Tag Archives: mets

Jean Shepherd on New York Baseball Fans, 1963

On the way to work this morning, I listened to a Jean Shepherd radio show from April 1963 in which he discussed the attitude of New York baseball fans in general and Yankees fans in particular. The reason I listen to 50-year-old radio shows is because of how amazingly prescient Shep was, especially when discussing philosophy or commenting on media and show biz. He was no less insightful on the “lesser” topic of sports and fandom.

In this clip, you’ll hear Shep (a Chicago native and lifelong White Sox fan) talk about how nutty the WIN NOW! attitude of New York fans looks to outsiders. He relates the grumbles of a Yankee fan friend who couldn’t stand the thought of his team not winning a pennant in 1959. He also shares memories of a trip to Yankee Stadium with his old pal and fellow Chicagoan Shel Silverstein, when the two of them witnessed Mickey Mantle get booed for the audacity of not hitting a home run that afternoon. Shep provides a passable Shel Silverstein impression to boot.

Shep tops things off with some thoughts on the then-fledgling Mets, the real reason the Dodgers’ and Giants’ move to California was lamented by the press (their gravy train stopped running), and how the New York WIN NOW idea extends to all sports.

I find this fascinating because it is a contemporary account of what fan attitudes and fan experiences were like during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In our cemented memories, this era is rendered in Ken Burns-ian sepiatone nostalgia. But when Shep was speaking, the era was still The Present, and thus could be discussed in an unvarnished way.

When studying most aspects of history we accept that, in order to really understand a time, you have to get as close to contemporary accounts as humanly possible. When it comes to sports, however, we often let ourselves be swayed by myth-making. That makes this Shep clip even more rare, and valuable. I hope you enjoy it.

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Citi Field, 4:12pm

citifield3Citi Field has a bad rap, I think, because people confuse the stadium with the mediocre (at best) team that’s played there for five seasons, and the hated ownership that pushed for the stadium’s construction. As far as I’m concerned, however, there are a few things to recommend the place.

I like that when I go to Citi Field, I see a New York that I recognize, and one I don’t see or hear about anywhere else. What this New York is, exactly, is difficult to express, which is part of the reason why you don’t hear about it. Another part comes from the fact that most people who write about New York are either transplants or move in lofty circles, and so they barely come into contact with this New York. And it would never occur to most of the people who are part of this New York to express what they are. As far as they’re concerned, there’s nothing to express. It would be like asking a fish to tell you about the ocean.

I see a New York I recognize at Citi Field because the crowd there has diversity, an overused word but one for which I can find no suitable substitute. But that diversity is only a very small part of what I mean. For all these surface differences they possess, there is something shared among those who make up the crowds at Citi Field. You saw it at Shea once upon a time, too. It’s not Mets fandom, really. That’s part of it, sure, but fandom is only a reflection of something deeper.

There is a feeling that I get when I go to Citi Field, surrounded by the kind of people who choose to go to Citi Field, the kind of people I come from. I get this feeling nowhere else. It is an odd mix of nostalgia for the past and a jaundiced eye at the present. In those stands, you hear grumbling when The Opposition goes deep, or a shortstop lets a grounder zip through his legs, but the grumbles are accompanied by smirks. It has the unspoken undercurrent of, Did you really think this would work out?

And yet, all you need to do is run a video of Piazza or Gooden or Seaver on the scoreboard and the fans begin to nod reverently. And they’ll tell each other, I was at that game, even if the guy next to you was with you at that game. They must speak these words aloud because they can scarcely believe that they of all people were allowed to witness such things. They are people who are willing to allow that great, impossible things can happen in their lives. They just don’t expect them to happen any time soon.

I attended the first Mets game ever played at Citi Field, an exhibition against the Red Sox. I wandered into the Caesar’s Club that night, an enclosed bar/restaurant area behind home plate. There I saw people who got what they thought they wanted, a first class modern facility to replace outmoded, crumbling Shea Stadium, only to feel immensely confused. They were people uncomfortable with comfort. One man lowered himself into a lounge chair slowly, as if he was afraid it would disappear if he moved too fast.

Some say the iconic phrase coined by Tug McGraw in 1973, Ya gotta believe!, was originally said in jest to mock an exec making a lame clubhouse pep talk, that it only became a rallying cry when the Mets went from worst to first at the tail end of that season. I’d like to think this is true. It says so much about the people who choose to follow the Mets. It is a joke always threatening to become serious.

I like that when I left Citi Field on Sunday, the last game of the season, readying myself for a long winter, I caught a brief glimpse of something over the Promenade roof. I could see the relics of the World’s Fair in the distance, the Unisphere and the NY State Pavilion and the cone of a spaceship that once circled this earth and came back again. Those structures rose alongside Shea Stadium, at a time when people—in Queens of all places—still believed in the future.

Me, Elsewhere: John Rocker and Johan Santana, Together At Last

I wanted to alert loyal Scratchbomb readers to a couple of posts I’ve penned elsewhere that went up in the last few days. First, for Vice, a look at creep ne plus ultra John Rocker, who’s just released his long awaited (by no one) memoirs entitled Scars and Stripes. (GET IT?) Rocker’s been making the rounds withe bottom-barrelest right wing news sites, and one such profile was the inspiration for my piece. Spoiler alert: I’m not a big fan!

One thing I’d completely forgotten about when I wrote this article (which is just as well, since it probably wouldn’t have fit) is how half-assed Rocker’s “apology” was when he came to New York for the first time after his infamous Sports Illustrated profile. While doing my research for Yells For Ourselves, I rediscovered coverage of his return to NYC, and it’s sickening how much he tries to weasel out of saying he’s sorry, like he’s Racist Fonzie.

Rocker recorded a video they played on Diamond Vision at Shea in which he said, among other things, “Many people perceived these comments to be malicious, and for this again I apologize.” In other words, It’s YOUR fault for being offended. “I am not the evil person that has been portrayed.” It’s the media’s fault for reporting exactly what I said.

Rocker’s the kind of bully who, if you punched him back, would run to the principal and insist you started the altercation. I realize that writing about him at all is just fuel for his warped fire, but good lord, he cannot fall off the face of the earth fast enough for me.

I also took time to write about non-horrible people. Last week, the Mets finally saw one of their pitchers throw a no hitter. Maybe you heard about it? It was a cause for much rejoicing, which is why I was so perturbed by a post at Deadspin that wondered if Mets fans wished another pitcher had done it. I disagree strenuously with that premise for several reasons. To find them all out, you’ll have to read this post I did for The Classical. Or, barring that, have someone read it to you.

Speaking of which, Jon Stewart’s piece on The Daily Show about attending Johan’s no-no with his family was heartwarming in a Jon Stewart-y sort of way. When it comes to baseball + children, I can get embarrassingly sentimental. This ESPN ad still brings a tear to the eye, and every time a broadcast shows a dad with a small kid in the stands, I get all misty. I’m sure the same is true for many parents who also sublimate their emotions into sporting events. Go team!

Me, Talkin Bout the Mets at Hofstra

So, there is a Mets 50th Anniversary Conference this weekend at which a whole bunch of awesome people will be presenting a wide range of papers, presentations, and discussions about the team from Queens. It will include ex-Mets like Buddy Harrelson, Rusty Staub, and Ed Kranepool, scribes like George Vecsey, bloggers like Greg Prince, and me.

Now, I think you would do well to attend any bit of this amazing (amazin’?) event, especially since proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund in the name of Dana Brand, late Hofstra professor and renowned Mets blogger. If you’re interested and want to know more, details can be gleaned from this New York Times article on the subject. New York magazine also published an excerpt from a paper about Mr. Met that will be presented at the event.

However, if you are specifically interested in my contribution, I will be moderating a panel on Saturday morning, and presenting a paper on the 1999-2000 Mets that afternoon. The paper is closely related to/informed by the book I am currently working on, Yells For Ourselves. This constitutes the first public “preview” of what this thing is. The short version is, it’s an alternate history. The long version is the book itself, the details of which are still knitting together, much like an infant’s skull.

Hope to see you there.

Bart Giamatti Said It Best, 2011 Edition

From “The Green Fields of the Mind”

It breaks your heart.

It is designed to break your heart.

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again,

and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings,

and then as soon as the chill rains come,

it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time,

to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive,

and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most,

it stops.

* * *

Behold, the past! 2009 and 2010

Mets Block Yankees, Crush City’s Dreams

DOWN-TRODDEN NEWARK, NJ–It was revealed on Monday night that the Mets, an alleged major league franchise, had blocked the Yankees’ efforts to temporarily relocate their triple-A franchise to Newark. Critics have already labeled it the greatest miscarriage of justice in the history of baseball.

Supporters of the move say the arrival of the team from Scranton-Wilkes Barre could have rejuvenated this benighted urban area and brought a brief glimmer of hope to the many forlorn widows and orphans of this fair metropolis fallen on hard times. Instead, their dreams are snuffed, as they are denied the only thing that could brighten a crime-ridden, drug-addled, gang-ruled hellhole: minor league baseball.

“I tried everything with those cold-hearted Mets,” said a Yankees official, who could not be identified as his face was too obscured by large, bitter tears. “I promised we wouldn’t make the move permanent. I promised we would okay any move they wanted to make with their own minor league teams. Wilpon was unmoved by my pleas. First he asked for my watch, which was a graduation gift from my mother. I gladly gave it over, thinking only of the poor children of Newark. Then he asked me to get on my knees and pay homage to The Dark Lord. That I simply could not do. So he threw me out on the curb. And he kept the watch.”

Newark has a grand tradition of Yankee minor league affiliates. However, the team has not had a farm team in the city since 1949. Some believe that the Mets may have traveled back in time and forced the legendary Newark Bears to go bankrupt, paving way for the regrettable National League expansion of 1962 that gave birth to their hellish form.

Critics of the Mets say that the Yankees never have and never would engage in such churlish, petty behavior. They also point out that the Yankees’ attitude toward their “crosstown rivals” has never been short of cordial, and they have never attempted to interfere with their operations. Unlike the Mets, the Yankees have always conducted themselves with the utmost class and grace. To have the Yankees’ ceaseless kindness to their lesser neighbors repaid in such fashion is the kind of brazen insult that, in times of yore, would have demanded a duel of honor. No jury would convict them of such a “crime,” and yet they will surely take the higher road, as they always have.

“They couldn’t have won all those championships without always being consummate gentlemen,” said some guy I met on line at Starbucks while writing this article. “Only good people win things.”

Fred Wilpon was unapologetic for his act of wanton cruelty. Speaking while seated in a gargoyle-topped throne, each leg of which sat on a freshly killed puppy, Wilpon told the assembled reporters (all of whom were forced to genuflect in his presence), “I hate children.” He then drank from a chalice that may or may not have contained human blood.

Bud Selig: I Am the Worst

I am the worst. The absolute worst. Oh my god, you would not believe. I am just a shitty person in every conceivable way. Think of a way a man can be terrible and I will guarantee you that I have done it or am doing it as we speak.

Children scatter when I walk down the street. Flowers wilt. Dogs growl. You feel a chill in the air that you can only feel when in the presence of a horrible, horrible human being.

When you’re this awful, it’s hard to do things that reinforce your awfulness. People come to expect you do the the worst thing at all times. That’s when I pride myself in digging deep and finding new ways to turn people’s stomachs.

Not allowing a team to wear hats in tribute to 9/11 first responders because of MLB’s lucrative contract with New Era? That’s pretty bad. But demanding a player who dared defy it take off his cap posthaste, midgame, even though he only wore it in the dugout? That’s the kind of mind-numbingly bureaucratic horse-shittery that only a true scumbag could pull off. And to top it off, I make one of my cowering lickspittles take the fall for the decision. Yes, kneel before me, Joe Torre! Who knows where you might be if not for my criminally lax steroid policies?

And I do this all while doing nothing to fix the many ills that actually plague the sport for which I am the supposed caretaker. It’s the 21st century and my stupid sport that I hate and can’t stand doesn’t use instant replay, yet I pretend to be concerned with caps? That is some weapons-grade horse-shittery, if I do say so myself.

I wake up every day, look myself in the mirror, and before it cracks in disgust at having to reflect my hateful image, say to myself, “Today I will be the worst me I can be.” Then I set something in the yard on fire and blame it on the neighbors’ weird kids. On the way to work, I try to hit as many squirrels with my car as possible. My record is 12. I once hit at least one squirrel on five consecutive blocks. I’m like the Joe DiMaggio of killing small animals! And when I get to work, I see how quickly I can make my secretary cry.

I eat poop. Constantly. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Midnight snacks, too. Not always my own, either. Whatever I can find. I am that disgusting.

Hoping I’ll retire due to old age so someone not hideous can run baseball? Never gonna happen! I have used the Dark Arts to prolong the usefulness of this withered husk of a mortal shell. I am constantly protected by two hulking demons, who remain at my side at all times. Only those as wretched as me can see them! I will outlive you, your grandchildren, the pyramids themselves!

I am fucking terrible and can not be stopped! Ever! Play ball, you brainless insects!

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 8

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 8
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The front office, late at night, a manic scene. Assistants scurrying left and right from one end of the office to the other, clutching papers, yelling on cell phones, scribbling on dry erase boards. Caption: 48 HOURS TO DEADLINE. The camera pans through this chaotic scene, circling around random figures, for at least five minutes before proceeding into SANDY ALDERSON’s office. His assistants J.P. RICCIARDI and PAUL DEPODESTA are sitting on a large couch, each huddled over laptops with cell phones clenched in their shoulders. MACKENZIE CARLIN stalks the room, moving index cards around on a cork board and reviewing printouts. ALDERSON stands in the middle of them all, fielding every query calmly but firmly. The only person who looks nervous is DAVID EINHORN, who sits in an office chair and grabs on to a glass of scotch for dear life.

CARLIN
[handing over some papers] These trade proposals just came in.

ALDERSON
[scans each page and hands them back one by one] Pull the trigger, pull the trigger, hold your fire, keep the safety on, squeeze the trigger halfway and see if they flinch.

DEPODESTA
The Dodgers are on the phone. They want to know if they can have a second baseman on credit.

ALDERSON
Tell McCourt he needs someone with a decent credit score to cosign the loan. And make sure it’s not a psychic.

RICCIARDI
The office is getting antsy because we’re running out of food.

ALDERSON
Call up the kitchen and order up another 72 pizzas, 15 pounds of lo mein, and a small vat of Red Bull. And just a green salad for me. No radishes.

EINHORN
Jeez, Sandy. This trade deadline stuff is insane. I used to work on Wall Street, but this makes the stock market floor look like Girl Scout jamboree.

ALDERSON
Of course it does. You traders were just creating the financial future of our nation; we’re building a ball club here. Also, Girl Scouts don’t go on jamborees.

CARLIN
Yes they do.

ALDERSON
J.P., find out if Girl Scouts go on jamborees.

RICCIARDI
I’m on it.

EINHORN
Any of this balancing act going toward getting rid of our closer? Your predecessor gave him a contract option with an irrevocable 12-year extension and double-super no-trade clause that vests if he reaches 75 innings pitched. If that’s activated, we can say goodbye to resigning Grant Linwood, or anyone else for the next decade.

ALDERSON
No, David I was not aware of that because I’ve been living under a rock since I took this job, and I’m also blind, and I can’t read any of the newspapers who’ve been talking about it every day since spring training, and also I was born yesterday on the back of a turnip truck.

EINHORN
Alright, you’ve got the snark covered. How about some leads for a trade?

ALDERSON
We’re doing everything we can. The only thing that won’t help is worrying about it. My experience tells me these kinds of things tend to work themselves out. My mother always said, “For every old sock, there’s a shoe.”

EINHORN
That’s great. We’re on the brink of financial collapse and your solution is downhome folksy wisdom from your mother.

ALDERSON
Not a solution, David. Just a coping mechanism.

EINHORN
Until you can come up with more than that, I’m gonna have to tell our manager to keep the closer out of games.

ALDERSON
That would be a great way to sic the players’ union on us. We can’t keep him on the bench if we ever want to sign another free agent again. We have to just keep calm and carry on.

CARLIN
[handing over paper] The Yankees want our top prospect in exchange for an autographed picture of Kevin Maas.

ALDERSON
[handing it back] Hold out for half off the truffle fries at NYY Steak.

EINHORN
Ugh, too much talking and thinking in here. I need some air.

EINHORN abandons his chair and his drink and leaves the office, entering the even more chaotic venue outside. He narrowly dodges assistants zipping all over the place and yelling at each other, until he bumps into a confused looking GRANT LINWOOD.

EINHORN
Grant? What are you doing up here?

LINWOOD
It started as a quest for more sunflower seeds, and somehow I found my way into this office. I just picked up a random phone and I think I may have accidentally traded for a few Houston Astros prospects.

EINHORN
Impossible; the Astros have no prospects. But I’m glad I ran into you, Grant. I think I’ve thought of a way we can help each other out.

LINWOOD
I’m all ears, as long as it don’t involve getting naked or moving furniture.

EINHORN
I wouldn’t dream of making my number one star move furniture!

EINHORN puts his arm around LINWOOD and they walk off.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 8

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 7

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 7
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 |
EPISODE 4
| EPISODE 5 | EPISODE 6

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise is the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The interior of a bus. In the back, players act rowdy, tossing paper airplanes and switching seats like little kids. Toward the front sit SANDY ALDERSON and DAVID EINHORN.

ALDERSON: I still don’t like this corporate retreat idea. Especially since we have to forfeit three home games to take it.

EINHORN: Gotta spend money to make money, Sandy. Sure, it’s three losses on our ledger, but you can’t put a price on an invaluable team building experience like this.

ALDERSON: But we already are a team. That I built.

EINHORN: I, I, I–too much of that word, Sandy. There’s no “I” in team. You have to be more of an organization guy, like me. Everything I do I do for this team. I am the consummate team player. Ask anyone about me and they’ll tell you that! C’mon, get into it! Look, even Old Man Wilpon’s jazzed for this trip.

Quick shot of FRED WILPON completely passed out in a bus seat, snoring.

Cut to: Hotel conference room. Entire team sits cross-legged on the floor in pairs, trying to build pyramids made out of clothespins and hardboiled eggs on top of a skateboard while one partner is blindfolded. The ACTIVITY DIRECTOR, a loud, blond, tanned type, shouts encouragement through a bullhorn.

ACTIVITY DIRECTOR: That’s it people, you can do it! Remember, the blindfolded person must trust his partner to give correct direction, and the non-blindfolded partner must trust his partner to listen! And to not crack any of those hardboiled eggs if you can, because they’ve been sitting around a while!

Pan over to ALDERSON, who is blindfolded, and EINHORN, attempting the activity. ALDERSON gingerly tries to place a clothespin onto his construction.

EINHORN: Easy, easy…[whispering] Listen, this whole thing is just a front.

ALDERSON: The clothespin?

EINHORN: The whole trip. I organized it as cover so we could initiate some secret talks with Grant Linwood for a contract extension.

ALDERSON: I thought Linwood said he wouldn’t negotiate in season.

EINHORN: Publicly, yes. Privately, his people have reached out to me. They’re willing to talk, but only if we can keep a lid on this thing. Problem is, there’s no way we can keep quiet about talks like this back home. Our offices are crawling with reporters and spies. I found Bill Madden in my washroom last week. That’s why we had to skip town.

ALDERSON: Don’t you still need Wilpon’s signoff on any big contracts like that?

EINHORN: We’re not going to actually sign a contract with him. We’re just going to hammer out the finer details, like how much money he wants and for how long.

ALDERSON: Oh, so just the little things.

EINHORN: Exactly! Then, we’ll leak word to the press that the negotiations are going on and whip the fanbase into a frenzy. By that point, Wilpon will have to approve the whole thing.

ALDERSON: Why not just conference with Wilpon to see if he’s on board with this?

EINHORN: You might have a lot of book-smarts, Sandy, but you don’t know jack about business. You don’t talk to your partners directly. You have meetings behind their back, strategize how to work around them, close all channels of communication. Then, right at the end, you loop them in and make it seem like what you decided is not only a good idea, but their idea.

ALDERSON: Sounds like the epitome of teamwork.

EINHORN: Of course it is! You know how many people you need to help you execute a proper back channel screwing? [pulls out a map, points to a spot] This is the golf course at this resort. There’s a bench right here, next to the 15th hole. You’re gonna meet Linwood there at 4pm today. You ask him, “Has the weather cleared up yet?” If he says, “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs,” negotiations are off. If he says, “Why yes, the forklifting is superior today,” that means he’s ready to talk.

ALDERSON: I don’t think all of this John LeCarre stuff is necessary. Can’t I just knock on his room door, or have dinner with him…

EINHORN: Not unless you want the press all over this and the word leaking out before we want it to. This has to be done in complete secrecy. Not a word of this to anyone. Not your assistants, not Wilpon, not your wife, not even me.

ALDERSON: But you came up with the plan.

EINHORN: [covering ears] I know nothing, la la la, not listening…

The ACTIVITY DIRECTOR suddenly stands over the two of them.

ACTIVITY DIRECTOR: [through bullhorn] Chop chop, gentlemen. Less talking, more communication!

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 7

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 6

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 6
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 | EPISODE 5

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise is the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

Press conference. SANDY ALDERSON stands at a podium, fielding questions from a clamoring throng of reporters as flashbulbs go off in his face.

ALDERSON: My answer to that question would be no, I have no philosophical opposition to a dog playing for a major league baseball team. As to the question of whether or not a dog has a soul, I think that’s more of a query for the church. Yes, you over there?

WORMWOOD: Tommy Wormwood, New York Herald-Gazette. What do you say to the charge that the team has struggled lately because it relies far too much on statistics, to the point of fetishizing them and relying on them above all else, eliminating Americans’ childlike love of the game in favor of a cold, calculating, robotic approach?

ALDERSON: Has someone actually charged us with that?

WORMWOOD: I will, in my scathing column to be published tomorrow!

ALDERSON: This is old news, gentlemen. I’ve been called a “stat-head” and a “numbers-freak” and a “brain-lover” ever since I became the first GM to calculate batting average in the late 1970s. If wanting data to build a better team makes me a “computer-humper,” then call me a computer-humper.

WORMWOOD: But the thing is you haven’t built a better team. This team is barely batting over .200, has no frontline starting pitching, and their bullpen is a cruel, twisted joke devised by a blind idiot god. Maybe your computer-humping has blinded you to the intangibles that make a winning team.

ALDERSON: First of all, I’m sorry I ever used the phrase “computer-humping.” Secondly, how could I possibly target intangibles when I’m building a team? An intangible is, by definition, indefinable. If something is indefinable, it can’t be truly identified or located. How can I be blind to something no one can see?

WORMWOOD: [long pause] Because stats…the problem with them, you see…Derek Jeter’s spin move…

ALDERSON leaves the podium as the reporter continues talking.

Cut to: Stadium tunnel. ALDERSON stalks toward his office trailed by J.P. RICCIARDI and PAUL DEPODESTA.

RICCIARDI: Are they giving out press credentials in Cracker Jack boxes these days? What was wrong with that guy?

ALDERSON: I’ve had much worse. You remember the press conference where someone accused me of being a Satan worshiper because I signed Jeremy Giambi?

DEPODESTA: Speaking of Satan, our most hated rivals are coming into town for the Mass Transit Series…

ALDERSON: Come now, Paul. That’s no way to talk about another team. It’s alright for fans to get fired up and angry and hit each other with rock-filled whiskey bottles, but as executives we need to be a bit more dispassionate.

DEPODESTA: You didn’t let me finish. I was going to say, “and Cashman’s already here.” He called from his limo to let us know he expected an appropriate reception.

ALDERSON: Christ, already? Alright, we better go see what Ol’ Scratch wants.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 6