FIRE JOE MORGAN: Apologies in Advance


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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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Apologies in Advance

Because the creator of this site is not a professional journalist. He is just a guy who wants ARod to be more respected in New York.

And this is a cause I can get behind. I am a Red Sox fan, and thus, currently, I "hate" ARod. But as you might have read on our site, we feel that his treatment by fans and the NY press is absolutely insane. He is super awesome at baseball, and plenty of sportswriters think that because he has had some bad playoff series he is a headcase who fails in the clutch. The phrase "not a True Yankee" gets thrown around. Please see our Glossary for some thoughts on the phrase "True Yankee."

Point is, AlexRod is straight-up, no foolin', one of the maybe five best offensive players in baseball over the last decade, which lots of people, weirdly, forget.

Anyway, this "Project A13" fellow thinks that all Yankee fans have to do is read "The Secret" and bend some spoons with their minds and maybe rub some crystals on the back of a cauldron filled with jackal testicles and then maybe, just maybe, Alex Rodriguez can become good at baseball.

Maybe, if they use their positive vibes and Healing Vectors and Optimism BrainPlasma Rays extra effectively, he'll even become as good at baseball as he was in 2005, when he won the MVeffingP Award for being the best baseball player. As a member of the Yankees.

There is just something contagious about positive energy, and even though it can't be put into words readily, or explained in a lab with science, we've all felt its effects at Yankee Stadium in the past.

Yes. Going to baseball games is very fun, and when the crowd gets into the game, it is very exciting. Why do Yankee fans often feel like Yankee Stadium, which is a 1970's-remodeled shithole, is governed not by the laws of physics but by White Magik?

Think post-9/11, in the 2001 World Series, when every fan's thoughts were focused squarely on baseball—they had to be—and how amazing their pinstriped heroes could make them feel. In back-to-back games, the Yankees hit two game-tying, two-run home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs each time (what are the odds?), a feat never before witnessed in World Series play.

This happened...because of positive energy? Not because BK Kim threw like 100 pitches in 2 days? Not because the hitters who hit them were good. Not because sometimes: crazy shit happens, especially in the wonderfully complex and unpredictable world of baseball? It all happened because of positive feelings.

For the record, I was living in New York at that time. Those HR were amazing. They brought tears to my eyes. They almost made me happy, which I never thought any Yankee triumph could do. People in New York were happy, for the first time in two very terrible months. It was wonderful, for the city. It did not happen because of magic.

Derek Jeter went on to hit an extra-innings, walk-off home run in the first of these two games, and Alfonso Soriano had the game-winning hit in the second. Euphoria rained down in the Bronx.

Anyone remember who eventually won that World Series? Who? The Diamondbacks? Huh. Maybe the Yankee Fan Brain-Energy Sparkle Photons couldn't penetrate the warm desert air.

Want more examples?

Yes, please.

Think Tino's upper-deck Grand Slam versus San Diego in the 1998 Series. Or Chad Curtis' two Game Three, World Series home runs in 1999.

The Yankees were very good at baseball in the late 1990's. Every good thing that happens in your home park is not due to Dark Arts.

Mariano's three Series-clinching saves in three consecutive October Classics—also a feat never before seen.

This is what we in the tangible human world of cold mathematics call: a Cherry-Pick.

And the list could go on and on for this extraordinary stretch of time, such as David Justice's clutch home run off Arthur Rhodes in the 2000 playoffs, and let's not forget the back-to-back perfect games pitched by David Wells in 1998, and David Cone in 1999.

These are "back to back" because they happened in consecutive years? That's not what "back to back" means. You can't say that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz hit back-to-back home runs on May 13, 2003 and August 18 2004. Or that Bill Clinton and George Bush won back-to-back elections. Or that France and America won back-to-back revolutions. They both threw prefect games, in Yankee Stadium. It was all very exciting.

Hang on a second. Oh my God. Their names are both named David. Maybe everyone in The Bronx should change their names to David!!!!!!

Just like the media can create waves of negative energy to sell its newspapers and ad space, fans like you and me can create waves of positive energy that carry our athletes to heights never thought possible.

Nope. No. Sorry. Untrue. Opposite of true. Baloney. Fake fake fake silly dumb no. Bad nope ugh stop dumb silly no no no.

It is super fun to go to baseball games. It is one of my favorite things in the world. And I certainly believe that it is exciting and fun for players to hear -- and feel -- that the crowd is roaring their approval. But for the love of god, man. Get a grip.

Think of all those insane moments, where the opposition and their fans were left staring out onto the field, or at their TV sets, in dazed, dejected, bewilderment—mouths hanging to the floor—while the Yankees danced, and jumped, and hugged, shaking their heads...the Yankees' Mystique...the Ghosts of Yankees Stadium...the Aura of New York. All of these events can be explained, in large part, because everyone involved believed they would happen—they just knew the Yankees would come through—players and fans alike.

I hate to be "this guy." But did everyone think the Yankees would lose Games 6 and 7 in 2004? Did you think you would lose to the Tigers? Did you think you would lose to the Angels?

Here are some words I would use to describe the Yankees' players and fans after those defeats:

"dazed, dejected, bewilderment—mouths hanging to the floor—while the [other team/their fans] danced, and jumped, and hugged, shaking their heads."

And read this again:

"All of these events can be explained, in large part, because everyone involved believed they would happen—they just knew the Yankees would come through—players and fans alike."

Those events can be explained because the Yankees were good at baseball. It had little/nothing to do with the fans in the stands. Sorry.

It can be that way again. All we need is a spark.

Plus two more good starters, a reliable lefty set-up guy, a good year out of Cano, quick injury come-backs from Abreu and Wang, a 75% PECOTA year from Posada, and another 30 rounds of HGH for Giambi. And Roger Clemens. And Phil Hughes.

Oh -- and a spark. You need a spark.

To a certain extent, these moments still happen for the Yankees, even if a ring is not the ultimate reward. For example, Hideki Matsui's opening day grand slam in 2003, in the snow.

This is an event worth singling out? This is a "special moment" that resulted from Yankee Magic? The guy hit a grand slam. He's a good hitter. Fernando Tatis hit two in one inning once. Was that because of fans?

Or, my personal favorite, the 2003 ALCS Game 7 comeback against Pedro, punctuated by Georgie's game-tying double in the eighth, and signed, sealed and delivered by Aaron Boone in the bottom of the eleventh—the definition of insanity.

Oh, I beg to differ, chumly. The definition of insanity is believing that fans and their Positive Energy Beams caused a Tim Wakefield knuckleball to hang. Or that Yankee Stadium, and not Pedro's exhausted arm, or Grady Little's complete and utter inability to manage baseball games, caused those hits to fall in. That, my good man, is the definition of insanity.

The problem today is that these moments are happening less and less frequently, especially in the postseason, and we the fans are getting more and more angry—a frustrating cycle headed in the wrong direction.

Yes. The problem is not an aging roster and terrible trades and a lack of a farm system that plagued the team for the last five years and Jason Giambi's steroids/pituitary tumor and losing Andy Pettitte and playing ARod out of position and giving Tony Womack like 400 AB one year and insisting Bernie can still play CF and Hideki Matsui breaking his wrist and no pitching depth and a crappy bullpen. The problem -- and why won't anyone listen to this guy?! -- is a Cyclical Downtrend in Forward-Thinking Optimism that spawns Grumpy Beams that are Radiated Outward from the Happy Helping Mechanisms (the stands). Haven't you guys ever seen baseball? Or learned science?

This is the problem when a city becomes conditioned on excellence, as the Yankees of the late 90's definitely conditioned their fans. We stop believing good things will happen, and start expecting them to—a major difference. Belief, in its purest form, is a measure of confidence...of faith.

Expectation is a measure of entitlement, which is not nearly as endearing a quality, is it?

No, it is not. But even less endearing is: lunacy.

I really don't want to be a killjoy. I like the humanistic element of baseball fandom. I often do not move from my seat if the Red Sox have a rally going. But: and this is key: I do not actually believe that my actions affect those of the players on the field. How is it possible for me to differentiate between superstition and the actual doings of men I have never met? Because -- and this is my secret -- I am a sentient human.

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posted by Unknown  # 8:59 PM
A very very very special tip of the cap to reader W.A. for the link.
As reader Ian points out, someone needs to direct this dude to Project A13 and tell him: this is what "New Age" means.
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