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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Madden: As Robinson Cano asks Mariners for help, it’s like Alex Rodriguez in Texas all over again

Doesn’t Madden know that the Mariners finished 2nd in HR’s…and that his Yogi Yorgesson record needs flipping?

What is interesting is Cano’s sudden discovery that the team he chose to cast his lot with is not very good. It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers. Back then, Tom Hicks, the idiot Texas owner who gave A-Rod more than $100 million more than any other team was offering, promised him he would have input in all his team’s player personnel decisions. As such, A-Rod was in on all the calls with the scouts during his time in Texas and, like Cano last week, would frequently make his recommendations to Hicks. He was also an instantly privileged player who, unlike any of his teammates, could act like the general manager. It was shortly after the All-Star break in 2001 when A-Rod started referring to the Rangers as “24 kids and me.” Still, it took him three years to negotiate his own trade out of Texas, first to the Red Sox (which the players union rejected) and finally to the Yankees.

“Why is Cano complaining about the Seattle lineup now?” a baseball official asked the other day. “Did he just wake up and realize he signed with a (crappy) team? This season is on him now. He knows he won’t be pitched to. He knows he’s not going to be able to put up the kind of numbers he’s used to.”

He also knows he’s probably going to finish last. Another baseball person familiar with Cano’s and Rodriguez’s relationship said we shouldn’t be at all surprised that Cano is already following the same pattern in Seattle as A-Rod’s in Texas.

“Cano followed A-Rod around in New York and looked at him as a role model,” the person said. “It was A-Rod who convinced him he was a franchise-type player and that’s what he’s being paid as. The problem is, he’s a franchise player in numbers only. He’s not the type of leader as, say, a (Albert) Pujols or even a (Derek) Jeter, as far as being exceptional. A player who can take over a team, who the fans pay money to see. Seattle’s going to quickly realize that. For now, though, they’ve created a monster, just as Texas did with A-Rod.”

If the Mariners do indeed finish last again, in all probability GM Jack Zduriencik will be fired. Then it’ll be up to the new GM to accommodate Cano’s inevitable “trade me” demands, as A-Rod did in Texas after three years.

Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:03 AM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, yankees

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   1. Esoteric Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4668519)
Shut up, you crybaby New Yorker.
   2. Downtown Bookie Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4668537)
Shut up, you crybaby New Yorker.


I thought this was worth repeating.

DB
   3. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4668539)
Conveniently ignoring that the Rangers spent plenty of money in those days -- they just didn't spend it very well.
   4. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4668546)
Madden carrying the Yankee front office water again. News at 11:00.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4668551)
On the one hand, the team didn't move an inch from the $175M offer; on the other, it acts like a sore loser. The classiest organization in all of sports keeps getting classier.
   6. BDC Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4668567)
It was shortly after the All-Star break in 2001 when A-Rod started referring to the Rangers as “24 kids and me.”


If it was, AROD is even less self-aware than I took him for, because he was one of the youngest players on the 2001 Rangers. That was the year they brought in Caminiti and Galarraga and Randy Velarde to make a run at the pennant. They had Pudge and Palmeiro and Rusty Greer and Ruben Sierra and Kenny Rogers … that's not even close to exhausting the veteran presence on that roster.

And as those names might suggest, it was a surprise to everyone that the '01 Rangers were as bad as they were (89 losses). As so often with the Rangers, terrible pitching was mostly to blame, because they had a strong-enough lineup that AROD and everyone else figured them for an above-.500 club. As often noted, they'd won their third division title in four years as recently as 1999, and figured to rebound after an off-season in '00. That is not really like the current Mariners' track record.

The "24 kids" stuff came later, when AROD felt put-upon to have to serve as mentor to Michael Young, Mark Teixeira, and Hank Blalock. Who are all of 4 or 5 years younger than he is, Young only a year younger. To be fair, I think he was a good mentor to them, whiner though he may be. They've always spoken highly of him, and of course Teix has now been his teammate for quite a while in NY.
   7. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4668570)
The Yankees are butt-hurt? This is why Artax had to die.
   8. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4668577)
The classiest organization in all of sports keeps getting classier.


And they have had the highest ####### payroll in baseball since forever. But one player leaves them for more money elsewhere and they throw the biggest pity party ever.

What a bunch of pathetic crybabies.
   9. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4668582)
And they have had the highest ####### payroll in baseball since forever. But one player leaves them for more money elsewhere and they throw the biggest pity party ever.

What a bunch of pathetic crybabies.


Says the fan of a team whose front office always ends relationships with players and managers on good terms. I'm surprised Terry Francona hasn't keeled over and died from his painkiller addiction in Cleveland yet.
   10. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4668585)
I think he'll have a solid year at the plate. Especially if Seager can improve his OBP. However, Corey Hart in the clean-up slot, does not exactly inspire fear.
   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4668586)
I think I'm more sanguine than most about the Mariners' next two or three years, especially with Walker joining the rotation. I know the hitting is an issue, but they're not so far away from being decent.
   12. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4668589)
Says the fan of a team whose front office always ends relationships with players and managers on good terms.


Davey Johnson?
   13. TerpNats Posted: March 09, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4668595)
What is interesting is Cano’s sudden discovery that the team he chose to cast his lot with is not very good. It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers.
Texas had won the AL West three of the five years before A-Rod signed. Not the strongest of divisions, to be sure, but comparing the recent history of the 2001 Rangers to the 2014 Mariners is apples and oranges.
   14. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 09, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4668618)
his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez


According to one NY beat writer I talked to last year, Cano and A-Rod used to be great friends, but now Cano can't stand A-Rod.
   15. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 09, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4668627)
Sorry, I thought you were kevin who I could have sworn rooted for Pedrioa and the Sox.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: March 09, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4668635)
He also knows he’s probably going to finish last... If the Mariners do indeed finish last again

The Mariners finished 20 games ahead of the last-place team last year. But the Astros added Dexter Fowler and Scott Feldman this offseason, so clearly they're set to sprint up the standings more than the team that added Cano.
   17. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: March 09, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4668642)
Sorry, I thought you were kevin who I could have sworn rooted for Pedrioa and the Sox.

He is. Part of his cover is that he's a fan of Washington teams, and therefore not Kevin, yet his four pet topics are the Red Sox, the Bill Russell Celtics, steroid crusaderdom and his hatred of the Yankees. He's kind of an idiot, so he thinks declaring a list of false characteristics makes him undetectable, even if all the rest of his time is spent behaving in a way -- i.e., as himself -- that directly contradicts the claimed characteristics.
   18. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4668656)
Yep. PP is Kevin.

I am enjoying the Yankees whining about Cano myself, even if the Red Sox suck at letting people leave on good terms.
   19. frannyzoo Posted: March 09, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4668657)
Kevin = Straw Man

Shut up, you crybaby New Yorker.


This. Again.
   20. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4668684)
Kevin = Straw Man


Lance Reddick! = Crybaby+1.
   21. bookbook Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4668695)
The Mariners line-up in 2013 was better than the Yankees line-up ex-Cano. The Kid'll be fine.

(Morales and Ibanez are gone, of course, but so are Brendan Ryan & probably Endy, as well as Morse and Montero)
   22. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4668712)
I've learned to completely ignore pubic pubiculous. You ought to try it.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4668713)
Just to clarify, the Yankees do not own the New York Daily News. A columnist's easily written criticism of a highly paid departing player isn't the team speaking.

Equally important, Cano is in a no-win position here, although it also appears that his recent remarks have been exaggerated. If Cano doesn't say anything about the Mariners getting better, he's likely to be accused of being a greedy player who just cares about his paycheck. If Cano suggests how the Mariners can get better (have some players who hit right-handed?), he's likely to be accused of being so spoiled that he acts like the GM. Such is life.
   24. eddieot Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4668715)
Madden carrying the Yankee front office water again. News at 11:00.

Bingo! This is a pathetic piece, pretty much invented whole cloth from of a throwaway comment by Cano. Seattle has a very good chance to be good this year if their young pitching progresses. Cano and A-Rod aren't even very friendly from what I understand and even if they are, so what? If the National Enquirer offered Madden $50 million more than any other rag would he say no? Please just start the season already. Sportswriters are basically trolls at this point of the preseason...
   25. JJ1986 Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4668716)
Sportswriters are basically trolls at this point of the preseason...


To be fair, Madden is a troll all of the time.
   26. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 09, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4668717)
Cano is in a no-win position here


Listen, I realize the Mariners aren't very good, but surely they'll get at least a few wins...
   27. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 09, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4668728)
If I'm reading this correctly, Fangraphs projects the odds of making the playoffs as Mariners 40.6%, and Yankees 33.1%. (Could someone confirm for me that's actually what it says?)
   28. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4668729)
Just to clarify, the Yankees do not own the New York Daily News.


Neither did the Mets. But that didn't stop Dick Young from trashing Tom Seaver on behalf of M. Donald Grant.
   29. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4668755)
The phrase "ugly American" is often directed at American tourists for being loud, obnoxious, and often perceived as arrogant when traveling overseason. Is there any doubt that New Yorkers wear the term "ugly American" as well as anyone, domestically?
   30. Baldrick Posted: March 09, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4668758)
If I'm reading this correctly, Fangraphs projects the odds of making the playoffs as Mariners 40.6%, and Yankees 33.1%. (Could someone confirm for me that's actually what it says?)

It does look that way. Why they think the Mariners are a good bet to win 85 games, though, I have no idea.

I would be thrilled with a genuine winning season but...let's just say I'm not expecting it.
   31. GregD Posted: March 09, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4668760)
The phrase "ugly American" is often directed at American tourists for being loud, obnoxious, and often perceived as arrogant when traveling overseason. Is there any doubt that New Yorkers wear the term "ugly American" as well as anyone, domestically?
Loud and arrogant, yes, but there is no way that New Yorkers act worse overseas than Texans. New Yorkers are capable of taking direction from competent people; they get bossed around by their deli guys and coffee cart guys every day. Texans, as a general rule, seem incapable of taking advice or direction from anyone without getting offended.
   32. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4668771)
As I currently wait for a group of friends in the middle of Elmhurst, Queens, I find it amazing that people from outside the city think there is such a thing as a typical New Yorker.

It's the best city in our fair nation.
   33. madvillain Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4668774)
I live in Seattle lived in NYC for 5 years previously. Gimme nycers any day. Least you know where they stand. Seattlites will piss on you and say it's raining. Nycers will piss on you but you get fair warning.

@32 true, it is a diverse city, although it does have a certain type, IMO.
   34. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4668775)
Seattlites will piss on you and say it's raining.


Well, it probably is raining. That's why it sounds so plausible.
   35. BDC Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4668776)
And I'll fly from Texas to New York tomorrow, the only two places I've lived in the last 28 years. I agree, and I'll only say that the "typical Texan" is something of a myth too :)
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4668779)

average annual rainfall
NYC 50 inches
Seattle 38 inches

http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-annual-precipitation-by-city.php

granted, there are more days of any rain at all in Seattle - NYC racks it up in bunches, kind of the Earl Weaver of rain cities compared to Seattle's "small ball" approach
   37. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4668784)
It's the best city in our fair nation.


I think we should reserve judgement on a thing like that until all the facts are in.
   38. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4668786)
And they have had the highest ####### payroll in baseball since forever. But one player leaves them for more money elsewhere and they throw the biggest pity party ever.

What a bunch of pathetic crybabies.


I'd say within the US, New Yorkers are the ugly American. I'm sure you are right Texans are uglier outside of the US.
>>
This is actually a correct diagnosis of this situation. For another surpreme example of New Yorkers being butt-hurt, I give you LeBron James and his infamous "taking his talents to South Beach" announcement. A complete and humiliating rejection of New York was immediately spun into Lebron screwed Cleveland. There is no way this (Lebron screwed Cleveland) would have been the national media discussion had he said, I'm taking going to take a "bite at the Big Apple".

For years, well before Lebron even began his FA season, New York media and fans were convinced Lebron was going to come to save the Knicks. Talk radio in NYC didn't have anything good Knicks related to talk about during these years in waiting, so they collectivly dreamed of the day when Lebron would sign with the Kincks. ESPN, everyone played the parlor game, where would Lebron sign. Almost always the case was made for New York, it became fait accompli. Fastforwad to the day before the announcement... Lebron said he would tell the world at the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. 30 Minutes from the Garden. NY media was convinced he picked New York.

Then Lebron dissed New York. Instead of New York acting hurt...(no way), New Yorkers are too prideful and vain to act hurt, they'd rather pretend they were unbothered and make Lebron seem small, not the other way around. So they whipped up fake tears for....CLEVELAND!

Had Lebron signed on with the Knicks, the entire national media apparatus would have been dreaming of how awesome this all was for New York, how the Knicks were BACK and how Lebron was the new king of New York. You would have heard nothing of Lebron screwing Cleveland.

   39. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4668791)
granted, there are more days of any rain at all in Seattle - NYC racks it up in bunches, kind of the Earl Weaver of rain cities compared to Seattle's "small ball" approach


Yeah, it's very often raining here, but it hardly ever rains hard enough to require an umbrella. New York saves it up for special occasions and then releases the deluge.
   40. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4668795)
"Bingo! This is a pathetic piece, pretty much invented whole cloth from of a throwaway comment by Cano."

This was far more than a throwaway line from Cano. Here are the pertinent quotes from the article. "I'm not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat," Cano told CBSSports.com. "We have many left-handed hitters. You don't want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters."

Cano also expressed interest in the Mariners re-signing Kendrys Morales. "[Morales is] a switch hitter who's got power," Cano said.

He then asked for more pitching. "[Santana is] great," the All-Star second baseman said. "The guy's always pitching; he never gets hurt. "If it was up to me, we'd have Santana, Cruz and Ubaldo, too," Cano told CBS.

So basically Cano asked for a total of four players: Morales, Cruz, Santana and Jimenez.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4668804)
Since the thread is nominally about Cano, I'll just drop in this quote from Eduardo Nunez about what he learned first hand of Cano's work ethic, which some people apparently think is symbolized by his tendency not to run hard down to first on two hop ground balls:

When [Nunez's] close friend Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent, Nunez added work at second base to his off-season regimen. He also started tagging along with Cano for workouts two years ago in the Dominican Republic. He said the experience was an eye-opener.

“I never expected big-league guys to work that hard,” Nunez said of Cano. “I was never in my life working like that. I’d go to a gym for 25 to 30 minutes, do a couple of push-ups, do a couple of things, take a couple of swings and go home. That’s it.

“Then when I started working with Cano, and I saw this guy working out for two and a half hours in the gym, I was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ He’d do that and take about 300 swings every day, and running, doing sprints and agility drills.”

Nunez added, “I knew I had to pick it up.”
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 09, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4668807)
and running, doing sprints

So he ran harder in his workouts than he ever did on the field. Now there's something to be proud of.
   43. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4668811)
Send that line to Bill Madden, he's got a blank column staring him in the face for next Sunday.
   44. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4668812)
“I was never in my life working like that. I’d go to a gym for 25 to 30 minutes, do a couple of push-ups, do a couple of things, take a couple of swings and go home. That’s it.


Wow. No wonder Nunez sucks. I'm not even a professional athlete and I work out harder than that. 2.5 hrs a day I would judge a minimum for a professional athlete.

In fact, If I were making a major league salary, if nothing else I'd hit for at least an hour a day, maybe even pay some kid to throw to me. That's not that hard to do.
   45. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4668814)
Why they think the Mariners are a good bet to win 85 games, though, I have no idea.


They did win 78 last year, and add one of the best players in the game over the winter. I don't really anticipate the M's making the playoffs, either, but a winning season is not out of the question, and they don't have to compete with the Red Sox and Rays for a playoff spot. The Yankees also don't get to play a zillion games against the Astros.
   46. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4668816)
I probably took 200 swings a day....in little league.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4668820)
Far be it from me to defend Bill Madden, but when I read that Cano was talking to the media about who he thought the Mariners should sign, some of the assertions in this article did run through my head. Would he have made comments like this as a Yankee? It makes sense that Cano felt under appreciated in NYC and that he wanted to go somewhere where he didn't need to share the spotlight.

I don't remember ARod's "me and 24 kids" comment, but I do remember that when the Mets bowed out of the ARod free agency sweepstakes, they did so saying that they had no interest in fielding a roster of 24 + 1 players, meaning that ARod was trying to negotiate so many ridiculous perks and responsibilities for himself that he would have ceased to be a normal player.
   48. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4668822)
I don't remember ARod's "me and 24 kids" comment, but I do remember that when the Mets bowed out of the ARod free agency sweepstakes, they did so saying that they had no interest in fielding a roster of 24 + 1 players, meaning that ARod was trying to negotiate so many ridiculous perks and responsibilities for himself that he would have ceased to be a normal player.


Further evidence to support the hypothesis that A-Rod is in possession of perhaps the weirdest personna in MLB history.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4668825)
So he ran harder in his workouts than he ever did on the field. Now there's something to be proud of.

Armchair soldier and armchair Spengler is also armchair hustler. Big surprise, but watch out for that carpal tunnel.


   50. PreservedFish Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4668828)
Mets Pull Out of the Rodriguez Sweepstakes

Instead of being scared off by the money it would surely take to sign Rodriguez, Phillips was concerned that Rodriguez's request for preferential treatment would turn the Mets into a ''24-plus-one-man roster'' and destroy the ''fabric of the team.''

... the general manager listed Boras's desire to have a separate marketing staff and an office for Rodriguez at his home stadium. Boras asked for four employees to strictly handle Rodriguez's off-field obligations, another baseball executive said. The Mets have four full-time employees in the media relations department. Phillips indicated a private plane may have also been requested as well as a ''billboard presence in the city,'' which another baseball official confirmed.
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4668829)
If I'm reading this correctly, Fangraphs projects the odds of making the playoffs as Mariners 40.6%, and Yankees 33.1%. (Could someone confirm for me that's actually what it says?)


It does look that way. Why they think the Mariners are a good bet to win 85 games, though, I have no idea.

Good question, though I suspect that being in the same division with the Astros has a lot to do with it.
   52. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4668830)
Wow. No wonder Nunez sucks. I'm not even a professional athlete and I work out harder than that.
Who takes this at face value? Anyone? Anyone?
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4668833)
Mets Pull Out of the Rodriguez Sweepstakes

Instead of being scared off by the money it would surely take to sign Rodriguez, Phillips was concerned that Rodriguez's request for preferential treatment would turn the Mets into a ''24-plus-one-man roster'' and destroy the ''fabric of the team.''
... the general manager listed Boras's desire to have a separate marketing staff and an office for Rodriguez at his home stadium. Boras asked for four employees to strictly handle Rodriguez's off-field obligations, another baseball executive said. The Mets have four full-time employees in the media relations department. Phillips indicated a private plane may have also been requested as well as a ''billboard presence in the city,'' which another baseball official confirmed.



All this time later, you can still smell the sincerity and totally sweet grapes in those comments. Thank God the 2001 New York Mets didn't devolve into a 24 + 1 team, and instead settled into a fun to watch 24-23 kind of season. Those 52 home runs would only have aborted 52 rallies, anyway. And those 0 postseason at-bats for Mike Piazza's last five years as a Met kept the end of his prime that much fresher. As Phillips rightly notes, it was much better for the clubhouse fabric to take $-Rod's 2001 OPS+ and divide it up between two of their starting hitters.
   54. Publius Publicola Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4668834)
... the general manager listed Boras's desire to have a separate marketing staff and an office for Rodriguez at his home stadium. Boras asked for four employees to strictly handle Rodriguez's off-field obligations, another baseball executive said. The Mets have four full-time employees in the media relations department. Phillips indicated a private plane may have also been requested as well as a ''billboard presence in the city,'' which another baseball official confirmed.


Maybe A-Rod thought they could recoup the cost in stud fees.
   55. Baldrick Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4668860)
They did win 78 last year, and add one of the best players in the game over the winter. I don't really anticipate the M's making the playoffs, either, but a winning season is not out of the question, and they don't have to compete with the Red Sox and Rays for a playoff spot. The Yankees also don't get to play a zillion games against the Astros.

I realize that you can always pick and choose individual elements of a team, so perhaps this doesn't mean as much as I think it means but...

The M's got 7 WAR from Iwakuma last year. Now, I think he's an excellent pitcher, but I would be pretty surprised if he's close to that again. And right there, you've canceled out half the value of adding Cano. Who else on the team is projected to be significantly better than what they got last year? Zunino, I suppose. And maybe Miller will stay that good over a full season. And it's always possible that Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc. will remember that they were supposed to be blue-chip prospects and figure out how to hit.

If I squint and wish mightily I can certainly see them stumbling into 85-88 wins. But there's no way I'd project them that high.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4668863)
Thank God the 2001 New York Mets didn't devolve into a 24 + 1 team, and instead settled into a fun to watch 24-23 kind of season.


Oh, believe me, I was livid. The Mets at that time were characterized by a really complacent and clubhousey group of guys ... all these white 33 year old dudes with goatees that lived in suburban Connecticut that played golf together and had classic rock walk-up music. I think that Steve Phillips also fit this description. A year or two after that they declined to make any offer for Gary Sheffield because they didn't think he'd fit in with the clubhouse. Drove me nuts.
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4668865)
People are citing Steve Phillips for the truth of a matter? Seriously? About why the Mets didn't spend money? Really?
   58. Blastin Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4668873)
all these white 33 year old dudes with goatees that lived in suburban Connecticut that played golf together and had classic rock walk-up music.


Piazza... Todd Pratt? Who else?
   59. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4668876)
Zeile, Leiter, Ventura, Reed, Appier Trachsel, Bobby Jones, Dennis Cook.
   60. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:55 AM (#4668880)
But not that Bobby Jones.

Was Phillips still there when they passed on Vlad due to health concerns?
   61. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4668883)
I realize that you can always pick and choose individual elements of a team, so perhaps this doesn't mean as much as I think it means but...

The M's got 7 WAR from Iwakuma last year. Now, I think he's an excellent pitcher, but I would be pretty surprised if he's close to that again. And right there, you've canceled out half the value of adding Cano. Who else on the team is projected to be significantly better than what they got last year? Zunino, I suppose. And maybe Miller will stay that good over a full season. And it's always possible that Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc. will remember that they were supposed to be blue-chip prospects and figure out how to hit.

If I squint and wish mightily I can certainly see them stumbling into 85-88 wins. But there's no way I'd project them that high.

You can always point to one or 2 things that won't repeat itself. It's like how evert fanbase looks at last year, and says well next year we won't be giving 10 starts with 5.50 ERA to that guy! But the truth is, it will just be somebody else, which is why this isn't a very useful way to look at things.

The best way is to simply start with full team projections, and not last seasons WAR, where regression for those outliers is already built in. If you want to make personal adjustments from there, that is up to you. Just make sure you do it for all teams, and not just one.

So FWIW, FG has the AL West, with Iwakuma at 2.9 WAR:
Angels 85
A's 84
Rangers 84
Mariners 83
Astros 67
   62. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4668884)
Angels 85
A's 84
Rangers 84
Mariners 83
Astros 67


So it's not so much that they're predicting great things for the Mariners as a weak division that could go in any direction. (Except Houston's)
   63. Walt Davis Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4668888)
They did win 78 last year

They won 71 last year, 67 pythag. Despite playing a lot of games against the Astros. They were 36-44 from July on so they can't even really claim to have improved as the year went on and they moved some sludge out.

They would seem to have more position players on the 40 man than just about anybody does these days -- 21. They are a very young team and could be good in three years or so. If you squint, the lineup could be one of those where nobody sucks and you've got one superstar:

C: Zunino/Buck
1B/DH/LF: Smoak/Hart/Morrison
2B: Cano
SS: Miller
3B: Seager
OF, etc: Ackley, Saunders, Franklin

and of course Mr. Bloomquist.

But, at least last year, most of those guys gave back on defense. For WARpos, they had 20 oWAR but just 11 WAR. That's a lot of wins to give back on the defensive end. Logan Morrison ain't gonna help that much.

The pitching staff was equally awful at 12 WAR -- all of it due to Felix and Iwakuma. That's almost literally true as only two other relievers made it up to 1 WAR (in 92 IP). About 60% of their innings were thrown by replacement level pitchers.

Ahh, I wonder if that's it. If you regress hard enough -- i.e. give them an average defense -- the 2013 team gets up to around 500 (76-80 wins roughly). Add Cano and a little growth for the kids and you can get to 85. And of course they may have been a better fWAR pitching staff than bWAR.

Fangraphs looks to have been tougher on the Ms position players actually. They also come up with about 9-9.5 wins lost on defense but put them at just 4.5 WAR overall. But they do do better on pitcher WAR coming in at 16.5 with a FIP/xFIP substantially lower than their ERA. But those two WARs add up to 21, about the same as bWAR so it's not clear that explains where the improvement comes from.

By bWAR (and pythag), the 2013 Cubs were a better team (and that seems to include league differences) but ended up with 66 wins. FG has correctly projected them to 71 wins given they added nobody this offseason.
   64. Baldrick Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:51 AM (#4668890)
The best way is to simply start with full team projections, and not last seasons WAR, where regression for those outliers is already built in. If you want to make personal adjustments from there, that is up to you. Just make sure you do it for all teams, and not just one.

I guess I was just saying that I was too lazy to actually dig through all their projections. And that seemed like a viable shorthand to me. But now that I've actually looked at what they say, I remain very skeptical. They're projecting basically a league average offense. That depends on: Miller retaining his value (plausible), Zunino being average instead of replacement level (plausible, but...), Hart still being a decent hitter (okay), Morrison actually knowing how to hit (which, yeah maybe but his career WAR is sub-zero at this point), Almonte being a viable major leaguer (perhaps, but I could easily see him hitting 200/250/300 with mediocre defense), and no one being below replacement.

Now, I get that projections of individual players have to be regressed, so they don't project ANY team to have below replacement performances. But we're talking about an organization that ran out about 1200 plate appearances of sub-replacement performance. I think a big part of that is their dependence on a bunch of 1B/DH types to man their entire OF. Those guys have little margin for error and if they bust, you get the Mike Morse 2013 experiment. Or the Logan Morrison 2014 show perhaps.

Basically, I see a LOT of room for those projections to get blown apart in a bad way and very little room for anyone to beat their projections by any significant margin (Cano and perhaps Seager being the exceptions). It's not that I specifically distrust any one of their projections. I just doubt that a team depending on a lot of mediocre guys will actually balance out the inevitable sinkholes which afflict every team with positive deviations above the mean. The M's are depending on a whole lot of mediocre guys to all play average - but there's not much space for growth beyond that and LOTS of room to fall.

Perhaps I'm just being unduly pessimistic and looking for problems where none exist. I hope so, because it sure would be nice to see the team playing meaningful baseball in...well...July at least.
   65. Sunday silence Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:24 AM (#4668896)
The real Artax died in Brazil of colic. He was 17, so whatever...
   66. Moeball Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4668951)
It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers. Back then, Tom Hicks, the idiot Texas owner who gave A-Rod more than $100 million more than any other team was offering, promised him he would have input in all his team’s player personnel decisions.


After Hicks spent way more on A-Rod than he needed to in the first place, then he spent the next several years moaning about how he spent all his $$ on A-Rod and therefore had nothing left to fill out the roster with other quality players. Of course, he still signed Chan (gave up yet another)Ho(mer out of the)Park for more $$ than the A's were paying for Zito, Hudson and Mulder...combined.

A lot of times it isn't necessarily how much is being spent on a team's payroll that determines success so much as how the $$ are being spent. Teams that have historically been very poorly run often use the "we can't afford to compete" excuse to cover up front office incompetence, my Padres included on that score (see Mike Ivie thread).
   67. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4668965)
I've met New Yorkers. Good eggs, generally.
   68. PepTech Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4668980)
Cano is in a no-win position here
Listen, I realize the Mariners aren't very good, but surely they'll get at least a few wins...

It's the *Rangers* that are going 0-162. So with the Astros around, JackZ should get fired if the M's fail to come in at least 3rd.
   69. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4668981)
This is actually a correct diagnosis of this situation. For another surpreme example of New Yorkers being butt-hurt, I give you LeBron James and his infamous "taking his talents to South Beach" announcement. A complete and humiliating rejection of New York was immediately spun into Lebron screwed Cleveland. There is no way this (Lebron screwed Cleveland) would have been the national media discussion had he said, I'm taking going to take a "bite at the Big Apple".

Is Dan Gilbert a New Yorker now? If Lebron had held a t.v. special on ESPN to announce he was "taking a bit at the Big Apple", I'm pretty sure the media reaction would have been the same. It was much more about how he delivered the message, keeping the Cavs in suspense until minutes before the t.v. announcement, than the message itself.

The phrase "ugly American" is often directed at American tourists for being loud, obnoxious, and often perceived as arrogant when traveling overseason. Is there any doubt that New Yorkers wear the term "ugly American" as well as anyone, domestically?

I think the "ugly American" stereotype is pretty overblown. I've seen much more obnoxious tourists from other countries, although I'm reluctant to generalize so I'll leave it at that.

And I have a hard time seeing how New Yorkers, who tend to be pretty well traveled, are a very diverse group, and have a high proportion of immigrants/expats, embody the "ugly American" stereotype.
   70. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4668993)
And I have a hard time seeing how New Yorkers, who tend to be pretty well traveled, are a very diverse group, and have a high proportion of immigrants/expats, embody the "ugly American" stereotype.

Is this guy a New Yorker?
   71. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4669010)
Is Dan Gilbert a New Yorker now? If Lebron had held a t.v. special on ESPN to announce he was "taking a bit at the Big Apple", I'm pretty sure the media reaction would have been the same. It was much more about how he delivered the message, keeping the Cavs in suspense until minutes before the t.v. announcement, than the message itself.


I didn't take this up earlier because, well, it didn't seem worth it. But LionoftheSenate's characterization of LeBron's Decision is really wacky. The Knicks were always considered a dark horse candidate, at best, and LeBron's decision was no more a slap in the face of NYC than it was a slap in the face of Chicago or Los Angeles.
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4669031)
Is Dan Gilbert a New Yorker now? If Lebron had held a t.v. special on ESPN to announce he was "taking a bit at the Big Apple", I'm pretty sure the media reaction would have been the same. It was much more about how he delivered the message, keeping the Cavs in suspense until minutes before the t.v. announcement, than the message itself.


I didn't take this up earlier because, well, it didn't seem worth it. But LionoftheSenate's characterization of LeBron's Decision is really wacky. The Knicks were always considered a dark horse candidate, at best, and LeBron's decision was no more a slap in the face of NYC than it was a slap in the face of Chicago or Los Angeles.

Absolutely true. In the days leading up to LeBron's announcement, New York was barely even mentioned. Miami and Chicago were considered the main contenders, with a few hopes still holding out for Cleveland, and with the Lakers in the periphery. And the reaction against LeBron was almost exclusively out of sympathy for the Cavs and in reaction to the whole tone of that self-centered press conference.
   73. jmurph Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4669040)
A certain subset of basketball fans/writers would have applauded him going to the Knicks: he's going to a basketball-mad city, on the biggest stage, with the most pressure, to be the hero and carry the Knicks back to prominence. The portion of the mouth-breathing set that focuses on how he went to Miami to play with other stars because he couldn't do it alone would have been much more okay with a choice of the Knicks.
   74. The Good Face Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4669049)
I think the "ugly American" stereotype is pretty overblown. I've seen much more obnoxious tourists from other countries,


My non-scientific survey of high end international hotel/resort owners/operators has Russians coming in as, by FAR, the most obnoxious nationality. I've spoken to a few folks who say that Russians are no longer welcome at their properties because they're so incredibly obnoxious, disrespectful, demanding, and (of course) drunk.

Surprisingly, German Swiss came in second. Arrogant, rude, fault finding, and impossible to please were the complaints I heard. Regular Germans didn't do great either, but it was interesting that several people made a point of saying the German Swiss were worse.

The favorite nationality? Italians. Apparently vacationing Italians are a chill bunch, content to eat lavish meals, lounge in the sun and sit around gabbing with each other. Americans were generally well thought of.
   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4669062)
Stereotyping people based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability is usually frowned upon, but some people here seem to have no trouble doing that based on a state or city of residence, or MLB team preference. Even dumber to do so while referring to oneself as the Lion of the Senate. LOL.
   76. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4669063)
Americans were generally well thought of.


I have always been treated well, but I am often mistaken for something other than an American.
   77. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4669067)
Stereotyping people based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability is usually frowned upon, but some people here seem to have no trouble doing that based on a state or city of residence, or MLB team preference.


Hey, if I don't see any horns I don't see any horns.
   78. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4669070)
I have always been treated well, but I am often mistaken for something other than an American.



Wikipedia reveals why:

The wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) is a common murid rodent from Europe and northwestern Africa. It is closely related to the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) but differs in that it has no band of yellow fur around the neck, has slightly smaller ears, and is usually slightly smaller overall: around 90 mm (3.54") in length. It is found across most of Europe and is a very common and widespread species, is commensal with people and is sometimes considered a pest. Other common names are long-tailed field mouse, field mouse, common field mouse, and European wood mouse.
   79. Srul Itza Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4669074)
I've seen much more obnoxious tourists from other countries, although I'm reluctant to generalize so I'll leave it at that.


Da.
   80. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4669082)
In my backpacking days I learned that the 20-somethings with by far the worst reputation were Israelis. They were considered to be rude, cliquish and, yes, cheap. There were hostels and restaurants that seemed to cater specifically to Israelis whereas the other nationalities, the Dutch and Australians and whatever were all jumbled together.

There was definitely an expectation that American travelers would be cultureless idiots.
   81. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4669085)
From what I can find, the origin of the quote was in 2004, not 2001:

In an April 2004 interview with ESPN The Magazine, A-Rod said he would never have signed with the Rangers had “they told me, ‘Alex, it’s going to be you and 24 kids.’ ”

http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/02/17/5576831/the-breakup-a-rods-departure-was.html
   82. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4669087)
I've never been treated anything other than fantastically wherever I've travelled and I think I exude American-ness. Well, had trouble once in a Prague bookstore that guy may have just been a standard douche and not a bigot. I thought people were very polite and gracious even in Paris where that kind of thing is supposed to be impossible for an American who doesn't speak French to find. I don't know, maybe I'm just great and bring out the best in people?

As far as other nationalities...in Cuba and DR they said the French were the worst. I've had other people tell me the Australians are the worst and, in my experience, there is a certain type of English traveler that I find bizarre (the ones that seem to want everything exactly as it is in England though this seems to be a rare sub-species of the typical English traveler). I've run into some of the typical Ugly Americans on my travels and, my god, they are embarrassing.
   83. Baldrick Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4669088)
Stereotyping people based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability is usually frowned upon, but some people here seem to have no trouble doing that based on a state or city of residence, or MLB team preference. Even dumber to do so while referring to oneself as the Lion of the Senate. LOL.

My friend Randal would like a word with you.
   84. McCoy Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4669089)
The whole "ugly American" thing is overblown because the stereotype really has nothing to do with the nationality of the traveler but has mostly to do with the fact that the traveler is a traveler.

For the longest time in the second half of the 20th century the people doing the traveling were Americans while the rest of the world was too poor to do much traveling. So the locals when they saw the stupid ignorant tourists saw American tourists and thus the stereotype about Americas was born. Now that tha world travel is much more affordable to much more of the world's population more nationalities are getting the same stereotype. That should make people realize that isn't the nationality that determines the goodness or badness of the traveler.
   85. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4669098)

The favorite nationality? Italians. Apparently vacationing Italians are a chill bunch, content to eat lavish meals, lounge in the sun and sit around gabbing with each other. Americans were generally well thought of.

Interesting...doesn't really jibe with my experience with Italian tourists, but that's why I didn't want to generalize.

I can't think of anyplace where I wasn't treated well as a tourist, and I'm about as American as they come (and a New Yorker to boot). Then again, I'm also not extremely cheap when I travel and I try to tip well.
   86. JL Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4669114)
I've never been treated anything other than fantastically wherever I've travelled and I think I exude American-ness. Well, had trouble once in a Prague bookstore that guy may have just been a standard douche and not a bigot. I thought people were very polite and gracious even in Paris where that kind of thing is supposed to be impossible for an American who doesn't speak French to find. I don't know, maybe I'm just great and bring out the best in people?


I am the same and have never had any issues. But I study up on where I am going beforehand so I can avoid dumb questions. I also try to learn some very basic words, like please, thank you, good bye and the like, in the native language. Show some effort, and then be nice to folks when you interact, and I think it is easy to avoid most problems.
   87. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4669118)
As far as traveling internationally, we are really lucky we speak English. For better or worse, you can get along most places with English. So, thank you to the British Empire and Hollywood.
   88. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4669121)
I didn't take this up earlier because, well, it didn't seem worth it. But LionoftheSenate's characterization of LeBron's Decision is really wacky. The Knicks were always considered a dark horse candidate, at best, and LeBron's decision was no more a slap in the face of NYC than it was a slap in the face of Chicago or Los Angeles.


Absolutely true. In the days leading up to LeBron's announcement, New York was barely even mentioned. Miami and Chicago were considered the main contenders, with a few hopes still holding out for Cleveland, and with the Lakers in the periphery


Weak memories here. Perhaps neither of you live in the local NYC media market. The Knicks, as I stated were dreaming of Lebron for years. The local media had nothing better to talk about but the Knicks clearing out cap room for Lebron years in advance...which they did. As the years turned to months and months into weeks, it was only then Miami emerged and Chicago as well. The New York Knicks never fell behind Chicago.

Further, the point was that New York media and some national outlets, had this dream which was snuffed out. Those with the emotional investment heged and started to focus on the Cleveland got screwed angle and once the decision came down, the New York Knicks fan/media lashed out. Much like when Cliff Lee told New York to get lost.

Lebron announcement to take place in Connecticut seen a good sign for Knicks.

Bleacher Report with several links supporting Knicks contender for Lebron.

Lebron FA Vegas Odds

New York City has the third best odds, ahead of Chicago. Cleveland/Miami 1-2. This was just a few weeks out. A few months and years prior, the Knicks were close to the very top.



I didn't see the Lakers at all. I'm seeing Jay-Z and the Nets though.
   89. dlf Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4669123)
I thought people were very polite and gracious even in Paris where that kind of thing is supposed to be impossible for an American who doesn't speak French to find. I don't know, maybe I'm just great and bring out the best in people?

As far as other nationalities... [snip] in my experience, there is a certain type of English traveler that I find bizarre (the ones that seem to want everything exactly as it is in England though this seems to be a rare sub-species of the typical English traveler).


I visited Paris with my wife this New Years and the French people were wonderful even though neither of us speak the language. My experience traveling there and elsewhere, as well as working in a tourist industry many years back, is that folks enjoy visitors who ask questions rather than make demands and who want to enjoy what the destination has to offer rather than complain about what it doesn't.

Sample size of two warning: during our trip to Paris the absolute worst people we came across were two Brits. A man in his late 40s or early 50s and a very attractive woman about 15 years younger. We were in a little bistro near the Basilica on a cold and rainy afternoon having a bottle of wine and plate of cheeses. The tables were very close together. The British gentleman complained about everything. The first bottle of wine wasn't properly balanced and free replacement was served too cold, the escargot too buttery, and the service took too long. After they finally left, the waitress brought us a free after dinner drink and apologized that we had to listen to the whining.
   90. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4669125)
I have a hard time seeing how New Yorkers, who tend to be pretty well traveled, are a very diverse group, and have a high proportion of immigrants/expats, embody the "ugly American" stereotype.

I have no idea.
   91. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4669131)
I had to go to Paris four times before I encountered my first rude person.

Of course, the French think of Parisians the way America thinks of New Yorkers. Nobody loves Goliath.
   92. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4669151)
I have no idea.


I can never get enough of the fat world series sweatshirt wearing man yelling "f**k you, f**k you". Such vehemence towards someone trying to catch a ball.
   93. Chris Fluit Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4669179)
so they collectivly dreamed of the day when Lebron would sign with the Kincks.


I now have an image in my head of Lebron James playing bass next to Ray and Dave Davies.

   94. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4669189)
As far as other nationalities... [snip] in my experience, there is a certain type of English traveler that I find bizarre (the ones that seem to want everything exactly as it is in England though this seems to be a rare sub-species of the typical English traveler).


Eric Idle would agree with you...
   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4669202)

Weak memories here. Perhaps neither of you live in the local NYC media market.

I do, and my memory is consistent with what others have said. By the time of the "Decision", I think the Knicks were not considered LeBron's likely destination.

The Knicks, as I stated were dreaming of Lebron for years. The local media had nothing better to talk about but the Knicks clearing out cap room for Lebron years in advance...which they did. As the years turned to months and months into weeks, it was only then Miami emerged and Chicago as well. The New York Knicks never fell behind Chicago.

Yes, and if you read the post-Decision coverage, there is certainly resentment that LeBron did not choose New York. But New York did not originate or particularly focus on the idea that LeBron had treated Cleveland badly in the process.
   96. PreservedFish Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4669222)
Yes, and if you read the post-Decision coverage, there is certainly resentment that LeBron did not choose New York. But New York did not originate or particularly focus on the idea that LeBron had treated Cleveland badly in the process.

Yes, the irony here is that LionoftheSenate's argument only works if you both put too much stock in the daydreaming of unrealistic Knicks fans and also believe in the ability of NYC writers to set the national conversation. So while trying to slag NYC he's also arguing that the city is more important and influential than it really is.
   97. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4669271)
I'd say within the US, New Yorkers are the ugly American. I'm sure you are right Texans are uglier outside of the US.

I would agree that New Yorkers (self-included) have that sense of native superiority that mirrors the Ugly American overseas. In our defense, NYC has a lot of attributes that compare pretty favorably to other cities. Most other cities I've been to, even if I really like them, seem less "city-like," for lack of a better term. (They're smaller, less densely populated, close down earlier at night, have fewer restaurant options, a less diverse population, fewer museums, etc.)

I can't say it's the best place in the world to live, but I think it's the best city (of the ones I've been to). If I wanted to live in a suburb though, I'd choose lots of other places over NYC metro if not for family and friends.
   98. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4669273)
Then Lebron dissed New York. Instead of New York acting hurt...(no way), New Yorkers are too prideful and vain to act hurt, they'd rather pretend they were unbothered and make Lebron seem small, not the other way around. So they whipped up fake tears for....CLEVELAND!

I'm not too concerned about Cleveland. Lebron didn't owe them more than he gave them. He didn't owe New Yorkers a contract with the Knicks.

But I do really dislike Lebron James because of the way he handled the situation. I honestly believe he had decided on Miami long in advance (which was certainly his right), but that his press conference and delayed announcement was in poor taste. I don't want to say that he owed any team the knowledge that he wasn't on the market, but that doesn't mean that I don't think he should have be straight earlier so that those other teams could more effectively plan. (I feel like he led the Knicks on for additional national publicity and he led Cleveland on to make it easier for him to exit. Not particularly admirable qualities.)
   99. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4669283)
In my backpacking days I learned that the 20-somethings with by far the worst reputation were Israelis. They were considered to be rude, cliquish and, yes, cheap.


Europeans ascribing nasty historical anti-semitic stereotypes to Israelis, all under a pretense of sophistication and cool observation? Well, I never! Maybe all the Israelis are usurious money lenders too, those cheap Christ-killers.

I am currently on a swing through safari camps in Africa, and had the following interaction with a guest on yesterday's afternoon game drive. Presented without comment:

Me: "Hello, nice to meet you."
Guest: "Nice to meet you too."
(after several minutes of chitchat with the guide and driving)
Guest: "You sound American, but too educated to be American. Are you from Canada?"
Me: "American as Apple pie. You must be from Boston?"

And he was a retired doctor from MGH.
   100. Greg K Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4669305)
Dylan Moran's usually good for some ethnicity-based humour. His take on English and American tourists

While in Europe I quite often get the "You sound American but you're not a jerk, are you Canadian?" comments or the similar "I'm so sorry, I thought you were American" style comment after I mention where I'm from.* I suspect word about Canada's inferiority complex with regards to the US has just got around and Europeans just know how to play us Canadians like a piano.

From my 20s European backpacking phase the most hated travellers were Australians. I actually only met one or two, who seemed fine. But everyone, from locals to other backpackers seemed unanimous in having Australian horror stories.

Not based on anything, but I think the demographic of "ugly American" stereotype is more the 50+ tourist who knows what he wants and tells it like it is. While the English tourist nightmare is a young family of the class that has just recently been able to afford to travel, which Moran pretty much nails.

*I did once get a night of free beers out of that one in Antwerp. Had a few beers at this little pub, where the owner and the two other customers there more or less ignored us aside from pouring pints. At the end of the night me and my friend go to pay, and somehow the fact that we're Canadian comes up. They apologize profusely and I ended up talking to the owner for another couple hours as he fed me beer after beer. At one point he wanted to demonstrate how Trappist beers can age, so he gave me a regular Chimay, then a Chimay that had been sitting in his cellar for seven years. Great night!
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