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So apparently I'm a jackass

Apr 16, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

Carton.jpgSo yesterday Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason of 660 WFAN went crazy on me for calling Yankees fans “classless and ignorant” for booing Javy Vazquez on Wednesday. The audio of that is here, beginning at around the nine minute mark.  It starts with Carton calling me a “jackass” and it goes downhill from there.  Good times!

Always a fan of great theater, I decided to call in to the show this morning.  I had no illusions that Carton would change his mind on the matter, and he most certainly did not. But rather than defend the booing on the merits — which I don’t think even he can — he decided to unload on me for being a blogger, not having a journalism background and all of that. Anyone who follows the media very much knows that’s the last refuge of someone with no argument, but there he went anyway. When I told him that Mike Lupica has a journalism background and he sucks he pulled a Francessa on me and hung up. Great theater — and basically what I expected — but telling all the same.

Carton’s main point from yesterday — that it’s the God-given right of Yankees fans to boo whoever they want to — is absolutely correct. But he has no answer for the notion that you look totally bush league when you boo a guy over six year-old failures six months after winning the World Series.  There are all sorts of things you can do if you want to. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

All that said, I would like to thank Carton and Boomer for having me on. The easy thing to do would be to ignore me. There are things that are more fun in the world than being hammered by talk radio guys, but (a) it was actually kind of fun on some level; and (b) the worst day of being hammered by talk radio guys about baseball stuff beats the best day in a law office defending the indefensible.

UPDATEHere’s my segment on WFAN from this morning.  I’ll leave it to you to decide who comes off better. 

  1. John Willumsen - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    I can never decide if you’re just an incredibly responsible writer who has the ability to keep perspective on issues and thus you feel it’s your duty to engage with idiots and you manage not to be brought down by them, or if you just have a love of poking the zoo animals. Or maybe you’re just a masochist. But I do know that I admire your willingness to engage with people who give little or no indication of much intelligence let alone any kind of open-mindedness. I wonder if I’d have the stomach for it.

  2. Dan W - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    As you pointed out…WFAN is not the best place to make that argument….well maybe if you could have woken up early enough to get on the Kim Jones show instead of those two…lol.
    I have been a die-hard Yankee fan my entire life, but I am just as big a “baseball” fan as I am a Yankee fan – its very bush league. The only I can say is that if he goes out there next time and goes 7 IP 3 ER or less, he will get a warm applause, doesn’t make it right, but for what its worth…

  3. crotch_jenkins - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    You should be proud. Imagine how dirty you’d feel if that steaming pile of mediocrity actually liked you.

  4. EriktheRed - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    Your points are valid, but you’re still a jackass.

  5. Gerard - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    One of the happiest moments in recent memory was when that ignorant douche Carton left my FM dial. I’d listen to 101.5 in the morning for all of my traffic/weather/news needs, and when I got to the car to drive home at night, I’d make a game of it and see how long I could stand listening to him before I wanted to drive off the closest bridge. 95% of the time I didn’t make a full minute.

  6. Wayne - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    Not to suggest that you are, but I wouldn’t worry about it. WFAN seems to have a policy that at least one of its morning personalities be a total moron. If Carton has a problem with you, that’s a good sign.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Oh believe me, I lose absolutely zero sleep over the fact that a guy like Carton doesn’t like what I have to say. I see that as a good sign.

  8. John C. - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    Hey Craig,
    You sir, are not a jackass by any means for calling the Yankees fans classless and ignorant for being Vazquez and criticizing the decision. I am a die-hard Yankee fan as you know, out in California- and frankly I am embarrassed by the booing. It’s the second game of the damn season. Booing Vazquez because of something he did in 2004 is simply idiotic. If you’re booing a starter after only pitching 11 innings based on just those 11 innings, that’s even worse.
    Beyond that, to boo A-Rod and Teix?? Good God. And then the counter-argument you received of how Yankees fans boo when the players don’t perform but will take you into their arms when they prove their production? There’s a word for that- it’s called hypocrite. And bandwagoner too. “Oh this guy is booing, so let me boo too.” Lord.
    Fine, fans have a right to boo. I tend not to, unless its for something atrocious (like Carl ahem Pavano ahem). You don’t wanna see the guy throw a bad start?? DONT BUY A TICKET TO THE GAME HE IS STARTING!
    And this coming from an unabashed, diehard Yankee fan. If only those that were booing during the game suffered the same problem as the lady that started choking on her dinner. (To be saved, of course, haha).

  9. Gnort - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Actually Craig, I am compelled to point out to you my first hand experience seeing Javier being booed ON Opening Day in Arizona (vs. the Cubs), so New York getting on him right away is not without precedent at all.
    The guy has a history of being on shaky ground with the fan base from the start with not one, but at least two franchises.
    Not to defend either side in this conflict, but Craig and Boomer do have a leg to stand on as far as this pitcher goes.

  10. Alan - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    This kind of stuff always reminds me of something my dad said to me years ago (even if he doesn’t remember it): An insult from an idiot is a compliment. So consider yourself lavished with praise.

  11. Caught in Connecticut - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    What would a lawyer turned blogger know compared to a sports talk radio guy? Unfortunately, I listen to these morons (sorry Boomer, guilt through association) by default in the morning. Have you heard Boston sports talk lately? They make Carton sound like William F Buckley.

  12. steve - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I don’t agree with booing him. I’m not a big booer to begin with. But the notion that this is just “something that happened six years ago” is a little off. Say what you want about jackass Yankee fans (and they are aplenty), but a lot of us really do care a lot, and blowing that series to THE hated rival in THAT fashion is something that I, and a lot of other people will never get over. Multiple titles or not. That doesn’t excuse it, it was obviously not Vazquez’ fault that they lost, but the “something” you speak of is a very big something to a lot of people who aren’t jackasses. (necessarily)

  13. Carton's the worst - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I listen to WFAN and ESPN radio, off and on, at all hours of the day and night. I find all their hosts at least reasonably listenable, except Craig Carton. I just don’t understand why he’s on. Could anybody seriously enjoy him? It’s hard to understand how. He’s whiny, abrasive, annoying, with nothing to say. I try to give him a chance, but I always end up changing the channel. I think the only reason he’s on is that Howard Stern used to do a morning show there, so they figured, who can we put on that’s abrasive and controversial. But Carton isn’t remotely funny. He’s not smart. He himself seems to get a certain glee from interrupting people and being rude and denying the obvious. But I can’t see him lasting long, because, what’s in it for us, the listener? Nothing that I can see. I’m not even listening to your clip because I know how it would go. A lot of yelling and refusing to engage the actual point. Why listen to that? Boomer must take antidepressants to do that show. He’s incredibly boring, and sounds bored himself. He half heartedly argues with Carton, but there’s not point, really. They’re the worst show on talk radio, and I’ll be relieved when I can stop avoiding that spot on the dial.
    You, on the other hand, are consistently witty, intelligent, and insightful, and I never am disappointed to hear your thoughts. Yay for the internet.

  14. bernie2010 - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    As a Yankee fan for over 55 years, Craig, I think you are wrong when you say Yankee fans booed Vazquez on Wednesday because of the grand slam he gave up to JD. In this case, he got booed because Yankee tickets cost $100 for cheap seats and he sucked on his 2 outings. I agree with you that Yankee fans knowledge is over rated and as a point, NY fans booing Arod for so long was totally stupid. I was at a game 2 years ago where he drove in 3 runs and was 2-3 and his 4th time up, he struck out with a man in scoring position and some fans booed. Now they were stupid. Hell they booed Mariano once. But in Vazquez’s case, he just sucked.

  15. Eric - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    If there’s one radio station in NY that best represents the obnoxious Yankee fans out there it’s the Fan. Their entire lineup is absolutely untolerable.

  16. Ben - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Your first comment is dead on. Attacking Craig because he is a blogger with no journalism background, when he went through an additional 3 years of schooling after college in order to get a JD, is absolutely absurd. Having a bachelors in journalism doesn’t magically give you perspective about sports writing, and it certainly doesn’t give you the right to say that your opinion matters more than anybody else’s opinion. Now, I don’t have a journalism degree, so maybe I too am an idiot, however, I agree with Craig has to say (even when he rips on my favorite team) because what he says has intelligence and fact backing it up. It’s not just a stort to drum up traffic.

  17. JE - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Please remember up an alert when WFAN posts the audio from today’s conversation, Craig.

  18. Don in Dallas - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Yankee fans have both short and long memories. All they did was Boo. My god, what a sin. This guy is perceived as one in a long line of pitchers who can’t pitch in NYC (you all know the list) and most Yankee fans did not like reaquiring him. Perhaps the boos were for that decision? I was at the game last night and Matsui was cheered when he hit a HR! Another decision to which the fans were responding. And the “boos” for Tex and A-Rod were much more like a smattering of groans. NYC has more than its share of idiotic radio personalities, but Craig, you’re wrong here.

  19. ha - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM


  20. DSFC - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Journalism background? HAHAHAHAHA…yeah, Craig Carton is a regular Edward R. Murrow. Carton calling himself a “journalist” is the single funniest thing I’ve seen this week. I have no idea why anyone listens to most sports radio.

  21. GozerTDestructor - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Your intelligent, well reasoned comment is what I have come to expect from blog-perusing Yankee fans. Keep up the good work, ErikTheRed!

  22. Palooka Joe - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    I’m an Arizona resident and a Diamondbacks fan, so it pains me to say this, but “Diamondbacks’ fans do it too” is a terrible defense. We’re a young team with an adolescent fan base, while the Yankees have had years to figure this stuff out. Either way, it’s silly behavior. I just expect the Yankees to know better, rather than follow our lead.

  23. Steve - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    How did you conveniently leave out of both articles that you haven’t talked to a single yankee fan as to why they were booing Vazquez. Then you go out calling them classless because you ASSUMED that they were booing because of 2004. Hence the title Carton gave you.
    Its nice in today’s world that any guy with a computer and a tv can try to pass themselves off as sports writers.

  24. Dan - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Whether you agree with booing or not, when people are shelling out tons of money for a ticket which goes towards paying the players, I believe fans have every right to boo, which the above article supports. If the players don’t like it…boo hoo, it comes with their job, playing sports for a living.
    I don’t know how you can call Yanks fans classless and ignorant, thought. I was watching the Yanks/Angels game yesterday, and Matsui got a standing ovation after hitting a homerun to give the Angels the lead.
    I’ll also say…some of the venomous booing isn’t all directed towards Javy…it’s towards the Yanks management, who many fans I’ve talked to, didn’t support the decision to acquire him.
    In traveling around the country, while Yanks have their fair share of obnoxious fans, I find them to be some of the most knowledgeable around, in terms of knowing players/stats/minor leagues/history.
    I’ll end with this…Booing will not make Vazquez any better, and it probably should stop since he’ll be out there every 5 days, but I’m not going to call a fan base classless for doing so.

  25. Tom from - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Nice job getting a reaction out of him, Craig.

    On a side note, Boomer must really dread going into work every day with someone as obnoxious and ignorant as Carton.

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