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.
There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.
Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.
Celebrity fans are an important part of sporting life. The Knicks have Spike Lee, Jack Nicholson is a courtside fixture for the Lakers and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles are lucky enough to have Alyssa Milano. Who shows up at your games and who roots for you tells you something about a team’s psyche. So, what am I to take from the fact that MC Hammer was not only present at last night’s Tigers game but was also supposed to throw out the first pitch?
In case you need a refresher, MC Hammer was the chocolate cookie to Vanilla Ice’s white cream in the Oreo that was the early 90’s radio-friendly rap scene. However, while Vanilla decided to try and remake his image and attempt a more hard-core sound, Hammer got busy throwing his money away on amenities like a dishwasher in his bedroom and soon found himself bankrupt and careerless.
Why does this story sound familiar? Oh, right. Because it kind of sounds like the ’08 and ’09 Tigers. $12 million on a broken down Dontrelle Willis? Why not. Similar money for Edgar Renteria? Sure thing.
Unfortunately, I guess it’s fitting that Hammer was supposed to be on hand to witness this team in all it’s glory. It’s probably even more fitting that he didn’t get to throw the first pitch because of a rain delay. But maybe we’ll get lucky. Maybe the Tigers’ pitching staff will look past the bankruptcy and personal failing and reach for something deeper, an anthem to prop up their recently inflated ERA. Three words: Can’t touch this.
If I were making $126 million over seven years for a team that invested its future in me assuming I would be the one to anchor its pitching staff, I think I would probably focus on being a good pitcher.
But if it’s Barry Zito in that position — which it is — apparently none of that is important.
Dear readers, welcome to Zito’s World: a super hip fantasyland where losing 30 games in two seasons with a 4.84 ERA is worth every penny of that $126 million; a place where winning games in April is never a priority; an imaginative mirage where baseball meets Hollywood starlet meets aspiring rock star meets absolute shock that people would be just a wee bit vocal about his seemingly laissez faire attitude.
Look, there is no question that I have been a staunch critic of Mr. Zito. Yes, I suggested his 2007 and 2008 pitching woes were rooted in his unprofessional preoccupation with movie star female companionship. Yes, I coined the phrase “Zito Happens”. Yes, I poked fun at his childish, uncensored Tweets which made him look foolish — pining for “cab cakes”.
But none of that seems to warrant the fact that Barry Zito — the millionaire pitcher who up to this point hasn’t done a very good job of making good on that Scott Boras super-contract — blocked me from his Twitter account.
Juvenile as his actions are, I still cannot help but chuckle. I mean, here I am lowly Joe Six-Pack, unpaid aspiring writer, committed MLBlogger and informed baseball fanatic, trying to get seen, be heard, find a voice…. and Barry Zito does me the grandiose favor of reading what I write and hating it enough to block me from his 10,000 plus following.
Now, I understand that being a multi-millionaire, playing the greatest game on earth for a living and personifying the American dream is probably really hard on the soul, Barry, but come on, don’t you think you deserve it? Just a little bit maybe? Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Man up, Barry. Get over yourself. Do your job and people like me will have no choice but to shut up.
Until then, you will remain back-page fodder for the masses.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Barry may have blocked me from following him on Twitter, but I can still access his Tweets and laugh because they look like they’re written by a 12 year old as they tend to focus on the importance of Radiohead, farting in the shower and men layering with scarves. Nice work, Barry. Nice work.
P.S.S. Despite the aforementioned aggravation I am experiencing from Zito’s actions, I am still living a good life, visiting Washington D.C., hanging out with one of my best friends and co-author Allen, ready to see the Cardinals play the Nats tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Heading over to the White House now. Pics/Story to follow.
They say lightning never strikes the same place twice; but when it comes to the self-loving oft incoherent Twitter musings of one Coco Crisp, it strikes just about every hour. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
i dont know how i
did it but i slept from 1am til 2pm and the last thing i remember b4 i
woke was winning a horse race and i was the jokey
any of yaw’ll out there know bout dreams… let me know what that means.
Well, Coco, I am certainly no psychiatrist. Nor do I claim to have actual dream interpretation abilities. But my contemporaries do consider me to be the lone Freudian voice in a world of mother-loving MLBloggers, so let me try to help as best I can.
You seem to be perplexed by your mastery of slumber, Coco. I concur, sleeping for 13 hours straight is serious business. I completely understand your bafflement. I slept for 13 hours once during my college days and while from that experience my first inclination is to warn you about dangers of binge drinking, I think that, in your case, you’re just lazy. So set an alarm next time. You’ll be good to go. I promise.
Now, if the last thing you remember “b4” you “woke” was winning a horse race, well, gee, Coco… that’s great! Congratulations! Honestly, I believe this was your own mind’s ominous foretelling of the brilliant pitching performance later delivered by your perennially underachieving teammate Brian Bannister. You see, you have powers, Coco. Use them. Don’t abuse them. If you feel like you’re going to get a good pitch to hit, you probably are, so make sure you swing away. Follow your telepathic signs.
Of course, this brings us to the most troubling portion of your experience, Coco. Sure, you won the race, but in the end, you were the “jokey”. Man, let me tell ya: I’ve been down that road too and we both know it ain’t no fun. No way. To basque in the glory of triumph, to feel the ecstasy of victory, only to realize that you are indeed the “jokey” — the one everyone is laughing at — whew. Man, let’s just be honest, Coco, that su<ks. And I can’t help you.
But maybe some of “yaw’ll” (a puzzling, elongated abbreviation created by Coco himself, used to represent the shortened “ya’ll” as in “you all” but taking the time to type out one extra letter) can.
Like Coco’s pal, Barry Zito perhaps, who after somehow ditching his dead-arm persona actually managed to throw seven innings of scoreless baseball yesterday! Following his surprising performance, Zito had this to tweet:
F__k yeah baby! Let’s take this show on the road.
Sitting in my hotel in AZ, just ate best cab cakes ever at Cheesecake… You all are great, thanks for the nice comments…
Really wanna kill these D backs this weekend and go into Dodger series with momentum..
3 hrs sleep…
should have partied. Traces of adrenaline still in body, gonna go for a
walk before the mercury hits triples digits in AZ
F__k yeah, Barry! I, too, am quite fond of “cab cakes”… they’re much tastier than urinal cakes and besides, they tend to be both sweet and savory! And of course, there’s nothing quite like killing D’backs to get momentum going into Dodger stadium. I mean, think of how scared the Dodgers will be knowing you just killed an entire baseball team! I was wrong about you, Barry. You aren’t a softy; you’re a hard^ss.
But Barry, just be careful. Those aren’t traces of adrenaline in your body; those are traces of Hilary Duff and Alyssa Milano.
The itch. Tough to cure. You know this.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Just like the primaries and the general election, baseball also has its own storylines. There are the fairy tale Rays, the quietly impressive Angels, the never-say-die Brewers and those loveable losers themselves, the Cubs. However, sometimes these stories and those from the political arena bear an uncanny resemblance to each other.
If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, you don’t have to wait any longer. Here it is. The first, quadrennial RSBS Presidency Postseason!
We start with the new kids on the block. Both the GOP and the AL came into existence a while after their older siblings but they both became powerhouses rather quickly. Quite frankly, both the Republicans and the free-swinging American Leaguers have also been putting their older brethren to shame in recent years. The AL’s Ronald Reagan, the New York Yankees, can’t be with us this year but we still pay our respects to those who try to carry the pennant.
When it comes to this year’s participants, it only makes sense to start in Abraham Lincoln’s home state and look at the Chicago White Sox. Unfortunately, the White Stockings are sadly reminiscent of the prescient yet unappreciated Ron Paul. They fight and they fight, just to even get into the dance but even though they seem to have the right pieces, it just ain’t gonna’ happen. No one appreciates them but that’s how these brutal games work.
Mike Huckabee and the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays have to be two of the most compelling stories of the year. They’re fresh, they’re chock-full of talent, they lost a ton of weight and wrote a book about it. But even though they make a great run at it and continue to push despite knowing they’ve already lost, the fact of the matter is that they, well, lose. Put them down for the semis but that’s where the story ends.
On paper the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) have to be the most impressive team, eerily evocative of their doppleganger, Mitt Romney. They have everything going for them from the best closer in baseball to really great hair. But looking good on paper doesn’t always translate to real world success. Early defeat dooms both and they’ll look back and wonder how it happened.
Which leaves us with the soon-to-be AL champion Boston Red Sox. A while ago, the Red Sox just couldn’t put it all together. There was Bill Buckner, the epic 2003 failure against the Yankees and a basic inability to get things done. Basically, they were circa 2000 John McCain. But similar to the phoenix that was the 2004 Red Sox, McCain has come soaring back in 2008. As soon as you count either one of them out you’re going to be in a whole world of hurt. And that’s why, just like McCain, the Red Sox will advance to the final.
The NL, like the Democrats, is an enigma. They seem to have the talent, the flair, the running game but they just can’t put all the pieces together. Yeah, there are flukes like the Marlins, the Cardinals and Jimmy Carter. And every once in a while a real dynasty (the old Cincinnatti Reds, Bill Clinton) comes along. But that’s about as rare as a lump of steak tartare. So, how do the perennial also-rans figure in this year?
Just like her team, the Chicago Cubs, Hillary Clinton appeared to have everything going for her. The large war-chest, the aura of inevitability. And just like Hillary, I expect the Cubs to make it to the semifinals. However, that’s where it ends for both of them. It’s a nice story but it just won’t cut it.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers bear an uncanny resemblance to Mike Gravel. They don’t really seem to know what’s going on, no one is quite sure what they’re doing here and most everyone just wants them to leave. As they go quietly into the night, people will ask themselves if that really happened. Yeah, it did but don’t worry about it.
On the opposite end of America, from a cosmopolitan megalopolis where $400 haircuts are the norm, come the Los Angeles Dodgers, the soulmate of John Edwards. Yep, they may have come from humble roots but you’re not kidding anyone these days. The question is, will Alyssa Milano turn out to be the Dodgers’ Rielle Hunter? Either way, neither the Dodgers or Mr. Edwards are going to stick around long enough for us to find out.
And that brings us to the Philadelphia Phillies. Yep, that’s right. Long-suffering Philadelphia is our Barack Obama, a story that tells us that, yes, we can. Trust me, I didn’t see it coming anymore than you did but baseball, like politics, is a funny game. They both look kind of different (Obama, in fact, may have gotten his ears from the Phillie Phanatic) and neither one of them would be the obvious pick but somehow they both make it through and remain standing in the end.
However, all of this only brings us to the final act. And this one is a doozy. The heir apparent to the fortunes of the AL East against a former also-ran from the NL East. Like McCain and Obama, both teams have the pedigree to be crowned the champions but it is a contest and, like the Higlander, there can be only one.
So, how does it end, you’re probably asking? Well, although I don’t expect either McCain or the Red Sox to lose their heads (HA HA HA), this is the year of the “How’d they get there?” scrappers. That’s right. Get excited Philadelphia! C’mon and say it with me now: Yes, We Can!
So, Manny is a Dodger? The entire world was sure he was heading
south but now he has joined an already cramped outfield in L.A. And, as if that wasn’t enough, he has joined Joe Torre and Nomar out there! The
question is, will Manny being Manny fly in Tinseltown and can you think of
any other stranger storylines in the last few years?
Ah, yes, the infamous Manny-being-Manny question. Will it fly? Will he be accepted by his new manager and teammates? To find out, I shook my Magic 8 Ball and it replied: “All signs point to yes”.
But I already knew that to be the answer.
Admittedly, Manny Ramirez looks quite odd in Dodger blue; but I have to remind myself, Manny Ramirez looks odd in any uniform. He is an absolute nutcase reminiscent of one Space Man Bill Lee — an individual who goes out of his way to be quirky, weird, individualistic. I think Manny is inherently incapable of being anything other than an escalating characterization of himself.
And the fans love it — always have. That is why, as the years go by, his antics become more and more documented, loved, embraced. This is the man who forgot to cash a million dollar check that the Indians wrote him for his services because he didn’t have time to go to the bank. This is the man who lolly-gags in left field and is revered for it. This is the man who David Ortiz labeled as: “One crazy mother-(bleep)”.
Will it be weird seeing him next to Joe Torre and Nomar Garciaparra in the dugout? Sure. Will it be weird seeing Manny sitting next to anyone in the dugout? Absolutely. The man is a magnet for oddity — from high-fiving fans while making a play to writing signs expressing his desire to move to Green Bay, anything Manny does is just plain weird. Because of this, I think he is a perfect fit for the Dodgers and their organization.
Having lived in L.A. for a stretch, I can vouch for the oddity of their fans. Infamously, Dodger fans show up to the game late and leave early. In their defense, yes, traffic is rough in L.A., but it wouldn’t take much to plan for such inconveniences so one could show up by first pitch. And it’s sad to watch the mass exodus of fans heading for the freeway during the 7th inning stretch. Such collective disregard comes off as arrogant — a stigma I feel covers all L.A. sports teams. Like going to a Lakers game, it’s a place to be seen.
So, given the mediocre-to-lukewarm state of Dodger fandom, will Manny being Manny fly in Tinseltown? I don’t see why not. They love Jeff Kent and he’s a complete ^sshole. But to make sure, I decided to check in with the ultimate Dodger fan, the barometer for all things Dodger blue, the lovely, expressive, illuminating Alyssa Milano. On her MLBlog, she wrote a nice piece on Manny, which clearly shows that they (Dodger fans) will accept whatever strange occurrences may come with his acquisition. I only hope that there are plenty to speak of by the end of the year, because I don’t think Manny will be in Hollywood after the end of the season; the evil plottings of Scott Boras will see to that.
Strange a story as this is, is it really that strange when it’s all said and done? No. Not really. Manny has been crying this same game for years; it was only a matter of time before it happened. There have been stranger storylines this year:
I Used to Smoke Crack but Now I Smoke Fastballs: The Josh Hamilton Story
I Could’ve Tagged Two Guys Out at the Plate on the Same Play but Dropped the Ball: The Ramon Castro Story
I Threw Five Wild Pitches in a Playoff Game and Now I’m a Rock-Star Centerfielder: The Rick Ankiel Story
But no story has been stranger than this made-for-TV minor league drama in which an unsuspecting, cute ballgirl makes the play of a lifetime, giving the likes of Spider Man and Endy Chavez a run for their money:
Take it or leave it folks, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.