And he's right - this is amazing sports writing. So amazing, in fact, that I think even a non-fan can appreciate that this stuff is comic gold. Any of us who write about sports and are even occasionally clever or ironic - or just aspire to appearing to be clever - should probably take notes:
"The grades are also subjective, and I came up with them in two minutes, and if you disagree with any of them, you might consider paying less attention to these grades and more attention to your personal relationships which I can only imagine are actively deteriorating."
"[Franklin] Gutierrez came back from a long time off and was pretty good and then he got hit in the head by a pickoff throw that got by one of the most sure-handed first basemen in baseball. I'm not a believer in luck. Not at all, to the point where it actually irritates me when people act as if luck exists, and they either do or don't have it. It's nonsense and I can't stand ever setting foot within a casino. But if I had tickets to watch an archery competition, and I got to my seat, and I noticed Franklin Gutierrez was sitting one seat over, I would probably go home." [Neil: I actually laughed out loud at this one, which is always just a little bit embarrassing.]
"Strictly from a performance perspective, 71 pitchers have batted at least 20 times so far this year, and 20 of them have posted a higher slugging percentage than Munenori Kawasaki. Remember that extra-base hit that he lined? That was the one."
"Iwakuma's nickname is 'Kuma', or 'bear', and like a bear, he spent much of the previous few months hibernating. On the rare occasion he was awoken, he pitched like he was groggy and irritated. It's like the Mariners don't have the first idea how to handle a bear. They learned how to handle a moose."
"When healthy, [Shawn] Kelley's a guy who posts dominant ratios without ever feeling like a dominant pitcher, and for that reason he's probably doomed to a life of being under-appreciated. And a reliever in the major leagues bringing home piles and piles of money. I mean I guess he won't have the worst life."