The Miserablist: All-Star Edition

The Miserablist: All-Star Edition
July 15, 2014, 8:15 pm
The Home Run Derby needs paint balls, or even live explosives.... It surely needs fewer children running up to give players bottles of colored drinks and towels as though they are miniaturized managers in a heavyweight’s corner.
Ray Ratto

The Steve Kerr Era began with a last-second loss to the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League Monday night, and yes, the rules should be the same for him as they are for Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari – fail, and be fired. So it was fun while it lasted, Pasty-Faced Mastermind, but we hold our coaches to a higher standard here. Go see if Marv Albert will have you back – except that he was calling the game as some sort of community service project (who would do such a thing voluntarily?), and he saw what we saw. He may not want you either.

X X X

In other NBA news, the fight over who got the LeBron James scoop dragged on into a fourth day with the real winner, LeBron James, still getting no credit for breaking the story on himself. As for the side issue, whether Sports Illustrated whored itself out to James to be the first, this is a fascinating laboratory experiment in which the real test is to see which hooker can hike her skirt up fastest. If LeBron bought himself a newspaper, he could play by journalism rules, but he saw what happened with the Deron Williams web site (it was universally mocked, as it should have been), so he rented out space to a media company that would do the same for, well, anyone, just as any other media corporation would.

In other words, when it comes to stories like this, frankly, it’s going to be Skirts Ahoy a lot more often than it isn’t.

X X X

One other note on the James announcement, to all those journalists who talked about how “classy” it was, and “what it meant.” We shouldn’t be moved by such notions, where the presentation is all and the meaning is nothing. The meaning is that James has taken the next step toward big-earning athletes taking control of their destiny rather than submitting to the whims of their slack-faced corporate masters, and that’s all it is. This could have been accomplished in Cleveland, Miami, Milwaukee, or if he’d lost his mind and forgotten where NBA franchises are actually located, Tel Aviv. James going home isn’t some sort of passion play, it’s a business decision, and to make it into something else is . . . oh, hell, it’s what we do in search of any old sap-drenched narrative where we can show how much we like “happy” endings. You know, because sport is a microcosm of society rather than the money-generating factory-without-wrenches it actually is.

In some, we who fell for the whole narrative stink. Again.

X X X

The Home Run Derby needs paint balls, or even live explosives. It needs outfielders who are trained marksmen to try to pick off the balls like they were skeet. It also needs multiple batters fighting each other for their turn. It surely needs fewer children running up to give players bottles of colored drinks and towels as though they are miniaturized managers in a heavyweight’s corner between rounds having sure their fighters are properly hydrated. And it definitely needs fewer people complaining about the Hispanic hitters speaking in their mother tongue to each other, unless they are willing to sponsor semaphore flags or aldis lamps for all the performers so they can only speak in a non-native tongue.

X X X

It also doesn’t need what we got last night: The Dead Ball Era.

X X X

Tim Howard’s AdWeek photo reminds us all that Colin Kaepernick is going to hell for his tats. Except that Tim Howard is a hero and all that for making 16 saves in a fruitless attempt to beat Belgium. And except that Colin Kaepernick wears a flat-brimmed hat and Beats. And except that old people judging young people on looks rather than needs was stupid when we were the young people, so maybe a little memory of the good old days wouldn’t be out of line here.

Nahhhh. We’re still getting 19th-century we-hate-furriners types to calm down about the World Cup in general. This would snap their motor mouths.

X X X

SEC Media Day is one of those special (read: awful) things that separate college football from all other sports in that . . . oh, hell, no it doesn’t. It’s mostly white guys at a podium being covered like their every utterance is a federal law, sort of like CSpan in hell. But it’s a local custom, like NASCAR pit fights and barbecue, it doesn’t translates to cool places like the West Coast where Washington State coach Mike Leach could fill himself with sodium pentothal, get naked and paint himself crimson-and-gray and scream at tourists from Macy’s display window without anyone noticing or caring, and so we can only look from afar and say, “Damn, if it weren’t for the fact that we cover all of Jim Harbaugh and Dennis Allen’s pressers as important television events, that would be really stupid.”

X X X

And finally, here’s one more reason soccer will never make it in America: Only 11 coaches of World Cup teams are no longer with those teams, and only five have actually been canned; the other six have moved on to preferable jobs or retired.

That’s simply not going to get it done, kids. If the World Cup is religion, where are the excommunications and burnings at the stake that make religion fun? I know it’s hard to get rid of FIFA types, but coaches should be easy.