The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet



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

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