Quit Fucking Around With Halloween
Sep 30th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Guys: You make women feel terrible about how they dress and act 364 days a year. Especially if you’re on the Internet. Don’t you monsters DARE try to “recognize the irony” in the whole sexy bumblebee, sexy witch, sexy Princess Toadstool, sexy Female Arnold Rimmer phenomenon. You are all fucking retards for doing this. And almost all of you are doing this. I can hear your face screwed up in a wad of irony-recognition from here.

“Ewwwwww!!! Every costume for women is sexy this or sexy that! Ewwww!”

No shit, you dumb bastards. Yes, we live in a post-irony world where nobody tries to be genuinely funny. However, I have had more potential and realized dates come out of Halloween than any other holiday or gathering combined (except Rosh Hashanah, but that’s because technically, on that day, I don’t mind doing all the work). You’re not ruining this for me, you’re ruining it for yourselves. This loathing towards women on Halloween has been going on for a few years now. Your stupid “awareness” is not necessary and it is ultimately self-defeating.

While we’re here, those of you still going as the people from that Beastie Boys video: stop it. Every one of you after the first threesome to do it looks like fucking idiots. The rest of you aren’t remotely clever, and this is coming from someone who’s gone as the Joker four times. I eventually stopped though, because Jesus Christ. You’re not interesting or original, just go as the fucking Mario Brothers or, if you must, the Clockwork Orange guys. That’s still acceptable.

(I am okay with girls going as sexy Alex, sexy Georgie and sexy Dim.)

So, no, I am not okay with angry, aspie men telling women to not dress like strippers on Halloween. I am okay with me telling angry aspies what to do. Halloween goes in three phases, the Chocolate Candy, the Eye Candy, and the You Are All My Candy, and if we are going to make women feel bad about their choices in dress on that magical day, then I will turn you into my bitch, and not stop skullfucking you until all that is left is a small smattering of bone, brain, blood, good and plenty.

Also, enjoy the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition, everybody. 

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, 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!






Greg’s BurgerTime Story
Sep 26th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Ahhh… the weekend! Another stressful week complete. Relax as I did, won’t you? …By heading over to The Post-Pessimist Association!

Knuckles Goes To The Comics Store
Sep 25th, 2008 by Knuckles the Clown

I happend upon dinner with my brother this week. No he’s not a clown so fuck off. Anyhow he dragged me in to a comic book shop at the end of the LARGE MEAL I DID ENJOY. Where did this meal take place? None of your goddamned business, he paid making anything I crammed into me pie hole an absolute treat. 

So back to the comic book shop. The “people” working/lounging/getting diabetes there blew my mind. There was a kid with a broken foot, a kid with a broken arm and three adolescents sitting at a table playing a super hero dice game. My question is how did any of these people break a bone? I mean seriously, if you work or hang out a comix shop all day how do sustain injury. Tripping over dice? Stumbling over the new shipment of Green Arrow? My guess is since these bufoons were preteens they probably are faking injuries to avoid Phys Ed. 

This bothers me. When growing up I idolized people like Brian Sipe, Mike Hargrove and Larry Nance. In order to be like them I worked out and tried to to be an athlete. These losers idolize comic book characters so shouldn’t they take an interest in fitness? No they hang around reading about more characters and hoping an atom bomb goes off while they are playing with insects. BEETLE BOY! MILLER MOTH GIRL! SUPER SCABIES! THE INCREDIBLE UNCANNY AND SPECTACULAR MEAL WORM-PERSON! 

These kids need the cold hard truth about nuclear accidents. 

1. For one they will be rendered sterile, a plus. If these kids find someone to reproduce with we will have a civilization of llimp-wristed noodle brained bath room attendants. 

2. Nuclear power does not make geeky nerds into superheroes. Lots and lots of steroids make this possible. Imagine an army of Barry Bonds swinging sweet justice thrpugh super power Iraq. 

3. Nuclear power makes people uncomfortable. All nuclear power has acomplished is birth defects, cancer and the death of 100,000 future game cube players. People are leery. 

4. Finaly in this earth, nuclear power can only make super villians and not super-heroes.

The Firing of Matt Millen … In the Style of the Bard’s Tale Clue Book
Sep 24th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Note from Ice Cream Jonsey:


Long have I awaited thy coming of age. Our town of Detroit doth slowly wither under the cursed sorcery of Mangar, spawn of demons. Many hath challenged his power, only to encounter their doom.

One man didst nearly succeed. Matt Millen, the former general manager of the Detroit Lions, became imprisoned here through Mangar’s evil spell of winter. He failed, but in his failure lies the way to thy victory. Millen did keepeth a journal, and Mangar is either unaware of its existence, or believes it to have perished along with the impudent viscount. But the tome didst survive, and came into my keeping.

The path thou must follow doth with danger abound. Go, and take with thee the journal of a brave knight, and the prayers of an old man.

(signed) the dark and gritty… Ice Cream Jonsey!


From the Journal of Matt Millen

It is not to be tolerated! I refuse to kneel to the evil that has made its home in Detroit.

All of the brave knights who protect this town have vanished, leaving frightened serfs, women and children to face unprotected the hordes of strange beasts and ruffians that now inhabit the streets. My brave party and I can do little to reduce their seemingly infinite numbers.

We must destroy the wizard Mangar, surely the source of the evil invasion, and of the ungodly and impenetrable winter that imprisons Detroit.


The Sewer  

We are in a muck-drenched stinking sewer, and the beasts and blackguards who attack us here are too numerous to be described. Here we gain much wealth, and our skills are honed like fine steel blades. As we explore, we discover strange writings on the walls of this foul hole. I will record them faithfully here — their value will perhaps become clear later in our travels.

        “Pass the light at night.” A cryptic verse indeed. I believe I will take this advice to heart, and embrace my recent hirelings: Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, and Joey Harrington. We shall pass much, indeed.

        “YM EBD SI A RCAERAC.” I am no scholar, but neither am I a stranger to lore and letters. I can perceive no sense here.

        “Golems are made of stone.” Is this meant to lighten our hearts against a fear of encountering a golem made from the draft picks I could have received for trading the mentally-defeated Barry Sanders while he could still perform, instead of stubbornly holding on and robbing America of the joy of watching him play?

We shall venture further into the maze.


Harkyn’s Castle, Level Three

We encountered a doddering old fool who barred our path until we told him the name of the tavern on Archer Street. The answer, Naked Tavern, was found to be disquieting to some members of our party, though not Joe Cullen.

Ah, pride before a fall. Once again we are challenged to the utmost of our abilities, and emerge not unscathed. The Internet trolls! They attacked in an endless flowing stream, to slay them akin to holding back the tide with a bottomless bucket. We found out (too late!) that our recently abandoned green robes my own seppuku, my own life taken from my own hands using a sword that I alone pushed into my wheezing abdomen, would have rendered us immune to attack. At last we stumbled, blind with weariness, over hundreds of corpses, four of our, proud, slain warriors (Robert Porcher, Roy Williams, Jon Kitna and Jason Hanson) lying hidden beneath stinking mounds of Baron Harkyn’s dead legions. We can spare no time to hunt for them — may the gods forgive us.


Mangar’s Dungeon, Level Five

We are defeated at the last. The silver shapes were the key to entering the main chamber wherein resides a gloating Mangar. We are trapped like rats in a tiny room where even now the wizard sends his minions to storm the door.

But we are given wise counsel by Charles Rogers, who advises us to try to get this journal to Clark Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, and an expert in the futility of a general manager in his own right… in the hope that he will pass on the experiences written here to one capable of defeating Mangar and firing Carl Peterson. One final spell, cast by Mike Williams, using the life forces of Charles Rogers, Marty Mornhinweg, Kevin Jones and myself, will render Joey Harrington invisible for a time, enabling him to escape this place with the journal. Yet it is evil magic. Everything we have accomplished will be rent from the fabric of time and destroyed, and as the spell burns itself out, Joey will be consumed.

I embrace my companions, and taste the salt of Joey’s tears. Mike Williams has asked for my dagger — he has no wish to be captured alive. As he prepares the spell, I can but reflect that no man could wish to die in better company.

Mike begins. They come.

Fire Matt Millen

Want Some Rye?
Sep 23rd, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Course ya do. 

Aardvark, from the JC BBS, made the following and I think it speaks for itself. I’ll be submitting the paperwork for its eventual grammy nomination shortly.

(If you have absolutely no idea what this is in reference to, please go here.)

Saints vs Broncos
Sep 22nd, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)I went to the Saints – Broncos game yesterday, and I don’t blame Martin Gramatica for anything. The guy had not missed a kick in a Saints uniform, so he had a lot of credit built up, as far as I was concerned. And all told, it was a great game. The Broncos won, but it was by far the most gripping game I’ve ever been to. It reminds you why you just might piss away your Sundays with the NFL and be at ease with it.

Things looked ugly for the Saints early, as their first drive stalled. The Broncos scored, turned a Reggie Bush fumble into seven points, and led 21-3 early.

From there, the Saints got their act together. The sun started to really beat down on the stadium. I was in section 532, up into row 33 and I think there were maybe three rows behind us and that was it. Honestly, they were fine seats and we were able to see everything on the field at all times. Our section was really cool, too – there were a lot of Saints fans present, and the Bronco fans that were there were chill. I never once felt like some animal was going to freak out because I wore my Bush jersey, and I probably couldn’t say the same about western New York, where I am originally from. (During the playoff game between Buffalo and Jacksonville in 94 or 95, I wore my winter jacket, which happened to be a Saints jacket… and Bills fans were tossing snowballs at me. If you wonder why that entire city crumbling, well, there ya go.)

I actually don’t feel that terrible about the game. The sun was shining, I got to see all my favorite players (would have liked to have seen Deuce McAllister enter the game), it was an up and down game that came down, essentially, to an attempted field goal, and it was a loss on the road to a team in a different conference. It’s not that critical in the playoff picture. I say all this because the old me would have been freaking out with vicious attacks, cruel taunts, unflattering impersonations and twisted carcicatures against Saints players and coaches. I just don’t have the bile any more.

The Saints are 1-2, and I just learned that Jeremy Shockey is out 3-6 weeks. Knowing Shockey, it will be three weeks. Our schedule really is easy, and I remain convinced that the team is gonna be fine. That being said, Reggie Bush is the Saints’ leading rusher and receiver, and has scored 4 times in 3 games. I was really considering bookmarking all the horrible, stock, by the book articles that trashed the frigging guy since he left with a partially torn MCL last year, but Christ, I am 34 and I just don’t have time to keep track of the shitty, shitty sportswriting that we see in this country. I knew I would be validated – he’s a fucking star – and… great? I am smarter than the average sportswriter? I already knew that.


My Football Team Signed Joey Harrington
Sep 19th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I feel like I want to die. Do you know what that feels like? I am going to the Saints game on Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing Reggie Bush, and Drew Brees and Deuce McAllister. This was going to be an amazing trip. My boss, who is awesome, hooked me up with tickets. I haven’t seen the Saints in person in years. YEARS. And now look at this.

The New Orleans Saints have signed quarterback Joey Harrington.

I don’t think that saying he is the worst starting quarterback of all-time is hyperbole. At least, not for the number of starts he had. Ryan Leaf is probably, start for start, worse (oh by the way, Ryan Leaf did manage to beat the Saints once, I caught that game living at Da King’s house on Internet radio) but Harrington was able to compile his poor play over a much longer period of time.

And no, he is not starting on Sunday. He’ll be the third-string QB that can’t even enter the game unless stuff goes seriously wrong. But anywhere he goes, HE STARTS.

Here is an example of what it is like to have Joey Harrington on your team. The GIF I am going to link shows him fumbling a ball off a static table, and then throwing what would be an interception to a CARDBOARD CUT-OUT of a defender. LOOK AT THIS SHIT.


You know what, sometimes GIFs take a while to load, and I apologize for this, but for the love of Christ how does that happen? 

He’s started everywhere he’s ever gone. Drew Brees is fucked. He’s a goddamn marked man, and I’ll tell you what, don’t invest in Brunell futures, either. By all accounts, Joey Harrington is one of the most down-to-earth guys in sports. He is a team player. His favorite video game is Ms. Pac-Man. He was saddled with the worst general manager in the entire history of recorded human history in Matt Millen. JOEY HARRINGTON IS A NICE GUY. 

Fuck. All right, fuck this, he’s a Saint now. I’m on board. He’s gonna play, he’s never NOT played, I just have to accept it. I have been told that I need to let go of the future and the past, in order to truly be content with my life. 

I am letting go of the past. (Except for the GIF up there.)

I am letting go of the imagined future.

God save us all.

Hats off to Ben Parrish
Sep 18th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Hi! As some of you may know, my life recently went topsy-turvy. If my life were in a comic book, it would have had a banner that read, “EVERYTHING YOU KNEW IS FALSE!” If my life were an NFL team, there would have been articles written by preposterously fat sportswriters that asked “What’s Eating Ice Cream Jonsey?” If my life were a funeral, it would definitely be one that you don’t eat at.

And in the scheme of things, no, it’s not as bad as getting cancer, or having a loved one die, or anything like that. But it was enough to send me spinning like a Venusian compass. And there has been one person that has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping manage my delicate magnetic mental state – my friend Benjamin “Pinback” Parrish.

I don’t know how many hours he has helped me deal with the issues swirling my brain. You name it, he’s had an answer for it. He is a psychiatrist wrapped up in a psychologist, wrapped up in a Buddhist, wrapped up in Little League coach that helps mold young men, rather than molest them. He’s talked me off the figurative “ledge,” and essentially — and I really don’t mean to make a big issue out of this — kept me sane. Because of his nigh-24 hour friendship, I am sane. I don’t believe I’d be able to say that otherwise.

And in return, as is my monstrous nature, I have done little. I have tried to at least phrase my endless bleating in a semi-entertaining manner? Sometimes? I don’t think he gets anything out of it, and that makes him a motherfucking saint. I am unfeeling worm, but at the same time I think he and his lovely girlfriend are moving out this way before too long, so I plan on totally being kind then! I’m developing not_really_a_monster.exe just for that occasion.

And yet, regardless of my own actions, the Internet itself took notice.

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, Ben wrote an article for this website called Positive Trends in Drunkeness. In typical Ben Parrish style, it is a well-reasoned and well-formed argument towards something positive, namely, Sobieski vodka, made in Poland, from rye. His argument was that vodka — wholesome, delicious vodka — does not need to cost more money than thirty US dollars. It doesn’t need to be locked behind a case, where the store owner sighs before turning round to get it, which is actually fucking AMAZING of the a-hole, seeing how you are buying the pricey stuff. And the back of your neck starts to get all pin-prickly, as the store owner (whom you’d totally throttle at this point) can’t open the stupid case, and all the other people in line start getting all shifty, and at least one of them back there you’re sure is carrying a weapon.

Ben would have none of this.

Purchase the delicious vodka from Sobieski instead, and it will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made. That was his argument.

Now, I am going to be honest: I haven’t yet done this myself. I haven’t purchased any vodka since Ben wrote his article. Oh, but when I do? You bet your ass it’s gonna be Sobieski. After all, the Internet itself knows what a fantastic person Ben is and sent him this:


I have very few rules in life, but if you take care of my buddy Pinner, I’ll take care of you. Sobieski, you now have a customer for LIFE in me, ICJ. Thanks, guys. You rock — good things happen to good people, and there’s none gooder than Ben.



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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