Monday, September 7, 2009

6 comments Monday Notes

I hope everyone who cares about the sport enjoyed the first weekend of college football. I am writing this post on the Thursday before the games started so I have no idea what happened this past weekend. I have a couple things I wanted to share here on Monday to start the day off right (where "right" means "me giving my opinion," its very Bill Simmons of me to equate me giving my opinion with other people's joy, I realize that. Speaking of Bill Simmons...).

-Bill Simmons posted a two part Vegas weekend play-by-play. I am sure there is a certain crowd in the world that really cares what the hell happened to him in Vegas. These same people probably also write into his mail bag and care what type of inside jokes Bill and his really super cool friends have. I personally don't, so it's not worth covering for me at all. Of course I will still give my comments on it after reading Part 1.

Contrary to the approximately 80 tags I have with the name "Bill Simmons," I actually have nothing against the guy. Many of the jerks, like me, who can be critical of him feel like his writing has gone from fairly original and clever in the beginning to self referential and really dragged down by his constant need to be the person who is the most right and funny in every situation. These Vegas "diaries," first off don't deal with sports, which I see as a problem coming from a guy who writes for ESPN and calls himself The Sports Guy. The second problem is it just feels incredibly self indulgent. It's like he has gotten confused and thinks because people care about his writing, they care about his life, his friends, what his friends say, what his wife says, and how much fun he and his friends have. It may just be me but it just feels very self indulgent to write a column about how much fun you had in Vegas with your friends and go into minute, little details on everything that happened. It's gotten to the point his Twitter updates are more interesting than his columns.

As he stated in his opening paragraph, he is almost 40, which is still young, but way too old to be transcribing drunken details of a Vegas weekend. We get it. There were self referential jokes, somebody got really drunk and did something, the gambling was fun, they made up a new "Theory," used pop culture references to refer to something that happened, there was an incident they will all remember for the rest of their lives, and they all realized being married sucks. I think that probably sums it up. I don't need to read it again really. I am sure Part 2 is much of the same.

Did I forget to mention the entire weekend was just an attempt to do a feeble remake of an Entourage episode or the movie "Swingers"? Because if I did, I should have mentioned that. Also, I am sure the debauchery was epic and Vegas is super awesome.

I have no problem when my friends or someone else I know personally share tales from the weekend or a trip to Vegas, but really hearing about a sports columnists really awesome Vegas weekend isn't that much fun to me. There is something about the worldwide sharing of inside jokes between friends and relating all the "cool" things that happened which feels very egotistical and self involved to me. If it was something sports related, maybe I could be a little bit nicer about it. This is supposedly Bill's last Vegas vacation with "the boys"...I certainly hope so.

-Rick Reilly went ahead and thought he would steal Bill Simmons' column idea for reasons on why you can no longer cheer for your favorite team. Bill's column was better in my mind.

First Rick Reilly copies his own previous columns (and copyrights the name of his weekly 800 word disgrace of a column) and now he is partially stealing column ideas from Bill Simmons. Every day is a new low for Rick.

The worst part is that not 1 hour after I wrote this, Deadspin picked up on it. So now I am writing this on Thursday and posting it Monday, so it seems like I am just copying the copying of what Deadspin readers noticed. I promise I noticed and wrote this independently of anything on Deadspin (End of pathetic

The worst part for me was his last reason to abandon your team:

10. Your team is the Cubs. Seriously. Go already.

The Cubs have officially been annointed by many in the media as the new "Red Sox-like cursed/unlucky team" and it drives me crazy. They are not unlucky nor are they loveable losers. They are a large market team that has mismanaged it's payroll and signed players they have no business signing. It's not that the fans are all losers, I am sure they are not, but the whole "we are loveable losers but just have bad luck" schtick the fans put out to the world gets old fast.

The Cubs are the Red Sox and the Yankees if they made (more) bad personnel decisions. They aren't "a little team that could, if only they had a little luck," they are a large market team that has made some bad signings and really hasn't developed too many players in their farm system, which hasn't helped their present situation. Reilly and the rest of the media can create goats that have cursed the team or use Bartman as an example of a curse that exists but it's all bullcrap to give the Cubs ineffectiveness a story line that fits in a column. When in doubt for a reason behind a team's struggles, blame a curse for it. I am surprised Dan Shaughnessy is not involved with this. Doesn't he need to try and sell more books?

-Bill Plaschke again whines about the Dodgers not trading for a star pitcher. The best part is that he doesn't make sense in doing it.

Agreed. This is why the Dodgers should not have taken a chance. This is why Colletti should have offered more to the Cleveland Indians for Lee.

It is a failed trade that could haunt them through October, a failure of the entire Dodgers organization to either offer or cultivate the right prospects.

They are cursed and haunted! Alert the mainstream media there is a new curse out there! Call Dan Shaugne...ok, I have used that joke already today.

Yes, the Dodgers should have cultivated prospects 2-3 years ago for the express purpose of trading for Cliff Lee in 2009. I can see a directive coming from the Dodger's ownership written in memo form, "Please begin to cultivate prospects for the express purpose of trading for good pitchers in three years."

Yes, I know Bill Plaschke means they should develop some sort of a farm system, not expressly for the purpose of trading for Cliff Lee, but the mere fact the Dodgers don't have the prospects to get Cliff Lee in a trade should, in theory, cause Plaschke to give up on the idea or at least cause him to stop writing about it one month after the trade deadline. Not so much I guess...

Or it could be that this belongs on Frank McCourt's desk. Remember that last summer, in an effort to save money, the Dodgers traded some of their best prospects for players -- Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, Greg Maddux -- instead of just buying them.

Maybe I am confused but how could the Dodgers have bought Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake or Greg Maddux? Am I supposed to really believe the Red Sox or Pirates would have accepted money in lieu of prospects for Manny? Same thing for the Indians, I don't think they would have accepted money instead of baseball players. Maybe I am crazy but I think what Plaschke is suggesting is impossible. Maybe I am misunderstanding him here, but I don't think so. He wanted to give money in return for these three players, instead of giving up prospects.

Wasn't it just a paragraph ago Plaschke wanted the Dodgers to cultivate prospects to trade for Cliff Lee, but now he is complaining the Dodgers traded their top prospects for the stretch run last year...which got them in the NL Championship Series by the way. You can't have it both ways...and I am pretty sure you can't just pay for players because teams are going to want other players in return. Major League Baseball isn't Wal-Mart, it's a bartering system.

The bottom line is that, in acquiring Lee, the Phillies traded from a system that had four of Baseball America's midseason top 50 prospects.

The Dodgers had zero players on that list.

I understand the Dodgers haven't gotten any good how were they supposed to trade for Cliff Lee or another great starting pitcher again? I really doubt the Indians would have accepted cash. Really, Plaschke is not fighting the fight to get better pitchers on the Dodgers team but he is fighting to get a better farm system so he can trade players from that farm system and then complain about the farm system not having good enough players.

Perhaps he should quit complaining the Dodgers didn't trade for a great pitcher when it is clear they did not have the prospects to complete such a trade. It's fine to want the Dodgers to upgrade their pitching, but you can't complain when you know they don't have the prospects to upgrade the pitching staff.

-Does anyone realize what a great offensive year Adam Dunn is having?

Yeah, he is not a great fielder but still his offensive numbers are great. Even his batting average is respectable this year. I never understood when people would constantly talk about how often he strikes out, which is true, but he walks an incredible amount as well. I just wanted to highlight how well Adam Dunn was hitting this year. His batting average is even respectable. I have to say if he played for a bigger team that was winning he may be getting MVP votes...maybe that is going overboard.


Martin said...

The other thing Plash doesn't want to understand, because to me it can only be willful ignorance at this point, is that they are sort of playing their minor league prospects. The higher ends of the farm system are actually on the team right now, from the last couple years.

Kemp, Martin, Broxton, Kershaw, Billingsly, Ethier (who was a trade, but wasn't a major league player at the time) Loney, McDonald, Troncoso, Bellisario. 10 guys on the current roster came out of the minors the last 3 years and have been major contributers all season. Does Bill think that the Phillies are going to have 4 of the Top 50 prospects next year? Does he even understand player developement at all? Yeah, probably not, since he thinks the Dodgers were actually supposed to "buy" guys last year instead of, ya know, barter, for them.

Bengoodfella said...

Worst opening weekend for me in college football for a while. I will never go on vacation again. First, I have a horrible weekend picking teams, the Braves lose four straight and the Panthers can't win a game. I will never go on vacation again...that's a lie.

If the Dodgers had traded any of the prospects they have playing right now, Plaschke would have let us all hear about how they traded away the future like he said with Maddux etc. They can't win in his book.

What may shock him is the Dodgers are in good shape for a couple of years. Maybe they should just go buy some players from other teams...however that works. I don't think he does get player development at all. The Phillies now have a weaker farm system...maybe not by too much but still weaker.

I like the idea of just buying players. I will give you $50 million for Pujols!

the right reverend said...

im in a bitter mood today so excuse my nitpicks..

i can't stand Simmons. I live in Vegas, and he makes the whole scene here sound more exciting than it actually is.

You've touched on these points before, but I love how Simmons still tries to play the "common man" to some extent but just in this article he's going on about buying $500 bottles of liquor and then leaving the club after 40 minutes and eating "$1.900" dinners and whatever restaurant was lucky enough to bill these assholes. The baseball card convention article was rife with these kind of things, and I'm disappointed you never "riffed" (sorrysorry bad joke) on Bill's photos and captions. I know it must suck to be bill simmons and be dwarfed by Rick Reilly's contract, but the rest of the country is underemployed with no savings.

Oh I just realized you only wrote this article after reading part 1.

When does Rick Reilly's contract expire? Is it soon?

Funny thing, the dodgers would have a top 50 prospect to trade to the Indians (carlos santana) if they hadn't already gifted him to the Indians for Casey Blake. The indians would have taken a lot less for Blake.

I think the Mets are more like the Red Sox and the Yankees if they made bad personnel decisions than the Cubs. The Cubs have had some injury issues this season and also have a complete idiot for a manager, who never ever puts his best 9 players on the field, even if they are healthy, and manages the bullpen worse than a 9 year old. He didn't have to make kevin gregg the closer, but he did. Anyway, I'm not looking forward to the day the Cubs win either.

Lastly, Dunn is not simply "not a great fielder", he is the worst defensive player in the league. Try watching a nationals game, I GUARANTEE, no matter what position he is playing he will either misplay a ball or outright miss a playable ball or turn a single into a double because he is incapable of cutting off a ball. Unless he's putting up Pujols numbers, I think it would be a travesty to award him MVP votes, that team isn't really much better or worse without him, though I agree if he were on a better team he'd have his supporters.

the right reverend said...

just to remind you, I'm the idiot who said the Braves were the best team in the NL after the McLouth trade. I still think they're a good team, but I think Cox has made a number of mistakes.. like bailing on Kelly Johnson when Prado went on a hot streak (I'm the last johnson believer standing I think) , and now seemingly benching ryan church for matt diaz/garret anderson though that might have do with Church's back.

I also think the Kotchman for Laroche trade was a net minus, they lost too much on defense to compensate for Laroche's SLG.
Anyhow, I consider this season for the Braves to be a lost opportunity because all these decisions added up into making them a worse team than they should be, too bad.

Bengoodfella said...

It's ok to be bitter. No problem there.

I pretty much ignored his card convention stuff because it didn't even interest me. He is a writer in my mind, he needs to write, not go to conventions. Simmons isn't a normal guy, he is a wealthy person and the fact he can afford all that crap really annoys me because he does go out of his way to tell us all about it. We get it. You are right. There are many richer people than you. We, your fans, made you rich. Shut up, start writing something that is not a mail bag.

Reilly's contract is interminable, it's never going to end.

Regardless what happens, I am glad we both aren't looking forward to the day the Cubs win the World Series. It is going to be annoyingly bad. The fans will come from everywhere.

I don't care, I still want Adam Dunn on the Braves. I know he stinks defensively. I realize that but they have ZERO offense and they can't seem to made the appropriate moves to get offense. After this weekend, the season is over. I am just looking forward to a year when the media and the fans won't blow smoke up everyone's ass about the team.

Martin said...

Part of Bill's problem with this article was he wanted to write a decent, serious (I think) article about realizing he's 40, he's not young anymore, and how this might be a last hurrah for him and his boys. I could actually handle that, but the incessant self-referencing, the "Theory of" crap, and his inability to write with anything beyond superficial contemplation (which I originally wrote "complentation" sweet lord) makes one want to shove long knitting needles into his eyeballs.

"We're 40! We're like frat boys, but, with daughters, and Vegas skanks in Pure aren't our scene anymore!"

Let me help you out Bill, those chicks were never part of your scene. Your boys woulda approached them just long enough to be told where the mens room was.