When the professionals at The Onion are doing it for me?
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Go Ravens!, And also this.
This season the Bills go to a retro-1970s uniform, which is better than the Rusting Russian Dreadnaught look. But why did the Bills return to a uniform style they wore when making the postseason three times in 17 years? They could have gone back to a gloried Super Bowl look based on red, white and American-flag blue -- not to put too fine a point on it, but the single most successful color scheme in world history.
Let me tell you, I really put a lot of stock in what uniforms teams zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
During the offseason, coach Chan Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix repeatedly criticized defensive end Aaron Maybin, the 11th overall choice of the 2009 draft. Then this summer, they tried to trade him. The public criticism meant other teams knew Maybin would be waived, so no one made a trade offer, leaving the Bills with nothing when they released Maybin last week. So was the public criticism nonsensical? Not if the goal is to lose cheaply.
The last line goes hand in hand with the main hypothesis advanced by Gregg this week, specifically that many owners find it more profitable to put a crappy team on the field that's way under the salary cap than to spend up to the cap and field a winner. This ignores the non-monetary value that some owners derive from fielding a winner and being in the good graces of the team's fans- although I concede that many owners really don't give a shit about that and would rather make a few extra million than be liked.
The reason I didn't pick apart the hypothesis is that if you grant him the 17 assumptions he made in calculating the profitability of a winner vs. a low-cost loser, he's pretty much right. And I didn't feel like doing my own research. However, I explain it here and copied/pasted the passage above because Gregg is apparently blissfully ignorant of the fact that Aaron Maybin was fucking atrocious (a source close to the Bills organization, i.e. a friend of mine who likes the Bills, says the real problem is that he never bothered to bulk up). Generally trying to trade and then releasing an atrocious player is a way to get better rather than worse.
And of course, let's all get on the same page re: one other thing. Clearly Maybin sucked ass with the Bills because he was a high drafted megabucks glory boy.
Making a great show of discussing how bad the previous regime's high draft pick was creates an excuse for Gailey and Nix to present a losing team in 2011 -- "What did you expect, when the guys who came before us blew the team's 2009 first-round pick?" Since arriving a year ago, Nix has waived, traded or let go four recent first-round draft choices (Maybin, Evans, Marshawn Lynch and Donte Whitner), cutting costs while shifting blame backward to the previous coach and general manager.
I love this. Maybin = terrible. Lynch looked terrible at the time he was cut, although he did have that beastly run against the Saints in the playoffs for the Seahawks. Still, probably more likely to be out of football in 2 years than starting anywhere. Whitner = terrible. Evans wasn't even the best WR on the team at the time he was traded, although I admit it didn't make a whole lot of sense to do it. Still, it's fantastic watching him work himself into logical knots in order to prove his next big point. He's so eager to paint the Bills FO as trying to field a loser by getting rid of good players that he completely ignores the fact that none of the HIGH DRAFTED MEGABUCKS GLORY BOY guys they got rid of were very good in the first place.
Didn't Ohio used to be a hotbed of football culture?
Perhaps, and on the HS and college level it certainly still is, but it's also a miserable place to live. It combines all the fatness of Indiana with all the failing rust beltness of Pennsylvania.
The Bengals' last winning coach was Sam Wyche, who left in 1991. The Browns' last winning coach was Marty Schottenheimer, who left in 1988. Since these two gentlemen departed, the state of Ohio is 226-364-2 in the NFL. And Ohio's record will not improve opening weekend, because the Browns and Bengals meet.
Listen, I'm just sayin', as long as they don't tie the state's to win percentage will go up. Just sayin'.
Leading the Patriots 10-0 in the first half, facing fourth-and-1 in their own territory, they went for it. So what if on the next snap, the Browns lost a fumble? The football gods smile on boldness.
They smile on it so much they caused a turnover 15 seconds after the gamble. Chris H nominates this as the most striking display of cognitive dissonance in the history of sportswriting.
Houston: The Texans have a chairman and CEO, two vice chairmen, a general manager, a president, three senior vice presidents, three senior directors and 14 directors -- resulting in a franchise lifetime record of 55-89. Maybe if this organization wasn't so top-heavy, it could get things done. Such as making the playoffs, which the Moo Cows -- check their lovely cow-inspired logo -- never have accomplished.
First of all, if you don't know what the Texans logo looks like, please stop reading TMQ and go click around NFL.com for a while. On the other hand, people like that are probably right in Gregg's target demographic. "Say, I'm a pretentious faux-academic who obsesses over nerdy pop culture and pop economics, and I also sometimes watch the Super Bowl! This Easterbrook fella is really something if you ask me!"
Second of all, I love the assertion that the Texans struggle because they employ too many useless executives who pull a paycheck and don't do much else. I'm quite sure they have too many useless executives who pull a paycheck and don't do much else- and I'm also quite certain that that's the case with approximately 31 other NFL teams. Look at the Bears, for crying out loud. And yet they were within a few plays of making the Super Bowl last year. Bloated upper management kind of tends to be a part of the deal when you're involved with the most popular, profitable sport in the country.Jersey/B: Traditionalists believe the run is the key to NFL success, despite nine of the past 10 Super Bowls being won by teams with pass-oriented offenses.
Huh? Although this is a stupid paragraph about an irrelevant distinction, at the very least I think Gregg and I can agree that pretty much every single NFL coach is a raging self-important asshole.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Jim Bowden is doing chats for ESPN now. This is awesome because Jim Bowden is: a moron. This is going to be a "mistake rant". I don't care.
Robert (Orlando FL)
Hi Jim,Comparring Granderson and A-Gon for AL MVP consideration, I see that Grandy is leading A-Gon in Runs, HRs, and RBIS and A-Gon leads in Batting Average. Since Grandy leads in Runs and RBI's what value would you say does A-Gon's batting average really have?Thanks!
Jim Bowden: MVP voting is so difficult to predict when the numbers are so close
Thanks Joe. Thought they fired you.
Wait....Joe didn't care about numbers.
.....A-Gone will have the issue of splitting votes with his teammate Jacoby Ellsbury
Not to mention Pedroierrrrrrrrr
...all 3 are candidates and with 6 weeks left in the season....any one of them can still win it....If i had to decided today...I would take Matt Kemp in NL (slightly over Braun, Fielder) because of Defense...and A-Gone in AL slightly over Grandy man
2) "Grandy man????"
3) Joey Bats?
Peter Huisking (Alpharetta, GA)
Who is the NL Rookie of the Year ......Kimbrel, Venters, or Freeman? I am thinking Freeman because the Braves are the Wild Card Favorite now and he plays everyday. Thoughts??
Jim Bowden: That is a tough one.....most people that I've talked to have Kimbrel, Freeman, Espinsoa.....I personally would go with Freeman because of his GOLD GLOVE defense at first base
Fielding stats are blech, especially for 1B, but I find it funny that Freddie's 3rd from the bottom in terms of fielding runs for rookies at any position.
.....but we should have a rookie pitcher and players of the year...silly to have to compare the 2
Yeah, let's not bother trying to cross-compare the value of pitchers and hitters. Trade you Eugenio Velez for Justin Verlander, Jim? Why not? It's silly to compare the two.
Also is anyone else sickened by the contrast between "pitcher" and "players"?
2011 AL ROY: Ivan Nova or Michael Pineda?
Jim Bowden: Pineda....but there is time left...Hellickson, Trumbo also in mix
Somewhere, Dustin Ackley is crying.
marcel ( camden, n.j ) [via mobile]
Which team matches up best against the phillies in a playoff series ?
Nobody matches up with their rotation if healthy...but Giants, Brewers, Braves could all beat them in a very short series with a couple of shutouts.
Nobody, but everybody. For crying out loud, Jim. That was terrible.
Jim thanks for chatting. How would you now rate the Cubs draft on a scale of 1-10, please explain why. thanks
Jim Bowden: I would rate Starlin Castro a 10 and the rest a 3
Yeah Castro's sick. First ever player to hit .300 in the majors the year prior to being drafted.
Are the Angels done and can they look back at their inactivity at the trade deadline for their fall?
Jim Bowden: they needed a bullpen arm and unlike the Rangers didn't get one....they needed another RBI bat and didn't get one...they need to win these next to games...trade for a reliever and have a fun or sept
What? Seriously, what? I feel like I've bit my tongue plenty on the whole spelling-and-grammar-police crusade through this entire chat, but what???
"they need to win these next to games...trade for a reliever and have a fun or sept"
This is not English.
Sean (Tempe, AZ):
Why isn't Josh Collmenter getting any respect for ROY?
Jim Bowden: because of Kimbrell, Freeman, Espinosa, Venters
::sigh:: "Kimbrell" is not a thing. "Venters" is not a rookie.
Why no Bautista love? 2nd in runs, 1st in hra??s (despite 60 less ABa??s to Granderson), 1st in walks by a mile, 1st in OBP , 1st in slugging (by 2 miles), 1st in OPS by the combined length of his 35 dingers. Are people really still not noticing what hea??s doing?
Thank you, Graham.
Jim Bowden: Bautista gets love...but 2nd half since all star break has knocked him down a notch
I feel ya, man. The fall to a 1.111 OPS has derailed many a career. Maybe next year you'll be more than a win better than the competition, Joey.
Tim (Washington DC)
So the guy(jose bautista) leading in the stats that really matter(OBP and Homeruns) isn't even considered for MVP?
Jim Bowden: The stats that really matter? This is not fantasy baseball or a computer game.
It's not about one number or 2 numbers
How many numbers do you want to talk about? Bautista leads the league in pretty much all meaningful ones....
Bautista has great number, but they don't dwarf Gonzo and Grandy
Uh, they kind of do. Bautista's OBP is 84 points higher than Granderson's. Take 84 points of OBP off Granderson's OBP and you get a very Kurt Suzuki-esque .291. Granderson's SLG is 115 points higher than that of "A-Gone". Back the 115 off of Gonzo and you land somewhere close to Andre Ethier (10 HR) territory. This is a big deal! Dwarfing!
Joey (West Palm Beach)
Please explain why this doesn't make sense: Felix Hernandez for Hughes, Banuelos, Bentances, Montero, Nova, Nunez, and Heathcott/Gardner??
Hahahaha. Joey, you're a funny man. Jimmy can't screw this one up, right?
Jim Bowden: If I'm the Mariners...I make that deal right now
I think I'm going to enjoy this man chatting about baseball. That is all I have to say.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
At this point I feel like I'm shilling for the book. Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, it's a pretty interesting read and all. But I promise you, unlike that one time Jeff Pearlman sent me a copy of Love Me, Hate Me for free because I made fun of him for knowing nothing about baseball and then I plugged it here, I have no allegiance towards Those Guys Have All the Fun. Just thought I'd share some more of ESPN's fucknuttery with you.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Now he's got the same problem Gaffigan and I do. OOH OOH FAWN OVER ME I USED MY EYEBALLS AND BRAIN TO COMPREHEND THE WRITTEN WORD! GIVE ME A MEDAL!
I looked him straight in the eye and said "Cal, do you think you might get in tonight?" And he just lost it. Cracked up . . . He thanked me later. I'm the only person who put him at ease the whole couple of days-not that that's what I was trying to do.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I sent an email to Simmons begging him to do a mailbag column, because I am a complete and utter fucking box of tools
SIKE, I actually did NOT send such an email, but apparently dozens of mouth-breathers around the world do every day. Bill always makes sure to lead of his mailbags with a few of those emails just so we all know that the people like him, they really like him! To wit:
Q: I'm having a rough patch in my life. I am a broke college student home for the summer and can't find a job. I deposited $6 to my bank account today and the teller literally laughed at me when she saw that my balance was $13. Then I went home and cut my nipple when I was shaving my chest. All I ask for is a mailbag. I need this.
— Jono, St. Louis
Based on the stories he's told about his upbringing, there is no way in hell Bill can relate to the idea of being broke. The nipple thing? Possib-lye.
Q: Which will last longer: The NFL lockout, or the time between Simmons mailbags?
— David C., NYC
Unfortunately the answer was not "the latter, because Simmons has been strapped to a leftover space shuttle launch rocket and shot towards the sun."
Q: Please do a mailbag before Sasha Vujacic marries Maria Sharapova and the world ends.
— John, Omaha, NE
SG: I'll do you one better — how 'bout a mailbag every Friday for the next six weeks?
As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.Some of the questions are so WACKY you'd think they were made up! But nope, turns out there are plenty of people out there who go to Vegas and pretend to have an invisible friend in their midst the whole time, or who think it's hilarious to scream and yell while doing everyday things because that makes you similar to Kevin Garnett or something.
Anyways this mailbag isn't really anything special, relative to the tired and trite crap he usually churns out. In fact, now that he's officially doing it for Grantland, it's about 5% less obnoxious that most of the questions and answers deal with mindless pop culture bullshit rather than sports. (Prominently featured in this edition: how about that Princess Kate? And how about her less attractive sister who is predictably declared to be the hotter sister by prongs like Bill who worship Klosterman and emulate his practice of pointing out secretly super sneaky and counterintuitive stuff that is actually either 1) not sneaky/counterintuitive or 2) just plan wrong? Pretty compelling stuff, no?) Anyways, it's not an excessively horrid mailbag and I don't have a ton of time so there are just a couple things I'd like to bring to your attention.
Q: Grant Wahl thinks we should play the Women's World Cup every two years. You down with that idea?
SG: Absolutely. I couldn't get my 6-year-old daughter to watch the Women's World Cup until the second half of the final game … and by extra time, she was totally hooked.
Absolutely! Have I ever mentioned that I have kids?
She won't watch another meaningful women's soccer game until she's 10. How shortsighted is that?
How do the people in charge of FIFA sleep at night, knowing that they're depriving my not-caring-about-soccer daughter of the opportunity to watch more soccer?
In general, we need to reconfigure these schedules: The Olympics and the World Cup should happen every three years so we could have something this&
Typo alert! Grantland's editors don't hold a candle to the big boys at the parent company. But hey, it's a minor miracle the site is still running at all given the people who are behind it. I'll cut them some slack. Also, I've already talked about how breathtakingly dumb this idea is, but it's been a year. I'm happy to do it again.
2012 (summer): Summer Olympics
2013 (summer): Men's World Cup
2014 (February): Winter Olympics
2014 (summer): Women's World Cup
2015 (summer): Summer Olympics
2016 (summer): Men's World Cup
2017 (February): Winter Olympics
2017 (summer): Women's World Cup
Beyond the entertainment value of having at least one major event every year, did you ever wonder why we decided on the "every four years" thing in the first place?
Because it's a fantastic international spectacle that's difficult to plan, extremely expensive to execute, should have the "specialness" associated with having to wait four years for the next one, and because the ancient olympics took place every four years?
The modern Summer Olympics started in 1896 and settled on a four-year format for one simple reason … it was 1896!
And because the ancient games were on an every four years schedule and the modern organizers wanted to replicate that. AND BECAUSE THEY WERE CONSPIRING TO DEPRIVE BILL'S CHILDREN OF PRECIOUS CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF SPORTS THEY DIDN'T KNOW EXISTED.
There were no airplanes! Back in 1896, it was really, really, REALLY hard for anyone to get to Athens unless, you know, they lived in Greece. The Games took time to catch on because of travel and the no-television thing; when St. Louis hosted the 1904 Summer Olympics, 580 of the 650 athletes were Americans. In 1921, they decided it was weird to include figure skating and hockey in the Summer Olympics, so they spun those events off into a Winter Olympics (along with new events such as skiing, speed skating, ski jumping, etc.) that launched in 1924 in France with the same every-four-years format because, again, we didn't exactly have United and Virgin around back then.
Look, I can summarize what I read on Wikipedia! And of course, because we CAN do something differently now because of technology, that definitely means that we should. I for one am tired of umpires- let's get an automated strike zone set up ASAP. There is no way that system will have any problems or make baseball less enjoyable.
The Olympics didn't really become THE OLYMPICS until 1936, when Berlin hosted the Summer Games during Hitler's Nazi regime, leading to America's whole "should we boycott?" debate (it didn't), Jesse Owens' laying the smack down (as Hitler watched from the stands) and the Olympics finally reaching its athletic/political/cultural/
Tommy Craggs thinks you're a fucking dunderhead for pretending that anything at all relevant or interesting happened during the Berlin Olympics.
No, it's been that way for many other compelling reasons and should not change. But let's get to the apex of the dumbfuckery in this mailbag, presented by Bill Foster Wallace in a footnote to the preceding sentence.
I wrote this in my NBA book when I was trying to blow up the Basketball Hall of Fame: "Few arguments cause more problems than this one: Come on, that's the way we've always done it! When those nine words become the sole reason for keeping something intact, it's a bigger red flag than the one Nikolai Volkoff waved. Change is good. Change leads to hockey masks for goalies,
So having more Olympics because that would be fun for Bill, which means it's a perfect analog to a change that was made to keep guys from being hit in the eye sockets with hockey pucks.
wheels for suitcases,
And a change made because of innovation in the realm of consumer goods
baby seats for little kids
And a change made to prevent people from dying
and seats atop the Green Monster.
SEATS ON THE MONSTAHHHH! BRETT FACKIN' GAHHHHDNAHHHH CAN HEAR US TAUNTING HIM ALL GAME FROM UP THEY-AH BUT HE CAN'T DO SHIT ABOUT IT! This is a change made because it helps the people who made it make more money. In that sense it's almost identical to the idea of having the olympics more often, as long as you replace the word "make" with "lose." (And yes I know the IOC probably has the power to make the games happen every three years if they want, and that the members of the governing body could gain from that. But given what a bunch of greedy twats they are, don't you think they might have already done that if they could get away with it?)
Change leads to iTunes, breast implants, 'Madden' video games, Tommy John surgery, plasma televisions, BlackBerrys, podcasts …"
People who spend money on personal items have the ability to generate change in the markets for those items by demanding certain products and being willing to pay a certain amount for them. So all we need to do is turn the Olympics into a publicly traded company, have the shareholders demand that they happen every three years, and we can expect to see the exact same results that the cell phone and video game markets have seen in the last 20 years! Swell.
Going every three years would be more entertaining, generate more money,
give us a better measure of who mattered the most during a 10-year window,
No one except idiots like you who know nothing about sports think this is important.
and do a better job of capturing athletes as they're peaking.
Here's a great example: Carl Lewis started peaking in 1982, dominated the 1984 Olympics (when Russia and so many others never showed), then got robbed of his rightful glory in 1988 when Ben Johnson showed up in Seoul with more drugs in his system than every 1999 Home Run Derby contestant combined. By the 1992 Games, Carl Lewis wasn't totally Carl Lewis anymore; from 1983 to 1991, he won six golds in the Olympics and another eight at the World Championships (nailing the 100-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay every time, and long jump every time except 1991), then two golds in the 1992 Olympics and one gold in 1996. So really, the apex of someone who has to be considered the best sprinter/long jumper ever only coincided with two tainted Olympics and that's that. How was that fair?
And of course, sports should be all about being fair towards athletes. You know, Dan Marino never got to play in a Super Bowl during his prime. Ken Griffey Jr. never got to play in the World Series at all. Every World Cup qualifying period, a top UEFA team chokes away a game or two ends up missing the main draw while some crappy CONCACAF team makes the draw and gets embarrassed in all three of their group stage matches. None of those things seem fair, you know? I think we should change the rules so that none of those injustices can ever happen again. Sorry, Red Sox/Yankees/Rangers- we're putting the Mariners in the World Series this year because if we don't King Felix might never get to play there during his prime. Tough nuts to you guys, you had your chance during the past four seasons. We're all about fairness now.
Every four years gives little flexibility for someone getting screwed over by an injury or accident (Mary Decker), a fluke stinker of a performance (Dan and Dave), a boycott (any of the 1980 Summer Olympians) or even a random attack by a competitor (Nancy Kerrigan). Just watch Without Limits, for God's sake — how was it fun for us as sports fans to watch Steve Prefontaine get boxed in during his gold-medal race in 1972 and settle for fourth, then wait another four years for his redemption (which never came)? If you can come up with a good reason why it shouldn't be every three years, I'm all ears.
So stupid that my mind is boggling as I contemplate even beginning to formulate a specific response. Saying that the Dan O'Brien/Dave Johnson rivalry failure in 1992 means that we should have the Olympics more often is perhaps the worst possible argument you could make in support of this awful position. I'm truly flabbergasted. Dave didn't qualify for the Olympics... which shows that (that year at least) he didn't belong at the damn Olympics. You can't accept a hyped-up advertising campaign as the basis for your position and then reason that because the hype wasn't fulfilled, there is something wrong with the system. The system is not in place to reinforce hype. It's there to make things MORE fair. Holy Jesus on a fucking pogo stick, how fucking clueless is this guy? Probably about as Clueless as Alicia Silverstone! /high fives self
One last point before I go.
Q: You tweeted a link to Kobe's Turkish Airlines ad and asked "'Why does Kobe peek at the chef's ass?' has replaced 'Why does MJ have a Hitler mustache?' as No. 1 weirdest ad subplot." You realize Kobe was actually watching the guy limp away, right? Or do you just hate Kobe so much that you see what you want to see?
--JB, Van Nuys, CA
SG: I just watched the clip 24 straight times. Six of the times, it seemed like he was watching the guy limp away. You might be right, JB. You might be right.
If there is a better example of pathetic trash talk than Bill's BURNTASTIC roasting of Kobe for shooting 25% from the field in a game in which 1) the two teams combined to shoot 35% from the field and score 162 points 2) only one starter on each team shot above 46% from the field 3) Kobe scored 23 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and 4) also made a bunch of clutch FTs down the stretch as his team clinched a motherfucking title after being down at the half in a game seven, I haven't come across it. It's not just a really sad train wreck of bullet trains full of sour grapes. It's patently unclever. LOL SIX FOR TWENTY FOUR HARF HARF HARF WHY DID HE WIN MVP THAT'S SO DUMM
Kobe can eat a fucking dick and all, but Bill makes me smile a little every time Kobe succeeds.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
On the side of trading him, since the All-Star break in 2010, Jimenez has gone 10-16 with an ERA of 4.19.
A complete list of things you just learned about Jimenez and Colorado's decision to trade him that you couldn't have learned in 30 seconds on baseball-reference:
The contrasts are stark, and so are the views about what might be next for Jimenez. He is only 27, but that cuts both ways, too. In theory, a return to dominance is more than possible. But the Rockies weren't counting on that happening, or they wouldn't have traded a 27-year-old with a manageable contract and with one great half-season on his resume.
A complete list of valuable insights regarding Colorado's decision to trade Jimenez and Cleveland's decision to obtain him that you just gained from those two sentences:
This trade by the Indians is neither a screaming-in-the-night gamble
What kind of gamble? The imagery that phrase conjures up doesn't really make me think about taking on risk and hoping to be rewarded for it.
nor a lock.
If only it were a lock!
There is evidence to suggest that Jimenez can pitch competently for them.
But they could use something substantially better than that.
In that significant area between all right and great is where the questions will be asked and answered.Jeebus, are you Joe Morgan? Are you Peter King? What are you getting paid for again? Take a stance on something you dunce.