Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Grim Reaper

Last night Arizona pitcher Jason Grimsley was busted by federal agents for possession of human growth hormone and steroids. Why is this relevant? Because Dan (and other media types) have droned on and on about how baseball players who have used such drugs weren't until recently breaking any rules.

This is just more evidence that said scribes are stuck, perhaps hopelessly, in a black hole of awareness.

Major League Baseball may have its own rules. But those dictates do not obviate the laws of the nation, and it would be novel if the media quit acting to the contrary.


ObjectiveBruce said...

Nothing better on a rainy Saturday than looking at the cartoons. Which brings me here. Which brings me to the absolute mush that is this posting.

Gee, do you think major league baseball would take action against someone breaking the controlled substance laws? Do you think that complaints about baseball's "rules" letting the doped-up get off just might be about the need for testing, to find out if people are, in fact, breaking "the laws of the nation," since without such "rules," it would be impossible to suspend a player for breaking "the laws of the nation" based on suspicion.

The quality of the media criticism here has always been shallow, but now we find that it is mercifully sparse as well -- 11 times in a month. Clearly the novelty is wearing off. Perhaps the interlude between columns could be used for corrections to some of the more absurd, and discredited, items that have appeared in the past.

mike_b1 said...

Bruce, you are truly an idiot.

It's pretty hard to play major league baseball while sitting in a federal prison.

As for the amount of content of late, well, your buddy Dan has pretty much stopped writing. I'd like to think my blog has helped contribute to that.

fadedredsoxhat said...

Hmm, CHB could also stand for Crack Head Bruce.

jenny said...

CHB has a new blurb today, about a paragraph long, that I just have to comment on. The question is, should the Sox trade for more pitching?

"It's hard to address this question without looking at the Bronson Arroyo trade in the rearview mirror."

Oh, shit. Please, no. Dan playing Monday morning quarterback. If there is one thing you cannot do with trades, it's exactly this. "Well, given what we know now, we shouldn't have done this!" Guess what, fucktard, nobody here is clairvoyant.

"Many of us (me, for one) applauded the deal at the time, but right now it looks like a blunder that has put the Sox into a difficult position."

Ah, here we go again. "I supported it before, but now I don't, because it didn't work!" There really was nothing wrong with the Arroyo trade. You can't say Arroyo would be 8-2 over here, because he wouldn't be. His stuff is no good in the AL. And Pena carried the team while Crisp was out. It was a good move. It doesn't stop being a good move 2 weeks later.

"Simply put, Theo Epstein made a bad read of the David Wells situation and now the Sox are paying the price."

I forgot the time-honored axiom that's been in effect since November: When in doubt, blame Theo. In this situation, it makes no sense. Theo is a very smart guy. He knows a lot of things. But he is not a doctor. When he gets sick, he does not treat himself. So why is a misread on Wells suddenly his fault rather than the medical staff that was in charge of interpreting the situation and presenting those results to Theo? Theo's not the one doing the interpreting, Dan, he's not a doctor.

"And yes, they should attempt to trade for Dontrelle Willis, or another established young starter."

Translation: sell the farm. No thanks. The farm will be helping us for years to come. Willis has been shaky this year. Who else is selling? Established young starters are hard to come by, Dan, it's not like you can just go get one. We have Papelbon, Lester, and Hansen. We'll be fine.

"There was a lot of chest-thumping last winter about the Sox having a glut of pitching, but the old ``you can never have enough pitching" axiom applies here. And now they need to get more."

True. Obvious. Stupid. They may need more. They may not, depending on what the deal is with the aforementioned Papelbon, Lester, and Hansen as the year progresses. You can't do deals like this until the deadline, anyway. So just sit back, shut up, and stop second-guessing, Dan, because you're really no good at it.

fadedredsoxhat said...

I totally agree, Jenny. CHB's commentary was by far the most knee-jerk of the five in today's "Quick Shots" column.

The Chief said...

Why do people think that bringing Hansen, Lester et al up somehow will retard their development.

Don't they realize Beckett and Schilling have been pitching in the majors since they were 21?

jenny said...

I dunno, Chief, but my reaction to that is really, "The right pace is whatever Theo & Co. say it is." So far, the results with Youkilis, Papelbon, Delcarmen, et al have borne their strategy out, so I tend to trust their judgment. If they screw somebody up, that'll be another matter, but so far, they've done great work, so I would tend to just follow what they say. But I'm a Theo-Cherington-Hoyerophile.

fadedredsoxhat said...

You're right, Chief. The Red Sox can't fall into the same trap that the Yankees fell into. They can't get nervous about how their own prospects will fare in the Boston spotlight. I think most Sox fans are hungry to see a team built from within and will cut the team the appropriate amount of slack while they do.

Anonymous said...

How many times has OB posted since he swore he would never return?

The Couch Potato said...

It's interesting to note that Beckett made his major league debut in another system. Given some of his difficulties around making adjustments in both his pitches and his location, is it fair to speculate that he would have benefitted from a little more seasoning at the minor league level? Or are his present issues more of a function of coming over to the AL? I'm asking because he did well the first time around against teams this season but on the second & third go-round, he's been hit early & often.

jenny said...

I've always wondered if there's a difference between AL and NL minor leagues the way there is at the big league level. Nobody's ever given me a satisfactory answer. Maybe I should do some research.

In a CHB-related note, I'm hoping against hope that he doesn't write a column/review about that book that's coming out in July, in which I'm sure he'll be mentioned, because it's supposed to explain why Theo left. I'm fully expecting it to retrigger a shitstorm smaller in scale to the one we went through in November, and it would be very helpful if CHB would keep his stupid self out of it. And yes, I've already ordered a copy. I love gossip.

The Couch Potato said...

Jenny - I haven't heard about this book! What's the title and who is the author? Thanks in advance for the info.

jenny said...

No problem, potato (that's fun to type!). It's called Feeding the Monster, by Seth Mnookin. You can pre-order on Amazon (it comes out July 11).

In other bad news, Chris Snow, the first decent beat writer the Globe has had in ages, is leaving the paper to go work as the director of hockey operations for the Minnesota Wild (WTF? Qualifications?). This sucks, as it has to mean more CHB.

The Chief said...

I saw that too, about Snow leaving. How does one go from baseball beat writer at a newspaper to running operations for an NHL team?

As far the CHB effect, I would be surprised if it made any difference. He clearly lacks the stamina to keep up the pace.

The Couch Potato said...

Thanks, Jenny!

Re: Chris Snow - the Globe reported: "Snow had worked for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2003-2004, covering the Wild." He also interned at the LA Times as well as at the Globe before graduating from Syracuse.

He is a very good writer - I was impressed to learn that he's only 24.

jenny said...

Are we going to get a separate critique of today's latest bullshit, Chief, or should I comment on it here?

Anonymous said...

I am a BSMW member/regular poster, and I had to vent about Shaughnessy's tripe this morning. Another poster there suggested that I send this on to you, so I'm doing so (If you want to check, the original post is on page 1 or 2 of today's BSMW Forum).


A few observations on Danny Boy's column today (some of them have been made before, but like a good Grey Poupon list, getting everything in one place is cathartic...).

1.) If Snow is a colleague sitting in the chair to his left, why didn't Dan interview him? He er, appropriates the story about Snow remembering his old Garden seats with his dad from Snow's only writing on his new post. Unless that two-sentence vanilla quote about "thinking outside the box and liking their vision" was said to Dan (and it sounds like either a press release or an overheard bit of nothing to me), Shaughnessy spent an entire column on Chris Snow without ever getting an original quote. Even though the guy was sitting directly to his left. Astonishing not only in its laziness, but as continuing proof that no one will talk to the chinless backstabber. By the way, I think that Snow quote came from when (as we learn a paragraph or two later) Snow was politely answering questions from the Twin Cities' writers.

2.) The Sox players' quotes were kind of perfunctory. See point above.

3.) "'s easy to see why Risebrough was impressed." Actually, I don't see it. The whole angle of this story is what kind of jump is it to go from baseball beat writer to hockey Director of Ops. Talking to Risebrough or any other Wild executive should be a critical part of the story. But it wasn't there -- just a usual Shaughnessy blow-off comment that tries to hide the fact that he didn't do any work on the story.

4.) I agree with the comment that he made up the Manny quote, and can already hear him snorting and shaking his head when called on it, "Can't you recognize when a writer is trying to be funny?"

5.) In the laundry list of people who were sportswriters of one kind or another before taking ML front office jobs, he never goes beyond that: making a list. Were these guys young when they went to the front office? Were they successful? Were their writing careers kind of something they did as a way to get involved with pro sports or were they committed professional reporters who were brought to the other side, sort of like Ron Nesson? In other words, what is the context of these names? Answer: there is no context, and until Google or Lexis/Nexus can cough that up, Globe readers will continue to get lists without any real meaning.

6.) Lazy Man's Cliche Toybox always uses "ink-stained wretches" and "scribe" to describe writers, particularly newspaper writers. Any middle-school newspaper editor would have circled those two descriptions and wrote something along the lines of "C'mon! TRY to be a little original!" in the margins.

7.) How long do you think he's been hoarding that "Theo couldn't wait to try to impress me!" story? We haven't seen the last of it, I'm sure.

8.) The snarky reference to the "block party/bacchanalia" that he imagines would greet news of his own departure is just more idiot posturing: these spoiled players don't like me because I tell it like it is." It's an old trick perfected by Howard Cosell. But the truth is, sometimes people don't like or respect you because you're a lazy, self-pitying, smug piece of dog **** who is inexplicably coddled by the Sullivans and Barnicles of this town.

9.) IMHO, I have now spent more time on this post than Shaughnessy did on his column and I think it reads better, too.

jenny said...

Especially grating was that paragraph in the middle where CHB just had to bring up Theo's "rip job" on the Yale football coach.

Dan, a lengthy, well-considered piece that just happens to come to a controversial conclusion is not a "rip job." A perfunctory, ill-considered pile of crap whose initial aim is to take someone down is a "rip job." You write one every day, you should know.

Also, it is painfully apparent that the entire point of that paragraph was to point out that CHB knew Theo when he was only 19, making him superior to Theo by patronizing, condescending default. One of those, "I was writing about baseball before you were born, son!" moments that drives young people like me crazy. Oh, and he wrote it his freshman year, Dan, which you pointed out in another column (this has been in at least 5 columns to my memory), so he was actually 18. Mad math skills. Look, you're even more superior now! And Snow is 24, so you're better than him, too! Oh, wait a minute, no, you're not.

Also interesting: he never compliments Chris Snow directly. I can barely tell what he thinks. He puts in complimentary quotes from other people, and possibly implies that he agrees with them, but there are moments where the "WTF did this kid do to get a position like that? What about me?" mentality comes shining through. I kind of wish it had been CHB going to work for the Wild. Since nobody gives two shits abotu the NHL, he would have faded into oblivion, and we'd still have the only good beat writer at the Globe on the staff.

fadedredsoxhat said...

I'm expecting "objectivebruce" to air out Chris Snow's dirty laundry on this page at any moment.