Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nero Fiddled


Jim Rome is a smug jerk who hosts a show on ESPN called "Rome is Burning". It should be called "Rome is an idiot who has a man crush on David Eckstein and Darin Erstad and really doesn't know anything about sports", but I guess that's not as sexy. On his show, he basically substitutes catch phrases and name calling for actual sports commentary. He first came to national prominence by getting a NFL player to attack him on camera. Jim Everett was a QB for the LA Rams at the time and Rome always questioned his toughness, so he tagged him with the nickname "Chris Everett". Jim Everett appeared on the show and told Rome that the didn't appreciate it and didn't want him to use that nickname anymore. Rome decided to use the nickname anyway and Everett physically attacked him on his show. (Click here to see Rome get pimp slapped)

He opens and closes his current show on ESPN with his personal musings about the previous evenings sporting events and it really is absolutely hilarious. Earlier this week he was talking about David Ortiz bunting for a base hit in a segment entitled "what a drag". He kept on talking about Ortiz and how he laid down a drag bunt in a game against Toronto. Now this is a fairly small point, but Ortiz actually laid down a push bunt. A drag bunt for a left handed hitter would be hit down the first base line. The hitter is dragging the ball in the direction that he's running. Hence the term "drag bunt". A push bunt is hit in the opposite direction. Any twelve year old baseball fan would be able to tell you the difference, but since he couldn't come up with any cute headline for a push bunt and assumed that the audience was as stupid as he was, he just decided it didn't matter.

I can't tell you the number of times that he's talked about how Darin Erstad and David Eckstein just "get it done". It's as if they are the only players in baseball who actually play hard. Erstad "got it done" to the tune of a .696 OPS last year. I've already made comments about David Eckstein, so there's no need for me to repeat them. I have nothing against these players, and I certainly understand that not everyone can be Albert Pujols, but using a head first slide or getting your uniform dirty does not make you an all-star. I'm sure if Jim Rome had a vote he would put both Erstad and Eckstein in the Hall of Fame.

A lot of sports commentators are annoying but Rome is annoying, stupid and smug. He's a know-it-all who actually doesn't know anything. Where is Jim Everett when we need him? Jim Rome wins the first annual "Be Like Mike" award, which is named after the patron saint of idiot sports commentators everywhere, Mike Lupica. Congratulations Jim. You deserve it.

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