Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday A.M. Quickie:

A-Rod? Really? This is the best we can do?

The most sensational (if manufactured) story of the day is the coverage of SI's cover story on A-Rod, which says more about the interesting (and increasingly rare) phenomenon of SI's ability to still drive the national conversation than it does about the shock value of the story, which seems both stale and unsurprising:

"A-Rod's teammates were unhappy with him during his slump!" Ooh! Stop the presses!

I'm going to have a longer take on this A-Rod story a little later this morning.

Update (11:37 a.m.): You know what? Nevermind on that "longer take." Does anyone really care about this non-story? Or, let's be honest: About A-Rod in general? He's worse than tolerated and even worse than mocked:

He's mostly ignored.
(Except, obviously, by the media.)

So no special, stand-alone treatment on this story today. The sports world is going to have to come up with something a little more interesting.


Morneau for AL MVP? With Big Pouty sitting in the opposing dugout (3 Ks), Justin Morneau showcased his AL MVP bonafides by racking up a career-high 5 hits, leading the Twins past the Red Sox and within .5 GB Detroit.

Hoffman for NL Cy? Picking an NL Cy winner is like picking over the day-old bread at the store – it's all sort of edible, but nothing is THAT appealing.

Still, right now, my vote would go to Hoffman, who leads MLB in saves (40) AND is 3 saves away from setting the all-time saves record. The capper, of course, is that if the season ended today, his team would be in the playoffs.

Johnson for NL Rookie? Marlins rookie ace Josh Johnson is likely out for the rest of the season. His surprise Cy Young candidacy earlier this summer was fun, but a non-starter. But he's my NL Rookie of the Year. (Can it be a "team" award, to the Marlins?)

The little love-fest between Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams about who's to blame for the ChiSox likely failure to make the playoffs this season is nice, but doesn't change the situation.

Volek traded to Chargers: Remember when Billy Volek was a hot backup? Now he's just insurance, bounced by the Titans' NEW hot backup (Vince Young). Kerry Collins is enjoying a career as a seat-warmer.

Falcons sign Methuselah Andersen: Kicking triple-threat Michael Koenen didn't work out, so the Falcons signed K Morten Andersen, the oldest player since George Blanda. His career started so long ago, you'd have to be at least 35 to even barely remember his rookie year.

Knicks environment "hostile": And that's just the fans griping about Isiah. (Zing.) The EEOC found probable cause that a hostile work environment existed, allowing that lawsuit against the team (and Zeke) to proceed with more strength.

Peter Gammons is back tonight: We covered this yesterday, but it'll be nice to see. Here's his return column, a wonderful blend of the personal and professional.

Ryder Cup preview: Reclaiming jingoistic glory lost by the USA Hoops team.

Canes stop loving Coke? I think I spotted the first MSM story about who will replace Larry Coker at Miami. My pick: Ex-Canes assistant and current Rutgers coach Greg Schiano?

Oklahoma still complaining: Fans were on their side on Sunday and indulgent on Monday, but by yesterday, the sympathy had evaporated and fans now consider it whining.

And, of course, an "Emmittric Bugaloo" update: Emmitt Smith once again out-performed expectations on Dancing with the Stars last night. Here's how big of a star he has turned into on this show: They saved him for the final slot of the night. Dance, Emmitt, dance!

One more, added late: I am a longtime, obvious and transparent fan of Deadspin. Here's one of the more fascinating posts Will has done -- along with a very contentious comments section.

-- D.S.


scott (ny) said...

Many kudos on the Miami headline. Almost made me spit out my coffee

Christian Thoma said...

F#@# Trevor Hoffman. He single-handedly blew the All Star Game. Now the Series won't be starting at Shea.

The Yankees magic number is now 1. Which brings up the question: which streak is more impressive, the Yankees' division streak (about to be 9), or the Braves' recently ended streak. I'm leaning towards the Yankees' streak. Yes, they outspend everybody. But they've been dealing with an opponent (the Red Sox) that hasn't had a problem spending almost as much. The Braves, on the other hand, didn't have any monetary competition in the East until the Mets opened up their pockets two seasons ago.

wonkisports said...

A snarky Methuselah reference. Didn't know you were such an Old Testament buff. So what does that make Julio Franco? Hmm, maybe Enoch since he never did pass away.

FreKy J said...

I never knew Jerry Springer was so funny, only that his show was contrived and stupid.

Mikepcfl said...

Good point on fans getting tired of Oklahoma's whining. The same thing happened with Seattle after the Super Bowl. Sure, I thought the refs ripped them off and basically handed the Stealers the Super Bowl. But come on, I dont want to hear Holmgren whining about it months later. It happens in sports, it sucks, but it happens. So Oklahoma just needs to move on.

Chris said...

My NL Cy Young would be Brandon Webb - maybe not a glamourous choice, but a great pitcher. Put it down as a make-up call for the D-Backs after the Big Unit was cheated out if it a couple of years ago.

Hende said...

I tried reading that ARod article today, but by page 3 (of 6), I was bored. The article was as dynamic as ARod himself. Between Rick Reilly trying to be an observational humorist, Dr. Z comparing everything to the early days, and the Artist Formerly Known as Frank DeFord bitching about anything his feeble mind can remember, is useless. Maybe sensing this, they decided to further target the "don't really give a shit about sports but read the columns more for the names and pop culture influence" audience by contracting people like Jay Mohr and Jenn Sterger. Jay Mohr?

Gary said...

Does Trevor Hoffman really have much steam as the Cy Young when the two biggest stories he's been involved in all year were
a) All-Star blown
b) Letting up 2HRs in 2 pitches 2 days ago?

That's a not what one would consider a lofty resume. Then again, it's the NL and no one is really that good

LudaKris said...

Methuselah heading made me laugh out loud, at work. I think I just gave away that I was actually 'working'. Thanks Dan....Anyway, my front runner for next UM is Butch Davis, he isnt doing ANYTHING right now. Only collecting pay checks from the Browns still.

Kristopher (Tampa, FL)

mkud said...

All due rspect to Josh Johnson, but I gotta believe the r.o.y. is the an playing just over his left shoulder.

.290, 26 2b, 26 hr (rookie 2b record), 89 rbis, a few web gems, and that name...Uggla

Rookie of the Year

Jason said...

Where's my head at? I thought the Canes headline was about the Stanley Cup Champions and a sponsorship deal with an Atlanta-based soft drink company.

Jason said...

Also, Uggla is definitely rook for the NL. He's been a huge part of why the team has been contending, plus he plays every day.

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

A-Rod? So What? That's all I've got to say about that.

If Hoffman gets the record, he probably should get the NL Cy Young, not just for a good season, but kind of as a career acheivement award thing. I know its only supposed to be for one season, but we all know how that goes.

Uggla should be the NL Rookie of the year (also from the Marlins). For starters there is great name recognition and he is approaching all sorts of Rookie 2B records.

The Ozzie Guillen story of the day may be the sports outlet that took a Ordonez (sp?) quote out of context and got Ozzie to spout out a tirade that he said he wouldn't have said if he was given the full quote. Mike and Mike were talking about it this morning and it just really got under my skin. The Media isn't supposed to do things like that, right?

TBender said...

NL Cy Young -
Hoffman? Wha?
Webb or Carpenter is the choice. And it will depend on who finishes the season the best.

And the Titans QB situation is being driven by the owner. Bud Adams wants to stick it to Houston so bad he's going to have VY starting in time to play Houston, no matter if VY is ready for the NFL or not.

mkud said...

Sorry, I missed Emmitt last might, but just wondering, based on the head line...

Was his performance more Turbo or Ozone (because I sure as hell hope it wasn't Special-K)?

KirkMack said...

Ummmmm....haven't you ripped Jeter's MVP run as a lifetime achievement award? Now you're picking Hoffman for NL Cy partly because he's 3 saves away from the top spot? Hardly THAT impressive in this day and age, especially considering that Lee Smith ISN'T in the HoF, and doesn't look to be going in anytime soon.

Webb or Carpenter all the way...

And while the A-Rod story is old and stale, it just confirms to me what I've always thought of A-Rod- he's out for himself, too thin-skinned, and doesn't have the balls to come through when he is really needed. And while I'm a Yankee hater at heart, to throw Moose and Giambi under the bus because they make tons of money is a classless act, and don't even get me started on the whole, "Maybe it's because I'm biracial" thing. No, its because you're an ass and you don't make your team better, even with your gaudy numbers.

Brien said...

A-Rod stopped being "relevant" the day he signed with the Rangers, claiming that it wasn't about the money, but about the desire to win.

Hellooooo??? Perhaps A-Rod didn't notice, but the Rangers, at that point, had no pitching. A-Rod's contract prevented the Rangers from being able to afford said pitching. And the team didn't win squat with A-Rod on board.

A friend of mine once said that A-Rod could hit .400 with RISP ... but ... he'd hit .128 with RISP in situations where the runs mattered in the outcome of the game, and hit .650 with RISP when the Yankees were hopelessly behind.

Sure, .400 with RISP *looks* good ... but not when you realize that those hits only come when the pressure is at the lowest.


Dr. Zoom said...

Thanks for linking to the Gammons story. What an incredibly classy individual. He is, without a doubt, the sports journalist I most respect. And it's more a statement on his greatness than an indictment of his colleagues that I can't easily produce a name for second place on my list.

Jennifer said...

Da, do you ever think your Deadspin fandom played a role in the decision making at Page 2? I'm glad you are a fan since that's how I found them (and now I'm a groupie), but they aren't exactly ESPN appologists.

Unsilent Majority said...

What the fuck is SI?

Jen said...

SI is Sports Illustrated

Unknown said...

A-Rod isn't biracial. He's about as Latino as J-Lo and apple pie.

As for the Steelers/Seahawks..cmon..noone obviously remembers the game. Only ONE of the calls was wrong. The rest were right. Any fan who bleats the mantra of "but you don't enforce the rule in that situation" is full of it.

Anyways...we need more NHL love Dan. Preseason has started.

I've completely stopped following baseball for the season. I am not sure why either, but it just seems very boring. Do we need more reasons why Football is now the American pasttime?

Jen said...

When are we going to get a story about your exit from ESPN??

I thought Emmitt danced like a robot last night...wasn't he supposed to be turning his head like his partner?

Some of the girls got higher scores than I thought they should have....what the heck am I doing!? This is supposed to be a sports blog! haha

TJ said...

So we're ignoring his performance in the greatest game of the season--36 hours after it happened? Instant History doesn't run out that fast, Dan.

Jason said...

Baseball stopped being important this season because it's been pretty clear for the last month who's going to the playoffs.

Perks said...

Also worth mentioning:

1.)Peter Gammons' first article back to ESPN. I'm at work and wanted to shed a tear. What a grateful guy, and really the best baseball analyst out there.

2.)I agree with Jen. When do we get your ESPN story, Dan?

3.)Lastly, I can't beleive that people are so protective of their money-- they'd resort to this: .

Heck, I'd agree. I'd probably jump if it were 30-40 feet. But that's mostly because I spend a lot of time during the summers jumping off bridges and cliffs, etc. 20 bucks is 20 bucks.

Richard said...

We usually see the MLB awards going to the guys with the best stats. Can I play Devil's Advocate for a second?

Give every award to the Marlins.

NL rookie should be a huge tie between almost everyone on the Marlin's roster. NL MVP should go to Miguel Cabrera (simply because noone does more surrounded by less) and NL Manager, well that should be a unanimous Girardi vote anyways.

Although I'm sure the Marlins' players and coaches and oner would say the same thing: Playoffs are the goal and not the meaningless designations.

I may be a Marlins fan, but I don't think anyone (except probobly the Padres fans) are ready to let this Cinderella story end.

Allen Wedge said...

speaking of leaving ESPN, does anyone know what really happened with Harold Reynolds?

marcomarco said...

Dan, can we get a thread on this:

White and Nerdy

Jake C said...

Obviously, we are forgetting the two straight jacks Hoffman gave up to blow the save (on TWO pitches nonetheless) against the Dodgers. If he DIDN'T blow that, they would have already been in first.

As for DWTS, I tried to tell everyone before it even started that Emmitt would be one of the favorites..."Emmitt will go far in the competition, you saw how great his feet were on the field, now we will on the dance floor."

Anyone else paying attention to the B-squad (not one regular STARTED, and only two got time with pinch hit at-bats [Reyes and Valentin]) Mets beating the Marlins? I actually wanted to see the Marlins make the post season just for story alone. Alas, we might have to deal with stupid Philly and their a-hole fans.

Mega said...

LOL at marcomarco. That song is awesome and Wierd Al is an unheralded genious.

With that being said, I loved the Gammons article, even if I couldn't read the entire thing (I don't have Page 2 access).

Regarding Volek to the Chargers, the rumors I heard is that he throught the Titans starting job was practically his before training camp began and he came unprepared. He didn't even know Norm Chow's new offense. He has the tools but he sucked it up for himself by being lazy. Now he is stuck being a backup again.

Kurt said...

Dan your hatred for everything Yankees, Red Sox is laughable at times. Jeter could hit 40 homeruns, 150 rbi's and youd try to find a reason to give MVP to someone else.

As for the A-Rod story, SI and the rest of the media are lame for making this big of a deal of it. I dont know how some of these people wake up every day knowing their only job in life is to find people in their most vulnerable moments and provoke the shit out of them as much as possible until they crack/snap.

As for Peter Gammons, it's good to see him back and his article was heartwarming. His Red Sox bias gets to me at times though.

Badass Of The Year said...

How could you not mention Julio Franco? (or Enoch as wonki78 called him) He plays 3rd base for the first time in 24 yrs and settled right in, unlike some other 3rd baseman that's leading this post today.

Also am really glad Gammons is back, great 1st column back. His Hall of Fame speech is one of my all time favorites.

Jen said...

Julio Franco is the best. He is almost 50 and is still playing baseball, and like a previous poster said, he's still stealing bases!
Hello, the 23 year olds playing for the Indians aren't even stealing bases!

EazyE574 said...

C'mon Dan. You should know that all media outlets manufacture stories. ESPN is 10 times worse than SI.

nyc-steelers fan said...

I don't think the OU thing should die off. I don't think they are whiners. Did you guys watch that game? They were showing the replays over and over, on the onside kick, and clearly Oregon touched the ball a half yard shy of the marker. But the ref comes out and says: 'There is incontrovertible evidence that the visiting team touched the ball first; the play stands as called.' WTF!!! My first thought there was that the refs were either on the take; later I realized there are other viable alternatives; the refs were brainwashed by terrorists, who hope the Northwest wins the cultural wars of America; the refs are escaped mental patients (which is actually supported by the interview published by AP with the review official; "just one of those things"???). I mean, was it unconscionable, or what? The later stuff with the pass interference call (not interference even without the obvious tip, which was mysteriously not observable in the replay booth?).
Even a non-Oklahoman fan was up screaming at the TV. And I will say, yeah, mistakes are part of the game, and you have to play through them. And OU still could have won the game. But there is a reason replay exists. And not only did it fail miserably, but in the case where there was incontrovertible evidence to overturn the calls, the calls still stood as called. Absolutely horrible. And while I don't agree about overturning the results of the game, based on the sheer magnitude of the precedent it would create, I think this clearly will require that the review process be investigated and modified.
Should there be two separate but equal replay officials? Should there be a sanity test, an integrity test, an honesty test for all replay booth officials? I don't know, but I did see a poll on ESPN yesterday, about whether OU should stop there whining, and it was surprisingly close, with about 56:44 in favor of stopping, with of course the old big 8 states of Okla, Neb, Kan, voting heavily in favor of not stopping the whining. I think I know why; Nebraska has no love for OU, but since Neb had a night game, the only game on during that time slot in Neb was the OU Oregon game, so most every sports fan in Neb was watching the game. And if you watched the game, you would know just how egregious the errors were, even more than the outraged announcers, who were trying to tone it down just a bit. I think anyone who watched that game live would agree that the onside kick call, and worse, the review, were so goddamn awful, that OU is perfectly reasonable to whine about it until the cows come home. If you didn't watch it, I can understand you're getting a bit tired of hearing about it. The analogy to Seattle in the superbowl is not spot on. These mistakes, in the context of the game, as well as on their own merits, were much, much, much worse than the officiating mistakes in the super bowl.