If you thought we're being lazy for only doing this once a year, imagine how lazy you'll think we're being when we make one of our entries the...
A half-assed, in-pieces round-up of shit we can't even be bothered to examine as a whole. Thank you to everyone who e-mailed us tips on terrible articles, though I'm afraid this time we are also too lazy to thank you each of you in person or by name.
Let's get things going with our old friend the JoeChat:
Jeremy L (Philly): Hey Joe, I've been a big fan for a while. Could you please weigh in on the CC vs. King Felix for cy young debate?
Ken Tremendous: I'm glad you asked, Jeremy L, because this is kind of an interesting one. Sabathia has obviously had a great year, anchoring a shaky Yankees pitching staff with well over 200 innings of 1.18 WHIP. And, of course, given the Yankees offense (first in runs in all MLB, by a pretty wide margin), he's picked up that magical 20th win that makes ignoramuses get all warm and fuzzy inside. On the other hand, here are the categories in which Felix Hernandez leads CC Sabathia as of Sept. 20:
Adj. Pitching Runs
Adj. Pitching Wins
Base-Out Wins Saved
So, actually, now that I think about it, it isn't really a debate. Felix has been a far better pitcher than CC Sabathia this year. Right, Joe?
Joe Morgan: I think it's a joke to have that kind of debate.
KT: I agree! This is awesome. Joe and I agree on something. I am not even going to read the rest of this article, because I am so happy. Instead I am going to hold my 10 week-old baby daughter in my arms, and cradle her, and love her, because she is what's really import—
What Sabathia has done is be the best pitcher in the AL from opening day to this point.
[drops baby; Mrs. Tremendous casually catches her in mid-air (she is used to this)]
KT: Sorry, honey.
Mrs T: It's fine. Go back to your meta-criticism.
KT: You're the best. What did you say, there, Joe?
I don't buy into the point that if Felix is pitching for someone else he'd have more wins.
You…okay, hang on. You don't "buy into" the point that if Felix is [sic] pitching for someone else — some team other than the Seattle Mariners, who are probably going to score the fewest runs in a season of any team since 19-fucking-71 — that he would have more wins.
How can you not "buy into" that? It's just a fact (barring something incredibly fluky). Felix has sixteen (16!) losses or no-decisions in games where he has given up 3 or fewer runs. If he pitched for the Yankees or Red Sox, and pitched as well as he has this year, he'd be like 22-6. You are just staring at a pipe and telling me it isn't a pipe. Which makes you a great surrealist, but also a dummy.
They said that about Cliff Lee when he left Seattle, but he's lost more than he's won since he left Seattle.
Because he's pitched worse. He has given up twice as many home runs while pitching in The Shoebox in Arlington than he did at Safeco. You still have to pitch well to win. You understand that, don't you?
It's amazing to me that we have let computers define him rather than performance.
It's amazing to me that we have let computers that calculate his performance define him rather than performance, which is calculable via computer.
His job is to win the game, not just pitch 5-6 innings. I don't think there should be a debate between Felix and Sabathia.
Felix has thrown more innings than Sabathia. And his job is not to win the game. His job is to help the defense prevent the other team from winning, which he has done better than anyone. The job of winning the game comes from the offense, which is about to set a 40-year low-water mark. How in the world do you have a job?
* * * * *
Over at the DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg did a nice job compiling a bunch of moronic comments about a moron. Helpful reminder: former douchejunk pitcher (that's right — even his junk is douchey) and Nats broadcaster Rob Dibble, who is a very smart guy and also very thoughtful and introspective and philosophical and smart, basically called Stephen Strasburg a pussy for not toughing it out and being a gamer and pitching through an injury, even though (a) Dibble himself had a promising career cut short because of multiple injuries and (b) it turned out Strasburg's injury requires fucking Tommy John surgery. Dibbs was then unceremoniously fired for being stupid. Personally, I would have ceremoniously fired him — I would've rented out a convention center and had a bunch of circus elephants doing tricks and guest speakers and maybe the cast of Glee could've sung "Hit the Road, Jack" or something — I would've made a huge deal out of it. But that's just me. Here's what various people said about the firing:
Tony Kornheiser: Ok, Dibble was wrong, Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery, but Dibble was a terrific broadcaster: passionate, insightful, and a hundred percent for the Nats. They should not have fired him.
Dibble was not a terrific broadcaster, in my opinion. He was a weird dummy who said stupid things and acted like he had played all his life for the Nats, when in fact they did not even really exist when he played. He was a fake homer. He gave real homers like Jerry Remy and Ron Santo a bad name.
Michael Wilbon: He can't possibly be out of work for long, right?
Well, I know the Rand Institute is always looking for guest speakers, and I heard Princeton has an associate position open in their comp lit department. We'll see.
That passion comes through. People like to hear Rob Dibble.
False. Rob Dibble likes to hear Rob Dibble. Fortunately, this can be accomplished while he is alone, watching games in his mom's basement OH SNAAAAAAAAAAP!
Colin Cowherd: This Rob Dibble thing really bothers me, and I'll tell you why....I think radio is raw. I think when radio is at its best, its uncomfortable. If you're not getting hate mail, get out of the business and go sell Hallmark cards. This is an uncomfortable business....What Rob Dibble said on his SIRIUS XM radio show, it wasn't even during a Nationals broadcast, to show you how thin-skinned they were. He was talking about Stephen Strasburg, who let's be honest, the guy's been babied. The guy had some very if not nebulous, kind of abstract injuries — stiffness, inflammation — little abstract. He didn't pull a muscle. Kind of unspecific, vague, abstract stuff....
He is quite literally the future of an entire franchise. The team was nowhere close to the playoffs. He was in college like eight minutes ago. You would prefer he be out there tossing 140 pitches a night for no reason?
Also, whether the injuries were "nebulous" and "abstract" or not, why the poop (I'm trying not to curse as much) would Rob Dibble — who is not, as far as I know, a licensed physician — say anyfuckingthing (oops) at all, one way or the other, about whether he should be pitching through them? He doesn't fucking know shit (again, sorry) about what's happening inside Strasburg's arm. Not to mention the fact that, if anything, Dibble should have been saying, "You know what? I used to throw 102 and then I had 820 different arm injuries in six years and was out of baseball at like 30, and even though it's cool that I have a lot in common with Kenny Powers, it sucked that I couldn't play anymore, and I really hope this is nothing serious." Instead what he said was: "[unintelligible grunting]."
More Cowherd: What Dibble said in the moment, with the information he had was — we're kind of babying this guy — [was] the way a lot of people felt. That was completely legal and completely accurate.
It's…sorry, no one is trying to put him in jail. You understand that, right? Legality isn't really the issue. And it was not accurate. They were not "babying" him. They were being cautious with a guy they want to be pitching for them for the next 20 years.
Now you go back and say ok we did an examination, and this and that. That's not fair.
Sorry, man, that is 50 trillion percent fair. He leaped to a stupid conclusion based on no evidence and ripped the guy apart for being a baby, so when it is revealed that the injury in question is serious enough to require surgery and knock him out of competition for a year or more, we all get to rip Dibble for being a fucking idiot. That's the definition of "fair."
That's like your wife holding something against you you said three years ago.
No it is not. A better analogy would be: your wife comes home five minutes late and you say, "What the fuck, honey?! You are the worst driver ever! You got lost again, didn't you? God — you are just the worst driver I have ever met in my life!" and she says, "Actually, I am late because I am having an affair because you are a terrible, inattentive husband who jumps to conclusions in a boneheaded and strident manner."
I just don't buy that. I don't think his comments are controversial at all. And by the way, if you hire Rob Dibble, that's what you get. You get strong opinions. If you can't handle it, hire somebody who's boring.
How about we compromise and hire someone who's interesting, but intelligent? Why isn't that an option?
Mike Greenberg: I would just say this, if you don't want Rob Dibble, don't hire Rob Dibble. It just doesn't make any sense to me. You've just fired Rob Dibble for being Rob Dibble.
Mark Schlereth: You're absolutely right, he's being Rob Dibble. But don't forget that they nurtured Strasburg along in the minors, then they came out and he had shoulder stiffness in one outing in the bullpen and oh, we'll shut him down, we can't have him go out there, and somebody had to make a spot start for him on his behalf, so it's not like there wasn't some things that led up to this.
Sorry…I think my brain just threw up into my soul. Are you telling me that Dibble's comments are defensible because Strasburg's arm had been hurting him earlier in the season and they skipped his start and someone had to spot-start for him? An event that occurs dozens of times a year, on every team? Are you…are you saying that Strasburg…asked for it?
Mike Golic: That's the thing, the Nationals, they hired him. You know what Rob Dibble is like. He's gonna tell you what he think, and sometimes you may like it, and sometimes you may not like it. You're right, they fired Rob Dibble for being Rob Dibble.
As good a reason as has ever been given for firing someone.
* * * * *
Hopefully not-fake-named reader Danger G. points us to this gem from FanHouse's David Whitley which has nothing to do with sports, really:
A group of gay men and lesbians want "Kiss Cam" equality. The group has an outing planned for Saturday's St. Louis Cardinals game, and members would like to be shown giving each other a smooch.
I'd like to take the socially enlightened high road on this one,
Yes, that is what you should do. It's not even that high or enlightened. Just say: It's cool if gay dudes and/or ladies want to kiss each other in public because they are human beings and human beings should get to do that.
but I can't help sympathizing with that father who'll be sitting next to his son or daughter at Busch Stadium.
If you have similar qualms, does that make us [sic] homophobic?
Yes, that is exactly what it makes you.
They're people. They should be allowed to kiss other people in public. It may not be easy explaining to your son or daughter why two people of the same gender would want to kiss each other. But imagine trying to explain to a human fucking being why he or she shouldn't be allowed to kiss the person he or she loves in public.
Also, David Eckstein is garbage.
* * * * *
More Derek Jeter nonsense provided by Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports:
So the SABR rattlers have pronounced Derek Jeter old and creaky. The captain's average is average and his OBP is WTF.
Actually it's .333. And .306 on the road. My back-of-the-envelope calculations have him earning $404,444,055 for every time he gets on base this year.
They do have a point.
And they're missing the point.
Jeter is not above the laws of age or numbers. His age will go up, his numbers will go down. Those are facts.
But just for a moment, let's move past that. Let's move past the huge contract he'll sign and not statistically earn. Abandon All Stats Ye Who Enter Here.
"Not earn." You mean "not earn," not "not statistically earn." Ugh.
Have you noticed this thing where you can just jam the word "statistically" into a sentence to somehow fool the reader into thinking you're making the opposite point? Some fake examples include:
Octavio Dotel may not "statistically" be the most dominant reliever…
John McCain may not have "statistically" won the election…
Sure, the baby may not "statistically" be mine…
Because in one important way, Jeter is worth as much as ever.
Shut your eyes and think of a Jeter moment.
Okay. Can it involve Minka Kelly? [high-fives Jerry Thornton]
Maybe it's the behind-the-back toss against Oakland.
Maybe. I guess when you close your eyes, you can visualize pretty much anything you want, including things that never happened. Derek Jeter never made a behind-the-back toss against Oakland. He flipped it kind of backhanded to home plate.
You know what I see when I shut my eyes? Derek Jeter, underwater, hitting that famous home run against the Mexico City Thunderbirds off left-handed closer The Von Trapp Family Singers. On Christmas Eve no less!
Maybe it's him falling into the stands. Maybe it's a home run against the Mets at Shea.
A thing he's done three times.
But most likely it's not a statistical moment. It's a moment when he did something that altered the arc and the feel of a postseason game.
First of all: It is a statistical moment. Every single recorded event on the baseball field is a statistic, whether it's glamorous or not. A home run is an obvious one, and even a flip to home plate becomes an out, and a putout for Jeter, and a run prevented, etc, etc.
Second: Of course it's not what you call "a statistical moment." But is the case any different for any other player? If I shut my eyes and think of my favorite "Ichiro moment," it's not going to be the official scorekeeper tabulating his total bases for the season or some shit. It's probably a ridiculous throw from right field to get some dude out at third (measurable by a statistic).
"He's my all-time favorite player," Yankees outfielder Marcus Thames said. "So his numbers are not up. You wouldn't know it. He seems fine to me. He's a helluva leader. I check him out to see how he handles things. Every single night, he wants to win."
Unlike Robinson Cano, who is on record saying he only wants to win two out of every three games.
"Baseball is baseball," Jeter said Tuesday on the night of his 2,279th regular season game. "The game doesn't change. If you try to change things, you're in trouble."
It's easy to be steady when you bat .300 every year. Hell, even a superstitious worrywart can do that. But the fact that Jeter hasn't changed this season is a new kind of leadership — one that reaches even further.
I love this. Think about it: Derek Jeter is getting extra credit for being bad at baseball.
Because his leadership skills haven't diminished during this, his shittiest of years, his leadership skills must therefore be even greater than we ever thought!
Adelson was able to remove Jeter's glans from his throat to produce this final thought:
The Yankees can afford [sic] pay younger players for the regular season. They will pay Jeter for October. They will pay him for the moment, and for the moments.
Hey, it may not mean anything, but at least it sounds like shitty poetry!