Rob Neyer: Royals fan and jackass game thread: June 18, Royals at Braves

Seriously, what a jackass.

So here we have Rob Neyer. West Coast-living, Kansas City Royals-supporting, American League-superiority-proclaiming Rob Neyer. A man who knows essentially nothing about the Atlanta Braves, and little enough about the National League East generally (which is why he keeps picking the Mets) and is perfectly capable — as he has proven again and again — of not mentioning the Braves for weeks at a time even if they’re in first place. And he takes it upon himself to partake in some good, old-fashioned, unprovoked and unsupported character assassination. Apparently, Chipper Jones, a player who has again and again renegotiated his contract to help the team and who moreover is in no way obligated to retire even if he can’t get out of bed, is primarily motivated by greed. Or so says Rob Neyer, anyway.

Now let’s go kick some “superior league” ass. Again.

99 thoughts on “Rob Neyer: Royals fan and jackass game thread: June 18, Royals at Braves”

  1. Reposted from last thread (b/c I am curious to see if anyone agrees w/ me or if I am just crazy):

    So all the World Cup talk got me to thinking – organized soccer should get rid of the offsides call. I don’t say this lightly (oh who am I kidding, of course I do) – but hear me out. I played soccer growing up, and as I got older until it was apparent I had neither the coordination nor endurance to be serious about it at all. But I think, as a “casual” fan, getting rid of the offsides call would be a good change for the game. I know that, in a lot of ways, it would change the overall structure of the game. But I also think it would open up the game in ways that, under the current setup, people can barely imagine (and would ultimately be a huge boon for the sport).

    I know that a lot of people are happy with the game as is – but wouldn’t a big chunk of them be even happier with more action, strategy & scoring?

  2. I don’t think anyone likes cherry-picking offenses in any sport. A change of possession at midfield could too easily result in nothing more than a boot into the box where an offensive player is one on one with a goalkeeper.

    Or, it would just result in defenses stacking the box with defenders, and never pushing up into the play, which would actually hurt offenses. With the offsides rule, defenders can push up the field to help with possession and offensive chances, secure in the knowledge that the opposing team’s players cannot sneak down the field behind them.

    If you’re gonna eliminate offsides, we should also give goalies free reign to light up an offensive player who is behind the defense like a linebacker on a possession receiver crossing over the middle. THAT is something people would watch.

  3. @2 – You might as well let the players use their hands. The beautiful game would just become a wrestling match in the penalty area.

  4. @3 – I like that idea “If you’re gonna eliminate offsides, we should also give goalies free reign to light up an offensive player who is behind the defense like a linebacker on a possession receiver crossing over the middle. THAT is something people would watch”.

    Johnny, I don’t see how that is a valid comparison. My point about offsides is that taking away the offsides penalty would change the dynamics of the game, in the way that offenses & defenses set up. Currently you have a ton of 0-0, 1-0 & 1-1 games. I ran a quick check – of 22 games played so far, there were 7 1-0 games, 4 1-1 games and 2 0-0 games. 13 of 22 games where neither team scored more than one goal. My thought was that eliminating offsides would allow offenses to have more creativity, and force defenses to be adaptable than just ‘packing the box’ and hoping for a tie or whatever. I don’t at all see that being on the same level as allowing players to use their hands

  5. Well, as I said above, I don’t think eliminating offisdes will have the impact you expect. More likely, it will result in defensive strategies where the defense stacks the box full of defenders in front of the keeper. There won’t be any incentive to push the defenders forward up the field and into the play, because that will just expose weaknesses behind them. Too much play will devolve into ‘hail mary’ type long balls into a mass of bodies clogging the goal mouth.

    It’s also easier to tackle a player who is coming toward you, than a player who you’re either chasing, or running along side. Defenders in the box would have an easier time neutralizing the attackers coming toward them.

  6. The scene: A subway platform, two Phillies fans have just finished their second verbal squabble with a group of Yankee fans.

    They’re both leaning against a filthy wall, drunk & mouth-breathing, one wearing an Utley jersey, the other Victorino.

    I say, “Hey, good game tonight. Phils looked pretty good. You guys are in first place, right?”

    “Uh, no…”

    “No? Really? Who is?”


    “I know, I just wanted to hear you say it.”

    They looked dumbfounded, then asked directions. I could’ve sent them to Yonkers, but I’d had my fun.

  7. Thanks Dix – that is the type of explanation I was looking for. I just brought it up b/c it seemed like every time I turned on a game, a team was ‘trapping’ the opponent into an offsides call (by moving up the field so the defender was behind them).

    That’s all the soccer I’ll add at this point – back to the Braves for me! Gotta say, the last few years have conditioned me to expecting the worst (while ALWAYS still hoping for the best) – this season has been way different than what I expected (in a good way). First place is always sweet. I just wish the Mets would fall apart…and I love ububba’s stories!

  8. BTW, I found myself really getting into the USA soccer match today.

    I don’t know enough about the game to pick apart that call, but it sure looked all-time awful to me. Plus, the defender practically had a bear hug on another US attacker.

  9. Jonathan – Dix just said what I meant in more detail. I also have a tendency to forget that sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text on a blog.

    Read the Neyer article. Sigh. On the internet anyone with an opinion can be a ‘journalist’.

    ubbubba – I haven’t seen the game or highlights but typically a good referee will wait until a full play unfolds before blowing the whistle. By calling that foul the referee removed the U.S. advantage which is a big no no.

  10. well how about this….my boy from UAB, Graeme McDowell is leading the pack by a few shots at the US OPEN. Amazing that we played together every day for 3.5 years

  11. I read the article by Neyer and maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t think it was necessarily all that bad. And I sure could believe how it might be true. Yes, I’m sure the owners would love for Chipper to leave that guaranteed money on the table and just walk away. And I also could understand why he might not want to do so.

    As far as soccer goes (why oh why does every thread at this site end up going off topic so quickly?), it is far too resistant to change to eliminate the offside rule. Nobody really wants to see teams just station an attacking player near the opposition net to wait for long breakout passes. And soccer’s governing body is about as resistant to change as baseball’s is. Not gonna happen. Heck, you wouldn’t believe how much bitching the sudden death overtime rule in soccer (the so-called “golden goal”) caused and they had to get rid of that. Besides there are many millions of fans who don’t agree with your proposal any way and think that soccer is just fine as it is and they could care less if you feel the need to Americanize the game to make it “better”, much like YOU, yes YOU Mr. Jonathan, might not be real happy if some Brit came up with ways to make baseball “better” like eliminating walks, making 2 outs end an inning instead of 3, and so on. It cuts both ways dude.

  12. Well, eliminating walks would obviously destroy baseball, because there would be no reason to throw strikes.

    As for why the threads always go off track, it’s because I always post four hours before game time.

  13. @14,

    Mac, you could say that about almost all the countries (at least European) that Germany plays. It’s sort of the “countries we conquered for a short time before we got our asses kicked” tour.

  14. the braves, and chipper, say bring it KC!

    1. Prado 2B, 2. Heyward RF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Glaus 1B, 6. Hinske LF, 7. Escobar SS, 8. Cabrera CF, 9. Lowe RH

  15. @18 – your 2nd paragraph is actually pretty close to the conversation that I had in my head prior to posting my comment. But I still (obviously) posted it, as I wanted to get some opinions from those more informed than myself about the relative strengths/weaknesses of the argument (thanks Dix & johnny).

    And I am ashamed to admit I have nothing to add to the Germany comments, other than to think that there must be a joke around somewhere about the results of Germany & France playing against each other (not that THAT is original or anything)…

    I’m actually kinda looking forward to seeing KC – I read Joe Posnanski & Rany Jazayerli a lot, and probably know as much about the Royals as any other team out there other than the Braves. Hopefully the guys who have been easy outs (Betancourt, Kendall, especially) for them all season will continue to do so

  16. This lineup certainly looks well-fed.

    2-3-4-5-6 will kick your ass.

    And 8 might sit on you afterwards.

  17. @20, it’s a direct reference to Gavarilo Princip, the Serbian nationalist who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set off WWI

  18. I think it’s the Columbia Journalism Review that puts out great fake headlines. My favorite:

    “Archduke Ferdinand Found Alive
    World War a Mistake”

  19. I was watching the US game today in a restaurant with someone from France who is working in our office for awhile. He said he hated soccer and preferred hockey and American football. I was amazed.


    I understand that. But Germany plays other countries with which it has had some unpleasant dealings as well–it might be easier to count the countries it hasn’t.

  20. According to ESPN, the KC Royals lead all of baseball in BA (.279) and are 2nd in hits (649). I was not aware of that.

  21. I was not aware of #29, but I think most of us are aware of #30 :-)

    Atlanta is 10th in MLB in BA, at .263, but 3rd in OBP, getting on base at a .352 clip. KC is 11th, at .335 – which is not awful, but given what a high proportion of OBP is made up of by BA, that is quite the disparity.

    ATL is 6th in runs scored, 2nd in the NL behind Cincy.

    ATL is 1st in all of baseball in walks taken, with 302. Almost twice as many as last place Houston (with 154), and 26 ahead of the 2nd place Yankees. Heyward, Chip, Glaus – lots of guys willing to take a walk. Nice change from the Frenchy years…

    And I know that this is re: fantasy baseball, but here is a nice article on Tommy Hanson:

  22. @31, there’s no way they can appear to be tearing down the team at this point. Maybe around the break, and maybe not even then inside the division. Willingham is still team controlled next year, so he won’t come cheap in any event.

  23. Royals and Kyle Davies…can’t possibly have a better chance to win your first game KK!!!

  24. Tim Hudson from DOB’s AJC blog:
    “I don’t think we’re a club that people look at with a lot of fear, like, ‘Oh, gosh, here come the bombers [to] town.’ But I think after we play somebody and they see us for a while, they know that we’re no pushovers. The way we pitch, the way we play defense, we put together good at-bats, we don’t throw away many at-bats.”

    He continued: “We’re a tough, gritty team. Which, to be honest with you, really wasn’t the personality of the Braves in the few years past. I just think we have a little bit of a different personality out there on the field, and it shows in the kind of games that we play and the kind of games that we win.”

  25. Or the stabbing in Alabama (may not have been Alabama) over NCAA Football 08 (may not have been 08)?

  26. 40—Well, drat. Unless that’s a Rosenthal report (can’t read it on my phone), in which case it carries no weight.

  27. Anyone have a take on the reversed call/phantom 6-3 put out in the Stros-Royals game?

    I kind of think a lot of bloggers and journalists are complaining because it’s just another chance to write about umpires. I think they got the call exactly right.

  28. 45- That’s the feel up here in KC as well.

    Jose Guillen terrifies me tonight. He’d go 0-5 with 3K’s vs Hanson, but something about Lowe just doesn’t sit well with me. Also, Billy Butler hits a ton of ground balls and DP’s. That might be a saving grace

  29. Phillies must have a new pair of binoculars. They just hung 8 ER on Nick Blackburn in a little over an inning.

  30. @2 – I agree completely. The offsides rule is probably the biggest reason I don’t like soccer. It quite absurdly penalizes teams for being good, and makes it so that papers can legitimately say that one team “dominated” another in a 1-0 win. How quaint. It just makes the whole sport silly.

  31. I, for one, feel that ‘out of bounds’ makes american football a silly sport….

  32. Bannister gets ‘Stairway To Heaven’ from the organ player…

    I give up on why Podsednik gets ‘Merry Christmas Santa’ by the Beach Boys…

  33. Lowe, how can you walk Podsednik? At worst he is going to hit a single. Jesus.

    Edit: it drives me nuts to see Lowe suddenly lose all command, and then look down at his pitching hand after throwing one in the dirt, as if it is his hand’s fault.

  34. I kind of think a lot of bloggers and journalists are complaining because it’s just another chance to write about umpires. I think they got the call exactly right.

    Exactly right? They allowed the Astros to record a 6-3 out without ever throwing to first. Geoff Blum is Mr. Automatic all the sudden? Either keep the call or overturn it, picking an outcome in the middle shouldn’t be an option.

  35. I guess I can maybe understand why casual fans may be turned off by the offsides rule, but c’mon…

    Allow me to add to the list of analogies. Getting rid of the offsides rule in soccer would be like letting wide receivers line up well behind the defense, or even in the end zone. Sure, defenses could adapt to the new style of play, but the end result would just be stupid.

  36. So they should give the Astros a double-play when they knew they got the call wrong?

    Or they should penalize the Astros by taking away the out they would have gotten 95 percent of the time, and rule everybody safe?

    Or you rule that he caught a ball that he didn’t catch, so the batters out, but take away the out recorded at second, because, hey, he didn’t actually catch it, they just said he did?

    On fair-foul plays the umps have the right to rule where the runners go if it’s overturned. Same on missed catches in the outfield. The only difference here is that in the outfield, a missed catch is a catch or a single. In the infield, if he doesn’t catch it, he has a chance to get the batter out anyway.

  37. JS has been on the Royals broadcast the past inning. Said Chipper will play as long as he wants to. Also, apparently Billy Butler grew up around where Chipper did in Florida and has a huge man crush on the guy.

  38. As the previous post-thanks for the warm welcome, stu.
    I didn’t imagine it^.*

    I often pass over posts unless you are not mention my name.
    I am one of the braves’ fans wherever I am.
    Anyway, Something has been changed. Surprising and Encouraging at the moment!

  39. So they should give the Astros a double-play when they knew they got the call wrong?

    Or they should penalize the Astros by taking away the out they would have gotten 95 percent of the time, and rule everybody safe?

    These are the options. Neither is good but that’s the downside to blowing an easy call. You can’t just assume the play would be made when it wasn’t.

  40. Heyward’s strikeouts are piling up. Bannister’s only two strikeouts tonight are against Heyward.

  41. Ahhh. We’ve been playing good teams for so long I forgot how nice it is to play the terrible ones.

  42. Lowe knows so much about winning that he needs to spend a week with the U.S. men’s soccer team.

  43. Kanekoa Texeira? I think MLB’s random name generator needs an upgrade. That one’s not believable.

  44. This may be borderline absurd, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Strasburg ends up in the All Star game.

    7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K vs. White Sox.

  45. Rudy, that makes sense if he keeps pitching this way. The Nats only have two or three other good possibilities, Willingham, Zimmerman, and maybe Dunn. None of them are dominating or selling jerseys like Strasburg.

  46. Heyward’s strikeouts have skyrocketed with the thumb injury. He still hits balls hard, but the injury has put a hole in his swing.

  47. Took a lot of pitches for Wags to get through the 9th.

    Somebody else may get the chance at a save tomorrow should the need arise.

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