Don't SportsCenter Baseball Tonight
I really despise ESPN most days. It provides me much pleasure in watching sport, but lately it inspires more frustration and anger than anything else. I know, I'm not alone. Everyone hates Stuart Scott, and I'm very late to the Hater in Tha House Party.
But this goes beyond one man with one eye. This is about branding: the Mobile ESPN shit, the "We're in it for the keeeeeds" My Wish series, the Around the Horn waste of space. Seriously, who's idea was it to put Jay Mariotti and Woody Paige on the air together for a half-hour show hosted by Ralph Macchio's retarded stunt double? "C'mon!"
The latest example of why I'd like to see the Unabomber released and unleashed upon Bristol surrounds the current Baseball Tonight lineup of analysts. I'm sure the rock-solid Karl Ravech agrees with me when I say I want to poke out my eardrums with an exacto knife when Jeff Brantley, Orestes Destrade or Rectel Hershiser take the set. And as much as I fucking adore Buster Olney's writing, he's a cross between the flustered, shy kid that almost pees his pants giving a book report in 4th Grade and David Spade's imitation of Michael J. Fox.
The inexplicably employed Destrade really irked me last night, rousing me from near-slumber with two severely idiotic remarks. First, he said something fairly innocuous like, "There's a famous expression, 'Never wake a sleeping dog.'" But duder, if you're going to sport a universal adage and introduce it as such, at least get it remotely correct. Let sleeping dogs lie, my brother. I know another famous expression: I hate you, and I hate your assface.
Okay, but I could forgive that. English isn't his native language, and he at least got the meaning correct. The next slip-up killed me, though. When discussing Chase Utley's 35-game hitting streak, the former mediocre first baseman stated that only two guys in the major leagues are consistent enough to put a streak like this together: only Ichiro and Chase Utley.
Really? Of the hundreds of hitters in the show, Destrade has known for a while that just Ichiro or Chase Utley could put this streak together? Not Jimmy Rollins or Luis Castillo, each of whom put together streaks of 35 games or more? Not Joe Mauer, who was batting .390 for a large part of the season? Not Vlad Guerrero, who can hit a ball off his shoetops into the ozone? Not Jeter or Tejada or Michael Young, three guys that have just as many hits as Utley? No? Just Chase Fucking Utley or Ichiro? Okay, we gotcha, Orestes.
I just cannot fathom how some people get jobs, and really, I can't imagine how they hold them. And for chrissakes, BBTN, who does a guy have to blow around here to get you to mention that Joe DiMaggio started a 16-game hitting streak the day after his 56-gamer snapped, effectively hitting safely in 72 of 73 games. Just say it once. Once, Johnny, once! I'm begging you.
They really need to re-hire Harold Reynolds and Weekend at Bernie's Gammons. I just used Weekend at Bernie's as a verb. What of it?
Slack Link of the Day: Talk about shrinkage, this might be one of the weirdest news items I've ever seen -- "A sunbather was left writhing in agony when his testicles became trapped between slats of wood in his deckchair." [Nad Trap Man Set Free]
Slack Plug of the Day: I rarely throw out links to other blogs (because I want all your attention on me...well, me or Chase Utley), but I've become a big fan of this dude Murph who commented here a few times recently. If you have some time, I strenuously encourage you read some of this kid's barely coherent ramblings -- fucking genius stuff. Warning: May not be suitable for tight-asses.
Slack Video of the Day: Hoobs, Lukas, Donnie and I strolled through the subsiding heat to Joe's Pub last night to see a rising young "post-Afrobeat" band from Ann Arbor called NOMO. And, sure, there are more predominantly white Afrobeat bands out there right now than ever, but these guys really, really can play.
They've got some seriously talented dudes and chicks: two trumpets, a baritone sax, the lead guy plays keys and sax, then a funky bass and guitar, drums and percussion. Best of all, they each know their instruments really well and play their asses off. The horns are super-talented -- the baritone kid is especially stellar and the male trumpeter has a Kind of Blue thing goin' on when he solos that actually fits right in to the band's sound. I described him in a kind-of permanent state of Masquelero. Really a fantastic show, I couldn't recommend these guys any more highly.
Here's a two-minute YouTube clip I uploaded of the band's encore. And from NOMO's website, here are two songs to sample: Better Than That and Hourglass.
Slack Song of the Day: Time for another Friday StreamStash mix -- Lawyers, Guns & Money (Warren Zevon), Come On, Come Over (Jaco Pastorius), Baby Hold On (Eddie Money), Tell Mama (Janis Joplin), Day Tripper (Ramsey Lewis) and I Got a Woman (Ray Charles).