With much of the playoff picture slowly coming into focus, we shift our gaze over here at RSBS to other important races still in progress. Of course the political scene commands a fair amount of attention with the crazies trying to “take back” the government. And with Michigan 3-0 on the season and both big state schools beating Notre Dame, I’m loving the college football for the moment.
But what about the race to the bottom? You would think that KC would have the toilet bowl of the AL Central wrapped up in a death grip but Cleveland still has a very real chance at snatching it back. Even more amazingly, two other teams in the AL have less wins than the Royals or Indians.
I guess that’s another one of those great aspects of baseball. Even when it’s over, it’s not quite over. And even though it may not be pretty, it’s usually entertaining. Kind of like these guys:
Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet. What do you think? Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?
We haven’t made any predictions yet? Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact. Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee. It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.
(subliminal messages start now)
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be. The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division. Oh wait. Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.
Yet I think the Phils still win it. Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.
Come now, is there really any competition here? Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff? Exactly. The sCrUBS? Er…. no. The Astros? Stop playin’. The Pirates? The Pirates!?!? Ha! The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).
Cardinals. No question.
Hmm. This is an interesting division. My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise. In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar. There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them. So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.
San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla. Not this year, folks. Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz. The Yankees are the best in baseball. Hard to argue against that. The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing. They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it. The Rays… this is the year for them. It’s now or never. And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.
Yankees win without even trying.
Rays take the Wild Card.
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere. The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf. I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors. If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat. Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too. He’s gonna be a superstar.
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits. The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them. The A’s? Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously. The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack. And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year?
The Angels win the West. Why? ‘Cuz they do everything right.
And they have a rally monkey.
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task. They’re all
yummy winners. They’re all well-proportioned hot. They’re all doable talented.
So what is one to do?
Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite. But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one.
And again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees. Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.
Still, one can dream, right?
Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Before you put all your faith in that pretty little sheep who wants to walk you home, perhaps you should ask for a closer look at its teeth… ‘cuz they might just eat you… as may the fledgling accusations of my vitriolic and oft misguided colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, who yesterday painted me as the type of man who joyously spreads inaccurate information throughout the interwebs, with no regard for reason.
Well, phooey, ‘cuz that’s a load of crap and everyone knows it.
Believe me, I spent almost 15 minutes researching the many reasons why the 2010 Tigers are more than set to stink up the AL Central. If Mr. Krause cannot accept the brutal truth because he is blinded by his unmatched loyalty to the stylized “D”, then that is on him.
But I don’t think it’s fair to twist words and trick the masses as he did with this proclamation which aimed to maim my original point:
“Are the Tigers worse off than the White Sox, Indians, Royals or even the Twins? No.”
Ah ha! Did you catch that? He asked (then answered in the negative) if the Tigers were worse off than all of the other teams in the division. While in actuality, we all know it only takes one or two teams to be better than the Tigers to see their season sunk; and I assure you, dear readers, the White Sox and Twins will both rest well on top of the Tigers this season.
Come on now, Al, did you really think I’d let you get away with that?
Such lame and smile-stamped trickery is reminiscent of one Bill O’Reilly announcing to the world that he is writing a new book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — a fresh history book that will take the reader “into Ford’s Theater and into the mind of Lincoln’s assassin, John
Wilkes Booth, and on the manhunt to find and bring to justice the
killer of one our greatest presidents.”
Of course, in the same misleading vein as Mr. Krause above, Mr. O’Reilly fails to remind us that that book has already been written… quite well actually… by James L. Swanson.
I imagine O’Reilly could only muck it up.
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Just because something gets printed doesn’t mean it’s true. And that’s a good thing, when you stop and think about it. Some of what you come across on the internet is just plain crazy. I’m no fan of Bush but insinuating that he was partially behind the 9/11 attacks? That’s stupid.
However, there are also less bombastic claims that are nevertheless just as ridiculous. For instance, my friend Mr. Lung has explained exactly why it is that the Tigers will fail this upcoming baseball season. And he does make some good points. But making a prediction like that at this point makes no sense. Are the Tigers worse off than the White Sox, Indians, Royals or even the Twins? No. Are they a noticeably better or worse team than the one that went to the World Series in 2006? No. So how do you make a prediction like that?
This whole prognostication business is beyond silly. Watching Mel Kiper play with his big board every year before the NFL draft really only leads to one logical conclusion. With that hair and board, he’s obviously compensating for something else. Listening to Glenn Beck talk about the failure of our monetary system and the need for his listeners and viewers to go out and buy up gold really only leads to one logical conclusion. He obviously is holding a substantial position in the gold market. And hearing Jeff lambaste the Tigers’ chances before training camp has really even started only leads to one logical conclusion. He has no idea what he’s talking about and just wants to start a fight.
So, once again, I am forced to take the high road and refuse to yield to his illogical intimations. We’ll let this play out the same way it has for more than 100 years: On the field. If the Tigers’ pitchers throw like they did in ’06 and their hitters connect like they used to, we’ll do well. If not, Jeff will claim he knew it all along. That’s the beauty of making nonsensical predictions. 50% of the time you’re right all of the time.
Like the other day when I got mixed up in a drinking contest with two Irishmen and a professional female bodybuilder from Greece when I should’ve been at home paying my bills. I paid for it. Literally and figuratively.
Or like our president, who, under pressure, danced off to Europe championing an Olympic bid that was as busted as Octo Mom’s fallopian tubes (fellow Chicagoans, we know we couldn’t have pulled it off) while he should’ve been here dealing with the health care
debate war. Chicago lost. And we US Americans are nowhere even close to having a functional proposal on the table.
And now, instead of watching a one-game playoff between the equally doomed Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins tonight at the Metrodome, we have to wait until Brett Favre makes his highly touted debut against his former team.
Well, okay, so not all interruptions are created equally (y’feel me, Kanye?).
Personally, I welcome this NFL intrusion because, let’s face it: neither the Twins nor the Tigers are going to make much of an impact in the playoffs (believe that!) anyway; and, more importantly, nothing brings me more satisfaction than knowing my misanthropic and oft blasphemous colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has one more idle day of sweatin’ and shakin’ and spittin’ himself silly knowing that it’s win or go home for his beloved Tigers.
I’m guessing it will be ‘go home’.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m a smarmy callous of a man, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Image courtesy of “anonymous” on the interwebs; I just found it on a message board with no source listed though I’m sure one exists somewhere)
At this very moment, as I sit here writing this blog a long, long way from Comerica Park, the Tigers are attempting to sew up the AL Central title. But I’m worried. Very worried. I mean, there are the usual reasons as I explained the other day but this time there’s a much more relevant reason. Comerica Park is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Now, I don’t know that the SI cover jinx applies to ballparks or cities but why would SI even risk it? It’s not as though the Detroit (or the state of Michigan for that matter) has anything else going for it. Yeah, the Lions may have finally won and the University of Michigan has eked out some close victories. But that’s no reason to be going around messing with curses. That’s some potent stuff.
I’m not really a superstitious man. I mean, it’s not my fault that my teams do better when I don’t watch them. That’s just how it is. But the SI cover? That’s fact. Just like the Madden cover is fact for the NFL. I don’t buy all this “regression from the mean,” scientific mumbo-jumbo. I believe what I see and what I see is that Sports Illustrated jinxes people by placing them on the cover.
And when you take all of this to its (il)logical extreme, does this mean that all the people sitting in the stands when the picture of the park was taken are jinxed, too? Thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. Just what Detroit needs: more bad luck.
I have an idea, though. I’m inviting you, SI, to come visit Detroit with me. I have a beautiful old building with a very special elevator shaft I’d love to show you. Make sure you dress warm.
I don’t know if what I’m about to confess will peg me as a complete weirdo, but I’ve long stopped caring about what other people think, especially when it comes to my health; and honestly I gotta vent to someone about this right now because if I don’t I will go mad.
I think about the Twins. I think about the Twins a lot. Probably more than most people do, more than those who are really close to the Twins. This is odd because blondes really aren’t my type; I much prefer brunettes. Black or brown. That’s my thing. But still, I can’t stop myself from looking at the Twins, thinking about the Twins, dreaming about the Twins.
And if you look at them up close — like really close — you’ll notice many imperfections. Yes, they are beautiful, but not in the traditional sense. They’re not real bright either. And they embarrass themselves by, you know, talking. They’re so far removed from reality too… yet I still can’t get them out of my mind.
Because the Twins are a supreme tease really. I know I can’t take them seriously — not in any capacity — yet they never seem to go away either.
Then, every once in a while, I’ll let my mind wander… to a place where it’s just me. Me and the Twins. Hangin’ out… havin’ fun… doin’ stuff.
So no matter how hot they are, how hot they get, how hot they are together, with or without me, at the end of the day, they are related to one another and, well, folks, that’s just gross.
Hate me ‘cuz I made you realize you think about them too, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Image courtesy of Hollywood Tuna)