Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005


Breathing Like Winners

Dan Wetzel knows the secret to the Chicago White Sox World Series victory.

Take the eighth inning Wednesday, where a botched routine foul pop, a hit batsman and a wild pitch gave Houston life and would have frozen lesser teams. Instead, everyone on the Sox just took a deep, relaxing breath and slammed the door on the Astros.

I'm not sure what evidence Dan Wetzel thinks he has that everyone took a deep, relaxing breath. And I'm sure it was the deep breathing that induced a lazy fly ball from Morgan Ensberg, and a ground out from Jose Vizcaino to end the inning. Lesser teams might have hyperventilated.

Come to think of it, that's probably what happened to the Yanks in the 2004 ALCS. Why didn't Jeter remind everybody to breathe deeply? How would Ortiz have been able to come through with two walk-off hits if he he had seen the Yankees taking deep relaxing breaths? On his home field, no less.

Luckily for Red Sox fans, the 2004 Yankees were a lesser team, and they became "frozen."

posted by dak  # 2:43 PM
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Things like this drive me crazy...

In the bottom of the ninth of Game 3, the Astros have Burke at third, Biggio on first with one one and Willy Tavaras hitting. For some reason, Konerko is holding Biggio on first while the rest of the infield is drawn in a few steps. Is Guillen really playing for a ball to double up Willy Tavaras in that situation??? That's the only reason to keep Biggio at first at the expense of opening up a HUGE hole in the right side of the infield. Biggio is a meaningless runner otherwise. As it turned out, the hole might've led to Tavaras's weak hacks early in the count as he tried to take it the other way (a point actually alluded to by McCarver after a late cut for strike one), but there is no way that Guillen was anticipating the wide hole at first leading to the strikeout. On the other hand, every other crazy Ozzieball technique has struck gold up until this point....


With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ensberg is at the plate, and there's Brad Lidge, taking hacks in the warmup circle with his jacket on. Now explain to me, Brad Lidge, how are you possibly going to bat in that inning???

Sorry guys, wrong blog for this. Though neither Buck nor McCarver took issue with these things, a fact that should suprise very few.

posted by Coach  # 10:55 AM
Also, when smallball wins a decisive game of the World Series, setting back the cause of Sabremetrics several years.
Thank you for pointing the Lidge thing out, Coach. By the way, am I not supposed to have posting-comment privileges? I guess I'll find out.
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Monday, October 24, 2005


No Wonder He Was Such a Great GM!

From Steve Phillips's chat on

Christopher (Albuquerque): What is the mindset of the Astros going into game three? Is this the time for them to panic?

Steve Phillips: Yes, it is time to panic.


posted by Anonymous  # 7:18 PM
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Sunday, October 23, 2005


Is Anyone Else Listening to This?

Tim McCarver is trying to explain to America -- following the HPB-foul ball Jermaine Dye controversy -- that a ball that hits a bat will "go down," whereas a ball that hits a player's arm will go "parallel to the ground."

Little help? Anyone?


posted by Anonymous  # 10:55 PM
I had the same thought. I kept imagining this conversation, which we will be having all winter: "Yeah, he did have a good postseason. But that doesn't mean he had a good regular, it doesn', because if you look at his--...right, he did do that. But the fact is, he was crazily overra--...yeah...okay, fine, whatever. Scott Podsednik is the best player ever. Fine."
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Not a Big Deal...

...but it really annoyed me last night when McCarver said, during Bobby Jenks's battle with Bagwell:

"In the World Series, the world knows a fastball is coming."

Such a lame attempt at cleverness. Boo.


posted by Anonymous  # 7:21 PM
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Saturday, October 22, 2005


Mike Celizic is Bad at Arguing Things

Here's a real gem by Mike Celizic, entitled "Thank the Yankees for this World Series."

The Yankees aren’t going to get their 27th world title this year, but whoever does win the World Series might want to consider sending a “Thank You” note to George Steinbrenner for making it all possible.

Okay, so, we're going to hear about how a lot of former Yankee pitchers are now with the two Series teams. Let's go.

They might even consider sending a dozen roses and a nice bottle of wine. If they really wanted to show their appreciation for everything Steinbrenner has done to make their championship possible, they might consider sending him half a pennant. He’s done that much.

We get it. Let's get to the article now.

He talks about how Pettitte and Clemens, and Contreras and El Duque, were all vital to the success of their teams. Then we get this:

What should be most galling is that the Yankees could have kept at least three of those pitchers — Contreras, Pettitte and El Duque. Good arguments were made at the time for letting Contreras and Hernandez leave, but there was never an excuse for Pettitte’s departure. Nor is there any excuse for the fact that for all four pitchers, the Yankees got nothing in return, not even a player to be named later.

The funny thing about this is, he immediately undermines his own argument. Right off the bat he says that there were good arguments for letting Contreras and Hernandez leave. Okay, well, then why are you criticizing the Yankees for letting them leave? And since you have excluded Clemens, why isn't this article just about how they blew it by letting Pettitte go?

Anyway, there's his thesis: that the Yankees, who were extremely pitching-poor this year, let go of four great pitchers and didn't get anything in return. Let's see how he backs it up.

Clemens was gone two years ago. He had officially retired, and all of us actually believed him. But Pettitte, who, like the Rocket, is from Texas, was a Yankee lifer who never thought he’d play anywhere else. But when he became a free agent, the Yankee front office took it for granted that he would come back to the fold. Instead of courting him and making him feel loved, the Yankees spent their time wooing Gary Sheffield. By the time Sheff was signed, Pettitte had decided life might be better back in Texas, where he ended up pitching with his old pal, the suddenly unretired Clemens.

Now, this is the one thing the Yankees maybe botched -- the Pettitte thing. They did maybe take him for granted, and he bolted. Fine. However, his last year in pinstripes he gave up 227 hits in 208 IP. Not great. His ERA+ was 109, down from 134 the year before. They likely would have had to pay him $10-12 million a year for five years. Instead, they went after Gary Sheffield. Who is among the five most feared hitters in the league. Who has done nothing but annihilate the A.L. I mean, it's not like they let Pettitte go and signed Christian Guzman.

Yes, it is all about pitching, and yes, Pettitte might have helped them this year. But he did have a history of arm problems. He only threw 134 IP in 2002. And don't give me any baloney about his postseason dominance. He's pitched well in October, but only about as well as he's pitched in the regular season (postseason numbers: 13-8, 4.05 ERA. 3-4 in the WS.)

And as far as Clemens goes, well, the Yankees didn't "blow" that, as Celizic freely admits. He retired. Then he unretired, but only because he could pitch close to home. What could the Yankees have done differently?

Pettitte missed most of 2004 with arm troubles and subsequent surgery. Most people suspected it was coming; he’d had episodic elbow problems for years, and those things never get better on their own. But, given the success rate of Tommy John surgery, there was every reason to expect him to come back in 2005 as good or better than ever.

A. That's crazy. A whole lot of players don't recover 100% from Tommy John surgery. B. If "people suspected it was coming," why should the Yankees have automatically committed a ton of money to him? C. Pettitte had a great year. A Cy Young-calibre year. But that doesn't necessarily mean the Yankees made a mistake in letting him go. Because, remember, they got Sheffield, and they had every reason to believe that their other pitchers were going to perform well.

El Duque is a different story. He claims to be 36 years old, but he’s really at least 39 and he had been breaking down. He missed all of the 2003 season with injuries, and had just 15 starts for the Yankees in 2004. He went 8-2, but the Yankees decided he wasn’t going to be able to shoulder a full load as a starter, so they let him go. That estimation was correct. After a hot start this year, Hernandez finished the year with just 22 starts and was ineffective until his huge relief stint against Boston.

Hey, Mike. You're supposed to be arguing that the Yankees made a mistake in letting this guy go. Remember? You have suddenly started arguing the wrong side of your own argument. Do you see that? Focus up, buddy.

But that’s been the defining characteristic of El Duque’s career — he comes up big in the playoffs. He didn’t pitch in the ALCS, but other than Neal Cotts’ two-thirds of an inning in Game 1, no one else in the bullpen did either. And if the White Sox get in a situation in which they need help early in a game, El Duque is the most likely pitcher to get the nod and the most likely to shut down the opposition.

So, the Yankees should have signed this guy to a long-term contract despite the fact that he lied about his age, was clearly like 38, and had a ton of mileage on his arm...because, although he didn't pitch in the ALCS, he might pitch in the World Series, and might be good, because he has been good in the past. Solid argument.

This year, Duque was 9-9 with a 5.12 ERA, and an 87 ERA+. He had a K/BB ratio of 91/50. He was far worse than an average pitcher. If the Yankees had had him starting all year, they probably would not have even made the playoffs, and Duque would not have had the opportunity to demonstrate his preternatural alien-influenced October skill that everybody and his brother can't effing shut up about.

Then there’s Contreras. The Yankees outbid everyone — Boston especially — for him three seasons ago when he defected from Cuba. But in one season and half of another in the Bronx, he had a talent for imploding in big games — the Armando Benitez of starting pitchers.

Hey, Mike? A word? Again, you're supposed to be arguing that the Yankees made a mistake by letting these guys go. You're doing that funny thing again where you're arguing the wrong side of your own article.

The bottom line was the Yanks ended up with nothing for four pitchers and the two teams that got them ended up in the World Series. A lot of people will see poetic justice in that.

They got nothing for them because they weren't very valuable. Clemens retired. Pettitte left as a free agent, but the Yankees took that money and signed one of the best hitters in the world to fill a huge hole in their line-up (remember, RF in the Bronx had previously been patroled by such luminaries as Raul Mondesi and Enrique Wilson [!]). Contreras sucked in New York. El Duque was a thousand years old and hasn't even been very good for the ChiSox this year.

Just because they were all Yankees at one time, and just because their teams are now in the World Series, doesn't necessarily mean the Yankees blew it. I think they should have signed Pettitte, but you obviously can't blame them for Clemens, and you shouldn't blame them for Contreras or Duque, either.


Special thanks to reader Mike G. for (nearly instantaneously) pointing out that this sentence...

Nor is there any excuse for the fact that for all four pitchers, the Yankees got nothing in return, not even a player to be named later. just flat-out wrong, since Contreras was traded for Esteban Loaiza. Which, amazingly, Celizic discusses in his article. I guess he means that they didn't get anything good in return, or something. It's really unclear what he means, because, again, he is bad at arguing things.

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posted by Anonymous  # 7:56 PM
Special thanks to reader/FJM Founder dak for pointing out that the Yankees also got draft picks for compensation when their free agents left.
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Shocking Statements

...from Tim McCarver, the most-experienced and by-far-worst-ever color man in postseason-baseball-announcing history.

Question: Where's the line between analysis and overanalysis?

Answer: You don't have to say something every time there's a replay. I was guilty, in the early part of my career, of overanalyzing. I know that's not true anymore.

Is this still considered the "early part of your career?" Because you never, ever, ever, ever stop talking.

Question: How does playing on two Series champs (1964, 1967) compare to working a Series on TV?

Answer: Broadcasting a Series is so much tougher than playing. When you're playing, you can do something about things physically. On TV, there's nothing you can do, except prepare.

This is nonsense. You can "do something about things physically" when you're playing, as opposed to just "preparing" when you're broadcasting. So it's tougher to broadcast. This is disingenuous to the point of absurdity.

Question: Get any coaching for TV?

Answer: I have never taken a lesson on how to talk on TV in my life.

You're fucking kidding.


posted by Anonymous  # 3:21 PM
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Friday, October 21, 2005


Andrew Seligman Has Obtained A Reserve of Joe Morgan's Blood To Transfuse Into His Own Body

There's really no other way to explain it.

It's unclear exactly what the point of the article is, but it's generally about the diversity of the White Sox clubhouse.

``When you play baseball, you learn to communicate with the other guys,'' the pitcher [Freddy Garcia] said. ``It's not really a big deal."

Right, no big deal. So...why are we writing about this again? Andrew?

Nine players on the White Sox's 40-man roster are from the Dominican Republic. Pitchers Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez are Cuban, and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi is Japanese. Puerto Rico is also represented, as is Venezuela, which produced Garcia and manager Ozzie Guillen.

Okay, that doesn't sound unusually diverse for a Major League Baseball team...did you know that the Phillies have 5 dudes from Venezuela on their team? Isn't that boring?

They won with pitching, with speed. And they won with a diverse group -- not that an ethnically mixed clubhouse is unusual. According to a study released this week by the University of Central Florida, 27.3 percent of the players in 2004 were not American.

Right. So, why is this unusual? Here's the story of the 2005 White Sox -- they're a diverse group. Like all teams. The whole article goes on like this...diversity, different backgrounds, language lessons...and yet none of this is really interesting to anyone, including the players and the author. At least he met his deadline, I guess.

Also, to say they won with pitching and speed is only accurate if you're talking about the speed with which the baseballs were flying off White Sox batters' bats on 3-run taters.

Regardless, I've gotta know: what does reliever Neil Cotts think?

``I think in our case it's come together pretty well,'' reliever Neal Cotts said. ``I think Ozzie instilled that from the beginning in spring training, that we're going to be together six months and make the best out of it.''

Of course.

posted by dak  # 4:48 PM
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Playing the part of Curt Schilling in 2005...

Guess who?

"I'm smarter than a lot of guys who go to Harvard. When you come to this country and you can't speak any English at 16 years old, and you have to survive, you have to have something smart in your body. If you take one of those Harvard guys and drop them in the middle of Caracas, they won't survive. But if you drop me in the middle of Harvard, I'll survive."

Bad news, Ozzie. I checked with the registrar. They do offer a class on speaking Spanish at Harvard.

posted by Coach  # 3:10 PM
Also, I'd venture to guess that "survival" is tougher in Caracas than in Cambridge for anyone. I mean, yeah, a guy from Harvard -- or any college or town in America -- would have a tougher time "surviving" in Caracas than a dude from Caracas would in well-heeled sections of Massachusetts. This does not seem to me to be an issue of "intelligence," but rather things like kidnapping and murder rates.
Yeah, but what about the pack of tigers in the Winthrop House library?
Did you guys read in the Crimson about how Ozzie Guillen was studying for his Chem-10 final in the Leverett JCR and he was attacked by a tiger and he wrestled it to the ground and pinned it using only his smarts and enthusiasm and intangibles? That guy is so smart and enthusiastic and intangible.
Is no one else going to do this? Okay:
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Thursday, October 20, 2005


There's No "I" in "Team"

But there's a lot of "I" in Joe Morgan articles. The title is "Astros End World Series Drought." It should be, "Joe Morgan on Joe Morgan."

This is the entire article. Pay close attention to the boldfaced parts:

After coming close so many times before (1980, 1986 and 2004), the Houston Astros have reached the World Series for the first time in franchise history. This has to mean a lot to the fans of Houston who have supported the team from the time they were known as the Colt .45's. Now that Houston has reached the World Series for the first time in 44 seasons, a lot of people, myself included, must be thinking about judge Roy Hofheinz. He bought the team and brought it to Houston, and also had the vision to build the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Astrodome, in 1965 (it was completed in 1966).

I'm happy for veterans such as Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, both of whom have spent their entire major-league careers with the same franchise, something you rarely see anymore. It's quite an accomplishment because both Biggio and Bagwell have been there so long (Biggio since 1988 and Bagwell since '91). Until now, they have never experienced what it is like to play in the World Series -- and you are talking about two of the best players of their era.

The feeling also has to be satisfying for veteran pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. They probably feel like I felt going back to Houston in 1980. (When I was traded from Houston to Cincinnati in 1971, I hoped one day to come back to Houston and help the Astros win a championship, because that was where everything started for me. I'm originally from Texas and came up through the Houston organization. Everything in baseball started for me there. That's the reason I went back there after I left Cincinnati.) Clemens and Pettitte went back to Houston last season to try to do the same thing. They both grew up in Texas and both won championships like I had, then decided to try to help the team from their hometown win a World Series.

Over the years the Astros have had a lot of heartaches -- getting close and not getting over the hump. I saw Nolan Ryan sitting up in the luxury box during Game 5 and I'm sure he was thinking back to 1980 (when we lost to the Phillies in the NLCS). Houston has had opportunities, but just hasn't been able to take that final step, until now.

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posted by Anonymous  # 7:33 PM
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Couldn't Resist

Congratulations to the Chicago White Sox, your 2005 American League Champions.

Go get 'em, A. J.

posted by dak  # 2:51 PM
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The Cult of Tony LaRussa

is almost as vexing to me as the cult of Joe Morgan. Here's Mark Kreidler's take:

Tony La Russa, a man with the gravitas to actually make the comparison, said this about Albert Pujols' home run: "It would be tied for first with the most dramatic home runs that have ever been hit."

Obviously unquantifiable, but...really? It was incredibly dramatic, but it won Game Five of an NLCS. Kirk Gibson? Bobby Thompson? Maz in the 1960 WS? Joe Carter? How about Hendu in 1986 -- that was a Game 5. Carlton Fisk? Jesus -- Bucky Dent?

Kreidler goes on to praise LaRussa for being stoic. Then he says this:

But in a roundabout way, maybe Pujols hits that home run because La Russa is who he is as a manager. Maybe the Cards don't panic, down 4-2 with two out in the ninth inning on the road against arguably the best closer in the game, precisely because Tony La Russa's emotional range as manager doesn't allow for free-form nervous expression.

I'm going to go ahead and say that in no way, shape, or form, does Tony La Russa's demeanor have anything to do with Pujols's HR. I think Pujols's HR is due to Pujols being the best hitter in baseball, and also due to Brad Lidge hanging a slider right over the middle of the plate.

If you want to see something almost as impressive as Pujols' home run, go back to the video and observe Pujols' expression during that at-bat. He stands in against Brad Lidge, and Pujols is just the embodiment of professional calm and concentration. His body barely moves at all. The swing on the home run is pure, of course, but it is also almost routine in its execution. Maybe Albert Pujols, as great as he is, also has a little La Russa in him. David Eckstein, too, for that matter.

There is no Tony La Russa in Albert Pujols. And to say that there is any "David Eckstein" in Albert Pujols (can we get through one article about the Cardinals without mentioning David Eckstein?), is to ignore the fact that Albert Pujols himself embodies all of the things that people praise David Eckstein for: hustle, determination, smarts, etc. Why does that mean there is "David Eckstein" in Albert Pujols? Did David Eckstein invent these things?

Plus, he fanatically studies video, researches the pitchers he is facing, and prepares for games better than anyone in the league. Which is why he hit that home run.

Also, Tony La Russa was being stoic, which totally helped him, I guess.

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posted by Anonymous  # 4:48 PM
Good call. Misread it. But it's still nonsense.
The whole thing reminds me of that old joke:

Do you have a little LaRussa in you?

Would you like to?
There is one reason, and one reason only, that Pujols hit that home run: he is a true Yankee.
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Let's Get Back To Trying To Get Joe Morgan Fired For One Sweet Minute

I know Joe Morgan just signed a 30 year extension with ESPN. But I got to thinking...why not Al Leiter as a permanent fixture in the broadcasting booth? Why not him instead of JM?

The New York Post says his retirement is all but a done deal: "'There would have to be a lot of talking to convince me to come back,' Leiter told the newspaper." And if you can't trust the New York Post, who can you trust?

I'm not saying Al Leiter is the best color man ever, but in the limited stints I've seen him, I'd say he's one of the most tolerable, if not insightful players-turned-broadcasters out there. He sticks to stuff that former players can actually comment well on: how to throw a changeup; where the defense might choose to play in certain circumstances; etc. I might be way off here, but I don't remember him talking a lot about emotions or momentum or voodoo.

So come on ESPN. It's a modest proposal. Dump Joe, hire Al, put him next to Miller.

I'm trying to be reasonable here. It's not like I'm asking for you to put some crazy nerd with glasses in the booth. I'm trying to be the guy who really wanted to vote for Nader but ended up voting for Kerry, or something like that. Or, depending on your politics, the guy who really wanted to vote for Badnarik but voted for Bush...or something. I'm not great with analogies.

Anyway...go Astros? I don't even know anymore.

posted by dak  # 3:33 PM
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Thursday, October 13, 2005


Harold Reynolds on Baseball Tonight

Harold talks about Game Two of the ALCS.

Re: Buehrle

"The pace that he worked at made his defense pretty effective behind him."

Because he worked quickly, he made his defense effective? How in the world can you say that had anything to do with the effectiveness of -- wait, there was that time when the entire Red Sox D fell asleep when Arroyo was on the mound. Point taken, HR.

After the Pierzynski debacle:

"I love the fact that Ozzie Guillen was in the game enough to pinch run, get a stolen base, and Crede comes up with a big base hit."

Where did you expect Ozzie Guillen to be? There were two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Two of the American League Championship Series. The game was tied, with the winning run on first base. You love the fact that Ozzie Guillen was "in the game enough" at that point? You love that?

posted by anthony baseball  # 12:07 PM
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Boy oh Boy.

There is dumb, and then there is dumb. Check out what Alessandro Trigiani has to say about some of Italy's national team members in today's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

DE ROSSI - Abbiamo detto che il test più importante era quello che riguardava De Rossi. Il giovane romanista per la prima volta in vita sua era chiamato a dirigere il gioco della nazionale, sostituendosi a Pirlo. Ebbene, da questo punto di vista la sua gara non ha dato i risultati che ci si aspettava tant’è che nel secondo tempo, quando Lippi ha deciso di premere sull’acceleratore in cerca dei tre punti lo ha spostato più avanti togliendogli quel gravoso incarico di impostazione. Quella di Lecce non deve certo essere una bocciatura: il ragazzo ha tempo e talento per acquisire doti che ancora non ha affinato, ma è giusto dirsi chiaramente che allo stato attuale delle cose l’assenza di Pirlo crea un problema di difficile soluzione.


DEL PIERO – L’altro elemento dal quale ci si attendevano notizie era Ale Del Piero e in questo caso i segni sono incoraggianti. Il capitano della Juve (e per l’occasione anche della nazionale) ha messo grinta da vendere dimostrando di potere essere ancora utile a questa casacca. Il suo ruolo ideale è e resta quello di rifinitore, di suggeritore dell’ultimo pallone. E’ chiaro che a questo punto per lui sarà molto difficile ritrovare una maglia da titolare, ma vista la prestazione di ieri siamo convinti che ce la farà a staccare il suo onesto biglietto per il Mondiale.

Can you effing believe this?

VIERI – L’ex nerazzurro ha ritrovato la strada del gol e questo, come ha sottolineato Lippi in conferenza stampa, è molto importante. Ma non è sufficiente. E’ vero che Bobo ha dato segni di vita anche sotto il profilo del gioco (tra l’altro ha anche segnato un gol annullato), ma da lui ci si attende ancora qualcosa di più. Molto del suo futuro in maglia azzurra dipende da quello che Ancelotti deciderà di fare durante la stagione con i suoi gioielli lì davanti: non dovesse più trovare grandi spazi sarebbe molto probabilmente costretto a rinunciare anche al suo impegno con la nazionale.


We have to get over here to Italy, you guys. This place is worse than the States.

posted by Anonymous  # 6:00 AM
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Friday, October 07, 2005


The Worst Decision Anyone Ever Made

was giving Joe Morgan access to a tele-strator.


posted by Anonymous  # 10:51 PM
Last post, huh?
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Is Joe Morgan Drunk?

Seriously. Is anyone else watching this? I think he's drunk.

I have no evidence, except that he is talking like 4x as much as usual, and is saying less than nothing.

I think he's drunk.

That's all.

Also, this will be my last post for a while, as I am getting married on Sunday, and Mrs. Tremendous and I will be galavanting through Europe for a week. Keep the home fires burning.


posted by Anonymous  # 9:50 PM
Check minus for trolling for wedding congrats from our readership.

See you at the wedding!
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Joe Morgan has written an entirely worthless article about the Sox-Sox series. It's so worthless I'm not even going to link it. His point is: The Red Sox are in trouble. Which I think most people knew. He also opines that in order to win, the Red Sox will need to score some runs. Which, again, I think most people knew.

Here are a few little tastes:

The Red Sox won four games from the Yankees last year after being down 3-0 in the ALCS. Ninety-nine out of 100 times that wouldn't happen.

That was the first time it had happened, ever, in baseball, and like the third time in any sport, and the other two were (I believe) in hockey in like the 1940's. It seems like that would have been a better way to put it. can only put your back against the wall so many times and bounce back, and this is a different Red Sox team. Last year, you had Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling at the top of their rotation. Schilling right now isn't at the top of his game, and you don't know who in the Red Sox rotation can match up with White Sox starters. Game 3 starter Tim Wakefield has been good on occasion, but not lately.

Wakefield in September: 2-1, 1.99 ERA. 28 H in 40.2 IP, 34/7 K/BB, .197 BAA. Those are "Pitcher of the Month"-type numbers. He did get knocked around by a red-hot Yankees team in his one October start, but that was on three days' rest. So, saying he hasn't been good lately is kind of dumb.

Last year when the Red Sox were down 3-0 to the Yankees, I said no way they could come back. I won't go that far -- won't make that mistake again, so to speak -- but I don't think they can come back from down 2-0, because they don't have the same rotation.

"So to speak?" How is "won't make that mistake again" a figure of speech? That's just...a phrase.

...even if Wakefield and Schilling win their starts, it's going to be very difficult for Boston to come back and win this series. They would still have to go back to Chicago for Game 5, and who would start that game for Boston?

Bronson Arroyo. Not that that's good, or bad, or whatever, but that's who would start. Or maybe Wells on short rest, or regular rest, if there's a rainout in the next two days, which is actually likely. Just FYI, Joe -- there are ways of divining these elusive mysteries.

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posted by Anonymous  # 1:46 PM
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Thursday, October 06, 2005


Applying FJM Analytical Techniques to Hard News

Headline on

Hurricane Katrina: Wrath of God?

No. Severe low pressure system + warm water.

Okay. Now back to sports commentary.


posted by Anonymous  # 1:18 AM
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The Scott Podsednik Ball-Washing Continues

Rick Sutcliffe on Scott Podsednik in Game One of today's ALDS (very slight paraphrase, I think):

"You know, you just can't underestimate what Scott Podsednik did in that first inning. He did a great job."

Here's what Scott Podsednik did in the first inning:

He got hit by a pitch. He was bunted over to second. He stole third. He came home on a fielder's choice.

Now, what can he take credit for? Getting hit by a pitcher with no control? No. Being moved over to second? No. Stealing third? Okay. Coming home on a fielder's choice? Not really.

And let's look at that steal of third. Considering that the ChiSox' best hitters were coming up, was this a good idea for a guy who was 5 for his last 10 in SB? I don't think so. Especially since a few innings later he tried to steal second and was thrown out by ten feet. It did get him to 3rd with one out, but look at what happened in the rest of the inning:

S Podsednik hit by pitch.
T Iguchi sacrificed to catcher, S Podsednik to second.
J Dye hit by pitch.
S Podsednik stole third.
P Konerko grounded into fielder's choice to third, S Podsednik scored, J Dye out at second.
C Everett singled to right, P Konerko to second.
A Rowand singled to center, P Konerko scored, C Everett to third.
A Pierzynski homered to left center, C Everett and A Rowand scored.
J Crede fouled out to catcher.

So, after the steal and the FC, it went single, single, homer.

I just don't think there is anything to value that much in this inning from Podsednik. He got on base, which was good, but in a passive way. And he did steal a base, but in an incredibly risky way. Just because it was successful does not make it a good decision. Expecially the way the ChiSox pounded Clement.

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posted by Anonymous  # 5:58 PM
I literally can't believe this, but Podsednik just hit a 3-R bomb, his FIRST of the year. For this, you may congratulate and praise him. However, for the record, this fact says a lot more about how awful the Sox' pitching is, than about how good Scott Podsednik is. Trust me.
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Joe Morgan LiveBlog

Joe, after Reggie Sanders hits a 3-0 FB from Jake Peavy for a grand slam:

"John, I don't think I've ever seen a playoff game where someone swings 3-and-0 with the bases loaded...I have never seen that. I mean, I've never seen a manager give a guy the hitting sign 3-0 [in the playoffs]. I'm sure it has happened, but I've never seen it work, anyway."

Well, Joe, if you search back through your memory banks, deep in the archives of all the playoff games you've seen, you might remember one other time. It will be difficult to remember -- and I don't blame you for what you said -- because you would have to think back all the way to the most recent playoff game that was played, which was Game Four of last year's World Series, in this very stadium, against this very Cardinal team, when Trot Nixon swung 3-0 and hit a 2-run double off the wall in right-center.

I mean, seriously. You don't remember it happening? It happened as recently as it could possibly have happened. In the stadium in which you currently sit. Nice research. Why didn't you just use your computer and look up-- oh, right. Sorry.


posted by Anonymous  # 2:40 PM
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Monday, October 03, 2005


King Carl Everett

Not sports commentary, but I'm always up for some good old fashioned Crazy Carl.

Everett, a husband and father of five, is not as holy as he would like to be. He is still a moral work in progress.

''I've never been a ladies' man, but there's been fornication [in his life],'' he said. ''I had sex before I was married. But once I got married, it was on. Come November, we will have been married for 12 years.''

Has he always been faithful?

''Not in all cases,'' he said. ''She knows. I did it away from her. But I'm quite sure she still prays for me. [God] keeps me. But those demons are still going to come. That's why I say it's tough to live holy and resist temptation because those demons get prettier and prettier. Their bodies get better and better. It's one of the toughest fights I've had in my life.

Dude. Tell me about it. I was walking down Fairfax today and I saw this crazy hot demon in a tank top and micromini. Man. Oh -- you know who else is a hot demon? Jessica Alba.

But, maybe this isn't a good thing. You know why demons' bodies are getting better and better? Have you been to Crunch lately? The one on Sunset? Nothing but demons. I think we as a society put too much emphasis on the idea of "demon beauty." Every magazine you look at, it's some anorexic denizen of the underworld on the cover, and it's very hard for the average, you know, middle-American goblin to measure up. My fiancee, for example, is a beautiful archfiend/hellion, and even she feels constantly besieged by the windigos and succubi on the covers of "Vogue" and "Self." It's simply not fair.

We need to wake up, as a society, and ask ourselves: are our nation's demons getting too hot?


posted by Anonymous  # 3:39 PM
P.S. What does Carl want to do after he leaves baseball?

''I want to become an architect."

I find this incredibly funny. Not because I don't think he could become an architect. I'm sure he could. He seems like an intense, devoted guy, who would work really hard at it. It's just funny to me, because: what?!
Remember when Beerman punched Crazy Carl in the face, because he was jealous that Crazy Carl was getting ice for us?

What's that? Different Crazy Carl? Only Coach and Murbles know what I'm talking about? Nevermind.
I'm amazed that it has taken this long for someone to mention Beerman on this site. Take that, readers!
Also, KT, I believe you meant "succubi."
Thanks, Murbles. I can't believe I did that. It has been corrected.
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Are We Responsible? I Think Definitely.

Guess which fat idiot's name is no longer listed in the list of baseball contributors?

Hint: He predicted that Randy Johnson would win 30 games, steadfastly insisted that the number of wins a pitcher has should be the only criterion for Cy Young consideration, thinks the Rockies should make their fences 25 feet high, and unironically nominated Chone Figgins for the 2004 MVP.

Does this mean he has been fired? Or did they just ban him from approaching a keyboard? I think either represents a huge victory. Good work, everybody.

posted by Murbles  # 11:51 AM
Murbles -- you left out the most important part. Didn't he suggest that the Rockies move their fences in and make them higher? If I recall, he wanted the fences drawn in like 30 feet and the walls to be raised, to knock down line drives.

Anyway, regardless, I'm glad they've taken his computer privileges away. You're next, H.R.
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