FIRE JOE MORGAN: Bizarre Ad Hominem Attacks on Non-Traditional Pitcher Continue Unabated


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Sunday, June 03, 2007


Bizarre Ad Hominem Attacks on Non-Traditional Pitcher Continue Unabated

This quotation comes from absolutely out of nowhere in a blog that has become Must-See Internet for everyone who enjoys screaming at computers. Take it away, Guy Who Once Argued That a 4.00 ERA Was Bad and Also Argued That Batting Average Is More Important Than VORP.

Imagine the strength of the Red Sox' rotation if they had the good sense to get rid of 87-year-old Tim Wakefield. The knuckeball act has become dreadfully tedious; even the Yankees own him. He's had some nice moments over the years, but it's time to join the cows and the sheep out on the pasture.

I was curious as to why Jenkins has it in for Wake, so I invited him to come with me to a Sox-Giants interleague game in beautiful AT&T Park. Here's my transcript of that totally real event that happened:

(Ken Tremendous and Jenkins settle into their seats in the Club Level. Ken has one of those awesome cheese-infused sausages they sell; Jenkins, fairly drunk already, holds an egg crate filled with eleven beers and one hot dog. He also has a flask filled with Old Grandad whiskey, and a wineskin overflowing with chablis.)

(For some reason -- and I did not expect this -- he speaks with a slight British accent.)

Bruce Jenkins: My my, what a lovely day.
Ken Tremendous: Yes, it sure is. Careful! Oops...

(Jenkins has spilled six of the eleven beers all over his shirt. He does not seem to notice.)

BJ: Tell me, Mr. Tremendous, is this the first professional baseball game you've ever seen?
KT: Um, no -- I've seen, like, hundreds of -- look out! Oh boy.

(Jenkins has taken a bite of his hot dog; the entire dog squirted out the other end of the bun, falling on his lap. There is now a copious amount of relish and ketchup leaking through his unzipped fly.)

BJ: (gnawing happily on the empty hot dog bun) You were saying?
KT: Yes, um, I've been to hundreds of games.
BJ: (chuckles) Really. Because you being a "web logger" and all, I just assumed that you would spend all your time--
KT: -- in my mom's basement.
BJ: (simultaneously) -- in your mom's basement!!
KT: Very clever.
BJ: Zing! I zinged you, m'boy!
KT: Yes, you did. Well played.
BJ: You web-log all you want, Kenneth. Endulge yourself in imaginary statistics like "VORP," HEEP, SKANK and VLZSKS. I'll be out here in the sun, talking about a little thing I like to call "Runs Batted In." (Belches loudly.)
KT: Okay. So, listen -- about this thing you wrote about Tim Wakefield...
BJ: Oh my, yes. His knuckleball act has become dreadfully tedious. The Red Stockings should put him out to pasture!
KT: He did get roughed up by the Yankees -- a very good hitting club -- and he's struggled recently. But the guy isn't bad. Every year, he's good for 180 innings and a 4.20ish DIPS. Isn't that good for a fourth starter?

(Jenkins stares at me blankly.)

BJ: What did you call me?
KT: (confused) What? I didn't call you anything.
BJ: You listen to me, you rogue! You blackguard! I didn't fight in the Boer War to be insulted by a man who probably still lives in his mom's basement! (chuckles to himself)
KT: I wasn't insulting you. I was just pointing out that no matter what kind of pitch the guy throws, he's a pretty good fourth starter. I mean, the Sox only pay him $4 million a year, and his K/IP ratio is better than Mark Buehrle's.
BJ: Blorrrmp.

(Jenkins has vomited a little. I help him clean off his chin)

KT: There we go. You okay?
BJ: Listen, I don't care what your so-called "statistics" say. The man's act has become dreadfully tedious.

(He produces a partially-eaten grilled cheese sandwich from his waistcoat and washes down the bite with a long draw off the wineskin.)

KT: Yes, you mentioned that. But what--
BJ: I mean, where is the man's fastball?! Where is the challenge pitch? Where is the wicked googly?
KT: Is that...a curveball? Because he throws a curveball occasionally. And no matter what, the guy has had a 100-or-above ERA+ in 13 out of his 15 years. That's pretty good.
BJ: Will you stop spouting statistics, you mom's-basement-dweller?! Where are you even getting this information?
KT: From my Blackberry.
BJ: (eyes light up) A blackberry? Sounds delicious!

(He eats my Blackberry.)

KT: Oh boy.
BJ: (licking fingers) Excellent.
KT: I needed that.
BJ: Look, Ken Tremendous -- if that is your real name!
KT: It's not.
BJ: This game is about traditions, my friend. It isn't called "NumbersBall." It's called "Rounders."
KT: "Baseball."
BJ: And Rounders just isn't Rounders without the sweet smell of the chalk, and the loud crack of rawhide in the Snufflebucket, and the crisp feeling of flerbits in the mrrrrph mrrgggle...

(Jenkins is fast asleep. I gently take the wineskin off his back and wrap him in my new Noah Lowry jersey. The first pitch is thrown, and I settle in to watch a baseball game.)

(Two hours later, Jenkins offers his final salvo...)

BJ: (talking in his sleep) ...Mom's basement.

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posted by Unknown  # 6:03 PM
Reader Andrew G. does our work for us:

Re: Bruce Jenkins' gem about pitchers with ERAs over 4.00 (specifically, 4.29) being lousy.

Noticed this, from Jenkins' column a couple days ago:

"Barry Zito's brilliance was there for all to see, particularly a handful of clowns in the New York media who dismissed Zito as a flake last winter, when the Mets were in the running to sign him as a free agent (between the lines, Zito is about as flaky as an anvil)."

Barry Zito's ERA this year is 4.21, and he's "an anvil."

Tim Wakefield's is 4.24.

The fictional pitcher from Jenkins' Sept. 2005 column had a 4.29.

What the fuck?

An excellent question.
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