Tuesday, July 14, 2009

5 comments Hat Guy Ignore His Typographical Errors And His Own Idiocy Will Forging On Into Wrongness

Before anyone reads what I write today, I want everyone to know that I do have a bias in what I am writing about. I don't like the Home Run Derby. It is fun for the first round, that much I can handle, but after that it becomes tedious and absolutely boring to me. It doesn't even bother me that half the time the big sluggers in MLB don't bother to show up for it or participate in it. What does bother me is the rest of the competition. Here, in list form of course, is what does bother me about the Home Run Derby:

1. It's boring. Yes, it truly is boring. I am not at the game, I am not getting an opportunity to potentially catch a fly ball and there is only so many times I can watch a baseball being thrown 60 MPH get hit a long distance. It's exactly like batting practice. Hell it IS batting practice. I don't show up early for a game to watch batting practice, so I have no interest in watching the Home Run Derby. It doesn't matter to me the game's "best" "sluggers" are there and Mikey and Mindy Palowack are going to win a free house if a sign gets hit by a baseball. Sure, it is neat for about 30 minutes to watch the ball get hit very far, after that it loses my interest incredibly quickly. After the first round, I am over it.

2. It takes incredibly too long. I flipped over to ESPN in the vain attempt to see if they were showing anything interesting at 10:30pm and the final round had not started yet. It was getting ready to start and it was between two players that I did not care about because I realized the HRD started at 8pm and was not over yet. It was 10:30pm. There is no one in this world that can complain baseball games last too long if this person watches the entire HRD. There are only 8 people and 3 rounds in the HRD and it still lasts going on 3 hours. 3 freaking hours! I could watch any of the Godfather movies or read one of my posts in that time.

3. Chris Berman. I can't hear him say "back, back, back" at any point again in the future. When it is an actual baseball game, sure I can handle it because I don't watch games he calls and you never know when a home run may get hit, but this is the freaking HRD where there will be absolutely tons of home runs hit. We don't need that tired schtick every time. We also get Joe Morgan in the booth as well and I turned over to ESPN long enough to see Steve Phillips was "calling" the HRD as well. When ESPN has the opportunity to pair up two of their worst analysts and an announcer who literally has not changed his schtick in 20 years why wouldn't they do it? And why would I watch?

4. The format stinks. This could fix #2. The players get to choose their own "pitcher" so I think the players should have to swing at every pitch that "pitcher" throws. If it is off, well tough shit, you chose the guy. I don't want to wait around all night watching these "sluggers" cherry pick the best pitches to hit. It ruins the flow and just generally annoys me. It's wonderful to watch Josh Hamilton hit a home run when the ball is down the middle of the plate, but what kind of slugger is he when the pitch is not perfect? I know that's what the fans want to see, home runs, but it just slows the whole thing down for me and ruins the flow when a hitter hits a home run and then takes 4 pitches waiting for the perfect one. This is the same reason I don't watch the Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA All-Star Game weekend. If you can't get a dunk on the second try, sit down, you shouldn't be in the competition anyway.

I am sure halfway through writing this I am going to think of more reasons I don't like the Home Run Derby. Mike Celizic likes the Home Run Derby, in fact, he seems to think it cures all the ails that Major League Baseball has including the steroid problem. As you have read or skimmed through above, I disagree. Have I ever mentioned that I find him to be an idiot?

It’s the only day on baseball’s calendar when no matter how many home runs fly ridiculously long distances, you’ll never hear anyone talking about steroids.

Celizic wrote this on Sunday and the article was posted Sunday night and everyone most likely read it on Monday...the same day as the Home Run Derby. So basically by writing this article, Celizic has negated his opening sentence because he partially talks about steroids.

For that reason alone, Home Run Derby deserves its reputation as the best part of the All-Star break.

Am I the only one that doesn't like the Home Run Derby? It's like watching paint dry for me. I have watched it before but only because there is nothing else on and generally I end up changing the channel several times about thirty minutes to an hour into the "contest."

There is nothing great about the All-Star break in my mind. A boring contest and an exhibition game are all that go on. I miss real baseball, I miss seeing my favorite team lose baseball games to teams they should beat, and then complaining to everyone about it.

I might have missed a snide column after some bygone derby, but I can’t recall ever seeing anyone complain the next day that the winner might have been cheating. Not when Mark McGwire participated or when Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi won it.

Here's another reason I hate the Home Run Derby...I hate steroids and their effect on baseball. Through the years the HRD has become a contest that is like a Who's Who of users in the Steroid Era. I would expect the players to be able to hit a baseball far when they are taking batting practice, especially if they are on some sort of PED.

The reason no one complained the winner may have been cheating is because many times no one knew the winner was using steroids when they won the Home Run Derby. Just because it is a pointless contest that has no bearing on the Major League Baseball season doesn't mean I am going to ignore the fact many of the players participating were cheaters. Let's look at the Who's Who of steroid users and suspected users, but have not been caught yet, who participated in the HRD (I am only going back 15 years to 1994):

1994- Albert Belle, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza
1995- Belle, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa
1996- Mark McGwire, Brady Anderson, Barry Bonds, Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa
1997- McGwire, Anderson, Bagwell
1998- Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, McGwire, Javy Lopez, Vinny Castilla
1999- McGwire, Bagwell, Sosa
2000- Sosa, Ivan Rodriguez
2001-Luiz Gonzalez, Sosa, Jason Giambi, Bonds, Bret Boone, A. Rodriguez, Troy Glaus
2002- Giambi, Sosa, Bonds, I. Rodriguez
2003- Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Boone
2004- Miguel Tejada, Palmeiro, Sosa, Bonds
2005- I. Rodriguez
2006- Tejada, Glaus
2007- None
2008- None
2009- None

I am sure there is someone in the last 3 years who participated who will be busted for steroids at some point and I even left some names that I am personally suspicious of but there is not too much proof of steroid use. Guys like Lance Berkman and Jim Thome who are more guilty by association if anything, so I would not include them.

Hat Guy's point about how we all forget about steroids during the HRD may be entirely true but the HRD is the one time we should be paying attention to who is participating because a good majority of those guys in the past have been caught using steroids. For me, the HRD in the past is like a steroid exhibition, and yes I realize it is an exhibition, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth to watch these guys hit home runs when they are using PEDs. The only person in the 2001 contest who hasn't been busted or suspected yet is Todd Helton.

I know the HRD is an exhibition but I also think it has in the past been a display for steroid users to show off what the drugs can do for them. So Celizic is wrong, I will complain about the past winners were on steroids. If these writers and columnists are going to get on their high horse and complain Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and A-Rod have used steroids so they should be out of the Hall of Fame, then they should also have a problem with their past participation in the HRD and not celebrate the event, but hold it in suspicion. Just because it is an exhibition, the same public health concerns the columnists have don't go away, they just get conveniently ignored so everyone can watch baseballs get hit very far.

The subject wasn't even whispered last year when Josh Hamilton lit up Yankee Stadium with 28 homers in the first round and Justin Mourneau beat him in the finals.

That's because the story was Hamilton coming back from being a druggie, which got mentioned 8,000 times, as if getting addicted to drugs and ruining you and your family's life, then finally getting back on track makes him a stronger and better human being than Justin Morneau (can Hat Guy not find the spell check for Morneau's last name?) or anyone else. Inspiring? Yes, it is inspiring and I am glad he turned his life around, but he almost ruined his and his family's life due to his addiction. He had an obligation to everyone who stood by him to try and beat his drug use and addiction problems. He can be inspirational to many, but to hear how everyone held him so high was a little vomit inducing after a while. I guess Morneau sucks as an inspirational athlete because he was never addicted to any type of drug...that and he is from Canada and plays for the Twins, where apparently there is no media.

Home runs hit during the season count in the game’s sacred record books. But dingers hit in HRD don’t count for anything other than bragging rights.

Obviously, but don't be absolutely blind to the fact that despite the home runs not counting in the record books, it is an exhibition display of what PEDs can do for baseball players. At least it has been in the past. The HRD doesn't put away the steroid and PED problems for the night, it makes me remember baseball having those problems and the HRD in the past has been a perfect example of the media turning a blind eye so they can be entertained...as they have done so many times before.

The object is to hit as many out as possible.

Thank you for clearing that up. I thought the point was to induce a mass suicide through hearing Chris Berman speak for over two hours.

So why would anyone even think about steroids?

Because about half of the participants in the past have been busted or are seriously suspected of using steroids. That's why. You are stupid if you can't see the connection between past participants and steroids.

Say I held a fundraiser every year to fund research for prostate cancer and I got different donors and people to speak at the fundraiser. What if it turns out that many of the speakers at the fundraiser were trafficking illegal narcotics and almost 50% of the money that was raised came from people who had some connection to organized crime? Could I try to get others to participate in the future by saying, "It's just a fundraiser, we raised good money for prostate cancer. Ignore the fact the results in the past came from illegal sources, why would you even worry about donating money? You won't be suspected!"

I am sure I could get some money but most people are going to be reluctant to attend or contribute because of the past affiliations. They aren't just going to ignore the past because it "doesn't count" because it is for charity. For me, the HRD is a similar thing. Celizic can't ignore the history of the participants in the HRD and pretend it is a night where steroids don't matter.

This is part of the hypocrisy of the media. These idiots have really no problem with steroid use in baseball. They don't like to see baseball records messed with and they want an opportunity to throw an athlete under the bus or rip him a new asshole in a column when he is caught using any PED. That's what they enjoy. In a situation where the records aren't going to be messed up, they have no problem with steroids and could care less about the sanctity of the game or what message this sends to kids. As if kids watching Barry Bonds in the HRD aren't going to be as influenced as they are when they watch him during a regular season baseball game. As much as Mike Celizic would like to, you can't ignore the past.

The totals don’t go into the record books. They don’t occupy a special niche in Cooperstown. They don’t even result in huge new contracts for undeserving cheaters

It's doesn't count so it doesn't matter! This is a wonderful example of MSM and how they have been culpable and willing to turn a blind eye to steroid use. I don't believe anyone in this year's Derby is using and I am a little questionable on the actual effects of steroids on a person, but if the MSM is going to hand A-Rod his ass for using PEDs, they can't willingly turn a blind eye to the same possible PED use in situations where it doesn't count.

It’s a night to suspend disbelief, an that’s what we d.

Seriously, asshole. Get an editor. Be a professional, not a lousy writer with a hat on. How do you have typographical errors this bad in a column? You almost have to try and make them this bad.
Despite all the agonizing about Manny’s suspension and the pre-season angst about Alex Rodriguez’ dalliance with performance-enhancers, the season has been clear of rumors and suspicion.

Other than two of the best hitters of this generation and sure fire Hall of Fame players being caught as PED users, this season has been pretty quiet on the steroid front.

Having a testing policy will do that for you, and Manny’s suspension actually helped the game’s credibility. Once he was forced to take a 50-game unpaid sabbatical, we could no longer issue blind accusations about how baseball must be protecting its superstars and the testing program must be inadequate.

Fortunately, the media is still around to do what they always have and protect the superstars...until they get caught using PEDs at which point they recommend the death penalty for those users...unless it is an exhibition, in which case it doesn't count, so carry on!

The program probably is inadequate, if only because all such programs are.

Take it from Mike Celizic. All programs are inadequate. His Hat-Wearers Rehabilitation Program was a complete failure.

This year, all that really matters is that Albert Pujols, who is on a pace to break Roger Maris’ 61-home run non-juiced record, will be going for the fences in front of his hometown fans in America’s best baseball city, St. Louis.

I don't think Pujols is on steroids. Of course neither does Jay Mariotti and he wrote an entire article about it today.

Let's do an article in an article and quote Mr. Mariotti about Pujols. Let's see if we have heard this stuff before in from a sportswriter in concern with a player not being a PED user. I will ruin it before we start, we have heard ALL of this type stuff before in the form of a denial or reason why said player is not using PEDs.

But I like how Pujols has spent his finest personal hour on a proactive mission to shoot down the reckless but unavoidable innuendo.

Denials. Those are a first. No steroid user has ever denied it initially...clearly this one denial is enough to convince Mariotti Pujols has never used PEDs.

His training regimen is too dedicated.

Much like A-Rod, Gary Sheffield and Barry Bonds' workout was grueling huh?

His past is too humble.

Much like Sammy Sosa was humble?

His soul, on and off the field, is too grounded. His diet involves too much chicken and rice.

The double whammy! McGwire loved his kid so much and Bonds never let anything in his body that could hurt him.

His monstrous numbers haven't wavered since testing kicked in six years ago.

Neither did Manny or A-Rod's.

And his words are too powerful -- attacking suspicious whisperers and bloggers the way he crushes pitches, volunteering that he passed six drug tests last year and vowing to take a test every day if necessary.

Like Palmeiro pointing at a Congressman denying steroid use or like Sammy Sosa volunteered to take tests until he was called on it by Rick Reilly (of all people)?

If he fails, he says he'll return the entirety of his career earnings with the Cardinals, tens of millions of dollars over nine seasons.

I believe he will sell his houses and cars. I sure do believe that.

"If anybody can do it, Albert can," Milwaukee's Ryan Braun said. "I just marvel at his consistency. I think he's the best player in baseball. He's like Barry Bonds in the regard that he often only sees one pitch to really hit, and you see what he does with it."

What an interesting comparison.

I am not saying Pujols is on steroids and I don't believe he has used in the past either, there is no proof, but I still am going to remain suspicious especially when I have heard all the reasoning why a player is innocent before and it turned out to all be lies. Not to mention the comparisons to past steroid users and their accomplishments are mentioned by Ryan Braun in reference to Pujols makes me nervous. I hate it more than anyone, trust me.

Ok, back to Hat Guy and how Pujols is all that matters...

Actually that was it, he just kind of threw that out there and then ignored why Albert Pujols is all that matters.

As long as you had a couple big names in the lineup, it was actually more fun watching a guy like Hamilton come out of nowhere and steal the show.

If you follow baseball on a regular basis...did he come out of nowhere? He was the #1 pick in 1999. This is how I feel about Adrian Gonzalez as well. He is finally getting some publicity but he was the #1 pick in 2000. He should be a good hitter when drafted at that spot and those who follow baseball know who he is.

The players usually say that HRD is exhausting and trying to hit home runs for the contest can screw up their swings for months.

A format tweak or two might help. I’d make the first round nine outs instead of 10 — nine is a baseball number and 10 is a Bo Derek number.

What the hell does this mean? How is one less out going to make the participants any less tired? One less out per round, there's the fix, that should give them plenty of rest. That's three full extra outs of rest.

I’d also have the hitters rotate in three-out turns. That may ruin continuity, but it would fight fatigue.

Another great idea. Make a slow event even slower.

The players already fight fatigue by taking 4 pitches in between each swing.

And when the last hitter passes everyone else, let the guy sit down and move on to the second round.

Finally, a decent idea.

No matter how they run it, the show is pure fun for everyone, from the kids who get to run down the outs on the field

And get to watch their favorite PED using slugger, but not be affected negatively because it is an exhibition and doesn't count.

to the hand-picked BP pitchers many of the players bring to serve them up for them,

And then take 4 straight pitches per at bat, lulling me to sleep.

to the hitters and most important, to the fans.

Who if they are like me are completely bored with and over the event after the first round.

Bottom line: I find it insane to think the Home Run Derby is a way to get away from the steroid rumors when many of the participants in the past have been caught using PEDs. It doesn't make sense to over react to steroid use during the regular season and think about "the kids who idolize the players" then but ignore it during the HRD simply because it is an exhibition.


Bengoodfella said...

Since no one wants to comment on my Hat Guy post, I will go old school and comment on my own post.

I have changed my mind and I think I really like the ASG, though I still hate the Home Run Derby. I was on the fence about the ASG but it is the best ASG in major sports.

Though my complaints that Brian McCann should have started the game were not supported factually when Yadier Molina hit a 2 run single. I still think McCann should have started.

AJ said...

I couldnt agree more with you about the HRD. Its soooo boring to watch, and having to listen to that idiot Berman is the worst thing ever. I have no idea how this guy has a job, seriously, someone please explain how he does. I have NEVER met anyone or heard anyone say they like this guy...have you? So why does he still have a job? He's annoying, and you really can't debate that.

I think they should use a pitching machine, that way every pitch is down the middle or where ever they want it thrown at. I'm like you, I cant stand them watching 10 pitches go by and then hit a ground ball. Exciting!!!!

And why dont they just move this to 1 round? Why do we need 3 rounds? The first round takes 2 hours anyway, thats already to long for this event. Just have one round, winner take all. I mean that way Hamilton wins last year like he should have since he hit 28 in the first round. I mean you could hit 100 HRs in the first round and still lose the derby, how does that make sense? You have 8 guys each getting 10 outs...i think thats more then enough to determine a winner. You dont need 2 more rounds and 20 more outs to figure it out.

Want to make it more exciting? Add metal bats. Dont let the players act like they are acutally in a game, stepping out of the box between pitches, fixing their gloves, getting their signs...Its not a real game, just hit the ball.

I think the main problem is that the players just dont want to do it and we get stuck watching Inge. Wouldn't it have been better to just not include an 8th batter?

Bengoodfella said...

AJ, great to have you back.

I actually do not mind watching the HRD if I am with a group of people and I can do something in between swings but with it being on a Monday night and not usually football season, I usually forgo a get together at that point. Overall I do hate the HRD. It's too much Berman, who is coasting right now, I think even ESPN knows his schtick is old by now but they can't rid of him for fear of alienating the 55+ year old crowd.

I actually have no problem if players take pitchers, but not when they get to choose their own pitcher. At that point, you chose the guy you should have to swing at what he gives you. A pitching machine would be a good idea.

Mostly, like you said, if it was a 1 hour event, I could watch it but I can't stand to watch a 3 hour version of the HRD. There used to be a old, old HRD show on ESPN with guys like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and guys like that. I used to love it and it was 30 minutes long. Just two guys going head to head and they got 10 outs or something and swung at everything or it was a strike if I remember correctly.

Actually Hat Guy did have a good idea with alumninum bats. That would be exciting for me to watch, they would still have to shorten it. There are so many improvements I would make to it. I could go on and on. I would even say just take the top 2 guys from the first round and match them up in the final round, but 3 rounds is too much.

I love Brandon Inge and my fantasy team loves him even more, but he should not be in the HRD.

AJ said...

Well the reason Inge was in the derby is because all the other players didnt want to, which just goes to show you how sad this thing has gotten. Its like the dunk contest, it will never be the same unless the top performers actually do it.

I only watched the first few batters, then turned it off for something else. I watched Inge only because he plays for the Tigers, but after him it was just blah. I didnt watch any of the 2nd or 3rd or 50th rounds.

I remember that old derby show, that was great. I use to watch that all the time when I got home from school. Those shows had the best of the best, which is why i liked them. The players now are just to spoiled.

Bengoodfella said...

I used to love to watch the Slam Dunk Contest as well but it's not as fun when you can't find anyone who wants to do it. Why should anyone who is not in the ASG come to St. Louis to participate? Usually they get good hitters, but sometimes you end up with John Jaha or Brandon Inge I guess.

I did not even watch one second of the HRD. I don't even remember what I watched but I tried to find something else to do.

I loved that show and I watched it after school as well. It was in black and white and those guys had to hit the pitches that came to them or else it was an out. In regards to the home run derby, players today are very spoiled.