Luke Scott’s ‘American History K’
by David Roth and David Raposa
David Raposa: Here is some high-quality fantasy baseball analysis: “[Joey Votto’s .476 OBP is] 50 points higher than the on-base percentage he posted a year ago but he has increased that mark each of his first four seasons in the majors so he should be able to keep up this pace.”
David Roth: That sentence is a joy to read. I’m so glad Rotoworld has Michael Ondaatje writing for them now.
David Raposa: How would you rejigger those bon mots, Mr. Professional Writer, Sir? “Hey, so this guy is getting on base like Barry Bonds, but he should be able to continue that ridiculous pace, so you can go ahead and play 13 Rajai Davises to get your SBs up.”
David Roth: I prefer the second take, but I guess if the alternative is The Funny Fantasy Baseball Analyst, I guess I’ll take dry-and-wrong over jokes-about-the Miller Lite Lifeguard Commercials-and-wrong.
David Raposa: MAN UP, LATOS DOWN
David Roth: It is admittedly hard to write a sentence that is only about Joey Votto’s OBP and how that impacts You, The Reader. But fantasy baseball analysis is the wildest frontier of sportswriting out there — either ungrammatical calculation-y stuff of the “unless and until he’s convicted, he belongs in your starting lineup” variety, or cornballin’ bro-shtick. I read a thing from Matthew Berry earlier this week that was like 650 words on the narrative shortcomings of that “Mr. Snuggles” commercial that McDonald’s is running for its new 70oz. Caffeinated Diabetes Juice, and then an endorsement of Randy Wolf at the end.
David Raposa: I want to see more ambition. “Joey Votto’s unparalleled OBP should augur well for the War on Terror and the price of a barrel of oil.”
David Roth: CNBC that shit. And find a way to stir in a joke about The Most Interesting Man In The World.
David Roth: So, now it’s my turn to mention something I wanted to make sure we talked about: The Pirates are above .500. I wanted to get that on the record.
David Raposa: Is this one of those “latest they’ve been above .500 since Mike LaValliere was svelte” type of deals?
David Roth: The first time since 2004, I think. Back when Howard Dean was the name on everyone’s lips and… I don’t know, what else happened in 2004?
David Raposa: I dunno… Something about the Yankees…
David Roth: Something something Nickelback…
David Roth: I think Bloomberg appointed Anna Benson schools chancellor in ‘04? Or was that ‘03? I should really know this.
David Roth: Luke Scott was still a minor league slugger, and not yet the Republican nominee for President of these United States.
David Raposa: Oh, didn’t Long Form get waylaid by karma?
David Roth: Unless he got run over by a Prius driven by Booker T. Washington and Sen. Bernie Sanders, not nearly enough.
David Roth: Believing terrible things about minorities and taking a Tech-Nine into the shower with him is just something he does to stay loose.
David Raposa: I’m going to pretend that clown’s inability to believe the truth is some sort of at-bat ritual. Nomar adjusted his gloves, Ichiro extends his bat towards the pitcher, Scott gives thanks to Aqua Buddha.
David Roth: You know, we’re not really helping with the ignore-him-and-he’ll-go-away thing in re: Long Form Luke. Although I’m all for making up superstitions for various players, I think we should let Luke mumble darkly to himself about ZOG and the Bilderberg Group in the corner.
David Roth: That said, I think we owe it to the baseball fan community to talk about how Josh Hamilton won’t take BP unless Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” is playing on the PA. That’s a totally made-up superstition people need to know about.
David Raposa: So the day he slid head-first into home, someone switched out Amy Grant for Oxbow?
David Roth: It’s part of his recovery process that Hamilton cannot listen to music with guitars in it.
David Raposa: It’s a shame we’ll never see him rock out to Alter Bridge during All-Star Game festivities, then.
David Roth: If he even hears a few chords of “With Eyes Wide Open” he wakes up three days later in a trailer in Bradenton, Florida surrounded by crack rocks, yellow cake uranium and a dozen howler monkeys that he bought after pawning his parents’ riding mower. There’s angel dust in his eyebrows and he’s like, “Seriously, where is my angel dust, I need that.”
David Raposa: And with that, The Asylum’s The Hang-over is greenlit.
David Roth: Alter Bridge… I made a joke about them the other day and only later realized I don’t quite know what they are. They’re somehow affiliated with MLB, but are not Scott Spiezio’s band, right?
David Raposa: Alter Bridge is that dude from Creed, that other dude from Creed, and Mickey Tettleton on the theremin.
David Roth: Ah, right. Spiezio’s band is Sandfrog. And they’re way heavier and dumber than the name makes them sound. Sandfrog makes them sound like a cover band that plays at Margaritavilles in the Carolinas and before beach volleyball events.
David Raposa: And now, some schadenfreude courtesy of CJ Wilson: “[The A’s] take everything close. If it’s not called a strike, then they walk. It’s lawyer ball. That’s how they roll. That’s how they’re going to beat me. That’s how they have to beat me. I have to make a bunch of mistakes and walk a bunch of guys because they’re not that good of a hitting team. “
David Raposa: LAWYER BALL — Joe Morgan now has a title for his new book, and Jonah Hill has another chance to play a character 50 pounds outside of his weight class.
David Roth: That’s total office-softball grousing, there.
David Raposa: “I can’t believe they’re making me throw strikes because they won’t chase my off-plate slop.”
David Roth: CJ Wilson is interesting to me. His straight-edge thing hints at an alt-y edge that just isn’t there. I was hoping he’d be at, like, Earth Crisis shows all x’ed up and getting really mad about factory farms. Instead he’s at Buffalo Wild Wings with his teammates, but he’s drinking an Arnold Palmer.
David Raposa: Racing cars and harboring dreams of going pro with the vroom-vroom isn’t SXE? Did you never listen to Shelter’s “The Checkered Flag Is Yours”?
David Roth: I don’t know much about the straight-edge scene these days, but I can’t figure out where NASCAR fits into it.
David Raposa: “Roadhouse Tea isn’t liquor, right?”
David Roth: “Nope, it’s tougher than that. You haven’t seen the commercial for it, where the West Coast Choppers guy punches out a rhinoceros and rides off in a muscle car with Janine Lindemulder?”
David Roth: Do you know about the baseball/music magazine Lookout! Records used to put out?
David Raposa: Of course I do not!
David Roth: It was called Chin Music. I used to have a couple issues.
David Raposa: The Roxy Music cover homage is pretty great. The headline “The Team That Will Not Die: Montreal’s Expos,” not so much.
David Roth: Yeah, it is. And the design on the Spiezio cover is good, too. Although Spiezio screws it up, as he does. The articles weren’t great. They were clearly more comfortable interviewing The Fastbacks than they were talking to, like, Matt Stairs.
David Raposa: Clearly they weren’t down with Stairs’ fondness for Matt Szabo and Superconductor.
David Raposa: So how is your fantasy team? Mildly disappointing, or outright awful like mine?
David Roth: Oh, I have two, and they’re both terrible. What’s the matter with your team? The matter with my teams is Carl Crawford.
David Raposa: My team has all sorts of problems: winless pitchers, hitless batters, injured relievers — but since I have A-Rod, I’m blaming him for everything.
David Raposa: If only A-Rod could get Madison Bumgarner some wins!
David Roth: A less-selfish player would. Maybe having Carlos Beltran on my roster is a problem after all! He has divided my imaginary clubhouse with his selfish excellence to the point where Ubaldo Jimenez can’t even stop sucking out loud.
David Raposa: I heard that Beltran guy is a dick! Can’t believe the Mets ever signed that clown. Maybe the Mets can bring in Milton Bradley to straighten out the clubhouse.
David Roth: Walking Tall-style.
David Raposa: That’s the way he’d do it. Though he’d come up lame after a swing.
David Roth: I wonder what’s next for Milton. I mean, the obvious immediate answer is “The Bridgeport Bluefish.” But after that. He and Elijah Dukes could form a Franklin & Bash-style sports agency?
David Raposa: He’s gotten dinged for spousal abuse nonsense, right?
David Roth: Yeah, which obviously makes him totally unsympathetic. But otherwise you can see him as a short-tempered dude who didn’t take well to getting racial slurs yelled at him by the home fans during his flameout with the Cubs.
David Raposa: That’s a dude I can get behind. Especially if said dude gets put on the 60-day DL reaching down to pick something up.
David Roth: That always killed me about the way his Cubs years got covered. All the Tribune and Sun-Times guys being like, “Well, you know how the bleachers are. A few dozen beers and they start saying some really racist shit that they obviously mean.”
David Raposa: “They can’t HELP but be racist shitbags. It’s Milton’s fault for not rolling with the punches. If you’re still upset after the 50th N-word, the problem is you, am I right?”
David Roth: The punches being repeated slurs from a bunch of yuppie bigots. Or… I don’t know. My understanding of Cubs fans is basically that they’re the characters from About Last Night or Vince Vaughn. I don’t know who sits in the bleachers at Wrigley, really.
David Raposa: The other Belushis.
David Roth: I know that at the old Yankee Stadium, the bleachers was where the Rikers bus dropped off people from the women’s prison. And also everyone named “Vin” got in for free every night.
David Raposa: That Bradley/Cubs marriage was a perfect storm of assured destruction, though. The Cubs overpay for a guy that can’t go 10 games in the field without getting hurt.
David Roth: To be fair, it was the first time they’d tried that.
David Raposa: And Milton goes to a team whose fan base will forever blame their team’s ineptitude on scapegoats.
David Roth: To be fair to Cubs fans, it is easier when the scapegoat in question is a non-stop bile geyser with bad knees and a lousy contract. But also fuck being fair to Cubs fans on this one, maybe?
David Raposa: I wish those post-season clip montages would stow the Bartman footage and show The Other Alex Gonzalez booting a double play grounder.
David Roth: Or just show some footage of Mark Prior grimacing.
David Raposa: Or just show every Neifi Perez at-bat in a Cubs uni.
David Roth: Oh please don’t.
David Raposa writes about music for Pitchfork and other places. He used to write about baseball for the blog formerly known as Yard Work. He occasionally blogs for himself, and he also tweets way too much.
Photo by Keith Allison.