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, April 22, 2008


The Big Dead

Instead of "Hurt," get it? You guys do get it? You're giving me a raise? You guys are the best.

It's not me saying he's dead, though -- it's Gerry Fraley. I think he'll be the Big .830 OPS or So. Fraley is convinced that the man's arms have run out of what a Super Nintendo game instruction manual might call Ultimate Hit Power. He also sort of hates him as a person.

Here, you should just read this thing:

Self-absorbed Frank Thomas smelled a rat --

Bang! Is there a word for Internet-character-assassinating someone? E-slamming? iFuckage? It's not "pwned." Do not say it's "pwned." Anyway -- Fraley just www.crucified Thomas, and we're six words in.

-- when a rapid sequence of events led to Toronto releasing him. Thomas claimed the Blue Jays benched him on Saturday -- and subsequently released him on Sunday -- to prevent him from getting enough plate appearances to guarantee his $10 million salary for next season.

I'd say this is 100% accurate. How could saving $10 million not factor into anyone's decision about anything? If Mexican uberbillionaire Carlos Slim gets his bathroom re-grouted and the grouter is like, "That'll be 10 million two hundred thirty-six dollars," Carlos Slim would be all like, "You said it would be just two hundred thirty-six dollars no way what the fuck?!" And he's Mexican uberbillionaire Carlos Slim. The last guy who should care about money.

The point is, the Blue Jays could save some serious scratch by hoping Thomas got hurt or simply denying him the at bats. Why wouldn't they consider this?

"The Big Hurt" always has been unable to see beyond his own situation.

Yes. What a class-A Selfish Sally, caring about 10 million dollars. He ought to be given a stern talking-to, this Large Injury gentleman.

A year ago, the Jays could afford to wait as Thomas found his way out of a slow start and finished with 26 homers and 95 RBIs.

So you're saying he started slow last year...and yet he finished with very solid all-around numbers? I don't know, isn't it possible THE VERY SAME THING COULD HAPPEN AGAIN?

Last year Thomas hit .250 in April and .193 in May, but he kept walking and he kept hitting for power when he made contact. This year he's hitting .167 so far, but he's walking and hitting for power (3 home runs, tied for most on the team).

We're talking about 60 at bats, people. Nate McLouth has a 1.111 OPS. It's so early John Kruk is calling 40 wins for Randy Johnson.

They do not have that luxury this season. The reality, which Thomas does not recognize, is that he represented a hindrance to the club.

After 60 at bats, you're willing to make that call. David Ortiz was negative 6 for his first 60 this year. It's so early the Washington Nationals haven't played an official game yet (Fake Ed. Note -- fact check needed).

Thomas was a deadweight. He was hitting only .167 with three homers and 11 RBIs. Nothing indicated that Thomas, five weeks from his 40th birthday, was going to break out of the slump.

Other than the three home runs and the eleven walks. In 2006, Frank Thomas hit .190 in April with five home runs and seven walks. There was no indication this 37-year-old man was anything but completely toasted bread. He finished the year with 39 freaking home runs and a .926 OPS (and 114 RBI if you're into that sort of thing, which I assume Gerry Fraley is).

In his last 35 at-bats with Toronto, he had only four hits -- all singles -- and one RBI. Those few times Thomas reached, he




clogged the bases.

And now we're talking about 35 at bats. During which Thomas reached base 8 times. Not good, certainly, but not exactly the kind of Vladivostok-cold stretch that would compel you to release one of the greatest hitters of the past twenty years.

Except that -- gasp -- he clogged the bases, of course. Drop the bum.

With Thomas as the designated hitter, Toronto received little production from a vital spot in American League lineups.

Sorta like Boston the first fifteen games. I think they released Ortiz, though. Let me check

Yep, they did.

The Jays had already dropped him from batting cleanup last season to fifth this year.

Fifth! They outright released their number five hitter! The more Fraley argues against Frank, the more I think dropping him was a big mistake. The Fraley Effect, I guess.

Releasing Thomas puts the Blue Jays in position to craft a more suitable lineup. They will be a better club offensively and defensively without him.

Last year, of guys with more than 400 at bats, Frank Thomas led the Jays in:

Home Runs
Adjusted Batting Runs
Batting Wins

He was 39 years old for the majority of the season. But now, at the age of 39-almost-40, after 60 lousy at bats, he's worthless. Worse than worthless -- he makes other guys sad!

Also, replacing Thomas in the clubhouse with Scott Rolen, who's on track to return mid-May from a spring training finger injury will change the Jays' internal dynamics for the better. Rolen understands how to establish a productive atmosphere.

See? Thomas puts up team-killing RBI, Rolen puts up motivational posters with pictures of eagles and words like "INTEGRITY." Stick with Thomas if you want baseball. Rolen's more of an atmosphere guy -- Glade plug-ins, incense, and oh, he's got a great eye for wallpaper patterns.

Thomas never embraced the obligation of setting a tone for an entire team. That the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005 when he was not around did not speak well of Thomas.

Revised Ingredients for a World Series Championship:

Strong starting pitching
Lights-out bullpen
Timely hitting
Lack of Frank Thomas

When Thomas clears waivers this week, he will become a free agent available for the pro-rated minimum. If Thomas expects a deluge of calls from teams eager to add him, he will be disappointed again. The Big Hurt is the last to realize that he is finished.

You're 0 for your last 4! You're licked, Hurt! Take a seat and watch Rolen color-coordinate. He's a wizard with paint samples.

I'm thinking about getting some cash together and signing Frank Thomas to play for my new independent team, the Bloggytown Basecloggers. We're going to lead the league in home runs and our clubhouse is going to smell like shit.

Labels: , ,

posted by Junior  # 12:02 AM
Dude. We have a "clog the bases" tag now. Use it.
Two things:

Four thousand of you wrote in to mock Fraley for saying cutting Thomas, a DH, would help the Jays defensively. His point was that Adam Lind would be called up from AAA to play left field, and that Lind is superior defensively to the current LF platoon of Shannon Stewart and Matt Stairs. This is my fault -- I didn't copy and paste the entire article, so unless you clicked on the Fraley link (and for this I don't blame you) you wouldn't have read that stuff. Apologies for the cherry-picking.

Second, many of you also pointed out that Scott Rolen basically had to be escorted out of St. Louis by security because of his feud with Tony LaRussa. I still say the man smells nice and brings his teammates cupcakes on their birthdays.
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