Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wistful, sappy sports journalism makes me sad

[Before I begin, in honor of tomorrow night's sure to be more enjoyable if watched without sound All State Home Run Derby Brought to You by GEICO and State Farm, might as well post a link to the best voicemail I have ever received.]

Sometimes it's Sunday evening and I say to myself "I'd really like to put a post up tonight, the beginning of the week can be hectic and if I don't do one now maybe I won't get a chance until Wednesday or Thursday."  And I also say to myself at that point "Shit, I'm pretty tired and lazy.  I don't want to look all over the internets for something to post about."  How do I resolve that tension?  By turning on ESPN, of course.  This evening's garbage came from an unexpected source.  Buster Olney did a pre-scripted voiceover piece (like a slimmed down version of a 60 Minutes segment) about Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, set to sappy background music and highlights/pictures of each.  It was a goddamn disaster.  Buster, what the fuck were you trying to do here?  Unless it was "invent a narrative that doesn't exist in an attempt to be an cuntier version of Bob Costas" you failed.  Quotes are exact thanks to the magical magic of DVR.

Let the record show 

We're not in court.

that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper were called up to the majors in 2012 on the exact same day: April 28.  

Trout also played in the majors in 2011.

And no matter what they accomplish for the rest of their careers, they will be forever linked, 


like Tom and Jerry, (screen shows a picture of Tom and Jerry, no really, they did this, they probably had to pay rights fees for it too)Batman and Robin (still from the set of the old Adam West Batman TV, which also probably cost a shitload in rights fees), Martin and Lewis, Simon and Garfunkel.  

None of those duos are even remotely analogous to a pair of baseball players on different teams in different leagues who have never played against each other at any level and for all we know, may never have met each other.  

They will be tied together- Trout and Harper.  

By idiotic journalists doing dumb puff pieces, yes.  In the same manner as two famous musicians who were in a band together, or pair of cartoon characters who are always beating the shit out of each other?  Not even close.

And as was the case with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, 

Much better comparison although it's kind of too late since you already brought up all those other terrible comparisons.  And even this is still not really that good, since Bird and Magic famously faced off against each other in a college national championship game and were friends/rivals before they even entered the NBA.

there will be a debate over which player you'd rather have.  The 20 year old Trout is arguably the fastest player in baseball, and is a threat to win the batting title, and the MVP, and is regarded as a shutdown centerfielder.  

"Shutdown centerfielder" is not a thing you can be.  You can be a shutdown reliever, or an outstanding centerfielder.  Pick one.

The 19 year old Harper is not as refined a hitter as Trout, but has demonstrated that he might have Ruthian power, 

Peter King thinks it's semi Bonds-like!

and that every day, he plays with the eyes and the intensity of Mike Singletary.  

You're doing a story about baseball players, so naturally, when you need to say that one is passionate about the game, you compare him to someone who doesn't play baseball.

[Long spiel about each player's stats, and how they've helped their teams]  This all before either can legally drink a beer in the United States.  

This was brought up solely to show the "That's a clown question bro" clip, which is a funny clip and all but felt kind of forced here.  Probably because this whole segment felt completely forced at all times.  It was like someone got Ken Burns really drunk and then told him to make a two minute documentary on how Harper and Trout will be forever linked.

Oakland GM Billy Beane 

Wait, who?

knows that both Trout and Harper are once in a generation talents, breaking into the big leagues at the exact same time.  

And this was all he said about Beane.  No direct quote, no anecdote about how Beane passed on Trout in the 2009 draft because he's the geniusest genius around, no explanation as to why his name was mentioned at all.  As far as we know he has exactly zero to do with either Trout or Harper.  Yet Buster cites him here.  Your guess as to why is as good as mine.

You might have to go back more than 60 years of baseball to find another duo as dynamic and as young as Trout and Harper when they first made an impact.  In 1951, the Giants promoted Willie Mays and the Yankees promoted Mickey Mantle, 

Let's slow the fuck down.  Harper and Trout have like 500 combined MLB plate appearances.  I get that they're both really talented, and playing well at a very young age, but Jeebus.  If I were a betting man I'd bet against them eventually hitting a combined 1200 home runs and both making the HOF a la Mickey and Willie.  Let's slow down and take a deep breath.  

and like those superstars, who went on to share the same song, 

A timely reference.  Fuck, I don't even get the reference, but I'm sure it's some stupid 50 year old song. Wait, unless it's We Didn't Start the Fire.  

/listens to We Didn't Star the Fire

Nope.  Only Mickey made the cut for that one.

Mike Trout and Bryce Harper will forever share a stage... 

They probably won't.  They have no relationship that predates their arrival in the big leagues.  Until and unless they change teams and end up in the same league, they'll only play each other once every three or four years.  Their teams are based thousands of miles apart.  Like, I'd sort of get this sentiment if Harper was a Dodger or Trout was an Oriole.  But there's really nothing here.  They play the same position, I guess.  They are both power/speed guys.  Whatever.  This was an embarrassing waste of time for Buster.

this week, as All Stars in Kansas City.  

They will forever share a stage as All Stars this week?  What?

BONUS COVERAGE:  Kruk, having witnessed Buster's incredibly stupid little segment, what are your thoughts about these two players?

They both respect the game immensely.  It's not like "I'm here, let the games begin, I'm going to save the sport." ... They don't want to draw all this attention to themselves with... with a gesture on the field, that, that, that kind of disrespects the opponent.  They play the game the right way, and they're great great players.

You are a complete and total buffoon.  Also: LUNCHPAIL ALERT.


Chris W said...

Okay, we get it--you don't like wistful journalism...but what about HORNY journalism

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese said...

I think the song he was referring to was folk singer Terry Cashman's 1981 tune "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey and the Duke)."

Larry B said...

Chris- no no no, I'm talking about WISTFUL writing. Writing that is WISTFUL.

VBC- I should have known that, but sadly, since I'm in my 20s, I am only familiar with "Talkin' Softball (Homer, Ozzie and the Straw)"

Jack M said...

Re: the photo from the set of Batman. My guess would be that since it's a set photo, that falls under the label of news/public persona, so while they probably did have to pay money to whoever owned the rights to that particular photo, they didn't have to shell out a ton of cash for the rights to use the Batman trademarks and such. Or maybe they did because they were dumb enough to empty out their pockets for the Tom and Jerry footage.

Anonymous said...

Ron Jaworski on Drew Brees. Please do something with this! This is hilarious!
"Brees is the only quarterback in NFL history with two seasons in which he completed more than 70% of his passes. Most people use the word accuracy. With Brees, it's really all about ball location"

Apparently accuracy and ball location are two totally different things.

Larry B said...

Lol "ball" location lol

Adam said...

After the Home Run Derby ESPN had a lame celebrity/legends softball game and Simmons was doing color. Man it was awful, same tired memes and jokes. (DON DRAPER RULES HE IS GOING TO HIT 4HRs, YOU WATCH).

Typically, he predicted the AL would win in a rout (AL IS DOMINANT, NL HAS NO CHANCE, THEY SHOULDN'T EVEN PLAY THE GAME)

Of course the NL team won like 21-6

Bookmaking Software said...

It would be good to watch some sports without sound because there are some announcers that I don't know why media let them speak on TV or radio.