Now, far be it from us to decry the state of baseball writing when (a) there's not much going on of substance to write about, and (b) we've spent a substantial amount of time over the last like month imagining a 2-on-2 basketball tournament among MLBers. But still...we clicked over to espn.com for a brief baseball fix amidst studying, and found some articles that really ground our gears. What follows is what we hope becomes a regular feature: a fairly shameless ripoff of the FJM style of writing - i.e. find a dumb article and make fun of it. If you haven't already been there, shame on you, but check out www.firejoemorgan.com. They're not still active, but the archives are plenty of fun to sort though, and they're a fairly big influence on us, so we recommend the site wholeheartedly. Anyway, in their spirit, let's get to the fisking! Columnists' words are in bold; we're in regular font. Because, y'know, true to the roots!
Exhibit A: A Scratch-less Fivesome, by Jerry Crasnick
What does that even mean, you might ask? Well, if you've read any number of Spring Training articles, you might know that it's about that whitest of all sports...
So there you go. A shoehorned-at-best headline that immediately leads into a comparison of the best rotation in modern times. Surely the Angels will be so gifted, yes?
Bridging the fashion gap in the clubhouse might be their biggest challenge.
Well, never mind the improved Mariners and Rangers lineups. And the generally stiff competition in the American League. Or, hell, MLB hitters in general.
[Joe] Saunders, a 2-handicapper, brought his sartorial A-game to the park. Before dressing for Wednesday's workout, he took a retina-searing ensemble of electric chartreuse shirt and blue plaid pants with gold stripes and hung it in front of his locker.
We don't actually know what chartreuse is, but we're fairly sure that if Jerry Crasnick says it's retina-searing, then the pitchers should probably not look. Their jobs may be at stake!
When Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with Boston, the dynamic suddenly changed. If you gave the Angels a buck every time they've heard that the team now lacks a true No. 1 starter, it would cover a lot of $2 Nassaus.
We don't actually know what a Nassau is, but why pick that as the reference? And, yes, we're too busy to simply Google this business. But it's because most of our time is spent wondering why Mr. Crasnick is writing an article about how the Angels rotation will be better because their best pitcher left and they don't have a replacement. If you're an Angels fan, we hope Nassau is alcoholic. And if it is, rest assured it will go in your season preview around these parts.
"For me, it's not, 'You're the No. 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.' It's about winning. Period," [pitching coach Mike] Butcher said. "I don't want our guys focused on getting 200 innings. I want them getting 33 starts and trying to win 33 games. That's their mindset."
"For me, it's like, all these guys aren't especially good so we just hope they stay healthy enough to provide some value. And, oh, did I mention that we're going to play 3 extra games this season?"
One thing the Angels have is variety. The rotation consists of three righties and two lefties, Kazmir and Saunders. Weaver is a rangy 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, while Kazmir, listed at 6-feet, 190, is the most compact pitcher of the group.
Oh good! Variety! That'll help! Hitters will be baffled when they see Jered Weaver striking an imposing 6'7'' figure on the mound instead of that 6'0'' pipsqueak Kazmir. TOTALLY UNEXPECTED!
None of the five pitchers is as outwardly expressive as Lackey, whose bulldog bona fides were substantiated during a mound encounter with his manager during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees in October. When Lackey looked up and saw Scioscia coming out to pull him from the game, the TV cameras caught him mouthing an epithet and pleading several times, "This [game] is mine."
Well, fortunately for Mike Scioscia, his starters are apparently going to be lucky to get out of the fifth inning of any game anyway, so if they yell at him, no one will care. Plus, bulldogs are kind of terrifying sometimes. Who wants to deal with that? Not Mike Scioscia, we bet.