Wednesday, June 02, 2010
You've probably read, or at least heard of Ted Green's "Guide To Hating the Celtics." It was pulled by the LA Times for this now infamous line:
"By the way, [Paul] Pierce's idea of a fun night is going clubbing and getting stabbed."
But what you don't know is that Green's Guide was horribly written, tritely unoriginal, and flat-out unfunny without that offensive line. In fact, that sentence is perhaps the best part of the piece. Although I think the purpose of including that line was to get the column pulled, or at least draw some negative attention. Did you know who Ted Green was before he scribbled this article? Nope. Neither did I. So kudos to him for figuring out how to get ahead in the Mainstream Sports Media: be a dolt.
But the rest of the "column" is really bad. I don't mean tasteless or classless kind of bad. I mean written by a 7th grader that was held back twice bad. Some examples to illustrate how much of an insult Green's Guide is to writing and to sports:
"The Celtics cry. They cry more than Best Actress winners at the Oscars. They cry like every game is a wedding."
Wow, great metaphors. Really funny. I mean, those Best Actress winners, they really do cry. HAHAHA. And so do the Celtics? WOW! High-larious!!!
"The Celtics also foul... They foul as a strategy."
What basketball team doesn't? This is like criticizing a hockey team for checking as a strategy, or a football team that tackles as a strategy.
"They probably foul their own bus driver on the way to the arena."
Oh Ted Green, you slay me! They foul their own bus driver?!? That's INSANE! Insanely funny, that is.
Kevin Garnett is #5. He wore 21 with the T-Wolves. Ted Green lists him as #21 in his "Guide." Bill Sharman would be pissed. Either it's an incomprehensibly subtle joke from Green, or it's sheer stupidity.
"If you'll be seeing [Paul Pierce] for the first time, you'll hate him before the first quarter of Game 1 is even close to over..."
So right here Green admits that Lakers fans are frontrunners and band-wagoners. First time seeing Paul Pierce? Didn't these teams play in 2008? Maybe LA fans forget because they didn't win? But if you haven't seen Paul Pierce yet, even in LA, you're a bit late to the party.
"Kendrick Perkins: This guy looks meaner than Cerberus..."
I know who Cerberus is, but that's because I'm a nerd. It's also because I'm a Simpsons fan (Season 8, "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, a producer describes Poochie as "The original dog from hell." A writer then asks "You mean Cerberus?"). All that aside, knowing that Cerberus is a three headed dog that guards the gates of Hades is far from common knowledge. This is supposed to be a guide for frontrunning, stupid LA fans. If they don't know who Paul Pierce is, what are the odds they'll know who Cerberus is?
Californians are familiar with Greek and Roman mythology, everybody knows that, but maybe this one reference was a bit of a reach. And the whole point of allusion is to simplify something for the reader, give them something they can relate to. A better choice: Kendrick Perkins looks meaner than Chong-Li from Bloodsport.
"[Perkins] is prone to getting technical fouls, usually immediately after waking up in the morning."
Stick to stab jokes, Ted. Seriously, that Paul Pierce getting stabbed line gets funnier and funnier compared to the rest of this guy's routine. These are like the bad jokes that the immigrant dude on Family Guy laughs at.
"If [Rajon Rondo] were any more conceited, he'd dribble with his left hand and carry a hand-mirror with his right"
What's the matter, Ted? No reference to Hallgerda, the Viking goddess of vanity? Calling Rondo conceited seems to be pulled out of mid-air. Rajon is quiet, calm, and confident. I can't see anything conceited or cocky. Maybe I'm missing it. But even so, calling an NBA player conceited is like calling a porn star promiscuous, it sort of goes with the territory.
And the worst sentence Green wrote (which is saying something)...
"Just remember this kid is, like, 8 years old and already as arrogant as the rest of them."
Apparently, in Southern California, you actually write "like" in the middle of a sentence. And the punctuation rules are similar to direct address. Use a comma before and after. This is, like, a really good way to, like, you know, sound like a complete moron, or like, hella stupid, or like something like that. Y'know?
So while everyone gets up in arms about the Paul Pierce stab line, it was actually the best part of what is a horribly written piece, filled with unfunny jokes, distractingly confusing references, and an undercurrent of California stupidity.
Remember in April when umpires complained about Red Sox/Yankees games lasting too long? I don't recall many people objecting. Well the Southeastern Conference has tried something to keep game lengths from getting out of hand: a pitch clock.
How it worked:
A clock in centerfield ticked from 20 seconds once the pitcher got the ball back from the catcher. The clock only ran when there were no runners on base. The batter had to be in the box with 5 seconds remaining. A violation by the pitcher would result in a ball added to the count. A violation by the batter would add a strike. There was also a 108 second clock that ran between innings.
How well it worked:
Excellently. There were no violations. Average time of game at the tournament was reduced by 15 minutes compared to the year before. Part of that was due to excellent starting pitching, but most of it was apparently due to the rushed pace brought about by the clock.
Could it work in the Majors?
I don't think so. The idea of clocks and baseball is irksome. It just doesn't feel right. And you'd never get the players to agree to it. College baseball can push players around, and the kids will hustle for the clock. Major Leaguers would push the limit of the clock, then bitch when penalized a strike or a ball.
But I do think the Majors could do something to make the games a bit shorter. Rather, to keep them from extending too long. But clocks aren't the answer. Limiting batters to 1 time-out per plate appearance, limiting catchers to 1 mound visit per inning (not counting visits with coaches), and cloning Mark Beuhrle. Those are the answers.
Victor Martinez was 5 for 5 with 4 doubles as the Sox' offense propelled them to their 30th win of the season. And yes, the Sox are still in 4th, but it's a strong 4th. They'd be leading the AL West, or be a very close second in every other division in baseball apart from the AL East.
John Lackey was as mediocre as ever allowing 12 freaking hits over 6 innings of hard work. He threw 116 pitches and allowed 4 earned runs. Declarmen and Bard were perfect when the game was tight. It was nice to see the Sox exploit Oakland's bullpen, pull away, and give Papelbon the night off.
Adrian Beltre was 3 for 5 with a huge 3 run homer. He's hitting .342 this season, but more impressively he's .367 with runners on and .423 with runners in scoring position. Screw run prevention, A-Bel is giving the Sox some much needed run production.
But as Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre soar, Dustin Pedroia struggles. He was 1 for 5 last night, but he's 10 for his last 68 (.147), and only two of those hits were for extra bases. He'll likely break out of it, but he's a cornerstone to a successful Sox offense. Without Pedroia, and with Ellsbury "injured," this team lacks table-setters.
Interesting game to watch tonight as Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ben Sheets. Daisuke's only allowed 3 hits in his last two starts. But he's also surrendered 12 walks. And I do mean surrender.