Andy Williams had it all wrong. I’m sorry, but I’ll take September’s non-stop MLB pennant chasing + NFL + Notre Dame losing to Michigan combination over cold and snow and fake Santas any day. In fact, since it’s an election year, we get even more drama to go with our Irish-trouncing, and if you wait until the end of this post, you’ll even see that the Republicans have JOKES!
But first thing’s first: TUNE IN TO BASEBALL. My lord, between the AL Central showdown, the A’s/Angels wild card battle and the AL East title three-way, I can’t imagine a more exciting scenario (except maybe a non-baseball related three-way, but that’s for a different blog). Consider the NL wild card race and the fact that one of the three AL East teams could also nab the last AL West wild card spot and now allow your mind to be blown (again, maybe better for another blog).
And I haven’t even mentioned the myriad story lines decorating the start to the NFL and college football seasons!
The fact is, for dudes like Mr. Krause and I, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Unless you want to throw in some flaccid punchline deliveries (ZING!)…
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If Kim Kardashian’s well-traveled yet consistently hypnotizing room-shaker just doesn’t calm that nasty case of televisionitis anymore, do not fear.
This is the 21st century. And armed with both an MLB.TV subscription AND an MLB Extra Innings package on Direct TV, you never have an excuse to sully your brain again (unless Las Vegas is involved).
There are three basic rules.
Watch Tony Campana. That’s right. I can’t help but tune into this wily sCrUB. He’s great television! Seriously, the dude looks like he should be delivering my newspaper every morning on a magenta, one-speed Huffy, not working a walk so he get on base to haunt opposing pitchers. Perhaps it’s because my imagined baseball skill-set is similar to that of Campana’s that I often find myself glued to his base-running. Or maybe it’ s just because the guy is a buzzing gnat in a game full of free-swinging giants.
WATCH the American League East. Doesn’t matter the team. Yankees. Drama. Red Sox. Drama. Orioles? DRAMA! Blue Jays? MORE DRAMA! Rays… oh the Rays… they are the KINGS of DRAMA. On any given night no one knows what the hell is gonna happen in this division. It’s a baseball fanatic’s wet — okay. Sorry, chuggin’ the verklempt there.
Bryce. Friggin’. Harper.
Watch this dude. Seriously.
I gotta tip my cap to Mike Rizzo and the Nats. Both of their high profile picks have delivered early in their careers, not with just talent, but with poise and brass balls. Watch Bryce Harper play a baseball game and tell me he doesn’t love it more than anything else on the planet, that he doesn’t live his every waking second for the opportunity to play the game we love so much to the best of his ability, AT ALL TIMES.
Isn’t that a great example of how life should be lived by us all?
Stay tuned to Bryce Harper. That kid is fantastic television.
And go ahead, hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
College football and the NFL have both come back with a vengeance but for MLB, there really aren’t any compelling races at this point. How can baseball compete?
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?
No compelling races? How can baseball compete?
Put down that tequilla shooter (slowly) and check the boxscores before you miss out!
Because the time is NOW for September baseball and there is PLENTY to be excited about. Right now the AL East is as tight a race as they come, and believe me: the Yankees and Red Sox both want to win that division as each would rather draw the weaker opponent in the ALDS. Meanwhile, the AL Central is anything but locked down. Sure it might not be neck and neck, but if the Tigers have taught us anything in the last few years, it’s that they definitely know how to blow a sure thing. And if you think the Rangers aren’t worried about the creeping Angels of Los Anaheim, ya might wanna put down the vodka too (keep the whisky, for now).
In the National League, sure the East, Central and Wild Card races seem to be locked down, but the NL West is still undecided. The Diamondbacks are coming on strong but if the Giants can just average one run a game, with THAT pitching staff, they have a pretty good shot.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love football just as much as any other
loud proud US American, but early season games being more important than the stretch baseball run? Not in my world. Not even close!
If you’re not feelin’ it, I gotta think that maybe it’s your fault. Sit down and watch one of these games that matters. Or, don’t. I mean, STRASMAS is comin’ this year, so you could watch that! Or check out a Bluejays game to watch the Joey Bats and Brett Lawrie Show! Or get your buddies together for an Orioles game and every time they make an error, miss the cut-off man or fail to advance a runner TAKE A DRINK! You’ll be so loaded by the third inning that your decision making skills will deteriorate to a level that will GUARANTEE a night of awesome once you hit the club.
Hate me ‘cuz I promote promiscuous behavior while championing the greatest game on earth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity. Sure we can blame Waino’s injury. We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine. We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care. But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.
Of course, this is the NL Central. So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.
The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.
If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention. Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them. I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.
But no one’s talking about the Rays. And no one will.
Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.
In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.
A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point. Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?
IT’S A TRAP!
It’s not real.
The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions. The Yankees. The Red Sox. The Phillies. Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults! They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!
I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up. But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time. The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.
This is not parity. This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself. The effect resembles something like parity. But it ain’t.
I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching. With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins. The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll. It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.
The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit). The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too). The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.
Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting. I didn’t write that. Baseball wrote that.
When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.
But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Just like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:
A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop. I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence. Yeah, kinda makes me sick too. But I can’t lie. He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him. And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no?
Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.
So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings.
The American Way.
Se la vie.
Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster. On the cheap! Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year! If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million! WTF?!?!?!?
Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler. For realz.
In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:
“you can never quiet the stupid.“
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
there’s a good chance we’ll have an all east coast World Series. Don’t
you get sick of watching the same teams over and over?
Achtung, dear readers! Once again, Larry presents us with a classic case of can’t-live-with-’em-can’t-live-without-em-itis — a taxing condition so prevalent that it has infected the hearts and minds of rural and metro US Americans left of the east coast for over a century!
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla…
Yes, it’s annoying. I know. Except that this year it’s not Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox bla bla bla.
It’s the Rays! It’s the Braves! And no Red Sox!
what if the Yankees are in there? And the Phillies. Hell, the
Phillies are the best team in baseball right now. Post season
no-hitters? Crushing offense? Isn’t that what we want?
all biased pride aside, do you remember how many people were watching
the 2006 World Series that featured two historic midwestern teams? What
about the 2002 pairing of two California clubs? Or how about the
mostly-forgotten 1997 classic featuring your very own Tribe?
People (the same collective “people” who seem to think Armageddon
is “great film”) don’t remember, because people (the same “people” who
define NASCAR as an actual sport) don’t care; and people (yes, the same
“people” who consider McDonald’s to be authentic American cuisine) don’t
care, because no one has told them that they should care.
Which brings us to the main culprit: a centralized power of all-things media, also known as mind control, rooted in New York.
tecnocratic ways not yet fully understood, New York has convinced we
the people that if New York isn’t involved, then it’s not worth caring
about. So, naturally, our press reflects that.
No east coast clubs? Fine. No glitz. No pomp. Barely a modicum of circumstance.
Personally, I’m okay with that. Because such buzz, it breeds emotion. Gets people talking. Forces people to care.
And for a sport lovingly labeled as our national pastime — one that has
had plenty of public relations gaffes threaten its integrity over the
last few decades — caring about the game is all that really matters.
most non east coast elite, I have no love for the headline-hoggin’ high
profile teams that tend to bandwagon in October; but I know that their
existence is nothing but good for the game.
We need the Yankees. We need the Red Sox.
The post season needs the east coast elite.
Because US America needs an enemy.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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