Sunday, December 04, 2005

J. P. Ricciardi

I hate to do this, because J.P. is a smart guy and he's from Massachusetts to boot, but anyone who gives B.J. Ryan $47 million for five years is a damn fool. It's practically the definition.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Larry Lucchino

...and Charles Steinberg, and Dan Shaughnessy, and everyone else involved in Theo Epstein's decision to leave the Red Sox.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that these bozos may have done irreparable damage to the Red Sox's chances to remain contenders in the foreseeable future. Theo was that good.

And these schmucks are that stupid.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Blake is a reader who recently stumbled across an old article I wrote about Lou Brock. Allow me to let Blake express himself. Here is the entire text of his email to me. The lack of punctuation and liberal use of all-caps are Blake's:

"You're a friggin IDIOT I don't know how MORONS like you think that anything you have to say is relevant why don't you sit around another 10 years or so ( or however long it took you to come up with this crap ) and waste more time in your worthless life, because all of you writers spout the most worthless crap that really has absolutely nothing to do with anything LOU BROCK is in the HALL OF FAME live with it you moron . Why don't you spend your time doing something worthwhile and constructive"

I love getting email from my fans, particularly those who call me worthless. All of those missives are precious to me. But when the reader goes above and beyond and re-defines irony by lecturing me on "worthwhile and constructive" pursuits (like sending belligerent, seemingly drunken emails about Lou Brock, from his work email address), that reader deserves my Damn Fool Award.

Well done, Blake. Well done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ugueth Urbina

Urbina apparently was involved in a nasty incident in Venezuela that involved herding together a group of workers on his family ranch, hacking at them with machetes, dumping gasoline on them and lighting them on fire, all because he misplaced a firearm and thought one of the workers took it.

Damn fools don't come much bigger than that. No wonder someone kidnapped his mother last year, this guy is a jerk.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ken Macha

Let me get this straight; Macha was the manager of an up and coming Oakland team that should be good for years. That team offered to keep him around at the rate of about $850,000 per year for the next three years, plus a chance to make $1.2 million in a fourth option year. Despite having no real negotiating leverage because the GM basically thinks the manager is dead weight, a stance that taints Macha's reputation around baseball as well, Macha refused the deal, wanting more money that Billy Beane was almost certain to reject. That scenario panned out, leaving Macha unemployed at a time when the only other managerial job openings are with teams far worse than Oakland's good young core and, in most cases, have even less financial ability to meet his salary demands.

That, my friends, is a damn fool.

(UPDATE - October 19, 2005: Apparently Macha realized his foolishness and crawled back to Billy Beane to accept the offer. Savvy move since it was clear he couldn't get that kind of deal anywhere else, but not enough to remove him from the Honor Roll of Damn Foolery.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Keith Foulke

I would dearly love to give this week's award to Rob Dibble, as suggested by faithful reader Jack Davis, based upon Dibble's moronic commentary about Chone Figgins being a more valuable player than David Ortiz. Unfortunately, Dibble made his comments on TV, and no one seems to have written them up so I can link to them, so he'll have to settle for honorable mention this week.

The award instead goes to Keith Foulke, whose season is now officially over. With not one, but two, bum knees going into the last off-season, Foulke decided not to do anything but rest them, despite the requests of the team that he get one or both of them scoped. The disastrous results of that decision have affected the Red Sox all season. Their bullpen is still in disarray, and they are now more likely than not to miss the post-season largely because the bullpen has stunk worse than it did back in the days when it was patrolled by Rich Garces after a night of eating homemade refried beans.

Hurt, ineffective, and short-tempered with the fans. Yup, this year was pretty much the trifecta for Foulke.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Jeffrey Flanagan, Round Three

I may have to rename this award in Flanagan's honor. In it's short existence, this is the third time Flanagan has been named, a record. Some fools are just born to greatness.

This week, he made the inane choice of Mike Sweeney as Royals Player of the Year, apparently unaware that David DeJesus is so far ahead of Sweeney that you could just about fit Mark Teahen's production in the gap between them.

And, in the same column, he labeled Emil Brown as "a fourth outfielder anywhere else", meaning that he believes there are 87 other major league outfielders better than Brown. Apparently he is unaware that Brown's OPS is 33rd among all MLB outfielders with at least 350 plate appearances and 13th among AL outfielders on that list.

Research, Jeff, research. Some people in the newspaper business actually find it helpful. Try it sometime.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rafael Palmeiro

This was a tough one. I could have gone with The Amazing Sosa, who apparently became the biggest millionaire since Howard Hughes to vanish into thin air.

Or I could have gone with David Wells and his never ending mouth.

Or Mark Buehrle's impersonation of Oliver Stone.

But I settled on Palmeiro because I hadn't given him his just ration of crap for the steroids incident, and now his earplugs and subsequent retreat to Texas give me the opportunity to make amends.So here's to you, Raffy. Damn Fools don't come much bigger.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Milton Bradley & Jeff Kent

Hey, multiple winners! I'm sure their moms are proud.

This past week, Bradley and Kent offered themselves up as the new poster children for how to be a bad teammate. First, Kent questioned Bradley's hustle for not scoring from first on a double, despite two key facts:

1. Bradley was already playing hurt, and;
2. The Dodgers won the game.

But since it cost Kent an RBI on the stat sheet, he felt the need to chastise Bradley, despite never having acted as a clubhouse leader before and being assured of having his comments taken as exactly what they were, bitching.

For Bradley's part, he decided to play the race card. What he said may be completely true, but since his manager asked him to let things settle, and since injecting race into any discussion is going to keep things inflamed, I'm thinking Milton could have exercised more prudence.

Kent, of course, then decided to go with the "some of my best friends are black" defense, making him look really guilty.

All in all, a great week for the Dodgers.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Jeffrey Flanagan, Round Two

Ol' Jeff is always good for a moronic tidbit or two, and he certainly delivered on that expectation today. He claims that this year's Royals might be the worst offensive team the franchise has ever fielded. In that speculation, he may turn out to be correct, but not because of the voodoo batting average and steals stats he cited. Remember, this is the man who thought Ken Harvey should be the Royals' regular first baseman, so we're not dealing with an expert in baseball offense.

It's about runs, Jeff, and the Royals are last in the league. Their average of 4.20 runs per game is about 13% worse than the average of other teams in the league. That's bad, but it's not the worst in club history. That dubious honor goes to the 1996 team (15.0%) followed by the 1995 team (14.5%) and the 1992 team (13.6%).

This year's club would be fourth-worst in franchise history, so this could still get worse. (FYI - The math is mine, but the raw stats came from here.) Give them a few weeks, Jeff, and you might finally be right about something.

You just won't understand it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Gary Sheffield

Just because I can. And because every time he opens his mouth, he sounds like a flaming ass. I especially like the part about him having a bad reputation because the media are mostly white. Yeah, Gary, I'm sure that's it. It has nothing to do with you lying about decking a teammate in Milwaukee, or admittedly dogging it in the field to force a trade, or your admission of steroid use that you want us all to forget, or your veiled threats at the Red Sox pitching staff a couple of weeks ago, and on and on. No, you're just misunderstood by us prejudiced white folks. Just the man trying to keep you down. Again.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Kevin Kietzman, of Sports Radio 810 WHB

We're going away from baseball for the first time because the situation simply demands it.

For much of last week, Kietzman dedicated a great deal of time on his afternoon radio show to a story no one else in the local media cared about. He kept trying to get at the incident in the University of Kansas' football program that instigated the recent internal investigation and resulted in several relatively minor NCAA violations being self-reported, along with a few minor self-imposed sanctions.

Kietzman wanted more. He wanted to know what triggered the investigation in the first place, even though the initial questionable activity was later proven not to be a violation, which the NCAA had already announced. Kietzman, in his own words, went to lengths he's never gone to before in his career, writing a letter to the government of the state of Kansas, citing open meetings laws in an attempt to dig up the details on the incident. He stated plainly on his show that whatever the incident was, it must be embarrassing to the university for them not to disclose it, and went on to imply several times that it could involve, in his words, "academic fraud" or "embezzlement".

All of it turned out to be a big fat nothing, the incident being nothing but the result of some coaches meeting where they are drilled on NCAA regulations. Nothing sinister or embarrassing about it, but Keitzman pursued it with extraordinary zeal. Why?

Here's the motivation he never bothered to disclaim on his show; Keiztman is a K-State grad, and, at least at one time, was a K-State football season ticket holder. He therefore has a personal interest in embarrassing KU's football program, which now regularly lands top in-state prospects that K-State seeks. On top of that, Keitzman is part owner of a radio station that serves as an affiliate for K-State football broadcasts, so he's also got a financial interest is seeing KU football embarrassed. K-State football is helped by embarrassments to KU's program, and a strong K-State program helps line Kietzman's pockets.

To practice what I preach, I'm a KU alum and football season ticket holder. I suspect that Kietzman's old journalism instructors would have wanted him to make a similar disclaimer.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Jason Whitlock

On Sunday morning, on ESPN's show "The Sports Reporters", Jason Whitlock spouted his opinions about a few baseball topics, like who will win the AL East, and Barry Bonds' status. I can think of few columnists with lesser qualifications to offer such opinions than Whitlock.

Though he is supposed to be a general sports columnist, he has steadfastly refused to cover baseball. You remember it, it's that little thing called America's pastime. He works for the only daily newspaper in a city with just two major sports teams, one of which is not currently in season, yet he has managed to write just three columns since May 1st that were related to major league baseball in any way.

He wrote as many about the NFL even though they're not in season. He wrote a whopping seven about the KU basketball program's off-court problems, even though they're not in season either. He wrote a dozen columns about the NBA even though there is no NBA franchise in this city. Hell, he wrote two columns about auto racing, for crying out loud, but could manage just three on the only major sport currently playing.

And of those three, two weren't even really about baseball - one was about players and the media and one was about coaches with off-field problems. That baseball happened to be the straw that stirred Whitlock's thoughts for those columns was happenstance, nothing more than a convenient vehicle for him to use to spout his social commentary.

I'm tired of this buffoon. It's clear he wants to be a national media figure and has little use for KC anymore. It's time he moved on, because his credibility in Kansas City is shot.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Allard Baird

Of the 30 players drafted in the first round of Major League Baseball's June draft, just five remain unsigned. Of these five, two have leverage with their teams because they are in high school and can still choose to go to college, one is a college junior with similar leverage because he can still return to school, and one is represented by Scott Boras, who holds out every client he has. That those four remain unsigned is not surprising.

The fifth remaining unsigned player is the Royals' first pick, Alex Gordon. Despite assurances from the Royals that cost would not be a factor in their draft, they are the lone remaining team with an unsigned draft pick who has limited negotiating leverage. I mean, he was the second pick in the draft. What would he hold out for, number one? It's not like one extra spot higher in the draft would make up for a full year of lost income by returning to college, so Gordon pretty much has to sign or lose a lot of money.

The fourth pick in the draft, another college third baseman, Ryan Zimmerman, signed quickly with the Nationals. The fifth pick, yet another college third baseman, Ryan Braun, signed less than two weeks after the draft with the Brewers. You read that correctly - the small market Brewers and the MLB-owned Nationals both found the money to sign their picks, players also chosen in the top five of the draft who played the same college position as Alex Gordon.

The skin-flint Devil Rays have signed their pick, Wade Townsend, who is represented by the same agents as Alex Gordon. The rudderless Pirates have signed their pick. The disastrous Reds have signed their pick. The poor-mouth Marlins have signed THREE first round picks. The perpetually cash- strapped A's signed their first round pick the day after the draft.

What more do you need, Allard? Cough up the dollars and get this guy onto a minor league roster while there's still some season left. In case you haven't noticed, the team could kinda use the help, and Gordon isn't going to develop very fast if he's playing video games in his parent's basement in Nebraska instead of facing Double A pitching.

Monday, July 11, 2005

David Wells

This one is self-explanatory. Sexual assault? What was he thinking? Or, more appropriately, was he thinking at all?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Jeffrey Flanagan, Round One

I can think of no one more qualified to win the inaugural Damn Fool of the Week Award than Jeffrey Flanagan, a "columnist" for the Kansas City Star.

Jeff, the same guy who wants Ken Harvey to be the Royals' first baseman, feels Jeremy Affeldt has "too much potential to trade".

Here's how trades work, Jeff; You have to give up something in order to get something. Few GMs are going to hand over a top prospect in exchange for a stiff like Terrence Long or Jose Lima. Right now, the Royals need, well, everything, with the possible exception of relievers. We seem to have a lot of those, all of whom are either younger than Affeldt (Leo Nunez, Ambiorix Burgos, Jimmy Gobble), more effective than Affeldt (Mike MacDougal), or both (Jonah Bayliss, Andy Sisco, Mike Wood).

Despite his electric stuff, Affeldt's strikeout rate has dropped almost every year since he was a rookie, while his walk rate has risen. He's been on the DL twice already this year. Lefties are hitting .357 against him this season. He's griped about not being the closer, despite the fact that MacDougal has out-pitched him. And, contrary to your assertion, there are plenty of guys who throw 94 left-handed. The Royals have three besides Affeldt - Sisco, Jamie Cerda and Gobble, who hit 94 on the gun last night. And, to top it all off, Affeldt is the most expensive of this group.

The question isn't why would we trade Affeldt. The real question is, why wouldn't we?