Monday, October 5, 2015

2 comments Phil Mushnick Is Tired of These Showboats and Knows David Cone Agrees With Him On This Even Though He Says He Doesn't

Phil Mushnick is the crankiest of cranky-pant sportswriters. He hates everything. Well, he doesn't hate how things used to be back when athletes didn't show off (you know, show off in a way like pointing to centerfield when he was predicting he would hit a home run), didn't say things for attention (you know, like predict a Super Bowl victory while lounging at the pool), and certainly weren't me-first athletes like today's athlete is. Phil Mushnick misses those days that most certainly never actually occurred. Now it's just athletes out for themselves and the media looking to pander to these athletes. This just infuriates Phil. Much like everything outside of the existence of oxygen infuriates Phil. Mushnick knows David Cone agrees about how showboating is ruining sports, despite Cone actually saying that he does not agree. It's just "The Man" forcing Cone to say these things and that's why he doesn't agree with Phil, not because he really doesn't agree the modern athlete is too much of a showboat. After all, sports ARE NOT intended to be entertainment, so Phil doesn't know where these athletes get off trying to be entertaining.

In the discourse of a week, how much of what we’re told to believe by experts is not even believed by the experts?

42.35%. That's how much we are told to believe on the air by experts is not actually believed by these experts. Well actually, these experts don't actually tell us to believe these things they don't believe, but they simply don't spend most of a game's broadcast ignoring the game in favor of railing against showboating in sports. Phil Mushnick takes this to mean these experts LOVE showboating, because they do their job, which is to call the game and not interject personal opinions on the downfall of sports civility into the broadcast at every possible chance. 

John Madden, off air, claimed to dislike all the chest-pounding and trash-talking. He said he didn’t like show-offs. Who does?

It depends on your definition of a "show-off." I'd also like to add that John Madden coached the Raiders back when they were the hard-hitting and personality-driven Raiders teams, so the fact he claims to not like trash-talking and chest-pounding is kind of ironic given the teams Madden coached. Jack Tatum fucking paralyzed Darryl Stingley during a preseason game. But again, let's forget all this and paint John Madden as a guy who prefers straight-laced players. I like myths. 

Yet on the air, over forced laughs, he said he loved the biggest all-about-me guys — Deion Sanders and Randy Moss, for two — as great entertainers.

Because that's what they are, entertainers. It's sports. Sports are supposed to be fun and entertaining, not boring. I realize the fact sports are supposed to be entertaining causes Phil Mushnick to stare disapprovingly over the top of his glasses and shake his head. 

Of course, Madden’s big-selling video games were — still are — loaded with excessively brutal images and showboating, a primary come-on as seen in commercials and on the packaging. Madden made an added fortune encouraging the young to believe what he doesn’t believe.

I'm pretty sure John Madden never came out on telecasts and said he loved showboating and how players talk trash all the time. Also, Madden wasn't deeply involved with the "Madden" football games to where he probably has a clue what sort of in-depth imagery the game is showing. And one more thing, it's a fucking video game. Brutal images and showboating? It's a video game that is supposed to be fun. Put the pitchforks back to wherever the hell you got them from.

Friday, the Yanks were down, 5-0, in the first, when Alex Rodriguez took an inside first pitch that was called a strike. On YES, Rodriguez was seen questioning the umpire. Also on YES, Paul O’Neill said this about that:

A-Rod was questioning the umpire? What a terrible display of showboating from A-Rod to question the umpire. No old-school baseball player would EVER question an umpire's decision-making ability. These young kids (A-Rod is 40 years old) just don't know the respect that previous generations who absolutely refused to question the umpire knew.

(Phil Mushnick goes outside to get his paper and shakes his fist at the neighborhood kids who once again are playing near the curb, which is where his flowers are planted. Such a "me-first" attitude on these kids. Back in Phil's day, kids would stay as far away from flowers as possible, but these days because of video games, kids think it's perfectly fine to stand in close proximity to flowers.)

“That’s the count I don’t think umpires understand. Strike one or ball one changes the whole at bat.”

OK, but what was O’Neill suggesting? Umps should call the first pitch differently from all others?

I think it is very clear what O'Neill was suggesting. He's suggesting that the umpires pay great attention to making sure the call on the first pitch is the correct one. O'Neill isn't suggesting the umps call the first pitch differently, but wants them to pay extra special attention to making sure the call is correct on the first pitch. It would be nice if the home plate umpire would pay special attention to every pitch, but O'Neill was simply observing the first pitch sets up how the rest of the at-bat may go. There is a reason pitching coaches love their pitchers to throw first pitch strikes. I understand though. I understand Phil's job is to bitch about sports and not actually understand the sport he is bitching about. 

Wouldn’t he prefer that umpires “understand” all pitches the same — as balls or strikes?

Yes, he would. He was simply observing the first pitch is very important because it decides the direction of an at-bat in some ways and an umpire needs to be sure he doesn't miss a call on the first pitch. That's all. 

In the fourth, the Jays’ Edwin Encarnacion homered to make it 8-1. Instead of quickly circling the bases, he took his time, extending his right arm as if a bird were perched on it. “Walk-the-parrot” is the latest in ESPN-rewarded check-me-out attention-grabs.

I remember the time (okay, I don't remember it, but I remember the story about it) Babe Ruth pointed to center field and predicted he would hit a home run in the World Series. ESPN wasn't around, so why did Ruth do this? Of course, this isn't showboating, it's just a fun story about a great baseball player. 

“Does that bother you, Coney?” O’Neill asked David Cone.

And it likely bothered O’Neill, or he wouldn’t have asked.

Or it didn't bother O'Neill as an ex-hitter and he wondered if an ex-pitcher was also not bothered by Encarnacion's "parrot" walk. Phil Mushnick just makes the assumption that O'Neill was bothered because he asked the question of whether someone else was bothered. This is a potentially incorrect assumption. Perhaps O'Neill just wanted the perspective of an ex-pitcher on Encarnacion's walk.

But Phil Mushnick doesn't think like this. He assumes a conclusion and then fits his argument to fit that conclusion, even if the conclusion takes more assumptions to fit into the argument. Obviously O'Neill was bothered because he asked the question, obviously David Cone is bothered because Phil Mushnick wants him to be bothered and obviously when Cone says he isn't bothered then he is simply kowtowing to the corporate gods who he owes his broadcasting career to. So David Cone's opinion isn't his real opinion and Phil Mushnick knows this because he wants Cone's real opinion to agree with what he's writing in this column. Because any fan of the Braves knows the corporate gods who hand out broadcasting jobs would not immediately fire announcers who appear stodgy and behind the times. Joe Simpson and Chip Caray are so modern and allow their thoughts to be determined by what is currently popular. Mushnick is working under the assumption YES doesn't want their announcers sounding behind the times, while anyone who watches a baseball game on television and hears the announcers talk know this isn't true.

What we know personally and professionally about Cone is he must hate it; hate it as a former pitcher, a dad, a sportsman and a right-headed human.

The opinion Cone espouses on television to thousands watching and listening must not be his real opinion because it's not what Phil Mushnick wants David Cone to believe. Cone's own opinion isn't his real opinion. "The Man" is just keeping Cone down and Mushnick knows this is true because he wants it to be true so his opinion on showboating can be held as the correct opinion and not the opinion of an old man who needlessly complains about entertainment being too entertaining. 

But he couldn’t or wouldn’t say it for fear of condemnation as out-of-touch with an anything-goes, bereft-of-sport sports world, so he took the modern media path and pandered to it, blessed wrong as right:

Because, again, baseball announcers are never saying anything that seems out-of-touch during a baseball broadcast. This never happens. I like how Phil creates his own reality where even those things that others say which may seem to disagree with a position Phil holds are not truly the opinion that person holds. It's all because "The Man" is going to keep them down and prevent any deviation from the modern media path. That's the only real explanation for why a person affiliated with sports would disagree with Phil's opinion. "The Man" is forcing them to hold an opinion they don't agree with. You know sort of the same thing, except using the opposing point of view, that Phil Mushnick does by insisting those who don't agree with him must really agree with him. He forces his opinion on others and won't allow anyone with a different opinion from him to hold that opinion.

“Nowadays, it’s a different game. Buck Showalter had an interesting comment about it: Modern ballplayers are responsible for this, about governing their play. If they’re OK with it, he’s OK with it. …

David Cone thinks baseball players should police themselves, which is definitely an old-school mentality. Perhaps "The Man" allows Cone to say some old-school things, but admitting he doesn't like showboating crosses the line. Or maybe, Phil Mushnick is wrong and David Cone's opinion really is his opinion. 

“Some of it has been good for the game. The old days of keeping your head down and not showing anyone up — that’s a thing of the past. And in some ways, that’s a good thing. You still want to respect the game, but there’s a fine line there and you know when you cross it.

Oh yeah, this is a totally modern point of view. Look at David Cone sticking hard to the party line. He's talking about respecting the game and there being a line you don't cross in terms of celebrating. It sounds pretty much like Cone believes the old-school way of players policing themselves and a player not celebrating too much, except that can't be true, because "The Man" has Cone under his thumb and is forcing Cone to not agree with Phil Mushnick on whether Edwin Encarnacion's "parrot" celebration is too much showboating. It's a huge conspiracy.

“If you hit a home run into the upper deck and you want to ‘walk the parrot,’ go ahead, walk the parrot. … It’s definitely a more lenient attitude toward the display of emotions, which for, the younger generation is a good thing.”

Against every wish Phil Mushnick has, times change. Players display more emotions this day in age than they used to (or maybe they do, I'm not even sure this is true), so David Cone has come to terms with this and realizes it's not bad for the game. Of course, Phil Mushnick secretly thinks David Cone is lying. Or does he? Now, showing thorough senility, Phil manages to argue with the opinion that he doesn't truly believe David Cone holds. So Phil thinks Cone doesn't like celebrations like "walk the parrot," but then argues with Cone over an opinion he doesn't believe Cone really holds. 

Really? Immodesty — often rehearsed and planned — is a good thing?

Cone didn't say anything about "immodesty" and therein lies the issue. Phil thinks it is immodest to celebrate a home run with a "walk the parrot" celebration, but Cone sees it as just a part of the game that is acceptable as long as the players find it acceptable. Phil can label this "immodesty," but that doesn't mean it's true. 

The most conspicuous rewards such “natural enthusiasm” reaps are brawls, personal fouls and striking home-run poses — posing doubles and into singles.

Well, there are no personal fouls in baseball. Even in basketball, personal fouls are a part of the game and not always as a result of a player showboating. Also, baseball brawls were around well before Edwin Encarnacion started strutting around the bases like a parrot. So what was the reason for baseball brawls back in the good old days when athletes were modest and never celebrated? You know, those days that never existed which Phil clings so tightly to. Brawls happened then, but supposedly players didn't showboat. I wonder how Phil explains this. 

Forgive me, but I don’t believe a word of what Cone or Showalter said; I believe that they believe that it stinks, that showboating has no tangible or next-generation upside, leaving our sports in further decay.

I don't need to forgive you for being senile and trying to force your point of view on others. I realize that you realize your argument sucks and so you need to make many assumptions in order to even churn out 250 words on a topic. Regardless of your opinion on showboating, pretending someone agrees with you because you so desperately want them to is pathetic. In fact, just assuming people agree with your opinion is immodest isn't it?


Snarf said...

Phil Mushnick's thoughts on Cone's opinion is a classic example of a "Bielfeld Conspiracy." Any evidence presented to make his assumption or position incorrect is considered to be further evidence of just how deep the conspiracy goes.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I have never heard of that theory. I think this happens a lot in sportswriting. Any evidence contrary to what is believed by the writer just shows how much of a conspiracy it is.