Skip Bayless delivered this week's hottest take.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes! This time around, we’re looking at the hottest sports media takes from Oct. 13-19. 

5. Tim Graham says there’s “no need for a candlelight vigil” following Gordon Hayward’s injury: Graham, of The Buffalo News, reminded those who were talking about Gordon Hayward’s injury that he is a Very Important Sportswriter who has covered Much More Serious Injuries:

Way to trivialize a serious injury while simultaneously making it all about yourself.

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Rob Parker has already given the Warriors the title: There have been plenty predicting that Golden State will win the NBA championship this year, but FS1’s Parker took it further than most, arguing that there’s no point to the season because the Warriors are assured victory:

Arguing that Golden State should win again is one thing, but saying that there’s no point to the season because that victory’s so certain? That’s a pretty hot take.

Rating: 🔥🔥

3. Keith Olbermann is “so effing tired” of Yasiel Puig: Olbermann, the former ESPN and current GQ personality, last appeared in this column for his hot takes on rap music, and now he’s going after Dodgers’ star Yasiel Puig. Puig flipped his bat Saturday after hitting a double, and that got Olbermann mad:

Olbermann got appropriately criticized for that one:

But Puig himself had the best response:

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥 

2. Phil Mushnick says baseball needs less Yasiel Puigs: Continuing on with the Puig theme, New York Post columnist Mushnick has long gone after baseball players who dare to celebrate or show emotion on the field, and that’s made Puig one of his favorite targets. That continued in Mushnick’s columns this week (and continued the string of Mushnick and Olbermann saying problematic things along the same lines in the same week). Mushnick particularly went in Thursday’s “Why baseball doesn’t need more Yasiel Puigs“:

If you were raised to love baseball and to recognize the smart, winning kind from everything less, the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig is insufferable. As the sport is diminished by professionals who disregard the basic act of running to first base as a matter of style, Puig, an incurable home-plate poser, often makes turning doubles and triples into singles appear effortless.

Despite his conspicuous talent, Puig last season was remanded to the minors to get the point across that baseball, despite modern, no-upside compromises, remains a team game. It didn’t take.

In the postseason, Puig continues to behave as if he’s in the Home Run Derby. He even seems to relish his high-risk flamboyant foolishness despite frequent backfires. Yet, some are good with that, or at least pretend to be in the shallow hope of being heard or read as avant-garde.

Wednesday’s topic on Colin Cowherd’s FS1 show was, “Does Baseball need more personalities like Yasiel Puig?”

More? How many games does “personality” win? Why not ask, “Does baseball need more players who can’t be bothered to run to first, even in the biggest games?” Or, “Does MLB need more players who’d rather show off for TV cameras than play winning baseball?”

And in another column Monday, Mushnick again went off on Puig for celebrating after only hitting a double (and on TBS analyst Ron Darling for not criticizing him enough):

L.A.’s Yasiel Puig is a notorious me-first showboater who has even been sent to the minors to try to instill the importance of things such as running to first when he thinks — often erroneously — he has hit a home run. Friday, manager Dave Roberts said Puig “loves the red light,” which translated to: He plays as much for TV cameras as he does the Dodgers.

…Yet, with the Dodgers down 2-0, runners on first and second, Puig stood at home raising his arms in incurably premature home run self-glory — until the ball banged off the lower half of the wall in left-center. After getting a late start, Puig made second; his three-run homer became a one-run double.

But Darling chose to explain his common, obvious new-age stupidity with the preposterous: Puig was in self-aggrandizement mode because he knew “He hit it hard enough to get the gap.” Instead of stating that Puig, yet again, went into his premature HR pose, Darling praised him for performing his “gap” pose. And it was insulting.

Mushnick repeatedly lobs these sorts of criticisms at non-white players like Puig, while holding white players like the Yankees’ Brett Gardner up as the standards of “fundamental baseball“:

Brett Gardner kept a Game 4 ALDS inning alive and scored Starlin Castro from third when he helped force a bad throw by running hard to first with two out. Where, asks reader Frank Connelly, would Robinson Cano have been? He’d have been on first, too — first step of the dugout.

Puig hit .455/.538/.727 in the NLDS and .389/.500/.611 in the NLCS, while Gardner hit .286/.304/.333 in the ALDS and .105/.190/.158 in the ALCS so far. (He did go two-for-four in the wild card game with a home run.) Gardner did have a higher wins above replacement this season, but in the postseason, it’s been Puig, not Gardner, who’s been producing at an incredibly high level. So maybe it’s time for Mushnick to realize that Puig is very good at what he does, even if that’s not “playing the game the white way.”

Rating 🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Skip Bayless makes Gordon Hayward’s injury a chance to take a shot at LeBron: We covered one bad take on the Hayward incident already, but this one was even worse:

Bayless got plenty of deserved blowback for that one, including from NBA stars:

And Fox coworkers:

And others:

Bayless’ obsession with LeBron has been well-documented, but making a horrific injury to a player on a different team on the first day of the season all about LeBron is maybe a new level for him.

Rating 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Notable absences: Stephen A. Smith, Colin Cowherd

Hot Take Standings: 

Stephen A. Smith – 128
Skip Bayless – 112
Phil Mushnick – 90
Colin Cowherd – 43
Shannon Sharpe – 30
Rob Parker – 23
Charles Barkley – 19
Doug Gottlieb – 18
JT The Brick – 17
Albert Breer – 16
Don Cherry – 15
Ray Lewis – 14
Rick Morrissey – 13
Kristine Leahy – 10
Chris Broussard – 10
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bill Plaschke – 9
Tony Massarotti – 8
Jason McIntyre – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Danny Kanell – 7
Dan Dakich – 7
Keith Olbermann – 6
Michael DeCourcy – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
John Middlekauff – 5
Garth Crooks – 5
Bill Plaschke – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
Jeremy Roenick – 5
John McGrath – 5
Ross Tucker  – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Bob Brookover – 5
Berry Tramel – 5
Mike Bianchi – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rob Rossi – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Frank Isola – 5
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray  – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
The Sporting News – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Cris Carter – 4
Kirk Herbstreit – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
Mike Felger – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Michael Rapaport – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Jason Smith – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Mike Francesa – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Charley Casserly – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Dan Wolken – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • CreightonRabs

    Of course Bucky would use his weekly hot takes column to go off on another boring anti-Phil Mushnick diatribe (here’s a news flash, douchebag: that shit is BORING. AS. FUCK.), but as a bonus, he decided to needlessly play the race card as well in addition to his creepy ridiculous obsession with a single columnist from New York.

    Does Bucky understand that most baseball fans tend to agree with Mushnick about showboats like Puig and, for that matter, Bryce Harper (who, the last time I checked, was white)?

    Dude, seriously, find a new target for your creepy character assassinations.

    • Rick James

      stfu you racist pos

      • CreightonRabs

        No, I won’t shut up to appease your race baiting ass. Not now, not ever.

  • thewatcher2

    Instead of asking if base

  • thewatcher2

    Instead of asking if baseball needs more Puigs, we should ask if newspapers need any more Munchkins.

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