Things that pissed me off this week

Field of Feces
Betcha didn't know that former Major League centerfielder Brett Butler (not to be confused with this Brett Butler) wrote a book. No, really! In 1997 Butler expelled the autobiographical Field of Hope, presumably from his bowels. Well, "wrote" is a strong word to use when the book in question is a collaboration with prolific author Jerry B. Jenkins, but I digress. The point is that I read Field of Hope this week and couldn't stand it. Butler smears his smug and condescending attitude across the pages from beginning to end. Here's the general synopsis for those of you who enjoy Cliff's Notes: nothing is ever Butler's fault. Ever. Accountability is not his bag. Oh, and God loves Brett Butler because Brett Butler has grit. That point is hammered home repeatedly. In Field of Hope, Butler blames his short stature for not being taken seriously as a ballplayer and therefore attacks anyone who doesn't think he's greater than sliced bread (he's not). Butler wastes no time throwing his Napoleonic weight around whenever he doesn't get his way. He blames his baseball coach for not getting enough playing time high school ... he whines when Hall-of-Famer Rickey Henderson gets a bigger contract than he does ... he throws a hissy fit when he's hitting .214 as a 38-year old outfielder and his coach benches him for a couple of games. Butler tries to rationalize that he needs 500 at-bats to produce, but what he doesn't realize is that the law of averages will allow most ballplayers to produce over 500 at-bats. What an asshole.

If you've ever thought about picking up a copy at your local library's $1 book sale, save your buck unless you're a holy-roller and you're into that shit.

Barbaro finished in fifth-place
One of the functions of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is to determine Major League Baseball's postseason awards. Founded in 1908, the stuffy association takes great pains to protect its deserved image as utterly inept and dishearteningly confounding. For instance, the BBWAA handed out the NL Rookie of the Year hardware earlier this week to catcher Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs, who received a deserving 31-out-of-32 first-place votes. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez finished a measly fourth in the balloting, receiving just three second-place votes for a year in which he went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 Ks in 196 innings. So why, do you ask, no respect for Volquez' great year? Good question and surprisingly (to the BBWAA) the answer is that Volquez is not a rookie. Volquez has been pitching in the big leagues since 2005 and cracked the 50-inning threshold for rookie consideration back in 2007 while with the Texas Rangers. Morons. And in case you're wondering who should have their voting rights revoked, the voters are Jeremy Cothran of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Los Angeles Daily News' John Kilma and the North County Times' Jay Paris.

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