Thursday, January 22, 2009

ESPN Widget Headlines Compelling, Current [Part II]

Speaking of "all the shit ESPN gets from random assholes on these united internets", I present to you the second installment of ESPN's quest to make newspapers look up to the second:

In case you haven't heard... the Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl!

It's Thursday. If you have the ESPN widget on your homepage, and you don't know this, you are either illiterate or in a coma. Give me more "Reports" about Tony Romo "saying he'll be a more active leader" or Mark McGwire's brother saying his "brother used steroids"

Those "headlines" as they appear on the story page:
  • "Report: Romo looking ahead to '09" ~ Holy shit! He is? What about T.O., is he looking back to '08? Do you really need to rely on a source for this? "Report: Barack Obama looking ahead to '09".
  • "Book proposal implicates McGwire" ~ Nothing more credible than a book proposal. Can't think of any reasons thi$$$ guy might have to distort the truth. In related news, "Blog post implicates ESPN in non-widget-updating scandal".
On second thought... they might want to keep the headline about the Cardinals up there.

[Updated: 7:40] Theeeeeyy're listeeeeening.

The Best Thing About ESPN... not looking at Stuart Scott's lazy eye.

It's their commercials. For all the shit ESPN gets from random assholes on these united internets, their commercials have always been hilarious. Here is their latest rib tickler that I can't get enough of...

Number of Days Until Spring Training: #22 (LaTroy Hawkins)

If you are a Yankees fan, and watched any of the first half of the season last year, chances are you saw this: Joe Girardi coming out to get LaTroy Hawkins because he was unable to finish an inning. His wind-up was awkward because he started pulling his hand out of his glove too soon. Hawkins gave up 42 hits, 17 walks, and 26 runs in his 41 IP as a Yankee good for a 5.77 ERA. However, he was released in early August and went to Houston, where he sported a nifty 0.43ERRRRrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnooo.....................................................................

Suzyn Waldman: "RAW-JAH CLEMENS IS IN FACK YOUK'S POST!!1!!1!!!!





/head explodes

I'm sorry. This was never going to be about boo-magnet LaTroy Hawkins, nor was it going to concern the first two years of Robinson Cano or the last half year of Xavier Nady. All due respect to Allie Reynolds, who had more value over his career as a Yankee or Jimmy Key who was undoubtedly a better guy than Clemens.

The thing that makes Suzyn Waldman's hysterical overreaction to Clemens "dramatic" return in May 2007 (I was at his first game back) even more ridiculous is that The Rocket's first time with the Yankees wasn't really that impressive, it was just beautifully timed.

Clemens 300th win came in Pinstripes, in the same game he recorded his 4,000th strikeout. The team won two Championships in his first two years and he pitched six strong innings in Game 7 of the 2001 WS. His postseason ERA with the Yankees was .326, but his ERA in the World Series was 1.90.

When Roger won the Cy Young in 2001, Mike Mussina actually pitched a few more innings (229 to 220), had one more strikeout (214 to 213), a lower ERA (3.15 to 3.51) and a lower WHIP (1.07 to 1.26) than Clemens. The only category of import Mussina wasn't as good or better than Clemens in, was of course, their won-lost records. Mussina was (17-11) while Clemens started (20-1), finished (20-3) and as a result received 87% of the vote while Mussina got just 1%.

Clemens regular season ERA in his first stint with the Yankees was 4.02 (about a 115 ERA+) and his average won-lost record was 15-7. They were solid numbers, but certainly not as good as the Yankees had hoped when they acquired him from Toronto, coming off of two sub-3.00ERA, 230+ inning, 20+ win campaigns.

In his last go round with the Yanks, he struggled with hamstring problems but pitched to better than a league average ERA (107 ERA+), which is pretty much on par with what everyone expected when they unveiled him like it was a fucking reverse surprise party and signed him to a prorated $28,000,022 deal.

The last game he ever started for the Yanks was during the 2007 ALDS in a loss to Cleveland. Bothered by his hamstring once again, he lasted only 2 1/3 innings, gave up 3 runs and was replaced by Phil Hughes. In relief, Hughes pitched brilliantly (3 2/3IP 2H 0R), in what I had really thought at the time could be a symbolic change of the guards. Not so much.

Since then, Hughes hasn't won a game, and even though Clemens hasn't thrown a pitch, his entire career has been called into question and his public identity permanently tarnished. Clearly, nothing was going to be the same once his HGH & steroid use was revealed, but the ego synergy between him and Rusty Hardin has created what might be the biggest PR disaster possible. Do you think the story about Mindy McCready would have come out if he wasn't involved in a legal battle where each side was calling the others character into question?

If Clemens has just owned up to his steroid use and made a preemptive strike before the Mitchell Report came out, his reputation wouldn't be the colossal clusterfuck it now is. Of course, the type of player that uses is steroids is unlikely to be the kind of person who can own up to a mistake publicly, especially when it means sacrificing every one's perception of what you've worked your whole life for.

Sorry about not getting your pardon, Rog. I guess nobody knows you when you're down and out.

Mr. Clapton, would you please...
(quick Derek Trucks solo at 1:42 mark)