Good morning Fackers. As Jay mentioned late yesterday afternoon, both he and I were too occupied to tend shop and shuttered a little earlier than usual. What he didn't tell you was that we were busy as part of a major emergency investigation undertaken by the Fack Youk Investigative Report Team.
As you may be aware, Fack Youk has been involved in a bit of a blogowar with a certain Angels' blog whom I refuse to name or link to any longer given the sheer amount of garbage they've spewed over the past week. It began when they tried to go all FJM-style on the Bobby Abreu post I authored last week. I don't usually make a habit of reading blogs dedicated to other teams, but when Jay received a Google alert that my post had been linked to there, I went over to defend my viewpoints as rationally and politely as I could. And that in and of itself wasn't too bad. There was a decent discourse in the comments, nothing got too inane, and things remained relatively friendly.
With them now on my radar and the ALCS underway, I checked back occasionally. And that's when the general IQ level started swirling down the tubes. Yesterday, they unearthed the gem that they had "pretty conclusive evidence" that the secret to Mariano Rivera's success over the past decade and a half was that he was throwing spitballs. Nevermind that spitballs either move erratically or down and that Mariano's cutter moves from his right-to-left. Nevermind that Rivera has spent the past 14 full Big League seasons playing in the planet's biggest media market with dozens upon dozens of his games being aired on national television. In one fell swoop, with a little help from a DVR, these witty gumshoes had uncovered the equivalent of the Zapruder Film spliced with video evidence of Big Foot banging the Loch Ness Monster.
If that weren't enough, as proof that a few idiots crying out in the wilderness really can change the world, the grass roots conspiracy theory grew to the point that MLB actually launched an investigation. The MLB investigation, and a modicum of diligence from a far more rational Angels fan, exonerated Rivera.
Apparently not satisfied that they had their fifteen minutes of fame without becoming the laughingstock of the baseball blogosphere, the site began questioning the expedience with which Rivera was cleared, suggesting that it was a bit fishy and reminding everyone that it took MLB "over a decade" to get to the bottom of steroids, which by the way, everyone who has ever played for the Yankees takes.
Quite a day there for our left coast friends. Not content to sit back and enjoy the likely 50,000 plus page views their responsible and well-thought-out accusations earned them, they came back for an encore yesterday, focusing on three atrocious calls in Game Four, one of which actually benefited the Angels and none of which had any impact on scoring. But see, that's all part of the conspiracy.
What conspiracy you ask? Oh, you poor gullible reader. The joint conspiracy amongst MLB, FOX, and the World Umpires Association to ensure that the Yankees receive favorable calls in order to place the ginormous New York media market in the World Series thereby securing a ratings bonanza. Plus it would keep small-town greater Los Angeles and its tiny metropolitan area of dozens of residents out of the Fall Classic where Bingo Night or a seasonal bobbing for apples contest could single-handedly kill the World Series ratings.
Got all that? Oh, I know what you're going to say: "The umpiring has been horrible all post-season. It's been the single biggest story line all through the playoffs". Well of course it has you nitwit. They couldn't make it obvious; then any moron could have figured it out. They had to disguise it so that only the internet's brightest minds/Angels bloggers could just barely uncover the plot. Look, everyone knew the Yankees were going to get by the Twins, it was when they got to their arch-nemesis, the Angels, who have absolutely pwned the Yanks over the past ten years, that they would need help. So by decree of MLB/FOX/WUA, umpires began intentionally blowing calls throughout the Division Series in order to make it more believable when they started throwing things the Yankees' way in the ALCS. That's why the Angels got the benefit of three blown calls in Game One of the ALDS against the Red Sox; it makes it all the more believable that they're not getting screwed now.
As Yankee fans, of course Jay and I have mixed emotions about corroborating all this shocking news. But the truth will set you free and we want to hold ourselves to a high moral standard rather than be handicapped by blind loyalty to the juiced up cheating Yankees. That's why we took the afternoon off yesterday, to partake in a daring mission to capture the security tapes of the headquarters at said Angels blog. That way we could prove to the world that they did in fact have airtight evidence that all their claims were true. Unfortunately, MLB/FOX/WUA/CIA operatives arrived just as we were about to make our getaway, recapturing the security footage from us in an effort to leave the entirety of the baseball loving public in blissful ignorance.
But we are undeterred. We turned to the Fack Youk Artistic Reconstruction Team, a crack assemblage of disgraced former police sketch artists and art school dropouts and had them reconstruct what we had seen at the Angel blog fortress of solitude. The reconstruction is below. Prepare to have your minds blown:
See how reeediculous all this sounds? So in honor of the folks over at the Blog That Shall Not Be Named, here's a video starring A-Rod's girlfriend's ex-husband:
Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 3/24/17
27 minutes ago