4th and a mile with Paul Muth
The Roast of baseball whiners, and what to do this weekend
I think I'm on my 8th or 9th full run through of The Office right now. The Office Ladies podcast got me back into it this time, and if you haven't given them a listen, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, I was watching the "Stress Relief" episode where the office takes turns roasting Michael Scott. He eventually craters and leaves, only to return and head shot roast everyone with one liners.
I'm at the point in this Astros offseason episode where I've cratered. I've kept silent while I watch Astros fans don their Twitter armor and go to Twitter war in defense of their team. But it's old, and I'm human.
Now I don't condone the cheating they were found guilty of. And I also think it's OK to be mad if you were on another team when it happened. But whining about it on Twitter or into a microphone isn't doing anything, especially if you haven't taken the time to make sure your side of the aisle is clean. It's important to not throw stones if you live in a glass house, and frankly, all of this piling on is going nowhere and changing nothing.
So, whatever. Let's throw some back.
"[I] thought Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years. I think
what people don't realize is Altuve stole an MVP from [Aaron] Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."
-Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder
Your own player's union prevented the punishments and even if he did they would have all been thrown out due to good old fashioned labor laws. And don't talk about stealing an MVP, you're one Christian Yelich kneecap away from a 2nd place finish last season dude. Even then he still should've won it.
"I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating. It's wrong."
-Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves outfielder
I mean, bold words dude. It's a shame that the next day 70-year-old Dusty Baker crumpled your entire manhood into a ball with a simple response: "I didn't think Markakis talked too much, maybe he had his Wheaties." Also, try swinging better than .121 in the postseason the past two years.
"If I knew what [pitch] was coming in '17, I probably would have hit 80-plus home runs,"
-Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees outfielder
Let's get you on the field for more 80 games first, then we can have this conversation, bud.
"Listen I know I don't play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do! Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this. Literally the ball is in your court(or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay"
-LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers small forward
So speaking up about the sanctity of baseball is more important than speaking up about the basic human rights of the people of Hong Kong. Noted. I guess Houston didn't buy enough of his shoes.
And finally, here's a one tweet mic drop to all of the journalists piling on for easy page views:
With apologies to my friends in the business, but sports journalism isn't actual journalism. If it was, they'd be investigating leads to find out who's been cheating on every team instead of just dunking on the Astros for pageviews.
— John Wessling (@johnwessling) February 17, 2020
This weekend in Houston
Sabrecats - Live sporting events are a little thin this weekend, but if you're feeling adventurous, there's a Sabrecats rugby game this Saturday at 7 pm. Watching rugby isn't the adventurous part. Driving down 288 to get there is.
Doomsday Wrestling - If you've never seen Doomsday Wrestling put on a show, be at Numbers on Westheimer on Saturday at 9 pm. You don't have to like wrestling to enjoy it. You're welcome.
Mardis Gras Stuff - It's Mardi Gras weekend, people. be prepared. If you haven't tried Mardi Gras in Galveston, this is their last weekend. Get going. There's also a pub crawl in the East End (or EaDo for the hipsters).
It's also National Margarita day this Saturday, for what it's worth.
What to watch this weekend
Your Houston Roughnecks hit the road for the first time against the Tampa Bay Vipers on Saturday at 1 pm (FOX), and the Rockets will be in action against the Utah Jazz at 8pm (ATT-SW).
But that's not what this weekend is for.
This weekend is about the Deontay Wilder versus Tyson Fury rematch on Saturday (8 pm, ESPN+/FOX PPV). We're dealing with two absolute mammoth human beings in what has been a fairly underwhelming weight class to watch for some time. This is the biggest boxing match of 2020 to date, and last time these two were in the same ring it was a draw.
4 Downs of the Week
I'm switching up the formatting of the Ultimate World Power Rankings of the Week to be a little more on theme. It's simple, we'll get through this together
1st down (a good thing) - JJ Watt ties the knot, boogies with grandmother, stays wholesome.
Best day of my life.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 16, 2020
Grandma cutting it up on the dance floor!! pic.twitter.com/nDUdsmiFJG
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 16, 2020
That couple is so adorable it's exhausting. Probably the most heartwarming sports-ish news Houston has had in awhile.
2nd Down (An okay thing. Mainly just a thing.) - Brodie and the Beard, swag on max.
On July 16th 2019, a sage mind (me) predicted an unquestionable truth on this site:
"Harden and Westbrook may be in the running for best on-court duo on the league, but they are hands down the most fashion-forward."
And would you look who made the cover of GQ! The Oukast nod didn't go unnoticed, either. Very nice.
Presenting GQ's March cover stars: @Russwest44 & @JHarden13, the most stylish duo in sports https://t.co/uoRaBnWkD2 pic.twitter.com/URaVDOdFpF
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) February 18, 2020
3rd down (not great) - Astros have a target on their backs, Vegas has an over/under.
Place your bets, Houston. According to an ESPN.com article, Vegas has the odds of Astros batters being plunked at 83.5. Last season teams were hit about 66 times on average, for reference. I wonder what the over/under is for Astros bench clearings?
4th and a mile (Bad) - As if Houston needed another reason to cancel Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings found itself in a bit of hot water in the Bayou City earlier this week after someone's twitter fingers got ahead of themselves.
THAT'S how you punish a team that cheats. https://t.co/A0HJYUjc0q
— Buffalo Wild Wings (@BWWings) February 14, 2020
Houston fans didn't take that lying down, and BWW soon tweeted an apology. Then this happened:
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony change name to Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony to sell chicken wings https://t.co/gebgomDLrW
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 20, 2020
I'll see you guys at Pluckers. Forever.