Wednesday, July 20, 2022

And the Hype Goes On


Even worse than the general Fox/MLB All-Star extravaganza, though, was the continued hyping of The Anointed One.

The home run derby on Monday turned into an out-and-out paean to Shohei Ohtani who, we were told over and over again in increasingly breathless tones, had recently driven in 8 runs in one game, then struck out 13 batters in the next!

"Has there EVER been anything like that? There has NEVER been anything like that!" the Fox Box and ESPN twits rushed to assure us, in between Big Papi's clowning and the ceaseless promotions of gambling.

Well, yes, actually, there have been things "like" that. There just has never been anything that is EXACTLY that. Which is different.

Later, we were told even more breathlessly that Ohtani—spoiler alert!—had just won the Espy for baseball player of the year! A remarkable accomplishment—considering that the baseball "year" is only half-done, and that Mr. Ohtani and all of his Angels teammates are likely to have been a month on the links by the time it is over.

The ESPN guys then polled themselves: "Have you ever seen anyone like Ohtani?"

They allowed that they had not. Tim Kurkjian even made sure to tell us that he had seen Willie Mays play,  

and nonetheless, there was no one like Ohtani!

Oh, Tim.

Fact of the matter is, Willie Mays was considered to have the best arm anyone had ever seen as a high schooler. His father, a top semi-pro called "Kitty-Cat" Mays, insisted he give up the mound, for fear of ruining that great arm.

Kitty-Cat was a wise man. Because back in the day, they didn't have the sort of Tommy John surgery that saved Ohtani's pitching career two years ago. 

There are many, many examples of this sort of thing. 

Lou Gehrig was apparently also a top pitcher in college, but nobody was going to risk the arm of a hitter that good in the pros. Red Ruffing was a helluva hitter—but without the DH, he wasn't going to see action more than once every four days or so on the 1930s-'40s Yankees.

Look, Shohei Ohtani is a fine, fine ballplayer. But if Babe Ruth had been able to pitch 6 innings, once a week, against teams full of guys doing nothing but swinging for the fences—and spend the rest of his time DHing...he would have retired undefeated. And with about 2,000 home runs.

The Ohtani hyping continued into the All-Star Game—even though, as in most big moments, somehow Mr. Two-Way was not required to throw a single pitch. It peaked when he singled off Kershaw...then died when he promptly got picked off first.

Funny. I don't remember Willie Mays ever doing THAT in an All-Star Game, either.



Doug K. said...


Don't be hatin'.

We live in a post truth, hype-is-reality kind of world. Ohtani is a great athlete. Give him his due.

I get it. He shouldn't be the MVP. I agree. He's also not Babe Ruth.

Look, they're just trying to sell the game that they destroyed, as you so perfectly elucidated in the post prior to this.

It's a different world. Not a better one. I too get angry when hype trumps fact and history is ignored. But hate the game not the playa.

When I was a kid I could name all the Presidents, in order, and all the capitols of the 50 States. In Georgia there's a guy running for the Senate who thinks there are 52 States. Hopefully he will lose but he's going to get at least 45% of the vote.

The coronation of Ohtani as the greatest ball player ever is travesty.

Maybe we can trade for him.

JM said...

Ohtani already has had one TJ surgery. I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't due for another in the relatively near future.

I'm sick of hearing about him, just like all of us are. But a guy who pitches once a week, against the weakest opponents, and bats .260 as a DH is not really doing himself any favors. The Yankees have tagged him pretty good. He's lucky he'll never play in the postseason as long as he's an Angel. Because it would expose him as an only pretty good pitcher and OK hitter who has decent power.

Still think if he picked one or the other, he'd be better at whatever he picked. But you can't predict hypeball, Suzyn.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, I don't particularly hate on him. But the hype gets to a point where it is un-ignorable. And unbearable. When it's like 15 people shouting lies into your window every get sick of it.

Sports used to be a haven from political propaganda. Now, it's just another type of hype.

AboveAverage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AboveAverage said...


Did I say that I liked the New York All Star Jerseys and I wanted to get one to add to my very large and vast collection?

MY BAD . . .

I meant that I wanted Billie Jean King's LA jacket.

She really rocked that garb*


Rufus T. Firefly said...

I don't ever remember Willie Mays being picked off first in an all-star game. So he's special that way.

AboveAverage said...

Looked like that was a blistering 50mph throw over to first to get Ohtani.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Don't get me started on the gear (again).

That used to be another great thing about the ASG, getting to see all those guys in their home uniforms. It was a pageant.

But hey, MLB figured out something else they could sell? Can they really be making money off all this incredibly ugly shit? The ASG unis, and the "City Connect" nonsense? Seems hard to believe.

The Archangel said...

This is all to hype the game to casual fans who basically don't know shit.
Like most of the modern world, no critical thinking was applied by the bloviators you described.
Your analysis applied that endangered species, so you would not be able to be a national broadcaster.

I have been out for over a week due to surgery and those pesky "complications". I rose from the canvas to do this because I must compliment our resident John the Baptist on this Pulitzer punditry.

Now, carry on you wayward sailors.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Archie, hope you are feeling better. We need you for the second half!