Thursday, June 6, 2013

Simmons tries to pretend like he never had a silver spoon in his mouth; some asshole dives into the deepest part of the deep end re: steroids

Whew, writing that title was a lot of work.  Not sure how much energy I've got left for the post.  Tonight I found two short articles worth bitching about, so I'll write about both.  You're welcome.  But wait!  Bonus item (thanks to tips in the comments to the last post), before I get to the Simmons article:

In fact, no!  No it is not.  It did involve DA FACKIN' BROONS though, so Bill needed to check in with his Tweeps to see if everyone else was as impressed as he was.  He probably has a yearly Google calendar alert that pops up on June 1 that says something like "Check to see if Bruins are still in playoffs; if yes, follow them, if not, Tweet about disappointing recent lack of success and strain it puts on fanbase."   Now for the article.  Don't worry, it's not recent; Grantland, realizing that there is an insatiable demand for Simmons articles from fuckwits nationwide, but having to cope with the reality that he only writes about one per month, has decided to start posting old articles.  This one comes from the summer of 2005, just as he was completing his transition from "Bad writer who is still sometimes a little entertaining and occasionally makes you feel sorry for Boston fans" to "Bad writer who is also an insufferable piece of shit."

Outside the Boston Garden before Game 7 of the '84 NBA Finals, scalpers were getting upwards of $2,000 per ticket. Since we were fortunate enough to own midcourt seats, I remember my father perking up as we heard the numbers being tossed around on Causeway Street. Four grand for our seats? He could barely afford season tickets as it was. 

Yeah fucking right.  Get the fuck out of here.  You went to some fancy fuck New England prep school before attending Holy Cross.  I'm real sure your dad was combing the couch cushions to find the loose change needed for those GAHHHHHDEN seats.  That obviously fabricated last line speaks to my contention above: this is a transparent case of Simmons saying "This anecdote about the incredible cost of scalped game 7 tickets is interesting and needs to be in the column... but I'd better not make too much of a show out of the fact that my dad had expensive season tickets!  How can I accomplish that?  I guess I could always just lie.  Done and done."

Did he ever really consider it? Of course not. 

We were huge Celtics fans and didn't need the money!  Why would we have?

As basketball fans, we knew Game 7 of an NBA Finals was the ultimate experience.

Yep, he was a shitty writer back then too.

You can't possibly imagine the level of intensity, the overpowering electricity in the building, how it keeps going higher and higher.

Unless you've sat at midcourt for a game 7, that is!  In that case, you'll be able to imagine it perfectly, because like me, your dad had season tickets.

Rarely are these games well played – there's too much pressure, too much energy.

I like the unintentional foreshadowing of game 7 of the 2010 finals here. 6 FOR 24 LOLOLO LOLOLL OLO LOLOLL

I kept thinking about that game while the Spurs outlasted the Pistons on Thursday night. You never beat someone in a Game 7 to win the title. You outlast them. You persevere. You survive.

Other things you do: outscore them, and in doing so, beat them.

We'll remember them as one of the weaker championship teams in recent memory, 

He was obsessed with how the present will look in the future back then, too.  Also: eight years down the road, and I don't think that statement is true.  That Pistons team was the defending champs, and they were tough.  The Spurs quasi bookended that 2005 title with much more easily won titles in 2003 and 2007.  I wouldn't sell that 2005 team short at all.  The 2006 Heat?  That's one of the weaker championship teams in recent memory.  

a team that could be pushed around at times, a team whose quality players disappeared for entire games. They needed a miraculous effort from Big Shot Brob in Game 5 just to avoid an ignominious 3-4-5 sweep in Detroit. They couldn't close out the resilient Pistons in Game 6, which any of the better NBA champions in history would have done. Yet none of that stuff will matter 50 years from now. As Joe Theismann would say, championship teams win championships.

The fact that he quoted that as legitimate analysis rather than ridiculous bullshit to be laughed at tells you everything you need to know.

Lost in the shuffle were the defending champs, 

More shitty writing.  They were not lost in the shuffle.  They were one of the two teams on the court.  They won three of the seven games in the series.

who defended their title with the requisite amount of honor and integrity. 

Just like the 2008-2009 Celtics, when they outlasted a mediocre Bulls team and advanced to the second round!  What a fantastic title defense!

They carried championship belts like boxers, shouted "on and on and on" before games, always thrived with their backs to the wall. 

They were really good.  But America needs to know: were they as good as the Patriots?

Some kept comparing them to the Patriots, 

No one did that.

and their impeccable record in must-win games and closeouts put them in the general ballpark. But the Pats won 34 of their last 38 games and haven't lost at home since December 2002. The Pistons never dominated over a prolonged stretch like that;

Pick your jaw up off the floor--I know it's shocking, but Bill reached the conclusion that [team that doesn't play football] is not as FACKIN' DAWMINATING as the GREATRIOTS.  Fun fact: that Pistons/Spurs finals feels like a long time ago, but the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since.  Warms my heart.

Enough of that. Moving on, some jabroni from ESPN named Steve Wulf has written the hand-wringiest steroid piece you will ever see.  For the most part I will present it without commentary, because for the most part it is absurd and embarrassing on its face without the need for explanation.

This is important. You must care. You need to stop enabling the cheaters the way we used to. You have to root, root, root just as hard for the game itself as you do for the players.

Players have been cheating in one way or another for 125 years.  Somehow, some way, the game seems to be doing fine.

Yell, don't yawn. A new generation of players is playing us for suckers, just as Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens did. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, A-Rod, shame on me. Whether it be on the blogosphere, or in Twitterville, 

Use of "Twitterville" is a good way to out yourself as old, out of touch, unfunny, and probably not worth listening to when it comes to sports analysis.

or over sports radio, the vox populi seems to want the latest revelations to go away. Funny that some of the same people who criticized Major League Baseball 10 years ago for not doing anything about the steroid epidemic are now blasting the commissioner for trying to prevent a relapse. 

Who is saying that?

The illegal use of PEDs strikes at the belief in the game. If you can't trust a player's numbers, you can't really trust the score.

The next person to quantify the effect steroids has on a player's numbers, and furthermore, what the overall effect is when both pitchers and hitters are juicing, will be the first.  I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm saying it's not worth shitting ourselves over.  And in any case, that's a dumb leap of logic--I have no trouble "trusting the score" even if guys like Braun and Rodriguez are juicing.  Every team probably has guys who are juicing. They're all probably playing a little better than they would if they weren't juicing.  That means that even if one did want to avoid trusting the numbers, they should still be OK with trusting the score.  The baseball universe has yet to collapse in on itself as a result of any of this.

Does anybody have the nerve to ask this: Should the Yankees even count the past two of their 27 championships, the ones they won with Clemens (2000) and Alex Rodriguez (2009)?

I'm sure the 2000 Mets and 2009 Phillies were squeaky clean.  That's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Taking steroids or HGH or any other illegal substance is not a victimless crime. Even if the players don't care about the side effects of their elixirs, baseball does have a responsibility to the young athletes who would emulate those regimens.

Cue up Helen Lovejoy.  Holy shitballs.  While "preventing kids from taking steroids" is a perfectly reasonable thing for society to want, trying to connect it to MLB in this way is embarrassing.  The answers to steroid problems among high schoolers are increased awareness of the dangers of steroids, increased parental involvement in the lives of high schoolers, and increased efforts to shut down steroid suppliers on the law enforcement end.  Not among those answers: wagging one's finger at MLB.

The financial investment we put into being fans is nothing compared to the emotional investment. Remember that wonderful moment when Mark McGwire passed Roger Maris, hugged his own son and then met with the Maris family? Feels kind of cheesy now, doesn't it?

It was always cheesy.  Watching McGwire hit the ball all over the place was cool because few guys could do it like he did it.  It was not cool because he hugged his son at home plate.  If you watch sports and glean more than a small sliver of your enjoyment of them from the emotional storybook moments like McGwire meeting Maris's family, you're wasting your time.  Just watch something else.  And anyone who thought McGwire got to 70 without any extra supplements was miles out of the loop.

It's just plain wrong. Yeah, Gaylord Perry threw a spitball, and Ty Cobb sharpened his spikes, and King Kelly used to take a shortcut from first to third. But the use of clearly prohibited banned substances is cheating of a much more profound nature.

And why is that?  Go ahead, I'll hang up and wait for your answer.

The decision encompasses at least five of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth. (Lust and wrath may be in there, too.)

Ah yes, the Bible.  That's why steroids are evil.  Thank you and please step down from the pulpit.


Anonymous said...

Funny how no one questions the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. Manny Ramirez has been linked to steroids as has David Oritz.

Chris W said...

Ah yes, sloth. Steroids, which aided, eg, Barry Bonds in working out 6 hours a day, is reflective of laziness.