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World Series 06

The Letter Jay

Posted on 2006.10.27 at 06:25
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam
There is a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times named Jay Mariotti. He can be depended upon to often write self-righteous, self-serving opinion pieces calculated to enhance his image among local sports fans. I don’t know how successful this approach has been for him, but he must be doing something right, since he’s been a featured columnist here for over a decade. When I was living in Detroit, Jay was a columnist for The Detroit News. I found him irritating then and I find him irritating now. Most of the time, I glide right past his column, as my leisure time is far too valuable to waste on his predictable drivel. But this morning on my way to work, the train was moving slowly, allowing me time to read the paper in greater detail than usual, and I deigned to read Jay’s column. Allow me to summarize:

Jay wrote on Thursday about the recent events surrounding Kenny Rogers (that’s the pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, not the singer). Rogers pitched and won game 2 of the World Series last Sunday. After the first inning, the umpire apparently asked him to wash a smudge of something off his hand and Rogers complied. The substance appears to have been pine tar, which many pitchers use to improve their grip on the ball. While the use of pine tar for this purpose is technically a violation of the rules, umpires have been looking the other way for years, since it is not used to alter the flight path of the ball. It is probable that pitchers for both the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals are using or have used pine tar for this very purpose. It is worth noting that even after washing his hand, Rogers tossed seven more scoreless innings before being removed from the game. The story was discussed quite a bit on sports talk radio for the next day or so before everyone moved on.

Everyone, that is, except Jay Mariotti. He used his column today to decry this ignoring of the rules, this undermining of the grand old game. He wrote of the dark complicity of the Commissioner’s office in their ignoring of this egregious scandal. On and on he went, linking this to every ill associated with major league baseball. Oh, thank God we have Jay as our conscience in these amoral times!

I’d had enough. I had to write a letter to the editor about this. I e-mailed it to the Sun-Times this afternoon. I have no expectation that they will print it, but I felt better for writing it, and since you’re not likely to see it in print anywhere else, I herewith offer the complete text for your edification:

Jay Mariotti talks about the “national furor” surrounding baseball’s handling of the Kenny Rogers “smudge” incident. It may be a national furor in Jay’s dreams, but here in the real world, it isn’t causing much of a stir. In an informal survey of about half a dozen fellow baseball fans, I found the number of people who considered it worth a second thought to be a total of zero. None. This is classic Mariotti, making a show out of taking the moral high ground, speaking for we honest citizens who don’t have newspaper columns. Well, Jay, you’re not speaking for us. You’re speaking for an audience of your own imagining, which is to say, an audience that values your opinion.


actuary67 at 2006-10-28 12:25 (UTC) (Link)

lol - White Sox manage Ozzie Guillen also has strong feelings about JM, as you probably know : http://www.themightymjd.com/2006/06/22/it-is-not-okay-to-call-jay-mariotti-a-fag/

Personally, I find him to be somewhat entertaining on ESPN's "Around the Horn"-- I'd much rather listen to JM than to that blow-hard Tony Kornheiser (regarding the latter, we are now subjected to his blather during Monday Night Football commentary (ugh)) !
charlesofcamden at 2006-10-28 14:42 (UTC) (Link)
Good read on that link - thanks!
As for Kornheiser, I found him somewhat amusing as an ESPN radio host, but it just doesn't seem to translate to TV for him. And as for his work on MNF - *yawn!*
While the task of chirping away in the shadow of Joe Theismann is pretty unenviable, most of Kornheiser's remarks on that show don't even rise to the level of blather. He strikes me as curiously de-fanged, as if he's intimidated by the whole process. That could well be the case, come to think of it. After all, he's spent most of his career as a newspaper columnist, where he could take a few minutes to compose his thoughts. Perhaps live sports just goes by a little too quickly for Tony. I believe this used to be known as the Peter Principle!
intcreatures at 2006-10-29 22:44 (UTC) (Link)

Had Enough of Mariotti? Sign the Petition!

Mariotti branded a bunch of us over at Jay the Joke as Internet creatures for daring to criticize His columns* and all round useless irritating existence.

The stakes have been somewhat ratcheted as us lowly Internet creatures are now actively campaigning for the Sun-Times to fire Mariotti.

Check out the blog, sign the petition and encourage others to do so as well.

A post was also written regarding Mariotti's blather about "Shit Hand Gate".
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