Rant Week is Now Underway! Rant 1: FJM: The Mets Suck. Why Can’t Everyone Understand That?

This post marks the beginning of “Rant Week” here at Usually Useless, which is all leading up to a big week next week, as well. I came up with roughly ten things that really pissed me off over the weekend, and will rant about them all this week. First up, from the Associated Press, I go all FJM on the recap of the Mets-Astros game on Sunday. If you don’t know about FJM, or “Fire Joe Morgan,” as they’re also referred to around these parts, it was one of the best blogs on the interwebs. Famous for its ranting against poor journalism by line-by-line dissection of an article, they were also known for hating against ESPN baseball broadcaster Joe Morgan. Much to the dismay of blog-readers everywhere, they shut down shop in November of last year, but their old columns are always fun to read whenever I need a hearty laugh of the expense of experienced journalists. Continue reading

Phillies Leading AL East

Division Mistake

Yesterday, I wrote the first post in a recurring segment called, “Great Mistakes in Journalism History.” A South Florida newspaper had a Brewers-Marlins box score from their series over the weekend against the Phillies. Well, the Phillies showed up in another great journalism error. But this time, your Worldwide Leader made the mistake. In the preview for Cubs-Phillies game last night that ESPN puts up for each game, the writer was trying to describe their hot July streak after faltering at home for much of the season. FAIL. Knowing that these mistakes usually don’t stay online very long, I got a couple screen grabs to immortalize it in Usually Useless history. Close-up, if you JUMP… Continue reading

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Forgets Who Marlins Are Playing

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Marlins Box Score MistakeAs you can tell, this is the box score from Friday night’s marathon 5-hour game that was featured in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Sunday. Do you see any mistakes conveniently boxed in red for you? What’s that? The Marlins played the Philadelphia “Brewers” on Friday night? Is this a softball game? Did the Publix Marlins softball team take on Philadelphia Brewing Company‘s softball team? Also notice they cut off the errors column in the box score. Strange. The one game that the Marlins don’t make an error, and the newspaper doesn’t even acknowledge it!

Previously: The One Where Chase Utley Gets Us All Some Sleep Despite Brad Lidge’s Best Efforts | Usually Useless

Top Two: July 20th, 2009

This is a new twice-daily feature I’m starting over here today, in my effort to both cover more news and cover more in one post. The morning version, “The First Five,” will cover the five biggest stories from the night before. In the evening version, “The Final Five,” I will cover the five biggest stories from that day, Monday through Friday. The five stories can be from the topic of anything, whether it be in sports, politics, entertainment, or whatever. Today, I’m only covering two topics, seeing as I didn’t actually plan this out very well, and didn’t take notes about three other stories I wanted to cover. They are, however, two of the biggest stories we will hear about for quite a while. S0 here goes, the first edition of “The First Five” on a Monday, July 20th, 2009. The stories are not in any order, just in the order I find them in, and thus, decide to write them in.

1. Tom Watson loses British Open, allowing Stewart Cink to win.

Notice the wording. More people will remember this as the major that Watson lost than the one that Cink won. And that’s because of the way he lost. He was back and forth, lead, tie, behind, most of the weekend, especially Sunday. But going into the 18th hole, the final hole of the British Open, he was leading by one stroke. All he had to do was par that 18th hole to win. But, of course, you probably know all of that by now, and you know that he bogeyed that final hole to force a 4-hole playoff, that he would later lose by a staggering 6 strokes. Dan Levy siad it perfectly On the DL Podcast today: “The saddest part of watching Watson miss the putt on 18 and fall apart during the playoff is that we knew — and he knew — this was his last chance at something like this.” He had a chance to make history, to become the oldest player to win a major, and by a wide margin. The current record holder, Julius Boros, was 48. He had a chance to do something amazing. And he will probably never have that chance again.

2. Walter Cronkite Dies at 92.

A great anchorman, Cronkite had been sick with cerbovascular disease for a few months, the New York Times reported almost a month ago. Frequently considered “the most trusted man in America,” he reported on the Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinations, the Vietnam War, and moon landing, to name a few, as NPR noted. In fact, it’s kind of ironic that Cronkite died when he did, on Friday, three days before the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. The Museum of Broadcast Comunications mentioned that “Cronkite was on the air for 27 of the 30 hours that Apollo XI took to complete its mission.” But one thing that really pisses me off about this, or rather the coverage of it, is that some people have the nerve to call him the “World’s Most Overrated Reader of the News.” And then there are the 85 commenters, most of whom are agreeing with the author. Come on, dude! The guy’s dead, and he was a great newscaster! At least show a little respect!

Some choice comments:

“Good riddance to a liberal hypocrite.”

“[Michael] Jackson, love him or hate him, had enormous talent — Cronkite, not so much.”

“As for me, I cannot find it in myself to mourn his passing.”

The author himself said, “The adulation that has greeted his demise is as unearned as it is emetic.” No, Roger, it’s you and your post that’s emetic. And that’s the way it is.

The One Where Chase Utley Gets Us All Some Sleep Despite Brad Lidge’s Best Efforts

You know, that has always been my favorite Friends episode. But on the actual game…

The Phils won what felt like the longest in the history of sport, a game that included a 78-minute rain delay and 3 extra innings. The actual game lasted a total of 4:05, and from first pitch to last, took up 5:23 of your Friday night and took a good amount of time that you probably planned to use sleeping.

Chase Utley went 2-6, with 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored, including his 21st homer of the season to help them jump out to an early 2-0 lead after the first half-inning, as well as the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 12th.

Jayson Werth was also 2-6, with a pair of RBIs and put the Phils up by 2 in the 12th, which proved to be very helpful in the bottom half of that inning.

Jimmy Rollins, seemingly like everyone else on the team, also went 2-6, with a pair of scores and a double, and now has hitsi n 12 of his last 13 games.

Ryan Howard — you guessed it — was 2-6, with a run scored.

Raul Ibanez, to break the streak, was only 2-3, but also scored once.

Cole Hamels was pitching very well, only allowing four baserunners after the lead-off homer, but in typical Florida weather fashion, his start was shortened by that pesky rain delay. He likely would’ve had a quality start. In his 5 innings, he gave up just 4 hits and 1 run, walking 1 and striking out 5. He alsothrew just 68 pitches thru those 5 innings. I wouldn’t be the leasdt bit surprised if he goes out and shuts down the Cubs on Wednesday. (It doesn’t hurt that they have a pretty mediocre lineup. Thanks, Soriano!)

(Updated from here down. Everything before this was what I managed to get in before the game last night. More on that later.)

Brad Lidge, in the bottom of the 12th, after the Phils had scored their two, really did not want to win, and tried to keep us up as long as possible. He gave up back-to-back one-out walks.

Look for more stuff later tonight/tomorrow. I’m going to the game tonight. Look for me on the 1st-base line.

Phils Rout My Birthday

[Eds. Note: Yeah, this probably should have been posted on Tuesday. Which excuse do you want: technical difficulties or just my laziness?]

When you have a summer birthday, you always look forward to when your favorite team plays on your birthday, since its the only one of the four major sports in action. You hope they win, with good hitting and at least a half-decent pitching performance. Maybe your favorite player will hit a homer for you. For my birthday yesterday, they exceeded any expectations I could have possibly had for them.

They just absolutely clobbered the Cincinnati Reds for a final score of 22-1. They broke the entire record book, not just the records. Todd Zo took note of some of the interesting things that occurred in this legendary game, including it being the most runs they’ve scored since their June 11, 1985 massacre of the Mets, when Von Hayes hit 2 homers in the 1st, the second of them being a grand slam. But the ’85 Phils only scored 9 1st-inning runs, compared to yesterday’s 10. Also, Hayes accounted for the only 2 homers. MLB.com has a multitude of clips and videos from the game. Also, if you have the time, read the posts and comments of some Reds blogs. Try Cincinnati.com‘s Reds blog or OMGreds, and then look through their blog rolls.

Bloggy News: Watch for some (relatively) big changes coming to the site next week. I’m on vacation until Monday, so my blogging will likely be a little just as rare. On Monday, I happen to get home with a couple hours to spare before the Home Run Derby, so I might think of something to do for the All-Star Break.

Update: I can not believe that I forgot about this when I first posted it. Very disappointed in myself. Anyways, one Phils fan in Indy got the Reds announcers while watching the game. Needless to say, they must have been kinda depressed the whole game. The fan, Bill, posted some choice quotes from the announcers. Just imagine you’re watching Major League, and Bob Uecker is announcing.

A Tribute To Billy Mays

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that great, infamous TV infomercial pitchman Billy Mays passed away on Sunday, likely due to a heart attack caused by hypertensive heart disease.

Some interesting things to mention about Mays:

He moved to Atlantic City from Pittsburgh in 1983, and got his start by pitching “As Seen on TV” products.

He challenged fellow pitchman Vince Offer — he of ShamWow (“You following me, cameraguy?”) and Slap Chop (“You’re gonna love my nuts.”) fame — to a “pitch-off” on the late, great Adam Carolla radio show. Mays put up his Zorbeez against Offer’s ShamWow, and Popular Mechanics played the judge. The ShamWow won “by a mile.”

He had a Discovery Channel series, “Pitchmen,” with British pitchman Andrew Sullivan. The Discovery Channel created an entire playlist in memory of him. The first season’s finale is also tonight, with a tribute marathon leading up to it. The status of series is to be determined past this first season.

Just last Tuesday, he appeared on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien with “Sully”.

They were great sports to put up with Conan’s silliness. It kind of felt like their appearances were to help promote the products that Conan brought out, with Sullivan or Mays essentially doing their informercial for each product. Finally, it was surreal hearing him talk about Ed McMahon.

Tribute videos, after the jump… Continue reading

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