About Jason Bulay

Jason Bulay is the world's second-greatest lover and a five-star hangover chef. His writing credits include a fourth grade book report on The Hobbit and a co-writer credit on the film Sixteen Fondles.

In Defense of David Ortiz

David Ortiz, maligned in this space only days ago, went 3-for-6 yesterday with a game-tying triple in the bottom of the ninth, a walk-off double in the 11th, and a third-inning home run for good measure.  Which makes today a good day to respond to Singer’s criticisms.  So, to those who would claim that David Ortiz is unfairly lauded, that his PED use has been overlooked, and that he’s kind of a jerk about called strikes, I have this to say.

You’re right.  Frankly, your points didn’t come across as unduly harsh, or even all that harsh at all.  You’re not telling Red Sox fans anything we don’t already know.  We’re not blind to the fact that Ortiz has a history of PED use.  We get that he’s kind of a primadonna about called strikes.  But we don’t care.  Because he’s Big Papi, and he’s ours.

Poll: Should I Feel Bad?

As I have mentioned several times in the past, I’m a Red Sox fan (I can’t help it, I grew up in Maine). And I probably have an unhealthy obsession with oddly-shaped athletes.  Both of which go to explain why I’m one of the few people who still cares about Pablo Sandoval.  Which, lately, has mostly manifested as loathing him for being fat and lazy and stealing my favorite team’s money.

panda

Presented without comment

But it turns out Sandoval has an actual injury which required surgery and will cause him to miss the remainder of the 2016 season.  We don’t know for sure how long his shoulder has been bothering him, but my first assumption was that he’s been playing through it for a while.  Whether I’m correct or not, it makes me feel a little guilty for hating on him for the past two months, as his undeniably shitty performance may have been caused by things other than not being able to see his feet.

Personally, I always feel a little guilty when I jeer a player only to find out he was playing through a legitimate injury.  But should I?  Banknotariate, help me out here – have I mistreated the Panda?  Why or why not?  For the sake of argument, let’s assume that his poor performance was in fact due at least in part to injury, because that was the initial assumption that made me feel guilty.  Please also limit your responses to whether I should feel bad for saying mean things about Pablo Sandoval.  I am well aware of the many other reasons I should feel bad.

Stealing First

baseburglar

How have I never seen this card before?

Heard during today’s Reds-Pirates game: “You can’t steal first.”  A few notes on this statement, for context:

– This statement was made by the Pirates’ broadcast team, in reference to Billy Hamilton’s slow start to the season.

– At the time the statement was made, Hamilton was on second, having doubled in his first at-bat of the day.

– The previous night, Hamilton had gone 3-for-4.

– Hamilton had repeatedly reached first base against the Pirates without stealing it, is what I’m saying, and perhaps their broadcast team should have refrained from commenting.

– On the following pitch, Hamilton stole third.

– Joey Votto then proceeded to strike out with a runner on third and only one out, demonstrating that he is not a run producer and lacks the will to win.

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Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy Fantasy

It’s Fantasy Week here at BNI, which means these electronic pages will soon be filled with fantasy articles which are both thoughtful and excellent, and at at least one of which inspired me to search the internet for nude pictures of Morganna. This article, however, is neither thoughtful nor excellent – rather, it is the exact opposite, as I feel a perverse duty to lower the average quality of content on this site below whatever the journalistic equivalent of the Mendoza Line is, thereby simultaneously making the other writers look brilliant by comparison and making them embarrassed to share space with me (whether you search for any nude pictures is up to you). What follows, then, like a malignant tumor on the colon of Fantasy Week, is my fantasy (as in an imagined ideal) fantasy (as in fantasy baseball) fantasy (as in the genre containing dragons) draft fantasy (as in a pleasant daydream). I’m 90% sure that made sense.

waynes-world_o_gifsoup-com_ Continue reading

Another MLB Lawsuit

Paul Dewey, of the Kalamazoo law firm Dewey, Cheetem, & Howe, held a press conference on the courthouse steps Friday to announce that they would be filing a class-action lawsuit against MLB’s unfair business practices just as soon as they had identified some unfair business practices that seemed unlawful enough to “drag things on for a while.”  “Oh, and a plaintiff,” Dewey added.  “We should probably find a plaintiff, too.”

Dewey acknowledged that it was unusual to announce a lawsuit before identifying the issue at hand, but expressed confidence that something could be figured out.  “There are lots of things MLB does that fans hate,” he pointed out.  “Seat licenses, overpriced beer, the international signing rules, not giving Mike Trout the MVP every year, the list just goes on and on.  And as an attorney and a baseball fan, I’m both personally and professionally outraged by MLB’s cartel-like policies.”

Although nobody asked, Dewey stressed that the pending lawsuit was in no way motivated by the $16.5 million paid to the plaintiff’s attorneys in the recently-settled TV lawsuit.  “This lawsuit is about a very serious issue, and it’s simply un-American to allow our national pastime to continue these unfair practices.  Uh, whatever those practices are.”

“It’s going to be a long road,” Dewey concluded.  “It could take several years, and thousands of billable hours, before we see a resolution to this.  But you can rest assured, right is on our side.  God willing, we’ll take this to trial, get the fans’ hopes up, then settle the case for some meaningless concessions and a boatload of attorney’s fees.”

Added Dewey, “I mean, a literal boatload.  Daddy needs a new yacht.”

How Mike Trout Can Crash and Burn

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but Mike Trout has been really good these past few years.  Through his age-23 season, he’s already accumulated 38.5 WAR.  That’s kind of a lot, and people are justifiably excited about what he’s done and what he might do going forward.  The consensus seems to be that he’s a mortal lock to end up among the all-time greats, if he’s not there already.

However, I may have mentioned before that I’m a Red Sox fan, and I’m older than 30, which means my formative years of baseball fandom were characterized by one soul-crushing disappointment after another.  It turns out you never really get over that – I’m irreversibly conditioned to expect the worst.  So with that in mind, here’s a handy road map to the rest of Mike Trout’s career.

mike-trout-getty

Pictured: Not a Hall-of-Famer

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Ben Cherington Congratulates Theo Epstein

Banknotes Industries, through several bribes to high-ranking NSA officials confidential sources, which are totally protected under the First Amendment, has learned that Ben Cherington, former GM of the Boston Red Sox, called Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, last night.  The transcript of that conversation is provided below in its entirety.

TE: Hello?

BC: Hi Theo.  Can I call you Theo?  It’s Ben Cherington.

TE: Um, hi Ben.  Theo’s fine.  Can I help you?

BC: Yeah, I just wanted to congratulate you on signing Heyward and Zobrist.  Good work.

TE: Thanks.  We’re really excited about 2016.

BC: Seriously, you guys are gonna roll over the league this year.  It’s just like last winter, when I signed Ramirez and Sandoval and we were the best team in baseball.  The Yankees never knew what hit them. Continue reading

Thoughts on a Lost Season

It’s been a very long time since I wrote something for this site.  So long, in fact, that most people have probably forgotten about the handful of posts I wrote last winter.  I thought about just fading into Bolivian, actually.  But since the admins neglected to change my password while I was gone, I decided to come back and write this post.

The reason I’ve been absent is simple – I missed pretty much the whole season.  Intentionally, not because I was in a coma or something.  Didn’t watch games on TV.  Didn’t go to any games.  Didn’t read any online content.  Didn’t manage any fantasy teams.  Aside from checking the standings in June to confirm that the Red Sox were already eliminated, I might as well have not been a baseball fan this year.

All I can say in my defense is that it’s really hard to watch baseball on the Pacific Crest Trail, which is where my wife and I spent the entire summer.  So, instead of watching the Red Sox lose and drinking heavily, like a normal person, I spent the time from early April to late September living in a tent, walking up to 30 miles a day, crapping in a hole in the ground, and bleeding from the blistered flesh that used to be my feet.

Kind of worth it, though.

Not without its moments, though.

I’d love to say that I had some great insights into baseball fandom while taking a year off from following baseball, but I kind of didn’t.  But since I feel like I should write an article like this before diving back into crudely photoshopping baseball players into funny mildly amusing kind of dumb pictures, here are some thoughts anyway.  (In listicle form.  You won’t believe number 7!) Continue reading