Bill Simmons is a writer for ESPN that you probably have heard of. He's probably the biggest "celebrity" writer on the internet and is responsible for roughly 1/5 of the posts at Deadspin. Despite influencing roughly every sports blog on the internet and setting a gold standard that anyone who thinks that it's a good idea to write on the internet should try to attain, he is one of the most divisive figures in the sports blogging world. Often accused of being smug, a name dropper and overusing the same references time and time again (I once emailed him begging him to stop with the Battle of the Network Stars references) Simmons is generally un-apologetic over his style. His style is his style. He has his fans (which I count myself as one) and his detractors, but in the end there's not much you can say negatively about him. His "voice of the fan" perspective has become skewered a bit over the years, but it still is a "voice of the fan" because when it comes to baseball, the NFL or gambling on the NFL he doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time (just like a real fan.) However, when it comes to basketball Bill Simmons leaves the "voice of the fan" behind and becomes something wholly different, one of the greatest living basketball writers alive.
Now, I've never been the biggest basketball guy. I think it's a great sport to watch, but there have been one too many times in my lifetime when the officials have clearly affected the outcome of a game and you can't tell me any different that the league didn't influence these decisions. The most egregious example would of course be the Dallas/Miami Finals from a couple of years back. I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way and was completely turned off by this series, but somehow the NBA always finds ways to pull me back in. Whether it's Lebron James or Brandon Jennings, I always find a reason to end up watching some games and a lot of this can probably be attributed to the writing of Bill Simmons. His passion for the game in his columns is infectious and there have been more than a few times I have ended up watching a playoff series because he will not shut up about it (Bulls/Celtics from last season is a great example.) When I found out that Bill Simmons had written a 700 page book about basketball I pre-ordered it right away. I've always enjoyed him as a writer and he is far too serious about the sport of basketball to mess this up. When The Book of Basketball arrived eight days ago I dug right in and I wasn't disappointed. Continue reading »
I like to think that I am the world's foremost expert on d-bags who wear gloves to a baseball game. When I am asked to go on CNN to comment on the Happy Youngster's inevitable serial killing spree, I want it to to look like this.
I can talk and write about this topic forever. They never stop being fun to make fun of. I know the ins and outs of the game and in some ways I'm the Bill James of the hating-ballhawks community. So you should know that NOTHING on this planet gave me more pleasure than seeing Conan O'Brien give him the business on the Tonight Show. In case you missed it: Continue reading »
In an interview with a small town Illinois newspaper Gorman Thomas said that he would "like to play again." When asked why now, 23 years after retiring, he wanted to come back Gorman said that he'd "like to help the Cubbies finally get that World Series." Cubs general manager Jim Hendry declined to comment, but did admit that there was interest.
UPDATE: Gorman tells ESPN's Buster Olney that his quotes were taken out of context and he is enjoying retirement. Continue reading »
When you watch the NBA draft: you know most of the names from following the college tournament. Unless, they are from a foreign country then you just pretend that you know whether you like or dislike the pick. (My advice is to always dislike it. Europeans are soft.) Towards the end of the first round you usually end up watching something else because the last few picks never end up mattering much. In the end you are excited to see how a guy turns out next year.
When you watch the NFL draft: you know most of the names because all ESPN does is talk about football 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. I think the day after the Super Bowl last year they had a prediction show. You sit and watch the entire draft for 10-15 hours wondering where your life has gone. In the end you are excited to see how a guy turns out next year.
When you watch the NHL draft: lol nobody watches the NHL draft.
When you watch the MLB draft: you have pretty much no idea who anybody is and the announcers who are saying great pick or bad pick pretty much don't know either. You watch the first round until your team has picked or just leave it on in the background as you go online. In the end you are excited to see how a guy turns out in the next 2-5 years.
This is a baseball blog that hardly talks about baseball so I thought we'd try something a little different this week and you know, actually talk about baseball. To do this I enlisted some help and had an email chat with Al Bethke of Al's Ramblings, one of my favorite Brewers blogs. Al mostly concentrates on the sabermetric side of the Brewers and generally takes a contrarian viewpoint on most things. When it's all said and done he ends up being right a whole lot more than he is wrong which kind of makes him annoying (I kid.) It got kind of long so we are going to break it into two parts, with part two tomorrow.
Miller Park Drunk: Okay, let's kick this thing off Al. One thing that I have written about in the past that has gotten a lot of feedback from my readers is the subject of booing. There are a lot of people out there who think it's okay to boo people who are under performing or making generally bad decisions. I was at the ESPN game this past Tuesday against the Cardinals and the crowd was openly booing Suppan when he was pulled. It just doesn't make any sense to me. You are a bit more of a Suppan apologist than I am, but at the same time whether I like him or not I am smart enough to realize that no matter what happens he is going to be starting every fifth day for the rest of the season. To me, you should never boo your own team under any circumstances. Boo your umpires. Boo your Barry/Manny/A-Rod's of the world. Boo your Sheffields. Leave your own team alone. It's almost like people who beat their dog for going to the bathroom in the house. It does absolutely nothing to change things and just makes your dog hate you. What I'm wondering is how you feel on the subject of booing and why do you think that so many casual Brewers fans think it's okay? I don't see how Mike Cameron striking out three times in a game is worse than their beloved Brett Favre throwing 15 interceptions in the first half. Continue reading »