A few years ago I wrote a cautionary piece foretelling the eventual departure of one Yadier Molina — SUPREME JEFFY MANCRUSH — if the Cardinals somehow didn’t resign Albert Pujols to a long, career stabilizing contract. I wrote it flippantly, thinking this will never happen in real life.
And then real life hit.
Albert Pujols is gone and Yadi doesn’t seem to be as in love with the Cardinals as the Cardinals faithful are in love with him:
“I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park. But it’s out of my hands. Whatever they like to do is how it is … They let Albert [Pujols] go. It’s business for the team, too. It’s out of my hands.” (source)
Um… wrong. One, dearest Yadier, it most certainly IS in your hands. And two, the Cardinals DID NOT “let Albert go.” They made him a very good offer, one that would most likely highjack the team for the latter half of this decade, one that would have made Albert a very, very, VERY rich man.
And he declined.
For more money.
I don’t have a problem with millionaire ballplayers chasing the money — but I do have a problem with framing the situation in a salacious manner. To say the Cardinals did not put any effort in retaining Mr. Pujols’ services is as reckless as it is inaccurate.
Here at RSBS, it is no secret that Yadier is my most beloved Cardinal. The St. Louis brass would be wise to pay the man whatever he wants, and I would applaud their efforts to do so.
But if I’ve learned anything about professional sports the last few months it’s that I’ve been clinging to the delusion that athletes give a f*** about the “home team”, about creating a “legacy”, about “loyalty”.
It’s about money and it will always be about money. I’m okay with that now.
If the Cardinals do the right thing and throw bank at Molina to keep him, then I’ll be ecstatic. But I also live in reality these days, so I’m fully prepared to see him in a Halos jersey in 2013.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Congratulations to Kristen from This Is A Very Simple Game (a damn fine blog in its own right!) for winning the RSBS Biggest Fan Contest, sponsored by Crown Royal. Soon Kristen will be enjoying Albert Pujols in the bright SoCal sun with well protected eyes as she is going to receive a pair of sweet Oakley Blender Sunglasses. Hot dang!
And if that’s not hot enough, check out her winning entry below. Your taste buds will thank you!
Caramelized Red Onion State, Blue Cheese State, Bacon Lavosh!
This is a quick and dirty weeknight dinner that tastes gourmet and doubles nicely as a game day snack. But, since you can’t exactly tell how amazing this smells and tastes from the photo, here is the recipe. I get the impression that Johanna cooks but I don’t know if Jeff and Allen do, so the recipe is written for both the well stocked kitchen and the un-stocked kitchen:
Ingredients for 2 Lavosh:
- 5 slices of bacon (because, hello, Bacon? Is there any ingredient more charismatic?)
- 1 Red Onion, cut in half and sliced into thin rings
- 3 cloves fresh crushed garlic (or one teaspoon dried, if that’s what you have)
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil for cooking
- 2 pieces lavosh (whole wheat works well here too. If you don’t have access to lavosh, what the heck kind of Trader Joe’s do you have there in Chicago? 😉 And/or you can use pita, tortillas, or even pizza dough instead.)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Crumbled Blue Cheese (roughly 4 oz. which is to say, basically a palm full. I don’t really prescribe to the tyranny of traditional “standard” measurements unless I am baking or performing some other form of chemistry, LOL.) I like Trader Joe’s Salem Blue or Point Reyes Blue Cheese if I have it around, but any will work.
- Optional – 1/2 cup of _______ meat. I used leftover roast chicken the evening I took the photo because we roasted chicken-zilla earlier in the week and had it on hand. But diced deli meat works wonderfully too – turkey, roast beef or, if you’re feeling especially porcine inclined, ham or prosciutto (yum!).
- Salt and pepper to taste (sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you have it, no worries if you don’t)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook the bacon until it is almost cooked to your preferred level of doneness, then set aside. Chop when cooled.
3. Heat the cooking fat (and use some of the bacon drippings for 1 tablespoon of the cooking fat , if you dare). Add the garlic (if you’re using fresh) and sauté for a few seconds before adding the onions.
4. Keep stirring the onions. Season with a little salt and pepper (and the dried garlic if you’re using dried) once the onions are coated in the oil. You want to almost fully caramelize the onions – sauté them, stirring from time to time, until they are browned slivers of completely limp, tasty oniony goo.
5. Put the lavosh on cookie sheets (or prep for a pizza stone if you have one and have time to heat it) and cover each of them in half of the mozzarella cheese in a thin layer stretching out to the edges.
6. Sprinkle each evenly with half of the bacon, cooked onions, blue cheese and extra meat (if you are using).
7. Dust both lightly with pepper.
8. Bake for roughly five minutes, turn and then five minutes more (much longer if you are using pizza dough), until the cheese is bubbly and golden in spots and the edges of the meat and lavosh are crisp and browning.
9. Cool slightly, slice and enjoy!
10. Serve with dark beer or red wine (ideally a good, rich Rhone style blend. Feel free to ask if you would enjoy any California-centric suggestions J).
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YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!
Special thanks go out to all those who submitted entries! We love you all. Now go make some lavosh and get krunk!
Jeff & Al
It is my hope that, a year from now, the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Arte Moreno’s checkbook exist merely as fuzzy postulations of the delusional masses — mere hiccups in the digestive tract of progress. Of course, I realize one of these three is never going to go away, so I have to do what I can to temper the sadness it has caused.
But sometimes things go away, never come back and leave us wondering… what if?
Slap bracelets? Hello?!?! Where have you gone, fine fashion accessory from my youth?
Meanwhile, let’s examine those forgotten baseballers of 2011 and determine if they should forget me, or forget me not.
Dude, seriously. 115 plate appearances in 2011 was 115 plate appearances too many. Known exclusively as an overpaid hot-head wife-beater who had ONE good season, there’s no reason for Milton to get another chance. If his outrageous childlike behavior and .212 BA over the last two seasons aren’t any indication that it’s time to forget this loser, maybe the fact that NO ONE LIKES HIM is.
FORGET ME NOT.
It’s difficult for me to believe that no one had any use for this scrappy go-get-em baseballer in 2011. How did the Padres — a 91 loss team! — not have any role for Eckstein last year? The dude does just about everything and he does it all right. He’s a leader, a teacher, a fighter. In my opinion, many teams could have used his services last season and I don’t see how that situation would change in 2012. Any team’s super utility role should be considered for the former World Series MVP.
Like Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Vanilla Ice, Manny being Manny has long lost its charm. The man is a cheater. A wife beater (notice the theme here?). A creep. He was caught (AGAIN) ‘roiding up and instead of acting like a man, ‘fessing up and handling his business with dignity, he ran away and hid from his fans, not saying a word. Now he wants back in. Not only that, but somehow he has snaked his way out of serving the 100 game ban deemed necessary for repeat ‘roid offenders and lucked out with only facing a 50 game suspension. Manny reeks of insidious ego. STAY AWAY PLEASE.
FORGET ME NOT.
Never thought I’d say this, but I feel sorry for the Mets. I really do. Just a game away from the World Series in 2006, who knew they would fail so hard in 2007, sign the biggest free agent pitcher on the market to a $137 million contract, fail even harder in 2008, then fall into baseball hell with more problems than the Congressional Reform Act? There was a time when Santana on the bump meant I had to watch that game. With all of his recent injuries, I doubt that will ever be possible again, but I still want to see the man pitch. And soon.
I’m still trying to figure out how Webb was able to land a $3 million contract last season after not having pitched AT ALL since 2008*. Indeed, he had a good run from ’06 t0 ’08, getting guys out with one of the nastiest sinkers I’ve ever seen, but when your rotator cuff no longer rotates, I think it’s time to stop chasing the glory that once was.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m blunt, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Actually, Webb pitched 4 innings in 2009. He gave up 6 runs off 6 hits before his arm fell off and he disappeared from baseball relevancy; but in my opinion, that hardly counts as “pitching”.
Also, FORGET RSBS NOT and our awesome Oakley Blender sunglasses give-away, made possible by our friends at Crown Royal! If you would like to win these sweet shades, all you gotta do is send us a picture showing why you are RSBS’ biggest fan. Email it to us at RSBSblog@gmail.com. The winner will be announced this Saturday, December 24th.
Do you see Halos everywhere you look?
Tired of trying to compute just how many zeroes Number 5 left you for?
I’m so with ya. In fact, I’ve been so blue the last 10 days that the RSBS interns decided to dig up something special to make me smile.
I don’t know about you, but I done fell outta my chair.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Albert. Frakking. Pujols. Could this episode really be about anything else? Give it a listen, close your eyes and imagine Jeff really is strangling Johanna. No. Seriously. Do that. Please?
Also, remember to send us a picture (to firstname.lastname@example.org) showing why you’re RSBS‘ biggest fan so YOU can win some sweet Oakley Bender sunglasses from our good friends at Crown Royal. Pass the crown, yo!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
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Recorded Saturday, December 10, 2011
8. Subjected Myself to Amy Grant’s Greatest Hits
7. More Beer
5. NBA Network
4. Dissected a Battery, Smoked What I Found, Had a Conversation with a Fern
3. Murder (Not Telling… HINT: Involved a Smurf)
1. This Video… Over and Over and Over Again…
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I am trying not to be angry right now.
But I am hurt.
I’m human. And humans have feelings — feelings that, obviously, get hurt. I understand Albert Pujols had some hurt feelings too, because Ryan Howard — a mere scrub in comparison — was making more money than him.
Once again, a professional athlete tells the world with his actions that the fans don’t really matter — that having statues erected in one’s honor, charitable foundations in one’s namesake and a universal key to the city, forever and ever and ever just ain’t worth a pass at a few extra million.
The Cardinals will be fine. Maybe they go hard after Prince now. Or maybe they just move Lance to first and let Freese and Craig become superstars hitting in front of and behind Matt Holliday. Maybe they go and get Jimmy Rollins or one of a bazillion other high value free agents.
But Albert Pujols’ legacy will not be fine. No longer will we mention him among legendary Cardinals like Gibson, Brock and Ozzie. His seat next to Stan the Man is no longer available.
That was Albert’s choice.
Pujols will be remembered as a great Cardinal, yes, but one who, in the end, was all about the money. I thank him for all the memories — memories I will hold dear to my heart until the day I die.
But now there’s no denying that those memories will always be bittersweet. And there’s nothing I can do about it. In the end, the fans don’t matter. And that’s just a reality we’re all going to have to deal with on our own.