Thought of the day

Once again, I have no horse in the MLB postseason. My beloved Red Sox were terrible all year, so they aren’t an option this October. However, since I am a Red Sox fan, I do get the chance to cheer for whoever the Yankees are playing. As it so happens, right now they’re playing against a team that is from what I think is one of the worst cities in America: Detroit. In just about any other situation, I would be cheering against the Tigers. (If they were playing the Phillies in the World Series, I would cheer for Detroit only because Philly fans are the worst in all of sports next to New York fans.) But, as a true Red Sox fan, I’m hoping Verlander and his team give the Yankees a few extra weeks of tee times.

Two more games to go.

Brian Sabean is an ignorant dick

Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins has been receiving death threats from Giants fans ever since this:

That is Giants catcher Buster Posey you see getting rolled over and then writhing in pain. The collision caused a broken leg and strained ankle ligaments. Posey will be out for the rest of the season, dealing a significant blow to the Giants.

Notice what Cousins does after the play. He immediately goes to Posey, putting his arm around him in clear dismay over the result. Cousins made a clean and legal baseball play (much like Pete Rose in that one All-Star game – except this game matters), but he obviously didn’t want to cause harm to another player. Unfortunately, Giants General Manager Brian Sabean is too much of an ignorant dick to recognize all that:

He told KNBR:

“If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn’t play another day in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy.”

“He chose to be a hero, in my mind. If that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal.”

And, “We’ll have a long memory.”

The play was clean. Cousins was immediately regretful. He has been hugely regretful in the days since. There is zero reason for there to be bad blood between anyone on the Giants and anyone on the Marlins over this. What’s more, the man has been receiving death threats. Sabean was moronic to make the comments he did. Cousins’ teammates recognize that:

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison came to Cousins’ defense during an interview Friday on Sirius/XM radio, calling Sabean “wildly unprofessional” for calling out his teammate.

“When has he played in the big leagues? When has he played in the minor leagues?” Morrison said. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s never been in a situation like that. It’s terrible.

“Why would you wish anything like that on anybody?” Morrison continued. “He’s getting death threats from people. This is his hometown, San Francisco. He’s worried about his family and his friends that are there. And now (Sabean) is going to make comments like that? It’s ignorant, it’s inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”

Sabean has attempted to contact Cousins, but has done nothing to issue a public apology. He needs to do that if he ever wants any player anywhere in the league to ever respect him again.

Bravo, Joey Votto

Joey Votto is the first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. He been having a pretty good year, so he naturally made the NL All-Star Team. Good for him.

The normal procedure for this event has been to just smile and be all friendly-friendly towards everyone. But Votto decided do away with that bad tradition.

Votto refused to congratulate Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd on his performance — one that helped the National League claim home-field advantage in the World Series — because Votto’s temporary teammate comes from a despised division rival.

“I don’t like the Cubs,” Votto said. “And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back. But because he made that really cool play, it turned out to be a really cool experience. I’m really glad we got the win today.”

I’m all for players being friendly towards each other whenever they damn well please. If Ortiz and Jeter want to chit-chat before a game, good for them. But I want them to be doing it because they want to do it, not because they feel obligated.

I’m glad Votto decided to put passion for his team above being extra friendly to a stranger. He was on the field, even if it was the All-Star field. Not only is his behavior acceptable in the given context, but it’s laudable.

That said, Cubs-Reds? Really? That’s the rivalry he thinks is important?

How to garner my respect

Just before the last primary run-up for president, Giuliani said he was cheering for the 2007 Red Sox because he cheers for the American League in lieu of specifically cheering for the Assholes. That’s a load of shit. I don’t care what the circumstance is. Ever. Red Sox and Assholes fans are only to cheer for their own team and whichever team is facing their rival. That’s it. No waffling.

That’s why Obama impressed me so much recently. Even though he pulled a similar cheer-for-the-team-of-the-current-campaign-town crap with the Rays and Phillies in ’08, he’s been consistent with his home team, the White Sox. I’ve even heard him disparage the Cubs as “not real baseball”. I don’t hate the Cubs or anything, but I love the comment, the commitment. But what’s even better is this.

After jogging out to the mound before the Nats-Phillies game with his head uncovered, Obama toed the rubber, pulled his familiar Sox cap from his glove and tugged it tight over his head. The crowd sounded momentarily conflicted over the president’s pledge of allegiance, but still cheered once Obama went into his windup.

And since I’ll probably never again have a time when this is relevant, here’s where I sat for a White Sox/Red Sox game in ’08. (The White Sox, unfortunately, won, 5-3.)

Good news

Now

Playoff strengths and weaknesses by sport

Hockey:

Strength – Best or better teams almost always win due to lengthy series.

Weakness – Lasts about 4 months.

Baseball:

Strength – Best or better teams almost always win due to lengthy series. Notable exception, 2006 Cardinals who actually didn’t win anything – the Tigers simply lost.

Weakness – Every game starts at, like, midnight, so it’s impossible to watch them to the end.

Football:

Strength – Very compact, short.

Weakness – Single game elimination offers okay (as opposed to great) teams chance to win. See 2007 Giants.

Basketball:

Strength – Best or better teams almost always win due to lengthy series.

Weakness – Unending commercials, takes attention from the superior sport of hockey, sub-.500 teams regularly make it, they play basketball.

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