Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, January 31, 2005

Plaschkers FAQ (Updates in Bold)

Q: Who or what is Plaschkers?

A: It is the amalgamation of T.J. Simers and Bill Plaschke. The Kwyjibo is a close relative.

Q: So what started this latest obsession, Steve?

A: It is a failing of drastic proportions that not only does the Los Angeles Times possess a monopolistic grip on the Southland, but they use it to abuse us with these two morons. Rockefeller would have been ashamed at the egregious exercise of monopoly power this implies.

Q: Why dost thou hate them so?

A: Though Plaschkers is easily combined to create a one terrible sports journalist hack, their faults are somewhat different.

Bill Plaschke knows nothing about sports. His coverage swings wildly from overbearing, unwarranted hype (see UCLA basketball two weeks ago, or the Dodgers six years ago) to the perfectly obvious (see Tom Brady article last week) to the patently absurd (Chuck Tiffany as "homegrown" Dodger savior). He shows no understanding or interest in the real issues of any of the sports he covers, instead choosing to do either 1) puff pieces or 2) unconsidered criticism. He has made the mistake of conflating “criticism” with “critical thinking,” when they are in fact two entirely different states of mind.

It is, to some extent, harder to criticize T.J. Simers, since his writing, most of the time, has no content. It is much like criticizing “Weird Al” or Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Q: What are “weird statistics?”

A: They appear to be any statistics that fail to conform to Bill Plaschke’s irrational notions of the way the world works.

Q: Is “chemistry” a weird statistic? What about “heart and soul?”

A: Apparently not.

Q: Is "Homegrown" a weird statistic?

A: Apparently, it is the only meaningful statistic that can possibly be understood by the puny mind of mortal man.

Q: What is "Dodger math?"

A: Let me answer this in SAT Essay Question format:

If Batter X hits .173 with 1 HR and 3 BB in the September playoff run, Pitcher Y goes 0-3 with 3 Blown Saves and an almost 8 ERA in the same stretch, and Z is a "proven run producer" whom everybody generally agrees (except one colleague with the initials N.C., whom I will keep anonymous so that employers never get wind of this and use it against him, but who also likes Jose Offerman and so you get the idea) never should have been signed in the first place, explain why one would use the trade of X,Y,Z as Exhibit A in what will no likely be a never-ending jeremiad against their former team's general manager?

Dodger Math must also have something to do with Alex Cora's popularity, since it can't be explained in any other way.

Q: What proof does Bill Plaschke have that Jose Valentin, Antonio Perez, and Jeff Kent will be worse defenders than Adrian Beltre and Alex Cora?

A: If he says it, it must be true.

Q: But they’re the two top columnists at the Times. They must sell papers, so who are you to say otherwise?

A: They do not sell papers. The Times is in the strange position of being a failing monopoly. Without being able to use market share to grow profits, they are left paying sub-par journalists less. Those sub-par journalists then make cheap jokes about a team that just spent $150 million on free agents. Without a word about Orlando Cabrera.

If you change the question slightly, and argue that Plaschkers widely appeals to those with the lack of sense necessary to subscribe to the Times in the first place, I will not argue with you.

Q: Isn’t dissent critical to an understanding of the truth?

A: Isn’t truth critical to an understanding of the truth? Or evidence? Or analysis?

Q: How many positions can one player play at once in a nine-inning baseball game?

A: One.

Q: So how can Milton Bradley and Hee Seop Choi both replace Shawn Green in the lineup, particularly when Milton Bradley played side-by-side with Shawn Green last year, and is therefore presumably replacing himself, at the same time?

A: If it’s between this and “Google Boy,” which one would you choose?

Q: Some folks might say that your "Fire Jim Tracy" obsession is Plaschke-like, even Simers-like?

A: You want evidence? I'll give you evidence until your eyes bleed red. I'll give you evidence until you'll wish you had never heard of Jim Tracy and you plead with your life for Bobby Bonilla to become the next Dodger manager. I'll give you evidence until you scamper back to Cleveland to watch Alex Cora get his 120 at-bats this year. Will I convince you? Probably not. But you want evidence...?

Q: What about Simers?

A: Don't know. I know he calls Tracy the "Micro Manager," but he calls everyone names. I can't figure out what Tracy has ever done to him. Though if I remember right, even Simers picked up on the fact that Nomo was done before Tracy did. Point is, using Plaschke or Simers as support for any position you happen to take, or taking comfort in the pleasure of their intellectual company, period, should not bring you comfort.

In short, of course I should re-consider my position in regard to Simers', but that means all of you should re-consider yours in regard to Plaschke's! So where does that get us? I change my blog's name, and you're all running around finding box scores for close games Scott Stewart pitched in. And as we'll cover in a minute, I like my blog's name.

Q: But I thought you were a one-issue zealot?

A: So did I. It appears that my outrage can cast a wider net.

Q: Whither “Fire Jim Tracy" then? Isn’t your site mis-named?

A: No. Unlike everyone else, I like this name for several reasons:

1) I favor firing Jim Tracy, so that helps.

2) It reminds us of the beginnings of this blog, standing athwart history yelling “Stop” (with apologies to Mr. Buckley).

3) It’s catchy. It’s memorable. It looks good in quotes!

Jerry favors the acronym “FJT,” much like the “TRB” column in The New Republic. I would prefer to make Tracy actually earn what everyone else seems to be willing to simply give him, by avoiding obviously stupid acts like pitching to Jim Edmonds with two runners on, two outs, first base open and Ray Lankford on deck. And such acts of atonement are not possible until April. So Fire Jim Tracy it is, for the foreseeable future, misnamed or not.

In any event, I refuse to bend to popular will in a vain attempt to, well, be popular. Such is Plaschkers-ism, and I reject that in all its forms.

And have I mentioned that Bill Plaschke likes Jim Tracy? I have?


  • I don't know if brown-nosing comments keep you going, Steve, but that was very, very, VERY funny stuff. And all too true...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/31/2005 07:41:00 PM  

  • Steve & Jerry:

    Are you two doing anything Wednesday eve?
    I see its $15 per non-member but booze & snacks are included, along with the chance to query J.A. Andande, Jon Weisman, & others. I've promised Matt that I'm campaigning to sic you guys on his party and I've made this blog his reading assignment.

    By Blogger lloyd, at 2/01/2005 10:49:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the invite, Lloyd. I think Matt actually e-mailed Steve with an invitation. In any case, we are both living out-of-state (school), so it looks like we won't be able to make it. I would really like to be there, though. I'm a big fan of Jon's work on Dodger Thoughts and think the proposed topics for discussion look very interesting.

    By Blogger Jerry Fors, at 2/01/2005 11:41:00 AM  

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