Friday, July 24, 2009

7 comments Hat Guy Has a Hankering For Hal and Hank (Plus A Bad College Football Column)

See what I did there? That's our Woody Paige headline for the day. All that was missing was a Dr. Seuss reference and a word that rhymed with Hank in the title and I could be qualified to be Woody Paige's editor. I waited all morning for Simmons to put out a mail bag but he hasn't done it yet so I am going to put up the Saturday post here for Friday. Don't worry, which I know you all are, I still plan on putting something up for the weekend. You can call me a lot of things like a bad writer or stupid, but you can't say I am not a prolific machine.

I have decided to cap the Yahoo Fantasy League at 12 teams. We already have 9 teams so we have 3 more open spots. I think 12 teams is a good number.

You never really know what is on the mind of Hat Guy, or as his family calls him Mike Celizic. You know literally, in the picture that he has taken for NBC Sports, it is a hat that is on his mind, but other than that you never really know. Since he tends to only write in depth about the Yankees, you could take a wild guess and say it's the Yankees...which it is in this case. Hat Guy is writing about the Steinbrenner clan, which is another favorite topic of his. You can Google "Steinbrenner and Celizic" and you get quite a few hits.

Let's just say Celizic has had a mini-infatuation with the Steinbrenner family. Whether it means writing articles telling George to fire himself, saying George is soft, or saying George has not been in charge of the Yankees, it's all about the Steinbrenner family for Hat Guy. This week he came to the revelation that baseball is not the same without the first (semi-incompetent) family of baseball...especially when they are really annoying.

No matter how well the Yankees were playing, no matter how many home runs flew out of their new building, no matter much fun they had in the clubhouse, no matter how smoothly their season was going, there was something missing.

I think I have heard this one before, let me guess...Is it the Yankee mystique in the new ball park, the unselfish attitude of Jeter rubbing off his teammates, or the lack of a power hitter like Scott Brosius at third base?

Maybe you didn’t consciously think of it, but it was in the back of your mind. You couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was.

Could it be that the farm system is not completely dry but is getting there fairly quickly if the Steinbrenner's have their way? If that's not it, could it be that AJ Burnett is due to be on the DL any day now?

And then like a gift from a passing pigeon, it hit you splat on the head

A passing pigeon? That's so New York!

a blustering Steinbrenner. That’s what was missing.

You mean an annoying Steinbrenner, I think that's what you meant. The Steinbrenners are a unique breed of human and owner. They singlehandedly pick out the best players each off season to sign, micromanage every aspect of the organization, and then blame someone else when the team is not winning...namely the players or manager they themselves chose. The Steinbrenner's version of running a business is buying every one of their competitor's best idea men and hoping they have a good idea...because the Steinbrenner's certainly don't. Getting their competitor's best idea men, that WAS their good idea.

Until Hal Steinbrenner showed up in New York this week to disgorge his opinion of the team he and his brother, Hank, inherited from their father, I’d actually forgotten how vital a meddling owner is to the Yankee experience.

Hold on, is this article tongue in cheek? I will just assume it is not and carry on mocking Hat Guy.
Oddly enough, Hank and Hal tried to begin their stewardship with something utterly foreign to the Steinbrenner DNA — patience.

So far in the Hal and Hank era they have let Joe Torre go because he did not win another World Series, spent nearly $50 million on a 36 year old catcher, $250 million on a third baseman who opted out of his contract and had no other suitors, and nearly half a billion dollars this off season on two pitchers and a hitter. I don't know what Hat Guy's definition of "patience" is but spending all that money to win now is not my definition of patience. Maybe Hat Guy thinks "patience" is drafting Andrew Brackman in 2008, a college pitcher who needed Tommy John surgery. I don't know if that is "patience" either, that just seemed sort of dumb regardless of his potential.

And thank the ever-vigilant New York tabloid media for rushing to print the instant Hal Steinbrenner showed up this week to deliver his opinion of his team.

“I believe we have a team that can win the championship," he opined.

I am not sure if the fact they have the highest payroll in the major leagues, their team is in first place in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, or the simple fact the Steinbrenners say this every year caused this comment, but it's not unexpected. I would hope the Yankees could win a championship with the roster they have.

This is what I love about the Yankees. There is nothing so banal and insignificant that it can’t be turned into a major headline. It just needs to issue from a Steinbrenner's mouth and it takes on the gravitas of a papal encyclical.

I have come to the conclusion the New York media is a bunch of morons who get overly excited over things that really aren't news stories. Why is it the media capital of the United States, which also has a large population living in it, always talks about stories that really aren't that exciting? I would think the media would not have time to focus on small stories, but its actually quite the opposite, they take small stories and blow them up into huge big deals. I can't believe there aren't better things to talk about.

Let’s be honest here. In Kansas City, this would be meaningless.

I am not sure Kansas City even knows they have a baseball team to be honest. This may be the first they have heard of it.

It would hardly draw a raised eyebrow even in Boston, where folks take their baseball more seriously than they do anywhere on earth.

Best fans in the world. NO ONE DENIES THIS!!

In Cleveland, it wouldn’t make any sense — none at all.

Probably half the fans can't see the games anyway for the midges and birds that fly on the field. The fans can't see the field for all the wildlife, so they may actually need the owner to tell them how the team is doing.

We need these things in New York. Yankee fans need them. The newspapers need them. They’re a comforting connection to the past, a sign that Steinbrenners still walk the land and they demand victory.

When a team has a payroll in excess of $200 million do the fans really need a reminder the owner demands victory? I would hope not.

I fail to see how see saying anything less than a World Series title is a disappointment and vaguely threatening the manager's job is comforting...but I also don't live in New York and I am not a Yankees fan.

(On a personal note, I think Yankees fans really don't like all the drama. I just base this on a couple comments I hear from Yankees fans like: {referring to Bobby Cox} "It's nice to have some stability in the clubhouse and not think he will get fired by the next game.")

Don’t know what we’d do without you. Don’t know what baseball would do without that irreplaceable Steinbrenner touch.

If a Steinbrenner never talked again, it would be too soon. I can quickly become annoyed by them and their demands of their team. They choose the team (or have a large hand in it) and then give everyone else ultimatums because the team is not performing. Anytime the Steinbrenner's say something, ESPN and other media give it more respect than anything the President may say.

-I was done typing for the day but I am going to pull a Peyton Manning and call an audible at the line because I just found a bad college football article. This gets no introduction. It's by Dave Curtis.

Hello, and welcome to the first look at this year's nightmare Armageddon BCS scenario, sponsored by the congressional delegations of Utah and Texas (motto: "screaming into the abyss since 2008").

"Hey, I have an idea. Why don't I make up fake scenarios that haven't happened yet and be really dramatic about it so everyone will think there is a huge problem that will happen for sure in college football this year? Ok, I will do it."

Do you know why there is still a BCS in college football? It gets people talking about the sport and the debates never end. If there was a tournament, I don't think the hype would be as high because there would be fewer debates about which teams deserve what bowl.

It's the end of July and already morons are worry about Armageddon scenarios for the BCS. It's too much. Let the damn football year start first before telling society to panic over the BCS, please.

So how's this for making those fans come close to "TILT"? Six teams will finish this regular season undefeated.

No freaking way. No way. There is no chance of six D-1 teams finishing the season undefeated. Two years ago we had zero teams finish undefeated and last year we had one team finish undefeated and they did not even win the National Championship. In fact there have only been seven undefeated college football teams since 2002.

The last time there were six undefeated teams in one season was 1944, during WWII, and the teams were Ohio State University, Randolph Field, Army, Fort Pierce, NAS Norman, and USNTC Bainbridge. It ain't happening.

Here's the Big Six, from most likely to play perfect football to least:

Why say six teams WILL go undefeated and then only list six teams that COULD go undefeated. It seems like you are putting all of your eggs in one basket.

Florida, SEC champs.

I don't think there is a good chance Florida makes it through the SEC undefeated, no matter whether this is a "down year" for the conference or not.

A lackluster SEC East helps the Gators; the return of Tim Tebow and a dynamite defense help more. Beat LSU, maybe twice, and then enjoy the trip to Pasadena, fellas.

When looking at Florida's schedule, I wouldn't sleep on Georgia this year and they are playing AT LSU this year, which is always a tough game. I don't see the Gators beating LSU at their home. I know we all love Tebow and want him to do well but the SEC is always tough to go undefeated in least in football.

Penn State, Big Ten champs.

I think they either lose at Michigan this year or lose to Ohio State at home. They do have a good chance to go undefeated if they win both games but I still don't see it happening.

Oklahoma, Big 12 champs.

Sure, they may go undefeated if they beat Texas this year...but again, what are the odds SIX teams go undefeated this year? That's just insane...or stupid, take your pick on which word to describe this prediction.

I like how Dave Curtis just assumes that Oklahoma is going to beat both Miami and BYU on the road and focuses on the one game against Texas as being the one that could trip up Oklahoma. This article should have been called, "Six Teams Could Go Undefeated If You Focus On Each Team Only Having To Win One Important Game...And Then It Still Won't Happen."

Boise State, WAC champs.

They have to win like one or two tough games a year. They may go undefeated. This may be the one team for the year to go undefeated.

Georgia Tech, ACC champs.

But the Hokies come to Atlanta in October, by which time Paul Johnson's triple-option attack should be thriving as the nation's No. 1 rushing unit. Nice knowing you, VT.

I am not saying the triple option is a fad or won't work in a major conference all year like the ACC, but doesn't anyone remember how LSU stopped the triple option last year in the Chick Fil-A Bowl and blew out Georgia Tech? You don't think there were teams in the ACC taking notes on that? There is no way they go undefeated, not with Virginia Tech, NC State and UNC having gotten stronger this year. I would put Georgia Tech's odds at 1000-1.

Listing teams like Georgia Tech on this list as having a chance to go undefeated this year is what makes me think Dave Curtis was stretching for an idea. There is no way 6 teams go undefeated.

Notre Dame.

They can't even lose to USC by less than 30 points. How are they going to beat them this year? I look at the schedule and see them potentially losing to Nevada, Michigan (seriously), USC, and maybe Boston College. I could be wrong but there is no way Notre Dame goes undefeated.

Of their 12 opponents, only three will be consensus picks to finish in their league's top three. Luck of the Irish, or genius scheduling by the ND administration?

It doesn't stop the big question of whether Notre Dame is even going to be any good or not this year. They SHOULD be good because of all the recruits they get but will they ACTUALLY be any good? That's my question.

Everything hinges on Oct. 17, when nemesis USC rolls into town (the Trojans have won seven straight in the series by a combined 284-95).

Nothing hinges on that date because Notre Dame will probably have two losses by then. Look at that series score...what makes anyone think Notre Dame will even beat USC, much less go undefeated? Absolutely nothing.

And the country can wade through college football's great championship mess.

It is way too early to do any type of BCS panic journalism, not to mention six teams will never go undefeated. Why write a story like this that creates a problem when there is not a problem present? Explain this to me. People who hate the BCS just write stuff like this to make it seem like the bowl picture will be convoluted when in fact it will be a little muddled, but will never even be close to this bad. There will never be six undefeated college football teams. Now BCS haters are going to use articles like this as proof of what could happen, when it never will happen. Thanks Dave Curtis.


dan said...

Wouldnt the simple thing to say is there is a lot of parity in college football, therefore no team will go undefeated and the BCS will be a mess. That is something that is way more likely to happen and proves his very point without him coming across as an idiot

The Casey said...

Is the BCS really that terrible of a system? Sure, the #3 team is always going to beef, but the only difference between that and the NCAA tournament is that there are more teams bitching about being left out of the NCAA tournament, so the national media rarely gets behind just one team and blows things out of proportion. It's not a perfect system, no, and there are plenty of scenarios that make it look bad. But I don't really think there's any way to come up with a set number of teams for "postseason" that's going to be 100% fair every year. Some years there's a clear-cut top 2 or 4 or 8, but lots of times that's just as muddled up.

[/BCS Rant]


Bengoodfella said...

Dan, it would have been a lot easier to say that, but he had to make a bold prediction that got hits on the article he wrote. It's much more interesting to read there will be 6 undefeated teams rather than there will be a mess the top of the college football standings at the end of the year.

There is no way, none, that Notre Dame and Georgia Tech will go undefeated. I am not really going on a limb to say that either. As far as Florida beating LSU twice, I don't see that happening either. I may respect LSU too much but I just don't see it occuring.

Casey, you know what? I have been against the BCS for a while now, but after reading this article it actually sort of moved me the other way. Not completely but it just made me think that part of the reason I like college football so much is because of the controversy about the BCS games and who is the national champion. I almost feel like a tournament would take some of the fun out of it for me. I may be wrong because I would like to see the BCS get tweaked but some of the controversy is good.

AwesomeSean said...

I am coming back to the rest of it as I slur my worrrrds on the blackberrrry.

BGF...It's "The Jeter"

Back to the Bud Lite and the ever present O-2 count on Frenchy.

Bengoodfella said...

Sorry, I did forget it is The Jeter. I can't believe I forgot that. I hope the Bud Light was good...and the odds are that Frenchy struck out.

Martin said...

I can't believe he didn't put Ohio State on the list. I mean if he's going to put G Tech, Ohio State only needs to beat USC and Penn State, and I think they are a better team then Penn State is this year.

Bengoodfella said...

I guess he thought OSU would lose to Penn State. I agree with you, though I know PSU fans will disagree but just from what I have seen in looking at the rosters and what each team returns I think OSU will beat PSU. Either way, I doubt both teams will go undefeated.

I don't see how he thinks OSU will lose to USC but Notre Dame will beat USC. It wasn't my favorite article to read simply because there is no way 6 teams go undefeated.