the game still within reach, he decided that the best possible way for him to reach base was via a bunt attempt. He didn't get a good one down, but Verlander made a throwing error trying to get him at 1st and he would later come around to score. The Angels got another run in that same inning, and as a result, trailed only 3-2 in the top of the 9th and managed to get the tying run to 2nd before the game ended.
So what about Aybar's bunt attempt? A pretty savvy way for him to jumpstart his team's offense, no? When you're in the thick of a divisional race on the last day of July, and you're only trailing 3-0 in the 8th, anything goes, right? Not if you're Jeff Nelson. Now I get that because Nelson is a former pitcher his perspective is probably going to be slanted towards that side of the argument. But good ghost of Ty Cobb. In expressing his disgust towards Aybar's decision to try to break up the no-no with a bunt, he said all of the following things or something very close to them. (I'm going off memory 10 hours after I heard the segment in question, people. Work with me here.)
You don't do that.
That's bush league.
Detroit's fans were right to boo Aybar for that.
That's just absolutely inappropriate.
And my favorite, this one verbatim:
If you want to break up a no hitter, you get a hit the right way.
Seriously, he sounded like Joe Buck after Randy Moon pretended to moon Green Bay's fans. The indignation in his voice was noticeable. You don't DO that. Why, it's unsporting! It's like a play action fake! Or intentionally fouling in basketball when the other team is ahead and trying to run out the clock! Fuck trying to win- obey the CODE, people. The secret set of nonexistant rules that morons like Jeff apply arbitrarily from their ivory towers. THAT'S what's important. Playoff spot? Pshh. What good is it if you got there by bunting to break up a no hitter? What a zilcheroo.
Now I can understand if some people think it's inappropriate to do what Aybar did if you're down like 10-0, or if you're the Cubs or some other team that has no shot at making the playoffs. Neither of those fact patterns applies here. So at this point I'm starting to think that Jeff Nelson is not actually a human, because no human could be as dim as he sounded today.
In conclusion Jeff Nelson is a poorly programmed robot.