It’s really too easy to piss on Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, and I’m slightly reluctant to pile on after his entry Friday into the Book of Moron, but his column in Sunday’s edition of the paper is just too chock full of insanity to let pass without comment.
And I’m not even referring to his celebration of Matt Kemp’s chase of the triple crown.
Yes, batting average gives a horribly incomplete measure of a player’s worth as a hitter. And the RBI is an even more useless stat. Aaaand, as good as Kemp has been this year, Albert Pujols has had like four seasons with better triple crown stats, he just hasn’t happened to lead the league in all three categories those years.
But I get it. The Triple Crown is an old-timey thing and if someone wants to think it’s cool, that’s fine. Give a shit– I don’t.
It’s later on the the piece, though, where things get infinitely more fucking dumb. Like when Simmons says that if he had an AL MVP vote, “Jose Bautista would be no better than fourth,” behind Ellsbury, Granderson and Verlander.
Oh, but he’s careful not to exactly make the dead-end moronic suggestion that it’s because Bautista isn’t on a playoff teamt. No, no. Simmons would much rather just invent another asinine angle from which to approach the question, explaining that Jose’s numbers weren’t good enough “in the second half, where pennants are won and MVPs born.”
So… apparently nothing that happens in the first half has anything to do with pennants being won. Clean slate after the all-star break, eh Stevie! Fucking Bautista and his useless .913 second half OPS, amiright?
The mind fucking boggles… and then explodes into a million-billion pieces later on, when Simmons points out how strikingly similar Verlander and Ricky Romero have been in the second half, in terms of innings, hits, earned runs, homers, opponents average and WHIP.
SO WHY THE FUCK ISN’T RICKY IN THE CONVERSATION? After all, he was as good as Verlander– by your horseshit measures– in the second half, where pennants are won and MVPs born.
Oh, but there’s more.
Simmons also tries to dumb down the fucking mouth-breathers in his audience even further by dumbfuckically declaring that “the absolute best free-agent signing of 2010″ was “Jose Valverde, who has been a perfect 47-for-47 in save situations.”
Does the Toronto Sun actually fucking let someone who is unfamiliar with Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre write about baseball? Or… wait, what? Best signing of 2010? OK, maybe just doesn’t know who Matt Holiday is.
Whatever the case– and why the fuck he’s talking about a guy who signed two winters ago and referencing his stats this season not withstanding– the fact that Simmons actually, seriously, in two-thousand-and-fucking-eleven thinks that a 0.8 fWAR 70-inning pitcher who walks over 4 guys per nine innings and happens to have somehow managed to not fuck up a save situation is a really, really great signing is… well, I was going to say astounding, but I guess it’s really not. It’s just amazingly fucking wrongheaded.
And there’s still more!
“If Colby Rasmus is such a steal,” Simmons asks, “why is he hitting 60 points less with the Blue Jays (.185) than he hit in St. Louis, where the Cards thought he was slumping?”
BECAUSE IT’S FAR TOO SMALL A SAMPLE SIZE TO BE ANYWHERE CLOSE TO INDICATIVE OF HIS ACTUAL TALENT LEVEL, YOU FUCKING DOLT!
And my personal favourite: “Moneyball is a better book than it is a concept: If the Oakland A’s didn’t have Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito to base their rotation around, all the rest of the scouting machinations would have been meaningless.”
Because, y’know, if you have three really good pitchers, that’s all you need– right, 2011 San Francisco Giants?
But you’re right, Steve. Oakland didn’t innovate. They just rode the backs of three great pitchers– who the A’s had absolutely nothing to do with acquiring and keeping– and definitely didn’t start looking for market inefficiencies and opportunities to exploit the system in ways that were later adopted by Boston, Toronto, Tampa and basically the entire rest of the fucking league. Just totally meaningless scouting machinations, right?
For fuck sakes.
I mean, I’ll at least give Simmons one thing: he sure as fuck is willing to keep on waging a losing battle.
But my god, it’s fucking unbelievable that major newspapers actually continue to employ columnists to shit out thoughts so outdated and plainly wrong that they would have just about every front office in the league laugh in their fucking faces for offering such “expertise.” Just seriously unbelievable.