Isn’t it pretty to think so?

Although I like to think I’m a hip, swinging liberal when it comes to politics, I’m 100% get off my lawn when it comes to sports. Hate the DH (though I’m a lifelong AL fan), inter-league play, the wild-card, all the goddmamn pitching changes and every hitter taking a billion pitches at every at bat. Same with football, we can all agree it was more fun to watch Walter Payton grind out a yard or to watch a coked-up LT wreak havoc than it is to watch Peyton Manning direct air traffic, or whatever it is that he’s doing before the snap.

What I dislike most is the rise of fantasy sports. It removes players from their context as members of a team, especially in football (in baseball I’ll admit this matters less). It leads directly into all the could Superman beat Spiderman stuff comparing Oscar Robertson to Lebron, and worse yet, to sportswriter wankerism about how some legendary coach or player would have handled some current situation (Larry Bird wouldn’t have let his team quit like that! etc.). As aimai points out, we have the same bullshit in politics:

I hate these windy abstractions like “can Obama Lead.” The guys been leading. He’s the fucking leader. He led us out of Iraq and into the ACA. If he doesn’t play his assigned role in your fantasy football rotisserie grand bargain that doesn’t mean he can’t lead.

Tip and Ronnie would have found a bargain! What would Lincoln do? Obama needs a team of rivals!

It’s all such crap, and to me, it demeans the entire human experience. Confronting complicated problems isn’t easy for anyone, no matter how much Churchillian resolve or Burkean restrain or Washingtonian patriotism or Lincolnian grit they have.

Sometimes things are just fucked up, and you could easily argue that we’re lucky to have people like Obama and, yes, even Boehner (he could be a lot worse) mostly trying to avert catastrophe. Who knows what Lincoln would do if he were in Obama’s shoes? All we know is how he handled the last southern uprising…and frankly I don’t think Bobo and Ron Fournier would find Sherman’s march to the sea so leadershipy and compromisy if it happened today.

It’s fun to imagine that the Great Americans of yore could solve all our problems if they came back from the grave. But pointless fantasizing is a retreat from reality. So is Niall Ferguson-style counterfactual historicizing.

It’s a mark of decadence and decline that so many elites waste their time wanking about things that didn’t happen and things that will never happen instead of reporting accurately on what is happening.






175 replies
  1. 1
    shortstop says:

    Hemingway! I like mixing up the song titles with literary references.

  2. 2
    Captain C says:

    Tip and Ronnie would have found a bargain!

    Tip and Ronnie didn’t have a bugfuck caucus to deal with. If there were 40 or so legitimate Trotskyites in the Democratic Party (and funding for Trotskyite primary challenges for the rest of the Democratic caucus) who never listened to Tip, this analogy might make a lick of sense.

    What would Lincoln do?

    Put his aides Sherman and Grant on it.

    Obama needs a team of rivals!

    Translation (from those who say such things unironically): He should bring some of the bugfuck caucus into his cabinet. Just like Tip and Ronnie did.

  3. 3
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    It’s a mark of decadence and decline that so many elites waste their time wanking about things that didn’t happen and things that will never happen instead of reporting accurately on what is happening.

    This is a feature, not a bug. Our elites are specifically employed to not report on what is actually happening and to distract us with something else instead, the more fictional and the less falsifiable the better, so we can all amuse ourselves to death passing around the Popper-corn. Violate that central precept and you’ll find yourself an ex-elite in short order.

    Now let’s argue about whether Obama’s DVOA is higher than Teddy Roosevelt’s.

  4. 4
  5. 5

    It’s fun to imagine that the Great Americans of yore could solve all our problems if they came back from the grave. But pointless fantasizing is a retreat from reality. So is Niall Ferguson-style counterfactual historicizing.

    Teddy Roosevelt could, but he’s far too busy hunting Cerberus on a safari to Tartarus.

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The only way Obama can lead his way out of this mess is to take granny’s Social Security and Medicare money and give it to Ron Fournier.

  7. 7
    jenn says:

    @jeffreyw: Oh my wordn that is a bundle of cuteness right there. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    One of the major problems of using history to guide decision making that is that the same exact situation never recurs. There is always something different. Therefore the response should be different – maybe only a little, maybe a lot. Which leads me to recommend this book.

  9. 9
    Nom de Plume says:

    Fantasy sports ruins the world. I once heard a guy say “I’m a diehard Yankees fan…unless so-and-so is pitching for the Red Sox, and then I can’t decide who to root for, ’cause he’s on my fantasy team!”. Um, that’s not “diehard”, that’s die-easy.

    Just sftu about your fantasy teams, nobody cares. Prediction: there will be at least several dozen comments in this thread from people blithering about “who they’ve got” in the world series. You haven’t got shit. Shut up.

  10. 10
    jenn says:

    @jeffreyw: Oh my word, that is a bundle of cuteness right there. Thanks for sharing!

  11. 11
    piratedan says:

    yeah, but that Ryan dude, he works out y’know, looks kinda hunky too… ///////

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    DougJ bait…

    How Jon Stewart became President Obama’s biggest problem
    BY CHRIS CILLIZZA
    October 22 at 12:15 pm

    @Captain C: Charlie Pierce has a nice takedown of the whole “Tip and the Gipper” fantasy, and don’t you think that among all the VSP who stroke their chins and wag their fingers in agreement that debtanddeficit are the cause of of all evil, wouldn’t one or two of those people point out, as they join hands pimping Tweety’s new book*, that TipntheGipper pretty much created the whole debtanddeficit crisis?

    *also worth noting that Tweety has published other books, I’ve never seen one get this kind of fawning and widespread coverage, and not just on MSNBC. “Even an MSNBC liberal must now admit that Reagan was….”

  13. 13
    Joel says:

    Comparing the relative achievements of professional sports players across eras goes a lot further back than fantasy sports.

    I think this analogy is a bridge too far.

  14. 14
    Joel says:

    Comparing the relative achievements of professional sports players across eras goes a lot further back than fantasy sports.

    I think this analogy is a bridge too far.

  15. 15
    John Arbuthnot Fisher says:

    I love you Doug, but you’re just straight up trolling fantasy football here. Should I call you on your landline to discuss this further?

  16. 16
    ploeg says:

    Lincoln had a number of detractors that accused him of refusing to compromise with Confederate leaders to preserve the Union (Google “the union as it was” for examples).

  17. 17
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: One of the major problems of using history to guide decision making that is that the same exact situation never recurs.

    Also a reading of history (that seems to me childish) that assumes that a) what happened (the preservation of the Union, the end of slavery in the 1860s, the defeat of Hiter) was inevitable, if not actually easy (LBJ passed legislation by snapping his fingers), and b) all the then-VSPs agreed that Churchill/Lincoln/FDR was the man (sic) for the job, and all said then-VSPs were constant and stalwart in support of their policies

  18. 18
    Gene108 says:

    There are two Reagan’s. One is the actual President, who had swings in popularity – low poll numbers in 1983, when unemployment was still high, wildly popular from 1984 to 1986, as the economy improved and then viewed with greater distrust as Iran-Contra unfolded – and the other is the figure created by right-wing media of the Great Leader of the right-wing revolution, which seems to be what has seeped into the conventional wisdom about him.

    Maybe Obama will be viewed as an action hero thirty years from now.

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Arbuthnot Fisher: “Yes, I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in
    Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?”

    – Montgomery Burns

  20. 20

    Tip and Ronnie would have found a bargain!

    This is a tell that they want the dems to lay back and take it, like Tip did when Ronnie was getting his way.

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @jeffreyw: Tabbies! We have a little grey and a big yellow.

  22. 22

    Wow, then you must really hate this article about “Which Superhero Would Be Best At Baseball?”

    I’m sorry, but arguments about how many 5th graders it would take to kill a silverback gorilla is what makes the internet great.

  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Joel: Now if Bob Gibson were starting for the Cards tonight instead of Adam Wainwright….

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    Chuck Todd, quoting a Dem Congressman, on my tv 20 seconds ago: “the President needs to man up and fire somebody”

    It’s fascinating the stories we tell – Lincoln was univerally admired! Reagan was smoothly competent! Everyone like Truman! The Founding Fathers all got along!

  25. 25
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Our elites seemed a lot smarter and more capable before The Internet. Now with the Twitter thingie, they seem really fucking stupid. If this inverse technology to intelligence trend continues, I predict technology soon that will allow our elites to send armpit farting noises around the world instantaneously.

  26. 26
  27. 27

    I skipped the Hall of Presidents when I went to Disney World the other day, so I was poking around on YouTube to see what I missed. Turns out 75% of the show is a slideshow (with gravi-tastic narration by Morgan Freeman), but when we actually get some robot President action, at the end there’s this weird tableau with all the Presidents squirming and nodding in one room. Robot George Washington says a little spiel, then robot Barack Obama gets up and recites the oath of office, then gives a little speech of his own.

    And I’m just thinking that if this scene happened in real life, Washington and Jefferson and a bunch of the others would just be spending the whole time wondering why this man is walking around free south of the Mason-Dixon line.

  28. 28
    Bitter and Deluded Lurker says:

    Regardless of the merits of fantasy sport, even without them we’d still see terrible columns about how teams coached by legendary sports figures would never give up. Sports writers still have to file/upload their copy.

  29. 29
    Berial says:

    One positive (I think) aspect of Fantasy Football, it’s made me acutely aware of just how many injuries happen in the game. Good Glob, but why would anyone want to play the game(the real one) ‘for fun’ is beyond me. Injuries galore!

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Decadence and decline are always with us.

    We’ve been going to Hell for so long that either a.) there is no Hell, b.) Hell is a helluva lot further away than we thought, or c.) this is Hell, and it’s actually not all that bad — not great, mind you, but not that bad.

  31. 31
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Matt McIrvin: We last went when Robot George Bush was the main attraction. We got up and left.

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Culture of Truth: Chuck Todd, quoting a Dem Congressman,
    Ah, Democrats! even with all the infighting going on now, Republicans still defend the Iraq War. Democrats will soon be joining Fournier in debates over whether a website is Obama’s Katrina or Obama’s Iraq.

    “Just like Katrina, when the big problem President Bush had was diminishing the significance of what was happening, saying ‘Hey, way to go, Brownie,’—you had the president yesterday talking about glitches and kinks. This is bigger than glitches and kinks,” Fournier said on MSNBC, as quoted by Mediate. “The one difference was Katrina was a storm, the health care law was Obama’s creation.”
    Fournier then added, “Maybe the Iraq War is a better analogy.”

    Carville’s probably typing in his wife’s suggested revisions to a memo he’s going to leak to CNN as we post.

  33. 33
    Citizen_X says:

    @Joel:

    I think this analogy is a bridge too far.

    What Thou hath done, it hast been seen.

  34. 34
    Hawes says:

    As a history teacher, I find the inaptitude of their historical analogies most troubling. Fact is, Obama is very much like Lincoln. And if you knew more about Lincoln than what you forgot in grade school, you would see that.

    The crisis he faces is obviously not as dire, but the leadership and sang froid are very similar.

  35. 35

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: In the recent video I saw, both Robushes got a lot of applause from the audience when they did their little nods in the spotlight. (GHWB got more than Ronald Reagan! I was wondering if people had him confused with his son.)

    They didn’t get Robama in until late 2009. I imagine the lag causes weird situations when there’s a switch between parties, with people in the audience having little fantasies that the other guy is still in office, a little like Democrats watching The West Wing…

    (edit: actually, Wikipedia says it was closed for that period.)

  36. 36
    raven says:

    Fantasy football is for little weasel shit twerps.

  37. 37
    Anniecat45 says:

    I am so sick and tired of people whining about the DH in baseball. It was introduced 40 years ago. Most fans probably don’t have a real sense anymore of what AL baseball was like before it came in — I know I don’t and I started watching games in the 1960s (I’m in my late fifties). It’s like a ritual demonstration of purity. On another blog somebody was complaining about how it sullied the purity of baseball (which is a joke in itself) — and the guy turned out to be 25, with no memory of baseball pre-DH. Probably the only people with a real feel any more for how it changed the game are Vin Scully, Tim McCarver and Roger Angell.

    I also don’t get how it matters less in baseball to separate players from their teams. An awful lot of pitchers are not strike-out kings; they’re ground-ball guys, or flyball guys, and without good fielding behind them, those outs turn into base hits.

  38. 38
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What gets overlooked here is that Bush’s Katrina was Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal and Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal was Bush Senior’s No New Taxes Pledge which was Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal or the time he was shot, both of which were Carter’s failure to free the Iranian hostages which was just Nixon’s Watergate.

    So Obamacare is effectively Watergate.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That quote is incomplete, That ditz Nicole Wallace was shrieking about Obama and Katrina in that exchange.

  40. 40
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: I cheer for the teams I like. I don’t do fantasy football and I don’t bet on games. I just want “my” teams to win. (And, generally, I want the Bears to lose.)

  41. 41
    hoodie says:

    Yes, but Spartacus would have used drones much more effectively.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Bucky kicked the Illini’s asses Saturday but at least we fought.

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @Gene108: Hell, he’s an action hero to me right now.

  44. 44

    @hoodie: So what if Charlemagne had found a copy of the 1977 Information Please Almanac? Nobody would have believed him anyway.

  45. 45
    gbear says:

    Who knows what Lincoln would do if he were in Obama’s shoes?

    Abe would probably be struggling trying to explain the Lincolncare website.

  46. 46

    It’s the Tennessee Gun Report! Your weekly roundup of responsible gunownership (*cough*cough*)

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Yeah, if you let the Badgers do their thing, they are pretty damn good at it. When a team can force them to rely on Stave, the other team has a shot. Not that Stave is bad, but the Badgers’ running attack is nuts.

  48. 48
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @gbear:

    Abe would probably be struggling trying to explain the Lincolncare website.

    We can register some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but we can’t register all of the people all of the time.

  49. 49
    handsmile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    On Monday, Media Matters’ Oliver Willis prepared a chart of comparative death tolls that should obliterate fully any such comparison (yes, I know it won’t):

    http://www.theguardian.com/com.....t-iraq-war

    (and the first time I’ve ever linked to an article by AnaMarie Cox)

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Comrade Mary says:

    @jeffreyw: I want the one with the white mask. But I’m in Toronto and very allergic. WAAAH!

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Four score and seven minutes after visiting Healthcare.gov..

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    @gbear:

    A code divided against itself cannot parse.

  55. 55
    Chyron HR says:

    All I need to know about sports I get from Glenn Greenwald’s new comprehensive media outlet. So when are those Redskins fans going to stop mindlessly worshipping RG3, anyway?

  56. 56
    Mike E says:

    @raven: As is the complaining about baseball’s idiosyncrasies. If you need rule changes/derivatives trading to get into a particular sport, you might want to try something else.

  57. 57
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Chuck Todd, quoting a Dem Congressman,

    Both of them seriously need to down a pitcher of STFU on ice, and then order a round for Stewart and Klein too.

  58. 58
    CASLondon says:

    God damn do I agree with this sentiment. I’m so get-off-my-lawn about sports that I’m not over the loss of the Smyth, Patrick and Norris divisions in hockey. And that’s an interesting dig at fantasy sports, something I’ve never gotten into but I can see how an 8 year old boy might. Not a grown man.

    Of course, being from Chicago, I SAW most of those Payton small yard grindouts live. And of course appreciate liberal politics, classic cocktails, and meat.

    Rock on, brother Troll Doug

  59. 59
    TG Chicago says:

    …you could easily argue that we’re lucky to have people like Obama and, yes, even Boehner (he could be a lot worse) mostly trying to avert catastrophe.

    You could, indeed. One can easily argue many stupid things.

    Boehner could have prevented this whole mess by simply allowing a majority vote in the House from day 1. He could have even voted against the CR and debt limit! All he needed to do was allow the vote. He didn’t, and it cost the country billions.

    Saying we’re “lucky” to have Boehner is like saying someone who got struck on the head by a meteorite is lucky they didn’t also get struck by lightning.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Culture of Truth: Was the Dem identified by name?

  61. 61

    @Anniecat45: The DH (and other changes such as lowering the mound) were instituted to swing the pendulum away from pitching dominance. I don’t think it was intended to be permanent. I think that things swung too far toward hitters (esp. during “steriod” era but still today).

  62. 62
    RaflW says:

    “Can he lead?” is just bullshit framing that lets Bobo or Fournier fap-fap about their own fantasies.

    Its less than useless. Its a waste of our time to even engage those shitty, self-aggrandizing GOP water-carriers.

  63. 63
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @RaflW:

    “Can he lead?”

    Yes, but he may occasionally step on your foot.

  64. 64
    Mike E says:

    Speaking of ‘sport’, UEFA tilt on my Fox sports South teevee right now…Anderlecht v PSG

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Roll Call, Via TPM

    An upstate New York Democrat in a swing district is calling for somebody to be fired over the disastrous Obamacare website rollout.
    During a Tuesday tele-townhall, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney answered a caller concerned about the ability of people to get covered and meet the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
    Maloney said that he wouldn’t be “sugar coating” the problems with the website.
    “I’d like to see somebody lose their job over this. I think it’s outrageous,” he said.

    Jay Carney said without saying, but without a lot of subtlety, they have a loophole to avoid enforcing the penalty, the language of the law gives them a lot of leeway. Doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game?

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    What five year old said this, “I cannot even stand to look at you” ,..? Boehner and Cantor are both sorta denying it. Isn’t it time for lie detector tests?

  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hawes:

    Fact is, Obama is very much like Lincoln…

    Just another skinny Illinois state-house hack with funny ears…

  68. 68
    scuffletuffle says:

    @jeffreyw: AHHHHHHHHHH! The cuteness!

  69. 69
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mike E: You know what ruined football, at least English football? Substitution. And don’t get me started on the seven-man bench…..

  70. 70
  71. 71
    raven says:

    @CASLondon: sweetness

  72. 72
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Hawes:

    Fact is, Obama is very much like Lincoln.

    I’m a bit of a history buff and I think there’s a very good case to be made that Obama is also a lot like our second, third, fourth and fifth greatest presidents.

  73. 73
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Fournier said

    should forever be followed by:

    Will no one rid me of this troublesome Negro?

    The first, last, and ONLY thing anyone ever need know about Ron Fournier.

  74. 74
    ericblair says:

    @RaflW:

    “Can he lead?” is just bullshit framing that lets Bobo or Fournier fap-fap about their own fantasies.

    I think the logic goes: I wanted something in politics to happen. It did not happen. Therefore:

    A) It was unrealistic, unworkable, and/or not the Most Important Thing in the World to the decisionmakers; or
    B) It’s a fantastic, important idea, and the decisionmakers think so too, but they Just Can’t Lead and therefore it failed.

    Works for the Village, teabaggers, firebaggers, and anyone else with an ego and an ax to grind.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    DougJ, I for one am glad you took time off from posting as commenter Drexciya to actually make an engaging troll post here at BJ.
    Thank you for that.

  76. 76

    @Gene108: According to Gallup, Obama’s public job approval has never been as low as Reagan’s at the depth of the 1983 recession, or Clinton’s during his first year in office. It’s kind of amazing to me given that, if anything, he’s had to deal with worse economic trouble (and 2010 was a bigger Congressional blowout than 1994).

    I think Obama has more passionate opposition, but Democrats mostly have stood by him, despite what you see on the Internet. There’s a story that Democrats stayed home to an unusual degree in 2010, but they didn’t; their turnout was just normal for a midterm election, while Republicans were fired up.

  77. 77
    Mike E says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Heh, it was a hedge against black lung.

    GOOOL! Zlatan Ibrahimavic

    ETA GOOOOOL!! #2 by Ibrahimovic

  78. 78
    dedc79 says:

    1) When did you transition from song lyrics to famous lines from famous books?

    2) I think what motivates the constant “X is just like Y” whether in sports/politics/music is a combination of laziness and inability to think critically. It’s far more difficult to describe a piece of music than it is to say that it sounds like you took the lead singer from band X and had him sing with the lead guitarist from band Y. By the same token, Ron Fournier isn’t a very good writer or much of a deep thinker, so rather than describe what his actual issues are with the health care exchange, he’d just as soon call it Obama’s version of Bush’s Iraq War fiasco.

  79. 79
    Mike G says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Speaking of Reagan Idolatry:
    Grand Theft Issa (R-Douchebag) is pushing a bill to rename over 3 million square miles of US coastal waters after Ronald Reagan. Because Reagan happened to be President when international maritime law changed to establish all countries’ coastal waters out to 200 miles as being under their national control for commerical purposes, Issa wants to rename all US waters the Ronald Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Jesus H Christ on a pogo stick, these people are craven and stupid.

  80. 80
    taylormattd says:

    Tip and Ronnie would have found a bargain! What would Lincoln do? Obama needs a team of rivals!

    If only Obama would BullyPulpitLeadership, then:

    (1) Ron Fournier, steno Sue Schmidt, George Will, Chuck Todd, and Luke Russert would immediately cease repeating Republican lies verbatim; and

    (2) the likes of Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu, and Joe Lieberman would have gladly helped make sure there was a public option in Obamacare.

  81. 81

    …Actually, what Obama’s current approval ratings resemble is nothing so much as George W. Bush’s at this same point in his administration: after the highs from 9/11, the beginning of the Iraq War, and the capture of Saddam Hussein had all worn off, but just before things started to go so obviously to crap that nobody could avoid noticing it.

    The difference with Obama is that he never got the war boost (except for a little temporary kick in mid-2011 from getting Osama bin Laden, which quickly dissipated during Debt Ceiling Crisis #1), and (I am hoping, and also think) he doesn’t have the rank incompetence that would be necessary to end up as far in the toilet as Bush from that alone.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @dedc79: This is a twofer for Fournier in that he gets to denigrate Obama while at the same time mitigate the harm Bush did to our country. By making something that’s not going quite right equivalent to some things that went really, deathly awful for a lot of people, RF is lightening the weight on his mancrush GWB.

  83. 83
    max says:

    Hate the DH (though I’m a lifelong AL fan), inter-league play, the wild-card, all the goddmamn pitching changes and every hitter taking a billion pitches at every at bat.

    DH bad, inter-league play enh, wild card positive good (because otherwise you wind up with a team in the playoffs with a worse record than a team or teams that got left out), hate the pitching, hate the long at bats. (So, eliminate the DH and require pitchers to stay in for three innings except in the case of injuries – and then keep them from playing for a week.)

    Same with football, we can all agree it was more fun to watch Walter Payton grind out a yard or to watch a coked-up LT wreak havoc than it is to watch Peyton Manning direct air traffic

    I am not that big on three yards and a cloud of dust, but they need to let the secondary defend against the pass.

    What I dislike most is the rise of fantasy sports.

    Never mess with it.

    I hate these windy abstractions like “can Obama Lead.” The guys been leading. He’s the fucking leader. He led us out of Iraq and into the ACA. If he doesn’t play his assigned role in your fantasy football rotisserie grand bargain that doesn’t mean he can’t lead.

    Agreed. One can disagree with him at times or complain about how he’s leading but he’s still the man in charge.

    Obama needs a team of rivals!

    Obama took that seriously, unfortunately. Pulling all those folks from the Senate had some dire consequences.

    Sometimes things are just fucked up, and you could easily argue that we’re lucky to have people like Obama

    Yes.

    and, yes, even Boehner (he could be a lot worse) mostly trying to avert catastrophe.

    That toad? Srsly?

    and frankly I don’t think Bobo and Ron Fournier would find Sherman’s march to the sea so leadershipy and compromisy if it happened today.

    They wouldn’t. *They* would denounce it and stuff. *I* wouldn’t denounce it. *I* would applaud. (Note: burning shit down is not an atrocity or a war crime – massacring civilians and torturing people are war crimes.)

    It’s a mark of decadence and decline that so many elites waste their time wanking about things that didn’t happen and things that will never happen instead of reporting accurately on what is happening.

    The underlying problem is that actual history will actually teach you something about how things got to be the way they are. Lincoln was beset on all sides by people who were doing the 19th century version of Ron Fournier and Bobo. And those guys liked slavery and didn’t want to have a war over it. Lincoln fought and because he did, he won.

    The folks you are complaining about tend to make the history channel look deep and sophisticated, and aren’t covering current events accurately either, so what you are talking about are liars and bullshitters and propagandists. History and the uses thereof (and reporting on current events and the uses thereof) are not even involved.

    max
    [‘You misfired there.’]

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    Same with football, we can all agree it was more fun to watch Walter Payton grind out a yard or to watch a coked-up LT wreak havoc than it is to watch Peyton Manning direct air traffic, or whatever it is that he’s doing before the snap.

    I personally can’t stand the style Peyton Manning uses as QB, but it’s hard to argue he isn’t performing his job at an equivalent level as LT or Sweetness when they were rocking the joint.
    i enjoy watching the pieces work together, even when I can’t stand watching him flutter about while doing it.

  85. 85
    dedc79 says:

    @Corner Stone: I’d argue it’s even a trifecta b/c of the “both sides do it” component.

  86. 86
    chopper, interrupted says:

    It’s fun to imagine that the Great Americans of yore could solve all our problems if they came back from the grave. But pointless fantasizing is a retreat from reality.

    for me it’s more fun to imagine how the Great Pundits of Today would write back in the days of yore. “why doesn’t lincoln invite jeff davis to a beer summit at the white house??”

  87. 87
    rdldot says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Where you been?

  88. 88
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I hate baseball because it’s boring as shit and takes for fucking ever and god, just hurry up and be DONE already, stupid baseball!

    Same with football, we can all agree it was more fun to watch Walter Payton grind out a yard or to watch a coked-up LT wreak havoc than it is to watch Peyton Manning direct air traffic, or whatever it is that he’s doing before the snap.

    Eh, I dunno. I have an appreciation for both. Of course, I hated LT because I hated the Giants, but his greatness on the field is undeniable. But I have an appreciation for Peyton Manning as well simply because, like LT, he’s playing his position at an exceptionally high level. I like watching him figure out what the defense is doing, get his team all on the same page, and then execute. It’s a hell of a thing.

    But the tie-in to politics is dead fucking on.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    IMO, Fantasy Football has saved the NFL. In other relative terms of parity, who would’ve watched a minute of the Giants V Vikings the other night if they didn’t have a WR or Adrian on their FF roster?
    Now every matchup has tense possibilities, not just Dallas v San Fransisco like the olden days.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    McArglebargle…NO!!

  91. 91
    handsmile says:

    @Mike E:

    I’m grateful for even a whiff of “real” football on this blog, especially with Randinho so utterly neglecting his designated duties.

    Hope you got a chance to see yesterday’s draw between Milan and Barcelona or Dortmund’s late win against Arsenal.

    Between Anderlecht and PSG, the only real question is how many goals will Zlatan score? And speaking of Zlatan (besides his wonder goal against Bastia), with Sweden pitted against Portugal for one of the final European slots for the 2014 World Cup, it will be either him or Cristiano Ronaldo on the plane to Brazil.

    ETA: a freakin’ hat trick after 36 minutes! will probably break Messi’s record for goals in a single Champions League match.

  92. 92

    OT: DougJ@top
    Did you see that piece where Women’s Wear Daily graded Ted Cruz for his fashion sense (or lack thereof) and gave him a C-? WWD more hard hitting than Fournier and Bobo.

  93. 93
    piratedan says:

    it is strange that so many strict Constitutionalists revere Lincoln when he suspended Habeus Corpus (sic), fired Generals based on performance as the CiC, had a cabinet that stuck political shivs in him at each opportunity, some stating that they could do a better job and his most “successful” military commander setting himself up as his chief political rival. He did preserve the union, he did free the slaves, although he walked a very fine line on the issue in order to keep Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware in the Union column. Unsure what kind of President he might have been had South Carolina not gone off its nut, but that may well be the best parallel to what Obama is facing, he’s facing a “south” that hasn’t gone into open rebellion yet.

  94. 94
    Corner Stone says:

    @dedc79: I agree, but I just naturally start out understanding RF will use the BSDI formula because 1)that’s who he is and 2)since it’s the R’s doing it he has to say something else is doing it, also too.

  95. 95
    dedc79 says:

    I was seven when the Giants won their first super bowl, and watched that Sports Illustrated end-of-the-year video “Giants Among Men” (yes, seriously, that was the title) about a hundred times. There’s a portion of the video that is a montage of some of LT’s best plays from throughout that season. What’s clear is not only that he was an incredibly talented player (and that he was high while on the field) but that the opposing quarterbacks were absolutely terrified of him. He impacted every single play because they were always looking to see where he was, trying to get the ball away quickly, etc…

  96. 96
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @max: Obama took that seriously, unfortunately. Pulling all those folks from the Senate had some dire consequences.

    Ken Salazar, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden… Who am I missing? I don’t see any real downside, much less “dire consequences”, to Kirsten Gillibrand or Chris Coons, and Ken Salazar was one of the worst Liebercrats in Congress. I know a lot of people say Sebellius and Napolitano should’ve stayed in their gov spots, but I don’t think their futures, or those of their states, were so clear.

  97. 97
    Mike E says:

    HAT TRICK!! And that 3rd was an absolute rocket volley by Ibrahimavic, stunning. 3-0 PSG and they’re not at half yet.

    Edited acronym.

  98. 98
  99. 99
    ericblair says:

    @dedc79:

    I think what motivates the constant “X is just like Y” whether in sports/politics/music is a combination of laziness and inability to think critically.

    Thing is, in math and science proving that “X is just like Y” is enormously useful and powerful. It’s just that you have to actually, you know, prove it and not just say it.

  100. 100
    Mike E says:

    @handsmile: Ehh, all he does is score goals.

    /Buddy Ryan

  101. 101
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah but I didn’t catch it. Chuck was having a Toddgasm and it threw me off.

  102. 102
    Hill Dweller says:

    As EJ Dionne rightly pointed out when Gregory and Andrea Mitchell were praising Fournier’s piece last Sunday, their version of “leading” is actually capitulation. In their eyes, cutting entitlements, which Republicans would immediately attack, is “leading”.

  103. 103
    Hill Dweller says:

    @cleek: Didn’t that asshole literally shoot a copy of the ACA when running for Senate?

  104. 104
    drkrick says:

    @Anniecat45:

    I am so sick and tired of people whining about the DH in baseball. It was introduced 40 years ago. Most fans probably don’t have a real sense anymore of what AL baseball was like before it came in …

    Pretty much like the NL now. You know, real baseball.

    I remember Jim Palmer claimed to be considering suing over the DH at the time because as a (relatively) good hitting pitcher he felt that he’d lost an earned advantage over the non-hitting contingent.

  105. 105
    chopper, interrupted says:

    @drkrick:

    lousy live ball era! (shakes fist)

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hill Dweller: cap and trade bill

  107. 107
  108. 108
    handsmile says:

    @Mike E:

    And write a memoir between matches and tattoo parlor sessions.

    http://www.theguardian.com/boo.....phy-review

  109. 109

    It’s all such crap, and to me, it demeans the entire human experience.

    I just spent 3 hours in an extremely contentious meeting that boiled down, essentially to that point. I know I’m not terribly virtuous on this measure myself but hopefully I will be a bit better after that experience.

  110. 110
    Gene108 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    There is one huge similarity between Obama and Reagan, which I think the smart people on the GOP (you know the guys who used the CU decision to maximum effect in 2010) realize and want to neutralize by creating as much general suck as possible.

    Even at the nadir of Reagan’s approval ratings, people had a favorable opinion of him as a person. When the conditions of his job improved the personal favorables turned into a huge win in 1984.

    For all the approval/disapproval ratings for his job performance, Obama’s personal favorability ratings have always been very high. His Administration is very disciplined and scandal free.

    If the prosperity of this country had improved back to low levels of unemployment, Obama would be a bigger political force than he already is.

  111. 111
    dedc79 says:

    Baseball with (1) home run fences pushed back to where they used to be (2) strike zones expanded back to where they used to be (3) pitchers having to hit back the way it used to be would be a shorter and more entertaining game than it is now.

    The League is sadly thinking less about what makes for an entertaining game, and more about how many highlights they can get on Sportscenter each night.

  112. 112
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    cap and trade bill

    Another Republican idea. While not the ACA, the point still stands. Manchin will do anything to prove his “independence”.

  113. 113
    Mike E says:

    @handsmile: Wow. His background is a bit like mine, from the same part of the world in Splinterland. I never resorted to stealing bicycles tho, I just make bitter comments on blogs.

    ETA Cavani, 6 mins into the 2nd. 4-0.

  114. 114

    @Anniecat45:

    I also don’t get how it matters less in baseball to separate players from their teams. An awful lot of pitchers are not strike-out kings; they’re ground-ball guys, or flyball guys, and without good fielding behind them, those outs turn into base hits.

    AL pitchers are more aggressive than their NL counterparts because they know that in a few innings, the opposing pitcher won’t stuff a fastball in their ear. See Roger Clemens as the highest illustration of that. I thought it was pretty ballsy of him to move to a NL team after his history and am to this day still surprised he didn’t leave every game with the concussion he deserved.

    Great sports (like so many things) are about the tension between risk and reward. The DH breaks some of that tension by eliminating the risk for pitchers and for the DH (by eliminating the need to balance hitting strength with fielding ability – eg. they’re encouraged to be fat).

    It doesn’t sully the game, but it makes it less interesting. Of course the perversion of sport which are called the NY Fucking Yankees is alone enough to render the AL beyond defense.

  115. 115
  116. 116
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    No, Doug, it wasn’t fun to watch Sweetness grind out a yard, and I’m not saying this as a Packers’ fan, but as a football fan who appreciated the man’s electric running. That he had to grind out yardage between the tackles in ’77 (in order to control the clock and keep the Bears’ defense rested) out of necessity to advance the team to the playoffs was an admirable sacrifice on his part- he was capable of blowing by O.J. Simpson’s single-season rushing record. Greatest football player I’ve ever seen.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Manchin will do anything to prove his “independence”.

    I think that the ad while running for Senate was clearly an effort to emphasize he would not be a lockstep D vote if elected. IMO, the man is a naive moron in every other regard. All of the interviews I have seen with him enforce his lack of mental ability. He thinks that getting “something” done is important, even if it’s something with overall harmful aspects.

  119. 119
    raven says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Ditto. I got to go to his last game at Soldier Field (which we lost on a fucking Bosoworth Pick 6)!

  120. 120

    Fantasy football reminds me of the baseball-collecting frenzy of twenty-five years ago. There were a lot of people where I worked who spent big bucks on their “baseball card investments” back then. They were also, by and large, the guys who would bet the weekly football cards that Joe the bookie handed out at his diner back then.

    I’ve never gotten into gambling (with the exception of a lotto ticket here and there). There’s the hope that the gambler holds that he can predict the future, but the odds mean that the majority of gamblers don’t predict the future. I’m guessing there’s a little of that with fantasy football. I’m not so much angry at it as I’m totally disinterested in it. I also don’t like the designated hitter although it’s been around so long I kind of forget why I don’t like it. Watching a batting lineup the pitcher was usually a period at the end of the sentence.

    It reminds me of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf2nVbHMJ-o

  121. 121
    handsmile says:

    @Mike E:

    I’d ask about your scoring record but this is a family blog.

    And sadly, stealing comments rarely leads to a life of fame and fortune.

  122. 122
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Fantasy sports is for sissies who don’t like to get dirty and would rather geek out around a kitchen table than play a game of pickup basketball. Discuss.

  123. 123
    Mike E says:

    Ibrahimavic has 4. 5-0.

  124. 124
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @raven:

    That’s Bears’ quarterbackin’ for ya.

    BTW, although you wrote it the way you did, I’m still reading it, “…his last game overbydare at Soldiers Field…”.

  125. 125

    OK what the hell is Fantasy Football? You fantasize about your favorite football players?

  126. 126
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Mmmmm, that JJ Watt. He sure is dreamy!

  127. 127
    dedc79 says:

    @raven: I haven’t, but will check it out. Huff is actually interviewed in that same Giants’ video. I know he never forgave them for the circumstances under which left the team, and took pleasure in the redskins 72-41 drubbing of the Giants a few years later.

    I’m a Giants exile living in DC, and (at least until recently) Huff was still doing some color-commentary for the redskins radio broadcast, where it remains clear how much of a grudge he still holds against NY.

  128. 128
    JustRuss says:

    @dedc79: Also too, longer games means more commercial$.

  129. 129
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @rdldot:

    Where you been?

    For the last 8-10 months I’ve been busier than the proverbial one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest which sadly leaves little time for commenting on blogs and often not even time for lurking. I’m not complaining mind you, there are worse problems to have. Today is a rare exception to that rule.

    Thanks for asking.

  130. 130
    Mike E says:

    @handsmile: Messi with 5, 10 players (if Zlatan is done today) have 4 in a match.

    ETA He just missed flicking one in. Toying with them.

  131. 131
    jl says:

    I dunno., I’m trying to decide whether to trade my Bush 2 for a Buchanan and a Coolidge in my fantasy Alternative U.S. History League. Seems like a steal to me, but what did those two do in last week’s games? Nothing that I could see.

  132. 132

    @Corner Stone: I had to google him, not sure that I agree. You know who is dreamy, Gingerbatch!

  133. 133

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    I’ve been busier than the proverbial one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest

    Way back when, I took a job with a shady mortgage outfit doing some compliance work. I was young. I needed the money. Anyhoo, COO calls me into his office and asks me how it’s going. “Busier than a one legged man on a skateboard,” I replied. He swung his leg up on the desk and knocked on his wooden leg. I resigned shortly thereafter.

  134. 134
    JPL says:

    @Mike E: Well shit.. hopefully, he has an explanation because now he made the news about him.

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OT: Another school shooting. Second one this week. Both math teachers.

  136. 136
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    A group of fans gets together and “drafts” individual players (usually, but not always, offensive skill players- QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs and Ks- as well as a team defense/special teams unit) and score their “teams” weekly, based on the stats generated in the weekend’s actual games.

  137. 137
    Mike E says:

    @ranchandsyrup: I just love that scene in Little Big Man!

  138. 138

    @Mike E: I should really know better. My “uncle” Don (family friend) had a wooden leg and used to prank people all the time by unhooking the leg and saying he was tired and needed help getting his boot off. The unsuspecting helper would pull the leg off and sometimes fall. He was a good man.

    ETA: Don’t think I’ve seen Little Big Man. *embarrassed*

  139. 139
    Uriel says:

    could Superman beat Spiderman

    You’re kidding, right?

  140. 140
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Uriel:

    IIRC, this was played out in a Marvel-DC crossover publication in the ’70s. I think it ended in a draw.

  141. 141
    Mike E says:

    @ranchandsyrup: **SPOILER** Irony happens, often, in the movie.

  142. 142

    @Mike E: The ironing is delicious. I’ll put it in the queue, thx.

  143. 143
    handsmile says:

    @Mike E:

    Match commentator just said that today was the Anderlecht goalkeeper’s 21st birthday! Oh my. Both his candles and his team were blown out by PSG.

    Messi continues to reign supreme! (With El Clasico this Sunday!)

  144. 144
    askew says:

    So, I renewed my benefits today and ended up saving money on my medical insurance. It was about $10 less per month. However, the company is taking $3 per paycheck for the ACA Reinsurance Fee. Isn’t that what was delayed 1 year with the debt ceiling deal? And can companies really charge a fee to their employees to cover this and how do we know they aren’t just scamming us to make money?

  145. 145
    KG says:

    So, apparently, the Tea Party challenger for Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Senate race, has some, um, problems… Like being a regular speaker at neo-confederate conventions.

  146. 146

    @ranchandsyrup:

    The DH (and other changes such as lowering the mound) were instituted to swing the pendulum away from pitching dominance. I don’t think it was intended to be permanent. I think that things swung too far toward hitters (esp. during “steriod” era but still today).

    The basic problem is that people assume that the game is self-regulation, and scoring will stay stable without regular tweaks to the rules. That is not at all true. The long term trend has been for scoring to decline over time, requiring regular tweaks to bring it back up. So you get livelier baseballs, elimination of defaced ball pitching, a smaller strike zone, lower mound, etc. The problem is that the decline in scoring tends to be gradual so people get used to it, while the increases happen in steps as the rules change, so people see it as somehow wrong.

    FWIW, you’re factually incorrect about things having swung too far toward hitters today. Average scoring in 2013 was 4.00 R/G in the NL and 4.33 R/G in the AL, both of which are below the historical norm of about 4.5 R/G. A big chunk of that seems to be two rule changes that actually helped pitchers: reduction in the allowable diameter of the bat from 2.75″ to 2.61″ and the de-facto raising of the top of the strike zone. If there’s a problem with baseball today, it’s that the game tends to center too much around strikeouts, walks, and home runs rather than more exciting balls in play.

  147. 147
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    frankly I don’t think Bobo and Ron Fournier would find Sherman’s march to the sea so leadershipy and compromisy if it happened today.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, Bobo is Obama’s biggest fan these days. He’s mostly a concern troll about Republican extremists, and rightly so of course, and tut-tutting about that, but I can’t think of anyone more essentially in line with Barack Obama’s policy decisions than Brooks.

    Fournier, definitely, but Brooks and Obama are actually fairly close in outlook these days.

  148. 148
    MikeJ says:

    @KG: Why do you think that will bother anybody voting in a Republican primary in Mississippi?

  149. 149
    fuckwit says:

    They’re counter-factuals. One of the things I like about Obama is he seems allergic to counterfactuals.

  150. 150
    Berial says:

    @KG: Feature/Bug? Depends on how the voters look at it eh?

  151. 151
    KG says:

    @MikeJ: it probably won’t, or hell, it might help him… but it’s just once more spot where the Tea Party will fuck itself over – because at some point, it’ll be a national story, especially if he wins the primary.

  152. 152
    MikeJ says:

    @KG: I don’t believe that the national press is going to get all excited over a southern culture enthusiast. Both sides do it.

    It takes two people for a lynching, a white supremacist and black person to be the victim. It’s just like you liberals to put all the blame on just one of those people.

  153. 153
    maya says:

    A $1 thrillion invasion was launched because of a “slam dunk” metaphor. Supposedly.

    And, in every developing political scenario and almost all 3rd down and 4 situations, I always ponder what Genghis Khan would do.

  154. 154

    @Roger Moore: Yeah, you’re right, it is only my perception and biases that lead me to opine that the pendulum is still on the hitters’ side.

    Crash Davis: Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.

    That was back when “fascist” meant something.

  155. 155
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @Uriel: Little known fact, Superman is afraid of spiders. I used to hang out with some B-list superheroes, one of whom knew Superman personally. She had a lot of cool stories.

  156. 156
    Anya says:

    @handsmile: . Trying to figure out if Oliver Willis doesn’t think Iraqi people were killed as a result of the Iraq war or that death of Iraqis doesn’t matter.

  157. 157
    batgirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: fuckin idiot! People died in Katrina and Iraq because of incompetence. And you don’t get to do any do-overs. The healthcare website is an inconvinence that will save lives asshole!

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anya:

    Or that he think’s it’s irrelevant since the comparison is deaths of Americans due to Obamacare, the Iraq War, and Hurricane Katrina? It’s hard to do a direct comparison otherwise.

    ETA: I’m pretty sure that zero Iraqis will die because the Obamacare website didn’t work right for the first few weeks.

  159. 159
    Anya says:

    @Mnemosyne: you might be right. The whole thing is depressing. I wish the MSM assholes will all DIAF.

  160. 160

    @dedc79:

    Baseball with (1) home run fences pushed back to where they used to be (2) strike zones expanded back to where they used to be (3) pitchers having to hit back the way it used to be would be a shorter and more entertaining game than it is now.

    Provided you think strikeouts are exciting. Strikeouts are already around their all-time high, and restoring the larger strikezone would drive them to the moon. So would making pitchers hit.

    The biggest problem with today’s game is that pitching staffs are too deep and hitters are too strong. Pitchers are afraid of pitching to contact, so they go for strikeouts, and they’re willing to put up with the extra work because bullpens are deep enough that managers can regularly pull the starter in the 6th inning. So making the game more exciting (i.e. more balls in play) means a combination of things. Reduce the size of pitching staffs so pitchers are forced to go after the hitters to be able to go deeper into games. Deaden the ball a bit or push the fences out- not necessarily an option given ballparks- to keep homeruns in control. Then maybe reduce the size of fielders’ gloves a bit so balls in play are more likely to drop for hits. You’ll get a more active, exciting style of play.

  161. 161
    Gene108 says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Vague memory of a Superman v Spidey comic where Superman throws a punch and pulls it up a foot or two from Spideys head. The “sonic boom” or whatever from the punch still had enough force to knock Spidey off his feet and send him flying.

    If it ended in a draw it is because Superman held back or Spidey got hold of some Kryptonite.

  162. 162
    LT says:

    Oh Fuck Off.

    I love watching Manning be a fucking quarterback instead of a coach’s message boy for boring.

    But yse, DH sucks a dog’s balls. Same with all the pitching changes. Big pitch counts? What the fuck’s wrong with that?

    Mullah – fuck. Just fuck, mostly.

  163. 163
    dedc79 says:

    @Roger Moore: On that last part – i’ve never understood why a home run is viewed to be more exciting than a triple. Or why people like watching outfielders stand at the fence as otherwise catchable balls land a few feet away.

  164. 164
    jamick6000 says:

    I 100% agree with you about fantasy football and inter league play … the other thing about interleague play is you barely get to play teams in your own league … there needs to be less of it, or better yet none.

    I hate these windy abstractions like “can Obama Lead.” The guys been leading. He’s the fucking leader. He led us out of Iraq and into the ACA. If he doesn’t play his assigned role in your fantasy football rotisserie grand bargain that doesn’t mean he can’t lead.

    i think this is pretty silly. what the pundits obviously mean here is “Obama is not a good leader.” just because someone is a CEO or a coach or a president doesn’t make them a good leader.

    With all the stuff Geithner pulled early on, the HAMP program, even this latest stuff with healthcare dot gov, it’s fair to say Obama leaves something to be desired as a manager.

  165. 165
    Steeplejack says:

    @aimai:

    Heh. I’m very late to the thread, but I was thinking the exact same thing.

  166. 166
    Heliopause says:

    Hate the DH (though I’m a lifelong AL fan), inter-league play, the wild-card, all the goddmamn pitching changes and every hitter taking a billion pitches at every at bat.

    Doug, if you hate both the DH and the strategery that it supposedly replaces you’re not being terribly consistent.

    Since this raises the opportunity for a rant of my own, allow me; purists generally dislike the DH because it removes some degree of bunting, pinch hitting, double switches, etc. that the purists feel are the embodiment of baseball, the thinking man’s sport. Nonsense. If you watch any quantity of baseball 95% of these brilliant strategic moves become utterly predictable and straight out of the book of conventional wisdom. If you spent your formative years saying to yourself,”pinch hit Manny Mota? Brilliant!” you’re either pathetic or stupid. What it comes down to, then, is whether you enjoy watching pitchers hit .150 and bunt in situations that would make Bill James spin in his grave, were he dead.

    What I dislike most is the rise of fantasy sports.

    Preach it, brother. I first started getting annoyed at fantasy football about two years ago, when I noticed there was a constant scroll on the bottom of the screen of Cam Newton’s stats. Every completion, every yard, every touchdown, there it was reported on my TV screen. Every time the sonofabitch went to the bathroom, there it was. And if you’re like me your eye is naturally drawn to the scroll so it’s hard to ignore it. So yeah, everything the 25th best quarterback in the NFL is doing is TMI, though now he’s at least having to compete with RGIII for vastly too much of my attention.

  167. 167

    @dedc79:

    On that last part – i’ve never understood why a home run is viewed to be more exciting than a triple.

    I think it’s considered to be exciting largely because of the threat of a bomb breaking open the game. There’s also some excitement when the ball barely clears the fence, especially if the fielder is one of the guys who can go over the fence to steal a homerun. That combination makes them exciting in anticipation, if not in actually watching one happen. That said, there don’t seem to be a lot of clean triples these days; many of them are the result of the fielder misplaying the ball- diving and letting the ball get by him, misplaying a carom, etc.- rather than pure speed and a deep hit ball, and I think that robs some of the excitement from the play.

    That said, I don’t think that sophisticated fans tend to see things that way. Back in my rec.sport.baseball days, I worked with another poster on an “Excitement Index” that tried to measure how exciting players were as opposed to how valuable they were. He came up with a scoring system that rated each batting outcome according to how much fun it is to watch. So an out on a ball in play is considered more exciting than a strikeout and, getting back to the point, a triple is considerably more exciting than a homer.

  168. 168
    Elie says:

    @jamick6000:

    Hehheh heh — I am continuously surprised at what people think that Obama can “manage” — I guess down to the last testing plan for the roll out of the web sites — HE should have managed those details.

    I think that he is a fine leader and a very good manager of a turbulent, extremely complex and time restricted process.

    Go see Gravity (the movie). The protagonist had to figure everything out on the fly — no time and things just were not perfect.. but you know — it gone done. This too also.

    Back when Medicare and Medicaid, the Brits NHS — there was no web and internet with instantaneous criticism and semi knowledge about what is happening. They had the luxury of a certain opacity and the time that paper processes give you. Not so now. Not so now…

  169. 169

    @jamick6000:

    i think this is pretty silly. what the pundits obviously mean here is “Obama is not a good leader.”

    No, it isn’t. It’s a way of blaming him for Republican obstructionism. That’s all it is, and all it ever has been.

  170. 170
    Elie says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    BEST QUOTE OF THE DAY — BAR NONE — IMHO

    LOL

  171. 171
    EthylEster says:

    DougJ wrote: What I dislike most is the rise of fantasy sports.

    YES. Very stupid. And so meta.

  172. 172
    Rachel in Portland says:

    @shortstop: That was the first thing I thought.

    The second thing was….that’s not very hip.

  173. 173
    Thymezone says:

    Good hitters are overmatched by good pitchers. I like a good 2-1 game with good pitching as much as the next baseball nutcase, but … complaining about hitters fouling off a lot of pitches? That is the number one defense against pitching in the war between plate and mound, a war which overwhelmingly favors the mound. Why would anyone be “against” it? That makes no sense whatever. Not only does it defend against the unhittable array of dazzlers coming down from a good pitcher, it’s working in another way, which is to make the guy throw pitches until he either hangs one or starts to tire later in the game. Either way, I can’t believe that a baseball fan would want to bitch about fighting back at the plate. Nothing better in a good duel between a fine hitter and crafty pitcher than seeing a guy foul off six or eight and then whack one to the fence. Hell yeah.

  174. 174
    Thymezone says:

    And the DH? It sucks, but so does having pitchers hit. Lesser of two evils. Most pitchers can’t hit a ball off a tee, who the hell wants to watch the rally killer waste outs all afternoon? You can have the DH rule taken out, as long as I can have an eight-man batting order.

  175. 175
    Savage Henry says:

    If you don’t like batters running long counts, you should become a Phillies fan. They lunge at the first pitch in almost every at bat.

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