Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Goat Riders vs. Cuban Baseball Shout Boxing

Yesterday, we published a very brief blurb about the Cubs signing Cuban pitcher Juan Yasser Serrano.  Turns out that, much as there's a blog for the wide varieties of stinky cheese out there, there also exist websites dedicated to following the Cuban past-time.  This article, which was meant as nothing more than a brief update on a news story with only a hint of commentary (because, frankly, there's not much to comment on) was picked up by some kind of crazy "cbox"  It's sort of like our ShoutBox, but they talk about Cuban baseball. 

There, some douchebag named Jeff Hainey had this to say about the blurb in general and Cub fans in particular:

"...wow that's the worst article I've read in a long time...he couldn't even get the headline right."

Said douche went on to say the following:

"U.S. is not very aware cosmopolitan, wise.  They think Ven/Dom/Cubans are all basically the same. They don't want to learn much more. Especially a midwesterner. The east coast will get you writing that is more intense and they will know more about every team and more about foriegn (sic) countries. Chicago people
have tunnel vision.
They don't know who plays for anyone else...it comes from their announcers, their newspapers, their sports talk shows...they have to have a baseball expert on to get sensible news from their own teams."

Jeff Hainey then elaborated as follows:
"Generally speaking, it's night and day between Cubs fans and WSox fans.
The WSox fan is much more knowledgeable...but the general fan bases of both teams are lead down the homerism alley by all media outlets. It's Chicago or
nothing...expanding to it's America or nothing...and that is more true of the Cub fan due to the demographics."

I appreciate how he reversed his own opinion immediately.  From "they only care about Chicago" to "...er, and America in general, but definitely not Cuba or anything in the Caribbean."

To put icing on the cake, a Goat Reader went there, called Hainey a moron, noted that this blog is humor-oriented, and pointed out the "cursive Cubs/Cuba logo" connection, and saw his posts promptly deleted.  The cause of deletion probably had something to do with this line: "did your sense of humor fall off of your makeshift raft somewhere in the gulf of Mexico?"  Snap.

Of course, Hainey's main point of contention was that he didn't get the joke and that we posted a picture of the wrong Cuban with the story.  Sorry, folks.  I took a trip recently and left my portable media guide of Cuban baseball stars in a bathroom at the Niagara Falls/Buffalo border.  I therefore had to rely on a Google image search and that picture was the first one I found when I typed in "Juan Yasser Serrano."  I guess that makes me ignorant.

I suppose he might also not have liked how I noted that it was the first Cubs signing of a Cuban player in "recent history" aka "the past few years," while speculating that Cuban prospects fail perhaps as often as prospects from any part of the Caribbean.  (Actually, I didn't speculated, I pondered.  I asked out loud, "I wonder how many actually succeed?")  I also noted that Yasser Serrano (I'm sure Hainey is relieved that I made no Yasser Arafat jokes, nor Pedro Serrano references, because that'd just be ignorant) was "reportedly" 21 years of age.

Since those comments reek of tunnel vision, I thought I'd expand on them a bit here.

Of the 135 Cuban defectors between 1991 and 2007, only 24 made it to the majors.  Of those 24, the most successful have been guys like Rey Ordonez, Livan Hernandez, Jose Contreras*, and Livan's brother Orlando Hernandez*.  None of these guys are even remotely Hall of Fame bound, although they've all experienced successful years in the majors.

(*Orlando Hernandez, when he first defected, was believed to have been born in 1969.  He was later revealed to have been born in 1965 -- or earlier!  Contreras, meanwhile, has also faced birth certificate scrutiny I only mention it because I speculated that Yasser Serrano might be older than his listed age.  But I'm sure that Hainey thinks I'm just being narrow-minded.)

He was right about one thing, though.  I mentioned that Yasser Serrano's fastball had been clocked in the low 90's.  The truth is, it ranged from the high 80's to the low 90's, which means his heater isn't consistently hot, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, to wrap this up, I would like to pass one final message onto Mr. Hainey:

I am not from the Midwest.  I grew up on the east coast, but have been a resident of Canada for nearly six years.  In other words ... I live in a country where I can travel to Cuba whenever I want for as long as I want.  Maybe you do too, maybe not, but you accused me of being narrow-minded and a homer for the Cubs.  Sir, if I was a homer for the Cubs, then I would have been blowing bubbles all over Jim Hendry's ass for signing this sure-to-be godsend of a Cuban defector.  I would have heralded it as a steal, a true marvel of a move that would benefit the Cubs now and for years to come.  I would be defending Yasser Serrano against all slights, all criticisms, all insults.  After all, if I was a homer, the Cubs could do no wrong and every Chicago prospect would be the best in baseball.

I would not be downplaying the signing.  I would not be writing articles about how most Cuban ballplayers fail to accomplish much in the majors (or if I did, I would be trumpeting Serrano as an exception!).  And I certainly would not be taking an immediate defensive stance against even the mildest of criticisms levied at a Cuban baseball player by some hack blogger... which is exactly what you did.  You are a Cuba mark, sir.  Plain as day. 

P.S. I don't read the rags and I don't listen to sports radio.  Your comments about me, Cub fans like me, and baseball in general is an epic, indescribable WRONG.  Sir, go directly to FAIL.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.
Go to FAIL


Thanks for at least hitting Google one more time for your cute cuddly unprepared blog that's just for mindless people to poke fun at....
I guess Cub fans really don't expect or seek out intelligent literature, blogs or websites....
Their the 15% Lee Elia spoke of that showed up to boo his team...hit google one more time, it won't hurt, listen to something funny again that's unprepared and just meant for a poke...Elia Rant....it makes me laugh so hard.
But a blog with no intention of intelligent nature or substance is a waste of time...but you found the right fan base to waste it on.

Would we gain points of

Would we gain points of standing if we deleted your response from the site? That appears to be your standard procedure.

Apart from Googling the wrong picture of the wrong low-level Cuban defector, what exactly have we said or done regarding Cuban baseball that was wrong or stupid? I assume that "stupid" is a fair use word, since you keep saying that we lack an "intelligent nature."

Then again, you wrongly said that I was from the midwest, that I was a homer for the Cubs, that in general White Sox fans are more intelligent than Cub fans, and -- I can't emphasize this enough -- YOU FAILED TO GET THE CUBS-CUBA JOKE. Worse, you arrogant hack, you won't even owe up to that fact! Not to mention how you wrongly stated that we misrepresented information about Cuban baseball here. Do you really want to stretch "the wrong picture" into "not knowing anything about Cuban baseball?"

Tell you what, sir. You hold onto your little chestnut. It obviously means quite a lot to you that you "know more about Cuban baseball than the average American baseball fan." (Should I take away the quotes? Does it offend you that I would challenge your knowledge in such a manner?) You are, quite frankly, waaay out of your depth here. It seems to me that, when I labeled you a douchebag, I hit the nail right on the head. Enjoy it, I'm sure it's something to feel proud about.


And my first reply had no response worth all you went through looking up my personal email address and naming names on the internet.
I told you plain and simple that you should study up a bit on Cuban baseball before trying to write something worth reading.
You took it to a new level with an article it took you all day to write, while trying to blast someone with fowl language on Cuban internet sites, sending emails to their own computer and taunting someone to come back to your rediculous site.
You're way overboard from the beginning...but that's what and who you are. And it's a waste of time.

I personally haven't

I personally haven't commented on your website, but you can hear the word "douchebag" on network television in prime time. Has somebody said something more "fowl" to you than that?

As far as your other incorrect assumptions -- you link to your EMail in your shoutbox and you used it to register for this website. I didn't need to contact you to inform you that I responded to your ludicrous comments about Cubs fans, I did it to give you a chance to engage or apologize. I failed to realize at the time that your ego-inflating obsession with Cuban baseball would prevent you from admitting that you have made a ridiculous number of incorrect assumptions. (By the way, can you actually tell me, beyond a Googled image, a single thing I got wrong about Cuban baseball in that blurb that you took so much offense to?) I do apologize for sending an email to your own computer, though. I actually sent about half a dozen to your through the computer belonging to somebody who lives in Austin, TX, but he was getting really agitated and he didn't know how to give them to you as he had no idea who you were. That lucky bastard.

Frankly, I think you should Man Up and just acknowledge the things you are wrong about. Did I "rediculously" deny that I posted the wrong picture? Based on how you've acted in responding here, *you* would have. We'll respect you a lot more if you do. It would be flat out contrary to the inherent nature of a douchebag. You're not a douche, right? So you can man up? We're waiting.

P.S. I can assure you, sir, that I would not spend "all day" writing a response to you, or about you, or about a Cuban prospect (or any prospect) with only a modest chance at best of ever reaching the majors. I've added it to your growing tab of things you are disastrously wrong about.

Calm Yourself, Kurt

The original “…tries to sign with Cuba…” headline was one of the funnier headlines you’ve had in awhile. Anyone over the age of 12 who didn’t get the joke either has no sense of humor or is kind of a knucklehead – either way, probably not worth getting into a pissing contest with. I know it’s hard not to respond sometimes, but the rest of us realize you won the argument several posts ago. I imagine that crack about ChiSox fans being more knowledgeable was just too much to bear…

Incidentally, headfirstslide, I AM from the Midwest, so let me set you straight about a few things. We get the same cable channels and internet as everyone else. AND we have to put up with all the writers, ESPECIALLY from the East Coast, who think the sun rises and sets only on the Yankees or BoSox. We probably know more about the coasts in general than they do about us – they refer to us as “flyover country”, right?

OK, taking my own advice now… calming… calming…

You're right -- no point in

You're right -- no point in beating a dead horse, or in this case a Cuban baseball affectionado.

Besides, he's from Indiana and you know what those people are like. They're really closed-minded people who think that anybody from anywhere else is against them. They're the first ones to tell you when you're wrong about something, even if you're not, and they'll impose their hard-line, extremist viewpoints on you even when they have no reason to do so. (Last shot from me, I promise. If he bothers to respond from this point I'll either ignore him or simply ask him to share with me what I said that was incorrect about Cuban baseball.)

Cuban baseball fans are the Corvette Guy of the sporting world, clearly.

throwing stones

Hainey, you've dug up some tired old cliches yourself about "White Sox fans are more knowledgeable than Cubs fans" and Lee Elia's 15%.

Yes, certainly there are more 'casual' Cubs fans than Sox fans. It is not hard to find someone who bills themselves as a 'Cubs fan' who doesn't know dick about baseball. We know. We do battle with these unelightened souls every day out here.

But jeez, lighten up, Francis. One of these guys may save your life someday.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award