It looks like Albert is off to a rough start in LA. Have you caught yourself checking in on him yet?
If you were in the A’s bleacher section, and you could only choose one, would it be bacon or beer?
New Albany, IN
Jeff continuously tells me how engaging the NBA has become. According to him, it’s not just the quality of the professional game, it’s also the personalities and all the drama surrounding them. To use a direct quote, “It’s a goddamn soap opera.”
Baseball, on the other hand, is rather tame. Sure, there are historic villains like Ty Cobb and uplifting stories like Jackie Robinson and Josh Hamilton. But it’s all kind of “Touched by an Angel” while the NBA is more “The Wire.”
The perfect example of this is Jeff Francoeur and his love affair with the Oakland fans. Sure, it’s great that Francoeur has made a personal connection with the fans of another team. But is that really good for baseball? Wouldn’t it be better if Francoeur had left Oakland after coming up with the team and was greeted by a beer shower while trotting along the warning track?
That kind of rancor just doesn’t exist in baseball today. Albert Pujols left behind a city that adored him and although St. Louis fans are heart-broken, most of them still respect Albert and remember him fondly. Johnny Damon not only left the Red Sox, he went to play for their arch-enemy and shaved his beard. Boston fans were upset but they didn’t hate him with the cold intense hatred that Cleveland has for LeBron James.
Maybe it’s because baseball is played in summer and draws families out to watch games together. Maybe it’s the stir-craziness of winter and the 60 minute intensity of a basketball game that creates an aura around the game as a whole. Or maybe baseball just doesn’t have the same type of personalities you find in basketball. Let’s be honest, how often do you hear about a baseball player choking his coach or punching out a fan?
I don’t see that changing. Sure, I’d love to say that if I was one of those fans in Oakland, I’d keep the money and throw the baseball back. The fact is, though, I’d be thrilled to death. And that’s not just because being an A’s fan is even worse than being a Royals fan.
Somebody needs to spice things up a bit, give people a reason to hate. And no, I’m not talking about Milton Bradley, preschool-esque drama. I’m talking pure, LeBron James type anger. I think Francoeur has a golden opportunity to start it off, too, by taking that relationship he has built with the Oakland fans and totally misusing it. In fact, I even have the perfect recipe:
I bet no one would choose a caramel onion.
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This has been a traumatic offseason for my good friend Mr. Lung. Not only did Tony LaRussa follow his World Series victory with the news that he was retiring from the team, this same TLR has now shown up in the Detroit Tigers’ camp to assist during spring training. But of course that all pales in comparison to Pujols’ treason. Not to mix too many metaphors but Pujols’ betrayal for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver has left Jeff muttering “Et tu, Albert?”
But there’s good news! It turns out that scientists may soon be able to help Jeff erase those memories (It’s a long article but worth reading) and return to the halcyon days of his 2011 post-Series ecstasy. If that doesn’t work, we can always hope that maybe Albert pulled a Fausto Carmona and won’t be able to perform in an Angels’ jersey. I mean, it could be worse. He could have gone to the Cubs, right? I don’t know if there’s any pill that could have helped with that.
I understand he’s just going about his business, but I sorta feel like every time he opens his mouth or takes a swing with that halo on his head he’s deliberately punching me in the gut.
“Here. Take that, mang.”
Ouch, Albert. Ouch.
It’s one thing to get over an ex-lover, but it’s another thing to get over an ex-lover when SHE’S TOTALLY IN FRACKING LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. And when she goes around showing off her newfound bliss that DOESN’T INCLUDE YOU, it makes getting up in the morning pretty dang difficult! Not even the toughest of tough guys can get rid of the awful, looping image of his ex-girlfriend having hot-love action with some other dude. It’s just… sickening.
At least I have a back-up plan.
A few years ago I wrote a cautionary piece foretelling the eventual departure of one Yadier Molina — SUPREME JEFFY MANCRUSH — if the Cardinals somehow didn’t resign Albert Pujols to a long, career stabilizing contract. I wrote it flippantly, thinking this will never happen in real life.
And then real life hit.
Albert Pujols is gone and Yadi doesn’t seem to be as in love with the Cardinals as the Cardinals faithful are in love with him:
“I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park. But it’s out of my hands. Whatever they like to do is how it is … They let Albert [Pujols] go. It’s business for the team, too. It’s out of my hands.” (source)
Um… wrong. One, dearest Yadier, it most certainly IS in your hands. And two, the Cardinals DID NOT “let Albert go.” They made him a very good offer, one that would most likely highjack the team for the latter half of this decade, one that would have made Albert a very, very, VERY rich man.
And he declined.
For more money.
I don’t have a problem with millionaire ballplayers chasing the money — but I do have a problem with framing the situation in a salacious manner. To say the Cardinals did not put any effort in retaining Mr. Pujols’ services is as reckless as it is inaccurate.
Here at RSBS, it is no secret that Yadier is my most beloved Cardinal. The St. Louis brass would be wise to pay the man whatever he wants, and I would applaud their efforts to do so.
But if I’ve learned anything about professional sports the last few months it’s that I’ve been clinging to the delusion that athletes give a f*** about the “home team”, about creating a “legacy”, about “loyalty”.
It’s about money and it will always be about money. I’m okay with that now.
If the Cardinals do the right thing and throw bank at Molina to keep him, then I’ll be ecstatic. But I also live in reality these days, so I’m fully prepared to see him in a Halos jersey in 2013.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Once the baseball season starts back up, you can be sure that the first few weeks we’ll hear all about the “off-season regimen” that certain players undertook. I’m sure the announcers will talk about the shortstop who lifted weights to improve his strength and the right-fielder who did ballet to improve his footwork. If we’re really lucky, there could even be a story about Pujols doing Pilates which might make Jeff feel better about his departure from St. Louis.
The stories I like the most, though, are about the guys who do yoga. Personally, I’m a big believer in yoga. The breathing and stretching clean out the cobwebs and get the blood flowing. For those with back problems, it can do wonders. But despite all those obvious benefits, yoga looks kind of silly. And really, after a season of form fitting stirrup pants, who wants to then imagine Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder in yoga pants?
However, I think we may have missed the real reason for offseason yoga:[youtube http://youtu.be/loszrEZvS_k]
Yep, yoga. I get it now.
It’s all good, dear readers, because it’s a NEW year with NEW goals and NEW impossibilities just WAITING to be made possible. So shake off that nasty hangover, nevermind that public health clinic visit you’re gonna have to make after who you took home last night and rejoice from atop the world!
Of course, if you’re a Cardinals fan like me, you can also rejoice from the top of the baseball world (that’s the only one that matters by the way) knowing that you can walk around with your chest sticking out for at least another 10 months or so. During our short break, I realized that finding a quick rebound lover would help me forget the unequivocal pain brought on by the loss of one Albert Pujols. Enter: CARLOS BELTRAN.
From Cardinal killer to Met scapegoat to hot stove spice, Mr. Beltran slips inside an already potent lineup for the repeat hunting 2012 squad. In fact, by getting Waino back and projecting a one through five order of Furcal, Beltran, Berkman, Holliday and Freese, I can’t help but git jiggy with the disco lights pulsating in my bathroom (don’t ask).
And as if that wasn’t enough excitement to start the new year, how about the fact that my fellow US Americans in Iowa seem to be ready for real change to our corporate-petting-taxpayer-blood-sucking government!?!? FINALLY, Dr. Paul is getting some love from voters, which has forced the left-leaning media to start several Bachmann-esque smear campaigns. This is what happens when the financially elite (who run the political machine) get worried about seeing their empire crumble.
But don’t worry. Dr. Paul will bring them down. Enough with the wars. Enough with corporate greed. Enough with buying things we can’t afford and wasting BILLIONS on pointless endeavors like the war on drugs. It’s time to start over and that means no more empty Obama promises from the left and no more delusion-pandering from the right.
Ahh yes. Pondering such possibilities make me feel just like I did watching D. Freese gork one over Nellie Cruz’s head.
GO CRAZY, FOLKS! GO CRAZY!
This is gonna be one helluva year.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.