FIRE JOE MORGAN: Unfunny Hyperbole


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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Unfunny Hyperbole

Somewhere along the way, bad sportswriters got together and decided that simply making crazy overstatements or predictions counted as being funny. Sort of like the stand-up comedian who tries to skate by on being "outrageous" or "saying what you're afraid to say." I hate those guys.

This piece by Art Thiel from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is the epitome of that unfunny hyperbole. It's not just the opposite of funny, it's profoundly weird and pointless that I'm almost scared it was published in a newspaper that people pay money for.

Mariners must beat the A's, or it's over

Already, you have to assume this thing is a joke, right? Unfortunately, it's an endless, endless joke that goes on for what seems like 10,000 words.

Forecasts for the start of any new Major League Baseball season are always filled with uncertainty.

Not this week in Seattle, pally. No nebulous knee-knocking here.

The entire Mariners season will be decided in the opening series against the Oakland A's.

It keeps going like this. Really.

No need to wait until Memorial Day, July 4, the trading deadline, Labor Day or any other traditional seasonal milestones for measuring progress.

All are irrelevant in 2007.

Three games. Three days. Four possible outcomes.

If the Mariners sweep the A's -- Mariners go to the World Series.

If the Mariners win the series 2-1 -- A contending team with a real shot at the division title.

If the Mariners lose the series 1-2 -- Gather into the basement the elderly, the children and bring some bannock and hardtack.

What is the point of this? Honestly? I can't think of a reason why anybody would continue to read on after this point in the column other than to keep copying and pasting sections of it into a sports media criticism blog.

If the A's sweep the Mariners -- The cataclysm, as predicted in the movie "Ghostbusters":

"Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria."

You included an entire paragraph from Ghostbusters in your column about the Mariners?! Wait -- it gets crazier.

Not to put too fine a point on it, or anything ...

If the A's sweep the biggest opening series in Mariners history, fans can save the cosmos some trouble by driving down Fourth Avenue South to Costco for the 45,000-pack of hara-kiri blades.

Oh-for-three, and Russian winter starts here Friday, broken by patches of morning eruptions from Krakatoa.

I am starting to think that I am the one who is crazy. We're still talking about the opening series between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. This is a baseball column.

Nothing has been more intensely urgent since the paternity line formed for Anna Nicole's baby. This team, in this circumstance, is the personification of the Rev. Leroy and the Church of What's Happenin' Now. No green-bananas outfit here, baby.

Seriously. WHAT THE FUCK. I am scared. Art Thiel's family: if you are reading this, I think he is in trouble. Help him. He is not well.

These Mariners are so in the moment that they nearly will be out of date before today's national anthem, which, by the way, better damn well be sung by Mick Jagger, accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma and backed by the New York Symphony Orchestra.

This is no time for KazooKlub.

The joke band name he came up with was KazooKlub.

Or don't you remember 2-17? That was the season-series result between the A's and Mariners last season.

It was the most lopsided series in the history of the American League since the start of divisional play in 1969, out-failed in MLB annals only by the 1974 Padres against the Braves and the 1986 Pirates against the Mets (both 1-17).

In an era of parity, that kind of disparity borders on the pathologically pathetic.

Alliteration, see? FUNNY. Just like "nebulous knee-knocking" earlier. Art Thiel loves the English language.

Last year, the A's were the organ grinder, the Mariners the monkey. The A's were George Bush, the Mariners were Tony Blair. The A's were Penn, the Mariners were Teller.

Penn doesn't make Teller do things. They have a mutual respect.

Not since Moe last frying-panned Curly have we seen such a cringe-inducing tribute to dope-slapping.

Cannot parse.

That's why this series is so important for the Mariners. The 2006 bleakness was so overwhelming that it must be stopped, starting this week, before it gets a chance to reproduce. Once the spores spread, all is lost, and Kansas City's Gil Meche will come to town and pitch a no-hitter.

I suppose some crank among the readership will say I'm exaggerating the importance of the series, reminding me that there will remain 159 games. Well, thanks for that, Alex Trebek. Let me save some time by having you talk to the hand while I explain.

Mind spinning. Alex Trebek ref. "Talk to the hand." Where am I? Thirsty. Incoherent ramblings of an unfunny madman.

Insane people are usually funnier than this.

This isn't just "Git 'er done," an expression so yesterday. This is "Git 'er done -- yesterday."

Why is "talk to the hand" acceptable but "git 'er done," a much more recent execrable catch phrase, outdated? Is "so yesterday" an intentional Hillary Duff reference? This article makes me feel like vultures are eating my brain.

Hey, Mariners players. No pressure. Deep breath. Relax. Cue the tinkly piano music from the background of the Masters broadcast.


See the ball. Hit the ball. Catch the ball.

Beat the A's.

Or it's over.

I skipped like six paragraphs where Art Thiel talked about cutting some minor league guys. Was that the point of the column? I don't even care anymore. Nothing -- not even cutting mediocre 24-year-old prospect Michael Garciaparra -- warrants the rampant insanity of the other 80% of the piece.

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