FIRE JOE MORGAN: Rod Serling, Tiger Killer


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Monday, April 07, 2008


Rod Serling, Tiger Killer

I love/hate puns, so first of all, Lynn Henning and/or the editor in charge of writing Lynn Henning's headlines, congratulations/condolences on

Opening Weak: Will it end?

the title to your atrocious article on the Detroit Tigers' early struggles.

DETROIT -- A handful of things have conspired to make Opening Week a mini-disaster for the Tigers.

I feel bad for calling the article atrocious. Was that too harsh? How about poorly thought out, ill-researched, illogical and wholly unsatisfying? Or poopy-pantsy? Yes, let's go with poopy-pantsy.

One by one, here are some problems the Tigers are facing in the wake of Friday's 8-5 loss to the White Sox that didn't go over particularly well with Comerica Park's fans:

1. The team "doesn't look right"

The number one problem, I repeat, is "The team 'doesn't look right'" (unnecessary quotation marks sic).

Doctor: I'm afraid you're going deaf.
Patient: What's the diagnosis?
Doctor: Your ears...they don't look right.
Patient: Is there anything you can do?
Doctor: No. Once ears start not looking right...[shakes head]...they'll never look right again.
Patient: Thank you, doctor. This discussion has been eye-opening. Or should I say...ear-opening.
Doctor: [laughs and laughs.] That'll be $35,000.
Patient: What?
Doctor: [yelling] $35,000!
Patient: I heard you, I was just pretending to be deaf, like we talked about earlier. I love joking around.

Where was I? Oh right, a blog about baseball writing.

It's amazing how many shrewd observers have said this the last couple days.

Everyone agrees with me.

An ongoing belief is that Curtis Granderson's absence is taking a toll. The top of the order is out of whack.

If the problem is Curtis Granderson's absence, then might I suggest for your bolded Problem No. 1, instead of "The team 'doesn't look right,'" the more direct "Curtis Granderson is injured"? No? Too logical? You're right. You're the pro here, Lynn. I'm sorry. Sometimes I write and I write, and it just "doesn't look right." I go to my blog-writing teacher, and she says to me, "Junior, you have to be careful that when you write, your words 'do look right.' Then you won't just be a writer, you'll be a 'right'-er!"

Does this post have enough quotation marks and puns yet? Fuck no.

The leadoff spot is a team's ignition switch, and no player ignited a game offensively better than Granderson.

J-School Rule Number One: R. Kelly metaphors are always good baseball analysis.

Remember two summers ago when Placido Polanco was lost for six weeks and how the team struggled? He was the No. 2 hitter,

-- the "Ignition (Remix)," if you will --

but when he disappeared, so did the Tigers' offensive rhythm. Old-timers will remember the same thing happening in 1968 when leadoff man Dick McAuliffe was lost to an August suspension. It was the only time during a World Series season the Tigers struggled.

So you're on record: it was the "rhythm," not the fact that a good player was out and replaced by a worse player. How would the team's rhythm have been if Polanco were replaced by Chase Utley? Or Tito Puente? Or Rahzel? We'll never know, or at least we won't until I release my video game, "What If Placido Polanco Were Rahzel?" XBox 360, First Quarter 2009.

Okay, so your first TigerProblem was nonsense. Let's just move on.

2. Everything is upside down

What? Come the fuck on, Lynn. It "'doesn't look right,'" everything is "upside down." We're talking about a baseball team losing five (now six) games, not the crisis in East Timor or the movie Vanilla Sky. How about some tangibles here? Or maybe an acknowledgment that five (now six) games doesn't necessarily signify all that much?

This happens when a team is caught in an unexpected free fall. Friday's example of how completely twisted the Tigers have been in going 0-4 came in the first inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. Magglio Ordonez poked the first pitch to second for a rally-killing double play.

At least he didn't hit a rally-killing home run. That would have been the worst.

When a team is in rhythm -- go back to the karma Granderson creates -- Ordonez gets a single to right or double up the gap. Or, at the very least, a sacrifice fly.

Curtis Granderson's karma speeds up Magglio Ordóñez' bat. Placido Polanco's volunteer work powers Aquilino López' knuckle-slurve. Whenever Brandon Inge pays his mother a compliment, Adrian Grenier gets an erection.

This will change, guaranteed. But having your leadoff man and No. 3 hitter (Gary Sheffield also is sidelined with a finger injury) out of the lineup is an invitation to a screwy scoring chance.

So you could have written: Problem No. 1 -- Curtis Granderson is injured. Problem No. 2 -- Gary Sheffield is dinged up.

There was more freakiness in the fifth. With runners at second and third and one out, Jacque Jones ripped a grounder to a pulled-in Juan Uribe at second base. Jones was out and Pudge Rodriguez got doubled off second.

Comerica Park officially had morphed into the Twilight Zone. Don't be surprised if it lingers for a few more days or weeks.

There's a confusion of causation here. Mr. Henning believes that a Twilight Zone has spontaneously formed in Comerica Park, causing the Tigers to hit poorly. This is patently ridiculous. Clearly, what has happened is that the Tigers' poor hitting has itself generated a Twilight Zone. This explains why the Tigers' playbook is now a cookbook on how to serve human flesh and why Yorman Bazardo recently underwent surgery to give himself a pig nose.

3. Jason Grilli got lit up

That's it. That's the third problem with the Tigers. That's everything wrong with them. Sure, there are 13 more paragraphs detailing Jason Grilli's struggles, but I'm officially giving up. Just to recap, though, Tigers fans, here are your issues:

1. Start looking right
2. Stop being upside down
3. Jason Grilli

World Series, here we come!

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posted by Junior  # 1:00 PM
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