Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good For Country; Bad For Comedy

  • Curt Schilling chooses not to run:
In what can only be described as a sudden burst of sanity and a remarkably wise decision to avoid embarrassment, Curt Schilling has put ego aside and decided against pursuing Ted Kennedy's open senate seat in Massachusetts----ESPN Story.
Obviously, the proffered reasons for Schilling's decision aren't the real reasons he chose not to run. His vague explanation (on Joe Buck Live no less; I'm stunned they decided to make another show after the disaster that was the premiere) was that "it just did not make sense".
No kidding.
Of course, Schilling peppered his appearance with the usual array of random quotes that politicians and egomaniacs repeat to say something while saying nothing. Much like the florid embellishment from a student who studied his bullet points and outlines rather than content, Schilling came up with the following little nuggets:

"I think the country is sick and tired of elected officials beholden to special interests," Schilling said. "I think we're at a time and a place where we're voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the best candidate."

It's sort of like, "Thomas Jefferson lived a very, very, very, very long time ago..." Word count has little to do with content. Random postings and catchphrases designed to say nothing do not an effective----truly effective----public servant make. He or she might win, but won't get anything done. You could play "lawyer" just as easily as you could play "outsider politician" with that stuff. "My intent is to present evidence in the form of several writs, along with expert testimony for exclusion and briefs containing exculpatory evidence for your honor."
Being a blithering idiot doesn't automatically preclude anyone from running for public office. (In most cases, it's apparently a prerequisite----see Palin, Sarah.) But a Schilling run would've been fodder for comedy gold; and he would've been humiliated in dozens of ways as he entered a ring in which he has no business. In addition to the potential revelations that might've destroyed a political career, they could also have derailed any hopes he has for induction into the Hall of Fame. It was the smart move for him to back away from his self-serving political aspirations and involve himself in politics where it's safest----on the sidelines.
Admittedly, I'll miss the smug look of self-righteous satisfaction Schilling presents and the potential for hilarity, but it's just as well this way for everyone involved.
  • These late season hot streaks are nice, but essentially meaningless:
Both the Athletics and the Padres have taken seasons that were looking like a toxic wasteland and parlayed late season hot streaks into what will eventually be somewhat respectable records (considering where they were at mid-summer).
The A's have played so well that they're not going to be that far away from .500 by the time the season ends. In fact, their record under the Pygmalion Win Theorem (for what that's worth) is right around .500. That said, they have a lot of young players and a lot of young talent, especially on the mound; that's hard to predict what you're going to get from one year to another, so if Billy Beane makes the mistake he made last year of bringing in veterans to try and compete immediately next year, I'd expect a repeat of what happened earlier this year. The A's should move forward and clear out the remaining up-and-down veterans like Jack Cust while they can still get something for them. Repeating mistakes is not the hallmark of a "genius".
As for the Padres, what can you say? They've turned around what was expected to be a disaster of epic proportions into a solid ending; they'll win close to 20 more games than most people (me especially) expected. That doesn't change the simple fact that they have a looooong way to go before contending. They've got some young pitching in the impressive Clayton Richard and the improving (everyone hold their collective breath) Kevin Correia; there are some young bats in Kyle Blanks; and Everth Cabrera is going to be a megastar.
Still, I wouldn't let this burst dissuade me from clearing out the likes of Chris Young and even Heath Bell because early next season could be a sudden wake-up call from the positive feelings that are easily misread in late August and September.
  • Viewer Mail 9.23.2009:
fab923 writes RE Bobby Valentine and the Mets:

No question, no discussion just the Mets reversing their huge mistake by letting him go. If the Wilpons are afraid then help them by letting them know. Mail it in.


Fred & Jeff Wilpon
c/o Citifield
120 01 Roosevelt Ave.
Corona, NY 11368

We could be starting a movement here.
The support for this potential maneuver is surprising even me----and I presented a case which I would consider pretty solid for a reunion of the Mets and Bobby Valentine. And the Mets are paying attention.
Never mind that the club is sleepwalking through the remaining lost days of this season; never mind that the Mets fans have become so immune to the relentless abuse heaped on them due to the past three seasons that they're barely paying attention anymore; the club needs a spark that Valentine is known to be able to provide. The Mets have been hit and miss when a confluence of events has knocked at their door with a unique opportunity to do something drastic. They grabbed the chance with Mike Piazza, Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez; they missed it with Vladimir Guerrero. Valentine is coming home to the States; having him come home to the Mets simply fits.
The allegations that Valentine is a manager who players don't want to play for are ridiculous. Valentine may be a lot of things, but he's not stupid. Every player he took on in public was a player he either didn't want or didn't think he could win with. Look at the list: a barely hanging on Goose Gossage; Rey Ordonez; Todd Hundley; Darryl Hamilton; and Pete Harnisch. Is there one irreplaceable fan favorite there? Valentine knew that in order for him to succeed, he had to forge relationships----not bonds, but functional relationships----with his stars. He did it in Texas with Nolan Ryan; and Mike Piazza with the Mets. The truth is, for all of the negatives about his reputation, Valentine generally left the clubhouse to the players and his veterans Al Leiter, John Franco and Robin Ventura to police----and it worked.
For all the impressive things Willie Randolph did in instilling discipline and almost getting to a World Series; for all the good will the charm of Jerry Manuel has engendered, combined the two aren't the strategic equivalent nor are they the cult of personality that is Valentine. It's the cheap, smart move for the Mets and they need to stop vacillating and thinking and feeling guilty about sacrificing Jerry Manuel undeservedly----I'm sorry, this is a business and what's gone on here just isn't good enough----and pull the trigger ruthlessly and without hesitation. Citi Field would be alive again as soon as the number 2 with the name VALENTINE was pulled back over Bobby's shoulders. And he wants to come back. They have to do it.

Jeff at Red State Blue State writes RE Tony La Russa:

Let's put your predicting to the test. Try announcing something like: "Tony LaRussa will DEFINITELY sign another multi-year contract with the Cardinals after the 2009 season."

I cannot tell a lie: I dunno if that's happening. Deep down, considering the way they placated him with the acquisitions of Mark DeRosa and Matt Holliday, I believe the Cardinals will step up and keep both La Russa and Dave Duncan, but there's still a chance they might go elsewhere. A chance.

Julia at Julia's Rants writes RE Brian Cashman:

Cashman - what an interesting person. I agree with your assessment as to why Girardi is the manager. Cashman comes across as an insecure person who is not at all comfortable allowing anyone to "share the power" with him. I can't help but wonder - If George Steinbrenner was still in charge would we be onto "Joba 12.4" a la Cashman?

Dunno if I'd call Cashman "interesting". He's kind of a middle-managing corporate nebbish. But he's obviously a student----inadvertently or not----of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli. Working for the Yankees does that to you.
They've apologized all over the place and have said that it should be running by today and given me some free stuff as consolation...but it's still not running. I'm going to be double posting here and there when (don't wanna say if) it's running again. I'll keep everyone posted.


YankeeMeg said...


"The Sock" had a better chance of winning Kennedy's seat. But then again, Shilling would had "quieted" the sock somehow. Perhaps in a windowless room with his family. The Sock's ego may be as large as Curt's.


She-Fan said...

I was hoping Curt would run. It would have been so entertaining to watch him get, like, two votes.

Jeff said...

The "Sock" is in the Hall of Fame. You know how fucking stupid that is!?! Jesus.

As for Cashman being a student of Sun Tzu, I'm not so sure. Sun Tzu's strategies teach methodical planning which results in stupefying your opponent and, ultimately, BEATING your opponent. He may have racked up some trophies a while ago, but not since implementing his newfound albeit odd strategies (Joba-rules included).