It Shouldn’t Surprise Me That Mark Schlereth Loves The Sacrifice Bunt

But of course he does. Although it seems at first that maybe he is endorsing them only for “your weakest hitters and the kids who are still scared of the ball,” because obviously the best thing to do to a small child who’s scared of the ball is to tell him to move his body so that he’s standing directly in the path of the ball and attempt to hit it with his bat held in two hands.

Anyway, no, he’s endorsing them for everybody — in the totally-not-hackneyed-and-unoriginal context of caring for your family.

As you progress through various levels of the game—from little league to high school to college and into the major leagues—the bunt grows in value and becomes an incredible strategic asset.

No. It’s an incredibly wrong strategic asset filled with wrongness. I can’t tell you how wrong that is. I really wish Mark Schlereth could come close to understanding how wrong that is. There’s a reason you bunt with “your smallest, puniest, absolutely most pitiful hitter, really just the saddest little child on your team” — I’m paraphrasing a little here — and that’s because he’s pretty much an automatic out, so you’d rather have him move a runner up than just flail at the ball three times and strike out. Lesser of two evils and all that.

Here’s the magic of it: Once we proceed out of little league and into advanced levels of baseball, guys can hit. That makes the value of the sacrifice bunt fall because the hitters are capable of doing more than just standing there and striking out.

“Small ball” they call it and when it’s well-executed it can provide more excitement than a rocket ship launched over the fences by your clean up hitter!

I know what you’re thinking: This is low-hanging fruit. And you are so right.

Imagine this scenario: it’s the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie game. The lead-off man draws a walk, you’re up to bat and you get the sign to lay down a sacrifice bunt in order to move the runner over a base and into scoring position.

Imagine this scenario: Your coach hates winning.

(Needs more tiger blood.)

(Fuck, sorry for being topical.)

If you’re the batter it might be tempting to think, no coach, I can hit this guy. I’ll be the hero when I crush a walk-off home run! But those illusions of grandeur quickly fade when you dig into the batter’s box because you realize that a sacrifice bunt is the right call. It’s about the team, not about you.

It’s not. It is not the right call. It is the wrong call. It has been proven that it is the wrong call unless you absolutely suck at hitting — like if you’re a pitcher or Luis Castillo.

My god, illusions of grandeur. This fruit is on the ground.

Oh, the sacrifice that Mark Schlereth and his family made was going to his son’s baseball games.

Really.


Sometimes, When Mark Schlereth Bangs On His Keyboard, Words Come Out

Mark Schlereth is a true gem of a man because even when he makes (sort of) a good point, he still sounds like a total idiot. Who else would have a sidebar on his site asking you to “Joins Mark’s V.I.P. Sky Box Newsletter List”?

His latest thesis, if you want to be generous and call it that, appears to be about how it snowed before the Super Bowl, so they should get a new CBA done. Or something. It’s called North Texas: A Reason to Get a Deal Done.

With content like this, how could I not joins?

I know that picking on the Super Bowl host site of “North Texas” is going after low-hanging fruit, but it’s early in the morning and I’m tired. Besides, I’m not above lying in my lounge chair and plucking the bottom banana.

Or your goatee. I bet you spend at least an hour a day meticulously plucking that motherfucker, and it still looks like someone ate a pile of newspapers and then vomited it onto your chin.

I believe in the concept of full discloser

Me… too?

so for those of you who think that all I do is peddle Stinkin’ Good Green Chile (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

Yes. That link is actually in there. Mark Schlereth is mad about the site of the Super Bowl — but he also makes a damn fine line of Mark Schlereth-brand products!

it’s important to note that I am–first and foremost–

A canned-chili salesman?

a former football player.

Oh, right.

My love for the NFL is therefore biased in that direction.

I… what… but… direction… love… bias… huh?

That said, let’s talk about what went wrong in North Texas and the only reason that this Super Bowl was a success.

Well, I know it wasn’t the commercials.

If the NFL owners and their Commissioner stopped listening to the warm and fuzzy, self-promotional drivel emanating from Jerry Jones’ lips about the greatness of a North Texas Super Bowl and sat outside for more than 10 minutes like the rest of us–maybe, just maybe–the bitter cold would have slapped some sense into their collective heads.

The average high temperature in Arlington in February is 60 degrees. The average low is 39. It is still Texas, not a place that’s known for extremely cold weather conditions — hence why they were ill-prepared for them.

Somehow, when the powers that be picked the site of the Super Bowl in May 2007, they didn’t know the precise fucking weather report for February 2011 — but they did know that it’s been as hot as 96 fucking degrees (and, to be fair, as cold as -8) in Arlington in February and that the average low is, if not comfortable, at least decently above freezing.

No offense, Texas. You’re proud people and were kind and gracious hosts. And while I understand that the NFL can’t control the weather, they can control the selection of the host city.

Man, you are gonna flip shit when they have this thing in North Jersey.

For the record, I’m against hosting a Super Bowl anywhere that palm trees don’t grow.

South Texas, where palm trees grow, Christmas 2004.

But go on.

Ice doesn’t fall off stadiums in Miami, Arizona or Southern California and injure unsuspecting fans.

YET.

Call me crazy, but the Super Bowl should be a vacation for the 80 percent of the fans who are coming from cold-weather destinations to experience this grand event.

Why? Is it called the Vacation Bowl? Is the Super Bowl in any way, shape or form about the weather conditions? If you want a football vacation, go to the fucking Rose Bowl. If you’re paying a couple grand per ticket for the Super Bowl and the game itself isn’t what’s important to you, you can get fucked. Thanks for helping to price out the little guy.

If, instead, you want to pander to owners who build billion-dollar stadiums, at least make sure that their states have, say, more than three snow plows and have heard of magnesium-chloride (aka, ice melt).

This is actually pretty much a good idea.

In the absence of either, Dallas was locked up tighter than a 90-year-old without prune juice.

Food metaphors and constipation humor! We’re rollin’ now!

Even when the roads finally did open, it was impossible to find a cab. There’s nothing like having a Super Bowl party when the host city’s cabbies are on a coffee break. All at the same time.

This is all your fault, Roger Goodell. How did you not predict, four years in advance, that America couldn’t count on North Texas cab drivers to ferry Mark Schlereth around to Super Bowl parties? YOU’VE FAILED US ALL.

How did Messrs. Jones and Goodell think tens of thousands of people were going to get around?

Rickshaw, probably.

Anyway, is that all?

That’s not all.

Fuckin’ a.

Call me a stickler, but the league probably shouldn’t sell seats that don’t actually exist or that are constructed with lincoln logs, bailing wire and twine, either.

I agree, which makes me a stickler as well.

Super Bowl 45: Records Will Be Set Regardless of Whose Lives We Put in Harm’s Way.

This according to one of the dirtiest players in NFL history, who has said before that playing in the NFL is about “trying to get after people.”

Beware, if you watch the video there, of repeated usage of “The National Football League.”

If by the grace of God you did make it into the stadium on Sunday, you probably noticed that the national anthem was botched

Also Roger Goodell’s fault.

the field had two distinctly different pieces of turf (making Donald Trumps’ comb-over look stylish in comparison)

If you’ve gotten this far into this and your eyes aren’t bleeding yet, please be aware that you may be dead.

and Will.I.am and the Peas will.they.won’t perform at another Super Bowl halftime.

I also think the Black Eyed Peas suck, but even so, what the hell does that mean?

The one and only thing that saved this Super Bowl was the players. They did not disappoint. They came out of the tunnel and put on a great show. Their passion and heart melted all of the icy issues.

You know, Mark, I hear Bleacher Report is looking for new writers. You’d fit right in!

Owners, please listen.

Or, lacking that, Twitter people, please listen. No, seriously. Please? Come on, guys. Just listen a little bit.

I know you call the shots and I understand you’ve taken great financial risks. But the players–your players–take much greater risk. They put themselves in grave danger every time they strap on a helmet.

So every time NFL players play, they’re in harm’s way. Let’s just file that away for a minute and move on.

Please understand that fans don’t pack your stadiums to catch a glimpse of you owning your butt off in your luxury box.

I think even Jerry Jones understands that. He knows that fans pack stadiums to watch a live football game on a really, really big screen that’s definitely not going to fall down one day and crush like a hundred people.

They come to watch the players put it all on the line and battle for a victory.

Who says we’ve evolved past the era of Roman gladiators?

In North Texas, it was the players who saved this Super Bowl from being an abject disaster. They deserve better than a choice between being put in harm’s way or being locked out of their seats too.

Remember when you said “they put themselves in grave danger every time they strap on a helmet”? That was, like, two paragraphs ago. Sounds like harm is coming their way regardless.

There are a lot of arguments you can make against a lockout, against an 18-game season, against a lot of things that NFL owners do that are very profitable, but bad for fans, players or both. If you’d like to hear none of them, just ask Mark Schlereth.