When it comes to my favorite holidays there is, of course, April Fool’s Day, National Cleavage Day and My Bent and Oft Hoodwinked Colleague Gets PWNED by a Commenter Day.
But nothing — I repeat: NO-THING beats Opening Day.
To celebrate, I give you DRUNK Rick Sutcliffe:
Now, if we could just get a Play Tennis In Your Underwear Day.
Happy Opening Day and Let’s Go Cards!
The 2012 season will be Chipper Jones’ last, signifying for me a quaint full circle of baseball life. From a goofy-grinned rook to an over-the-hill vet, I had the pleasure of witnessing it all, and I can’t help but tip my cap to the future Hall of Famer for all he’s done throughout his career, on and off the field.
With that, here is what immediately enters my mind whenever his name comes up:
The 1995 Season
Infuriated by a silent October in ’94, I vehemently quit on Major League Baseball. I will have nothing to do with those crooked chumps! Who do they think they are taking away my Fall Classic!?!? Troglodytes the whole lot of ’em!
Yeah, but… see, there’s this guy named Chipper. He’s with the Braves. He’s gonna be a superstar.
And he was. 23 bombs. 86 RBIs. And one cool stroke, from both sides of the plate. By the second half of the ’95 season, all had been forgiven and I was hoarding baseball cards of a man with a goofy name.
The 2008 Season and Media Guide Photo
Now a lot of stuff happened between 1995 and 2008, but I want to focus on the monster season Chipper had. I recall arguing here with my lugubrious and oft-crotchety colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, whether or not Chipper could realistically hit .400. He made a good run at it, but had to settle for .364, and in the process provided one of the worst media guide photos of all time:
All-Star Weekend 2009
I had the good fortune of attending the ASG in St. Louis and taking in all the awesome that comes with such an extravaganza. As you can imagine, heavy drinking was involved, and on the evening of July 13, at a seedy bar deep in the heart of Soulard, I was an accomplice to my friend losing a $100 bar bet on whether or not Chipper played any significant time at any other position than third base during his career. I found out it only takes a few vodka bombs to forget that Chipper spent a some years manning left field for the Bravos. I think my pal has forgiven me for that absentmindedness. Now if only we could remember how we ended up in Sauget smelling like frosting, covered in glitter.
Yes, I’d say Chipper had a brilliant career, even if the last few years have looked more like an AH-64 Apache helicopter crash after attempting to push its limit. What’s THAT look like? Glad ya asked!
Four years ago today, I wrote the first post in RSBS history. It was terrifyingly awful. What terrifies me even more is that at that time in 2008, I had incredibly high hopes for the Tigers’ upcoming season based on some high-profile acquisitions they had made. Four years later, I’m still haunted by that 2008 season and experiencing no small amount of deja vu (all over again).
If there’s one thing that gives me hope, though, it’s the fact that sometimes triumph is born from the ashes of despair and failure. That first post was awful but the throw-away line at the end ended up becoming Mr. Lung’s regular sign-off. And even though Dontrelle Willis didn’t work out for the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera has been a godsend. Paired with Prince Fielder, I can’t say as though there has been a more feared power duo in the AL since the days of the Bash Brothers.
Sometimes you have to let go of the past and just realize that it’s over. So, with that in mind, happy fourth birthday Mr. Lung. And a special thank you from both of us to the interns for their years of unpaid but essential work. But most of all, thank you to our loyal readers who keep coming back, in spite of RSBS‘ inauspicious beginnings. Hopefully in 366 days we’ll be blowing out another candle together.
The coke-binged, wiry meme used as today’s title may not have the same ring to it as it did WAY back in 2011, but if you’re a fan of the Detroit variety, you know that Tiger blood is still in the streets.
Well, the South Florida streets anyway.
In case you’ve been distracted by the train wreck that is the Republican Party primary, Victor Martinez tore his ACL and will be out for the whole season, leaving my pessimistic and oft lugubrious colleague, Mr. Krause, as sad as sad can be (probably).
But not all hope is lost, Mr. Krause. My team lost its ace pitcher prior to the ’11 season and we went out and won the whole damn thing.
Still, just in case Tigers fans are really feeling suicidal, let me remind you of some even bigger Tiger fails that make this one look minor in comparison:
See, life can ALWAYS be worse. Like Mike Maroth worse.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
In order to make Mr. Krause feel good on his birthday, I thought I’d post some images of things that would make him happy. So I did a Google image search for “hot girl + Detroit Tigers”. I got zilch (not surprised). Instead, I offer these titillating images, each one sure to make him smile:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND!
The above picture is one of the remaining relics from that year 2000 sketch production extraordinaire staged at Kalamazoo College that brought its fans FUN, LAUGHS and FREE PUDDING. (Not kidding, we actually served free pudding to all patrons.)
Of course, dear readers galore know what eventually became of my persnickety and oft lugubrious colleague, Mr. Krause and I. Y’know, how we blew up the internets with our unique take on the baseball-politico world and all. But what of that crouching fella in the middle there?
That’s Jordan Klepper.
And here is Mr. Klepper, recently, with the lovely Laura Grey.
STILL KICKIN’ COMEDY TAIL!
Mr. Klepper grew up a huge Ryne Sandberg fan, and while living in The Chi, he wore his Cubs hat proudly. But then he moved to New York, and after a couple of Mets games we took in last summer, I couldn’t help but notice him salivating all over R.A. Dickey.
PS. The dude with the do-rag is Nick. I have no idea where or what he is doing in the world today but I’m sure he’s rockin’ it ‘cuz he was super cool back in school.
PPS. Yes. Mr. Krause is doing “the double handed shocker”.
From the bottom of our baseball-politico lovin’ hearts, we at RSBS would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season! As is tradition here, Mr. Krause, Mr. Mahmud and I will be taking a week off to reflect on the year, spend time with our respective families and enjoy a nice Christmas ale (or ten).
We’ll be back to business as usual on Jan. 1st.
Until then, be merry and be safe!