FIRE JOE MORGAN: Dismantle the Hall of Fame, Please.

FIRE JOE MORGAN

Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

 

Dismantle the Hall of Fame, Please.

Apparently, Rick Hummel is in the HOF. And here is what he has to say about Tony La Russa's decision not to have the greatest hitting hitter in the history of hitting hit for a pretty good hitter in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded:

La Russa was both wrong and right in how he handled Pujols’ situation.

You are half right.

He basically was wrong in that a player of Pujols’ caliber -- reigning Gold Glover, former Most Valuable Player and batting champion -- should not be considered a utility player, i.e., the last position player available on the bench.

Totally agree. Maybe I should be in the Hall of Fame.

But he was right in not pinch-hitting Pujols in the ninth inning when the NL rallied and had the bases loaded with two out and Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand at the plate.

I cannot wait to hear exactly how you are wrong.

If he had used Pujols in that spot and the NL forced extra innings, he would have been in the position of needing Pujols to go to left field and defensively challenged Alfonso Soriano would have to go to center, with the distinct possibility of having a relief pitcher have to bat for himself in extra innings of an All-Star game.

This is insane. Insane. Flat insane. Dead flat weird insane, and possibly Mad Cow-ridden.

Here is the rationale: if Albert Pujols had pinch hit and tied the game or given the NL the lead, Alphonso Soriano would have to play center, and a pitcher might have to hit for himself. The horror, the horror! Alphonso Soriano not playing the perfectly ideal defensive position?! Webb has to take a few hacks? Run for the hills!!!

No doubt, those would be horrifying, "Hostel"-like NC-17-rated situations. But here's the thing, dumbass: if they happened, it would mean that the game was still happening, too.

If you are one out from elimination, you do your absolute very very best to extend the game. What in the world is the point of saving bullets if you might never get to fire them? Also, as many of you have already pointed out to me (this is an edit), and frankly I am humiliated that I didn't write this to begin with: if Pujols gets any kind of hit -- a thing he is much much much more likely to do than Aaron Rowand in that situation, about-to-be-cited small-sample-sized half-seasons of BA be damned forever to deepest darkest hell -- the NL probably scores two runs and the game is over anyway. Derrek Lee isn't the fastest dude in the world, but he's running on contact. My word, is this dumb.

The rationale for Pujols hitting for Rowand is based on history, because a check of the current averages shows that Pujols, homerless since June 14, is hitting .310. Rowand is hitting .310.

Seriously? Burn the Hall of Fame to the ground. It is worthless.

Albert Pujols is either the best hitter in baseball or he's damn close. He has 266 career HR and he's played in a total of like 65 baseball games. He has a .418 career OBP. And a walk, mind you, ties the game. He is 12 feet tall, and each of his lats weighs 80 pounds. His bat is 60 inches long and is made of Bigfoot's spine. He is a monstrous monster who eats sliders. Not balls that were used to throw sliders, mind you -- he has figured out a way to eat the concept of sliders. The dude hits with a closed stance only because Marty Barrett bet him he couldn't hit with a closed stance like Barrett did and still win the MVP and Pujols did it just to stave off the boredom that had come from solving baseball. He once hit a home run on a hit-by-pitch. He has more hits left-handed than anyone in baseball history has right-handed -- and he is right handed. He completed an MD-PhD at Hopkins in one hour and gave a graduation address (in Greek), and he had to miss a game against the Pirates in 2003, and he still went 2-4 with a double. The home run he hit off Lidge in the NLCS....just now landed, in Banff. He is awesome.

Aaron Rowand has a career .341 OBP and once broke his nose making an awesome catch in center. Neither of these things was useful in facing K-Rod.

You don’t bat for an All-Star player with the game in the balance, unless the second player is the pitcher.

I just hit my own hand with a hammer on purpose to make myself forget I read this.

Fictional 1998 All-Star Game:

Ninth inning, AL down by one, bases loaded, two outs. Ben Grieve strides to the plate. Art Howe leans over to Mike Hargrove.

Howe: Should we hit for Grieve here?
Hargrove: What? The guy's an All-Star!
Howe: Well...yeah. They're all technically "All-Stars." But we have Manny Ramirez on the bench. We could hit Manny for Grieve.
Hargrove: (scoffing) Apparently you've never read the works of Hall of Fame journalist Rick Hummel. Ben Grieve is an All-Star, and you don't hit for an All-Star unless it's a pitcher. Is Grieve a pitcher?
Howe: No.
Hargrove: Go get 'em, Grievey!
Howe: He already fouled out to third. Game's over.
Hargrove: What went wrong?!

And, knowing a little how La Russa’s mind works, you suspect that he didn’t want to generate any ill will by hitting for a Philadelphia player with the Cardinals to open a three-game series there Friday night.

Oh. Well, that makes perfect sense. He didn't want to alienate...another fucking team's fans?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!??!!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!??!!?!??!?!!??!!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!
!?!?

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posted by Ken Tremendous  # 11:36 PM
Comments:
Thanks to Gino for the tip.
 
Reader Ken, and others, have pointed out that what he might mean by not "generating any ill will" is: he didn't want to piss off Rowand and the Phillies themselves. Which is: still insane.
 
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