Monday, October 3, 2011

10 comments Since It Didn't Suck Enough Live, Let's Review Some Choking with a Bill Simmons Running Diary

So we all understand the baseball games Wednesday night were awesome and shitty at the same time. There was one guarantee coming out of this though. Win or lose, Bill Simmons would do a running diary or a column about, not the baseball games that night, but the Red Sox game that night. That's really the only way the "Sports Guy" will actually talk about baseball. The "Boston Sports Guy" will talk sports in the realm of how it affects the Red Sox. There is no pennant race if the Red Sox aren't in it. Think I'm full of shit? Last year was a great example. There was no pennant race column because the Red Sox weren't in a race for a playoff spot. It's Bill's column so he can do whatever he wants, but baseball is slowly becoming like hockey for Bill. It's only talked about in the context of his favorite team and if his team isn't in the playoffs, he ignores the sport completely. So that leaves us with a running diary of Wednesday night, which will probably be the last mention of baseball from Bill Simmons this year.

Before we get to great was this? Dan Shaughnessy, you have failed. Look for him to write a book about this and then put some more rouge on those rosy cheeks of his for television interviews about the new fake curse he created.

One other thing, one part of this post on the Big Lead sort of irritated me.

The Phillies eventually took care of business in the 13th inning. The bright side? Does this unfortunate turn of events really bother anyone in Atlanta? The answer is most likely no, which is exactly why you aren’t cackling at them nearly as much.

Simply because Braves fans aren't yelling annoyingly loud, have widely known sportswriters putting it in everyone's heads how above everyone else our fan base is, and aren't located in Northeast doesn't mean Braves fans don't care. We do, even if the shitty fans actually living in Atlanta can't seem to show up for games. So yes, the unfortunate turn of events really does bother people in Atlanta. Maybe one day Braves fans will get their very own loudmouth sportswriters to get in the public eye and skew the public's opinion of the team to obnoxiously reinforce the idea we care, but I hope that day never comes.

I was paying for groceries in Los Angeles while wearing my trusty Tim Wakefield no. 49 T-shirt jersey. From behind me, I heard a raspy, older, female voice ask me, "You guys gonna win today?"

I turned around. The voice belonged to Amy Madigan, the actress who played Kevin Costner's wife in Field of Dreams.

First off, this is yet again another story Bill tells us to convey the idea he lives in Hollywood and rubs shoulders with celebrities all the time. If this hasn't been made clear enough at this point then you haven't read any other column/mailbag Bill has written where he name-drops celebrities or "insider" celebrity stories as much as possible.

Second, I am not sure I believe this story. It just seems too perfect for him to run into the lead actress from "Field of Dreams."

"Who's pitching?" she asked.

"Lester today. Tomorrow, I don't know. Might be Kevin Costner."

She thought this was funny.

Well of course she thought this was funny! Bill is a really funny guy and he has celebrities who laugh at him as proof of this. Bill HAS to add that she thought this was funny, because he always wants his readers to know he is the funniest, most clever guy in the room at all times. Bill's ego will have it no other way. So despite the fact whether she thought of this comment is funny or not is relevant to the story (which it isn't and he made a similar joke on Twitter that same day), he has to add this in to the story so people who read his column know that a celebrity thinks Bill Simmons is funny. It basically just reinforces how funny Bill already knows he is.

That's what you do when your baseball season is falling apart: you search for signs … any signs, anything that means anything.

No, this is what you do when you don't have a real job and have time to think of this shit. Everyone else goes home, eats with their family and then watches baseball games hoping their team wins quickly enough so they can get some sleep and won't wake up tired.

The Red Sox hit that point about two weeks ago, midway through their improbable swoon, as they kept trotting out the Lackeys, Wakefields and Weilands with everyone thinking, "Wait, we don't have ANY other options?"

Do you know what other teams were thinking this? Every other team in Major League Baseball, except the options these teams didn't like were mostly retreads or rookies and not high-priced free agent acquisitions and 200 game winners. I do understand Wakefield and Lackey pitched poorly, but let's get some perspective.

As a fan of the Braves, a team that had a rotation comprised of three rookie pitchers during the month of September it is hard to feel sorry for Bill that Lackey and Wakefield were in the rotation. The Braves had their own John Lackey and his name was Derek Lowe and he was the #2 starter. It's just one of those things some teams have to deal with, having crappy guys in the rotation. Bill needs to drop the pity-party about the starting rotation. I understand the Red Sox had injuries, but nearly every MLB team (outside of the Phillies) doesn't completely love their rotation during the month of September.

It's been a surreal month for Red Sox fans: Our pre-2004 DNA told us to react the way we always did (total panic, woe-is-us complex, the whole thing); our post-2007 DNA told us, "You won twice, keep it in perspective, this isn't life or death, other teams have it worse";

Guess which DNA won for Bill? That would be 2004-DNA.

our sports-fan DNA told us, "You just spent the past six months watching a team that's probably going to kick you in the teeth … hard. It's coming."

Yeah but every single MLB team kicks their fan base in the teeth at some point during the season, except for the eventual World Series champion. I think it is safe to assume the fans of the World Series champion don't feel like they have been kicked in the teeth at the end of the season.

When Bill wrote this column it sure didn't feel like he was prepared to be kicked in teeth. This was a pretty tough collapse to handle, I will give him that, but if Bill paid attention to the rest of the playoffs this year he would see seven other fan bases about to be kicked in the teeth as well.

I ended up at my friend Daniel's house to watch Sox-Orioles and Rays-Yankees. And yes, I kept a running diary. Here's what transpired.

Madness is what transpired! Pure madness!

4:02 — A month ago, Ryan Lavarnway was in Triple-A. As recently as 48 hours ago, he wasn't playing. Today, in Game 162, with a playoff spot on the line? He's catching and batting fifth. Somehow, I'm fine with this. I can't think of anyone else I'd bat fifth. Welcome to the 2011 Red Sox season.

Lavarnway wasn't good at all, but the Red Sox still had two MVP candidates in the lineup. Let's keep this in mind.

4:07 — As the camera pans the Red Sox players standing for the national anthem, we see one blond-haired guy, and Daniel says, "Who's that?" Neither of us have any idea. Again, welcome to the 2011 Red Sox season.

Bill’s ignorance of who this blond-haired guy may be is not an indication that he doesn’t follow the Red Sox closely enough, but is a sign this player is irrelevant and probably not good at baseball. Once again, if Bill Simmons doesn’t know of you, then that makes you irrelevant to the world as a whole. Bill’s ignorance of a topic speaks to the irrelevance of that topic and is never a reflection on Bill’s own ignorance nor a reflection on how this ignorance on Bill's part is his own fault.

By the way, if you had explained to me as recently as 10 years ago that I'd be living in California and rooting for the Yankees on an iPad, I would have assumed that I was on the lam for a crime and doing whatever it took to survive.

Then Bill would say, “So I am living in California? Does this mean I know celebrities on a first name basis? If so, who are they?”

4:22 — Red Sox killer Robert Andino leads off for the Orioles as Daniel hisses, "That's just an eff you move by Showalter." Lester strikes him out. I've had Andino on my AL Keeper Team all season — he's a homeless man's Ben Zobrist. There's no better candidate to ruin the 2011 Red Sox season and join the Bucky Dent/Enos Slaughter/Aaron Boone group. He's the odds-on favorite.

There is no way, okay maybe there is a 10% chance, that Bill really wrote Robert Andino was the odds-on favorite to ruin the 2011 Red Sox season. He most likely wrote this in after the running diary was finished in order to make himself look smart. I see this simply because Bill probably only knows Andino from his AL Keeper Team and probably hasn’t paid very much attention to him this year. Just like I believe Bill writes some of the mailbag questions himself, I also believe he will go back and edit his running diaries to take out predictions or comments that make him sound stupid and replaces them with comments that make him look smarter.

That’s really one of the big drawbacks of a running diary. You have to trust your author not to edit too much of what he says in order to get some authenticity out of it. Otherwise, the author can make himself sound really smart if he wants to.

4:25 — J.J. Hardy's surprisingly good season (30 homers) inadvertently inspires Daniel and me to discuss whether we'd take HGH if we were baseball players. I decide that I wouldn't take it until I started slipping in my mid-30s, and then I'd start popping them like Pez.

This is awkward then. Bill, you are past your mid-30s and you have been slipping for a few years now. Better start retroactively popping them like Pez.

4:41 — Lester gets a long fly ball out from Baltimore's Secretly Scary Guy (Matt Wieters),

It’s not really a secret that Wieters is a scary guy. He’s a 25 year old catcher who hit .262/.328/.450 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI’s and it feels like he struggled to get those numbers. Basically, his ability is a lot higher than his numbers currently reflect.

then gives up an infield single to Baltimore's Openly Scary Guy (Adam Jones)

You mean the guy who hit .280/.319/.466 with 25 home runs and 83 RBI’s this year? It sure seems like the openly scary guy and the secretly scary guy have similar numbers. I wonder why one is secretly scary while the other is openly scary? I’m guessing it is because Bill just chooses to label them this way based on the three Orioles games he watched this year.

I feel as bad for Crawford as you can feel for someone who's worth nine figures…I still feel like Crawford could redeem himself someday — maybe even during these next five weeks. I'm rooting for him.

(Please, Lord, don't let that paragraph be thrown back in my face.)

And what do you know? This paragraph got thrown back in Bill’s face when Crawford couldn’t catch a fly ball at the end of the game. It’s almost like Bill wrote that last sentence in parenthesis AFTER the game was over. He’d never do that though, would he?

4:49 — Back-to-back singles by Ellsbury and Pedroia. 1-0, Red Sox, nobody out, David Ortiz up. Semirelated: I wish Ortiz named his different beards with monikers like "Insignia" and "Macarena." For tonight he shaved his mustache, shaved the left and right sides over his chin, but kept every other part of the beard and connected the soul patch to it. It would have been so much easier if I could have just told you, "Tonight Ortiz is wearing Insignia," right?

I try to be fair. I think this is a pretty good idea.

God forbid Lester or Beckett have one "Come on, fellas, everyone get on my back!" start these last three weeks.

These two guys did look pretty terrible over the last three weeks. Perhaps, and I am just eyeballing this, the reason the Red Sox struggled down the stretch isn’t because of Terry Francona (the horror he may not be at fault) and could be because few of the Red Sox pitchers pitched well during that time?

I know! It’s crazy to think about, but what if the players got most of the blame instead of Theo Epstein or Terry Francona?

5:22 — If you're looking for a guy to end innings by getting thrown out by three steps on bizarrely timed steals of second base, look no further than Mike Aviles. The good news: It's still 5-0 in Tampa.

The Red Sox got a .317/.340/.436 line out of Aviles (he hit .222/.261/.395 in Kansas City) and Bill isn’t happy because Aviles got caught stealing twice in six attempts. This further proves that Bill has no shame and will complain about any player on the Red Sox team even based on one play.

And is anyone more unstoppable than Mark Teixeira in Game 162, when the Yanks clinched the division a week ago?

I laughed at this. Bill has a point, even if he doesn’t know it. I got to watch Tex for a full year in Atlanta and he seemed like he was great at hitting the home run that put his team up 4-1 when it was already a 3-1 game (Of course, I would have loved for a Braves player to put the Braves up 4-1 Wednesday night, but that would ruin my point that Tex isn’t clutch so please don’t point this out). Tex is the best second-best player on a team in the majors. He’ll never be “the guy” on a great team, but he will always be the best second-best player on a great team.

Does it seem like a cheap shot to mention Tex's career line in the playoffs is .214/.320/.330 with 26 strikeouts in 122 plate appearances? I know this is a small sample size, but I feel like he gets off easy sometimes when discussing players who need to step up in the playoffs.

6:05 — I always love hearing the kicking Boston accents during the local NESN commercials (like the creepy Jordan's Furniture guy just now). It's too bad you can't pick the accents for commercials the same way you can manipulate the SAP button. I'd go with "Rhode Island" and maybe even blend "Chicago" in there every few weeks to mix it up.

Again, not a terrible joke. Bill's sort of on a roll. I’m a tough critic, but I would love this SAP-type button on my remote.

6:15 — Either Lester (87 pitches) just pitched around Wieters, or he can't find the plate anymore. Third and first, two outs, Adam Jones up. This goes beyond tense. Lester is laboring. Everyone on the Red Sox looks like a college kid whose girlfriend just told him, "We have to talk, I did something dumb last night."

And we’re back to typical Bill Simmons throwing out analogies that “speak to the average sports fan,” but are also vaguely sexist. Assuming "the average sports fan" dated a woman who cheated on him during college because she’s like most women and just a super huge whore.

7:18 — Bases loaded, no outs, Yankees winning by six, bottom of the eighth, Michael Kay saying, "The Yankees have used nine pitchers tonight, there's really nobody else available other than Scott Proctor,"

Having gone through the Scott Proctor Experience this year to the tune of a 6.44 ERA and 1.71 WHIP with the Braves, I have sympathy. He gave the Yankees a 9.00 ERA and 2.82 WHIP, which brings me to the question of "Why the hell Scott Proctor still has a job in the majors?"

At this point in the game, it would have been better to skip Proctor entirely and then throw in a utility guy or Jorge Posada (what the hell else does he have to do? Can he go from DH to pitcher? I should check the rulebook on that) to pitch for the Yankees. He could not be any worse than Scott Proctor has been since 2008. Proctor's arm injuries were a sign that he refused to heed. The sign was telling him he needs to take all the money he made in baseball and go find another career. He didn't listen and the Red Sox suffered.

By the way, Scott Proctor has pissed off three franchises this season. Atlanta, New York and Boston. What else can be expected of him? That's what he does. The best part is the playoffs aren't over. Somehow, I bet he manages to piss off a fourth team.

I apologize for the rant, I’m still scarred by the Scott Proctor Experience.

7:39 — Somebody named Greg Golson flies out to end the top of the ninth — he looks like one of the fake Yankees who played against Billy Chapel's team in For Love of the Game. He might be an actor. I'm not even kidding.

Of course, please remember the fact Bill can’t recognize this player shouldn’t be a big deal since he couldn’t recognize one of the Red Sox players earlier in this running diary.

Let's add this to the "What the hell was Terry Francona doing this month?????" files no matter how this turns out.

I still don’t get the Francona/Red Sox separation. The whole “team chemistry” issue is bullshit because winning creates good chemistry. A manager is a player’s manager until the team starts losing in which case he runs too loose of a ship. A manager is a detail-oriented manager until the team starts losing in which case he is too overbearing and criticizes players for small mistakes. Maybe Francona didn’t do the best job in the clubhouse this year, but if the Red Sox pitchers didn’t pitch well in September and there weren’t injuries to the team then he would still be the manager. Maybe I don’t have my hand on the pulse of the issue but it seems to me like this a bit of an overreaction on both Francona and the Red Sox part.

8:02 — Here's all you need to know about tonight, this month and this season: I'm PETRIFIED of Robert Andino right now.

The odds are 95% now that Bill wrote this part of the running diary after the game was over in order to make himself sound smarter.

Although I'd still vote for Justin Verlander. It's hard to think of anyone being an MVP on a .500 team (Toronto) or a team that choked so memorably in September (Boston).

It’s not hard to think of someone as the MVP when on a .500 team or a team that choked in September. In fact, in the guidelines on how to vote for MVP it specifically states to ignore where that player’s team finished the season. It is fun to think otherwise though.

If there was an MVP to be given out this year, it was the NBA Finals MVP — you know, for that September streak when the Red Sox won six of 24 games.

I get it! Because Kobe Bryant went 6-for-24 in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Celtics!

The first 50 times Bill told this joke it wasn’t funny. Now it is just getting annoying. You lost, Bill. The MVP was also decided on the other six games in that series as well. But Bill’s non-funny joke based on a small sample size of one game just keeps getting less funny.

8:42 — The Braves are done. Lost in the 13th. I was afraid to mention them — they're like our co-Kings of Kollapse.

Bill also forgot to mention the Braves because he really hasn’t watched a single National League game this year and all. Since that’s the inferior league in MLB. I wish Bill could be completely honest. He watches MLB when the Red Sox are good and he only watches Red Sox games. He couldn’t tell you the best pitcher on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitching staff. Hey, and this is fine. He just shouldn’t call himself “the Sports Guy,” and go back to the moniker “the Boston Sports Guy.”

"Daddy needs another drink," Daniel says. That's going to be the title of my 2011 Red Sox book.

8:53 — Chris Davis keeps Baltimore alive with a double down the line, then Golson gets tagged out for the Yanks on a grounder to third (second and first, one out). And just like that, everything flipped. I can't wait to write about this in more detail this winter when I'm writing Daddy Needs Another Drink.

And Bill Simmons has co-opted his friend’s idea. Now, if Daniel was just a normal reader who wrote into Bill’s mailbag, then Bill would point out there is already a book called “Daddy Needs a Drink” and then try to improve on the reader’s idea so Bill could be the most creative guy in the room. Since Daniel is Bill’s friend, then Bill is fine with him having a creative idea, but Bill will have to steal it.

9:02 — Andino rips a single to left, Crawford dives for it, should catch it, seems like he's going to catch it … can't catch it.

Andino is the same guy Bill was worried about hurting the Red Sox earlier in this very mailbag!

They disintegrated over an entire month, day after day after day. You can't even explain how brutal they were unless you followed the free fall firsthand.


I think I can imagine the feeling of losing a 9 game lead in early September.

If the 2004 Red Sox distinguished themselves by everyone chipping in, the 2011 Red Sox distinguished themselves by chipping out.

There we go. I knew we would get a 2004 Red Sox comparison at some point.

They choked away Game 162 by getting three guys thrown out on the basepaths, by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, by botching a season-deciding fly ball, by letting Chris Davis, Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino

But Andino is like a poor man’s Ben Zobrist. Again, notice Bill’s use of italics for emphasis. I just noticed how he uses these italics and I have to say I love it.

This was a mercy killing. At least that's what I will keep telling myself. The 2011 Red Sox needed to go away.

I guess you could say the Red Sox didn't even deserve to make the playoffs even if they had made the playoffs?


conshy matt said...

"I still don’t get the Francona/Red Sox separation."

i think i do. if you were Francona, would YOU want to manage in Boston after overseeing that collapse? better to move on to a new city where they will be happy to have you, rather than staying in a town that will hate you until you win another world series.

conshy matt said...

from Bill's pick column last week:

"San Fran is built to play tight games, so if Philly blows it open, literally, there's no way San Fran can come back unless Ted Ginn starts ripping off kick returns."

literally no way? well Philly blew it open by 20 points and San Fran DID come back. Bill should literally be banned from ever using the word literraly again.

btw, a Philly area radio host (Howard Eskin) told a SF radio host that there was NO WAY IN HELL the Eagles could lose this game. he said that he would bicycle himself to SF if that happens. i really really hope he keeps his bet. he's one of the worlds biggest d-bags!

my point - why do people with a public forum make such definitive declarations about things that have not happened yet and by definition, are impossible to predict accurately? you'd think that having seen improbable things occur in sports before would humble them into making softer predictions.

rich said...

I can't think of anyone else I'd bat fifth. Welcome to the 2011 Red Sox season.

You know what's awesome about Red Sox fans? They'll spend the entire season talking about how great their team is and how Pedroia, Ortiz, Gonzalez and Ellsbury are God's gift to MLB... but then turn around in the same breath and say "we played a rookie! And batted him fifth!"

The other thing that amazes me is that Red Sox fans will bitch about their team sucking while making excuses for them losing. I'm sorry, if your team is as injury plagued as you're trying to make it out to be, then you can't expect the team to continue to play .600 baseball. So which is it? Was your team too injured or did your team suck and the injuries were just a coincidence?

That's why I'm beginning to warm up to the Braves. Their fans are upset, but at least they don't go around saying "well our team is complete dogshit since we didn't make the playoffs." Braves fans know what they can point to for the reason why they struggled and accepted it as part of the game. They're still upset, but they're not trying to make everyone pity them.

Ya, well the Phillies hit Ross fucking Gload fifth a couple times too.

Baltimore's Secretly Scary Guy (Matt Wieters)

Wait, you mean the Matt Wieters who came into the league to insanely high fanfare and coverage? You can't possibly mean that Matt Wieters because every baseball fan who watches one episode of SportsCenter a year knows who Matt Wieters is.

You know who is also secretely scary? This Hunter Pence guy I keep seeing on the tv.

Back-to-back singles by Ellsbury and Pedroia. 1-0, Red Sox, nobody out, David Ortiz up.

Only three all-stars, ho-hum. Your 2011 Red Sox.

I still don’t get the Francona/Red Sox separation.

I'm with conshy matt on this one. It almost had to be this way. After two rings and this collapse, Francona was going to be on the "you're getting fired as soon as we get below .500" argument.

That's going to be the title of my 2011 Red Sox book.

My title will be "Shut the fuck up, you're not the only ones to get shit on by their team." I know it's a tad long, but I really hope to get a foreword by Paul Holmgren after you know... he traded the teams two best players and signed a goalie to a 7 year, 50M contract... when we already had a goalie of the future.

by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, by botching a season-deciding fly ball

Not to rub salt in the wound, but captain douchebag realizes that the Braves were two outs from a play in game as well, right? I mean he has to know this.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, that's true. If I'm the Red Sox I keep him around. Maybe he lost the clubhouse, I don't know, but it seems like a rushed move. The problem is with the players in my opinion.

Haha...the Eagles did lose that game and San Fran came back. Great catch. I don't think Ginn had a KO return for a TD either.

I heard a/b Eskin's comment. Stupid. I doubt he will keep his bet and he will probably do something on a smaller scale. I don't know why public figures make definitive statements.

Rich, that first comment is pretty true. I hate making blanket statements a/b fan bases but I heard quite a bit a/b Point #1. I think what happens is they know they weren't good enough to make it, but they still expected to make it because some ppl believe the Red Sox really are a team of some destiny. I could be wrong, but some ppl think the Red Sox will make it no matter what b/c they are the Red Sox.

Don't warm up to Braves fans. We are an apathetic bunch at times. We don't show up to the games and cheer loudly. It is true we do tend to pinpoint the problem and try not to have excuses, at least the ones I know. Maybe I only know them b/c they are rational. I just wish the Braves could win now and stop talking about what will happen in the future.

I would agree Pence is (maybe not secretly) scary. I wasn't as high on him before the trade to the Phils. I thought he was a somewhat upgrade, but he's been fantastic.

I guess a/f seeing a team fire a competent manager while Fredi Gonzalez used 162 games to pretty much bury his best players in the lineup, destroy his bullpen and play small ball...I thought Francona would stick around. I can see better now why he wouldn't though. It's a tough situation but I don't think he's to blame. It's easier to blame him than the hero ball players.

Every fan gets shit on by their team at some point. Every fan. Even Yankees fans.

I don't think the Braves would have won the play-in game, but they were close. I'm sad, but it was almost like I'm happy because the team was just out of gas.

Though if they made the playoffs, they deserved to be there.

Martin F. said...

Matt Wieters, who Bill and Matt Berry talked about for 5 minutes in the Fantasy Baseball podcast? Everybody who isn't a casual fan knows about Wieters, but apparently Bill thinks since he's heard about him, he must be secret.

Bill only cares about 2 sports anymore; the NBA and the NFL. He only cares about the NFL because he can bet on it and play fantasy football. Of course he's the guy who thinks that someone taking a $1 flyer in a auction draft is somehow smarter and a better player then someone who drafts a nobody in the 14th round of a draft. Cause you see, leagues that are won by fluky guys you paid a dollar for are much superior to leagues that are won by fluky guys you drafted.

If Bill isn't careful, in two years he's going to go the way of TMQ I think, who is becoming less popular and relevant every year. 4 years ago TMQ was neck and neck with Bill on popularity ratings for most searched on ESPN site, and now TMQ is a middle of the pack rater. (As seen through my entirely subjective eyes while noticing the most requested stories on the ESPN site. I could be wrong, but it does seem like Gregg has taken a hit the last couple years.)

I think Francona left because he was tired of baby sitting this team. All the stories that have come out about the behaviour of Youklis and Beckett, among others makes it seem like a good time for him to leave.

Anonymous said...

Even by Bill's pathetic standards it stuns me that he still thinks that Kobe 6-24 shit is hysterical and finds new ways to use it in his writings......It wasn't funny the first time and it isn't funny the 100th on and BTW...YOUR TEAM LOST THAT GAME ASSHOLE!!!!!! Kobe um, you know, actually walked off that court a winner regardless of how poorly he shot while all the Celtics walked off that court as couldn't hold a 3-2 lead cock sucking chokers.....Your 6-24 joke, or burn, or whateverthefuck it's supposed to be only makes you look like a crybaby moron every time you use it.

Personally I'd like Kobe to show up at Bill's office, show him his title ring and then shove a ceramic dildo with "6 for 24" written on it up Bill's ass. Of course knowing Bill and how he spent years ripping Isiah Thomas from head to asshole (deservedly so) then when he actually met Isiah totally knuckled under and was like "Hey just kidding bro!!!...Let me clear a place on my face so you can jizz all over it while I tell you how great you are".....I'm sure if he ever met Kobe face he'd become a purple and gold tea bagger in record time.

BTW the only thing funnier than how Bill was totally spineless to Isiah in person was how he actually wrote about it like it was something to be proud of. I didn't read the book and don't know what that chapter in his book was called but it should have been titled "How Isiah Thomas showed me to be the biggest limp noodled, poodle skirt wearing, pussycakes swan boy, of all time."

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

i COMPLETELY agree with what rich says - and it is particularly true with simmons and dan shaughnessy. when the team is playing well it's "OMFG THE SAWX ARE THE GREATEST TEAM EVER THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND BOSTON" and if the team is playing well it's "OMFG WOE IS ME THIS IS THE WORST THING IN HISTORY THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND BOSTON" either way the world revolves around boston and no other sports matter. from january to july all we heard was about how this is the greatest thing ever and now it's all about how the red sox are shit and we can never understand their pain (earth to bill: every fan base has to deal with disappointment stop pretending like this is unique to the red sox or that we should all feel sorry for red sox nation when you had $160 million dollars to spend and couldn't get it done). braves fans have gone through disappointing playoff failures for two decades but you don't hear their fans always talking and overhyping their team or whining endlessly and pretending every loss is the end of the world. moral of the story: fuck the red sox, i can't imagine anything that could possibly taste sweeter than simmons/shaughnessy's tears

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, the liason to the Simmons podcast strikes again! I think Bill just assumes he pays more attention than anyone else does and so few people know about Wieters.

I think it is clear at this point that Bill isn't a huge fan of MLB anymore. He is an NBA guy and likes the NFL from a gambling perspective. So he seems to be moving further away from "The Sports Guy" moniker more to the "NBA and Gambling Guy."

I haven't paid attention to where Bill or TMQ were in their rankings. I notice TMQ is still pretty popular, but I don't have a point of view from where he used to be in the ESPN rankings. I think most people read TMQ b/c they hate it, while I believe people still enjoy Bill Simmons' columns.

Bill isn't really part of ESPN anymore, except when he wants to be of course, because he is too busy with Grantland. I think he wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, but he has such a loyal following from his rabid fans I don't know if he will ever really decline in popularity.

Like I say, it is easier to fire the managers than accept the players who are worshipped by the fan base were not listening to the manager.

Anon, I did read the book and it basically was Bill meeting Isiah and saying, "I still disagree with him, but he's a nice guy." It was such a wimp moment for Bill. I don't expect him to go off on Isiah in person, but he killed Isiah in print and then when he met him in person he focused more on Gus Johnson bringing them together and tries to make it seem like he listened to Isiah's reasoning. He wimped out, but tried to get everyone not to focus on that. He kills a guy in print and then listens to his explanation and doesn't kill the guy again? Come on.

The "6-24" thing has been old for a while now. All that matters is the Lakers won. He always conveniently forgets Boston players haven't always played well in the clutch and if he were a Lakers fan he would talk a/b Pierce's 2008 NBA Finals Game 1 acting job. You would have thought he got shot.

Arjun, I can't imagine being a Pirates fan. That would just be the worst. At least every other team in MLB looks competitive and has been somewhat competitive for the last two decades. I would throw Kansas City in there, but they look like they are turning it around, but perhaps they should be included. I'm not sure the Pirates will turn it around.

You know how it is. Every loss is the worst loss ever and every win is the greatest win ever. It's our fault as the public because we didn't tell them to shut the hell up over the years before they won the World Series. What's sad is it is the journalists who push these discussions and these feelings because it creates a narrative for them. Dan and Bill are very happy to embrace the victimization of their teams when they lose and the greatness of their teams when they win.

The thing Dan and Bill want you to believe is their teams are special because that would also give what they cover something special about it. There seems to be an overwhelming sense of uniqueness about his team's situation when Bill writes. He believes this and his fans don't call him on it.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't expect Simmons to trash Isiah face to face. But I would at least expect him to have the balls stand by the things he said over and over and over, and CLEARLY meant, about Isiah and face the music like a man instead of just saying "Hey bro.....I'm just talking shit to make a living, didn't mean any of it.....we cool with each other peeps?" Like Bill basically did when meeting Isiah in person. Shows what a gutless wimp he really is.

Two things about that whole encounter really baffle me. The first is why, of any sports figure out there, would you be compelled to not offend Isiah Thomas when he is shown himself to be one of the most disgusting people in sports. Isiah has made a career out of pissing on people, it was always glossed over in Michigan during his playing days because he was such a baller and had a cute smile, but it's been shown time and time again that the guy is as big of an egomaniac and complete jerk as there is. There's a reason why he was left off the 1992 Olympic team and no player on the team came to his defense. There's a reason he was passed over to run the Pistons by Bill Davidson. There's a reason why the friendship he had with Magic we used to hear about all the time is rarely spoken about anymore......Add in the fact that he's a complete bust as a GM and a coach, as well as a human being, and you have someone who SHOULD be ripped as often as possible. I mean it's not like Simmons tore Cal Ripken Jr. a new one and then met the guy and realized what a great person he was. It's Isiah Thomas for godsakes.

The second thing is why in the world would Isiah not absolutely cream Simmons face to face. Isiah has made a career of shitting on people left and right, some of which have come back to bite him in the ass (Jordan and Bird spring to mind). Yet a guy who he has every reason to hate and absolutely take to the woodshed....And he just played it off as no big.....I'll never understand that one.

Maybe they recognized each other as kindred assholes and that's why things transpired like they did.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, they could have recognized each other as kindred assholes and called a truce. If I remember the story correctly Thomas wasn't exactly thrilled at what Bill said, but he didn't go off on him. Maybe he is more passive aggressive or something like that.

Either way, you are right in that Simmons was right in how he ripped Thomas. He was absolutely correct so if he had something to him face-to-face it would have been awkward, but he would have a point to do so. I thought the meeting was very anti-climactic b/c I believed Bill would have been more aggressive in telling Isiah exactly why he has been so critical of him.

You don't hear much about the meeting of those two and Bill really hasn't said much about Isiah since then. I think at heart Bill wants to be liked, which is fine until he rips a guy like Thomas and then sort of backs down in person.

I understand he doesn't want to create a fight or anything like that, but it was more like each side explained to the other and I felt Bill gave more understanding to Thomas in person than he did in print.