Sox Are In Playoffs, Reader Rant on Mazz

The Red Sox clinched at least a wild card playoff spot with the 3-1 win over the Orioles at Fenway last night. John Lackey pitched what might’ve been his best game in a Red Sox uniform, limiting the O’s to just two hits and going the complete nine innings.

How John Lackey became an improbable symbol of an improbable (and playoff-bound) team – Alex Speier looks at how the once-loathed pitcher has completely changed his image in Boston.

Lackey provides fitting push into playoffs – Gordon Edes says that Lackey being on the mound was fitting.

Red Sox holding off on big celebration – Nick Cafardo looks at how the Sox eschewed a “wild card” celebration because they have bigger goals in mind.

A couple media columns:

WEEI courting Curt Schilling for significant role – Chad Finn says that the pursuit of the former Sox pitcher is for real, and that is Joe Haggerty is brought in instead, it could mean the end for Kirk Minihane. He also has some Sox ratings numbers from NESN.

O’Brien cutting through Red Sox ads, high pitch counts – Bill Doyle has a Red Sox fan explaining his method for watching Red Sox games quickly.

The Patriots take on Tampa Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. From what I’ve learned this week, the Patriots are the worst 2-0 team in NFL history, while the Buccaneers are the best 0-2 team in NFL history. What exactly that means, I’m not sure.

Catch all the coverage at patriotslinks.com

This came in from a reader yesterday, and I thought it worthy of sharing:

Subject: Dammit!

It is the multiple layers of conceit that get me.  I want to listen/read, and I want to acquire insights, but the multiple layers of conceit are in the way:

  • That opinions matter as much or more than reporting
  • That opinions are tapped into what sports fans are saying and thinking
  • That opinions generate their own relevancy
  • That prediction of absolute outcomes stand in as an argument, particularly to present false choices
  • That criticism can be deflected by having it both ways (a Paul Reiser joke: “I am not saying you are fat, I am just saying that you are a little on the chubby side.”)

Tony Massarotti is now officially a believer in the Red Sox on the Baseball “Reporters,” and as revenge he has hiiiigh expectations for the Sox in the playoffs, and will be disappointed in them if they don’t advance in the right way.

He sees despicable complacency in calling the 2013 season already successful, and states that those who feel that way are not in tune with real Red Sox fandom.

It is evident to Tony that calling the 2013 season already successful places no expectations on success in the playoffs.

He doesn’t think that it is right to place no expectations on success in the playoffs, and that before 2004, maintaining high and passionate expectations is how fans thought about the Sox.

He maintains the Sox should be able to beat some teams easily in the playoffs.  If they don’t, they will be a disappointment.

If Massarotti were a real “baseball reporter,” he would understand and relate a few things:

  • That against playoff caliber teams, the very best likelihood of winning a short series would be no more than 60%, but probably not as much as that.
  • That the chances of advancing to and then winning a World Series would be less than 20% for any and all teams this year, and yet we can still enjoy watching a team try.
  • That the reason why there is uncertainty in a short series, is because a few inches on a Tony Clark line drive down the right field line, or a shut down performance by Derek Lowe who carried a 5.42 season ERA into the playoffs, can make huge differences.
  • That performance on the field is not an absolute indicator of team character, and that character is not what is most on display when a game is being played.

But he is not a “baseball reporter.”  He is not tapped into how real fans view the Red Sox.  He is not relevant.  He does not present cogent arguments.  He does not present consistent arguments.  Instead, he is conceited.  I suspect he is laughing to the bank.

I am guilty of contributing to his humor, by even paying attention to (and writing about!) him, but dammit, I really really want to talk, listen, and read about a very enjoyable team.  I am a sucker and I know it.

There is nothing I can say to Tony Massarotti because I hear others trying to say it on the radio, to no avail, and I know I can’t be any more successful.  It is Tony Massarotti  today, but previous others through the years have exercised those multiple layers of conceit with equal adroitness.  Such people do succeed.

These ilk are not going to ruin my enjoyment of this season but really — dammit.

If you’ve missed it, Massarotti has already moved his goalposts. After an entire season of ‘I don’t believe in this team!!!‘ the theme is now ‘Anything short of a World Series victory and the season is a failure!!!

  • Brian

    Mazz sold his soul for fame and fortune.

    He actually used to be a pretty reasonable guy when talking about baseball years ago when he was on WEEI, but that’s all changed.

    He’s either doing schtick now, completely dense, or some combination of both.

    I rarely, if ever, listen to him anymore, and if you want to hit the troll where it hurts, I suggest doing the same too.

    • Trip McNeely

      Seriously, I have heard many times how people that actually listen to F&M say they are “entertaining.” How is it entertaining to hear the teams that you root for bashed over and over again with ridiculous trolling opinions and straw-man arguments? How is being told your stupid and wrong entertaining? I don’t get it at all.

      • Brian

        Felger and Mazz may be on top of the world right now in terms of ratings, but they are making the cardinal sin of becoming boring and predictable.

        They may not think it will catch up to them now or anytime soon — and it may not — but why don’t they ask the likes of Ordway, Callahan and Dennis how quickly you can fall from grace.

        • OpinionNotFact

          I understand occassionally getting into it with a particularly stupid caller but F&M commit what I consider to be the cardinal radio sin of having disdain for their callers/audience almost each and every call. You know, unless it’s one of their stupid “celebrity” callers.

        • Mgar6577

          They are the new d&c. They crap on callers, use straw men and throw wild crap on the wall and then when they are proven wrong…don’t admit it! Felger still talks about the the jets making the right moves!!!

      • dick bupkis

        Have to admit, Topo Gigio’s opinions don’t bother me as much as the smirking, self-satisfied attempts at humor to curry favor with Herr Felger.
        Case in point: a few days ago a Pats fan with a strong Southern accent called in with a rather
        impassioned comment, and when the Fuhrer became bored, annoyed, whatever, and cut him off, Little Benito tried to further curry favor by mocking the caller’s accent in his most obvious, ham-handed manner. Imagine that: this squeaky
        desperate suck-up making fun of the way someone else talks. No, really – - take a second
        and think about it. I’ve tried, I really have. I’ve heard he’s a nice guy in real life; I’ve enjoyed his
        insights writing about baseball. But on-air . . .
        Tony Mazzarotti is the single most irritating presence in a seemingly endless array of truly empty, braying nitwits who have buffed the image of “Massholes” for the rest of the country
        to a full and lasting shine. There, I’m done; now
        I have to go lie down and pacify myself with cool thoughts.

  • OpinionNotFact

    I enjoyed yesterday’s railing against Fantasy Sports again because people liked the Richardson deal for the Colts more. Because the only way you can like dealing a pick most likely to be in the 20s for last years 3rd overall is just outstandingly stupid unless you play fantasy sports.
    Oh, and one of the biggest, most prominant sponsors of Felger and Mazz (…and the Sports Hub)? Fan Duel. A what? A fantasy site.

  • Andy Dursin

    There’s nothing like celebrating a memorable Red Sox season in the middle of September than by turning on 98.5 and hearing Felger & Mazz….not gearing up for the playoffs….but already soothsaying doomsday proclamations about 2014.

    Seriously, even for him and his partner, I couldn’t believe Felger ranting at the TOP OF THEIR SHOW this week about how 2014 was going to be a “come back to earth” year and all the mistakes Sox ownership were certain to make in the off-season. This with the team a game out (at the time) from clinching a POST-SEASON berth.

    Monetary element aside, why are they even there? They don’t like sports, they don’t like the local teams, they actively root to see them lose so they can spout their rhetoric every day. I can’t believe it’s just “shtick” either — not to do it 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    Other hosts (even big Mike in new york) wouldn’t entertain such a conversation with the playoffs still to come — but that’s Felger & Mazz. Absolutely lowest common denominator/end-of-the-world sports talk with nothing to counterbalance it.

  • JamesAllen

    He was a poor writer and he is worse on the radio. He is but noise of the worst kind.

    Are we not what we ingest? Just say, NO.

  • bosox3054

    I like Mazz.

    If EEI picks Haggerty over Minihane, it’ll be the dumbest thing since they’ve done since they failed to lock up Felger. Blows my mind that the foolishness of this isn’t getting more play around these parts.

  • http://www.jimmacleod.com JimMacLeod

    I feel sorry for the person who wrote that piece. I gave up on F&M a while ago. Felger is pretty good when he’s not hammering his agenda against the NBA or the Krafts. Mazz offers nothing of value. He’s the reason I stopped listening to the show.

    And no, I didn’t switch back to WEEI. I started listening to podcasts. Something that is actually interesting and entertaining.

  • H25

    I had to stop listening to Felger and Mazz. Felger is pretty good and you get the sense he sometimes would like to cut him off in mid sentence because he realizes Mazz cannot articulate on the subject. But Masserrotti offers nothing of value. He just starts screaming (I should say shrieking) to mask the fact he really is not in tune with the subject or he will try to change the narrative “John Farrell believes Stephen Drew is a good major league SS?! Yeah right! I bet he thinks the sun sets in the east! Can you believe it?!!! John Farrell believes the sun sets in the east! I can’t believe he thinks the sun sets in the east! That’s how bad a manager he is – he thinks the sun sets in the east!” This is a bit of parody – but not by much. I don’t need cheerleaders like the NY media is for the Yankees just objectivity. The agendas (sox flagship is EEI) and the schtick is transparent. He’s probably a good guy and was a good beat writer but the show is just not for me anymore

  • smack_libs_around

    Very pleased that this web site and Twitter exist, very good platforms to lob rocks at the face of insufferable media hacks like the aforementioned ‘Mazz.’ It works best because we know that there’s no better fly paper for media hacks than web sites that focus on them, and Tweets that call them out.

  • latetodinner

    Moment of the week:

    On Thursday’s F&M show Felger first and then Mazz piled on, in condescending tones as a reaction to the news that Curt in the Car is being courted by WEEI. Listening to the two of them mock the news, state unequivocally that they have nothing to fear…”bring it on WEEI” I think was an exact quote…reminded me of WEEI’s reaction to news 98.5 was coming on the air. I remember D&C and later Glenn and Company having similar reactions to the new F&M show. I remember them laughing at Big show rejects. I remember D&C going off about ratings (adding in the RI numbers) and all that non sense.

    F&M basically did the same thing in light of the Schilling news. You would think someone would tell them to shut up. Its like what happened on 1510 with Pete Sheppard…you can only talk about your old employer so much before the new boss says…enough.

  • DryHeave

    “I want to listen/read, and I want to acquire insights..”

    and you went looking for that on the “Felger and Mazz” show??

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