Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More than any other celestial body, the Earth is about a molten core

My dislike of Bill "Friend of Fragment" Plaschke is well-documented, if not well-defended. I think he is a bad writer, an even worse reporter, and appears to feel the need to use epithets when describing anyone who thinks that OBP might have a role in assessing a major league baseball hitter. Also, there are times when he thinks he's a poet, which is distressing, since he is very clearly a sports columnist and not a poet. Why does he even want to be a poet? Aren't poets the kind of sissy-men that Plaschke thinks are trying to ruin baseball with computers and Ivy League educations? I don't understand. Plaschke confuses me, completely.

But that's old news. Today, one of America's Least Valuable Voices uttered one of those inane sports cliches that makes me want to scream. It's the dreaded, "More than any other sport ..." qualifier. Some qualifiers edify. This one makes you stupider:

But we should remember it for Zumaya, who reminded us that, more than any other sport, baseball is less about superheroes and more about flawed and unforgiving humans.

I'll leave the grammatical analysis to Justin, because this sentence is so tortured I don't really know where to begin (did I count four different clauses in the same sentence?!? Does he think he's fucking Joyce?). Instead, I want to ponder the stated fact that "baseball is less about superheroes" and more about "flawed and unforgiving humans." I submit, readers, that this has to be one of the most meaningless, banal, retarded, inexplicably vapid things ever written anywhere, ever, in the history of the world, anywhere.

First of all -- without even worrying about the literal meaning of "superheroes" -- what is it about other sports that relies on superheroes? Or, more precisely, what is it about baseball that makes it less dependent on the great play than the one that was screwed up? Last time I checked, a two-run home run by the extremely awesome and somewhat superhero-like Albert Pujols is as important to the outcome of the game as an error by the very mortal Brandon Inge that cost his team two runs. If anything, a better argument can be made that an individual superstar -- particularly a pitcher -- can have a completely disproportionate effect on his team's success, compared to other sports. I don't really think that's the case, but I would be more prone to believe that than what Plaschke says.

But it's really the second part that kills me. "Flawed" and "unforgiving" humans? Who is he talking about? The players who make mistakes? Maybe Zumaya never forgave his dad for not buying him the red bike he always wanted, or something, but what the fuck does that have to do with his two-run error (which really didn't have an effect on the outcome of the game!)? Is Pudge Rodriguez's 0-fer so far in the WS a result of his steadfast homophobia? Please, please, please, please Bill Plaschke, attempt to help me make some sense of this statement. I don't think you can, and you wrote the fucking thing. Are you talking about the fans? I mean ... I'm just speechless. OK, that's a lie, but I am pretty flabbergasted.

On a related note: Bill Simmons, in the span of, like, three months, once said that more than any sport, football was a game of momentum, then later said that baseball was actually, more than any other sport, a game of momentum. I kid you not. Why do people still read this stuff?

(Author is aware of the irony present in that last sentence)

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