This new A-Rod issues nonstop unctuous, totally transparent compliments and refuses to tell the truth about shoddy play and players and the state of the game—mindless homerun derby for know-nothing fans with the attentions spans of humming birds and the knowledge of third graders.
Then again, the corporate suits at ESPN, the smarties, no doubt know he is a phony, if a revamped one, encourage those shills on media outlets who refuse to bring up his past and will probably tell you everybody, even a back-stabber like A-Rod, deserves a second chance, and because he is a celebrity, and now a member of the media, and a big timer, they will go along with the nauseated fawning.
What this is really about is A-Rod wanting into the Hall of Fame, and, unlike Barry Bonds, who seems to hate everybody but himself and enjoys it and doesn't give a damn if he gets into the Hall by sucking ass, A-Rod is playing his new image to the hilt.
So where are you, Stephan A. Smith, Max Kellerman, Dan Patrick, Skip Bayless, and that strident know-it-all called the Herd? Get your asses in gear and tell the truth about this fraud before a public stupid enough to believe Donald Trump believes A-Rod's disgusting bullshit.
I'm starting to hear a few of the old hands on MLB finally grumble about these analytic nerds with these trumped up new manners of statistics grading a ball player that are so bloodless and un-baseball-like that they have turned the game and the new age commentary into a lecture on robotics.
Harold Reynolds has his ire up, but not completely, though he's getting there. You want to ask Harold—is there a statistical niche in baseball these days for the likes of singles/doubles hitter Bill Madlock, who sawed off pitch after pitch, wearing out a pitcher, before ripping one up the middle? Would the new sabermetrics exclude the likes of a Richie Ashburn and a Nellie Fox, who stood on top of the plate and purposely drove pitchers half loony by fouling off pitch after pitch, averaged 200 hits a year, moved runners consistently on the bases, and laid the groundwork for the sluggers behind them? And could these geniuses find a way to pull an infield shift on the likes of Harvey Kuenn, who these days might reside the minors when he could hit any pitch anywhere and once, on a hit and run, tossed his bat at a pitch-out and nearly singled over the first base bag before the ball sliced foul.
These shifts are in place for one reason—just about every kid learning to play ball and reaching the big leagues has abandoned the short quick level swing that achieves bat control and placement and arched his entire body to hit homeruns, therefore opening up so many holes in their swings that they're lucky not to strike out at least a hundred times if they get 400 at bats.
Somebody was talking about this kid Story, with Colorado. Going to strike out close to 200 times but he'll end up with over 30 homeruns and drive in 80 runs and hit .250 if he's lucky, and that makes him an established slugger and possible all star.
A NY Yankee named Justice struck out 8 times in a doubleheader and Stanton's worse. Bellinger set a strikeout record in the playoffs and World Series last year. He was helpless, pitiful. Most of these guys are cripple-shooters, can't hit the good pitching, which is why they stink in the playoffs where the pitching and scouting reports render them helpless and pitiful, and the biggest playoff games of the year are won by precious runs driven across by singles/doubles hitters.
The lone exception—Trout.
Switching to basketball, there seems to be a great fear among aficionados, and current and ex players. in comparing anybody favorably to the hallowed Michael Jordan. This fear is like a plague. Why doesn't somebody stand up and tell the truth—Lebron James is better at every phase of the game, hands down, and is also a better person who one supposes is condemned for his lack of cruelty or ruthlessness as a competitor—compared to Jordan—which is bunk. He is a better rebounder, passer, could average 35 a game if he wished to, can guard 5 positions, and carry a bunch of mediocre players that Jordan would have intimidated and ostracized halfway through a season to the NBA finals.
Jordan ruled his teammates with fear and intimidation. Lebron rules like Magic Johnson—encouragement and inspiration and sharing. The talk show so-called experts, Stephen A, Max, Bayless (Jordan's greatest fawner), to mention a few of the many, act as if Jordan will emerge from the woodwork and bludgeon them if they murmur one critical remark about him, or admit that Lebron is better, that athletes are better, and at this point Lebron is easily the greatest basketball player who ever tied on the sneakers.
I think the Golden State Warriors should go to the White House and visit President Trump. And, just before he begins to brag about himself, to a man, pull on presidential fright masks of the mottled man himself, like those of Nixon and Reagan, and begin bragging in unison about how great they are and how America loves them and everybody loves them, because they are the greatest team of all time, better than past champions, and anybody who says different is stupid and a jerk,..etc, etc.
Before secret service drives them off.