Friday, December 09, 2005

Sans Stats

I was going to skip Sans Stats today, mainly because I’ve been linking to other articles and commenting on them all week. But that was for baseball’s Winter Meetings, and Sans Stats does not discriminate the sports. Everyone will be ripped on equally, and that goes doubly for ESPN’s Skip Bayless.

Honestly, there is no question in my mind as to Bayless’s stupidity and his rank as the absolute worst sportswriter I have ever read. But his latest article (which I am very reluctant to link to) makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a screwdriver – phillips head, of course. In this article, he makes quite a bold statement: the Colts are going undefeated, and the only team that can stop them are the Bengals. Or at least that’s what he implies.

What are the consequences if Bayless is wrong? None, of course, since he only implies that the Colts are going undefeated. He never actually says those concrete words, though he is by his own admittance a wimp. Couldn’t agree more, Skip. And what makes him more of a wimp is the cop-out to end his column:

Better judgment: "Be a man. Predict the Bengals will be the first and last team to beat this year's Colts, on Jan. 22."

Inner wimp: "I have a headache. I'll finish this column later."


Are you kidding me? A column full of “Bengals are great, Bengals are great, they can beat the Colts, I want to perform fellatio on Chad Johnson,” and all we get is a non-ending like this? ESPN pays this guy?

First of all, I think predictions like this are friggin’ stupid, especially coming from a sportswriter. If Chad Johnson wants to say the Bengals will score 40 points a game and land in the Super Bowl, that’s his prerogative. But for a hack like Bayless to make half a prediction, and kind of back off it is just inexcusable. In fact, that’s why the column is so bad: there is absolutely no point to it. If he’s trying to be bold and make a prediction, he failed because he never actually said it.

I’m not a Cold Pizza watcher, mainly because I try to avoid all ESPN content except games and the occasional Sports Center. But I might be inclined to tune in on Monday morning if the Jaguars knock off the Colts on Sunday, which is well within the realm of possibility. I know Woody Paige (who isn’t a genius himself) will call him out on it, and it will be interesting to hear Bayless’s defense of his ambiguous column. Actually, it will probably be just that: “the column was ambiguous, Woody. I never actually said that the Bengals were the only team that could beat the Colts, I just said there’s a good chance it will turn out that way.”

In which case I will turn off the TV and lose all respect for ESPN. Not that I have a ton left, anyway.

Down in sunny F-L-A, Mainland High School is entrenched in controversy over plans to erect a statue of alum Vince Carter.

“There have been many students graduated from that school who have made wonderful contributions to their fellow man — in science, health, theater. Where are their statues?" Board member Judy Conte asked, to which she added, “Plus, he’s a dick. Why do we want a statue of a dick in front of our school?”

Carter made plenty of headlines last season, after allegedly dogging it for the Toronto Raptors, which forced them into a trade with the New Jersey Nets. In exchange for Carter, the Raptors received 40 acres and a mule.

I think people are missing the real point here. Per FoxSports.com, “The sculpture will feature his image holding a basketball and two children at opposite ends of a granite footbridge.” Wait, wait, we need to back this one up. Children? The statue is going to feature Carter with children? I think the important question to ask here is: would you trust Vince Carter with your children?

Apparently Vince plans to open a youth basketball clinic at the gymnasium, where he’ll teach children that if you bitch and moan enough, you’ll get your way.
(That’s some pretty terrible advice. Well, he’s a pretty terrible citizen).

Manny Ramirez’s house is on the market, reportedly for $6.9 million. Some real estate brokers think this is too steep an investment, which means this could just be a publicity ploy. If Ramirez fetches the near $7 mil and ends up staying with the Red Sox, he could easily find a place at a better price and wind up making a pretty penny from the sale.

Chances are, however, that he will neither see the $6.9 million nor be traded from the Red Sox. There are very few suitors left for Ramirez, none of which could offer compensation that would nearly make up for Ramirez’s bat. Though, if the situation becomes dire, they know Omar Minaya will always be ready with a Lastings Milledge package.

Over in the NFL, New Orleans/San Antonio/Baton Rouge Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks threatened to quit if the team moved one more time. No, I’m serious. Here’s the quote, if you don’t believe me:

"We move one more time and I'm quitting."

So many elementary school jokes to make here, and they’re all so good. To use one would be an insult to the rest. At least by making this…bold…statement, Brooks has ensured that he won’t land a starting gig next year – which inevitably means he’ll be picked up by the Jets.

And finally, the Idiots of the Week:

John Schuerholz – Marte for Renteria? Are you effing kidding me?
Mike Mularkey – For suspending Eric Moulds. Okay, so maybe Moulds deserved it, but it’s easier to blame Mularkey because he won’t be around next year.
J.P. Ricciardi – Obviously for Burnett. I heard somewhere that 1/6 of his strikeouts were the pitcher. Don’t know how accurate that is, but it makes me feel better.
Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette – for repeating the same mistake over and over again. Add bats when the pitching scene seems hopeless. Flip side of this award goes to Miguel Tejada, for being the smartest player in Orioles history, demanding to be traded.

And THE Idiot of the Week goes to: Matt Millen! It’s unanimous in Detroit.

It’s been real, and it’s been fun. But was it all real fun? Have a good weekend, folks.