Andy Rooney is kind of a prick. And he's also really really stupid. Since my dad is a big 60 Minutes fan, I've been watching Andy Rooney for most of my life. For those of you that aren't familiar with him, Andy Rooney is this crusty old dude that spouts out a few minutes of stream--of-conscious nonsense at the end of every episode of 60 Minutes. I've seen hundreds of these segments, and every time I see one I ask whoever is around, "why does this guy have a job?"
Knowing of my hatred for Andy Rooney, a friend of mine sent me this article from the Stamford Times in which Rooney sort of talks about baseball. It's incoherent, unorganized, ignorant and even racist. I think it may represent the height of Andy Rooney's douchebaggery.
Apparently bloggers like me will sometimes "fisk" an article. The term is named after British journalist Robert Fisk and it basically means that you point out each bit of nonsense in an article. So today, I'm going to fisk Andy Rooney's trashy article about baseball. His words are in italics.
Baseball has never been my game. I never liked it as a kid, probably because I could never throw a ball very well. My friends said I threw like a girl and that's enough to put any young boy off a game. As I've probably told you — after over 4,000 columns it's sometimes hard to remember what I've said before — my father took me to a Yankee game when I was about 10 years old and Joe DiMaggio struck out three times.
Andy Rooney was born in January of 1919. Joe D came up in 1936. So either "about 10 years old" means 17-and-a-half at the youngest, or you're lying about seeing Dimaggio play when you were a kid. Also, Dimaggio struck out 369 times in 1,736 career games. That's about once every five games. I'm not saying he never struck out three times in one game, but it probably didn't happen more than once or twice. He also hit 361 home runs, so the odds of Andy Rooney seeing Joe Dimmaggio strike out three times in one game are roughly the same as the odds that he saw him clout three dingers in one game.
My disinterest in baseball as a kid has lasted all my life. I'm still not interested in the game. I don't watch it on television or follow it in the newspaper. I know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today's baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me.
Yeah, I can't tell any of those brown people apart either. And don't get me started on the negroes. Is he serious? Did he actually write that in something that was going to be published?
They're apparently very good but they haven't caught my interest. I also think baseball needs some rules changes, too. For example, the player who starts the game as pitcher should have to play all nine innings without a substitution. A pitcher hardly ever plays more than a few innings and then the manager replaces him with someone who isn't as good.
No, and a running back shouldn't have to play every down. Because that's not how the game works. Also, pitchers routinely play more than "a few innings." If your starter has to come out before the 6th, your team suffers. And relief pitchers aren't always worse than starters. They're just different. Like the counselors at school said I was "just different."
I think baseball managers dominate the games more than the players do and more than coaches do in other sports.
Yeah, that's probably true. And they get to wear uniforms. So what?
There are 30 major league baseball teams, but sometimes it seems as though the New York Yankees are the only team that ever wins the World Series. There have been 102 World Series since 1903. The Yankees have been in 39 of those and they've won 26. Five teams have never won a World Series. What in the world keeps baseball fans in those cities coming to games?
Lets list those five teams: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies and the Seatle Mariners... and the Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. That's 8 teams. Even more than five teams have never won the world series. Maybe Andy is on to something here. I wonder if any football teams have never won a Superbowl? Lets see, there's the Vikings, the Falcons, the Lions, the Bills, and the Seahawks. That's five. But there's also the Chargers, the Eagles, the Browns, the Bengals, the Saints, the Cardinals, the Panthers, the Jaguars, the Titans and the Texans. How many is that? [Answer: 15]. There is more parity in baseball then in football by any conceivable measurement.
The figures they keep giving us on broadcasts of baseball games are batting statistics, the amount being paid the players, the number of fans in the stands. There are other statistics I'd like to hear more often. When a player comes up to bat, they can tell me what his batting average is but I'd also like to know how many times he's struck out. Tell me how many different teams he's played with. Which player on either team has made the most errors? What's the average IQ of a baseball team compared with the IQ of a professional football team?
First of all, "how many times a player strikes out" is a "batting statistic." Second of all, I'm sure the average IQ of a baseball team is much higher than the average IQ of crusty old 60 Minutes "journalists."
It seems like a major mystery that baseball has never caught on in other countries the way it has here.
Baseball is the most popular sport in The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Japan, Cuba, Panama, Venezuela, Nicaragua, South Korea, and Taiwan. The USA just got stomped in the World Baseball Classic. And I'm pretty sure Ichiro is not from Ohio.
There are baseball leagues in several countries but their citizens' interest is mostly in soccer [football as they call it].
Wait, they call it "football"? How's Japan's "football" team?
Cricket is popular in some countries, but it makes hopscotch seem exciting.
So does Andy' Rooney's writing style.
It's easier to understand why our football game isn't played in other countries. Football is complicated. It takes a lot of practice and it's expensive. All players need for a soccer game is a ball and a pair of shorts and shoes. It's harder for a bunch of kids to get together Saturday morning and go to a vacant lot to play football than to play either soccer or baseball.
I know you guys aren't going to believe this, but sometimes my friends and I get together and play football. We've been doing it for years. Lest you think I am some snobby rich person, I swear to Thor, all it takes is a ball and a pair of shorts and shoes. And sometimes a coat and mittens in these parts.
Some of the best times of my life were playing football, and some of the best friends I made were fellow football players in high school and college. You're more dependent on teammates in football than in baseball and a bonding takes place.
How can he possibly know this? He stated that he's never played baseball and that he throws like a girl.
In a football game, you're dependent on the players on either side of you. In a baseball game, you're pretty much on your own.
Well, unless you get a base hit and don't want to be left stranded on the base. Or you throw to first to get a player out and you want the first baseman to catch the ball.
Basketball is a better team sport to me than baseball, but size means too much in basketball. I never got taller than 5-foot-9 and didn't make the basketball team in school. I ended up as the backstroker on the swimming team. I was a good swimmer but hated doing laps for practice. The water was always cold and after half an hour in the chlorinated pool my eyes were red and my skin wrinkled. It took the fun out of swimming.
I'm not quite sure what he's talking about here. He started out talking about team unity and now he's talking about chlorinated eyes. It's almost as if Mr. Rooney is crazy.
Considering the fact that who wins or loses any game makes no difference whatsoever in our lives, it's interesting how important a game can seem to us sometimes. The greatest sports loss of my life was a high school football game. We were undefeated and the game was the last of the season. It ended in a scoreless tie and we were crushed by what seemed like the worst defeat of our lives.
Yup, he's crazy. Totally bonkers. This has nothing to do with his theme. It's just some nonsense.
Write to Andy Rooney at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are a douchebag.
Danny from Milwaukee