You know what that means: baseball’s back, baby!
Referring to the statistics in scouting reports he requests on occasion, Ozzie Guillen announced that, "Yesterday, I was looking at on-base percentage."
I love this. It’s the year 2011, and here is a man who gets paid to run a baseball team admitting that finally — reluctantly — he has deigned to pay attention to how often his hitters reach base. You’re the goods, Ozzie.
He abruptly stopped, as if ashamed of his admission. "I’m not a computer guy," Guillen said. "I’m not."
First of all: you fucking well should be. It’s kind of your job to know information, and ain’t never been created a gizmo that’s better at telling you information than a computer. That aside, OBP has nothing to do with computers, crazyass. It’s a very simple statistic.
C’mon, Ozz. I’m sure some of your best friends are sabermatricians, even if they haven’t been outed yet. It might be a stretch to call OBP an advanced or sabermetric stat, but it also seems cause for nerd celebration whenever a manager in Major League Baseball drops it casually into conversation.
"Celebration" ain’t exactly what I’m doing.
"On-base percentage? Of course it’s very important," Guillen continued. "That’s why I ask. I want to know."
"If we face Kansas City every other day, wow, do I need to read a report about [Joakim] Soria pitching? That kind of stuff, I don’t buy," Guillen said.
Yeah, no need to learn about the best pitcher on a team you’ll be facing. Best just to assume he throws all strikes and hack away!
Guillen says he prefers to manage with his instinct, or from what he’s learned on the field. Not stuff he reads at desk.
No fooling? Wow, I didn’t know this amazing fact about Ozzie Guillen. I guess that’s why his very expensive teams traditionally perform so well, huh.
"Who we playing opening day?" Guillen said. "The Indians. I want to know who’s the hottest guy in the lineup that week. Because some guy hits .390 and one (other) guy hits .190 then all of a sudden the guy who’s hitting .390 goes 0 for 7. Then the guy who’s hitting .190 is on fire. That’s why you’ve got to go with your gut feeling."
I like how Ozzie combines both permutations of the gambler’s fallacy into one kind of wonderful ur-fallacy that doesn’t begin to make sense. Let’s follow along:
• Actual skill doesn’t matter — all that matters is who’s "hot" recently, because hot streaks are an actual thing and can be expected to continue.
• A guy who’s underperforming is probably "due" to get hot. Never mind skill, because hot streaks are an actual thing and they exist to balance out cold streaks. Which, also, are a thing.
• If a paladin is allowed to roll on warrior gear, he’s 50% likely to win, which means that if two paladins roll, they’re each 50% likely to win, which means that warriors can’t possibly win. This is because of chaos theory.
• Knowledge is impossible, so acting entirely at random is as likely to succeed as acting according to a strategy.
Good work, Ozzie! You’re not at all a complete nincompoop.
Bottom line: This is why it’s the general manager’s job to stock his roster with as many good OBPs as possible. Let the Ozzie Guillens of the world use their gut. The fewer bad options they are provided, the better their teams will be.
Well, sure. Also this is why it’s the general manager’s job not to hire Ozzie Guillen. Yeah, you can work around him to minimise the damage he can cause… or you could hire somebody who doesn’t suck at managing. No?
Miguel Cabrera got arrested for DUI again, and apparently no sportswriter on earth has any fucking other thing to write about today, since they’re all covering it. I’ll choose Tim Brown’s version to make fun of. Why? Because only his is headlined with this picture:
Come the fuck on, Yahoo sports. Just remember next time I assassinate somebody’s character that allegedly-legitimate journalists tacked that photograph up on their front page to intro their ridiculous witch huntin’ piece, which they’ve comically entitled:
Cabrera is lost on a bleak stretch of road
Nice. Good title. Got kind of a Hotel California vibe going on already. Now hit me with the bit about how he can check out any time he likes, but he can never leave.
Miguel Cabrera was 75 miles from home late Wednesday night, taking pulls from a bottle of whisky, being obstinate with the men who had come to save the rest of us from him, his Land Rover dead on the side of the road.
What’s this, now? Save us from him? How were "we" in danger? I was like three thousand miles away, and, like you say, his car was dead. What was he going to do?
A police report did not indicate where he was headed in what officers determined was a drunken and profane stupor, or where he’d come from.
Glad they didn’t waste time gathering any facts. Like Joe Friday used to say: "All we want is the visceral outrage."
Perhaps, through the haze, Miguel Cabrera knew exactly where he was.
Perhaps! But thank god he got locked in a box anyhow.
We might better conclude he was – and is – desperately lost.
Preach on, brother!
He will turn 28 in April.
He possesses bat speed gifted from the baseball gods.
In all seriousness, I hate this shit. Not the goofy "baseball gods" jive — I get that, it’s just goofy frippery playing into the fact that baseball is old-tymey and superstitious. That’s fine. But, seriously, when was the last time a sportswriter wrote about how hard an athlete worked to get where he is? Miguel Cabrera was born in East Rat’s Ass, Venezuela. Don’t you think there might be a story here? Maybe something about the challenges he had to face chasing a dream in a shithole like that? Maybe something that could provide actual psychological insight, something that could help us understand any problems Cabrera might be facing?
Nah, fuck that. He was just handed success by the gods. And I assume he only drinks because of the baseball devil.
He’s been granted an organization that cares for him, whose general manager picked him up from jail one morning just 17 months ago, then applauded his decision to seek offseason counseling for alcohol abuse.
Said organisation has a hundred million dollars worth of dudes who suck at baseball, and really really needs its one good player to put on a show in order to pay the bills.
The Detroit Tigers were rewarded with yet another fine season by Cabrera, who’d likely have been the American League MVP had the rest of the Tigers not collapsed around him.
What? No, that’s wrong. The American League MVP was Josh Hamilton in a walk. Miggy had a great season, but Hamilton’s a good defensive CF who just so happened to hit .359. His lead on Miggy in the voting was 96 points.
Also, the Tigers didn’t "collapse." They were never in first place after 10 July, and never held more than a one-game lead over the Twinkies anyhow. They were 81-81 at the end of the year, and, all season long, played like a .500 team. Here are their win percentages by month:
October: .250 (in four games)
Do you see this alleged collapse? I see a team that played damn near .500 ball all season long.
And yet two days before he was supposed to be on a baseball field in Lakeland, Fla., to begin spring training, Cabrera was some 110 miles away, standing handcuffed on the shoulder of Okeechobee Road and demanding of his arresters, "Do you know who I am?"
Why is everybody so concerned with what Miggy does when he’s not supposed to be playing baseball? I mean, I can see where there’s a story if he actually blew off spring training to go on a bender. But it hadn’t started yet, yeah?
At that very moment, sadly, the officers had a far clearer notion of that than Cabrera did.
In fact, in a portion of the police report headed, "Psychophysical Evaluations," an officer checked the boxes that come morning would tell Jose Miguel Cabrera exactly who he is.
If you’re allergic to pathos, you might want to get an EpiPen ready, because it’s about to get thick.
Odor of Breath: Strong.
Condition of Eyes: Bloodshot, Watery, Glassy.
Speech: Slurred, Incoherent, Accent.
Condition of Face: Flushed.
Attitude: Cocky, Combative, Argumentative, Belligerent.
Do you hear me, Jose Miguel Cabrera? This is exactly who you are! Cocky, strong breath odor, speaks with an accent. Sound familiar, asshole?
God. If only you had realised these truths before!
A year ago almost to the day, arriving to spring training after three months of what he said was therapy, abstinence and cleanup, Cabrera told reporters, "Drinking was a problem. Right now I feel really good. What happened last year is not gonna happen again. I feel like a new man. … It’s a beautiful life right now."
Three months of "what he said was therapy?" Laying the asshole on a bit thick here, Tim. Why are you implying that he lied about going to therapy?
We hoped he was right. The Tigers hoped he was right. Probably, Cabrera hoped he was right.
And again, sneaking in the "probably."
A month later, however, he snapped to those same reporters, "You guys write in the paper ‘alcoholic.’ That’s not right. I don’t know how to explain, but it’s not an alcohol problem."
To be fair to Migs, I’d be pretty goddamn sick of reporters with nothing better to write about, too. Oh, wait.
Then he batted .328, hit 38 home runs and drove in 126 runs. Life, presumably, was still beautiful.
So, in other words — or, in this case, in other completely retarded preschool stats — he did his job just fine. So there was really no problem.
On the very morning the Detroit papers carried stories of pitchers and catchers in Lakeland awaiting the arrival of their cleanup hitter, Cabrera’s mug shot dominated those pages. His face carried an expression not of combativeness or belligerence, but of carefree mirth. You wonder, in that moment, if he had the slightest idea who he is.
What? No I don’t. Here is the mug shot in question. Here are the things I wonder when I look at that mug shot:
• Why Miguel Cabrera looks so much like my old boss
• If the police can find some time in their busy schedule of pointlessly harassing athletes to train their photographers to take decent goddamn pictures already
• Why nobody thinks to cast Miguel Cabrera as the Joker in a Batman movie, since, seriously, his smile is perfect for it
• If that’s an extra chin I see peeking out at me there, fatty first baseman
Can’t say I was busy brooding about whether or not he knows who he is, which I don’t think means anything. This isn’t your LiveJournal, Tim.
What led Cabrera to that stretch of road Wednesday night – both physically and metaphorically – is for Cabrera to sort through, assuming he’s game for it.
Tim. What the fuck.
What led Cabrera there "physically" was, like, his car. He doesn’t need to sort through anything. That’s… what it was. What led him there "metaphorically" is nothing, because that doesn’t mean anything. I think you’re trying to write something like "what led him there and why," but you’ve overdosed on purple.
He and his wife, the woman with whom he argued after drinking himself to combativeness and belligerence in the fall of 2009, had their second child last spring. The Tigers stuck by him, as they should have, and still owe him $107 million over the next five seasons. Teammates stuck by him, in spite of his grossly unprofessional contribution to their collapse that final weekend of ’09.
Miguel Cabrera’s contribution to their collapse, that weekend (counting the "weekend" as 2, 3, 4 October, the series they played against the White Sox): .000 / .083 / .000. What an asshole head-case chokemaster, amirite? Having three bad games.
Wait, what? The Tigers played another game the following Tuesday? Tiebreaker? Really? And he hit a double and a homer? And had a walk, too? And a WPA of .176? Wow, that’s pretty good. Good thing you data-searched that out, Tim, because it’s pretty damaging to your argument.
What they received in return was the comfort that Cabrera might become a better man for it, a better husband and father. Perhaps, too, he’d be a better ballplayer for it, and they did indeed receive 126 RBIs for their support.
Well, I have nothing to say about what his perpetually-unnamed wife received in return, since I can’t find any spreadsheets full of numbers about her. But here’s what the Tigers got:
.328 / .420 / .622 / 1.042, 179 OPS+, .429 wOBA, 6.9 WAR. 38 goddamn home runs.
Oh, and, also, they received the peace of mind of knowing they would not be obliterated by the Player’s Association for violating the CBA.
Except now the image of Cabrera is of a man taking knee spikes from a cop while being shoved into the backseat of a police cruiser, pleading, "You don’t know anything about my problems," then refusing to submit to a breath test.
Dammit, Miguel, submit to coercion! It’s the American way! They only kick you for your own good.
I have no idea if Cabrera is an alcoholic.
So why did you write this article, again?
What I do know is he needs help that won’t come from batting practice.
Also won’t come from having thugs in uniforms beat him up.
Those 17 months ago the Tigers picked up Cabrera from jail and fewer than 12 hours later delivered him to their starting lineup. They probably got that wrong.
Depends. They definitely got it right if their goal was to win baseball games. Which I’m fairly sure it is. To be sure, if their goal was to stand up for your politics, then, yeah, they fucked up big time.
Their opportunity now is to tend to Cabrera first, their lineup second.
I think you mean "responsibility," there, Tim, where you have "opportunity." Clearly you’re on a wild bender! Tim, do you even know who you are?
Presumably, he’ll need more counseling. Perhaps, he’ll need time away from his job to get it right.
Or maybe he’ll need to get back to work so he’ll have something to do besides drink. Or maybe something else. But since you clearly — admittedly, even — don’t know anything about the situation, maybe you aren’t the best one to decide on policy, Dr. Phil Tim.
And, hopefully, the next time Cabrera asks the question – "Do you know who I am?" – he’ll have an answer he and the Tigers can be proud of.
Okay, I was kind of kidding before, Tim, but do you really not understand the principle behind a rich, famous guy asking other people if they know who he is? It’s not like he’s forgotten, like, "hey, do you know where I left my monocle and bowler hat? Pip pip, old bean! Say, I seem to have forgotten who I am — do you perchance have a guide book?" No, see, the idea is to intimidate them with your famousness, like, hey, they better recognise or you’re going to unload a whole bunch of goddamn opposite-field home runs on their asses.
You hear the bit about how he said — publicly — that he hopes Michael Vick gets injured? Classy, Mark!
Get a load of this garbage:
Buehrle is a dog owner and animal rights advocate.
Buehrle also is an avid hunter, and was asked how he responded to those who say someone who kills animals has no right to criticize Vick.
"Hunting is a sport. There are hunting stores out there," Buehrle said.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea; I’m not an animal rights advocate. I’ve thought about becoming one, but then I realised that I had a prior engagement with not being a moron. But that’s not really the point here. The point is that it takes a special kind of stupid to go out and intentionally harm and kill animals for sport, and then publicly wish harm on other people for doing the exact same thing. And then to poop out the lamest justification I’ve ever heard in my life.
In case you think Buehrle’s not actually saying what I make it sound like he’s saying, he clarifies:
"If that’s illegal, shame on my dad, shame on my grandpa, his grandpa. It’s kind of been brought up throughout the history of America," he said. "The last time I knew dogfighting was a sport was never."
The ultimate arbiter of morality in Mark Buehrle’s mind: the government. Well played, Mark! Well played, indeed.
Just keep in mind that, according to Mark Buehrle, owning slaves in Virginia in the 1830s would not be at all inconsistent with being a human rights advocate.
Guess who needs a heavily-armed posse to protect her from a 71-year-old man’s outrageous attempt to ignore her while she’s running her fucking face? Did you guess Secretary of Cunt Luciferia Clinton? Then you’re the big winner today! Get a load of how offensively smug she is while her hired goons are beating the shit out of an unarmed, defenseless old man whose sole crime is not giving her the respect she wrongly thinks she’s earned:
Dear Hillary: I will fight you. Name the time, name the place, we’ll throw down. See who’s really big shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I’m probably the very very weakest man imaginable, but I’d still say the smart money’s on me over some worthless old bag who can’t even handle somebody ignoring her without calling on hired thugs. Who she paid for with money she stole from me in the first place.
So let’s do this. You, me, whatever apparatus you need to get your dilapidated saggy ass hoisted upright so you can walk. Just for your edification, I’ve made a short comic strip detailing how this will end up:
I just got off the phone with Dante, and he confirmed my long-held suspicion that there’s a top secret tenth circle of Hell reserved exclusively for Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kreuger, and Hillary Clinton. So, Hill, when I’m done with you, that’s going to seem pretty good. Because you can forget about the People’s Elbow — People’s Elbow? I’ma drop the People’s Elbow, People’s Forearm, People’s Fist, People’s Knee, and People’s Probably Against The Rules Eye Gouge on you, and, if you’re real lucky, I’ll finish it up by ramming the People’s Boot up your wrinkly old ass. You’ll be begging for Jason to take you away just like he took all the camp councilors away in whichever Friday the Thirteenth movie it is where he kills all the camp councilors. Or the one where he’s in space, which was fucked up.
If you ignore my challenge, that’s fine. We’ll all know what a ridiculous pussy you are. If you can’t stand up to me, for fuck’s sake, you clearly ain’t got much going on. For extra comedy points, of course, you can always send your hired thugs after me. I’m not scared. You can silence me with guns and clubs and like fucking Martian nark-nark guns like we all know you’re hording in your secret government vault right by the Ark of the Covenant, but you can never silence all the internet assholes calling you out.
Unless you make like Hosni and actually shut down the infrastructure, anyway. Which would add awesome irony style points to the whole affair.
I have a gaming PC. It has games on it. I have an active World of Warcraft subscription, 120 games on my Steam account. I have literally hundreds of console games. I’m eyeballing the 3DS pretty seriously lately, thinking about maybe putting a preorder on one. So what am I spending my time on lately?
This goddamn $1 Castlevania puzzle game on the iPhone, that’s what. I mean, what? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. But I just played my battery dead of it.
Have you played Puzzle Quest? Yeah, it’s like that. Only instead of the world’s most generic fantasy setting, it’s set in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. And instead of Bejeweled, you play Kirby’s Avalanche. I don’t know. Why the hell am I so in to this game? I’m worried that Konami is going to revoke my hardcore gamer license.
Thinking about the mysterious upcoming Dragon Quest 10, I find myself wondering what awful, hackneyed subtitle the dipshits who translate it will tack on. Here are the four they’ve done so far:
Dragon Quest 4: Chapters of the Chosen
Dragon Quest 5: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King
Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Sky
Guys, I think I’ve solved their top secret title code. It goes like this:
(noun) of the (adjective) (noun)
Shit yeah Mad Libs. If I were in charge — and you know I am — here’s how it would work:
Dragon Quest: Battles of the Utmost Simplicity
Dragon Quest 2: Mirror of the Dog Princess
Dragon Quest 3: Cheat of the Valuable Soldiers
Dragon Quest 4: Grind of the Grindy Grindfest
Dragon Quest 5: Hours of the Endless Tedium
Dragon Quest 6: Mobs of the Significant Overpoweredness
Dragon Quest 7: Intro of the Inescapable Stupidity
Dragon Quest 8: Acting of the Trained Baboons
Dragon Quest 9: Dialogue of the Infinite Puns
And just for fun:
Final Fantasy: Ripoff of the Monster Manual
Final Fantasy 2: Torment of the Broken System
Final Fantasy 3: Game of the Unplayed Mystery
Final Fantasy 4: Angst of the Emo Paladin
Final Fantasy 5: Terror of the Angry Tree
Final Fantasy 6: Backdrop of the Ridiculous Opera
Final Fantasy 7: Models of the Insufficient Polygons
Final Fantasy 8: Thief of the Darien’s $50
Final Fantasy 9: Diarrhoea of the Redeemable Villains
Final Fantasy 10: Legend of the Dodgeball Knight
Final Fantasy 11: MMO of the Considerable Inferiority
Final Fantasy 12: Circles of the Meter Dance
Final Fantasy 13: Hair of the Racist Chocobo
Final Fantasy 14: Overhaul of the Same MMO
Special bonus prize that didn’t fit the format, but that I liked too much to ignore:
Final Fantasy 4: The Old Man Gets Wasted and the Kids Get Stoned
And Ross Ohlendorf kicked it off by winning his arb hearing — an outcome shared with exactly one of his starts in 2010. Good jorb, arbitrators!
I know, I know. His grown-up statistics weren’t that bad, and it’s hard to fault a dude for not putting up too many wins with only 2.9 runs of support. But still, that’s pretty funny.