Home / General / Jon Papelbon 2016: A Richly Ironic Tale of When Bad Things Happen to Complete Assholes

Jon Papelbon 2016: A Richly Ironic Tale of When Bad Things Happen to Complete Assholes

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For reasons I cannot explain, the Washington Nationals elected not to release Jon Papelbon after he physically assaulted their best player over a trivial PLAYING THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY incident. He rewarded them by pitching himself out of the closer job and then demanding and receiving his release. Which led to this world-class Jon Papelbon anecdote:

Too bad the Nats didn’t cut him in a more timely manner so he could have appeared at the RNC!

There’s an obvious Doors joke here, but I will have to leave it to you because I remain firmly of the belief that evaluated properly as a pop singles band the Doors were perfectly fine.

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  • Thirtyish

    I’ve listened to a hell of a lot of Doors in my time, so I’m fairly burned out on them. Plus, and more importantly, I’ve also discovered a lot of music since then, both more obscure acts from the Doors’ era and music spanning into the present. But the Doors are still a solid band in my view.

    • AlanInSF

      Good to go back and read Scott sort-of appreciation. They were a fine pop singles band. Their songs sounded great on the car radio and the late-nite FM alike, and their playing was interesting-weird if not great. Saw the 21st century edition with Ian Astbury, a real bass player, and a better drummer, and the songs really rocked.

      Having seen the original Doors live once, one thing that comes to mind is that it’s de rigueur to have a theatrical stage act now, but when the Doors came along it was extremely rare. Corny as Jim was, the band kind of — fuck, ok — opened the doors for everything that followed.

      And I think even Jim would have agreed that Jon Papelbon is an asshole.

      • sparks

        They had a session bass player around on their albums. Even Leroy Vinnegar did a turn with the band. Most bassless bands that recorded back in that era hired a bassist when they recorded studio tracks.

      • petesh

        Say what you will abut Densmore, he protected their artistic (and, I suspect, long-term financial) legacy by vetoing the use of Doors music for commercials. And say what you will about the band, but their being a collective with shared publishing enabled him to do so.

    • los

      heard moody blues non-hit in a retail store. Took me a little while to recognize vocal sound.
      Another retail store played https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfs1y6L3E7k
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSOP_(The_Sound_of_Philadelphia)

      • N__B

        Breath deep the gathering pretentiousness…

  • I have nothing against The Doors except that I’ve heard the same three songs of theirs played over and over way too many times.

    Of course, I could say that about most bands from the classic rock era.

    • Thom

      Which, it should be noted, is not the fault of the bands.

      • Of course it isn’t. It just makes me not want to listen to them.

        • AlanInSF

          I was just thinking how classic rock radio killed my desire to ever again listen to any band they played — except Elvis Costello, Bowie, and, damnit, the Doors.

          Ever notice how the Dave Clark Five sounds better than virtually any psychedelic era band (Dead excluded, of course)?

          • zoomar

            Can’t say I’ve noticed that at all. (maybe my snark meter is off today.) Prunes, Airplane, Quicksilver, Moby Grape, 13th floor Elevators? Not to take away anything from DC five of course. I enjoy when they come up on the oldies station. But the last band I would compare with something like Bathing at Baxters or early Traffic. Not in the same league.

          • Dennis Orphen

            Yes I have noticed! They were as good as the Paul Jones era Manfred Mann Group!

          • tsam

            Elvis Costello killed my desire to listen to Elvis Costello.

            • wjts

              What the fuck did you just etc. etc.?

              • tsam

                Just getting a little trolling in while I’m bored at home.

            • AdamPShort

              The insistence of a certain cohort that Elvis Costello is amazing and we must all agree on this gradually turned me from someone who thinks Elvis Costello is fine to someone who can’t stand Elvis Costello.

              • cleek

                i was just a bit too young to catch him coming up – at the time, i’d heard of him and i’d heard some of the songs but i didn’t really know him. i didn’t put the two together.

                and even today i’m puzzled by the gulf between his reputation as a snotty mean punk rocker and… Alison and Every Day I Write The Book, etc..

                he writes perfectly normal pop songs. but his reputation in the media made it sound like he started Minor Threat of something.

          • royko

            I never much cared for the Dave Clark 5. They were a solid band, but I just find their songs uninteresting (and I like cheesy pop.)

            Then again, Dick Biondi had a tendency to overplay them for some reason, so maybe I just developed DC5 fatigue while everyone else was getting sick of the Doors.

          • (((Hogan)))

            They make me glad all over, IYKWIMAITYD.

          • HenryW

            A joke I heard from a Deadhead: What’s the first thing a Deadhead says after getting out of detox? “Man, this band sucks.”

    • Ultraviolet Thunder

      I don’t listen to the radio so I still have an appetite for the music of my youth. I could listen to Love Her Madly again right now.

    • nixnutz

      Thought about this for a minute and I’m not sure whether I’d appreciate the Doors more if “Peace Frog” were one of those three songs or if that’s my favorite Doors song because I’ve heard it less than “Love Me Two Times”. Although in practice I haven’t heard them in ages and am probably ready to give them another shot.

      • njorl

        Peace Frog got onto some programming list in the last couple months. I had never heard it on the radio before, but heard it 4 times on 2 different stations recently.

    • Captain Oblivious

      I can listen to Light My Fire and Roadhouse Blues without getting too burned out on them, as long as I don’t overdo it. Most of the rest of their catalog never did much for me.

      • rea

        LA Woman is really quite poetic in a way–LA as a woman . . .

        • Thom

          That whole record is pretty good. The only one I would listen to all the way through now.

        • Dennis Orphen

          My blinds are up and when I say ‘good morning’ I really mean it.

    • Ask Me Gently

      Sayulita, Mexico, 2013: enjoyed a late seafood meal and a few cervezas at a patio table across from the town plaza during the tourist off-season. A local hipster’s nightclub next door was playing the entire Soft Parade album at considerable volume while I sat there breathing stray clouds of second-hand Mexican weed. A weirdly pleasant cultural-whiplash kind of experience.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Listening to Love’s Forever Changes while smoking Washington/Oregon/California weed first hand is even pleasanter.

    • Denverite

      I’ve heard the same three songs of theirs played over and over way too many times

      This isn’t fair. Off the top of my head, the following receive regular airplay on classic rock stations:

      Light My Fire
      Break on Through
      LA Woman
      Riders on the Storm
      Roadhouse Blues
      People Are Strange
      The End
      Strange Days

      Scott’s 2013 post is dead on. They’re a great singles band.

      • Bill Murray

        no Love Her Madly?

        • Denverite

          I said off the top of my head! Add that.

      • Ask Me Gently

        The saxophone bit at the end of “Touch Me” was pretty awesome to my 13-year-old ears.

        • Denverite

          This too, though the scene in the movie always ruins the song for me.

        • eh

          Ironically, by people who think The Doors were much more than just a singles band, this is generally considered to be their worst song by far. I like it too, though, from the first horn even.

      • tsam

        Riders is one of my all time favorites.

      • I still don’t want to listen to them.

        There actually has been music since 1971.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Yes there has. I’ll go as far as 1975. Maybe even 1977.

          • N__B

            1977

            Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
            I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk
            Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
            Since I was born
            And now it’s all right, it’s okay
            And you may look the other way
            We can try to understand
            The New York Times’ effect on man

            • wjts

              In 1977 I hope I go to heaven
              ‘Cos I been too long on the dole
              And I can’t work at all.

              Danger Stranger
              You better paint your face.
              No Elvis, Beatles, or the Rolling Stones
              In 1977.

              • Dennis Orphen

                I was going to qualify my above statement to 1983 to include everything through Combat Rock. I didn’t want to commit to the first couple of records, couldn’t afford London Calling and Sandanista (I was like 12) but by the time I saw Joe with the boombox and Mick in his jumpsuit on SNL I knew what I had to do. And there was a “Know Your Rights” sticker on the shrink wrap which I saved and put on my wall, right next to my full sized poster of Lou Brock, which sort of ties it all together for this blog.

                • skate

                  Only ties it up if you had the Revell scale model of the USS Missouri on your bureau.

                • advocatethis

                  Yessssss.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  You are awfully close. It was the Revell Goodyear Blimp, on my desk.

          • So there’s nothing worth listening to from the last 40 years?

            Remember how you used to laugh at your dad because he was still listening to Glenn Miller*?

            *Or whatever your dad listened to that you thought was lame at the time.

            • Denverite

              I was totally jamming to Ill Communication today as I drove my youngest two kids down to the ‘burbs in my station wagon to watch my daughter’s softball game, when I realized the album is now 22 years old and one of the Beasties has been dead for several years of a middle-aged-person’s cancer.

              So depressing.

              • wjts

                I’m pretty sure the most recent record I own is Long Live the King by the Decemberists. The last three records I bought were Absolute Garbage, a Record Store Day Buzzcocks compilation, and a Record Store Day reissue of an old BBC audio version of Genesis of the Daleks. The last concert I saw was the Breeders on their Last Splash 20th Anniversary Tour.

                In conclusion, I am not au fait with the youth of today.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  The only new music that I can think of that I have bought since I graduated from high school is Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins’ Rabbit Fur Coat (on vinyl), Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Henry’s Dream and The Good Son. Because I liked it so much whenever he played it, Logan Lynn gave me a copy of Phoenix’s Alphabetical on CD for Christmas back when that was a new record. I would have bought Lubricated Goat Plays the Devils Music back in the day if I would have had the chance and the money at the same time back then.

                • N__B

                  The newest album I have is Florence and the Machine from last year. Somehow I don’t think makes me au fait with the youth of today either.

                • wjts

                  I haven’t listened to Rabbit Fur Coat in ages. I remember liking most of it, but loathing the title track.

                • los

                  2015-2016
                  Straight pop, you should(?) recognize the radio hit,
                  Mike Posner – I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)

                   
                  I Took A Pill In Ibiza Lyrics, +

                  [Verse 1]
                  I took a pill in Ibiza
                  To show Avicii I was cool
                  And when I finally got sober, felt 10 years older
                  But fuck it, it was something to do
                  I’m living out in LA
                  I drive a sports car just to prove
                  I’m a real big baller cause I made a million dollars
                  And I spend it on girls and shoes

                  [Chorus]
                  But you don’t wanna be high like me
                  Never really knowing why like me
                  You don’t ever wanna step off that roller coaster
                  And be all alone
                  You don’t wanna ride the bus like this
                  Never knowing who to trust like this
                  You don’t wanna be stuck up on that stage singing
                  Stuck up on that stage singing
                  All I know are sad songs, sad songs (oft heard as “sad soul”)
                  Darling, all I know are sad songs, sad songs

                  [Verse 2]
                  I’m just a singer who already blew his shot
                  I get along with old timers
                  Cause my name’s a reminder of a pop song people forgot
                  And I can’t keep a girl, no
                  Cause as soon as the sun comes up
                  I cut ’em all loose and work’s my excuse
                  But the truth is I can’t open up

                  [Chorus]

                  [Verse 3]
                  I took a plane to my home town
                  I brought my pride and my guitar
                  All my friends are all gone but there’s manicured lawns
                  And the people still think I’m a star
                  I walked around downtown
                  I met some fans on Lafayette
                  They said tell us how to make it cause we’re getting real impatient
                  So I looked ’em in the eye and said

                  [Chorus]

                  (small commentary)

                  “It was sort of a mystery pill. I was already under the influence of alcohol at the time. I had written a song with Avicii that week in Sweden called “Stay with You” and he was playing in Ibiza so I said, ‘I will just go there with you,’ because I was already in Europe. I don’t have like a regular 9–5 job … so might as well go to Ibiza, right? I had never been there before. So I went. We were at his show and I was drinking at the time. I just sort of moseyed out into the audience to watch Avicii spin from their point of view. I would go back and forth between the backstage and the VIP area and then where the actual kids were. And most people didn’t know who the fuck I was in Ibiza except for this one guy who recognized me. He was like, ‘Are you Mike Posner?’ and he was all excited. He holds up this little bag of pills and is like, ‘You want one?’ And drunk Mike Posner was like, ‘Fuck it, yeah.’ So I took one and I had never done that before, and I felt amazing. Then when I came down I felt 10 years older.”
                  — Mike Posner August 2015 explaining the inspiration for the song.

                   
                  yt: song that makes you want to dance but still makes you sad

              • Dennis Orphen

                Because I like and respect you way too much I’m not going to hit that curve you just hung in my wheelhouse out of the park by saying something like:

                Yeah, the fact Adam is dead and we are all middle aged now is depressing too, but you might be treat the symptoms of the former with an Olds Vista Cruiser or a Morris Minor Woodie Wagon.

            • Dennis Orphen

              Whenever I see my parents we laugh about how we all came around to liking music we all thought was lame when they were in their 30’s and I was a kid.

              But you’re right.

              • los

                Yes. (And as far back as the other ’30s) swing bands recorded some good pop
                but I also heard older siblings music, and radio.

            • sparks

              I always preferred hot swing to sweet, so he and I wouldn’t have agreed even if he were around today.

              • Dennis Orphen

                The Hot Club of Rocklin

                • sparks

                  Rocklin? Where all the white Christianist racist nutjobs fled to in the late ’80s? I hope it’s changed in the past 30 years.

                • Dennis Orphen

                  Just yanking your chain.

            • looking at my recent purchases:

              Fiona Apple
              Christine & the Queens
              Pink Martini
              Little Big League
              Le Tigre
              Jay Som
              The Julie Ruin
              Waxahatchee
              Japanese Breakfast
              Caribou
              The Breeders
              Mitski

              … there is more good music in past 40 years than anyone can listen to

          • sparks

            I sometimes hear new music I like. Often it sounds like old music I liked better.

            • Dennis Orphen

              I really love everything I hear on KDVS and Capitol public radio’s Blue Dog Jam and feel the same way you do about it.

              • sparks

                I found a local!

                • Dennis Orphen

                  You didn’t know that already? Nevada City/Grass Valley/Penntucky/Smartsville. Sometimes Auburn and Yuba City/Marysville. Roseville for Sushi at Raku.

                • sparks

                  You orbit the county but avoid it, eh?

      • GeoX

        Not to say “Hello I Love You.”

        • John Revolta

          Yes!! One of their best.

    • Stag Party Palin

      Saw the Doors at the Haight in 66 or 67, I think. I remember three things: LOUD(by the standards of the day), apples in the lobby for the munchies, and after the concert I found one of the locals had smashed my car window and stolen the radio.

      Someday I’m going to Pére-Lachaise, break into Morrison’s grave and steal his radio. Karma, baby.

      • Dennis Orphen

        And today that window glass would be worth far more than the radio. Assholes.

      • Anna in PDX

        I have been to Pere Lachaise twice and the last time (about three years ago) some European tourists asked us for directions to Jim Morrison’s grave, figuring we Americans must know.

        • Just follow the smell of the red wine that pilgrims feel obliged to pour on it.

          • Anna in PDX

            The whole thing around him is weird. I love the Doors, but am weirded out by his celebrity-in-death. Also I think the bubble gum covering the nearby tree is frankly an awful tribute.

      • We were at Pére-Lachaise back in June and saw his grave.

        I should have grabbed the radio while I was there.

    • cpinva

      “Of course, I could say that about most bands from the classic rock era.”

      you could say that about any band from any era. radio stations tend to play the most popular singles from a new album, and those are the ones that also tend to play on rotation on “classic, oldies” stations as well. about the only time you’ll hear other songs from an album, is on some late night show, that does a weekly feature on a specific band. if radio had been around in the 18th & 19th centuries, they would have played the same 3 works by Bach and Mozart.

  • mattius3939

    This is the song in question, right?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIcJ2PJ83F0

  • Warren Terra

    Hokay, I’d never heard of Papelbon – but: a professional athlete picked someone up by the throat until they were wrestled away from their victim, and the punishment was a four game suspension (and Papelbon filed a grievance with the team over it?)? I mean, that was a criminal assault, maybe even something worse? How is this guy still in baseball?

    • MobiusKlein

      Something something Kurt Shilling?

      Or Wingnuts will wing?

      • Vance Maverick

        I am the Lizard King
        I can do anything

    • Fighting Words

      What are you talking about? Matt Williams, the manager of the Nationals at the time, kept Papelbon in the game because Papelbon was “our closer.” I mean, how can you argue with that logic?

      I shouldn’t be too hard on Matt Williams. He was a great player for the Giants in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, and his managing skills were essential to the Giants winning the National League Division Series in 2014.

      • cpinva

        “I shouldn’t be too hard on Matt Williams.”

        fine, i’ll do it for you. it was at that point that I realized Mr. Williams had no fucking clue what he was doing. Papelbon (who was an asshole for his previous team, and not missed by his old teammates.) could have been replaced a hell of a lot easier than young Harper. not to mention, fans and his teammates actually like Harper, they all thought (and think) Papelbon’s an asshole. they are right.

    • Ken

      I was going link to the blogger who puts together an “all-felon starting lineup” every football season, but on reflection all of those players were actually charged and convicted. So I guess, what Fighting Words said – you don’t file charges against your closer.

    • randy khan

      The trade for Papelbon was a disaster from the beginning – and honestly probably the only really boneheaded move current Nationals management has made. They had a perfectly good closer in Storen and previous experience showing that he didn’t take getting demoted well, so they naturally traded for a known clubhouse cancer who insisted he had to be the closer and have his option picked up (both danger signs, of course) or he wouldn’t accept the trade.

      I’m not big on the whole idea of happy clubhouses winning games (as I think the causal relationship is in the other direction), but once the season was done and the long Washington Post piece about the awful dysfunction the team endured came out, it was obvious there was no upside at all to bringing in a guy whose teammates never had liked him. On the field, Papelbon was more or less okay, but the trade predictably destroyed Storen’s confidence, so they went from having a so-so setup guy and a great closer to having a lousy setup guy and a good closer. Or, put differently, they should have done what the Mets did and traded for Tyler Clippard. (As a Mets fan, I’m happy that’s not what happened.)

      If I’d been management, I’d have just cut him the day after he choked Harper. (Which, by the way, was an even worse incident than Lemieux’s characterization – Harper actually did run out the popup that spurred Papelbon to try to provoke a fight and then, when Harper didn’t bite, to go after him.) I think the Nats would have had a reasonable argument for voiding the contract, and the worst case is that they eventually would have had to pay him. As it turned out, they’re paying him anyway, and really got only about half a season of marginal performance out of him, so the net cost wouldn’t have been much greater, and the message that they wouldn’t tolerate such an incredible jerk in the clubhouse would have been very clear.

      • CrunchyFrog

        I don’t follow baseball closely so missed this whole event last year. I found this opinion piece saying that most major league players thought Papelbon was in the right. Any insight into this from the fans here?

        http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/jonathan-papelbon-bryce-harper-fight-current-ex-players-support-pitcher-long-time-coming-092715

        • sleepyirv

          That almost certainly has to do with the rest of the league not liking Harper and letting that influence their colorization of the strangling.

          The best thing about the unwritten rules of baseball as you can always pick the party who is in the wrong after the fact.

          • cpinva

            “The best thing about the unwritten rules of baseball as you can always pick the party who is in the wrong after the fact.”

            my feeling has always been: if a rule isn’t important enough to write it down and get everyone to agree to it, then fuck it, and fuck those trying to “enforce” it.

        • randy khan

          When I read that story at the time, I thought it most likely reflected the writer looking for people who were likely to agree with him. Also, ex-players are more likely to believe reflexively in The Code and not to have paid any attention to the specific incident.

          And, of course, when you read the article, you see a bunch of the small sample of players and ex-players saying Harper did not run it out, which is demonstrably not true. (He was at 1st base by the time the ball was caught, and there was no way he’d have gotten to 2nd.) Even considering that, a few of the players made the point that Papelbon should have done it behind closed doors, not on the field.

        • tsam

          Yeah–don’t listen to that stuff. Without names, every one of those quotes is total bullshit. Most of the “playing the game the right way” crap comes from pitchers who don’t like bat flips or guys watching their home runs leave. Harper is a cocky little dick. But last year he was the best player (or close to it) in the league. He called out Pap for drilling Machado because it’s likely that the other pitcher would throw at Harper.

          Since when is hitting batters because you’re fucking butthurt about your shitty pitch getting air mailed out of the park playing the game “the right way” anyway? Fuck Papelbon and fuck that lying sack that wrote that piece. I’ll bet a Benjamin that dick wrote those quotes himself or took them out of comment sections on the Internet.

          • Breadbaker

            Particularly in the NL when you’re a reliever and therefore never bat.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Agreed. The only possible defense is that Storen’s performance this year suggests they knew something was wrong.

        • randy khan

          That’s an interesting thought. FWIW:

          July 2015: 9 appearances, 4 H, 0.00 ERA, 6 S, 0 BS, 12 K, 3 BB, .138 BA
          August 2015: 12 appearances, 12 H, 8.49 ERA, 13 K, 2 BB, 2 HB, .255 BA

          And his last 3 appearances in July were perfect. So there’s no apparent sign of something bad from the stats. Of course, MLB doesn’t provide pitch speed stats, so maybe he’d been losing velocity or something like that.

          Papelbon joined the Nats on July 30, so you could move Storen’s last appearance in July to the August numbers, but it wouldn’t improve them by that much.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Yeah, if he had turned it around this year I would have assumed his decline was caused by Rizzo forcing him out of his role. And that could still explain why he hasn’t pitched well this year, but the decline has been so pronounced you’d think there’s something else. Whether the Nats knew about an injury or something or just got lucky, it’s hard to say.

            • cpinva

              “Whether the Nats knew about an injury or something or just got lucky, it’s hard to say.”

              well, there is this:

              “After giving up the go ahead runs on a homer by Yoenis Céspedes, Storen broke his thumb by slamming a locker shut in frustration, ending his season.”

              this happened after two bad games against the Mets, shortly after the acquisition of Papelbon, but it wasn’t exactly a state secret. my guess is that he completely recovers from the thumb injury during the next off-season, and bounces back next year, or he’s in Single A ball and out the door by the All-Star break.

              • tsam

                He did ok in the two appearances at the Mariners I watched. We’ll see where he goes from here. If he follows Wilhelmson’s example, he should thrive here.

                • cpinva

                  good to hear that. Storen was a good player and well liked by his teammates and the fans. I hope he does do well in his new digs, he didn’t deserve what Williams did to him.

  • Are Papelbon and John Rocker related by any chance?

    • tsam

      Heh–I was just going to ask Warren upthread if he’d heard of John Rocker. Papelbon is a less vocal Rocker.

      I’M FUCKIN INTEEEEEENNNNNNSSSSSE MANNNNNNN! DON’T FUCK WITH ME

      • N__B

        I still laugh about Rocker thinking he was the great white hunter because he rode the 7 train by himself.

        I rode it by myself to commute to school starting when I was 11…

        • tsam

          So you didn’t get AIDS? HOW??

          • N__B

            I had surprisingly few sexual encounters when I was 11.

            • efgoldman

              I had surprisingly few sexual encounters when I was 11.

              And even fewer on the 7 train.

            • Dennis Orphen

              And how many 11 year olds are turned on by Haitian transsexual intravenous drug users anyway?

        • Dennis Orphen

          We have to give him credit for using mass transit.

    • Lev

      I feel like Kenny Powers has obliterated the real John Rocker just as efficiently as Dana Carvey eclipsed the real Ross Perot.

      • osceola

        Yes. I always wondered if Kenny Powers was based on Rocker and amped up to an even more assholic level. If I ever met Danny McBride I’d ask him that.

        • tsam

          Actually, read some of the things Rocker said. Kenny Powers was a supreme dick, but Rocker was an open, unabashed and unapologetic bigot.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Go back far enough and we are all related by design.

  • Fighting Words

    Darn, Jonathan Papelbon was born in Louisiana, grew up in Florida, and played college at Mississippi State. I was hoping that there was an Alabama connection so that there would be a good excuse to play “Alabama Song.”

    • Ken

      He almost must have passed through Alabama (or its airspace) at some point.

      • N__B

        The Alabama Song is from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

        The Doors performed it well, but didn’t write it.

        • Fighting Words

          You know, I just learned that recently (I think it was from a Cracked.com article). Interestingly enough, the soprano part of the song was sung by Lotte Lenya, who would become famous as Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love. (Well, famous to people like me who grew up after her heyday.)

          • wjts

            I did not know that Lotte Lenya played Rosa Klebb. Huh.

        • I still find “Mack the Knife” to be the oddest case of the three famous popular versions of Brecht/Weill. “Pirate Jenny” is usually played straight, “Alabama Song” was sung in a slightly cleaned up version (no more “next little boy”…) by a popular band already prone to dramatics, but “Mack the Knife” is an ominous song about a murderer turned into… a swingin’ standard about a murderer.

          • N__B

            I’m not so sure…I’ve seen two stage productions of Threepenny and I grew up listening to the original Broadway cast album, and the Narrator’s version never struck me as ominous. More like a kiddie’s cautionary tale.

          • sparks

            I liked the Bobby Darin version because I could sing it.

    • DocAmazing

      One never needs an excuse, just a good version:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK6rNvLXPjU

  • Davis X. Machina

    To maintain karmic balance, some other reliever had to be an irredeemable asshole, because of Mariano Rivera.

    • Breadbaker

      We’ve always had this guy.

  • N__B

    Jim Morrison wrote a poem:

    Death and my cock are the world

    • eh

      Say what you will about him, but nobody can accuse Jim Morrison as being hamstrung by understatement.

  • Denverite

    OT, but can we get a football post around here? I’m itching to crow about how the Broncos defense is going to be really good again/best in the NFL again/top 10 all-time again/the GOAT depending on whether I’m sober/two drinks into my Sunday/moderately intoxicated/shitfaced.

    • N__B

      OT, but can we get a football post around here?

      GO ARSENAL!

    • Joe_JP

      Any truth to the rumor they decided, to be fair, to go without a QB to balance things out?

      • Denverite

        No, but in practice Von isn’t allowed to participate in 7-on-7 and other scrimmage drills because it’s too difficult for the offense to work on stuff with him in the backfield 75% of snaps. Not joking.

        They’re really deep. The Bears are hideous, but the Broncos sat Miller, Harris, Talib and Ware, played their regular players (including several non-starters) for two series, and they still just completely stoned that offense. I’d probably put the O/U on Broncos’ cuts that are opening day starters somewhere at 2.5.

        • efgoldman

          They’re really deep. The Bears are hideous

          The Bears probably are hideous, but even you can’t put any real store in fucking exhibition games! Teams have gone 0-4 and won it all, and gone 4-0 and had terrible seasons.

          • Denverite

            It’s not so much the result, it’s that the Broncos’ second teamers were just destroying the Bears’ first teamers to start the game, and the same for the third teamers and second teamers in the second and early third quarters. When the players who were going to be on the roster were playing, it was 20-0 and the Bears had like 75 yards in 2.5 quarters.

            • CrunchyFrog

              Let’s be cautious. This was just one game. I did a little research on the Bears and there is reason to think that their offense was unusually unprepared for this game. Now, normally John Fox does have his teams ready for the first game of preseason – he almost always wins those games. But they have another new offensive coordinator in Chicago this year (if you are counting at home this is the 547th offensive coordinator that Jay Cutler has played under in Chicago – only slight exaggeration). Apparently Fox couldn’t attract any quality OC candidate. Probably the loss of Marshall and Forte without replacement and the below average O-line made the job less attractive. In any event, Adam Gase, who was a good quality OC even if he was likely overrated by the press, has been replaced by Dowell Loggains. Who? Turns how he was an OC once before, under Munchak in Tennessee in 2012-13 and their offense wasn’t horrible. Otherwise he’s been a QB coach in short stints for losing teams, but in each case the QB in question did a little better than previously.

              So it’s likely the Bears are getting used to a new system. Then consider that their O-line was patchwork before and except for a 2nd round pick on a guard they haven’t done much to improve it. I’m guessing the new OC simply didn’t have his team ready for the game.

          • Casey

            http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2015/preseason.htm

            The Bears, Jets, Eagles and Lions had winning preseason records last year, with the Eagles having the best point differential in the NFL.

            The Seahawks, Cardinals, Patriots and Packers were 2-2. The Steelers were 1-4.

            The predictive power of preseason games is basically zero.

      • Scott Lemieux

        They already tried that last year.

        • Denverite

          TBF, Osweiler was only a bit below average by QBR. Though that doesn’t capture his biggest weakness (holding the ball too long and taking sacks).

          • Scott Lemieux

            True, although that also means that while the Broncos can get better QB play than Manning gave them last year whether they can get better play overall is a very open question.

            • Denverite

              No it’s not. Anything is possible, but a 76 aggregate QBR is below replacement. Sanchez had about an 85 QBR over the last couple of years. They’d have to try to do worse than last year’s aggregate QB play. (Though agreed that somewhere between Manning and Osweiler is distinctly possible.)

              • efgoldman

                Sanchez had about an 85 QBR over the last couple of years.

                Playing how much?
                Also your Broncs, like all teams, are just a few key knee ligaments away from mediocrity.

                • Denverite

                  13 games and 10 starts. But that cuts both ways — backups tend to see about a 10% increase in performance when they become starters because they start getting more reps in practice.

                  Look, I’m not saying that Sanchez is even mediocre. He’s not. (He’s also not necessarily going to be the starter — by all accounts, Semian outplayed him yet again on Thursday when you actually look at the tape, and at some point, you realize that Lynch is the QB of the future no matter what, and cutting Sanchez saves about $3M.)

                  I’d just probably put the chance of the Broncos getting improved QB play in 2016 at maybe 75% or so. Again, almost all of that improvement is due to the fact that Manning was the worst starter in the NFL last year.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I’d just probably put the chance of the Broncos getting improved QB play in 2016 at maybe 75% or so.

                  I wouldn’t, not even close. Sanchez — who was atrocious with the Jets and was outplayed by Nick Foles in Kelly’s offense — is replacement level at best. And Lynch basically has “bust” written all over him — not-great performance against a really weak schedule. He seems like an especially bad bet as a rookie.

                • efgoldman

                  I’m not saying that Sanchez is even mediocre. He’s not.

                  Saint Timothy is available.

                • CrunchyFrog

                  and at some point, you realize that Lynch is the QB of the future no matter what, and cutting Sanchez saves about $3M.)

                  I think they keep all three all year because with their O-Line there is a high probability of QB injuries.

                  In addition, it’s worth noting that Kubiak’s system – an off-shoot of Shanahan’s – has been successful everywhere he’s been in terms of improving overall offensive productivity. Except for last year, where he had to compromise the system for Manning – and even with Osweiler he didn’t fully convert to his normal system because there wasn’t time mid-season to train the full team. This year he’s deployed the full Kubiak offense, for better or worse. In theory we should see more involvement of running backs and tight ends in the passing game, which should also open up the running game. If that works well, it should in turn open up big play potential with the two best offensive players on the team, the WRs.

                • Bill Murray

                  Saint Timothy is available.

                  for the Rockies

                • Denverite

                  And Lynch basically has “bust” written all over him — not-great performance against a really weak schedule. He seems like an especially bad bet as a rookie.

                  This isn’t fair, and you know it. Goff’s college QBR was 161.2. Lynch’s was 157.5. Lynch had excellent college stats. He just did so against not-great competition. FO penalizes him for that. And reasonably so! But that’s the question for its model — whether discounting college performance in mid-majors is warranted. Not whether Lynch was great against less-than-stellar competition (he was).

                • Scott Lemieux

                  That’s at least half fair. He was more accurate in his last year than I remembered. Goff’s unadjusted body of work is better, but not that much.

                  Still, the difference between doing that against PAC-12 schedule and an AAC schedule is yooooge. If Lynch is significantly above-replacement as a rookie I’d be shocked, and he could well be awful. And behind him there’s Siemian, who had a career 27-24 TD-INT ratio in the Big Ten. Good luck with that!

                • Denverite

                  And behind him there’s Siemian, who had a career 27-24 TD-INT ratio in the Big Ten. Good luck with that!

                  This is calling my shot. I’m guessing that Semian will be a pro-bowl selection this year. An alternate, to be sure. But just guessing.

                • efgoldman

                  I’m guessing that Semian will be a pro-bowl selection this year.

                  Doesn’t mean anything, anymore, after the first six, seven, eight QBs named come up with “injuries” or have to wash their hair that week or have to go to their four-year-old’s ballet recital or….

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I’m guessing that Semian will be a pro-bowl selection this year.

                  Now, that action I’ll take right now.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’m currently reading Mike Tanier’s essay on the Bills in the FO Almanac. Brutal, but not wrong.

      • Denverite

        I was actually thinking today that I’m bullish on them this year. I’m a big Taylor fan, and Rex was a great DC once-upon-a-time. It’s not impossible that he could recapture that. Combine all of that with a nonzero chance that Brady craters (age 39 seasons have not been kind to QBs, plus who knows what missing the first four games will do), I’d put them at maybe 15% to win the AFC East and 25% to make the playoffs?

        • Scott Lemieux

          FO actually projects them at 40% to make the playoffs, based on likely defensive improvement and Taylor being solid. But the team could also be so much better, and beyond Watkins the receiving corps is a shitshow.

          I think I’ll do a post based on the win projections, which are interesting. QUICK QUIZ: which AFC team has the same mean projected wins (8.2) as Buffalo?

          • Denverite

            Denver, I’d guess. FO is always down on them, and there are a lot of SCORCHING HOT TAKES with them in the 7-8 win range. And I’m not going to quibble with the FO model. I’d just note that the offensive is likely going to be significantly better (because it was so bad last year), the defense is going to be comparable or if you believe the rumblings from camp, maybe a bit better, and the schedule is much easier. I could see them at 8-8, but I could also see them at 14-2.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Yup. I agree it’s a little low, but I’m also way more bearish than you are and basically agree with the FO analysis (Chief Justice Schatz assigned the Denver chapter to himself.) But we can argue about that when I post!

              • Denverite

                I really think it’s a question of whether you see them as a 9-7 team last year that lucked out in a bunch of rock fights, or a 13-3 team that got dragged down by miserable QB play.

                I’ll say this. If I didn’t exhaust my luck last year betting on them to win the SB, an O/U of 10.5 would be tempting, and at 10, I’m pulling the trigger. That schedule is way soft. Almost all of their hard out-of-division games are at home, and that’s a huge homefield advantage.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  I would definitely take the under at 10.5 and probably at 10. We may have to arrange some kind of Howard-like wager…

                • howard

                  Amazingly, my side of the wager is still barely alive, bolstered by two hall of famers debuting today (just kidding!).

                • Denverite

                  We may have to arrange some kind of Howard-like wager…

                  $100. O/U 10 wins. You contribute to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains if I win (over), I contribute to the upstate NY equivalent if you win (under). We both contribute if it’s a push.

                  Deal?

                • Scott Lemieux

                  $100. O/U 10 wins. You contribute to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains if I win (over), I contribute to the upstate NY equivalent if you win (under). We both contribute if it’s a push.

                  Give me until the end of training camp, but we probably have a bet.

              • HenryW

                And returning to the topic that brought us here: Ryan is another loudmouthed all talk, no results Trump fan. http://www.businessinsider.com/rex-ryan-donald-trump-buffalo-2016-4. Sort of like a Bizarro Marv Levy for those of us who had a soft spot for the Bills in their glory days but now are watching them crash and burn, while boasting about how great they are going to be.

    • Dennis Orphen

      How far are you into your Saturday night/moderately intoxicated/shitfaced? Are you going for your run tomorrow?

      • Denverite

        A beer and a Manhattan. And yes. I didn’t run today, so for sure six miles tomorrow.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Good man.

  • efgoldman

    Yup, Papelbon is an asshole and way, way past his sell by date, but he was an excellent closer for the Sox once upon a time, the only pitcher to close for 6 years before he took the money and ran. His 2007 line:
    7 CL Jonathan Papelbon 26 1 3 .250 1.85 59 0 53 0 0 37 58.1 30 12 12 5 15 0 84 4 0 0 224 257 2.45 0.771 4.6 0.8 2.3 13.0 5.60

  • Loofah

    Singles band? I don’t think songs the length of Riders on the Storm, The End, Soft Parade, When The Music’s Over, LA Woman etc are what you would conventionally call singles…The Doors made great ALBUMS, bro.

    But hey, if calling them a singles band, creates a safe space for you that allows you to acknowledge their greatness while maintaining a smug sense of personal superiority, then so be it.

    • Dennis Orphen

      The most relevant detail I discerned from reading No One Here Gets Out Alive as a 14 year old in 1981 was that most if not all the photo credits were from Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine. Which is okay with me. They don’t make teenage girls like they used to.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I like most of those songs, but except for L.A. Woman and to a lesser extent the debut I think all the attached albums are very uneven.

      • Henry Holland

        Nah, don’t agree at all. Strange Days is a clone of the debut but it’s better produced and I like the songs better, especially Moonlight Drive and When The Music’s Over, which has The Truth: Music is your only friend.

        Morrison Hotel is a very strong album too, a real comeback after the total letdown that was The Soft Parade. It rocks, maaaaaaaan.

        For seven years I dwelt
        In the loose palace of exile,
        Playing strange games
        With the girls of the island
        Now I have come again
        To the land of the fair, & the strong, & the wise
        Brothers & sisters of the pale forest
        O children of Night
        Who among you will run with the hunt?
        Now Night arrives with her purple legion
        Retire now to your tents & to your dreams
        Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
        I want to be ready

    • The best Doors song is X covering Soul Kitchen.

      … I still like The End, but because of Apoc. Now mainly. Tho when I visited Santa Monica, the literal-as-fuck Blue Bus gave me a turn.

  • Dennis Orphen

    Whenever the subject of the Doors comes up I always try to turn people on to this song.

    For those who are tired of the classic rock playlist songs mentioned above and don’t consider the Doors an album band (rightly so in my opinion) try Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine.

    • Anna in PDX

      Thanks for that! Need this album…

  • NickFlynn

    Well, Curt Schilling has his running mate now.

  • What’s the deal with red Sox pitchers and assholeshness?

    • efgoldman

      What’s the deal with red Sox pitchers and assholeshness?

      Well, first of all, Pap didn’t graduate to full asshole status until he left the Sox. Bigmouth Curt is Bigmoutt Curt – what can I say? But most other Sox pitchers are fine – for celebrities.
      Everybody can’t be Pedro.

  • Gallipoli

    Wait, we’ve talked baseball, and we’ve talked football, but no one has mentioned that Tim Tebow has decided that he is going to be a baseball player now?

    • sparks

      It’s bad taste to take seriously. We are always tasteful, as this thread has proved.

    • howard

      see bill murray at 10:56, above.

  • Yossarian

    There’s an semi-serious argument to be made that only a complete sociopath could have gladly taken on the pressure of the Curse and come through, let alone gone into Yankee Stadium on one leg and shut the Yanks down to stave off elimination.

    I’m not really serious, but I do think the 2004 Sox were one of the few teams where group personality made a real difference. Boston pre-2004 was a pressure cooker (esp post-Grady), and that team had zero fucks to give because they were maniacs.

    • efgoldman

      There’s an semi-serious argument to be made that only a complete sociopath could have gladly taken on the pressure of the Curse and come through

      There is, but it wasn’t Papelbon. He didn’t come up from the minors that year. If memory serves, they were still farting around with making him a starter.

      Keith Foulke closed for the ’04 curse breakers; Made the final putout of the World Series; there was some controversy about what happened to that ball.

      You look at that roster and wonder how the hell they did it.

      • howard

        i look at that roster and i see manny and ortiz and varitek and i don’t wonder at all!

        • Scott Lemieux

          Yeah, I see two Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers, two Hall of Fame-caliber hitters, with a lot of surrounding talent. I’m not really seeing the mystery.

  • Yossarian

    I know – I was responding to the Schilling reference.

    I’ll never forget that ’04 team, or where I was for each of the elimination games in the ALCS and WS. Short version – climbing up a street light like a crazy person in Greenwich Village with a bunch of other howling Sox fans while bemused NYC cops looked on.

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    Sort of in defense of Jim Morrison, if someone fronting a rock band is not a sleazy, pretentious douche, they are JUST NOT TRYING!

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