FIRE JOE MORGAN: Let's Heat This Stove Up


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Let's Heat This Stove Up

You thought we were done for awhile, huh? Sorry, suckers. We're going to keep this angry train rolling as long as there are people like Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times still writing.

You see, Greg thinks Aramis Ramirez is a worthless baseball player.

You must know a guy at work who's lazy. When the company needed him this summer, he flopped big time. The old boss was always explaining away his failures. He will drive the new boss crazy.

I see where you're going with this. The "guy at work who's lazy" is ... let me think ... Aramis Ramirez! The "company" is ... the Chicago Cubs! The "old boss"? Dusty Baker! The "new boss" is ... hmm, I don't know. Donald Rumsfeld?

They don't call him Greg "Transparent, Boring and Unimaginative Analogy" Couch for nothing.

Now, he's demanding a massive raise. And somehow, through all that, he has the company by the you-know-whats.

Greg Couch: Here's my article, boss!
Editor: Greg, this has the word "balls" in it. For the last time, you can't use that word. This is a family newspaper.
Greg Couch: How about nuts?
Editor: No.
Greg Couch: Nads?
Editor: No.
Greg Couch: Huevos? Certainly I can say huevos.
Editor: No.
Greg Couch: How about nutsack?
Editor: No.
Greg Couch: Ballsack? How about just sack? "Aramis has the Cubs by the sack." I like the sound of that. Boss?
Editor: Goddammit, Greg, no. Every article you turn in has the word "balls" in it, sometimes fifty times or more. Remember that column you wrote about Matt Murton? Half of the paragraphs were just the word "balls" written over and over again.
Greg Couch: (pouting, silence)
Editor: Greg? Greg? I'm sorry, Greg. I didn't mean to snap at you like that.
Greg Couch: (more pouting)
Editor: Uh, I'm going to go talk to Sara about that problem with the fax machine.
(Editor exits)
Greg Couch: I've got it! Hairy balls!
(Later that night, Greg's editor replaces "hairy balls" with "you-know-whats." He sighs. Greg, he thinks, is the lazy guy at this company who is totally flopping big time.)

For some reason, the prospect of losing him is seen as a disaster.

Remember, we're still talking about Aramis Ramirez here. Here are some reasons why the Cubs and several other teams are interested in Aramis' services:

EqA's over the past three years: .299, .303, .306

Home runs, past three years: 38, 31, 36

OPS+, past three years: 126, 137, 136

Age: 28

Can someone please explain to me how to get into Aramis Ramirez's world?

Sure. Be born with extraordinary natural physical gifts: uncanny hand-eye coordination, immense strength in your legs and upper body, the ability to track a baseball moving at 95 miles per hour. Play baseball for hours on end every day of your life until you get a chance to go to America and compete at the highest level. Practice, practice, and practice some more until you're one of the forty or so best human beings in the world at hitting major league pitching. Congratulations, you're there. Simple, really.

Ramirez, the Cubs third baseman and professional base-jogger, filed for free agency this week.

Forget his remarkable offensive contributions. The guy has the fucking hairy balls to insult us all by jogging around the basepaths. That's not hustling. He's making a mockery of the game! Mark my words: he will never win a hideous yellow Corvette for hitting a routine fly ball that makes Curtis Granderson slip and fall down on a patch of wet grass.

''Everybody says he doesn't hustle. He just hustled at the wrong time and wrong situation.''

Remember when Dusty Baker said that about Ramirez this summer?

Frankly, if Dusty Baker doesn't like a player, it's probably a positive.

Look, there has to be some way to live without Ramirez. I mean, the Cubs died with him in 2006. He's 28, hit .291 with 38 home runs and 119 RBI. And that all sounds great.

Look, people: Lazy Guy at Work sold 800 widgets for us last year and our company flat-out sucked. Let's get rid of him and his stupid "sales," and we'll be rolling in it! Let's show some hairy balls, people!

When people used to say that Sammy Sosa's 60 homers were all hit at meaningless times, I used to laugh at such a stupid thought. But, really, Ramirez's homers were, in fact, all meaningless.

Oh. My. Fucking. Hairy. Balls.

Monday, July 24th: Aramis Ramirez hits a two-run home run in the fifth inning. The Cubs win 8-7. The home run is later rendered meaningless because Greg Couch writes an article on November 1st.

Tuesday, July 25th: The very next day, Aramis hits another home run and records three RBI. The Cubs win 8-6. The home run is later rendered meaningless because Greg Couch writes an article on November 1st.

Sunday, August 13th: Aramis clubs a two-run shot in the third. The Cubs go on to win 8-7. The home run is later rendered meaningless because Greg Couch writes an article on November 1st.

Thursday, September 14th: Aramis goes deep with two men on in the bottom of the seventh. Cubs win 6-5. The home run is later rendered meaningless because Greg Couch writes an article on November 1st.

The Cubs needed him at the start of the year when Derrek Lee got hurt. And Ramirez hit .239 until the Cubs were safely out of everyone's way.

And from those 150 or so at bats, we can definitively conclude that Aramis Ramirez will never, ever hit well when the Cubs need him. The situations in which the Cubs need him will be determined by one man, Greg Couch, several months after the fact.

No, there are better ways to spend $15 million.

David ... Eck ... st ... ?

For example, Alfonso Soriano apparently wants $17 million.


Soriano will hit 50 homers at Wrigley and steal 40 bases.

Really. You're going to state that as absolute fact. The same Alfonso Soriano who has never ever hit 50 home runs in a season, ever. Is this a park factor thing? Of the 46 he hit last year, 24 were at RFK. Plus, in two seasons in hitter-friendly Texas, he only managed 28 and 36.

The Cubs, according to Newsday in New York, are trying to work a trade with the Yankees for Gary Sheffield. He has one year and $13 million left on his contract.

Make the trade, Cubs. And also sign Soriano.

You must know a guy at work who's angry all the time and hates his coworkers. When he got transferred to a branch he didn't want to work for, he just gave up completely and sulked in the corner. Pretty much everyone agrees this guy at work -- let's call him Gary -- is a total asshole. Plus, this hypothetical angry guy -- I don't know, let's say his last name is Sheffield, making his full name Gary Sheffield -- is known to be a guy who took work performance-enhancing drugs, probably making him angrier and crazier.

Let's get this guy. But fuck the lazy guy.

That's two players, $30 million. It appears that Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt are going elsewhere, so how about signing Texas' Vicente Padilla and St. Louis' Jeff Suppan for the rotation? What would that cost, another $13 million? Re-sign Juan Pierre to what would probably be a small raise, and you now have a good team.

How about we overpay for two guys with WHIPs of 1.38 and 1.45? And then give a raise to our .330 OBP leadoff guy? I mean, all put together, it's going to cost more than resigning the 28-year-old power-hitting third baseman. But he doesn't hustle.

The Cubs are just so far away with so much to do.

And still, even after all that, there's no third baseman.

Oh. Dammit. How did that happen? Maybe, um, Sheffield can play third? (Sheffield throws a bat at your face.)

Hendry would have to find someone serviceable, maybe even give a shot to Scott Moore, Detroit's former first-round pick.

Or you could sack up and have the hairy balls resign a guy with three consecutive > .900 OPS seasons. Balls. Nutsack.


posted by Junior  # 1:54 PM
Thanks to Craig for this one.
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