Last week we heard the collective breath leave the many fans of the San Francisco Giants who had placed their hope in Melky Cabrera. His fall from grace not only hurts the Giants’ playoff hopes, it also hurts baseball as he had been one of a handful of rising stars this season. In fact, it was only a couple months ago that he captivated the nation in propelling the NL all-stars to consecutive wins in the mid-season classic and bringing the game’s MVP award home to the Bay area. He was a star in the making but that disappeared into the blackhole of a 50-game suspension.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What exactly does it sound like when a star gets sucked into a blackhole?” and you can be forgiven if you missed the answer with all the white noise emanating from the gas giants that make up the sports punditocracy. See, as luck would have it, CNN just happened to provide us an answer last week (fast forward to about the four minute mark).
Hm, not as dramatic as I would have expected. So long, Melky.
First off, I’d like to point out that I was pretty much dead on with my predictions in this past Sunday’s filibuster. Verlander started the game. Prince won the derby. Cabrera won the MVP (Melky, not Miguel but still…). And Mr. Lung, although he may not have done so in public, disagreed with me and was soundly spanked (much like a typical Saturday night in Mr. Lung’s love life).
Despite all the brilliance flowing from the pages of RSBS I’m sure that some people out there are trying to find fault with this performance, especially as a result of Verlander’s performance. Number one, shut up. Number two, this is exactly why the All-Star Game shouldn’t count towards anything of importance.
That being said, I’d like to go back to Verlander’s “debacle” and take a new look at it in light of recent scientific input. Yes, it’s probably fair to say that Verlander melted down but as the article points out, when the speed of the ball is approaching the ridiculous speeds at which Verlander throws, well, friction leads to uncontrollable fusion which leads to nuclear mayhem. We’re just lucky that only Verlander imploded and didn’t take the rest of the stadium with him.
This might keep me from being one of the cool kids, but I’m not sweatin’ it because I’ve been there in the flesh, watched it on T.V. and the truth is: the Home Run Derby blows.
It’s boring. It’s fabricated. It’s full of… nothing happening.
It’s made for T.V., that’s for sure, but it’s not baseball. It takes one small, often over hyped aspect of the game and blows it up to the point where it’s just senseless action with little at stake. Sure, I admit Josh Hamilton’s Yankee Stadium display was something otherworldly, but c’mon, that was just one time it was interesting. It’s usually just a bunch of mindless yakking from Chris Berman (another over hyped blah) peppered with the occasional home run and a bevy of unclever insurance ads.
Me? I’ll be watching Le Tour in anticipation of the actual All Star Game (also known as “Better than Christmas” at my house). And yes, I understand the Tour de France (and the entire sport of professional cycling) has a bigger PED problem now than baseball has ever had, thus possibly “tainting” the experience for unseasoned cycling fans, but let me tell you: if any event warrants blood doping, it’d be Le Tour.
I do not advocate it, but I get it. These guys are KILLING themselves, over three weeks, every single day, and if it were up to me, they could inject new blood into their own veins as much as they wanted.
Endurance events get me fired up. That’s one of the reasons why I love baseball so much: it’s a GRIND. Every day. In harsh conditions. Moving forward. But in baseball you rarely see the agony on the players’ faces.
In Le Tour, the agony starts at the gun and doesn’t reach its apex until the finish line is crossed. I can appreciate that, and will, much more than listening to obnoxious Chris Berman catchphrases while guys hammer batting practice fastballs over the wall in Kansas City.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Any predictions for the All-Star Game?
Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days. When will you all be launching Selig 2012?
It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker. Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job). But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony? Um… that’s a bit much.
But just a bit.
The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes. And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it). However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans. There’s just nothing we can do about it.
If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been. Seriously. If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.
The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs. Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions. And the Pirates still suck!
More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play. Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts. And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.
But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!
So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.
But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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All-around baseball good guy Joe Torre is stepping down from his MLB front office position to pursue his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers. While this is bad news (I think) for those of us who hoped he might take over for King Bud once the reign of terror is over at the end of the year, I have to think that a group headed by Torre is probably a great way to save this storied franchise.
Of course, there are alternatives. And yep, you guessed it. The RSBS interns are ready to report:
1. Go back in time, don’t trade Kevin Brown and instead have him break Frank McCourt’s hand so it won’t wander onto a woman who isn’t his wife.
2. Stop making it mandatory that Alyssa Milano wear clothes to the ballpark. (Holy Jackie Robinson, I’ve been in love with Alyssa for 20 years now; she just gets better looking!!!)
4. Get a mascot! I know just the one!
How about signing Prince Fielder? Seriously. Make him some crazy offer like $30 million a year for 6 years or something. Wouldn’t that make the Dodgers a nice, EXPENSIVE and attractive purchase? And besides, it’s L.A. Just use somebody else’s money.
Hate me. FINE. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Whether you’re a Rangers fan, a Cardinals fan, or just a good old puritan brand of baseball fan, there is no question that this World Series is so far proving to be one of the dramatically fulfilling variety. I mean, how many heart attacks is one expected to suffer through before this thing is over?!?! I would not be surprised if it goes the full seven.
But what does surprise me is that Derek Holland — good as he was in Game 4 — still holds his head high while wearing that small, malnourished varmint on his upper lip. I know his teammates razz him plenty; but seriously, how does that thing not make him hide his head in shame every night?
However he does it, the RSBS staff has taken notice. In fact, two of the more senior RSBS interns have approached me with the request to bring back the “Lady Killer”. For those of you dear readers unaware of this phenomenon, let me remind you with this picture taken during All-Star Weekend 2009:
It’s pointing at… the Lady Killer.
It’s often mistaken for a sex-life killer, but hell, if it works for Holland, maybe I should consider bringing it back.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
After a rough night of Pirate inspired debauchery, Jeff and Johanna clear the cobwebs (and police reports) to make room for special guest, Paul Lebowitz. It doesn’t take long for them to get riled up as they touch on the evil FOX chimera Joe McCarver, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, the White Sox’s diamond impotence and much, much more!
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Recorded Saturday, July 16, 2011
Tracy Tzu: You’re acting like a child.
Stanley White: Well, a great man is one who in manhood still keeps the heart of a child.
There’s no baseball till Thursday. At all. Do not tell me there is. YOU CANNOT DISSUADE ME.
So this week I thought I’d let you kids know what has been filling the void in my life and I’m sure without a doubt you WANT to know this crap because everything is about ME.
Year of the Dragon. This is when Mickey Rourke was absolutely killin it in the mid-eighties and was on his way to becoming the next Marlon Brando. He’s volatile, violent, smooth, exasperating, and so un-George Clooney that real men felt they could be him. After this film, he had a bad boxing career, messed up his face, had multiple plastic surgeries and started living in a closet with his poodle before eventually reinventing himself. If he had died when he was 30 (and I’m shocked that he didn’t) he’d be mentioned in the same breath as Hendrix, Morrison, and Cobain.
Film Score that hurts it’s so good:
Either watch Vertigo or just check this Bernard Hermann link. Between Jimmy Stewart’s obsessiveness and the awesome direction of Hitchcock, the music from this movie makes me weep like when I watch a Derrick Rose crossover. It goes from wispy to dramatically sad to the most desperate feeling music could ever make you feel.
Watch Lombardi on HBO. As a Bears fan, spending and hour and a half focusing on a Green Bay legend was a little surreal, but it was so good I was swept up in the majesty of his greatness. He was also a genuinely well-liked guy. I would have put on a jock strap for the skipper. Or is it gipper?
QUESO FUNDIDO WITH CHORIZO. This stuff is unbelievable and I get it mostly at El Cid in Chicago or Arturo’s Tacos. Hot gooey cheese and meat you slather on tortilla chips. Eat it fast or else it turns into playdough.
Sea Salt Brownies from Trader Joe’s. They won’t make it home. At least not all of them. I’m not a sweets guy but these are so good I’d submit to the true death True Blood style if its my last meal.
Casey Anthony is not hot, but I’d probably do some shots with her.
So that’s what I did so far this week because there’s NO BASEBALL!!! I mean Jeffy and I still watched the fake game that decides the fate for home court advantage in the Super Bowl but that’s just because we like to snuggle and eat salty brownies.
In my house, the MLB All-Star Game is almost Christmas. It’s a time for being with friends and family, for stuffing your face with unhealthy food and coming up with a believable excuse for missing work in the morning while you nurse that helluh-bad hangover.
But to do it, ya gotta do it right. So here is a list of things the RSBS interns and I deem necessary for an enjoyable ASG experience:
Or wine, or gin, or vodka, or peach Faygo (if you’re Mr. Krause)… or whatever it is you shove down your gullet to help you forget Joe Buck is annoying, go for it.
Like I said, Joe Buck — the king of pretension — will have your ears bleeding by the 7th inning stretch if you don’t have a quick finger on the proper controls.
Until the World Series rolls around, the All-Star Game seems to be the one game the rest of the world actually pays some attention to (I know this ‘cuz my mom always texts me during the ASG, commenting on things happening during the game, as if I’ll be impressed). The problem is, the folks at FOX cater to that crowd and seem to feature a ton of feel-good filler before and during the game. Look, that’s cool and all, but I only care about the game, not about hometown heroes or how so-and-so grew up poor and blind and is now an All-Star who can see… sorry. I know that makes me sound like an a-hole, but the truth is: fluff has a time and a place, neither of which are during a game that supposedly COUNTS, which brings me to the next must-have…
A Sense of Humor
Now it counts! This time it counts! The All-Star Game counts! Yeah, okay, whatevs.
A Keen, Observing Eye
This part is tough, especially after about 10 peach Faygos… but the MLB All-Star Game is the one All-Star Game that is played true. It’s not a show of offense. Guys don’t ease up or fall back. They play just like they usually play: hard and to win. When I attended the 2009 ASG in St. Louis, I marveled at each player’s individual effort. Seeing a star-studded field of players who were obviously giving their best to win was a real treat and it’s something that only happens once a year, so PAY ATTENTION DAMMIT!
And, of course, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.