Friday, May 28, 2010

The Gunning Hawk >> An American Gunner

Transitions. That's really what life's all about, huh? I've taken on a big transition in my life today, committing myself to The Gunning Hawk, one of the world's largest Arsenal sites with tens of thousands of daily readers.

This is my inaugural piece. Thanks to everyone who's supported me along the way. Never stop pushing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mariners and delicious pie

The Mariners are offensively excruciating. They are the baseball equivalent of a romantic comedy, just two hours of brutal, eye-gouging entertainment with Milton Bradley as the crazy girl who refuses to fall in love and Ken Griffey, Jr. as the sleepy hero who can't shake off his narcolepsy to teach the girl how to love. I can't take it anymore. I want to know why, I have to know why this team can't score. Thus far, they're the worst offensive team in franchise history so far and bordering on being the worst offensive team in the history of baseball. They couldn't outscore Eric Byrnes' beer league softball team (the Dutch Goose!) with corked bats and spiked drinks.

I've spent a quarter of the season tearing my hair out watching this team play (partially because, well, baseball is freaking boring without steroids ... I said it) and I'm determined to figure out what's wrong. It's not just that they can't score runs, it's that when they do score runs they trickle in like dew drops off the end of a lonely leaf.

They have the second-worst slugging percentage in Major League Baseball, they have the third-worst batting average in the league, the second-fewest runs scored, the second-lowest on-base percentage, second-fewest homeruns, third-fewest hits ... we're not talking about a little boat capsizing in a duck pond, this is the freaking Titanic of baseball deficiency. I'm frustrated, and when I'm frustrated I always do the same thing:

I make a pie chart.

Do you like my pie chart? I like my pie chart.

See how I made it all three-dimensional? No big deal ...

I went through every single game the Mariners have played this year and recorded the type of play that led to a run. Only 36 percent of the runs Seattle has scored this year have come off of extra-base hits!

When a team can't get extra-base hits, it incapacitates itself from offensive capitalization. What does that mean? It means that a baseball team needs to maximize the output of runs scored when baserunners are on base. The way you maximize that output is through extra-base hits. A single generally moves runners up one base, a double two, etc. So when 64 percent of the Mariners' run-scoring hits aren't extra-base hits, they are minimizing their run-scoring potential. Simply put, they're wussies.

And 26 percent of the Mariners run-scoring plays have come off of fielder's choices, errors, sacrifices, and walks. Those are all one-run opportunities. When the number of multi-run opportunities is essentially equal to the number of single-run opportunities, you're not going to score a lot of runs.

The 2010 Seattle Mariners! Believe big!

In the American League West, the Mariners are dead last, three games back of the third-place Los Angeles Angels who are having their own offensive crisis this year. But I wondered, how do the Angels score runs in comparison to the dreadful hitting of "Los Marineros?"

Again, awesome pie chart, I know.

The Angels score 46 percent of their runs off of extra-base hits, which means more than half of their run-scoring plays have the potential to drive in more than one run (as opposed to the Mariners' roughly 1/3rd chance). They are 10-percent more efficient at scoring runs than the Mariners are, and when Seattle has only given up 1.2 runs for every 1 run it has scored this year, there's massive potential for the Mariners to not suck so hard.

What should Seattle do about it?

I don't know, swing harder I guess.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Arsenal Reloaded

A name like Arsenal is supposed to channel fear. Cannons booming, women and children screaming, peoples' legs getting sawed off at the knee like that poor bastard in "The Patriot." When I hear Arsenal I think of kneecapitation.

And yet, when I look at the squad Arsene Wenger has assembled in North London, the squad that finished third in the Premier League this year despite a disastrous run-in, I can't help but feel a bit like the Confederates in the Civil War: Dreadfully outnumbered, stuck on the wrong side of a stubborn, narcissistic, idiotic cause while Mel Gibson shoots everyone to death with a pistol. True story, my mom wouldn't let me see "The Patriot" in high school with everyone else in my AP Literature class because it was rated-R. So I did what any self-respecting, self-conscious high school student would do, I forged her signature and went anyway! High-five!

With the season finished, the world's best players on their way to the World Cup in less than a month, and hopefully some new signings on their way to the Emirates too (please, Jesus), it's be the perfect time to try to make sense of the season as a whole, what went wrong, what went right, and where we need to bring in some bigger guns (and which pea-shooters need to be tossed to the ground ... I'd rather use fists in a gunfight than roll out Denilson for another season). Imagine the Civil War, okay? Imagine we're soldiers, lining up on a battlefield, walking in a straight line at the enemy like lemmings, getting massacred because our general is unwilling to change his tactics. Yeah sure, we won a few battles against some smaller armies, but we're getting slaughtered out there when it matters most. Now imagine our side showed up one day with lightsabers and bazookas and thermonuclear missiles (LBTM). That's an arsenal dammit.

Wenger has funds to spend this summer, according to chief executive Ivan Gazidis, as he's managed the finances of the club brilliantly over the last five years, resisted the urge to spend money he didn't have to compete with the rest of the debt-ridden league, reinvested transfer cash into the current squad to maintain stability and growth, and remained true to the financial strategy of the club (stay debt free, utilize real estate assets for long-term sustainability, keep interest down on Emirates loans, spend cash tactically, etc.). But football isn't just a business. If this were Wall Street, Wenger would be smoking Cuban cigars and eating caviar off the tummy of an indentured servant. But you don't have fans lining up in matching suits to cheer on their favorite stock traders.

Football is about the fans, it's about winning, and despite the financial stability of the club, which should never be overlooked, Wenger has to push this team into the next phase of on-field greatness. Yes, Arsenal fans are spoiled to a certain extent. People forget how fortunate we are to have Wenger as our coach, how fortunate we are to have the type of sustained success we've had for the last decade, how fortunate we are to be in serious contention year-after-year for a trophy (we did just win the Academy trophy ... applause?). But Arsenal fans are also a smart bunch. We expect better from our club and our manager, we expect to be competitive and to show the fire and determination of a championship calibre club. We didn't show that this year (aside from Sol Campbell stomping around like a hungry T-Rex) and that, more than anything, has to change.

We need to play angry for the full 90 minutes.

We need to be ruthless against every opponent.

We need to become LBTM-wielding Mel Gibson.

What went right: Arsenal finished third this year, and looking back on the year as a whole, expectations going into the season and all that, third is higher than most of us thought we'd be. It's a respectable finish in the league, albeit extraordinarily disappointing in its execution. It's less of a guillotine and more of a lethal injection (boooring). We started out with a new formation (4-3-3) hellbent on attacking and it worked like a peach from the get-go, Lawrence Tayloring Everton 6-1 in the opener. We also went deep into the Champions League, eventually crashing out to Barcelona, the team that we try to play like but can't be arsed to try as hard as ... if that makes sense (it doesn't, Erik).

It wasn't an overwhelming season, but it didn't underwhelm either, it just whelmed. This season was very whelming. But one thing that shouldn't be overlooked is that Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for the 13th consecutive season and were, once again, in contention to win the title this year. It's an incredible achievement that needs to stand above the knee-jerk reactions to sack Wenger.

I think we have to look deeper within the various layers of the team to really start to appreciate what we have, at least what we potentially have, at this club. Arsene Wenger's youth policy, selling off the "Invincibles" and trying to home-grow a long-term, sustainable champion, hasn't worked at the top flight the way anyone, including Wenger, would've liked thus far (although it's hard to argue with Alex Song's brilliance and Nicklas Bendtner's clumsy success this past year). But once you peel the smelly onion back a bit -- I'm talking about you, Lukasz Fabianski -- you start to see that we have tremendous young talent in our Reserves, Academy, and even on loan that deserve the opportunity to compete for a first team position. Having that young talent isn't as normal as people take it for granted to be, and it puts our club in position to one day see Dr. Wengerstein's experiment come to life. But the monster will only rise off the table if Wenger's willing to blend that youth with world-class veterans and learn to adapt his tactics beyond tiny triangles.

And no, Bolton, you can't keep Jack Wilshere next year. Piss off.

What went wrong: Where to begin? We had seven players sustain fractures throughout the year and ended up with twice as many injuries as league champions Chelsea. Injuries were a huge issue at the club from a treatment standpoint as well, so much so that Robin van Persie flew to Holland to have horse placenta dripped on his ankle rather than allowing the Arsenal medical staff to treat him.

It's the same theory I impose when my wife tries to make me eat vegetables. "Listen, I know my body, and my body will reject your 'vegetable,' if that's even a real thing. So I'm going to have gummi bears and Mountain Dew, okay? They're like super, super healthy foods for my body ..."

But every team deals with injuries and, frankly, I think it was far too convenient of an excuse for us this season. Manchester United played without Wayne Rooney. Chelsea played months without John Terry's penis. Wenger has a history of manipulating the moment though, blaming injuries when our players aren't injured anymore, blaming youth when our players aren't young anymore, and blaming thuggish tactics when our players just plain get outworked. It's savvy gamesmanship and obviously intended to show confidence in his mentally-fragile players, but as Arsenal's own youngster Theo Walcott said, "We can't use the experience as an excuse now, with the experiences we've had as a side."

Arsenal need a reinvention.

When the Gunners went on their "Invincibles" run in 2003/04, Wenger had built the best counter-attacking team the world had ever seen. We defended as a unit, fought as a unit, and would explode out of the box (that's what she said) off of a turnover like no team had before. It was a team built around world-class superstars, sprinkled with unknown youngsters only Wenger had the guts to show confidence in, who were committed to team defense and team attacking. They were the ultimate team in every regard and went 38 Premier League games without a loss, something the EPL had never witnessed. They were Muhammad Ali playing rope-a-dope, letting another team throw their best punches without a dent and flashing out jaw-clattering jabs that knocked unsuspecting opponents to the canvas. That counter-attacking style was defined by Wenger and, in hindsight, also became his tactical downfall.

Wenger was as in love with his thrilling "beautiful football" as us fans were, but as the league changed and evolved, Wenger stuck, and continues to stick, by his guns. We have become tactically stagnant, like a prisoner who snagged a set of keys, going through each key on the ring over and over again even though none of them will open his cell. Barcelona thumped us because they knew our weaknesses, knew how we'd play before the match even started and trampled our paper castle as we were drawing on the freaking door. That same Barcelona team was dismantled by Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan, who, behind the genius of Mourinho, strategically neutralized the greatest team in the world with the greatest player in the world (Lionel Messi) over two legs of football to reach the Champions League final. It's not a coincidence.

Wenger's not an idiot though, he's just stubborn (although my mom argues they're one in the same). But the same brilliance he showed building the unbeatable Arsenal, he must now show again. It starts with the players, however, and the Arsenal of today doesn't have the horses -- in attack, defense, or between the posts -- to compete with the top of the league anymore (nor with my hypothetical thoroughbred Eyjafjallajökull).

New guns: First and foremost, we have to bring up the top youngsters at our club and give them a go. Sanchez Watt, Nacer Barazite, Jay Simpson. Wojeich Szczesny (yeah, I know how to spell that without looking it up, terrifying, huh?). We've got plenty of attackers at the club and spending a boatload of cash on new ones would be a waste when we've got monumental issues in the defensive+ half of the field. Aside from conceding an abhorrent amount of goals, most of them the type of youth goals your kids give up that make you ponder if a punt down the stairs will hurt, have you seen the Arsenal goalkeepers this year? It's like a bad episode of "Laurel and Hardy" ... okay, it's like an episode of "Laurel and Hardy."

The combination of Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski, or as they're called in my home, Tweedledee and Tweedlewhatthef***, created more baffling goalkeeping moments than any Arsenal fan could've imagined this year. I urge you to look for the videos online. I'd send you links, but I can't bring myself to search for the clips and have to re-watch them.

If Arsene Wenger truly believes Fabianski is a top notch keeper because he can stop a few shots in a five-a-side match in training, well throw some Mickey Mouse gloves on me and send me to London on £50k-a-week wages. Any player who consistently melts down under the brightest lights shouldn't play under them. It's called evolution, it's actually a pretty neat little system ... see, if an organism can't reproduce, it can't carry on its undesirable genes to the next generation of its species, thus sustaining the species' existence. If an organism walks into the open jaws of some Mesozoic monster and gets chomped into a million pieces, it can't reproduce and, luckily, the remaining members of the species who don't walk into the open jaws of said monster will reproduce. The stupid gene ends. Evolution.

In the case of Dr. Wengerstein, the devoured animal is exhumed from the monster's carcass, shocked with tiny electrodes, and sent back out into the world with a friendly pat on the butt and an "I believe in you!" button pinned to its furry hide.

Either give the gloves to Szczesny and deal with a couple seasons of growing pains, or smash open the piggy bank for a world-class keeper. I've heard Gianluigi Buffon is available and hoping for a move to England. Yes please, I'll have some of that.

Defensively, we're in shambles. Thomas Vermaelen was a revelation at CB last season and proved that Wenger still has a keen eye for transfers. Watching Gael Clichy play his way back into the form that had his peers name him to the PFA team just a season ago was a relief and I can't wait to watch the battle between him and Kieran Gibbs at LB for the next few seasons. But outside of that we have some serious, serious problems. Not only have we been defensively short-handed for a few seasons due to mediocre investment into the most-critical part of the team (because, in the last three transfer windows, Wenger's acted like that guy who gives you a penny on Halloween instead of some GD candy), but chances are we're going into next season even more short-handed after rightfully and hopefully releasing Mikael Silvestre, Philippe "Donkey" Senderos, and William Gallas. We should also sell Armond Traore, a young French left back who somehow can't defend OR attack. It's pretty amazing to watch.

Sol Campbell has to stay though. I'd sign him to a 11-year deal: One year as a player, 10 years as a defensive coach.

So that leaves us with Vermaelen and Johan Djourou (who just returned after nine months out with a knee injury ... horse placenta, anyone?) at CB, Bacary Sagna and supergoalscorer Emmanuel Eboue at right back, and Clichy/Gibbsy at LB. Arsenal have dreadfully needed a definitive centreback the last five years, someone well over 6-feet tall who can prevent the aerial attacks that have led to a majority of our concessions, and that should be Wenger's first task. Find Vermaelen a towering partner down the spine of the defense, preferably someone Norwegian (as us Scandinavians are genetically superior footballers in every way, shape, and form). In fact, let's sign two additional Norwegian centre halves and a young right back to round out the squad. He doesn't have to be Norwegian ... Icelandic maybe.

Dropped pea-shooters: Sell Denilson, because he always looks for the pass of least resistance. Sell Traore because he's going to haphazardly break someone's leg on the pitch soon and I'd rather have that incident associated with another club. Sell Diaby, because he lacks the mentality to ever harness his potential and would rather dribble into a turnover 100 times in a row before ever looking to pass. Let Silvestre walk because he should be playing for Notts County. Let Donkey Senderos walk even though I'm going to miss his Fabianski-esque mistakes in central defense.

And, finally, let William Gallas scamper off to PSG for his next big paycheck. You want a pay-raise to stay with Arsenal? Huh? You were stripped of your captaincy two years ago after throwing a temper tantrum against Birmingham, you spent half of this season, and every season prior, on the training table, you're a fussy infant who refused to play next to Kolo Toure, forcing him out of the club despite the fact that you're damn near 100 years old, and FINALLY you lack the necessary social skills to work with your defensive partner and goalkeeper on through balls and corner kicks. You want more money?! GTFOYGB ... it's an acronym, William, figure it out.

I'll give you the last three words: You Greedy Bastard.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quick Takes - Bathroom science

Bathroom science is a constant obsession of mine. I've spent hours of my life formulating toilet theories, from which is the best urinal to pee in (the shortest one) to which is the cleanest stall in a public restroom (the first one). It engulfs my life.

And yes, I made that sign and took that picture.

My friend Hickey, a computer programmer, is a brilliant man and fellow bathroom theorist. We've had countless debates about our respective hypotheses, I usually win them all like Abe Lincoln (Greg Oden?), obviously, but one came to the surface the other day that couldn't be solved without a Mythbusters-esque study. Remember, this is theoretical, I expect to receive uncomfortably-long handshakes from all of you going forward.

Is it cleaner to NOT wash your hands after going to the bathroom?

If you go to the bathroom and wash your hands, you're touching, uh, "yourself," then the faucet, which has been touched by countless people before you with varying degrees of hygenity (new word?), then you grab paper towels, which have been exposed to germs for hours and hours, and then, finally, grab a dirty door handle to finish off your disgusting display of pestilence. Running a bit of water on your hands, which may or may not itself contain germs (that's heavy, man), seems a bit pointless, right?

On the flip side, if you don't wash your hands afterward, you are only touching yourself and the dirty door handle. Assuming you shower regularly, your body will be clean, have a film of soap particles still covering the surface, and won't be exposed for hours to external germs. If you strategically grab the door handle in the least-likely used spot (something both Hickey and I found out we do independently, which sorta negates the cleanliness of doing it), you're also minimizing your exposure to new germs.

Or you just stand by the door and wait for someone else to open it ... FYI, that can be creepy.

The variable here is incubation. According to Hickey, germs are more likely to reproduce at a faster rate in a warm, controlled environment, as opposed to the cold, metallic surface of a faucet handle. So does the answer fall within a specific time range throughout the day? Is it cleaner to NOT wash your hands during the first few hours of the day, but due to reproduction rates, is it then cleaner TO wash your hands during the latter hours of the day?

And if you're NFL legend Lawrence Taylor, is it cleaner to wash your hands at a Holiday Inn or at a Motel 6?

Too soon?
  • When Mariners centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez hit a homerun against the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays two nights ago, he boosted the Mariners season homerun total by 11 PERCENT. 11 percent! One homerun! I decided then and there to investigate Seattle's offensive statistics so far this season. I spent two hours mining through the data (while my wife rode her bike in the living room and watched "Real Housewhores of Somewhere"), comparing them against the rest of the American League ... last in batting average, last in homeruns, last in OPS, last last last. After discovering that the Mariners were, in fact, pathetic, I brought out the big guns ... the 1962 New York Mets, owners of an astounding 120 loss season and one of the worst baseball teams in the history of the game. I calculated out a forecasted season for the M's to compare with the 161 games the Mets played in '62, and the Mariners are on pace to have fewer homeruns, fewer walks, more strikeouts, a lower batting average, lower on-base percentage, lower OPS, etc. etc. etc. against quite possibly the crappiest team in the history of the sport. People keep saying, "The season's long, don't panic." But to quote Sheriff Woody, "This is a perfect time to panic."
  • Dallas Braden, the Oakland Athletics pitcher who got pissy when Alex Rodriguez crossed the mound or something a few weeks ago, is now saying that a fight with A-Rod may be coming and that they're going to have to "settle [things] with knuckles." Dude, Dallas, as much as I'd love to see you hick-out and sock A-Rod in the face, the last thing anyone wants to see is Madonna sprint out from the stands like an insect-Steve Consalvi and devour you whole. She's gross in her human form, so please, just cool it.
  • LeBrelbow. That's all the coverage it deserves.
  • Actually, here's something I don't get about LeBrelbow ... he's gifted an NBA Defensive First-Team spot because Stern & Co. want to shove him into the Jordan hole, but when Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard tries to play defense in the playoffs, the refs whistle him almost automatically for fouls, while LeBrelbow can basically hack and slash at anyone without a whisper. If you're saying Dwight Howard is the best defensive player in the league, why did he average 5.5 fouls per game in the first round of the playoffs? And, in turn, why is LeBrelbow allowed to do whatever he wants without the same scrutiny? Not only is he undeserving of a Defensive First-Team spot, but he doesn't deserve the free pass the league and the refs are giving him either. Why do I feel like Tim Donaghy's going to have an easy time repaying his legal fees?
  • I'm starting to wonder if my Chicago Blackhawks playoff beard is getting out of control. My wife's parents got me a vacuum beard trimmer for my birthday ...
  • When Ben Roethlisberger went on his sexual shopping spree, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell laid down the law and drew a thick line in the sand for the rest of the league, suspending Big Ben for six weeks and publically ordering him to get counseling before even considering reinstatement. He handled the situation with poise and authority and, I think, earned the respect of a lot of men and women around the country. When Celtics GM Danny Ainge threw a towel in the air during the Celtics game two win against the Cavaliers, trying to throw off young Cavs forward J.J. Hickson at the free throw line, the NBA fined him $25,000! It was the opposite of poise and authority, it was petty and offensive. David Stern always spouts bullshit about the passion of the owners and the great fans in his league, but when someone actually shows some emotion, supports his team like a real fan, you fine him $25,000 for conduct detrimental to the league? I fine you $25,000 for conduct detrimental to the fans.
  • Iyf YOO can REEd this SINtince, YOO are prePAIRed for AyverEE JOHNson to BEE your COAch. YOO gotta REE-bownd the BASKET-bawl.
  • JaMarcus Russell was officially released by the Oakland Raiders, paving the way for the Japanese Football League to form (around his body like a moon).
  • Has there ever been an athlete who talked in third-person that was likeable?
  • For those of you who don't know, I lived with a French exchange student, Julien, for six months in college. It was one of the best experiences of my life, learning about French culture and, well, getting Julien drunk in American bars and teaching him about the NFL. But Julien and I are brothers, we may have battled over Arsenal vs. Man U (he's been on the winning side far too often over the last five years, ugh), but we bonded over Olympique Marseille. Julien showed me the ways of the Marseillais, teaching me chants and, more importantly, the passion of the fans. I remember coming home from class one day, finding Julien in his OM jersey and scarf (he didn't worry too much about going to class while in the United States, "I'm here to experience America! Not to sit in class all day!" ... awesome), drunk as a skunk, scribbling death notes to Paris Saint Germain, OM's biggest rival in France. I asked him what was wrong, and Julien, fighting off tears, told me that PSG had beaten Marseille to win the French title. He was devastated. I wanted to tell him it was going to be okay, that Marseille would come back, but, shoot, outside of Arsenal, I've never had a team that won a championship. I barely remember what it feels like to win a championship and I had to experience it over the Internet from 3,963 miles away. So how was I supposed to know if it would be okay? Five years have passed since then. But this week, Marseille won the Ligue 1 title with a 3-1 win over Rennes. I'll leave you with his letter, "CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 years after our last championship title!!!!! I've just come back from the stadium; that was craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!!!!! I can't believe it; WE'RE THE CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!"
Ducks rule.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Please Tase him, bro

When 17-year-old Phillies fan Steve Consalvi lept onto the field at Citizen's Bank Park on Monday, my first reaction was, as per usual, "Tase the f***er!"

But when a fat police officer, tired of chasing that little punk around in circles in front of thousands of people, whipped out his taser and actually DID Tase him ... I heard angels sing. It was beautiful, like watching a majestic polar bear take down a stupid baby walrus. Don't stray too far from your herd, baby walrus, there's a f***ing polar bear right there. He may be slower than you, he may be tired and hungry and regretting the donuts he had earlier that day in the break room, but he's a POLAR BEAR. Steve Consalvi must not watch the Discovery channel.

I hate people who run onto the field at sporting events; they should have a special new ring reserved for them in Hell (in Dante's follow-up blockbuster, "Inferno 2: Hotter Than Hell!"). It's the most attention-grabbing, self-serving, look-at-me bullshit that humans can physically achieve. People who paint themselves gold and stand motionless for hours on city corners have more self-respect than field runners. People who go on "American Idol" to show Simon Cowell pictures of their cats have more decency.

You paid money to go watch those professional athletes play, you paid money to watch THEM, as did 50,000 other people who are there with their families just trying to escape the nonsense of ordinary life filled with douchebags like you, Steve Consalvi. But you drank too much Mountain Dew and decided to ruin the game for the 50,000 people in attendance, the millions of fans watching on TV who have to suddenly look at a wide-shot of the upper deck, the players who now have to stand, hands on hips, waiting until your inevitable takedown and arrest before they can get on with their jobs, and those poor cops who have way bigger fish to fry than some 17-year-old kid with an image complex.

Think about it, Steve, how would you feel if some stranger burst into your high school gym class, when all the honeys were watching you and such, and ran around with his arms waving, yelling "Woo!" while the lesbian gym teacher chased him around. You're not going to prom, Steve, THAT GUY is. Now imagine he's carrying a knife, or a gun, and he runs up to you, Steve Consalvi, and stabs you in the neck. Is it still funny? Is it still a "once in a lifetime experience?"

Steve's father, Wayne Consalvi, actually got a phone call from his idiotic offspring moments before the events transpired. He told Steve running onto the field was a bad idea. Steve did it anyway. Can I get a high five for natural selection? Anyone? Darwin?

Despite his reservations against field running, Steve's dad did take issue with his son being Tasered.

"I don't recommend running on the field, but I don't think they should have Tased him at all."

That's exactly what they should've done, Wayne! Not only was it illegal for him to run onto the field, not only was it then illegal to evade arrest, but it was STUPID. Stupid people should be Tasered, it should be law. We should employ the Taser Guard (cool name, huh?) to stand ready in all walks of life to Tase the crap out of dumb people. Leave your kid in the car while you go grocery shopping? Tasered. Pour hot coffee on your lap and try to sue the coffee maker for making it too hot? Tasered. Those women who wandered into the Dallas Mavericks huddle during a timeout a few weeks ago? Tasered.

Run onto the field at a baseball game and ruin the experience for everyone? Tasered! I applaud that police officer for his mature, adult decision to put that kid on his pants ... not to mention his aim. He nailed Steve Consalvi from 15-feet away like he was bullseyeing womp-rats in his T-16 back home. Too many police officers are, rightfully, scared to take action because of the repurcussions of our common-senseless society. But that officer was more than justified to Taser the kid.

In fact, he did everyone a service. He set a precedent. You make an ass out of yourself, endanger the players and other fans, trespass and evade arrest, you're going to get Tasered. Not coddled, not put on the Jumbotron, not applauded as you leave the field in handcuffs, you're going to get Tasered. And I love it.