Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Anyway - I wish I had the energy to do a line by line parse of this piece of fluff about Eckstein, but it's really all be done before. To death (search Eckstein labels at FireJoeMorgan). It's a bunch of shit about how small he is and how hard he tries and about how he has a really big heart and all that shit. This is every cliche, and even includes this piece of falseness at the end:
Eckstein was asked to try to patrol the same ground Ozzie Smith covered at Busch Stadium. Eckstein ran to cover most of it.
The "ran" part is a play on how the column started, about how he always hustles. It makes no sense in this context, as every SS has to do some running to cover their ground. Also, you know, Ozzie Smith is 9.7 billion times better at SS than David Eckstein. To imply in any way that he even almost covered Ozzie Smith's SS Glove-jockstrap is insanity.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Alex Trebek Jeopardized by Heart Attack
We can all make up fucking puns. It doesn't make you clever, or funny. In this case, they use a pun when discussing a man having a heart attack, and that's in poor taste.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Josh (B-more): 1,200 wins for Pat Riley, Sturat. How do you rate him among all-time coaches?
Stuart Scott: (4:38 PM ET ) He's in the top-5 along with Red Auerbach, Phil, Lenny Wilkins, and my guy Matt Guokas.
Matt Guokas in front of Red Holzman? Chuck Daley? Don Nelson? Larry Brown? 50 other guys? Matt Guokas with a career .430 win % and one 50 win season and an 8-9 playoff record? I’m missing something.
Shug (VA): Yo Stuart. Everyone's talkin bout the Pats, but there's another undefeated team down there in Carolina. How far will the Tar Heels go before tasting defeat?
Stuart Scott: (4:39 PM ET ) Carolina goes undefeated this year, and wins the national title. Maybe I'm a tad partial.
Ha ha! Stuart went to UNC. I’m not reminded of that like every week.
Stuart Scott: (4:40 PM ET ) Ps. There's really no reason to speak of a college BB team going undefeated in Dwecember. None.
He’s not asking if they’ll go undefeated. He’s inferring the opposite; that they will lose. Then he’s asking when you think they will lose. You have terrible reading comprehension.
Zach (LA): Who's the biggest surprise in the NBA so far this year?
Stuart Scott: (4:44 PM ET ) the Magic.
As of this chat, Orlando is 16-5, which is good, but with their talent I’m just not that surprised. Since I didn’t do any projections or anything, it’s not fair for me to pick on this one. But isn’t Chicago going from a .598 team, who was projected by many to continue improving, falling all the way to a .333 team a much bigger surprise? People at least thought Orlando would improve, I didn’t see any predictions of a huge regression from Chicago.
Matt Guokas? How fucking random is that?
Friday, December 7, 2007
Reacting Wednesday to the blockbuster deal that sent power-hitting third baseman Miguel Cabrera and former All-Star left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins to the Detroit Tigers — wrecking the Sox’ latest offseason plans — Williams said: ‘‘All this has done is put the Tigers in a better position to contend with us.''
The White Sox were 72-90 last year. Their old players are getting older, they've yet to get them some help this off-season, they were last in the AL in runs scored last year and third to last in runs allowed.
The Tigers were 88-74 and now have arguably the most lethal lineup in the major leagues after trading for Miguel Cabrera.
Folks will complain because Jones, 30, is coming off the worst full season of his career, but every question has an answer.
I can’t argue with that. Was the Jones signing a good one? Probably not terrible since it's only for two years. Will Bill Plaschke have some good reasons? Probably not. Do I like Jello Pudding? Absolutely.
You say he had a bad summer? I say he still would have led the Dodgers in home runs (26) and runs batted in (94).
And he would have finished 9th in OPS+ among all Dodger hitters. That’s behind Wilson Betemit.
You say he's overpaid? I say that by giving him only a two-year deal, he's going to feel underpaid, and you know how hungry those guys get.
Last year he was so hungry that in his big-time, have-a-monster-year-and-get-huge-contract season of 2007 he turned in his worst performance to date. So that logic sucks.
You say he won't be any better than the combination of Kemp and Andre Ethier? I say, in a post-steroid-era season in 2006, he hit 41 homers with 129 RBIs, so get real.
So we’re not going to address how good Kemp will be? Just that Jones had a good year in 2006? How’d he do in 2007? Matt Kemp had an OPS of .894 last year, Jones had an OPS of .894 in the aforementioned 2006 season. Last year? Jones was at .724. Matt Kemp made about $400K. Ethier didn’t show Kemp’s potential but was still better than a league average hitter last year, Jones was not.
Since when is “so get real” an actual fucking point in a real argument?
You say that Lebron James is better than Kobe Bryant? Well Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game, so get real! What grade are we in?
You say it's silly to bring a power hitter to Dodger Stadium? OK, well, how about bringing a perennial Gold Glove winner to Dodger Stadium?
I say both statements are silly. The point that you made up (and then didn’t address) and the point you brought up. Yes, Jones is a good fielder. If that’s what you care about, trade for Coco Crisp.
In acquiring Jones, the Dodgers are actually acquiring four players.
This is going to make a ton of sense. Four players worth of salary maybe. But based on last year, he represents pretty much one average player.
His power allows them to give Andy LaRoche a long-awaited chance to win the job at third base.
Ahhhh I see…so having Andruw Jones allows the Dodgers to play Andy LaRoche over power hitting Nomar Garciaparra, who’ll have to take his 7 HR’s and 78 OPS+ to the bench. Andruw Jones should have nothing to do with third base.
His pedigree probably convinces Jeff Kent to return for one more run at a championship.
Now we are onto the hardcore evidence. Jones’ pedigree will convince Jeff Kent, who is “good”, not great, and is about 40 years old and proved to be clubhouse poison again last year to stick around (which is mildly odd because I thought LA had a club option on him).
His position lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre.
Yes, Jones playing CF instead of Juan Pierre is a big upgrade on many fronts, because Juan Pierre is an out-machine with a little girl arm. But, Bill, what the hell are you saying here? I don’t think it’s “lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre, bench player”, and that’s a problem.
No, no, the Dodgers will not and should not trade the short-armed center fielder. Just because he was overpaid doesn't mean he lacked value. Did everybody somehow miss that he was second in the league in stolen bases and led the league in sacrifice bunts?
That might be the most terrible paragraph (well, a Plaschke paragraph) of baseball analysis I’ve read in a while. How can you ever say a team shouldn’t trade a bad player with a bad contract? I mean, if they could give him away, they should. Nobody would want him though, because he LACKS VALUE. You try to trade him Bill, and tell me what kind of “value” you get back.
The other NL leaders in sacrifice hits were John Maine, Omar Vizquel, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Kyle Lohse, Wandy Rodriguez, and Ian Snell. Do you notice anything about the hitting prowess of these players? They are not good hitters (all but one is a pitcher). They sacrifice bunt a lot because their managers would rather them give up an out than give it the old college try. The fact that Juan Pierre led the league in sacrifices is not impressive and including that point as a positive is the ultimate in reaching for an argument. I mean, it’s a hitting category that he beat a bunch of pitchers in and that should tell you something.
The Dodgers need to keep Pierre's speed and bunting ability at the top of the order. Goodness, it's one of the reasons Jones agreed to play here. But at least now, Pierre can move to a safer left field and be viewed for what he is -- a complementary player.
The Dodgers don’t need to keep out-machine Juan Pierre at the top of the order for a variety of reasons, two of them being that he sucks and Rafael Furcal is also on the team at the top of the order, who was sort of inept last year too.
"I never said Juan Pierre is a franchise player," Colletti said. "He's a very good player on a winning team."
That statement makes zero sense. He’s only a good player on a winning team? So he’s only good if he’s surrounded by a ton of other good players? I suspect that’s Colletti’s perception, but he doesn’t realize that it’s the winning team that masks how bad Pierre is.
Four players in, one player out, and that player is either Kemp or Ethier, who are overcrowding right field.
If you’re keeping track. This is a summary of the math:
- Andruw Jones (duh) at $18 million per.
- Andy LaRoche (because now they can safely sit HR machine Nomar Garciapparra out, which we still don’t know if they’ll do. This should happen completely independent of who was in CF anyway.)
- Jeff Kent (because of Andruw Jones’ pedigree or some nonsense)
- Juan Pierre (he’s in somehow, even though Jones’ is taking his place in CF).
Solid young player Andre Ethier or potential stud Matt Kemp, who have the nerve to overcrowd RF.
= Good signing. That's one loony equation. Andruw Jones for two years at that pay is a bit much, to me, but given Hunter's contract I think it's not a bad move for the Dodgers. But who would dig up these arguments? Bill Plaschke, that's who.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
From today's summary of the big Marlins/Tigers trade:
Willis was the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year after going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA and is 68-54 in his five years in Florida. He has pitched over 200 innings in each of the last three years.
2003, not 2004.
The intent of this site isn’t to point out shit like this, or Mike Celizic not understanding how to apply the glass half full analogy. It’s to voice disagreements with columnists who come to crazily supported or unsupported conclusions. I haven’t seen that much lately in the vein of the early content on this site, which began just after the NBA finals. I am trying to avoid purely original content for two reasons: 1.) I’m not a writer. 2.) There are many good blogs/columnists out there that do this. ESPN baseball insiders like Keith Law and Rob Neyer really don’t come to many conclusions that I would disagree with and the ESPN basketball folks are okay. There’s no insight on a baseball trade that I can offer beyond what those guys will. We’ll see what the winter brings.
Anyway, from Heyman’s daily scoop today:
• The Cubs are considered the favorite for top Japanese League outfielder Hiroki Fukudome. But the Red Sox could be an interesting possibility, as well.
If you define “interesting” as “signing a player you don’t need to a lucrative deal to play OF when you already have all three positions set (including 2 CF’s)”, then I agree…..that’s pretty interesting.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
• Congrats to penny-hoarding Kenny Rogers, who accepted the same Tigers deal already negotiated by his former agent Scott Boras -- $8 million plus a lot of incentives -- but saved the commission by OKing it after letting Boras go. Real nice gesture for a player who's made more than $80 million in his career. Perhaps the small savings can go to the poor cameraman who got clocked.
Did Kenny Rogers take money from the Salvation Army or something? Does Heyman depend on Boras for inside info – why does this deserve even a mention, never mind a sarcastic asshole-ish shot at Rogers? I thought I read in SI that Boras usually takes 5% (which was lower than what I expected) of the deals he signs. So $8 million x 5% = $400,000. I don’t care how much money you make – that’s still $400K. I don’t think Rogers expected to best Boras’ deal by millions. He probably just realized that he could get the same deal he already had and not have to work through an agent. By my count he came out almost a half million ahead (with incentives). Knucklehead!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Looking for a theme in the 2007 individual baseball awards? Look no further than newness.
Of the six major awards as voted upon by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, five went to first-time winners. And in fact, some of these races were dominated by several players who were relatively new to this sort of prominence. That is good news for the grand old game.
This is much different than in 2006, when five awards went to new winners. Or in 2005, when 5 awards went to new winners. Hooray newness!
6 Awards includes two rookies of the year – so I won’t address them. One race that was dominated was the NL Cy Young award, won by Jake Peavy, who beat out last year’s winner Brandon Webb. Peavy has been a presence, if not with the award voters, with MLB fans, since he won the ERA title 4 seasons ago. Also, that new character named Alex Rodriguez dominated the voting in winning his third AL MVP. In the AL CY race, we have CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett and John Lackey as the top 3. Really? These are new names? Jimmy Rollins won the NL MVP in the most heavily disputed vote of the year. But the top 10 was Rollins, Matt Holliday, Prince Fielder, David Wright, Ryan Howard (last year’s winner), Chipper Jones (’99 winner), Peavy, Chase Utley, and Albert Pujols (’05 winner). I may not be a big enough baseball fan to write for MLB.com, but are those really new names? There are 3 past winners in there.
The two rookies of the year, Dustin Pedroia in the AL and Ryan Braun in the NL, are, of course, new by definition. To count them would be a form of cheating, sort of illicitly bulking up this theme. But they are both young and they both give promise of being impact players, each in his own fashion.
Yes, it is cheating to say that ROY awards help signal the newness of this year’s MLB awards. Of course Pedroia and Braun are very unlike last year’s ROY winners Justin Verlander and Hanley Ramirez, who are both 37 years old and don’t project the promise of being impact players. Thank god we have a new angle on this tired award.
The only repeat winner among the rest of the recipients was the American League MVP; Alex Rodriguez. This was A-Rod's third MVP award. He has finished second in this balloting twice and third once, so he is the ultimate familiar face when November rolls around and the writers' ballots are tabulated.
AL MVP = nothing new.
If he doesn't fit the newness theme, that's perfectly all right, because he had a season for the ages.
So A-Rod = not new, but he had a great year! That’s sort of new! By that rationale Barry Bonds’ award winning seasons were “all right” from a newness perspective because they were historically good.
There was some consternation in some New York quarters because his selection was not unanimous, but this was not particularly tragic. Magglio Ordonez had a wonderful campaign, leading the AL with a .363 average and 54 doubles and driving in 139 runs. An exceptional season such as this normally wins the MVP, but this one was eclipsed by A-Rod's work. The two Detroit writers who voted for Ordonez, and witnessed his worth every day, gave him a bit of recognition in an election Rodriguez was sure to win. This gesture might have been more humane than wrong.
That’s awesome insight that has nothing to do with your column. Also, I don't really understand that last sentence.
Elsewhere, newcomers dominated. Both Cy Youngs went to first-time winners. Jake Peavy was a unanimous choice in the National League, and deservedly so. This voting unanimity is relatively rare. It was bestowed upon Sandy Koufax three times and Greg Maddux twice, so you see the kind of company Peavy is keeping.
Both Cy Young winners were new….just like in 2005 (Carpenter/Colon). In 2006, one Cy Young winner was new, but both MVP’s were new. This year – 1 MVP was new, and both CYs were new. Is this interesting?
In the AL, C.C. Sabathia won his first Cy Young, narrowly over Josh Beckett. Yes, of course, Beckett, with a legendary postseason performance, would have won if the voting had been done at the end of October instead of the end of September. But these awards are not about the postseason. If they were, then Ernie Banks never could have been MVP, and that would have been wrong.
I feel, like this is written, for/by, a fourth grader, both, because of the use of commas, and the content. Thanks for clarifying that the voting for the season’s awards takes place before the postseason as I wasn’t reminded of this 100 times during the ALCS.
The point in this election, while the top spot was a close call between Sabathia and Beckett, was among all eight pitchers who received a first, second or third place vote, there was not a graybeard in the bunch. More promise of future greatness was written all over the AL Cy Young balloting.
Wow is that misleading. Included in the 8 pitchers who received votes were two time winner Johan Santana (who should have also won in ’05) and ’04 winner Roy Halladay. The only guy on that list who anybody was really surprised by was Fausto Carmona. Beckett was a mild surprise to do as well as he did because of how he struggled last year, but Beckett’s talent wasn’t a new thing this year given how he rose to national prominence in the 2003 World Series (as third place finisher John Lackey did in the 2002 World Series).
In another exceedingly close election, the one that ended the award season on Tuesday, Jimmy Rollins won his first MVP. It was Rollins who had said repeatedly last offseason that his Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East. Laughter followed him for much of the campaign, but Rollins and the Phils laughed last, winning the division as the Mets evaporated down the stretch.
There were strong statistical arguments to be made also for Matt Holliday and Prince Fielder in this race. Any of the three would have been worthy winners, but again in this election, but the writers may have additionally appreciated Rollins for putting his offense and his defense where his mouth was, backing up his rhetoric with a superb performance. And again, the leading vote-getters were all new to this level of recognition. There was not an "old" player on the NL MVP list until you reached Chipper Jones at the sixth spot.
Ugh, an “old” player hasn’t won a major award since 2004 (Bonds/Clemens), so this is absolutely not fucking new. Also, there were statistical arguments that could have been made for David Wright and Chase Utley too. The leading vote getters were not “new” to this level of recognition. Rollins has had MVP votes 4 times in the past including a top 10 finish. Matt Holliday was 15th last year, Wright was 9th in the voting last year, and then Ryan Howard actually won the award last year. How can you say he’s new to this level of recognition, when he won the MVP last year. Fielder is pretty new, but he’s been projected to be great for a while now, so I don’t think he surprised many this year. But yes, he is new.
Also, tell me when you spot the “graybeard” in the NL MVP voting last year:
1. Ryan Howard
2. Albert Pujols
3. Lance Berkman
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Miguel Cabrera
6. Alfonso Soriano
7. Jose Reyes
8. Chase Utley
9. David Wright
10. Trevor Hoffman (hint, it’s him).
So how is this year different from a newness perspective than last year? Why are you writing this column?
Deleted – Manager of the Year and NL ROY talk.
And that's what you come away with after pondering these elections. There were more than enough worthy candidates in all categories, and in the majority of them, position players, pitchers and managers, a new era of excellence was in evidence. The debates can go on all winter, but so can the expectations that even better days are ahead for baseball.
Really? This year’s award winners are evidence that there are better days ahead for baseball? Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Pedro Martinez, the five best pitchers of the last 25 years, are no longer able to compete for awards and have been replaced by very good, but mostly lesser, pitchers. This is a sign of better days?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Rogers is a talented pitcher. But he should stop taking business advice from Gary Sheffield, who's no Warren Buffett or Boras. Maybe Rogers and Sheffield could start their own agency for cheap players and call it "Knuckleheads Incorporated."
Maybe Heyman should start his own magazine called "Stupidheads Illustrated"!
Also, is it too soon to point out that Heyman predicted the Yankees chance of signing A-Rod this offseason at 25-1, or 4%? Those odds were lower than the Cubs, who have an All-Star third baseman under contract and are trying to be sold.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Phew, good thing newly minted American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez was advised by Warren Buffett, not singer Jimmy Buffett, in closing his spanking new 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees.
I get it. They have the same last name, but vastly different vocations!
Now officially armed with a third AL MVP award and another record-setting contract (soon as the ink dries), our favorite opt-out action hero has enough dough to buy pretty much all of South Florida, not just his hometown of Miami.
He could try from now until he wins a World Series ring to squander these riches. It ain't happening. But oh, if only money could purchase a World Series ring. ...
Oh my god you’re right – he’s never made a World Series. I haven’t heard that before. He’s the highest paid player in baseball but has been unable to personally deliver his team a championship. Is any writer for a mainstream site, anywhere, at all original?
He does have a pirate's plunder worth of image rehabbing to do, though he's not quite there yet. A-Rod made it quite clear in a conference call Monday that he only wanted to talk about the 2007 season, and while he knows that "everything that's been going on since the end of the season has been news" he prefers not to delve into other subjects until later, reminding that "the finish line is in sight."
I have a hard time seeing what is wrong with that. But, of course, I don’t have a deadline to meet to write strained and pointless column.
Presumably, he'll open up after the i's are dotted and the t's crossed in his new Yankees deal, and it sounds as if he's preparing for a formal news conference in the Bronx sometime next week. It may be the first news conference that requires attendance from Mr. Opt Out, the Sons of Steinbrenner, the New York Times, Warren Buffett and Dr. Phil. Yikes.
Yikes is right. So far this column has been widely known information and terrible anecdotes.
(2 paragraphs deleted - nothing new)
Seriously, though ... have we reached a point in the Grand Old Game where Warren Buffett plays Henry Kissinger in the peace talks? Commissioner Bud Selig must not be kidding when he speaks of the game's record-setting $6 billion in revenues in '07. It's like those old E.F. Hutton commercials -- even Warren Buffett pays attention.
A lot of Warren Buffett references, right? Yeah, he's not close to being done. Why is it to A-Rod’s discredit that he is friends with Warren Buffett, who is by most accounts a smart, generous, ethical businessman? Can this guy do anything right? Other than hit baseballs of course, which is the only thing we should care about.
"Warren and I have a wonderful relationship," Rodriguez said. "I can expand on that when all of this is done and finished."
Asshole. Scott Miller wants to know now.
But it is true the ol' financial mogul said late last summer he knew A-Rod was going to have a slam-bang season based on a conversation between the two early in the year.
"I don't know," Rodriguez said. "We usually visit every year. Warren and I are friends. He maybe saw the passion in my eyes. You've got to ask Warren. He's very reachable in Omaha.
"He's good at foreseeing things in business, and now he's doing it in baseball, too. That's pretty good."
Lord, this does get more twisted with every turn. There are more angles to this guy than in a geometry classroom.
What? What is confusing about this? Or twisted? Or at all worthy of being made fun of? I seriously think Scott just hit a deadline and had nothing to write about. He’s barely adding anything here. His formula is Quote + Pop culture reference + A-Rod insult = Gold.
The latest, most up-to-date field guide on the new AL MVP:
He then goes on to tell us each of the media’s terrible nicknames for Rodriguez and their origins. Yes, it’s as interesting as it sounds. I’ll just show you the nicknames and cut all the bullshit out. You can seriously surmise everything that Scott said just by reading the names, because he added no value.
K-Rod: Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez. The term "K-Rod" actually has nothing to do with "A-Rod."
Soooo, is that a joke? Was I supposed to laugh there? It is as relevant as all this other bullshit you’re throwing in here anyway.
Listening to his dreamy descriptions, he felt, we can be sure, almost like a Cheeseburger in Paradise. Had he been on the receiving end of tips from Jimmy Buffett instead of Warren, of course.
Column ends there. Some problems with this reference/joke:
1. How do you feel like a Cheeseburger?
2. If you feel like a Cheeseburger, how do you have ears to listen with?
3. You already used the Jimmy/Warren Buffett “angle”.
4. It doesn’t make any sense.
5. It is not funny.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The better things are going, the more some people worry. These are the glass-half-full folks, the ones who can watch the most gorgeous sunset ever seen on earth and worry about whether it means it’s going to rain the next day.
Yes, first graders – he got the analogy backwards. The rest of the blog post is some stupidness where he posts an e-mail from a writer friend of his (suuuure Mike) about how maybe the Patriots are better off without home field advantage and Mike pontificates that they probably are better off with home field advantage.
Monday, November 12, 2007
He first focuses on Sanders’ touchdowns in his playoff games. Yes, 6 playoff games. The crazy thing is, Barry Sanders is known for sort of falling off in the playoffs, but having an unreal career over the regular season. As far as I can see, he is “rated” just fine. But here’s where it gets nutty:
Sanders' postseason performance supports the notion that he was a product of the cozy, climate-controlled Silverdome. Nice carpet for easy, stop-on-a-dime maneuvering. Seventy-two degrees. Detroit faithful keeping the defensive line off balance with high decibel support.
In four career outdoor postseason games, Sanders averaged a paltry 2.8 yards per carry. He never scored a touchdown. And he never ran for more than 65 yards in a single game. With Sanders, the Lions went 0-4 in outdoor playoff games, losing by an average of 17 points.
But this picture of perfection has a nasty blemish. Once Sanders got to the big stage, and got out of the Silverdome, he was a bust.
Holy shit. Four games! He then talks about how Barry had more help than you realize (really, did he have Emmitt Smith’s help? What about Terrell Davis?) and how the way that Sanders left was abrupt and mysterious. Who gives a shit? That shouldn’t impact how we view his performance on the field. Also, if you take out one horrific game (-1 yards) versus a very good Green Bay team, his average in the other three games was 3.8 YPC. Not Barry Sanders good, but not 2.8 either.
Now, let’s get back to this Silverdome thing. See, I think that when a running back plays for 10 years, then perhaps you can’t conclude that they were over-rated and benefited from their home stadium just because of how they performed on the road….in the playoffs….in 4 games. I was unable to find home/road splits for Sanders so I compiled them myself (took about 20 minutes, Sal) from this site.
These are numbers I compiled, and have not been subject to review. If someone is really anal out there, e-mail me and I’ll e-mail you my data. There’s probably a site out there with this but I couldn’t find it.
These are regular season only:
Career at Home: 78 Games – 1,619 Carries – 8,053 yards – 5.0 YPC
Career on Road: 75 Games – 1,443 Carries – 7,216 yards – 5.0 YPC
Now, since he also implied that the temperature controlled Dome played a role, I’ve bifurcated the road numbers into Indoor/Outdoor games:
Indoor Road Games – 18 Games – 316 Carries – 1,528 yards – 4.84 YPC
Outdoor Road Games – 57 Games – 1,127 Carries – 5,688 yards – 5.05 YPC
I did this split myself, as the site didn't indicate the type of stadium. Note that I counted 1 game in Dallas as outdoors because the field is at least open to the elements.
Now, this is simplistic of course – the dome games may have been against inferior defenses over all. But the fact is simply that it’s a wash. I do not buy the; it was the “big stage” of the playoffs coupled with the non-climate controlled stadium with the crowd noise. I think he looked at 4 games, and I think that is stupid.
At least this was published in an innocuous little post on ESPN.com…..oh wait, yeah …..it’s in his book.
I’ll also point to this post on armchair GM which has a different view on some of the playoff numbers.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Jemele Hill has decided to write an article that compares Alex Rodriguez to Kobe Bryant. The column defends Bryant and points out his differences to A-Rod and, in general, why she would choose to have Kobe over A-Rod (ignoring the fact that they play different sports). Mainly that A-Rod was a distraction to his team during the playoffs during his rape trial, hasn’t gotten his team out of the first round in three years and seems to be whining all off-season every year. Oh wait, that’s Kobe Bryant. Those items either aren’t mentioned or are glossed over. The column defends Kobe’s antics because he just wants to win while A-Rod’s are lambasted as signs that he only cares about himself.
Give me Kobe over A-Rod any day
Say what you will about Kobe Bryant, but at least he's not a mercenary who wants all of the money, but none of the pressure, and doesn't perform in the playoffs.
In other words, at least he's not Alex Rodriguez.
Okay. So we’re comparing an NBA player to an MLB player. Good to recognize this up front, because the leagues and sports are VERY different. Like, if the NBA was set up like MLB, Kobe Bryant wouldn’t have led his team to the playoffs last year or the year before, where he lost in the first round (both years). Also he wouldn’t have led his team to the playoffs the year prior to that, when he…didn’t…lead..his…team to the playoffs. That’s if the performance of these players, in these sports, was really capable of being easily analogized, which they are not.
Both players are generally viewed as selfish, whiny divas. But as we approach the unusual sports phenomenon of having the best player in baseball head to a new team and arguably the best player in basketball also potentially on the move, understand that A-Rod and Kobe are two very different creatures.
Right, one plays baseball and one plays basketball. This is easy, because those sports are very dissimilar. If you try to play baseball using a basketball, pitchers would never throw a strike. So there's one difference. There's probably 2 or 3 more. There are no bases in basketball, no baskets in baseball. One is a sport of 5 guys playing in unison where 1 player can have a dramatic impact on the success of every game, the other is mostly a sport of individual achievements where a team needs many different individuals to achieve, all by themselves, in order for the team to win. In baseball, they have to play as a team, sure, but not like basketball. So I agree, very different.
A-Rod's decision to opt-out of New York is far more self-absorbed than Kobe's finagling to get out of Los Angeles.
How do you know? What if he just didn’t want to play in New York anymore because the media never left him alone, he was unfairly blamed for just about everything that went wrong, and a certain star teammate didn’t want to have sleepovers anymore?
Now, A-Rod’s opting out is likely due to a great deal of greed, and is pretty much the worst thing he can do for his image. But, let’s not be too easy on Kobe, okay? He pretty much imploded the team so it could be “his team” and then put up the gawdy numbers he wanted before noticing that people generally aren’t that impressed by gawdy numbers in the NBA when you can’t get your team out of the first round. Because this is the NBA, where individual players can have a large impact on the success of the team, this is somewhat damaging to Kobe’s legacy.
Despite Kobe's flaws, we at least know he is consumed with winning championships. A-Rod is consumed with being A-Rod.
Michael Jordan took a pay cut so the Bulls could sign Dennis Hopson, who they thought could help them reach the next level. Dennis Hopson sucked. Kobe Bryant couldn’t get along with Shaquille O’Neal in the interest of winning championships.
A-Rod is consumed with being, like, one of the best players ever – and getting paid like it.
Kobe doesn't always demonstrate his aspirations maturely. It also can't be ignored that a key aspect of his championship ambitions is that he has to be the guy in the lead role. But if the worst you can say about Kobe -- whose competitive streak was cloned from Michael Jordan's -- is he no longer wanted to play alongside a once-dominant, but injury-prone center, it's not exactly a sign of the apocalypse.
I love how she brushed by Kobe’s flaws by setting such a high hurdle for it to be newsworthy (um, the apocalypse). Is it a sign of a selfish player, Jemele? Is it a sign of a player who was maybe putting the possibility of winning a championship somewhere other than “first” on his list of priorities?
The worst I can say about Kobe is that he may have raped a girl. The worst I can say about him on the court is that he has not exhibited himself as the best team player that he could be. When criticized about shooting too much, he’s even pouted and then he won’t take shots that he should be taking. He’s sort of a baby that way.
Phil Jackson, arguably the best coach in NBA history, called Kobe Bryant “uncoachable” in his book.
And considering some of the things that Lakers owner Jerry Buss has said about Kobe in recent weeks, we've seen that Buss is his own man -- if he really wanted to keep Shaq, he would have kept him. Buss' main concern was dumping another $100 million into the fourth Fu-Schniken.
Um, right. He could have kept Shaq, and Phil Jackson, and Kobe Bryant would have signed with the LA Clippers. That was Kobe’s move; he was a free agent threatening to sign elsewhere unless Shaq was traded. So Kobe Bryant is absolved from his role in Shaq being traded because Jerry Buss is his “own man”? You don’t think that Kobe could have helped keep Shaq in town, if he really wanted to keep winning? Considering that both Phil Jackson and Shaq were exited from LA, and that's what Kobe wanted, I'm pretty sure he could have had a big say in them staying. The fact is, even if Buss wouldn't have listened to him, what happened was what Kobe wanted to happen.
But does anything in A-Rod's history or demeanor suggest he's remotely obsessed with winning the way Kobe is? A-Rod seems more obsessed with being loved than winning. He wants all the perks, but none of the responsibility. He wants 100-plus RBIs, and to eventually be the home run king. Just don't expect him to bring any of the necessary intangibles it takes to win something meaningful.
Does A-Rod really seem obsessed with being loved? Opting out of his contract during the 8th inning of the deciding game of the World Series is hardly the act of a player who wants to be loved. While I may not expect him to bring any of the necessary intangibles it takes to win, because I don’t know what those are, I do expect him to bring very necessary TANGIBLES for winning. Things like “hits” and “home runs”.
Sounds like a perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs.
A-Rod isn't a leader, comes off as insecure and teams mysteriously seem better off when he's gone. Kobe? The three-time champion thrives under pressure and the low opinions some people have of him.
Hmm, okay. Has Kobe really performed better as an NBA player than A-Rod has as an MLB player since those low opinions were formed, primarily during his rape trial and him being accused of pushing Shaq out? Has Kobe really outperformed A-Rod in the last 3 years? A-Rod should soon have two league MVPs in that time and has helped his team get to the playoffs in each of those years. Kobe hasn’t made it out of the first round w/out Shaq. It’s a lot easier to make the NBA playoffs than the MLB playoffs – and it’s a lot easier for one player to impact his team making the playoffs in the NBA. Now, there are a million other factors at play here, but if you’re going to oversimplify to make convenient arguments then so am I.
Also – see FireJay’s post for numbers regarding A-Rod’s teams after he leaves. You are mentally retarded if you think that teams are better without the best player on the planet because he left….you can’t just look at records and ignore ALL other factors driving the change in records.
Kobe was criticized for brutally assessing the Lakers' lack of progress. But when A-Rod was a Yankee, the only thing that seemed to bother him was his own personal slumps.
Well what the fuck else should bother him? Should A-Rod criticize Brian Cashman for the Yankees’ pitching woes at points in the season? Should Derek Jeter’s slumps bother him? Should he be riding Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite to pitch better? People like you would be all over him.
Wouldn't you prefer a player who gets upset about losing more than a player who seems fine with it as long as he can stare at his pretty statistics and pay stubs? Can you blame Kobe for complaining about any plan that included passing on a skilled player who could help the Lakers in the present in favor of the long-term coddling of Andrew Bynum? Has A-Rod ever exhibited that kind of passion and determination? Has he ever given answers that didn't sound rehearsed?
Did Michael Jordan ever give answers that didn’t sound rehearsed (no)? Did Dennis Rodman (yes)? What’s your point? What reason did A-Rod have for lashing out at Yankee management? Should he just invent one to seem more passionate?
Even if A-Rod somehow wound up playing for the world champion Red Sox -- and if you're listening Boston, adding this guy to your clubhouse is akin to putting Britney Spears on "Nanny 911" -- it would be difficult to interpret A-Rod's actions as that of a man driven to win.
Putting up the best numbers in baseball = not the actions of a man driven to win.
A-Rod, of course, has the right to chase as much money as he wants. It's not his fault if the market dictates he earn an astronomical figure. There's no denying there were times he was unfairly brutalized in New York. The stalking by the tabloids was unacceptable, as was the fascination with his personal life. But the problems he had there will follow him into his next clubhouse.
Really? Did they exist in Seattle? What about Texas?
It's fair to accuse A-Rod and Kobe of being types who can't operate in a locker room unless they control it.
The difference is, there've been signs that Kobe has outgrown some of that. A-Rod doesn't seem like he ever will.
Right, because Kobe has been really mature this off-season.
There are two fundamental points not addressed by Jemele at all, as follows:
1. In the hypothetical situation that you own an NBA team and an MLB team, and you get one player to start that team (say, for 1 season, because of the impact of age in the two sports is so disparate), of course you take Kobe Bryant. But that’s because of the make-up of the sports. In the NBA, a top notch superstar helps to assure fans in the seats and a much better shot at a title contention. Baseball is just different. I don’t know how she can’t address this. If baseball was played on a smaller field with 5 players on the field and at bat, and A-Rod was able to get the most AB’s on the team by far, then the impact of Alex Rodriguez would be much much greater and he would be as valuable as a Kobe Bryant is in the NBA – probably more valuable.
2. A-Rod is all about the money and the personal accolades. That’s what she implies. He isn’t as interested in winning as Kobe. Let’s break this down:
Money: There is no salary cap in baseball. Baseball players who become free agents are truly paid market value for their services. Rodriguez, being the best player in the game, thinks he should be paid a lot of money for his services, so he gets it. You never hear about Kobe Bryant and money problems for a simple reason. In the NBA, it’s very structured. He makes damn near the most money he can possible make, per the CBA/Salary cap structure. By the way, he makes close to A-Rod money in salary. There is literally nothing for Kobe to complain about, money-wise. If it was truly a free market – with no limit on how much teams could sign free agents for and no salary cap - and Charlotte offered Kobe Bryant $40 million a year, and that was much more than anyone else was offering, would he take it? Would you fault him for taking it? This is another fundamental unfairness that never gets addressed.
Statistics/accolades/records: I don’t see a problem with an offensive player in baseball being concerned with putting up the best offensive statistics he can. It’s mind-boggling how this is turned into a negative quality in baseball.
“Boy, look at Johnny Hanrahan, that guy hit .215 last year and he doesn’t give a shit! He doesn’t care about his numbers! He just wants to win! Now look at selfish Bobby Smith who hit 55 home runs but cared more about hitting those home runs than he did winning. I know this because Johnny Hanrahan is killing himself out there and Bobby Smith is playing in a very smooth, unemotional manner.”
Seriously, why is this hard to understand? A-Rod, by putting up crazy numbers, is trying to win. Yes, the last few postseason series were not up to par. But it’s like 70 at-bats spread out over 4 years. He’s the best player at baseball at getting you to the playoffs, and that’s the hard part. The playoffs are a crap shoot.
Nothing against Kobe, who is an unreal basketball player, but please remember that MLB is a free market system. Also, an NBA player has significantly more impact on his team’s overall success than an MLB player who gets 4-5 at-bats a game and 2-3 balls hit to him.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm too lazy to make it look good, just click for a bigger picture.
Credit to avid, everyday, non-stop reader Mike.
No, it doesn’t. From this week’s TMQ:
Obscure College Score of the Week No. 2: Rhode Island 12, Massachusetts 6 in overtime. As noted by reader Preston Jones of Harrisonburg, Va., UMass scored all its points on safeties. The Minutemen faithful lament: If only we'd gotten four more safeties!
Didn’t UMass just need one more safety, since the game was won in overtime?
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Over at SI’s Hot Mustard, they have Maroon 5 lead singer and ex-Maria Sharapova banger Adam Levine’s all-time Lakers team. There’s one glaring terrible terrible selection….
Point Guard: Magic Johnson
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
Small Forward: James Worthy
Center: Shaquille O'Neal
Power Forward: Dennis Rodman
Sixth Man: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
"I'm such a big Laker fan that it hurts me to say that they have no chance at winning this year," says Levine. "But it is kind of cool that the Lakers are underdogs now because its easy to be a fan when you're on top. My all-time team? I'm going with Shaq at center because you can't go too vintage. Kurt Rambis had a lot of heart but Rodman will give you more rebounds. Kareem or Wilt as my sixth man? Damn, that's hard. I'm going with Kareem but it's too hard, man."
It is. It is too hard. Why don’t you take a nap you big Laker fan. What’s too vintage? Pre-1980? I am by no means a Lakers fan, so I don’t profess to have the history of the team down. Anyway, my team would be:
PG – Magic Johnson
SG – Kobe Bryant
C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
SF – James Worthy
PF – Elgin Baylor
G – Jerry West
G – Gail Goodrich
C – Shaquille O’Neal
C – Wilt Chamberlain
C – George Mikan
F – Jamaal Wilkes
F – Michael Cooper
No, no Kurt Rambis Adam. Not even close. I’d still have Rambis way in front of Rodman though.
I’d give the edge to Kobe over Jerry West, but can understand people starting West. Shaquille at center is of course okay, but to me part of this has to encompass length of service, right? Kareem was a Laker for 14 years, 5 Championships, and 3 MVPs. I’m not sure how I’d rank Wilt, Shaq, and Jabbar all-time in the context of their NBA careers, but purely as Lakers, I’m going Jabbar, Shaq, then Wilt.
Dennis Rodman played 23 games for the Lakers. Baylor is arguably the best forward in league history before the 1980’s and Larry Bird joined the league. He was a dominant scorer and rebounder (27.4 PPG / 13.5 RPG, career). If you say that Baylor was really a small forward, then I’d start him over Worthy.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 4-1 – 20%
Boston Red Sox: 6-1 – 14%
San Francisco Giants: 7-1 – 13%
Los Angeles Dodgers: 8-1 – 11%
New York Mets: 10-1 – 9%
Chicago Cubs: 20-1 – 5%
New York Yankees: 25-1 – 4%
Philadelphia Phillies: 30-1 – 3%
The Rest of the Field: 6-1 – 14%
I see. Since there are 30 teams in MLB, Heyman basically thinks the Yankees odds are about equal to those of the average MLB team and there is really no point in separating out the Phillies at all. Also, the Angels are 5 times more likely to sign A-Rod than the Yankees. I guess what I’m saying is, bad blood and all, I would have had the Yankees a little higher since they are one of a handful of teams that can afford him and have shown a willingness to shell out for expensive players.
I suppose that last 7% is Heyman's sneaky way of saying that maybe no one will pony up for A-Rod. But I think he would have told us that.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Q: Is it just me or does Manny not like keeping his batting helmet on when he is running the bases? Pretty sure I just saw him toss his helmet off before trotting into third and almost getting thrown out for overtrotting the base.--Steve, Madison, Wis.
SG: Funny you should mention this. I had the following conversation with my Dad during Game 2:
ME: You notice how Manny always flips his helmet off every time he runs the bases? He does it every time now.
DAD: Yeah, so?
ME: Well, why would you wear a batting helmet if you're going to flip it off every time you have to run? Isn't the whole point of the batting helmet to give protection and keep you from getting hit in the head by a ball on a close slide? Why wear the helmet at all? Why not just wear a cap?
DAD (thinking): Wait, why are you asking me this? It's Manny Ramirez! I'm supposed to explain something strange Manny Ramirez does??? He's Manny Ramirez!
Ha! That's true... it is Manny! Manny being Manny! So funny!
He also may wear a batting helmet so that, oh I don’t know, he doesn’t DIE if the ball hits him in the head while he’s at bat. He flips it off sometimes because it can bounce all over the place, mostly forward and over his eyes. Was that hard?
Thursday, October 25, 2007
If you aren't picking the Spurs to take the 2008 NBA title, your reasoning is simple: They won last year.
You don't care that the Spurs have the best player, best coach and most experience. You don't care that they play so beautifully together, that they didn't lose anyone who matters from last season's team, that they went basically unchallenged last spring except for a brief moment in their series with the Suns. You don't care that no other potential contenders improved except Houston, Boston and maybe Chicago. The Spurs won last season, which means they can't win this season. That's the logic.
Who’s Logic? Since (and including) the 1987-88 Lakers, there have been 6 repeat champions (3 of them were three-peats). I could see that logic in baseball, maybe, but no one carries that thinking into the NBA. I haven't heard of anyone not picking the Spurs because they won last year.
So the Spurs are the only logical pick ... unless you're banking on history, the third -- and best -- approach to choosing an NBA champ. For years now, it has been nearly impossible to repeat without a player like MJ or Magic leading the way.
History suggests that it’s unlikely for the Spurs to repeat? What??? Sure you need Jordan or Magic…..or Isiah Thomas (1989-1990) or Hakeem Olajuwon (1994-1995) or Shaquille O’Neal (2000-2002). Are you saying that Tim Duncan isn’t in that class? I don’t think that’s what you’re saying, but you’re not making sense. Are you saying that the rest of us don’t think he is, and that's why we're not picking them to repeat? I mean, they clearly are not a one and done champion, historically, because they've won a bunch of championships lately.
Even in a diluted league, the Spurs have won only in alternate years -- 2003, 2005 and 2007, although they came damned close in 2004, the year of Derek Fisher's miracle shot, and 2006, the year of Dirk's three-point play. You need to stay healthy and hungry, need a little luck, need your dominant player to be just that, need to avoid the pitfalls that come with success.
So it sounds like you’re saying they were sort of unlucky not to repeat. Why are you saying that “the logic” of so many is that they can’t repeat? This all makes zero sense.
In his book "Showtime," Pat Riley unveiled "the disease of more" and argued that "success is often the first step toward disaster." According to Riley, after the 1980 Lakers won, everyone shifted into a more selfish mode. They had sublimated their respective games to win as a group; now they wanted to reap the rewards as individuals, even if those rewards meant having to spend way too much time at Jack Nicholson's house. Everyone wanted more money, playing time and recognition. Eventually they lost perspective and stopped doing the little things that make teams win and keep winning, eventually imploding in the first round of the postseason. So much for defending the title.
And here is where his memory fails. After the 80’s Lakers last championship, a repeat in 1988, these were their playoff exits:
1989 – Lost in Finals
1990 (Kareem now retired) – Lost in Conference Semi-Finals
1991 (Mike Dunleavy now coach) – Lost in Finals
1992 (Magic Johnson now retired) – Lost in first round
So yes, Riley’s Lakers really showed their loss of perspective and lack of doing the little things by losing in the first round…..after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had retired and while Pat Riley wasn’t coaching the team anymore. The Lakers top 3 scorers in 1991-92 were James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Sedale Threatt. Of course we all know it was always more more more with Sedale Threatt.
Update: I read this wrong, see comments.
Which makes me wonder how TD and the Spurs get psyched for another 100-game grind. How do they keep tapping into that hunger when it's already been sated? The Bulls never let up because MJ wouldn't let them. Boston never let up because Russell wouldn't let them. What's driving the Spurs? Duncan and Popovich love winning, but they aren't puking before big games like Russell did, and they certainly aren't suffering from Jordan's severe competitive disorder (we learned this for sure in 2004 and 2006).
True, they don’t have Michael Jordan or Bill Russell. But I don’t know, maybe they do it the same way that Magic’s Lakers, Isiah’s Pistons, Hakeem’s Rockets and Shaq’s Lakers did it?
I realize Simmons didn’t forget about all these repeat championships, but he’s acting like his readers must have. He tells us why we’re not picking the Spurs because we think they can’t repeat, and that this particular line of thinking is wrong. Then he's telling us why it will be so hard for them to repeat. Ignoring the fact that repeat champions in the NBA has been fairly common for the last 20 years.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI): If you were to manage the Yankees next season could you win 100 games?
Stuart Scott: (4:22 PM ET ) No. I'm not abaseball manager, don't even play one on TV. I fI said yes I'd be disrespecting every manager. They have jobs for a reason. Other people can't do them. Joe couldn't do a flawless hour on SportsCenter.
Stuart Scott: (4:22 PM ET ) If I amange Yanks my bad dec Arod would hit .160, Jeter would be catching, Giambi pitching...hint for all armchair people who think you could...you can't.
I can’t. I agree. He's kidding, obviously, but what the fuck?
Also, Pam(Princeton), can you get off his dick?
Pam(Princeton): Stu, I find men who love hanging out with their daughters very sexy
Stuart Scott: (4:30 PM ET ) Not really what I was after, but I'm flattered, thank you.
Remember this post from mid-August?
Pam(Princeton): Stu, not sucking up here, but I think you are really handsome
Can someone out there get Pam in Princeton a fucking date?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Yankees - 5 to 2 - 28.6%
Red Sox - 3 to 1 - 25.0%
Diamondbacks - 5 to 1 - 16.7%
Rockies - 10 to 1 - 9.1%
Phillies - 11 to 1 - 8.3%
Angels - 12 to 1 - 7.7%
Indians - 15 to 1 - 6.3%
Cubs - 25 to 1 - 3.8%
You’ll notice the following:
- The combined odds exceed 100% (105.5%), which I realized when I posted earlier but didn't think it was worth noting (though it is retarded).
- The Red Sox odds imply that Heyman thought they were 2.75 times more likely than the Rockies to win.
Why is this relevant you ask? Well in today’s daily scoop, Heyman noted the following:
Baseball is filled with number crunchers, sabermetricians and stat geeks. So can someone please explain to me why the bookmakers have installed the Red Sox as 2½-to-1 favorites over the red-hot Rockies in the 103rd World Series? I just don't get it. The numbers don't compute.
They've played .950 baseball over the last month. Yet the oddsmakers are saying that they have only a 28 percent chance to win the Series.
If you now focus only on the odds that Heyman gave for the Red Sox and Rockies earlier, the total percentage is 34.1% that either of them will win. The Rockies’ percentage of that? 27% (The Red Sox = 73%)
So there you go Jon, I'm not a sabermetrician and I really don't consider myself a stat geek, but I've explained it to you using your own numbers.
Now, I get that Heyman may have given different odds if you asked him who would win a head to head series. But if he did it right, I'm not sure he should have to.
Update: I just noticed that at the end of the preview Heyman had changed his tune and said the following: Conclusion: I see Rocktober spilling into Rockvember, and Colorado winning in 7. So apparently the Rockies chances (in comparison to the Red Sox only) have about doubled in Heyman's mind, while the Red Sox have gone down about a third.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
To address the accusation of running up the score in yesterdays win against the Dolphins, he spends a lot of time on the logistics of the plays that were called to support his claims. Personally, I don’t give a shit if they were, but is it really a big issue today? It’s not like it was 63-0 and they continued to try to score. It just seems like a non-issue when you consider it was 42-7 at halftime and the final was 49-28. I mean, I got to think they’d be a little better about running up the score than to be outscored 21-7 in the second half.
It also makes little sense when you consider one of his “stats of the week:”
Stat of the Week No. 2: At one point, Tennessee led Houston 32-7 and held a 311-34 advantage in offensive yards, yet the Titans ended up needing a field goal on the final snap to win.
Look, the Patriots had a massive lead at halftime, and the odds of the Dolphins coming back were slim, but come-backs do happen. I think if Matt Cassel didn't get picked and the Dolphins weren't putting points on the board he would have finished off the game. Get over it. Oh no wait, write 1,800 words about it. Yeah, that makes more sense.
I’ll try to parse out some specific items that I thought were a little over the top/unfair.
Their coach, Tony Dungy, smiles in public and answers honestly whatever he is asked: He never yells at players or grimaces at bad plays and, when defeated, doesn't act as though it's the end of the world.
Okay, so that’s the mark of a “good” coach. So Red Auerbach, who yelled at his players on the court…he’s evil? Bobby Knight? That guy must be the devil. Doesn’t Peyton Manning yell at people from time to time and even (gasp) grimace after a bad play? Is this worth our time? Did Vince Lombardi, the man credited with “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” act like it was the end of the world when he lost (sounds like it)? These are rhetorical questions that I realize don’t directly address his point, that Tony Dungy is the embodiment of “good”, but is the antithesis of these acts really the embodiment of “evil”. That’s stupid.
The team has three Super Bowl triumphs, yet its players regularly whine about not being revered enough.
I honestly have to disagree. Other than the standard locker room fare that teams use to search for motivation (‘the other team is favored to win’ kind of stuff), I have never heard the mainstays on these Patriots teams (or the new players, since they joined the Patriots) whining about not being revered enough. If there are examples, then I’ll admit I’m wrong, because I’m not soaking up a ton of NFL media. But don’t say “regularly” without giving me one example.
The team's star, Tom Brady, is a smirking sybarite who dates actresses and supermodels but whose public charity appearances are infrequent. That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
This is a very petty attack on Tom Brady. Let’s review:
Okay, I had to look up the word sybarite because I’m not as smart as Gregg Easterbrook, but dictionary.com defines it as the following: a person devoted to luxury and pleasure.
So we’re making an attack on Tom Brady for smirking - which implies that he’s going out of his way to put on a negative vibe - and apparently liking luxury and pleasure. What-fucking-ever man. I recommend you not study Tom Brady’s face so much.
Dates actresses and supermodels
So? Is that evil? What if he dated cheerleaders like the ones you pretend to like and post all over TMQ, to compensate for the fact that you are kind of a dork? Check it out! I like chicks too!
..but whose public charity appearances are infrequent.
True, Brady’s ratio of supermodels dated to charitable donations is pretty low. Evil!
That constant smirk on Brady's face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, "I'm hiding something."
What the fuck are you talking about? This is very irresponsible ad-hominem attacks in the name of being righteous. You can’t say “he smirks” and then leap to “he’s dishonest”. Gregg, your writing REAKS of pomposity and arrogance. That tells me that you’re an asshole. Is that fair?
The TMQ loves rhetorical questions. Let’s answer a few.
The New England players still might suffer some long-term harm from the cheating, though: Given the image New England is projecting, would you want Patriots' players endorsing your product?
I don’t think Tom Brady will have any trouble getting endorsements because of Belichick’s taping scandal. I see Patriots players advertising all sorts of shit in New England, and there really aren’t that many NFL stars involved in national ads, but Brady is one of them. So that’s bunk.
But if the Patriots are unfairly maligned, why the whole screw-you act they are staging?
If you were unfairly maligned, wouldn’t your mentality be of the “screw-you” variety? Mine would be. I peg you as saying:
Gregg: "I'm being unfairly maligned, but please please see that my heart is pure, and look at the ass on that one!"
Me: Gregg that's a man
Gregg: I like naked women!
If the Patriots were unfairly maligned, they'd be trying hard to convince us their hearts are pure, and that distinctly is not what they are doing.
Woah woah woah. Hearts are pure? Man I was kidding about that shit (okay I cheated). No, if a team is accused of cheating, they don’t then go out and play and try to barely win, but in a “our hearts are pure” kind of way. No. They try to win in a way that says, “do you see any cheating now, while I’m kicking your ass?” This is pretty simple.
But if the Patriots are so awesome they don't need to cheat, then why were they cheating in Week 1? The whole situation remains creepy. Should New England continue on and win the Super Bowl without a major attitude shift toward nice-guy behavior -- and should the year end without the NFL's ever explaining what New England evidence it destroyed or why -- there could be a huge amount of cynicism about this NFL season. Cynicism doesn't sell a sports product, nor is it what the NFL should be marketing to the young.
This is a great example of how Easterbrook can, in a passive way, make incredible leaps in logic that just make little sense. It’s a pretty innocent little set of sentences, but the statement that he’s making is pretty grandiose. I’ll just chime in and say that there won’t be a huge amount of cynicism if things play out with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, for precisely the reason why you are wrote those 1,800 words. They are kicking everyone’s ass, and letting it be known that they are the better team, regardless of what your opinions of them and the taping scandal are. I’m not sure why this is so difficult to understand.
This entire post is less than 1,400 words - he wrote 1,800 about the Patriots being evil. That's a little obsessive.
Seriously, if you want comedy gold and topical observations, then your man is Mike Freeman at CBS Sportsline. Let’s look at a snapshot from his column on the Indians losing 3 in a row to the Red Sox. Imagine that! Losing three games in a row! These lines appear in this order with no breaks.
Nice performance, Cleveland.
That doesn’t make sense, you say? Because they lost? Well that’s a little fucking trick we in the writing biz (okay, I’m not a writer) call sarcasm. Look it up, then maybe you can start to hang with us.
What's the matter? Couldn't get a fresh supply of HGH in time for Games 6 and 7?
Bam! Wait, not enough.
BAM! Did you see the news this weekend? HGH, bitches. Mike is on top of this shit.
There's still time to hire Joe Torre, you know.
Ooooooooooohh fuck-ing snap! Joe Torre! The ex-manager of the Yankees! Oh I think HE’S been in the newspapers a lot lately!
Or a new BALCO chemist.
(I’m just dancing now, talk amongst yourselves for seventeen minutes).
If you're looking for the Indians to get a swell pat on the back for a golly-good effort, this is not the place.
Because this is Freeman-land, so you will be ridiculed. Strap yourselves in, Cleveland Bitchdians.
This shouldn't have happened. The Indians had the Red Sox in their mitts and lost. They had them. It was this close.
For about 30 seconds.
This wasn’t THAT close. I mean, this wasn’t 2004 or anything. Cleveland never had a lead in games 5-7.
Then Cleveland quit. There's no other way to say this. That's what they did. They flat out gave up.
Well we all saw that, didn’t we. They weren’t even trying. No other way to say it. They were trying in game 2, when they won in extra innings. They were trying in game 4, when they maybe really won because Tim Wakefield failed to field a ball or even to miss a ball so it could be fielded during Cleveland's one seven-run inning (the only inning they scored in). If that ball is fielded by Wakefield or someone else, it’s a likely double play and the Red Sox are leading by the bottom of the inning (Delcarmen doesn't come in to serve up the three run homer to Peralta). But in game 4, the Indians were trying, so Wakefield just stabbed at the ball and all runners were safe. Mike says, “there’s no other way to say this.” I honestly think the only thing you can’t say is that the Indians just gave up, because that's just lazy, terrible, stupid, retarded, fucked-up analysis. I think you can point to a combination of the following:
- Regression to the mean for certain Red Sox hitters
- Bad-luck in games 5-7
- Good-luck in games 2-4
- Red Sox good luck in games 5-7
- Red Sox bad luck in games 2-4
- Josh Beckett pitched well in game 5
- Fausto Carmona and CC Sabathia couldn’t throw strikes (but they were trying to)
- Lack of home field advantage
Plus like a thousand other things. But not 'C.C. Sabathia did not try'. I don't think that's giving either team enough credit, really.
This was as painful an unraveling amid a comedy of errors as you will ever see in any sport.
In the end, as it turns out, the Indians were lucky to make this a seven-game series. In the division series, they were aided by a swarm of bugs and a pitcher on HGH. Suddenly the bugs and HGH and luck all ran out.
So now the Indians beat the Yankees because of the bugs (that they had to deal with too) and the fact that Paul Byrd has used HGH. HGH doesn’t make those 85 MPH pitches more difficult to hit.
They Indians turned J.D. Drew into a hero. That's how bad this was for Cleveland.
Because we KNOW that J.D. Drew couldn’t have hit a home run all by himself. In fact, I’m not going to look this up but I bet he’s never hit a home run against non-Indians pitching in his career.
Losing three consecutive ALCS games is an embarrassment this franchise might not live down for years.
So, by that rationale, the Diamondbacks are screwed, because they lost 4 in a row in the LCS. What about those ’04 Cardinals, swept in the World Series! They’ll never be back! I personally would be more psychologically damaged by getting my ass kicked/swept then by losing in 7 games.
Monday, October 22, 2007
“If he can get you 4 more games at home, that’s a $15 million windfall! Schilling pays for himself.”
Where do you start with that? I would probably mention one of the following:
- The regular season. One hundred and sixty two games, folks.
- Beckett, Papelbon, Ortiz, Ramirez, etc. also play a small role in getting you to the World Series.
- The concept of “opportunity cost”
- Lower cost alternatives coming up – Lester/Buchholz
- Maybe pitching shitty in game 2 didn’t help get the Red Sox to the World Series.
- Schilling has been fading quite a bit over the last couple years and doesn’t show the ability to be a frontline starter for long stretches anymore.
- How baseball works
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
• At least Joe Torre isn't waiting by the phone. Someone must be following him because he's been reported to be at a race track and various restaurants lately. Anyway, glad to see he's getting out.
Hmmmm this needs to be parsed – too much going on.
At least Joe Torre isn't waiting by the phone.
I see. Because people actually wait by phones in 2007, right? Instead of, I don’t know, carrying them everywhere.
Someone must be following him because he's been reported to be at a race track and various restaurants lately.
Jon, your first little test of who this mysterious “someone” who “must be” following him is would be to determine where you go this juicy little piece of gossip.
Anyway, glad to see he's getting out.
Right. Right, me too. I’m worried about all multi-millionaire baseball managers who are no longer alive in the playoffs that have expired contracts. Has anyone checked on Tony LaRussa lately? I haven’t heard about him going out to eat. Are we sure John McLaren’s not waiting by the phone with a loaded .38?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
When the Yankees were running off four consecutive world championships, there was doom and gloom. Teams became convinced that baseball had fallen victim to the Golden Rule — he who has the gold is going to rule.
The Yankees last won 4 consecutive world championships during the period of 1949-1953, when they won 5 in a row. Tracy’s going way back for his/her analysis!
What’s that, oh, Tracy screwed up. So the Yankees won 4 out of five from 1996-2000 because they spent the most? I disagree. I think they had good homegrown players along with solid veterans. They did not have quite the roster of high priced all-stars like the ’01-’07 Yankees.
Then the simplistic work of "Moneyball" was published, taking a shallow view of the complex approach Billy Beane had taken to having success on a moderate budget in Oakland, and suddenly front offices were being filled with guys wearing pocket protectors.
I’m sooo tired of reading about Moneyball. Tracy calls Moneyball “simplistic.” I would love to hear Tracy’s thoughts on Moneyball. I wonder if it’s along the lines of “Moneyball baseball is all about walking and not running fast.” Of course, Moneyball is simplistic, but that doesn’t prevent 7 out of 10 baseball writers from butchering the meaning.
Now, maybe, the game is going to get back to its roots.
Like, back to when the Yankees last won 4 straight championships, in 1953?
Now, maybe, some owners will realize that for all the efforts to find new and improved versions, round is the best shape for a tire, and a home-grown product is the best method for success in baseball.
This is why I disagreed with your first statement. The Yankees of 1996-2000 were primarily, if anything, a team built on homegrown stars. Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Bernie Williams comprised the core of many of those teams. Guys like Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Jimmy Key, etc. were hardly your typical all-stars who were just bought for extreme amounts of money because the Yankees outbid everyone for them (like, later, Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina were).
The rest of the column is about the amazing streak the Rockies are on. I’ll just leave you with this bit of wisdom from Tracy.
"This is unbelievable, amazing," said honorary NL President Bill Giles, former president of the Phillies and son of long-time exec Warren C. Giles, for whom the NL Championship trophy is named. "The Rockies have done something no other team in baseball history has done. It is absolutely amazing."
And they did it as a team.
Right on! Go teamwork! Unlike all those other good baseball teams who haven’t done it as a team. Did you know the 2003 Marlins were never actually on the field at the same time? They filmed those World Series games with a blue screen, kind of like how actors can have scenes with people who aren’t there and they can layer it together later. Each guy just did his thing and they later edited to make it look like a team. Originally, when Josh Beckett was pitching, the ball was actually caught by former major league Butch Wynegar and later Ivan Rodriguez caught the ball as thrown by former major leaguer Tom Niedenfuer. The rest was Hollywood magic. That’s how ex-players earn their pension checks. Manny Ramirez wasn’t even in the continental US during the ’04 series. That was George Bell. Some team that was!
See Mike Freeman and Scott Miller, I can make jokes that aren’t funny and make no sense too.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Mike: Sure, here goes!
MLB playoffs? Great action, but it's past our bedtime
If these postseason baseball games go any later into the night they'll have to be simulcast on Cinemax.
Why? That doesn’t make any sense. Oh I know, so you can make a follow-up joke….
Sandwiched between Cheerleader Diaries 7 and Emmanuelle in London.
LOL. Let’s skip down to where Mike gets to his point.
A question for Major League Baseball: Have you ever heard of the word "afternoon"?
His point is to write the same column often written about the poor East coast fans, especially the kids, who can’t watch anything on TV that starts at 8 or 9. I’ve heard this blamed as the reason why MLB and NBA have, in the past, lost fans (ratings going down).
The playoffs have been surprisingly good, and the sport is healthy and vital. Commissioner Bud Selig has won over even the harshest of critics, proving to be a skilled and deft leader after initially being a stumbling clown.
What the fuck has Bud Selig done to be called a “skilled and deft leader”? The baseball is good. Bud Selig isn’t the one playing.
But these late games are where baseball continues to go grossly wrong. Not only do you lose hardcore baseball fans for the sake of corporate cash because people, you know, work and all. Worse than that is the self-inflicted damage baseball is doing to its future.
That second sentence sums up my frustration with this general point. People DO work, which is why you should have games on at prime-time on the East coast. How does starting the game at 5 or 6 East coast time help those working on the West Coast take in the game? Sure, the East coast kids get to see – but should we tailor the entire postseason schedule around 5-12 year-olds on the East coast? There is no perfect balance here. 7-8 PM EST makes the most sense to me.
One of the big reasons the NFL overtook baseball is because football respected its young fans. The bulk of pro football games are played at times when kids can put on their team's jersey and watch the game with Mom and Dad.
Mike, what do all but 1 of this week’s NFL football games have in common? Got it yet? They were played on Sunday! The NFL, when it plays during the week, NEVER plays during the afternoon.
That's how you build a young viewership that remains loyal for decades. You allow kids that are five, eight, 10, 15 years old to watch your games. Seems pretty simple.
Fuck that. I get home from work between 6:30 and 8. I don’t care if little 5 year old Timmy down the street gets to watch the rest of the playoff game.
Even the NFL's late games Sunday and Monday night end at a somewhat manageable hour. Most of football's postseason contests begin in the afternoon; the Super Bowl starts during the dinner hour.
No, sorry, the late games don’t end at a manageable hour for a kid with a normal bedtime. I don’t think you can compare the NFL to MLB in this situation, because, again, they play mostly on weekends. Their Monday night games end late – between 11:30 and midnight. 5-15 year olds aren’t watching that. The Super Bowl is on Sunday. Sundays are different. How many times does this need to be said?
You see, baseball has yet to grasp the concept that you can be greedy corporate bastards and still somewhat serve the fans. The NFL does it every day.
No, they do it on Sunday and Monday. Monday’s game is on at prime-time in the East.
Baseball isn't just greedy; baseball is stubborn and thick-headed. That's a bad combination.
The steps baseball can take to fix this problem are simple. They're so simple baseball needs to be slapped upside the head for not doing them.
First, play every game in the afternoon, particularly Sunday, the day before the work week starts. Sure, baseball will be competing against the NFL, but it does now anyway. Earlier games make fans happy, and that will pay dividends decades in the future.
No, this doesn’t work. If you play every game in the afternoon, then the kids are at school/sports on the West Coast, the parents on the West Coast are at work, and the East Coast parents are working/just getting home for the end. So the only people that benefit are the kids on the East Coast who don’t play any after school sports. See how this makes no sense?
It also makes zero business sense. So, yeah, let's piss off millions of fans and make less money so the East coast kids can watch!
Second, no game should start later than 6 p.m. ET. Baseball maintains this will hurt West Coast fans, but trust me: They'll find a way to watch in California, dude. My Eastern bias might be showing, but the remainder of the country is better served by earlier starts.
Your Eastern bias is showing a tad, dude. Actually, the entire country, EXCEPT the east coast, is not better served by (somewhat) earlier starts. Afternoon starts make no sense….anywhere.
If baseball continues down the path of its games ending so late, they'll bleed young fans forever.
I would like to bet Mike Freeman eleventy-seventy gillian dollars that baseball will not “bleed young fans” just because the playoffs start during prime time on the East coast. I would also bet that ratings would be murdered if games started in the afternoon, during the week, as he suggested. It’s not like they recently started the current TV schedule, they’ve been doing it for a long time, and baseball seems pretty popular to me….even with the poor children. If Mike was right then we would be seeing a disproportionate amount of baseball fans on the West Coast. Does that seem to be the case? Nope.
Still makes no sense.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
How about next time C.C. Sabathia simply hands over his lunch money to Manny Ramirez before the trouble starts?
Manny Ramirez owns C.C. Sabathia, as the numbers show (Miller give us these numbers, Ramirez is hitting .609 lifetime against Sabathia).
What happened after school at the bus stop between the neighborhood bully and the neighborhood shrimp was civil in comparison.
Got it. As John Kerry would say, Manny Ortiz has been dominating.
And oh, while he's at it, Sabathia might want to just present David Ortiz with the keys to his Hummer, or whatever ride he's cruising around in now.
Is everyone on board with Scott’s line of humor now? Don't worry, he'll drive this home for you more than Ramirez and Ortiz crossed home last night! Ding!
Probably, genuflecting in front of the both of them is out of the question. But it sure merits consideration.
I think before game 2, Fausto Carmona should just blow Manny Ramirez!
Okay that was mine.
Here we were at the much-anticipated pitching showdown between two of the top American League Cy Young candidates in Game 1 here Friday night, and a Josh Beckett hoedown broke out. Or mow down. As Beckett soared, Sabathia was gored.
Somewhere in Los Angeles, Bill Plaschke just wiped a single tear off his cheek while he read this. “Such poetry!” he proclaimed. Then he chastised Miller for having three sentences in a paragraph. One and done, that’s his motto.
Or before Manny and Big Papi swipe their wallets and wedding rings, too.
Is everyone up to speed? Manny and Big Papi are hitting real good. We have numbers to support this, but that’s not enough color, right? So we need Scott Miller, in the same column, saying that the Indians/Sabathia should just hand over lunch money, keys to a Hummer, wallets and wedding rings, then bow in admiration. Can’t numbers just say this much more effectively.
Actually, let’s look at the numbers. No jokes here, but the numbers are insane, so I had to leave them in there.
And the two of them together? This postseason, Ortiz has reached base in 16 of 18 plate appearances, and Ramirez has reached in 13 of 18 plate appearances.
Together, they've reached in 29 of 36 plate appearances, going 12-for-19 (.805 on-base percentage) with 16 walks, one hit batter (Ortiz) and 12 runs scored. It's ludicrous.
Those numbers are ludicrous, and they speak for themselves.
"I've never seen anything like it," Boston third baseman Mike Lowell said.
"That's kind of extreme," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
"Would you like some fries with all those shakes?" said the Indians.
Yes, those three quotes appear in order. I’ve read this joke like 50 times and I can’t figure out what it means.
Friday, October 12, 2007
He talks about salary gaps and ownership and whatnot, and ends with this stupid point:
Do the math. Add the salaries of C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Franklin Guttierrez, Jhonny Peralta, Chris Gomez, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez and Ryan Garko.
Now what do you have?
About a half million less than J.D. Drew.
Do the math. Add the salaries of Hideki Okajima (all-star), Jonathan Papelbon (arguable best closer in baseball), Kevin Youkilis (greek god of walks), Jon Lester, and Dustin Pedroia (likely ROY).
Now what do you have?
Less than the Indians are paying fourth outfielder Trot Nixon.
If I wanted to get real cute I could throw future ace Clay “no-hitter in my second ML start” Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury in there and move up from Nixon to Casey Blake or Joe Borowski, with plenty of room to spare.
So what point did Kriegel make? Young players, who have not hit free agency, are cheap. So the Red Sox spend a lot, like the Yankees, and players are cheap before you have to start paying market value for them. Thanks for wasting my time, Mark Kriegel.