Monday, April 9, 2007

J.D. Drew

Editor's Note : We swear ... this is not a Bill Simmons Watchdog Blog.

Between 2004-2006, J.D. Drew offered up .282/.403/.487/.890 in 600 at-bats with men on base. He hit 24 home-runs, walked 126 times and k'd 126 times in those situations, driving in 187 runs. With the bases empty, Drew was a better hitter (.303/.426/.572/.998), but he remained a productive hitter with runners on. To put that .890 ops in context, last season, only 9 NL and 15 MLB outfielders logged an ops that high; Drew, of course, was one of them. Overall, fewer than 40 MLB players were that productive.

Between 2004-2006, Drew was a harder out with men on and two-out. His numbers ... .297/.437/.518/.955. In those 222 at-bats, he hit 10 home-runs, walked 53 times, and k'd 37. Clearly, the man's good.

Well, unless stats lie. In The *cough* Boston Sports Guy's latest running diary - this time on Matsuzaka's first Sox start - Simmons, who appears to pride himself on the truthiness of his claims, writes this of a two-out, runners-on Drew at-bat,

11:19 -- You're not gonna believe this, but J.D. Drew took a called third strike to end the inning.

(Note: Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals fans everywhere are nodding and saying, "Yup ... been there, done that.")

Go figure.

peace love gap,
Johnny Hatchett

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Strange A.M.

This morning, before I even took my morning tea, I discovered the following :

As I wrote my previous post on the Sports Guy, I looked up - then left out from that entry - a stat that "proves" that the Celtics are (slightly) more competitive than their record indicates. The Celtics are "only" the 6th worst team in the NBA when ranked by point differential. In other words, though they have the second worst record in the league, day-to-day, they are more competitive than five other teams in the league.

Nope, the Celtics aren't even mediocre, but they're not that historically bad ... & Simmons' plan for Celtic-success - go out screaming or swinging - would have only made some close, tough losses less close.

peace love gap
Johnny Hatchett

Monday, April 2, 2007

The soul of some white folk

There are a lot of reasons to hate Bill Simmons.

Maybe you're a NY'er and hate all things Beantown.
Maybe you find his predicitions and analysis a bit light.
Maybe you're jealous that Bill gets an soapbox & you don't, even though you think you could do it better.
Maybe you think you & your merry crew of friends are more lunatic than Bill and his.
Maybe you can't stomach another pop culture metaphor.
Maybe you think he sold his soul to Hollywood.
Maybe you hate that Bill hates bloggers...


... Of course, maybe you just can't stomach Bill's repeated inability to write responsibly, sensitively, & reflexively on race and sports.

& that is what everyone is talking about these days ... Bill hates OJ Mayo ... but, not simply that, what OJ Mayo represents. &, well, even it's not clear to Bill, it's clear to others what the color of that representation is.

Bloggers have taken care of Bill's critique of what OJ Mayo represents ... who that young man is (allegedly). So what I want to spend some time with is Simmons' complaint about the Boston Celtics.

Here's what The *cough* Boston Sports Guy wrote about his Boston Celtics. (I'm including's response to that quote.)

"For instance, the Celtics... during their 18-game losing streak, nobody ever got kicked out of a game, knocked someone into a basket support, threw a frustrated punch ... hell, even the coach didn't get kicked out of a game. There was a passive, pathetic, indifferent response to everything that was happening."

Um, weren't you the same writer that called out Isiah and the Knicks earlier this season when they got into a fight with the Nuggets after a hard foul in which they knocked someone into a basket support? The Sports Hypocrisy Guy?

"Because the final score never really mattered for most of those games..."

We can ignore the fact that The Boston Sports Guy, one of the last NBA fans, according to the man himself, is on record as saying this about his Boston Celtics.

After the Celtics inexplicably rolled off a four-game win streak and fell two games behind Memphis for pole position in the Durant/Oden Sweepstakes, I thought about flying back to Boston to kidnap Al Jefferson and stick Paul Pierce with a mononucleosis-infected needle.
Yes, he has been rooting for the Celtics to lose.

Clearly, Simmons' hypocrisy runs deeper than his critique of fighting Knicks and passive Celts. More than that, though, is, in my (and my brother's) opinion, Simmons' misuse of the Celtics struggles to support an argument against a certain type of NBA player.

Yes, the Celts lost eighteen in a row. This came without Paul Pierce, whose contribution to that team is, to put it mildly, significant. Playing without Pierce, then without Wally, then without Tony Allen, the Celtics, yup, lost eighteen in a row. Twelve of those loses, though, were by less than ten points. And of those twelve, five came by five points or less.

I know that these numbers aren't all that impressive. A franchise-worst losing streak is a franchise worst-losing streak no matter the final score. But I watched a lot of that losing streak. While Celtics fans, including Simmons, actively rooted for the team to lose, keeping losing, & win some better player (Oden or Durant), the players the Celtics put on the floor llooked (at least to me) to play hard, passionate, though frequently ineffective basketball.

During that losing streak, "Big" Al Jefferson came into his own. &, if we can believe a recent FSN New England interview with Big Al, the man is now playing with an Arenas-sized chip on his shoulder. Apparently, too many mediamouths wrote Big Al off & now he's. (See point #15, the Darius Miles All-Star Team, Bill. Notice the mind-boggling inclusion of Bobby J, age 33 at the time... in "a list of young players every year that everyone PROJECTS to be better than they actually are.") Meanwhile, young, streaky, and gifted Gerald Green, put up twenty-points a few times and was on his way to wowing a national audience in the NBA dunk contest.

Yup, the Celtics' season has been disappointing. And maybe I view this team through some green-tinted glasses. But, according to me, Simmons' analysis of his Boston Celtic's losing streak, a losing streak he rooted for, is a bit twisted.

peace love gap
johnny hatchett

Always a day late & a buck short

Yeah, I know that the Cleveland Indians' Larry Doby was the first African-American baseball player in the American League, but is it not just a bit daffy to have Chief Wahoo's team in MLB's Civil Rights Game?

(&, yeah, I know the game was just an exhibition game, won't count in the standings, and was up against the NCAA Final Four, so, for all intents and purposes, didn't count, wasn't watched ... etc, etc, etc, ...)

johnny hatchett

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sometimes, you just have to link

Sports Media review explains why Sports on My Minds' blog on Jason Whitlock is so exemplary. (It has to do with holding sports mediamouths accountable for their inconsistencies & lunacy.) But the entry in itself represents something major : a full-blown attack on the racism of an African-American journalist : complimented by a lengthy "comment" added by one of dwil's readers on the topic of white fear. The blog & that comment are must reads.

peace love gap
Johnny Hatchett

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jemele Hill raises & drops issue..

Red Sox spring training - all sorts of non-events, like Julio Lugo being bananas about Boston - keeps the news on Tom Brady's person life on, as they say, the back burner. (It's actually the way-back burner, not making the top headline on the Patriot's page @

Discussing the "baby-mama drama" that Brady &, earlier, Matt Leinart have gotten themself into, Jemele Hill wonders, & then proceeds to ignore her wonderment,

So, what's going on here? Does ESPN The Magazine need to do a Where's (White) Daddy cover story? [In 1998, Sports Illustrated had a cover story about athletes having babies out of wedlock and that feature focused predominantly on black athletes.] Do white NFL quarterbacks now represent the new at-risk baby-daddy population?

What I'm wondering about is how Bill Simmons is going to spin the news. One of Simmons' (many) running joke comes at the expense of N.B.A. players. Less than a week ago, Page 2's Alpha Male wrote one of the things we "know" about the N.B.A. All-Star Game's setting is that it will inspire
2. Every ovulating groupie within a 12-hour vicinity will be making the weekend drive to Vegas to hopefully get impregnated by an NBA player -- a list that includes every hooker, stripper and jock-sniffing female between 16 and 40 from Vegas, Reno, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Phoenix and every city and town in the Los Angeles area. To its credit, the NBA is recommending that all players wear two condoms at once, even during the day and when they're sleeping.
(Don't try this at home : medical professionals urge you not to wear two condoms at once.)

There's not much that I want to say about The Sports Guys' comments. Simmons likes to repeat himself &, in this case, I'm not sure why this repetition is amusing or pleasurable. I'll just leave it at that. (To be clear : I'm not requesting that Leinart & Brady get their "images" pan-fried by the media as relentessly as the average N.B.A. player about whom Simmons jokes. I just kind of wish everyone had Brady's access to a teflon-image.)

By the way, on this evening's P.T.I., Michael Wilbon said that the news on Brady wouldn't hurt his "Golden Boy" image, because it's 2007 & this kinda of thing is fine. Apparently, Wilbon doesn't read Simmons' writing on N.B.A. players.

peace love gap,
Johnny Hatchett

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The NBA in Vegas?

Forget all the issues of gambling & sin, forget "What happens here stays here," the reason that the NBA shouldn't be in Vegas is because that city is the anti-thesis of professional basketball. The excitement of the N.B.A. comes from (1) player personalities & idiosyncrasies (see: Arenas, Gilbert) & (2) player spontaneity & creativity. Vegas offers neither. Everything is lit-up, pre-fabricated choreography. Turns out that the NBA is living that up : having a poorly-programmed, broke-down cyborg mouth a mash-up of Vegas classics during introductions & having scantily-clad, but static & bored women appear. No doubt the players felt it : their body language expressed indifference & suppressed personality. &, lest you think players just don't care about introductions...see the 2006 All-Star dance-off or the 2005 All-Star introductions.

&, as Mark Stein points out, the absense of some of the guys who create the in-game spontaneity - Kidd, Nash, & A.I. - might hurt the game itself.

Call me old-fashioned, but I hope this is the last we hear about the league in Vegas.

peace love gap
Johnny Hatchett