I have a few rules that I live by:
- Don’t take anyone on the radio seriously.
- Don’t take anyone on the radio who talks politics seriously about politics.
- Don’t take anyone on the radio who talks sports seriously about sports
- Especially don’t take anyone on the radio who talks politics seriously about sports.
I give this warning every now and then. I don’t know why you’d listen to Mark Belling** about baseball in the first place, but when it comes to sports (except perhaps for horse racing) he is a complete and total moron***. He is basically always wrong. Always. He has said at least 10 of the dumbest things ever said when talking about sports. (One of them will be quoted momentarily.) If Mark Belling starts talking about sports and you are listening to him, just start screaming for a few minutes until it’s over. Or, you know, change the channel.
On Wednesday he made the following comments about the Milwaukee Brewers:
- “Someone would pick Craig Counsell right up if he was cut.”
This isn’t that dumb. It’s even possible, I suppose. There does seem to be a shortage of infielders on the market, but Craig is 40 years old, can’t go every day, and can’t hit a lick. This doesn’t look like a slump, it looks like a total lack of bat speed. It’s possible that someone will give him a shot, I suppose, but he will not be gladly snapped up by anyone at this point.
2.“Yuni Betancourt is coming around”.
No, he’s really not. We have years of data that show Yuni to be a disaster in the field and at the plate, we’ve covered this ad nauseum so I won’t rehash it. Yuni is 29-year-old out machine who will not improve.
3.“The Brewers will try to get Aramis Ramirez from the Cubs.”
No, they won’t for at least two reasons. A. Ramirez can veto any trade. B. If Ramirez is traded, his $16,000,000 option for next year becomes guaranteed, and he is paid an additional $1,000,000 on top of that.
4.“Betancourt has hit everywhere he’s been until he got to Milwaukee.”
Yuni’s highest ever WAR in a season was 1.7, 5 years ago. Recently he has been mostly an expensive sub-replacement player and one of the 5 worst regular players in baseball. The best OBP he has EVER posted is .310. That’s his BEST EVER OBP. Last year with the Royals he hit 16 HRs, but he was such an out-machine that he was still only worth .8 wins above replacement. That’s AWFUL. STOP PRAISING YUNI BETANCOURT!
5.“He’s hitting .300 in the month of July.”
GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! It’s not even true. Here’s Yuni’s awesome July splits: .269/.291/.442
6.“They’ve gotten a poor performance out of RF.”
Trenni was ripping on Corey Hart yesterday too. What the hell? You know who’s having a good year? Corey Hart. He has a 120 OPS+, a .347 wOBA, and he’s a positive fielder so far. If not for his boneheaded baserunning he’d be even better, but he’s put up a solid 1.5 WAR. Most people consider 2010 to be the best season that Corey will ever have and it probably was, but this year he’s barely been worse. He’s well above average and very valuable.
7.“The biggest commodity they have to trade is Axford”
Mark Belling LOVES his closers. He really had a thing for Francisco Cordero. Smart baseball people know that the closer position is terribly overrated and distorted by the save stat. Axford has been valuable, but Latroy Hawkins has put up numbers that are just as good if not better. So has Saito when healthy. So has k-Rod. This just illustrates the point that almost anyone can close.
That’s not the dumbest part though. The dumbest part is that the following Brewers are better trade bait than Axford: Braun, Fielder, Weeks, Hart, Marcum, Yo, Greinke, maybe Narveson and Wolf, maybe Morgan, maybe some of our relievers with better peripherals.
8.“You can get a superstar for Axford”
No, you can’t.
9. “I think you could get Albert Pujols for Axford if the Cardinals were out of it.”****
This is the dumbest thing ever said by anyone. I will not comment further.
*Or anything else.
**This is not about politics, it’s about baseball. Except for my cheap shots in the footnotes.
***Really, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.
****If any front office traded Albert Pujols, probably the best player in baseball and one of the greatest players in baseball history even if he is having a slightly down year, for a 28-year-old closer with a 1.368 WHIP and occasionally control problems, that front office would not only be fired, they would be tarred, feathered, and ridden out on a rail, even if said community had to build some rail over the objections of Mark Belling to make it happen.