More Cowbell Than You Will Ever Need
My editors thought it would be a good idea for me to stop in here, since I'm one of the few regular contributors at E$PN who has experience running a website (you might remember my days as the Boston Sports Guy). So I'm Bill Simmons, and unlike the regular contributors to this blog, you haven't seen me on TV.
Frankly, I was a bit surprised when I heard that BBTN was starting a blog. My buddy Hench got 3-1 odds in Vegas that this blog won't last four months. I thought it was a rash gambling decision, but he's riding a high because he stands to win $450 if the Rockets beat the Mavs. I told Dad about the blog, and he said "They're starting a blog? They should just stick to TV and talk more about hitting" before grumbling something about Bronson Arroyo. He's a character, my Dad.
Now I know these guys write the occasional column on the E$PN site, but when you think about the BBTN crew, "internet savvy" isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Can you picture HR and Kruk sitting awake at night, responding to all of the scathing comments in their comments boxes? They might pull it off, though. If Donald Trump can resurrect his late 80's celebrity status and become one of the biggest stars on TV, then anything can happen (seriously, in 2001, what odds could you have gotten in Vegas betting on "Donald Trump having a massive hit TV show within three years"? You could have gotten better odds betting on Ian Ziering becoming the next James Bond). This blog will either be an amazing success or it will crash and burn spectacularly. There's no inbetween. Either the hits will go through the roof or it will the online equivalent of Brenda and Dylan getting held up at the Mexican border after their ill-thought out trip to Baja. At least that gave us a James Eckhouse performance for the ages. That talk he had with Brenda afterward, when he forbade her to ever see Dylan again -- he should have won a special Emmy just for that two minute performance. That was a "Save Until I Delete" moment on TiVo if there ever was one (too bad there was no TiVo back then. Can you imagine if there had been? On second thought, I'd have maxed out my TiVo's memory chips on 90210 and OJ trial coverage, leaving no room for saving the Ron Artest incident so that I could watch it 583 times over the past five months. These are the things that keep me awake at night).
I explained this to BBTN and suggested that they get in a few net-savvy baseball guys to help keep the blog's momentum moving. You don't think Rob Neyer would kill to mix it up with Kruk on the topic of clutch hitting? Actually, never mind the blog, they should ditch it and send John Kruk and Rob Neyer on a three-week tour to A-ball. Have them drive from ballpark to ballpark, watching games together, videotape everything they say and do, and make it into a reality show for E$PN2. It would be one part Mulder and Scully, one part "The Simple Life". That's a can't-miss prospect, unlike the players they'd be watching during their travels. Can you imagine?
Kruk: That Hollandsdale kid, he's a flamethrower, he's hitting 95 on the gun no problem. He could pitch in the bigs right now.
Neyer: His K/BB ratio last year in the Peachgrass League was only 1.8/1. And he's already 25 years old. I mean, we can't be certain that he'll make it to the bigs, but right now, I'd say it's likely that his control issues will get him no higher than AA ball.
Kruk: In high school, I used to sit on kids like you.
A whole ten episodes of this? Who do I have to talk to in order to make this happen?
Anyhow, I'm just about out of time here, and I haven't even said anything about the Red Sox! Many readers have written to me wondering where Pedro's performance with the Mets ranks on the Vengeance Scale. If he keeps pitching this way for the rest of the season, then it should place somewhere between Shaq in Miami and Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me A River" video. But yeah, with Wells and Schilling injured, and Pedro rubbing his success in Boston's face, things aren't looking good for the Sox. At least Nomar is injured, we can feel good about that. Really though, who didn't see that coming? Nomar's injury is the least surprising thing to happen in baseball this year. Even Coby getting voted off on "Survivor" two weeks ago was more surprising than that.
And if the blog doesn't work out, don't worry, there's always "Page 3"!