Who’s Awesome and Who’s Not Awesome

Updated: July 22, 2012

Its time for another installment of America’s favorite game! Off The Bench Presents: Who’s Awesome and Who’s Not Awesome. First up:

Who’s Awesome:

The Oakland A’s.

Billy Beane’s team is tied for a Wild Card spot after taking 3 straight from the New York Yankees at home this weekend. Yoenis Cespedes is hitting over .500 since the break and over .600 in the last week, Jarrod Parker continues to be lights out, the bullpen is possibly the best in baseball, by the numbers, the pitching staff is the best in baseball, and they keep winning the close games.

Like the Orioles in the beginning of the year, it seems like every win the A’s get is in the 9th or later. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen highlights where those mustard yellow jerseys are jumping up and down at home plate.

Often, it’s Brandon Inge doing the hitting in clutch situations. Inge has completely resurrected his career since the unceremonious ousting from Detroit. Since getting the new address, he’s hitting .110 points higher than he was (that’s only .210, but still), has 8 of his 9 homers and 40 of his 42 RBIs.

Who’s Not Awesome:

Me. Or, at least the prospects of my career as a psychic.

In my season preview of the aforementioned Athletics, I predicted the following: “67-95, last place in the AL West. The A’s have to face the Angels and Rangers 19 times each this year and they just aren’t good enough to compete. This will be a lost year by the bay.”

Needless to say, I was wrong. To be fair to me though, the A’s are behind both those teams (way behind the Rangers)  in the division. So I really wasn’t that wrong.

I predicted that Cespedes would be an All-Star. He wasn’t, though he has been quite good of late. I aslso predicted that Brad Peacock would finish second in the Rookie of the Year voting. He won’t, but Jarrod Parker might.

Suffice it to say, like my Diamondbacks preview the year before, this one didn’t go so well.

Who’s awesome:

Mark Trumbo.

Trumbo is now the regular cleanup hitter for the Angels, batting directly behind Albert Pujols. The 26 year old is leading the AL in slugging percentage and has 8 bombs this month. His average is still above .300, he’s driving in runs like crazy, and he put on a show in the Home Run Derby.

The Angels are poised to terrorize the AL West for the foreseeable future. They have Mike Trout (Bold Prediction: this year’s hands down MVP), Albert Pujols, and Mark Trumbo on lock for at least the next few seasons. Be very afraid.

Who’s Not Awesome:

Jair Jurrjens.

Jurrjens was sent down to the minors a month or two ago because he was painfully ineffective. There, he proceeded to assist the progression of every AAA hitter he faced. After a series of injuries to the rotation, the Braves brought Jurrjens back up, he had one good start, and now he’s terrible again.

In his last outing, Jair went 3.1 and gave up 8 earned runs. Today, he pitched 2.1 and gave up 6 earned runs, ballooning his ERA to 7.04. Sean thinks he’ll never make another start for the Braves.

Who’s Awesome:

Ryan Zimmerman.

Zimm had a really tough start to the season. He was hurt and wasn’t hitting. Until recently. His 2 homers today give him 4 since Thursday and 9 this month. Welcome back Ryan.

Who’s Not Awesome:

The Death Penalty for Penn State.

Everyone involved in the terrible scandal in Happy Valley should be thrown in jail. None of those people currently play football for the Nittany Lions. Don’t punish the players for something they didn’t do.

Question of the Day: Who wins in a fight, Lebron James or 1000 kindergartners? I think James eventually tires and the kids over run him, 1000 is a lot of kids. A few of my friends vehemently disagree.

-Max Frankel


  1. ari glantz

    July 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Max, your supposition that 1000 kindergardeners would overpower Lebron is risible. Have you ever seen a kindergardener? They resemble lawn ornaments more than people. Lebron’s entire life revolves around athletic feats of mythic perportion. He sprints full speed up and down a court for 48 minutes every other night, driving past finely-tuned defenders and boxing out 7-foot giants. When he’s not doing that, he’s training to do that. It’s perposterous to contend that 1000 infants with skulls half the size of basketball would be any match for him. He could literally crush them with one hand. Let’s talk strategy. The first hundred or so he toys with–its like the All-Star game–maybe he shoots a couple jumpers with them, throws a few ally-oops. The next hundred, he gets a little more serious, regular season game style. He starts using his fists, kicks too. This pace is sustainable, he can probably plough through at least 200-250 this way, expending little effort. (Kindergardeners!) So now Lebreezy has breezed through 350 of the little freaks and he’s starting to feel the burn. Time to make a playoff run. He gets down to business, jogging to create some distance, then charging through the following horde laying waste to 10 or 20 at at time. This is like algebra for Good Will Hunting. Two strides and he’s got the seperation he needs; one pivot and he’s facing the enemy; high knees agilities and they drop like flies, heads popping like baloons. Let’s say he stays with this approach for a half hour, that’s propbably 600-700 down. Now its crunch time, 300 to go. Game 7 of the Heat-Celtics ECF. He’s got that look in his eye. One kindy rushes in, flailing aimlessly. The Chosen one palms its head, flipping it upside down in one motion and latching on to the ankle. Another makes a pass at his knee. He catches it under the jaw, but the shear force of the blow brigs the limp body up to Lebrons eye level where he grabs this one too by the ankle. He lets out a ferocious roar (“sit yo ass down, mama”) and begins to spin. With his arms extended and two kindergardeners swinging from each hand he doesn’t even have to bend over. He’s like a helicopter propeller, mowing down all that dare to stand in his way. Even if he did tire, there’s a good chance he could take a cat nap and sustain little damage in the interim.

    • Max Frankel

      July 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      I respectfully disagree. Do you know many 1000 kindergartners is? Its 1000! Faced with such a daunting enemy, there is no doubt Lebron would kick and punch for a while and that this would be quite effective. He’d almost certainly send the first 20 or even 50 kids flying every which way. However, pretty soon he’d be surrounded and the sheer numbers would overwhelm him. Think that Soviet soldier in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull that gets overrun by the ants.
      The first time that Bronbron gets covered in kids, he’d probably be able to shake them but the 5th time? The 10th? I know Lebron is a physical specimen but were talking about a near endless stream of kindergartners here.

      My money’s on the brats.

  2. ari glantz

    July 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Firstly, let me chide you for thinking up an allegory involving Indiana Jones and the Bastardization of the Perfect Trilogy (let alone printing it). Secondly, let’s break this down. For the sake of the argument, we’ll assume the snot-noses enter the scenario a la the COD zombies. That is to say, they come in steadily increasing waves. Let’s set the location as your average kindergarden classroom. This gives Bronbron the Babykiller some props should he so choose. (Sandbox, blocks, the odd etch-a-sketch, etc.) We can even eliminate the chairs in the spirit of fairness to the rugrats. Now, back to the logistics. What kind of kindergardeners are these? Are they ill-tempered? Do they have a unified agenda? Are they healthy? Can they strategize? I’m going to assume the most realistic scenario possible (because that’s clearly important), and say that they are: a) ill tempered; and b) well-fed; but c) chaotic and poorly organized; and they are unable to come to a collectively approved game plan. Say what you will about the brain power behind The Decision, but I give the intellectual edge to Miami’s finest. So now let’s address areas where the kindergardeners’ could potentially inflict some damage. Let’s remember that they (literally) come up to Lebron’s knees. How would they ever get him down? The force of a normal, walking stride from the 6′ 8″ beast is enough to render a poor child useless for the remainder of the fight. So now Lebron is walking–just walking–around an elementary school classroom obliterating tiny people with each step. You think this tires him out? No sir. He breaks a sweat around kindy-casualty 500-600. But that’s just like a shootaround sweat. The more I think about this (and that’s a lot, given how much of my collegiate career was spent thinking about it already) the less hope I see for the poor kiddies. It gets worse the more variables you add in. I mean, he could just jump on a table and they wouldn’t even be able to climb up to him. He could just sit there cross legged and pluck them out, one by one. Its horrible. They poor kindergardeners.

  3. Kindergarten Kop

    July 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    You obviously have never spent any amount of time with kindergartners. Lebron would not last an hour, no matter what shape he is in. Have you ever seen kindergarten cop? Arnold Swartzenwhatever couldn’t last? Lebron may be the reigning king of the NBA, but he certainly is NOT a repeat Mr. Universe as Arnold was. Plus, Arnold has WAAAYYY more of an intimdating voice alone than BronBron. You are not giving the 5 year old’s enough credit for their sheer annoyance. All 1000 kindergartners would need is one really cute littel girl to start to cry and when Lebron goes over to plead her to stop cuz it is so annoying, about ten of the meanest little Lebron-hating-Kobe-loving boys go over to kick him right in the ballsack again and again. And then when he is doubled over in pain, one of the 1000 little snot nosed germ magnets would come over and tell him he has to pee and can’t hold it. Suddenly spilling his bladder all over Lebrons admittedly enormous shoes. He will then scream about his expensive shoes, which will remind the children of their poor peers working for Nike who had to suffer for his shoes and then they will get mad and starting piling on top of Lebron and tie him down Gulliver’s Travels style (trust me the kids have seen the movie and know what’s up when it comes to tying down giants) and light him on fire. OK, maybe not light him on fire, but at this point The Chosen One has taken several shots to the groin and is hog-tied because of a whiny little girl who annoyed him. Advantage 1000 Kindergarteners.

  4. Max Frankel

    July 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Here is my last comment on the issue to Ari.

    In the scenario I envisioned, this all went down in a meadow-like environment. 1000 kindergartners en masse. No waves and certainly no weapons. On either side. We’re playing fair here. I’m not sure if that allows them to use biological weapons like crying, but Lebronbron definitely can’t use chairs.

    At least that’s how I’m thinking of it.

  5. Dave Robbins

    July 24, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Once he got down to the last 100 kids Lebron would choke on either a kids head or a snack pack or something.

    Article-wise I honestly was disappointed. There isn’t anything here that has escaped discussion for the last month on MLB tonight. The A’s are good, Mark Trumbo is good, and Jurrjens is bad…but anyone interested in this blog already knew that, plus you only included Jurrjens because he is the reason you lost to me in fantasy. (Actually, all of this applies to your crushing defeat at the hands of me last week. You have Cespedes and Trumbo who both raked, Jurjjens killed you, and I have Zimmerman who singlehandedly ran train on your team.) I don’t know if you ever got Sports Illustrated, but this post reminds me too much of an old “Who’s Hot/ Who’s Not” column. By that I mean that it only exists as a way to kill time in between the articles that have actual ideas or opinions. The only difference between Sports Illustrated’s version of this concept and yours is that they managed to find things to report on that were not cornerstones of current mainstream baseball coverage. Is this a regular feature? Definitely discontinue it. If anything just keep the Lebron-Kindergadeners scenario, at least that incites debate. realistically he murders the little kids but what if its 1000 hipsters? I would say that on average they are weaker than kindergardeners but once in a while you will find a John Macgregor type that has strength equivalent to a first or second grade girl. I think it would be a good fight.

  6. ari glantz

    July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I miss this

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