Nevermind all that pre-NLCS/ALCS buzz dancing around the internets and such as, the Iraq! Soon we will all have more than our wanted fill of Joe Buck self-righteous proclamations and ear-numbing Chip Carary-isms. For now, let us focus on the larger, more looming and lurid task of finding the Cleveland Indians a new manager. Shall we?
Yep. John Farrell is no longer in the mix. They can’t afford Bobby Valentine. And unfortunately, dear readers, Lou Brown has gone back to selling tires… forever.
That’s why I, along with the fastidious help of our always reliable RSBS interns, have prepared a list of potential managerial candidates for Indians GM Mark Shapiro, whom we all know is too busy lamenting the contract of one Travis “I Ain’t Got It No More” Hafner and the cruel reality of a midge-less postseason.
Mark, here is the shortlist of suggested targets:
Sure, the Big Tuna ain’t no baseball guy; we know that. But he was born to win (and eat… a lot). Besides, just think of what hiring this former Cowboy coach could do for the long neglected and oft polarized relationship between Cowboys and Indians. Mark, it is time to heal these wounds.
Since being shunned and axed by his University of Illinois home (where he was a staple presence for 81 years), the Great Chief doesn’t really have much to do but stay in and get drunk all day. Hey, you can get drunk at the ballpark too, Chief! Plus, having such a standard bearer of Native American tradition might help the Indians solve that whole racist image thing they’ve had goin’ on for… y’know… ever.
Oh, wait. He’s dead. Never mind.
He’s dead too? Sorry.
Whoops. My bad. Okay. No more dead guys of French descent.
Well, then that leaves me with just one more super managerial candidate for Mr. Shapiro and that person is:
Look, if you’re gonna build a bridge to nowhere, ya might as well build it on the Cuyahoga River.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m on point, all the time, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Anything wrong with that? Not in my opinion. In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.
Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.
In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down. The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity. So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.
Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smiths… the inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens. Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes. And so I begin…
Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”
Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus. I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”
“Ball move too much, man.”
I’m still laughing at that one.
“Yes We Can” Viral Video
Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.
Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs. A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.
Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992
As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.
Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.
Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.
Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero. To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get. Yadi, you out there, pal? Let’s hook that up.
Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew. Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.” She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP. I know she’s still smiling about that one.
Post 9/11 Baseball in New York
I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall.
I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There’s just one day before the 2008 World Series kicks off and all I can think about is Joe Maddon. Now, now, dear readers, don’t get ahead of yourselves. It’s not his cool and assertive demeanor in the dugout that’s got my mind going and it’s not his ability to rile a bunch of youngsters to the tune of victory either.
It’s his liberal use of the progressive participle.
In the top of the seventh inning in Sunday night’s ALCS Game 7 against the Red Sox, starting Rays pitcher Matt Garza found himself in what could’ve been a serious world of pain. Having just given up a single to Jason Bay, there were men on first and second with only one out; the Rays were holding on to a slim lead — just one bomb away from imploding — when Maddon went out to talk to his pitcher.
Garza stepped off the mound towards his skipper as if to ask “How am I doing?” and the TBS camera crew caught Maddon dead on replying: “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”
Yeah. There was no mistaking it. He used the F-bomb to describe just how awesome Garza hd been doing in front of millions of home viewers.
And believe me, folks: I’m not wrong on this one. I study foreign languages for fun, grew up playing spy games, and until I was about 18 years old, I watched peoples’ mouths when they talked instead of their eyes.
Joe Maddon said “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”
Is there anything wrong with this? Well. No. I guess not. I mean, I’m a grown man myself and assuredly, I have been known to drop quite a few F-bombs when necessary; of course, I’ve never done it live in front of millions of viewers watching my every move on television. And I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that it certainly distracted me from thinking of Maddon as the intellectual I once thought him to be.
But I guess when “awesome” doesn’t quite get the point across, “****ing awesome” should do the trick.
It worked for Garza.
Will it work against Philadelphia — where the F-bomb was born?
We shall ****ing see!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.“
— Albert Camus (1913 – 1960)
For the Rays, that ridiculous beginning — which included the most atrocious team color scheme in the history of man, a perennial place at the bottom of the AL East and an escalating alienation from their fans (all four of them) — could be just the set-up they need to accomplish their very first great deed.
But if they lose Game 6 tonight, consider the Rays in deep trouble.
For if I were a Tampa Bay Ray, the last thing I would want to do is play a determined, feisty, no-holds-barred ball club from Boston with the entire season on the line. Recent history has shown us that the Red Sox live for this sort of thing and that when the going gets tough — down by 7 runs, down by 3 games in the series, down by an intangible curse — they indeed get tougher.
In other words, the Rays better close this thing out tonight or they will face a long winter of second guesses, disappointment and reflecting on their emulation of the baseball equivalent of erectile dysfunction.
Similarly, in anticipation of the heralded third party presidential debate set to take place tomorrow (Sunday) evening in New York, I might suggest that Ralph Nader better get his non-pandering ^ss there or he too can kiss his chances of becoming the next president goodbye.
Because let’s face it, US America needs Ralph Nader — if for nothing else than to remember that if you work hard, make angry faces and go on tirades against the political elite long enough, then eventually, there will be a less than 1% chance that anyone will actually listen to what you’re saying.
And sometimes, less than 1% is better than 0%.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
From the 86 years of pure agony credited to the infamous Curse of the Bambino which included tumultuous yet exciting events such as the 1946 World Series, Carlton Fisk’s ’75 bomb, Bill Buckner’s mental lapse and the late-inning heroics of one Aaron “The One-Hit Wonder” Boone, to the most historically shocking comeback in the history of the world in 2004 to overcoming a 3 games to 1 deficit in in the ALCS last year only to sweep the hottest team in baseball on your way to winning it all — again… I have no idea how you do it, Boston — how your heart hasn’t leaped out of your chest and sunk through the floor, how you haven’t become a raging alcoholic nor eaten your children, how you haven’t been diagnosed with a severe case of jitteritis or how you have yet to set fire to the city of New York.
If I were you and I followed a team that knew no other style of play than the “force our fans to writhe and convulse in torment, exasperation and paralytic panic as we may or may not ultimately win this contest but we promise it will be interesting” I would, indeed, be a dead man.
Because, my fellow US Americans, I cannot take such stress. This is why every time Jason Isringhausen came in from the bullpen this season I immediately changed the channel. The pure uncertainty of his aging ability and his austere acuteness for blowing saves was simply too much for me. Often times I thought I would’ve been better off performing the Japanese ritual suicide rite of seppuku than watching him pitch late in a ball game, other times I just rammed my head into a concrete wall until I had the good fortune of sleep.
Dear readers, during the most stressful of times (i.e. close baseball games, first dates, election night) when my palms are sweaty, my brow furled, my pulse raging beyond control, I find myself resorting to the old habits of yesteryear already responsible for killing half of my family: nicotine, alcohol, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
And that scares me.
Luckily for me, I was born in the midwest — far, far away from rickety noreaster accents and wild-hang-by-the-seat-of-your-pants baseball known as the Red Sox Nation.
Win or lose, no one knows drama like a Red Sox fan. And that’s something I do not covet — not one bit.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As we watch our hard earned US American dollars turn to cents and our favorite college football teams humiliate themselves to no end, I am happy to say that at least I have the dulcet sounds of Carrie Underwood playing in the background and one of my best friends visiting me for the weekend. Yes, dear readers: Mr. Krause is in the building.
In light of this perfect storm, we humbly beg your forgiveness while we detour from our usual minutiae ridden rants and tirades.
Instead we want to remind you of what really matters:
Don’t hate us ‘cuz we’re right.
Jeffy and A