In an election year, it should be no surprise that we US Americans are being bombarded with a barrage of twisty little lies. Whether it’s the Obama camp’s magical math making unemployment numbers “plummet” or Rick Santorum and his imaginary friend pretending that the whole American Revolution and subsequent Constitution thingy isn’t really what it seems, we cannot escape the onslaught of fibbery.
But such fibbery is expected from the political lot. It is when such vitriol enters the baseball universe that I get extremely pissy.
“We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
— Ryan Braun
Um… no. You were able to get through this ‘cuz you’re a multi-millionaire with legit counsel and a Mark Fuhrman wannabe handling your bodily fluids under the direction of King Bud. Exoneration in this case does not equal innocence, Mr. Braun. It merely suggests there is reasonable doubt. You still got more testosterone in you than Kim Kardashian at the NBA All-Star Game. And it seems just as… icky.
“My loyalty is here (Texas). This is where I’ve been, this is where my family has been. I would love to be here.”
— Josh Hamilton
Now I don’t want to go picking on Josh Hamilton because he’s not very bright, but I do want to pick on him for spittin’ the same stupid lie as every other potential free agent baseballer lookin’ to get paid: ENOUGH ALREADY. “My loyalty is here”… pshh. PLEASE. Your loyalty is wherever they pay you the most. That’s how it works and we all know it. Your family is not going to have too much of a problem moving to a different city to chase that pay-puh. Determine who will give you the most money with the most years and that’s where you’ll go. To say anything different is a slap in the face of cold, hard fact. I’m an adult. I can handle the truth. Maybe.
“The guy (Alfonso Soriano) works his butt off all the time.”
— Dale Sveum, Cubs Manager
Okay, Dale. I’m gonna help you out with this one. YOU NEED SOME NEW GLASSES, BRO. See, I’ve been following Sori’s career since he was a young pup. And from New York to Texas to D.C. to the Chi, Alfonso Soriano is THE LAST PERSON ON THE PLANET I would say “works his butt off all the time.” ESPECIALLY while in Chicago. In fact, there is an entire faction of Cubs fans who want him crucified! They wouldn’t flinch an inch if Sori ceased manning left field tomorrow. Forever. For good. Why, Mr. Sveum? Because Alfonso Soriano is the absolute KING of lollygagging. His defense is atrocious and he is NOTORIOUS for gazing at might-be homeruns that are actually doubles that drop in for long singles because he doesn’t hustle out of the box.
If you’re here to fix the Cubs, Mr. Sveum, you might want to know what they’ve been used to the last 103 years: PAIN. SUFFERING. AGONIZING PAIN AND SUFFFFFFFFEEEEERRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Ty Cobb was a great baseball player but not a very nice person. Actually, he wasn’t a very nice baseball player either, regularly trying to hurt the competition. The thing about Cobb, though, is that he never pretended to care about other people. Love him or hate him, you could never say that he was a hypocrite. He did everything balls out and that included his racism.
That’s the difference between Cobb and two of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. When Cobb said something, he owned it. He was an awful person but he didn’t try to hide behind obfuscations and pseudo-intellectual drivel in an attempt to prove that he actually meant something else.
What is truly amazing is that 50 years after Cobb’s death, Rick Santorum can say he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money” and Newt Gingrich can regularly call Barack Obama “the food-stamp President.” And then both men try to claim that they’re just trying to help black people. I have a feeling that Newt’s phrase “I know among the politically correct you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable…” has a good chance of becoming the new “I’m not a racist but…”
The only thing black that Santorum and Gingrich should be talking about is the space inside their respective heads. Come to think of it, there was an article written about that recently, too. “Abyssal yawns 10 times the size of our universe.” Yep, that sounds about right.
There are only two serious contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. Ok, let me rephrase. There are only two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination who should be taken seriously. And yet somehow, the polls see the Republicans bouncing from one disaster to the next. Is Mormonism really so bad that you’d prefer Herman Cain?
Because let’s face it, there are only two guys who could win a general election. Obama may be down for the moment but he’s got a year and he also has a formidable machine. Without actual ideas, the challengers aren’t going to get very far.
Let me try to explain this in other terms. Obama is the St. Louis Cardinals in August. In August, even Jeff knew the Cardinals were toast and should start looking at their chances for the next season. Two months later, they head home as World Series champions. That’s Obama.
If you want to beat that, you better have a realistic alternative. And just for the record, “9-9-9” is not a realistic alternative nor is a twice-divorced has-been looking for a comeback. Realistic is having run the U.S. Embassy in China. Realistic is making universal health care palatable to both sides of the aisle. Realistic is Huntsman or Romney and unless the Republicans realize that soon, realistic is also an Obama win in 2012.
The way our brains work, we attempt to apply a narrative or causality to events, even after the fact, to justify what happened and why it happened. We look for points where the momentum shifts and where all of a sudden something that was unthinkable becomes inevitable.
Baseball is full of these moments. Of course Jeff will tell you all about game 6 of this year’s World Series and no one will ever stop talking about the Bartman play in Chicago or Buckner’s famous muff. Teams didn’t win or lose on those plays but it changed the flow of the game and, in retrospect, we consider it to be the dramatic reversal in the narrative.
Politics follows a similar course. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Hilary was inevitable but then Obama won Iowa and the narrative shifted. Sure, the changes may be due more to organization or groundwork but we prefer the grand, sweeping narrative and we look for game-changing moments.
This week’s Republican debate in Michigan offered the new narrative of choice for the primary season: Perry’s final flub. For a campaign that had already hit a rough patch (polling behind Herman Cain? Seriously?), they needed a strong showing. Here’s what they got:
Granted, the last time a Texas governor became president, serious doubts surrounded his mental capacity. And some pundits even point out that Perry’s damage control may have helped humanize him for the voters. But if Perry does end up losing the nomination as now seems likely, the narrative will state that this moment was what nailed shut the coffin. That’s just how our brain’s work. And how Perry’s didn’t.
Tim Pawlenty is out of the race and Rick Perry is in. Bachmann wins the straw poll but is still bat-sh*t insane. If the Republican primary is a pennant race, who’s your horse?
Metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends.
If the Republican primary is a pennant race, then it must be in the Arena Football League because I am finding it quite difficult taking any of them seriously.
Michele Bachmann? Um… no.
Rick Perry? Um… also no.
Please note my severe reluctance to support any candidate who harbors a deep relationship with imaginary friends who tend to be bipolar, judgmental, homophobe racists.
Rick Santorum? Noooo.
Mitt Romney? Double noooo. Though I am still waiting for his endorsement of the Mormon Underwear website.
Newt Gingrich? Yikes! Now we’re really gettin’ into the thick of crazy!
Jimmy McMillan? Okay, now we’ve reached the bottom.
Thad McCotter? Cool name. Boring everything else.
Sorry, Paul… ya see, unlike picking an MLB winner, crawling through this web of same-ole-same-ole GOP crazies is a bit difficult. There is no Philadelphia Phillies lights-out candidate. There is no Yankee flyer. There is no Red Sox contender.
But, wait… there is… hmm… there is hope. And no, I’m not talking about the empty promise sounding “hope” dished out ad nauseum by the Obama campaign to dupe intellectual lefties like myself during the ’08 race. No. Staying here, within the “Republican” party, there is… there is another.
But before I can declare my allegiance, I need to think on it. I need to think on it very, very carefully. While I do so, remember not to hate me (because I’m right) and please enjoy this informational video thoughtfully prepared by the RSBS interns:
To be continued…
**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Interested to know why Mr. Krause still can’t believe it’s not butter? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below.
We won the Cold War. There’s no debating that. The Soviet Union split up, Germany was reunified and communism went the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose. But sometimes it feels like we still lost. Like when you hear about Vladimir Putin’s new personal photographer:
Sure, Vlad isn’t a Soviet per se but it’s pretty safe to say that he has a lot more in common with Stalin than he does with FDR. Although maybe not quite so much. The point is, the Russians may have lost the war but they seem to be winning the battle.
It’s a little like the Red Sox and the Yankees. Sure, the Red Sox may have finally gotten by the Yankees to win that elusive World Series. They may have even succeeded in doing it again right afterwards. But they’re never going to catch the Yankees. The Yankees are the Evil Empire just like Vlad and his boys are the heirs to the Soviet version.
So, what can we do? How can we fight back against a Russia that just keeps coming back like some totalitarian Freddy Krueger? Well, I think the first step is obvious. Obama needs to get a better looking photographer:
The rest will work itself out from there.
Back in April, if you would have told me that our Democratic president would support a federal resolution that would forgo taxing the über rich while opening the door to make major cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, I would’ve thought that I’d perhaps gotten a bit too tipsy during happy hour.
But I’m as sober as a Mennonite on Christmas.
Might not be too bad of a deal though really. I mean, back in April, reflecting on the season ending injury to Adam Wainwright, I also thought the Cardinals didn’t have much of a chance to get anywhere in the 2011 postseason — that they might not even get there at all. Add Pujols’ early struggles and several untimely injuries to Holliday, Skip, Punto and Berkman and I thought we really were just on borrowed time.
But John Mozeliak went out and made things happen this past week. He sent Colby (and his dad) packing to bring us Edwin Jackson, Scrabble, Octavio Dotel and Corey Patterson, plugging up some bullpen holes while bringing in a surging starter and a journeymen utility man, TLR’s favorite type of player. Then Mo went out and made shortstop better by bringing in a healthy Rafael Furcal.
The Cardinals went out and took care of business.
Now I know my malleable and oft gloomy colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, would like to think, as he put it, that the Cardinals had a “lack of trade deadline imagination”, but let me assure you: he is blind.
And when it comes to imagination, his beloved Tigers are full of it if they think a 3-12 Doug Fister is something to get excited about.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.