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Sports: Charlie McAvoy, Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Kyrie Irving

Monday 1/20/20

* Charlie McAvoy will never be a Norris winning defenseman in the NHL. He doesn't do very much. I saw him play for BU against BC not long before he joined the Bruins, and he definitely didn't dominate college kids. He has zero goals this year. He plays on the powerplay. That's not bad luck, anything along those lines; that's a bad shot, that's poor offensive hockey sense. His offensive stats make Rod Langway look like Paul Coffey. I don't think he's that good defensively either.

* Got my NFL picks right yesterday. Aaron Rodgers: as overrated as they come. Just because you can throw it 50 yards off your back foot does mean that means very much. He's had some really good teams, but he hardly ever wins. He's going to retire with one championship.

* Baseball Hall of Fame announcement is tomorrow. I had pitched an op-ed on Derek Jeter, in which I'd argue that for all of the talk of his leadership and intangibles, we lose sight of the fact that this is one of the best all-around offensive players in baseball history. Did you know that Jeter ranks #20 in all-time Offensive WAR? Which means he is in front of some major, major offensive studs. But no one would assign it.

* Guys not being voted on right now who should be in the Hall of Fame: Fred McGriff, Ken Boyer, Tony Oliva.

* I saw a ballot today where someone for The Athletic--venue that not once wrote me back, which, again, goes to show how this works--has Bonds in and Clemens out. People try so hard to be provocative, but when you have to manufacture everything because you possess, in fact, so little of actual substance, you look like a fool. Bonds, if you care about PEDs, certainly has more evidence against him than Clemens. I don't care about PEDs that much. Maybe if it seemed they totally transformed you. Bonds is one of the five best ballplayers in history. You could argue he's #1. I'd have Ruth there and I think that's clear, but Bonds was better than Mays and Aaron. Ty Cobb would be #2 for me, and Williams is the best hitter, but Bonds was far more complete. For a while, at least. Also, I'd say that Babe Ruth's 1921 season is the best season anyone has ever had, but damn is Barry Bond's 2004 campaign close. As for Clemens: the two best pitchers in baseball history are probably Christy Mathewson (who also wrote a fine book--betcha didn't know--called Pitching in a Pinch) and Walter Johnson. Clemens is next, then I would say Lefty Grove. A lot of the Clemens steroid stuff began after he left Boston and became so dominant with Toronto. A few thoughts. He was quite young when he left Boston. The accepted knowledge at the time--and since, really--was that Clemens sucked his final four years in Boston. I'd hold up on that kind of thinking. Guys have down years. Steve Carleton had a bunch of them. (Tom Seaver essentially never.) Those were lackluster Red Sox teams, for the most part, frustrating to play for, save the 1995 team. But people make this determination based on Clemens' W-L record. In 1994, his ERA was 2.85, good for second in the league. Today, that would make you a Cy Young contender. He was also fifth in WAR--in the whole AL--which everyone loves in 2020 (not me, but most). In 1996, his last with Boston, he was again fifth in the AL in WAR, seventh in ERA, first in strikeouts, and he struck out 20 in a game. He was pitching at a Cy Young-type level when he left the Red Sox. This was not a "twilight of his career" type of deal. I have never read anything where anyone mentions this, and yet it is so basic, so plain to see.

* Off of this ballot, I think these people should get in: Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Schilling, Larry Walker. In that order. I see weird support for Andruw Jones. Do you know why Andruw Jones was not good after thirty? Andruw Jones was fat, and it caught up with him. As for Schilling: Could care less what he says. I think saying stupid things--so long as you are not out and out espousing violence and molestation and saying we should keep down the blacks and the Jews--or the geniuses--means absolutely nothing compared to cheating on your spouse, for example. And what percentage of guys do you think are out fucking people in every town they go to? That's not worse than a dumbass opinion or one you happen to not agree with? That's fine? Why is that awesome? Why is that not a bigger problem? Schilling absolutely belongs. Hell, he might be the best big game pitcher ever.

* Kimball loves Larry Walker and I think he's correct about him belonging.

*Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe voted for one person, Jeter. He is such an asshole--this is his whole shtick. And covering up for people at the Globe who do intern drafts in which they rate the attractiveness of young woman interning there. Pretty fucking sick thing to do at work, right? His kid assaulted a cop, and the Globe buried that. But he plays moral arbiter. He's a bad person. Just wants attention. A Globe editor once told me that when they started their job there, Shaughnessy walked into their office to tell this person how important he was, how things worked around there, the respect he deserved, how great he was, etc.

* Kyrie Irving said something moronic and narcissistic again today. I think he compared himself to Martin Luther King (who, incidentally, cheated on his wife). I am not interested in looking up Kyrie Irving quotes. But I know this about him (as I mentioned on the Twitter): Besides dealing the chemistry of each team he goes to a mortal blow, insanely believing he expatiates with brilliance, Kyrie Irving is not a superstar. He is nowhere near as good as people believe. There are always 15 players in the league better than he is. Often more.


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