In the latest war between a professional athlete and a member of the media, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy took MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams to task for comments made Wednesday on MLB Tonight.
Apparently the conversation on the show was about pitchers needing to throw inside more often.
Williams used a highlight of McCarthy getting hit in the head with a line drive last year in a game with Oakland against the Angels, which required surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, to say that if pitchers don't throw on the inner half of the plate, these things are going to happen (h/t Heard on MLB Tonight).
"If you don't pitch in, this is what's gonna happen." - Mitch Williams, during a clip of @BMcCarthy32's injury last year.— Heard on MLB Tonight (@HeardOnMLBT) July 11, 2013
Before you immediately roll your eyes at the sheer idiocy of the comment by Williams, McCarthy caught wind of the "expert analysis" and fired back on Twitter with thoughts that undoubtedly were running through the minds of anyone watching.
.@WildThingMLBN I hope the clip of me nearly dying helped you make one of your asinine points.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) July 11, 2013
For those of you who follow McCarthy on Twitter—and if you aren't, you really should be—you know how much of a sense of humor he has. Instead of letting Williams' comments end, McCarthy actually kept it going by applying Williams' "logic" to other areas.
"If you go to autotrader dot com this is what's gonna happen"- Mitch Williams, talking over a clip of an 8 car pileup— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) July 11, 2013
Since there are so many people out there who understand that Williams rarely has any idea what comes out of his mouth, several fans replied to McCarthy with their own ideas of how Williams applies logic to everyday life.
A few of the best replies include this one by Hasan Masood about what happens if you like to visit Broadway.
@BMcCarthy32 "if you enjoy plays, this is what's gonna happen." Mitch Williams on Lincoln assassination— Hasan Masood (@Hasmas) July 11, 2013
A.J. Jones took a scene from a blockbuster movie and turned it around by applying the Almighty Williams Logic to it.
There are others out there, but you start to get the point.
This is not something out of the ordinary for Williams, who has managed to carve out a career as an analyst on national television despite never having anything rational or relevant to say.
And lest you think that my opinion on Williams is baseless, there are countless examples of his ineptitude all over the Internet.
One of his most recent examples came back in March, when there were rumblings that Nolan Ryan would be leaving his post as president of baseball operations with the Texas Rangers. Williams wrote a blog post belittling a lot of people finding prominent general manager jobs in baseball for not knowing what the game is all about.
This is the problem plaguing our game. I have all the respect in the world for these young front office people that come out of Harvard or Yale — or in Daniels’ case, Cornell. I respect them when they know what they are good at: business, finance, or organizational skills — those sorts of things.
Where I tend to lose respect for them is when they decide they know how to evaluate baseball talent better than people like Nolan Ryan! When they so that, they do their players a disservice, as well as their fan base and the entire organization.
I don’t know Daniels, but the way that Michael Young was treated there was just wrong. Young changed positions four times for the good of the team. He became an All-Star at three different positions, then demanded a trade after the signing of Adrian Beltre.
First, anyone with a pulse who watches baseball could tell that Michael Young was not a valuable player his last season in Texas. In fact, using Fangraphs' wins above replacement, Young was the worst everyday player in baseball last year.
Daniels and his staff had to be doing cartwheels when they found a team that was willing to take Young, even if the Rangers did have to pay $10 million of the $16 million he was due to make in 2013.
Considering that Young was traded with Ryan still a part of the front office, it is hard to see how he didn't have at least some role in that deal.
But more important than that is how little Williams actually pays attention to what is going on around him.
Williams wrote that blog post on March 5. Two days earlier, Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram posted an article about Ryan possibly leaving with a quote from co-owner Bob Simpson saying that Ryan was still the team's CEO and a very important part of the decision-making process.
My definition of CEO is it’s the person in charge. Nolan Ryan will still make the anything-of-significance decisions and bring those to the owners for approval. I say significant decisions because we wanted to remove some of the day-to-day stuff from Nolan.
Yes, some of the mundane operations done on a daily basis are not being done by Ryan. But the team is going to keep him around, and he still maintains his post as CEO.
There is also the matter of Williams completely ignoring the job that the scouts and player development people have done with the Rangers over the last several years to make them a consistent contender.
And not to diminish the importance of Ryan to the Rangers since joining the organization as team president in February 2008, but the biggest paradigm-shifting move for that franchise came in when Mark Teixeira was traded to Atlanta for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Beau Jones, Matt Harrison, Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz.
Whom do you side with in this war between the athlete and the media?
Harrison, Andrus and Feliz have been core players for the Rangers teams that went to consecutive World Series in 2010 and 2011.
By the way, there is no hard-and-fast rule that former players know how to evaluate talent. Michael Jordan was arguably the greatest athlete of the 20th century, but he has also been one of the worst owners and talent evaluators in all of sports after his playing career ended.
Another example of how little Williams actually adds to knowing and understanding the game can be found in this piece by Parker Hageman of Twins Daily in July 2012 trying to decipher why Williams thinks the slide step leads to injuries and not understanding the rules of the balk.
Bringing it back around to the whole thing that started this piece, Williams deserved all of the backlash McCarthy and his followers have thrown in his direction.
It is bad enough that Williams actually says that not throwing inside is the cause of pitchers getting hit in the head by line drives, but to specifically point out the video of McCarthy getting hit, knowing that he was in a life-threatening situation for days after it happened, is completely irresponsible.
If you have some actual evidence suggesting why we might be seeing more pitchers get hit in the head by line drives, then bring it to television and illustrate your point in a way that gets it across without trying to manipulate your audience—not to mention, treating everyone watching like an idiot for actually thinking they would believe it.
If you want to talk baseball, feel free to hit me up on Twitter with questions or comments.