Sunday, September 21, 2008
Evidence that, no matter how much I try to be a level-headed, even-handed, sane baseball fan, I am still at heart a simple surly Red Sox fan:
This whole Yankee Stadium thing is making me throw up in my mouth a little.
I watched the game, because it is historic and all that and I'm a fan of the Game of Baseball with the caps and everything. But all the ceremony surrounding this, the media sobbing, the whole fucking circus-- ugh. For fuck's sake. Where was the outcry for Tiger Stadium? I know there was attention given to it, of course, but I don't remember it being ANYTHING like this, and Tiger Stadium WAS STILL ORIGINAL TIGER STADIUM, as opposed to this, which is Yankee Stadium Circa Mid '70s.
Tiger Stadium was a National Historic Landmark (and they still knocked it down, woo, Detroit!). Yankee Stadium is not one.
And of course this last EMOTIONALLY CHARGED HALLOWED GAME featured such starting Yankee dignitaries as Johnny Damon (member of the Red Sox team responsible for one of the greatest Yankee collapses in modern memory), Xavier Nady (who's been on the team for three months), and Jose Molina (catching in place of the injured Posada).
I know at least part of this, maybe most of it, is just my gut reaction as a Red Sox fan. I won't deny that, I own it, man. And I do understand that this is a big deal... but it is NOT as big a deal as people (maybe read: media) are making it out to be. That this should get more attention than the closing and subsequent (much-delayed) demolition of Tiger Stadium is, honestly, ridiculous.
Labels: baseball, media, MLB, surly Red Sox fan, Yankee Stadium, Yankees
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I need to write about the Red Sox and my MANY STRANGE AND OBSESSIVE WORRIES about them soon, but this? This I cannot pass up.
I'm talking about an article by Nicholas Cotsonika in the Detroit Free Press titled Matt Millen says Lions have his back-- and they can win this year. Although I will get into it below, I will summarize it here for the lazy readers: Matt Millen is awful, but has no concept of his own awfulness. It is as though he is so awful at handling a National Football League team that his mind simply refuses to process the full magnitude of his FAIL. The result of this brain hiccup, this disturbance in his gray matter, is a near-delusional outlook on his team, his management of said team, his personnel, and probably many other things as well.
Let's have a look, shall we?
Millen said he believes in Marinelli more than ever before because Marinelli has remained consistent amid adversity. He said he still believes in the coaching staff and players -- and that if the Lions just do what they've been doing, they will win this year.
"Stay the course," Millen said. "It's a little bump. ... It's not like you have to panic. You don't have to make wholesale changes. You don't have to do all that stuff. It's all right there."
He believes in Marinelli because Marinelli has remained consistent amid adversity.
He believes in Marinelli because Marinelli has remained consistent amid adversity.
HE BELIEVES IN MARINELLI BECAUSE MARINELLI HAS REMAINED CONSISTENT AMID ADVERSITY.
Say you have a nail that you have to hammer into a wall. You're holding the nail in place so it doesn't fall out before it's nailed in properly. Your friend ROD MARINELLI is swinging the hammer. He keeps smashing you in the fingers and missing the nail. He does it every single time. Over and over again. And instead of telling him he's DOING IT WRONG, instead of telling him to GO AWAY and finding SOMEONE ELSE to hammer the nail in properly, you PRAISE HIM.
You tell everyone that you believe in his ability to hammer that nail into the wall because despite adversity-- despite his CONSTANT FAILURE TO DO THE TASK ASSIGNED TO HIM, despite his CONSTANT FAILURE TO COME UP WITH THE DESIRED RESULT i.e. the nail in the wall and your hand intact-- he has remained CONSISTENT. He has NOT EVEN TRIED TO HAMMER THE NAIL IN A NEW WAY SO AS TO AVOID BREAKING YOUR PHALANGES.
And you praise him for this!!!
Matt Millen is out of his catdamned mind.
"I said at the beginning of the season, 'Come on out, and you'll like what you see,' " Millen said. "And I think the people who came out (to training camp), they like what they see because they see discipline. They see the approach is right. They're practicing right. All the little things."
What about the fan who says, "That's practice, but these are games"?
"Well, if a fan says that, then they don't understand the game of football, because it can't happen on the field if it doesn't happen here," Millen said.
It's not happening on the field. Quite frankly I don't give a flying diseased rat colon about what's happening in practice for the Lions these days because IT'S NOT HAPPENING ON THE FIELD. I have seen better tackling in HIGH SCHOOL football games. Tackling!! One of the most BASIC and INTEGRAL of the football skills! Obviously Matt Millen and I mean different things when we talk about 'all the little things'.
Does Millen hold himself accountable?
"Look," Millen said. "Rod stands up there and says, 'It's on me'? It's on me. It's me. That's fine. ... The guys who are out here are here for a reason. It's not happenstance. I believe in the guy I hired. I believe in the staff we put together and I believe in the players we have on the field. And if you want to point the finger at any of that stuff, that's on me. I'm fine with that, because I believe in what's out there. Nothing else needs to be said."
If he believes in what's out there, then he believes in a terrible football team that cannot tackle opposing players and glories in finding new and exciting ways to lose games that they seem to have a shot at winning. I BELIEVE!!!
Hasn't it taken too long to build a foundation, let alone build on top of it?
"From since I'm here, sure," Millen said. "Yeah. Obviously. But like I said earlier, I'm the one who hired the guy, and I believe in him 100%. I believe in him more now than I ever did. That guy, he's exactly what you need."
"Because he's consistent," Millen said. "You guys see that. That's not changing. He is a straight line."
I don't understand this. I just don't. If your team is terrible at playing the game of football, why would you insist that the best thing for everyone is to hold that course? The course you are on is one of losing! You don't want to hold that course! It's like someone once told Millen, "Now sonny boy, don't you ever stray from a path once you're on it," and he took that advice to heart so much that he now could not get off a conveyor belt even if he was unrestrained and the conveyor belt was approaching a circular saw that would remove his balls.
"He will do what he believes is the right thing to do, and what he's doing is the right way. The players we have picked, we picked in the beginning for a reason. The same reason still exists. They still have the same skills and abilities. The staff's in place for the same exact reason. Rod likes to use the term, 'Don't blink.' I never use that term. But you just keep on walking. ...
"I just think what we're doing is the right thing to do, and if they just keep doing what they're supposed to do, we'll be fine."
First of all, what the hell is he saying with the blinking and the walking?
Secondly, saying things like, "if they just keep doing what they're supposed to do, we'll be fine," presupposes that your players are doing the proper things in the first place, and you CANNOT presuppose that with the Detroit Lions.
Millen declined to go into his discussions with Ford. He said he didn't want to put words in Ford's mouth.
"He has high expectations," Millen said. "When you have high expectations, you also get frustrated, too. There's answers you want, too."
Millen said he told Ford basically the same things he said Thursday, just in more detail.
"He asks all the right questions," Millen said. "Let's just leave it at that."
Nicholas Cotsonika/Detroit Free Press
Except for the questions that will lead to the creation of a winning Lions team.
Labels: football, Lions, Matt Millen, NFL
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ugh, that game was amazing/sucked so much. Getting to see Kazmir pitch live, for one thing-- that was the first time I'd seen him in person. Carlos Pena, whom I still love in every irrational way. The 'MVP' chants every time Pedroia came up, the hysteria when Papi came out on deck to pinch hit in the 7th, the Jason Bay homer... that homer was INCREDIBLE, I thought people were going to start passing out in their seats from all the screaming.
And then Papelbon came in and spent enough time warming up for the sound system guys to play the entirety of 'Shipping up to Boston' and everyone was clapping and singing along and oh maaaaaaan.
And then, of course, the rare blown save, with a homer from DAN JOHNSON: OAKLAND REJECT, of all people, and a double from Dioner Navarro, he of the Molina School of Baserunning. Deflating.
The sky turned a crazy color right before it got dark out and I was pretty much convinced that a tornado was going to descend from the heavens and take Jed Lowrie off to Oz or something.
Alas, Jed did not at any point during the game have to break out his ruby slippers.
Labels: baseball, Dan Johnson: Oakland Reject, MLB, Red Sox
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Again? Seriously.... AGAIN??
I was unhappy when this game started. The first time in five years I haven't been at the season opener... it was weird, OK? Weird and wrong-footing and seeing that full stadium but not being in it is just wrong. But life goes on, I thought. You grow up, you move away; at least you're not out there schvitzing to death in the heat and probably getting a horrific sunburn because you forgot to put on sunscreen again.
I expected things to improve, though. Oh, I knew full well that the team is young, it's the first game with a new coach and a new system after several eons of Carr-ship, we're starting a walk-on at QB and the backup is a red-shirt freshman. I knew all that. Intellectually. I still expected... I don't know. Not a blowout, but a victory of some sort.
I really, really need to stop having expectations about this team, unless they are expectations of SHAME and AGONY.
Nothing against Utah. I tip my cap to them while simultaneously cursing out every single one of their players, especially that friggin' kicker. This is a less embarrassing loss than last year's Appalachian State disaster; the Utes may be in the mostly imaginary Mountain West conference, but at least they're actually, you know, Division I.
We have no running game. Like... none. I have no idea how our receivers look after this one game, because the combined Sheridan/Threet QB situation was awful enough to make them a moot point. The offensive line was bad. The defense adjusted in the second half in a very encouraging way, but the atrocious first half can't be ignored. Special teams were pretty good? I guess?
The close score at the end of the game was pretty deceptive. Utah made some terrifically bad mistakes, but Michigan did not look like a Division I football team out there.
It's gonna be a long season, 'though I guess this is maybe the best way to ease me out of the habit of actually going to the games.
ETA: Tatum Bell, after being released by the Lions, stole the luggage of Rudi Johnson, who had been brought in to replace him.
The Lions keep finding new and exciting ways to remind everyone that they are 100% clown shoes.
Labels: football, Lions, loss, NCAA, Tatum Bell, Utes, Wolverines