Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday Miscellany

* Despite being presented with statistical evidence strong enough to justify a preemptive invasion of Iran, some New York Post hack and a bunch of chucklehead Yankee fans refuse to believe that Derek "Jeets" Jeter is actually one of the shittiest defensive shortstops in baseball. Or that A-Rod was one of the best in the game before being shifted to third. But Jeets wins gold gloves, right? He's gotta be good! A random selection of Yoda-isms from the Bronx:

"I don't know what they're smoking down at Penn," said Yankees fan Mike.

Birch, 32. "That's preposterous. I completely disagree. Jeter's a clutch player."

"It's ridiculous," said fan Jay Ricker, 22. "Jeter is all-around awesome. He's better than A-Rod any day. Character has a lot to do with it. He's out there for his teammates, not just himself. He does it for the good of the team. That's the kind of guy you want on the field..."

This one is a bit rich, seeing as how Jeter is a bit over half way through a 10-year $189 million contract:

Ricker added that "A-Rod's only out for the money. For him it's not about baseball, it's just about banking."

God love you, Yankees fans, because no one is going to ever accuse you of being smart.

* Speaking of smart, you have to give it to baseball beat writers in Boston. I have family ties in Beantown and have been down there a few times, taking in a couple of games at mouldy old Fenway. The best and easiest comparision for our readers as to how Bostonians view their ballclub is that this is a franchise that might be loved unconditionally even more than an unnamed Toronto NHL franchise. The Bosox dominate the city, conversation, shop space, etc.; there's even a massively popular local lottery in which the winner gets not cash, mind, but a lifetime pair of tickets for every Yankees-Red Sox tilt at Fenway. That's devotion.

Back to the journos. Since the market is so competitive, Bosox writers constanly strive to be witty, (painfully?) verbose, intelligent, and insightful. I don't read the Boston papers regularly, but when I do I usually find their work to be of the highest quality. Here's an enjoyably balanced take on the Jays chances for 2008 from Sunday's Globe. Notice how in contrast to most other previews one encounters on the internet, players names are spelled correctly, strengths and weaknesses are duly and objectively noted, spring training story lines are clearly mapped out, and at no point does the dreaded plague of "homerism" creep in.

* Results of the Southpaw's first poll are in! You, a kangaroo court of our friends, have decided that Richard Griffin is d) a visionary of talents surpassed only by L. Ron Hubbard. You give people democracy and they vote in a Hamas governement, I should have seen this coming. Give me the steady, guiding hand of Comrade Stalin any day of the week.

Thanks for participating!

-- Johnny Was

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