*Bill Simmons Alert*
Actually, this isn't a Simmons bashing session. Quite the opposite. While I still believe Simmons is stuffing his cantankerous Red Sox-ism down our throats, the fact of the matter is, this article (an OTL article, mind you) is magnificent. He eloquently explains the causes of the Manny chasm and the manipulation by not just Scott Boras but also the Boston Red Sox and their media machine. Let's just call them the New England Spin Network (NESN for short...).
My favorite part isn't exactly Manny-related, but Simmons provides an excellent gem in regards to "respecting the game:"
"If you want to win the old-school media guys, really, you only have to do six things: run out every ground ball, end up with a dirty uniform every once in a while, show up on time, give reporters whatever time they need, light up like a little kid if Willie Mays or Hank Aaron ever walks into the dugout, and smile broadly during games (so the announcers can talk about how you'd play this game for free, even though you just opted out of your contract and held your team hostage for a $100 million raise)."
Quite frankly, he's right. I still think Simmons is an overrated fanboy. He even admits it: "See, I think like a fan, write like a fan and try like hell to keep it that way." So even when he produces a gem like this, its hard to believe he's thinking rationally. Maybe he works for NESN?
On to more important things. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Philadelphia Phillies have staked a 2-0 NLDS lead on the back of Rule V Draftee Shane Victorino. This is the most successful the Phillies have been since...well, since I was 8.
And yet, here you can witness the paradigm that is a Philadelphia fan. In its essence there are three types of Philly fans existing right now (excluding the Eagles' season, which may still get more viewers than an NLDS clincher...sorry, that's how it works):
- The team-bashing, always-pessimistic, Hating Phanatic. Now, its important to note that this person is indeed a Philly fan. He generally wants the team to win. But its his way or the highway. This person thinks Andy Reid totally sucks even though he's helmed the Eagles to their most successful period ever. He think's Charlie Manuel is an idiot, even though the old ball player has led the Phillies to offensive heights not seen since the early 80s, coached two MVPs and effectively managed a team the front office didn't initially want to support. He thinks the Elton Brand signing was terrible because he's overrated and couldn't led the Clippers to much success (and had a knee surgery once! what an asshole). This guy always bashed the team, thinks management and coaching is dumb, player X should be traded and this team could be so much better if they listened to him. He's always negative and always expects the worst. Why? Because if you expect the worst and something better than worst happens, you're happy (though we've yet to experiment with this poor guy if the best case scenario happens).
- The always optimistic Philly "diehard." First things first; he may or may not be a diehard, but it's pretty damn impressive this poor fella hasn't been jaded by all the disappointment. This guy, has always thinks that the team is on the brink. Eagles 3-5? No problem, remember the 6-0 run Jeff Garcia made in 2006 with three straight NFC East Road Wins? The Phillies trail the Mets by 3.5 games in mid-September. No problem, remember last year? Eric Lindros is concussed again. No Problem...ah shit. The problem is, this fan is always disappointed at the end. Joe Carter, Scott Stevens, Rodney Harrison, Ronde Barber, Matt Holliday, Tayshaun Prince, Shaquille O'Neal, etc etc. Why? Because we all need to hope that this is finally it.
- The Churchmouse Philly Phan. Its not because this poor guy is a frontrunner or fairweather, but because of all the losing, all the disappointment, all the titles in the last quarter-century (read: none), this guy has learned to shut his fucking mouth. Get to excited (like #2) and you're gonna get crushed. Too jaded? You're #1 then. Why? This guy knows that odds are, things won't work out, but quietly he has hope. He doesn't want to jinx it, he deep down knows it probably want happen, but right next to that spot, he wants it to happen...so bad...so so bad.
I'm probably #3. Watching my words (ok, not that much, I'm excited, what do you want), but at the same time, Uncle Cholly still can annoy the living piss outta me. I want to be excited, but even if the Phillies advance to the NLCS (if not when, I ain't stupid), its still a whole new battle. But the category forgotten in all of this is a non-existent #4: The guy who's just ridin' the wave.
- From PFT, apparently there's a storm-a-brewin between ESPN's Ed Werder and Nick Eatman of Dallascowboys.com. The battle ensues when Ed Werder questioned Eatman's credibility given that he writes for a teamowned website (of which Eatman probably has none) and Eatman responded by noting that Werder and ESPN simply try to stir things up. Hey if ESPN is all about Gonzo Journalism now, I'm all for it. See Playmakers is real.
- From AwfulAnnouncing: More Sheshawn
- Back to PFT, Warren Sapp continues to fuel the fire in Oakland. Blame it on Kiffin or Davis, but the bottom line is, that front office is ridiculous.
- MLBTraderumors.com comes up with some interesting Robby Cano tidbits and some hotstove Yankee Rumors
- Sergei Federov...on Defense?
- From Epic Carnival, High School Cubs fan asked to remove her Fukudome jersey. (We've always preferred the Fuck-you-dome pronounciation anyways)
- With Peyton Manning not so hot, Jim Sorgi is done with putting up with his shit.
- And Finally, via theFightins, Brett Myers's Greatest. At Bat. Ever.