What the fuck is up with Jesse Spector?
Is that an unfair question to ask? Because I really don’t think it is, especially when it comes to the former Sporting News and current Fan Rag writer’s relationship to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let’s take a spin around some of the headlines on Jays-related pieces he’s written, via his author page at Blue Jays Aggregator:
- Blue Jays re-signed the wrong outfielder [Yes, he means they should have re-signed Saunders]
- Jose Bautista complains about ‘circumstances’ conspiring against Jose Bautista. No way, Jose!
- Josh Donaldson might be MVP, but the A’s were right to trade him
- Troy Tulowitzki doesn’t make the Blue Jays a playoff team
- Sorry, Blue Jays: Pitching woes will extend playoff drought
- Russell Martin deal: Blue Jays put on tools of ignorance instead of pursuing more pressing concerns
Granted, there are also some positive ones he’s written, and some ones you might even agree with — though not when an outsider is saying so…
- Blue Jays’ broadcast seems good until you really start listening
- Blue Jays’ manager looks like a boob with ‘dresses’ comment
He also has pieces that, behind less inflammatory titles, were somehow even worse than the ones I’ve already mentioned. Pieces that did things like:
- Take seriously the Jays’ reputation as sign-stealers
- Smarmily shit on Michael Saunders as though he was consciously dog whistling when he said the “All Lives Matter” moron who changed the lyrics to O Canada at last year’s All-Star game had inserted “a great message”
- Rank Alex Anthopoulos — in the year of our lord 2015 — the 30th best of 30 MLB general managers
Fuckin’ J.P. Morosi Light over here, amiright? Drink in all those sweet Canadian hate-clicks, you fuck.
And his latest, which appeared on Wednesday at Fan Rag, might even be his worst!
Granted, it most likely isn’t his worst, but that’s really just a testament to the steamy piles of triple-thick loads of bullshit that this guy has penned about the Jays!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure he’s very nice! I mean, having read his stuff for long enough to feel not-too-bad about publicly shitting on him, I know he is absolutely not remotely funny. Or insightful. But I’m sure he’s very nice! So for that I’m mildly sorry about all this. And yet…
Wednesday’s piece is titled “Gibbons not doing Blue Jays any favours,” and it might look like one of those that fits nicely in the “some ones you might even agree with” pile, if not for the fact that it is — and I say this with no hyperbole — some of the pettiest bullshit you have literally ever encountered.
In it John Gibbons is scolded for — I shit you not — defending Kendrys Morales for not bunting against the shift with two outs and a runner on in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 11-5 Blue Jays loss to the Yankees.
Even just typing out those words makes me half convulse. Spector seriously admonishes Gibbons for not daring to skyrocket his club’s win expectancy from 0.1% to a potential 0.2% with a Kendrys Morales bunt attempt.
Kendrys Morales, career sacrifice bunts through 1,057 MLB games: 0. I’m sure it would have gone swimmingly.
I mean, need I really explain what’s so completely fucked about that?
I don’t think I do. And yet it gets worse.
“It’s not the first time this season that Gibbons has helped hammer home the final nail in the coffin of a game his team lost,” Spector writes. “On April 8, the Rays had a runner on third with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning of a tie game, and Gibbons decided to intentionally walk the bases loaded.”
“Gibbons faced a bad situation and chose not only the most conventional option,” he tells us, “but the worst one available to him short of something that would be outright trying to lose.”
If we were talking about literally any other inning, this might be an argument worth hearing. According to Tom Tango’s run expectancy matrix, the average number of runs scored with the bases loaded and one out is 1.54, whereas the average scored with a runner on third and one out is 0.95 runs. But the matrix also says that a team with a runner on third and one out will score at least one run 66.0% of the time, while a team with the bases loaded and no outs will score a run a mere 65.7% of the time. *COUGH*
By the slimmest of margins, Spector is technically right! That is, if we believe that teams behave the same way in an allow-a-run-and-you-lose situation as they do in all the others. Which we shouldn’t! Because they don’t! Teams that see their opponents place a runner at third base with no outs in the first inning will often concede the run in exchange for a more certain out or, if they end up in such a situation, for a double play. Facing a walk-off the calculation changes, and certainly the odds of a run scoring will slightly change along with it. Spector is wrong.
But let’s not let the fact that he’s technically wrong here distract us from the fact that, in a more real sense, even if he was technically right he was always obviously wrong and can kinda fuck the fuck right off. I mean, acting like a Morales bunt attempt — a Kendrys Morales bunt attempt — is some kind of “let’s shit on the manager for not raising the 0.1% win expectancy with a six run deficit and two outs in the ninth to a 0.2% win expectancy” moment, worthy of writing an article to shit on the guy?
Like, am I wrong here? I don’t think I’m wrong!
And while I don’t have any large or salient point to make beyond “this trash-monger keeps mongering trash,” uh… what the fuck is up with Jesse Spector?