Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Anti-All Star Team?

Yup, somebody made one. And of course, it's stupid. Thank you, Scott Miller. I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life writing about tennis and soccer. For a brief moment, I thought stupidity in baseball was on the down-turn.

On a side note, this article has already been talked about on FireJoeMorgan but you're here, so you get my take on it. Their take on it's probably funnier.

There is no voting for this All-Star team. Only pity.

To rephrase: There is no voting for this All-Star team. Only the asinine opinion of one man.

Oh, the horror! The humanity! The trashed hopes, dashed dreams and downright incorrigible incompetence!

Okay, so that's what we're looking for. Trashed hopes, downright incompetence. Got it.

First base: Richie Sexson, free agent

Whatever you do, don't read the nutritional label posted on Sexson's packaging! The fat and calories alone in his $14 million salary this season would drive most consumers toward immediate angioplasty.

Umm... huh? Fat and calories in his contract? Let me say this nicely... what the FUCK are you talking about? Sexson's having a shitty year, and he just got released because of it... but his numbers are actually slightly BETTER than they were last year (while Seattle was winning 88 games and competing for the wild card.) But you're right. The problem is clearly the amount of trans fat somehow associated with the money they pay him. If his contract had some protein escalators, and maybe a few B12 incentives, then everything would be gravy. You like those nutritional metaphors, don't you? Admit it.

Second base: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee

As Milwaukee scraps and battles, Weeks far too often couldn't find first base if you gave him a map, a copy of Abner Doubleday's rules and walked him halfway there. Not that he's having a difficult season, but at midweek he was hitting .207 with 61 punch-outs and 36 walks.

Really? That's your anti-All Star at second base? His .217/.320/.367 with 8 homers isn't very good... but there's gotta be somebody worse at second base... the black hole of offensive production in baseball.

How about Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez and his Herculean .226/.251/.304 with 5 homers? Or Nat's Felipe Lopez with his .233/.308/.312 and 2 jacks? Or maybe Juan Uribe at .219/.269/.349? Nah, you're right. Lets go with Weeks. He strikes out a lot. These other guys are probably moving baserunners with their clutch, team-first groundouts to the pitcher.

Shortstop: Jose Reyes, Mets.
The most egregious sin for anyone blessed with this much talent -- baseball player, pianist, painter -- is to not get the most out of it. Right now, that's Reyes. Sure, his numbers are respectable. But this guy has the tools to be great. And he won't put out to get there.

Won't put out to get there? I think you should ask Mike Lupica about that. I'm CONSTANTLY talking about instances of Reyes putting out for men on that website. Seems that not a day goes by that it's not brought up in some form.

But let me get this straight. His .302/.367/.487 with 43 extra base hits and 32 stolen bases isn't the problem. The problem is... that he has the tools to be great, but he won't blow Carlos Delgado? Richie Sexson has too much cholesterol to be a part of a balanced winning diet... and Jose Reyes won't put out? Do you have any fucking idea what you're talking about any more Scott Miller? The Anti-All Star Team, dammit!!! FOCUS!!!

Third base: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees.
He's in line for a lifetime contract as an Anti All-Star after his incredibly selfish -- and not forgotten -- act of opting out of his Yankees contract during the Red Sox's World Series-clinching victory last fall.
First he stole the thunder from the World Series, now he's grabbing the spotlight at the All-Star Game with Madonna. Can't wait to see what he pulls for next spring's World Baseball Classic.

So the entire basis of this selection is... that you don't like him? The opt-out during the World Series was stupid. It's long-since over and done with, but feel free to hold that against A-Rod forever. While you're hating him, he'll be drinking the Material Milkshake (yes, that was a bad Madonna joke) and hitting 50 homers a year on his way to being baseball's home run king. I'm sure he's shitting his pants about being included on the anti-Star team.

Left field: Paul McAnulty, San Diego.
Finally and mercifully optioned to Triple-A Portland this week, McAnulty has spent most of this season as Poster Boy for the bullheaded philosophies of Padres president Sandy Alderson, assistant Paul DePodesta and others in the executive offices who have made a shambles of this one-time NL West contender.

PAUL DEPODESTA!!!!!! It's his fault!!! Him and his fucking computer geeky computer science programs in his mother's basement!!! McAnulty's seen 164 plate appearances and he's been pretty bad (.207/.341/.341) but not really much worse than the other options:

Scott Hairston: .259/.305/.506
Justin Huber: .246/.303/.393
Callix Crabbe: .176/.282/.206

At least McAnulty gets on base at a roughly average rate. These other guys are fucking awful. The whole team is awful. And poor. Khalil Greene is OPSing .593 (and didn't make the cut for this retarded team.) Who's fault is all of this? Paul DePodesta. Naturally.

What's obvious is this: They are force-feeding antiquated philosophies that peaked during the Steroid Era (collect guys who can get on base and then the occasional three-run homer will take you home) in a park where they don't fit in an era when successful baseball teams have figured out you need multi-dimensional players to succeed.

New theory: Moneyball was the product of the Steroid Era.

Scott Miller tells us that the philosophy is to collect guys who can get on base and then pray for the 3-run homer. Let me try to more accurately explain this set of ideas for you.

In the game of baseball, a team is allotted 27 outs at a rate of 3 per inning. The idea is to score as many runs as possible while making as few outs as possible. Computer geek assholes like Paul DePodesta believe that if you get a bunch of guys who make LESS OUTS than the average player... by hitting or drawing walks... you increase the number of chances to score runs before making your 27 outs. They also believe that these players, because they can draw walks, will see more pitches, hence tiring the opposing team's pitchers and getting into their bullpen, thus putting a strain on the opponent's pitching staff.

Now that I've explained the fundamentals of the fucking game of baseball to a man who writes about it for a living... I'm going to move on. Moneyball has nothing the fuck to do with steroids. It has to do with the fact that most people (see: Scott Miller) still look at the game of baseball as though this is the 1920's. The game has changed, our understanding of the mechanics of the game has improved, and thus, teams are going in different directions to maximize their offensive potential and win games. Paul McAnulty is a bad baseball player. That doesn't make the philosophy wrong.

Center field: Andruw Jones, Dodgers

Freeway gridlock, smog and bad Dodgers contracts are the scourge of Los Angeles, and right now, Jones' deal takes the cake (and then eats it). For $36.2 million over two years, Jones at midweek was hitting .168 with two homers, eight RBI, 50 strikeouts and only 21 walks in 145 at-bats. Ouch.

But not one mention of Ned Coletti. You know... the genius smarty smart baseball man who replaced Paul DePodesta in Los Angeles... and signed superstars like Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre to contracts, that combined, exceed the Gross National Product of Nigeria.

Right field: Paul O'Neill, Yankees

Let me summarize. Scott Miller thinks Paul O'Neill is an asshole... because he didn't rush to the defense of LaTroy Hawkins, who decided to wear his #21. Yankee fans didn't appreciate Hawkins choice of number, or his shitty pitching, and booed him. And it was O'Neill's job to defend the guy.

So does that mean that if Barry Larkin gives money to charity, that he can start at shortstop for the All-Star Team? Even though he's retired and hasn't played baseball this year? Do I need to point out how fucking moronic it is to pick a retired player for this list? I hope not.

The rest of this list is more stupid opinion bullshit... Shawn Chacon, Eric Gagne... not because they suck as players... but because Gagne was in the Mitchell Report, and Chacon attacked his GM.

Why are these people paid to write about baseball? Best answer wins a prize...

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