What MLB team does the GOP most resemble?
You can draw a lot of different analogies between baseball and politics and you can draw even more between baseball and the Republican party. A bunch of rich white guys with a sense of entitlement and maybe a token minority or two thrown in just for flavor? We could be talking the Republican party or the baseball owners. A scorched-earth policy that leaves everyone worse off? That could be either the baseball owners in the 1994 strike season or the Republican leadership team in 2008. Considering that one of the baseball owners became President and de facto leader of the Republican party for eight years in 2000, it would be pretty easy to say that GOP most resembles the owners.
But that’s not the question. The question is which team does the GOP most resemble and that requires a little more analysis.
My first thought, especially with the recent rise to prominence of Paul Ryan, was the San Francisco Giants. The Giants used to be known for their history with inspirational guys like Willie Mays and Dave Dravecky. That’s like the old GOP, the party of Lincoln and even Nixon, minus the whole Watergate thing. Now, though, the Giants are the team of Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera. They’re the team of liars. After Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention that even a Fox News commentator called “deceiving” and the absolutely flabbergasting claim by Ryan that he ran a sub three hour marathon (since “corrected”), you’d have to put him in the same category as Bonds and Cabrera.
Still, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Lying is well and good, even when called something different, but RSBS readers demand more.
There are a bunch of other possibilities, from the Red Sox to the Dodgers but really, when you stop and think about it, there’s only one answer to this question. The GOP could only be the New York Yankees.
A group of millionaire crybabies who routinely underachieve despite having every advantage known to man? Could be the Yankees, could be the Republicans. Supporters incessantly screwed over by a leadership group that routinely takes money from supporters’ pockets while those supporters not only cheer them on but also keep coming back for more? Hm, really could be either one. An unnatural love of pinstripes? I think you can see where this is going.
Really, the answer couldn’t be any easier and I’m almost ashamed to have to say it. But just because it’s easy that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Occam’s Razor, my friends.
What would MLB do if it turned out that Melky Cabrera was “legitimately” using PEDs? For the same matter, what if Barry Bonds came out and told us that he had been using the “cream” and the “clear” but it was legitimate so we didn’t need to worry about it? I’m pretty sure that the fans and MLB would call bullsh*t on both of them.
By now I’m pretty sure you know where I’m going with this since you couldn’t swing a cat this week without hitting some news about Clay Aiken‘s long-lost father, Todd. (Ok, fine, they spell their names differently but how funny would that be?) And with both sides of the debate more than willing to weigh in, once again the Presidential race turned away from the economy and back towards the Republican’s seeming fetish for pushing away women voters.
Getting back to the original question I posed, of course you’d laugh at Cabrera or Bonds’ statements (speaking of which, what is it with the Bay Area??). Whether it was “legitimate” or not, violating the League’s substance abuse policy means you have to face the consequences. Sure, some guys, like Bonds, Sosa and McGwire, benfited from Bud’s willingness to look the other way as long as the money kept rolling in. But the way things stand now, a violation is going to get you fifty games, just like Manny and Melky. Except for when it doesn’t. Yes, I’m looking at you Ryan Braun and your technicality.
Whether or not you get away with it, there is no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” PED use just like there’s no such thing as “legitimate” or “illegitimate” rape. And it’s important to keep in mind here that although PED’s may tarnish someone’s legacy or hurt a team in the playoff hunt, rape destroys a person’s life, no matter what Mike Huckabee or Todd Akin say. It has nothing to do with “legitimate” or “illegitimate.” It’s plainly and simply unacceptable.
Roger Clemens is not guilty.
Can this be over now?
Of course it can’t. It never will. For now until the end of time we’ll still be talking about the steroid era and those who made it infamous. Clemens is just one of many.
Still, I think it is safe to say his role in the overall picture of the steroid era is a bit larger than the rest. He’s up there alongside Barry, considering his Hall of Fame credentials and repugnant personality.
Before any of this steroid silliness was known, I loved Roger Clemens. He was a beast on the mound — a Nolan Ryan/Bob Gibson throwback. Proud, nasty, BALLSY.
But the Mitchell Report tainted his reputation, whether guilty or not, and Roger then ruined it further himself by being an outspokenly whiny ass. I understand the potential frustration that could come from having a tarnished reputation, but there are ways to handle adversity with class and there are ways to handle it like a jerk.
Clemens took the jerk route.
And undoing what ya done ain’t easily done.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I love analogies, similes, metaphors, allusions and every other word tool that allows us to paint a picture of the unknown using something we’re already aware of. Some authors make entire worlds come to life with their words while others redefine things we thought we had always known. That’s one of the joys in writing these posts. Trying to think of new ways to describe political events using baseball terminology and vice-versa exercises the brain and occasionally leads to eureka moments.
So, you can imagine how excited I was to come across the following passage the other day:
“You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say ‘that’s climate change’. But a warmer atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bond’s 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his ‘base state,’ raising the overall odds of hitting a home run.”
Hot damn! Not only does that provide a great explanation of what climate change really means, it also presents Barry Bonds and his ever-present asterisk in a way I had never considered before. That’s two for the price of one. Too bad I didn’t think of it first.
Abominable Apocryphal Deplorable Illustrious Wonder
This weekend provided some flat out taint tickling and nipple pulling excitement golf at the Masters. And…guess what….because…wait for it…. Tiger Damn Woods was in the middle of it. Shocker.
If Tiger isn’t playing, I’m not watching. If Tiger isn’t in the hunt, I’m usually running naked through the yard, among other Sunday things on my to-do list.
The thing with Tiger is it’s so rare to watch someone be the absolute best at something. Jazz-wise we have Coltrane, Armstrong, Miles, Ellington, Parker, Ornette. Once in a lifetimers. I’m not necessarily a golf fan, but I am Tiger fan. I want him to get back to just assassinating the field every weekend he plays. It brings me joy to see anyone he’s paired with pee his pants and lose his s***, or as Ralphy Wiggums would say, “I have two kinds of wet in my pants.”
It’s not about how nice he is or was to the fans, or exceptionally boring and emotionless to the media. I couldn’t care less. It’s not about his love of whooouures. And it’s not about me watching to see a devoted, faithful husband church goin family man.
I want the stone cold killa. I want him to murder people. The way he used to.
I had no problem when Michael Jordan would talk trash, or be a complete pr!ck to his teammates; because his play was legendary. His competitiveness was legendary boarding on hilariousness. “Dude, Jordan just knocked out Horace Grant in practice! He’s so competitive…” “Did you hear Michael put arsenic in Cartwright’s Cheerios to motivate him? SO COMPETITIVE…”
To me, Barry Bonds was different because he cheated the game. Big Mac (Mark McGwire) cheated the game. I loved Jose Canseco (mostly for trading card purposes) as a kid, but he cheated and ever since he retired he has been completely worthless, (other than exposing some other users).
I was a Bulls fan growing up, but I know non Bulls fans across the world that prayed that they could witness in person what M-Jeff could do on any given night. To be there transfixed on the master transforming the court, baseline to baseline, into a cathedral of windmilling-above-the-rim-artistry. Poetry in white-hot electric motion. Also, the only guy ever who could pull off a Hitler stache….
In baseball, (believe it or not), some of the worst people ever are LEGENDARY PLAYERS. Or….as I would like to dub, the Veda Pierce division, (fyi, watch the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. Amazing. The daughter Veda Pierce is the worst, most vile piece of filth I’ve ever encountered in a film character. Yeeshh…WOMEN are awful to each other. The things women say to their own friends is unbelievable. We’ll save this for another time.)
A short list in the V-Pierce division……..Ty Cobb, (beat up a man with no hands once), Mickey Mantle (showed up wasted to games and told young endearing fans to buzz off), Bonds (liar…liar…cheat), Jeff Kent (renowned male member), Roger Clemens (no explanation necessary), Ugueth Urbina, (not so legendary but assaulted servants unwarranted with a machete for swimming in his pool, now in jail for 20 years…) etc…..
Tiger doesn’t have a great rep with the fans, but how many times were Nicklaus and Palmer miked up and how many times did they yell at fans to shut up or trash talked or cussed up and down the course that we’ll never know about?
We don’t ask the legends to be humanitarians, nor wonderful people. We need them to be heroes of their game. Our heroes won’t always be nice. But they DO things no one else can or ever will do. Everything else is perception mixed with irrational desire for purity. The true pureness is the game played at the highest level.
That’s all I want.
And Latrell Sprewell choking P.J. Carlesimo, because don’t we all want to choke P.J. Carlesimo at some point?? I mean….he tried to play Kevin Durant at shooting guard???
Do you think Jeter will pass Pete Rose as the all-time hits leader?
Damn, I knew Derrick Rose was gifted but the all-time hits leader at his age? That’s just straight up impressive. I didn’t even know they counted hits in basketball! Is that like a non-foul or something?
Oh, Pete Rose. Whoops. Sorry about that one. Oh yeah, I was just joking. Of course I knew what you meant. And as for your question….
I’m not sure. I think we’ll know a lot more at the end of this upcoming season. See, here’s the thing. It depends on which Derek Jeter shows up in 2011. If the Derek Jeter of 2009 shows up, he has a fighting chance assuming he can continue that form. Rose played 23 seasons and Jeter, at 36 with 15 seasons under his belt, could probably put in another 5 or so. Assume he goes 6 seasons and can stay consistently around 200 hits a year, he has a decent chance of catching Rose. If 2010 Jeter takes his place, let’s just say it’s not very likely and leave it at that.
But this leads us to a larger question. Derek Jeter is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. At this point in his career, he’s in a league by himself. But he’s still chasing Pete Rose, a man who is banned from the Hall despite holding some of the most important records in baseball. Yes, Rose hurt the game of baseball and desecrated his own name with his actions. But denying him a place in the Hall cheapens baseball.
At this point in the discussion, I’m sure some people will insert the Barry Bonds argument but the two have nothing to do with each other. Rose bet on games, maybe even threw a few despite the fact that he denies it. However, you can’t deny his dominance as a player and the fact that he did it through his own abilities. Despite Bonds’ very real abilities without the juicing, you can’t say the same of him. Sadly, the real difference is that Bonds could still make it into the Hall despite his well-chronicled use of PEDs but Rose is barred for life. This is plainly and simply a disservice to the game and a disservice to the Hall.
So that’s a long, rambling and completely underwhelming answer to your question, Mark. If you just want my opinion on whether Jeter will pass Rose, though, I’d say no. But Jeter will still be in the Hall and Rose will still be outside looking in.
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I have my moments when I wonder about America. Despite the fact that we know he’s a huge DB and an admitted juicer, all baseball cares about right now is A-Rod making it to 600. Obviously we live in a Yankee-centric world so this is no huge surprise but there are bigger issues to worry about.
Like did you know that Bill Murray is currently destroying America? Yep, through his work in such classics as Ghostbusters (or Ghostbussers which I can only imagine must be Jim Crow era existential comedy) and Stripes, Murray has apparently materially contributed to a sense of ennui that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of America. And he’s probably gay.
Listen people. You need to get a hobby. No, following A-Rod’s exploits does not count. And attempting to boycott a comedy legend who made gophers famous and ball washers pornographic doesn’t count either. I’ve got one for you. Why don’t you see if Bonds is still on the free agent market? If not, I bet he’d be huge in Japan. Kind of like Bill Murray.
I could care less, Mike.
And that’s… sad. Sorta.
To be honest, I’m so over it — all of it… the steroids, the scandals, the lying, the cover-ups, the BALCOs, the blue sweaters. Yes, there comes a time when even extreme baseball purists like myself have no choice but to let…
Because baseball’s numbers will never be the same. Never. Long gone are the days when a digit might suggest greatness. The hallowed marks of achievement died sometime in the late 80s, when a clubhouse party at the Coliseum consisted of needles, juice and dudes gettin’ jacked. They killed it — they murdered the prestige. It’s all dead now. The numbers will never be as important as they were before PEDs, before Barry, before A-Rod.
I’ve finally come to terms with that.
And I’m also happy to say that the desacrilization of baseball’s numbers won’t kill the game.
I used to think it would.
And it won’t.
Which is exactly why baseball is the grandest game on the planet. It has withstood wars, betting scandals, collusion, labor disputes. Its integrity has been challenged. Its image has been smeared. On many occasions, it has even been left for dead.
But it always comes back to life. And it comes back to life bigger, better, stronger.
Hank Aaron. 755.
Roger Maris. 61.
Those are the ones we choose — collectively, as a people, as a community — those are the ones we’ll remember.
The other numbers? I couldn’t tell you how many homeruns Barry Bonds hit in his career. I couldn’t tell you because I don’t care. The public doesn’t care. We don’t care.
And that’s a beautiful sign that baseball has moved on, beyond the numbers; because, let’s face it: sometimes, you just have to move on.
In our case, we are all very lucky, because we get to move on together.
I’m right on that, Mike. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz of it.
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You guys make a lot of Bud Selig’s poor management of MLB. If you could
take his place for one day and make one change, what would you change
and how do you think it would alter the game?
Aww, gee, Harrison (insert overwhelming use of sarcasm), thanks a lot. I only get one day and one change? What’s the point? You know this: It’s gonna take a lot more than just one day and one change to correct the myriad wrongs laid down by King Bud over the past 18 years.
Is it realistic to ban the Cardinals from losing 20 inning games? No? How about simply getting rid of the Royals franchise? No? Okay. What about forcing opposing pitchers to only offer breaking balls in the dirt to Alfonso Soriano? Fine.
Then I guess I would have to consider one of the obvious:
- stop making it (the All-Star Game) “count” for anything other than a celebration of the best in the game
- shorten spring training
- eliminate the plethora of off-days during the playoffs
- change the schedule back to 154 games
- sew Barry Bonds’ mouth shut forever and ever, amen
But to be honest, none of the above would be worthy of my one day and my one change. No. If I only get one then I’m gonna focus on what’s really wrong with the game and fix that as soon as possible. What would I do?
Allow MLB ballparks to serve beer after the 7th inning.
Imagine being at that 20 inning game on Saturday, soberly watching in extras, thirsty, parched, dried up… brat in hand but no suds to wash it down. That, dear readers, is simply unacceptable.
And it goes well beyond the frustration of watching a game go past nine innings without the comforts of a cold, frosty one. Think about it: if you are really so blasted from drinking beer during the game, is that one and a half to two innings of sobriety really going to make it okay for you to operate a vehicle?
If you are really that wasted from drinking beer during the game should you be driving home anyway?
Here’s what we do: tell everyone to drink responsibly. People are or aren’t going to do that anyway, whether you serve beer after the 7th inning or not.
So please stop punishing me after the 7th inning. Often times those last couple innings are the ones where I need the numbing powers of alcohol the most!
Move over, Bud. Let me make this change.
Otherwise I’ll be forced to continue double-fisting when they holler out “last call”.
Hate me ‘cuz I finally bring logic to the discussion, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Sports networks love days like yesterday. As the conference championships finish up, the guess work kicks into overdrive. Who will be the top seeds? Who are the first four out? Who’s on the bubble? And is this finally the year when a 16 seed takes down a 1?
I’ve got nothing to add to this debate since my knowledge of NCAA basketball this year is pretty much limited to random John Wall highlights. And it’s still a little too early to start the baseball playoffs debate so that’s going to have to wait a couple more months. However, there is another debate I feel more than qualified to weigh in on. Which baseball player, current or former, is the biggest jack-hole?
More than a few players qualify for spots in this debate. I’m sure I’ll hear from people claiming a place for AJ Pierzynski. Curt Schilling and John Rocker probably have legitimate claims, too. However, I’m going to go with three who merit special consideration. Let the debate begin!
I love the Tigers despite recent disparaging commentary about my fandom. But the fact of the matter remains, if you want to talk about all time bad guys, the Georgia Peach has to top the list. I’m pretty sure he’s not even really dead but was instead secretly recruited by satan to stalk the earth, invisibly sliding in, cleats up, attempting to destroy the shins and ACLs of unaware people all over the world.
Barry, you may have the homerun record but you’re a stinking cheat and that’s how people are going to remember you. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I would like to punch you in your over sized head.
Former Tigers appear over-represented in this short list but there’s no way to pass up the senator from Kentucky. I understand his point in saying that the senate should have found a way to pay for unemployment benefits before passing the bill. But there are good and bad times to suddenly have an attack of principle. The middle of winter when people are out of work probably counts as a bad time.
Despite these guys’ well-earned reputations, there are still legions of fans who adore them. But there are also those who want to see them get some comeuppance. Ty and Jim are already in the Hall and like it or not, Barry will probably end up there one day also. That doesn’t mean we have to sit idly by and accept it, though. Just ask these guys.