Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Saturday, August 04, 2007


Holy Moley

There are no words for how stupid this one is. But I will type some anyway.

Alex Rodriguez stared down Danks, Logan and Bukvich with his mighty MVP lumber, and he might as well have confronted Gibson, Koufax and Feller with an old maid's broom.

He couldn't manage a single in Williamsport right now, never mind a home run in the Bronx. A-Rod is growing A-Fraid of the moment. He's turning this glorious march to 500 homers into an alarming stagger to who knows where.

I just want everyone to take a deep breath. Have a seat. Shake out the tension in your arms. And realize what is happening.

Ian O'Connor is slamming Alex Rodriguez -- murdering him, calling him a 'fraidy cat, and a choke artist -- because he did not hit his 500th career home run within five or so games from when he hit his 499th career home run.

The man is 32. He has 499 career home runs. He hits one 0-21 patch and he's junk.

"An alarming stagger to who knows where." This seems a little dramatic, sir. Since he's the best fucking baseball player in the world. And since as I write this, he has just hit his 500th HR. So, armed with the glorious righteousness of dramatic irony, I now delve into the rest of this jaundiced journalistic hack piece.

Rodriguez went 0-for-4 in the 8-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday night,


and he hasn't gotten a hit in his 21 at-bats since Homer No. 499,


equaling the worst hitless streak of his career. If he doesn't become the youngest player to reach 500 by the end of the Yankees' homestand Sunday, Joe Torre said, "We'll all be in straightjackets."

Or at least A-Rod will be in one. Let's see Scott Boras negotiate his way out of that.

Weird metaphor-reality crossover, but since you posed the challenge, allow me to say that Scott Boras will have absolutely no problem finding Alex Rodriguez well-paid work next year, and if it's not in the Bronx, it is the fault of people like you, dummy.

I hope ARod goes to the Tigers, and in his first game back in the Stadium he hits a ball so hard it shatters the Scott Brosius monument in Monument Park. What's that? There is no Scott Brosius monument? Because he was hopelessly mediocre? Huh.

"I'll hit it sometime before the year ends," A-Rod pledged.

Would he bet $252 million on that?

I will! Oh, please -- bet me. I will borrow that much and bet anyone who wants to bet. Email me, Ian -- I will take your bet of any amount, under any odds.

This time around, Rodriguez's teammates didn't smash eight homers, just five. Thirteen homers in two nights from the Yanks, and not a single one from the slugger who will someday take down Barry Bonds. How preposterous is that?

Pay very close attention when I answer this: it is not preposterous at all. It is just an occurrence. There have been many games of baseball where Hall of Fame players played badly and normally-bad players played well. I know this may be a shock to you, since you have clearly never seen a baseball game.

"You kind of just want to join the parade a little bit," said A-Rod, who insisted he'd be far more concerned if his teammates were losing these games.

What a douchebag, huh? Run him out of town. Him and all his not-caring-about-personal-accomplishments-in-favor-of-caring-about-his-team's-performance. Selfish prick.

A-Rod spent the day at the Manhattan store, Niketown, where 500 chanting kids came to celebrate 499 homers. He spent the night at the Bronx arena, Yankee Stadium, where 53,342 chanting kids and adults failed to chase that number, 499, right out of his otherwise charmed life.

One of the worst paragraphs I have ever read. Tortured, sweaty, unnecessarily adjective-heavy, overly-numerical, analogically forced. A perfect "0.0."

His batting average is slip-sliding away, that .300 standard like a fading friend in the rearview mirror.

I should really bookmark the Alex Rodriguez BP player page. I keep thinking it's not worth it, because these brain-damaged articles will have to taper off eventually, but they don't, and now here I am again, taking the long way to get to the information that proves how dumb these people are.


EqA: .328 (league rank: 2)
VORP: 58.5 (league rank: 1)
WARP3: 12.1

His batting average is under .300? Murder him. Seriously. That's the only proportionate response to someone's batting average falling under .300. Even if, as these numbers show, he is either the best or the second best (by a hair, behind Magglio) hitter in the league.

Those special baseballs the clubhouse boys keep handing to the umps keep landing in the bad guys' gloves.

"It's a festive atmosphere every time I go up to the plate," Rodriguez said.

And then he kills the party, like an angry parent pulling the plug on the speakers.

He kills the party, by not hitting home runs on cue. He kills it intentionally, is the implication, I believe. Because he is selfish. A selfish, selfish jerk, who is also the best player in baseball, but screw him, for not hitting home runs when Ian O'Connor demands he should.

Maybe it's time to aim those flashing cameras at Shelley Duncan, who is only 494 homers away from matching A-Rod.

Oh please do this, New York. Please. Please anoint Shelly Duncan your new hero. Please please please. It will be so funny to watch -- please, I beg of you, put your eggs in the Shelly Duncan basket. Please please please please please?

Maybe it's time for Rodriguez to realize he'd better forget his place in history, and remember there's still time for this year to get as ugly for him as last year did.

So now, this is all happening because ARod is obsessed with his place in history? I thought it was happening because he was a party-pooping choke artist. Get your wild accusations straight, please.

Rodriguez descended into a grim free-fall in 2006, and bottomed out in Torre's one-and-done postseason lineup, finding his name eighth in the order against Detroit.

A "grim free-fall" that saw him go .358/.465/.691 in September with 8 HR, you dolt. He hit better in the second half than he did in the first half. Do you just not care about facts, or are you making shit up to suit your thesis? I honestly want to know.

He's the sport's most gifted player, and he's working on a $252 million contract that isn't rich enough for his blood.

Greedy greedy greedy. What a greedy greedo. It's greed that is making Alex Rodriguez...what? Play so well? How dare he...perform...according to expectations...? I guess?

A-Rod wants more money, and George Steinbrenner or some star-struck suitor will give it to him.

He should play for free, like Derek Jeter. Or take a massive pay cut to remain with the team, like I'm sure Mariano Rivera will next year. Or take a massive amount of money and then cheat and break down and lie about it and miss two years like Jason Giambi. That guy is a a stud! How dare Alex Rodriguez try to earn the maximum amount of money a man can earn given his skill set. Maybe he should emulate Ian O'Connor, who was offered eleven million dollars a year to be managing editor of the New York Times sports section, but turned it down to write for for free. (Note: this did not happen.)

Why does all of this seem familiar? Oh, right. Because I have had to write entries like this all year, because this stupid article keeps getting written.

But along with his absurd demands come some not-so-absurd expectations.

Why are his demands absurd? I don't understand this. If I were as good as Alex Rodriguez, and someone offered me $252m to play baseball for ten years, I'm pretty sure I would take it.

Rodriguez isn't expected to be a mere regular-season juggernaut. At his prices, he's supposed to knock down some October walls, too.

He's been a miserable failure in the last two postseasons, and he can't afford to make it three in a row. In this context, Rodriguez might be better off missing this year's playoffs.

I'm not going to publish ARod's postseason stats again. I just can't bring myself to do it. It chips off a chunk of my soul every time I have to point out that he hammered the ball in 1999 against the Yankees, or out-hit Jeter in the 2004 ALCS -- no! I'm doing it again! Damn you, Ian O'Connor.

If he has an MVP season and the Yanks finish a game out of the wild card, Rodriguez keeps the runs he scored at the plate and the points he scored in the stands. But if he has an MVP season and flames out again in the first round, Rodriguez loses all credibility as a money player and, perhaps, loses a few opt-out millions to boot.

That's why he is secretly tanking the season, trying to get the Yankees to finish a game out of the WC. You can tell how he's accomplishing this, because he leads the league in most offensive categories. And just hit his 500th homer. Did you know he's only 32? He is! Weird.

Is another October disaster a feasible A-Rod scenario? Yankee fans can only hope Rodriguez's last 21 at-bats don't amount to a sneak peek.

Well, as science has definitively shown, there is a direct correlation between a player's 21 AB previous to reaching an artificial career milestone, and the first 21 AB that player has several months later in post-season play. I wouldn't have guessed that this is true, but it really never fails. (Note: this is not true.)

A-Rod hasn't exactly been a study in poise at the plate. One could argue that his at-bats since hitting Homer No. 499 have simulated the pitcher-batter tension found in the playoffs, even as Torre shoots that theory out of the sky.

One could argue that, I suppose. One could also argue that if you put tinfoil on your dog's head it can talk to aliens.

A-Rod carried a professional approach into the batter's box Tuesday night, when everyone except Steve Balboni and Kevin Maas homered for the Yanks. But his cuts leading into that game were so absurd, Torre said his third baseman would've hacked away at a resin bag had a mischievous pitcher thrown one.

He had a bad game? I want my $252 million back. All of it. Because I paid it. Metaphorically.

Facing the immortal John Danks in the first, A-Rod hit a weak fly to left. He followed up that effort with a slightly deeper fly off Danks in the third, another can of rotten corn.

Asshole. Choker. Selfish. Two AB without a homer. Take your $352 million and shove it up your choke-hole, choker.

In the fifth, facing lefty Boone Logan, Rodriguez slapped a lame grounder to short. In the seventh, facing righty Ryan Bukvich, A-Rod slapped a lame grounder to third.

The single worst performance in the history of baseball. We paid him $452 million for that?! He makes $2.9 billion per swing! Hey ARod -- go fuck yourself. Come back to me when you can hit a HR off Ryan Bukvich at will. What does Ryan Bukvich make? Not as much as ARod, I'll tell you that much. ARod-for-Bukvich, straight-up. Get it done. ARod will clear waivers, since he makes eleventy-six trillion a year. Maybe once the Yankees have a non-ckoker like Bukvich they can win in October.

At least he didn't get under those. The crowd grumbled anyway. It sounded like an early-inning grumble out of the fans' 2006 playbook, which usually called for an all-out jeering by game's end.

Is it possible -- and this might be totally crazy -- but is it possible that they were grumbling because they were just disappointed at not witnessing history? Is it possible, however unlikely, that they actually -- unlike you -- recognize that ARod is the game's best player, and were just sad that they didn't get to tell their friends that they had personally seen the moment when the 32 year-old made history? Maybe?

Lord knows A-Rod's ears can't take another September and October of that.

This is the worst one of these I have ever read.

Congratulations, Alex Rodriguez, on your 500th career home run. And enjoy playing in San Francisco next year. It's a lovely city.

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posted by Unknown  # 12:26 PM
Thanks to reader Anthony for the heads-up.
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