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Congratulations Skip Bayless: you had the dumbest reaction to the Cliff Lee news in all of media!

Dec 15, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

World Series Phillies Yankees Baseball

Skip Bayless lives to be contrary. We know that. But the key to being a halfway decent contrarian is to be at least half-smart about it, and to cause people to think a bit as a result of your less-than-intuitive position.

As his rant on Cliff Lee going to the Phillies makes clear, however, thinking isn’t big on his agenda. Not only is Cliff Lee equivalent to LeBron James in his mind — he calls him “LeBron Lee” —  but “clearly he did not want the pressure of being THE ace” in Texas. “He did not want the pressure of going to the big city,” and “being THE reason the Yankees would be once again favored to win it all.” Bayless says he “lost a lot of respect” for Lee as a result.

Anyone want to bet a dime that if Lee signed with the Yankees Bayless wouldn’t slam him for being greedy? Anyone want to bet a dime that if Lee signed with Texas Bayless wouldn’t slam him for being afraid of the east coast? I know he’s a hack and I know we shouldn’t take guys like that seriously, but the fact is that he’s on a platform watched by millions, and many people’s opinions about baseball are formed by such garbage. Makes me want to cry.

But I guess he’s so handsome, friendly and inviting that ESPN is OK with overlooking his ineptness as an analyst in the interests of drawing a broader demographic. Which is totally understandable.

  1. suckitflorio - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    he’s on there simply to say whatever will get people fired up… he’s beyond a hack. He is a sports analyst with no opinion. He just says whatever goes against the grain and that his claim to fame. He gets paid to be a puppet of a media company, congrats Skippy!

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:41 AM

      sounds like Foxnews’ relationship with it’s anchors just a bit…

      • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:43 AM

        Bayliss is ESPN’s answer to the Trailer Park Network the way Glenn Beck was CNN’s answer to the Trailer Park Network. If ESPN gets lucky, they’ll lose him to Faux the way CNN restored something of the natural order by losing Beck to them. Faux is pretty much the journalistic equivalent of Manhattan in Escape from New York and anencephalics like Bayliss belong there too. Ann Coulter would make a perfect squeeze for the idiot.

      • danwhitmer - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM

        your an idiot.

      • danwhitmer - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:39 PM

        Can’t you all keep it on a sports topic? If you have that big a problem with Beck and fox news then do not watch it…….. go back to watching CNN and MSNBC, if you cannot handle a network that debates policies and touches on issues none of the liberal stations will. Stop crying about it and get over it!

        PS: its funny how democrats are supposed to be “open” to everyones points of view and is all about peace and love and letting people have their own ideas…….. guess that is only if they fall in line with what the democrats believe……. what a joke of a party! Atleast Republicans stick to their guns and practice what they preach….

      • Paul Zummo - Dec 17, 2010 at 8:59 AM

        Seriously? Do people feel compelled to bring political fights onto sports blogs? As if we’re not inundated enough with political vitriol, you have to go and ruin a perfectly fine Skip Bayless bashing ceremony by bringing up Fox News, as though MSNBC and CNN are the height of journalistic standards. Oy.

  2. BC - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Skip Bayless is…. you guessed it… a chipwich.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:48 AM

      If you didn’t have to register to comment, I’d make one as Joe Morgan and marvel at your consistency. Bravo sir.

      Oh, and btw Craig, you could have stopped after Skip Bayless is dumb. His rant about Kobe Bryant’s involvement in Call of Duty: Black Ops being the worst decision by a professional athlete EVER was the dumbest thing heard outside of Cowherd’s daily ranting.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM

      Damn you…it’s not even 11am…it’s a balmy 20-something degrees outside…and I want a friggin’ chipwich!!!!!! Thanks a lot Cashman!

      • BC - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM

        Have a Yodel and wash it down with a YooHoo instead.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:11 AM

        How about yodeling with a Swiss Miss, instead?

      • BC - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:27 AM

        What’s Martina Hingis have to do with anything?

  3. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    He still believes Troy Aikman is gay.

    • sabosgoggles - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM

      And, worse yet, thinks it matters.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:33 PM

        wait, it doesn’t?

  4. Lucas - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Has everyone overlooked that Lee’s buddy CC Sabathia is THE ace in NY? I seem to remember CC being 3rd in the 2010 AL Cy Young voting and Lee being 7th….Sabathia was 4th in 2009 (Lee didn’t due to splitting time between leagues)….in fact, only in 2008 did Lee finish higher than CC in the voting (because he won). And, CC had won the year before. I mean, are we annointing THE ace based solely on the outrageous contracts they sign? If so, wouldn’t that make him THE ace in Philly because he makes more money than Halladay?

    A guy made a decision based on where he wanted to pitch because him (and his family) liked it there. It’s utterly astounding the amount of nonsense that gets read into a situation like this; and Craig, you’re right, the same people would be blasting him had he joined the Yankees for nearly the exact opposite reasons.

  5. 12strikes - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Let me start with Skip Bayless is a Butt Clown….
    Actually that is all I have.

    • Richard In Big D - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:57 PM

      That’s all you need…

  6. cjvirnig - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    The east coast bias is alive and well at ESPN. Skip Bayless may be of the opinion that baseball would be better if Cliff Lee had gone to the Yankees. But I don’t think anyone outside of the Bronx would concur. Obviously the best case scenario for MLB would have been for Lee to remain in Texas. We’ve already seen a startling number of great players shift east this winter to what are already the most stacked divisions in baseball. I guess the thought of a mid-payroll team like the Giants winning the World Series didn’t sit too well with the billionaire owners on the eastern seaboard.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:10 AM

      (Psssst…Philly is on the East Coast, too…in case you were unaware, that is….)

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:59 AM

        No, Philly is in the Arm pit of the coast with Jersey being the arm, and NY the head, and Florida has to be the leg with Dolphins stadium being, yup you guessed it.. the place people rarely want to go. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for someone thinking Philly is not part of the east “coast”.

        Ok, Skippie’s rant didn’t make sense either so it’s a wash anyway.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:05 PM

        Check this out—it’s Pierre’s tribute to Lennon last week:

        By the way, who’s who in the new Phightins Phab Phour? Oswalt as Ringo?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:31 PM

        Thanks a bunch Ut. I’m listening as i type. You’re awesome.

        The best I heard to date for these four, which actually fits rather well when you think of the Yankees being the “Dark side” full of storm troopers and lead by Darth Stienbrenner and Sith Cashman. We also have “the force” but we’re the good guys, right?

        R2 C2

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM

        Well, with the Yankers being the Evil Empire and the Dark Side, Hollywood would have to be Luke, Cliffy is Han Solo, but what about Doc and Oswalt? Doc could be either Obi Wan or Chewie (with the beard). Maybe Oswalt as Yoda? (Spaceballs ruined it for me though—I see Blanton as Pizza the Hut.)

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:05 PM

        If you want to go that route………
        Roy = Obi Won definately
        Little Roy = Luke
        Lee = Han Solo
        Hamels = Leia
        Charlie = Yoda, explains some things he’s said

      • PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:15 PM

        If Flordia is the leg, does that make Atlanta the crotch or butt?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:50 PM

        The Merkin.

    • clydeserra - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:02 AM

      pssst the giant have a large payroll

  7. kerberos75 - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Bayless is reason #634,891 that my official policy is a complete moratorium on all things ESPN.

  8. jamie54 - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Calling Bayless inept is a compliment Craig.

  9. daninkatonah - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Among other reasons to call Skippy’s remarks stupid, he runs Lee down for being afraid to be the “Co-Ace” of a big profile team this year (sharing the bill with only Sabathia). And yet Lee did not seem to have a problem with that role in 2009 when he was the Co-Ace (if not the sole ace) with Hamels and took the Phillies to the WS. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good screed.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:52 AM

      So he IS a good fit for FOX Noise.

  10. lampdwellr - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Skip Bayless’ presence on television confuses me almost as much as Colin Cowherd’s presence in all media.

  11. mgflolox - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Can we start a “Fire Skip Bayless” blog?

  12. yankees1996 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    The most confounding part of the story is everyone and I mean everyone knows Skip Bayless is a complete MORON but he still is on tv for millions to see and hear. It makes no sense to me how he stays employed when every subject he talks about he comes off as an idiot. I actually feel sorry for the people he works with because after listening to him spew his worthless opinions I cannot imagine the physical pain that they are in.

  13. rick1922 - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Both Bayless and Cowherd Morons but let us not forget Matt Millen how did he ever get another TV job.

  14. sknut - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    What I don’t get is people acting like Philly is such an easy place to play if you don’t perform. He isn’t going to Siberia, its freaking Philadelphia and Bayless is a moron.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM

      And when has ANYone EVER said ANYthing that makes you think playing in Philly is anything but lollipops and unicorns?

      Oh…that’s right…Phightins Phans are the godawful scourge of the earth who booed Mike Schmidt and Donovan McNabb…blahblahblahyaddayaddayadda….

  15. alfoglen - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Has anybody seen Skip Bayliss and Jay Mariotti in the same room at th same time?

    • dluxxx - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:51 PM

      I know where you’re going with this, but I don’t think they’re the same person. It’s more like there would be a rip in the spacetime continuum and life as we know it would end if they where ever to strike up a conversation with each other. Something about two sucking bodies so close to each other creating a dual black hole…

    • spindervish - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:22 PM

      Has anybody seen Mariotti anywhere, at any time, in the last couple years?

      • umrguy42 - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM

        @spindervish Mariotti’s been persona non grata at ESPN (and thank goodness) since he was arrested for domestic violence several months ago.

  16. jhorton83 - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    I remember reading Skip’s moronic columns in the San Jose Mercury News back when he used to be a sports writer in the Bay Area. He’s always been an idiot and he’s somehow even more annoying on television than he is in writing, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. At least they keep him contained on some ESPN2 morning show that nobody watches. If he started to show up regularly on Sportscenter, I’d probably have to throw my TV out the window. Or change the channel. Either option works.

  17. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Mike Lupica called and told me that his attorneys will be calling you; he has the trademark registration to the use of the word “hack” as it refers to sports writers/talking heads.

  18. joebuckiscreepy - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Bayless has been auditioning for Fox News for years. This might finally get their attention.

  19. macjacmccoy - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    There is no comparrison between Lee and Lebron.

    When Lebron was in Cleveland he was the man he was out there alone it all depended on him. When he went to Miami that wasnt the case no more he now has Wade and Bosh as crutches. No matter where Cliff Lee decided to go he was still going to be on the mound alone. It doesnt matter who his teammates are because there in the dugout. It doesnt matter what city hes in when hes on the field its all on him. When Lebron has a bad game he can hide it and let Wade and Bosh do all the work. Thats what everyones problem with Lebron was that he didnt want the pressure. That hes would rather be somewhere where he could hide from blame then somewhere where he could be the man the guy who made it all happen or the guy whos fault it was for not happening. With Cliff Lee thats impossible for him to do. He cant go out there and have a bad game and act like it didnt happen. He cant let Roy Halladay take over for him in the middle of the game bc hes not hitting the corners right. If Cliff Lee has a down year people are going to say he had a bad year. They arent going to look at what Roy, Roy, and Cole did when evaluating Cliff. What ever his performance is he’ll be judged on. If he goes 7-15 with a 4.82 Era and 2.23 whip in Philly hes going to be judged the exact same way if he did it in NY or Texas. If Lebron’s number drop they wont be lucked at like that. They will look at what the team did. Or they will say of course his numbers are gonna drop he has other players around him now that can handle the ball as much as he can now.

    For Lee it doesnt matter who else pitches bc there numbers dont effect his at all unlike Lebron. If anything people should be more happy with Lee that he didnt go to the Yankee’s bc a teams offense n bullpen has alot more to do with helping a pitchers numbers then other starting pitchers do. And the Yankees bats n pen r better then the Phillies. If anything coming to Philly will make his numbers worse then better especially at the Bank.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:38 PM

      Yeah, the Sixers finally beat the Cavs. Woo Hoo!!!

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 6:00 PM

        Yay!!!!! The Sixers finally beat ANYone!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!

  20. rajbais - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Bayless is a waste of sperm!!!!!

  21. rajbais - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    I’m not even a baseball fan, but when I saw this thing on Google News I had to chime in!!!

    This is why Stephen A. Smith was good for ESPN because he had the audacity to shut Skip up!!!
    Everyone else is Skip’s (inappropriate word for female lap dog).

    For those who don’t know I’m a minority and have no intention to be racist. Except, when black guys like “The 2 Live Stews” and Rob Parker and a softy like Jemele Hill get their asses kicked when they could win screaming matches against Bayless in a movie theater … then you know that ‘First & 10’ is fixed!!!!

    BTW, how the hell can anyone believe a 60-year old jackass that names himself … SKIP????

  22. rajbais - Dec 16, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Sorry. I’m seeing some other stupid “Bayless” s*** on Google News. I wish more athletes could rip on him via Twitter the way we are right now!!!

    Athletes need to grow a pair.

    Additionally, I hate how this guy (in an interview) talked about how Barry Bonds was surrounded by “racist” reporters in San Francisco and still keeps taking a crap on back-then 49er WR Terrell Owens. He did it after Owens’ sideline outburst while he never condemned white Raider quarterback Rich Gannon.

    Bonds, Owens and Canseco were right … the Bay Area media is hypocritical and racist.

    And Bayless … (depending on what bathroom chemical he swallowed prior to a taping of the worst 30 minutes on televison a.k.a. ‘First & 10’) could be either.

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