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Great discussion here. Probably should have said this in the welcome tweet, but Standard Moderated Internet Commenting Rules apply. No personal attacks, no links to porn, and please don't mention Hitler. Otherwise, we'll cut the comment. (And if you think something "sucks", say why, or it's gone.) Had to axe some stuff in this thread. Use common sense, etc. etc. Thx, -Eds
So it's Standard Internet Practice, except all criticism should be constructive. Got it? Your letters.
In his third mailbag, Simmons responds to a question from "Scott" in Park Ridge, IL: "The mutual hate that Barcelona and Real Madrid have for each other transcends anything I've seen in American sports. Is there a rivalry in American sports anywhere near as impassioned as the one between these teams?" This is such a fucking boring question (Does anyone think that ESPN doesn't address the idea of sports rivalries enough? Christ, Hayes and Schembechler are on the home page as I'm writing this.) that the only possible reason he includes it is so that he can write a full paragraph answer and actively NOT mention Yankees-Sox. He specifically says "Baseball doesn't have anything like it," then he goes on to imagine a world where the Yankees and the Mets are the two best teams in baseball, they measure themselves "only by each other," they play "six to eight series every year," and they have most of the best players in the world. Apparently Giants-Eagles comes to mind before Yankees-Sox. And it's so fucking easy to imagine his shitty little smug grin when he reads it and thinks "Think I'm a homer now, Internet?" In fact, someone's going to bring this up to him and he's going to say something like "They complain when I talk about the Sox and they complain when I don't. I just can't win!" Fuck him with a #2 pencil.
The article that ran on Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn has a grammatical error in its kicker:
"They simply the symbols of a great era that never was."
There is no verb.
From Chris Ryan's "NFL Players Just Want To Be Wanted, OK?"
...a number of other well-worn clichés such as 'I just feel [insert X Team that went 6-10 the previous season] gives me the best chance for a ring' or 'Personally, I have always been a fan of Buffalo in the winter.' You sort of take these things at face value.
The idiom "take at face value" is literally the opposite of what the writer means in this instance.
In Bill Simmon's photo diary piece from the National Sports Collectors Convention there is a picture of Chuck Bednarik celebrating after famously knocking out Frank Gifford. Simmon's tells us that the photo is autographed by Bednarik, which he signed, "Sorry Frank, this game is f-ing over!" Upon inspecting the picture it is clear that Bednarik signed it, "Sorry Frank, this f-ing game is OVER." The only excuse for not being able to copy a phrase directly from a picture you are writing about is laziness. Or dyslexia.
Another week, another article by Carles. At this point, he is the single worst writer I've ever seen featured on a major website. Sarah Palin's tweets read like lost Mark Twain works when they're compared to something written by Carles.
This week's unnecessary quotation count: 35. Somewhat lower than his previous totals. He had some brilliant misuses, though. The highlight this week is the way he shifts between putting things in single quotes—'selling out'—and double quotes - "look like a band" - without any consistency. He even goes for a triple quote to end this sentence: What can they do to ever 'get back their credibility?'" Does Grantland not employ copy editors? Is Bill Simmons too nervous about breaking his hipster heart to make this shit readable?
Last week's unnecessary quotation count: 47. Actually, make that 46. I think he actually used quotation marks correctly one time in the article: I can't believe I am turning into 'that guy' who is nostalgic for a less perfect past just to romanticize my arbitrary connection to a Third Eye Blind CD that I used to listen to. That's a surprisingly appropriate use of quotes. Also, that's a total asshole sentence, so I wanted to draw special attention to it.
This is the same guy who spent 1,400 words on an Entourage article 2 weeks back, even though the average Entourage script probably has a word count under 800. In that article, he used the word "bro" an astounding 83 times. That's once every 16 words. His average sentence is only 20 words, so statistically speaking, he couldn't go a single sentence without leaning on that crutch.
I hope 'Carles' gets 'hit' by a 'truck', bro.
While discussing how long it takes to rebuild a team in baseball Rany Jazayerli writes,
You can accomplish almost anything in three years - the Detroit Tigers proved that between 2003 and 2006, when they went from losing an American League-record 119 games to winning the pennant
Jazayerli failed to mention that the Tigers had been terrible for a while, having lost 106 games in 2002 and 96 in 2001. Their rebuilding efforts didn't begin in 2003 as Rany seems to imply.
Look, I like Jonah Keri... but in his 8/15 column, "Six Teams You Don't Want to Face in the Playoffs" he states... "Collect a lineup full of Babe Ruths if you want—you're still screwed if you don't have very good pitching and defense."
Babe Ruth's career dWAR (defensive wins above replacement): 7.4
Babe Ruth's career WAR as a pitcher: 18.0
Lazy, lazy, lazy.
Of course, he could have gone w/ Mickey Mantle (career dWAR: -1.9; 7 World Series championships), or, hell, Derek Jeter (career dWAR: -14.2; 5 World Series championships). But then, that wouldn't really be productive to his argument.
Simmons misspelled "Antawn Jamison" in Event 2 of his Hoopapalooza thing in this week's mailbag. In his defense though, this is the NBA's Favre/Farve sitch.
(Although, for obvious reasons, you'll probably skip this one...)
David "The Masked Man" Shoemaker, in at least two recent Grantland articles, misspelled the last name of WWE executive John Laurinaitis.
Shoemaker kept forgetting that "a" in the middle. I guess it's understandable, since it is a particularly unnecessary letter.
Q: Did you see NBC and (its sports cable channel) White Entertainment Television stole the MLS from ESPN?
- V. Lewis, Kansas City
NBC didn't "steal" anything, and for that matter, didn't steal anything from ESPN. NBC outbid FOX Soccer Channel for the rights to their package (which happened to be up, not sure where stealing comes in there, maybe it's just how they interpret things in KC). ESPN still has the lion's share of the biggest MLS games, including All-Star Game and MLS Cup, not to mention all important USA games.
Simmons in today's mailbag refers to "The iconic poster of Charlie's Angels star Farrah Fawcett in her red bikini."
Even the link he provides shows Farrah in the iconic red one-piece.
He's treading the line between blasphemy and fantasy. If it had been a bikini, no teenage boy would have left his room in the '70s.
Wonder if he'll correct the mistake.
In last week's mailbag he guessed that the Olympics are held every four years because when they were revived in the 1800s and it was really hard to travel. True, but also true that the original version was held every four years, and Olympiad actually means a four-year period. He didn't correct that one, but that's just facts and shit.
This Farrah thing makes you wonder about the guy.
I'm reading Simmons's mailbag and am not sure what is more astonishing: the fact that Simmons didn't know that a caddie makes 10 percent of a golfer's winnings or that he thinks this is too much of a cut, while at the same time comparing caddies to waiters. Is he Mr. Pink?
In Simmons's August 12th mailbag he makes the following statement:
You know what stunned me most about the Williams/Scott situation last weekend? That caddies earn 10 percent of a golfer's winnings. Ten percent! Look, I caddied for three years—you carry a bag, give out some distances, suggest some clubs, maybe even help read a few greens. You're like a waiter at a nice restaurant, basically.
If I'm reading this correctly Bill is arguing that caddies get paid too little, since where I come from waiters at a nice restaurant usually get between 15-20 percent, depending on how well they did. But he is somehow not arguing that point. He thinks caddies get too much, despite the untimely waiter reference.
Give me one good reason why both of us shouldn't lay down big wood on the Rams at +200 to win the NFC West right now.
"Lay" means placing a bet at less than even odds. If you're betting a line with a "+" in front of it, you're not "laying", period. "Wood" means a very heavy favorite. At time of publishing, the 49ers and Rams were co-favorites (each +200ish) to win the NFC West.
1: Hypothetically, let's say the Rams were actually huge favorites, but still paid above even. In that case, I would probably allow the use of the phrase "laying wood", though it would still be technically incorrect.
Season 8...and best of all, they finally moved away from the "every season needs a gimmick" subplot.
Half of season 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm is set in NYC because David's character gets trapped in a lie. This is a gimmick.
Meanwhile, stories have started to surface about the early ‘90s Jays—the two-time World Series winners—stories that indicate they are also suspected of stealing signs. This happened even though virtually every member of those teams, at any level of the organization, is long gone. So, um … should we start investigating Canada for military espionage, too, under the assumption that they're a bunch of poutine-munching spies who use chicanery to outfox their southern neighbors?
In Jonah Keri's column on Toronto's (alleged) sign-stealing, Keri wrote the above paragraph. The author is saying in essence that because Toronto's teams in the early 90s have no one—at any level of the organization—in common with the 2010 team there is no basis for the accusations. So, um...should anyone tell Mr. Keri who Cito Gaston is?
How on Earth do you have someone write a column about a team who has zero clue who was that team's head coach? How did no editor read that and say "Hey didn't the Blue Jays do that weird thing where they rehired a guy they fired 15 years ago?" It's the AL East, the Beast, the Red Sox + 4 other guys, this is the one division that Grantland has decided to pay attention to, and no one knows that the same guy that coached during the last sign-stealing accusations also coached during the recent accusations? Maybe if Canadian Ryan Reynolds were a bigger movie star you'd pay closer attention.
Sportsguy, as a Mississippi native, I'm ashamed you don't know the difference between Meridien and Meridian. One is an upscale hotel brand, the other is a town in Mississippi. I'll let you decide.
This article has been up for over 24 hours and no correction.
Ed. note: It's still uncorrected.
Peter Richmond's "The Architecture of Disaster":
Nearly two dozen firms turned it down ("You want to build a new stadium without knocking down the 90-year-old skin? Dream on"). Greeted by resounding derision when it was unveiled in 2003, it's now considered a complete success, an integral art (sic) of the second-city's first-city architectural status.
It pains me to say this because I am one of the few who actually like new Soldier [Field], but it is absolutely not considered a complete success. My guess is if you polled the public here about 15 percent would say they like the stadium. It's the smallest stadium in the NFL and was the single biggest obstacle for the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid (too small for Olympics and there is no way to add to it). Parking and access are a mess - I recently walked into the Man U Fire game in the 31st minute after paying $40 to park. Mr. Richmond, you are not the cosmos.
In the MTV Masturbatory Nostalgiafest on August 10, Jay Caspian Kang incorrectly spells "Mr. Wendal" as "Mr. Wendell." That is all.
Ed. note: The error has been corrected without acknowledgment. Also Kang misplaced the apostrophe in the name of Lil' Kim.
Today's English Premier League Preview started off nice and early with an error:
A Reducer is a particularly nasty sliding tackle, one often aimed at something other than the ball (like, say, the knee or thigh). To pick one of hundreds over the years as an example, please watch Manchester United's Paul Scholes commit midair assault with a deadly Puma boot on Barcelona's (not particularly lovable, himself) Sergio Busquets in the 2009 Champions League final.
However, in the linked video Paul Scholes can clearly be seen wearing Nike boots (not Puma), as he always has.
Just read the latest article from Grantland's resident football "expert" Bill Barnwell. He writes an entire article about DeSean Jackson and why the Eagles haven't signed him to a giant contract yet. His entire argument is centered around Jackson as a receiver only and Barnwell argues that Jackson simply needs to "stop dropping the ball!" However, in Barnwell's entire article he fails to mention even ONCE that Jackson also returns punts and gets the occassional carry out of the backfield or on an end-around. Jackson has scored 7 touchdown's in just 3 seasons on plays where he was not a receiver (4 punt return TD's, 3 rushing) and that obviously adds tremendous value to his overall worth. This is relevant when comparing Jackson to a traditional WR that doesn't have the same dynamic abilities. I have no interest in getting in a pissing match over whether Jackson deserves a raise or not, but one would think that if they were writing an article about value of a certain player that they would include every way in which that player affects the game for his team.
In the mailbag...
The complicated answer: It's easier to blame one person then multiple people
Not really an error, maybe, but is it easier to blame one person "and next" multiple people or is it easier to blame one person "than" multiple people.
I am guaranteed to have an error in this email, so I shouldn't let random errors on Grantland nag at me like the occasional (but too frequent) Grantland ones do...
We are done after over a decade. Your "Movie Star" column was horrible. You want to be up on pop culture but have been proved to be completely lost once you make your list.
First of all I am surprised that you are still alive since women everywhere should trying to kill you. I believe there are such things are Angelia Jolie Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, or Julia Roberts (while fading) movies to name a few next time include women as they are far more successful actress than you will ever be a writer.
Second & Finally, the list of non-stars you included, Seth Rogan, what exactly has he done other than star opposite the a man hater with a nice rack? Zack G, a second fiddle and even then only has 1 film he is know for. Gyllenhall not a movie star yet, his leading roles have failed. Timberlake, who just finally STARRED in a movie opposite Mila Kunis it is the start but it's his first "Over the title" attempt. Kevin James, finally proven as a second fiddle when he lost to the animals, a point your own website made.
Your lack of thought on this really pulled into focus your laziness, Pop Culture is changing yet you stay the same, Boston, Wrestling and a failure to think through a column. If your the boss the deadline can be moved.
"I can't even pronounce nothin'/Pass that Ver-say-see," he crowed on "All Falls Down," a young man fanning himself with cash for the first time, not knowing that this is the kind of thing you don't do at a Versace flagship.
- From Hua Hsu's article, "Watch the Throne: Let Them Eat Cake."
The whole point of the line is that Kanye IS aware that that's not what you do! He's making a self-aware comment about his rise to the top and being a newcomer on the scene, he isn't actually making those mistakes. Hua misses the whole point of the line.
Chuck Klosterman's Planet of the Apes column has what may be a first in sports journalism: a footnote, which actually serves as a correction, and is fucking incorrect anyway.
All the apes are CGI, and Franco does an admirable job of seeming emotionally involved with empty air5
5 So it turns out I was totally wrong about this. There's actually a guy playing the main chimp (Andy Serkis). I honestly thought he was made by a computer.
HE IS MADE BY A COMPUTER. Andy Serkis is really well-known now for motion capture technology—especially when he did it in The Lord of the Rings movies. I suppose Klosterman was too busy listening to Kiss albums to pay attention to them at the time.
In Bill Simmons' August 5th "The Glorious Return of the Mailbag," a discussion of "NippleGate" leads to a breakdown of Justin Timberlake's career, where Simmons incorrectly cites Timberlake's "What Goes Around...Comes Around" as a song helping to cause the eventual mental breakdown of Britney Spears. He also refers to it as "the white 'Hit 'Em Up.'" Ignoring the eye-rolling racial aspect, the song he's referring to is actually 2002's "Cry Me a River", which was actually relevant to Timberlake's relationship with Spears, and which Simmons has referred to as "the white "Hit 'Em Up'" several times before, not the much-later "What Goes Around". I attempted to contact Simmons to alert him of this through Twitter, but that, not surprisingly, fell on deaf ears.
In today's mailbag:
or that nobody's ever blamed the vicious "What Goes Around" for helping to cause Britney's eventual mental breakdown (when you can make a decent case that it did - it's the white man's "Hit 'Em Up").
It was actually "Cry Me A River" that you could make a decent case for. I think Grantland has become a reverse jinx for Simmons.
"What Goes Around" for helping to cause Britney's eventual mental breakdown (when you can make a decent case that it did - it's the white man's "Hit 'Em Up")
The song is called "Cry Me a River." Simmons has most certainly referenced this song in previous columns.
Nitpicky, but should be "owed to the state of Wisconsin."
Ed. note: "Owed the state of Wisconsin" is grammatically correct. The "Cry Me a River" error has been corrected by strikethrough.
Bill Simmons has no idea how odds work, apparently. From today's mailbag:
If I gave you Baron at 4-to-1 odds for the Wiggle Award or The Field at -350 odds (bet 700 to win 200), which side would you take? Tough call, right? If you want to wager on someone individually, here are my
Baron Davis (-500): His award to lose.
So, it's a "tough call" whether to take Baron Davis at "4-to-1" (aka +400), but he's on the board at -500, with three other players at +400 or shorter odds? Huh?
In Simmons's 8/5 mailbag, he writes:
I love how everything crests with the fifth 3—which had to have been 35 feet and was the spiritual Godfather of Larry Bird's falling-into-the-trainer's-lap 28-footer that led to two Hawks jumping off their own bench in disbelief.
Timing-wise, I don't think something can be the "spiritual godfather" of another thing that occurred 26 years earlier. "Spiritual descendent" would have been a more sensible wording.
From the EIC's Mailbag:
Look at the repercussions of NippleGate: It . . . affected the 2004 presidential election (which suddenly became morals-heavy) . . .
I can't say this with absolute certainty, but I don't think the 11 anti-gay marriage amendments on various state ballots were put in motion "suddenly" after the Super Bowl.
Also, in the paragraph about the timing of Jerry Maguire's trip from Phoenix to LA, he mentions that Maguire would have gained an hour flying from Phoenix to LA. But because Simmons begins the calculation based on when the game would have ended "West Coast time," the hour gained from Maguire's perspective is irrelevant. Simmons seems to actually think that you travel through time when you change time zones.
I'm not sure if this is a legit spoiler since I knew from watching the apes films that they eventually speak, BUT, Fuck-o-gingercuntyhairknowitall Klosterman ruined the surprise I'm sure I would have felt watching the new apes film when Caesar speaks for the first time by writing (spoiler alert):
The lead chimp learns sign language (which makes sense) and then spontaneously speaks English (which does not), and he organizes all the other primates like a hairy Donald DeFreeze. They attack San Francisco and (presumably) set the stage for what will become the post-nuclear dystopia of the '68 original.7
and including this fucking footnote that gives away exactly what Caesar says (spoiler alert):
should note that the screenwriters also make several unsubtle allusions to the Heston films, so expect annoying people in the audience to laugh unreasonably hard at all these references, just to make sure everyone in the theater knows they got the joke.
I'll stand by my premise that it was ruined because the film's ads/trailers never hint at Caesar speaking and the famous line from the original is something like: Get your hands off me you filthy ape (not the exact wording).
I wish someone could comment/make a footnote to any of the smug cunts at Grantland because his footnotes (and every goddamn footnote on the site) is the literary equivalent to someone laughing "unreasonably hard" at any 'insider' jokes/knowledge.
His fucking stupid article was published on 8/4 thereby guaranteeing the ruining of some poor slob's viewing pleasure (mine).
It doesn't matter though...Shame on me for reading this tripe.
I came across this absolute shitball of a footnote in "The End and Barry Zito."
But now it was time for business, and Zito, uncharacteristically,1 had chosen to slip back inside the battleship.
1. This is the most German of our words in its enormous construction
I have no idea what compelled Jones to devote a footnote to this comment. It adds nothing to the article. German is not mentioned again and no other words are commented upon in such a manner. Worst of all––and this is a total English major dick move, I know––"uncharacteristically" isn't even a German word. A 25 second Google search would tell you that the word comes from "kharakteristikos," which is Greek. (Check it out here if you wish. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=characteristic).
All told––the footnote is unnecessary, pretentious, and wrong. I know that Grantland wants to be all cool and literary and use footnotes like David Foster Wallace and make these grand proclamations about Life. But they always just end up sounding like that kid in the class who tries to show off for the teacher and ends up sounding like a jackass.
Anyway, keep up the good work. Thanks for keeping BS in check.
In re: Bomb Shelter, the analysis of the failure of the film Cowboys & Aliens, the agent that the authors speak to claims that, among other reasons, the title is a major reason the film tanked. A film title is one of the least important determinants of a film's success. Film history is littered with films that had "great" titles that failed and "terrible" titles that succeeded. Admittedly, some titles are so generic that a film has a really difficult time selling (e.g. State of Play). But guess what, jackass, how a film is advertised and released and the quality of said film determines its success. Some examples:
- When Harry Met Sally – we now identify this film as a cutsie wanna be Woody Allen New York love story that takes place in the Temple of Dendur. But the title sucks and its success depended on the writing, performances, and word of mouth.
- There Will Be Blood – sounds like a B-grade horror movie, not one of the best films of the last 20 years.
- Demon Seed – kickass title, mediocre film that did poorly.
A bigger issue is the assumption, not just of this agent and the authors, but of virtually the entire movie industry, that the paying public is so fucking stupid that a film title will dictate whether we will see a movie or not. In this era of streaming Netflix and digital cable/satellite the public is even less inclined to pay to sit in a theater of strangers rather than watch in the comfort of their home, or even on their computer. That movie better be pretty goddamn good for me to get my lazy ass off my couch and into the theater. I could give a flying fuck what it's called.
As an aside, the actual title Cowboys & Aliens is mildly clever. A play on cowboys and indians, I know, blah blah, but it's enough for me to ask what this movie is about. Don't get me wrong, I will never see it, not even on video, but that's because from what I've seen Jon Favreau couldn't direct his piss into a toilet bowl.
That is all.
Two mistakes in the Cowboys and Aliens post:
He'll survive Cowboys & Aliens, and not just because was barely invested in it...
No one will recoup their money this one. They will all lose money...
So that's about an average mistake count per post, not sure why I even mention it, I should be used to it.
In Andy Greenwald and Lane Brown's "Bomb Shelter: Why Did Cowboys and Aliens Fail?," they in part blame the box office disappointment of Cowboys and Aliens on its origins as a little-known comic book, citing movies from 2010 that lost money after being adapted from similarly little-known comics such as Scott Pilgrim, Jonah Hex and Kick-Ass. Problem is, Kick-Ass didn't lose money - it actually made quite a bit. It was made on a $30 million budget and ended up grossing $96 million worldwide, of which the studio gets to take about 50% home after accounting for advertising, so it made somewhere in the range of $15 million to $20 million in profit (and that's not even taking into account DVD sales, merchandising, etc.)
Also, in the same article Greenwald and Brown say Tron Legacy failed at the box office. Tron Legacy made $400 million worldwide on a budget just about equal to that of Cowboys and Aliens. Later on in the article, they ask a Hollywood agent how much it would take for Cowboys and Aliens to break even. His/her answer? A worldwide box office take of about $400 million.
Outside of the major superhero franchises, recent comic-to-screen adaptations have been hit-or-(mostly)-miss. The 2006 graphic novel on which Cowboys & Aliens was based might have registered with Comic-Con attendees, but general audiences didn't know it from Scott Pilgrim, Kick-Ass, or Jonah Hex, three other little-known comics that were adapted into money-losing movies last year.
Scott Pilgrim and Jonah Hex might not have fared so well, but Kick-Ass was a major success! Per Box Office Mojo, it made over $96 million on a $30 million production budget. Fact-checking is so hard, guys.
In the "Bomb Shelter: Why Did Cowboys and Aliens Fail?" piece, Andy Greenwald and Lane Brown make a dubious assumption. In section 3, "Obscure Source Material," they state that Kick-Ass lost money. Although it had high expectations and underperformed, I doubt that it actually lost money. According to boxofficemojo.com, Kick-Ass had a $30 million dollar budget and made $48 million dollars domestically and $48 million dollars overseas. Typically, studios see about a 50-60 percent return on domestic gross and 40-45 percent on overseas gross. Taking the low end of those figures means that the studio made about $43 million just from the box office from the film. Although this doesn't include prints and advertising, it also doesn't include DVD sales and the sale of the movie rights to TV stations, which typically at least covers p&a. It just seems like another time they are playing loose with the facts to support whatever narrative they are trying to conceive. Thanks
You finally get an engaging, thought-provoking piece out of Chuck Klosterman on the inherent dilemma of sports halls of fame ... only to have an editor misspell Cris Carter's name (as Chris, not fixed as of this email) in the subhead (deckhead, whatever you'd like to call it). Guessing CK isn't happy about that.
Ed. note: The error has been corrected without acknowledgment. In the same piece, however, Klosterman mentions the "Pro Basketball Hall of Fame." On first reference, he writes "the pro Basketball Hall of Fame doesn't exist"—meaning, in context, that it shares a conflicted existential status with the baseball and football halls of fame. Later he describes the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame as an actual institution. This is wrong, and his initial rhetorical device is factually correct: There is no dedicated Pro Basketball Hall of Fame; the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors both professionals and amateurs.
I know it's fun to make fun of Al Davis and the Raiders but Barnwell just completely ignores the facts on the Wimbley contract to get in a cheap shot, going off on the Raiders for giving 29mil in guaranteed money. Wimbley was already guaranteed 11.3mil this year under the franchise tag. He gets 17.7 mil to extend a further 4 years and create a bunch of cap room. Florio understands it, even noting that "29 mil guaranteed sounds better" but Barnwell doesn't want facts to get in the way of a good cheap shot.
In Jonah Keri's piece on the MLB trade deadline today, he praises the Cardinals for upgrading at SS by getting Rafael Furcal. In praising Furcal, he writes that "Though he's struggled this season, hitting a buck 96 with little power and few walks, Furcal owns a solid career wOBA of .337." The acronym wOBA links to an article explaining the stat, which explains the scale thusly: "In other words, an average hitter is around 0.340 or so, a great hitter is 0.400 or higher, and a poor hitter would be under 0.300." Since when is an average hitter described as solid?
Ed. note: The benchmarks in the wOBA article are not position-adjusted. Since shortstops are below-average hitters as a class, a shortstop with a near-average wOBA is an unusually good hitter for the position. Keri's description of Furcal as a "solid" hitter is accurate.
Thank you Deadspin for taking these emails. I thought it was an accident there was no contact info on Grantland's site. Stupid me.
In Wedded Blitz by Katie Baker she writes that two Yale Law grads' fathers met in an immigration line while on vacation. The linked story states that the bride was traveling alone when she met the bridegroom's father in the immigration line.
In a YouTube HOF article from July 20 David Jacoby prattles on about some dance video labeled "jamaican dance." The kids dancing are speaking Spanish and listening to reggaeton. It could have been recorded in South America.
Chris Ryan claims in this article that these Cam'ron lyrics were "eventually repurposed for a song called "It's Nothin'" on Dipset The Movement Moves On," and that they do not appear in their entirety anywhere else in the Dipset catalog. The track that he is referring to is a remix (featuring Hell Rell) of the original "It's Nothin," which featured Juelz Santana and a word-for-word rapping of the entire Rap City freestyle. It appears on a Funk Flex mix that came out in 2005, and is produced by New York mixtape legend Dame Grease.
The original track is, for my money, far superior to the remix (mainly because Hell Rell blows, but also because the production on the remix is sloppy), and is at least on par with the "I'm in the zone! I can hear Jimi!" performance that Ryan references here.
Cam's opening ad-lib alone is enough to make the track a classic: "Ayo my whole life I heard, 'Go to school, get an education, go to college.' What the fuck for? So I could get a job making 30,000 a year, pay back my fucking student loans? Plus, how the fuck am I gonna buy Lamborghini Ferraris, and go to Miami 10 times a year doing that?" This transitions seamlessly into, "Cash in the sweat socks, check the sweat pocs/Got a knot in there the size of an Xbox." These lines could easily serve as the first sentences of his autobiography.
While Chris would be wise to Google more thoroughly, it should be noted that the rest of Ryan's writing here (and elsewhere) is both engaging and hilarious. Keep up the good work.
I realize this is way too long for you to include in your Dear Grantland segment, but I couldn't help myself. There are no factual errors in this Chuck Klosterman excerpt, beside the fact that it is complete nonsense, but this is so terrible I don't even think its awfulness is subjective. From his idiotic "second by second" look at Edgar Winters' Frankenstein:
0:04 to 0:14: ... We are supposed to comprehend the program's seriousness of purpose from its lack of a studio audience; what we are seeing, in theory, is the band in a vacuum, exhibiting its prowess with no outside influences. It's a philosophical notion that implies two things: (a) whatever we hear from a band on an album isn't truly "real," because the artist might be overdubbing everything and fixing all the mistakes and using technological tricks, but also (b) a traditional live album is "so real" it's undesirable, since the audience disrupts the recording and causes the band to play and behave differently than they normally would. If you're an aesthetic fascist, one could even argue that showing this performance on TV takes away from the "realness" of the experience, especially since all the guys in the band are so clearly aware they're being observed by a multiple cameras. This, I suppose, is why arguing about authenticity in rock 'n' roll is such a timeless problem - if we really get down to the bone marrow of reality, the most authentic musical performance any band could manufacture would require them to play in an empty studio and never allow anyone else to hear what they've created, which isn't that different than arguing that the only way to produce a totally uncompromised novel is to bury it in your backyard on the same day you finish writing it. Which might actually be true, but that's a hard way to pay the rent.
Where to even begin? It is true that the show's avoidance of flashiness was an attempt to convey that it was focusing on serious music, but beyond that, the rest of what Klosterman is inferring is complete nonsense. It is not "a philosophical notion that implies" an album isn't real and a live concert is too real, because that is a fucking stupid thing to say and no one before Klosterman has ever dared to posit such an idiotic thing. The rest of this follows down the same nonsensical path; Klosterman's shit circling itself down the drain.
This type of writing is talk-radio level discourse glossed in middle-brow pretension. Klosterman invents not one but two straw men, the philosopher behind his imaginary concept for OGWT and the "aesthetic fascist" who thinks that showing this performance on TV takes away from its "realness" (scare quotes his, even though he is not quoting anyone but himself) and then gleefully tears these imaginary philosophers and aesthetes down by proving to the poor reader why this argument he is having with no one is completely pointless.
Try this at home, infer some completely ludicrous and convoluted idea from something, it doesn't matter what it is just try to think of a concept you've been looking to win an argument about and jam it onto whatever you're witnessing at the time.
The way that woman carries her phone shows that she believes that growing up in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. makes her better suited to understand the class dynamics of modern life because she comes from money but lived close to poverty in Detroit.
Next, take this imagined concept a step further: An absolutist might argue that because she is from anywhere at all means she is not suited for the coming technical nomadism of the late 21st Century.
Then illustrate in as many words as possible why this entire debate that you have constructed is completely idiotic (try to come up with a phrase as stupid as "if we really get down to the bone marrow of reality"): But of course, the entire concept of trying to determine a person's ability to acclimate to a changing and unknowable future based on her city of origin is an unwinnable game. If we were to squirm into the urethra of geographical determinism we would realize that the only place a person can really be from to prepare her for the future is the epicenter of a nuclear explosion.
Finally and most importantly, come up with a totally unhelpful analogy and cap it with a cliche disguised as a joke: This is a little like arguing the only way to prepare for life is to die, which might actually be true, but it's a pretty tough way to go through elementary school!
Anyway, thanks for giving me a place to send this.
I have a correction to submit. The following article:
Appeared on your website, and not http://www.cosmopolitan.com/.
Bill Simmons is trashing on Youk for his hitting and his defense (He is a gold glover at 1st and his natural position is 3B)
A mediocre season by his standards (.279/.395/.495, 14 homers so far) could end up being the single best offensive 2011 season by a third baseman thanks to A-Rod's knee surgery and Beltre's recent hammy pull. Does that make up for his below-average defense at third?
What I find amusing is Youk's Career numbers are
OBP 393 SLG.496 OPS.889
His Season To date numbers are:
OBP .388 SLG.486 OPS.874
Damn near the same.... so, I'm glad someone is around to bitch about the fact that Simmons who wrote "The book of basketball," is in the "I don't know shit about baseball so I'll throw around a few statistics" club.
In this piece written by Wesley Morris on the style of the NBA Draft, he refers to Colorado SG Alec Burks as Alec Burke.
My heart went out to Alec Burke. He might have been going for something with his charcoal-on-onyx three-piece with pocket belch. But he never got there. It was a gray so deep and so ashy that the only cure was lotion.
Apparently your heart didn't actually go out to him, Wes.
From this article:
In 2006, a year after it hosted the All-Star game for the first time in 30 years, the Tigers played in the World Series for the first time since its "Roar of '84" championship. It was three years after the team posted the most losses in AL history, and the team had just completed its first winning season since 1993. Justin Verlander won Rookie of the Year. Although the Tigers gave up the series 1-4 to the Cardinals, the team thrilled a city that was tired of losing.
If the author considers four Stanley Cups, three NBA Championships, two NCAA Men's Basketball Championships and one NCAA Men's Football National Championship 'losing', all of which occurred in the Detroit area between 1984 and 2006, I'd like to know what she thinks Cleveland and Buffalo are suffering through.
On August 12, you posted this link on your Facebook page. Because Katie Baker is both a friend to the Deadspin staff and a former Deadspinner herself, and because we genuinely feel this mailbag will be an excellent addition to Grantland, we (posting on Facebook as Deadspin) "liked" the link and left the following comment, presented here verbatim:
This comment was deleted. What the fuck?