Yikes, this is stupid.
Ryan Fagan becomes the latest dumbass to invent nonsense to explain winning.
Comeback? Never a doubt in Phillies' minds
Defending champions have swag to go along with roster full of talent
Oh yeah? Well the Dodgers have flog. Boatloads of flog. It is my hypothesis that....
Dodger flog > Phillies swag.
Go ahead, prove me wrong.
PHILADELPHIA - A baseball lifetime ago, Jimmy Rollins was sitting in the visitors' clubhouse in St. Louis talking about what his Phillies needed.
I'm guessing it doesn't have anything to do with starting pitching. Cause hey! Guess which problem got fixed?
This was long before Rollins delivered the two-out, game-winning double Monday night, the extra-base hit that lifted his Phillies to a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers and put them a win away from the opportunity to defend their World Series championship. No, the Jimmy Rollins in the visitors' clubhouse on that sweltering August day in St. Louis had just three playoff games under his belt — all losses, to the Rockies the year before — but a firm grasp of what he considered the essential element to winning in the postseason.
Jimmy, you had it all wrong. That's why you hadn't won any playoff games yet.
Yep, swag. Confidence. A belief in yourself and your teammates.
At least you finally defined it.
Rollins knew his team had the talent. They needed swag.
"Rollins knew his team had talent" is "a belief in himself and his teammates." You're strongly implying that they had Thing A, but not Thing B. THING A IMPLIES THING B. FFFLLLLLOOOOOOOGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!
At that point in their development as a unit, they needed to eliminate the excuses.
Scene (hypothetical): April 2008, bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, 2 outs. Phightin' Phils down by 2 to the New York Metropolitans. Chase Utley at the plate.
Utley: ::smokes a Billy Wagner pitch....it's going back, back, back, and Carlos Beltran leaps and makes a gamesaving catch over the fence, game over, Phils lose::
Rollins: Ummmm...what the fuck was that?
Utley: I murdered that ball! He just...he just made the catch is all!
Rollins: That sounds an awful lot like an....
Rollins Precisely. (Disclaimer: Jimmy Rollins has never said that word in his life)
Utley: I know but....
Rollins: Listen here Chase, I didn't win the MVP award last year with bullshit excuses. That's what lost us the game today. You've got to believe and cut this crap out. NO EXCUSES ON THIS TEAM! How do you think Matt Tolbert hit that game-tying bouncer up the middle for the Twins one and a half years from now?
Utley: MATT TOLBERT IS THE WORST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL AND RON DARLING SHOULD BE FIRED!
"When you've got swag, it's ‘They got away from us today’ or ‘They pulled it out just in time’ or 'We just missed a couple of pitches' or 'If we could have just found the hole here,'" he said with an earnest look in his eye. "But without swag, it's 'We couldn't hold them here' or 'We couldn't get a big hit' ... you see that? It's the same thing, but your mindset is different, the way you think about that."
You're at the plate and it's a big situation. Clayton Kershaw can either bring the heat, or "Public Enemy Number 1", the knee-buckling curveball. How the hell does any of this help you?
Well, these Phillies have swag. No doubt about that.
And thanks to that swag, they also have a commanding 3-1 lead in the NLCS.
You were always that child on 3rd grade standardized tests who matched the cause "The ice melted" to the effect "The sun was shining brightly", weren't you Ryan?
Now keep in mind, this is an opinion column. Here is the remainder of the column.
Johnathan Broxton, who throws 523 MPH, pitched baseballs, but Phillies NEVER SAY DIE! The Phillies were on the bench, believing in themselves, and that energy flowed 150 feet away to Johnathan Broxton, who walked Matt Stairs on four pitches, and Broxton was SO UNCOMFORTABLE, beaned Ruiz, Dobbs lined out (no excuses, Dobbs!), and the Phillies were already halfway to the clubhouse knowing they had won the game, and willed Jimmy Rollins to hit a baseball into the gap. Brad Lidge is a Phillie. Rollins had a really uninteresting track record both against Broxton and in the game, 1-4, but I'm going to write it anyway. Jimmy Rollins was 1-4 in the game and against Broxton in his career. That's a .250 batting averaeg. (he actually spelled it like that) Carlos Ruiz eats 27 tacos per day, but Jayson Werth thought the Phillies would win, so a jetpack magically appeared on Carlos Ruiz's back! Andre Ethier, busy trying to grasp why the umpire would allow a clearly illegal device in play, forgot how to throw, and the Phillies scored! Phillies win! Phillies win! Phillies! Ryan Howard has a sense of humor, and knows how many more games the Phillies need to win to go to the World Series!
I may have edited that a little. With the power of FLOG!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yikes, this is stupid.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I don't know who of you out there has been following the Chicago Cubs lately, but if you haven't, let me bring you up to speed. Their record is 18-1932, their batting average is -.432, and their team ERA is 3.87. Yup. Pretty good pitching. But anyway, who cares about the logistics. We need a solution! Dan McNeil just got promoted to having his own 4-hour long talk show on the radio in Chicago, and he has the answer: yelling! Take it away, Danny Mac!
We need a new Lou. This one won't do. Lou Piniella just isn't selling the Zen thing. Not to me or to anybody else. Most important, the 25 athletes under his stewardship don't appear to be processing his messages.
Lou Piniella: Hey Soriano, quit swinging at pitches in the dirt!
Alfonso Soriano: ::strikes out by swinging at ball four low::
Lou Piniella: Hey Theriot, quit swinging for the fences and slap it to right, like the good ol' days!
Ryan Theriot: ::swings as hard as he can and pops it up to the pitcher::
Derrek Lee: ::takes strike one::
Lou Piniella: ::Runs out of the dugout screaming to argue the call, now is kicking dirt and peeing on home plate simultaneously:: YOU PIECE OF $#@( what kind of #(@#ing #!#$ $#@! #$@* #$*( #$*$ing (percent sign) #@$! Barbara Streissand's #$@$@!!!!
Jake Fox: Hey, Lou's getting pissed off! I'm energized!
Geovany Soto: Hey boys, we've got this shit!
Cubs Players in unison: HUZZAH!
::Cubs win game 131-4::
And that's how it all went down.
I'm pleased when anybody reads anything, even a cocktail napkin,
You have very low standards.
but those books Piniella said he read last offseason should have been saved for Phil Jackson. He wears a satin robe better.
Joe Torre didn't singlehandedly win all those AL East titles by acting all calm, that's for damn sure.
Try as Piniella might to convince the world he's walking on rice paper without leaving a trace, he always has been most comfortable near the edge. Or completely over it. That's who he is.
Factors in winning a Major League Baseball division, in order of importance.
1) Manager comfortability
3) Being in the four-teamed AL West
4) Removing bases from their proper locations
5) Runs scored
Unearthing bases. Kicking dirt. Spitting. Scratching. Fighting one of his own players, as he did in Cincinnati with the behemoth-sized Rob Dibble.
6) Fighting Rob Dibble
None of those outlandish behaviors will solve the Cubs' most urgent problems,
At least you admit this.
but when a historically fiery manager ceases to breathe fire, then you have a brand new problem to tack onto the list: resignation.
Or worse: a manager that doesn't instantly verbalize everything he thinks in a hyperpassionate matter. That fucks over the media hardcore.
We want to know you're still in there, Lou. C'mon, Lou.
You know Soto the Pothead is starting to turn things around......maybe you should cheer for him? He actually plays baseb-....ah hell. C'mon Lou.
Time for Piniella to take one of his struggling bullpen arms over the fence, the way the Tigers' Ryan Raburn did Tuesday night, to beat Kevin Gregg in the bottom of the ninth.
The play on words here was just simply effortless.
As Piniella awakens to a call to action, perhaps it also alerts general manager Jim Hendry to a problem on which he may want to act. Who's this team's closer if it's not going to be Gregg, who has blown three saves and is averaging more than 20 pitches per inning?
Good Danny. This is baseball. This is definitely something worth talking about. Maybe we should elaborate on this. Maybe talk about some possible solutions to the problem.
The more cerebral Lou can spare embarrassing Gregg with critical words. Just give him the ball in garbage time at the next opportunity. Actions speak louder than words.
Danny Mac's solution: Embarrass Kevin Gregg.
The original ''Plan B'' was Carlos Marmol, but he also has underwhelmed. I'm all for seeing Piniella wave Marmol in for mop-up duty, too, if there aren't more performances like Tuesday's, when he whiffed three of the four Detroit hitters he faced.
Alright so the nominal two best relievers on the Cubs are pitching with the team 5 runs down in the 4th inning. Danny Mac, you deserved every bit of that promotion.
We need more actions, those like Monday night when Piniella benched Alfonso Soriano for the Cubs' one-night stand in Atlanta. Good. Soriano needed it.
If this was a routine rest day (I don't know for sure), this is very funny.
Next move is to hit him fifth or sixth in the order.
Agreed. Every Cub fan in the universe knows this should have happened 2 years ago.
Of Piniella's regulars, only veterans Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot have proven reliable. They are the only Cubs position players who should be an automatic when Piniella pencils in his daily lineup.
Kosuke Fukudome: .279 EqA
Milton Bradley: .263 EqA
Ryan Theriot: .263 EqA
Reed Johhhhnson: .269 EqA
Micah Hoffpauir: .262 EqA
You heard the man. Theriot's your lock to play every day. None of those other guys quite stack up.
Without acting, Piniella is running the dangerous risk of creating the impression he's losing interest. I couldn't believe it when he didn't want to talk about his team's habitual struggle to not capitalize on scoring opportunities the other night.
I can't believe that either, man! When your team is hitting .011 on the season with RISP and this is happening pretty much every other game, I can't imagine why Lou wouldn't want to talk to the media about it!
Maybe it's time for the guy to talk about going fishing.
Maybe he should go fishing.
I'm not encouraging Piniella to barbeque his players publicly. It won't mean squat if he rips one of his guys, unloads on an umpire or kicks Roger Bossard's majestic granules of sand all over Bridgeport this weekend.
This pretty much is the opposite of everything you've said thus far.
Nobody is asking for the postgame spread to be hurled against the wall of the clubhouse. Nothing contrived or falsely manufactured is necessary.
It's gotta come from the HEART!!!
Just show us you're not going to lie down and take it. Use the pencil like a carving knife. Messages are delivered when they land right in the gut.
Send a message! Instead of those losers, start Andres Blanco and Aaron Miles every day! That'll show 'em you care about winning!
Find new roles for those not handling their current ones. Keep shakin' up that lineup card and that bullpen. An untrustworthy pen has cost many managers their jobs.
Neal Cotts, you are now the closer for the Chicago Cubs.
So has indifference.
Alright Danny Mac, I've been pretty sarcastic this entire time, so let me level with you. It isn't that Lou doesn't give a shit. It's that unlike you, he understands that throwing an angry hissy fit isn't going to make professional baseball players play better. And if he doesn't otherwise feel like it, he won't do it. You stink.
I'm off to Hawaii, bitches!!!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hello everyone. I'm here to announce that Fire Jay Mariotti is going on hiatus until December 26th. We're not planning on seeing any new bad examples of sports journalism until then. So, to all eleven of you reading, I apologize, you're not going to have any extra distraction to run off to on the computer while all your relatives are busy telling boring stories this holiday season. We're just not going to be there for yo--
Wait a second....
I can only assume this is your doing, Celizic.
Yankees have all the pieces of a new dynasty
They sure do! Brett Gardner is currently their starting center fielder! They've got possibly the two most well-constructed teams in the rest of the league (both now, and in the future) clogging up their division! They have the "best" defensive shortstop in the world!
Wait, wait.....these are bad things! What gives, Mike?
The Yankees just became the team to beat — and not just in the American League.
That's quite a claim. You're saying the Yankees are absolutely, without question the team to beat because they signed this guy. With all due respect to him, he's nowhere near as good as this guy (seriously, look at that WARP difference!). Yet you're acting like he is.
New York reportedly has landed first baseman Mark Teixeira, continuing one of the most profligate spending sprees in baseball history. If true, the team that has clearly not given up on the idea that champions are purchased, not born, has all the big pieces of a new dynasty in place.
Aging shortstop, aging catcher, aging closer, aging (albeit awesome) third baseman, aging....whatever you want to call Johnny Damon at this point. This is a fucking dynasty!
All the Boston Red Sox can do is watch and wonder what the Evil Empire will do next.
The Tampa Bay Rays apparently don't care about this at all.
And all indications are that there’s more to come. It could be Manny Ramirez, although he would strain even the Yankees' budget.
It could be another front-line pitcher.
There's only one left available, so you might as well be specific.
It could be center fielder Matt Kemp and more bullpen help in a trade with the Dodgers for second baseman Robinson Cano.
Hey, did you hear that everyone? Dave Littlefield somehow assumed control of the Los Angeles Dodgers!
The difference between this and previous spending sprees is that the Yankees so far have spent their money on players in their primes, and not on aging all-stars on the down slopes of their careers. They’ve also signed guys who should fit in well with their teammates.
There's something I feel like I should be saying about that last sentence, but I can't quite put my finger on it......
What’s most impressive with the normally impulsive Yankees is the methodical way that general manager Brian Cashman has gone about his off-season labors.
Step 1) Sign pitching.
Step 2) Sign hitting.
It wasn't all that complicated.
The Yankees’ first need was pitching, and that’s already been taken care of with the signings of CC Sabathia, the best free-agent pitcher on the market, and A.J. Burnett, arguably the second-best of the group. Those acquisitions alone propelled the Yankees into contender status in the AL East with Boston and the Rays.
Methodical. Not impulsive.
The next need was a big bat in the heart of the lineup to replace the power the team lost with the departures of Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. Teixeira’s 162-game average over his six-year career is 121 RBI, 101 runs, 36 home runs and a .378 on-base percentage.
He’s a superior defensive first baseman and best of all, he’s a switch hitter.
Scott Boras: I think the Yankees need to sign Teixeira if they want to stay competitive.
Brian Cashman: Hmmm.....I dunno...what makes you think he'll help the squad for that astronomical sum you're asking?
Scott Boras: Well, he's a real run producer. He's driven in an average of 121 runs per season, and he's scored 101 himself!
Brian Cashman: Ehhh...tempting, tempting....what else ya got?
Scott Boras: Well...he's a real power threat. 36 homers per year, dontcha know!
Brian Cashman: Yes...you see I'm still not sure he's worth the 8 years, $180M....
Scott Boras: He's also a pretty good on-base guy. You can't sneeze at a .378 OBP!
Brian Cashman: But I can be completely and utterly bored with it!
Scott Boras: UGH! Well, he's great with the glove, too, if you think that matters....
Brian Cashman: Ehh....that's good, but he's just a first bas-
Scott Boras: He's a switch hitter.
Brian Cashman: Sold.
Best of all, he’s no aging superstar.
You JUST SAID something else was "best of all". You can't do that twice, man! That's pure butchery of the English language!
They’re not a perfect team, and they’re still probably not the equal of the team that won four out of five World Series from 1996-2000. They’re weak in left field, where age and bad arms have caught up with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. New acquisition Nick Swisher has potential, but will be a downgrade if he is plugged in for Bobby Abreu in right.
Thanks for acknowledging this. You're a real sport, Mike.
Perhaps more importantly, we've just learned that yes, it is possible to will people out of existence through the power of ignorance.
Jorge Posada, a potent switch-hitter, will be back at catcher after losing most of 2008 with shoulder problems, but his skills as a catcher are beginning to erode. Center field is unsettled, with Swisher being a candidate to play there along with youngster Brett Gardner. Gardner is blessed with extraordinary speed, but he has yet to prove he can hit at the major league level. Melky Cabrera, once the center fielder of the future, fell so precipitously last year he was exiled to the Yankees’ Scranton farm club.
Hey, now careful, if you keep this shit up, your case for them being a dynasty may lose some momentum.....
Cano also took a huge step backwards last year, and needed a feverish run at the end of the season to get his average up to .271, more than 30 points below 2007. His RBIs were down to 72 from 97, and he had 15 fewer extra-base hits and scored 23 fewer runs than he had a year earlier.
Woahhhhhhh....you just listed legitimate problems at 5 of the 9 offensive positions! You know what word I'm thinking of when I hear stuff like that?
But the biggest parts of a contender are in place. The Yankees have a rotation that should stand up to Boston’s and Tampa’s. They have a lineup that will stand up to anyone.
"Stand up to" must now equal "dominate". Unless that's what dynasties do nowadays. They don't need to win, they just need to give the other guys a run for their money!
Now, starting at first base, they have the Teixeira, a great kid with a great bat and glove.
"The Teixeira". I smell a fucking SICK nickname for this guy catching on!
They’re back on top — on paper, at least.
Wrong. You, yourself have given at least 4 reasons why in this very article.
And all Boston and the rest of the league can do is sit back and wonder what they’ll do next. Because the Yankees aren’t done yet.
They...they might be done.
Dynasty, thy name is Teixeira.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Man Whose Columns I Shall Not Link is making noise again. I have made many of my posts on this site in the wee hours of the A.M. For undisclosed reasons, making posts at this time is probably going to end with this one. So this is it. I'm going to pull up a nice bag of Wheat Thins, get comfy in this chair in my sweatpants, and watch Jay Mariotti delay my sleeping hours for one last time.
Griffey's presence will help, but White Sox still flawed
Couldn't be more giddy. Talks about how Griffey physically being there is more valuable than him doing anything baseball-wise.
Please understand this: The White Sox are not getting the first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Ken Griffey Jr. once endorsed for president by Nike, the phenom who scaled fences and blasted home runs in flurries and defined the essence of the five-tool stud.
::gathers up every person in the state of Illinois::
Sit down everyone. Now listen carefully. If any of you think that the Ken Griffey Jr. that is coming to the White Sox is anywhere near as good as the Ken Griffey Jr. from say, 10, even 5 years ago, please stand up.
::no one moves::
Useful first sentence, Jay!
Please know they're getting Griffey in his 38-year-old twilight, the Griffey who hasn't played center field regularly since 2006, the Griffey who has gained weight, the Griffey who wasn't coveted by anyone but Ken Williams.
Coveted? He sent away a fringe middle reliever and a 2B who seems to be on the verge of washing out. I would have been worried if either of those guys was of any importance, but clearly, this was just a move that required absolutely no risk to make.
What they're looking for is some stability in center, some power in the No. 6 hole and a way to demote Paul Konerko, whose mysterious demise no longer is tolerable. But the Mark Teixiera trade, this is not.
A plan-another-parade trade, this is not. If the Sox truly were gunning for another championship, they would have thought bigger, bolder and younger -- and also would have addressed their pitching, defense and speed issues.
I would love to see Jay Mariotti be a GM! It would be so much fun!
Jay Mariotti: What's out there on that market! We need to get power, pitching, defense and speed, right away!
Assistant: Well, there's several good candidates out there, but....
Jay Mariotti: But WHAT? Let's get them!
Assistant: Well, you traded away your farm system last year in the "Bigger, Bolder and Younger" campaign last year.
Jay Mariotti: Nonsense! There has to be someone good still playing down in the minors for us to deal.....
Assistant: No, I mean you literally traded away your farm system. We don't even have any minor league teams anymore.
Jay Mariotti: When the fuck did I do that? What do we even have to show for it?
Assistant: The guys you've been whining about acquiring for what seems like forever! Mark Teixeira, Torii Hunter, Dwyane Wade, Derek Anderson, and Coco Crisp. Sir.....a couple of those men don't even play baseball....are you sure that you know what you're doing here?
Jay Mariotti: Duh! Appeasing insatiable blowhard columnists! That's what general managers do, right?
Assistant: Sir, Wade just threw his 8th wild pitch of this game.
Jay Mariotti: Piss off already.
In failing to land Huston Street or another reliever, Williams leaves the Sox scarily vulnerable in the bullpen.
Because he didn't want to trade away Aaron Poreda, a man whose existence I'm quite sure you're unaware of.
They are not, in other words, going to win another World Series this year.
Uh oh, Jay's busting out the crystal ball again! Might I remind you that there is no possible way you can say that with confidence?
The Sox remain a big, plodding, muscular team that hits for power -- Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Griffey, Joe Crede when he returns -- but has trouble manufacturing runs any other way.
The White Sox have scored 539 big, plodding, muscular runs this season. That's some good ploddin' lemme tells ya. Good for third in the AL, it is. But they haven't produced any runs from their Run Factory Manufacturing Production Plant System Depot Building For Manufacturing Runs. Which would be a concern, except, IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW THE FUCK YOU SCORE YOUR RUNS AS LONG AS YOU SCORE THEM!
They'd be great in Home Run Derby. A recipe for glory, it is not.
Do I have to bring up the 2006 Cardinals again? I do, don't I? The recipe for glory involves things like Scott Spezio and Jeff Weaver. The White Sox have....Griffey. Nope, not on the list, sorry.
Do give Williams props in one respect, though. He senses a good story, an opportunity for an all-time great to revitalize his career in a pennant race and reach down for a big homer here, an important catch there while offering a daily clubhouse reminder that he never has played in the Series.
That's what Williams is trying to do! He sure doesn't care if he wins playoff games, but dadgummit, it's a good story!
The Angels clearly became the team to beat in October with their dynamic acquisition of Teixiera, whose power production answers their only deficiency.
Apparently playing Maicer Izturis and Jeff Mathis every day doesn't qualify as a "deficiency".
Every team has problems. The Angels aren't infallible or anything.
But at least Williams gave his ballclub an impetus to outlast the Twins and Tigers in the American League Central. Maybe Sox players who wear 2005 rings, and aren't necessarily driven to win another, will feed off the motivation to win for Junior.
I challenge you to find one player on the Chicago White Sox that does not want to win a World Series very badly. It's not like I have some sort of proof that they all do. It's just that I'm calling you out on having no clue what the hell you're talking about.
Maybe everyday players who are struggling or don't inspire confidence -- Konerko, Nick Swisher, Brian Anderson -- will be inspired to perform now that a legend is bumping their playing time.
Apparently, logging 139 ABs through the end of July without any DL stints earns you the title of "everyday player" in Jay's mind.
I mean, this is Ken Griffey Jr. Can't he help just by being around?
"One of the things that factored into this was a guy who has had a great career but has not won a championship and how motivated he's going to be to get on that stage," Williams said. "That is a factor and will always be a factor for me."
Or, as Swisher told the media in Minnesota, "I just think there's a lot of added things he can bring. I mean, I had posters of that guy on my wall growing up. So I think it's going to be an awesome thing for all of us."
This is all very nice to include, Jay. But somehow, I don't think Griffey never having won a World Series or the number of posters of Griffey that Nick Swisher had in his room growing up really have any effect. Just a hunch.....
And the rotation has become a roulette wheel, with Jose Contreras reduced to limbo, Mark Buehrle and Javier Vazquez not performing like aces and too much riding on young John Danks and Gavin Floyd, neither of whom has pitched in a pennant race.
Number of 2007 Colorado Rockies starting pitchers that had previously pitched in a pennant race: 0.
I am so sick of people making a big fucking deal out of whether someone has pitched in a pennant race before. It's the same game with the same rules on April 15th as it is on September 13th.
What the Griffey deal does, I suppose, is pacify the Blizzard of Oz and save his liver, at least for a day or two.
If this is the main function of the Griffey deal, Kenny Williams not only needs to be fired, but he should be legally forced to suck Jay Mariotti's balls as well.
Indeed, no promises have been made to Griffey about next year or the $16 million. He is here to win a World Series.
Too bad I can't say the same about the Sox.
Yes, "too bad." You clearly want them to win very badly.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Multiple stupids, in fact. Before reading, be careful. You're about to enter a zone with a very unhealthy concentration of WRONG.
As the most tortured and masochistic fans in sports, you demand love and tenderness in Cubdom. You want hope, optimism, faith. You want 100-year amnesia. You want a combination of Ron Santo, a Wrigley Granny and Eddie Vedder in the bleachers.
They're fans. ZOMG! THEY WANT TO HOPE FOR A TEAM THAT WINS IT ALL!
You want me to say 98-64,
No one cares what you predict, because it's probably more based on Piniella's post-game speeches than baseball.
a sweep of the Rockies
a Game 7 victory over Johan Santana and a Game 7 win over the Red Sox, after which you can die peacefully.
For such goo (woo!), please call Ronnie Wickers. I cannot help you.
Mentions of Ronnie Woo Woo in Jay's columns are reaching July 2, 2006ish annoyingness levels.
But what I can do is this: You tell me what you want to hear, and I'll follow with what you SHOULD hear. It's called telling the truth, assuming you can handle it.
Jay is about to do this many, many times. We're going to see how often he actually says something truth-related.
You say Kerry Wood will become the toast of Clark Street. I say Huston Street is available on the trade market.
There are two very good reasons to not trade for Huston Street
1) Billy Beane will probably rip you off.
2) Wood, Marmol, and Howry are good enough between them to handle the late innings.
Jay literally thinks teams can just trade for awesome players all the time, and if they don't, then they're fucking up.
You say Wood will be pain-free all season, save 40 games and uphold the confidence of enabler Jim Hendry, who said this after the general manager's pet rock was named the closer: ``For his sake and ours, I hope he stays healthy because that's world-class stuff.'' I say Wood symbolizes All Things Cub in the 21st century and, sadly, will have arm soreness to accompany his world-class stuff by May 1, which is May Day, prompting the electric Carlos Marmol to inherit the role he deserved all along.
Marmol had a very good 2007, but middle relievers tend to be wildly inconsistent from year to year. He's bound to see some regression. Saying that he deserved the role all along is crazy. Cliff Politte had a great 2005 for the White Sox, should he be a closer?
I apologize....not enough "angry" out of me yet. I know, I know. Read on.
You say Sam Zell, in his detached role as temporary Cubs owner, will provide a refreshing change after 27 years of ineptness from previous Tribune Co. chiefs.
I basically live in Cubsville. No one is saying that. What's your "truth", Jay?
I say Zell looks like the billy goat,
actually might be the billy goat
and already is plotting to eliminate the jobs of at least a dozen Cubs players through voluntary separation programs, involuntary layoffs and attrition.
Jay Mariotti: ::closes dictionary:: I have no idea what I am writing.
`Who needs relief pitchers? Let the starting pitcher finish every game,'' Zell will declare. ``And if you're paying eight players to be in the field, all others are superfluous.''
I'm sorry...my eyes must be going. I could have sworn you said at the top of this column you were going to tell me something called the "truth".
Yes, yes, that's what you wrote. It clearly says "truth", not "wildly stupid and un-funny exaggerations." Stop deceiving me!
You say the rotation is loaded with a Cy Young Award candidate in prediction-free Carlos Zambrano, a potential 18-game winner in Ted Lilly and a potential 15-game winner in Rich Hill.
Zam's chances of winning the Cy Young this year are probably something close to 1%, especially low due to the Santana trade. But other than that, there really isn't anything crazy about this sort of optimism.
I say you're right about Zambrano and Lilly,
All of last year, you slammed Zambrano for not being a true ace, now you think he's a Cy Young Award candidate?
but that you deserve to be conked in the head by an errant pitch from Hill, who last was seen walking six of 11 Colorado batters and has a 7.50 ERA in his last four Cactus League starts.
Rich Hill winning 15 games this year is definitely very possible. Spring starts from an established starting pitcher couldn't be less indicative of regular season performance. Please, PLEASE win 15 games this year, Rich Hill.
I'll never forget how this newspaper splashed Hill across the front page last October, wondering if he could save the Cubs. After he allowed three runs and six hits and was yanked after three innings, the Diamondbacks supplied the musical answer amid much Wrigley angst: ``We found our thrill, on Boo-berry Hill.''
Damn you Rich Hill! You pitched poorly in your first postseason start! You'll never win 15 games this year!
You say the Cubs have an awesome lineup.
Jay's right, this actually is a serious problem among Cub fans. Their lineup is severely overrated, mostly because of Soriano and the disease sweeping Chicago that
causes people to think Ryan Theriot is good at baseball.
I say they do as long as Derrek Lee doesn't remain a doubles hitter,
Derrek Lee posted the 2nd highest slugging percentage of his career last year. He also got on base at a .400 clip. You wouldn't take a doubles hitter with a .400 OBP?
Alfonso Soriano rips fastballs instead of muscles
and Aramis Ramirez is kept away from secret cockfighting arenas.
These are such stupid substitutes for actually analyzing these three hitters. For once, will you do your fucking job?
You say it's a sign of special camaraderie when several Cubs pitchers maul a '95 Nissan Sentra belonging to Tim Buss, the team's strength and conditioning coach, and his wife. You say it's very cool that they purchased him a 2008 Nissan Xterra.
How can you possibly argue that it wasn't?
I say it's a metaphor for certain pitchers who will be destroyed accordingly this season and require new replacements.
What the fuck??? This makes no sense.
Among them is a starter, Jason Marquis, who somehow won a rotation job after telling management that he, the great Jason Marquis -- who was left off postseason rosters the last two years -- would request a trade if he was moved to the bullpen. I say trade Marquis to Boston for Coco Crisp, center-field insurance for Felix Pie, while his ERA is still under 5.00.
Jim Hendry: Theo, what do you think of Marquis for Crisp?
Theo Epstein: Umm....gee Jim, ::snicker::, I'm going to have to think about that one. I have 6 starting pitchers, all better than Jason. I have an awesome bullpen. But yeah, I totally have a higher need on my team for a bad pitcher than one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.
Jim Hendry: You don't have to be so mean...it wasn't my idea, anyway.....Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti totally came up with that idea. It seems that I care so much about what he thinks that I just had to pitch that one to you.
Theo Epstein: HA! Jay Mariotti!?!? That guy's a moron! There's this wicked sweet blog on the internet that constantly says he should be fired. I read it all the time!
You say I'm being mean to Wood. I say I'm rooting harder for him than anyone but family, friends and Hendry.
You are not rooting for him, because you're rooting for you to be wrong, which everyone on the fucking planet knows isn't the case. How did you sneak this lie in there? You're supposed to be telling me the truth!
I'm now about to copy and paste the most worthless paragraph of all-time, and won't comment on it. Read at your own risk.
You say Piniella, in introducing ``Cubbie occurrence'' to the lexicon, has coined a phrase for eternity. I say you're right. Pie's twisted testicle -- has it untwisted yet? -- is a Cubbie occurrence. Zell is a Cubbie occurrence. Blaming the Evil Stoney in '04 was a Cubbie occurrence. Trading Lou Brock and not keeping Greg Maddux in 1992 were Cubbie occurences. All the various animals associated with a century of futility are Cubbie occurrences. Thanks, Lou, for new material. Unless Piniella, too, is a Cubbie occurrence.
Moving right along....
You say Kosuke Fukudome will have no problem acclimating to Cubdom. I say he runs for cover the first time trash is thrown from the bleachers. You say you'll be very cordial to him out there. I say some of you become filled with rage when the mood strikes and will treat anyone like Jacque Jones. I also say you don't want any international incidents when we're trying to land the 2016 Olympics.
You might find this paragraph shocking, as Jay just did something he's never done before. He took an incident that happened awhile ago that has nothing to do with the situation at hand and used it to argue a point which also has freakishly little to do with the situation at hand.
You might find my last paragraph there shocking, as I used something called "sarcasm", which is completely new to my writing style.
He does that shit all the time. In case you guys wanted a recap of that paragraph, filled with things that have so little to do with each other, here it is.
"You say Kosuke Fukudome will blah blah blah, I say blah blah blah run for cover blah blah filled with rage blah blah international incidents blah blah 2016 Olympics".
You say the Milwaukee Brewers are frauds. I say slugger Prince Fielder, who last year became the youngest major-league player to hit 50 home runs, is now a vegetarian after reading his wife's book, ``Skinny Bitch: A No-nonsense, Tough-love Guide for Savvy Girls who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous.''
See? They're not frauds! Prince Fielder is gonna lose weight!
You say I'm making this up. I say it's impossible to make up something this weird
Last year, you said that there was black magic associated with a baseball that rolled in from the bullpen towards third base because "baseball" starts with the letter 'b'. You also said that Torii Hunter is better than Nick Swisher, a statement that I consider equally weird.
You say the Sun-Times got Punk'd when a Tribune intern, Katie Hamilton, won this newspaper's video contest condemning Zell's attempt to sell Wrigley's naming rights. I say Hamilton is more clever than most writers at the sleepy broadsheet. I also say the Tribune is too cheap to give her a raise, and that Zell is contemplating laying her off because she has had her day in the Sun(-Times).
Oh yeah Jay, I forgot to tell you. Irrelevance called, it wants its nonsense back.
You say the Cubs are winning it all. I say they'll repeat as division champs, their first back-to-back claiming of cloth since 1907-08, but lose in the playoffs. You say I'm being negative. I say you need to get a life one of these centuries.
Jay seems to think that winning a playoff series is an impossibility for a given team that makes the playoffs. Why, Jay, can the Cubs win their division and then have a 0% chance at beating another baseball team in a best-of-five series? There's a shit-ton of luck involved....it's not like the NBA, you can't say things like, "oh, the Cubs, they're only an NLDS team, nothing more." One day I want you to wake up and realize that.
On a side note, I saw the comments left on this article. Everyone really, really dislikes you, Jay! And I mean we're talking threats of physical violence!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Gee, it sure has been awhile since anyone has gushed over big ol' overrated ol' Torii Hunter, eh? Well Jon Heyman just changed that! Let's dive in!
Angel in the outfield
Torii Hunter is a perfect match with his new club
A "perfect match" you say? Here's what I'd call a "perfect match".
Step 1: Team has a lack of outfielders.
Step 2: Team signs a free-agent outfielder.
Look at this farking depth chart! Is there some convenient little spot where Hunter fits? No, it's a clusterfuck filled with other overpaid people like Gary Matthews and Garret Anderson who are slightly worse than Hunter. Reggie Willits had a .391 OBP last year! Juan Rivera was injured last year, but slugged .525 in 2006! So before you even say anything on the topic, I want you to know this, Jon Heyman. You are completely and totally one-hundred-per-fucking-cent WRONG.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Hard as it is to believe, the best deal anyone made this winter just might have been done at a Del Taco, out on I-91, halfway between Anaheim and Riverside, on the way out to the desert. Over a couple iced teas, Torii Hunter's agent, Larry Reynolds, and new Angels GM Tony Reagins, two longtime baseball acquaintances, hammered out the $90-million, five-year contract that made Hunter an Angel and seemed to upset almost half the American League.
It upset two. The Rangers and the White Sox. And neither of those teams spent $90M on an overrated CF on the wrong side of 31 who has never EqA'ed above .282, so they realized the error of their ways (not really) and lived happily ever after. The end.
PECOTA-haters shut your eyes, but Hunter is projected for an average of 3.08 WARP for the 5 years of his contract. That's less than what Gary Matthews Jr. gave them last year by more than a full win. And this is supposed to be the best deal of the winter?
The Angels acted like "a Ninja in the middle of the night wearing all black," says Hunter, coming out of nowhere to sign the man who is now tearing up the Cactus League, with a .500 batting average (16 for 32), three HRs, 10 RBI and a 1.063 slugging percentage so far.
Why Jon, I couldn't dream of anything more meaningless than spring stats! Ivan Rodriguez has hit 6 HR in 41 ABs! He hit all of 11 last year. George Lombard is slugging 1.053. I have no clue who the fuck that is.
In reality, this is the perfect match, anyway: the perpetually sunny Hunter and Southern California. It was like a Disney ending. He says, "This is the one team I always wanted to play for. They were No. 1 on my list.''
Yeah, but guess what? Most Disney movies have really crappy sequels. I know just how they're gonna follow this up. We're going to turn it over to deep-throated movie trailer guy.
"One is a Major League Baseball team in sunny Southern California. The other is a sunny Major League Baseball player. It was a match made in heaven....or was it?
Tony Reagins: 'My...my money...it's gone! Someone spent it all!'
Coming to theatres this spring.....
Torii Hunter: 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WANT ME TO WALK MORE???'
....the story of the Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels continues, as their seemingly perfect marriage melts into newlywed trauma and drama.
Torii Hunter: 'I'm givin' one hundred and twenty percent, coach!'
Mike Scioscia: 'If you ain't runnin' into outs you ain't tryin' dagnabbit!'
Garret Anderson: 'Doesn't anyone CARE about me anymore?'
Torii Hunter stars in his most difficult role yet.........
Torii Hunter: 'HOW THE HELL CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO PLAY ADEQUATE DEFENSE IN 5 YEARS???'
And introducing Tony Reagins as the new Angels GM.......
Disney and Pixar proudly present.....
Free Agent Centerfielder II - The Low-OBP Debacle
Rated PG-13. Starts March 31"
Well that was pointless.
Some folks suggested the Angels overpaid. (If so, it's the first time anyone ever could claim that at a Del Taco.) But judging by the reaction of the teams that lost out for Hunter's services, those opinions are worth less than one Macho Taco (yes, it's on the menu).
We get it, the deal took place at a fucking fast-food taco restaurant. Those of you who read the actual article know that I've omitted several other useless references to the restaurant already in my commentary. It's getting REALLLLY annoying, no one cares.
The Rangers and especially the White Sox seemed to be floored by Hunter's quick call to go west. Both teams are believed to have offered $75 million for five years, with the Rangers perhaps willing to go even higher, and offer a sixth-year option.
The White Sox saw Hunter as the one to rescue a ho-hum clubhouse
Oh....yeah...and they had this black hole in center field that the Angels totally didn't have. You think they wanted him for that reason too? Or was he just supposed to uplift the clubhouse spirits?
This just in: It appears the White Sox have just signed Jabbo the Happy-Go-Kooky Klown to a 5 year, $105M deal. Jabbo will perform juggling tricks and throw pies in peoples faces in the dugout to lift the spirits of the players. He will also serve as a pinch hitter for Jerry Owens.
Hunter said he didn't approach the Angels since they already had Gary Matthews Jr. for center field, though that didn't stop him from waiting for their call, or jumping at the chance. Matthews will move over to leftfield, though with Reggie Willits and Juan Rivera also in tow, he may lose a few at-bats (that's probably OK by the Angels, as Matthews' brush with HGH last spring surely didn't help his stock with them).
Even Hunter realized that this move made absolutely no sense for the Angels, and that he totally didn't fit there. Yet one of the 30 Major League GMs couldn't figure that one out.
If those other teams that lost out are paying attention this spring, they can't feel any better about Hunter playing for an American League competitor. He is killing the ball out here
So are Gerald Laird and Ronnie Belliard.
and proving to be the perfect piece in a clubhouse that probably needed a little extra energy boost.
I love when journalists say crap like this. This little clause has something amazing working for it. You can't prove it.....but by golly, it's 100% impossible for someone to disprove it as well. We like to call these statements: mid-article cop-outs. This is when the author has run out of substantial things to say, so he starts racking up nonsense, or "phony-baloney" if you will, to fill the white space. Be at ease, Heyman, page 2 of this column is all about other topics. You only need to get a little further making up BS about Hunter.
Hunter's always upbeat nature is a welcome enhancement to a laid-back clubhouse whose biggest personality in years past was probably manager Mike Scioscia.
Southern California fans historically also are known for being laid back, but Hunter was so impressed by the Rally Monkey-fueled craziness in 2002 when the Angels knocked the Twins out of the playoffs en route to their World Series title, he made a mental note of it. "The atmosphere is crazy here. They're not laid back at all,'' Hunter insisted.
Thus: Hunter to the Angels was the best deal of the winter, and ZOMG! IT HAPPENED AT A TACO-BASED FAST FOOD OUTLET!!!!!
This is so disappointing. There's little-to-no correct, relevant substance in this entire column.
Hunter's also a great fit in the lineup, where he'll bat fourth or sometimes fifth, with Garret Anderson being the other option to protect the team's best hitter Vladimir Guerrero.
Batting order doesn't really mean that much, but yes, it will be nice for the Angels to have a solid HR hitter behind Vlad to make pitchers feel less easy about pitching around him. Point: Heyman.
Some might suggest Hunter isn't your typical cleanup man,
What crazies. Heyman, give us some solid evidence to the contrary.
but he will have none of that talk. "I'm going to bust your butt if you make a mistake," he warned opposing pitchers.
When an opposing pitcher makes a mistake against Ryan Howard, Howard literally sits down in the batters box and starts laughing, rather than actually swinging at the pitch to make the pitcher pay.
Thanks for the solid evidence.
The numbers suggest that's more than just a boast. When batting fourth last year for the Twins, Hunter batted .337 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games.
Oh my gawwwwddd....you just gave be a world full of things to pick on! I feel like a kid in a candy store!
1) Let's start with the obvious one. 23 games. That's like, less than a month. When a player has a hot July, Heyman, do you automatically assume there's something about the player's genetic makeup that makes him more awesome in July?
2) That 3 HR / 23 games rate is actually LOWER than Hunter's HR rate for the season.
3) In 2005, Hunter batted only .279 batting 4th.
4) Hunter has never hit .290 in a season, and to suggest that a move to a DIFFERENT LINEUP SPOT would somehow give Hunter magic skills that allow him to hit at a sustainably higher batting average despite seasons upon seasons of evidence to the contrary is stupider than referencing the fact that a MLB offseason deal took place at a taco restaurant multiple times in an article. Good thing you've never done the latter.
5) You are a terrible columnist, Jon Heyman.
In his career, he's hitting .276 with 22 homers and 93 RBIs in 158 games -- almost identical numbers to his career 162-game average of .271, 25 and 93.
Wow....so like.....Torii Hunter hitting 4th is identical to Torii Hunter hitting anywhere else! Thanks for proving that we needed to talk about batting order!
As it turns out, the Angels may have found the perfect person for the middle of
Because who doesn't love a .324 career OBP?
and their clubhouse.
You based this on which specific interactions between Hunter and the other Angels players, again?
On the plus side, this is probably the first Torii Hunter article I have ever read that did not make ridiculous comments that overrate his defense. Kudos, Heyman.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Let's talk about integrity, friends. I am going to lecture you all about integrity. I feel that as some guy who searches the internet for bad sports writing and mercilessly bashes the somewhat-innocent writers of the pieces, I am mega-qualified to tell people the value of integrity.
Oh fuck it, I'm burning in hell. Let's let someone good, with high morals, like Jay Mariotti tell you why integrity is so important.
Bad time to acquire a juicer
Leadoff hitter could be perfect addition to awesome lineup, but admitted user of performance-enhancing drugs also would kill club’s integrity
I have never seen a worse subtitle in my entire life!
Let me correct that first clause real quick. It should say "leadoff hitter could be good addition to awesomely overrated and flawed lineup." (Soriano is just....not that good, folks! And I don't care what Soto did last year on a small sample either!)
Now, for the second, blatantly more wrong, blatantly more irrelevant, blatantly more completely idiotic part.
but admitted user of performance-enhancing drugs also would kill club’s integrity
Admitted user. Brian Roberts admitted to taking steroids. He publicly came clean. Admitting when you have done something wrong is a SIGN of integrity, not a detractor from it! How would he "kill club's integrity?" He's not juicing now! You, on the other hand, once lied and said Torii Hunter was better than Nick Swisher, just to try to make your for-some-reason archrival Kenny Willaims look bad. Who has more integrity, Brian Roberts, or Jay Mariotti?
Is it possible a man can use steroids only once? Does he feel a needle pierce the hide of his buttocks and realize, right then and there, that he has violated his conscience and made a grievous mistake? Are we really expected to believe someone smokes weed only once, drinks and drives only once and embezzles an employer only once before suddenly finding religion?
Jay, those things happen all the time! I know tons of people who have smoked weed only once and said "hey man, that's not for me." Some people drink and drive, then remember just how dangerous it is and don't do it again! Some people don't feel how wrong an action is, like embezzling an employer, until they actually do it! Did you really just write that? Really? Then again, you once said that John Paxson should be fired and the Bulls nucleus dismantled after continued improvement in 4 straight seasons. So maybe we shouldn't take what you say to heart too much.
Such is the claim of Brian Roberts, who could be a Cub by the time you read this. Last month, Roberts was named as a steroids user on Page 158 of George Mitchell's report probing baseball's juice era. He didn't comment immediately, waiting a full five days before revealing he'd used performance-enhancers.
That FIEND! He kept the nation guessing for 5 FUCKING DAYS before coming clean! I bet you waited less time than that to write an entire "sports" column about how Rick Morrissey is stalking you.
Only once, of course.
``In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue doing,'' Roberts said. ``I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident. I can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans, that steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball."
A very open confession. Given no hard evidence at all to the contrary, there is little reason not to believe Roberts. Jay has tried to convince the world of stranger things, on the other hand, like that time he said the Bears would be better off losing football games for reasons besides getting a better draft pick. Is anyone besides FireJay giving you the third degree about that one, JayBird?
The problem I have with his impassioned confession is that it also exposes his bold-faced lie.
No it doesn't. I literally can't wait for what you're about to say. And besides, you lie all the time. Remember when you said Chris Duhon was better than Kirk Hinrich?
When the great snitch Jason Grimsley told federal agents in 2006 that Roberts was a user of anabolic steroids, he flatly denied it.
So we're supposed to believe Jason Grimsley, the perpetual blowhard who was one of the steroid ringleaders, and not Roberts? That's crazier than that time you said that the Sox were cheapskates for not overbidding for big fat overrated Torii Hunter (he isn't fat, I'm sorry, that was a lie. See why I'm having Jay teach you aboiut integrity instead?).
Side note: why is Roberts's denial evidence of his guilt?
``His accusations are ridiculous,'' Roberts said then. ``We've had steroid testing, and I've taken all the tests. There is no point in getting into verbal wars. That's all there is to say.''
A very mature, evidence-filled reply. It wasn't an outstanding argument or anything, like that time Jay said David Eckstein would vastly improve the White Sox, but you know, it was alright.
So now, as the Cubs consider making a major deal with the Baltimore Orioles for Roberts, we're supposed to conveniently forgive this episode as one simple, human mistake? He didn't tell the truth, people.
Yes! Forgive it! There's no reason not to! Especially because he isn't juicing now! And you can't say that Roberts didn't tell the truth, because you have absolutely no proof of it. Something Jason Grimsley said might either be false, or he might have based it on the one time that Roberts did use steroids. You are literally just looking for reasons not to like things Chicago sports teams are doing. I'm even more disappointed in you than that time you said football fans shouldn't be passionate about their team!
And after the Mitchell Report, he again waited a good while before noticing others were confessing guilt and deciding to come out himself. This is not called being forthright. This is called trying to cover your syringe-poked butt before something else might be said.
He waited 5 fucking days! That's all! That's not even a week! Saying Joe Torre would boost the 72-90 White Sox to a 90-win season before they made any offseason moves isn't being forthright either! It's dodging the issues with the team and spewing wrongitude as a futile attempt to attack Ozzie Guillen!
We have reached a fascinating juncture, then, as baseball observers. Facing Cubdom is an ethical debate far removed from the usual beertap arguments, such as when a manager should pull a starting pitcher or if the girl in the halter top looks better than the girl in the t-shirt. What is more important: (a) trying to win your first World Series in 100 years by acquiring an elite leadoff hitter and second baseman, which would let Lou Piniella drop Alfonso Soriano to third in the batting order and create a powerful lineup; or (b) maintaining integrity as an organization during a scandalous period in baseball history?
"Elite leadoff hitter" is a bit of a stretch. And why choose one when you could have both! The only way you could add a player and not maintain integrity is if you added a guy that was secretly still doing drugs! (or like, some guy who steals things from teammates' houses) Roberts isn't! This sounds like a healthy dose of your Ashton Kutcher-related bullshit.
I choose integrity.
That is the most fucking ironic thing I have ever seen! Sweet! I love it when extreme things happen!
You didn't choose integrity that time you claimed the DBacks were beating the Cubs using "grinderball".
Nor did you choose integrity when you chose to write an entire column accusing the White Sox of using anti-Mariotti propaganda (imagine the irony!).
General manager Jim Hendry, sadly, has chosen the .290 batting average and 50 stolen bases. And my guess is, most Cubs fans are siding with Hendry.
THAT IS BECAUSE MOST CUB FANS AREN'T COMPLETE RETARDS THAT CAN'T FORGIVE SOMEONE FOR ONE INSTANCE OF USING STEROIDS AFTER THEY APOLOGIZED AND CAME CLEAN!
Maybe, just MAYBE, they're as excited about Brian Roberts for playing baseball well as I was when Larry found that blip on Deadspin about someone paying $15/year to make www.retardedvagina.com link to your column.
If so, those people are hypocrites.
FUCK THE HECK!?!??! Jay calling someone ELSE a hypocrite is probably the most hypocritical thing in the history of hypocritical things.
You clearly have forgotten that time on July 5 that you suddenly decided Piniella was the best manager ever after bashing him for 2 straight months.
You can't decry the Steroids Era in one breath, then cheer wildly when your ballclub acquires one of the stars of the Mitchell Report.
Roberts was not a "star" of the Mitchell Report. Clemens, Segui, Grimsley. Those men are stars. Roberts was something of an afterthought.
You can't claim the White Sox had no injury problems in 2007 and that the manager is responsible for their losing since July 2, 2006 when neither of those things are true!
Hendry was relieved when no current Cubs were listed in the report, but dealing for Roberts would smear that record.
HOW? The reason Hendry was relieved that no current Cubs were listed in the report was because he didn't want to find out that one of his guys was secretly, unbeknownst to Hendry, using steroids. Hendry knows Brian Roberts was in the Mitchell Report and has accepted that. It's a completely different scenario than if Hendry traded for Roberts before the report was released. Just like when you said it would have been a completely different scenario in the ND vs Georgia Tech game if only Charlie Weis had ::gasp:: revealed to the public that Demetrius Jones would be the starting QB!
This isn't a player with a drug or alcohol problem being given a second chance to conquer his disease. No, this is someone who made a conscious decision to use steroids as recently as five years ago, when everyone knew the juice was sinful.
Anyone else completely lost here? Like, why is the sentence about the "player with a drug or alcohol problem" in here. Like, is he saying the Cubs should want someone who is being given a second chance to cure a drug/alcohol addiction, but not a guy who used steroids once 5 years ago and apologized for it and for sure isn't doing it anymore? That makes less sense than saying Tony LaRussa could fix the White Sox.
Won't another leadoff hitter be on the market eventually? Isn't Mark DeRosa a solid second baseman for now? Why sacrifice your soul for a .377 on-base percentage?
Scene: Hell, 3 years after Hendry's death.
Hendry: Where did you guys go wrong in life?
Adolf Hitler: I persecuted the Jews and caused the death of millions of people.
Osama Bin Laden: I ordered that attack on the Twin Towers in New York. Lots of terror and lives lost.
Adolf & Osama: What did you do to piss off God, Jim?
Hendry: I um....::gulp:: traded for Brian Robe--
Hitler: No! Not Brian Roberts!
Osama: That guy who used steroids and came clean about it???
Hendry: I know, I know. I realized I was submitting myself to eternal damnation by doing so.....but he had that .377 OBP in 2007.....
Hitler: That's just a horrific and inexcusable sin! C'mon Osama, this guy's a lunatic, let's get out of here.
Pretty ridiculous right? Not as ridiculous as that time Jay said that a baseball that rolled in from the bullpen was cursed because "baseball" starts with the letter "b", but still, pretty insane.
``Absolutely, you don't take it lightly, and you try to be aware of it,'' Hendry said recently in his only post-Mitchell comments. ``But you can't go to bed every night thinking about, `Gee, I heard back in '01 that this guy might have done that,' or, `Gee, I wonder about that report from the thing that came out in Orlando.' I'm sure there are people that have done certain things that we would all feel weren't maybe appropriate or proper at the time. We have no idea who they are. You can't speculate on who did what or who did this.''
Okay, everybody, deep breath. I'm not even going to make a Family Guy-esque transition into a previous Jay column. This has been an insanely long post, and we just heard a voice of reason.
Ready? Okay. Proceed.
Speculation, this is not. Even if Roberts is described almost universally in baseball circles as a fine human being, he is stained by his mistake.
Yes, there's no arguing that. But the man came clean, and one instance of using steroids is no fucking excuse to throw out the fact that he's a good guy. That compliment has no business in an "even if Roberts..." clause. Just like writers have no business constantly slamming a manager and blaming him for things for which he's not responsible, like players being old and terrible.
And with the catfight between Roger Clemens and trainer Brian McNamee soon to reach the Congressional stage -- Jerry Springer wants to do a live show from Capitol Hill, I hear -- steroids again will be the dominant topic in spring training. Do the Cubs really want their newly acquired steroids guy to be a national story line in Arizona? Do they want their moral code and value system questioned? How do the prospective new owners feel about inheriting one of Mitchell's poster boys?
There is almost zero chance of Brian Roberts becoming a "national story line in Arizona." I have no idea where you got the idea that this was going to happen. Just like I have no idea where you got the idea that Paul Konerko was the only position player you could definitively pencil in for 2008 when A.J. Pierzynski and Jim Thome were both under contract for that year.
Strictly as a baseball hire, Roberts would be a treasure for the Cubs. Imagine an order of Roberts, Kosuke Fukudome, Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Felix Pie and Ryan Theriot. Relinquishing two young pitchers, Sean Marshall and Sean Gallagher, and shortstop Ronny Cedeno would seem well worth the price under normal circumstances. Roberts would cement the Cubs' position as National League Central favorites and legitimate pennant contenders. But you'd also have to draw an * in the second-base dirt before every game.
1. Lineup is good, not great. Fukudome and Soto are question marks. Pie and Theriot are bad hitters.
2. The performances that Brian Roberts will give in 2008 are not under the influence of steroids, as are the historical records you're referencing, so this asterisk crap doesn't hold water.
3. Did you determine that Roberts would be worth the price using your Lou-bik's Cube?
Roberts is someone you want to forgive, someone you want to like. Even Curt Schilling, who seems to hate everyone (including himself), wrote on his sinister little blog that he feels terrible for Roberts. ``Brian Roberts worked as hard as anyone I've ever been around," Schilling wrote. ``Not to mention he's about as kind and giving as anyone you'll ever meet. I know how regretful he is and I know that this mistake is not indicative of his choice making in life. He screwed up, knows he screwed up and admitted it."
Here's a thought, Jay. Putting more and more evidence that Roberts is a good guy into your column is not exactly a good way to win support for your "Roberts is a shady dude" argument. Just like when you are arguing that the White Sox are underperforming, you should ask yourself if they were predicted to be any good in the first place.
For example, when I made a prediction about you writing a bad column about the Michael Barrett trade, and you somehow didn't do it, you overperformed expectations.
That, he did.
So what is your problem with Roberts??? What is it going to take for you to just accept him for who he is as a player? It's like when you wrote an entire column about the ongoing drama between Zambrano and Barrett last season. You're looking to write about anything but baseball itself! And when you do write about it, it's the same crap over and over again!
``I am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision," Roberts said. ``I have worked very hard to develop a good reputation both on and off the field. I have always taken pride in being a man of integrity and values. I know that by being a professional athlete, I am held to a very high standard. I never have and never will take that for granted. However, I am also human and I have made mistakes."
This Roberts quote is somehow supposed to prove your point? After reading your column, I almost couldn't be more convinced of Brian Roberts's innocence, just like you couldn't have been more convinced that Lou Piniella wouldn't last past Labor Day, 2007.
You should really stick to what you're good at (like making fun of Hawk Harrelson), because it isn't arguing via writing.
Next year, maybe I'd feel different. Maybe there would be enough distance. But with Clemens in steroids hell and Barry Bonds headed for a landmark court case, this is no time to acquire Page 158 of the Mitchell Report.
So wait.....if you're 5 years removed from taking steroids, you should not be traded for. But 6 years removed, well that's just an entirely different story! Oh Jay, that's senseless! Like telling the Bulls to lose every game until they're ready to win a title.
So as you all can see, there are few figures in sports more filled with integrity than Jay Mariotti. I sure learned a lot today from him, and I'm sure you all have too! Join us next time when Bill Simmons preaches against using anecdotal bullshit and blatant homerism in arguments!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Yesterday, the White Sox signed Ozzie Guillen through 2012.
You all know what this means.
I haven't even read this article yet. I can tell you in advance that it's bad enough for posting.
Well, it was nice knowing the Chicago White Sox, who officially have become an irrelevant laughingstock after turning a one-hit wonder into a long-term blunder.
You mean that they signed Carl Everett, Scott Podsednik, Neal Cotts, Cliff Politte, and Jose Contreras long-term? Those crazy White Sox....those guys are one-hit wonders!
Oh sorry. You meant the manager. He doesn't play.
They've handed a five-year contract to their clown act of a manager, Ozzie Guillen, even though he presides over what is dollar-for-dollar and loss-for-loss the most underachieving, unwatchable team in Major League Baseball history.
Jay's definition of "unwatchable" should be discarded, seeing as how he never watches any sports games. And as for underachieving, what was that PECOTA record of the Sox again? All together now, we've heard me say it soooo many times. Don't scroll down, I bet you can get it from memory.
See how he just writes the same article over and over again?
They've entrusted him with the keys to the asylum even though their record since July 2 of last year, in one of the monumental flip-flops we've seen in sports, is a revealing 98-129.
July 2, 2006
Scene: Jay's Office
Jay Mariotti: How long has it been, Justina?
Jay's Receptionist: Since when?
Jay Mariotti: Since he called me a fag.
Jay's Receptionist: Hmmm....June 20th was almost 2 weeks ago, why?
Jay Mariotti: I need to get back at him.....maybe I should mock his performance somehow? No. That won't work. I don't watch baseball. I need to find a way to show the world he's a lousy manager while knowing nothing about how he affects the team.
Jay's Receptionist: I....just kind of like, answer the phone.
Jay Mariotti: Dammit Cristina, you're no help!
Jay's Receptionist: Yeesh! Well why don't you just draw two columns on a piece of paper and start putting one tally in the left column for a win and one tally on the right for a loss? Then count them all up every day you want to write, and if it's bad for Ozzie Guillen....then....you have your story!
Jay Mariotti: You're a life saver, Christy!
Jay's Receptionist: I'm Rachel......
They've reanointed him the face of the franchise even though the Sox, failing miserably to capitalize on what now can be termed an aberrational 2005, have resumed their traditional identity as the distant No. 2 team in this Cubs fortress.
Here's a thought....ummm....the Cubs....play in a different divison and league, than....the Sox!
(This means, Jay, that the fact that the White Sox are last in the AL Central means more to them than whether or not they are worse than the Cubs)
They've conveniently ignored that a $109 million payroll, without major injuries or calamity, has produced a ghastly 61 wins this season -- way down there with Florida ($30 million) and Tampa Bay ($24 million) among the majors' worst records.
No major injuries. Huh.
White Sox Players Who Have Been Hurt in 2007
Joe Crede (missed almost the whole year!)
Pablo Ozuna (ditto!)
But other than 5 starters and their most used bench player....nah, no major injuries. To be fair, none of those people called you a fag (as far as you know!), so there was no real reason for you to be paying attention to them anyway.
They've stood behind him even when he has embarrassed a city, a sport and two nations, including his native Venezuela, with his immature, insensitive and vapid ramblings.
Not only does this mark the 143rd time that Jay has used this sentence since July 2 of last year, it's complete and utter bullshit hyperbole as well!
And in the biggest of blind spots, they've extended Guillen despite the probable offseason availability of Tony La Russa, who never would have allowed the Sox to collapse the last two seasons and surely would point a talented team toward the playoffs next year. If La Russa can keep the St. Louis Cardinals in contention through their constant storm of tragedies and crises, imagine how he might whip the Sox into quick shape.
Excuse me, Jay, but in what way did La Russa keep the St. Louis Cardinals in contention? Did La Russa have something to do with Rick Ankiel coming back and OPS-ing the life out of the baseball? Did La Russa use his magnetic personality to drag the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs down from the peak of their season to the dregs of the NL Central? La Russa did this? Really?
To La Russa's credit, the Cardinals are outperforming their Pythagenport by 5 games. But let's not confuse his efforts with "regression to the mean of the Brewers and Cubs".
As I've written and said often, Guillen and Williams -- and, of course, Reinsdorf -- are too concerned with what is written and said. But the Blizzard lost me Tuesday when he acknowledged he altered his managing style and became softer this year because of criticism directed at him last year. In what generally is a town of benign sports media, Guillen has only one regular critic: me.
Yes, Jay, you're the only person in Chicago that consistently says negative thing about Ozzie. All hail Jay Mariotti, defender of all that is true! This is possibly the most blind and egotistical claim that you've ever made. A lot of people criticize him in Chicago, and almost ALL of them do a better job than you. Here's a good example of why.
Nationally, where sports media are less boosterish, he has more critics. How stunning to see a man with opinions on everything -- a loudmouth willing to take on the world -- tone down his act behind closed doors because he couldn't take the heat.
And they're rehiring him for five more years?
Okay, what do you want the man to do? You tell him over and over that he's a vulgar, despicable loudmouth, and then now, in response to that criticism, he's toning down his act. And now you're criticizing him for that too??? You've gone beyond not making sense. This is fucking pathetic. The worst part is, you only wrote it because you're a fucking baby who couldn't let Ozzie's insults from last year slide. Who is it again that can't take the heat???? Keep firing bullets from the cheap seats Jay, I fucking can't wait for the next one.
(I HATE defending Ozzie Guillen)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Instead of merely discussing yet another bad All-Star Game article, I've decided to make up a little screenplay that occurs during the writing of Gene Wojciechowski's latest article. I figure it's more interesting this way. Let's meet the cast of characters!
Gene Wojciechowski (GW): A writer for ESPN.com, and our story's protagonist. He struggles to prove to the audience why 2 baseball players should be in the All-Star Game
Gene Wojciechowski's Train of Thought (GWTOT): A metaphorical entity that represent's GW's line of thinking. GWTOT is often forgetful.
Conductor: The personified, fictitious "conductor" of Gene Wojciechowski's Train of Thought. Gene cannot hear the Conductor.
pnoles: A dashing, handsome young man who serves as the antagonist of the story. He struggles bravely for reason and opposes GW's article's completion and publication as written at all costs.
Scene: Gene Wojciechowski is sitting at a computer typing. Gene's Train of Thought and it's Conductor are present inside Gene's head.
Enter pnoles, who stands behind Gene and watches him type
GW: (unaware of pnoles's presence) Let's see now, what do I call this masterpiece?
Sammy and Barry have earned their All-Star roster spots
GWTOT: Barry....Sammy.....they cheat a lot.....steroids......I'm on the introduction.....should make this attention-getting.....Conclusion: MAKE FUN OF THEM!
GW: Maybe a quick joke or two will liven up the ol' readers eh?
I think Barry Bonds' and Sammy Sosa's home run numbers, circa 1998-2004, are as fake as silicone breast implants. I think they cheated, just like I think Mark McGwire did. I think the only way they should get into the Baseball Hall of Fame is if they pay the $14.50 admission fee.
GW: Ho ho....Bah-ZING! I'll be here all week folks.
And yet -- and I'm going to need years of therapy to deal with this one -- I think Bonds and Sosa should be named to the 2007 All-Star Game rosters.
Conductor: Train is stalled briefly, hold on just a second!
GWTOT: I've got nothing. Rephrase last thing.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig is going to suffer dry heaves at the thought, but Bonds and Sosa belong on the AT&T Park first- and third-base foul lines when the National League and American League lineups are introduced the evening of July 10.
Conductor: Ready to go!
GWTOT: We just made a claim......next step: EVIDENCE!
They belong in San Francisco because of precedent,
pnoles: (to himself) Irrelevant.....
because of MLB's own All-Star selection rules,
GW: Genie boy you are on a ROLL!
and because this might be the last time Selig and Bonds are in the same ballpark together.
pnoles: Who cares?
GW: Eh? Who's there!?!?!? G-Dubs cares, that's who!
Conductor: HELP! THE TRAIN'S STUCK ON FULL SPEED AHEAD!
GWTOT: WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Selig! Paulie Walnuts! pitching machine! Dr. James Andrews! Henry Aaron! 600-homers! Rafael Palmeiro! Mark McGwire! Sosa no speak English! House of Representatives! Marky no testify! Hall of Fame!
If it were up to Selig, he'd have Paulie Walnuts make Bonds' career home run chase, uh, disappear. There'd be a tragic pitching machine "accident" in the stadium batting cage. Nothing fatal, just something requiring Dr. James Andrews and the permanent use of a walking cane.
Selig adores Henry Aaron, as well as Aaron's baseball and personal legacy. But the only thing separating Bonds from passing Aaron's record 755 home runs is seven more dingers. And steroid allegations. This is why Selig has yet to announce whether he'll be in attendance when Bonds eventually breaks the most cherished record in American sports.
Sosa, who just reached the 600-homer mark, isn't a threat to surpass Aaron. But he is an annoyance, a reminder of that seminal congressional steroids hearing in 2005 when Rafael Palmeiro and McGwire committed career and Hall of Fame suicide, and Sosa conveniently forgot how to speak English.
Palmeiro pointed at the House committee members that March day and said he had never used steroids. About five months later he was suspended for -- wait for it -- testing positive for steroids.
Meanwhile, McGwire didn't want to testify about "the past," which is what you say when you don't want to lie under oath. And Sosa, who needed a lawyer that day to read his statement, must have done some serious Berlitz work since then. He hasn't had any difficulty lobbying reporters, in perfectly understandable English, for his inclusion into the Hall of Fame.
Conductor: WHEW! Finally got it! We're normal again.
GWTOT: Wait....what were we talking about again? Oh right, All-Star game.
GW: Hey...wait...what's going on here??? None of this stuff I wrote has anything to do with anything! And to think I spent 3 hours on those 5 paragraphs. Well, I most certainly don't want to delete them.....hmmmm....this calls for one of those transition sentence thingamajiggers.
Conductor: HALT! REVERSE!
But the All-Star Game doesn't have anything to do with home run records, legacies and induction speeches at Cooperstown.
GW: Good thing I thought of this to justify everything I already wrote.
Conductor: The train's stuck! It can't go anyplace new for awhile......
GWTOT: All-star game - define? Selected by fans. Once Cancelled. Decides home-field in World Series.
It's an exhibition game whose rosters are primarily determined by baseball fans. It's so screwed up that Selig once called the game with the score tied in the 11th inning. That led to the equally screwy decision to give World Series home-field advantage (no small thing) to the league that wins the All-Star Game.
GW: Everyone knows these things. Why in the world am I writing them? ::points to head:: What's going on up there!?!?!
pnoles: Just delete the damned thing and take the day off.
GWTOT: Repeat article thesis. Joke. Describe current status of article's goal.
Even if you think Bonds and Sosa are slimier than the Delaware River mud they use to rub up baseballs, they deserve All-Star jerseys. The latest fan ballot totals had Bonds trailing the Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano for the third and final starting outfield spot. Sosa was in 13th place in the AL outfielder voting.
If the margins holds up, Bonds and Sosa would need help from their peers (the players choose the backups), or managers Tony La Russa (NL) and Jim Leyland (AL), or from online voters (who pick the final roster spot). For what it's worth, La Russa was noncommittal when asked recently about picking Bonds.
pnoles: You can't print this crap. You haven't done anything yet except say what the All-Star game is, how to get to play in it, and how Sammy and Barry are currently doing. Plus for some reason, Rafael Palmeiro's name came up.
GW: DAMMIT! Get out of here! Which one of us has a job writing about sports? ME! THAT MAKES ME INSIGHTFUL!
Conductor: Whew! We've got her up and running better than usual!
GWTOT: Barry Bonds.....legitimate reasons he should be in the All-Star game. Every team needs a guy. Bonds's teammates suck.
MLB rules say that each team has to have at least one All-Star representative. The Giants, who will finish dead last in the NL West, need somebody, so that somebody ought to be Mr. Martyr instead of the other two San Francisco candidates: catcher Bengie Molina and pitcher Matt Morris.
Molina's batting average and RBI totals have tumbled during the month, and Morris has given up 12 runs and 22 hits in his last two starts. That leaves Bonds, who can't throw, can't run that well and is nowhere to be found among the league leaders in batting average, RBIs, hits, total bases and extra-base hits. But he does have those 15 home runs (OK, so only four in his last 105 at-bats), a .293 batting average and more walks and intentional walks than anybody in the majors (you'd walk him, too, if you saw who was hitting behind him).
Conductor: Don't worry, just a minor spike in the power here....we'll be back up shortly!
Plus, the Giants' own Web site implores fans to "Vote Bonds."
pnoles: (nearly falls over laughing)
GW: You're a cold-hearted bastard.
pnoles: Dude....you were sooooo close to a good paragraph there! Didn't it occur to you that every team implores fans to vote for their players? Just delete it and redeem yourself.
GW: Ah what do you know, anyway!? Why should I change anything just because you, a no-sports-writing-job-man-bloghead-wannabe says so? ::to himself:: Fuck....he's got me there.
Conductor: We're up and running, but going the wrong way!
GWTOT: Bonds...anyone else get into the game on legacy without great stats? RIPKEN!
Bonds' '07 numbers aren't All-Star worthy, but they don't have to be. That's because the game has a history of sticking stiffs out there long past their prime. Example: Cal Ripken.
Ripken made his final All-Star appearances in 2001, even though he was hitting just .240 and had only four homers and 28 RBIs at the time. The fans voted him in. Ripken homered in his first at-bat and got the MVP award as a parting gift. It was dramatic stuff, but the simple truth is that Ripken wasn't an All-Star-caliber player that year.
GW: Muhaha.....now they'll HAVE to believe me that Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro will never make the Hall of Fame! I mean, uh, Bonds should play in that game!
GWTOT: Ripken = loved by fans, long honest career, set record for consecutive games played showing dedication and durability, clear Hall of Famer at retirement. Bonds = hated by most, cheated, chance of not making Hall of Fame due to aforementioned cheating. Conclusion: SAME SITUATION.
Bonds isn't either, but if you made an exception for Ripken, you've got to do the same for Flaxseed Man.
GWTOT: Isn't there another guy I'm sorta supposedly writing about too? Yeah, give him a token appearance here.
The same goes for Sosa, whose 13 homers and 59 RBIs are actually respectable numbers on a Texas Rangers team without a no-brainer All-Star candidate.
GW: That's enough about Sosa....he's not even in the title of the article, so let's not mention him again.
GWTOT: I bet there's some guy out there that agrees with me. Good ol' logical, sane....Ozzie Guillen? Whatever, go with it.
"What, you take [Ripken] because he 'saved baseball?'" said Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who managed the AL All-Stars a year ago. "Bonds should play."
Guillen meant no disrespect toward Ripken. He said Ripken belonged in the '01 All-Star Game, no questions asked. But if Ripken, and that .240 average, was in the starting lineup, Bonds' .293 average should at least be in the NL dugout. Perceptions and steroid allegations shouldn't matter, he said. Bonds is an active player who deserves the same courtesy that Ripken got six years ago.
Conductor: We're stalled again!
GWTOT: Repeat last thing. No new thoughts.
He'll get no argument here. This isn't a steroid/performance enhancers issue. It's about what's fair. The beloved Ripken got an All-Star freebie in '01. The arrogant, smug Bonds should get one in '07.
pnoles: Hey man, who are you to decide what's fair? That isn't cool. If the fans love Ripken and vote him in purely in recognition of a great, honest career, and hate Bonds for his dishonesty and don't, it IS fair in the minds of many. You can't publish this.
GW: I CAN......AND I WILL! And as for YOU! ::takes a baseball bat, swings, and nails pnoles in the shin::
Conductor: Still stalled here, c'mon Gene come up with something!
pnoles: Whatever man, you're a jerk for that, I was right. I don't care how much that hurt.
GWTOT: Repeat last thought. No new thoughts.
GW: No I'M RIGH-.....hey....I've got it!
Right is right, even when it hurts to say so.
GW: Heh. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, nay-sayers.