Tag Archives: Nonsense

Link From Grantland Keeps Author Moderately Encouraged

grantland

Before we start, I’d like to acknowledge how potentially insufferable I’m about to be. It won’t be the first or last time. With this in mind, I will still continue to type because A) these kind of self-serving, narcissistic posts are the most easy to write and B) I find it at least somewhat instructive to document, from time to time, the noteworthy happenings of this small little web log. If I didn’t celebrate the small victories, I wouldn’t celebrate anything at all, and once I finally lose it and quit the internet and move up into the hills, I can at least print all this off as a personal keepsake and proof that more than zero people ever read some words I wrote. Ahem.

Long story short: this blog was linked to in a post on the online sports and popular culture destination Grantland. Grantland is where Alex Pappademas writes the more than excellent I Suck at Football column, and through some fantastical Twitter machinations, somehow found it within his heart to link back here. No bullshit, I can’t recommend his column enough, and last week, as I was tending to my regular reading, I was quite literally gobsmacked when I realized what was going on. The immovable and unstoppable force that is ESPN contributed to the largest spike in traffic that this silly little site has ever seen, and so if nothing else, that is neat. This is a thing that happened and now I have written about it.

As a writer of baseball blog posts that no one reads, I often battle with discouraging thoughts, and sloth, and the considerable limits of my own intellect. Even after an encouraging bout of inspiration, and perhaps writing a post that I don’t instantly find to be completely repulsive, there is still the very real fact that probably not very many people will ever lay eyes on it (if you are one of those people, God bless you). This is how things are and that’s just fine, however, that particular idea has been had, it has been written about, and now it is gone. The words exist and the creative impulse served, and no matter how bad or good or transcendent the post in question may be, there is no getting it back, no reposting or recycling down the road when maybe more people might see it. In order to be successful at this nonsense (I think), one must put one’s best foot forward at all times, and cross one’s fingers. There’s no telling when the universe might click and the right person might stumble on over here, and so there is no saving of ideas, or stockpiling of prose, there is only your best try and your strongest hope and a great deal of nothing. The rare posts you’re proud of disappear quickly and then it’s time for the next one and sometimes that can be trying. This post was one of those posts. I didn’t hate it, I might have even liked it, but no one saw it and then it was gone and shit happens. A great deal of time passed and then it was linked to on a popular sports website. So that’s nice. I will take that.

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Comedian Nick Thune Smites Collegiate Baseball Player Nick Thune

On a recent episode of the popular internet podcast Doug Loves Movies, comedian Nick Thune mentioned that there was a collegiate baseball player of the same name. In 2010, the baseball player Nick Thune was a Freshman at the University of Nebraska and had received the honor of being named to the Baseball Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. His major was undeclared. As far as my meager research can tell me, at present day, he is no longer a member of the current roster. I have no idea what position he might have played. Them’s the breaks, I guess.

According to the podcast, the comedian Nick Thune did not take kindly to the amateur baseball player Nick Thune stealing his internet thunder. All of this seems to have come to a head sometime in 2009. A Google search at that time of “Nick Thune baseball” would result in all sorts of links and articles about the athlete, with no mention of the comedian, and the comedian did not care for that. In order to regain his SEO dominance, the comedian Nick Thune created a YouTube video entitled “NICK THUNE HITS A HOMERUN.” The theory went that this would make the comedian Nick Thune the master of all internet searches involving his name—comedic, athletic, or otherwise. Very spiteful stuff, this. Over the years, the Google clout of this particular video seems to have lessened, and an internet search of “Nick Thune baseball” has once again been taken over by, you know, the actual baseball player. But I’m sure there was a good and humorous run there where the comedian reigned supreme. Just as I’m sure this has been a blog post of some kind.

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The Guy Who Put Jose Valverde Second on His Cy Young Ballot

Well, that didn’t take long.

This guy, Tom Gage, voted Jose Valverde second on his Cy Young Ballot. In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Tom Gage is a beat writer who covers the Detroit Tigers. Beautiful. On any given day, I can fall on one of two sides when it comes to this kind of thing. On one side, I’ll be so full up with righteous anger that I’ll spend a solid hour or two online, berating my friends with this information. I’ll rail against the petty and indignant ignorance of silly old men who think they’re upholding some preposterous ideal of the soul of baseball by continuing to bury their heads in the sand, ignoring the overwhelming body of evidence that proves the way they think about the game is simply and plainly wrong. Or I’ll just call them biased homers with no journalistic integrity.  I’ll type really fast and use capital letters, and then I’ll come home and start yelling about it in the general direction of my wife. She’ll listen for a few minutes and then tune me out until I get tired enough to stop. On the other side, I’ll look at the picture of the offending party, in this case, a cute little Twitter profile picture of ol’ Tom Gage hanging out on some beach, and I’ll just see somebody’s grandfather. Somebody’s ignorant, stupid old adorable grandfather who has spent his life covering the sport that he loved as a boy, who can’t help but root passionately for the team that he covers and who simply just doesn’t know any better. The game has passed him by and he hasn’t quite realized it yet. It’s sad, really, and on this day, I mostly just feel sad for Tom Gage. Or uninspired. Or indifferent. Let the cute old guy just enjoy his fucking beach.

Here’s what he had to say about Jose Valverde’s Cy Young credentials, “Wasn’t afraid to put another Tiger second. In the American League, his 49-for-49 in saves was the second-best pitching accomplishment of the season.” I really am feeling docile this evening, but there’s a decent sprinkling of curmudgeonly nonsense in there threatening to get my blood going. He wasn’t afraid to put another Tiger second. He’s not blinded by his own ignorant favoritism, he’s a goddamn hero, not afraid to stick his neck out there and make the tough decisions. And the Saves. An infallible statistic. When one is making such a bold proclamation, the Save alone is strong enough to take over the entire discussion and make ones case. 49-for-49? Well I guess there’s no sense in arguing against that, is there?

I could spend some more time explaining what we already know. That this vote by Tom Gage is objectively complete and total bullshit. That Jose Valverde really isn’t that good. That relievers, even good ones, are substantially less valuable than elite starting pitchers. That the Save is an antiquated and ridiculous measure of a pitchers value. That Tom Gage is just voting for a guy who gave him some good quotes this season and who did an amusing dance at the end of games. But, what would really be the point? This Cy Young was completely dominated by Justin Verlander, rendering this intellectually dishonest and ignorant vote completely insignificant aside from what it illustrates about Tom Gage’s brain (alliteration, fools). Tommy Gage is just a cute old grandpa on the beach somewhere. It’s not his fault someone was stupid enough to give him one of the only 28 AL Cy Young votes.

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