Catcher Fools, Cauliflower and Cabrera

Justin July 16, 2010 0

We open this week with a welcome to some special readers:

Hello, family of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann.  You must be reading, because I don’t know who else would react so quickly and so vociferously to a perceived slight against a person of your relative’s relatively low level of fame.

Earlier in the week, I pointed out that Brian McCann has made more All Star teams than Robin Yount. My point, which perhaps wasn’t communicated as clearly as it should have been, was that Robin Yount made a surprisingly small number of All Star teams during a 20 year career which ended up in Cooperstown. In making that point, I argued that while McCann has certainly had a good career, he does not, in my mind or I presume in the mind of most baseball fans, come to mind when someone asks you to name the great players in today’s game. In 10 years, maybe he will. But as of now, I do not think he is one of baseball’s biggest stars.

But wow. Look at these comments:

I’ve read this 5 times now and I’m still not exactly sure what your point is.

Are you saying:

-Brian McCann doesn’t deserve to be a 5-time All-Star?

OR

-Brian McCann is on the fast-track to HOF?

OR

-Brian McCann should have more than one AS MVP since he’s been 5 times?

What are you saying??

Enlighten me!

By Mike on Jul 14, 2010 |

Mike, I am not saying any of those things. I’m just pointing out that Robin Yount seems like someone who should have played in more All Star Games.  But I can tell it bothered you, because you used multiple question marks. It seems one would have been sufficient.

Ur an idiot! McCann is a CATCHER fool! And those are great offensive numbers for a catcher. What an absolute idiot!

By Robert on Jul 14, 2010 |

That is hurtful, Robert. Did you write this on twitter? Was there a limit on the number of letters you can use? Feel free you spell out “You’re” next time. Also, are you saying that Brian McCann is a catcher fool? I don’t know what that is. Commas are your friend.

Only 90 RBIs? Do you watch baseball? Let me clear this up for you. Catchers play 130 – 140 games a year. That projects to well over 100 RBIs if he was a position player getting 155- 160 starts. Also, why in the hell would you focus on RBIs? Here are the career numbers for Johnny Bench, widely considered the greatest catcher of all time:

G 2158 AB 7658
H 2048 R 1091
HR 389 RBI 1376
SB 68 AVG .267
SLG .476 OBP .342
OPS .817 OPS+ 118.1

McCann is a career .291 hitter with a .359 OBP, both better than Bench. Also, he is averaging 20 homers a year in his first five years. To get back to your irrelevant RBI argument, Bench averaged 86 RBI per year. Sooo, I’m not saying that McCann is Johnny Bench (yet), but he is certainly deserving of his all star selections, and he is CLUTCH!!! See 2010 All-Star game as well as 2005 NLDS home run off of Clemens. I can’t wait to get this guy back in the playoffs.

By John on Jul 15, 2010

Wow. That’s a lot of numbers, John. You certainly did your research. I commend you. Though your mathematical and well reasoned argument kind of comes off the rails at “CLUTCH!!!”

Finally, we get two comments for the price of one.

“Here’s something that will make your Brain explode”

Hopefully your did!!!

By Brian on Jul 16, 2010

Wait.. he’s not done.

Hopefully yours did

By Brian on Jul 16, 2010

There are a number of things about this that I love.

First of all, that’s nice play off the title of my post.  But, why so mean? Do you really hope I have some sort of aneurysm which will explode in my brain? That seems very harsh. Once, I thought I had an aneurysm. I went to a neurologist and got a MRI on my brain. It was terrifying. In the end, I just needed new glasses. But jeez, Brian, I wouldn’t wish that on someone I don’t know.

Secondly, I love that Brian hit send, realized his grammar was wrong, then posted an immediate correction.  Kudos for not settling.

Finally, Brian’s comments link to the front page of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s website. Is Brian an employee of the AJC? Or is he simply a very loyal reader?

I have a third guess. This was actually written by All Star Game MVP Brian McCann. Well, sir, thanks for reading. I’m sorry you’re not as good as Robin Yount.

And now, onto the magazine.

Sports Illustrated, July 19, 2010.

Dwyane Wade, Basketball, Miami Heat

PREGAME

If I had to guess, I would say the offices of Sports Illustrated, this week, welcomed a very attractive female intern whose fashion choices trend towards the lower echelon of business appropriateness.  Why? Because the entire first half of this magazine reads as if it were written by someone with a giant boner.

Here’s Alexander Wolff on Spanish Athletes:

Whether it’s F/1 driver Fernando Alonso with his hands on a steering wheel, or long-driving golfer Alvaro Quiros wrapping his around a club, or Alberto Contador (the latest of four consecutive winners of the Tour de France to hail from south of the Pyrenees) taking hold of a set of handlebars, individual Spaniards have come to define what it means to be an international man of mastery. Further, today’s Spanish male pro dominates with style. How many soccer fans, fell swooning into the arms of Spain after getting a mesmerizing dose of its tiki-taka short-passing game? Or found irresistible the sight of 5’10″ defender Carles Puyol barreling into the goalmouth to nod in a header? Yes, it’s at least partly about the hair, be it Gasol’s unruly thatch, or the headband-stayed tresses of Nadal, or the tendrils of Puyol, sweaty contrails to that brazen game-winner against Germany. Check out Miguel Angel Jiménez, No. 36 in the world: In Spain, even the male golfers wear ponytails.

Sounds Sexy!

Then, we go inside the numbers:

4,000

Approximate number of followers on Twitter for Dutch porn star Bobbi Eden before the Holland-Uruguay World Cup semifinal.

72,926

Approximate number of Eden followers as of July 10, four days after she tweeted promising oral sex to all her followers if Holland won the World Cup.

Porn stars and blow jobs! I love sports.

Finally, in reference to the Miami Heat, a piece about famous triumvirates throughout history.

1988

Brat packer Rob Lowe popularizes threesomes—and sex tapes. Slight catch: One of his partners turns out to be underage.

1995

The Seinfeld episode The Switch ends with Jerry propositioned by two willing female roommates. Alas, Jerry declines; he’s not “an orgy guy.”

Ok, the Seinfeld thing I can understand. But Rob Lowe? I didn’t even KNOW his thing was a threesome. I just knew he videotaped himself fucking a teenager at the DNC. You would have really had to go hunting for sex stories to have dug that one up.

If the pages of your Sports Illustrated are stuck together this week, you know why.

THE ARTICLES

The Plot Starts Here… Showtime Starts Here by Ian Thomsen

Here’s the thing with the whole LeBron thing; I hate that it bothers me so much. I always get angry when sports fans project their emotions onto the players. It annoys me when anyone takes professional sports too seriously. Yet, LeBron really got to me on a base, emotional level. If I was given the chance to go work for a great company with my two buddies, I would. And if someone came up to me and told me I can have an hour of live TV, while raising money for charity, I would jump at it. Rationally, his decision makes all the sense in the world. But, man, do I fucking hate him right now.

The Agony and The Ecstasy by Grant Wahl

Let’s take a trip back to childhood. Imagine you’re 5. It’s dinner time. Your mom drops a serving of cauliflower on your plate and tells you that you have to eat it all. So, despite the fact that it smells weird and tastes like nothing, you have a bite, then you force yourself to have another and another and another. After a while, there’s just one piece left on the plate. But, you know what? You’re not eating it. Fuck it, mom, I’ve had enough.

That is how I feel about World Cup articles. I’ve forced myself to read countless soccer pieces over the last month. This is the last one that will appear in this magazine for a good long while. But, you know what? FUCK IT, MOM. I’M NOT READING IT.

The Wake-up Call by Tom Verducci

A good profile of Miguel Cabrera (He is better than Brian McCann also.)  Considering how long he’s been a great player in the major leagues, I was surprised how little I knew about him. Cabrera always seemed a bit nonchalant about his career. I’m glad to read he’s working on that.

Pride of A Nation by S.L. Price

Scene 1. int: JUSTIN sits at his computer in the newsroom of a major metropolitan newsroom. As he is typing, a red flash streaks across the scene. He reacts excitedly, as if this piece of news could change the course of his entire day. He clicks, then visibly slumps in his chair. He yells

JUSTIN

Enough with these fucking Indians and their god damned lacrosse

That happened on Wednesday afternoon. There was a story in the news this week about how the Iriquois nation’s lacrosse team had run into a bureaucratic nightmare as they tried to travel to England for the world championships. Yes, I cursed when I saw the update, because I couldn’t possibly think of anyone I know who would give a shit. And yes, one person laughed at my reaction and everyone else shook their heads in disapproval.

Anyway, that night I opened the mailbox and, lo and behold, there was an article about that very topic in my Sports Illustrated. And after reading it, I think maybe I shouldn’t have yelled so much. This is a world I knew nothing about. I’m glad to have been enlightened. Thank you, S.L. Price.

POINT AFTER by Phil Taylor

I think Phil Taylor is having the same internal struggle about LeBron that I am. He’s having trouble reconciling the difference between working to build a dynasty vs just signing up for a ready made winner.  It’s an interesting take on a topic that’s been dissected to death over the past week or so.

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