How to Look Stupid and Piss People Off at the Same Time

¿Los gringos no nos dejarán quizá jugar debido a nuestros pantalones rojos, amigo?

As a baseball fan, the US government’s actions over the last few months in taking steps to prevent Cuba from participating in the World Baseball Classic is just flat out stupid. And of course it makes this country look bad in the process. All politics aside, the WBC is an international sporting event, it isn’t an economic event. It isn’t a political event. It’s a few baseball games being played in the US and a few other countries around the world.

I’m not sure who’s making this decision, and it’s far too easy to blame Bush or the White House (and to be honest, doing so would be just as stupid since I’m 100% sure the White House has more important things to do right now), but who ever is making this decision, get off your high horse, stop playing politics, stop looking like a hypocritical moron, and let the Cubans play. You’re not doing the US, WBC, or the world any favors by banning them. Not allowing Cuba to play isn’t going to some how magically lead to Castro losing power. In fact it only makes Castro look good. And is that really want we want at this point?

And it’s not like we’ve banned Cuba from playing in previous sporting events. I seem to recall them at 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I seem to recall them playing the Orioles in Camden Yards in 1999. I seem to recall them playing soccer LAST YEAR right here in the United States (and losing to the USA I might add). So where were you then? Why were the Cubans allowed to kick a soccer ball around in 2005 but not hit a baseball in 2006? What thought process leads to this conclusion?

And please, don’t give me this “they might make money of the tournament.” Seriously, who cares? We’ve had an embargo for over 40 years and Castro is still in charge in Cuba. A baseball tournament isn’t going to change anything. Things aren’t going to be changing until Fidel buys the farm. And anyway, this is baseball not Fords or iPods… baseball. [And the Cubans have already offered to dominate any money they make to the Hurricane Katrina fund… it’s like we ask for this stuff sometimes]. So let the Cubans play, don’t make them out to be martyrs (creating martyrs = bad political business). Let the Cubans play and let us beat ‘em up good… because, my gosh!, beating them with baseball bats and gloves sends a lot more of a message than not looking them play at all.

And while I’m on the subject of ripping people and things… Rob Neyer. This guy has been writing stupid stuff for too many years and we’ve got to bring an end to it. [I know I shouldn’t read him, but I just don’t like the guy. I hate his smugness, I hate his stats, I even heard him on the radio once and I couldn’t stand him… I want him out of my life, and if my life is checking ESPN.com, then be gone Rob.]

Anyway, he probably wrote the single dumbest thing I’ve read in years yesterday (I can’t link it, but I’ll give you a taste of it, and if you don’t care about baseball, just skip till you see bold again):
To measure how they really played, we can look at "second-order wins," as seen in the Baseball Prospectus standings. Second-order wins show us how many games each team "should" have won, considering its batting and pitching statistics (except runs scored and allowed).Some of you won't like these next numbers...

Real 2W
Cardinals 100 91
White Sox 99 87
Yankees 95 93
Angels 95 88
Red Sox 95 90
(Indians 93 98)

What? Seriously… what is Neyer talking about? Is he on crack? How many games a team “should have won”? He’s kidding right? Of course he’s serious… he wouldn’t be Rob Neyer if he wasn’t serious. I think he actually believes this shit. But it gets better:
Well, that was easy. We didn't even have to play the 2006 schedule, and five of the six teams are already worse than their 2005 record -- and it's not even Opening Day yet!

And if we're looking for 2005 division winners who seem unlikely to repeat, we've got a couple of prime candidates in the White Sox and the Angels.

So it's come to this for stat-heads? What SHOULD have happened? And what SHOULD have happened in 2005 will effect what will happen in 2006? Are these guys so pissed that three of the past four WS winners were non stat-head teams that they're just making stuff up?

So who SHOULD have won the World Series? This might be the dumbest reasoning in the last 36 months… making predictions on the 2006 on what SHOULD have happened in 2005. It’s like saying Gore should have won in 2000, so therefore I’m voting for Joe Lieberman in 2008 because Lieberman SHOULD have been Vice President in 2000… how stupid is that?

As for the White Sox…. they didn't score a lot of runs last year, and that's what the Statheads/Neyer have a problem with. They hate teams that win one run games (btw Ozzie is 67-38 in one run games over the last two years) and seem to take the NCAA football writers approach of 'it's all about how you win'. I don't think they realize that good teams win one run games because they're good teams. In other words, they have better bullpens and multiple ways to create runs. So when you see a team win 85 games but go something like 14-21 in one run games, that says to me that that team had glaring hole that wasn't addressed (sort of like any Bobby Clarke Flyer team or a hockey team not having a point man on the power play or an NFL team going 9-7 losing two games because of poor special teams).

Is their some 'luck' in one run games? Sure, a funny bounce here or there or a missed call. But there's a lot of skill too (holding runners, turning two, hitting cut off men, moving guys over, taking an extra base... and of course the long ball). Of course most of these ‘stats’ don’t exist and it drives the likes of Neyer nuts… so they go along making stuff up for reasons I’m not sure about. Okay that felt good…

Last baseball comment, Phil Rodgers gives the White Sox some dap. He even offers up this gem on McCarthy: “He stands 6-foot-7 and has the stuff to be the second coming of Jack McDowell -- maybe even Mark Prior
without the hype and the monster calves.” Mark “Monster Calves” Prior… I think this might stick. Of all the things on my body that I would want to be described as monster, calves would be about 74th. Anyway, it’s too early to make predictions (but don’t think we’re already forming our predictions) but it’s never too early to start talking about baseball. It’s been almost three months since there’s been baseball on TV and we still have a least another month to go.

And this is for the female readers… I’m here for you remember. Sure I may have some sort interest in this too, but I’m here for my readers. So girls read up, and guys tell your biddies to keep 'em up.

Only The Catholic University of America would hire an assistant coach before hiring a head coach. Amazing but true facts about my alma mater.

It's Vicky Beckham... and she's in Milan! And she's modeling!

And if you want to see some of the latest fashion stuff coming out of Milan this week, check out the Guardian’s photo gallery. Something for everyone there… ohhh beautiful people!


The Truth said...

How to look stupid and piss people off? Continue to write this horrible blog.

Anonymous said...

How to look stupid and piss people off? Call yourself the Truth.

The Truth said...

At least I had the good sense to create a pseudonym.

Otter said...

Ladies, please.