Common Misconceptions, Part II

You can read my Part One above

Myth: Steve Bartman cost the Chicago Cubs the 2003 World Series title
Fact: Cubs errors, costly pitching, and the New York Yankees cost the Cubs the championship and pennant, not Bartman

Back Story: For all of you who think Bartman was a dick and cost the Cubs the World Series then you're a hypocrite. If you were at that game and you saw that fly ball comes towards you, you would have also reached out and would have tried to catch that ball coming towards you.

This saga has a whole lot of 1986 World Series Bill Buckner to it. All we remember is the one incident that we think was the sole reason for the team's downfall, but we forget what really happened that fateful night.

Like in the '86 World Series, the Bartman incident was Game Six. The outcome of the game was independent on who would win the series (sort of). The Cubs were winning the series 3-2 versus the Florida Marlins in the NLCS and they now had five more outs to win a trip to the World Series. Let's now go back and revisit that night. The Cubs are up 3-0 off of a brilliant performance by (the then extremely healthy) Mark Prior.

Juan Pierre is on second base and Luis Castillo hits the infamous fly ball which Steve Bartman catches. However, the Castillo at bat kept going. Because Steve Bartman caught the ball, all technically Castillo hit was a foul ball. But Cubs left fielder Moises Alou acts like a three year old and starts throwing a temper tantrum on the field. He becomes irate at Bartman because he thought he could have caught the ball that Bartman caught (Alou later admitted Castillo's fly ball out out of his reach). If Alou had just gone about his business and not brought attention to the situation then we would not be talking about this event today.

But Alou throws a hissy fit and everyone is now talking about this catch. But the score is still 3-0 and so far Prior has not given up any runs. Castillo eventually draws a walk and (due to a WP thrown in the Castillo at bat) there are runners on the corners. Pudge then hits a single making the score 3-1. Right now there are runners at second and third, one out still, and Miguel Cabrera comes to the plate.

Here is where the eighth innings stops becoming Bartman's fault and starts becoming Mark Prior's, manager Dusty Baker's, and Alex Gonzalez's fault. Because Dusty Baker is such a shit manager, he still leaves Prior in the game. A career of leaving Prior in the game too long has made Prior what he is today. Even if you believe the Bartman catch somehow rattled Prior then Baker should have pulled Prior from the game. But if you believe like I do and that Prior is a professional and was so dominant at this point in time then he should have gotten out of the inning another way.

No matter, Prior stays in the game to pitch to Cabrera. Prior did what the greats do and induced a ground ball to infielder Alex Gonzalez. What Gonzalez should have done (and easily could have done) was turned a double play so the Cubs would have gotten out of the inning up by two runs. What Gonzalez did do was bobble and misplay the ball causing Miggy to be safe at first and causing the bases to be loaded.

Then pre-wrist injury Derrek Lee comes to the plate and hits a double to tie the game. The game is not over and the Cubs still have a shot to win the game. However, the Marlins go on to score a whopping eight runs that inning and win the game 8-3.

The Marlins eventually defeated the Chicago Cubs in seven and then went on to face the New York Yankees in the World Series and became World Champs in 2003.

I was in high school in the northern suburbs of Illinois and all my friends were Cubs fans. To their credit, the vast majority of them blamed Gonzalez more than Bartman, but they were in the small minority. All you had to do was listen to five seconds of Chicago sports talk radio to hear how livid Cubs fan were at the nerdy, headphones-guy fan.

What Cubs fans and baseball fans alike seem to forgot, was that the Bartman incident was only Game Six. If the Cubs had gone out and won Game 7 then this incident would have barely been a blip on baseball history's radar. Cubs fans also forgot that Mark Prior could have gotten Luis Castillo out instead of walking him. (I mean, this is Luis Castillo we're talking about here!). Now let's say the Cubs did win in either Game Six or Game Seven, they still had to defeat the New York Yankees to become champions and there was no guarantee that would have happened.

So Cubs fans, you can blame Bartman all you want, but what you should be doing is blaming Alez Gonzalez or Dusty Baker or Mark Prior.

One last note before I move on: Let's say Bartman doesn't catch that ball. Let's say no fans reaches out to try and grab that Catillo fly ball. You wanna know what would have happened? The same thing that did happen. The ball would have been a foul ball, not been caught by Alou and Prior would still have to work to get Castillo out.

Myth: "Love Song" by Sara Bereilles was written about a former lover / significant other
Fact: The song was written to spite her record company who told her she had to write a love song to put on her record.

Back Story: "I'm not going to write you a love song / 'cause you asked for it / 'cause you need one, you see / I'm not going to write you a love song / cause you tell me it's / make or break in this"

This song makes a whole lot more sense now that you know the true meaning of it, doesn't it?

When you first listen to this song you don't really pay attention to the words. It's light, it's uplifting, it's catchy, it's bubbly, and it's got a chorus you can sing to. And then you start learning the exact words of the chorus without really paying attention to the rest of the song and you think to yourself, "Wow, this chick really must have been pissed at her old man to write this song." I mean, the only words you really know are "I'm not going to write you a love song" and you think she means she is not going to write a love song to her significant other. But you would be wrong.

According to wikipedia (the most credible source, right?):
Sara Bareilles was inspired to write "Love Song" after failing to produce successful hits, and one critic said that she needed to write "a marketable love song". Bareilles has stated that statement gave her the drive and anger necessary to write "Love Song", proving that she could indeed write a hit, and that she had no double standards.
I promise you, listen closely to the words again and you will see that wikipedia and myself are right.

Myth: Taking steroids means you will automatically hit 50+ home runs
Fact: All steroids does is help you increase muscle mass

Back Story: People who think that just because you stick a needle in your ass full of PED's that you will automatically hit home runs at record setting paces. Those people are retarded. I could start taking steroids or HGH right now and all that will make me do is become fatter than I already am. You still need to work out along with taking steroids if you want to actually increase your muscle mass.

Even if you do work out (like all baseball players do) and build muscle in places where no muscle should be, you still need to have talent in order to hit dingers. Carrot Top and Dr. Dre used steroids to help them become the buff fellas you see today, but you put them in the batter's box right now and all they will do is strike out faster than Adam Dunn.

People seem to forget that even if you are taking steroids you still need to work at your craft like every other baseball player. No steroids will make up for the fact that you have a giant hole in your swing or the fact you have a bad batter's eye.

I will admit that once you make contact with a ball with the extra muscle mass you have obtained from PED's then the magic elixir you have squirted into your veins makes that ball travel farther. However, you still need to have been really good at baseball beforehand in order to put up the numbers that Palmeiro, Bonds, Sosa, and McGwuire did.

Lastly, pitchers were also juicing during the steroids era. I would like to know the true effect of a 'roided pitcher facing a 'roided batter if there truly are effects favoring one side or another. If Clemons faced Bonds, does that extra few miles an hour on Clemons pitches have any effect on Bonds' faster bat swing? I truly don't know, but if you claim otherwise then you're just talking out of your ass.

Myth: Lance Armstrong did not take steroids
Fact: Lance Armstrong won all those Tour De France's because he was on steroids.

Back Story: Everyone bike racing in Armstrong's era was on steroids.

Myth: The Beatles are your favorite band
Fact: Nobody's favorite band is The Beatles

Back Story: "The Beatles are the greatest band ever but you're a liar if you say that they are your favorite" -Matt Kaplan-

Myth: Wins, ERA, and Batting Average are good metrics to determine how good a baseball player is.
Fact: They are awful, outdated, archaic metrics and should be used for fantasy purposes only

Back Story: I am not going to spend a whole lot of time on this because this is pretty obvious. Just go to,, or read anything baseball related on this site and you know how dumb these metrics truly are. I've seen a pitcher pitch go 7 IP, 0 ER and take the loss because the score was (and was when he left the game) 1-0 and the run was unearned instead of earned. Wins and loses are independent on your talent and more dependent on how good your team's offense and defense is. ERA and batting average are based largely on luck rather than how good a baseball player is. Either way, if you want to truly measure how good a baseball player is, then you can not do so by using the statistics on ESPN's MLB page.

I think old school baseball guys are finally coming around to see the light side of the force. In 2010, Felix Hernandez only won 13 games and lost 12. In 2009, Zach Grienke won 16 games and Tim Lincecum won 15. The one thing these three pitchers have in common: they all won and deserved to win their Cy Young and did so without winning the most number of games in their respected league. The notion used to be you have to win at least 20 games in order to win the Cy Young but I believe now that sabermetrics are becoming more prevalent (and the fact nobody wins 20 games anymore) and even the oldest of old school guys are coming off of their old way of thinking, sabermetrics will rule the world. That, and my eye.