The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

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I just noticed this

Remember that last Gordon article I made fun of, where he wrote this:

If the Yankees had lost the ALCS to the Indians, Knoblauch’s brain-freeze in Game 2 – arguing and pointing at the baseball lying on the ground while Enrique Wilson circled the bases – would rank with Merkle’s boner and Snodgrass’ muff in baseball infamy. Cano had a breakout season.

It’s a good thing Bob Cano didn’t make any kind of massive blunder in the ALCS this season, huh!


October 22nd, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Dodgers babblebots go!

Listen to this dimwit babbling about umpires:

"You cannot work two World Series in consecutive years, so what’s the incentive for umpires to be great?"

Money? Money’s good. Also continuing to umpire at the Major League level is an incentive, yeah? Oh, and not having this article written about you. That would motivate me.

You know who I can name off the top of my head? Doug Eddings. He’s probably the most famous umpire in baseball. Why? Because he legendarily fucked up two important calls. Every time I see an umpire fuck something up I check to see if it was Doug Eddings. You don’t want to be Doug Eddings.

"The guys who will work the World Series — they will have been sitting around for three weeks."

Well, sure. Umpiring is not exactly like pitching. It’s not a tremendous physical exertion that has to be quick, precise, and repeated over and over again.

To his credit, the other announcer just stammered and stuttered his way through a kind-of response to the first statement, and ignored the second one altogether.


October 21st, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | 2 comments

Whoever’s calling the NLCS

Just said "the crowd continues to be apopleptic."

First off: that word does not have quite so many instances of the letter P as you seem to think it does. Apoplectic, gang.

Second off: that word does not mean what you think it means. This is Philadelphia and the Phillies are winning by a huge amount. The crowd is not "apoplectic," which means angry. Neither is the crowd "apopleptic," which means nothing. Do you see?

Third off: Just say "crazy." Longer words aren’t necessarily better words.

You’re out.


October 21st, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

I really want to make fun of Steve Phillips

The only problem is, Yahoo has kind of beaten me and the cast of the apparently-defunct Fire Steve Phillips to the punch on this one. Their article about his recent affair with a crazy person makes him look like a giant fool pretty much as thoroughly as I could.

Oh, except for one thing:

"This woman has clearly displayed erratic behavior and delusional tendencies," Phillips said in a statement to police. "She has shown up at our house. She has taken on the identity of at least two people (minors) to violate our son (a minor). I have extreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids and myself."

That’s basically a gobbledygook paragraph, but I’d like to mention the gobbledyest bit of gook from the whole thing. Unless there are some fairly provocative details that have been withheld in this account, Steve Phillips, your crazy mistress certainly did not "violate" your son. That word has a pretty specific meaning when used in this context, and it’s not the same as "annoy."

Also, I’m fairly sure that the fact that her assumed identities were "minors" is not very relevant to anything.


October 21st, 2009 Posted by | Baseball, Bullshit | no comments

Time for a McCarver moment!

Tim McCarver calling ALCS game four:

“The ball is just really coming out of Sabathia’s hand.”

Anybody have any guesses as to which part of Sabathia’s body Tim expected the ball to come out of?


October 20th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | one comment

Let’s Overreacting! Part Three

So I guess Manny Ramirez went to take a shower last night instead of hanging out on the bench for the last half-inning of the Dodgers’ win over the Phillies. Ordinarily no problem. This time, though, it turns out that the Dodgers kind of fucked it up, and the Phillies rallied on two outs to win it (payback’s a bitch, hey?), and so Manny is a complete shitneck for not being there. Or so says Jeff Passan.

Choo choo! The moral outrage train is arriving at the station! All aboard!

The showers at Citizens Bank Park must be nice and hot. You know, the kind with the rotating head that goes from pulse to stream to rainfall.

Gayer, please.

Relaxing and soothing enough to explain how Manny Ramirez possibly thought it would be OK to spend the ninth inning of the most important game of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season covered by suds.

Imagery: A
Logic: D+
Outrage: B
Likelihood of a non-elimination game being the "most important" of the season: 2.381%

Ah, to live in Manny’s world, where accountability and solidarity take back seats to … personal hygiene?

Speaking for myself, I’m kind of a fan of personal hygiene. Accountability is neither here nor there, though, since he was, like, held accountable for his actions, yeah? Isn’t that what you’re doing? And as for solidarity, well, that sounds like one of those fucking intangibles. And since Manny doesn’t pitch, I don’t think he needs those.

As Jimmy Rollins turned on a Jonathan Broxton fastball with two outs in the ninth inning Monday night and drove in two runs for a 5-4 Philadelphia victory, Manny was blissfully unaware that his season was one game from being over.

So was I. I had gone to bed well before the man who led MLB in outs this season while OBPing a stunning .296 (!) came to bat with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Can you blame Manny for thinking this one was in the bag?

Instead of being on the bench to celebrate the presumed victory – and, eventually, lament the crushing loss – he was rinsing off and getting ready to towel himself dry. Just another sign that the Manny-as-a-role-model-for-younger-players rubbish the Dodgers tried to sell when they gave him $45 million earlier this year was just another myth, an excuse from an organization that continues to enable his selfish behavior.

I agree: that is rubbish. Manny isn’t a role model for shit. He’s a capricious, childish doofus. His saving grace: he can hit a baseball like a motherfucker.

The Dodgers are a proud team. They are run by Ned Colletti, a savvy general manager whom they signed Tuesday to a long-term deal, and a cadre of smart executives.

Ned Colletti is an idiot. Some example quotes:

"We were a good team, but the reason why we won 100 games was the manager."

"This man gets on base an awful lot." (in reference to Juan Pierre, who had an OBP of .327 the year Colletti said that)

"Do I use VORP? I may be using it and not even know it, and if I am, it’s nobody’s business. There are a lot of different criteria in judging players. I think I use, um, esoteric qualitative mathematical review times five. That’s one of them."

"Brett will provide us with a proven major league starter who is capable of pitching 200 innings. He has been one of the more durable pitchers in the National League over the last four years and will be a great addition to the staff." (In re: Brett Tomko, who pitched 200 innings in exactly three seasons in his entire career, and had only pitched in the National League for two years prior to Colletti’s quote)

Pretty savvy, Ned!

Their manager, Joe Torre, has nearly a fistful of World Series rings and earns the respect of players because of his loyalty.

His loyalty? That’s why? Not because he’s good at his job, or because he’s won the World Series four times, or because he’s charming or funny or good at handling his players? Just loyalty. Okay. So… he should have Manny’s back, right? That’s what you’re saying?

To allow Ramirez to so willfully co-opt everything for which they stand with his blatant disregard for the Dodgers’ well-being is a sign of misplaced priorities.

Oh. That’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying he should be loyal to… well, to you. To your own ideals, and not to his players.

Side note: fuck Strunk and White. "Everything for which they stand?" That’s clumsy. Everything they stand for. Terminal preposition. Get over it.

Misplaced priorities indeed.

Ramirez’s benefits no longer outweigh his detriments.

Benefits:
.418 OBP
.531 SLG
71 BB
19 HR
149 OPS+
.333 EqA
Audience draw
Sales of dreadlock wigs

Detriments:
Showered after being removed from the game

He is catnip for drama. He sulked his way out of Boston, signed late with the Dodgers because he wanted more money than he deserved, spent 50 games sidelined because he was caught with a prescription for female fertility drugs used to either get pregnant or cover up steroid use – whichever of those seems more probable.

I thought it was because he couldn’t get wood. And, as for being worth more money than he deserved, well, Jeff, you’re welcome not to give him that much money. Savvy Ned Colletti thought he was worth that much money, when he savvily kept bidding himself up when it was clear to the rest of the world that literally nobody else was going to make an offer. But, I mean, fuck Manny for that. What an ass, waiting a while longer just so Ned will give him a buttload more money. Via savvy.

When he returned, Ramirez wasn’t the same lightning bolt in the middle of the lineup he had been – nor the positive and relaxing influence the younger Dodgers said he was toward the end of last season, as Los Angeles won the NL West.

For some reason, I can’t get Baseball Reference’s "Advanced Lightning Bolt Statistics" page to load. If you want a less lightning-bolty stat like OPS+, though, he’s pretty much bang on his career average. And I’m sorry to hear he was less positive and relaxing. At least he was still hitting like a beast! Not that that makes up for his terrible PaRORP, of course.

His bat always compensated for his antics – jogging on ground balls, lazing toward others hit into the left-field corner. Not anymore.

Why not? I mean, really. 149 OPS+? Led the team in OBP, SLG, and IBB. Trailed Andre Ethier for the team lead in walks by one, even though he missed fifty games due to catastrophic boner malfunction. So what’s changed here?

He’s now a dreadlocked distraction, and the example he sets for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and James Loney and Russell Martin – that not watching the game is acceptable under any circumstances – is pitiful.

Jeff. My man. Please. Manny Ramirez has always been a dreadlocked distraction. Always always always. Aaaaaaallwaaaaaaaays. He has never ever been a player you want on your team due to leadership or role-modelship or rocketship or whatevership. Or defense. You want him because he is a ridiculously good hitter. And on the scale of goofy shit that Manny Ramirez has done, not watching the last three outs of what looks like a lockdown win rates as: not that bad. You remember this? That could have had actual impact on a game.

"It’s really nothing different than he’s done before," Torre said.

Correct. I won’t say Torre’s the best manager ever, but he appears to have some sense of perspective.

"I don’t think it’s disrespect of anything. He wasn’t going anywhere until the game was over, and we can’t put him back in the game."

Also correct.

More excuses, more hollow justification.

Well, fuck us, Joe Torre. We’re so shallow.

Certainly it would be another distraction if the Dodgers came out and admonished Ramirez, but at least they would seem serious about the different standard to which they hold their highest-paid, biggest-name player. The implication is stark: Manny does what he pleases, and we vouch for it.

Three things to consider.

One: Is this bit about adding more distractions to punish people for being a distraction the same as suspending Miguel Cabrera for "abandoning" the team? Kind of another bite-off-your-nose-to-piss-off-your-face thing?

Two: You think it’s okay for the Dodgers to hold Manny to a different standard from everyone else as long as they’re "serious" about it?

Three: What?

Torre reasoned that Ramirez retreated to the clubhouse during the regular season when he got pulled for a defensive replacement.

Oh. So it’s something that he’s just been allowed to do? Like, he always hits the showers when he gets pulled in the ninth? So no big deal, then.

This is not the regular season. It is the NLCS. It is one step from the World Series.

And this changes what, exactly?

The Dodgers were about to steal home-field advantage back from the Phillies. The series would be in their hands. The impending victory was as huge as the disappointment from the loss.

All of which was completely and utterly independent of Manny Ramirez, since he was no longer eligible to participate in the game. You do realise that, right? Once they take him out they can’t put him back in. It’s not like they really needed somebody to pinch-hit and Manny was in the shower and so they had to send up Hiroki Kuroda and he struck out four times in one plate appearance.

And even if Ramirez was in the clubhouse, at least he could have tuned in.

Do they have TVs in the shower? If they do, then, yeah, kind of a dick move not to watch the game, Manny.

Legend has it that during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Keith Hernandez went back to the clubhouse, lit a cigarette, cracked a beer and watched the ninth inning on TV.

So was it written, in the tablets delivered unto us by Moses and Jesus and probably also Felipe: proceedeth thou into the clubhouse to partake of the sacred brewski and the holy stogie, but showereth thou not, lest thou be rendered unclean in the eyes of the press.

But, seriously. Andre, Matt, James, and Russel: do not behave like this asshole Manny. If you want to go chill in the clubhouse and smoke up a storm and get tanked, that’s fine. But absolutely NO SHOWERING.

Ramirez was so eager to leave – to avoid the media, or to grab dinner, or who knows? – that a shower was more imperative than the game’s final out.

Maybe he was sick of TBS constantly training the cameras on him every time he picks his nose. I kind of am.

Randy Wolf, the Dodgers’ starter, made it back to the bench after getting pulled in the sixth inning. Other Dodgers waited there to join in the celebration. It wasn’t too much to ask. Not even close. And yet even the littlest thing with Manny turns into an ordeal.

You’re right: even the littlest things with Manny do seem to turn into an ordeal. Any idea why that could be, Jeff? I mean, do you know anyone who blows every tiny thing the dude does way out of proportion? Jeff? Jeff?

No answer. Maybe he’s in the shower?

Boston got it right. The Red Sox got sick of Ramirez’s selfishness and shipped him off.

Manny in Boston: Assaulting clubhouse personnel, disparaging the organisation in the media, disrupting games by holding up childish signs about how he wants a trade, faking injuries to get out of playing, and generally making himself impossible to keep.

Manny in LA: hit the showers instead of watching the last three outs of a game he was not eligible to play in.

These things: equivalent.

This picture: comedy.

The Dodgers are stuck with Ramirez, their $20 million diva. He undoubtedly will not exercise the opt-out clause, leaving the Dodgers on the hook for another year. And you know what it feels like?

A cold shower.

If it feels like a cold shower full of 149 OPS+, 30 homers, and a WARP3 in the neighborhood of 6, I expect the Dodgers will take that shower gladly. And they won’t care particularly if it has that rotating, pulsing head.


October 20th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Greatness

Gamespot’s had another of those "best hero ever" vote-a-thons. The Gamespot readership roughed up my expectations and actually didn’t hand the thing to Cloud McAngst this time; he was out in the third round (to the dude from God of War?), making me wonder if the bloom is finally off the massively-overrated rose.

I will confess, however, that the winner was a pretty big surprise to me. I expected the usual final round matchup of Mario and Cloud, but… Gordon Freeman? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the Half-Life games pretty well, but Gordon is basically a non-character. He’s created that way intentionally — no personality, never speaks, nothing. He just has tightly trimmed facial hair and nerd glasses. Well, and the space marine power armour and stuff.

Now, if it had been Dog, well, that I could get behind. Dog rules.


October 17th, 2009 Posted by | Games | no comments

Cloggers

Here’s the headline pic on Yahoo Sports:

clogclogclog

I think everybody knows what they’re referring to. Good work, you fucking dinks.


October 16th, 2009 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

I think I’ll make fun of some people