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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ervin Santana Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

Stephen Smith gets all huffy about Matt Hurst's blog post calling Santana's supporters "ignorant" for believing that Santana's Boston start, and not his most recent start in Seattle, was "the real deal". In truth, Santana's hallmark has been his inconsistency, both at the major league level and in the minors, something both writers tend to forget. The Angels may yet get to find out what he has left, since Mike Scioscia still considers him a candidate to start Monday against Oakland.


I agree with Stephen.
In my view, both of them miss the point. Santana is inconsistent, with a severe mental problem that has eroded almost all of his value as a major league starting pitcher. Smith becomes an apologist for bad start after bad start, barely even acknowledging they exist. Similarly, for Matt Hurst to claim that Santana's spectacularly bad start in Seattle is the true measure of the pitcher is just as absurd; two years ago, Santana went into a do-or-die playoff game and pitched his team into the next round. Santana has talent, true; he also needs to pull his head out. The independent leagues are full of guys with raw talent who were unable to harness it.
Hurst and Smith stake out the two extremes of popular opinion on Ervin Santana, for sure.

But it's hard to blame Smith too much, because Hurst's post was ridiculous. He was merely taking the opportunity to punish Ervin for complaining about the media, while at the same time getting an ad hominem attack in on Ervin's supporters. Although Smith tends to take any disagreement personally, in this case I think he's right that Hurst had him in mind.

Rob, I agree with you completely about Ervin. He has eroded most of his value, and he does need to pull his head out. Despite this, or actually because of this, he's not leaving our organization anytime soon. His potential is now much greater than his trade value, so we'll stick with him until he either rights his ship or his contract lapses, at which time we'll let him go for nothing and he'll go to another team and be brilliant.
But it's hard to blame Smith too much, because Hurst's post was ridiculous.

You're kidding, right? I mean, Smith's piece was every bit as tendentious:

"I like Ervin. And I know quite a few people associated the Angels' minor leagues over the years who liked Ervin too. One 'nobody' was a diminutive deaf-mute named John Cortez."

I mean fuck me. If I have criticism about the Santana implosion, I'm hating on the handicapped?

This sort of appeal to emotion and, frankly, sociopathic argumentation is beyond the pale, but is par for the course for Stephen.

What an asshole.
Well said, Andrew.
Wouldn't it be nice if Ervin could just become a semi-competent starter and it would end the debate completely. ;-)
I didn't mean to suggest any lack of bias on Smith's part, merely that Hurst was picking a fight. What I failed to add was that Smith's reaction was completely predictable to anyone familiar with him. Also, my characterization of Hurst's post as "ridiculous" was inapt; I should have said "contentious and vindictive."

And I think that "sociopathic" is unduly harsh. I'd say "psychotic" gets it done well enough.
And I think that "sociopathic" is unduly harsh. I'd say "psychotic" gets it done well enough.

I don't. The DSM-IV has the two terms as nearly interchangeable. I used to work in psychiatric nursing in my twenties, and Stephen shows classic sociopathic tendencies: impulsive, manic, irritible, aggressive.

The guy sees enemies everywhere, even if he cannot remember their names. Every article is a grudge nursed. You can even see it in his web design: crowded, obsessive, completely indifferent to the reader. Off-center, unbalanced text...as if filling a hole with that endless text could be compensatory for innumerable instances of lapsed judgement.

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