The symbols of relevance, the things that transform a simple it into that proverbial “it” are generally born all in the timing, and since the Birds on the Bat are stuck in a Philadelphia this week, so too am I.
And I don’t like it.
No, this has nothing to do with Philadelphia being a backwards place (it is). It doesn’t have anything to do with the type of fans who cheer when the other teams’ star gets hurt (they do). And of course, this does not have anything to do with that ^sswipe Jim Bunning (he really is an ^sswipe, folks).
Indeed, my suddenly emphatic aggravation with Philadelphia is rooted in one fella and one fella only. His name is Ruben. Ruben Effing Amaro (that middle name is still surreptitiously unofficial).
Why? Why such distaste for one man?
Because he gave a mighty slugger who is notoriously awful against left-handed pitching the contract extension of all contract extensions — a mesmerizing $25 million a year… for 2012 to 2016 — causing massive migraine headaches for we Cardinals fans already obsessively worrying about Albert Pujols’ future with the team.
Yeah. Ryan Howard is good. But $25 million a year? He ain’t that good.
And anyone who has ever seen the game of baseball can tell you that Albert Pujols is LIGHT YEARS better than Ryan Howard, in all aspects of the game. All… of… them.
So if Howard is worth $25 million a year, then Albert is worth $30-$32 million a year, which means that if I want A.P. to remain a Cardinal for life, I and the rest of Cardinals Nation better be ready to pay $100 for a bleacher ticket, or imagine a world where Albert isn’t our savior.
(That would kill me by the way)
So thanks a lot, Ruben. Just a week ago, deep down inside, I would have admitted to having a strange yet pleasurable affinity for the Phillies. Dick Allen. Mike Schmidt. Steve Carlton. Pete Rose. Lenny Dykstra. Darren Daulton. Just the thought of those guys grindin’ it out with the “P” on their caps kinda got me excited… and I have no idea why.
They’re dead to me.
And so are you.*
Hate me ‘cuz I give it to ya straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*You’re not really dead. This is what fancy writers like Al and I call “figure of speech”. It can be AWEsome. Like it is here.