What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
We’re a month into the baseball season, and some things are going as planned, and some things aren’t. The Cubs are so far living up to their status as Vegas’ favorite pre-season choice to to win the World Series. The Giants are in the spot right next to them, as we all know what even-numbered years mean lately. Toss in the defending Champs in Kansas City, the new powers in Toronto, and you get the picture.
But nobody wants to be shitty, and yet there’s always a few teams which are. That’s why were here to break down who just might be the worst of the worst, the bottom of the bottom feeders.
JFI’s Pick: The Cincinnati Reds
Cue the hate mail from Thom Brennaman. Let’s look at the Reds’ top-to-bottom to why I feel this is 2016’s worst team.
The Reds have very little. None that is proven anyway. Last year’s fire sale saw the departure of Johnny Cueto to Kansas City and Mike Leake to the Giants. Good moves by the way, if what they got in return pans out. That’s always a crapshoot, but the Reds were bad last year and they made the right call in not paying these guys, especially Cueto. He was due for his big pay day, and he got it, but the Reds were in no position to give it to him. Alfredo Simon, Raisel Iglesias, and Brandon Finnegan form the Reds top 3 starters this year. Iglesias and Finnegan are young and could develop some day, but not this year.
One of if not THE worst bullpens in all of baseball. When J.J. Hoover is your closer, you know you have more issues than TV Guide. The Reds also traded Aroldis Chapman in the off season, again, a good move in my opinion. I hate closers anyway, and there is no reason to pay one what he was making on a team that is battling the Brewers to stay out of the basement in the loaded N.L. Central. Also, you aren’t going to convince me that Jumbo Diaz isn’t really Pablo Sandoval pulling double duty for meal money.
The Reds also traded away Todd Frazier this offseason, again, electing not to give him a big pay day. Good player but the time just isn’t right to hand out big contracts in Cincinnati. I don’t want to say Brandon Phillips is old, but his social security number is single digits. One time leadoff man Billy Hamilton has been moved down to the bottom of the order. Injuries have slowed him down, and, as the cliche goes, you can’t steal first base. Joey Votto is clearly their best hitter, but with little to nothing around him, I can’t see him getting anything anywhere close to hit. He will take his walks, but then he just gets stranded or is the lead out in a double play. The Reds lack of offense coupled with inexperienced pitching is a recipe for disaster.
At first I was surprised the Reds retained Bryan Price. He’s everything I hate in a manager. Not only will he not use the closer unless it’s a save situation, he has made that policy known. He’s Matt Williams. He’s Dusty Baker. Zero creativity, always opting for the lefty righty matchup regardless of what the trends and stats actually say (note to all managers: Anthony Rizzo hits left handed pitchers as well as right handers, so stop going to your version of Mike Remlinger to get him out.) But then again why bother to replace him when they obviously saw the writing on the wall for this year as evidenced by all the dumping they did at the break last year and the off season. There’s another cliche that says don’t fire your guy unless you know who you want to replace him. I don’t care if you resurrected Connie Mack to manage this team, they aren’t good, and they aren’t going to be good for awhile.
Just because I think the Reds could be the worst of the worst this year doesn’t mean they have no hope. As I’ve stated, they unloaded some money and got some prospects. As a Cubs fan, I know what it is to have to endure being terrible while you wait for your prospects to develop. If the Reds young players pan out and they add some free agents at the right time, they could be back in contention in a few years. This year, however, it’s going to be a tough time in the Queen City. If they can get somebody to bite this year on Votto’s contract or if Jay Bruce can bounce back from 2 poor years and make himself desirable, the Reds should purge themselves and hope they can get some young players back, and maybe hit on a draft pick or 2. For now, look for the Reds to be cellar dwellers.
J-Dub’s Pick: The Milwaukee Brewers
Realistically, the NL Central is like a third-world country. You have all the Bernie Sanders supporters in this country moaning about “income disparity,” and to prove they don’t understand the fundamentals of economics, they are crying about poverty in a country where even the vast majority of poor people have a roof over their heads and a car to drive. I’d love to take these people to a country like the Philippines where they can see the extremes of wealth surrounded by people living in abandoned packing crates and cooking their own urine.
Thankfully, we don’t need a 14-hour flight for just such a display in disparity as long as we have the NL Central. Here’s a division which last year brought us three play-off teams as well as two of the worst clubs in the bigs. The Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates are all enjoying the splendor of Malacañan Palace, while the Reds and the Brewers dine on split pee soup with extra toenails.
JFI already addressed the miasma which is the Cincinnati Reds. Nobody who is being intellectually honest can try to tell you this year’s version of the remnants of “the big Red Machine” looks more like a rusted out school bus just waiting for a date with the scrapper’s torch. JFI also took a lot of time and effort to break down why the Reds are as dreadful as they are, and he’s not wrong.
But then again he’s the kind of guy who will count the grains of sand on the beach while not noticing high-tide is about to drown his ass. In other words, yes, the Reds are shitty. But they aren’t alone in their achievements in shitty. Welcome to their fellow NL Central shanty-town dwellers, the Milwaukee Brewers.
Let’s be honest. This whole piece is a bit misnamed. This isn’t really about proving which team is worse, because it really can’t be done. Doing so would be like having a contest to see if a brown turd tastes worse than a green one, and arguing so is like two bums fighting over the least piss-stained raincoat at the Salvation Army.
Before you point out that in only a few short paragraphs I’ve made two references to the consumption of human waste, I would offer that enduring nine innings of Reds and Brewers baseball and wondering why the stands in those respective ballparks look like infected rattlesnakes had been set loose in them is a bit like building a Chinese buffet next to a sewage treatment plant and wondering why nobody wants the Hot and Sour soup.
As far as the actual clubs are concerned, it really boils down to this. You can really take pretty much everything JFI said about the Reds and with minor wording changes apply it to the Brewers. The Brewers also have no real starting pitching, a bullpen that couldn’t even hold those “Urban Cowboy” mechanical bulls, an offense that is one star and a couple of B-to-C listers, and little else.
That means we head in to “tie-breakers.” We could go through rounds of those, but there one thing that makes Milwaukee just soooooooo much more pathetic: the mascot.
There’s really nothing wrong with Bernie Brewer per se; he was awesome when after every Brewer home run he would ride a slid down into a giant mug of beer. But then the politically-correct nudniks bitched about how this somehow sent a message promoting the use of alcohol, so Bernie now slides on to a platform resembling a giant home plate.
I can’t even count on how many levels this is wrong, so I’ll just hit the biggies.
First of all, there are few things more American than a hot dog and a beer at a ball game, not to mention Milwaukee happens to be the the largest city in a state built on sausage and suds. They have a mascot race every goddamn game with a bunch of guys dressed up as various sausages, but God forbid you get a mascot with a beer.
Like I said, arguing over which team is worse is a bit pointless. But there’s simply no forgiving a team named the “Brewers” who took away beer from a mascot named “Bernie the Brewer” in a city globally known for what? Brewing beer.
Fuck the Brewers.