Tuesday, July 7, 2009

15 comments Two For One Tuesday: Wallace and Gregg Edition

Everyone get excited all at once. It is two for one Tuesday, which means you get two crappy articles for the price of one. Please don't hesitate to show your excitement. Note: I got tired of waiting for CNNSI.com to put up the special Tuesday MMQB mail bag. It probably stunk anyway.

-There have been a couple of times when I think I have made fun of Wallace Matthews too much. I write articles that I am admittedly nitpicking him on because it is fun to nitpick his every idiotic statement and mistake that he has written. I don't feel this way when Wallace takes off his journalism hat and puts on his cheerleader outfit for an athlete though. It is horrible journalism to write an article focusing on all the superlatives of an athlete, including make a few new ones up, and ignoring anything negative about said athlete. Only writing about Derek Jeter can make a grown man feel all tingly inside and make Wallace feel like a little boy again.

Derek Jeter made a dumb play yesterday, took his team out of an inning and, you could argue, out of a game the Yankees could have won.

He refused to allow A-Rod to play shortstop for the rest of the season since Rodriguez arguably would be a better defensive shortstop even after not playing the position for the past five years? He forgot to give the pitcher a steely eyed look before an at-bat that only the master of ice in his veins can produce?

It happened in the first inning, an ill-conceived attempt to steal third with none out at a time when the Yankees might well have rattled a young pitcher on the verge of being overwhelmed by his first appearance at Yankee Stadium.

The smartest, greatest, most intellectually outstanding base runner in the history of the world made a mistake on the base paths? I don't believe it. Derek Jeter is such a smart base runner he doesn't run to the base paths, the base paths run to him.

(On unrelated note, if you want to impress Steve Phillips get in front of a ground ball while playing shortstop...he won't shut the hell up about what a great play it was, just ask Ryan Theriot...as if getting in front of a ground ball is not basic defensive baseball for the position. He talked about it last night for approximately 2 hours during the Monday Night Baseball game.)

Jeter cost his team a run ( Nick Swisher followed with what would have been an RBI single)

If A-Rod did this, he would be booed for the next game by the Yankee fans and Wallace Matthews would write an article entitled "A-Rod Runs the Yankees All The Way To a Loss," but because it is Jeter this failed stolen base attempt actually HELPED the team. Just you wait and see...who cares if it defies logic? It happened people.

and a manager ( Joe Girardi got ejected taking up Jeter's cause with third-base umpire Marty Foster)

That's how Jeter has always gotten the borderline pitches on the corner from the home plate umpire. Mind control. It make sense now. Jeter fails to steal third base, then controls Joe Girardi's mind (because Girardi, like nearly 6 billion other humans is not Jeter's intellectual equal) to argue the call and get thrown out of the game. All a part of Jeter's grand plan of killing a rally to eventually win the game.

Jeter makes mental mistakes about as often as CC Sabathia visits the salad bar.

Insightful, yet ultimately the funniest thing I have heard in years. Hilarious beyond the point of obviousness.

After Jeter's baserunning gaffe, the Yankees fell steadily behind - 1-0, 4-0, 7-1 with eight outs left in the game.

Yes, Derek Jeter is still playing the Blue Jays for fools. Not only has he given them false hope they will win the game, he has given them a free 19 outs before the Yankees come back with a fury ignited by the stupid base running mistake Jeter made in the first inning...which in a 7-1 baseball game is fresh on everyone's mind.

Also, according to ESPN's Game Tracker, there were 9 outs left when the rally started.

So I guess Jeter only gave them 18 free outs.

And then something remarkable began to happen. Two runs in the bottom of the seventh, another in the eighth. Two more in the ninth, and suddenly, the Yankees had the tying run on first, the winning run at the plate.

That is remarkable! The team with the highest payroll in the entire league, the same team who spends more on three hitters than most teams spend on the entire roster starting hitting the ball well against the vaunted Blue Jay pitching staff of Ricky Romero (a rookie pitching in the 7th inning in his first ever start against the Yankees) who was pitching in the 7th inning, Brandon League, Jeremy Accardo, and Jason Frasor. Not a horrible bullpen, but not exactly strong enough to beat an offense as good as the Yankees offense is supposed to be.

Actually, it doesn't matter who was pitching for the Blue Jays or who was at bat for the Yankees because that had nothing to do with the rally, it was all Derek Jeter.

The reason they were in that position, you could argue, was because of Jeter's play in the first inning.

You could also argue they were in that position because the Blue Jays bullpen started blowing the game, the Yankees batters started hitting the ball well, or because ultimately God hates Canada and doesn't want to see it succeed as a country. You could be right, but none of those answers would be quite as dumb as arguing Derek Jeter getting thrown out at 3rd base in the first inning caused rallies by the Yankees in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.

And the reason they nearly pulled it out, I would counter, is because of Jeter's play during the past 13 1/2 years.

So the reason the Yankees almost succeeded was because during the 7th inning stretch, while most likely some person was invited to perform the longest version of an American anthem ever heard out of patriotism/the need for icing the other team's pitcher/spite to piss off the other team, every Yankee reflected on Derek Jeter and what he has accomplished over his career? Makes sense. Then they decided they would start hitting the ball better. It happened just like that. This is not completely made up by Wallace Matthews. This is real life.

In fact, it is a day to recognize that the qualities that yesterday made Jeter a goat are the same that have made him a hero to Yankees fans.

His steely eyed looks and ability to get Jeffrey Maier to cheat and grab a ball that is clearly in play and ability to use his mind control to get the umpire to make the incorrect call in 1996?

If you want to understand the essential difference between the Yankees and the Mets, it is not in the payroll or the ballpark or some silly mystique built up by players who no longer exist.

It is Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, and every other player on the team that the Yankees have outspent every other team to acquire. Actually what am I talking about? There is no difference in the Yankees and the Mets, they both spend a lot of money and still lose baseball games. The Yankees happen to spend a shitload more than the Mets, so the Mets are off the hook in my mind because at least they attempt to develop a farm system.

The difference, pure and simple, is Jeter.

No. Not correct. The difference, if there is one, is that the Yankees don't even pretend to try and build from within or find guys to play a role. They find expensive players and then go sign them.

When we say, as we often do, that the Mets lack leadership, or heart, or that indefinable quality that separates winners from wannabes, we are dancing around the crux of the issue. The Mets don't just lack a leader; they lack a Jeter.

And Wallace Matthews has completely switched topics on us.

You can throw around all the numbers you want to "prove" he has no range, or that his offensive production is down, or whatever other silly quantitative analysis you wish to apply.

Here is what annoys me. Wallace spends so much time disproving "numbers" and other "factually correct measurements" to show that leadership is what causes the Yankees to rally at key points, he forgets to notice that Jeter actually helped the rally, not by being thrown out at 3rd base and inspiring his teammates 6 innings later, but by actually playing great baseball.

Jeter walked 3 times in the game yesterday, including twice in the last 3 innings, which allowed the great hitters behind him to drive him in. Stupid ignorant baseball columnists spend so much time trying to disprove sabermetrics and other numbers used to analyze performance. Then they attribute a great performance to grit or inspiring teammates through some inane action or play on the field, while ignoring any numbers that show a player might be responsible for the team's success through actual performance on the field. What a shocking thought.

I also like how he says, "prove," like numbers don't prove anything. I wonder if I could walk up to Wallace on the streets of New York after he has bragged about being one of the most read columnists at Newsday and asked him if he really thought those numbers "proved" anything and justified his salary. I would bet he does think numbers prove something in that situation.

All I know is that since 1996, I cannot recall seeing Derek Jeter quit on a game, or an at-bat. I have never seen him not bust a gut down the first-base line as soon as he hits the baseball, no matter where it goes.

Blah, blah, blah...Jeter is God or at least the Son of God. Blah, blah, blah...

Derek Jeter made a stupid play in the first inning but this has nothing to do with the Yankees rally in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. Nothing. His two walks, Nick Swisher's 2 RBI's, and the Yankees ability to drive runners in scoring position did have something to do with it.

And years after he is done, the memory of Derek Jeter in my mind's eye will be of a player with a broad streak of brown infield running down his uniform shirt.

Or he inspired the Yankees by vomiting on himself between innings. Derek Jeter will do anything to inspire his team.

He leads by deeds, not words.

Wallace is just cutting and pasting from previous articles at this point.

If you want to understand why the Yankees never quit, it is because Jeter never quits.

Or it could be that the Yankees never quit because they play in the largest market in the United States and if a player openly quit on the team there would be major ramifications? Also, what baseball teams actually quit on a season? I would like to see a list of teams that have just quit...and it doesn't count if the team has tons of injuries or overall stinks because then it just looks like they quit when they may not have.

Yesterday, in his aggressiveness, he cost them a run and, quite possibly, a game.

Over the years, he has won dozens, and probably hundreds, in exactly the same way.

Derek Jeter has won hundreds of games with his aggressiveness...hundreds? Don't give me your VORP, OPS, OBP, ball park adjusted fielding percentages to try and prove Derek Jeter is a good baseball player. That doesn't "prove" anything. Just throw random fucking numbers out in the air and base all of your observations on your memory and what you see on the field, that's so much more reliable.

I am not even close to being a stathead but in what world does it make sense to openly ignore and fail to use complex measurements of a baseball player's ability on the field, yet embrace non-tangible measurements like inspiring the team through an act that hurt the team or The Give-Up ratio to determine Derek Jeter has won hundreds of games for the Yankees with his aggressiveness? It doesn't make sense. This is all part of the idiotic anti-stats revolution that has made us all dumber. Wallace Matthews is an idiot.

-I have wanted to put this up for a while because it proves the hypocrisy of many veterans when it comes to steroids.

Yes, this is another case of me agreeing with Gregg Doyel. Sometimes I agree with his vendettas.

How quickly they forget, these geezers. How quickly they forget that cheating, maybe a different kind of cheating but cheating nonetheless, was going on when they played, too. How quickly they forget that the steroid era was born when Sandberg and Boggs and Darling weren't geezers, but were stars.

I don't actually think Boggs, Darling, and Sandberg were still "stars" when the Steroid Era was born. I thought the era began in the late to mid-90's and I don't think these guys were stars at this point.

Listen to what Sandberg said on radio station ESPN 1000 in Chicago when asked about Sammy Sosa, his teammate with the Cubs from 1992-97:

"I did admire the hard work he put in," Sandberg said. "He was one of the first guys down to the batting cage, hitting extra. I figured he was working out hard in the offseason to get bigger."

Even ex-players are using horseshit excuses for why they did not blow the whistle on the steroid users. They were in the dark just like everyone else! If you completely believe that...well you shouldn't.

Or do like 136-game winner Ron Darling and wish them all dead.

"I don't care if guys who used steroids, if they die of a heart attack at 45," Darling told Stevens. "I really don't."

Tough talk. As we all know using steroids is the most severe thing a human being can do to hurt another person. Committing a victimless crime hurts everyone.

Sure, using steroids is cheating and the players should have tougher penalties in my mind, but wishing them dead? That's a bit much. Maybe wish Jim Leyritz dead since he actually killed another person while driving a car intoxicated, but steroid users? This from what TBS wants us to believe is the best broadcaster in baseball now. No thank you, I expect more rationality and common sense from the best broadcaster in baseball.

"I know my 136 wins are mine -- no one else's," Darling said. "I feel good about that as opposed to some of the players who cannot feel that way."

Apparently all of Ron Darling's 136 wins were all shut outs. Let me check the numbers...no, actually only 13 wins were shut outs. Sounds to me like Ron Darling is full of shit and tends to forget he played on teams that had offenses that scored runs.

In 1992 when Darling was with the A's and he won 15 games all by himself, McGwire hit 42 home runs. Canseco hit 22. One of the top relievers was Rick Honeycutt, who was once caught doctoring a ball with a thumbtack he had taped to his finger. Honeycutt didn't get away with it -- at all -- getting caught by umpires and cutting his forehead when he rubbed his face with the aforementioned finger. Honeycutt was suspended 10 games because what he did was wrong. It was cheating.

Would it be fair to say that Darling benefitted from the players who cheated that he now wants dead? I think it would be fair to say that. Is it fair to say that while Ron Darling was clean, to take full credit for the 15 wins he got in 1992 is a bit disingenuous? Yes, it is.

Here's another example of Ron Darling take full credit for winning games that were won with known cheaters helping him on offense.

When Darling was with the Mets, winning a career-high 17 games in 1988, cheaters formed two-thirds of his everyday outfield. Lenny Dykstra would be named in the Mitchell Report, and Darryl Strawberry was snorting coke to get himself revved up for games.

I don't know if cocaine is "cheating." My point is that players who say they had no idea the other players on the team were on steroids are using that as an excuse. Sure, they may not have completely known, but you spend 6 months a year with 24 other guys and you have to have a clue. You have to.

My other point is that steroids taint every player. Ron Darling claims he got his numbers without the use of steroids. How many games had he won if Dykstra, McGwire, and Canseco had not been juicing?

Boggs sounds disgusted, right? But not so disgusted that he'd return the only World Series ring of his career, won in 1996 with the Yankees, whose staff was anchored by HGH-using Andy Pettitte.

Boggs also won a lot of games, and made a lot of money, playing behind suspected steroid abuser Roger Clemens in Boston and Mike Stanton with the Yankees.

This is a problem with Gregg Doyel, he sometimes take things too far and loses his original point. Neither Pettitte, Clemens, nor Stanton were on steroids when Boggs played with them...at least there is no proof of it. It's like he throws this in there to fulfill the necessary word count.

It kind of sucks how steroids can taint even supposedly "clean" player's numbers just because they played on a team that had players who were using steroids.


Fred Trigger said...

"And the reason they nearly pulled it out, I would counter, is because of Jeter's play during the past 13 1/2 years."

He makes it sound like the rally started because the players all reflected back on Jeters entire career and were inspired to rally, with memories of his calm eyed stare dancing through their heads.

Teams that quit: 2003 Tigers and the Royals for the past 15 years.

In RE to the former players pissed off about steroid users: I think I'm going to go through the old SI vault and see what some of these guys had to say about those guys back in the day. How much you want to bet I find some good money quotes making them look like hypocrites? I think the chances are good.

Fred Trigger said...

From MMQB Tuesday Edition written by Matt light.

"10. I think Peter King has a very tough job. After several drafts and the threat of carpal-tunnel syndrome, I have a newfound respect for journalists everywhere. It's been fun, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a Monday Morning Quarterback once in my career."

That sound you hear is bens blood coming to a boil.

Thats got to be as offensive to ben as if Matt said the pats still defeated the Panthers, even though their entire line (and punter) were on steroids. What? Who said that? (running for cover)

Bengoodfella said...

They did reflect back, don't you know that Fred. They all sat there while someone did the longest American anthem in history and reflected on Derek Jeter and all he has done, but most importantly how he got thrown out at third base in the first inning and decided to rally at that point.

After writing that I am not 100% sure the Braves have not quit this year. See, I don't know if I can give you the 2003 Tigers because they had no talent. I would not call it quitting if the team is so bad they just can't win...I don't know what to think about the Royals.

You know those guys said something about steroids or something to that effect that will make them hypocrites. Ron Darling is so egotistical to think that he won all those games by himself when he had a lineup with steroid users in it who helped him out. He benefitted from the steroid users but he wants them to die and claims he won all those games himself. Bullshit.

I refuse to let my blood boil again until Peter King comes back. Though when I read that I did think that his job isn't THAT hard. Half of his column is his opinion and the other half is the result of a week's worth of phone calls and quotes. I respect sports columnists overall but it's not like Peter doesn't mostly dictate what he talks about, so it can't be that hard.

That's fine Fred. I see how it is. You won the Super Bowl and still have to gloat. I prefer to focus on the fact it was only three OL and none of them are on the team anymore. It would hurt me if they were home grown players who I had grown to care about and not free agents. I prefer not to talk about this though...but thanks for bringing it up.

The Todd Sauerbrun (the Panthers punter) steroid thing is on the fans. We should have alerted the media because every time he punted we all commented there is no way his arms should be that big. He was huge...I don't know how the Charlotte media didn't figure out he was on something.

Bengoodfella said...

Not to stay off topic of how much the world loves Derek Jeter...

but I am surprised more was not made of that revelation the Panthers had a steroid problem on the OL in 2003. I guess there are some positive aspects of being a small market team and no one giving a shit about your team.

Fred Trigger said...

Its amazing how little people care about steroids in football, but when it comes to baseball, you would think the offending players murdered somebody.

haha, I was just busting your balls man. I honestly didnt get to see that superbowl because I was in bootcamp at the time. From what I gathered from the letter I got from my girlfriend at the time: it was a really boring game until the 4th quarter.

The Casey said...

Sure, the Yankees got together during the stretch and said to each other, "Guys, if we lose this game, somebody, somewhere, might think that Jeter made a bad play that may have contributed to us losing the game. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN! Remember, according to our contracts, we must protect The Jeter at all costs. One for all, and all for Jeter!"


I never understood why they didn't move Jeter to 2B when the traded for A-Rod. They had just traded their starting 2B, and I thought 3B would have been an easier position for them to fill at the time.

In other news, I was amused at how Matt Light kinda threw Birk under the bus in MMQB today. Obvious some of the players think they are doing just plenty for the retired players, thank you very much.

Bengoodfella said...

I think it is generally accepted that most football players are using some sort of PED and that is why people don't seem to care. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either, but I think it is more accepted.

I know you were just messing with me, but it still pisses me off they were on PEDs.

I was not bored at all by the game actually. It was incredibly exciting for me, no matter how ugly the first half was. I still watch the first 46 minutes and 30 seconds of the game to this day. I won't watch John Kasay kick the ball out of bounds ever again. It almost killed me the first time.

Fred Trigger said...

haha, "The Jeter". Thats awesome. It make me think of "The Big Lebowski" and "The Dude".

Bengoodfella said...

Simmonsanity...I like that word. I think the Yankees did do that. Nothing can reflect poorly on Jeter and they all had that failed stolen base attempt on their minds knowing they had to redeem him. It's so funny that Wallace hates statistics when they completely explain the positive things Jeter did to help win the game, but subscribes to ubuntu type stuff to explain it instead.

There were a lot of things I think the Yankees should have done to make the team better and they did not. For example, I thought they should have made the trade for Beckett and Lowell. At the time (if I remember correctly), I think a package of Cano, Hughes, and a couple others would have worked...if I am not wrong, which I could be. That was so long ago in my mind. The Marlins were giving a quality 3B away.

It is horrible to ask Jeter to move to 2B though, so they did not do that. I can't help but wonder how much better a Jeter, A-Rod and Lowell infield would have looked. It's not like the Yankees have ever worried about making their team younger, so having an old 3B wouldn't have been the end of the world.

I like how Light basically told Birk to take his complaints and shove them. I like a good MMQB rumble.

Anonymous said...

BGF...Lay off Darling. I won't have 1/3 of the best broadcasting team in the biz be taken to task by the likes of you. Matthews and Jeter, OTOH? Different story.

This drivel from Newsday (by the way, for all you non-NYers out there, Newsday is NOT a NYC paper. It's the Long Island daily paper. Unfamiliar with Long Island? It's like eastern New Jersey) is the simple tip of the iceberg. The radio shows big topic of the day? Jeter and the ump (Bruce Foster?). Call after call either condemning or commending Jeter. Sickening. Each call begins with, "I've been a NYY fax for xx years and that was the best/worst play I've ever seen. That ump should be drawn and quartered, though."

Best part about it, though? There is not a doubt in mind that Matthews is a Mets fan. He, like every other wackass journalist in this town cannot criticize Jeter, ever, without first patting him on the back for everything from the Jeremy Giambi play to allowing ARod to use the same locker room as he.

Bengoodfella said...

Fine, I will lay off Ron Darling...if I have to.

I did not think Newsday was a NYC paper, I honestly did not exactly know what it was. I am familiar with Long Island being like Jersey though...just through what people like you have told me. Hearing call after call about whether Jeter should be condemned or the umpire should be condemned is one reason I have a hard time listening to sports talk radio. I know one thing for sure, it was not that failed stolen base that caused the Yankees to almost make a comeback.

I also think that Matthews is a Mets fan. The only reason I say that is because nearly every thing comes back to the Mets and he is hypercritical of some of the things they have done, more to the extent a diehard fan would be critical.

What I don't get is why he is such a big Jeter fan then? I would think he would take every opportunity available to point out what Jeter did wrong and take him to task. I don't know if he believes in journalistic impartiality based on his talking about the Mets, so it surprises me he likes Jeter so much. I am not sure I have ever read Wallace Matthews criticize Jeter.

I can accept Jeter is a great player but I draw the line when they start giving him credit for things he is not responsible for.

On a side note, ESPN-Manny, which is what I am going to call them from now on since they are showing his every at-bat, showed Manny getting thrown out of a game last night and I can't blame him. It was a horrible call.

KentAllard said...

The Jeter abides.

Bengoodfella said...

I am sad to say I have never seen that movie...but I still get the joke of course.

KentAllard said...

You've never seen Lebowski? Please rectify that. I've seen it enough to memorize most of the dialogue.

Bengoodfella said...

I have not seen The Big Lebowski. My roommates in college had the movie and watched it periodically but I never sat down and actually watched the movie. I do need to rectify the situation very soon. It is in my NetFlix queue, so I could probably get it pretty soon if I wanted to.