Tuesday, May 8

A roundup of Stupid!

With the possible exception of politics, no realm has more to offer in terms of people saying and doing stupid things than does the sporting world. Politics has a mix of people who are genuinely stupid saying stupid things and people who are smart and calculating saying seemingly stupid things to win elections, but sports seems to have a higher proportion of genuine dummies. After I had five recent events fresh in my mind, I decided to post about it. We'll start with the most recent first.

Cole Hamels
Philadelphia chucker Cole Hamels truly earned himself a spot among sports' biggest cowards by throwing at Nationals rookie Bryce Harper in Harper's eighth game for no reason, apparently, other than jealousy. Hamels' own words:

I was trying to hit him. I'm not going to deny it. I'm not trying to injure the guy. They're probably not going to like me for it, but I'm not going to say I wasn't trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That's the way, and I respect it.

That's something I grew up watching, that's kind of what happened. So I'm just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn't say anything because that's the way baseball is. But I think unfortunately the league's protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball. It's just, 'Welcome to the big leagues.'

What a colossal douchebag. You can't throw a 90-MPH fastball at a guy for no good reason other than wanting to "continue the old baseball." What the fuck does that mean? In the real old baseball, someone on the other team would go kick your ass.

And the way he hides behind this false "old-school" bravado and saying "I respect it" is just horseshit. You respect what? Abject cowardice? Unbelievable. I love that Washington GM Mike Rizzo absolutely tore into Hamels for his actions:

I've never seen a more classless, gutless chickenshit act in my 30 years in baseball...Cole Hamels says he's old school? He's the polar opposite of old school. He's fake tough. He thinks he's going to intimidate us after hitting our 19-year-old rookie who's eight games into the big leagues? He doesn't know who he's dealing with.

He thinks he's sending a message to us of being a tough guy. He's sending the polar opposite message. He says he's being honest, well, I'm being honest. It was a gutless chicken shit-fucking act. That was a fake-tough act. No one has ever accused Cole Hamels of being old school.

This goes beyond rivalry and all that stuff. This points to, you take the youngest guy in baseball. He's never done a thing. And then Hamels patted himself on the back. Harper's old school. Hitting him on the back, that ain't old school. That's fucking chickenshit.

I could not agree more with Rizzo. You know what else was chickenshit? MLB only giving Hamels a slap-on-the-wrist five-game suspension, same as they gave Jeanmar Gomez for a far more legitimate purpose pitch, one which Gomez didn't follow up with a lot of bullshit bluster. Hamels' "suspension" won't even cost him a turn in the rotation because somehow the league has never figured out how to suspend a pitcher properly. So, apparently in modern baseball, some douchebag can throw at a kid because he doesn't like him and basically get off scot-free. I bet the Nationals pitching staff is just lining up to drill Hamels with a fast one. Maybe when Stephen Strasburg is reaching his 160-inning limit for the season they can have him lodge one last 99-MPH heater in Hamels' back. That would continue the old baseball.

As usual The Onion has the best take, with the headline: "Cole Hamels Apologizes For Not Hitting Bryce Harper Right In The Fucking Face With Pitch"

Ron Artest
I mean...have you seen this? Watch the video - Artest (I'm not using his idiotic misnomer of a surname) throws one down then unleashes a vicious elbow at James Harden's head. This behavior would be out of line in a UFC bout, let alone an NBA game.

Did we all watch it? Read Artest's comments:

During that play I just dunked on (Kevin) Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and I got really emotional and excited and it was unfortunate that James had to get hit with an unintentional elbow. I hope he's OK. The Thunder, they're playing for a championship this year, so I hope that he's OK and I apologize to the Thunder and to James Harden. You know, it was such a great game and it was unfortunate so much emotion was going on at that time. ... That's it for today.

Later on Twitter:

I just watched the replay again..... Oooo.. My celebration of the dunk really was too much... Didn't even see James ..... Omg... Looks bad.

You fucking liar! How stupid do you think anyone is to actually believe that this elbow was even slightly unintentional? Even if you weren't the guy who went into the stands in Detroit eight years ago to fight fans (and you are), this would be an incredibly blatant lie. Unbelievable.

The NBA suspended Artest for seven games. What would I have done? Kicked him out. That's it. You're done. You can't do shit like that. You've already proven that you're a liability, thanks to the Malice at the Palace, only the single most disgraceful moment in NBA history. You got a second shot that you probably didn't deserve, and you just gave a guy a concussion with a vicious elbow and lied about it. The NBA doesn't need you. Artest should never play again.

Rajon Rondo
Far, far less egregious behavior here, but equally self-delusional and dishonest. Rondo, upset with a call (a close one, but a good one - Brandon Bass rips at Josh Smith's head), gets up in referee Marc Davis' face, then gives him a chest bump and gets tossed.

If you read the Artest piece, you can probably guess how Rondo's version of events will play out.

Well, obviously I was upset about the call and I said some words to Marc. I deserved the first tech and, as I was walking, I thought he stopped, my momentum carried me into him -- I even think I tripped on his foot. I didn’t intentionally chest bump him. But that’s what it appears to be.

Liar. You're a liar. Why do it? No one believes you. It's on tape. We can clearly see you puff out your chest to bump him. Why get that close in the first place? Why insult everyone's intelligence? I don't get it. Rondo got a one-game suspension, which unlike the first two entries here, was a fair punishment.

Lamar Odom
In case you don't follow the Association, in a nutshell Odom had a tumultuous off-season, got traded to Dallas, and then just pocketed $9 million of the Mavericks' money to show up out of shape, not play hard, and be dismissed well before the playoffs. The story today was that Mavericks players voted to deny Odom his $14 000 playoff share.

Good. I can't imagine this was too hard of a decision for the Dallas players - do we want to give an equal playoff share for the guy who never played hard for us, wrecked any chance we had to defend our NBA title, and didn't play or practice a single minute in the playoffs? The guy already stole $9 million from the organization - I'm glad he was denied this small, yet meaningful, amount.

Michael Wilbon
The madness in sports isn't restricted to the athletes, as FIRE JOE MORGAN made so abundantly clear during its run, and the normally astute Michael Wilbon is carrying the torch, writing an article about how Chicago is "cursed." I put Wilbon in this article just for editorial convenience - his misstep is nowhere near elbowing a guy, throwing at a guy, bumping an official, or quitting on your teammates. It's just a badly-constructed and ill-conceived argument.

Forgetting how inane the idea of a curse is in general and focus on: are you fucking kidding me? In my not-especially-long lifetime, Chicago has a Super Bowl ('85), a World Series ('05), six NBA Championships ('91-93, '96-98), and a Stanley Cup ('10). Wow, I wish Cleveland was that cursed, to have a champion in every goddamn sport in the past 28 years. People who don't go through what we go through really have no idea at all what it's like.

I read some of Wilbon's piece, thinking maybe I was missing a point. I wasn't. He leads with "So what could we possibly have done to deserve this sentence of six months in professional sports hell?"

SIX MONTHS?????? SIX MONTHS????? We haven't won a title in fucking 48 years. That's five hundred and sixty-eight months. What were you saying about professional sports hell? And how bad was your last six months anyway? Did you get to enjoy a 4-12 football team that missed the postseason for the ninth straight year, and an NBA team completing a run with the worst overall record in the entire league over the past two years? Whatever, so your franchise quarterback (which we haven't had in two decades) hurt his hand and your NBA MVP (ours left in the douchiest possible fashion to play in front of no fans in Miami) got hurt too? Aww.

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