Friday, February 19, 2010

Stories Where There Are No Stories

  • Mark McGwire and Tiger Woods:

With Tiger Woods's probably carefully scripted and tightly controlled press conference scheduled to begin less than an hour from when I write these words, I got to thinking about the traveling media circus that has been stalking Mark McGwire; waiting for Tiger Woods; looking for something to write about in the otherwise slow month of February. One thing I can't figure out from the media hordes and the fans who religiously and obsessively wait for any snippet of information on these matters is what they want. What will satisfy them so they move on?

Will it be enough if Woods/McGwire/Steve Phillips/whoever collapses into the fetal position, breaks down in sobs and is dragged away to a hospital for observation? If they lash out at others blaming someone aside from the person in the mirror for whatever they've done that was perceived as wrong? They did it; it happened; so what?

Regarding Woods, as I write these words at 10:15 AM, EST, does anyone really believe that he's going to give them what they really want and a detailed account of what he was doing with these women? No one's going to care about the prepared statement and apology that's more likely due to having gotten caught than any actual contrition; he'll come off as somewhat embarrassed and as arrogant as usual. Aside from the tabloid reaction of, "do you believe this?", who cares?

Truth be told, is this anyone's business aside from him being Tiger Woods? The moralists are looking at Woods and his behavior with an attitude of "for shame", but how is it affecting their lives one way or the other if he was stepping out (and stepping out; and stepping out; and stepping out, out, out) with sexual romps that would've made Bob Crane blush.

Was Woods walking around telling people that they should live their lives like solid family men? Going to church every Sunday while living an entirely different life away from the course? Was he coming up with lines similar to the movie Bob Roberts with "Be good in school and don't do crack. It's a ghetto drug,"?


He's a golfer. He's a great golfer. He's a cash cow. People put up with his self-entitlement because he's a great golfer and brought in money----and for no other reasons. If a parent is pointing to someone like Tiger Woods as a role model even before this scandal came public, they've got far more issues than anything I could possibly list here.

As for the much ridiculed interviews that supposedly show hypocrisy in which he said his wife was his "support system" and his family was the "most important thing in his life", has anyone ever thought that it might be true? That his wife is likely one of the few people in the world who won't put up with his "I'm Tiger Woods" crap? That she's the one who looks at him like he's from outer space when he starts in with his Godlike, self-important nonsense because he's good at hitting a golf ball?

No one cares about Tiger Woods and his sex therapy; no one cares about his press conference; and no one will care if he goes back on the course and gets back to his greatness. They're looking for a story because it's got everything in a nice neat package: hypocrisy; a fall from grace; a wild and still untold story of how this all came out; admission into treatment and the pending statement.

With McGwire, anyone who didn't realize he was doing steroids ten years ago and beyond is too stupid to be able to understand what he's going to say going forward anyway.

He's sorry for what he did? Well, he wasn't sorry when he was hitting all those homers; receiving the money for said homers; and the accolades for being a quiet slugger who led on and off the field and triumphed through injury adversity and hard work.

Is McGwire truly sorry? I think he's more embarrassed than sorry. He's admitted his steroid use; he's tap-dancing with words and still looking for excuses such as "I was coming back from injuries", and it's uninteresting. What is it that people want? Do they want more? Do they want him to freak out? Do they want him to say something other than what he's already said?

He's a hitting coach. He won't be meeting with the media and his contribution is negligible to a big league player except for perception. Is he going to say something to Albert Pujols to make him better? Please.

Yet he's the subject of fascination. People want more now because there's very little to write about in baseball aside from Johnny Damon and Scott Boras and Rod Barajas.

Rod Barajas.

Rod Barajas!



There won't be a smoking gun. Move on.

  • Dodgers sign Eric Gagne to a minor league contract:

Snickers abound regarding Eric Gagne's attempted comeback and I'm not sure why. Is he ever going to regain his high-90s fastball, changeup and unhittability that he showed in 2002-2004? Of course not.

He was part of a Dodgers club in 2004 that was well on their way to a World Seires before Paul DePodesta swung his stat-induced wrecking ball. Gagne wants to come back. Why not give him a chance? It's not going to cost anything and he might be of some use. Much like the Royals attempt to move Kyle Farnsworth into the starting rotation, one of two things will happen----it'll work, or it won't work. Give it a shot.

Every year we see clubs that spend a ton of money on their bullpen with established, successful names and have it blow up in their faces. It's becoming clearer and clearer that the way to build a bullpen is to have a reliable closer; a decent set-up man and have a load of bulk surrounding them, preferably by failed starting pitchers and released arms that still have something to offer, maybe.

Does Gagne have anything left? Who knows? But why not have a look? Just to see?

People are too busy laughing to try and answer the question, but they wouldn't have an answer anyway. Because there isn't one.

  • Prevention and Recovery?

SNY's Kevin Burkhardt tweeted the following yesterday while at Mets camp:

One Met person here has a jacket with a patch that says "prevention and recovery". I wish I was kidding. #2010Metslogan


@lenno212 you know I was only kidding before about it being their slogan. I didn't know it actually IS!

On one hand, the Mets bring the laughter on themselves with this stuff. On the other, is it inaccurate? Isn't "prevention and recovery" a proper follow up from a disaster? Even if the disaster is a matter of fault combined with a matter of circumstance?

After 2009, it kinda fits!

  • Viewer Mail 2.19.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Johnny Damon:

Supposedly Damon's wife prefers Detroit. Better shopping, which I find hard to believe. Chicago has great stores!

Is this guy capable of doing anything by himself? Thinking anything by himself? I understand that many ballplayers aren't enamored of keeping track of every small aspect of their lives and finances and whatever and need the help, but he doesn't appear to have the functionality of deciding on his own what he wants to do. It's bordering on ridiculous.

Jeff (Street Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE Phil Coke:

I'm so with you on the Phil Coke thing. I saw that too and thought, who the hell gives a shit what Phil Coke thinks/wants/does? Please. That ain't news.

Personally, I would love to see Damon as my neighbor here on the Southside. As a White Sox apologist, I already look forward to seeing the 2010 squad in person. Damon would just make it a bit sweeter.

Unless they're offering double the money, if he goes to the Tigers, we'll know who's running things in Damon's spacious head.

Ah, Phil Coke.

Has anyone noticed that the Yankees have purged the clubhouse of two evident busybodies in Jerry Hairston Jr and Coke? Who's going to be the town cryer? That question should be nearly as important as whether Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are in the starting rotation/bullpen.

The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger writes:

I think you hit it when you said Dombrowski wouldn't want Damon at that price. He's too smart to throw money like that at Damon.
Chicago is a very nice fit, as you say and with which I agree. Ozzie has his lead-off hitter now with J.Pierre, who will surprise, and Damon would fit nicely behind him.
Peavy and the Go-Go Sox are lookin pretty good.

Dave Dombrowski's been an up-and-down GM for me. He's made some good moves and he's made some remarkably stupid moves (Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria pops into my mind immediately), and had success with the Expos, Marlins and Tigers. The Tigers can certainly use Damon, but I don't see why they'd offer him two years.

He's a perfect fit for the White Sox. Damon's decision, as evidenced by the three bits of Viewer Mail I printed today, will open a window into what he's thinking and who's running things for Johnny Damon.


Jeff said...

Not to beat this Damon thing into the ground, but, have you ever heard the guy talk? He's not too bright a fella. He was the poster boy for the "idiot" brigade in Boston, let us not forget.

She-Fan said...

But Detroit did offer Damon two years and it looks like he's taking it. And he's a great guy in the clubhouse even if he does talk with a speech impediment (could never manage to pronounce Teixeira properly). No matter what the situation, he always spoke to reporters when others slunk away. No Damon bashing from me.