Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Beat One Wife, And All The Sudden You're A Wife Beater

Bob Nightengale, the guy known for possibly using off-the-record conversations as sources in articles, has graced us with yet another hack piece - this time, truly doing God's work in allowing accused wife-beater Brett Myers the chance to tell his side of the story. Part of this side notes that the whole thing was a giant big ol' cliched misunderstanding. Part of this side can be summed up, somewhat surprisingly, as "BOSTON WAS MEAN TO ME!"

Obviously, this deserves a dissection, FJM-style, and we'll get there in a second. First, though - it's important to note that while Boston is indeed the city that accosted Jason Kidd in the 2002 playoffs for being a, well, wife-beater, it's also the city that embraced Derek Lowe and Julio Lugo, among others. In other words, it's not exactly some bastion of anti-domestic-violence thought, in spite of the vigilant (yet mannish) lesbians protesting something 24/7 outside Marsh Chapel at BU.

Phillies' Myers puts past behind him, on and off the field

Interesting - this actually seems relatively neutral, almost as if the guy is moving on and improving his life. Maybe he's entered counseling, or perhaps he's found Jesus or Jo Bu . . . nope, turns out he's just a pussy:

PHILADELPHIA — Brett Myers still hears the taunts from the stands. He gets the obscene letters.

"I know there are people out there that think I'm a jerk. There are people out there who think I'm a wife-beater. That will never change," says Myers, alluding to a 2006 incident in which he was arrested and charged in Boston with assaulting his wife, Kim.

Seriously - fuck all those people who label me a wife-beater, simply because I . . . (ALLEGEDLY) beat my wife. In all fairness to Brett, he was never charged. That's because, in what may or may not be classic abused-wife behavior, his wife did not cooperate or press charges. However, let's take a look at what eye witnesses said at the time:
"He was dragging her by the hair and slapping her across the face. She was yelling, 'I'm not going to let you do this to me anymore.' . . . He had her on the ground. He was trying to get her to go, and she was resisting. She curled up and sat on the ground. He was pulling her, her shirt was up around her neck. . . . He could have cared less that we were there."

There's also the issue that Brett is 6'4" and 240 lbs, while his wife Kim was noted by the BPD as being 5'4" and 120 lbs. Oh - also, this happened at 12:26am on the way home from the bar . . . and Myers was scheduled to pitch the NEXT DAY, a 1pm afternoon start. This is the "When's the next time I'll be in Haiti?" of silliness. The guy only works every five days, and that's the day he gets picked up for a drunken fight with his wife? If I get in a hatchet fight the night before the LSAT, it really doesn't matter too much whether the fight was my "fault" - how the fuck did I get in a hatchet fighting zone to start?

Look, I'm the last person who will claim eyewitness testimony is all that credible - trust me, it's my job to know that eyewitnesses are notoriously poor as evidence. However, any part of that statement being true kind of invalidates his entire defense. That's a big deal. So, yeah, Brett - some things will never change. Holy shit.

"But you know what, I really don't care what people think about me. … If people don't like me, they can deal with it. This is who I am."

Now, here's something I can get behind - I'yam who I'yam, just like Popeye! Except instead of spinach, I eat shots of booze! And instead of Bluto, I beat up on Olive Oyl! And instead of a blind sailor, I'm a redneck blessed with a golden arm! If you don't like that, you can deal with it! Because if you make me deal with it, I'll punch you in the brain then drag you by the hair all caveman-style, because I don't really care what you think about me!

Also - note that this does NOT, at all, sound like "putting the past behind him." In fact, this sounds like "pretending the past never happened." But maybe he's putting the past behind him in other ways?

This was supposed to be the culmination of Myers' dream. The Phillies were in the World Series. He was as responsible as anyone, going 7-4 down the stretch after a minor league stint and winning his first two starts in the playoffs.

But he couldn't escape the fear of the Phillies' possible World Series opponent. "I did not want to play Boston," says Myers, 28. "If Boston had beat Tampa, I would have gone to (manager) Charlie (Manuel) and told him, 'I don't want to pitch in Boston.'

"I don't ever want to pitch in Boston again."

Oh. Wait. So "putting the past behind him" means "never returning to where it happened" now? Jesus - that's like getting over the death of a grandmother by never seeing another relative, ever. I mean . . . it might "work" in the sense that you'll never "cry" but I'm not quite sure you're "over it." Look, I can see why a rape victim wouldn't want to return to the scene of the crime - same with someone who witnesses a death of some sort, etc. Trauma is incredibly difficult. Brett Myers is not a trauma victim, even if his version of the story is correct and the situation was misunderstood.

Let's skip ahead and see why poor lil' Brett hates Boston so much:

Myers planned to hire bodyguards for Kim if they played the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, he says. The Phillies summoned security when she was harassed by Los Angeles Dodgers fans in Los Angeles during the National League Championship Series, says Phil Myers, Brett's father.

The pitcher, too, heard taunts as he warmed up before Game 2. Fans called out, "How's your wife?"


Yet when Myers pitched the next day [after his arrest] in Boston, he was alone. He heard the vicious chants. He says he was pelted by plastic beer bottles and trash when he warmed up in the bullpen.

"What happened to me that day in Boston, on the field, I wouldn't wish that on nobody," Myers says. "It wasn't just the boos and the things people were throwing. It was just what people thought about me. I didn't have a chance to explain. My lawyers told me not to, so I couldn't talk.

"For me to even pitch that day was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in life."


You know what? I'm perfectly willing to cut the guy some semblance of a break, and/or forgive a particularly stupid drunken moment of his life. No man should really ever lay a hand on his wife, but obviously most of us aren't really in a position to judge. Maybe they are stubborn douche bags and sometimes it gets out of control - OK, fine.

But to act like he's the victim because his actions resulted in fans (in Boston no less) absolutely burying him? To say that no man should go through that? How inane. If you plant the Turd Tree, you're going to get shitty little acorns all over the lawn. If you then mow the lawn, there's going to be shit everywhere. It's not the lawnmower's fault.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh . . . Sorry About That, Homey

So, my hero, Charles Barkley, apparently stuck his immensely fat foot in his mouth during a speech given to reporters:

"I think [the Knicks] have a better coach. This coach probably won't try to kill himself."

Totally sweet, Charles - this makes his crack about the Angola basketball team being a "bunch of spearchuckers" look like the Emancipation Proclamation. Seriously, I don't really even follow the NBA, but I can really appreciate a good suicide joke, especially in front of a group of New York reporters. Maybe he can fly to Indy and get some material from Tony Dungy next. I'm sure Isiah sleeps well at night knowing that the fraternity of ex-players has his back . . . actually, he probably sleeps well at night because of the thousands of milligrams of Lunesta still coursing through his veins, but it's still good to hear Charles keeping it real stupid on camera. I would watch the dude eat, or pay money just to sit in the backseat of his car one afternoon.

I'm sure Sir Charles will take a ton of shit for this, and likely deservedly so, but it's actually kind of nice to hear an athlete make a real-person crack on a guy universally considered kind of a douche. Chuck will just have to drown his sorrows by losing hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Palms, or swinging a golf club like it's a live rattlesnake.

Friday, October 24, 2008

RIP Professor Falla

Apparently, I've been asleep for the past couple of months, because I missed that Professor Falla had passed away towards the end of September. I know we're pretty hard on sportswriters on this site (and justifiably so), but Professor Falla was one of the great hockey writers of all time, and a tremendous writer in general.

I got to know Professor Falla when I was a senior at Boston U, and I took his 8 am Sports Journalism class. He always said that he scheduled the class at 8 am because he only wanted students who would be serious about the course. That, of course, is because he was a serious, old school journalist. He had his pet peeves (no exclamation points, for one), and he expected you to work hard at your writing.

At the same time, he was incredibly supportive of his students, and always was willing to help a young journalist. His students have become beat writers for some of the most famous teams in sports, and media relations professionals at the highest levels. If you proved yourself to him as a writer, he became your fan for life, no matter what profession you chose.

I was lucky enough to count Professor Falla as a reference for my first couple of years out of college, and I traded emails with him whenever there was a big story in sports. His impressions were always honest, always to the point, and always on the mark. I consider myself extremely lucky that he was my Professor, and that I got the chance, however brief, to discuss sports with him.

He was an incredibly charitable person, a great teacher, and and a talented writer. He will be missed, terribly. Rest in peace, Professor Falla.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bitch, I'm a Pipe . . .

If you're unfamiliar with the works of Lil' Wayne (HI COLLIN!), he's the most brilliant retard alive in America today. He's the self-proclaimed "Best Rapper Alive," and likely is indeed the best rapper alive, should such a metric actually be possible. For instance, the very title of this post is the lead-in to one of my favorite lines ever:

Bitch I'm a Pipe, she like a crack addict
Saw me cooking eggs, she thought I was back at it

Lil' Wayne also has a blog on I did not know this until today, and I'm planning on murdering every single one of you for not telling me about this sooner - HOLY SHIT this is amazing. Some choice quotes:

"I know the Rays got the Backstreet Boys to sing the national anthem before Game 1, and that's gonna be something. I thought Backstreet Road was closed for construction, but I guess not. Since I went to a postseason game in Tampa, I think they're gonna boo 'em."

"T.O. is an amazing talent but he's definitely a situation. But that's another difference between the old days and now. Back then there's no way you play football and then go cry on TV."

"It ain't Brad Johnson's fault. Everything is falling apart. I think Brad came into a bad situation. To tell you the truth I think the team sucks."

And the coup de grace:

"Did you see LenDale's touchdown this weekend? His little fat self ran 80 yards. They put the timer on SportsCenter and it took him like six seconds, but he made it and that's what matters. That guy is funny."

You heard it here first, guys - Lil' Wayne proudly declares that not only is LenDale White fat (dude looks like a potato in shoulder pads), but that this is proven by his consecutive THREE SECOND 40-yard dashes to score. Hey, it ain't trickin' if you got it, Weezy. This is my new favorite thing ever.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Single Guy's Diary

So it's been a grip since I moved back to the Midwest (we like to call it "Californee-way"), and I used to do a ridiculous examination of every bad decision I made for my friends here . . . since the Boston Coalition (note: not black) is a bit out of the loop, I figure I should let the People (note: still not black) know what's happening in RC's idiotic life.

Yesterday, I watched the Iowa Hawkeyes rape face against the remnants of the Wisconsin Badger Legacy. Sconsin's coach is Bret Bielema, a former UI lineman who has a gigantic Hawk tattoo on his shin. Beating Sconsin is like oral sex - it's perfect, no matter what. I drank a sixer of tall boys before the game, so I was legit drunk from 8am to whenever I stood on my buddy's patio with my clothes off yelling "WILDCARD BITCHES!" at my buddy's crazy girlfriend. That's foreshadowing.

Anyway, I don't want to discuss every bad decision I made last night - I just want to focus on one particular moment. I managed to eat 3 "walking tacos" at tailgate, then knocked down a chicken caesar from Pita Pit on the way back from IC . . . this results in poop that looks like Gerber baby food. I was split peas all day. Shit was gross.

So obviously, instead of pooping at home like an actual human being, I waited until we got to the bar for the Red Sox game. When the dump descended, I was landlocked in the Court Ave district . . . so I committed the Cardinal Sin. I dumped in the bar.

Well, Johnny's Hall of Fame (soft "J" - pronounced correctly "Yonny's") was just gentrified (I <3 living in Richguypartoftown), and the bathroom lights are connected to a motion sensor. My poop was moving like Ice Road Truckers, so I took a little bit more time than the sensors anticipated, I suppose . . . the lights actually turned off on me. I was pooping in the dark. I would have rather been waterboarded than sitting in my own stink in the dark in the bar, at 7pm. I literally considered every bad decision I'd ever made in my entire life that led me to that point. It was a nightmare.

Since the lights were motion-sensitive, I tried to move - I waved my arms like a retard, trying to trip the sensor. I looked like this:

It was so bad that my buddies actually entered the bathroom to check on me - they could see through the foggy-glass window that the light was off. I was mocked mercilessly for my pooping fiasco, and I deserved every bit of it. Also, did not get laid, although I got naked on the 9th floor of the Plaza downtown (while screaming "WILDCARD BITCHES" as previously noted). Just another blue-sign night as a single white dunce.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When a picture is worth 1000 words . . .

So yeah. By Win Expectation, the Red Sox came back from a less-than-1% chance to win the game - that's Some Good. The Sox had a 1.1% Win Expectancy when they came up to bat in the 7th - that means they overcame a 99:1 longshot inside of nine outs. Unreal. You can't even make that stuff up, to be honest.

JD Drew gets treated like Scolari in BaseketBall, even by otherwise rational Red Sox fans - whether it's because of his calm demeanor, his relative inability to smash his helmet or argue with the umpire like Youkilis, or simply because he's from Georgia and, fuck, we sent Sherman after all . . . it's nonsense, but the image of JD Drew as an overpaid, lazy malingerer is still ripe within pockets of Red Sox Nation, like some sort of intellectual SuperAIDS, spurned by the methamphetamine of newfound entitlement felt by pampered and spoiled Sox fans (never though i'd write that . . .).

Well, I wrote about Mr. Drew in the past, but I think today provides us one stat that should usurp almost every other, even after the hangover from last night subsides:

Red Sox total WPA: .608
JD Drew's WPA: .554

Yep - JD Drew's HR and game-ending walk-off "single" (NOTE: I'll never understand why a walk-off ground-rule double doesn't automatically drive in both runs like a HR would, but I digress) accounted for 91% of the total Red Sox WPA for the game. You know our (my?) aversion to context-based stats like RBI on this very blog, but over a one-game sample, I have no problem noting that JD Drew was the balls last night.

Oh, and apparently a few of our friends were among the multitudes that left early last night, missing the entire comeback. I can only imagine this is the sporting equivalent of passing out during sex, or missing your flight to Vegas, or taking the LSAT during a bachelor party - sure, you'll hear about it later, but that has to make it worse, right?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rob Neyer chat during Dodgers-Phillies

Collin, CT: Will people (i.e. baseball writers) ever appreciate Chase Utley? I mean, they're so eager to pat Ryan Howard on the back, it's almost like they miss the fact of how good he is.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: (10:09 PM ET ) That's also true. Last year it was Jimmy Rollins. This year it's Ryan Howard. But Chase Utley is the best player on the team, and I don't think it's even close.

Yeah, that's right - Rob Neyer answered my question during a chat. I'm way too happy about this.