Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Pirates Sell

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been selling off the rest of their remaining veteran players this season, their umpteenth rebuilding project since the team’s last winning season in 1992. No, they haven’t made the playoffs since their best players were a skinny Barry Bonds and Kyle Drabek’s father.
This got me thinking- I think the Pirates are about due to become good again. Pittsburgh’s a great sports town, that never has trouble fielding winning teams in football or hockey (champions both this year.) Not to mention, the franchise has a pretty illustrious history, and plays in one of the best stadiums in the game. How awesome would it be if there were a Phillies-Pirates playoff series?

On Manny and Papi

They were on the ’03 steroids list, the Times says. I’m with Shyster:

You’re not surprised, so please don’t pretend you are.
You’ve not been betrayed, so please don’t claim to be.
The Red Sox’ championship in 2004 is no more tainted than any other championship won by any other team in at least the past 20 years, so please don’t even go there.
Now, with that out of the way, you may resume your regularly-scheduled outrage.

Quote of the Day

Jeffrey Goldberg on the “self-hating Jew” charge:

If I’m a self-hating Jew, then anyone who is not a rabid, land-stealing settler is a self-hating Jew. I believe such a category exists — though in my experience, the Jews who hate being Jewish and afflict the rest of us with their hatred generally tend, in an overall way, to love themselves very much. But what you have in this debate over self-hating Jews — remember, there’s a report out that Bibi himself has called Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod self-hating Jews — is the hijacking of Judaism by a group of extremists who have conflated support for the settlement project with love for Israel and the Jewish people.

Amen to that. I don’t believe in calling people self-hating Jews. There are a whole lot of Jewish people who are very, very wrong on the question of Israel these days- whether on the unrealistically-dovish side or the nutty absolutist settler side- but I don’t believe in imputing peoples’ motives in that way when I don’t know what’s in their heart. But I agree with Goldberg- the people who cause most of the trouble in the world are the ones with too much self-esteem.

A Modest Proposal I

I’m not generally big on proposing pretend trades- this unintentionally hilarious Don McKee column the other day is an anti-classic of the genre- but here’s an idea:
Phillies trade Rodrigo Lopez to the Twins for Nick Punto. The Phils now have seven starters and Lopez is the odd man out; since he has a 3-0 record and has looked pretty strong, so he actually has some trade value. The Twins need a starter, with Kevin Slowsky out for the season, and it would be good to have at least one veteran in the rotation. The Phillies could ease their rotation logjam, while Punto could slide into the utility infielder role and allow the Phils to jettison Eric Bruntlett. The Twins, meanwhile, have enough mediocre infielders that they won’t miss Punto, plus if he goes Gardenhire won’t ever be tempted to put him in the starting lineup again.

A Modest Proposal II

Since the Phillies got Cliff Lee the biggest concern is that the Phillies now have, literally, more pitching than they know what to do with. Before Wednesday they had a rotation of Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Moyer and Lopez, with Pedro Martinez to come next week; Lee makes seven. Conventional wisdom says that Lopez will be traded or sent down, with Happ possibly going to the bullpen once Martinez is ready.
Here’s a better idea- why not go with a six-man rotation (all of the above but Lopez) for the rest of the regular season? It’ll give everyone some extra rest for the remainder of the year, especially the young guys (Hamels and Happ) who have already thrown more innings than they normally have, not to mention the 46-year-old Moyer and the hasn’t-pitched-in-a-year Pedro. And besides, they’re so far ahead in the NL East it’s not like they’ll be in a pennant race.
Now I suppose it’s possible that the reason no one ever does this is because it screws up pitchers’ rhythm, but I think it’s the best option.

That’s Not the President- That’s a MAN Baby!

Conor Friedersdorf on the Birthers and Trig Truthers:

“As evident is that public officials are under no transparency obligation to address all questions. Were the right fringe to allege that Barack Obama is in fact a woman, and demand a photograph of his penis to definitively prove otherwise, and the left fringe retaliated by alleging that Sarah Palin is a man, and requested the same sort of photographic proof, Andrew would surely join me in concluding that both politicians have some right to privacy. Right?…
The standard these critics prefer would seem to be, If a conspiracy theorys truth would make a politician out to be a liar, he or she must do everything in their power to refute it. Again, I find that transparency standard untenable, and so should you, unless youre prepared to react to an Obamas a woman conspiracy by asking Barack Obama for a naked photo.”

Someone should make and sell T-shirts with a silkscreen of Obama’s certificate of live birth. That would be AWESOME.