Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ridiculous Fan Comments 9.23.2011

We're back with more Ridiculous Fan Comments!

This week's comment focuses on the Atlanta Braves (yes, all you football nuts, it's still baseball season), and just like the first installment of RFC, comes from the Atlanta Journal Constuition's website (which is proving to be a real RFC hotbed). More specifically, this comment comes from Mark Bradely's blog post titled "It's a big day for the reeling Braves, and they don't even play."

Just like before, the comment first, then my response.

I believe that Braves have wilted for second straight year due to some conditioning issues. If you at this disturbing trend, it’s apparent that something may need to be implemented in order to avoid this type of situation in the future. Last year it was the regulars breaking down (Chipper, Prado, Jurjens, etc), and this year it’s starting pitching (Jurjens again, Hanson). It’s the old axiom that “fatigue makes losers of everybody”.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to put Costanza back in the lineup at the number 1 or 2 spot in the batting order. I know Heyward is starting to hit better, but he’s just not making enough of an impact in the lineup to make a difference and SOMETHING needs to be done to manufacture runs.

posted by Braves73 on 9.22.2011 at 1:06 pm

A two-pronged comment! I haven't seen one of these effectively pulled off since the Great Commentapalooza of 1949. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to keep waiting for another good one, because this one falls short on both fronts. A piece of advice, Braves73: before you attempt the two-pronged comment, at least make sure your first prong makes sense.

You cite conditioning issues, and the injuries those issues allegedly caused, as a reason for the Braves' late-season struggles the past two seasons. Let's take a look at the injuries of the players you mention and see if your allegation holds up.
  • 2010 Season
    • Chipper Jones tore his ACL in August. As both WebMD and MedlinePlus state, ACL tears are common for many types of athletes. Neither article cites a lack of conditioning as a cause.
    • Martin Prado suffered a torn oblique muscle and a hip pointer on September 28th, causing him to miss the rest of the season. He said himself that he got injured making a diving catch and aggravated it further swinging the bat the next inning. That sounds more like a freak injury than an injury due to poor conditioning to me.
    • Jair Jurrjens had a couple of big injuries in 2010. First, he strained his hamstring, another injury that many athletes experience. He fully recovered from that injury, however, and went on to pitch very effectively in July and the first half of August. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit him again, this time in the form of a slight meniscus tear. The Stretching Institute says that traumatic events usually cause meniscus tears in active people under the age of 45. WebMD says twisting or turning quickly with the foot planted can be a cause. In other words, it's another injury that sometimes just happens. In the spirit of full disclosure, The Stretching Institute also says that balancing exercises, stretching, and strengthening are among effective preventive measures for meniscus injuries. Nevertheless, we can logically assume that the Braves' overall conditioning program isn't to blame for Jurrjens' injury since no other Braves' pitcher has suffered a meniscus tear recently. You might say that even though he's not a pitcher Chipper Jones tore his earlier this year, but I say that that could just as easily be attributed to Chipper being old (for a professional baseball player) and having knees with A LOT of miles on them (WebMD says that as a person ages the meniscus gets worn and tears more easily. Chipper has probably put more stress on his knees than the average person, which logically means he probably has more knee problems than the average person.)
  • 2011 Season
    • For the second straight year, Jair Jurrjens ended the regular season on the disabled list with a knee problem. As stated above, last season was a torn meniscus; this season the Braves are only calling it a knee strain. According to MedlinePlus, a knee strain can be caused by excessive physical activity, improperly warming up, or poor flexibility. You might be thinking that poor flexibility could be the result of a sub-par conditioning program. I might be inclined to grant you that assertion, except that Jurrjens said himself that he included a rigorous stretching regiment in his conditioning program this year in order to avoid the injuries he experienced last year. In other words, he's reportedly focused more on conditioning and fitness this year than ever before. That tells me that we cannot logically assume that his current knee problem is the result of poor conditioning.
    • Tommy Hanson hasn't pitched since August 6th because of shoulder soreness. ESPN called it tendinitis, which MedlinePlus says can be the result of overuse or injury. Hanson was also diagnosed with a small rotator cuff tear, but such tears are common among pitchers. Hanson's main problem is inflammation and soreness in the shoulder. According to WedMD, poor stretching/conditioning does increase the risk of tendinitis, but most often it is caused by repetitive movements like pitching. Could poor conditioning have led the Hanson's shoulder issues? Quite possibly, but so could simply being a pitcher.
So Braves73, out of the 4 different players you named, only one had/has an injury that could reasonably be related to poor conditioning, and even that injury could just as (if not more) reasonably have a different cause. Logically speaking, your first prong just doesn't hold up. Let's move onto the second one.

Jason Heyward has basically been playing everyday since August 30. Since then his line (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage) is .273/.400/.400 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, and 8 R. His line for the entire season is .227/.322/.394, so obviously he is playing much better lately (his line before August 30: .220/.307/.393). 

Jose Constanza's line since August 30 is .190/.190/.190 with 0 HR, 1 RBI, and 2 R. Granted, he hasn't been playing that much since Heyward starting getting more time, but it's obvious that he is slipping. If you're not convinced, consider that Constanza's line on August 16 was .403/.439/.548. By August 26 (while he was still playing regularly), his line had fallen to .341/.385/.447 (From August 17-August 26 he hit .174/.240/.174). Now it stands at .311/.348/.396.

The first thing you said, Braves73, is that it wouldn't hurt to put Constanza back in the 1 or 2 spot in the batting order (I'm not even going to get into illogical thought of removing Bourn from the leadoff spot). With an overall OBP of .348 (.190 since August 30), batting Constanza in the 2 hole is definitely not a good idea. Furthermore, Braves73, Heyward has been making an impact. Since he's been playing regularly, he's been getting on base 4 out 10 times. It's not his fault that the Braves are hitting below .200 with runners in scoring position in September.

That's it for second installment of Ridiculous Fan Comments. Thanks for reading.

P.S. Heyward's slugging still may not be where you'd want it for a middle of the lineup guy, but if he can keep getting on base at a .400 clip, hitting him in the 2 hole in the playoffs (if the Braves make it) might not be a bad idea. Of course, if he's going good in the 7 or 8 spot, it's probably not a bad idea just to leave him there.

As usual, player stats came from

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Logical Disdain

I abhor the Philadelphia Phillies.

They are without a doubt my least favorite MLB team. Least favorite isn’t even the right term, because favorite implies at least miniscule admiration. So I’ll say it this way: I despise the Phillies more than I despise any other MLB team, and that includes the Yankees and Red Sox. In fact, I might despise them more than any sports team period.

I know what you’re thinking. Abhorrence? Really? Don’t you think you’re being a little too emotional, Matt? Aren’t you supposed to be the giver of all things logic?

To that I reply, I do like to deal in logic, and I’m not swaying from that with this. As a lifelong Braves fan, is it not logical for me to have a strong disdain for the Braves’ biggest/toughest foe? I say not only is it logical, but that it should be required for anyone that claims to love the Braves.

If you don’t buy my explanation, too bad. This is my blog and I’ll justify my logical thinking as I please (Just kidding. Thanks for reading. Please come back.).

Seriously, though, in our politically correct, afraid to upset each other, everyone’s a winner because they breathe society, we’ve gotten away from clean-old fashioned hate, and that’s a shame. Maybe it’s because a more than a few losers have taken that sentiment too far and resorted to physical or extreme verbal violence, which I in no way condone and which has absolutely no place in sports or any walk of life. Or maybe it’s, as I’ve alluded to, because we’re just too afraid to offend anyone these days.

The thing about offending people, though, is that as long as it’s not over the top or excessive, they usually get over it (eventually), especially if they manage not to take it personally. By the way, that’s an area in which we all could probably improve. The next time someone offends or ridicules you, try not to take it personally and see how your feelings and reaction to the situation differ from normal. The improvement might surprise you.

Anyway, I digress. I’m starting to get too deep. This post is about the Phillies and how much I loathe them. You might say to me, “Matt, the only reason you don’t like the Phillies is because they’re good and beat the Braves and win the NL East.” And to that I’d say, “You’re absolutely right.” Why would I despise them if they were terrible? True fan hatred takes energy; I can’t afford to dole it out on unworthy opponents. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the Mets, either, but my disdain for them is nowhere near what it is for the Phillies because the Mets are terrible and don’t pose a real threat to the Braves. Call me a bandwagon hater if you want (I prefer judicious), but it’s the truth.

(Final Thought: College sports are a completely different animal. As a Georgia fan, I still hate the Tennessee Volunteers even though they’ve been awful lately simply because they’re Tennessee. College hatred runs deeper and is more irrational because college sports are more (excuse my use of the “e” word) emotional. That’s just the way it is.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ridiculous Fan Comments 9.4.2011

My name is Matt and I often read the comments on sport articles.

Whew. Admitting that feels good.

I know, I know, it’s ridiculous. The fans that regularly comment on sports articles and message boards are usually the fans that are somewhere between extremely passionate and maniacally obsessed with their teams. They have customized jerseys with their own names on the backs, they call into radio shows, and they yell at you at games when they don’t think you’re cheering loud enough. In other words, logical thought often loses to (crazed) emotional feeling when these fans share their opinions through various mediums.

That’s not to say that all message board and article “comment-ers” are nuts. Some do submit very logically sound arguments and opinions. In my experience, though, that’s usually not the case. As a result, reading these comments is usually a completely fruitless and mind-numbing exercise, much like I imagine watching Jersey Shore would be (if you watch Jersey Shore, you know you hate yourself a little bit every time you turn it on and feel a little dumber when you finally turn it off).

Nevertheless, I still read, and you Jersey Shore fans still watch.

In an effort to make the exercise a little less than completely fruitless, I’ve decided to start writing about it. In a segment titled “Ridiculous Fan Comments” I will pick out the craziest of the craziest comments on the articles and message boards I read (or at least my favorite ones) and provide my own commentary. If it’s well received, “Ridiculous Fan Comments” may become a regular segment here at Let’s Be Logical.

At the very least, it gives me an excuse to keep my addiction.

The first ridiculous fan comment (RFC) comes to us from Jeff Schultz’s article on titled “Georgia gets hammered and doubts aboutRicht grow” (I know what you’re thinking, reading Shultz is almost as bad as reading fan comments. I try to avoid him as much as possible). First, I’ll give you the comment, and then my response.

(Before I do that, I need to say that I’m not going to talk about the game, the team or Coach Richt. Plenty of other people are doing that. Onto the comment…)

Sickening…………….absolutely sickening.

I can’t recall an ERA when The Dawgs performed so badly.

Coach Dooley, if you care anything at all about UGA call Adams / McGarity or whom the he!! ever you need to call to get this ship turned around.

I wouldn’t send my dog to UGA much less my kids at this point.

Class of ‘79

posted by FLA DAWG on 9/3/2011 at 11:55 pm

Really, FLA DAWG? You wouldn’t send your kids to UGA because the football team is struggling? I guess that means that Duke, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, UCLA, Virginia, and Wake Forest are out, too, even though each of these schools rank among the top 25 universities in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the only “successful” football programs in the top 25 are Stanford and Southern Cal (which barely qualifies since it hasn't been that good over the past two years and since the NCAA ruled that nothing good can be said about USC while it's on probation). Saying you wouldn’t send your kids to UGA because its football team is struggling is like saying you wouldn’t visit San Diego because the Padres and Chargers suck.

Also, FLA DAWG, you say you can’t remember an era when Georgia performed so badly. You also claim that you graduated from UGA (I assume) in 1979. Sorry, FLA Dawg, either your memory is bad or you’re just ignoring the facts. Since the 2008 season (when complaints about the program began to move beyond mere grumblings), Georgia has a .600 winning percentage, going 25-16. If you don’t want to count their 10-3 2008 season, Georgia has a .519 winning percentage (14-13) since 2009. FLA DAWG, I’m with you that those numbers are disappointing, but like I said, they’re definitely not the worst you should remember.

From 1969-1970, Georgia posted a .476 winning percentage, going 10-10-1. From 1989-1990, they only won 43.5% of their games (10-13), and from 1993-1996, only 48.9% (22-22-1). I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty sure all those numbers are worse than the numbers the team has posted over the past 2 seasons and one game. In your defense, FLA DAWG, you said this was the worst era you could recall, so maybe you just forgot about all those other bad seasons, even though you were probably at least 10 in 1969.

Finally, FLA DAWG, do you really think Coach Dooley has the power to dictate a change in the coaching staff of the football team? Even if he wanted to, what do you think he would say to the president that forced him out or the athletic director with no ties to him that would convince them to finally make a change?

That’s it for this post. If I get a good response, I’ll keep the ridiculous fan comments coming. By the way, the information for Georgia’s records came from Thanks for reading.