On its own, the NBA is a spectacular league that I love to watch. But it also serves another purpose in my world.
My passion is baseball, but when the season ends I need something else to occupy my time. The NBA gives me exactly that. Until now. Besides the obvious entertainment value I get out of it, the NBA gives me something to talk/read/write about while baseball players slumber.
When the Red Sox season ends, win or lose, people love to talk about feelings, chemistry, leaders, cancers and what ever other post facto argument for success ("Cowboy Up!") or failure ("Chicken and beer :(") they can come up with that have little to no bearing on what actually happened on the field. When the NBA is around, I get to watch Paul Pierce and the boys make beautiful music on the court. Now, I have to deal with this mind numbing shit head on. So here are my quick thoughts on the Bob Hohler piece.
- I can't stand anonymous sources. Man up to the shit you smear. Unless it is a political controversy, either put your name on what you say or don't say anything at all.
- Poor Terry Francona. None of what was printed in this is any of our business.
- Larry Lucchino made some comment about how this was "Hohler's take" on the situation. The radio jockeys are blasting Lucchino for saying this, but I don't get why. Yes the bulk of the column is information he received in interviews, but they are still coordinated in a way to support a specific narrative that Hohler decided on. This is like saying that Michael Moore is only presenting the facts when he makes his "documentaries."
- The biggest instance of Hohler imparting his own take is with the infamous chicken, beer and video games revelation. He starts by saying how the signs of the collapse appeared early in the season (of course nobody noticed them when they occurred) when some of the pitchers appeared in the "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer" video. He then says that Lackey, Lester and Beckett were drinking, eating chicken and playing video games in the locker room, though never once says how often and under what circumstances. Then he says that some of the guys cut back on their in-season workouts. Then he closes with the terrible September stats of the 3 starters. I may not be no fancy journalist, but to me that seems like a writer saying "Beer video -> drinking beer -> not working out -> bad September performance." With no concrete evidence that these three things caused the bad performance, this is what we call a "take."
- If you want to follow this story line, find out how often this happened. Was it a Sunday only thing? Was it every start that one of the three weren't involved in? Was it once a month? Was it only during blowouts? How long were they in the clubhouse? These are all things we should know if we are to speculate on how disruptive these activities were to the team.
- Beyond the basic 4 W's and an H (I took a class in High School), shouldn't we then look to see if there is any evidence that these practices lead to poor performance? There have been tons of out of shape, drunk and loner players that have had tremendous success individually and with their teams. Truthfully, nobody has ever measured the effects of working out or not working out mid-season so it is not fair to make the connection until it happens.
- People talk about how chemistry was a reason for the collapse, but who has more chemistry than 3 or 4 dudes sitting around drinking beer, eating chicken and playing video games?
Please come back NBA. I hate writing this stuff.