Greg Doyel: “bitterness is my middle name”

I read this the first time and laughed. And then I looked up at the humorless picture at the top of the column and realized that this is no parody. Greg Doyel is Very. Very. Serious.

The Home Run Derby is tonight, and it’s the perfect advertisement for baseball. Busch Stadium in St. Louis will be sold out, because fans dig the long ball. This thing is so popular that it will be broadcast live on ESPN. The Home Run Derby will even have its own corporate sponsor.

Apparently the sponsor is State Farm.

It should be Stanozolol.

You know — the anabolic steroid . . .

. . . This thing is filthy. The symbol of the Home Run Derby should be a syringe.

I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of your contrived cynicism. But at least I can ignore you. Geoff Baker, on the other hand, is gonna have your ass:

I wonder who will be pegged a cheater from this year’s crop …

Eventually, in months or years, someone from this year’s group of eight Derby sluggers will land on the wrong list of names. That’s damn near a lock. The most scrutinized player in this Derby is Albert Pujols, whose offensive numbers have been superhuman since he debuted in the big leagues in 2001 … when the Derby featured Bonds, Sosa, A-Rod and Giambi. And Luis Gonzalez. And Bret Boone. And Troy Glaus, who showed up on the Mitchell Report. That’s seven presumably dirty players in the eight-man field of 2001. Who was the lone clean schmuck? Todd Helton. He didn’t make it out of the first round. Of course.

So anyway … the guy from this year’s crop could be Pujols. Could be Brandon Inge, who is slugging 100 points above his career average and on pace for 37 home runs, one year after he hit .205 with 11 homers. It’ll be somebody, unless the cheaters are finally starting to wise up to the point where they realize they shouldn’t be flaunting their ill-gotten power gains at the Home Run Derby, for God’s sake. Would a bank robber hang out in the Wachovia parking lot?

Doyel-to-English translation: (a) one of this year’s guys is cheating, and it could be Pujols or Inge, because they just stink like dirty stinkin’ roiders; but (b) no one will probably ever be caught cheating because those stupid idiots are too smart to be cheating at the Home Run Derby where, as the rest of my whole article makes clear, is where everyone cheats all the time; and (c) if anyone needs me, I’ll be up in the garret burning with enough intensity to set fire to the world.

Can someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong? I’ve been writing about baseball for over two years now, and it simply hasn’t made me angry and bitter yet. This worries me, because everyone else who does it seems to be that way, and they all get paid to do it. Maybe I just need to hit the keys harder or have someone punch me in the neck while I’m writing in order to cultivate the requisite rage to get a full time job doing this.

Grrr, hate.! Grrr, betrayal! Crap. It’s not working. Maybe if I listen to Joy Division and think of the girls who broke my heart . . .

(thanks to Sara K for the heads up)

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  1. Wickethewok said...

    “Maybe if I listen to Joy Division and think of the girls who broke my heart…”

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  2. Bob Timmermann said...

    One of the comments on the article mentions how home run totals used to be lower

    1981 totals are cited.

    I didn’t read the whole comment to see if it was a joke.

  3. Michael said...

    Greg Doyel: someone who should stop writing about baseball.

    Along with Rick Reilly.

    But for some reason I have the weird idea that someone will continue paying them to write about how they hate the game.

  4. The Rabbit said...

    You’re not doing anything wrong at all…and don’t change!
    I read the whole article and the threads.
    You hit the nail on the head- contrived.
    Cbssports has sunk to the level of Fox News: Tabloid and innuendo…and even the overwhelming majority of readers have made comments which translate to those two words.
    Let’s hear it for most of the MSM.  It can’t suck enough.

  5. Roger Moore said...

    Your problem is that you actually like baseball.  You just need to imagine that you really hate the sport and would much rather write about something else, but that your editor forces you to cover this hated thing for half the year.  That would put you in the right frame of mind.

  6. Richard Dansky said...

    Honestly, all these guys sound like they’re talking about their first girlfriends, the spotless image of middle school purity they held hands with at the 9th grade dance only to lose them when summer came around to some badass junior who had a driver’s license and a denim jacked with a painstakingly hand-drawn rendition of the Metallica logo on the back.

    Once upon a time, they were in love with an unrealistic image of baseball, an image it couldn’t possibly live up to. And now that it’s been shown to be played by mere human beings, they cannot forgive its betrayal of their simplistic fantasies.

    It’s sad, really. Maybe if they listened to more Joy Division, they’d get it out of their systems.

  7. Bob Timmermann said...

    But you really need to get more angry. Write with more exclamation points. Tell people that you don’t believe in anything more.

    So you’re turning to the last parts of society that you know are pure: politics and religion.

    And possibly filmmaking.

  8. RickyB said...

    Most of what Gregg Doyel writes is of this nature. It’s his schtick. He is paid to be over the top and piss people off. And he doesn’t hate baseball—he will be glad to tell you about his exploits in high school when he was named all-state. He writes about any sport and will usually call out someone (or many people) to get a rise out of his audience. A lot of sports readers enjoy that unfortunately. There are times when I agree with Doyel, other times not so much. But once you understand his style, you won’t get too bent out of shape about what he writes. I’ve worked with him before, and he likes pissing people off—at least in his writing. Generally pleasant enough to be around, however.

  9. The Rabbit said...

    After a few minutes of thought, I need to make a correction. According to the threads, Doyel’s postings are not limited to baseball. There were comments that he has recently attacked other sports and institutions.
    Yes, his writing is contrived but his inspiration is not Fox News.  It’s the WWF!! 
    The other part about mainstream media not sucking enough….that still stands.

  10. TC said...

    That article is too much.  Other highlights:

    -Getting angry about juiced home run derby BALLS.
    -Getting angry about Barry Bonds… in 1996.

    Trying to argue with a Gregg Doyel column is like trying to box a drunken troll.  Better off keeping your distance and watching the thing fall down under its own weight.

  11. Rob² said...

    Enough with the Joy Division references.  Everyone knows that it’s The Smiths that really soothe a broken heart.

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