Friday, June 5, 2009

4 comments Mike Freeman Hates God and Jay Mariotti Hates Baseball Fans

Today, Jay Mariotti and Mike Freeman share with us what they hate, which is the fans of Major League Baseball and God, respectfully. They seem like two dumb things to really hate, but not to them and let them tell you why.

-Mike Freeman doesn't like how Dwight Howard references God in his postgame interviews. I have never even noticed because I am of the opinion that few interviews during/before/after a basketball game are worth a shit, so I don't listen and generally don't care what the player or coach says. Mike Freeman is not off that opinion. He hates God and thinks He focuses on more important things in life and not sports, so he takes his hatred out on Dwight Howard. I personally don't care what an athlete says about God, I am just here to make fun of Mike Freeman.

Dwight Howard was asked a simple question. Howard's answer shockingly veered off into some potentially highly controversial -- if not offensive -- territory.

Let me guess. The reporter asked if the Magic had to abort their early game plan when the Cavs came out hitting all their shots and Howard shared his opinion on partial birth abortion? Or was it the reporter asked Howard if trying to keep LeBron out of the lane was torture and Howard then shared his opinion on waterboarding?

Why, Howard was asked, should the Orlando Magic be picked by the media or others to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers?

The horror...

"God," was Howard's response.

I don't listen to these interviews really, so I would be waiting for the end of the sentence to end with "...I don't know" or "...well we just beat the team with the best record in the NBA and are on a roll right now, so I hope people would pick us."

Howard was given a chance to reconsider his words. He didn't hesitate. "That's the reason" the Magic would win, Howard continued, according to ESPN. "I'm telling you."

I like how Freeman writes this as of he said something really, really controversial. In fact, all Howard can really be accused of his being overly spiritual. I don't think God cares who wins the series, Dwight Howard does, he and I can agree to disagree. This should be the end of the column and that part where Mike Freeman now goes on the Internet and thinks of another contrarian point of view to get everyone riled up about.

And why exactly would God root against the Lakers? Does God hate actors? Is God not a Jack Nicholson fan? Did God disapprove of Dyan Cannon's last movie?

There comes a time in every Saturday Night Live skit where the viewing public realizes it's not getting any better than what they are seeing right now...we are at that time in Mike Freeman's "God" column. He's just killing space at this point.

According to Howard, this is how God thinks. ...

Apostles: "Who you pulling for in the championship, big fella?

"God: "Not the Lakers, that's for sure."

Apostles: "Why?"

Just a heads up to Mike Freeman, but I am pretty sure God did not have apostles, I think that may have been Jesus who had apostles. Clearly, he has not seen or read "The DaVinci Code."

Otherwise, God couldn't care less about a basketball game and God certainly doesn't care about who wins one.

I think this is pretty much understood. Carl Everett did not believe in dinosaurs and I don't think this was a major problem overall...same thing here. If Howard believes God wants the Magic to win, that's his point of view. Maybe he is right, maybe he is insane, or maybe he just said that to get Mike Freeman to angrily write a column about him.

If I were a member of the Lakers -- particularly if I was of strong religious faith -- Howard's comments would be highly offensive.

Are you freaking kidding me? Why would a Lakers player of strong religious faith be offended? Because that player thought God was on their side? So that player is deluded like Dwight Howard? If so, Howard is not the only NBA player guilty of thinking God is cheering for his team.
Is Dwight Howard now a messenger sent from God to decide the outcome of the NBA Finals? There would be no reason to get angry, sad or depressed about this. If a Lakers player has strong religious faith, he should just wonder why Dwight Howard believes God thinks the Magic will win. In reality, God made lakes and probably thinks magic is a bunch of bullshit...I am sure that revelation about each team's name origin would make a Lakers player or two would make him feel better. You know, if this hypothetical Laker is dumb enough to actually be angry about this.

(Though after last night's game, it is clear God wants Kobe to win a title without Shaq.)

In effect, Howard is saying that God favors the Magic, which ostensibly means Howard believes the Magic are somehow more worthy of God's backing than the Lakers.

Thus if God wants Orlando to win, does that mean Satan is pushing for the Lakers?

(Bengoodfella getting a headache) Yes, because Dwight Howard is an Oracle sent from Heaven, it definitely means the Lakers have Satan cheering for them. Not only is this series a fight between East and West Coast teams, it is also a fight for supremecy in Heaven and Hell.

Here's what I don't get. Mike Freeman think it is a bunch of bullshit that God is cheering for anyone in this series, he thinks God doesn't care. He thinks Howard's comments are crazy. So why would he reasonably expect a Lakers player to get offended by Howard's comments?

God has other great concerns besides Howard's scoring average, such as war, pestilence, disease, poverty and American Idol.

We all know. He is also focused on ridding the world of Jay Mariotti, but he's like a cockroach, even God has had trouble getting rid of him without arousing suspicions of foul play.

I'm simply ridiculing the notion of believing that God is on the side of the Magic.

And I am ridiculing you for the notion that anyone on the Lakers team should give a shit.

"First, I want to thank God, man, because without Him none of this would be possible," Howard said. "I told my guys before the game if we come out, we play 100 percent, play hard for 48 minutes, then God is gonna do the rest, and He did tonight. We got a good victory; man ... it's all because of Him."

It seems that God hates the Celtics, too.

God hates the Irish. That's obvious. Remember the potato famine? How about the fact that U2 has had so much success over the years? Clearly God has always hated the Irish and is using them as vessels to ruin our music on Earth.

If God really favored Howard and the Magic, God would make it so Howard connected on more free throws.

Yeah, take that God. You and your apostles can't even help Dwight Howard with his free throws. You should feel stupid...but not as stupid as Mike Freeman should feel for writing this column and I feel for dissecting it.

Also -- and this is just a guess -- there's probably a player or two on the Lakers who believe that God wants the Lakers to be victorious.

Each person has his/her own interpretation of faith, so I would imagine this would be possible. Guess what, God doesn't care about the NBA, so both Howard and the un-named hypothetical Laker would end up being wrong.

Howard's religious beliefs are important, but they are starting to cross the line into wholesale arrogance.

I will admit it is a bit arrogant to believe God wants your specific team to win. I still don't understand why anyone would care what an athlete has to say before/after/during a game. It's usually of no substance or doesn't make a whole lot of sense...just like Howard's comment about God.

It irritates me when athletes seem to think that God cares about their individual and team achievements. Every time I turn a report or file in on time, I don't start telling people around the office I didn't do it, God did. I also don't say God wanted me to turn the report in on time. If I did, then I would probably be considered the weirdest person in the office. I think this is a non-issue, but I guess Mike Freeman needed something to write about.

-I am not personally a fan of All-Star games, I generally find them boring and no matter how much drama you throw into them they are still exhibitions. Every year we get columns that beg MLB to take the portion of the voting out of the hands of the fans, which I am against, because it is a game for the fans to see the players they want to see play together. There is a reason I think All-Star Game appearances should never be used to determine how good a player really is, and that's because the fans vote the players in. I think many of the choices for the All-Star game are dumb, but that's who the fans want to see, so I think we have to live with it. MLB has tied the World Series homefield advantage to the All-Star game, so they have added some importance to the game, but that still doesn't change too much of my opinion that the fans should be allowed to vote for the players they want in the game.

Jay Mariotti thinks the fans are morons for trying to vote Manny Ramirez in the All-Star game. I don't think Manny deserves it, but if he is the player the fans want to see, I think he should be allowed to play. Of course I also think he should decline the invitation...but my point is the fans are able to vote and have those votes count for who starts in the All-Star game, so it is their right to vote for Manny.

According to baseball's drug agreement, "A player shall be deemed to have been eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he was elected or selected to play; the commissioner's office shall not exclude a player from eligibility for election or selection because he is suspended under the program." Meaning, Manny Ramirez -- villain of the Scammywood steroids suspension that continues to rock the sport -- is eligible to play in the All-Star Game next month if enough fans vote for his inclusion in the National League starting lineup.

I don't want Manny to be able to play in the All-Star Game but if he is voted in by the fans, then he should be allowed to play. The rule probably needs to be changed, but until it is, Manny should be in if voted in.

I don't know if Jay realizes fans may have voted for Manny before he got suspended. I would be interested to see the count of votes before and after his PED suspension.

Shame on any fan who voted for Ramirez after May 7, when he was banned 50 games in another bleak episode for a sport that can't shed its attachment to the evil juice.

I am pretty sure Sammy Sosa made an All-Star Game after his bat was found corked and Alex Rodriguez is probably going to play in the game this year as a backup AND he played the years he was on steroids. Sure, he did not get caught at the time, but there is no outrage against A-Rod because many fans realize, as Jay Mariotti doesn't, it is an exhibition game. No matter how much MLB wants it to be important, it is not that important, but just pure entertainment.

But most of those 635,530 tallies came after the suspension announcement, a creepy acknowledgment that some people are starting not to care whether superstars cheat.

Here's the truth. Jay Mariotti has no idea how many votes came after the suspension, but he is just assuming many of them came after Manny was suspended. If he knew the number, he would tell us in an effort to help prove his point.

Just because folks are worn down by years of steroids coverage doesn't mean they should lower their standards and accept the cheats.

I am a little bit torn because I don't think Manny should be allowed to play in the game, but I also realize the rules say Manny is eligible and if the fans vote in a player for the All-Star Game then that is their right.

I don't think I can emphasize how useless many All-Star Games are. I think we take them a little too seriously, especially when we get many yearly columns about how fan voting ruins the game that essentially say how stupid the fans are. Many sportswriters hate the fans who read their columns.

American League fans have it right, recognizing that A-Rod should be punished for his steroids admission; he's a distant third in the third-base balloting behind an emerging superstar, Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria, who leads all AL players with 1,036,071 votes and is more than 600,000 clear of Rodriguez.

The results of the fan voting could also show that the fans think Longoria is more deserving, based on his performance, of playing in the All-Star Game. His vote tally may not be completely a statement against steroids. It doesn't seem like Jay completely grasps this concept.

The core issue here is integrity, the message a fan would send by prioritizing Ramirez's popularity over -- we warily assume -- the steroid-free results of Ibanez, NL outfield vote leader Ryan Braun, Beltran and others.

I agree. The fans would be saying they don't care about steroid suspensions all that much and they just want to see Manny playing baseball. The fans get to vote and if we took away every stupid vote in history, we would be redoing a few Presidential elections as well as some All-Star Game selections.

The All-Star Game should validate baseball's elite players in a specific year. Last July, it celebrated the return of Josh Hamilton from substance abuse when he battered old Yankee Stadium in a memorable barrage during the Home Run Derby.

The All-Star Game should do that. There is also one other problem that messes with the integrity of the All-Star Game in my opinion and that is the rule that says every team must have a representative in the All-Star Game. I would argue that rule has caused more All-Star Game injustice than Manny Ramirez being fifth in the fan poll for outfielders ever could. Sure Manny cheated, but there have been some really shitty players that have been allowed to play in the All-Star Game because of that stupid rule that says each team must have a representative.

If the All-Star Game counts, as Selig ordained when he granted home-field advantage in the World Series to the victorious team, it should adhere to the highest ethics.

I can see this reasoning but if it pertains to the highest of ethics than what would we do about previous All-Star Games where homefield advantage was decided and players involved used PED's? The game is tainted and I know that is not a reason to keep allowing the game to be tainted, but the bottom line is that the fans get to vote and some still vote for Manny Ramirez.

How is it ethical to leave off a better player who plays on a team with multiple representatives so a crappier guy for the Pirates can make the team? The problem with making the game "count" is that it is still an exhibition game, no matter how hard everyone tries to make it not be an exhibition game.

The fans will vote for the popular players who may not ultimately deserve to be in the game, so the smart idea would be to take away fan voting, but then the game is for the fans and they don't even get to vote on who plays? That doesn't make sense nor would it do much for the popularity of the game.

"The All-Star Game is for the fans and I think if he got voted in, then it would be appropriate for him to play," said Manuel, who will manage the NL team. "Once he serves his suspension, he's paid his penalty and he's just like every other player."

I am not trying to take a contrarian view at all on this situation because I think steroid users should be suspended for an entire year if they are caught. Manny will have paid his penalty and he is like every other player after he serves his suspension. I don't want him in the game, but the rules say he should be able to play.

Whether by asterisk or a different wing in Cooperstown, hopefully one with dark, sinister lighting, the cheaters must be grouped together in their infamy.

I really hope that Mariotti is not advocating a separate "steroid user" wing in the Hall of Fame. That just seems confusing and counterproductive to me. So a player cheated and his records are not considered to be "real" baseball records, but he still gets to be in the Hall of Fame, so the cheating was not considered to be bad enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame but was severe enough to where he doesn't get included with the other Hall of Fame players? I don't know, maybe this would work. I think an asterisk in the record book would suffice personally.

LeBron James and his monster-truck body might be the subject of suspicion if he was a baseball player, but in the NBA, it's not given a second thought.

I can't believe Mariotti is going here, but yes it could be suspicious. Dwight Howard could also be suspected of using PED's...this really has nothing to do with baseball. In fact, baseball probably has the harshest drug penalties of any sport in my opinion. Not to mention the players are constantly put under a microscope after being caught. No one remembers that Merriman and Peppers got caught for using illegal drugs in football and no one is debating whether either of these players should be allowed in the Hall of Fame after they retire. If people do remember, they don't remember as well as they do for baseball players and these football players certainly don't have multiple columns written by Jay Mariotti about them.

I think baseball should be even harsher on those who get caught. A one year suspension would suffice for me on the first violation.

Dan: "If you could take a performance-enhancing drug and not get caught, would you do it if it allowed you to win Indy?"

Danica: "Well, then it's not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?"

Dan: "So you would do it?"

Danica: "Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motor sports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book."

Tuesday, Danica apologized in USA Today, blaming Dan for his flippant way of conducting interviews.

This is what I was talking about during the LeBron James post the other day, when I was talking briefly about false apologies. She really would have cheated if she did not get caught. I believe this and her apology does nothing to convince me she would not. Sure it is the right thing to say, for "the kids" out there, but she made up a bullshit excuse. This has very little to do with the Mariotti post but I thought I would go off on a tangent for a second.

I'm very glad she stepped forward and apologized.

That's all the Apology Nazis like Jay Mariotti want. Manny Ramirez has not publicly apologized so they are going to hang him until he does. Should he publicly apologize? Sure, but I don't think it should be a requirement. Manny should not be allowed to play in the All-Star Game, but baseball rules say he can, and the fans want him to, so he should be allowed to.

You also need the most powerful form of public condemnation. Allowing Manny Ramirez anywhere near the All-Star Game, even with a ticket, is not our idea of an appropriate message. Vote no, America.

What about the other players who have played and will play in the All Star Game who are caught using PED's? Will A-Rod never be able to play again? Is that really fair? I don't want them to receive public condemnation, I just want them to quit cheating. Hell, the All-Star Game is almost a punishment for players voted into it. They don't get a couple of days off to rest and spend time doing what they want.

Or else we're a country without a conscience.

That's being over dramatic. I don't think Manny should be able to play in the All-Star Game, I don't think the fans should vote him in, I think if they do vote him in then he should decline, but I also know it is an exhibition game and if the fans want him to play there is no rule saying he can't.

Do you guys think Manny should be able to play? I don't personally, but if the fans want him, he should be allowed to play...which he currently can.


Martin said...

I just want someone to thank Cthulu or Odin the All-Father after a game...ya know, jsut to fuck with the interviewer.

Bengoodfella said...

I think I would thank the officials or a player for the opposing team.

"Well, we pulled that one out because Billups on Denver really helped us down the stretch. His point guard skills have greatly diminished and we were able to take advantage of that when we put some pressure on him. I am also 85% sure that either he was point shaving or the officials had been paid by our owner. Either way, it's a big win for us."

KentAllard said...

The last Dyan Cannon movie I remember is kangaroo jack, and I'm pretty sure God fucking hated it like everyone else. And Jack Nicholson played the Devil in a movie. Of course God is for the Magic.

Not that his support seems to mean much.

Bengoodfella said...

After the first couple of playoff games, I have to say God is firmly on the side of the Lakers. Bill Simmons would claim its the officials, but I think it is God.