Friday, November 12, 2010

Please no Rick Sutcliffe now, OK?

"Sutcliffe's: Only the finest in animal fur wigs."

(I was gonna put this in a comment to Chuck's earlier Joe Morgan obit, but then it got too long and hey, I haven't posted anything in like a year [Is LJT alive, btw?], so anyway, here we are. Oh look, a miniature giraffe. Opulence, I has it.)

Now we get to wait and see who ESPN will choose as the new Joe Morgan and Jon Miller. ESPN has a quite an up-and-down record when it comes to these things, embodied rather well by the broadcast team it now seeks to replace. Jon Miller was quite good. (Even though it delights me never to hear him pronounce Carlos Beltran's name again. It's not tough. "Carlos Beltran." That's all. It's not "Carlos belTRANG", for fuck's sake.) Joe Morgan, though, *shudder*. Elsewhere on ESPN, you've got the Monday Night Football team, with Mike Tirico (awesome), Ron Jaworski (excellent), and Jon Gruden (who fingerbangs babies). MNF at one point also cast Tony Kornheiser, who seems nice enough but was a terrible color guy. At one point MNF also had probably the worst football analyst ever (worse, I'd say, than even Phil Simms, in all his constantly-pointing-out-the-super-obvious-ness): Joe Theismann.

So who knows. Maybe they'll be smart and let Orel Hersheiser take over as analyst. He was in the booth a lot this year with Jon and Joe, so that seems like a good bet. But there's a chance that ESPN will inflict the odious Rick Sutcliffe on us, who in many ways is like the Phil Simms of baseball broadcasters. He actively avoids saying anything remotely close to controversial or contrary to baseball's conventional wisdom, refusing to offer any opinions or insights that haven't already been repeated ad nauseam. Things like, "This guy used to just be a thrower. Now he's a pitcher." You hear shit like that all the time, and 83% of the time, Rick Sutcliffe said it. "This is a guy you want on your team. He just wants to win, and his teammates know it." Who the fuck doesn't want to win, jerkdick? And I put that stuff in italics because when he says it, he really emphasizes it, like he's imparting this pearl of condensed brilliance onto his listeners.

Anyway, speaking of Tim McCarver (referring back to this), I like to take any opportunity to post my favorite short radio play of all time, by (of course) Mr. Ken Tremendous himself. It stars ol' Timmy and Joe Buck, discussing the value of intangibles on your baseball team -- in this case, ardor (which we all know isn't nearly as important as getting your uniform dirty, grit, scrappiness, scrappy grittiness, grappiness, and being a "gamer"). Anyway, here:

Joe Buck: Well, Tim, you have to like the Red Sox' starting pitching and bullpen, but how do you feel about their ardor?

Tim McCarver: Ardor is a funny thing, Joe. It's like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography: "I know it when I see it." And with these Red Sox, I just don't see it.

JB: How do you know it when you see it, Tim?

TM: For me, it's when you see the dick going in.

(ten minutes of silence)

TM: Oh. I see. You were talking about ardor.


You Happy Now, Ken Tremendous?

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are no more. Neither one of them will be returning next season on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. And it only took 21 years of criticism. To be honest with you, I didn't hate Jon Miller. It's possible he'll still do the weekly radio broadcasts of the game, in case you need to hear him.

It was time to move on because Joe Morgan's VORP was way down. See what I did there? That was a sabermetrics joke. I also considered, "Morgan is being replaced by Bobby Valentine, whose OPS is much higher over the last 3 seasons.", but figured the VORP one was more esoteric and, therefore, more desirable.

PS - I think esoteric is a good word. And when used in conjunction with "plebian" makes for some good old fashined condescension. Like, Side Bar levels of condescension.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Like Obama

I like Barack Obama because he's willing to lose face on the political side in order to do the right thing on the governmental side. He's willing to do things that voters don't hear about or understand in order to do the right thing. He's willing to take a hit in the House and Senate in order to do the right thing. And yeah, you can argue that he lost jobs for the people who supported him, those people never reallys supported him. And while I know it's only a thought experiment, I don't really even want to think about where we'd be if Hillary Clinton were president today.

All of this is summarized in a much better way by Timothy Egan in an op-ed piece from Tuesday.