I think I had a pretty typical reaction to the news of Any Winehouse’s death: “I wish I could say I’m surprised. Seriously, what a waste of talent.” What’s even more sad is that Winehouse wasn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last person of whom we can say that. Even in baseball, we run into similar stories. They may not have wound up in a City of London body bag but they flamed out just as badly.
The first two guys that inevitably come up are Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Watching those two pitch in 2003, the entire NL and a good portion of the AL had to have been crapping themselves. Sure, that was still the era of the long ball but you could see the future of baseball in the Cubs’ duo. And then they disappeared. Maybe Baker overused them. Maybe they were always destined for injury because of how hard they threw. Maybe it was just the baseball gods doing what they do with the Cubs once again. Whatever it was, Prior and Wood wound up being legendary more for what they could have done than for what they did.
But if you really want to talk about baseball’s Winehouse, how about Daryl Strawberry? Yes, I know he played almost two decades but he lost so much to health and drug problems considering the tools he had. It’s especially sad because we can imagine what he could have done. It’s the same thing as Winehouse. It’s not that she wasn’t impressive and it’s not that she didn’t do anything. It’s that she, like Strawberry, could have done so much more.
To quote a local legend who has as many haters as he does supporters, “sit back, relax and strap it down!” because I’m about to do something I don’t ever do. Ever.
That’s right, folks. I’m gonna admit to some mistakes.
Three of them. To be exact.
Now since such an occasion is as rare as Amy Winehouse is sober, y’all might wanna bookmark this for future reference (I’m sure my perverse and oft headstrong colleague, Mr. Krause, has already done so). The truth is, in order to be a true progressive — someone who is always striving to be, to do, to get better, at any and everything — one must be able to call out his own mishaps, learn from them, and then grow from them.
After being a slave to nicotine for 12 long years, on December 30, 2009, I had an epiphany (not to mention a scary heart palpitation) which forced me to quit smoking — cold turkey — forever and ever. That 180 degree turnaround inspired me to get healthy, to learn about nutrition, to educate myself on how to feel good.
And it worked. Physically and emotionally, I have never felt better in my life!
One year ago, as we stewed over the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot, I was quite adamant in my belief that Roberto Alomar didn’t qualify as a lock for the Hall. My reasoning had nothing to do with the spit-take sitch, and everything to do with my memory of how bad he was in a Mets uniform. Unfair as that assessment is/was, I went back and looked at his numbers and came to the realization that he was one of the best second basemen of all-time.
And after years of being bullied by my rowdy college mates for not seein’ what they saw in Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala during those Star Wars prequel disasters, I finally realized what the problem was: my first and lasting impression of sweet Natalie was as a 13 year-old girl engaging in strange and subtle sexual tension with a scruffy lookin’ Jean Reno. How could I be turned on by that?!?!
So yeah, me and my manliness can both attest to a completely deserved and sexified 180 turn around in that regard. Just in time too, now that Natalie is off the market and devoted to makin’ babies.
Oh well. There’s always Padme’s body double!!!
Maybe Dick Cheney is right. We’re all gonna die. And soon.
That’s right, folks. D-Train (or “Big Black Baby Jesus” as my Tiger-lovin’ colleague, Mr. Krause, likes to call him) has crawled his way back into Detroit’s starting rotation. And on Wednesday, we will all get the chance to see (and perhaps mock) the pitcher he has become after his long soul searching journey to recapture the glory days of 2003 and 2005.
In other words: we are all going to die.
Because, in my humble yet accurate opinion, Willis lost it a long time ago.
Okay, so he’s gone 25 2/3 innings with a 3.85 ERA in the minors this year. Well, lahdy frickin’ dah. If Willis really has rediscovered himself, he should be putting up lights out numbers against the young’ins down on the farm. Instead, Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland is calling him up because:
“He’s throwing pretty much around the plate all the time…”
(MLB Story Link)
Pretty much around the plate. Hm. Okay. Well, that sounds like a perfectly good reason to throw him back into the lions den and, you know, hope for the best. I mean, Rick Ankiel threw “pretty much around the plate” during the 2000 playoffs. So did I during my legion ball days of the mid 90s. Hell, my little sister could throw “pretty much around the plate” if it had a picture of Zac Efron on it.
At least D-Train has the right lackadaisical attitude going into his first start of the year:
“There are worse things than playing baseball, you know?”
(Morning Call Story Link)
Yes, you are correct, Dontrelle. There are worse things than playing baseball… like not being able to find the strike zone while playing baseball or doing shots with Amy Winehouse at an open bar or admitting that Dick Cheney may have a point.
In this case, I’m going to hope that I’m wrong… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And let me tell ya, folks, they’re well on their way.
For if Opening Day is any indication as to what we Cardinal fans can expect this season, we are in for a long, painful, vomit-inducing ride.
In fact, I’m still cleaning up the mess I made yesterday.
Thank you, Jason Motte.
But more thanks to you, John Mozeliak, our miserly GM who spent the entire off-season ignoring the Cardinals’ biggest problem: the gaudy, bloody mess of a metastasizing bullpen.
Sure, having a healthy, strong, productive Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter in the rotation is great and all. And yes, we will take a lot of leads into the sixth inning; but unless we find a way to get Albert Pujols on the bump for the 7th, 8th and 9th, we are in line to fall apart every single night like Amy Winehouse at an open bar mixer.
And though I am impressed with Jason Motte’s blazing fastball, it’s not really all that impressive when that’s all he throws (that slider that doesn’t slide doesn’t count). I’m sure Jack Wilson was thinking the same thing when he sat back and ripped that game-winner.
Dear readers, if running a baseball organization was a democracy, the revolution would have long been over by now; and the ominous, towering, domineering statue of John Mozeliak would be lying in ruins.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
During a recent social outing, a Cub fan friend of mine (yeah, I know; I ain’t perfect, folks) mentioned how much he enjoyed RSBS now that I had seemingly lightened my unadulterated bashing and verbal vexing toward his beloved Northside team.
Upon reflection, I realized that I had indeed let my guard down… and noted that a good old Cub ego squashing was well overdue.
So in the confounded interests of being hack — carefully considering the fact that hack sells — I reluctantly invoke my inner Jeff Foxworthy in order to remind Cub fans just who they really are.
- If you pop your collar, skip class and hang out at John Barleycorn with a pocketful of GHB, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you remind Southsiders about the 1919 Black Sox scandal at least once a day, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you think Wrigley Field is anything other than a dilapidated craphole with more falling parts than Amy Winehouse after happy hour, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you consider urinal trough diving an official sport, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you do not work yet can afford season tickets, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you are my brother-in-law and you made a baby with my sister, you might be a Cub fan (thanks a lot, Patrick, for ruining the Cardinal blood line).
- If you think the word “choke” only applies to baseball teams and has absolutely no physiological connotation at all, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you think a baseball game is just an excuse to shotgun Old Styles and annoy anyone within ten feet, you might be a Cub fan.
- If you think Magellan is the name of a shoe insert, you might be a Cub fan.
- If your team’s biggest fan is an impeached corrupt politician with Lego hair, you might be a Cub fan.
And of course, the most obvious sign can only be this:
If you sincerely hate my guts, you must be a Cub fan.
Go ahead and hate.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Hold on to your money-makers, dear readers… this is gonna be a thrashing ride reminiscent of Clint Malarchuk’s 1989 throat-slashing — the first and only image on television that made me actually throw up.
Verily, NBC gave her demonic highness, Ann Coulter, the greatest public relations gift in the history of the human race by banning her for life from their network and all like-minded lefty-linked affiliates. This decision was made in lieu of Coulter’s new book which attacks the media as being a farcical, one-sided (left), pretentious boys club incapable of stomaching any of her ranting diatribes, most of which we learned folks have grown to just call ‘crap’. Strongly suggestive of fecal matter or not, Ms. Coulter is still a US American, one who is astutely literate in the land of fantasy writing and one who has the same exact rights that all of us share in making our voice and our opinions known. Nothing good can come from this. She’s going to run with it ad nauseum and in this case, NBC clearly proved the exact point she’s been trying to make all along.
And it might not make me want to vomit as much as the above, but Pat Burrell is now a Tampa Bay Ray and in doing so virtually shuts the door on my boyhood hero, Ken Griffey, Jr. ever getting another shot in the playoffs. Having shored up their veteran/DH hitting needs, I doubt the Rays will have much interest in Junior now. In my mind, this can only mean he’ll likely end up with that cyclical hell-hole of a franchise known as the Seattle Mariners (for nostalgia’s sake — yack). Sorry, Junior. I really am.
And just as sure as I was that the Democrats’ insatiable desire for unwanted negative attention had already met Biblical proportions, it got worse when Rod Blagojevich appointee and prophetic puppet, Roland Burris, said he was the junior Illinois senator because “the Lord has ordained” him. How come the Lord is always talking to everyone except me?
Maybe he’s been talking to Al Franken too. No matter what, the Minnesota senatorial feud will be nothing short of a long, drawn-out, party-dividing legal and social battle that will only make us hate politicians that much more, if that’s even possible… wait, yeah… yeah it is… because there’s still this guy:
And of course his team is just one passing physical away from putting another ice pick in my chest and signing Milton Bradley to a three-year deal. In essence, the Cubs continue to get better, continue to open their change purse, continue to be savvy in all their dealings.
Note to John Mozeliak: You might want to consider waking the hell up!
And no, Mr. Mozeliak, I do not consider your signing of left-handed bullpen scrub Royce Ring, who finished 2008 with an ERA higher than Method Man and Redman on a Saturday night backstage (his ERA was 8.46), to be a “savvy” move.
(*insert dramatic pause while I take the time to puke… again.)
So what do I do when the world around me crumbles like Amy Winehouse during happy hour?
I tune into the wondrous world that is Red State Blue State…
But, folks, it ain’t always pretty. And it’s painfully obvious to anyone with a remedial math education that whether I’m younger by twelve years or twelve days or twelve hours than my cooped-up colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, I am and always will be younger than he, and more eloquent, and better at baseball. That’s just the hard, undeniable truth.
And yes, just as Mr. Krause stated in his low-blow, I did indeed spend some quality years without a steady girlfriend. This I cannot deny. But to call me out on the transgressions of the past without expecting a wicked rebuttal is quite juvenile.
Alas! Mr. Krause has long been the New York Yankees of meaningful romantic relationships: he was always in one, always spending too much money, always on top (so I hear).
Equally, I have long been the Tampa Bay Rays: never actually in the race, always flirting with free-agent wh0res who weren’t worth the inflated dollars, always on the bottom (cuz that’s just how I roll).
But (and I think we can all see where this is going here) like all facets in the grand scheme of life, balance ultimately plays a most crucial role. And nowadays it’s pretty apparent that I’m on top (with a hot girlfriend) while Mr. Krause wallows in the despair that is not making the “playoffs” for the first time since 1993. Don’t worry, Al, I’m sure they seat parties of one on Valentine’s Day somewhere in the nation’s capital. If not, you can always give Eliot Spitzer a call. I’m sure he knows some “people”.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As if the ho-hum disinterest of the 2008 World Series wasn’t enough to slow us down, now we die-hards have to wait and see what happens with mother nature before our venerable King Bud passes down his judgment so that the game can ultimately go on. Having fully digested this oddity of baseball circumstance, the feeling I have now is eerily similar to that which I had on Election Night 2000 when a clear winner for the White House could not be determined with 100% accuracy. Instead, I was forced to wait… and wait…
…and then suffer — for eight years.
But in this case, such doom seems unlikely. In fact, with Hamels out and David Price in (maybe?) I’d say the advantage definitely goes to the Rays; which means there is hope that I will conclusively prove Mr. Krause wrong (yet again)!
I like that.
What I don’t like is public displays of idiocy: GW Bush, Amy Winehouse, MLB.com.
Yeah, I said it.
Because when I logged on this morning to get an update on the weather situation, the graphic they had blasting over the front page had a couple of big fat ugly typos on it:
Sure, they fixed it about an hour after I first saw it, but in this line of business, there is no excuse for misspelling words — even if it seems like people from Pittsburgh never pay attention to baseball. And unless the Roots are designing graphics for MLB.com, “Phildelphia” is not a real place.
We here at RSBS have a full staff of highly educated pompous grammar-wh0re proofreaders — and by “full” I mean Mr. Krause and I. But that seems to —
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WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HOPE TO RESUME WRITING SAID POST AS SOON AS THE ELEMENTS ALLOW AND WE’D JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT WE DON’T KNOW WHEN THAT WILL BE EXACTLY BUT WE PROMISE THAT IT WILL ADD TO THE ANTI-CLIMACTIC NATURE CLEARLY EVIDENT IN BASEBALL THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS SO YOU’LL AT LEAST GET WHAT YOU’VE BEEN GETTIN’
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Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.