Swami is now saying the Giants will win the pennant and it’s freaking me out. I told him to cut it out. I don’t want to be a favorite. I want to be laying in the tall weeds. I want them to be the dog. They were dogs in 2012, 2010 and heck, 1954 for that matter.
Did you ever notice how when the media is gushing about the Dodgers, they never seem to mention that they have the highest payroll in history? I think that’s a material fact, don’t you?
While talking about Saint Jeter, someone asked me who has ever gotten the press he’s gotten? In other words, are there any analogs? I immediately posited that Mattingly was Jeter before Jeter, and still is, in a way, in that he gets all kinds of staunch support as manger of the most expensive team in history, even when they underperform and he makes managerial blunders. The media protects him a fair amount. He was Jeter before Jeter after all and the national media is pretty heavily Yankee-leaning don’t ever forget.
Well, who else? I would put Ripken in that group. His coverage was just way out of proportion to his game. I would also put Reggie Jackson in that category. Notice something about the names? Yep. Three of four are Yankees and that’s no accident. When the Yankees have a good player, the Yankee-centric media just BEATS IT TO DEATH. Of course, there’s the breathless, “what about the streak?”. What about it? Is not getting injured a talent? Did he hurt his team by not taking any time off? It’s a strange thing, a streak.
I liken it to the debate of who is the greatest SP of all time? Walter Johnson, right? But I have a problem with that because Johnson was so freakishly fast, he did most of his 400+ wins withOUT a breaking ball! Is that talent? That you develop? Or is it using what God gave you? I lean towards Grover Cleveland Alexander. By all accounts, he did it with smarts, with guile, with control and not with any particular overmatch attribute. He missed time early on and his records at the Baker Bowl are just out of this world. Besides that, he may have sold games. So what would his record have been? You want Cy Young? You want Mathewson? I get it. For me, it’s those two guys and that issue.
And the ones who will leave the angry comments do not understand, and can not separate the player with the coverage. What I’m talking about is the coverage, not the player. When I’m saying “uncle” because I can not stand it anymore, it’s “uncle” to the coverage–the haigiographic coverage. And the other day, when Bryce Harper was immodest and stared down Strickland and screamed what had to be curses from the dugout after taking him deep, I said to someone, “you know, this kid needs to act better. You’d never see Jeter do any of that stuff”. But, here’s the thing, I could have used any of a hundred players to make that point. Michael Young. Buster Posey. Mark Teixiera. Raul Ibanez. Mel Ott. Turkey Mike Donlin. You get the point. NOT Yaisel Puig. No, not him.
What am I looking forward to in the pennant-series? Well, no Yankees and no Jeter, let’s be clear. No Clayton Kershaw, who is rapidly rising on the list of guys who’s coverage is getting a little much. When a guy gets hit hard in a big spot for the SECOND TIME in TWO YEARS, and the announcers begin making excuses for him (stealing signs etc), then hold onto your wallet. I’m looking forward to one of the most enjoyable teams I’ve ever watched, do their thing. Bring it!