Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why it's impossible to root for the Yankees

Not to pull a Keith Hernandez, but the Yankees have a woman broadcaster on their radio team. Why is this objectionable? Here, have a listen.

While we're on the subject of broadcasters, the Yankees currently employ Michael Kay.

And if you really want your skin to crawl, have a gander at this list of nicknames and sayings, used by John Sterling:
"An A-bomb from A-Rod" (Alex Rodriguez)
"The Melkman Delivers" (Melky Cabrera)
"El Capitano" (Derek Jeter)
"The Giambino" (Jason Giambi)
"It's a Tex Message!" (Mark Teixeira)
"You're on the 'Mark' Teixeira" (Mark Teixeira)
"It's a Thrilla - By Godzilla!" (Hideki Matsui)
"The Sayonara Kid does it again!" (Hideki Matsui)
"Swish It Away" (Nick Swisher)
"Swishilicious" (Nick Swisher)
"Jorgy Juiced One" (Jorge Posada)
"Robbie Cano Don't You Know" (Robinson Cano)
"It's a Johnny Rocket" (Johnny Damon)
"Hinske with his best shot" (Eric Hinske)
"Robin becomes Batman" Robin Ventura
"The Bam-Tino" Tino Martinez
"X marks the spot" Xavier Nady
"Gardner plants one" Brett Gardner
"Bernie goes boom!" Bernie Williams
"Bern baby Bern!" Bernie Williams
"Brosius the Ferocious" Scott Brosius
"Shane Spencer the home run dispenser!" Shane Spencer
"El Comedulce! Bobby Abreu is as sweet as candy!" Bobby Abreu


Rudy Giuliani is a Yankee whore.

Scott Brosius was nominated for entry to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This could not have happened without the work of several loud, fat, STUPID Yankee beat writers.

Aaron Boone will someday be nominated for entry to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, too. Fuck you, NY Post.

The Yankees killed Nick Adenhart.

The Yankees bilked the State of New York and every team in baseball (see: "operating lease"), when building their (below standard) $1,000,000,000+ stadium.

Spinmove makes the point that Philadelphia fans don't deserve to boo A-Rod. After years of abuse, New Yorkers don't deserve to cheer for him. Hey fuckheads, look at this:
A-Rod regular season career: .305/.390/.576
A-Rod post-season career: .307/.408/.570
Alex Rodriguez is exceptionally good whenever. The fact that you were looking at tiny sample sizes may explain why he appears "choke" or "clutch." He's neither. He's just fucking great, and the truth about baseball is that more often than not, even the fucking great players make outs. I'd like to emphasize that I hate Alex Rodriguez. He's a cheat, a bad husband/father, a narcissist, the embodiment of fucked-up sports economics, and a Yankee. Are those any reasons for his own fans to hate him? Sure, but it's no reason to say he's bad at baseball, which is what they were doing for years. Morons.

Why it's impossible to root for the Phillies

  • The Phillies won the World Series last year. Let someone else have a chance, for god's sake.
  • Fact: Philadelphians do not actually like sports. Philadelphians follow and invest themselves in their sports teams as a vehicle through which to hate on other people for no reason whatsoever.
  • Have you ever had a real Philly cheesesteak? There is absolutely nothing special about a cheesesteak from Pat's or Geno's, relative to a cheesesteak you can get anywhere else in the country. I've had both Pat's and Geno's, and I still prefer the Special Steak from Uncle Sam's Subs on Forbes in Squirrel Hill. I'm sure Philadelphians would use this to critique my palate's lack of complexity and awareness with regard to cheesesteaks. To those people I say, "fuck you."
  • You assclowns need to give Brad Lidge a break. If you look at the statistics that actually matter, such as ERA+, WHIP, K/BB, etc., you'll see that he's consistently been one of the best relievers in baseball over the course of his career. I'll concede that Lidge's performance this year has been the worst of his career to date, but that's the exception and not the rule. Between 2003 and 2008, only once did Lidge post an ERA+ lower than 121. In that same timespan, he posted a 143 ERA+, a 1.17 WHIP and struck out 3.27 batters for every walk he issues. You can't really fault him for giving up the home runs he does because your ballpark is the size of a goddamn sandbox. Also, you got him from Houston for next to nothing. Do you dipshits really want to see Ryan Madson in there? I mean, really?
  • If Ben Franklin were alive today, he would hate each and every one of you motherfuckers.
  • How can anyone get behind this "Win one for Harry Kalas" bullshit? Yeah, he died. I get it. But he was alive to see them win last year. The Steelers won a Super Bowl the year after Myron Cope retired, AND the year after Myron Cope died, but nobody was running around saying how they should win it for Myron. We don't need to win championships for our local non-athlete heroes because 1) we have dozens and dozens of championships, and 2) we shower them with love, which is like the ultimate championship of life. But you wouldn't know anything about love, would you? No, you wouldn't, because you're all violent sociopaths.
  • This one has nothing to do with Philadelphia. Much the same way you hate on Brad Lidge, the rest of the world likes to needlessly hate on Alex Rodriguez, often because of how "un-clutch" he is. People who do this are idiots. I dislike A-Rod as much as the next guy, but the fact remains that he is astonishingly good at baseball. He just happens, like so many in his profession, to be kind of a dick. Well, I have news for you: most baseball players are dicks. They're kids who are often drafted right out of high school or plucked out of Latin America at very young ages and thrown into development systems that more or less cut them off from society. Of course they're going to act like high school boys when they spend all of their time from junior high until their late thirties around groups of 24 similar people, many of whom are stuck in similar states of arrested development. Some day, we'll make a list of all of them, but for now, here are just a few: Ty Cobb, Jim Rice, Ian Snell, Carlos Garcia, Reggie Jackson, Rich Loiselle, Steve Carlton, Jason Kendall, Brian Giles, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Eric Hinske. I'm not saying all baseball players are dicks; not saying that at all. But to hate on A-Rod just because he's kind of a dick is the single most hypocritical thing you can do as a sports fan if you've ever liked any athlete despite that athlete being a dick. Do you hate A-Rod? You do? Okay. Do you like Michael Jordan? You do?! Great! Now, you're just like 98 percent of employed sports columnists! I hope A-Rod totally goes off in this series, hits .700 with 13 home runs and brings peace to the Middle East so that you'll all just shut the fuck up.

Point-Counterpoint

Dear FTC Readers:

We are pleased to bring you a new feature in our great series of letters: a rousing debate forum, in which Spinmove will offer a point of argument and I'll tell you why it's bullshit. Our first topic-- Who to root for in the 2009 World Series?

I'll be explaining why you can't possibly root for the Yankees, and Spinmove will explain why you can't possibly root for anything that comes out of Philadelphia. Prediction: no one wins.

~FRANCOfranco

Still Topical

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mixed Metaphors of the Week

From the PPG:

"We scored so quick in the third quarter when we had the ball and then we hit a lull," [Bruce] Arians said. "We sat there for a while on the bench and I think we lost our rhythm. I got a little greedy there trying to hit the home run ball."

What I like about the phrasing is that he goes so far as to use the word "ball." It's not just a colloquial term for success here; 'home run ball' is a precise reference to something that happens in another sport.

And from the AP:

Harbaugh added: "Ray Lewis is a tough, a physical guy. Ray Lewis is also as a great a sportsman as I've met. He plays good, clean football. I guarantee you the shot on Ochocinco was in the strike zone. I want to stand behind Ray in that sense."

Another football -> baseball thing. Here's hoping FOX's handling of the ALCS will take us in the opposite direction.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blast from the past

Hey everyone. Remember April 24th? I couldn't, until I went here.

Of very mild interest, is the second comment on the post where I said Adam LaRoche's PECOTA forecast was .271/.354/.489, with 24 HR. I also thought he might defy that by a bit because of his flukey hot start. Well, have a look at the actual stats:

.277/.355/.488, 25 HRs.

How terrifying must that be, if you're Adam LaRoche, and your entire destiny as a mid-level power bat with an ever lowering ceiling was foretold so accurately every spring? I'd like to believe that he heard of this prophecy, and, trying to exceed it, regressed even further to the mean, just like King Oedipus did.

Some other PECOTA projections:

Freddy Sanchez PECOTA-- .291/ .332/ .422, 3 HR
Freddy Sanchez Actual-- .296/.334/.442, 6 HR

Nate McLouth PECOTA-- .269/.349/.475, 8 HR
Nate McLouth Actual-- .256/ .349/.470, 9 HR

Jack Wilson PECOTA-- .265/.302/.367, 2 HR
Jack Wilson Actual-- .267/.304/.387, 4 HR

Andy LaRoche PECOTA-- .239/.328/.366, 4 HR
Andy LaRoche Actual-- .258/.330/.401, 12 HR


All of these projections seem to be short in quantity. The only one I have that lists a full season is Adam LaRoche. It's like they figured all these guys would be traded, and they're only bothering to project what they'd do as Pirates. That makes it all the more impressive that PECOTA could estimate how much opportunity they'd get before being moved.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Feature

Here in the heydays of overlapping baseball, football, hockey and soon to be basketball, we here at FTC are pleased to announce a new seasonal feature: celebrating the mixed sports metaphor, reference or trope.

For example...

Out of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, we have Bud Shaw writing:

Wonder why the Browns didn't look prepared to open the season? Why they rank last or next to last in critical offensive categories? Why the lone touchdown score came -- like an uncontested steal of second base -- with the Minnesota Vikings lulled into late-game defensive indifference.

A fairly good crossover, I think. Good syntax, effective description; doesn't come across as highly irrelevant.

This one from Yahoo! Sports baseball favorite, Tim Brown, is on the other side of the spectrum:

Not only would there be less talk about the hex, there’d be a lot less talk about all those fallow innings, and the overanxious at-bats, and the whiffed squeezes, and the shaky defense, and the three-games-and-outs.

Clearly he's borrowing from football with that last clause. Terribly awkward results. Doesn't help me understand the situation any better than if he hadn't made the reference, and if anything, it junks up the phrasing. Try saying "three-games-and-outs" out loud. It doesn't feel good on the tongue or on the brain.

If anyone can find Cliff Lee's interview after yesterday's game, pass it along. I remember him saying something about his only goal was "to get my offense back on the field." Not sure he intended it as a mixed reference, but for the sake of splitting hairs, I think we can all agree that in baseball we get the offense back up to bat, or back to the plate, or back on base-- not on the field. Someone find me the actual quote, I'll make a big deal out of it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brandon Inge

Watching the end of regular season baseball on TBS.

Top of the 8th. 1 out. Runners on first and second. Joe Nathan vs. Brandon Inge.

The TBS stooge in the booth says "Brandon Inge really personifies what the city of Detroit has been through this year."

I mean, it's true. Brandon Inge is the embodiment of blight. But like, I'm pretty sure the TBS guy meant it as a two-way compliment. "Congratulations Detroit, you've OPSed .538 since the All Star break, and kudos Brandon Inge, you lead all third basemen in unemployment and violent crime." Except said sincerely.

(Holy shit, what is Dana Carvey doing in a T Mobile commercial?? I love playoff caliber advertisements.)

BRETT FAVRE!!! GIVE ME MORE BRETT FAVRE!!!

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #102: Brett Favre is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #17: Brett Favre loves football so much that he's lobbied five different United States congressmen to introduce legislation legalizing civil unions between a man and the abstract concept of football.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #34: Physicists at CalTech have devised a algorithm to determine which football players have the most fun playing football. It allows for adjustments for comparison across eras, and has a margin of error of +/-.00001. This algorithm dictates that nobody has ever had more fun playing football than Brett Favre, whose Adjusted Love of the Game Quotient (ALotGQ) is more than 3,004 standard deviations from the next closest player on the all-time list.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #312: "...pump it, let it go." - Brad Childress

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #56: Brett Favre's post-football career plans involve opening a series of Brett Favre-only sperm banks throughout the midwest so that millions of football-loving couples may produce their own Brett Favre-spawn.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #257: As soon as Brett Favre stops playing football long enough to feel pain, he will immediately re-discover his love for prescription pain medication.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #22: "Man, I'm losing it." - Brett Favre

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #562: Brett Favre spends his Saturday afternoons having coffee with God.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #77: Brett Favre developed and built a machine that allows him to enter Stuart Scott's dreams as his own personal Holodeck.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #912: Brett Favre dyes his hair grey to make himself look older to enhance the amazement factor.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #88: Brett Favre fucked your mother. And your grandmothers. Both of them.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #4: Having launched ESPN Boston and ESPN Dallas, the Worldwide Leader plans to launch ESPN Brett Favre by Week 12 of the 2009 NFL season.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #17: Brett Favre has been clinically dead and successfully resuscitated seven times in his life.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #6,241: Brett Favre's 'self-deprecating' sense of humor is the most disingenuous crap this side of every time Barry Bonds tells his kids he loves them.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #90: Brett Favre wants you to buy a truck.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #91: Brett Favre wants you to buy some jeans.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #41: When not playing football, Brett Favre keeps himself busy by playing football.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #39: Brett Favre once killed a British man in an argument over the definition of "football".

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #66: Brett Favre has told friends that he will not retire until he has played one full season for each NFL team.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #67: When he does retire, Brett Favre plans to buy a CFL franchise and install himself as GM and starting quarterback.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #110: The more I hear Brett Favre's name, the more I am beginning to like Philip Rivers. Simply by default -- simply because he's not Brett Favre.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #111: Same with Ray Lewis.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #112: And Michael Vick.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #113: But not the Flyers. Never the Flyers.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #712: Peter King's laptop contains 1.67GB of photoshopped Brett Favre porn.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #512: Brett Favre is the best quarterback in the history of professional football. He's also the best shortstop in the American League, a nine-time all-star power forward, an avid bowler and a member of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #497: Brett Favre collects antique shotguns and occasionally uses them to defend his family from illegal immigrants.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #909: ESPN has devoted exactly 100% of tonight's edition of 'SportsCenter' to coverage of Brett Favre.

ESPN Brittfarr Fact #1: If and when I ever decide to take my own life, be certain that the nearly twenty years of masturbatory Brett Favre media coverage I've had to live through will be mentioned in whatever note I leave. If it's not, suspect foul play.