This little back-and-forth between former bungling Mets GM and current bungling ESPN color guy Steve Phillips and current Indians GM Mark Shapiro (who's coming off as competent and intelligent so far) was so absolutely unsurprising it made me laugh out loud:SP: So we saw you on the computer there. Now I played solitaire on my computer in my office. What were you looking at on the computer?
Wonderful. So simple, yet so beautiful. Of course he's being self-deprecating and playing for a laugh -- but seriously, Mets fans, isn't there a not-so-small part of you that believes this is true? I like how cavalier he is about admitting that as the manager of a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll, he had no use for a computer.
I don't know -- e-mail or something? He wasn't fired until 2003. I think he could have at least been on Prodigy or Compuserve or something by then. Newsgroups? Maybe he should've logged onto alt.movaughnfatorreallyfat.fat.cooked.
Shapiro responds with an extremely reasonable answer:MS: Those were minor league box scores from the night before. I think he gave me the injury reports, too. You get those once a week and try and get caught up. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on...
Not included: "You're right, Steve, fuck a computer. They're only good for solitaire and porn, and the special dirty solitaire I downloaded with naked ladies on the cards!"
Throughout the rest of the segment, Shapiro is baited again and again with weird, subtly anti-objective analysis questions. Dan Schulman goes with something like "Don't you have to go with your gut sometimes?"MS: I want to have the information I have back up my gut.
He's more diplomatic than that overall, but well done, Shapiro. Phillips will not be denied, though:
SP: You talked a little bit about the scouting reports and also about statistics. Where do the Cleveland Indians fall in this era where numbers have become more important than maybe the people (and where robots threaten to steal our women and our children)?
Parenthetical was implied, not spoken. Shapiro feints:
MS: We want all the information. We want the best statistical information. We want the best scouting information available. Medical gets overlooked so frequently.
There's a reason the Indians are a well-run franchise and Steve Phillips' main job is to provide us with grist. The sign on his desk at work says
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, FJM GRIST DEPT.
Labels: mark shapiro, steve phillips