Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Attention readers:

If you 1) have ever watched, or are now watching, the NFL draft combine OR 2) think that someone's 40 time is sports news that should be reported by people paid to report sports news (I mean, reported as a standalone story--I can tolerate the fact that combine results are eventually aggregated in full profiles of potential draftees), please immediately throw yourself down a flight of stairs.  Thank you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bill Simmons revisits one of the stupidest things he's ever written, somehow makes it even stupider, part 2

A lot has happened since I posted part one a couple days ago. On Tuesday night the Celtics lost in Denver. That's nothing to be ashamed of, Denver is the one of the best home teams in the NBA, but what's notable about the loss is that the Celtics played very well. Almost well enough to win.  They led at halftime, held the Nuggets under 100 points (which is extremely difficult to do in Denver), and had the ball, down four, with about a minute to go. The real reason they ended up losing, though, was that they had a lot of empty possessions in the second half. They settled for a lot of long jumpers. They went long stretches without attacking the rim and shot 20 fewer free throws than the Nuggets. Hmmm, I wonder who might have been able to help out with those two issues? Bill has already established that they play better without Rondo so the answer is definitely not "Rajon Rondo, the All Star point guard who can get into the paint to shoot or pass on pretty much every possession regardless of what the defense is doing."

Then on Wednesday night the Celtics went into LA and got beaten by the LOL6for24s. Unlike the Denver game, I didn't watch this one, but the Lakers shot eleven more free throws than Boston. Draw your own conclusions. I'm sure most Celtics fans would conclude that THE REFS FACKED US but if this game was anything like the Denver game, it's not the case. Boston probably didn't get to the rack to draw contact. KG looks really soft in the post these days. Other than the fact that he's 45, I wonder why that is? Anyways, Bill was telling us about how the Ewing theory is very real and should be taken very seriously, because the Celtics are definitely better off without their best player.

To their credit, the old farts took a backseat. Pierce even deferred to Rondo at the ends of tight games, something I never expected to see. But things turned goofy early — Rondo became obsessed with keeping a double-figures assist streak alive.

Evidence/support provided for this: zero. This might be an even worse unsubstantiated hit on Rondo's character than "He only makes teammates better ON HIS OWN TERMS" and "he pretends to lead without leading."

And not in a good way. He wasn't making the right decision every time, just the decision most likely to produce an assist.

Holy shit.

And not in a good way. He wasn't making the right decision every time, just the decision most likely to produce an assist.

Other than taking layups when they're available, the decision most likely to produce an assist IS the right decision for a point guard like Rondo who doesn't have a very good jumper, you fucking clod.

Defenses played Rondo for the pass on every drive and fast break, turning the streak into something of an ongoing detriment.

I get that passing up a wide open layup in the interest of another guy's contested layup or jumper is a bad thing, and I admit that I don't watch the Celtics enough to really know whether this is something he's ever done with regularity.  But given that Bill has GODDAMN NEGATIVE ZERO credibility with me, I'm going to guess this claim that Rondo was sabotaging fast breaks to pad his assist totals is just another car-sized pile of elephant shit.

I loathed the streak. It was a bad look for Rondo — you don't want your leader chasing numbers, even something as seemingly benevolent as assists.

Yeah, what good have assists ever done for any team ever?

The streak mercifully ended when Rondo got tossed for fighting Kris Humphries in a loss to the Nets,

Side note, make sure you watch this. If whoever wrote this wrote all the commercials on TV, I'd never use my DVR's fast forward capability.

but questions about Rondo's ultimate destiny as a franchise player lingered.

Debates about a player's "franchise player" status are only slightly less retarded than debates about their "elite" status (see: Flacco, Joe).

You are who you are after seven years in the league. Every night you could put Rondo down for 13 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. And every two weeks or so, he'd slap together four quarters that took your breath away. But Rondo wasn't just going to start averaging 22 points a game; it would have happened by now. For a Celtics team specifically built for him, that's the biggest reason they played a half-season of .500 ball. You're only as good as your best guy.

How dare he only score 13.7 PPG while leading the league in assists!

They couldn't ever beat Miami in a playoff series without Rondo

Don't backpedal too quickly, you'll trip over your own feet.

— the only Celtic who could swing two games in a series by himself.

Right, because he's their best fucking player, which is why they're not better off without him.

But short-term? Maybe our boys would rally without him.

If they got a long homestand against Charlotte, Orlando, etc., then yeah, I bet they would. They just might have been able to pull off that same rally with him in the lineup, too! Meanwhile, now that that homestand is over, they just got beaten by double digits by a mediocre Lakers team (against whom Rondo would have represented an absolute matchup nightmare). But go on.

We knew the schedule worked in their favor: Six of eight home games post-Miami (and Toronto and Charlotte on the road).

Even if it's way too late, at least he's addressing it. Now watch him blow past it like it never happened.

We knew Rondo's departure would inadvertently create a more stable playing rotation — now, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry would get enough minutes,

Finally! Minutes for an all defense no offense no real position 7th man, a guy on his fourth team in five years, and 35 year old Jason Terry!

and so would the perpetually frustrating Jeff Green. We knew there was a chance — repeat: a chance — that Garnett and Pierce would rally as a subtle Eff You to Rondo,


their annoying little brother who drove them bonkers even if he would always be family, someone who acted like a bit of a diva behind the scenes, someone who wouldn't exactly win a popularity contest with the people around the organization. An intelligent, demanding, thoughtful guy … yes. But frustrating. That's the word you always hear.

That's the narrative you invent in order to try to prop up your idiotic theory.

The bigger point: With Rondo, Boston had the league's 26th most efficient offense. This seems relevant since the NBA has only 30 teams. How much would they REALLY miss him on a daily basis?

We'll know in a few months, after they've started Bradley at PG for 30ish games (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists in 35 minutes against LA; 17 points (cool!), 3 rebounds, 0 assists and 3 turnovers (oh.) against Denver). I'm sure it'll work out just fine.

How hard was it to replace 13 points and 11 assists every night? Couldn't you replace 80 percent of those stats?

With one player? While he also plays solid defense and sets up the offense?

It was conceivable, right?


Either way, they had reached a fork in the road — if the season went south, they'd certainly have to trade Pierce (Warriors?) and Garnett (Clippers?) over sentencing them to Lotteryville. That was the right thing to do.

Simmons is such a goddamn drama queen. Seriously, it's pathetic.

At the same time, we needed a few more games. They showed some fight against the Heat. We hadn't seen this team fight more than four times all year.


You know what happened next. They reeled off seven straight Rondo-less victories to the delight (and semi-confusion) of their just-when-I-thought-I-was-out-they-pull-me-back-innnnnnnnnn fans.

Most of whom take their cues from people like Dan Shaugnessy and Bill Simmons, so really, I imagine they get semi-confused by all kinds of things. I bet they struggle with child-proof lids.

Somewhere during that time, we realized two things.

1. We're not ready to say good-bye to no. 5 and no. 34 yet. Can't trade them. Can't trade them. Can't trade them. Celtics for life.

/Larry B hangs head

Seriously, Bill, just listen to yourself. It's embarrassing.

2. Even if it makes no sense whatsoever, our boys are playing better without Rondo.

They are not, at least not more than marginally so. A couple weeks ago, they were playing more shitty opponents than normal and winning close games at home. Now they have stopped doing that. They are much worse off without Rajon Rondo because he is awesome, no matter how much you want to believe that he does things like "only make teammates better on his own terms" and "pretend to lead, but not actually lead." You are a fucking bozo.

Our eyes weren't deceiving us. The Celtics moved the ball dramatically better without Rondo, to the point that Steve Kerr texted me that they suddenly reminded him of Popovich's Spurs.

This is because they had no true point guard on the floor. KG and Pierce can play like point forwards occasionally, but it's not an every possession solution. And as I said, I watched the Denver game on Tuesday--Kerr was going about twenty steps too far with the Spurs comparison. Denver is not exactly known for its stifling defense, and the Celtics offense was... decent. Until the second half, when it switched to awful.

Their playing rotation fell into place — they finally had enough minutes for everyone. Defensively, the Avery Bradley–Courtney Lee combo could be destructive;

I sure as shit hope so, because neither of those guys has anywhere near the offensive ability to justify playing 30+ minutes per game.

throwing in Green and Garnett, suddenly, this Celtics team could get stops. And these guys like playing with each other,

A classic Simmons "I made this up but you can't prove it wrong" staple. Good to see he's still playing his classics.

which wasn't always the case. Everything crested with last Thursday's thrashing of the Lakers, then Sunday's epic triple-overtime toenail-biter-of-a-heart-attack home win over Denver (a.k.a. "The Blizzard Game").

MegaLOLZ @ coming up with a nickname for a regular season game against a non-rival in February.

Heading into the All-Star break, Celtics fans find themselves checking the standings and thinking, "If we can get to the no. 6 seed, 

You won't,

we could beat Indy in Round 1, 

you wouldn't,

and the Knicks in Round 2, 

you might beat them if you face them in the first round, although I'd be surprised,

and then LeBron only needs to tweak a hammy and … "

he won't, and you're not getting out of the first round anyways. GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU'RE A TERRIBLE WRITER AND A WORSE ANALYST.

More later, maybe.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bill Simmons revisits one of the stupidest things he's ever written, somehow makes it even stupider, part 1

I spent quite a bit of time this weekend on this long, meandering, whining post about Justin Upton, home/road splits and park factors.  I probably got 75% of the way through it, re-read it, decided it sucked, and didn't publish it.  Maybe I will try to rework it and publish it later this week.  Long story short, Upton has spent his whole career in a very good hitter's park and has very extreme home/road splits (.250/.325/.406 lifetime on the road).  Of course many hitters have significant home/road splits, but those road numbers are flat out shitty.  And the reason I wanted to rant about it on this far-reaching platform is that pretty much no one brought this up while he was on the block or after he was traded to Atlanta.

This doesn't bother me in and of itself--it just bothers me because I'm a Rockies fan (yes, I know you don't give a shit), and any time a Rockies hitter is up for a postseason award, or is on the trading block (as Carlos Gonzalez was rumored to be last season), the immediate response from every baseball writer and casual fan in the fucking country is LOL COORZ FIELD THIS GUY ACTUALLY SUX HE WOULD HIT .100 WITH 2 HRS AT SEE LEVEL.  And God that just makes me want to commit arson.  Especially when a guy like Upton, who hits like an AAAA player anywhere not called Chase Field, is crowned biggest acquisition of the offseason coming off a year in which he accumulated 2 rWAR and OPSed .670 on the road.  You can see how turning that into a 2000 word post might get very tedious, and for considering posting a much longer version of this tripe, I am a true shitdick.  I apologize for making you read even this much about it.  In summary, my life is very difficult and I deserve a medal for getting out of bed every morning.

Anyways, on to something you might actually want to read about.

The Ewing Theory is completely and totally fucking idiotic.  It's at or near the top of the list of most idiotic things ever to come from the brain of one of sports media's biggest idiots.  For every example of a time when a team lost a star player and then played great the rest of the season/the next season, there are like four hundred examples of teams losing star players and then not being nearly as good the rest of the season/the next season.  It's so basic in its stupidity that I feel like I am patronizing you just by explaining what's wrong with it.  Nevertheless, it continues to be referenced by Bill and the mouthbreathers who adore him like it's deserving of serious attention and reflection, because Bill and his mouthbreathers have the critical thinking skills of goldfish.  And now that the Celtics have played pretty well for nine games after losing Rajon Rondo, he's revisiting his theory in what I can only guess is an attempt to make my brain explode.  Game on.  (My posting volume is way down lately, not that you noticed or cared.  In an effort to jumpstart my blogging, I'll try going after this article in a bunch of smaller pieces.  In theory this is part 1 of many.)

When we learned about Rajon Rondo's season-ending injury during ABC's Heat-Celtics game on January 27, every Celtics fan had the same reaction: 


So long, Puncher's Chance At Making The Eastern Finals.

You misspelled "so long, puncher's chance at getting out of the first round."

We zipped through the seven stages of grief in about 45 minutes, barely noticing that the Celtics were playing better without Rondo. 

No, you barely noticed or mourned because the Celtics weren't playing well at the time and you're a bunch of frontrunners.  Besides, PITCHAHS AND CATCHAHS!  

For once, they looked like a vintage Garnett-Pierce era Celtics team again. 

Except for the fact that they were missing the point guard who was the catalyst for all of those teams.

No more mailing in quarters, no more rolling over defensively, 

The Celtics, with Rajon "Patrick Ewing" Rondo in the lineup, were 7th in the league in defensive efficiency at the time he got hurt.  To be fair, since then they are 1st in defensive efficiency, although their schedule has featured a bunch of cupcakes as well as a Bulls team not known for offensive prowess.  I do have to hand it to them for their victories over the Nuggets and Clippers, those are legit offensive teams.  The Celtics are certainly playing better defense than they were, but it was already pretty good before the injury and it's certainly a little early to say Rondo's departure is the reason for the improvement.

no more 22-second possessions followed by ghastly 20-footers. 

OK, I watch enough nationally televised Celtics game to know that this happens from time to time.  Just like it does with all teams who have a ball-dominant PG.

They fended off LeBron and the LeBronettes in double overtime with help from a rollicking, old-school Boston crowd 

The next time he forgets to mention THE LEGENDARY BEANTOWN FAITHFUL while describing an important Celtics win at home will the first.  His self-obsession (extended to include people who like the same teams as him--I'm using the term loosely and somewhat incorrectly but you know what I mean) is just... so... draining.

that learned about the severity of Rondo's injury through tweets and texts. 


And somewhere along the line, more than a few Celtics fans e-mailed me or tweeted me the same two words.
Ewing Theory???

All of these people should be thrown down a mine shaft.

Could it be? 

No, it couldn't be.  You goddamn fools.  They are 8-1 since his injury, but only two of those wins have come on the road (in Toronto and Charlotte, two places where there were probably more Celtics fans than home team fans in the arena).  Four of the wins have come against playoff teams, but by a combined 10 points.  Winning close games isn't exactly all luck and no skill, but even the best teams don't consistently win a huge percentage of the one possession games they end up in.  What has happened is not that the Celtics are better without one of the game's 20 best players--rather, they lost him right as they hit a soft spot in the schedule and also eked out a bunch of close wins at home over the good teams that they did play.  They have 9 of their next 11 on the road, including games in Denver, Utah, Portland, Indiana and Oklahoma City, all nasty places to play.  Just watch: they will go like 4-7 or 5-6 over that span, fall back into the 8th spot in the East, and Bill will be saying I ALWAYS TOLD YOU RONDO WAS THE HAHHHHHT AND SOUL OF THIS TEAM.  I CANNOT WATCH ANYMO-AH THIS SEASON, IT'S SIMPLY TOO HAHD WITH HIM OUT.  And then the Heat will eventually sweep them 4-0 in the first round, and I will laugh.  But sorry, back to what you were saying, captain confirmation bias.

We started picking apart Rondo's game in our heads, even if most of us absolutely loved the guy.  And believe me — I love the guy. Had I gotten another dog between 2010 and 2012, 

Please, God yes.  Tell us more about your fucking dogs and your family.  We're already a whole 100 words into this column--how have they not come up yet?

I absolutely would have named him "Rondo." That's my dude. Other than Larry Legend, he's the most original basketball player I have ever watched on a day-to-day basis. 

I'd accuse him of using "original" as a backhanded compliment with racial undertones, but he preempted me with the Bird thing.  Damn.

There will never be a Rondo 2.0. Unfortunately, there will always be Basic Cable Rondo and National TV Rondo.

Ooh, an UNDERAPPRECIATED (/writes royalties check to Klosterman) Simmons staple: the meaningless "tale of two players" nicknames that you're supposed to think are super insightful.

Basic Cable Rondo gets bored easily. He pads his assist totals just to see if he can. 

This is not a thing that happens with pro athletes.  This is the basketball equivalent of accusing a baseball player of hitting selfish home runs when the game is already out of reach.

He goes entire games without ever driving to the hoop or drawing a foul. He shoots 3s even though he should never, ever, EVER be shooting 3s. He pounds the ball 25 feet away from the basket for no good reason, 

OK, I'm legitimately sensing the racial undertones there.

frowns a little too often, 

If only he were more like Tony Romo, leading the league in smiles!

only makes teammates better on his terms. 


He cheats passing lanes and gambles for steals too much. 

That's, like, 70% of all point guards in the NBA.

He pretends to lead without really leading. 

Never, in a trillion years, could you accurately make that assessment as a fan.  Never.  Never ever.  I hate Rondo and yet I feel bad for him after reading that.  Just a brutal driveby on his character with zero substantiation.  I hope Bill gets shingles.

He's on hyperfocused cruise control, basically. 

That means nothing, basically, and you should never end a sentence basically.  You are a shitty writer.

The worst thing about Basic Cable Rondo? You know when he shows up. Right away. Within three minutes of the opening tip.


But National TV Rondo? Sweet Jesus do I love that guy. 

He plays the game the right way!  He is a lunchpail guy!  He doesn't depend on his athleticism too much!  He plays smart!  Am I using enough coded language yet?

He's a walking triple-double. He's a beast. He's one of the best eight or nine players alive. You could give National TV Rondo four mediocre teammates and he could hang with any contender. Shit, that's practically what happened in the Eastern finals last spring — Garnett and Pierce were worn down from the shortened season, so was Ray Allen, and nobody else on the team was worth a damn except Brandon Bass. The Celtics came within one victory of beating LeBron in his prime. That's why you put up with Basic Cable Rondo — because National TV Rondo knocks your team's ceiling up a couple floors.

Let me tell you how much I hate Bill Simmons.  I hate him so much than when sports journalism's biggest fucking asshole (a difficult title to hold, to be sure) Mike Wilbon routinely and unfairly abuses Simmons on ESPN's NBA pregame show, I actually take Wilbon's side.  And I DESPISE Wilbon.  If you've never seen what I'm talking about, check it out this Friday.  Wilbon talks to Simmons like Simmons is a 2nd grader who just learned the rules of basketball and can only name a handful of NBA players.  It's really rude.  And I'm totally cool with it.  Party on, Mike Wilbon.  May you only be fired and sent the way of Jay Mariotti once you're done embarrassing Simmons on national TV.

Part 2 soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ken Rosenthal Likes the Indians Now....FireJay Author Refuses to Make Bad Pun on Name "Bourn"

Boy, did the Cleveland Indians suck last year.  They were 68-94, and Pythag suggests they were even worse.  But now they've signed a decent complimentary cog and a pretty good CF and they're relevant again!  Or, at least, Ken Rosenthal says they are.  So uh....there's that.

My initial knee-jerk reaction: Terry Francona's new team, the Cleveland Indians, might be better than his old one, the Boston Red Sox.

My initial knee-jerk reaction:  Terry Francona's new team, the Cleveland Indians, might be the 4th best team in the AL Central.

That probably (likely?) is overstating it, but say this for the Indians:

They suddenly are relevant again.

You're really stretching the definition of that word.  Relevant?  Relevant how?  Playoff contender?  Team that people are sort of talking about when discussing recent baseball news?  I'm obviously commenting here with the benefit of hindsight because I already read your shit article and know that it doesn't actually have a point, but I'd really like to know what you're getting at here.

Relevant because of Francona.


Relevant because of Nick Swisher.

Swisher's a nice player.  Really, he is.  But the Indians won 68 games last year.  68.  Nick Swisher on a good year gives you 3-4 wins, or basically what the Indians could have expected from that South Korean guy they traded out of town.

And relevant because of their latest stunning addition, free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn.

Still no.  But maybe I can't say that for sure since "relevant" remains pretty damn undefined.  Rosenthal makes no progress towards that goal and instead goes on to explain a bunch of tangents about the national TV deal (that affects all teams, not just the Indians) and that the Indians got good value for Bourn (they did) due to comparable free agent contracts and the fact that draft pick compensation wouldn't hurt them as much as a team that was, you know, good last year.  So I'm going to cut out a chunk of this that does nothing to explain why the Indians are relevant.

Bourn’s problem in the market wasn’t just draft-pick compensation; Upton faced the same hindrance. The Braves and other clubs thought Bourn’s agent, Scott Boras, was unrealistic in his expectations. And Bourn, let’s face it, is not without flaws.

His value is dependent almost entirely on his speed. He strikes out too much, his on-base percentage is just OK for a leadoff hitter and he declined markedly after the All-Star break last season.

All pretty concerning issues for a guy turning 30 this year.  But at least his making-teams-relevant quotient hasn't been hurt too badly!

Well, the Indians will take him — take his base-stealing ability, his elite defense in center field, his average of 153 games played over the past four seasons.  The Cleveland rotation probably won’t be good enough for the team to compete with the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. But offensively, Francona’s new club sure is interesting.

Boy howdy is it.  They've got a bunch of new guys that aren't the same as the old guys.  Sure they won't compete for a division title, but Ken Rosenthal finds them interesting.  You should too!

If Drew Stubb hits, the Indians can go with an outfield of Bourn in center, Stubbs in right and Michael Brantley in left — second, perhaps, only to the Braves’ in defensive ability.

Somewhere the Angels' outfield is crying.  Also: nice editing.

Swisher would play first base and Mark Reynolds would be the DH in that scenario.

If Stubbs falters, Swisher can play right and Reynolds first; Jason Giambi, a non-roster invitee to spring training, represents an intriguing option at DH. The Indians also can try to acquire more pitching by trading Stubbs or — if they want a bigger return — Brantley.

Which they'd better try soon, because.....

As it stands, their rotation will be led by Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and free-agent signee Brett Myers, with Carlos Carrasco the likely No. 4. Newcomers Trevor Bauer, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Scott Kazmir also are options, along with holdovers Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber.

And THERE's the meat of my beef with this whole damn piece.  Except for Bauer (who isn't a proven commodity yet), these pitchers are all terrible.  Jimenez is damaged goods, Masterson has put together one respectable season in his last 4, Myers' strikeout rate went down as a reliever last year, so go ahead and let me know how that's going to work in the rotation, Carrasco was interesting a few years ago but is coming off Tommy John and never really developed a good MLB track record, and Dice-K and Kazmir are all but washed up.  The guy who had the most success in this group last year was McAllister, and he weighed in at -0.5 WAR.  This rotation is not only "not good enough for the team to compete with the Detroit Tigers".  It's straight up putrid.  Relevance!  

It’s not an inspiring group, and actually could prove to be quite a mess if Masterson and Jimenez don’t improve upon their 2012 performances.
Projecting something better than a dead cat bounce for those two guys would be a mistake.
But the improved outfield defense should enhance the pitching, and a better offense should help, too.
What the hell does having a better offense do to fix Ubaldo Jimenez?  I'll buy the outfield defense helping, but seriously, we're talking about one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball here.
I’ll be watching. We’ll all be watching.
If that ain't a hyperbola, I don't know what is.
The Indians suddenly are a must-see team.
And by extension, so are 12 other AL teams.  Tell you what.  You go ahead and keep your eye on the Indians for me and let me know how that's going in August.  It's clear you don't think that swapping out Choo for Bourn, Swisher, Reynolds, and Francona (heh) makes the Indians a contender, so why are you trying to make a point that they're now a "must-see" team?  This article was a total waste of time.  I expect better from someone writing for foxspor....nevermind.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Capital T True Capital Y Yankee must save season from evil villain who is allowed to wear Yankee uniform for some reason

This blog is old as shit at this point, and maybe even as old as fuck, so we have a lot of labels.  I usually  use four or five of them on any given post.  For this one, I'm only going to use one--one of my all time favorites.  I believe onetime contributor Eriz came up with it (it would take like thirty seconds to verify that, but meh, I'm not made out of minutes and seconds here) back in the fall of 2007.  Five and a half years later, it's very well suited for this article by Bob Raissman of the New York Post.

Saying the New York sports media is childish is an insult to the emotional intelligence of children.  Guys like Raissman make colossal idiots from other media markets read like wonderful poetry.  I'd rather peruse bullshit written by Dan Shaugnessy or TJ Simers for 24 hours straight than read 20 minutes of Yankee analysis from someone who writes for a New York publication.  It's torture.  The inability of guys like Raissman to provide any analysis other than unreadable reiteration of the laziest and most played out available narrative is truly spectacular.  HERPA DERP, JETER = CHRIST COME BACK TO EARTH, A-ROD = FRAUDY is nearly ten years old at this point, but this piece is one of the purest examples of it I've ever seen.  Make sure you haven't eaten recently before you read past this point.


A-Fraud! Pay-Rod! Fish fillet-Rod!

In all media precincts, 

In all whats? 

the Yankees are taking a beating.

Not really.  I didn't hear too many people going after the franchise in the aftermath of Biogenesis report.  Rodriguez was taking a beating for a few days last week.  That's old news, though.  It's mostly whoever runs the Superdome taking the ol' 24 hour news cycle sports media beating right now.

If the Bombers were a prizefighter, they would most resemble Mike Tyson rolling around on the canvas looking for his mouthpiece after being hammered by Buster Douglas.

Timely analogy.

Unlike Tyson, the Yankees have a savior to pick them up off the canvas: 

I used "JETER = CHRIST COME BACK TO EARTH" up there as a joke, but some of these mouth-breathers really do go down that road.

The organization has Derek Jeter to lead it out of this mess with Alex Rodriguez.

Barf barf barf barf barf barf barf barf barf barf barf

The captain’s presence and persona are uplifting. They can cleanse any muck surrounding the organization. In order for fans to keep the faith, they need a reason to believe, a face they can trust. Jeter, the transcendent one, is that man.

So Raissman is trying to fuck Jeter, right?  Hope I don't sound totally crazy for assuming so after reading that.

“Invariably consumers turn to sports for relief and distraction from life’s problems and setbacks,” said a network executive with ties to baseball.

Substitute "some horse's ass who loves Jeter and took intro to marketing as a college sophomore" for "network executive" where necessary.

“Alex’s woes are not exactly uplifting. 

Yankee fans are totally on the verge of no longer paying attention to the Yankees thanks to this unsurprising and non-season altering development.

The Yankees should embrace Derek Jeter’s image, 

Yeah!  They've been keeping him under wraps for too long!  Time to let the public in on the best kept secret in baseball!

wrap their corporate arms around it. 

I picture the Yankees' corporate arms as octopus tentacles.

He is going to be huge for them on so many levels going forward this season.”

I agree, he IS going to be huge for them all over the place in the future this season meaningless cliche meaningless cliche.

There are fresh allegations that Rodriguez obtained performance-enhancing drugs between 2009 and 2012 through an alleged link to Miami-based Anthony (The Biochemist) Bosch. This situation, along with an MLB investigation 

Which will almost certainly lead to fuck-all in terms of consequences, much to the disdain of hand-wringers everywhere.

and the question of whether Rodriguez can return to third base after a second hip surgery, makes his future in pinstripes highly uncertain. 

Patently outlandish, no matter how much clods like Raissman want to believe it.  I will concede that the less likely it gets that he reaches 763 HR, the more likely it is he gets traded at some point, and the odds of him getting to 763 are looking pretty long right now.  But I'll eat a hat if he's not a Yankee at the end of the 2014 season.

A-Rod and Bosch have denied the allegations.

He's probably roiding, as is pretty much every single other star professional athlete.  As you read this, there are probably dozens and dozens of them injecting or ingesting something.  It's time we all accepted it and moved on.  Also, I would like to renew my promise to donate $1,000 to charity if Jeter is caught under MLB's steroid testing program anytime this season.

You cannot read a story or listen to radio Gasbags without hearing about how old the team is, full of question marks going into 2013.

Those gasbags are absolutely right, and one of the ways in which they're most right is that a 39 year old who's been a terrible defensive shortstop for more than a decade and is coming off ankle surgery is probably going to be penciled in for another 130+ games at short.  BUT WHAT ABOUT HIS CALM EYES?  HAVE THE RADIO GASBAGS FACTORED THOSE IN?

Of course, there is that $189 million figure, the magic payroll number Hal Steinbrenner has targeted. There is also this notion, rejected by Mr. Steinbrenner, that Hal doesn’t have the same hunger and drive to win that his famous father had.

Please!  New Yorkers are far too sane and reasonable to say that because George S. won a bunch of titles but Hal S. has only won one so far, that Hal doesn't want to win as much as his dad.  That doesn't sound like them at all.  Note how Raissman baits the people who say idiotic shit like that with "rejected by Mr. Steinbrenner."  Yeah, HE says that's not true, but what else WOULD he say?  He's obviously a losing loser who hates winning!

So, a few weeks before spring training, when hope springs eternal, the Yankees’ image has sprung a leak. No sweat. No time for panic, either. The Yankees have been here before. Their image was tattered during the inept CBS regime, and along came George Steinbrenner to save the franchise and build a winner.

Then it was Steinbrenner himself who took things into the toilet during the whole sordid Dave Winfield-Howie Spira affair that got The Boss suspended. Along came Gene Michael to build the team Joe Torre eventually took to four World Series titles. This is all the evidence we need to anoint the Yankees the most resilient brand in sports.

The Yankees were good for a long time, then the league expanded and talent spread around, so they weren't as good, then they were good again, then not so good again, then finally good again.  These days they maintain a competitive advantage over 2/3 of the rest of MLB and virtually guarantee they will win 90+ every single season thanks to their spending habits.  Conclusion: the Yankees have overcome more adversity than any group of people on Earth, ever.

The tradition will continue. And we’ll take it a step further. Yankees brass should figure out a way — quickly — to keep Jeter long-term, past whenever he decides to call it a day. 

The rotation is full of question marks, and the lineup is old as shit.  Clearly the franchise's most pressing concern: what will Jeter's job title be after he retires?  Will he need to show up to one game per week to wave to the crowd on the Jumbotron, or will two per month suffice?

The longer Jeter is around, the easier it will be for the Yankees to distance themselves from the continuous A-Rod soap opera, which has no clear end, or resolution, in sight.

Which in no way, shape or form has been perpetuated by insane idiots like the author of this article.

Jeter provides an immediate story line. He is coming back from a fractured left ankle, suffered during Game 1 of the ALCS. His same media detractors, who have been on and off his case since 2008, will no doubt be analyzing his every move in spring training. This is good. If the focus is on Jeter, the A-Rod saga (barring any more shocking developments) may be relegated to back-burner status. 

You'd think a guy who is a member of the New York sports media would understand how the New York sports media works.  No, dipshit, every single thing either of these players does is immediately on the front burner.  They both will be receiving copious amounts of attention during spring training, even if Rodriguez isn't there.  And this is mostly due to the fact that you and your tribe have spent the last nine seasons pushing the idea that Jeter is flawless and Rodriguez is a fuckup, unable to ever do anything right, even after Jeter was the one who wouldn't switch positions for the defensively superior Rodriguez in 2004.  Rodriguez has been worth about 20 more WAR than Jeter since 2004, has been worth more WAR/$, and since I know this the only thing 90% of Yankees fans judge either of them by, hit better than Jeter in the playoffs when the Yankees won the WS in 2009.  But don't let that get in the way of your asshattery.  Please.  Go on.

The focus must be on Jeter. The story of his comeback, the story of the old guy trying to extend his career at a high level, is more than compelling, especially with all the doubters chiming in. Yankee fans will once again want to see Jeter stick it to everyone. They will pay to see it. Then again, Jeter was always an attraction. 

A truly stunning moment of clarity.

This will only magnify his presence, 

Consider capitalizing "His."

which will also be of great value to the suits running YES. They should ride Jeter and promote — ad nauseam — the story of his comeback.

A plan that is as unorthodox as it is brilliant.  Let YES know about this idea so they can scrap the hours and hours of coverage they had planned to devote to Brett Gardner's injury rehab and Joe Girardi's favorite offseason fishing spots.

Jeter has an $8 million player option for 2014. His last negotiation was a bitter one. It included a media backlash, with Jeter being accused of wanting to be paid “because he’s Derek Jeter.” 

Which is exactly what happened.  Didn't he want $25 MM a year?

Jeter has lived up to his contract. 

No.  So far he's been paid about $30 MM to generate 3.0 rWAR.  On the other hand, if you factor in intangibles, there is literally no amount of money that could properly compensate him, so I guess maybe he's the biggest bargain in the league?  

The next time around, it’s worth considering his value as the face of the franchise. 

Because 3 years/$51 MM for a terrible defensive shortstop who hits a lot of singles, walks a bit and doesn't do anything else at the plate is a contract that's based purely on on-field performance.

It must be factored in. His contract would be a bargain.

That's awesome.  That's my favorite sentence in this whole piece.  Look, just sign him to a lifetime contract, Yankees.  No, I don't need to know the details.  I promise you it's a bargain.  What else is going to bring Yankee fans to the ballpark ten years from now?

The Yankees need Derek Jeter.

Not as much as you do, Bob.  Not as much as you do.

For moments like these.

That sounds like a slogan a tampon company would use.  The only thing missing from this article is an insistence that Jeter deserves every single Gold Glove he's been awarded.