Over the weekend, my brother-in-law and I had a deep discussion regarding what Major League records, streaks and milestones would never again be reached. We volleyed, dipped and parried, throwing out memorized stats and tangible history: Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak. The 300 win plateu. 5000 career strikeouts. Pete Rose’s 4,256 hits.
On the surface, all of them seem insurmountable considering the modern game’s allegiance to softness, a result of the millions and millions and millions of dollars involved. We concluded that the game was going to evolve into something else, perhaps a realm where the magical achievements of the 20th century would never again be rivaled — that they simply couldn’t be, because the people and the philosophies and the technologies of the game had changed.
Considering what we know now about how the human body works, why would a team subject its star athlete to a 162 game season, every year, with no breaks and no rest periods at all? It just doesn’t make sense.
Which makes Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played streak the holy grail of Major League records.
We consider the very real (and imminent) arrival of the Singularity era.
That’s right. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, consider Moore’s Law, which applies the exponential growth theory to the amount of transistors that can be aptly placed within an integrated circuit. The number doubles rather quickly (every two years or so), which is why 50 years ago the most basic of computers took up an entire wing of a building to do simple calculations and the iPhone or Droid you have in your pocket is able to take dictation, guide you from your home to the ballpark via GPS and give you the answers to any question at any time at speeds you never even dreamed possible (cue the Google Oracle music).
According to leading scientists, engineers and futurists, we are soon going to reach a point (within the next 30 – 50 years) where nanotechnology will be as common as laptops are today — that tiny yet powerful computers the size of blood cells will be programmed to reverse engineer the effects of aging, to fight off disease, to, in effect, provide superhuman powers.
Imagine having Albert Pujols, in the prime of his career, forever… or, at least for 40-50 solid years. Imagine Justin Verlander striking out 500 hitters each season with his 145 mph fastball. Imagine Carlos Zambrano murdering his entire —
Okay, so the Singularity era will also present some pretty controversial issues, like creating artificial intelligence that is able to out think us, which will blend the lines between what is real and what is not to the point where we could be opened up to an entirely new dimension, an entirely new worldview and/or perspective (like an ant suddenly realizing and being able to understand that there’s an entire world that exists above him).
But if we could see Albert in a Cardinals uni forever, tallying up as many career homeruns as there are trips around the sun and never getting hurt, I think all that sci-fi apocalypse shizz will be worth it.
So I retract my idea that some records will never be broken and confess: THEY ARE ALL GOING TO BE BROKEN. Believe it.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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.
Much has changed since the Runnin’ Redbirds met Harvey’s Wallbangers, but make no mistake: this rivalry is taken VERY seriously. And there are some rules.
Somebody’s gonna get thrown at. The Brewers are gonna miss location up and in, the ball is gonna sail over someone’s head. The Cards are gonna get pissed and a Brewer’s gonna get drilled in the back. All part of the game. Bring yer tough suits.
That’s what makes this series special.
Hate me. It’s all good. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”
After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball. Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.
This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!
And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter. Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast. And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!
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Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011
Back in April, if you would have told me that our Democratic president would support a federal resolution that would forgo taxing the über rich while opening the door to make major cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, I would’ve thought that I’d perhaps gotten a bit too tipsy during happy hour.
But I’m as sober as a Mennonite on Christmas.
Might not be too bad of a deal though really. I mean, back in April, reflecting on the season ending injury to Adam Wainwright, I also thought the Cardinals didn’t have much of a chance to get anywhere in the 2011 postseason — that they might not even get there at all. Add Pujols’ early struggles and several untimely injuries to Holliday, Skip, Punto and Berkman and I thought we really were just on borrowed time.
But John Mozeliak went out and made things happen this past week. He sent Colby (and his dad) packing to bring us Edwin Jackson, Scrabble, Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson, plugging up some bullpen holes while bringing in a surging starter and a journeymen utility man, TLR’s favorite type of player. Then Mo went out and made shortstop better by bringing in a healthy Rafael Furcal.
The Cardinals went out and took care of business.
Now I know my malleable and oft gloomy colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, would like to think, as he put it, that the Cardinals had a “lack of trade deadline imagination”, but let me assure you: he is blind.
And when it comes to imagination, his beloved Tigers are full of it if they think a 3-12 Doug Fister is something to get excited about.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Jeff, I heard about Pujols… man… are you okay?
Jeff, I heard about Michele Bachmann topping another 2012 poll, is everything cool?
Jeff, I heard one still can’t find Kraftbrau’s Doppelbock on tap anywhere in the Chi. Are you contemplating suicide?
Bein’ down isn’t something I’m unaccustomed to, my friends. And yeah, back in the old days, I would sit and stew, fume and pout, whine and complain about things I could not control. But where is there value in that?
I would rather fight through hardships than lay down and die because of them. The satisfaction of overcoming adversity is like that first sip of a cold adult beverage after work on Friday: earning it makes it taste better. And sometimes, when failure is still the result, knowing I gave my best effort keeps me sane.
But I swear, if I don’t find that Doppelbock on tap somewhere in this city soon, no wall in my apartment is safe.
Hate me all ya want, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The Cubs announced the first Wrigleyville Block Party will be held Friday to Sunday on the west side of the ballpark during the Yankees series. The event is free and features bands, food and drink booths and “interactive” entertainment for families.
Folks, let me be blunt. Unless clogged streets of drunken youths and bands of impatient motorists with horn-happy hands represent the ideal, outside of hosting an actual baseball game, there is very little family-friendly about Wrigleyville. Remember, this the same Wrigleyville where I was assaulted by a blabbering drunk because I was… *gasp*… wearing a pink shirt.
So, curious as to what sort of block party events the Cubs front office planned for the neighborhood, the RSBS interns were sent out on an important reconnaissance mission, and this is what they found:
Pin the Tail on Rats Big as Pigs
In this fun event, lucky participants are encouraged to hunt down Wrigley rats. What they catch, they can keep. Extra points are rewarded for doing it while talking in an exaggerated Ozzie Guillen accent (“rats as beeeg as peeegs”).
The Racist Frozen T-Shirt Game
Pay $10 and you can compete against your peers to see who can put the frozen “Horry Kow” t-shirt the fastest. If anti-Asian ain’t your style, try the “Pujols Mows My Lawn” tee! Fun for the whole family!
Annoying Fan Photo Op
Fork over $25 and you can choose to have your picture taken with world famous Cubs fans Rod Blagojevich, Denise Richards or… Ronnie Woo Woo! Then again, you can also take that $25 and burn it; it’s essentially the same thing.
The Drink Overpriced Horse P!ss Booth
At this funfest, you can drink $7 Old Styles until you a) get sick b) go broke or c) start rooting for the Cardinals!
And finally… the most exciting event of them all…
The Write a Bad Contract Raffle
Participants empty their bank accounts and hand everything over to Jim Hendry, who will then do what he does best: waste money on bad baseball players.
It’s a good thing the Yankees are in town, otherwise Wrigleyville would be a complete mess.
Hate me ‘cuz I kick ’em when they’re down, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.