There is nothing less powerful than fulminating at a television screen. Indeed, people yelling at screens has been a rich source of futility humor since at least The Honeymooners and probably before.
One step up from that is being a loudmouth at bars. Even if youâ€™re really, really persuasive (and letâ€™s face it â€“ persuasiveness is not the first attribute you think of when you think of loudmouths in bars) it would take years for your opinions to make it outside of a small circle of inebriated strangers.
The next step up, I think, is writing for a group blog on the Internet. Itâ€™s just a slightly bigger bar with somewhat less blotto readers, and thereâ€™s a chance that if you were sober enough to type, the arguments you make are slightly more coherent.
There are steps higher than that, but they are beyond my grasp. So when I write here, Iâ€™m at the apex of my powers. When I started ChipWatch, I was the guy yelling at the TV, the guy boring people in bars, who was given a very slightly larger megaphone.
I had fun with it, even as I struggled sometimes to vary the arguments against Chip. Frankly, the first things I said about Chip were as a commenter, and those things really encapsulated everything I felt. The rest was mere filigree, with examples…. and hopefully a few yuks.
In any case, my delusions of grandeur are undying, so I did have the faintest worry that someone in an actual position to do something about it would see what Iâ€™m saying, follow through, and leave Chip jobless. (I thought this in the firm conviction that no one else would ever hire him.) Because even though I thought Chip was pretty bad at his job, I wish ill on no one not named Jim Leyritz or Eric Gregg. And bad as he was, he was obviously trying, and that counts for something. Plus, plenty of you had no real issues with him at all. Who am I to serve as the Lord High Executioner of Competence?
So it is really with a spring in my step that I see Chip go back to St. Louis, his childhood stomping grounds. As bad as his Cubs bias was in Atlanta, though, it will be fatal in the Gateway to the West. So heâ€™d better be careful. Plus, everyone tells me (despite all evidence to the contrary) that Cardinals fans are the most knowledgeable in baseball. If that were actually true, Chip would be DOOOMED. And ChipWatch might return as early as April 3rd…. but there won’t be nearly as many of them. I promise.
As my father said: “Whenever a door closes, another one opens.” (My father was a fabulous life philosopher, and a horrible cabinetmaker.) So when the next foul ball is snagged by a fan from Cahokia Illinois, I’ll rest comfortable in the knowledge that that ball fell out of my earshot.
In any case, the retirement of ChipWatch leads me to one simple source of sadness. Braves Journal may be very powerful, but weâ€™ve just learned that no one in the Cardinals organization reads it. Hey… John Sterling is loved in The Bronx. So I’ll go with another Latin phrase: De gustibus non est disputandem. Suck it up, Redbirds. We got Ozuna and you got Caray. Hard to believe, but we win.
Had eloquent fulmination lacked power, JonathanF, this moment would not have come.
This is the day our rants have made — let us rejoice and be glad in it!
We’ve got Ozuna alright.
Rather ominous close don’t you think?
I like John Sterling. I also think the Mets broadcast team are the best in the business, bar none and it’s not close.
Chip sucked but I was ambivalent overall. I actually dislike Francoeur and Brian Jordan more than him. Kelly Crull is really bad and has zero charisma. Peter Moylan is great. Nick Green is as devoid of a personality as his name is plain.
The entire TV ‘crew’ overall is probably a D- and Bally is awful. Just awful.
Cardinals fans should be thrilled for the fact Yadi Molina retired before Chip arrives. To hear him blather on about Yadi would be God awful
I’d take Ingram, Moylan and Francouer as the in-house team. Francouer had to constantly re-route Chip’s negativity and both he and Moylan seemed visibly frustrated with Chip’s need to find something wrong. Ingram is constantly feeding his analysts toward their strengths and that strat has really made Joe enjoyable again. If Ben can turn Joe, imagine what he can do with 2 dudes that are already enjoyable in the booth?
I think they should hire Tom Hart, but Bally’s is also about to file bankruptcy…
I agree that Ben Ingram is fantastic, and I don’t watch the games on TV, so I want to formally oppose him switching to TV.
As a side effect of this in my mind, Chip is still the youngster who I heard talking baseball with his dad, and I liked that story a lot.
Astros hired Dana Brown as their new GM.
Losing Dana Brown is a HUGE blow.
It absolutely is, but it’s wonderful for him and speaks volumes to the kind of front office that we have had. Following in James Click’s footsteps is a gargantuan task. Replacing Brown won’t be easy, but it’s awesome that he’s getting this opportunity.
JF never fails to delight. And again AAR says rejoice. I fully expect to watch a Braves TV broadcast this year, a pleasure I gave up due to His Chippiness.
@6 – yes, something to keep an eye on for sure.
Crazy to think that over-charging for a crappy product could lead to bankruptcy.
There are several things to note about the Bally’s bankruptcy:
(1) The actual broadcasts themselves have 0 probability of being disrupted, though people who were used to them on cable may have to find them another way. For many (Dish subscribers, for example) the ability to get these broadcasts will increase a lot.
(2) Certain clubs (like the Cardinals, but not the Braves) are, however, going to take massive revenue hits. They will now own their RSNs (or, more likely, own them through an MLB takeover) but will not be getting nearly the revenue they were promised. They will be getting the revenue these networks actually earn, from ads plus streaming customers. They will lose the outrageous fees they were charging cable companies, but MLB may strike more reasonable deals with these companies — more likely, it will all move to streaming. Overall, what the Cardinals were paid will be much less than they will get now — that’s why Bally’s has gone bankrupt. The Braves, whose deal was not nearly as lucrative, will be much less affected.
(3) Sinclair outbid Liberty Media for these RSNs. John Malone knows how much media properties are worth, and he stops bidding when they ask for more.
Everything I’ve ever read about John Malone as a businessman reinforces my understanding that he is smart as hell. Bloodless, sure. But smart as hell.
I read that the Braves were in line to start receiving $100MM/year from Bally starting in 2023 and that could greatly decrease due to the bankruptcy. Legit?
I’m not sure if the $100MM is exactly right, but yes, it’s not gonna be anything like that. To the extent that the Braves have counted on that money in setting their budgets, they’re going to be in the same shape as the Cardinals: hosed. But not getting money you were expecting is a lot different than getting a lot less than you’re used to. It’s much easier to adjust to the former than the latter.
Not sure if this has been discussed, but Scott Rolen had 69.9 fWAR. Andruw Jones had 67 fWAR. I didn’t think AJ was a HOFer until they started consistently lowering the standards. If they don’t get AJ in, this is a disappointment.
Both are easy Hall of Famers in my book.
To elaborate on Andruw, one way to think about it is that if he had put up the exact same career except he’d come up at 23, been done as a productive regular at 35, had a few more years as a useful part-time player, and was out of the league at 39… he’d be in already. (I doubt it’d be particularly close.) What’s held him back is that he crashed so young… but he came up incredibly young, too, so that doesn’t affect his longevity case the way it might have if he had a more normal debut time.
Andruw spent his entire career dogged by the belief that he should have been more, should have been the Willie Mays of the ‘90s. It’s probably only natural that those accusations followed him into his Hall case. But the Hall doesn’t have a Willie Mays standard and never has, and Andruw’s career was what it was: he hit 400 homers and was the best center fielder who ever lived for over a decade. That’s a Hall of Famer. You can’t keep him out because you think he should have hit 800.
I’ve said it in other forums, but baseball has ridiculous standards for the Hall of Fame. In any other sport, someone like Andruw would be a no-brainer.
If they want to differentiate between Andruw and Willie Mays in the HOF, then they should start a “Circle of Honor” for the Best of the Best.
The Hall has become a joke. They let Harold Baines in. And won’t let Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, etc. in even though nobody cared they were juicing at the time.
No need for a tv deal if you have The Battery:
@21, in that sense, the Hall has been a joke for a long, long time. Harold Baines had a better career than guys like Jesse Haines, Freddie Lindstrom, Rube Marquard, High Pockets Kelly, and the rest of the bottom of the barrel. The Veterans Committees have pretty much always had absurdly lower standards than the BBWAA.
So I think you’re talking about two different things. I support Andruw’s case for the Hall, but he’s the kind of guy — a 65-70 WAR guy — who pretty much always is on the bubble with the writers. Just think about how long it took to get them to vote in Raines.
It took Niekro FOUR tries to get in the HOF. It’s a goddamned joke.
This is where we get the atrocious “well, he’s a Hall of Famer, but not a FIRST BALLOT Hall of Famer”
Greetings from Honolulu,
I’m not a blotto reader, but I do have a Maui Bikini Blonde in front of me. (To be clear, that’s a beer, folks.)
Yup, I think I’m gonna miss ChipWatch more than Chip. Hearing folks get wound up about Chip was more entertaining than the games ever were.
Do you really listen to John Sterling? By that, I mean, can you understand what’s actually going on in the game from his broadcast? His histrionics don’t bug me as much as his more-than-occasional inability to set the scene and give me the basics of what a radio broadcast requires. (And yes, the Mets guys on TV & radio are outstanding.)
More Fodder Dept.: I’m less involved than ever in how much I care about the baseball HoF. Still, I’ve never seen a better CF than Andruw — he probably should get in, IMO.
Nonetheless, this bit, despite its slightly infuriating moments, is probably worth reading:
I want to think that Chip is genuinely good dude and that he’d be awesome to drink beers with. That counts for something. Outside that I’m strongly in the JonathanF camp.
Andruw has almost twice the WAR Baines has. There were certainly stretches in the past, but Baines ruined the Hall, I’m afraid.
Ian Kinsler, Curtis Granderson, Brian Giles, and Josh Donaldson have higher WAR than Baines. No one would think those were HOFers. It’s a joke.
Baines isn’t some watershed. All the crappy old New York Giants who the old-timers let in, like Lindstrom and Marquard, have been cheapening the Hall for the better part of half a century. It’s just part of what the Hall is.