The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

Twitter mischief


Good thing for Johnny Damon that he’s not a superhero, then.

May 27th, 2011 Posted by | Bullshit | no comments

Jeff Passan just blew my mind

By posting the exact opposite of the column I expected from him. Go read that. He’s 100% right. He’s so right I honestly wonder if he read my column first before he wrote his!

May 27th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

I wash wring my hands of it

Buster Posey done got hisself messed up right sharp. You heard about this? Scott Cousins running home, Posey blocks the plate, collision, and that’s it for his season; he’ll miss the rest of the year with a broken leg. No bones about it: that sucks for Posey, and it sucks for the Giants. It also sucks for rational, thinking people, who don’t believe that the best thing to do when something bad happens is slam that barn door shut with a bunch of shortsighted new regulations.

Enter Dave Cameron, making the case for people who haven’t thought this out very well.

I’m not the first person to say this today, and I’m sure I won’t be the last, but it’s hard to watch the collision at home plate last night that broke Buster Posey’s leg and think anything besides "that should not be part of baseball."

I left out the link to the clip, because I’m not trying to sell you something by shocking you into accepting it. Unlike somebody I know!

That aside, I was thinking something besides that. I was thinking about, you know, Buster Posey, and how much it sucks to be him. I was not thinking about taking advantage of this opportunity to engineer society for great justice. Unlike somebody I know!

Let’s set aside blame for a second; I’m not here to vilify Scott Cousins, the player’s association, or the rules committee.

Yes you are.

Cousins did what he’s been trained to do, he did it because it’s a legal play by the rulebook, and he was trying to help his team win a baseball game. However, I just don’t see any reason why that play should be allowed in the sport.

In other words: you’re vilifying the rules committee. Which is fine; I mean, blowhards gonna blow hard, y’know? But here’s the key: that play is allowed because there is no sensible alternative. Baseball, David, is not football. There are not coordinated playbooks. The Marlins didn’t have a huddle and decide to put on the ol’ "break the catcher’s leg" play, which I agree would be a super super dick move. See, in baseball, nobody knows in advance where the ball will be. Sometimes, the ball arrives at the catcher without enough time for him to leap like a gazelle out of the path of the runner. Then what? In your perfect baseball world, what happens? The runner is automagically out? The umpires call the play dead? An airbag busts up out of the ground and knocks the runner on his ass? What?

At no other position is a runner entitled to simply run over the defender hoping to dislodge the baseball before returning to touch the base safely.

Not correct. The line belongs to the runner. Defenders may attempt to block it, but they do so at their own risk, and they know that perfectly well. Haven’t you ever seen somebody slide like a sonuvabitch into second base to break up a double play? Believe it or not, it happens all the time.

When Alex Rodriguez tried to swat the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove in 2004 – with his hand, offering no chance at bodily harm to Arroyo – he was roundly mocked and called out for interference.

Sure, because A-Rod actually reached out and slapped Arroyo to try to get him to drop the ball. That is an entirely different situation from Arroyo just planting himself on top of the base to try to keep A-Rod from tagging it and then getting run over for his trouble.

After the game, Kevin Millar said this:

"If you want to play football, strap on some pads and go play for the Green Bay Packers."

Good stuff, Kevin. Funny. Here’s my new plan: let’s all listen to Kevin Millar, because he’s one of the great geniuses of western culture. And totally was not at the time playing for Arroyo’s team. Which is how we can tell he’s not biased!

But I wonder if A-Rod said anything. Anything at all. Oh, look, he did:

"[The umpires] said I should have ran him over, kind of like a catcher, that I can’t go out of my way to knock the ball out of his hand. I was perplexed by the whole situation. I don’t know what I tried do. I knew he was coming, and I know that the line belongs to me. Looking back, maybe I should have run him over."

Oh. So, actually… A-Rod and the umpires both say I’m right and you’re wrong. Damn, Dave. Maybe next time you could interrupt your angst with some research, and then you wouldn’t look like such a fool.

There was very little violence in Rodriguez’s actions, but because he initiated contact to try and dislodge the ball, it was considered a football-like move. Meanwhile, Cousins literally threw his entire body weight into Posey at home plate, breaking his leg in the process, but that’s okay because he was wearing a chest protector?

The level of violence is not the issue. The issue is that Rodriguez, as the umpires said, went out of his way to try to dislodge a ball. That’s illegal. Though I suppose, if Posey happened to be over by the visitors’ dugout at the time, and Cousins jagged off the line and crashed into him just to fuck him up, well, then you have a point.

I was a catcher in high school, and I was trained how to block the plate while trying to keep myself alive. High School isn’t MLB, but I still found myself in a few situations where a significantly larger player was barreling towards me at full speed, and I realized that I had to stop being a baseball player and start being a gladiator. It was ridiculous to me then and is ridiculous to me now.

So… you’re a pussy? Which is fine; I guess that’s why you write dopey hand-wringing internet columns that you don’t fact-check instead of playing baseball for a living. Your decision.

Millar is right – if you want to watch violent collisions, you can watch football. Or hockey. Or MMA.

Ah, now we pass judgment from our High Throne on the aesthetic preferences of all baseball fans everywhere. Classy. I won’t lie, though; the real reason I quoted this section is so I could quote this part:

Millar is right

Because I don’t think I’ve ever seen those words before. Not all together like that, I mean.

There’s no reason baseball needs to have similar kinds of plays; it’s an entirely different sport with a different premise and different rules. Well, at every base but home anyways.

No, Dave, you’re wrong. There is a reason baseball needs to have those kinds of plays, and it has nothing to do with those vulgar fans and their uncouth desire to watch nice kids with gay names have their legs broken. It is this: on a play like this, there is no time for the catcher to step back from the bag to put on the tag. He catches and turns. These plays are inevitable unless you wish to establish a new rule that says that the team on offense should only try to score if it looks safe. No, Scott Cousins! Don’t run for home! Someone could get hurt!

They know the risks, Dave, and they are well compensated. Perhaps they can be allowed to play hard and take those risks, and they don’t need nanny assholes like you lording your own priorities over them.

Major League catchers already endure enough wear and tear on their bodies as is. They break down in their early thirties and have the shortest careers of any position on the field. Why should we also expect them to have to stand in and take hits that no other player on the field has to take?

Because we don’t want our team to give up a shitload of runs by being giant pussies? That’s a reason.

Why do they have to be football players when everyone else gets to play baseball?

Take the melodrama down like eleven notches, dude. The overpowering majority of baseball games involve no collisions at the plate at all. Most of the rest involve very light, "safe" collisions. Somebody gets hurt once a year or so. Somebody gets hurt bad once a decade. This is not "being a football player," unless football’s gotten really soft while I wasn’t looking.

It’s in the best interest of the sport to keep the likes of Buster Posey and Carlos Santana healthy and on the field.

Oh, I forgot! What you want is for the Greater Good of Society! What the fuck is wrong with people that they think shit like this? It’s in the best interest of the Giants for them not to bail on close plays and give up extra runs. Chances of somebody getting hurt are small. Major-league catchers know the risks.

It’s not good for anyone that these guys end up on the disabled list because they were trying to hold their ground.

Sure. Sometimes shit happens. It’s also not good for anyone when overreacting busybodies try to reinvent the whole world when it does.

Just change the rules and make intentional contact with a catcher illegal, and make it illegal for catcher’s [sic] to impede the baserunner’s ability to run directly towards home plate.

Oh, is that all it takes? Just call players out if they ever touch the catcher? Don’t see how that’s a balance issue at all. Shouldn’t have any meaningful impact on run scoring. Oh, but wait! We’ll install a second system to fix the horrible, obvious brokenness of our first one! We’ll just make it "illegal" for catchers to block the plate! And… oh, wait, sometimes they have to catch the ball. So I guess they’ll just have to bail on it, then. Really, this system should be flawless, and will yield the exact kind of baseball you know you all want to see: a game full of runners afraid of running too hard, and defenders afraid of defending, because they can get called out for sinister intent.

It’s a simple fix to a real problem, and there’s no reason why we should continue to delay making this change.

Other than the fact that it will have giant, sweeping effects on the entire game, yeah, can’t think of a reason.

Buster Posey should be the last catcher in baseball history to suffer an injury on that kind of play. L

You should be the last fool in writing history to call for new regulations and not even bother to think it through first. F

May 26th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | one comment


You know what else happened while I was busy being carried up to Heaven in a flaming chariot and then getting the tar whupped out of me in Jenga by my new buddy YHWH? Some baseball players got hurt, and some other ones stayed hurt. Doesn’t sound like news to me, but to a man with a deadline? Breaking story.

What passes for parity in the NFL goes by another term in baseball: mediocrity.

Wow, nice move, Jeff. Start the article out with shades of Joe Morgan. Makes my job — being a pale impersonation of people making fun of Joe Morgan — that much easier.

A little past the quarter-pole in Major League Baseball’s season, and 18 teams are within four games of .500. Two have won more than 60 percent of their games (Cleveland and Philadelphia). Two have lost more than 60 percent (Minnesota and Houston).

You know me: I’m nothing if not embarrassed that, over 40 games or so, we don’t see at least twelve teams still undefeated. That is exactly what I always say baseball needs: unstoppable behemoths rolling straight over weak, vulnerable teams.

But you also know that if there’s one thing I love more than baseless assertions, it’s facts. And if there’s one thing I love more than facts, it’s big spreadsheets full of acronyms and numbers. And if there’s one thing I love more than big spreadsheets full of acronyms and numbers, it’s using big spreadsheets full of acronyms and numbers to make professional sportswriters look like fools. Which is why I dug up this.

That, of course, is the detailed standings as of 23 May 2010: exactly one year ago the day Jeff’s article was published. What can we learn from this? We can learn that, at this time last year, there were two teams that had won more than 60% of their games (Tampa and Philthadelphia) and five teams that had lost more than 60% of their games (Cleveland, Seattle, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Houston). So this was clearly a more exciting season. So what Jeff and I are saying is that we think baseball would be way more fun if it had exactly three more teams that were complete shit. Don’t you think so, too?

For reference: in 2009, it was three teams above .600 and three below .400. In 2008, the same. Seriously, Jeff, did you do any research? This is what the standings look like at the end of May, doofus.

Everyone else remains in a muddled, muddied middle.

Awesome alliteration, asshole.

As always, wheat and chaff will go their separate ways, and in the middle of it all will be the unlikeliest of protagonists. Maybe Scott Sheridan. Or Jamie Reed. Could be Jeff Porter. Perhaps Lonnie Soloff. Possibly Sean Cunningham.


If you’ve never heard of them, don’t feel bad.

I don’t. Mainly I feel annoyed that you’re padding out your article by flipping through your rolodex and copying down some names.

Certified athletic trainers tend to get as much press as someone selling soft pretzels.

And for the same reason: they’re fucking boring.

Executives from three contending teams this week, when asked the biggest threat to their team, cited neither an opponent nor an on-field weakness. "Injuries," they said in triplicate, presumably rapping their hand on an oak desk simultaneously.

BREAKING NEWS: Injuries are bad! This has been the Internet with an important sports news announcement.

Injuries happen to all but the luckiest teams, and those who survive the season with minimal disabled-list usage often find themselves in a race despite inferior talent.

See, you and Kenny Williams both appear to think that injuries are all caused by players getting struck by random falling pianos. Who could have predicted that Jake Peavy — who was on the DL when the White Sox traded for him — would be injured? Clearly not I! Did anybody seriously expect Joe Mauer to spend any time on the disabled list? Why would we? Oh, and if Kerry Wood gets hurt, you’ll tell me you expected it, I imagine. Whatever, Mr. Crystal Ball.

After sitting out seven weeks with tendinitis in his right knee, Utley will bat second for Philadelphia on Monday. No injury carried as much intrigue this spring as Utley’s, and for a pair of good reasons: He helps define his ballclub, and he refused to define his injury.

One of those reasons might be more good-er than the other. Think about that carefully.

If Jimmy Rollins is the Phillies’ id and Ryan Howard their ego, Utley is the super-ego, the balancing force that ties together the Philadelphia Way.

Ooo! My turn! If Jimmy Rollins is Axl Rose, and Ryan Howard is Izzy Stradlin, then Chase Utley must be Slash: the guitar player with a bitchin’ hat. And I’m assuming Shane Victorino is Duff McKagan, and Carlos Ruiz is Steven Adler. And Placido Polanco is Luciano Pavarotti. And fuck all the other guys anyway.

Before Roy Halladay arrived to set inconceivable standards of work ethic there was Utley, moving about the field in such a practical manner it bordered on mechanized.

Well, sure, and also he hit a shitload of home runs. Worth mentioning? No? Okay, rabbit on a bit about his demeanor and his hustle and swagger and stuff.

That, all the new Phillies soon learned, was him: all substance, no style, reinforced by the substance (L.A. Looks) in his hair that shows a distinct lack of style.

That is a super asshole thing to say, Jeff. Especially since you are a man who appears to believe that emptying an entire bottle of hair gel onto your head will obviate the need to comb. Also, seriously, go back and rewrite that.

The Minnesota Twins without Joe Mauer are like a grilled-cheese sandwich without the cheese: two piece of bread, plain, simple and not very good.

Congratulations, Jeff! I’m nominating you for a Ford C. Frick award in the category of "most tortured metaphor." Because, seriously, man, if you punished that one any more, I’d start looking around for the keycards I need to let it out of the puzzle box.

May 25th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Lies from the mainstream media

You’ve heard them all. They’re trying to downplay what really happened. They’re afraid people will panic. Well, if you’re the type of person who panics when unexplainable supernatural forces reach their cold, dead hands into your ordinary life, then you better get the fuck ready to panic right now. And when I say "right now," I really mean four days ago.

The Rapture? Totally did happen. But in an ironic twist, the only person Raptured was me. Gotta admit: I pretty much saw that one coming. But here’s a message for all you suckers from my new doubles partner, the Lord: better luck next dispensation!

Tell you the truth? You didn’t really miss all that much. Turns out the whole thing was just a big time share presentation anyhow. They wanted to sell me "vacation ownership" in some big damn resort they’re building up there. Kind of an offer you can’t refuse, really, so now I’m the proud owner of one week of Heaven every year, with an option to exchange it for a week in, you know… some other place.

In other news, I’m back from being Raptured now. What’s been happening in this dispensation? To the Mets, I mean. Wait, Fred Wilpon did what?

May 25th, 2011 Posted by | Bullshit | no comments

Did the radio tell me that?

Very good career hitter against left-handed pitching is Marlon Byrd.

I forgive the Yoda-like phrasing, since I dig that when it’s extemporaneous you sometimes just babble. I don’t forgive the stupidity.

Marlon Byrd, career against RHP: .281 / .340 / .412
Marlon Byrd, career against LHP: .288 / .343 / .451

The difference: .007 / .003 / .039

The correct thing to say is: very small career platoon split has Marlon Byrd. Since, honestly, he hits LHP just the same as he hits RHP.

May 20th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

Let’s be wrong for a minute

"Jose Bautista ain’t gonna hit 54 home runs again this year, and without that, Toronto has no hitting."

"Bautista is OPSing about 150 points over his career average… there’s no way [he’s] going to keep it up."

Jose Bautista, 2011 year-to-date: .360 / .509 / .816 / 1.325, 269 OPS+, 102 TB, 16 HR, 37 BB. Leads MLB in every single one of those categories.

The moron who wrote those quotes at the top of the piece is, of course, me. I think that’s about as wrong as I’ve ever been about anything. But you can understand my mistake, right?

Jose Bautista, 2004-2009: .238 / .329 / .400 / .729, 91 OPS+, 59 HR, 0.3 WAR

Jose Bautista, 2010-2011: .278 / .403 / .653 / 1.056, 185 OPS+, 70 HR, 9.8 WAR (!)

Seriously? Fuck the heck, Jose? How can you even do that? Also: how can you be worth 4.1 WAR in only 163 PA? At this rate — and paces are 100% a real thing that can be counted on, mind you — Jose Bautista will be worth like 16 WAR this year. Which will be seventh-best all-time, trailing only a bunch of nineteenth-century pitchers who threw like 700 innings.

May 20th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | one comment

Take me away, Hale-Bopp

So I guess you’ve heard: tomorrow’s the day. All of us Real True Christians are going to be taken up into Heaven — without dying, mind you — and all the rest of you fucking heathens will be left behind to get to Heaven (or wherever) the regular way. As in, by dying. Suckers.

Personally, I’m not convinced about this whole "Rapture" deal. It seems pretty clear to me that the world still has three weeks left before we all head to the big Game Over in the sky. But I’m not taking any chances; my affairs are in order, I’ve made my Rapture survival kit for the benefit of my less-belovéd-by-God relatives, and — perhaps most importantly — I have not preordered Duke Nukem Forever until I’ve made sure this isn’t all part of some joke George Broussard and the Lord thought up one day over beers.

In case of Rapture, break glass

If you think I don’t post often enough now, wait until you see what happens after I get Raptured.

May 20th, 2011 Posted by | Bullshit, Games | no comments

That boy ain’t right

Alex Remington is a pretty smart guy. Knows a lot about baseball numbers. Unfortunately for the world, he would rather write endless cloying articles about how unjust baseball is — and that’s socially unjust, which, as most people who don’t know anything about anything will tell you, is the worst kind. Here’s the new polemic, in which Alex utterly fails to see the forest for one big fucking tree. Let’s take a closer look!

Milton Bradley and the "Race Card"

Do you see what I put myself through for you people? You better appreciate this.

"In 1987, on deck in Boston, and I was called an Alabama porch monkey… I’d like to be able to say yes [to the question of whether racism has declined], but my mail and my telephone calls suggest otherwise."
– White Sox GM and former White Sox center fielder Kenny Williams, September 22, 2009

Kenny Williams is an idiot and I don’t care what he thinks, but it’s worth noting that this quote adds nothing to the article no matter how many doubts you give him the benefit of. Fans of the opposing team trying to get under a hitter’s skin and distract him? Say not so, Kenneth! Oh, and it was in 1987. Topical. Current.

"I was a prisoner in my own home."
– Milton Bradley, March 9, 2010

Somehow I don’t think there were gangs of white supremacists hanging out in Milton’s neighborhood and forcing him to stay indoors. I mean, I guess maybe there were.

Milton Bradley was a complicated man. The usual word was "controversial"; it accompanied stories about him as often as the phrase "race card."

The usual word, actually, was "asshole." It’s just something that gets edited out of print articles is all, Alex.

Bradley was rarely happy and always seemed to mention race, appearing time and again in stories in which he criticized people for making racially inappropriate remarks.

Let’s see if we can unpack an important truth from this statement. So Bradley always mentions race. Bradley is frequently cited accusing other people of racism. Hmm. Nope, nothing yet. Let’s hold on to this for later.

I think that the frequency of these stories tended to dilute their impact.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be particularly impacted by any alleged adult whining about other dudes being mean to him.

Many people found it hard to take Bradley seriously — he was frequently awful, and it was easy to believe that he was just blaming other people for his problems.

But how could that be? If there’s one thing I learned from The Curious Case of Luis Castillo, it’s that black people never suck at baseball. The only reason our stupid white data thinks they do is because it’s fucking racist.

But with Bradley, it was never just about baseball. "Me being an African-American is the most important thing to me — more important than baseball," he told USA Today in 2005, during an interview in which he said his teammate Jeff Kent "doesn’t know how to deal with African-American people." Most people viewed this episode as yet another example of Bradley sounding off.

Another bit of info for our file: Milton Bradley considered being black more important than playing baseball. Milton Bradley also said that his problems with Jeff Kent weren’t caused by Jeff Kent not liking him, but by Jeff Kent having a problem with all black people.

But that may have been unfair to Bradley. Kent was disliked by many of his teammates, and in 2001, Salon’s Joan Walsh asked why Jeff Kent received more favorable media coverage than teammate Barry Bonds, despite the fact that both were rather famous for being jerks.

Hmm. Why steroids would the media be less favourable to Barry steroids Bonds than Jeff porn mustache Kent? I have no steroids idea. Must be steroids racism, then.

"The two crucial differences between Bonds and Kent: One is that while Kent may not chat up fans and kids or make nice with his teammates, he always talks to the media," wrote Walsh. "The other key difference is that Kent is white and Bonds is black."

Hmm. Hmmmmmm. Now, I realise I’m white, and therefore automatically racist, but doesn’t it seem like one of these differences is perhaps more key than the other?

There are two crucial differences between the Core i7 and the 80088. One is that the Core i7 is much, much better at everything that’s actually germane to this discussion. The other is that the 80088 has more 8s in its name. So clearly tech writers are all 8ists. QED

Later in the interview about Kent, Bradley expressed the belief that many people refuse to see racial tension before their eyes: "White people never want to see race — with anything."

Don’t capitalise after a colon, Alex.

Sorry, sorry. I know. More to the point: Alex Remington is white, and he wants to see race with everything. And he ain’t the only one. But we’re men of science, here — what about data? What does the data we’ve been collecting throughout this article tell us? It tells me that Milton Bradley is fucking obsessed with race. You really think racism is the only possible explanation for not getting along with legendary clubhouse dickhead Jeff Kent, Milton? Wow.

Also, not to stir the pot, but when Milton Bradley makes these blanket statements about how "white people" do this and this and that… that’s not racism? Did words start meaning different things sometime in the middle of this article?

While he was in Chicago, Milton Bradley spoke of being taunted with racial epithets from the stands and on the street, and of receiving racist hate mail — and, because former Cubs Jacque Jones and Latroy Hawkins made similar claims, as has White Sox GM Kenny Williams, in the quote I gave at the beginning of this article.

VERB WANTED. Apply within.

Bradley’s mother, Charlena Rector, said that Bradley’s three-year old son had also faced vicious abuse: "Parents, teachers and their kids called him the n-word."

Not saying she’s lying or nuthin’, but I think the definition of "vicious" might be suffering from mission creep here.

Yet Bradley’s claims of facing racism have often been taken with a grain of salt.

So have Bradley’s claims of nearly everything else. He’s a bullshit artist, and people are sick of his act.

When Bradley made his comments to the Chicago Sun-Times about the racism he had faced, team officials told ESPN’s Bruce Levine that they were "incensed" by the story

Because — which you omit from your pithy summary, which is: naughty naughty — Milton Bradley accused an unnamed person in the Cubs organisation of writing him race-baiting letters. As in: he smeared the team. Baselessly. No copies of these letters were produced. So, yeah, they were pretty pissed about that.

columnist David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune belittled him for his claims: "Poor Milton Bradley whined again to ESPN about how hard Wrigley Field can be for black players," and compared Bradley unfavorably to Derrek Lee, whom he called "one of the most popular modern Cubs of any race."

Yeah, that article was sort of shitheaded. That’s what sports opinion writers are paid to do, though: fan the flames.

Perhaps Haugh didn’t intend it to sound this way, but that sentence implies that African-American players aren’t normally popular, and that it’s therefore out of the ordinary that a player like Derrek Lee could be beloved in the city.

What? No it fucking doesn’t, Alex. That’s insane. Did anybody — anybody at all! — reading this article honestly read that sentence and think that the deeper meaning is clearly that Cubs fans hate black people?

Another columnist, Joey Baskerville of the Freeport, Illinois Journal-Standard, suggested that few people took Bradley seriously, writing:

I may be in the minority, but I actually believe Bradley’s accusations that some Cubs fans crossed the line of heckling and shouted racial slurs at him while he played in Chicago.

What "line" of heckling? There is no such fucking "line." What planet do you people come from? Here on planet Internets, trolling does not follow your Victorian-nouveau ideas of taste and appropriateness. The whole point of trolling is to piss people off. If a dude has clearly indicated that he’s easily pissed off by a certain line of attack, people will use it.

That said: I’m sure some people did race-bait Bradley. Is that a sign that baseball is hopelessly racist? I’m thinking it’s more a sign that Bradley is super fucking touchy about race, so people harp on it when they want to wind him up. The very fact that people did not race-bait Derrek Lee seems, to my mind, to prove that they are not anti-black, but rather anti-Milton Bradley.

Now remember what an asshole Milton Bradley was the whole time he was with the team.

In 2004, with the Dodgers, he got fed up with answering questions by L.A. Times reporter Jason Reid, and called Reid an "Uncle Tom."

But not in a racist way, you understand.

Adande noted that Bradley hypocritically appeared to expect that African-American journalists would give him more favorable coverage despite the fact that he could be prickly to them.

Also not racist.

This was one of the great tragedies of Milton Bradley’s career: he viewed the world through the lens of racism, and correctly perceived that a lot of people viewed him negatively — and then he contributed to that self-fulfilling prophecy.

Aha! So now you’re going to rewrite this article and take out all the bullshit hand-wringing, right?

There is no question that Milton Bradley received racial abuse.

There is also no question that Milton Bradley has given racial abuse. So your point is… ?

He reacted badly to the abuse, but it is hard to react well to hate mail, and much of the disapprobation heaped on Bradley — chiding him for admitting that he has been the target of racism — amounts to blaming the victim.

What? Fuck right off. Bradley is the victim of his own self-destructive assholery and nothing else. In the real world — where apparently millionaire athletes and professional sportswriters don’t live — people will say mean things to you. How you deal with that shows what kind of person you are. If you prate about what a big damn victim you are, even while going on record dishing out exactly the same type of abuse, people will think you’re a shithead. Get your head right out of the gutter of collectivism and start thinking about Bradley not as a statistic on your "black baseball players" roster and as an individual man with individual actions and responses, and all your fake-o anguish melts right away.

"Some people" did not like Milton Bradley. "Some people" maybe even didn’t like him because he’s black, though they were oddly silent on the subjects of Derrek Lee, Andre Dawson, and Fergie Jenkins. Does this mean that "Cubs fans" are racist? Or that "Baseball" is racist? No it goddamn doesn’t. Cubs fans are not a homogeneous collective that can be sensibly smeared en masse. "Chicago" is not an incarnate being with motives and desires and thoughts and actions. You are a goddamn moron if you can’t wrap your head around this simple concept.

Milton Bradley is quite right when he says that many people simply don’t want to see racism. That desire not to see is exactly what has fueled the skepticism over Bradley’s claims over the years. W.E.B. Du Bois correctly predicted that the color line would be the problem of the twentieth century. Though Jim Crow is gone, our discomfort with race remains. Flawed as he was, Milton Bradley deserved better than he got.

Oh please. Spare me your simpering. Milton Bradley got what he deserved, and he tried very hard to get it. "Our" discomfort with race does not remain, on account of you have not been approved to speak on behalf of this nonexistent collective "us." I don’t give two shits if Milton Bradley is black or white or Mexican, or even a slant like that Fukudome kid.

Insisting on sorting people into categories based on their skin colour is probably the most pervasive form of racism that ever was, Alex. Think about that.

May 12th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | one comment

Today on "Jon Heyman’s mouth"

It’s early in Ryan Howard’s $125 million contract. But Howard, who has a league-leading 29 RBIs, is worth every penny so far.

That’s at the very bottom of this mass of verbal ulcers. Well, is Jon Heyman right for a change? Is it just possible that league-leading RBI-er Ryan Howard is earning every penny of his quite frankly ridiculous contract? Well, let’s look at the facts.

First fact that comes to mind is that Ryan Howard is leading the league in RBIs by negative three over the next highest total. Put another way: Lance Berkman is leading the league in RBIs, you intractable moron. For fuck’s sake, Jon, if you’re going to hang your hat on a worthless stat like RBIs, at least get it right. Is that so much to ask?

Well, never mind. I’m sure that was a typo. Jon probably meant to point out that Howard is leading the league in home runs — oh, wait, no, he’s 30th (Fonzie is leading). So… OBP? No, 64th (right below Jeff Francoeur — Jeff Francoeur!!(!!!)). SLG? 31st. BA? 67th. Hmm. WAR? 90th. Actually, I can’t find a single thing Howard is leading the league in, though he is fourth in the coveted category of "most likely to swing 3-0!"

But never mind all that. That’s just baseball stuff. We want to know if Ryan Howard is earning every penny of that contract! Well, so far this year, Ryan Howard has been worth 0.7 WAR, putting him about on track for 3 WAR on the season. And that big new contract will be paying him…

Uh. Jon? I don’t know quite how to break this to you, but… Ryan Howard’s big contract extension starts next year. He’s still under the old contract this year. Though I’m with you 100%: he is worth all zero of the pennies his new contract will pay this year.

May 6th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | no comments