Yeah, I can’t pass up anything that A. takes a swipe at a known PED user, B. makes fun of the Snorioles in any, way, shape or form, C. shows how poorly rendered the Gold Glove Awards are and D. alludes to just how pathetic Canada (and their sports in general) are.
This is too funny:
Rafael Palmeiro was awarded an American League Gold Glove in 1999 in probably the worst awards decision in sports history. Here we look for anybody who might have come to Palmeiro’s defense.
Dec 2, 2011 – Hyperbole is everywhere you look in the world of sports. This guy is the best shortstop of all time. This guy is the worst quarterback in the league. This highlight was the best play of the year. There is so much careless exaggeration from all sides at all times that I think a lot of us have grown numb to it. Hearing that something was the worst or the best just means that it was bad, or good, and seldom more that that.
But I am being completely, absolutely honest when I say that Rafael Palmeiro’s American League Gold Glove award in 1999 is probably the worst sports award ever. It’s the sports award equivalent of those CFL teams drafting dead guys. You probably don’t need me to go over the history, but to quickly go over the history, Palmeiro won the Gold Glove at first base in ’99 despite starting 28 games at first base and 128 games at DH.
It’s not that Palmeiro was necessarily a bad first baseman – he had won consecutive Gold Gloves as a full-timer in 1997 and 1998. It’s that, in 1999, Palmeiro wasn’t a first baseman. He won an award for a position he hardly played.
Terrible. And also, an opportunity. An opportunity to test a theory of mine that, no matter what happens, and no matter the consensus, there will always be a contrarian. According to my theory, there must have been somebody who came out in defense of Palmeiro winning the award. I spent too much time trying to track that somebody down. Below are some of my findings.
To give you an idea of how frequently Palmeiro’s Gold Glove award is cited, even today, one needs to look no further than the Google drop-down when you enter his name:
It really is terrifying how accurately that captures the things for which Palmeiro is remembered. Palmeiro is most remembered for his stats, his hilarious Gold Glove, and his endorsement of Viagra. While Rafael Palmeiro won more than just the 1999 Gold Glove, it is safe to say that people aren’t searching in huge volumes for information about his two previous seasons.
Whenever Palmeiro’s Gold Glove is cited now, it’s done to remind the audience that the Gold Gloves are flawed and barely relevant. Nobody now is going to come to Palmeiro’s defense. So I narrowed my search to results from 1999. I figured my best bet would be looking at responses that were fresh, immediate.
The responses were critical. Heavily, consistently, predictably critical. A representative response, from Jack O’Connell:
The biggest oversight was at first base in the American League. The choice was the Rangers’ Rafael Palmeiro,which was ludicrous not because he isn’t a good fielder, but because he played only 28 games at the position this year.
Even the Associated Press threw in some voice. The opening of the AP article on the awards:
Seems like some managers and coaches weren’t paying much attention this year.
Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro won his third straight American League Gold Glove despite playing just 28 games at the position this year.
All right, so maybe a Rangers beat writer stood up for the team’s star player. Evan Grant?
The off-season is becoming an embarrassment of riches for Rangers designated hitter and first baseman Rafael Palmeiro.Tuesday, the emphasis was on embarrassment.
What about Palmeiro himself? Surely Rafael Palmeiro would support Rafael Palmeiro winning the Gold Glove, right? Phil Rogers:
“When I heard about it, I laughed,” said Palmeiro, who nevertheless is expected to cash the $50,000 check he will receive because of a bonus clause in his contract with the Texas Rangers. “I guess people are respecting me for what I’ve done in the past.”
The $50,000 bonus check is an overlooked part of this story. Palmeiro didn’t just win an award he shouldn’t have won – he won an award he shouldn’t have won, and got $50,000 he shouldn’t have gotten. That is $1,786 for every game he started at first base!
From the same Rogers article:
“That’s a joke,” one AL executive said. “What are those guys thinking?”
I was just about to give up after two hours of research when I stumbled across this article at CNN/SI, written by … Ticker, whatever that is. No author put his name to this, which maybe isn’t surprising.
[...] Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro was a stunning recipient of his third straight award today.
Palmeiro, steady when healthy, was banged up the entire year and committed one error in 246 chances. By contrast, Palmeiro’s own teammate, Lee Stevens, posted a .994 fielding percentage over 1,292 chances at first base.
This does not support Palmeiro winning the award. However, this is the most supportive article regarding Palmeiro winning the award. Literally, the most supportive that I found. “Steady when healthy.” “He shouldn’t have won, but hey, when he played, he was all right!
My theory is in tatters. Granted, I did not consult responses from everybody on the planet. I was limited in my research. It’s possible that there was somebody out there who thought Palmeiro deserved his Gold Glove. But based on what I found, I think Palmeiro’s win might literally be among the most indefensible things of all time. I don’t know that anybody even tried to defend it.
Including the voters. Rogers:
White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said he was taken aback when he learned Palmeiro had been named to the elite team of fielders. But while he can’t recall his exact ballot, he believes he could have voted for Palmeiro.
The Gold Gloves are so horrible.
So when I caught wind of him having his “Geraldo moment” and wasting one precious hour of his life that he’ll never get back, I immediately thought back to a stand-up routine by Henry Rollins (yes, he does a spoken word routine and it’s some of the funniest shit you’ll ever hear) where he goes off on people who waste his time pointing out “It’s part of my life I won’t get back. Like they’re murdering me, but just a little … with this really tiny knife“.
His recent post just plays into this motif all too perfectly:
I’m generally not a person who regrets things. Rare are the times when I’ve done something and later said “wow, that was a big mistake.” I mean, yes, things go bad sometimes, but even when they do I tend to try to find the good in it, even if it’s just a life lesson. I’m optimistic like that.
But I really, really hate myself for watching the new VH1 reality show “Baseball Wives” last night. Like, my self-loathing is at 11. I’ve taken three showers and I still can’t get the stench off.
For those of you unaware — and if you are unaware, consider yourself lucky — “Baseball Wives” is your standard “let’s put a bunch of crazy people together” reality show, but this one features the wives and girlfriends of ballplayers. Sort of. Some of them are the ex-wives and girlfriends. Those who aren’t exes are attached to guys who don’t play anymore.
We have Anna Benson, wife of Kris. Tanya Grace, ex-wife of Mark. Chantel Kendell, ex-wife of Jason. Brooke Villone, wife of Ron. Erika Williams, wife of Matt. And Jordana Lenz, who once dated Nyjer Morgan.
Most of us are familiar with Anna Benson, who was famous for her lad-mag photo shoots and for once going on Howard Stern and telling him that if Kris Benson were to cheat on her she’d sleep with the entire roster of the New York Mets. Obviously I’ve been secretly in love with her as a result of all of this for some some time. For those who care, the years have not been particularly kind of Ms. Benson. Most notably her voice, which sounds like a mix between a car without a muffler and Harvey Fierstein. You’ve heard someone’s voice described as “smoky?” Benson sounds like she huffed a coal-burning power plant.
The others are just some very crazy and/or very sad overly-made-up, overly-plastic surgeried drama queens. Ron Villone’s wife seems the most normal, which means she’ll probably be kicked off the show soon. Nyjer Morgan’s ex-girlfriend is a hot mess and, though we’ve joked about it in the past, may be proof positive that Tony Plush has serious mental problems. Or, actually, given that he broke up with her, maybe he’s totally sane. Hard to say. Grace and Williams’ wives are likely on the show because, since it’s set in Scottsdale, the Diamondbacks are probably obligated to send representatives.
I don’t watch a lot of reality shows, but the dynamics seem to be pretty par for the course: manufactured drama. Dropping unstable people into contrived situations. Probably a lot of drinks to get people talking nonsense. From what I can tell from people who see more of this than I do, this was on the extreme end of trashy for the genre, though. Random highlights:
- A brief cameo by Kyle Farnsworth‘s wife. Which established that, holy moly, Kyle Farnsworth actually married a human woman;
- Anna Benson buying furs. In Phoenix. And talking about how she loves animals, especially when they’re killed, gutted and put into a stole;
- “Baseball wives are generally bi****es” — One of the baseball wives;
- Nyjer Morgan’s ex talking about how she hopes she doesn’t run into Morgan while the Brewers were in Arizona for the playoffs and then going to the hotel where the Brewers were staying;
- Nyjer Morgan’s ex taking off her clothes and dancing on tables. Twice.
- Nyjer Morgan’s ex saying that she put up with him through the hell of losing in Pittsburgh and Washington and now he’s all big time since he got to Milwaukee;
- Gleeman texting me during the show and telling me that he’s in love with Chantel Kendall. I sort of hope he wasn’t being sarcastic, but I’m not sure;
- Chantel Kendall — who may be the biggest train wreck of the lot — talking about how she used to be verbally abused in past relationships. She’s been married twice so it may not have been Kendall who did it, but I really hate it when ugly reality intrudes on ugly reality shows. Kind of cast a legit pall on the proceedings for me;
- It was saved somewhat, however, when I realized about 40 minutes in that Anna Benson — Anna Benson! — was probably the most stable person on the show and will be providing the voice of reason going forward. This is just … I have no idea.
In sum: There is good. There is bad. There is so bad it’s good. Then there is kill it with fire and then kill myself bad. That’s baseball wives.
Can’t wait until the next episode.