About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

17 thoughts on “Dealing with the monster Mo has created.

  1. I KNEW it would be a bad thing if I agreed with Kernan. I'm guessing that by the transitive property of idiocracy that makes me one too.

    I don't know if So can handle the pressure or not – but he sure doesn't look like he's embracing his role, or happy here. afaic, if he's going to act like a baby, let him do mop up duty in a blowout game that we're losing. Save guys who want to be here (Carlyle, Pendelton for instance) for the high leverage situations.

    I know – you don't believe in body language or anything like that – but can you honestly say that Soriano has looked happy after the first couple of games? First he blows up because he has to pitch a non-save; now he's blowing saves. Sure, his pitching is "off" – but its pretty hard to be "on" if you don't really care.

    One thing you're overlooking – Soriano came here as a closer with a better record (last year) than Mo – so is it that unreasonable to expect him to perform to that level again?

    • "One thing you're overlooking – Soriano came here as a closer with a better record (last year) than Mo – so is it that unreasonable to expect him to perform to that level again? "

      Given the volatility of basically every non-Mo reliever; yeah, probably.

      Also too your comment does a great job illustrating why psychoanalysis has such limited efficacy. By what measure do we say Soriano doesn't care? Because he doesn't show emotion? When Mo gives up a hit or blows a save and shrugs it off we say he's got nerves of steel and doesn't get rattled. But then, if Soriano gets visibly upset by a bad strikezone, he's acting like a baby?

      The whole thing is nothing but a shell game that simply can't be seperated from pre-existing feelings about the individual player in question.

    • Jay, body language is one thing. Looking happy is … well, I guess it's the same thing, only more specific. Rafael Soriano is never going to look happy. Didn't Mark warn us about MFIKY?

  2. I agree that it's ridiculous to try to blame bad performance on players' mental states. It doesn't even make sense: where is the line between mental and physical anyway? Athletic performance is in large part a matter of neurological growth and training. When someone is playing well or poorly, there's always a large brain-related component, even when the athlete doesn't appear to be "emotional."

    But I don't think Rivera had much to do with it. This is just the way people are–they react to what's happening now, because they've evolved to react to everything in terms of what's happening right now. It takes a specific mental effort and a lot of post-stone-age tools to take on a wider perspective.

    The important question with Soriano is, "Is there a way to mitigate the damge that Soriano is doing when he's pitching poorly?"

    • That's a reasonable point, but as far as I can tell no one else reacts to bad reliever performances to the degree people writing about the Yankees for the MSM do. They're just more used to seeing relievers be inconsistent, I think.

  3. Also, while I didn't highlight it, I found Kernan's comment about how "baseball created" the eighth inning role to be really guffaw inducing. As best I can tell, the New York media single handedly created The Eighth inning guy sometime in 2007-08.

    • I think I remember Jay Howell being the "eigth inning guy" for Dave Righetti sometime in the eighties…

  4. Giving up a home run in a tight game happens to the best of pitchers. (It is a bit concerning that Soriano is not having a great April, but it is only April.)

    It definitely would have been a different media circus though if Rivera had given up that 2 run hr in the 9th. (Probably with some people pointing out that Rivera just tends to start slower in April due to how little he pitches in "game situations" during spring training.)

  5. Let me preface this with saying "I love this blog, read only this blog and will likely not read any other blog for the Yankees because I don't have interest and/or time." That being said, I have some constructive criticism. Can the contributors to this blog please — PLEASE — not refer to other members of the same profession (recap- and opinion-based coverage/journalism) as "idiots" or other such terms. I know I personally would feel shitty if I saw someone else referring to you guys in those terms, but I think that you guys have great, GREAT things going here and especially with the SweetSpot coverage would hate for there ever to be a stink about "unprofessionalism" or the like coming from someone else in the journo-blogosphere. Even with (I think it was) Larry's spat with the SI guy on Twitter — it was clearly the SI guy being a petty, vindictive twit and not a bad reflection on Larry in the slightest.

    PS – calling Murray Chass a hack for calling himself a "journalist" and failing to uphold even the MOST BASIC of journalistic ethics is still totally a-ok! :)

    • I agree with David's comment. This blog has excellent content, but the name-calling needs to stop. Brien, you are clearly a smart guy with interesting things to say. Impress us with your logic, not your ability to call people nasty things. Your vitriol devalues your writing.

      • I'm not really sure what else you say about someone with a history of writing dumb things pretty much exclusively, but I suppose "idiot" is a bit of a simplistic way to sum up the situation. I've been mulling over the bad incentives newspaper columnists have by way of trying to justify their paychecks in the digital age, but thought that was maybe a bit too meta for a full post. Maybe I'll write something a bit longer about that for tomorrow/Friday.

    • David, for the record, I have no friends at SI and the only people I fight with on Twitter are my friends. Which might explain the number of people I'm friends with.

      I think you are right about name-calling. Call me on it whenever you see me doing it (and while I appreciate the pass you've given me for my Murray Chass piece, the only way this rule can work is as a blanket rule).

      I am very, very proud to be associated with this site, which I think features some of the best writing on the web, and some of the best of this writing is Brien's. I read Brien's piece, and the piece that inspired his piece, and my first reaction was that Brien was expressing a strong opinion and that I agreed with his opinion. But you've given me pause. I think that when we want to criticize someone, there are better and more effective ways to do so than placing labels after their names.

      So, thanks.

      • Fine, fine! It was Jason… with the candlestick… on the Twitter feed. (I was referring to: http://itsaboutthemoney.net/archives/2011/03/26/i… ). All you blogger-types look the same to me! :D

        It took my friends long enough to drag me onto Facebook; Twitter is never going to happen for me, imo, though I found it hilarious that my buddy (a social-network using/coding genius) got married last weekend and part of the ceremony was them sending their vows via iPhone… >.>

    • I replied via email to David personally, but it bears repeating:

      Thank you.

      I rarely, if ever, try to censor the guys/gals here because in 99.9% of the time, I'm OK with them taking an aggressive stance. But, that being said, I'm personally against calling people idiots, especially those doing a job I'd love to have myself. I've had some Twitter/email conversations with Kevin Kernan and he's been nothing but approachable and kind. And he didn't have to be.

      While I may disagree with KK and others in the MSM, I'm personally reluctant to call them idiots. I've sent this message to everyone on the "staff" of this site.


  6. Yet another signing we can thank Randy Levine for. The guy is idiot and should just let Cashman do his job.