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I Got Insulted By The CBS Fantasy Baseball Website
May 29th, 2013 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Welcome. Welcome! Welcome to the future. No, not the future where I finished the Neuromancer playthrough, nor the future where I realize that a bunch of home arcade games that made me very, very happy if you follow shunted x-rays into the part of my dick that gets giggly for ten years which made it repulsively glow in the dark, nor the future where the New York Yankees can’t take four random players off the 2007 Blue Jays and be in first place with them. No, this is the future where my fantasy baseball website employs a robot that tells me to go fuck myself.

A little backstory – remember that time someone told you about their fantasy team and there wasn’t an x-ray/cancer producing old television around to point at them? I will never do that to you. I will never go into actual baseball details. Please don’t stop reading. This isn’t actually backstory, but I was hoping you would settle in if I said it was.

All websites are in the process of becoming terrible and the fantasy baseball website at CBS is no different. Rather than just giving us a flat forum to use as a message board, each post has its own little solar system and is its own little rich-content thing. You can’t just click on the message list and see who is calling who names any more. It’s awful and I told CBS but, well, I cursed at their automated e-mail system and it gave me a sharp automated reply.

I think the automated system that handles complaints for CBS held a grudge. I logged on tonight to see this bullshit, auto-posted:

Coming into the game, Mr Bandwidth (editor’s note: that’s me!) had the second fewest points of any team over the last three weeks. This week Coach Robb Sherwin’s squad scored a non-embarrassing number of points, but it wasn’t enough. They got beat by Clown Shoes 204.3 to 233.43.

The loss makes it six in a row for Mr Bandwidth, dropping their record to 2 – 6. The victory makes it four in a row for Clown Shoes, bringing their record to 5 – 3.

Clown Shoes were led by the three-headed-monster of Mike Minor, Johnny Cueto, and Everth Cabrera, who together got 94.3 of their team’s 233.4 points. Quite an improvement for Cueto, who last week scored no points. His performance this week ended a six week streak of failing to perform at a league average level.

Meanwhile, Coach Robb Sherwin will have a hard time pinning the blame for this loss on any particular player. Mr Bandwidth had six underperformers, with John Gast (-1 points) being the worst. That was the 2nd fewest of any pitcher this season.

Mr Bandwidth also had to deal with a bad performance from Alex Avila, who scored 0.1 points. Bad performances are pretty common these days for Avila, who has now underperformed the league average catcher in three straight weeks.

Mr Bandwidth will be going against SodaPopinski’s next week. SodaPopinski’s will bring the league’s top player, Clayton Kershaw, into the game.

Meanwhile, Clown Shoes will take on Finding Nimmo. Clown Shoes has now been an underdog in both the last two weeks, and won both times. Maybe they’ll get a bit more credit going into their next one.

This was generated BY THE CBS WEBSITE ITSELF. That is a 262 word treatise on how much I suck. Reading this analysis, I became aware of how little effort it took the opposing manager to defeat me. I also became the second guy this week to think Johnny Cueto ought to get punched in the face.

I started thinking to myself, Hey! I only had a low number of points the last two weeks because I pulled my pitchers when it was obvious I would lose. Who is this guy (sorry, automated bot) to give me shit about that? And then I realized that I was getting defensive over something not written by human hands. An x86 computer tried to court martial Captain Kirk once, so he went back into time and made sure his spaceship in the new time stream looked like the clenched sphincter of an Apple Store.

Anyway, I’ll probably lose again, so I expect I’ll make it easy for the bot next time, who will just post the word “Ha” 200 times.

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Ichiro
Jul 24th, 2012 by Knuckles the Clown

Editor’s Note: On Monday, July 23rd, 2012, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners was traded to the New York Yankees.



I’ve been a Seattle Mariners fan since 1984. As been as bad as it gets. Boston fans can bitch, Cubs fans can bitch. But since we are all in our mid 30′s for the most part we’ve all seen the same things and Seattle is the most heartbreaking.

I’ve seen Danny Tartabull traded for jack shit (would have been an awesome Kingdome DH till Edgar couldn’t play third anymore. I’ve seen Alvin Davis fall off a cliff, Kevin Mitchell signed, disaster, and the giant bounty of Billy Swift, Mike Jackson and David Burba have phenominal years. I’ve seen Tino Martinez traded for a bag of dicks.

I’ve seen both Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe traded for Heathcliffe Slocumb. Jose Cruz Jr. traded for Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric. Griffey traded (actually worked out for us) Randy Johnson traded (Garcia Halama, Guillen good package, but Randy freaking Johnson had a million wins and like 4 CY Youngs left). I’ve seen that bitch A-Rod go to Texas. Ibanez given away, then reaquired and playing LF instead of DH then given away. Russell Branyan solved Safeco field only to be non-tenedered. Shin-Choo and Asdrudal Caberea traded to the Indians for the pair of shit stains Ben Broussard and Eduardo
Perez.

Players like Jeff Cirlilo, Rich Aurillia, Ben Davis and Jose Vidro HORRIBLE signings of slap hitting infielders and a catcher who looked like Paul Bunyan (and who once bunted to ruin a no hitter by Schilling while on the Padres) but hit like a fucking girl scout. Guys who left their crappy NL teams under optimal conditions only to be killed by Safeco Park. Chone Figgins came here and died. So did Brett Tomko.

Richie Sexson promptly stop hitting towards the end. Adrian Beltre had an above average career here, took one in the testicles and then took a tour around the AL playing Gold Glove defense with tremendous power numbers for OTHER teams.

Brandon Morrow, picked ahead of Tim Lincecum kinda plays well for the Blue jays: he was given away. Jeff Clement picked ahead of Troy Tulowitzki is teaching gym somewhere.

Now Ichiro is gone, one of the few reasons I follow no matter how bad he is playing. And to the Yankees. I look at the rosters last night.

Freddy Garcia- former Mariner.
Gay-Rod- Former Mariner.
Ibanez- Former Mariner.
Soriano- Former Mariner.
Ichiro- former Mariner.

Maybe two of those guys would be useful on Seattle now, but it still sucks balls.

I HAVE IT THE WORST. Boston fans, you won your two rings and couldnt handle it and now everyone just lumps you and your dumb “rivals,” Yankee fans, in the same boat. I only feel bad for Cubs fans in their late 50′s.

The worst thing about being a Seattle fan is being irrelevent. The Cubs will always be relevant. Christ, Pittsburgh has their shit together.

It is dark times indeed. We have three of the best pitching prospects in baseball. We will be lucky if ONE pans out to be a decent second starter.

I’m assuming Felix Hernandez is next. And a new brand of non-panning out prospects will be injected into the system. Hey Jeff Smoak how you doing?

The problem starts with Howard Lincoln and Chuck armstrong. Our GM whose name I can’t pronounce or spell has done the right thing in the majority of moves. Other than grabbing ANOTHER fucking catcher in the draft with the second pick this year. We missed out on Strasburgh because Yuneski Betancourt decided to have a career day at the plate on the last day of the season in his wretched Mariners tenure, giving us one more win than the Nationals.

I will follow till I die. I love the Mariners, never think ONCE you have it worse as a fan of your team.

About the author: Knuckles the Clown is available at a low price for Communions, Inquisitions and Jahuars.

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Why Stubhub Sucks And Why You Should Never Trust Them
May 13th, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I’d never seen Roy Halladay pitch in person. He was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia in the off-season, and he was scheduled to pitch at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on May 11th, 2010. I bought three tickets in the section behind home plate, with the idea that I’d see the game with Pinback and savvyraven.

The game was rained out. It was rescheduled as the evening game on May 12th, which was also rained-out. I’ll ignore the part where Halladay pitched while I was stuck at work, at 1:10 PM on the 12th.

With two straight rain-outs, this definitely qualifies for Stubhub’s cancellation policy, right? I ought to be getting a full refund, because that’s what they promise. Unfortunately, they are lying pieces of disease desperate for your money. I’ll post my e-mail exchange with them. Now keep in mind – there’s no makeup day announced. In order to have the Yankees and Red Sox play each other in 19 unwatchable games, all teams in a division play each other as much as humanly possible. This means that two teams in the National League, but of different divisions (like the Rockies and Phillies) have one series in each city.

So, with absolutely no makeup game scheduled, I thought there should be no question that I get a complete refund.

Stubhub couldn’t be bothered to send an e-mail when the second game was rained out, so I started things off:

Dear sirs,

I had purchased tickets for the Philadelphia at Colorado game for May 11th, and as you note, the make-up game was also rained out.

Stubhub’s policy is that when an event is cancelled, a full refund is in order. Philadelphia isn’t coming anywhere near Colorado again this season due to the unbalanced MLB schedule, and history shows that the games will probably not ever be played. MLB has announced no makeup date, and it’s rather poor form to leave me in limbo indefinitely.

Can I please get a refund for my three tickets to this event?

Sincerely,

I received the following reply:

Dear Robb,

Thank you for contacting StubHub.

Tickets for the original date of 5/11 will be honored. No refunds will be issued at this time. We will attempt to inform our buyers of any updates regarding this event as soon as information is made available to us. However, we recommend that you regularly check with the team for the most up to date information.

If you can no longer use your tickets, there is still time to sell them on StubHub. Visit our Help section and check out the Seller Learning Center to learn all about Getting Started Listing.

If you have any questions, please send us an email atcustomerservice@stubhub.com.

Thank you for shopping at StubHub!

ry_start>
Sincerely,

Christian
StubHub Customer Service
Weekdays: 5:00AM — 8:00PM (PST)
Weekends: 6:00AM — 7:00PM (PST)
customerservice@stubhub.com
www.StubHub.com

StubHub! Where Fans Buy & Sell Tickets (TM)

I’d like to note that they asked me to write them back using this e-mail address: atcustomerservice@stubhub.com. That e-mail address doesn’t work. They are missing a space there.

I replied with this:

Hi,

This really isn’t acceptable.

There is no possibility that the game will be made up in Colorado. More, since there is no game that is going to be played, your advice about selling these tickets on Stubhub included in your mail is not
particularly helpful. FOR SALE: 3 TICKETS TO IMAGINARY GAME.

Can you please escalate this issue to someone with the power to initiate a refund? Or give me an alternate e-mail or phone number to use to address this situation? I am extremely disappointed in the
customer service I have received so far.

And the thing to take from this is that, yeah, it’s just a form mail they sent me, because they’re cunts, but they wanted me to use Stubhub to sell tickets to a game that has not been announced, and WON’T be announced.

Their reply:

Dear Robb,

Thank you for contacting StubHub.

I apologize for the confusion regarding this issue. A makeup game for this postponed event will be played. Tickets for the original date of 5/11 will be honored. No refunds will be issued at this time. We will attempt to inform our buyers of any updates regarding this event as soon as information is made available to us. However, we recommend that you regularly check with the team for the most up to date information.

Please feel free to check MLB.com for the most up-to-date information regarding this situation. Below, I have provided you a link regarding the latest press release regarding the situation.

Rockies vs Phillies Postponed Game

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

Tyler
StubHub Customer Service
Weekdays: 5:00AM — 8:00PM (PST)
Weekends: 6:00AM — 7:00PM (PST)
customerservice@stubhub.com
www.StubHub.com

So they are asking me to go to that link at the Rockies’ site to tell me that, yeah, there’s no date for the new game. What it does say is this: When the date is determined, announcements regarding the rescheduled game will be made during Rockies game broadcasts and on the team’s official website, www.coloradorockies.com.

QUICK LET ME TELL YOU a radio broadcast I’d never listen to and a website I’d never go to.

Announcements will be made during game broadcasts…. are you KIDDING ME. Jesus Christ. “Boy, I’d better listen to the Rockies for the rest of the season! Yay baseball!”

So I replied with this:

Dear sirs,

There is no possibility that a makeup game will occur in Colorado. I have cross-referenced the schedules of both the Rockies and Phillies and, with the exception of All-Star Weekend, there is no day that both Colorado and Philadelphia have off concurrently before the end of the season. The only way these games will be played in Colorado is if a pennant race directly affects both teams, and somehow I think you’ll understand if I don’t take it on faith that Stubhub is going to reimburse me sometime in August when one of these teams are eliminated.

The thought of Stubhub holding onto my money for some nebulous game that will never, ever be played within a thousand miles of my house is laughable in its arrogance. I would like to strenuously request a refund.

In using the Stubhub site, I would like to address two issues that escaped quality assurance. The first is that the password retrieval page is broken under Chrome – both the sign up button and cancel text occupy the exact same space on the page. More, there is an error in the automated e-mail forms that inform the user he or she should write “atcustomerservice@stubhub.com”. There should be a space between the word “at” and “customerservice.”

Having now given something to you, I would very much appreciate it if you would, in return, issue me a freaking refund for a game that will never be played in my home state. I hope that you fully understand that the game was rained out not once, but twice, and in addition to literally being rained one night and snowed on the other in May, I didn’t see so much as the ceremonial first pitch, which ought to go to ME for putting up with this nonsense.

Please issue me a refund.

Sincerely,

And they haven’t written back, again, because Stubhub is a company filled with lying weasels that think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking your money for a game that never occurred. Why would I ever go through them again? They’ve basically sold me the equivalent of game 8 of the World Series and games 2 and 3 of the Super Bowl. Anyway, the thing to take out of all this is that I paid for the tickets with Paypal, who is a partner of Stubhub and filled with bottom-feeding, incompetent retards that don’t understand the basics of capitalism in their own right. Everyone I’ve spoken to says to get an American Express card, because they live for this. Don’t give Stubhub any money. If the event gets rained out, they will steal your money.

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My Reaction to the Roy Halladay Trade
Jan 3rd, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

It’s been a few weeks and I am sane again. I’ve noticed that Phillies fans seem mostly unable to come to grips with their good fortune. So allow me to address you… directly.

Roy might very well put together a sub-1.00 ERA for the first half of the season in your garbage league.

You guys share a division with the Nats. (Christ, if only one of J.P.’s teams could have gone to the NL for a single fucking year.) He might very well no-hit the Nationals… twice. Actually, Roy could no-hit the Nats twice in a home series on zero days rest and I would only be marginally surprised. How do any of you lose to them in the first place? Do you only get to dress seven guys? Six guys and a dog?

‘WAAARGH he might get hurt!’ Halladay missed part of a season because Kevin Mench hit him in the leg. Since it was so unlikely that Mench would make contact in the first place, Mench actually striking Roy was logical, because 1 x infinity = infinity. Roy also had his appendix taken out, because – as the one part of his person not contributing towards a Cooperstown plaque – it did the honorable thing and left.

He also missed time last year due to a sore groin, which he acquired skullfucking the entire AL East by himself. You may remember the AL East from the time you got a cheap WS by playing a team in the snow that we’ve all literally beaten 190 times in 10 years, and then time they sent you home because you were too stupid to acquire Roy at the deadline last year.

You’re getting the best pitcher in baseball for some of your prospects that you’d all just boo to tears anyway. (You’re on your own with the Cliff Lee thing, though since Rosenthal wrote his column in such a bitchtits way, without admitting he had a source, it basically looks like your GM was inspired by his terrible column and did what he said, which, hahaha, well good luck!)

Anyway, thanks again for the prospects, and we’ll see you all again in six years when our terrible ownership suddenly can’t find the money to extend any of them, because they’re among the worst North Americans in human history.

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The Best Pitcher On The Planet
Sep 5th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

After being on the Nipponese end of Roy Halladay destroying, laying nuclear waste to their pathetic teams for fucking years, anonymous douchebag fans from the American League East hopped onto a few of the Blue Jay sites I frequent to jump on Roy for the first bad month he’s had since coming up to the big leagues for good.

I wasn’t even aware he was having a “bad” month in August, because for the first half of it he was still superior to anyone the Sox, Yanks and Rays were throwing out there. It wasn’t lost on the mewling bitches of those teams, though, no doubt stalking Roy’s Baseball Reference splits page, hoping – praying! for something like this, since he’s the best player in the division, and will be till the day he leaves it or retires.

(I’m going to throw in the possibility that some of the anonymous comments were also made by Phillies fans. Normally, if a fanbase is heavily involved in trade talks and the trade falls through, people move on. Philadelphia sports fans will hold a grudge for the rest of their natural life, so engaging in a little trolling the month directly following the trade deadline is within (their) reason.)

On Friday night, Roy Halladay took the mound against a lineup with, what, a single guy that the Yanks actually drafted? Didn’t matter. Halladay no doubt also took a long look at the assembly of pukes and clownshits that Rogers Communications gave him and just went to fucking work.

With Roy on the hill, this team can trot out – actually, there is no way to exaggerate who Rogers Communications could or couldn’t play. Nobody I can plausibly submit would be worse than Kevin Millar hitting fourth, Vernon Wells hitting fifth and Joe Inglett, John McDonald and Rod Barajas hitting wherever the fuck they were hitting. This miserable, contemptible organization gave the best player in franchise history some of the worst players in baseball… and it didn’t matter. It didn’t fucking matter.

This will be the one game I remember from this season. Hopefully, in the yeasr to come, it will be the only game I remember. I have no doubt that the human garbage that own this team will get rid of Roy, the only player worth watching in the last ten years. They’ll fuck it up, and fuck it up at a level where letting 3 of your first 5 picks go unsigned (as they just did in the draft) seems calculated and shrewd. At this point, the pieces of shit running this team – Nadir Mohamed and Paul Beeston, mostly – are nothing short of super-villains, as far as I’m concerned, for the carefully plotted and executed plan to fuck this team over for the next ten years. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were rolling their eyes over the course of Halladay’s dominating performance, since the quicker he disposed of those Yankee fucks, the less time people had to purchase whatever overpriced shit they were hawking at the ballpark.

All this going on, and the worst part of this season is that it has forever tainted my impression of Cito Gaston. He doesn’t pinch hit. He can’t manage a bullpen. He is completely beholden to righty/lefty matchups and (this is the worst part) too fucking stupid to pull platoon partners later in the game when the opposing team has gone to their bullpen. Don’t get me wrong – he’s still middle of the pack in terms of common sense when it comes to the small pool of Professional Baseball Managers, but Cito had the distinction of being the only guy to ever win anything with any of the teams I follow, and now I look at him and see him leave Kevin Millar in the game when a right-handed pitcher enters the game, with Lyle Overbay (.380 OBP) sitting on the bench with his thumb jammed up his ass and just steam. I know the right move, and he doesn’t. It’s infuriating.

But for one night it didn’t matter. For one night the Jays beat the shit out of the collection of mercenaries that got it al right this year, and should sweep a World Series victory. A one-hit, complete game shutout against the best team money can buy. That’s Roy fucking Halladay.

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Odd, My Worthless Offer of Complete Garbage Didn’t Net My Team Roy Halladay!!!?
Jul 31st, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Well, well, FUCKING well.

Trade deadline’s over.

And these are difficult economic times.

Am I doing this right? For the most part, you shitlicking, know-nothing sports writers love the sentence per paragraph structure in your written swill, and I wanted the beginning of this article to be Easy Readin’, in case any of you gash-brained mongrels trackback here.

I’m going to go on record and say that the ownership of the Toronto Blue Jays is made up of a bunch of grotesquely unqualified men that I would love nothing more than to fistfight. You’ve got chief executive Nadir Mohamed patting the air to his shareholders, stating that Rogers Communications is obviously committed to the Blue Jays. (You’re not obviously commited NOW, which is why our minimum-salaried designated hitters have an OPS+ of like 70 on the season, you lying sack of shit.)  All they had to do to prevent the best baseball player in Blue Jays history – Roy Halladay – from entering free agency is do two things:

1) Pay the man what he’s worth

2) Fill the holes this team has with a couple veterans that can hit

That’s it. It seems a little more difficult than it is, because the 2009 version of the Jays simply needed a guy who could play DH. That’s it. If Adam Dunn were the DH for the Jays, we’d all still be talking playoffs. Or – at the very least – Roy would have to admit that the players fucked it up if they weren’t contending. But ownership couldn’t do that.

So, this leads us to the last month of trade talks.

It all began due to  speculation from Ken Rosenthal. Get a load of this video – it’s got nothing to do with Roy, but writer (“blogger,” hisses ESPN) Jerod Morris – who attempted to discern why another hitter was having a career year at 37 – is condescendingly skewered by Ken Rosenthal, because – in Rosenthal’s idiotic and uninformed opinion, Morris was speculating.

Which is what Rosenthal did to start all this shit. He speculated that the Jays would have to move Halladay. So this hypocritical goblin kicked things off on July 7th.

And Jesus Christ – I’ve long maintained that virtually any educated sports fan could instantly become the greatest sportswriter of all time, but look at some of this nonsense to come out when Halladay didn’t end up moving:

Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports. He can’t beee-LIEEEEEEEEVE that general manager J.P. Ricciardi didn’t exchange shit for Roy. One of the terrible offers today was from the Anaheim Angels. The offer was Joe Saunders, Brandon Wood and Erick Aybar for Roy. Saunders is a terrible pitcher who would get killed in the AL East, literally killed, Aybar is a little interesting, I guess, and Brandon Wood was the topic of a piece Passan wrote two FUCKING DAYS AGO of a “faded trading chip.” Two fuckin’ days ago! Now the Jays are supposed to pull the trigger on the kind of deal that includes a third baseman who can’t hit big league pitching, a shortstop that is intriguing but nothing particularly special, and a shitty left-handed pitcher, whose resume is easily eclipsed by several younger pitchers the Jays already have.

As for Bill Simmons, he wrote the following through Twitter:  ”Toronto overplayed its Halladay hand like the obstinate 8th place a-hole in anyone’s fantasy league that we all hate.” I mean, you either love him or despise him, but if Simmons sickens you, it’s because of that shit right there. He can’t believe Halladay isn’t pitching for the Sox, his (obvious) rightful team.  I guess in Simmons’s fantasy leagues, two douchebag fucks get to bid 200% more on players and then cry like babies, like actual newborn, placenta-stenched babies, at how the other guys aren’t giving away their good players.

(In 2002 I was in a fantasy league with a bunch of guys who know more about baseball than I ever will. Some of them write for Baseball Prospectus, some of them are heavily involved in Diamond Mind dynasties, needless to say it got UGLY early for both myself and my good friend, and fellow JC BBS poster, Roody Yogurt. Roody had Curt Schilling and nobody else. He had the worst team and it wasn’t even close. And he didn’t deal Schilling. What was some other team going to do, give him players to get him into that all-elusive 11th place? I’ve never told Roody this, but I respect him as a man that year. Simmons is the kind of guy who won’t stop making annoying fucking phone calls while the last-place guy is at work to try to pry the one decent player he’s got, resulting in the commish of the league having to get involved and veto shit. 140 characters to reveal yourself as a petulant slimebag.)

Oh yeah, the Phillies were also offering some amazing players. Kyle Drabek had better win a couple Cy Young awards before he’s finished. Roy’s getting his second this season, and Drabek was apparently not somebody the Phils were gonna move unless it was straight-up, or something.

Ditto the Red Sox and Clay Buchholz. I know how terrible talk radio is in this country, so it doesn’t surprise me to see a bunch of stupid shit like, “I wouldn’t trade Clay Buchholz for Albert Pujols,” but this is what the landscape was like in 2009.

Anyway. A wise man once said, “fuck all y’all.” The best pitcher in baseball is still in a Jays uniform, and the Jays are instantly the best team in baseball once every five starts when he’s out there. Ohhhh it evens out a bit when he’s not on the hill, but c’mon – the Jays play in the most competitive division in sports, they don’t go over slot for draft picks, their money is actually, not-exaggerating here, worth less than the other other 29 teams and because they’re in a foreign country with less exposure, when they DO get a great, HoF-caliber player, he’s worth less in trade due to the lack of anyone in the US seeing the guy play. The odds of this team ever making the playoffs again are about zero, and I’d rather it be zero with Halladay pitching for as long as possible.

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The Excruciating Ways to Catch Baseball
Apr 11th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Somebody might tell you that MLB has their act together when it comes to understanding the opportunities that the Internet offers the average fan to catch their favorite team. THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT. You might even hear them say that Bud Selig should be congratulated for these advancements, as if fucking Selig has ever been on the Internet in his entire life. There isn’t a single commissioner in sports doing a good job right now, but that’s another story.

Here’s a breakdown on the sheer incompetence of getting your game. (Please note that I am writing this with the perspective of a guy living in a different market than his team – I live in Colorado and only care about the Blue Jays. If you are within like 200 fucking miles of a stadium, you get to enter the world of PROXIES and various other stupid horseshit.)

DIRECTV MLB EXTRA INNINGS

So, it’s Saturday and there’s nothing I’d rather do than climb out of bed, shake about ten pounds of cat hair off me, and catch Roy Halladay vs Cliff Lee, in what should be demonstrative proof that Lee winning the Cy Young Award last year was fucking horseshit.

Directv is offering a “preview” of MLB Extra Innings. It’s $160 for the entire year, and honestly, with how much the equivalent is for the NFL, that sounds like a great deal. (I will go ahead and assume that Directv’s NFL Ticket will break $240 in September.)

The problem is that they don’t broadcast all the games! Are you fucking kidding me? And more – how is this game not on? This is fucking inexcusable. I know that Lee is turning back into a shitbag, but for fuck’s sake.

More, it already takes effort to keep track of the regular game times for the Jays. I work until 7 or 8 PM, and their home games start at 5:07PM MDT. I’m not physically around to use the Directv solution, but let’s say I get out early (or the Jays are on the west coast) – I have to seriously consult Directv’s schedule as well? Fuck that. Seriously, fuck that. Again, I understand if they can’t broadcast Rockies games, but otherwise they need to seriously fuck off.

MLB.TV

This is $14.95 a month. And maybe it’s okay this year, but I’ve had it for the 2008 and 2007 seasons, and it’s just shit. Something about it isn’t compatible with our anti-virus software at work, which is fucking amazing, in so much that all anti-virus software has bloated themselves into some kind of security suite, and that whoever put MLB.tv together can’t just give you a link to a a video or audio stream. And Christ, the thing is always locking up. This is a miserable ripoff – again, maybe it gets better in like mid-July, when interest has cooled off and there are less people catching the games, but I had games locking up on me at that point as well last year. (If your experiences with it are better this year, that is awesome, and do feel free to describe what it’s like in the comments. I’m honestly curious.)

iPHONE GAMEDAY APP

This is okay, I guess – it’s $10 for the entire year. Audio only, except – except! They will put small videos of clutch hits and such for you to watch, if you really want to. I’m fine with audio-only, as long as I can choose my own announcers, which I can with this.

The app lets you click on the box score, and see who is fielding where – it’s got lots of easy-to-implement stuff that reminds me of how the Diamond Mind baseball game is set up.

I did buy this, and I think it’s good, overall. The really maddening part is how they deal with commercials. The audio feed goes silent, but not immediately! I honestly think some asshole is sitting there with his finger on the “mute” button at the source, and he simply forgets to hit the button right away. (The most annoying commercial in the world right now is the one for Super-8 on Toronto’s the FAN station.) I’m fairly certain that the same guy forgets to consistently put the sound back on right away .

ACTUALLY GOING TO THE GAMES

Well, yes, this would be best.

So, I don’t know. There really is no perfect solution for catching the games live. Directv is too demanding, MLB.tv is an enormous pain in the ass, and the iPhone app can’t get me consistent audio. The whole thing is fucked.

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Diamond Mind Baseball 2008: Hitters
Sep 29th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

The last couple of years, I have been in an AL-only Diamond Mind computer baseball league with seven other guys. I have finished in 7th place both years. 

During last year’s draft, I wanted to make sure that I had a chance to grab both Delmon Young and Dustin McGowan, so I traded my second round pick in this year’s draft, for Neil deMause’s third. Now, of course, this looks like a terrible trade because:

1) Dustin McGowan was shut down for much of 2008
2) I finished in frigging 7th place, thus making the pick the 9th of the draft.

In other words, since neither McGowan nor Young would have been picked 9th during our draft next month, it  was strongly not in my favor. Lesson learned! 

One note about how we pick – we’re going to play our season with 2007 stats starting in November of 2008. So you always know how a guy did for the next two seasons before the draft. We keep 20 players, so I am going to run down how my current roster looks for 2008. 

 

 Placido Polanco, 2B, Detroit Tigers (Role on my team: 2B). BA: .307 OBP: .350 SLG: .417 OPS+: 102

He played in 141 games in 2008, which means I have to watch how much I use him for just a bit. He was destroying leftys for most of the year, but came back to earth the last couple of months. His defense should hopefully be rated “Excellent,” again, which would be great if I had more than one left-handed starting pitcher on my roster, I suppose. I am most excited about what 2007 Polanco is going to do, as his on-base percentage was frigging .388. So, that will be a treat.

 

 Vernon Wells, CF, Toronto Blue Jays (CF) BA: .300 OBP: .343 SLG: .496 OPS+: 120

Vernon missed time with wrist and hamstring injuries, and had a complete power lapse in June. He really, otherwise, played pretty damn well, and I don’t think I can say he didn’t earn his salary this year, since I am not going to count his injuries against him. In Diamond Mind, he’ll be splitting time at CF with B.J. Upton (we play 82 games, and we can only give a guys who appeared in less than 145 games 60% of his plate appearances). Gaston and John Gibbons had some weird obsession with batting Marco Scutaro second all year, but Wells is a perfectly fine #2 for my team.

 

 Manny Ramirez, LF, Los Angeles Dodgers (DH). BA: .332 OBP: .430 SLG: .601 OPS+: 164

Manny started the season with the Red Sox, so I can use him in 2008. If he doesn’t sign with an AL team, he won’t be on my team for our 2009 season. I am really, really, really hoping that the Dodgers just go for this picks with him. Come on, no NL team is going to put him in the field for a four-year deal. Are they?

It’s amazing just how obviously he was tanking it in Boston, too – his OPS+ was 213 in L.A. I know they say the NL is a little easier, but there ain’t that much difference. Since I had been tracking him all year, I thought he had the NL MVP all locked up, and then I saw what Pujols had been doing. There is actually discussion of someone other than Pujols for NL MVP, which should acquit anyone from shooting a baseball writer if they vote for somebody else. (You can MAYBE make an argument for C.C. Sabathia in the NL since the Brewers made the playoffs… maybe. Sort of.) Anyway, my 2008 Diamond Mind goal is to get Manny the most at-bats in the league. If I have to bat him lead off, I will – it’s likely that I will never have a guy with a season this good on my team ever again.  

 

 
Alex Rios, RF, Toronto Blue Jays. (RF) BA: .291 OBP: .337 SLG: .461 OPS+: 110
 His OPS was down from 122 in 2007 (by all accounts, he had an excellent season) to 110 in 2008. And this is basically because he forgot how to hit left-handed hitting. Come on, Alex!! He perked up almost immediately when Cito Gaston was hired. I would expect Rios to bounce back in 2009, for whatever it’s worth. I don’t exactly have a lot of cred as a baseball writer. Rios also grabbed a lot of time at centerfield when Vernon Wells was hurt. That would be great if I didn’t already have Wells and Upton competing for time there.

It’s sort of retarded to put him at the cleanup spot, but I really wanted to have Polanco and Wells on base for Manny, and I absolutely want Manny appearing in the first inning no matter what. 
 

 

 B.J. Upton, CF, Tampa Bay Rays (1B??) BA: .273 OBP: .383 SLG: .401 OPS+: 111

All right, I have no idea where to play him – I have an outfield of Delmon Young, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios as it stands, and Delmon gets so many frigging plate appearances that he needs to be in left field constantly to get him to 33% usage. On the other hand, not knowing where to play Upton is part of the B.J. Upton experience, I GUESS. I’ll tentatively put him at first and see how Diamond Mind ranks everyone’s defense. 

 

 Delmon Young, LF, Minnesota Twins (LF) BA: .292 OBP: .338 SLG: .407 OPS+: 101

The theory, in ensuring that I had Delmon (and making a lousy trade to do so), was that the Rays would never, ever trade him, and I’d suffer through his age 21 and 22 seasons while he figured out the game, and then enjoyed a player who was most like Roberto Clemente until I got thrown out of our Diamond Mind League for having an unstoppable juggernaut. Yeah, NONE OF THAT SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING. Thank Christ the Rays traded him in the AL. I really dodged a bullet there. I got lucky, that’s all it was. Anyway, Delmon got hot before the All-Star break, and heated up towards the end of the season as well. I just knew that the three days off he got for the AS break was going to result in him having a shitty month (and it did). If I knew that, and I’ve never seen him play except against the Jays, then how did – whatever. He had like 3,000 plate appearances this year as well, even when dropped to 7th, so I don’t think I can ever take him out, at any point, in DMB. I just keep reminding myself that this is for the future. 

 

 Eric Chavez, 3B, Oakland A’s (N/A)

Yeah, I’ve got problems. He’s the best third baseman on my team for 2008, and he didn’t play. I assume I’ll get something in the draft. But putting him here, I hope, shows what a better hitter he’d be than my catcher and shortstop.

 

 Gregg Zaun, C, Toronto Blue Jays (C) BA: .237 OBP: .340 SLG: .359 OPS+: 87 

Zaun’s walk-off grand slam towards the end of the season was one of the highlights of the – oh, right, MLB.tv crapped out on me and I couldn’t see the thing leave the park. What garbage. Anyway, I like Zaun and he has plenty of use to me in 2007, so I am sure he will make my team for 2008 as well, even though I will need another catcher since he only played in 86 games this year. 

 

 Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, Seattle Mariners (SS) BA: .279 OBP: .300 SLG: .392 OPS+: 85

All I am going to do is say that at more than one point in the season, his batting average was greater than his on-base percentage. I know you don’t walk off the island, but they do walk places in Cuba, right? Sometimes? Do fathers walk their daughters down the aisle?  Do people take short walks off long piers? Do they cook chinese food in a round metal bowl? 

 

All right, there is one other hitter on my team that will be available for 2008. Paul Konerko played really, really poorly for most of the year. He flipped a frigging switch towards the end, and actually got his OPS back towards 100. It was amazing, like night and day. Oh! It was the worthless kind of amazing, for someone playing text baseball, but amazing nonetheless. So I am not sure what I am going to do with him.

Up next time: the pitchers! EVERYBODY DIES!

 

 

 

 

 

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Bring Back J. P. Ricciardi
Sep 17th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

J. P. Ricciardi has been the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays since November 14th, 2001. The Blue Jays have not made the playoffs since he was hired. It is my understanding that 2009 will be the last year of his current deal with the team. And I don’t know, but to me it seems like he’s currently doing a fine job?

If you take the stretch of time as a whole, sure – he’s failed to put together a team that has made the playoffs. But honestly, just looking at 2008:

  • Adam Lind looks great. Ricciardi drafted him. In fact, let’s look at a list of guys that were drafted under Ricciardi:
  • Travis Snider looks absolutely amazing.
  • Shaun Marcum looks great. He’s got a chance to lead the AL in ERA.
  • Jesse Litsch looks great. He was sent to Syracuse to work some stuff out, and has been nails since returning.
  • Honestly, lately, David Purcey looks pretty good, too.
  • Brett Cecil — okay, I just went to Baseball Reference and I don’t know what the fuck happened recently in Syracuse, but whatever, he was a great pick and will be contributing in the next year or two.

… I believe that his drafting record was skewered by taking Russ Adams (who has not contributed at the major league level), coupled with drafting Rickey Romero (a  pitcher) over Troy Tulowitzki. But he’s otherwise got some nice players coming through the system. The young pitching has been fantastic.

Taking a look at some other moves:

  • The contract that A.J. Burnett signed is/was so strongly in the club’s favor that he’ll be opting out. (The concept of “tampering” is kind of weak, and I’m not saying that anything should come of it, but it was some pretty fucking serious tampering by noted eyesore Hank Steinbrenner to A.J. recently. Whatever, they have every other advantage in the game, might as well let them openly campaign for our players, too.)
  • Joe Inglett and Jesse Carlson were AMAZING pick ups.
  • I guess we can’t give him credit for hiring Cito Gaston? There is a lot of speculation that Ricciardi never would have hired a manager with as much power and influence and so forth. On the other hand, he didn’t stop it from happening. In 30 years, people are going to be amazed that no other team gave Cito Gaston a shot. I honestly don’t even think that racism has anything to do with it. I just think all the other general managers in the game are fucking morons.
  • David Cooper seems like a fine first round selection.

Where did J.P. fuck up? Keeping Shannon Stewart over Reed Johnson was a complete and total mistake – forget about Reed’s production, Stewart simply couldn’t stay healthy. Plus, he made it difficult for me to discuss baseball with some of my friends, as that name meant “Playboy Model” to them. Sure, nobody could have predicted that Johnson would be healthy for an entire season, but he did and he was under contract. Not the biggest failing, and I hope Reed gets a ring with the Cubs, but still.

J.P. paid the A’s to play Frank Thomas this year, which is a little awkward. (Then again, he did get Frank Thomas’s salary off the books for 2009, which absolutely had to happen.)

Whoever decided to bat Marco Scutaro second for the entire year fucked up, but that seems to be something that former manager John Gibbons, J.P. and Cito Gaston were all delighted to do. I’m sure they all get the fucking shakes if Scutaro gets stuck in traffic before the game and there is even the slightest chance they can’t trot him out there as often as possible.

… Honestly, someone tell me why Ricciardi shouldn’t at least finish his contract. He’s doing better at his job than I am. This team isn’t going to the playoffs because it couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position for over a month. But THIS IS THE TEAM THE INTERNET, as a whole WANTED. RBIs are meaningless! (I’m speaking as The Internet right now.) Work as deep into those counts as possible! Walks are king! Don’t bunt, steal, sacrifice! I had to laugh (OK, I’m back), watching this team before John Gibbons was fired, because it really was the team that sabermetrics had argued for. Er, if sabermetrics were sentient. It takes a special, unique, shittily-hitting team of legendary design to not make the playoffs with arguably the best defense and pitching in the league.

I’m not going to fault Ricciardi for getting passed by the Tampa Bay Rays, either. Quite simply, there was no plan in Tampa. There remains no plan in Tampa. Maybe that’s a huge burn on having a development “plan,” and if so, so be it. Tampa was going to draft first overall until things turned around. They weren’t focusing on a philosophy, or any kind of strategy, or any sort of “five year plan.” There was no accountability to a fan base, as they did not have a fan base. I am reminded of a discussion on the Interactive Fiction mud a few years back – someone said that Alex Rodriguez was making more than the entire roster of the Devil Rays, and Neil deMause said, “Alex Rodriguez is more valuable than the entire roster of the Devil Rays.” And he was right! It wasn’t even close, haha.

(The Rays were simply going to be as laughable as possible until they randomly managed to draft well. And in 2008, it all came together. Joe Maddon is a fine manager, but hey, so is Lou Pinella – he was just involved too early. The trade that was made, years ago, to get Scott Kazmir on the team is a once-per-generation sort of ass-raping, but the Rays would have been perfectly content to keep being the worst franchise in sports, indefinitely. So I really can’t fault other GMs (or Toronto’s GM) for not following the same model.)

So yeah, all things considered, I’m happy to at least let Ricciardi give it another shot, and we’ll see where it goes from there. Someone on the Batter’s Box had mentioned, months ago, that all that is really separating him from being an elite GM is that he has not “ripped off” other general managers, and that can probably be chalked up to luck. I mean, J.P. Ricciardi: must improve: luck? That’s idiotic. If I were told that at my job, I would instantly start defecating in the parking lot, as it was clear that I now work in an accountability-free asylum. But that’s how close J.P. is to having this team ready for the playoffs. He honestly just needs a little more luck.

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MLB.tv is a complete pile of shit
Sep 6th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I honestly can’t remember hating a service more. This thing is FUCKING TERRIBLE.

I just watched about 14 innings of the Blue Jays – Rays game. It will completely die about once an inning. The last time it died (for good) was right as Gregg Zaun hit a blast with three guys on in the 14th. I heard the crowd start to go berserk, but I had to jump onto ESPN in order to find out that, yes, it went out and the Jays won 7-4. Hours upon hours watching this game and I need to use ESPN to figure out who won.

And it’s been like this for three years and counting. It honestly isn’t worth it. Next year I am going to get Extra Innings from Directv – what good is MLB.tv if it is fundamentally broken? I hope this humble blog post convinces someone, anyone, to avoid this laughably broken pile of shit created by amateurs.

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