Friday, April 16, 2010

Calcaterra & Carton Clash Over "Classless" Comment

The distinguished gentleman on the left, levitating a baseball with only the considerable powers of his mind, is Craig Calcaterra of NBC's Hardball Talk. The douchetastic brotard on the right is something commonly referred to as "Craig Carton". Those of you who live in the NYC area and hate your jobs so much that you can't help but fill your ears with obnoxious and nonsensical sports-related soliloquy to dull the pain may be familiar with him.

What do these two lifeforms, separated by about 70 IQ points have in common? Not much, aside from a first name, last initial and a short and highly entertaining radio segment.

The catalyst was the infamous Javier Vazquez post that Calcaterra wrote on Wednesday, which prompted a wholly non-sensical rebuttal from Carton which can be heard at around the 6:00 mark in the first audio clip on this page. Lisa from Subway Squwakers transcribed some of the quotes:
"I don't like it when people write columns attacking the integrity of the fan base," Carton complained, saying it was "open season on us Yankee fans," and promised to "defend New York fans to my death."

"How dare anybody tell Yankee fans" not to boo Vazquez, Carton griped, saying "Vazquez sucks, I'm gonna boo him."
If you listen to the segment, you might also notice that Carton pronounces it "Vass-Kwez" instead of "Vaz-kez", which might be excusable if he didn't, you know, get paid to say athletes names all fucking day long.

Naturally, a NYC radio host is going to pander to his audience railing against a blogger accusing them of being "classless and ignorant". But you might not expect a humble Midwestern gentleman such as Mr. Calcaterra to call up and defend his point.

Oh, but he did. The caption for the clip on the WFAN website (which spells C-a-l-c-a-t-e-r-r-a's name wrong) claims that "Craig and Boomer [Esiason] had him on and took the guy to task for his stupidity", which, as you might expect, is wildly inaccurate. See for yourself.

Carton does the typical egomaniac talk radio host and shouts down his guest to the point that his co-host Boomer Esiason has intervene to let Calcaterra get a word in edgewise. Predictably, the call ends as Carton calls Calcaterra "a nobody" and "a clown" and emphatically hangs up on him.

This interaction tells you pretty much all you need to know about the current state of sports talk radio vis-à-vis the blogosphere. Typically, you can comment on a blog and debate the relative merits of your arguments with the author, but if you try to call into a sports talk radio show to make a point, you'll get ridiculed, shouted down and hung up on if the host doesn't agree with what you're saying. Not to mention that the level of analysis and discourse found on blogs is several light years beyond what you are likely to hear on most talk radio shows.

Now if you'll excuse me, my acute case of Bill James Disease is flaring up and I need to get that taken care of.


  1. Re: Bill James Disease, to the author of that post, the reason it bothers you isn't because you're deficient, it's because it's transparently ignorant. To use the example he does, one of the persistent knocks on Ichiro has been that he doesn't see many pitches. Anyone who pays moderately close attention to the M's or Ichiro would know that. So someone claiming that Ichiro is going to see a lot of pitches because of foul balls is just talking out of their ass. So if you pay a good deal of attention to baseball, this is going to annoy you. Especially if you do it as a laor of love and the idiots are actually getting paid for it.

  2. Jason from The Heartland4/16/10, 2:26 PM

    Craig Carton is worthless. What an obnoxious, colossal jerk, trying to demean Calcaterra as if he had a lack of credentials compared to Carton, of all people?!? Some abrasive talking head who has a college degree in broadcast journalism put to good use by upbraiding others with slack-jawed commentary pandering to the lowest common denominator.

    The funniest thing to me was Carton yelling at Calcaterra for allegedly not knowing why some Yankees fans were booing because he didn't talk to them. Yet what Carton said absolutely verified what Calcaterra said--that some booed Vazquez because of 2004, because he had a "negative history" with the team. Carton admitted that right before his idiotic, interruption-filled tirade. Given that Carton verified exactly what Calcaterra said, why should 1.) Calcaterra have spoken with ANYONE given that Carton unwittingly seconded him, 2.) why should Carton dismiss bloggers as writers allegedly lacking credibility when he refuted his own invective, and, most importantly 3.) why should anyone listen to Carton, the intellectual equivalent of a bag of smashed assholes?

  3. Come on guys...this is such a tired topic. Carton expresses opinions that he KNOWS will cause controversy (or more importantly, cause ratings). If you don't like him, don't listen. Done deal. Or better yet, show your dissatisfaction....BOOO him!

    Or even better yet....stop finding little bitches like Carton or Calcaterra who are consumed with boring topics like Booing. Can we PLEASE discuss something else, already? I mean, shit...I'd almost be willing to take the Joba to the BP debate over this.

    Just for the record though, calling him petty and then making a point to reference him mispronouncing a name is kind of hypocritical. Talking grammatically correct for hours on end is not easy...especially when you throw in foreign names. You don't get the luxury of proof reading. Whatever.

    Booooooooo!!! Boooooooooooo!! Booooooooooo!! Assholes.

  4. This is a sore spot for me. I never "got" why people booed. Sorry anonymous, you won't want to read this because you are exactly who I am talking about when I decided my comment here would be too long and instead made it into my own Blog post.

  5. Jay, thanks for the shoutout!

    Jason, I was wondering the same thing as you, regarding "Carton yelling at Calcaterra for allegedly not knowing why some Yankees fans were booing because he didn't talk to them." What, do we need to interview every person doing something stupid, before commenting about it? That's just silly.

  6. Hey Mode,

    No harm no foul man. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I hope you don't mind but I looked at your personal blog (it is LONG, yikes!), and posted my 2 cents.

  7. Hey Anonymous, thanks for reading and your reasoned response. And you're right, it's definately my opinion. Something tells me there's a difference between most booers and yourself. Do you really boo?

  8. Lol do I really boo? No, I am not a frequent booer. I have in the past though. My primary motivation in posting though is um tired of people feeling they are beyond reproach.

  9. Anon, I thought as much. And you're right, no one is beyond reporoach. It is specifically the act of booing that gets to me and I stand by my opinion of (most) of those that do it.

    Jay & co, sorry for hijackling the comments.

  10. Not hijacking at all, Mode, just furthering the conversation. Well done on the post.